Mila & Allium (and Irma)
Originally uploaded by Mellicious.
I was thinking about what picture would symbolize 2006 for me, and well, the fact is, it's got to be GuildWars, because I spent an awful damn lot of time playing it this year. This picture is another one of the Wintersday quests. (Big version here.) That's Mila, my ranger, standing there with the bow as big as she is, and that's her pet flamingo in the foreground. (The flamingo is named Irma, and she's not just a flamingo, she's a combat flamingo, because that's what pets in GuildWars do. When you attack somebody, she goes squawking in, wings flapping and pecking away. Seriously, she does. She can do a fair bit of damage, too.) The big guy with the 'fro is Koss, who is one of the Nightfall "heroes" - a non-player character. And standing next to the giant stocking, looking very white indeed, is Columbine's necromancer Allium. There are characters called Margonites in the new game which are sort of shimmery and whitish (and transparent, actually) and we have been saying that Allium looks an awful lot like a Margonite in that armor.
I will have to look up how much time, exactly, I've spent playing this damn game, and report back. It's a lot. Well over a thousand hours, I think. But GuildWars - and columbina - were two of the things that got me through what was otherwise a pretty difficult year. So I spent 20% or so of the year in a fantasyland - so what. It's a lot better than just spending the year watching my mother go downhill.
Um, ok. On to cheerier things. Sort of. I went to see my dad today, which I don't always think of as cheery because he tends to sort of drive me crazy. But it went ok. It was raining when we left Galveston, and I was worried that we would be driving all across Houston in the rain, but it stopped, and the traffic was light, and we got there pretty quick. (Under an hour and a half, anyway!) We went out to lunch and the first two places we tried were closed, which was kind of odd. We ended up eating in a BBQ place on the freeway. I didn't like what I had (beef links - they used a very odd recipe, I thought) but everybody else's food looked fine, so I think I just chose badly. Daddy behaved himself, apart from a totally incomprehensible rant about that had something to do with Mexican flags, just before lunch. (Supposedly somebody somewhere took the American flag down from a flagpole, and put up the Mexican one. Anybody heard of this? Because I sure hadn't.) I try to just ignore these things, because it doesn't do any good to argue with him, anyway. And that was the only major weirdness of the day, so I could deal. He has gotten where he just gets us gift cards, which is fine. I got one to Wal-mart, this time which isn't exactly what I would have chosen but I'm sure I can find some use or other for it. And I had told him to get Rob an Academy one, and he did, so Rob is already planning another shoe purchase. (Running apparently makes you obsessed with shoes.)
We got caught behind a wreck on the way home - it seemed to be a chain reaction wreck, from what we saw - 3 SUVs, which means that probably nobody was seriously hurt. I mean, we didn't see the wreck, we just saw the mess afterwards, after wondering what we were caught behind for half an hour or so. After we got home I made some nachos and then (surprise!) played GuildWars until 11:30 or so. We have gotten to the Desolation, which means we got to ride sandworms just like in Dune. Or sort of like Dune, anyway. (Also, GW seems to have changed the spelling from worms to "wurms" at some point since I started playing. I was wondering if Frank Herbert's estate threatened to sue them or something.)