mellicious: pink manicure (winter trees)
We are back to playing LOTRO again (Lord of the Rings Online, that is), since we finally exhausted the available quests in WoW. (Come to think of it, I need to go into WoW and cancel my monthly billing plan, before I forget again, or I'm going to keep getting charged $15 a month indefinitely!) While we were gone, they did a big update in LOTRO and changed a bunch of stuff. There's a new expansion, which is Mirkwood, but we're not likely to see it any time soon since it's a high-level area and we don't have any characters that high. Actually they raised the level cap, too, from 60 to 65. My highest character is 45, and actually we haven't even been playing the highest ones since we got back, we've been playing my "champion" (like a warrior), who is an elf, and Col's minstrel (LOTRO's version of a healer). I can't even remember for sure if Col's minstrel (who is named Loere) is an elf or a human - I think elf. Elves and humans look awfully much alike in LOTRO, except elves are a bit taller and have pointy ears which you can't see half the time anyway. I think they should have made them look a bit more different!

Anyway, those characters were around level 30 when we got back and have gone up several levels since then. Col has another character who he plays when I'm not around, who is one or another of the warrior-ish classes which I never can tell apart, and who is progressing even faster since I was gone for two whole days and Ceir got to play a lot while I was gone, apparently! Col and I both are given to more or less inventing our own names, if you're wondering where all these names come from. He has Loere and Noere and Ceir and Cleia - that one he's used in other games - aaaand one more that is escaping me right now. I have Anerulias the elf-warrior (who I usually just refer to as Ana) and Ceinnwyn the minstrel (she's human) and Zaina the hunter, who is a hobbit, and then I have two more I rarely play - Meleuriel, another elf, and Fineldir, a male human. I hardly ever do male characters and Col never does, but once in a while I do get the urge to try one out.

I usually just make up names by combining bits of things, like, well, Ceinnwyn is supposed to be from Rohan so she gets the "-wyn" suffix like Eowyn, and I think I just thought the "Cein" part sounded sort of generally Celtic. "Meleuriel" was because I usually have a character named Mel-something, and the '-riel" part is another bit of Tolkien-ish name. And so forth.

There are actually four races in LOTRO - elves, humans, hobbits and dwarves. Dwarves are male exclusively - I'm guessing that's because Tolkien was coy about what female dwarves look like. The joke that's in the Two Towers movie about female dwarves looking just like male ones, beards included, is straight out of canon, but it's in an appendix somewhere, as I recall, and it's just given as sort of a rumor - Tolkien just kinda says "nobody really knows." Which is kind of annoying, really, but what can you do. So anyway, Col won't try dwarves out at all, and I did try one once, but I never played mine and I finally deleted him after he stayed stuck at level 6 for a couple of months, because looking at him was annoying me, for whatever reason.

Another new thing that came in with the expansion was "starter horses" or what we refer to as "poky horses" because they're very very slow. But they're faster than walking and you can get them a lot earlier than you can get a regular (non-poky) horse, and they're not all that expensive, either, so I've been getting them for all my lower-level characters (which is all of them except Ceinnwyn, who is the level 45 one). Horses also have names, which they didn't have before - apparently starter horses default to being named Barley, and Zaina's starter pony was named Silver. (Ceinnwyn's horse had a different name which I can't recall at the moment, but it was something botanical.) I didn't think much of Barley as a name, so in a fit of silliness I changed Ana's horse's name to Malt, at least until I get a better idea.

(Interestingly, I actually had an Uncle Barley, although he died when I was little and I don't remember him too well. He was an uncle, or actually great-uncle, by marriage - he was married to my grandmother's sister Ethel. An awful lot of those old-fashioned names have been coming back into style, but I haven't heard of anybody naming their child Barley just yet!)
mellicious: pink manicure (WoW - rampage)
We have gone ahead & moved our pair of WoW characters from one server to another (that is, from Proudmoore to Aggramar, for the three of you who care!), and I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to rename my character tonight when we get ready to play. I used "Mellificent" for the first one I made, the paladin, but I'm pretty sure "Mellicious" was taken on that server, and that's the name of the one that's moving. I'm trying to decide if I want to stick with the puns on Mel or do something else entirely.


Normally puns are not at all my thing, so it's sort of funny that I ended up using this kind of name all over the internets, as it were. A bit of history for people that haven't known me forever: "Mel" is, as most of you know, a nickname in the first place, and it's not really all THAT old, either - it dates back to my AOLchat days in 2000 or 2001. It started out as a silly joke to do with somebody else's name (which I won't even attempt to explain), and then people started calling me that and I sorta liked it, so I kept using it. And nowadays it's the only name that most people online know me by, so it's a good thing I like it, I guess! (I used my real name on Facebook because that seemed to be the thing that everybody does over there, and I kind of hate it. But if part of the point is to connect up with people from your past, then it's useless if you don't do that.)

The pun business started in TUS-chat - at least, I'm pretty sure Mellificent and Mellicious came from there. And I thought they were funny, so I started using them as log-ins various places - one or the other depending on which one was available. But I'm not the only person who uses them, and Aggramar is a pretty old server, as WoW servers go, evidently, so a lot of stuff is taken.

Anybody got any brilliant ideas?
mellicious: pink manicure (WoW - chicken)
So since I didn't have to go see my dad, I went ahead & went to my mom's like I usually do on Saturdays, and it turned out my mom had my dad on her mind, oddly enough. She had decided that we needed to tell him about Paula's divorce. Of course it was me who got to actually do the telling. When we got home from lunch (which was at Ninfa's, if you really want to know) I called and left a message and he called me back an hour or so later and I told him. He didn't seem terribly upset by it. I really think Paula could probably have told him herself without a major blowup, although he did do a little lecturing about how it wasn't too late to patch things up, blah blah blah. -- This from a man who's on marriage #3, himself. -- Personally I think it probably is too late to patch things up, since they both seem to think the other one is stone crazy (and I'm not saying that either one of them is wrong about that), besides the fact that they also don't seem to like each other very much any more. But it's not like I have any say in any of this anyway. I haven't even talked to Paula directly. I left a message on her cell phone earlier this week, but she hasn't called me back so far.

The radiation is really wearing on my mom so I'm very very glad it's almost over. (Last treatment on Monday. I gather that they will have some sort of little "graduation" ceremony at MDAnderson, which is sort of cute.) She has pretty much lost all of her hair on top and on one side now, but the hair in front and back and the other side seems unaffected. It looks very odd. Of course she wears hats everywhere outside the house anyway. She's not willing to consider a wig at all, she says they're hot.

She's telling me a slightly different story than she was before about what the doctor said, she says now that they probably will do the chemo, they just are going to wait a month or so and do an MRI first to see what's going on. I don't know if Dr Colman has changed his mind or what. (For those of you who haven't been following this saga from the beginning, she has astrocytoma, which is a form of brain cancer, but they caught it relatively early and the prognosis is pretty good.) Sometimes I feel like I ought to be going to appointments with her more often. I went to the one in December when she got diagnosed, but I haven't been since. Of course Art has been going to all of them, but since he can't hear too well, he's of limited help in remembering what it was that the doctor said.


Oh, one more little thing - my aunt and uncle from Idaho were here this week, very briefly. I didn't get to see them but they went to see Daddy and Barbara one day and the next day they met Mom up at the hospital and had lunch. Apparently they really liked Barbara and so now that she has been given the Nelda and George Seal of Approval, my mother has suddenly developed a certain curiosity about Barbara that wasn't there before. She was quizzing me today about things like how many grandchildren she has and how old they are, and I of course had no earthly idea. I've only met Barbara twice and the first time was a year ago. I think she told us some of that stuff then but I certainly don't remember all of it. I know that she has a bunch of sons (four? five? something like that) and that some of them have children but I have no idea how many. I'm pretty sure at least one grandchild is a girl, and that's about the limit of my knowledge. I'm going to have to get Barbara to draw me a chart or something on Wednesday.

(Maybe I ought to amend this to explain the relationships here, since it's slightly unusual, I think, that my aunt and uncle went to see both of my divorced parents. Nelda is my dad's younger sister, but she and my mom lived in the same dorm in college and she actually introduced my parents to each other. I often think Nelda likes my mom considerably better than she likes her own brother.)

(Didn't my grandmother have awful taste in names? Her five children are Clyde, Nelda, Earlene, Ellen and Cecil. Ellen is the only one who got a decent name out of the five. Of course my dad, as the oldest, is a Junior, so I guess you really can't blame my grandmother for that one.)

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