Geek Nail Art

One of my other hobbies is nail polish and nail art. Every 1-3 times a week, I do my nails in pretty and fabulous ways. I’m not the best at it, but it is something to do which is nice and relaxing. My biggest issue is deciding what to do – I have about 150 nail polish colours and there’s a wide range of techniques and designs to do. Of course, what better than to combine my love of nail polish and my love of geekdom?

This is easy to do – even for a nail polish noob! I really admire people who can paint whole artistic scenes on their nails, but I don’t have the ability for that sort of fine art. I tend to rely on colour schemes and stamping primarily, so this post will be about easy-to-do tributes.  nails

(Not really a geek nail design, just one of my favourites ^_^)

Continue reading Geek Nail Art

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Friends on Radio

This is an interview with my dear friend @SandrAntonelli who is researching women over 40 in romances, and pulling us up on our ageism. Older women have very specific stereotypes, the crone, the cougar, and rarely seen in a romantic light. She’s fought these general stereotypes herself with her two books, For Your Eyes Only and Basic Renovations. Check out her website here.

Another romancey PhD friend, looking at it from the librarians POV is @VaVeros. This show doesn’t have a podcast, but if you click the link above you’ll see all the links and info that Vassiliki talked about. There was discussion about whether libraries are keeping up with the digital age (mostly; yes), about the services they offer (they aren’t just there to loan you books, but offer a range of community events such as reading groups,  mums and bubs groups, even hosting apocalypses).

All the delicious brains, PhD buddy Jodi McAlister (@JodiMcA) frequently does podcasts on tv shows, The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars. She’s studying romance literature, but also has a passion for theatre. I haven’t listened to the podcasts yet, because I’m very far behind on both shows, but she is bound to radiate her awesome through the airwaves.

Jon Page, bookseller extraordinaire, is also a book reviewer for 702 Sydney every Tuesday at about 10:30am. He talks on all sorts of interesting topics, and pretty much what he doesn’t know about the Australian book industry isn’t worth knowing. He tweets along at @pnpbookseller, and you can check his website here (GO BUY INDIE BOOKS!). The show doesn’t get a podcast, so be listening to the show or follow Jon’s twitter to keep up with it.

What’s your most and least favourite expansion?

So waking up to a new post on WoWInsider where it asks: What’s your favorite expansion and what do you like most about it? What’s your least favorite expansion and why? Has an expansion made you leave and not come back until the next one?

I’m going to go through the whole history, just for kicks.

piff

Vanilla was a glorious time when everything was new. At first, my friend did not explain the differences between a PVP and a PVE server to me, I just joined him on Horde as a Troll Hunter called Piffleflop. She didn’t get past 21, in part because of the ganking in Stonetalon, and also said friend had moved back to Alliance on another server. PVE thankfully. I don’t like people interrupting my fishing. One of the first things I did as a little human Mage (who is now a blood elf on a different server) was walk to Gadgetzen. Up to Ironforge, onto Menethil, take a boat to Auberdine, and walk down the entire map to Feralas, across to Thousand Needles and then down to Tanaris. I met my guild in Feralas when someone asked in General why was a level 8 there. I loved the world events, like the Scourge invasion, even though I didn’t really do raids (think I did a few, MC and Blackwing Lair). I would spend hours grinding the undead near Chillwind Camp. Still have my Argent Dawn Commission too! I really felt like I was helping something, even if they’d re-spawn, even if I wasn’t doing the big ol’ raids. I wanted the Magisters Set most of all, but alas, did not get many pieces >< And as is the case with hindsight, now we have transmog, I regret not going back to get it, but hey. Hindsight’s a bitch.

leiha

BC  was pretty, oh so pretty! But I never got the sense of a continuous storyline. I changed mains to Balance Druid (which I changed to Resto at 70) and Warlock (demonologist – race-changed to Worgen now) and was on a different server. I did some early raiding, Karazhan I did some of it on both (I remember a Holy Paladin being given Int leather that I’d asked to roll on >< ), but mostly the Heroic Dungeons. I loved Black Morass and the Caverns of Time, when I could visit Southshore, where the NPCs I knew and loved were little. There was nothing in particular I did around here, but I got a taste for the alt lifestyle. I unsubscribed though before the end of BC because I got into university.

Skip forward to the end of my bachelors degree when Cata comes out (my dear friend purchased it for me along with Wrath). Wrath, I completely hated everything about it. It wasn’t epic, it wasn’t pretty, the clothes were awful and the people in LFD rude (for the most part). It may have been that I hated Wrath because I got two expansions at once, and I was dying to get to the new content, I’ll allow that. My druid and priest were the chosen ones at first. Cataclysm was great (controversy!) for me because it had a continuous storyline throughout the new zones. I knew what had to be done and why I was doing it, which I hadn’t experienced for a while. But then leveling and going through heroic dungeons got to me, I got bored and turned to the dark side.

nys

This is my blood elf hunter, as she looks now at 90. I got so bored with Cata (I think I had three or so at max level on Alliance), that I went and PvPed for almost the whole expansion. Just random battlegrounds and Tol Barad, I loved Tol Barad! I got four hordies up to 85 (priest, mage and pally as well).

Nearing the end of Cata, I was convinced to go back to the Alliance and join a mate’s guild, in which I made lovely friends who we still hang together every weekend! We were all waiting for MOP, and doing the Theramore scenario as soon as it came out. I had a beta key to MOP because of a deal they had on at the time. Got a mage to 90 there. It was so pretty!

ketz

In MOP, I changed again to my Shaman, who I had to level up quite a ways since she wasn’t already at 85. The lands were lovely, the quests … kinda had some story to them, but I didn’t care much about it – bloody Anduin running off everywhere! I already hated Dread Wastes from the beta, and it is dull and boring and I hate those damn Klaxxi ><  Don’t get me started on the awful Golden Lotus grind. So many bloody dailies, and I hated them all except the farm and fishing. The dungeons got old quick, but I actually started to raid, both LFR and I tried a few times at Normal, but it was rather boring. There’s only so many times you can tolerate wiping on Garalon before it becomes un-fun. Raiding just isn’t my thing.

izz

The more exciting parts came with following the stories inside the raids and from 5.3 onwards. Not the least of which was more alt-friendly things, like the commissions. From here I changed back to my good ol Warlock, who got a race change. The Barrens quests (still grindy, but at least they weren’t dailies!) and the Timeless Isle both were really exciting and I managed to gear up all the alts I don’t play so much very quickly (pretty much just use the pally for old raids – took me two level 85+ paladins to realise I’m not very good at melee).

And that’s where we are up to now! I have 8 full level 90s, 5 over ilvl 500 and SoO worthy (my friends got mad as hell when my poor abandoned horde hunter got five burdens of eternity! Overall I’ve gotten 18, but only two on my main. The RNG gods hate me and love my alts!).

WoW Selfies

Not much going on at the moment. It’s the holidays, and naturally as soon as they start, you get sick. I’ve been watching early Doctor Who episodes, and started Mad Men (yes, I’m years behind!). Also more Warcraft, of course. There’s some research going on, but I don’t have any substantial thoughts about any of it yet.

One thing I have taken up is selfies … of my WoW characters. I feel like I should show remorse for it, but WoW is full of interesting little details!belf - Copy

This here is my BElf hunter, showing off a stunning set I am yet to finish (damn non-matchy shoulders everywhere!). My friend laughs at me when I show him the armour sets I like on WoW, lots of chainmail bikinis. Depends on the character though, I choose non-combat pets that match their “personality”, as well as titles, which mounts they use, and of course the armour and weapons. duke grins - Copy

This was some quest text from Icecrown. I just like the added RP depth to what I was being asked to do. “GO KILL (number) (mob)” would be boring and meaningless without the additional text.
hks - Copy

Finally got this achievement, yayyy! My dear friends were online with me and we were all PvPing together at the time. AV was not offering many opportunities for killing, so I just ran IOC time after time after time. Little did I know, there’s an achievement AND title for 250,000 kills. This may take a while <.<leih - Copy

I love the look of this instance! This is my paladin at Vortex Pinnacle. It’s an instance in Uldum, a place rather muchly based on Ancient Egypt, which I’ve always had a fascination with (partly due to cat-worship, partly due to meeting @graecomuse in Egyptian Archaeology 101 XD).

magecleaning - Copy

This was a neat little detail I hadn’t noticed before on a Horde skyship, headed to Twilight Headlands. A mage deckhand. not the eye of sauron - Copy

This is totes not the Eye of Sauron … It’s just a big eye on top of a tower in a land corrupted by evil and ruled over by a really bad guy. Totes original XDqueen - Copy

Bow to the Slayer of the Archlich! Now bring me a sammich, mortal minions!
ray - Copy

Finally got my Skyguard reputation up and now have these lovely rays to ride. The purple, of course, is the best looking, and matches my mages armour. tauren

A quest in Karasang Wilds on Horde side that has a rather sad event, followed by the introduction of these adorable Tauren babies! Very pixely, but very cute. time lost figurineWith the Skyguard rep grind, I also got a trinket that turns me into a Skettis Arrokoa. Can’t mount with it on, sadly, but it looks very cool nonetheless XD

gargle and gurgle

This is in Zangarmarsh, just a troll witch doctor and his two pet murlocs, Gargle and Gurgle. They just pitter patter around his feet.
in the heart of horde homeland

In the heart of the Hordes land, beneath the shadow of Orgrimmar, the Alliance is just in the middle of it under a bubble and transforming people into robot cats.garroshbad

Now this image was disturbing. Basically, the leader of the Horde, Garrosh, is a big jerkface, the usual trying-to-take-over-the-world-for-the-pure-race villain. The trolls are rebelling against this evil orc. This is why we need to kill Garrosh!me n tyr

On a happier note – here’s my hunter and my friend Tyr, just before going to kill Galleon for the bajillionth time. Later, she helped me get the spectral porcupine XDrave

I found this picture on my old hard drive of a dear friend I met in WoW who died a few years ago. He was a rather serious player. Back in vanilla, I would tease him by running into giant elite mobs and laugh at him trying to save me. I stopped playing around the time of mid-end BC, but we still kept in touch and talked often. He was a great bloke 🙂

Hipster Zombies

One thing that semi-amuses and semi-irritates me is the attitude of ‘Everything new is bad’.

Zombies are so mainstream now. Zombies are so pop culture now. I only liked them when they were scary. I only liked them when the films were made by Indies.

And so on! I do exclude from this general dislikes: aka disliking running zombies, because really, there’s no way we’d outfight that. We’d be gone and done for. With slow zombies, we have a chance. Anyway, that doesn’t mean you hate all new films.

The basic argument is “Have you seen all these new zombie films that you say you definitely hate them ALL? Really?”. But more than that, zombies are now in the hands of authors and screenwriters. They are bloody creative beings and that’s why we love them and have our favourites (Neil Gaiman writing for Dr Who? Hells yeah I’m watching that episode!). You can’t dictate to others how they SHOULD be doing things.

Imagine what it was like when America started taking up the zombie idea, but from the perspective of those who believed in it for real. Or imagine growing up in the 30s and 40s and all those great zombie films and then watching Romero. What the hell are these things?! “These aren’t zombies”. That’s because they have changed – and the world and humans and culture tend to do that.

You don’t have to slap “Twilight rip-off” on every single zombie romance (and I will kill you in the apocalypse for doing that). But zombies don’t think, you say! Well, we all worship at the altar of Romero (all zombie fans run back to Grandfather when they want justification), and zombies do have a growing consciousness particularly in Day of the Dead and Land of the Dead.

So why am I blabbering on about this? Because of a fantastic French movie I can’t bloody find anywhere to buy, and it’s re-make into a tv series, Les Revenants. And I want it, regardless of the hipster zombies on the comments. The storyline looks incredible!

There’s an article here at the Telegraph and one here at Den of Geek talking about the series coming to the UK, and man, I am so jelly right now. It’s super unlikely it’ll ever come to Australia, so I’ll have to wait till it comes out on DVD/Bluray.

Achievements or GTFO!

hordeFor over two years, I have joined every group I could talking about raiding another city and killing the leaders. Horde or Alliance, whatever I’m on, I’ll do it! But most don’t get the numbers, fall apart before they get there, or even in the last group I was in a few weeks back, they had invited people under level … 60. Yup. He got toasted just in front of Durotar.

But last night was different! A raid was put together by a PvP guild on the server, they were NOT dumb enough to sit at the entrance to Orgrimmar, and one even set up a trial account to spy on Horde chat. Horde were enthusiastic about protecting their Warchief, but alas, could not save him. They annihilated us after. At Baine, there were a few stragglers that tried hitting us. At Sylvanas, about 5 or so just watched. At Lor’themar, one dude showed up and just sat there. So clearly no one gives a crap about the Blood Elves.

I would be all dramatic that I felt conflicted at killing my precious Banshee Queen, but actually I was looking forward to her the most!

I do wonder what achievements actually do. Of course, we are challenged by them and thus spend more time on the game doing things we wouldn’t usually do (Explorer – totally boring!). Xbox even sweetens the deal by giving you prizes. In WoW, it’s mounts, pets or titles. There are more side-games now to WoW with pet battles and challenge mode dungeons. We aren’t allowed to be bored! For the Sims, there is no reward. You get an achievement for sending your Sim to the shops or buying a book.

Some achievements in WoW are considered worthless or lesser. Every man and his Worgen has the Jenkins! title. Doing achievements on exploration or getting a haircut is not valued, although the overall achievement score is used particularly in forum posts to gauge whether a player is actually worthy of an opinion (a little bit bulls if you ask me!).

While my next alt will bring me up to 5 at max level, worthy of 100 points, I’m much more looking forward to the below achievement, only worth 90, but with a nice title that I can use to strike fear into the hearts of my enemies!

nextcheev