First Tier, Full Tilt

It’s the end of the tier (at last). A tier in which I was in 2 guilds and we saw 3 raid instances. A tier with legendaries and trinkets and unprecedented levels of gear RNG that could thrill you or make you want to stab your computer in the span of 20 seconds or less.

IT’S OVER. WE DID IT. <Crisp> has killed Gul’dan a few times now and it’s fair to say Mythic Nighthold is solidly on farm from now until, what, like a month from now when Tomb of Sargeras is released?

Hey, I’m taking my month and running with it.

Running world quests for concordance AP, that is.

Yeah.

Anyway, whenever you hang out with the same group of nerds enough, things happen. Memes happen. So I reached back a bit and pulled out the let’s-make-an-album folder for <Crisp>, and this is the result.

Album Front

Album Back

See you guys in ToS!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogstuff

No, I Don’t Laugh When You Make That Joke

I’m about to get really personal and really long, so if that’s going to make you uncomfortable or you aren’t interested in that, that’s cool, and I’d advise just navigating somewhere else for this one.

If you’re still with me, it’s either because you’re genuinely interested or because that sentence worked like a DO NOT PUSH THIS BIG RED BUTTON sign. I’m cool with that too.

eyJ1cmwiOiJodHRwczovL2kuaW1ndXIuY29tLzE5UkQ5ZnAuanBnIn0

Now see, that’s quality humor right there.

LUL WELL MEMED

In the environment in which I play games, most notably World of Warcraft (obviously), but it extends to most games I play and most groups of people I play with, shit talking is the norm. Jokes are the norm. And I’m 100% okay with that. I have no problem taking it or dishing it out (yeeeeeeah see, the joke is RIGHT THERE, you’re welcome).

And we can get pretty crass pretty quickly. Not that I would ever…yeah okay, guilty as charged, whatever. 😉 I’ve heard things that would make my parents blush, and my dad’s former military so I know he and I could go toe-to-toe with stories (not that I ever would. Awkwaaaaaaaarrrrd).

But when you use the word “retarded” or when you make jokes about autism or anyone with a disability, really; I don’t laugh. And I’m never ever going to. 

Yeah, Okay, It’s Personal

15697952_10101280715333428_8192020663234473160_nTruthfully, I’ve never been comfortable with this, as far back as I can remember. But I’ll make no pretense of the fact that my son is autistic and that my daughter is also likely on the spectrum and that it weighs heavily on how I feel about the subject.

The thing is, to you it’s a joke. Someone does something weird or stupid and you ask, “Are you autistic?” Every time you say it, it stings. Every time you say it, I wince.

Because when I hear the word “autistic” and I look at my son , I see almost 9 years of love and struggle and understanding and amazement and wonder and joy. 

I remember the night I realized that the way he was acting had a reason. I remember worry and terror struck into me by certain organizations that use fear-mongering to capitalize off of parents and families of autistics.

I remember the first time he spoke a word in context (it was “go” and I cried for 10 minutes). The first time he responded to his name. I remember when I thought he’d never be able to blow a bubble or tell me he loved me.

And then I remember the moments he did those things. And the people who helped me see and remember that “autism” isn’t a scary word. It’s just a thing that some people have. It makes my son different, sure; but it doesn’t mean he’s stupid. It doesn’t mean he has to be limited in what he wants to achieve. It’s going to be a different path for him. And so far, the kid he’s becoming is amazing.

Untitled design.png

This year is the first year he’s been in a standard classroom for some of his subjects, and he’s excelling. He’s smart, compassionate, sweet, and he’s developing a pretty hilarious sense of humor. I love all of him, even (and maybe sometimes especially) the “autistic” parts. You don’t know what joy is until you see him flapping his hands because he just can’t hold the happiness back.

Some things are hard. It’s difficult to see him frustrated or upset because he can’t communicate in the way he wants to. I know he does things sometimes and doesn’t know why he can’t control it, and I know that must be really frustrating for him. I can’t always fix those things, I can only be there to help him cope with it and find ways around it.

But that’s okay, cause he’s incredible and strong, and my heart still melts every night when he says, “I love you, Mom.” When I go afk in the raid with a “brb babies,” it’s because that’s a moment I refuse to miss, no matter what else is going on.

So yes. It’s very, very personal.

But What’s Bad About It? I’m Not Insulting Your Son

Except you are. And every other autistic. When you make “autistic” synonymous with “stupid” or “weird,” you’re creating a new label while simultaneously removing the importance of the actual meaning of the word.

“You just ran into that patch of fire on the ground, are you autistic?” Change the word “autistic” to “stupid” and the meaning of this sentence doesn’t change.

“Amber’s son is autistic.” Change it to “stupid” in that sentence. You’ve just insulted an 8-year-old kid. You’ve also minimized the fact that autism is a very real part of our life and a very pivotal part of who he is.

You are devaluingthe word. And that makes it a lot harder for our voices to be heard when we’re asking for things like acceptance and asking for people to remember to always presume competence.

 

Capture1

April is Autism Awareness Acceptance Month. Learn more about it here.

 

So Why Haven’t You Said Anything Before?

tenorOkay, let’s be real here for a minute, me and you. Let’s put ourselves in one of those situations. Let’s be halfway through a raid when you say “are you autistic?” and it starts a string of jokes about autism. Let’s jump right in to the times you’ve actually insulted me as a mother or my son as an autistic (cause it’s happened).

What would happen if I said something? What would happen if I told you in that moment that you were being offensive? That I didn’t think that was funny? What would reallyhappen?

Things would get weird, at best. Everyone would feel a little awkward. Or, at worst, you’d start to make fun of me for being sensitive. The new joke would be that I can’t take a joke. Maybe it wouldn’t be a joke, maybe it’d just be whispers between people about “Oh, don’t make an autism joke in front of Amber, she’s gonna get all mom about it.”

Not only would it not make a difference in how you think or behave, it would make the situation worse for me. So I sit and I listen and I wince and I’m sad that people I otherwise really, really like have this ugly thing that I have to put up with. 

This morning, when I dropped my son off at school, we did our routine. He gave me a hug, a kiss, and one forehead kiss. He said “Goodbye, Mom,” like he always does. He walked down the hall by himself and into his classroom. And every day I couldn’t be prouder.

When you say autistic, I see my son’s face, and it’s not stupid or weird. It’s wonderful.

img_2848

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Comments

Filed under Blogstuff, personal

Neato!

real-neat-blog-awardSo I decided to start blogging again because I missed it, and then I couldn’t think of anything good to write. Typical, yeah? Navi stepped in and offered a hand this week when she tagged me in her post for the Real Neat Blog Award.

The rules are pretty familiar: there’s some tags and some questions and some more tags. Oh, and I couldn’t get comments to work but I wanted to say that Navi’s idea to go 500 years into the future and see what’s up is awesome and I never would have thought of it but now I have to steal it.

Here’s Navi’s questions for me:

1. What would constitute a perfect day to you?

I like tranquility. The older I get, the more I just want peace most of the time. A perfect day would start with a really good cup of coffee and a little bit of chill in the air and a porch or a img_2848balcony where I can sit quietly and think. Then some quiet time with my family (which is itself a miracle). Definitely a restaurant in there somewhere because I admittedly love going out to eat. I’ve had a lot of perfect little moments lately–if I could string them together into one whole day, that would be it.

Honestly just a peaceful day with my family and some good food thrown in. It really doesn’t take much to make me happy.

2. Which super villian (if any) do you secretly admire or feel sorry for?

Mmmm, Magneto maybe. Not admire so much as feel sorry for. You can look back at his history and see why  he’s become what he’s become, and that’s kind of heartbreaking.

kr7l53w

There’s a whole ‘nother thing about villians I think are amazing villians. I hate them, and I am allowed to hate them because of how evil they are–I guess that’s kind of a backwards admiration? Agent Smith from The Matrix, Voldemort from Harry Potter, and Negan from The Walking Dead. The thing these three have in common is that they aren’t redeemable characters. They are unquestionably, undeniably bad, which makes them incredible villians.

3. If you had to recommend one book to read, what would it be?

wrinkleintimepba1Ugh, that’s really hard, limiting it to just one. There are 2 books I read early in my childhood that had a lasting impact (as in, I still read them today), so I’m going to have to mention both. First, A Wrinkle in Time, and second, The Giver. These are books I am encouraging my daughter to read because they’ve stuck with me for so long. If I were a middle school English teacher and was allowed the choice, these books would be in my curriculum.

4. What is something you wish you could do but you can’t (eg draw, sing)?

Draw for sure. I love art, I have all these images in my head that are amazing in my head but they live there because I’m not an artist. To try to reproduce what I picture would be to do a disservice to anyone who saw it.

5. If you could play with someone in World of Warcraft, who would you play with and what would you do with them?

With anyone or with someone that already plays? That’s difficult. For as social as the game is, I tend to spend a lot of my time alone (and I’m perfectly content with that). If I’m choosing anyone, probably my little brother, just because I rarely get the chance to spend time with him (he’s not a gamer and he’s a very busy band nerd!).

If I’m choosing someone famous, I think it’d be fun to play any video game with Chris Hardwick. He’s all Nerdist and The Talking Dead now but I remember when he was on G4 and I think that’d be a blast.

6. What was the kindest thing anyone has done for you in a computer game?

Ahhhh there are so many things, honestly. I’ve said it so many times, but the IMG_2917.JPGWoW/Blizzard Twitter community of players has been an amazing network of people for me. There are many of you guys who have supported me in everything from game-related stuff to things with my kids to my husband’s heart attack…the list is long and full and I’m very blessed by you guys.

The most demonstrative thing any one person/group of people has done for me was when my previous guild, Syzygy-Sargeras, sent me and my husband a gift basket following his heart attack full of healthy foods he could eat and thoughtful notes of encouragement. I literally cried; it was pretty amazing.

Also, the little leadership team of that guild when we first started surprised me with my good friend Pepe because they knew I wanted him, and it still makes me smile every time I see him.

7. If you could choose your spirit animal, what would it be?

I like to think more of a Patronus (a la Harry Potter) than a spirit animal, and I think that would be an owl for me.

owl_patronus_by_tribalchick101-d6u92gn

Yeah, like that! Googled and found Owl Patronus by Tribalchick101 on deviantArt. Pretty cool.

Okay, so I hate tagging people cause I never like to feel like I’m putting someone on the spot OR leaving someone out, so as usual with things like this, I will leave it open-ended. If you feel froggy, I’d love to read your answers to my questions! Here, your own blog, Tumblr, Twitter…skywriting? Maybe not skywriting. 😉

My questions…sort of questions? Prompts?

  1. Pick one of your favorite characters (from anything–movies, games, books, TV) and tell me why you like them.
  2. Write a Tweet to your future self.
  3. Are you more of a social player or a lone wolf?
  4. What new game are you most looking forward to playing?
  5. What movie are you most looking forward to seeing?
  6. Share one of your favorite quotes.
  7. You are given the power to change one thing about yourself–what would it be?

And thank you again, Navi. ❤ Thank you for always making me feel like part of the community. You’re a star at what you do, and we’re all better off for it.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Blogstuff

About this Whole Blog Thing…and everything else

Where to begin.

3305892475_1c522946ca_o

Legit the first pic I ever posted. Hai Pengu.

Tastes Like Battle Chicken has existed for almost 8 years. That’s a really long time when you think about it. Lots of things kept me writing: the community (especially Twitter! <3) the Newbie Blogger Initiative (remember that?!), my friends at the time.

And lots of things kept me from not posting, but let’s not dwell on that.

I’ve missed this. So here I am.

Where is Here?

So I’ve been on kind of a WoW journey in the past few years. Left my guild of 6 years to join a new one, raided with that guild–dysfunctional family that it was–for 2 years, left that guild and transferred servers for the first time to raid with a new guild on Sargeras only to leave and join yet another guild.

Yeah okay. The point is, now I’m a shaman and I play in <Crisp> on Baelgun. And for the first time in a while, I’m pretty happy with where I am and what I’m doing.

wowscrnshot_121216_234014

Probably should’ve stuck with balance druid, though.

What Now?

Now we play and we raid and we chat on Twitter and we run Mythic+ and do world quests and complain about the legendary system and then complain about the legendary nerfs and post screenshots and get frustrated and get excited and all the things we’ve always done.

xcavvfk

Cause that’s how we do, and it’s all right that way.

 

6 Comments

Filed under Blogstuff, Uncategorized

My Little Army: Warlords of Draenor Characters

It’s here! Legion’s less than 12 hours away from launch. I’m sure there will be server queues and lag and downtime, but that has never stopped me from being awake at 3am to see it happen.

I’ve been almost exclusively doing invasions for levels and gear (I know I’m not alone, I see you all out there), and now I have a little army of level 100s ready to go. As I did at the end of Mists of Pandaria, here’s my collection of characters as we say goodbye to Warlords and a big hello to the Legion, starting with my new main ❤ :

AmberstormAmbermissedAneemiaSonoraSerenityhopeHeiressHotbladezNessiaBowskillzGourdapherDeevuh (1)GlambermistOstentacious

I could not be more ready. Let’s go.

3 Comments

Filed under Blogstuff, Experiences

A Brand New Sky: The End of Warlords of Draenor

With the pre-patch event starting and two weeks left in Warlords of Draenor, I think it’s safe to go ahead and say our goodbyes. Hell of an expansion, this one.

Warlords…Meh

I didn’t hate Warlords of Draenor. There were a lot of little things I liked: Shadowmoon Valley is still one of the most beautiful places in WoW, some of the lore stuff was interesting, and I loved Highmaul as a raid (even though I still think it felt a little out of place). Mythic Imperator was and will always be one of my favorite boss fights.

WoWScrnShot_111514_221824

But there were a lot of things I didn’t love about it. Sometimes stories and raids felt incomplete or rushed, there wasn’t as much focus on the actual Warlords as I thought there would be, and I think we can all agree Hellfire Citadel lasted way too long. Oh, and then there was Garrisonville, which stopped feeling like fun and started feeling like an obligation pretty early on, especially if you had an army of alts.

It’s not my favorite expansion, let’s put it that way.

The Company You Keep

This expansion has been an interesting trip for me as a raider and guild member apart from the content.

I started the expansion having recently joined <Check Please> on Durotan, a guild with which I’d had a dubious history. I was an officer because I had been in officer in my previous guild and brought my raid team with me, but I immediately jumped into doing stuff because that’s just what I tend to do.

For a while, it was fun. It was new and exciting, there were new people who actually enjoyed playing (there at the end with my previous guild, there were a lot of people who just didn’t want to be there anymore), and it was a completely different environment.

WoWScrnShot_110314_142347

But, to be honest, I was outclassed as a player in my new guild, and I knew it. Any criticism anyone had, constructive or otherwise, I listened and tried to learn from it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in my guild for whom that wasn’t good enough, and there was a fair group of people who spent a lot of time talking about how terrible I was behind my back or making jokes at my expense.

I offered to sit out of raids if I was holding us back. A few times I looked for and even applied to other guilds, but I always got talked into staying. It made for a lot of unfun raiding but it definitely turned me into a better player.

It wasn’t all bad. There were some good times, times I laughed until I had tears streaming down my face, and I made some friends that I adore and will never not be my friends. And we killed bosses!

We progressed through Highmaul, finishing Imperator at US93rd:

baxrVew

we pushed a little harder in BRF and finished at US66th:

TPxnNhd

and in HFC we were making solid progress with eyes on US50 or better until our tank disappeared and regressing on Mannoroth killed us.

hE4UBnU

During our 8 month hiatus, I still wanted to raid, so I raided with a cross-realm mythic pug I found through the LFG tool. I thorougly enjoyed it. I loved the raid leader, who was direct but incredibly patient and kind, the people, who welcomed me and were genuinely glad to have me in the raid, and the fact that we were doing decently on bosses despite being a pug.

In March, I got the word that we were going to try to resurrect <Check Please> to clear the tier, so I stopped raiding with the pug, progressed on Mythic Archimonde with a friend’s guild a bit until we killed it, and focused on bringing the guild back to life.

3GTlVH2We succeeded at reforming, killed Mannoroth and Archimonde, dealt with random drama which was a lot less amusing the 14th time around, did some farming on and off, and…I wasn’t happy. I kept thinking about those nights in BRF when I didn’t want to raid because I knew I was just going to feel like I shouldn’t be there the whole time, and how once we got into Legion all of those people would come back.

And then I found out that the pug I had raided with was becoming a guild, currently <Syzygy> on Sargeras.

I told my GM and my guild that I was leaving. I knew it would cause a ripple; I didn’t realize that the effort I had put in to keeping the guild on its feet would mean that my absence would kill it.

In short, RIP <Check Please>.

But it was the right thing for me to do for myself, and I don’t regret it. I’ll go into Legion with a group of friends who like me and like having me in the raid, and except for a few people from <Check Please> that came to the guild with me, even respect me. 😉 It’s a nice change.

LEGION

WoWScrnShot_051216_190110

I mean, I enjoyed the hell out of playing beta, so I’m looking forward to it being live. For the first time, I’m switching mains from druid (gasp!). I’ll be an elemental shaman for Legion unless something crazy happens.

Everyone’s at the point where we’re all chomping at the bit for new content anyway, and it’s about to get delivered. We’re like Pavlov’s dogs and the bell is ringing, friends.

Personal Note

photodune-4982989-heart-beat-s-e1452037553533

A week and a half ago, my husband suffered a massive heart attack. The doctor said it would have been fatal if we hadn’t acted so quickly getting him to the hospital. No prior symptoms, nothing to indicate that it was coming, just a sudden stabbing pain in his chest and a terrifying several hours followed by several days in the hospital.

It’s been an adjustment. There are a lot of things we’ve had to change, a lot of things we’ve had to think about and worry about and consider for the first time. He’s monitored 24/7 by a telemetry device that’s equipped with a built-in defibrillator if needed. Most of the time we’re okay, but every once in a while the whole thing unnerves us. It’s been a journey and it’s one we’ll be on for a long time.

ngoe8n8But I have to say once again HUGE kudos to my Twitter friends and several of my guildies who reached out with thoughts and prayers and encouragement and support and advice. When you’re sitting on the other side of the computer trying to find something to say to someone who’s hurting, words feel so inadequate, but I appreciated every message. You guys are the best. ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Legion Beta Picture Dump 2 – Val’Sharah & Stormheim

It took me longer than it should have to hit 110, but I’ve been taking my time. And, of course, screenshots. What’s a vacation without pictures?

WoWScrnShot_051416_010633

More after the break cause don’t wanna accidentally spoil for someone.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogstuff, Experiences, Legion Beta