Finding Time for the IMPORTANT Stuff

So Kwipette and I have been having a lot of discussions about time management lately. See, with the wedding closing in and all, there just seems to be more and more stuff to do. The breakdown of our duties thus far has gone something like this:

Kwipette: Get a wedding dress
Label ALL the invitations (by hand – hey, is it MY fault she’s got neat handwriting?)
Mail invitations
Order the cake
Reserve the wedding hall (which is my VFW, mind you – hey, I fought for this country to earn my right for two dollars off of every plate of roast beef!)
Make the guest list. Cut about 15,425 people from said guest list (many of which were there from me – hey man, how do you KNOW Gillian doesn’t want to come?)
Get addresses of people lucky enough to make cut
Write out directions to the church
Reserve block of rooms at hotel
Explain to Yellow Rat Bastard why he has to take a bath to attend our wedding
Make appointment to have her hair done
Select menu for reception
Arrange meetings between us and Pastor.
Refuse Pastor’s advice to have me killed.
Pass mental health test to prove she’s not clinically insane for wanting to marry me.
Select Bridesmaids
Order dresses for Bridesmaids
Order/Select flower arrangements for church/reception.
Rent Limobus (yeah, it’s as cool as it sounds)
Make legal arrangements for wedding certificate thingy
Change her name (Since she has to do it anyway, I suggested “Ima Bicurious,” but my suggestion was met with a throat punch)
Pick out wedding bands
Work up the courage to actually say ‘yes’

Now, that’s pretty impressive; but let’s take a look at my list, shall we?

Kwip: Make a map to the church, hotel & reception hall
Find a place that will rent kilts big enough to cover my enormous ass

Wow. Yeah, I have no idea when I’m gonna get all that done, either. Truth be told, I think Kwipette’s slacking a bit – I mean, come on, she knows my measurements! Why can’t she find a kilt rental place for me? And she’s like 90% done with her list! I’m still at 0%! Shouldn’t she help me? Isn’t that what marriages are all about, helping one another? Sheesh!

Okay, okay; so maybe she DOES have a couple more things to do than me. But still – she comes home from working all day on Saturday to discover I spent the day in my underwear either napping or trying a fun new quest. And she acts like it’s a big deal! Like I did NOTHING important the ENTIRE day!

Yeah, I was pretty speechless, too. I mean – we’re not talking about ANY stones – this is a PRISMATIC STONE! I NEED one of those!

Kwipette says, “You don’t even have an Isparian weapon! And if you did, you couldn’t use it!”
You say, “Yeah, but I’m gonna have one SOMEDAY, right? So better safe than sorry!”
Kwipette says, “Did you at least work on the map?”
You say, “Yeah, I took a nap for about three hours earlier.”
Kwipette says, “MAP! M-A-P MAP!”
You say, “Oh, right, map. Er. What map?”
Kwipette sighs.
You say, “Oh oh oh – the MAP! See, I thought you were talking about the map to find the Prismatic Stone…”
Kwipette says, “I don’t care about the map to find the Prismatic Stone!”
You say, “Well, good, because you don’t need one! It’s a really easy quest, too, you just have to…”
Kwipette says, “I’m going to punch you in the throat now.”
You say, “Fair enough.”

So yeah, she’s wound pretty tight. I’ve tried explaining to her that the best way to deal with stress is to just cut lose and bust a few Tusker chops, but she keeps pointing out to me that it is, in fact, the Tuskers that usually wind up busting MY chops. Hrmph. Po-TAH-toes, po-TAY-toes.

I think this stress is really affecting my combat readiness, too. I mean, the other day, I was running around up in the pass above Arwic, and a couple of Monoguas jumped me. Now normally I would feed them their teeth. But this time, they pounded the hell out of me! I pulled my bow out, but couldn’t do anything except stare dumbly at them as they bounced their clubs off my face!

Death says, “That’s because you were out of arrows, Sherlock.”

It was so disturbing. Obviously, I’m suffering from the heavy weight of all this responsibility I’m facing.

Death says, “Obviously.”

I mean, I think what I really need is a trip. Some new surroundings to explore. Yes! An opportunity to get away, to suddenly change my surroundings! Hey – is that an elemental coming this way? Gurk!

Lightning elemental smites you so hard the Lifestone flinches!

Death says, “Wow, how was that for a change of surroundings? You know if you had a Prismatic Stone, you coulda fought better!”

You cry.

Defending the Land!

So I’ve been trying to level up.

Yeah, that’s right, I’ve hit TWENTY-ONE and there’s NO signs of slowing, bucko! Why, in another week or two, I’ll probably bust RIGHT through the level cap!

But anyway, that’s not what I’m here to brag about. No, today’s bragging will cover defending Dereth! Yes, that’s right me hearties, you can all start thanking ME that you still have your precious homes to come back to!

I was be-bopping around, trying to remember what dungeon it was that had the awesome perch for me (I think it was the Abandoned Warehouse in Rithwic – I can clear that place out and only die like five times! I’m awesome!). I tried asking people in the town center, but they got all defensive:

You say, “Hey, you goombahs. Stop that petty dumb stuff you’re doing and tell me where the good dungeon is around here or I’ll bust you in the chops!”
Arnualt says, “WTF? Who are you talking to?”
You say, “This must be the slow class. Look, brainiac, work with me here: I need directions to that one good dungeon near here.”

None of them answered me! Can you believe that? Sheesh. No wonder we have a smaller population than Everquest: everyone is SO rude!

But anyway, while I’m sitting there trying to think of a threat that would work against them (too bad I wasn’t on DT, or I’d have the PERFECT threat: “Either tell me what I want to know or I’ll catch every one of your fireballs!”), someone announces that Sawato is under attack by Gaerlan’s elementals! Well, I’ve certainly never been one to shirk my duties (unless it’s the litter box duty)! I charge to defend the city!

Of course, it probably would have helped if I looked at a map first. For some reason, I had it in my mind that Sawato was one of the desert towns. Honestly, people need to start naming their towns better. Never mind this “Rithwic” business – it should be named like “That Town That Straddles The One River And Has That Bridge In It But Don’t Get It Confused With Holtburg Because That Bridge Is Broken”. Hrm. On second though, we couldn’t call Holtburg Holtburg, it’d have to be like “That Town On The Corner Of Three Rivers, Or Maybe It’s Two Rivers That Come Together, Anyway, You Get My Meaning, There’s Like Three Rivers There And This Town’s On The One Corner”…

Death says, “Ahem.”

Oh, right. Anyway, I set off, trusting in my keen sense of direction and portal locations.

Which is why, about ten minutes later, I’m standing in Al-Arqas, trying to figure out who the hell replaced Sawato with Al-Arqas. Sigh.

Well, at least now I’m due West of Sawato. Never mind mucking about with these portals! My run is over 100! A quick run and I’ll be there.

Death says, “Hi there!”
Death says, “Whoops, me again!”
Death says, “Tired yet?”

Hrmph. The one time I figure out how to get past those stupid skeletons, I get stuck trying to find a way up this damn mountain range someone has seen fit to place in my path. Gah! The very land conspires against me! It was obvious that Gaerlan had planned all this – why else chose a city that was blocked from my assault by mountains?

Of course, in the process of doing this, I learned a really, really interesting fact: if you are at the bottom of a mountain, trying to find a way up, it is entirely possible that a Monogua on top of the mountain will notice you and attempt to come down and meet you. By jumping.

And landing on your head.

Which will kill you.

Honestly, like I don’t have enough problems in my life, now I’ve got to watch out for airborne Monoguas? What is this, the crack Monogua commando squad? Are they set up on mountain tops all across Dereth, waiting for someone to step underneath them so they can play trampoline with their heads? Yeah, sure, tell me it’s a one in a million chance – but I’ll tell you, that Monogua had the image of about five people squished flat stamped onto his side. Well, make that six, now.

Anyway, once again I’m off on my little navigating run. This time, by some miracle of science, I’ve managed to get a portal to Samsur. I decide that this portal business is too dangerous to trust to mortal men like me, and set off on the road in what I think is the correct direction.

About an hour later, I straggle into Yanshi. I’m halfway there.

The run from Yanshi to Sawato only takes me 30 minutes – it seems that the elementals have been keeping Death busy, so I managed to actually sneak by the pack of reedsharks that had been tormenting me outside of Yanshi (yeah, you can try and tell me that it was a different pack, but I’m telling you I recognized the blood they had smeared on their pointy little beaks, mmkay?).

I come hustling into town, and lo and behold – the Elementals were gone. Every last one of them! Just like that! They must’ve heard I was coming and beat feet right out of there!

Phew. It was tough work – I know a lot of you were worried that you wouldn’t be able to get into that town ever again! But now you can rest assured, I have made my presence known (“Banderling Captain smites Kwip so hard the Lifestone flinches” – that message got broadcast at the Sawato lifestone about a billion times, so it should be pretty clear where I am). Those nasty elementals won’t even THINK of attacking that town again!

Granted, now there’s some people telling me that Yanshi needs defending. Hrmph – folks, look, I just came from there! Hello? I was SEEN in that town! Do you honestly think anyone’d have the guts to attack a town that I’m like a half hour (er…ok, maybe an hour, depends on traffic) away from? No way. Boo-yah, I gots Gaerlan all in check!