A Real-Life Gnomish Profession for Me?

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You know that big change I was talking about? Read on…

Six years ago, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life. I decided to walk away from a field and specialisation I received my Master’s degree in to pursue playing piano full-time. Far from being something out of a movie, it was really just me deciding to do what I loved full-time and accepting the risks and consequences it came with. Back then, I had no idea where the path would take me career-wise, but I was determined to find out.

The journey so far has been filled with Bach, Beethoven, Brahms with a good dose of music history, performances, recordings and even artistic injuries. The question on my mind lately is where I want to go with it.

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Over the last two years I’ve been somewhat obsessed with the rather geeky subject of tuning and historical temperaments. It’s really cool and interesting and the more I learn about it, the deeper I want to dig. At some point being able to tune my own piano sounds particularly cool. I could dabble in these historical temperaments, not be stuck with out of tune pianos whenever I visit India, and possibly have a “proper” I-can-pay-the-mortgage-by-myself type career with it. And, it does seem kinda gnomish doesn’t it?? The pianistic version of an arclight spanner is my hands! So, is piano tuning for me?

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It’s a tough question for me to answer. Considering my colossal misjudgment of my Master’s degree, I’m being cautious about approaching this one. I’m applying to one of the best schools in the country for this (because there are a lot of scam ones around and anyhow, if you want to do something, might as well go all the way and do it right the first time). It however comes with a decent price tag – $25k for the year long program. I have no doubt of the schools caliber of education and prestige it’s name has, but 25k is 25k.

There’s a bit of an internal conflict inside of me right now:

“You should totally go for it! It’s a great way to continue your interest in historical temperaments while making some money!”

“Wat. No, you’re only considering this because you’re really just running away from performing. And recording. Because you hate an audience.”

“That’s not true! I like historical temperaments and all!”

“So keep reading those books! I mean really, do you like them 25k much?”

“But I’m ready to get a career and make some proper money and be independent.”

“But but it’s so far away! And I JUST got settled here!”

“You gotta take a risk if you want a reward! Don’t be a gnub!”

“Who’re you callin’ a gnub?? You’re the gnub! I’m the smart one!”

“No you’re the gnub!”

“No u!”

“No U!”

After a few hours of internal back and forth, we end up here…

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I’m such a stressed out gnome. Partly because making decisions is hard. And also because this one’s such a big one!!

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Mechanostrider Garage – RL Edition

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After getting my driver’s license late last year, I’ve been wondering about what would be the perfect gnome mobile for this gnome. I found the one that has captured my gnomish heart in all it’s glory: The Fiat 500 Abarth.

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It’s a car that’s just my size. But this decision didn’t come easily to me as I was overwhelmed with reviews of “better cars with more practicality”, “reliability issues”, or “get an SUV” instead.

Let me explain something about myself. I have lived in a city my entire life. An american sedan to me is a seriously big car. I nickname SUVs and Minivans tanks. They are huge. And frankly, at some point, they all look the same to me.

For me, driving is a particularly fun endeavour. As a kid, my grandpa let me change the gears as he drove us to school. He popped the hood one day and showed me how engines work and how efficiency of gears change. I don’t know if I understood it all then to be honest (I must’ve been 10), but I thought it was fun as heck. (Incidentally, this was on an old Fiat!) And his love for driving kinda stuck with me.

I’ve to come to embrace what I like about cars and what I need my very first own car to have:

  • It needs to be fun to drive. And mind you, fun is in handling – not necessarily going over the speed limit. If you can have a blast driving your car without 450 HP, that’s the right car for you.
  • It needs personality: Any kind of call back to the vintage cars of the 1960s will bring a smile to my face. I like a car with history. And that’s something I found sorely lacking when I checked out Civics, Camrys, Accords etc. Also partly when my hubby and I bought our first family car, I convinced him to get a Mustang. 😀
  • I need to be comfortable driving it: The Fiat 500 is till date the only car where I’ve sat in it at the lot and felt like I could just drive off in it no problem. It’s small, the seat sits a little higher than the usual cars which is great for me. I swear I felt like I was drowning in the Mustang sometimes.

Haters gonna hate. It’s no different from the gnome jokes I’ve heard all these years when I play my favourite race. So it is with my car. I am going to embrace that despite living in a good ol’ ‘Murrica for a while, there’s a lot of preferences that are very much European inside of me.

PS: About the reliability issue, I called my mechanic Jim to ask him about what he’d seen at his garage. And he said, dont you worry – if you take care of your car, it’ll take care of you. The only issue he saw was when someone never bothered to do oil changes and killed their engine.

Thus begins my journey to get my very own Abarth – either new or used with very low miles (1k ish I’m thinking). I am SO excited!! Now the only decision left is whether to go manual or automatic!! VROOOOOOM!

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Humour, Fun and a Gnome

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priest-april1st

I know I haven’t really been writing much. But I think I am ready to. It took the last two years for life to feel like some kind of “normal” returned. And now that things feel normal, I feel like I can’t shut up about stuff again.

I feel like I’ve found my home with the gnomes of G4. It’s the first time I’ve felt like I was in a place where I belonged like nowhere else. With fellow awesome gnomes who have a great sense of humour and love for Gnomeregan. *high four*

My new normal is of course casual with a capital C. I will most probably write about a lot of lore, outfits, fashion, alts, outfits, transmog, did I mention outfits yet? There will some healing in there because I will at heart, always be a healer in heels. Maybe a healing guide here and there. But I’m quite sure my days of “serious” raiding are behind me – and I like this new life.

So here’s to writing about fun times in Warcraft (yes I’m still sticking around – having a guild who is family kinda does that to you!), posting about hilarious and laughing at life in true gnomish style! For Gnomeregan!

TL;DR: I’m baaaaaack!

 

 

 

 

Is there a game for me?

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My gaming life has been through a lot of change lately. Long gone are the days when I raided and kept up with how things changed with each patch in WoW. And in FFXIV, I am so far behind on the story that I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever see it while it is current.

My little pup somewhat sealed the deal on my limited game time. And I’m never going back – I am officially a dog mom. And I love spending my time with him. But I do occasionally miss the socialisation and stress relief my gaming hobby provided. Hey – socialisation isn’t just for dogs! 😛

Some days I only get to play 30 minutes a day. Some days I don’t get to play at all. And ofcourse, the more my pup grows up, the more things settle down and the more time I get for my own stuff. Currently, I am flip flopping between three games trying to find that perfect zen state. That’s somewhat the story of my life right now with the move and all. Yes, I know it’s been six months but hey, I apparently am an OCD musician who is resistant to change and takes a while to put down roots. But back to gaming for now.

The three games I swing between are WoW, FFXIV and Hearthstone. I tried Legion in WoW and loved it until a few months after I hit level 110. I began with my gnome mage and did World Quests and a bit of LFR but never managed to do much more. And frankly there didn’t seem to be much of a point to do a whole lot more of the same. World quests became redundant after a point since I never really plan on raiding, so I don’t need lots of gear. I predictably then moved onto leveling alts and enjoyed that for a while. But it wasn’t long before my initial excitement just fizzled out and once I couldn’t afford the token in gold anymore, I decided just to switch it up and try FFXIV. On the plus side, playing my gnomes was awesome.

FFXIV for me was the exact opposite – there was OODLES to do. There are so many classes and jobs and story arcs that I haven’t yet explored.  The music and art offer a welcome change. And so I began picking up where I left off. And here I am now, absolutely drowning in things to do. The problem is, everything takes a long time – which is great, I enjoy the challenge. But sometimes, with my limited gaming time, it feels like very little progress is being made. Heck, my pup has learned to do neat tricks like twirl, walk back, bop his nose on specific spots, shake, high five and lots more. And here I am STILL leveling my bloody White Mage and Summoner, and STILL working on trying to get my ilvl on my Black Mage high enough to do the next part of the main story quest line. On the bright side I love playing a Lalafell, and the trailer for Stormblood left in super fangirl mode with stars in my eyes.

Now we come to Hearthstone, an unlikely game for me to begin with since I’ve never been into competitive card games and deck building. But it offers small goals I can reach everyday like those daily quests. Then I make gold with those daily quests and buy solo adventures. That’s my play style and it was going great until they decided to get rid of buyable solo adventures with the new expansion. I really should’ve kept up with the news on it but I had no idea. So now, I’m close to buying the final wing of Karazhan (which is super fun fyi) but then what? The bright side is that the game offers me goals I can accomplish in an evening – but sadly not much more without adventures to buy.

That brings to me to the question of the hour – is there a game out there for me? Or is my dissatisfaction just another sign of moving-into-my-new-life growing pains? I just had to get it all off my chest. Because I remember the good times of logging on and having fun and looking forward to gaming. And I want those feelings back. The excitement and the enthusiasm with which I looked forward to and read about those games. I miss it. I know moving and change happens but there are some things about my old life that I miss and want in my new life here.

 

A Woof in My Life

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The last few months have been difficult for me. Moving to a new place, family visits, tendinitis that pooped on my piano and gaming … it seemed as though I would never just get time or space to be myself anymore.

It was suffocating as my blogged kinda choked, and the house was mostly silent without music. Honestly, I could feel myself slipping and no amount of positive attitude or optimism was working. Until this little guy came along to light up my life. My new puppy, Nobu (meaning trust in Japanese) is here to keep me on my toes.

My life now revolves around his poop schedule but the love and sweetness he brings makes it all worth it. Much of my blog, as you can tell, will be dominated by puppy cuteness for a little while. I only have time to sneak in gaming when he’s napping – or piano in bursts of a few minutes at a time. This is good because my hands need to heal! It’s amazing though that Nobu manages to make me do just that in an entirely positive way.

Enjoy the pictures and hopefully I’ll have a gaming post coming up soon too!

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When Shit Hits the Fan

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At the beginning of this year, Life threw me a curve-ball…no, a meteor. I received news that my father unexpectedly passed away. No warning, no good reason (he was in good health), just you know… that’s it. I flew home in a daze on an 18 hour flight, and within hours of landing was attending his funeral and performing the last rites.

When I finally returned home after being with my mother and family for a while, well it’s been a struggle. I came home feeling like I was walking into someone else’s life. Life has been turned upside down for me and the new “normal” doesn’t feel very normal as yet. Things are different – I still wake up at nights with images and memories and that’s probably going to take a while before it goes away. And it’s having its effect on my piano playing too.

Interestingly, I can’t play any of my old repertoire anymore. My brain just says NOPE. I can’t memorise new pieces either – yet another NO from my brain. So it’s a craptastic issue really for me. I hope my ability to play comes back soon because frankly, if I’m a pianist and can’t play I’m going to need to consider another profession. But I’m sure it’ll come back sooner or later. Preferably sooner.

Despite the choas that I’m having to deal with, certain parts of my life are coming back to make me feel more myself. I picked up an old piece from three years ago that I began but never finished …. so atleast I’m being able to play something. I took apart my old computer and rebuilt a new one, and finally logged into a game. I ran around on my gnome and lalafell a bit. I opened up twitter and sent my first tweet and who knows how long now. And here I am, blogging for the first in the last few months.

I’m currently spending more in Final Fantasy XIV than WoW at the moment, but I haven’t forgotten about my gnomish allegiance. I’m still looking forward to gnome hunters even though nothing in WoW is really making me want to play at the moment. And meanwhile in Final Fantasy XIV, I’m catching up with story time and everything else that I’ve missed doing this whole time.

For a while when I got back, I wasn’t sure if I would be playing or blogging again. A part of me  looked at everything before it all went to hell and felt like just walking away from everything I used to do. But, it’s nice for me to know that ultimately I returned to doing something I love and enjoy… even if it takes time.

Gaming and blogging are a part of who I am and I’m glad. I am the eccentric pianist, the reluctant cook, the overly-analytical-and-often-feisty blogger, the eternal tinkering magic-loving gnome, the shiny-loving lalafell who enjoys blowing things up. It’s a wonderful life.

(Cross-posted on my FFXIV blog: http://lenalilei.wordpress.com)