Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

•September 1, 2011 • 8 Comments

This is the recipe that I used to make a bunch of cookies that were such a hit on Twitter, some of my Tweeps wanted it! So, here it is. It’s from the back of a Ghirardelli chocolate bag, so of course it calls for Ghirardelli chocolate! I used half Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate and half Nestle Tollhouse milk chocolate (because Ghriardelli semi-sweet is cheaper than Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate!!). And they were delicious. Are. Err. Were. DETAILS.

Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 & 1/4 cups unsifted flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup (two sticks) butter, softened (I was lazy and replaced some of this with Canola oil, since I didn’t want to soften more butter [I only had 3/4 of a cup] and it worked great. So, if you’re lazy…)

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 brown sugar, packed

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups chocolate chips (again, I used half semi-sweet and half milk chocolate, simply because I like the mixture of the two tastes, and I don’t like to have too sweet of a cookie)

1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans is recommended) (optional; I myself did not include nuts)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (I did it on 350 on accident [oops] but my cookies turned out fabulous).

2. Stir flour with baking soda and salt, and then set aside.

3. Beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy (I ended up needing to go to the “whip” setting on my mixer to get it creamy, but perhaps that’s because it was part butter and part oil?).

4. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing in on a low speed.

5. Gradually blend flour mixture into the creamed butter and sugary goodness (okay, my words, not the recipe’s).

6. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

7. Drop in rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets.

8. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown (because I baked them at 350, not 375, I baked my cookies for 11 minutes, and they ended up being perfect. I love my cookies with crunchy bottoms and sides but a warm, soft middle; cooking at 350 for 11 minutes worked marvelously. Of course, every oven is different, so you’ll have to experiment! But that was my experience.)

9. PROFIT!!!

The recipe says it’s supposed to yield about 4 dozen cookies, but I only managed to get three dozen and three cookies. Not that I’m complaining, big cookies are good.

Nom nom nom.

Digital Art: Not “Real”?

•July 16, 2011 • 23 Comments

Trolls are something you expect when it comes to the internet. Especially in PuGs. PuGs wouldn’t even BE PuGs if it weren’t for the infuriating, obnoxious, rude trolls that spam our party chats with curse words and poorly written English. I have been insulted I don’t know how many times for being the player I am. I’ve been called a bitch numerous times for wanting to pull mobs as a tank, told I have no balls because I refused to heal the DPS who was trying to pull for our tank, and many other choice words that I don’t remember. Don’t be thinking I was helpless, though; I may not have typed my curse words out, but my mind is full of all sorts of nasty phrases for the trolls that stink up PuGs.

But where I never thought I would get shit for how I play, is in art. When I signed up for my deviantArt account, I was expecting maybe a little bit of trolling. “lulz u play wow thts soooooo stupid u r so dumb lulz!” To my delight, there were no trolls! That’s because I had absolutely no viewers (but that’s a rant for another day). Digital art has, as far as I can tell, been completely accepted and welcomed into the contemporary art community as a viable way of expressing images, thoughts, emotions, passions, everything that art is meant to convey. DeviantArt is filled with digital art. And during my almost full year (!!) of being an artist, blogger, and fairly active ranter on Twitter, I have never received any crap from anyone for doing the sort of art I do. That is, until this morning, when someone told me that because I create art using my computer, it isn’t “real” art. “It isn’t truly yours, because the computer does all the work for you.”

I was hurt, like I haven’t been hurt in a long time. The Twitter community has just been fabulous for my ego (it could probably do with some deflation), constantly supportive of my art and me as I bumbled my way through. People like Lore, Rhoelyn, Apple, Will, Ice, Oestrus, Rezznul, Quaunaut, Aymee and Mitsune, Velidra, and DiscoPriest (and so many more; the list goes on forever) are so kind and caring and give me pep talks and get snarky at me if I even try to put myself down. So when a professional artist, a well known sculptor who is a huge promoter of abstracts and free-form art and “Bohemian” artists, was suddenly telling me that my art wasn’t really art was like a slap in the face.

It turns out they had no clue how you do digital art. They didn’t realize that you use a tablet to draw, that digital art has it’s own pros and cons. I spent a few minutes showing them just was digital art, to me, really meant. Got out my tablet, showed them how it works. And while they might not have completely understood it, as computers aren’t really their forte at 81 years of age, they still changed their opinion. But it made me wonder if there is a population of artists out there who have this opinion about digital art. Is there a community of people that don’t understand exactly how digital art is created? Is that why digital art (other than those weird, semi-horrible modern art pieces that sell for millions; you know the ones I am talking about) has never made it into museums? I’ve never seen an exhibit that boasts “Come see John Smith, master of the tablet and champion of Photoshop!” I’m sure the museums would come up with a more enticing name, but the point remains. It makes me wonder if digital art will ever become an accepted part of the broad artistic community. It’s there, it’s everywhere. All over deviantArt, all over the WoW and fanart communities, all over game concept art and so many other things. But will it ever reach the status of ‘museum-quality’ art, like Impressionism, or the thick and heavy oil paintings from the past? Would it take years, decades, generations? Or do you think digital art will remain quiet, omnipresent but always stuck in the shade of the Rembrandts and Monets of the world?

A Lesson in Staves

•July 3, 2011 • 5 Comments

Finally, a post! I know, you all are astounded. Just another short story about one of my characters, this time it’s Acrisius “Risi” the Warrior. A huge thanks go out to the people that helped me revise and edit out the weird little kinks. They are @gylfiesan, @quaunaut and @soylentverde.

β€œNow, stand with your hooves shoulder-width apart, girl. No, not that wide. Keep your upper body back, keep yourself balanced.”

I looked up at the stern, frowning Draenei for approval. β€œShoulder-width apart.” I shifted my hooves, lining them up like he said, and adjusted my grip on the thick, rough staff I had clenched in my hands. It was hot, too bloody hot for my tastes, and sweat trickled down my back underneath my stiff leather armor. The sun blazed down on me, shining in my eyes and blinding me as it filled the clearing. My hands grew moist as they clutched the wooden staff, and I glanced at the weapon in distaste. Continue reading ‘A Lesson in Staves’

Acrisius the Tank Tells All

•May 15, 2011 • 6 Comments

UPDATED MAY 15, 2011

A little birdy tells me that you want to roll a Warrior tank. You’ve got your BoAs, you’ve got your enchants, and you’re all set to hit the LFG and take it by the storm. Well, from level 15 – 20, life is pretty much button mashing. The talents are self explanatory, and keeping aggro will be a frenzied mix of swearing and spamming Thunder Clap when you can.

This particular post will be detailing how I am tanking from level 20-29. First of all, this is Acrisius, more commonly known as Risi. Continue reading ‘Acrisius the Tank Tells All’

The Rise of the Milites Ignoti

•May 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

As all my fellow Twitterati know, I have been recently very excited over the prospect of starting and leading my own guild. Its always been a bit of an dream to me; a chance to really take part in a community, get to work with people and solve problems (and of course boss people around… Kidding. Kinda). When I first mused about it on Twitter, I was surprised by the amount of Tweets I got saying “don’t do it!” It was really off putting for me. Being a guild leader can’t be all that bad… Can it?

Despite the warnings, I have forged ahead with my dream and the <Milites Ignoti> was founded on Tuesday, May 2nd. So far we are mainly comprised of Alliance alts, but we still have big plans! I would love to start out with a core group of 85s, maybe even two groups of 85s, and run Heroics and things together as a guild to get everyone geared up, and then (maybe!) move onto casual raiding with a tens group. Who knows what the future brings? All I know is that I am sure it will be fun. I have certainly enjoyed setting up our Mumble server and our website, organizing our guild bank, and getting to run dungeons with friends rather than nasty PuGs.

If you guys ever find yourselves Alliance side on Arathor US, check us out! We would love to have you. πŸ™‚

(a HUGE thanks toΒ AsrosΒ and SnackΒ for all of their wonderful help in getting things set up and rolling. Without these guys, my baby guild would be very fragile.)

Shared Topic: Do Your Alts Know Each Other?

•April 5, 2011 • 12 Comments

Whether you have many alts or just a few, do they know each other? Do they have some sort of relationship as people living in Azeroth, or is sending materials and money between them just a game mechanic for you? If your characters do know each other, what kind of relationships do they have, and how did those relationships come into being? If they don’t, what functions do your different alts serve?

To be honest, this is a topic that I haven’t really thought about before. From an role playing stand-point I have, it makes sense for me to use all my characters for each of theirs stories. Why not? I am lazy and don’t want to design a whole new set of characters who I don’t even get to play for my girls. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a really prominent factor in my in-game role play (not like there’s a lot of it). I think that it would prove to be difficult; what if you needed both characters together for a role playing session but you, of course, can only play one? I am sure there are ways around such problems, but it is too much of a hassle for me (again, I am lazy). It also doesn’t feature much in my normal game play: If I am sending some money to my baby Druid from my Warlock, I am not thinking to myself “Oh, I must send this money to her! She sent such a nice letter requesting the aid, and I cannot refuse!” Instead I am thinking, “Finally, I get this mini-drood off her ass and equipped with professions.” Continue reading ‘Shared Topic: Do Your Alts Know Each Other?’

The Basics of Being a Warrior

•March 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Hello again, everyone! I realized that it might be a good idea to give you all a general idea on what the simple basics are to being an awesome baby tank.

As always, gear is incredibly important. The stats you’ll be looking for are, of course, stamina, strength, dodge rating, and, in your later levels, expertise. You’ll be wanting to pick up Polished Breastplate of Valor, Polished Helm of Valor, Polished Legplates of Valor, Polished Spaulders of Valor, Worn Stoneskin Gargoyle Cape, Dread Pirate Ring, Antique Myrmidon’s Signet, Swift Hand of Justice. If you are able, of course. I currently only have the chest piece and the shoulders. For a weapon, you’ll want to grab Venerable Dal’Rend’s Sacred Charge.

Now then, some good tanking add-ons that I find useful are Omen (a MUST!!), Ice HUD (a different way to keep track of your health and rage), and Macaroon (a bar modifying add-on).

Now, you should be all set to get out and become a fabulous tank! Good luck!