August 7, 2012

I never said thank you

I know I just mentioned being addicted in my last post, but this one is a bit more important on a different level.

Obviously, I haven't been on this site in awhile. As such, I haven't seen the various blog posts made by people. While looking through a few, I came across one by a friend of mine who has since departed Vana'diel. My knight in shining armor, Alerith. He and I have been friends since shortly after I began. He tells his story of our meeting on his own blog site, so I won't repeat it here (though he tells a very short version of it). Anyway, I looked at his very first post, and I'll be damned if it wasn't a touching one.

I have to admit, reading that post brought out an "awww" and I even felt the eyes watering a tad. If anything, it's moments like these that make you realize just how much the friends we make here mean to us, and how much we truly miss them when they are gone.

The Ugly Truth


I tried to quit. I really did.

Yeah. Didn't work out so well.

I wish I could give a solid answer as to why though. This game drives me nuts. I've never had this much stress and anger over a game in my life. I missed my friends. I can give a few more reasons, but I came to accept one very unfortunate fact:

I'm addicted.

It took a good deal of thought to come to this conclusion, but I don't see any other answer. Granted, I'm a functional addict. I get up and go to work everyday, pay my bills, take care of myself, etc., etc. I also find that I sign on to this game and stand in Port Jeuno, sometimes for a couple of hours at a time. Then I get upset that there are no shouts, or that the people I missed so much are out doing their own thing and I'm not with them. Then I continue to stand in town, just watching.

This is the point where common sense should kick in and tell me to get the hell off the game and go play Dance Central or read a book. Nope. Instead I stand there, watching the players. Watching the constant retarded shouts of people. The spamming of Fell Cleave parties that people pay to join so can they leech there way to 99. I just stand here, waiting. Afraid to sign off in fear that I might miss that Provenance shout so I can have a .0000000000000001% shot at getting an item that will be obsolete by the time I get it.  Worried that if I leave, a friend might sign on, or I'll miss a chance at something else. I have stood in one spot long enough for the auto-disconnect feature to kick in after an hour. Then I immediately log-in and stand in that same damn spot until I disconnect again. It used to be that if I couldn't find something to do within a few minutes, I'd sign off and do something else, or fall asleep while logged on.

I don't understand why this game gets to me the way it does. The desire to have things that don't matter here is overwhelming. Hours of life, gone and for what? I'm not about to say that people who play this game are wasting time, because it's obvious. That's not what I mean. What's the driving force that makes us want things so bad? I talked about a relic weapon months ago when it seemed like the impossible dream. Now, people appear with a new relic on a near-weekly basis. I've seriously put some thought into just buying gil so I could have a weapon and be among the "in-crowd." Granted, I haven't done it because I'm both too proud and too cheap to spend my hard-earned money on virtual currency. Still, there have been many days where the thought enters my mind and I don't immediately dismiss it. I've contemplated botting and all sorts of other means. I've done none of them, but damn if I don't think about it.

I'm addicted to this game and the feeling of believing that I can be more than an anonymous face in a crowd of thousands. Feeling that the ranking of FFXIAH will somehow make me important in the eyes of the players, or getting a relic and standing around the guide stone of Port Jeuno will mean that I am now an accomplished player.

This is truly not a good thing.

February 25, 2012


It's never easy to give up something you enjoy or are passionate about. Case and point is me blogging about a game that I'm not supposed to be playing. Maybe it would have been easier if I were enraged when I decided to give away the currency I had saved up for my relic and sign off. Maybe if I had just sold everything I had, or deleted my character. Hell, I haven't even canceled my account, and I honestly doubt that I ever will.

I never wanted to leave in the first place. Of course, it's not like I've been gone for long anyway. Barely a week now, I think. I have plenty of things to do besides FFXI and I've been doing them. Still, I miss the music. I miss the friends I hardly got to see. I miss my damn greatsword and Resolution. Seriously, you people have no idea how cute I am as a Dark Knight. Adorable AND badass ...yeah.

I don't know what I should do. Log on and subject myself to the same lonely feeling that has plagued me for months; or stay signed off and keep having this desire to sign on? A friend of mine used to play Warcraft heavily, and he fought his desire by putting the CD on a barbecue grill to destroy it.

I couldn't do that even if I hated this game. Disc cost too much when I bought it.

February 21, 2012

What are you doing, Jaci?

Long story short...I'm done. If you care to know why, keep reading. Otherwise, take care.

A few days ago, I saw a friend that I haven't seen online for awhile. For the times he was around, he was always in Altepa. When I asked why he was leveling so much, he told me that he managed to acquire all of the materials for two Empyrean weapons and was raising his classes to match. I was shocked. I hardly saw him online, and he's hardly the type to use /anon. So I asked how he managed it. His answer set my mind on a path that made me realize it's time to walk away from Vana'diel.

He simply said: "I dual box."

Dual boxing is nothing new, and I don't have any problem with those who use it. There was a joke in the Excellence LS that we had more mule accounts than active members. Even in my current shell, there is a nearly 1:1 ratio of real:mule accounts. However, it never mattered to me before. So why now?

Well, it matters now because mules used to be brought out when we couldn't find people, or when circumstances truly called for it. Now, it's become the norm. Which is fine in a way because it grants people freedom to do what they want, when they want. At the same time, it also takes away one of the very things I loved about this game. Groups.

I can't blame all of this on dual boxing. The level increases have made us stronger than ever, and old content is laughable at best in terms of difficulty. So why make parties for something you can do alone? For me, I'm more interested in the journey. I miss being with my friends. Laughing together or getting pissed at one another. We were doing things together and making memories. When I look at my screenshots now, they're all of me. Solo, solo, solo. Either that or it's me with several random people I may never meet again. That doesn't do anything for me.

Linking the latest item I get in LS chat means nothing to me if the people in the LS weren't with me while I was getting it. Sure, they say congratulations but what does it matter to them? It doesn't. There are no memories to be shared with them. I remember Bey while we worked on my Gandiva; cutest Taru white mage with attitude in the land. Popping NMs without fear and running across the zone to find me. Or Frice always getting himself killed because he drank too much and didn't focus. EP and his knack for being late to everything. Neebix and Lillie always yelling at each other during our events. The memories made and the time spent with friends means more to me than any item I'll ever get in this game.

Truthfully, I have had to fight the urge to sign on since I left. I want to play. I spent three years of my life making Jacinda what she is now. I just leveled Dark Knight (shut up) and got my cool Resolution weapon skill. I want to come back and have fun with my friends. The problem is most of my friends are gone. The ones who are here are involved in their own things. I wouldn't expect anything else, either. It's not their responsibility to do things with me just because I feel alone.

That is what it all comes down to. I am playing an MMO more or less by myself, and I don't want to do that anymore. So anyway, that's my story. If any of you got to the end of this, know that I am going to miss you all.

February 11, 2012

You idiot.

So much anger. So much hate. I don't have tears of sadness, but sheer rage. What's worse is that I can't blame or lash out at anyone but myself.

I was staring it right in the face. My eyes read over the text multiple times. I even talked about it with my linkshell mates. Why didn't I stop? Why didn't something in my head click and make me realize what I was about to do?

What am I talking about? You can probably already guess. A bazaar purchase. The things people laugh about on Blugartr and such. As they say, there is a sucker born every minute. I just became one.

Dynamis currency seems to be the latest scam people are doing. Sell singles for the price of a 100. Since so many are trying to raise the price, people are constantly rushing for a good deal...or what appears to be one.

I've been spotting these ripoffs for awhile now, and today my sense of awareness failed me. I walked away from his / her bazaar feeling really satisfied that I had made a good purchase. I happened to look at another bazaar and saw the same thing I bought, but an incredible amount cheaper. I looked twice at the other bazaar, thinking "wait..why are they selling so low?". Then a sinking feeling hit me and I realized they weren't selling low at all.

My 4 million gil deal just turned into me paying 3.9 million gil more than I should have. I went numb. This just happened, and all I can do is stare at my screen. I pick up my controller and don't move. A friend is asking me what I want to go do and I can't think. If I had millions upon millions to spare, maybe I'd just be pissed and move on. It's not like that, and I can't do shit about it.

Can't yell at the seller because it was a fair transaction. The price was in plain sight, the game asked for confirmation...I have no defense. I fell victim to someone's greed and my own oversight.

For the rest of, please double and triple check people's bazaars. I would hate for any of you to feel what I am right now.

In case you're wondering, the person's name is Moooch. Fitting, eh?

February 9, 2012

Just a side note

You know, I miss exp parties. Not the revolving-door alliance parties we have now, but the good old 6-man setup. It's not that I want to level slowly or that I even enjoy it. However, those parties created something that these alliances just don't have time for.


Think about it. How many friends on your list did you find in an exp party? You were close to the same level, and before Level Sync, you needed to keep those people close because there was no telling when you'd find another paladin, ninja, white mage, rdm, or what have you. Those exp parties turned into static parties, which then became AF hunting parties. You spent all that time together, and you inevitably started to have conversations with each other. You just can't get that anymore. I honestly can't think of the last time I made a real friend since Abyssea.

Sure, there are people I associate with and even share a laugh or two. An actual friend, though? I have a friend list full of people I barely ever talk to, and conversations aren't usually that exciting. I join linkshells, but again, it's that clique mentality. You're either a part of the "in-crowd" or you sit on the sideline and just watch them do whatever. The friends made from ages past have now moved on to other things. They may still be in the same game, but you don't spend the time with them like you did before.

When those friends leave, what's left? Where do you find a new friend, or do you just wander about on your own?

I know this isn't a long post, and it's not my typical bitching. Just something I felt like sharing.

Bey, Frice, Yoko, Bhin, Dizzmal, Ally, Breathem, Key, Garn, and so many others....if you ever happen to read this, I sure as hell miss you guys. Playing in the sandbox simply isn't the same anymore.

All together now

I had an interesting moment of reflection a few days ago. I saw Alerith online, hanging about in Abyssea-Attohwa. Since I didn't feel like trying to gather the massive amount of +2 items that I have partially completed, I figured I'd go so what he was up to. Well, I actually just volunteered myself and ran out there.

What I found when I arrived was a rather funny, although pitiful, display of people fighting Blazing Eruca. I'm sure we can all agree that figuring out the trigger methods and purposes was a pain in the beginning. Not only were we clueless, but we were also much weaker than we are now. Empyreans at every turn, new weaponskills, better armor, and just a deeper understanding of Abyssea makes most of these fights pretty simple. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for this group.

Anyway, I'm only going to focus on one person for this. The Ninja. I made the joke of her "pinking it up" since she was in full Aurore gear. Personally, I don't care and I'm not going to argue the merits of Aurore vs. Empyrean. She was fighting the NM to get seals, so obviously she didn't have the Empyrean yet. I just like saying "pinking it up." During the fight, she was using Blade: Ten to attack. Based on Blazing's HP bar, that attack wasn't doing much. People started asking if she had Blade: Jin, but she never responded. A couple of fights later, she began using the attack. Progress! Then we had a fight where the trigger was water spells. Ale used what he could, the BLM cast his spells, but nothing happened with the Ninja. Some asked if she tried the spell, but response. Then she states "I don't have the tools for that."

If this were several months to a year ago, before the universal tools were introduced, I'd understand that. Or at least, I'd be more understanding. Carrying all those tools back then was a pain in the ass, and definitely a reason that I had very little interest in leveling Ninja before. That's obviously not the case now. One stack of tools is all you need. Thankfully, Ale had some and gave it to her. So that was one more issue resolved. We move on to another fight, but now the trigger is wind. Once again, Ale does his thing and so does the BLM. When it's the Ninja's turn, she casts...but she casts Huton: Ichi. We tell her it's the wrong spell and she needs to use Ni. As you can guess, she responds by saying that she doesn't have the spell. Now the rage within begins to come out of me. Yet, before I could lash out with a bunch of rude statements that had been filling my head, I had a flashback of when I first started.

I was BLM without a clue, and I happened upon a fellow BLM in Windurst who, out of sheer kindness, gave me a large sum of gil that I immediately and stupidly blew on spells from a vendor instead of the auction house. Regardless, he helped me. I have had help from tons of people over the years, and it was their help that has got me to where I am now. Does that excuse this Ninja and her lack of preparedness? Not in the slightest. At the same time, it made me think. How often do we see ourselves or other people criticizing and calling other people out on their mistakes or "improper" gear choices? I personally see it every single day. Someone out there is an example of "urdoinitwrong" or however people say that silly phrase. However, we rarely ever reach out and show these people the right way, or at least something better. We could argue that this game is old and you can find everything you ever want or need to know with some forum crawling, but does it really hurt you that much to take some time out and help someone else? Even if what you're helping them with is a 10k Huton spell on the Auction House, help is always remembered.

One of the common phrases you see in this game is that it's dead or dying. This game is not dead. There are still plenty of people signing on and doing things. There are still plenty of shouts going on in Port Jeuno and Whitegate. We don't sign on to empty servers and wish that other people were around. What *is* killing this game is people's reluctance to interact with others that they don't already know. It's like joining a linkshell now. When you join a shell, you should be a part of that group. Included in what they do, and feel like a part of something bigger than yourself. Instead, it's "Hi, welcome to the shell. Go get all of your gear upgraded and augmented on your own, build your own Empyrean, and basically do whatever you want by yourself or get people outside the LS to help. Once you have that, come show up for our events. Enjoy!"

When we refuse to help others, we are isolating them. When people feel isolated, they lose their drive. When you have nothing to strive for or you feel that you can't connect with anyone, then why stay? While FFXI is not incredibly difficult in many aspects, it most certainly is a group-oriented game. If all we have are cliques that we refuse to open and bring others into, then we are definitely dooming this game. As people leave, and they will, who is left to fill in the gaps? The people you once refused to help? Good luck with that.

January 28, 2012

Sensitivity Training

If you're new to this blog, there are probably quite a few things you don't know about me. Then again, you could've been here from the start and still not understand me. One thing about me is that I am highly (and I do mean highly) sensitive. I don't mean that break into tears when I see the sunset, or I'll curl in the fetal position if you insult me. Not at all. My sensitivity comes up on the subject of racism and sexism.

What does this have to do with FFXI? Incoming QQ folks.

It has a lot to do with it. Perhaps it's not just FFXI, but I have never seen so much of it elsewhere. I spend a lot of time online in this game; maybe way more than I should. I guess that is why I see so much anger, sexism, and racial slurs. I know a lot of it has to do with the internet and its anonymity. No identity, no repercussions = no cares. There's a study about it, but I'm typing on my phone and can't look at more than one page at a time. Plus I'm doing Logwatch. Yay logsm

Anyway, back to the game. I see this stuff everyday, and recently it's really begun to take its toll on me. The use of things such as (anyone offended by these things....leave now.) " niggers, japs, bitch (for women), faggot," and whatever else you can think of. Or when people sit around make jokes about rape and dead babies. Really people, since when was a woman being raped or seeing a dead child ever considered funny? I'm not so naïve to think that I can go somewhere and never be exposed to such...verbal garbage, but to see it EVERY SINGLE DAY?? I think what upsets me more than seeing / hearing it are the excuses people give for it.

"Oh come on, it's just a word."
"It should only offend you if it applies to you."
"I don't have strong English."
"I'm not really like this. I'm just joking around."

Naturally, this only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bullshit excuses. These aren't just words; they have serious meanings to them. The sticks and stones phrase we were taught as children was an outright lie. Words have started wars; they have motivated people to give their lives for a cause, and driven others to take their lives. To say that these words, which have a meaning deeply rooted in fear, ignorance, or hate is simply "just a word" absolutely baffles me. Worst yet are the people who say they don't have a problem with the people these words are meant to insult and are actually very caring and sympathetic to what they have gone through. Well...if that is how you feel, then why the hell are you letting these words come out of your mouth?

I really don't know what to say about these things. Am I too sensitive? Should I be like the rest and just completely forgot what these words have done to people over the years? If I'm supposed to jump in and be on board with the Internet Hate Machine, then I am sorry to say that I won't be joining. Caliburn says that I simply still value the meaning of words. I just wish that so many others could do the same.

January 27, 2012

But...I thought you liked it hard?

So much to complain about, but my computer is broken and I'm too lazy to build a new one.

Anyway, remember when they announced the level increase and the rumors about the battle to take place? If you browsed the forums for any length of time, you would run into post after post after post of people begging the developers for a challenging fight. No, they didn't want to just grab a few Kindred's Seals or Crest and spend 20 merits. Nope. They wanted a fight. A real fight that would take everything they had learned and force them to come up with new methods for taking down a new and incredibly challenging boss.

Or 1 White Mage, 4 Monks, and a Summoner with Alexander.

I'll have to look back on the forums, but I'll be damned if someone didn't call this. They saw it coming. Not the setup, per se, but the reaction of the players. As soon as someone found a method to win, it would become the standard and people wouldn't bother to actually try any other way. So much for the challenging fight, right? Who needs to think about any strategy when you can just go in with Perfect Defense, Hundred Fists, and just spam Asuran Fists until you win?

Not only has it become the standard, along with a Black Mage Manaburn style, but people are being shunned away and unable to join in the fight if they don't have that specific job leveled. This is what amazes me. What happened guys? I thought you wanted a challenge? I thought you wanted this to be super difficult since it's the last level increase we'll have? So why are you turning away that 95 Dancer who's asking to join, or the 93 Bard who's been looking for days? Oh, is it because they don't fit the guaranteed winning method? Could it be that you're a hypocrite?

/gasp! It can't be true, can it?

Of course it is. People are full of shit in this game. Clamoring and crying about wanting a challenge, only so you can find the quickest, cheapest, and highest rate of success setup. Post it on wiki, and never actually think about trying a different setup. Of course, there's the other side to that argument, where you're just trying stupid setups for the hell of it. (ie 5 Bards and 1 PUP, or something equally stupid).

Now to deal with the "what's wrong with being efficient? Who wants to do a hard fight when you can just use that method to win and move on?" type of people. What's wrong with it, you ask? It's wrong because you begged for them to make it hard. That's what's wrong with it. You, the players, asked them to make a hard fight. Something that would kick your ass if you didn't have your A-game ready. That's what you got. A Tarutaru Monk who put you on the floor without even blinking, and what did you do? You turned-tail and ran away, looking for some cheap ass method to win. You found it, used it, and now go around Port Jeuno telling the people who need the win about how easy the fight is.

A few days ago, I was in Altepa with Alerith, and we were going to try Bennu. Is it an incredibly hard fight? No it isn't, but we decided to go with a non-standard setup of NIN/WAR and PLD/RDM. Things were fine and moving along nicely until one fight when we had Bennu, Ouzelum, and two other adds on us. It went from a smooth fight to chaotic, but we held it together. When it was over, we felt pretty damn good. As a matter of fact, we felt great. We went as a non-standard setup, had a difficult battle, and won. While it's nothing to run around bragging about, it made us both feel good. Could we have made it easier? Of course we could have, but where's the challenge in making things easy?

When they first released the level cap, I was waiting and hoping that this wouldn't happen. Maybe we actually would go into battle and have a really difficult fight that we could walk out of with our heads held high because we overcame a serious challenge. Something that made level 99 mean something. Unfortunately, being level 99 mostly means you happen to know a few Monks and a Summoner.

Hooray for challenges.

January 11, 2012

Speaking of wasting time


This has got to be the worst event ever created in my few years of playing FFXI. I've known that ever since I first started this game, it's designed to take time. Nothing just happens or is given to you. You wanted a relic, you had to make a serious effort to get the currency. Nyzul Isle, Salvage, Einherjar, upgrading gear, getting drops from NMs...nothing ever happened quickly. As much as dislike that aspect of FFXI, I have nonetheless accepted it as I continue to play this game.

Voidwatch; however, is completely different. It's the Corsair's dice of end game events. Meaning it's all luck. Though I find even that somewhat questionable. Of course, you have the people who just say "stop QQ'ing and just spam." To those people who even think this system makes sense or is remotely tolerable, I have to're flat-out stupid.

Someone explain to me how Voidwatch is fair, reasonable, or even enjoyable? It's nothing more than trigger-zerg fest for anyone involved. It involves absolutely no strategy. Buy an abyssite that not only tells you what the NM is weak to, but even tells you the damn job it's weak against. I'd figure that for the "regular" NMs in Abyssea or something. These new NMs practically hand you their weakness, and it's not like you had to work hard to get this abyssite either. It's not like this one, where you actually had to put some effort behind it. Not at all, just grab a stratum abyssite to take part in the event, and buy the corresponding abyssite that tells you a weakness. From the start, people. I'm not even going into the temporary item spam that we all use.

But that's only a minor gripe of Voidwatch. What pisses me off is the "reward system," if you even dare to call it that. Kill the NM and run up to the treasure chest. Logs, SE? Really...logs. Is this your hidden way of saying that Woodworking is going to be a primary craft skill in future updates? Of course, not all of us get logs. Some of us actually get useful items, which is nice. Unless you happen to already have said item, which then just goes to waste. Oh, you didn't know? There's no treasure pool in Voidwatch. Nope, it all goes to you. So if you happen to come across something like...oh, a Mekira body piece, or a piece of Athos's armor and you already have it...well, oops. You can't trade what you have, and you can't put it in a treasure pool for someone else. It just goes to waste. So we're spamming fights for a random chance to receive an item, while those who actually have the item run the risk of receiving it multiple times and throwing it away because it can't be traded or put in a pool. Makes perfect sense.

Then it hit me like a giant ton of Marid crap. Voidwatch is a time waster until the next update. That's all it is. The whole event is designed to do nothing more than waste time. They knew that players would find a way to beat these NMs quickly with the stupid ass trigger system they put in place. They allow us to basically stagger lock an NM for the entire duration of the fight, so why create a reward system that would actually allow us to get the good drops from the fight? Make it the most idiotic, wasteful, and senseless system imaginable so we have no choice but to spam it.

Of course, we as players are stupid and have this "I need" mentality so we'll sit there, doing fight after fight after fight after fight. Wasting the stones the game naturally gives us and then going so far as to pay for void dust so we can have more logs fill up our inventory. When you step back and look at it, we are some damn idiots. The entire model around Voidwatch is designed to get us to waste our time and gil...and we eat that shit up.

Square Enix knows that, and uses it to their full advantage.

Pass that s**t, homie!

Let me ask you, why is passing items so hard? Do you not realize items have a 5 minute duration in the treasure pool? Maybe that doesn't seem like much to some, but 5 minutes adds up. It's a long ass time when you're just standing there, waiting for items.

I was in a party last night because I didn't feel like seeing more Spacedragon shouts in Port Jeuno. I head out to Uleguerand and get ready for the fight. As usual, only one person in a seal run party actually brought the items to spawn the NM, and that was the leader. I already knew I wasn't bringing any because I was just there to help. The rest of the people either forgot, didn't care, or had the awesome "I can't afford 40k" excuse.

Bull. Shit.

I have got to be one of the poorest people in this game, and even I know getting 40k takes no effort.

1. Run outside, smack some enemies.
2. Shivite or something similar drops.
3. List on the auction house for 5 minutes.
4. ???
5. Profit.

It's that damn simple. Anyway, the fight goes off without a hitch and all is well. We then go to fight another NM who has one of 2 items needed to spawn the one we actually want to fight. The pop item drops and most people pass. All except one. Here we go. It always has to happen. There's that one damn person who just refuses to pass shit. So now we're standing around, waiting for it to drop so we can fight our NM. I can understand if reality calls you away for a moment, but when you're just standing there or even still fighting while we're telling you "Pass items please," then I've got an issue with you.

That is wasting my damn time, and I don't appreciate having my time wasted. Are you lazy? Do you not know how to access the treasure pool and select "Pass"? What makes it great is when you become so annoyed that you start doing in party chat, only to have them suddenly get pissy and tell you not to do that. Well if your dumb ass would pass the item from the start, that never would have happened.

Maybe it's the parser mentality. "Must do massive damage always! Can't pause to see pool; ruins numbers. RAWR!!" I don't know and don't care. If I'm lead in a party from now on and you don't pass that shit, prepare to be kicked. End of story.

Aren't you glad I'm back? :D

January 5, 2012


Can you believe it's been 260 days since I looked at my own blog?

The funny thing about that is *other* people still have been. Two days ago, in the middle of a lovely Magian trial, a couple of friends happened to ask why I haven't been updating this. I honestly have thought about it, but as much as I enjoy / need to bitch about things, the desire to do so just wasn't with me. Still, it was nice to know that at least someone remembered and enjoyed my rantings after all this time.

So I sign on this blogging site and look to see if any of my friends from here had done any blogging. Naturally, Evilpaul just doesn't stop, so his was up to date. Then I noticed several other people had made a few updates too. It was nice to see that blogging hadn't completely died out. To my surprise; however, was Dizzmal's recent post. I haven't talked to him in awhile, but he mentioned that he missed reading my rants. It was just funny to have two friends talk about this in-game, then see my name mentioned here the next day. To add to that, yesterday I get a /tell from someone that I had only just met who said he enjoyed reading my blog over the holiday too.

I'm not one to say I believe in fate, divine intervention, or the mysterious workings of the cosmos, but I do know how to take a hint. So again, I offer my apologies to all of my loyal minions who have waited for so long. Now then, on to the bitching, shall we?