May 27, 2012 by Amanda Zahn
If you follow my Facebook or Twitter updates, you saw me bid goodbye to my first Hardcore character in Diablo 3. The Monk is easy for me to play because it mirrors a shaman from World of Warcraft. I was rocking the Hardcore gameplay too! Level 51 found me in Act III on Nightmare and playing just as cautiously as I was at level 1. Unfortunately, I stumbled across a pack of three elite mobs who, at their base level, hit a little harder than some. Add in a few modifications to make them elite – and make the loot really awesome – and I was struggling. The end came when I got backed into a corner with no spirit, no knockback, no heals, and nowhere to go.
Death by double-mace-to-the-face was the end of Dragonheart, level 51 Hardcore Monk.
My life for the past week has been a healthy dose of cranky and determined. The job hunt is just as frustrating as I knew it would be. Maybe I have set my sights too high, or maybe I am confusing “settling” with “stepping stone”, but knowing what I want is a great thing for me. My military background offers any potential employer a laundry list of skills both technical and non-technical. My personality offers traits that do not come naturally to everyone. Okay, so confidence might be interchangeable with vanity, but I have always thought very highly of myself. I do not struggle with humility either.
I made a joke the other day that might have stung with an iota of truth. I told my mom that if I had known my 3.9 GPA, perfect attendance, Salutatorian, or Advanced Achiever awards would not help me find a job – or contribute to helping me find a job – I would have toned down the stress level a little while I was in college. That is a lie, I know it. I can say I would have slacked off, but my need for perfection in my projects or tasks drives me more than the lure of a day off or missed assignment. The 5-year-old in me just needed to complain a little, but I am wholly proud of my accomplishments and the visible displays of my dedication and focus – even if potential employers have not yet made it to that part of my resume.
Matt, my mom, Eric, and I attended a pottery class today. It was a local Groupon here in Albuquerque and it was one that my mom and Eric had bought before. I took a ceramics class in high school and I was surprised at how easily it all came back to me. We each made a bowl and a cup and I walked out of the shop without a dirty spot on me. My mom walked out with more clay on her jeans and shoes than she used in her pieces, I am sure. It felt great to have clay in my hands again. I was mediocre, at best, when I was in high school. I was meticulous – okay, that has not changed – in my sculpting, but my creativity often needed a little push.
I am glad I knew then that being a professional sculptor or potter was not in the cards for me.
Oh, I cannot draw either.
Mom, Eric, Matt, and I are still competing in the Weight Loss Challenge at a local Herbalife club. The weigh-in on Monday went well enough, although I know my stepdad was a little disheartened. My mom was sure she would put on weight – having to pay $1 per pound as a result – and my stepdad had come to the meeting mentally and emotionally prepared to uplift my mom. When she lost a pound, but he gained one, we could all see the disappointment in his face.
What he might not know, however, is that there is a little bit less of his face to see disappointment on.
Weight is a funny thing. Some people shed weight quickly. Some shed slowly, or gain, but lose size. When I started my journey at 200 pounds, I lost weight steadily, but my size was where the loss was the most noticeable. My face tightened, my waist shrank, and my butt finally fit into a decent pair of jeans. Eric is losing like I did. The weight will be slow, but the size will be drastic. My mom is a happy smattering of both: her weight has dropped, but so has her jean size. It is hard to speculate with Matt, but I imagine he will be like Eric and me. His weight is hardly changing, but he is tightening all around.
<Insert dirty, soon-to-be-married joke here>
June is coming and I am excited about many things. My birthday is on the 9th, Janessa and Kristle’s vow renewals are a week later, and a few days after that will find me again in Las Vegas, Nevada. This trip is a gathering of my Army brothers and sisters. We are in desperate need of renewing our friendships and filling each other in on the happenings since we last saw each other. Some of these guys I have not seen in three or four years. For all of them, save Jaki, it will be their first time meeting Matt. I am hoping I can get Ashley there. She needs the trip almost as much as we need to see her.
Before I go, I wish to reiterate my disdain for certain, grammatical errors. I make mistakes when I type; I know I do. My big trouble area is punctuation. It always has been, but some of the rules can be a little convoluted. I also welcome people poking me to fix these errors too. This is how I will learn. Mistakes between your/you’re, there/their/they’re, and to/too/two are unacceptable. There are no loopholes with any of them and just seeing someone use the wrong one chafes me. It hurts me.
Again: please correct my grammatical mistakes. I welcome the lesson.
Happy reading, ladies and gentlemen.