Crossing the Nerd Wall: Seriously, Keep Reading

Since setting up WTTRP, I’ve tried to keep a wall between WoW Nerd stuff and Old Fashioned Nerd stuff. I planned on changing that in the near future, as I’ve planned to put up some fiction I’ve been working on. I’m breaking the wall early to show how to stick up for someone via the internets.

My friend Anna has two blogs: one for WoW one for Not Wow. She’s helped me with baking, we’ve bounced ideas off each other for writing things (blog posts, fiction, political stuff) and she sent me delicious Christmas cookies. She shared me a link, now deleted, about an event that was supposed to take place in game. In short, this event was going to target people “bad RPers with other RP.”

Folks, this is just bullying other people. If you don’t like something, or someone, on a video game you ignore them. You don’t go around mocking them.

Instead of writing a passive aggressive blog post, kvetching or just letting it lie there, Anna took that post to task. As of this writing, aside from one consistent troll, she’s made a pretty positive impact on the nerd community. She took on the nastiness with a well written post that didn’t devolve into name calling, cursing or spitting. That’s how you defend people on the internets: Passionately and with grace.

On Cooking: 18 Months Later

Since I started my weekly baking experiments, I remembered an old blog post that I wrote about how I want to learn to cook. It isn’t going to be about perfection. For me, cooking is turning into honoring the people I miss every day. It is not a coincidence that the first thing I try to bake is my “grandfather’s recipe” for bread. While this summer I did not do any grilling, the year wasn’t entirely wasted. I did my grandfather proud with the bread.

For those too lazy to click the link, I’ve included the entire post here.

Currently, I’m reading Heat by Bill Buford. It’s a memoir of his time in Mario Batali’s restaurant, Babbo. One of the sous-chef’s taught Bill how to, “cook with love.” He goes on to write that the success of a meal is determined by how much love is included in the preparation. Simply put, this sums up my entire families history of cooking.

What made my father’s pancakes the best pancakes in the world was not how he tweaked the recipe. It was the amount of care he put into each batch—and anyone who had ever eaten breakfast at my house can attest to that fact. My dad wanted to make sure that everyone who ate at our table knew that they loved.

My dad cooked breakfast for Tony and I from kindergarten to high school. On those rare occasions where my mom had to “fill in” she invariably got it wrong. She didn’t know what my dad called the various breakfast items (all star-wars references, of course). Also, breakfast wasn’t her thing. As much as my mom loved tony and I, breakfast wasn’t he way of showing how she cared.

With one major exception.

My mom made Crepes once the year after my dad died. If breakfast was his thing, then crepes were his specialty. Technically, this is brunch—but I don’t want to be too bogged down in minutiae. This was his Mother’s day gift to my mom. The meal was always this: Home-made crepes, home-made maple-butter, chicken livers in Madeira sauce, bacon, sausage and Mimosa’s. Tony and I were to clean the table and do the dishes. A few times, I made sure that fresh flowers were available for my mom too. It is impossible to understate how my dad prepared this meal and what it meant to my mom.

I want to say she made it on Mother’s day. I spent the night at home, Tony and Jackie came for brunch. She spent the morning attempting the recipe, trying to make the maple butter and getting the crepes perfect. I think she even did the chicken livers. The hardest part of the meal was cooking the crepes right. We had this persnickety old crepe maker, and according to my mom, only my dad knew how to use it. After she ruined the first five crepes, she threw a fit.

According to my mom, she slammed the lid of the crepe maker down and, nearly in tears yelled, “Alright Pat, I know this is your meal, but I am going to make it. Either you help me or you get the hell out of my kitchen.” Her next crepe cooked in the shape of a heart. She said it was cooked perfectly.

That is how I want to cook. I want to master all the recipes that my mom and dad had: From the grilling to crepes. This means I am going to need more people to cook for.

This also means I an going to have to buy groceries instead of a variety of beer.

The Truth Is Hard To Swallow

I’ve kept this from my friends and family long enough, but with the events of two weeks ago, I can no longer keep it a secret.

A little over a year ago, I took some friends to Three Lakes. I demanded that they follow the traditional Gleason Ritual of Summoning the Yaqi Gods of Wisdom. This is a ritual full of Tequila, Salt and Lime. While everyone helped summon the Gods of Wisdom, three of us went for a walk towards the end of the road.

Something happened. There was a flash of light and we lost fifteen, maybe twenty, minutes of our life. As we walked back to the Cabin, the three of us had no idea how long we were gone. When the rest of the folks in the cabin asked us why we were down at the road for so long, we just said, “We were just appreciating the woods.”

The dreams started that night. They were vivid dreams, where spirits spoke to me in a language I didn’t understand. They weren’t nightmares, because the spirits were kind to me. They taught me their ways–how to see the world, how to read the intentions of people, how to fight, how to speak their language–and they blessed me with strength, but they told me to wait until Yaqi Herself spoke to me. They told me to prepare for her test.

She came to me on the 7/25, a year ago this very day, and told me that there were tasks to be done. My education wasn’t complete until I succeed at my rite of passage. At first, I dismissed her command. I laughed away the whole thing. I went into the field, the far south side of Chicago, visiting my clients. At Noon, when my shadow was just underneath my feet, I was standing in the Starbucks at 71st and Stony Island:

when my world fell away.

There was another man in the Starbucks–he was babbling incoherently and sipping and an iced-tea–but when my world fell away, he snarled at me. He was taller in this no-place, and he no longer looked human. His knees bent backward, and his arms had an extra joint. His hands ended in razor sharp claws. He spoke in the same language the Yaqi did. He held on to the ice tea he was drinking, but not with his hands. He had a tail that wrapped around his body, long enough to still pick up the tea.

The spirit thing rushed at me. I freaked out. I ran out of the Starbucks–away from the monster–and towards my car. It, or he, grabbed me and cut my shoulder. I spun around from the force. I did the unthinkable. I stood my ground and swung at the monster. It blocked my first punch, my second punch and a kick to its chest. It hit me with its palm and knocked me to the ground. It got on top of me and started to claw at my eyes.

I head-butted its mishappen nose. The monster roared back, and I was able to wiggle away from it. While it was on the ground, I ran away again. I didn’t get far. The monster recovered quickly and charged at me. I turned around, and with my back to the car, delivered a right hook to the monster’s face. It crumbled. The monster literally shattered, leaving behind the man it had possessed. I heard the Yaqi speak to me, saying I had survived their test. The police showed up shortly thereafter–not to arrest the guy, but to get their complimentary coffee. They arrested him, took my statement, and then bought me another coffee.

Since then, I’ve been living a double life. Every time I’ve been, “in the field” I’ve been scouring the south side for the nasty spirits that have inhabited the blighted parts of Chicago. The Yaqi gave me the strength and the sight to see these spirits, but their gifts have required me to do more and more. I’ve been able to keep my new superpowers a secret for so long. No one notices fights on the south side. The City itself gets the credit for making my neighborhoods safer and greener, but in truth, it is me and the Yaqi Gods that have kept my part of town safe.

What happened in the park, two weeks ago, was the first time anyone has seen me using the gifts bestowed upon me by the Yaqi. It is time I confessed.

That first day was the scariest day of my life. My powers came to me while I was sipping a venti coffee fortified with two shots of espresso. I became a superhero that day…but it is a power I never really wanted. They are powers that I just have to accept.

His Boom Box Was Named Big Baby

From: Wanted to Trade RP, the WoW blog I contribute to. This was written by Hillary:

I’m going to post a quick story, though, that I may eventually fiction out as an in character exchange, but for the time being, our readers should enjoy the absolute asskickery that is our author Bricu. The Feathermoon folks gathered at a park mid-Seattle. There were burgers, watermelon slices, salads, soda, and all around awesome food. Mid-meal, a gentleman that later identified himself as Grizzly walked up with a boombox propped on his shoulder. It was INCREDIBLY LOUD. One of our attendees had small children about, and respectfully requested that Grizzly lower the volume to not disupt the kids. This was about the time Grizzly’s intoxicated status became evident. We’re pretty sure he wasn’t on booze, but whatever it was, he was pretty fucked up. He began to rant how the park was his domain, we should RESPECT HIM, and then he started standing on picnic tables, his boombox on his shoulder, blazing awesome-tastic radio edited hiphop. Bricu tried to talk him down, but to no avail; Grizzly would have none of it.

After about ten or fifteen minutes of rudeness and disruption with most of our attendees incredibly uncomfortable by this stranger’s presence (he was not very subtle when he scoped out the lady’s purses), we called the Seattle police. Grizzly did not like police. Grizzly was shit out of luck because we’d had enough. As his sour mood and antics escalated, so did our calls to the authorities. He knocked over a trash barrel, started punching lit grills, and then got into people’s faces trying to intimidate them. To his credit, he was successful on the intimidation account. I was one of the folks that he decided to talk shit to, and it wasn’t fun. None of us had any idea who this guy was or what he was capable of. All we knew was he was ON something and hostile.

Thirty minutes passed, then forty, and still no PD. Our calls to 911 revealed that public disruption wasn’t an emergency situation and they’d get there when they could. Well, then Grizzly hit someone. He walked up to the chillest person there, slapped him across the face for absolutely NO REASON and talked a bunch of smack. He then swung on Tarquin, the event’s organizer. Bricu stuck himself between the men, yelled at him to stop. Grizzly took a couple of swings at him, Bricu Matrixed out with a pair of dodges, and then single shot him onto the pavement with a crack to the jaw. The nerd pigpile happened at that point – Bricu sat on his back, another gentleman restrained his arms while yet another sat on his legs. Another 911 call yielded the desired results, and the PD showed up about four or five minutes later.

I think perhaps my favorite part of this whole debaucle was Zalbuu, the Wildfire Rider’s angry priest. He was the guy sitting on Grizzly’s legs as we waited for the police. While he had this dude pinned, his cell phone rang. He picked it up, and all the rest of us can hear?

“Mom, this really isn’t a good time.”

And despite all this–and my right hook–I’m not settled with this. I haven’t hit another person–excluding my brother–since the 7th grade. I do not believe in violence. I really don’t. I cannot for the life of me think of a better way to have handled this. Grizzly got upset when I moved the cherries we had laid out away from him. If we started packing all of the food, he would have gotten more upset. There were kids there when he started (thankfully, before the slap, they were taken to a car so they didn’t have to see this). We called the Police. Hell, I called the police five times.

He could have had a gun or a knife. He could have really hurt someone. I jumped in because I thought I could take a punch better than my friend. I doubt I could have handled a stabbing….

There is another problem here that I am struggling with. I feel pretty good about the punch itself. It was one punch–the pig pile had other restraints and holds involved–and that’s a pretty damn macho thing. The base, reptilian part of my brain thinks that’s really cool. I’m old enough (and mature enough) to know it isn’t. What it means is that despite all of the skills I have developed at working with people, I had to resort to a method that doesn’t sit well.

My Dad always said “You never start a fight, but you always finish one.” I finished one. I still don’t feel good about it.

Ask a Bastard: Vonnie 101

Last Monday, I promised to answer all of your questions about VONNIE. These answers have been painstakingly researched. I can assure you that they are also 110% accurate.

Kristin and Niall asked one question each:

Niall and I want to know where is the strangest place Von has made “whoopie”


And if Von was a part of the body, what would she be?

The strangest place Von has ever made whoopie was five minutes before the creation of this universe. That’s right. VON comes from the previous universe. Her orgasm not only destroyed the previous universe, but gave birth to ours.

If Von was a part of the body, she’d be the Prefrontal Cortex. She makes, and enforces, decisions.

My long time friend Aerin asked: How did you meet Von?

I met VON in a dream, the only dream I remembered. I was about nine. I was having a dream about Star Wars, as I was want to do, and I was being chased by Darth Vader. Not only did VON kick his ass in the greatest fight scene ever choreographed, she drove me to Japan. From Iowa. I said it was a dream. They don’t make sense.

AG asked two questions: How would Von’s life be different if she had been born one day later than she actually was?


What are her thoughts on g-d?

It wouldn’t just be VON’s life that would be different if she was one day older: All of Creation would be affected. Remember how her organism ended the previous universe and created this one? The Universe would be billions of years older (time is weird like that, look it up). Second, the people of that other universe may have figured out a way to cross over and screw things up for the rest of us. If VON Was born one day later, humanity would be enslaved by Beings from The Other World. Thank the Flying Speghetti Monster that she was born when she was.

As for GD, VON is expressely opposed to Gangsta Disciples. She has no need of gangs. Gangs were formed out of fear of VON.

Mendacious D Asked: I am curious to know how the Tricycle of Awesome was named.

Ask Shannon. I can promise you it involves a nipple or two.

Seth asked: What steps should I take to be awesome like Von

The right combination of amino acids, spiritual growth and pure chance can never be replicated or duplicated. You will never be as awesome as VON. EVER.

A close approximation would be: Find and tame a Narwhal. Ride said Narwhal around the seas. Have the Narwhal pull you on waterskis. Have the narwhal skewer your foes. That’s as close as you could get…and i’m pretty sure you can’t tame a Narwhal. VON Could. She has like three in her back yard.

This one is named Captain NoPants. unicorns

If you have to ask, “How did VON get that Narwhal into her back yard in Chicago” then you truly do not know Von.

Next week, I will answer more of life’s less complex (and less interesting) mysteries.


I Am A Nerd

So on Friday, I published a short story I wrote based on my character (and by extension, a friend’s character) from World Of Warcraft. I put up some self-depreciating tags, making fun of the fact that I wrote something fiction wise. Through these tags, I disparaged more than I intended.

I don’t consider myself to be a writer. I blog and write evaluations (and one day, research papers), but that is the extent of my writing. I’m trying to branch out and write something for fun, based on the stories that my fellow WoWers co-create. To be clear: Given the tools provided by WoW my friends are creating some brilliantly written stories. The whole reason why I keep playing the game are these stories. In trying to dismiss my attempts preemptively, I wound up dismissing my primary hobby and creative outlet.

That’s not what I intended. It’s obvious to me that I can’t continue to be dismissive and write more WoW things. So, I’m done mocking myself (and by extension, the efforts of my friends). Even when the WoW Blog is ready, I’ll continue to cross post WoW stuff here.