Confession of a Horde Player

On World of Warcraft I play a proud member of the Horde Noq, an undead mage from the world of Azeroth. He’s been around for a few years now and seen all the wonders of the world – he’s even been to Outland where the squid faced (Draenei) and Blood Elves originate.  He’s helped take down the likes of Onyxia and the Lich King along side his guild Hammer of the Ancients or his friends in This Is Mana Tap. He is well known on his server, has a sharp tongue and a wicked staff (that could be code!).

But I have a deep dark secret…

I… I… I like gnomes. They’re so cute and funny and make me want to just scoop them up in my arms and cuddle them. They have the cutest dance of all the dance moves in the game

Gnome_male250x

I actually try to emulate this dance when I go out dancing – I mean the hips, the slapping the hand behind the head it’s just perfect!

My Horde friends like to talk about gnome cookies (made out of real gnomes) and punting them across the Barrens. Some of my Horde friends are undead and would readily eat these cute little buggers, but not I.

I love playing them as mages and rogues and priests – as soon as we were able to play priests on gnome characters I ran out and rolled a new priests (sadly this means I have two active priests) and simply love it. I love their emotes of /train and /charge and of course dance.

*sigh* I love Gnomes.

I also love dwarves (much too tough of a meat for most Horde to consider eating) they’re so furry and have great beards and I imagine furry chests (I can’t see em naked – I know that’s  a little pervy, but hey it’s me). They also have great emotes – you simply cannot believe how much I literally laugh out loud as I /rasp over and over on a Dwarf. Their flirts are pretty awesome too.

*sigh* I love Dwarves

I care not one bit for any of the other Alliance races and they can be thrown into a pit of red dragons for all I care.

But all of my friends love Horde, all of them!!! Kerrig the Orc, Salthair the Undead, Janka the Orc, Landrai and Luesarim the Blood Elves, I even know Trolls… /gasp .

So I play with my friends as a Horde but each day I secretly dream of a day when Gnomish or Goblin Engineering creates a device that would permanently grant my Horde players the appearance of gnomes and dwarves, with emotes and all. Maybe some day Blizzard will break down the barriers of racism and allow my gnomes and dwarves to switch factions, I’m sure that all the Horde leaders would benefit from daily hugs given by gnomes.

There, I’ve come out and said it, I’m a gnome lover a dwarf lover and long to scream out during raid encounters “For Gnomeregan!!!”

Dead Pets and Doorknobs

“We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book. For them, we hope these pages will provide so convincing that no further authentication will be necessary. We think this account of our experiences will help everyone to better understand the alcoholic. Many do not comprehend that the alcoholic is a very sick person. And besides, we are sure that our way of living has its advantages for all.” Alcoholics Anonymous, xiii Forward to the First Edition

The above paragraph was written in 1939. Since that time over 39 other 12 Step Groups (I recall back in the late 90s seeing somewhere that there are well over 200 different 12 step groups, but I can’t find a source that says something different from Wiki) have been formed based on the principles of the original 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (according to Wiki there are and additional 10 groups that only partially base their programs on the 12 steps). According to A.A. estimates from January 1, 2012 there are approximately 2,133,842 members of Alcoholics Anonymous world-wide and 114,070 Groups – I have no estimates for how many people attend 12 Step groups outside of AA. The last sentence of the quote above indeed came true for all these other people and groups with problems outside of alcohol.

There is a circuit speaker I’ve heard a few times who says “Got a gambling problem? catch alcoholism. Got a drug problem? catch alcoholism” He’s referring to the great success rate of the program of alcoholics anonymous and how we can change the lives of alcoholics for the better. I’ve actually met people in the rooms of AA that state they don’t have a drinking problem but really got better following the directions of AA from our book and 12 Steps – I don’t have a big problem with that, I do when they want to speak at our meetings because I believe only alcoholics should participate in our meetings.

I was sent to treatment via the court system, I didn’t know what my problem was I just didn’t want to live anymore. A lot of people come into AA that way, the court sentences them to go to a certain amount of meetings and they show up and put their paper to be signed in the basket and typically don’t stick around – it’s rare I see these people still coming to meetings after they’ve done what was ordered of them (I do know a guy that kept getting his paper signed a year or more after he had met his legal obligation, it was a part of his recovery program; like shaking hands or making coffee). At today’s meeting I saw papers to be signed for Crack Addicts, Cocaine Addicts as well as the drinking problem forms.

Not just alcoholics come to AA, we also get hard drinkers, heavy drinkers “.. though drinking foolishly and heavily at the present time, are able to stop or moderate, because their brains and bodies have not been damaged as our were.” Alcoholics Anonymous, page 39 come to, and people who might have gotten into a little bit of trouble and looking for a quick way out.

So these people come to AA meetings and we’ll hear the leader say “the topic is Step 3, but talk about whatever you might need to talk about” and we’ll hear attenders just come “to check in”.

As a result over the years AA has changed, I think partially due to treatment centers and court systems sending almost everyone to the rooms. This is overall good for the mental health well-being of the nation and or the world – really having group therapy available to anyone in so many parts of the world is amazing.

This is however, not good for the well-being of A.A. Contrary to popular belief, A.A. is NOT group therapy. It’s not the place you get to come and talk about your dead pets or (as I heard in a meeting today) how your co-worker is not being helpful on a project you share with her.

At Alcoholics Anonymous we come to talk about our common problem – the spiritual sickness of alcoholism. This is not a drinking problem, it’s a living problem. At A.A. we share a common solution that shows precisely how we have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.

The message of A.A. has been watered down to help everyone that needs help getting over every problem from people who just need somewhere to go talk about their problems, gay people struggling to come to terms with being gay*, people with drug addictions claiming that it’s just dry booze. A few weeks ago at a group conscience that was called to address the lack of focus on recovery at a particular meeting it was argued that the idea of having to work the program was contrary to what AA is all about and they just like to come and talk about how their life is going – that argument got lots of nods and acceptance and I think swayed the vote.

Alcoholics Anonymous is only 78 years old and the longer we go on the farther and farther from our common solution it seems we go. Bill W. wrote the traditions to … well here’s what our book says on page 561 of the 4th edition:

“The “12 Traditions” of Alcoholics Anonymous are, we A.A.’s believe, the best answer that our experience has yet given to those ever-urgent questions, “How can A.A. best function?” and, “How can A.A. best stay whole and so survive?”

And everywhere was have a lack of traditions we have weak, watered-down, just come and talk about whatever you need to talk about – group therapy. I say again, A.A. is not group therapy or bad day meetings or any other kind of meeting – it’s a life solution for people who really need it and I fear the message will not be heard by those who need to hear it most.

*I call Gay AA Meetings Gay A, they come to talk about how hard their life has been being gay and that the reason they drank they way they did was because they are gay – I drank the way I did because I’m an alcoholic and I drink alcoholicly. (I’ve written about this before here) It should be noted there is a group that semi-basis its program on the 12 steps called Homosexuals Anonymous, who knew.

**The Title of this blog piece was chosen by Cynthia P, Laura W and Jason S – the story was in my head already, I hope they like what I’ve done here.

Demons and Toast

Dream One

It was in the horse and buggy days and I found myself defending my allegiances. My accuser had gone so far as to say I could never be trusted again so I related a recent experience to him.

“Indeed, I have recently been stabbed through the chest with a demons sword.” I said

“I knew it, you’ve been corrupted. You are a taint upon all we’ve tried to do here. Kill him now.” he insisted

“As you all know it’s been many years now they’ve been trying to take my life so I had precautions set in place should just such a thing occur.” I said to the wide eyes and gaping mouths around me, “I had a spell set in place that would draw from my library a silver container containing an ancient rune that would be delivered to my familiar back at my estate – that container would open in front of him informing him of my predicament and giving him the means by which to purify me once again.”

In everyones mind sure enough they see a silver container being opened in slow motion in front of an ugly faced creature, no doubt my familiar.

“This proves nothing, even this vision you’ve place in our minds could be some kind of trick” he spat

“True, but it’s all I can offer and I’m afraid I cannot allow you to assault my reputation any more” I said and then turned and faded away.

 

Dream Two

There was a stage play going on, overly made up characters and everyone was a bit off. Suddenly the actress on stage stopped her line, put her hands on her hips and stared out at the end of the auditorium. We all turned to look and there was the male lead – clownish make up, victorian ensemble and rage just coming through like nothing. He screamed things at the actress and she screamed  things back before rushing the stage and declaring “I’ll never be on stage with a has been like you” to which she pointed to the floor of the stage he was standing on.

The audience erupted with laughter, I turned to look at everyone and there was Jason S motioning to me – Jamez, he said, the toast is fresh hurry before it’s all gone. Before I could even make it over to him there were hands reaching out for a piece of the toast everywhere and I was crowd surfing trying to make my way through the people.

 

 

 

My Appendix

I had my appendix taken out on Tuesday night at Washington Hospital Center, I feel much better already.

Sunday night, January 6, 2013 as I sat on my bed to go to sleep i felt a weird twinge in my belly area – just found it weird, didn’t think about it too much and went to sleep.

Monday my stomach/side ached most of the day. Nothing to keep me from work or anything, just annoying. It did actually start to hurt more and more as the day went by. I ate a couple times, hoping that would help, and actually didn’t have dinner wasn’t hungry. I was just over the whole achy thing and went to bed around 9:30.

At around 12:30 I woke up to extreme pain in my right side – I went to the toilet, hoping maybe I just had gas or something, but I couldn’t go. After a few minutes of the pain not going away and the feeling of nausea a couple times I called the Kaiser advice nurse and explained what was going on – she advised me to call 911.

I called 911 and within five minutes and ambulance arrived in our parking lot. I didn’t know if I was to go out there or if they were to come into my house so I just sat here. They came in and said ok lets go, lol. They took my vitals – I was pretty freaked out not only because of the pain but being in an ambulance really isn’t a fun idea to me and the paramedic guy kept asking me to calm down but it was hopeless. They called in to dispatch and dispatch directed them to Howard University Hospital (HUH). On the way to Howard the Paramedic told me I’d be better off going to Washington Hospital Center (WHC), but they had to go where dispatch sent them.

At Howard I filled out a simple form and the paramedic told me I could call a taxi and go to WHC if I was waiting to long, he really wanted me to do that – I should have listened I guess. I arrived at HUH around 1:00 sat in the waiting room for 1 1/2 hours and then in a hallway for 2 more hours and had only peed in a cup and given blood. It was around 5:30 when I finally got a bed in a hallway in the ER and another hour or so before anyone came to look at me. I kept whispering “just come fix me, just come fix me” over and over again as I wanted to no longer be in pain so badly. At the shift change I think I finally started to get help a nurse gave me pain medication – I felt very loopy. They gave me an IV for the cat scan or the X-ray machine.

The results of the cat scan said I didn’t have appendicitis but they were going to ask for a surgery consult just in case – the surgery consult guy was right behind him and came over to examine me – honestly I think it was the first doctor to touch me during this whole time and it was around 9:00 a.m. He was so super sexy, bearded, furry chest hairs peeking through his shirt collar and he was almost positive I had “early appendicitis” and said we’d be having surgery.

Ana came to visit while I was there, that was nice. I felt like I had been there forever by that point.

As I have Kaiser insurance they had to get approval to do the surgery there, but that didn’t happen and there were orders to send me to WHC that was around 10:30 a.m. I sat and waited until 2:00 before I was transferred via ambulance. Did you know there are speed bumps on the way to WHC ER? Isn’t that a sweet thing to do to people that are in pain already? geez!

At WHC I was put in a temporary room for a few hours until they got my permanent room ready. We had a small problem with medications for me, I was in pain again but my SSN kept coming up as James J. Appel and they wanted to make sure I was who I said I was… I think it was 2 hours before I received pain medication at WHC and then they moved me to my permanent room. My permanent room I shared with a 80 year old man who’d never been in a hospital before that he knew of, nice quiet guy. My friend Donna came to visit from CNMC, that was very nice too.

They started prepping me for surgery around 6 or something. Antibiotic IVs, fluids, pain meds – I should mention they wouldn’t let me eat or drink anything since I got there, I wasn’t hungry but I was very thirsty.

They rolled me away to the surgery area around 7:30 and I met the people who put you under, they were in good spirits and seemed like nice folks. They asked me about ever having surgery before and I explained that I had lazy eye surgery as a kid and threw up after on my parents – who had tried to feed me McDonalds so really it was their own fault.

The Operating room was really very cool to look at I loved the look of the lights and the tech they had in there. I kept trying to breathe deeply and my eyes closed when I’d start to think about what was about to happen. I thought someone was pushing my socks up but she was really attaching something that massaged my legs – that was very nice, but honestly freaked me out when it first started. I remember them putting the oxygen on my face but I don’t recall anyone asking me to count backwards or anythings.

I woke up and needed to pee and cough and I hurt – and I said all those things and wanted to roll over on my side and they kept saying “no, it’s ok, just stay still” and the feeling that I wanted to pee was apparently the catheter. Then nothing.

Then I was awakened by a BEEP, BEEP, BEEP and I looking around and was in a new room and someone said I was in the recovery room and I tried to go back to sleep and then BEEP, BEEP, BEEP and again and again… apparently I wasn’t getting enough oxygen and the beeping was to get me to breathe deeper – I made an audible complaint that that was pretty rude thing to do after all I’d been through all I wanted to do was sleep – she laughed at me.

It wasn’t long before they rolled me back up to my room – 12:30 I was in my own bed. I would fall asleep and they’d come to take vitals or to change my IV or to annoy me. There is very little sleep to be had in the hospital bed – I felt sorry for my roommate.

They had given me a urinal to pee in while I was in the bed, but nothing I could do would allow urine to flow into that thing in a bed – I tried and tried and tried and nothing. So I got them to let me walk to the bathroom and then there was joyful release! Being hooked up to the IV machine made it difficult to go to the bathroom solo – and I’d press the button for help and they’d say they’d be right there and I’d wait and wait and wait… honestly, Gary Jim and Ana were there during a few of these encounters and actually went off to find someone to help me. Pushing the button was a pointless endeavor the longer I was there the more I realized that. I was really surprised the bathroom didn’t have any grab bars.

I spent most of the day in and out of consciousness that really coordinated with the pain meds. They wanted me to walk and pass gas so I walked as soon as I could. The passing gas didn’t happen until right before I went home but it did happen – I’ve since pooed too if you were wondering.

I arrived home last night, Gary came to get me and went to get me medications too. Mouse was happy to see me but not sure why I didn’t pick her up for a hug or play our nightly game. Gary sent me this email while I was still in the hospital:

“Mouser and I were talking.  I told her you were in the hospital to have surgery and she said that she was in the hospital twice for surgery but no one came to visit her.  She said that when you come home that I should put one of those hoods (he’s referring to the cone of shame) on you like you made her wear and handcuff you so you cannot touch yourself.”

Standing up, getting up, sitting down all those things currently hurt a little bit. I can sit here and type and have basically no pain at all. Oh and coughing hurts a little too. I have three little bandages on my belly and they shave most of that area, but not all of it so it looks like half of my belly is dirty and it’s going to really itch soon I know it!

I don’t know if it would have taken less time to just take a cab to WHC when I first got to HUH or not but I think if I ever end up in a similar situation I would go to WHC first.

There was an outpouring of love and comments and text from friends and family that I truly appreciated – but all of you that kept wanting me to keep you updated with calls or text used up my phone battery that much sooner – thanks! lol