Thursday, August 7, 2008

"It was a dark and stormy night..."

"That's not a promising beginning."
"It may get better."
*

I can't remember if it was an Easter gift or a birthday gift, but I do know that when I was eight years old my parents got me a journal. It was white with balloons on the front and it came with a little cheapy lock and key, and it was all for me to write my thoughts in.

I'm not sure where that journal went, it's probably stashed away somewhere, but it was the first in a series of blank books which I filled with my thoughts. Off and on I have been journaling since then, sometimes going months without writing anything, other times faithfully writing several times a week for a year or more. In those books I have countless records of the time I spent with my friends, books I'd read, movies I'd seen, and what I'd done lately in school. I carefully recorded my fears, too, when I would have to move to a new school or give a speech in front of class.

But another thing has always been there too, in all those hundreds of journal entries. I wrote about video games.

I wrote about the new ones we got. I wrote about how far I got that day in a new game. I wrote about what levels were "impossible". I wrote about characters I liked. I wrote about characters I hated. *cough*Navi*cough*. I would giggle at funny things that happened in game. And I triumphantly recorded the times I would do something like make a new track record in Uniracers (which I do believe I dedicated an entire entry to, once.)

...[I] found a new secret and return as the sure master of Uniracer track Hairpin Hill. The odds were against me as I chose to give Champion Uni Goldwyn a 3-second head start. But I ended up making records instead! First, a tie with both Uni (Goldwyn) and Someone (former record holder), then, three more races completely killed the time. So... the track record for Hairpin Hill is no longer 0:11:91 a lap, as it's been for a year now... but 0:11:88, made today.

- March 28, 1997

Pokemon devoured my soul in the late 90s (I've said it before and I'll say it again: this is a girl who skipped some of her high school classes... high school... to go watch "Pokemon: The First Movie" in the theater) and every day I would write in my journal and update my progress in the game. I gave each of my Pokemon a different personality and I became ever so attached to them, even writing from "their" point of view sometimes. I'll never forget the day the Game Boy batteries died mid-saving, which wiped my file. I cried, and wrote a heartfelt memorial entry for my beloved lost pixels in my journal. (*brief moment of silence for Aspen the Venusaur and company*) But, undeterred, I started a new file. Many new files after that. And kept writing.

Alright, I need an opinion: should I, or should I not restart my Zelda file! I mean, I'm getting really bored here. But anyway: Exactly eight days ago I bought... Pokemon Trading Card Game! And five days later... I beat it! Isn't that sad? I mean, Pokemon Red I beat in 17 days. Zelda... about 21. But really? Five days?

- June 28, 2000

At some point, about four or five years ago, I stumbled across Livejournal and started journaling my life online. The stresses and adventures of college and my jobs were the main focus by this point, but I still wrote about video games. This time, though, I was realizing I had more to say than I used to, and not all my friends who read my Livejournal even played many video games. Some did, though, of course, and appreciated my entries on them.

New Super Mario Bros. is amazing. It's new and innovative but it also feels so familiar. I know I'm going to have a blast playing it. And the mini-games are all so very unique... they have this one where you have to blow into a microphone to control Yoshi's flight (he's attached to balloons), but you have to be careful not to blow too hard too fast or he might run into a Shy-Guy. It's so different; I love it. I really think Nintendo is on to something with this kind of stuff, and if they can really channel this uniqueness into the Wii and "grow into it", so to speak... then, well, I think they've got a winner.

- January 1, 2007

Early last year I installed World of Warcraft and made a hunter named Tawyn. I sucked. I like to tell people of my first infamous instance run, the Deadmines where Tux was on aggressive, Immolation Trap was my "CC", and I rolled Need on everything. Very fitting for my 6/8/3 talent spec. Night Elf Huntard, thy name is Newbie-Pike. Fortunately, I acknowledged my horribleness, and resolved to fix it. That's when I hit up WoWWiki, devoured the hunter articles there, and from the Fansites section discovered The Hunter's Mark and BigRedKitty. I read both voraciously, "cover-to-cover" in fact, and read the comments as well. Heck, if you look hard enough you can find my very first step into this WoW blogging community, a comment I left on The Hunter's Mark, where a young Pike said something along the lines of "I am a level 26 hunter and I suck, thank you so much for your helpful videos and guides."

The months went by and I was beginning to have more thoughts on WoW and things I wanted to say about it, some of which I did share on LiveJournal, but I didn't want to clutter up my journal which stuff I figured few people over there would want to read. So off I went to Blogger. Where I could ramble about WoW and nobody would ever have to read it. Oh look, it's asking me for a name for my new blog... hmm... I like hunters... it should be huntery, but also personal... Aspect of the... Hare? Because the hare is my mascot animal?


...sounds good to me.

And so on August 7, 2007, one year ago today, I made my first blog post.

And for some reason, I kept writing. I was my only reader, but I wrote anyway. I didn't even link to any other blogs because I didn't want anyone to wonder who this silly little upstart newbie blog was and why I was linking to them. BRK and Lass, I figured, were so far out of my league that linking to them would be some form of desecration, so I simply refrained from doing it.

And yet somehow, Kestrel found me and left a comment, and linked to me.

And then somehow more people found me. And linked to me.

And I noticed that these people seemed to enjoy my writing for some strange reason... so I kept doing it.

...and to make a long story short, here we are today. As of the time of writing, my blog clocks in at 214 posts, 49,285 visits and 81,859 page views; with an average of 362 visits a day, and another 360+ subscribing to my feed. I have been Dugg and StumbledUpon and linked to on all manner of sites and forums. BRK and Lass, who I idolized with such bright young eyes when I was a baby hunter, have both added me to their blogroll (which still boggles the mind), as have many others. And in perhaps my favorite twist of things coming full circle... somebody added me to the very WoWWiki Fansites page that introduced me to the WoW blogging community in the first place.

Ya know what makes it all great though? The numbers and the inlinks are mind-blowing, but it's you guys that make Aspect of the Hare what it is. It's you guys that read and visit for whatever crazy reason you do. You guys that make it all worth it. Because for every time I get ribbed for liking hunters or for making a hunter blog, there are about a dozen comments or e-mails from you guys telling me that I've inspired you to install Linux, or re-ignited your long lost love for the hunter class, or taught you to play better, or that you've linked a new hunter to me. I have striven to make a site where us crazy-hunter-lovers can hang out and chat and commiserate without having to worry about the people who /point and /giggle and don't quite "get it". And I'd like to think I have succeeded at least on some small level. But I couldn't have done it without you guys.

Thank you.

Thank you from the girl who, after all these years, still finds herself yapping away about video games.

On to another year?



*Guess the Trek! Doooo it!

22 comments:

Verolia said...

You have done a great job inspiring new hunters, explaining the hard to understand, and being kind to everyone who has come to your site.

Thank you for blogging about people enjoy. Its not that your blog is informative, it's the style of writing that always has me coming back for more.

Great Job, Pike! Keep at it!

Megan said...

Grats on 1 year of blogging!

Cynra said...

There is no shame in writing about Pokemon! I used to babysit a kid who used to fall asleep after I told him stories about the young girl named Mariska Jones and her pet Charmander in the world of Pokemon. Hell, I've always wanted to write them all down because they were that awesome.

Congratulations on a full year of writering. That's exceedingly awesome. And here's hoping for more more more in the future!

Brandon Tilley said...

Congratulations! We're all very happy that you're here, and I wish you the best of luck in the future.

*This would be Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Counselor Deanna Troi after Picard reads "It was a dark and stormy night" from Hotel Royale.

Pike said...

*bestows medal upon Sir Brandon Tilley*

Josh said...

Hey! LISTEN!

Happy blogoday Pike :)

... god I hated Navi...

Brajana said...

You've done a great job, and I hold you up there with BRK and Lass for bloggers who have inspired me to start a blog of my own!

Although I've never had a journal that I talked about video games in, I've been writing on websites ad running websites dedicated to video games since I was about 12.

Keep up the great work, Pike! I'll always be here reading along :)

Boozsha said...

Congo Rats on the B-Day for Aspect of the Hare. I hope to see many more post. I've always found your post very interesting to read. Everything posted is either informative or entertaining. Sometimes both.

Andy C. said...

Congratulations on a year of WoW blogging. I enjoy your posts, whether they're informative or just going over stuff that you're doing in the game. Here's to at least another year.

Kantaro said...

Congrats on your blog-o-versary!

I love reading your blog in particular becuase of the awesome way it is written. I never walk away feeling stupid because I didn't know something, but rather excited to try out some new trick. I read your blog "cover to cover" as soon as I found it. Heres to hoping for many more huntering posts to come.

MW said...

Yay for one year! Thanks for being one of the bloggers who inspired me to give my now-favorite class one more try. Hope to see you blogging for at least another year.

Jagerbombz said...

Happy Blogday Pike!

The Hn'H Staff!

Capn John said...

Navi wouldn't have been so bad if she hadn't been so bloody rude.

"Listen! Press A while standing next to a door to open it! Pay attention to the Action Icon!"

It was ok for her to interrupt you, but you couldn't interrupt her, or even cut her spiel short; you had to slowly scroll through her messages every single time.

I rented Uniracers from Blockbuster but couldn't get into it enough to actually buy it. I seem to recall it being a unique racing game though, and very frustrating :P

Rilgon Arcsinh said...

If I embed a wave file of Navi yelling "HEY! LISTEN!" in my next blog post, would you hate me? <3

Congratulations on your one-year anniversary of blogging, and may you have many more fun stories to tell us all.

Jezrael said...

<3 love your work :)

Angry Raider said...

I've been playing hunters longer than you have, and I know them inside and out. I know all the theorycrafting, all the number crunching, and how to min/max them.

But you know what? None of that matters because I never had as much fun playing a hunter until I found your blog. That's what made me decide to roll a Survival hunter and give him a backstory, make him more than just DPS with all the same gear as everyone else.

Your writing is why I look forward to your posts. The fact that you have a lot to offer is just icing on the cake for me. :)

Angry Raider said...

Wow, my previous comment sounded condescending. That wasn't my intent. Gotta love the interwebz.

doofythepaladin said...

Yay Pike! Even on my time away from WoW, you're still my favorite hunter.

A lot of stuff here should be required reading, there would be fewer huntards around.

Doofy (now back from hiatus)

Kestrel (yeah, THAT Kestrel) ;) said...

Congratulations on a great first year, and best wishes for the next year to be even better than the first!

And I'm just vain enough that I'm going to continue to take undue credit for "discovering" you! ;)

(TBH, if it hadn't been me, it would have been someone else--after all, good bloggers don't stay hidden.)

Desdarii said...

Congratulations!

Zupa said...

Grats, respect and much love.

Promise to keep writing?

Faeldray said...

Hooray for Pike! Keep going at it, because we all <3 you!

...That's about as mushy as I get. :D