Every time I think I’m out… or, WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW!?

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Okay, so I guess it’s time to fess up and come clean. I bought The Burning Crusade… like a week ago… online and downloaded it directly from Blizzard. Lazy? Possibly, but that’s not the reason I bought it online. I had the game in my hand literally 10 times since it came out, and every time I managed to put it down and walk away. I even reactivated my account to test myself and see how uninterested I was in playing again. Initially it worked.

This game is friggin’ boring“, I told myself. Case closed.

Then, one night without warning Blizzard’s newly announced online upgrade service crit my wallet for $40. Online purchase really are the worst kind of impulse buy ever devised in our lifetime. “If the only thing I did was click a button, and there’s no box in my hands, did I make a purchase?” That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. I’m not sure that my wife would agree.

After a couple hours of watching TV while the upgrade downloaded and installed, I sat down to a brand new log-in screen and started making the biggest mistake of my life… again. I am a weak man, I will be the first to admit it. Hypocrite? Sure, I busted many a balls of my cohorts who played the game after I ‘quit’ (sorry Jim, no hard feelings… lol?).

Apologies aside, the things you’ve read about this expansion totally revitalizing the game are absolutely true. I immediately started a Blood Elf Mage (this being the only class I never really explored) and started out on a lowbie journey that had all the excitement and wonder of the first night I ever logged into the world of Azeroth. The quests were new, the landscape was different and despite what you may think about Blood Elves , their racial abilities are pretty damn cool (albeit overpowered, soon to be nerfed). I’ve spent many hours already exploring the Blood Elf’s home lands and I can safely say that I’ll be playing this character all the way to 70 (currently 14).

I didn’t really get a long look at the Drenai (the other new race), but I took my Alliance level 60 for a run through their city and found it to be very new age and serene. Lots of crystals and music that sounds vaguely like Tangerine Dream.

But the biggest part of The Burning Crusade is without a doubt, The Outlands. Blizzard has added an entire new continent to the world accessible through the Dark Portal chock full of quests, dungeons and PvP for the 60+ crowd. Never having had the time to become a serious Raider, I pretty much shelved my Level 60 Alliance Druid the shortly after I hit 60 and started over on the Horde side. Now I finally have an excuse to dust this guy off and start kicking ass with a high-level character again.

So far the quests in The Outlands have been the standard fare, kill x of these guys, kill those guys and collect x of those, etc. However, the new world is absolutely amazing in it’s scale and immediately makes you feel like you’ve stepped onto the front lines of a total shit storm. Plus, from what I can tell, the quest rewards for this new area seem to rival what was once considered ‘decent’ gear that required running through the same dungeon 50 times.

The hardest part now is deciding if I want to play my Blood Elf, or level my Druid up to 70. Ah, the decisions we must make as adults… Anyway, I realize I just totally nerded out for a few paragraphs there, but what the hell… it’s the Nerdlog. If I can’t do it here, where can I do it?

I’m an addict, there is no getting around it. I’ll try and be better this time around, getting to sleep by 1 on work nights (not happening tonight), keeping my marriage and daughter a priority, and I promise not to speak about WoW in any social situations… because I know how goddamn ridiculous it sounds at parties.

The pain in my back.

If there’s something I hate, it’s my back. I have a tendency to throw it out of whack every now and again, and every time I do I’m generally in bad shape for weeks. It’s always the same place. You know that lump beneath your neck (ahem…that would be called the 7th cervical, but who’s counting)? Well, right below that and the shoulder blade is my sweet spot for pain.

This is the face of back pain.
This is my face whenever I pull my back.

I think it’s this area because I used to slave away as a food server for years. I used to carry trays brimming with some of the nastiest foods available to mankind to make a living. I was really good at it. I could balance forty pound trays loaded with flesh searing skillets on my fingertips…sometimes even a second one in my other hand! Damn I’m good! Lo, it’s probably also how my back turned into such a mess.

The thing that slays me every time is that I’m generally not doing anything that would warrant a thrown back. I’m clearly incapable of playing sports as I’m the only person in the world who has broken his collar bone playing waffle ball in the street.

I wish I was making that up.

No, I’m not throwing the good old pigskin around when I throw my back out. It generally happens when I’m, oh say, bending down to tie my shoe. It happened once when I was turning around to hit a light switch on the wall. Obviously, these are not events where one would expect to loose the ability to look over their left shoulder for a week.

This time, I was simply getting into the shower. And before Jim jumps to any conclusions, no there was no funny business involved…I was half asleep as I just woke up. I stepped in, didn’t turn the water on yet, and WHOOP there went my back. I tried to pretend it didn’t happen. I was in denial. However, it DID happen, and now I have to slug away Advil Liquid Gels and hang out with a heating pad while I watch “24”.

Thankfully, it’s been happening less and less, and with not as much severity. Maybe it’s because I don’t work in the restaurant biz any more. Now, I get to work in a far less physically stressing career in front of a computer. Now, all I have to worry about is carpal tunnel syndrome and my elbow feeling like its on fire all day, and recently there’s been a strange tingly feeling in my legs from sitting on my ass for 12 hours a day.

I should just be like Jacquo and sleep in the street. But then, I guess I’d have to worry about my teeth falling out and people pissing on what serves as my bed behind a dumpster.

Welcome to the ‘Nerdlog’

After months of consideration and a few weeks of time in development, the Shamoozal blog is ready for display, and I couldn’t be happier.

Over a year ago, Shamoozal.com started out strictly as a cartoon based website that played host to the Shamoozal series. Introducing the podcast back in May was the first time we broke out of that mold. We weren’t exactly sure how it was going to blow over, but things went fairly well. Our community on our forums, the Smorgas Board, has been becoming increasingly active in the passing months. It is only natural that the site grows just a tiny bit more, and the result is this shiny new blog.

Now in addition to working on our cartoons, this feature allows us to serve up all sorts of different extravagant dishes on a more regular basis. If you’re a fan of Shamoozal Radio, you’ll be pleased to know that everyone on the team will be taking part in contributing to this blog. That means you’ll be seeing regular updates from Steve, Frank, Joe, Jim, yours truly, and maybe even the General. You’ll also be happy to hear that we’ll have our 5th podcast available within the next few days. That being said, enjoy the ride!