Category Archives: Blogstuff

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!

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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About this Whole Blog Thing…and everything else

Where to begin.

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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.

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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.

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

 

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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.

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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?

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

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Legion Beta Picture Dump Part 1: Azsuna & The Dreamgrove

WoWScrnShot_051216_190110

I can’t help it, I have to take screenshots. It’s a thing, okay. And there are lots of pretty pretty things to take screenshots of in the Legion beta so far. I’m going to put everything else after a break; I don’t plan on posting spoilers but some people I know are really particular about their exposure, and I don’t want to risk ruining anything.

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