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Where the GypsyLynx lurks now and then
Pretty much every online game has at least one non-player character (NPC) that folks just love to hate.
Mine, which happens to correspond with the opinion of many of the members of the EQ2 tradeskill community, is a little boy called Qho Augren.
It isn't that he's rude, or mean, or even very bratty. To be fair, I have to give him points for not worrying his parents by wandering off on his own to obtain all the harvesting samples that he wants. (Though the fact that he spends all his time in that one little pond, often totally submerged does make one wonder if his parents were aquatic creatures of some sort, as opposed to human!)
However, no matter how politely he asks, by the third time he has sent you out to harvest an ever-growing list of items for A Gathering Obsession, you're likely ready to scream at him. By the time you have found the last bit of meat needed from Rivervale, you may be tearing your hair out. When you finally earn your cloak, you may have pondered several wonderful means of murdering him.
Annnnndd, if you're like a certain stubborn redhead, you have likely had to go through the entire questline, several times, and you now flinch every time someone mentions going out to find their "Qho-ta" for Qho.
We just love to hate him, and since he's just a little pixelated kid in an online game, our hate is a relatively safe and silly thing.
What does this have to do with asking about what to do with him?
SOE had some of their employees decorate game-themed Mighty Mugg characters for the 2010 SOE Fan Faire, to be sold in the silent auction. Emily "Domino" Taylor, crafting dev extraordinaire, not only did a wonderful job of creating Qho, but she blogged about the process.
He's now sitting on my kitchen table, along with the receipt from the silent auction, as I ponder his fate.
Rijacki and I both thought of turning him into a voodoo doll if we won him. Calthine from Zam had several suggestions involving firearms. I've also considered just hanging him from a "noose" in my home office.
I'd really rather not damage the replica, especially given the work that went into him, so I'm open to suggestions that will show how many of us feel about Qho while still respecting the work that Emily put into the replica. Depending on where you're reading this, feel free to respond on my personal blog, on facebook, or on my forums with your suggestions for the little brat.
Those who know me from long ago remember one me, who used to be able to laugh and joke a lot. "Bouncy" was one word used a lot. "Cute" was another, though some who used it made it sound more like a curse than a compliment.
Those who met me after the fibromyalgia really started getting bad knew a quieter, moodier me, prone to "wearing my shoulders as earrings" as I'd hunch from the constant pain, etc. It got so bad that physically I became a virtual hermit, only really getting out of the house for the chiropractor, the grocery store and such. My 2005 Celica is not yet at the 5000 mile mark for mileage, if that gives you any ideas of how bad it had gotten! (Meanwhile, I've put wayyyyy more "miles" on my keyboard than most folks do, during that time, escaping to the distractions of online worlds as a form of pain-blocking.)
Starting the Savella helped in the fall, but once I settled into a new baseline for the pain, and winter, such as it is, hit here, it was almost back to the same-old same-old. I'll candidly admit, after the fact, that I was getting close to being clinically depressed, due to so many years of constant, never-ending pain.
I'm still in pain. There has been no miracle cure. There is, however, a new me.
More like the old me, starting to return after over a decade of hibernation. The process will be a slow one, but the first steps were very noticeable.
I started up gentle Hatha yoga 3 times a week, starting at the beginning of June. Last week, I went mall-crawling for the first time all year, then went back and got a body wave (perm) the next day. Next week, I get a professional hair coloring done, to more properly cover up the grey.
And I'm doing it all with a huge smile on my face. I'm reclaiming the old me one gentle stretch at a time.
The next several weeks are going to be busy, with EQ2's Tinkerfest, the SOE Block Party, the SOE Fan Faire in Vegas, etc., but please, folks, help nudge me about mid-August if I've not started up a blog series. There are many out there with whom I want to share several fibro-related notes that I learned the hard way regarding massage, chiropractic, yoga, and even some food sensitivities that may help my fibrofriends out. Old me or new me, I'm still prone to procrastinating and getting side-tracked, and if I'm getting enough nudges, I may get enough "oomph" to get them written for you!
Into every life, some quakes must fall ... at least for those of us living in Southern California! We're actually due for a lot of quakes in the coming year, apparently because of the bigger one back in April.
How many of us know what to do during a big earthquake, though? I'll be the first to admit that I was clueless until someone posted the following link a few months back, so I'd like to share the knowledge around as things start rattling a bit more around here. This comes from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): What to Do During an Earthquake For those of you living in the SoCal area, the following site can also be a handy one to have bookmarked: California/Nevada Region Earthquakes
Do you know how hard it is to stay in a "blah" mood, when you've got a tiny hummingbird perching on your finger? For me, the answer is "impossible".
I may be fighting a losing battle with the flu, and feeling the worst, physically, that I have since starting on the Savella (bad enough that I canceled my chiropractor's appointment today, as I didn't feel up to driving, nor did I want to give them whatever it is that I have). I may want to just crawl under the covers and sleep for a week or two. I may even feel bad enough to go to bed right after dinner, instead of my normal midnight-ish.
I just can't be too grumbly about how I feel, though, due to thumb-sized little bundles of jewel-bright feathers.
It has been cool enough now, that the hummingbird population in the area is lessened. Many of the birds have headed down to Mexico for a couple months of warmer weather, and after the temperatures on waking up a couple different m*rnings, no matter how warm it got later in the day, I can't say as I blame them!
"Lessened" however, is a relative term, and there were a dozen birds visible, and more that were audible, when I shambled out to refill the feeders just now. Although it means extra walking, when they're in that sort of a feeding frenzy, I bring the feeders in one-by-one, placing a filled one out before grabbing another of the three feeders to refill. It is a bit more reassuring to the territorial little flitterbidgets when all of the feeders don't disappear at once.
When I brought the third feeder back out, some of the little birds did not fly away as I approached, but perched at the other two feeders an arm's-length away, pigging out. This made it the perfect time to play human statue and see if I could get one to land on my finger.
The answer was a resounding yes, within about 15 seconds of me placing my finger in front of a feeding port on the nearest feeder. It wasn't that the other ports were all busy (they weren't), or that they'd been totally out of food and starving (one of the feeders still had nectar in it that I dumped out and replaced when I refilled the feeders), it was simply that he wanted to be at that specific spot.
He was glorious. A lovely metallic green back and wings, a cap and throat that looked black from some angles, and an absolutely gorgeous metallic fuschia from other angles. Bold as can be, perched on my finger while chugging away at the nectar.
He was soon replaced by a dainty little green female, then another male with the patchier neck plumage of a young adult.
I likely could have had more land, had my body been able to cope with standing statue-still for much longer, but even those brief little visitations were enough to brighten my mood.
As "winter" approaches here in Southern California, we're still in a rather nasty drought. Mandatory water conservation is in effect here in Vista, which mostly involves what you can and cannot do with your yard and such. However, water conservation shouldn't end there for anyone living in a highly populated area, as more and more cities struggle simply for suitable drinking water for everyone, much less irrigation water.
I'd like to share one of my preferred ways to help, since it allows me to keep alive the much-loved family rose, even with reduced sprinkling throughout the week. It also capitalizes on the fact that I have hummingbird feeders to keep clean, if I don't want hummingbirds killed off by nasty bacteria.
Such a simple little thing, but something most of us take for granted. I now keep a large metal bowl in one kitchen sink, and rinse my hands, various dishes, etc into the bowl. As it fills, I dump the water from it into an easily-filled wide-mouthed pitcher, then dump the water onto the most needy of my outdoor plants and shrubs. Given how frequently I have to clean and refill hummingbird feeders during the week, this is saving many gallons of water a week.
The other one that I do is more "work", but I try to be good about it. I keep another wide-mouthed pitcher (the wide-mouth makes it easier for filling, and easier means I am more likely to be good about doing it) in the shower. When I am waiting for the shower water to suitably warm up, I fill the pitcher with the running water. Dumping this out on the plants gets the water back into environment without it having to go through the costly and time-consuming sewage treatment plants, etc. Yes, it takes extra effort on my part, lugging it from the upstairs master bathroom to the outdoors, but, again, it can be a savings of several gallons of water a week, which makes it worth it in my book!
For those wanting more water-saving tips, sites such as bewaterwise.com are fabulous resources for helpful hints and tricks. (It also gives you a visual of how badly off we are for water as the years of droughts continue in the area.)
For those wondering how I am doing on the health front, the results from the Savella are still good. Yep, I'm still in pain. Yep, I still have flareups. In both cases, however, they are definitely lessened, which makes them more bearable. I may be able to do a bit more gentle exercise and the like, which should also help in the long run.
As an example of how much it helped, my father-in-law was just here visiting for a week, and in the space of 4 days, we went to both the San Diego Wild Animal Park and Birch Aquarium. That may not seem like a lot on the sightseeing side of things, but it is more than I had been able to pull off in a few years without ending up flat on my back afterwards for a day. Yayy for progress!
I have now been on Savella for 2-1/2 weeks, and I've gone from "cautiously optimistic" to downright "happy". My mood is definitely better than it has been for months, and the pain, while still there, is lower than it has been since spring. There is still plenty of room for improvement, mind you, especially on the pain front, but every little bit helps when you're dealing with a chronic illness that saps your energy and mood as badly as fibromyalgia does.
The blood pressure worries seem too be a non-issue, as my blood pressure is back in the normal range at long last. (This sort of helps prove that a chunk of my blood pressure issues are from the constant fibro pain.) 126/87 is the best I've seen for a while on the blood pressure front, and if I can keep it down, perhaps I can reduce the amount of blood pressure medication that I'm on.
The difference in mood and energy is very visible.
I regularly hit up the Alberston's deli for roast beast and meunster cheese. Often, I shamble through the store - eyes a bit glazed, possibly limping a tad if my hip is acting up, and so forth. Today, I practically bounced up to the counter, and was pleased to see one of the "regular" deli staff waiting to serve me. Somewhere in the depths of my often-fuzzy memory, I seemed to remember that his wife also suffers from fibro, and I was eager to share the recommendation. Sure enough, she suffers from lyme disease and fibro, so I suggested that she look into Savella. He commented on how much better I seemed, compared to my usual, and was not only glad to get the medication name, but also my doctor's name. (They're new enough to the area that she hasn't settled in with a good doctor for the fibro, and I'm pretty pleased with Dr. Shali.)
Time will tell if this will continue to help, but after this many years of coping, it is so very nice to have hope once again. I'm calling my doctor right now to update her and ask for her to prescribe this for me for the long run!