Monday, April 27, 2009

My first Facebook group!

Now for my news! On Facebook, I have created my first group! It's called Superhero Tig o' Bitties! LOL

I intend this to be a humorous homage for the buxom super ladies of the comics, and yet I am fully aware of how quickly it can devolve into a gallery of porno art, so for now I am maintaining a tightfisted control over what gets published there. I want to trust group members to behave themselves and to keep to the intent of the group page, but I also know how some people are - that they can't control themselves in the face of such circumstances. Later on if some members demonstrate that they possess the maturity to stick with my theme, then I'll open up who gets to publish straight to my facebook page without me approving it. But one step at a time. :-)

Geez, I hate to start this out on a negative, but I'm also painfully aware of how quickly that just a couple of weak-willed sleazeballs can ruin something like this. I really, really want this to be a homage to the super ladies, and as far as I can help it, it will stay that way. Your next question is no doubt going to be "what is the line between what is acceptable and not acceptable?" Well, it's basically this: I'll know it when I see it. If I feel that it is lacking in some way or the other, then it will not be published on my Facebook page. Simple as that.

With the negativity out of the way, I will finish by saying that while it might not be fair that the super ladies have to have such - er, "abundance" - to get noticed, at least they got noticed - and some have managed to do well despite this objectification; and others still are able to be recognized for more than their DD's. My hope is that our actions will one day speak louder than our bra size. A lot of us super ladies expose ourselves to the same dangers that the super men do, and we deserve respect for the work we do instead of being famous for being busty.

While some may question the wisdom of saying what I just said while creating a facebook group that seems to glorify that objectification, what I'm attempting to do here instead is to help the super busty super ladies to get over the fact that there will always be those who objectify us no matter what we do, and to just accept the fact that being busty is a part of who we are. We are loud, we are proud, and we have tig o' bitties. We ain't got nothing to be ashamed of. :-)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Oops! I'm sorry!

I'm sorry! I thought I had posted something Thursday! I don't know where my head was yesterday. Oh well, we'll pick this up again on Tuesday, when I should have some news!

See you then!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

WoW Update: Why I enjoy playing WoW

A comment to my most recent blog entry has gotten me thinking that perhaps I should bring up why I enjoy playing WoW so much. Certainly the crew at the office notices how much I am playing in between gigs in which I am beating up the bad guys.

I guess mostly that I am absolutely fascinated by the social aspect of the game. The communication and the interaction with other players is a social phenomenon that can only happen in our day and age. In other words, with WoW, we have a means of social interaction and communication that is unprecedented in human history. I can't help but enjoy being a part of that.

In WoW, there are life lessons that can be learned; particularly in how important it is to be able to get along with others - especially if you are to achieve some personal goals. Alone, you can get some nice gear, but if you team up with others (for example, running an instance set to heroic mode), you can get even better gear. If you play nice, you'll be asked to join again, and you might possibly get even better gear.

However, if you don't play nice, then they will remember you and won't ask you back. If you develop a reputation for being a selfish jerk, soon no one will play with you. The lesson you learn in WoW also can apply in life: Play nice with others and they'll ask you to join them again, and you may gain more with a group that you can alone. See? Life lessons. Another life lesson is that the Alliance sucks and the Horde rules, and that gnomes make good doorstops and speedbumps! LOL

Another fascinating aspect of WoW is the lessons of gender studies that it often provides. For one, there are many women who play WoW. Yes, real women. Women I know personally. And they play as aggressively as the men. But let me just as quickly add that there are also men who play female characters. In fact, I'm willing to bet that the number of men who play female characters is far greater than women who play male characters. I don't have proof of that; let's just call it women's intuition.

Still, I think a psychological study of playing on WoW can produce some fruitful insights into the human psyche. For one, there's WoW's addictive nature. There's a reason it's often called World of Warcrack. For another, there is the group psychology aspect of it. Some players are "ninjas"; that is, they will cheat when it comes to looting by selecting Need instead of Greed (if you don't know what I'm talking about - trust me, it's a WoW thing) even though the group previously agreed to selecting only Greed or Pass. Or they can be the kind that does stupid time-wasting crap like intentionally causing an instance wipe. Why do such people do such things when they know that the others won't approve?

There is also the driven types that is constantly yelling at the others for real or imagined errors. Tyrants, in other words. Then there's "ganking"; that is, the practice of a high level player staking out a graveyard and constantly killing a low level player over and over just for the hell of it. And of course, there can be studies done as to why male players will play female characters and female players play male characters. Last, there is the question on how WoW play affects the relationships of those players who know each other in real life. Can playing WoW help improve your relationships with others in real life, or does it hinder it?

So as you can see, WoW is a social and psychological phenomenon that won't be going away anytime soon. However, I will ask if you guys are tired of my WoW updates. I'm hoping that my enjoyment of the game shows through, but if many of you don't play WoW, then I don't want to bore you. Please let me know.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

WoW Update: Level 80!

Today was supposed to be my review of the graphic novel, The Watchmen, but - I'm still reading it! :-D

(brief spoiler ahead. Stop reading now if you don't want to know what comes up)

Right now I am at the point where the Silk Spectre and Nite Owl help break Rorschach from prison. But I don't want to reveal too much here in case you haven't read the story, so I'll stop here.

(end spoiler)

I'll try very hard to finish reading the Watchmen so that I can give my review of it. Unfortunately, though, it messes up my theme of Review Week! LOL

So instead, I'll discuss my latest WoW news: Level 80, baby!

Yep, my main toon - the hunter - has hit the ceiling for which all WoW players strive for: Level 80! Thing is, though, I still get killed! :-D I thought getting to level 80 would make me like a god or something!

Now, however, I can finally get all that cool armor and weaponry that had been out of reach for what seemed like forever. I can now wear and use that cool stuff, and it's awesome! The recent patch from this week kinda slowed things down for me - especially downloading the darn upgrade! - and I actually didn't play WoW for almost a full 48 hours! WoW withdrawl! Urrk.... urrk... urrk....

Once I got back on, I discovered that I couldn't summon my corehound, because my Beast Master talent tree had been taken down. The talent tree points had been removed because the upgrade included some new skills in all the talent trees, so WoW basically rebooted our talent trees so that we could rebuild them to include the new skills.

At the suggestion of a fellow hunter, I rebuilt my talent tree for Survival instead of Beast Master. The main effect this has is that I can no longer use my corehound until such time that I can use the new dual spec feature. I had to get another pet, in other words, and I got a sabretooth cat. Not as mean or cool as the corehound, but it's still fun to watch it in action.

The Survival talent tree will take some getting used to, because I had been using Beast Master all this time. Since my cat is not as durable as my corehound, it dies faster, which puts more work on me to kill the monsters faster before my cat dies. Also, because my cat can't kill the monsters as quickly as my corehound, it accumulates extra monsters to kill while still working on the monsters that it's still attacking.

This won't be as much of a problem in dungeons and raids, however, because my pet usually dies pretty quickly anyway. As a BM, when your pet dies, then you're pretty vulnerable, especially with weak melee skills. But with Survival, while my pet is weaker, my hunter is a little more durable, and with more different types of magic arrows, to boot.

And it's funny - when you get close to 80, then your fellow guildies are telling you to hurry up and get to 80! Once you get there, they tell you to hurry up and get better gear for raiding! LOL They're never happy! Next time I'll discuss what I've learned since hitting level 80, including "dps", which nearly all of my guildies and their mothers (some of whom are guildies! LOL) tell me that a hunter needs for raids. Apparently, it's not enough to be told who to punch, I also have to be told how hard to punch them! :-D

See you next week!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Review of Wonder Woman

My first thought after watching Wonder Woman was that it should have been given its time in the theater. I think it could have done pretty well.

Most of the familiar elements of her origin story are in this, so much of it shouldn't be a surprise. However, this origin story also includes the warrior Amazon Artemis, who didn't come along in the Wonder Woman (WW) mythos until much later (early 1990's I think), when in the comic books she had temporarily assumed the role and the costume of WW when Diana had failed to live up to her expectations.

Overall, I think the story was well done, and I enjoyed the fact that this movie wasn't made into some sort of liberal feminist rah-rah flick about the power of womanhood and such. This story didn't need that - we already know that WW is a strong and powerful woman. Instead, it made use of a lot of humor, which I think helped keep the movie from taking itself too seriously.

For example, when the Amazons had Steve Trevor under the influence of the lasso of truth, he was compelled to admit certain things, such as what he meant when he said "crap". What I found funny is that the Amazons didn't know of the word "crap" in reference to excrement, but knew of the word "rack" in reference to a woman's breasts!

One interesting scene was when Diana had won the battle that gave her the right to be the ambassador to "man's world" and removed her helmet for her mother the queen to see. In the comic books of this scene, Hippolyta at first scolds her daughter for the deception, and then protests that she be the Amazonian ambassador. However, in the movie, Hippolyta simply hands her the attire as if Diana were any of the other Amazons.

In a way, portraying this scene in that way makes sense. I can imagine Hippolyta internally feeling a sort of maternal pride in seeing that it was her daughter who won the event. Not much later, she admits to Artemis that she wasn't going to be able to prevent her daughter from leaving for much longer. Maybe she realized that her daughter wanted to spread her wings.

Another pleasant surprise is the depiction of what happens when super women are struck. They go flying into walls and buildings and such like the men would. Don't misinterpret this as me saying that I want the depiction of violence against women to be glorified, but rather I'm saying that I'm glad the writers understood that we super women take on damage - and most times a lot of it - in our super battles with men. This is one area in which a liberal feminist take on this scene would have gone overboard in glorifying the strength of womanhood without giving any credible representation of the fact that, when we get hit, it hurts!

It's actually in such times that super women demonstrate their heroism the most. Just as among regular humans the average man is stronger than the average woman, it's also true for superhuman strength men and women. The strongest super strength woman (it's not me, by the way) is just barely average when compared to the super strength men. Pitting the strongest super woman against the strongest super man is a mismatch, big time. Like regular women, we don't bulk up like men do, so we don't get nearly as strong as they do. When super men strike us, we go flying, and when we hit walls or buildings, it hurts.

But some of these super women will not let this discrepancy in super strength stop them from battling super strength men. Folks, considering what these women are up against in such battles, they are brave and heroic beyond measure. They have to be faster and smarter, and they have to take advantage of the fact that most super strength men take too much faith and stock in their super strength to always bail them out. Taking down that first super strength man is the sort of confidence builder that will help that super woman for the rest of her superhero career. A liberal feminist representation of such a battle would rob all the glory of what such women go through getting that first takedown.

But I digress. This is supposed to be a movie review, after all. :-)

Like the super women in my "universe", WW goes flying into walls and buildings when struck. But she comes back to fight some more, and she presses on until the battle is won. She comes away bloodied and bruised, but victorious. There's other aspects of this movie I can touch on, but I think I'll save that for another time when I can discuss it more in a topic about how super women are presented in the movies. Those other aspects deserve a more focused blog entry, so I'll do just that. I hope you'll understand why I am cutting my review a little short, but some of the other things I want to discuss deserve more discussion than what a mere movie review can do.

On a scale of 1 to 10 in which 1 is a bomb and 10 is THE bomb, I give the WW movie a 9, largely based on its entertainment value. I enjoyed it that much.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Next week is Review Week

Well, crap.

Last night I had too many distractions (and no, I don't mean that I was playing WoW well into the night!) that kept me from finishing my review of Wonder Woman in time to run it today. So with that, rather than rush through the review, I will push it back to next week and just make next week Review Week.

So that this blog entry is not just the equivalent of a post-it note on a bulletin board, I'll go ahead and answer a few recent questions that have been addressed to me in person or by e-mail.

* What do you think of President Obama so far?

Hmm. So far, not so good. He's a smooth talker, I'll grant him that - but his selection of staff leaves much to be desired; among them having a tax cheat head the Treasury department. And what's the point of having "transparency" if bills are rushed through before the details are known? I give him a D right now, because he seemed so poorly prepared for what he was going to face. My choice for president is still Sarah Palin.

* How do you fly without the wind resistance tearing off your clothes?

I thought I'd go ahead and answer this one, because it's been asked more than once. For one, my clothes are made by a superhuman who has the ability to blend two materials that otherwise don't blend. For instance, he's able to combine cotton cloth with steel to give a material that has the softness of cotton but the durability of steel. Thus, they are almost completely tear-resistant. Because he is the only known superhuman with this ability, he charges enormous sums to fashion such costumes. In other words, your taxes paid for my costume. But don't worry, you're definitely getting your money's worth out of it.

Also, when I fly, I have a low level telekinetic shield to protect me from most of the wind resistance. All flyers seem to have this TK shield, so it must be a part of the power of flight. My TK shield is nowhere near that of someone whose power is TK, but it's enough to protect me while in flight.

Do you play any other games besides WoW?

No, not at this time. WoW is addictive enough, and I don't think I need to add another addictive game to my life! LOL

Okay folks, that's it. See you next week!

Monday, April 6, 2009

But I AM pretty!

Hehe. I can so totally relate to Miranda's feelings!

Yes, beauty is only skin deep and ultimately it's the substance that matters - but dang it, we ladies go through so much to look the way we do! You think I wake up looking like this? No, I gotta do some prep work like any other woman concerned about her appearance - and oh! This hair! Fortunately my super abilities includes having very durable hair, but I still have to wash it! You know how many bottles of shampoo I go through in a given month to wash this much hair?

Granted, some women get too carried away with their looks, but still - let's just say that if the gents want to score points with the women in their lives, pay them a compliment once in a while on their appearance. A little gratitude over the trouble we go through looking the way we do will go a long way. But I'm sure most of you gents knew that already. ;-)

Change in my tech vixen plans? Tune in later today!

Uh oh! What just happened here? Will I change my plans to become a tech vixen as a result? Tune in later today to find out!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

WoW update: Dragon riding!

Last night my main toon was riding on the backs of dragons! Or drakes, as they are called for this quest - which basically are smaller and not fully matured dragons.

The whole idea for this quest was to use a harpoon to hop from drake to drake until you've knocked off ten riders to finish the quest. Not an easy thing to do, since I had to rely on my melee skills to knock off the other riders. For those of you not on WoW, hunters have mediocre battle melee skills, which is why they rely instead on their pets (in my case, a rhino-sized two-headed, radiation leaking, drooling and spewing corehound, which looks more like a mutant rhino rather than a dog) and their ranged weaponry skills instead.

My melee skills were just enough to get the job done the first time around, thanks mainly to my two awesome Savage Cobalt Slicers, which helped me to slice and dice the other riders like those cooks in Japanese restaurants slice up vegetables. Despite them, I still suffered due to my weak melee skills, and about 4 of those ten nearly took my health bar down to zero before I knocked them off. I think someone like a paladin or a warrior would probably have a much easier time of knocking off riders. Fortunately I'm at level 450 for First Aid, as I had to go through several Heavy Frostweave Bandages in between battles.

Here's some images of what I went through for this battle:

First I went hopping from drake to drake using a harpoon with a chain attached...

Then once I hopped over to a drake, I did battle with its rider like so...

...using my Savage Cobalt Slicers, which look as big on me as they do on this night elf.

As a blood elf woman, I'm pretty small compared to the other races on WoW. However, during my time in this area, I was disguised as a giant viking woman like the ones in the pictures above. That was pretty cool. Oh, and one of these quests involved rescuing some small goblin men being held hostage in a village of these giant viking women. I couldn't help but think of that "snuu-snuu" episode of Futurama. :-)

It made me wonder if any of those goblin men wanted to be rescued. :-D