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So, here we are approaching the end of 2011, and with it, the end of another Christmas Event.
This year's Event, "The Carol of Old Pete", failed to capture my imagination in the same way that last year's "Save Santa" did.
Who can ever really say why one thing resonates with a person, while another rings hollow, but I found Save Santa to be extremely engaging, and was inspired to do daily poems in concert with the Event activities, but, try as I might, inspiration proved elusive when it came to Old Pete.
That's not to say that my muse simply ignored me this Christmas. Quite the reverse actually.
As is often the case, inspiration came from an unexpected source, and though she did provide me with a seasonal base for my poetry, the subject matter was anything but.
This Christmas, rather than being about jolly old elves, and reindeer, and visions of sugar plums, came fraught with nightmarish phantasms and monsters a plenty, as the Dead Man's Shadow cast it's eerie pall over the whole of Gaia.
Christmas 2011 was truly "a December to Dismember", and where I would have expected myself to be taking part in the Event Forum, and crafting silly little seasonal ditties, I instead found myself in DMS obsessively leveling up, searching for Crews and hoping to meet Kamila.
Still, as I mentioned, DMS did indeed provide ample inspiration for some silliness amidst the constant zOMG!ing, and even though I spent an astonishing amount of time fighting Kam's minions (I saw 4:30 in the morning on Christmas night!), I nevertheless found the occasional free minute or two to embarrass myself in the z!F, as well as complete the Event.
So with all of my Freebies collected, and my Recipes in hand, I'd have to say that 2011's Christmas Event was a success.
The only real disappointment was that zOMG! was once again passed over for Christmas.
Yesterday was my 2 year gaiaversary, which means I arrived in Barton Town on January 30th, 2009, well after the peak of zOMG!'s last Christmas.
I had no real idea of what was going on, but I remember being enthralled by the Barton Christmas Tree, and amazed by the number of Gaians gathered around it.
At that time, Buffs still affected everybody within range, so being totally new, I would go to Barton regularly, and take advantage of all the free Buffs that flew as freely around the tree as the Flying Gift Boxes.
It was truly magical, and remains one of my favourite Gaian memories.
Still, the time spent in zOMG! was productive, and my Epic Christmas Night run, saw me finally meet Kam and start on the path to Attunement, and last night saw me finally reach cl12, so with any luck, the next time Kam and I meet, I'll be able to offer her a suitable greeting. wink

2011 Silliness

Slay Ride
(Sung to the tune of "Sleigh Ride" )

Vampires are stalking, prowling, and Werewolves are howling, “Owooooo”.
The Dead Man’s Shadow is open, and everyone’s hopin to Crew.
Our Rings and Buffs have been assigned, and we’ve brought some Tape to bind too.
We’re setting out to clear the maze, let’s hope that we don’t get dazed.

Pick it up! Pick it up! Pick it up! Let’s Go!
You’re movin too slow!
Those vampires can regenerate you know!
Pick it up! Pick it up! Pick it up! There’s more!
Behind the next door.
We finally know what all of those Powerups are for!

Our Crew is really gellin, our confidence swellin. Wahoo!
And though we’re breathing kinda hard, we’re still pretty much unscarred. Phew!
The monsters tried to mob us, but they couldn’t stop us. We’re through!
While we’ve been DMS’n, we’ve learned us a lesson or two!

Then we run into a Night Fright in the seventh room.
We’d best keep our stuff together or it’s certain doom.
If we all run around like chickens whose heads have been neatly chopped,
We’ll undoubtedly find our journey has been stopped.
Stopped! Stopped! Stopped!
But if we can work together and all keep our cool,
We can make the Night Fright and the Big Dog look like fools.
When those measely Mini Bosses are both well and truly dead,
We’ll continue our questing ‘til our fingers go numb and our eyes turn red.
We’ll continue our questing ‘til our fingers go numb and our eyes turn red.

The Green Room mazes lie ahead, but we’ve no sense of dread. (Fools!)
Those Blood Bats might be cuties, but they’ll kick your booty’s, it’s true.
And maybe cl 11, 5, won’t keep our Crew alive. Poo!
But there’s no time for chillin, we‘ve still got us some killin to do!

Pick it up! Pick it up! Pick it up! Let’s Go!
You’re movin too slow!
Those vampires can regenerate you know!
Pick it up! Pick it up! Pick it up! There’s more!
Behind the next door.
We finally know what all of those Powerups are for!
We finally know what all of those Powerups are for!

But for the final thrilla, we’ve still got Kamila to see
I’ve heard she’s red and curvy, that sounds kinda pervy to me.
So Buff r4 and use your Amps, we’re goin in like Champs true.
And just in case you’re guessin, I’ve enjoyed DMS’n with you!
In case you’re guessin, I’ve enjoyed DMS’n with you!

Newbie, It's Bad Inside
(Sung to "Baby It's Cold Outside" )
This one took Second Place in FlameinExile's Modmas Carol Contest! smile

I’d like to go in (Newbie, it’s bad inside)
I think I can win (But Newbie it’s bad inside)
I’ve heard DMS (Why don’t you stick to SS?)
Is very nice! (Rank up some more, take my advice)
I’ve already beat the End Boss (There’s far worse in there that you’ll cross)
At least I got as far as the Head (Trust me you’ll be instantly dead)
Just think of all the time that I’ve lost (Do you know how much Powerups cost?)
While I’ve been on the Shallow Sea’s floor? (You don’t know what’s behind that door!)

I bought my Bloodstone (Newbie it's death in there)
I can’t go alone (You’ll run out of breath in there)
Won’t somebody add (There’s no safety to be had)
Me to their Crew? (There’s lots of other things to do)
I’m almost a cl10 now (You’d be better off in Zen now)
My TC is 2005 (You won’t get through the first room alive)
I’d like to go in (Can’t you wait a tad?)
Newbie it’s bad inside!

You’re just being mean (But Newbie you’ll die in there)
Add me to your team (You’d never survive in there)
Why must you be an (You really must plan)
Elitist pain? (You’re wearing Fleet Feet and Fire Rain!)
I promise to not BRB (It’s all for the best, believe me)
Unless of course my BFF calls (Rank up a bit, then give me a call)
I’d like to go in. (There’s no cause to get mad)
Newbie it’s bad inside!

Walking Around the Zen Wish Tree
(Rocking Around the Christmas Tree)

Walking around the Zen Wish Tree
Tryin to finish Quests in zOMG!
Small paper notes hollering at me
How I wish that they would stop!

Some said I'm tasty and it's true
But just not the way they mean.
Others requesting that I do
Some extensive travelling.

Giant turning leaves and dried up rivers they have seen
Talk of the entire world ending
What's the message they are sending?

Walking around the Zen Wish Tree
Time to slowly back away
Back to collecting Gold and Rings
Nope I don't have time to stay

Still the things those weird notes said keep running through my head
Guess I’ll just keep one eye open,
Or forget them, I am hopin

Walking around the Zen Wish Tree
Feeling hairs on my neck curl
I'm just a cl 3.3
How can

I Am Bloodbat Pose for Christmas
(Sung to I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas)

I want an I Am Bloodbat Pose for Christmas
Only an I Am Bloodbat Pose will do!
I don’t want some wings, or yet another sword
I’ve got a lot of both of those, and frankly guys, I’m bored.

I want an I Am Bloodbat Pose for Christmas
I don’t think that it’s asking all that much
It’s not all that big, it’s tiny, that’s a plus.
It’s not as if I’m asking for a hippopotamus!

I can see it now, on Christmas morning
When I get logged in.
How thrilled I know I’ll be
When I see my Inventory has an I Am Bloodbat . For the Win!

I want an I Am Bloodbat Pose for Christmas
Only an I Am Bloodbat Pose will do!
No Kitty Cats, or funny rubber noses.
I only like, I Am Bloodbat Poses
Oh Santa won’t you bring me one (or two!)

(Short musical interlude)

Mom says a Bloodbat, would bite me on the neck
But Bloodbats are such cuties, that it’s worth it, what the heck!

(Short musical interlude)

They don’t take much space. I’ll keep him in my room.
I’m sure it would be O.K., cuz Mom says it’s like a tomb!

Oh what fun I’ll have with my Crewmates when doing DMS.
When we hit the Green Room maze,
How I’ll laugh when they get Dazed.
Because they tried to Tape me, not the rest!

I want an I Am Bloodbat Pose for Christmas
They only cost a billion gold or two
I’ve been good all year. Well mostly I suppose.
Surely I deserve a little I Am Bloodbat Pose.
Oh I Am Bloodbat Pose, how I love you!!!!

Christmas Cheer Collecting
(Sung to "Caroling, Caroling" wink

Carolling, Carolling, here we go,
Christmas Cheer collecting!
Carolling, Carolling, we don’t know
Quite what we’re expecting
But every Christmas Gaia’s Elves
Unfailingly outdo themselves.
So, Sing Song, Sing Song!
Christmas Cheer collecting!

Carolling, Carolling, all around
Christmas Cheer collecting!
Visiting every home in Towns
Not one home neglecting.
Down happy, snow-filled streets we roam
To spread our Cheer to every home
Sing Song, Sing Song!
Christmas Cheer collecting!

Carolling, Carolling, through the night
Christmas Cheer collecting!
Carolling, Carolling, spirits bright
Christmas joy, projecting.
Our voices raised in cheerful song
We bid you all to sing along!
So, Sing Song, Sing Song!
Christmas Cheer collecting!
So, Sing Song, Sing Song!
Christmas Cheer collecting!

The only other disappointment about the Event, and one entirely of my own creation, was the fact that my absence from the Event Forum meant that I was never able to meet up with Gaia`s artists who inevitably share their gifts with so many Gaians during those Events.
I was fully expecting to have nothing new to add to my Avvy Collection, but an unexpected gift from my favourite Chibi artist, meant made the Event complete.
I love you Nomi! heart
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And finally, while I've always enjoyed the social aspect of Gaia and zOMG!, I'm pretty much a "Solist" by nature, and generally only Crewed out of necessity, but the nature of DMS being what it is, has had a pretty big impact on that, and I've spent a lot more time playing, interacting with, and getting to know and like a lot of people here.
One person in particular has effected me in more ways than she could possibly guess, and made me appreciate the fragility of our comfortable lives more than I can say.
This is for you Rafi! heart

(With thanks to an Epic Crew, Rebe Chan, who's idea this was in the first place, and our amazing friend and Leader, Raficat)
(Hey, I'm 52 and about as whitebread as it's possible to be. Cut me some slack, can't ya? wink )

Perpetratin with my Crew in the Valley of Death
Deep in the Deadman’s Shadow, I was gasping for breath
Surrounded by Vampires, ankle deep in the gore
Ain’t afraid of no evil, cuz the outcome is sure.
I got Rebe on my left side, Raficat’s got my back
This Crew’s all about one thing, and it ain’t talkin smack
Labtech Dave cuts a Vamp down , yeah he’s up for the kill
And the Turtle don’t say much, she just talks with her skills.
We ain’t takin no prisoners, we ain’t takin no lip
Ain’t got no Leeroy Jenkins ‘round to mess up our trip
Aji’s Tankin and tossin all the monsters aside
All the Noobs be just watchin us, slack jawed and WideEyed
Hell, we never met nuthin, what could take out this Crew
When we’re done with Kamila, we gon b***h-slap the Grue!

Our legacy holds strong and true
We Buffed ‘n Amped, yeah we that Crew
We Solo’d Old School, til zOMG! Was through
We asked ourselves “Now what’s to do?”
Then a call went out ‘bove the Skeeter’s buzz
“I need five of the best! This is DMS cuz!”
It was Raficat who was callin our names
And when six was one, nothing stayed the same.
Showed the maze and monsters zackly what we got
Fool, we ain’t imposters! Damn, this Crew is hot!
Wolves and Vamps, they ain’t nuthin, we just drop a few Amps
What’s 100k Gold to the Heavy Weight Champs?
Makin Order with Chaos, we a sight you can’t miss.
We the Boss of the Shadows. Ain’t no hype, we got this!
DMS Rap by Rebe Chan