I was determined to get these back on track with these and had most of October’s written before falling ill in November. That combined with my latest 30 day challenge meant that it was easier and necessary to push this update back a month. Read on to find out more about how I was Geeking by in October and November 2020 🙂
Trigger warning for baby loss and difficult births in the ‘Feeling’ section until the rainbow photo.
Every year when my birthday comes around I forget how much emotional baggage comes with it. I’m a rainbow baby. I think I’ve mentioned that before. I wouldn’t be here writing this if my big brother hadn’t died a few years before me. My mum has a weak cervix, and basically whoever had been born first was probably not going to survive. The odds were stacked against them because back in the 1980s medical science wasn’t what it was now. So he was born stillborn, and the doctors realised why.
They literally had to stitch me in, and even then I was 20 days early, just one day shy of being “officially” premature. I was the only baby being born on that day so my poor mum, who as you can imagine was already frantic, had every doctor and medical student watching. She thought something was wrong. Something almost was; my dad tells me this story about how I was struggling to breathe and everyone was just standing there doing nothing. A big bossy nurse came in, yelled at everyone that if they didn’t do something “we are going to lose this baby!”.
My parents never hid from me that I had a brother. It was never a big secret and I’m incredibly grateful for that even if I feel an ache in my breast every time his birthday and mine come around. A therapist asked me whether I still consider myself an only child, and I do, but I also still had a brother even if I never met him. I’ve read bloggers talking about their losses and not wanting to tell their kids about the sibling they’ll never know, and that’s why I’m emphasising that the guilt isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I guess it’s not so much guilt as it is grief; survivor’s grief.
That’s not the only feeling of grief that comes along at this time of year. I’m reminded of the people who are no longer with me. My close family was never really big, to begin with, and as Chris is an only child as well it didn’t grow much bigger. Throw in family drama, petty people and the number of people who remember I exist dwindles with every passing year.
All this was swirling around in my head when I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me. I had my October planned out; my 30 Day World of Warcraft challenge was going to happen and Shadowlands was launching. Then Blizzard pulled the date. At the same time my desktop planner ran out and I had fun and games finding a replacement. For a while there in October I just felt a bit lost, and it took me a while to get back on my feet.
Physically October was pretty much the same as normal. No major flare-ups, just the normal ones, and I’m keeping an eye on my hypermobility ones. I got my flu vaccine at the end of the month which was a momentary panic the night before when I realised it was at a local community centre rather than my usual GP and staff who knew me. I was worried about strangers asking me the usual ‘how are you feeling today’ question, looking at me and deciding I looked too ill to have the vaccine. But I needn’t have worried; they were (naturally) more concerned with getting people in and out safely.
November was hard. I was going to refrain from saying anything here at all, but the entire point of these monthly posts is to give myself a place to talk about things happening in my life, not shy away from them. At the start of November, something happened which I’m not comfortable talking about yet. I’d like to say I was able to pick myself up, dust myself up and move on, however, things aren’t always that easy. It’s going to be a long process and I’m fortunate to have family and friends supporting me as I work through it.
So November ended up being a mental and physical mess. I’ve had migraines all month which I’ve now come to the conclusion have been triggered by a sinus infection lurking in the background. The fact that I actually have a tag for sinus infections should tell you something about my familiarity with them 😛 The reason why it takes me so long to recognise I have one is that I suffer from sinus migraines. I was reading this really useful article the other day which goes into more detail. To sum it up I get sinus pain along with my migraines. For years and years, I thought I had problems with my sinuses rather than my migraines until someone said to me about it being my migraines. I happened to switch doctors at the time, by pure coincidence, and my new doctor was like ‘yep, that’s most likely the case’ and we started tackling the issue as migraines instead of sinus related.
Back to the topic at hand, it means my migraines finally got sorted, but when I do get a sinus infection the symptoms get all mashed together. Throw in the fact that I have rhinitis and sometimes my sinuses do wonky stuff and then it blows over anyway, I have to give it a week or two to see what is happening. By that point it’s usually been 3-4 weeks since the initial symptoms set in… so bang on schedule as usual! I’m pretty sure it was the bonfires at Guy Fawkes night (or week as it actually was) that did it. One night I opened our bedroom window (a whole centimetre) at 2 am and woke at 7 am to find that someone had lit another bonfire during that period. Our bedroom reeked and my head was swimming.
Due to the prementioned flustered feeling, it felt like I really didn’t get a whole lot posted in October and I was surprised when I made this list how much I actually did achieve.
- ‘Chronic Illness Life: I’m spending my birthday in lockdown, just as I do every year’ was an important post that had been brewing since the start of the pandemic and I finally found the right words to give my feelings form.
- Book Review: 4 Horror Anthologies to get you in the mood for Halloween! – I’ve slowly been working through my review backlog and decided to make it a themed post for Halloween. Although Halloween’s passed these anthologies are great reading all year round so if urban fantasy and horror is your thing take a look 🙂
- Join me for a World of Warcraft Challenge in the lead up to Shadowlands! – My announcement for my 30 Day World of Warcraft Challenge.
- The 16 Spookiest Places in World of Warcraft! – I’ve been planning this post for over a year now and had to postpone it last year due to unforeseen RL events. Instead, I’d intended for it to be the final day of my World of Warcraft challenge, and when that got rescheduled it went ahead as a stand-alone post. I had great fun with this one and it gave me some wonderful ideas for other WoW themed posts for other times of the year!
As usual, there were Seriously Geeky Sundays posts throughout both months and you can catch up with those posts on the SGS page.
It was all about prepping for Shadowlands in our house for October and most of November and as soon as the pre-patch came in we started levelling up our allied race alts. We’d purposely waited until the new levelling system came in to do so.
I’ll need to update and probably overhaul my character list with all the new additions, but I’m going to wait until Shadowlands is in and I actually know what Covenants everyone is going to be in. Right now they’re still all over the place so we’re still not 100% sure who is going where. I do at least have enough alts to have 4 classes per material (cloth, leather, mail and plate) for each Covenant so I will be able to get every single transmog set eventually.
Anyway, introducing on the Alliance side;
- Xyliana, Death Knight Mechagnome
- Eleasea, Kul Tiran Druid
- Jacyntha, Dark Iron Dwarf Warlock
- Duskkaelie, Void Elf Mage
On the Horde side;
- Orchidia, Nightborne Warlock
- Harleith, Vulperia Shaman
- Gwyneirah, Highmountain Tauren
I still need to decide on names for my other two allied races and create them for the Horde. We’re finishing off the Alliance (we’re on the last one) and then we’re off to do the Horde ones. And yep, there is a lot of overlap with classes. I have one of every class and I know which classes I enjoy playing. I really don’t see the point in making more alts of classes I don’t enjoy especially as allied races each need to be levelled to 50 to access their heritage armour.
One of the first things we did when the pre-patch hit was to try out the new tutorial. Until now WoW didn’t actually have a proper tutorial for new players, and Exile’s Reach is really good. A lot of you come to me and say ‘I’ve always wanted to try WoW but it’s really intimidating’ and I don’t blame you; it is. I play a lot of MMORPGs and the ones I’ve found off-putting are the ones who aren’t new player-friendly.
What’s really important for a game as old as WoW is that the tutorial helps to fully immerse new players into the world, and I think they’ve managed to do that with Exile’s Reach. It is its own mini-zone and storyline which gives new players a chance to see how their characters fit into the wider scope of things. The actual tutorial part which says do this, then do that, was a little annoying as an existing player because naturally, we were already several steps ahead of it, but from a new player perspective, I can see it being really useful.
The plot itself was really engaging and I loved the characters. Captain Garrick is a badass momma bear and a strong female character. I hope we get to see her and her son again in the game!
And finally; Shadowlands glow-ups! [s]I’m not going to say much about these because there might be an entire post about them at the end of my World of Warcraft challenge.[/s] As this has ended up posted after the end of my challenge it means I can now talk about them and I did in great detail! Read all about them in the full Shadowlands glow-up post over here. But what I did want to say here was… I FINALLY GOT MY FIRE KITTY FORM!!!
I’ve been farming the toy to get it for ages on my druid and it refuses to drop. However, I’ve had the staff for ages and thanks to the new changes I can pick my druid shapeshifter appearances (except Moonkin because Blizzard still hasn’t done anything about that…). So I finally got to be a fire kitty 🙂
The problem is… everyone has finally got to be a fire kitty. /facepalm There are so many fire kitties running around that the next time I’m near a barber (where you change your appearances) I’m going to switch to my owlkitty form instead. It was a really hard choice between the two and I only picked fire kitty due to my frustration with the toy not dropping.
I’ve been taking it slow in Shadowlands, enjoying the experience and doing things my way. I’m not going to go into too much detail because I intend to do a write up about my thoughts in the new year. I levelled my main, my druid Aleassa, pretty quickly even though I was taking it easy. I’ve now started on my mage and I’ll be honest, I’m buggering around levelling her. I’m doing it now and again without rushing.
I added a few new shows to my regular watching in October 2020. These were Take Two, a show about a private detective who ends up stuck with a washed-up actress as a partner and the FBI spin-off FBI: Most Wanted. Take Two is really great but sadly only has one season. I’ve started avoiding one season shows due to the constant disappointment (and frustration) when I get to the end of the season only to find out some useless corporate person in the US chose to axe it before it even got to air over here in the UK. But I’m loving this show so much I’m going to keep going with it.
In comparison, FBI: Most Wanted had a backdoor pilot in the main show and I really love the characters and cast (Julian Macmahon and Kellan Lutz). The show took a while to get going but after about 5-6 episodes it took off and showed me the potential I saw in the backdoor pilot. The crossover episode with FBI was absolutely brilliant, such raw emotion and featured the issue of ICE and immigration camps in the US from a personal perspective of two of the main characters.
I knocked off a few more shows off my to watch before the end of the year list; the rest of the final season of Fringe which was sooo good and the last two episodes of Primeval: New World. The later just made me even more annoyed that it got cancelled after one season and made me miss the original UK version as well. I also caught up with some of my Arrowverse shows which was a bit of a mixed bag. Some of them handled the change in schedule a lot better than others and that really did just depend on how complex and drawn out their storylines were. The Flash’s one really didn’t work being cut, but they did the best they could with what they had. I just have Batwoman and Black Lightning left to go now.
My binge-watch of the month was Project Blue Book which was not what I expected, yet ended up being really enjoyable with a stellar cast. It was really fascinating as a Brit to learn all about everything that went on during that part of history.
I only watched two movies in October 2020 and one was a recommendation from Pinkie for Eddie the Eagle. It was a fantastic recommendation as I’m a big fan of both Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman, and I also grew up in the period Eddie was active. I was a kid when he was at the Olympics so it was a bit surreal as an adult watching a film about him. It’s a great movie and ok, I’ll be honest, it made me cry, but it is actually a feel-good movie.
The second movie was completely the opposite of what I expected it to be. I expected The Good Liar to be another feel-good movie with Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Ian McKellan swindling each other. Him as a con man and her as the not quite as innocent old woman she seemed to be. Well, I was right about her not being the innocent victim, but hell, it was so much darker than I anticipated. It was a brilliant movie with the two greats at their best, and the rest of the cast as incredible – but yeah, it’s a dark one with some trigger warnings. If you like interesting thrillers then you’ll love it.
I’ve read quite a lot over the last few months! I’m still determined to catch up with my plannedmini-reviews so again, this section is going to be a list. At least this time around I can report that I did get started on those with my review of some horror anthologies in time for Halloween, which included two of my October reads; After Sundown and Hex Life!
My Good Reads was a hive of activity as I caught up with all the DC comic series and Star Wars comic series I’ve been reading, and added those to my read book shelves (click the respective franchise to view the shelves). I read so many that I wait until the next collected volume becomes available rather than add individual issues, which means my ‘read’ count is slightly inaccurate at all times but it saves me a lot of time and energy.
In October I read:
- The Forever Ship (The Fire Sermon #3) by Francesca Haig
- Amazon Ink (Amazon #1) by Lori Devoti
- Amazon Queen (Amazon #2) by Lori Devoti
November was a reading catch up month for me. I caught up with several Shadowhunter Chronicle books by Cassandra Clare:
- Queen of Air & Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare
- The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare
- The Lost Book of the White (The Eldest Curses #2) by Cassandra Clare
- Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare
I then caught up with several World of Warcraft short stories from pre-Battle of Azeroth and pre-Shadowlands timeline that are available for free on the World of Warcraft website. I then read the pre-expansion novel Shadows Rising before Shadowlands was released.
Normally I find something to write about here, but I actually can’t think about anything other than blogging and working on my 30 Day World of Warcraft challenge. It was a pretty quiet (and boring!) few months!
Thanks for checking in with me to see what I’ve been up with for the past few months! I’ll see you in the new year for December’s update 🙂
How was your October and November 2020?
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