Meet the Bear? Really?

This is your (sorta) two week notice!

I’m going to be at Gamestop from 10 PM until Midnight for the midnight release of Wrath of the Lich King on the night of November 12th.

GameStop #531
Maplewood Commons
1900 County Road D E.
Maplewood MN, 55109 US

That’s the Gamestop next to Circuit City, not the Gamestop two blocks away next to Cartridge World. Just so you know.

Why do they have two Gamestops in the same block?

Umm… because if we had one more Starbucks in the world, we’d collapse into a singularity… and Gamestop is taking the hit for us?

No, really, I dunno. The one next to Cartridge World used to be an EB Games, and came in all bright and shiny and new in an attempt to crush Gamestop, steal their clientele, and make them go under.

Next thing we knew, it was a Gamestop.

Assimilate or die!


Unlike those other meet and greets you may have heard about, mine will be unique, in that I am just some idiot that writes crap who will be waiting patiently with everyone else to get the game, race home, and install for 4 hours and 10 gig of patches just so I can play. Those other folks put out quality websites, and write awesome, helpful stuffs. Fo’Shizzle.

I won’t have any merchandise for sale, there will be no microphones for interviews, and in fact, I might just show up drunk. 

You’ve been warned!


Okay, now that the shameless plug is out of the way, let’s talk seriously about this thing for a minute.

The closer it gets to the Wrath release, the stupider I think my idea was.

I mean, seriously, the whole thing is based on the concept that there is someone reading this blog in the Twin Cities area that would actually drive out of their way to visit with me.

Looking at it put that way, I have an extremely good idea of how arrogant that sounds.

I flash on something out of VH1’s Surreal Life, the Bear sitting there at a folding table with a big goofy grin, a pile of photos of bear butts and autograph pens waiting, saying “Hi! I’m a blogger that writes about WoW! Have you heard of me? I’m e-famous! Oh dear God, please, have you heard of me? Please read the blog! Oh, please!”

Oh. My. God.

The horror. Seriously.

I just thought that, since I was gonna be like, buying the game there anyway, and waiting around until midnight, that if there were some folks in the local area that had the same idea and hadn’t bought the game yet, we could get together, maybe have some wings and a beer in the Buffalo Wild Wings next door, then pop over and grab our games, say “Bye! Take it easy!”, and hit the road in anticipation of expansion bliss.

Maybe the trouble really started when I thought it might be fun to have some buttons made. I thought it would make for a fun memento of the night. Like, hey, I showed up, and I have something to show for it, so years later I can laugh and remember when I played this video game, and was so into it I actually went to go meet some blogger that wrote about it. And I can haz button! Woo!

Andrige actually put together a sweet button out of the BBB logo he created. That’s how blissfully ignorant I was.

It sounded fun, in a “Why the hell not” kind of way.

But… I don’t want to sit there at some table handing out buttons to every strange person that has never heard of me that shows up at Gamestop, like I’m freaking advertising, or a campaigning politician.

It’s just… it’s the wierdest damn feeling.

It’s almost like I’m headed, with the best of intentions, towards one of those moments where the news camera comes up, films some group of people standing in line, mocks them as loser gamers for the entertainment of the people at home that think “60 Minutes” is unbiased quality journalism, and then zooms in on the one guy they choose to spotlight as the shining example of ultimate lameness of today’s youth; “And here we have John Patricelli, a blogger who writes about playing video games. Isn’t that precious. Well, I’m sure it keeps him busy, and it’s nice to see him out of his mom’s basement, even if it is too late for him to see the Sun. And now, without any context to muddy up your weak little minds, we go back to the studio. Bob?”

I keep falling back on the basic facts that, first, I generally don’t like people, and second, no, I’m serious, I really don’t like people.

It’s the difference between vast crowds of bored asshat gamers looking to troll forums while they are stuck at work or school, and my friends here at the blog.

I’d like to meet my blog friends, chat, relax and have a beer or two for 15 minutes. If you think I do tricks, or that I’m actually funny in real life, well, everyone has to get used to disappointment at some point in their life. 

God knows Cassie has.

But I have zero interest in standing around meeting total strangers that play WoW, that are just going to show up at Gamestop, introducing myself as a WoW Blogger™.

“As seen on WoW Insider! He slices, he dices, he makes Julienne fries!”

You know, for the longest time I didn’t know what a julienne fry was?

I’m just having a very hard time finding some way to imagine a conversation with a total stranger, where I am asked to explain cold what the buttons are all about, and therefore why I would think someone would have wanted a button, and therefore who I am and what I do. Because it just seems self-aggrandizing.

In the end, why would any stranger care? The only people I thought might give a hoot in the first place would be long time readers here, who are pretty close to family with all the stuff Cassie and I have dumped on you over the last year and a half.

I’m wondering if it might not be better to hide over in Buffalo Wild Wings for the first hour and a half, wearing a distinctive jacket and shirt and ball cap, and let people know that if they want to meet me and hang out for a few before getting in line for the game, that’s where you’ll find me.

Just keep it all on the down low. Keeping it real.

And this is, in no way, my desperate attempt to scam a night of eating wings and drinking beer out of Cassie.

Not at all, in any way. No! Nyet!

50 thoughts on “Meet the Bear? Really?

  1. Amazon is delivering my WotLK on Thursday so I can dive in after work (to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, work is the curse of the WoWing classes), but I’m just over on the west end of County D, so I’m thinking of dropping by to buy you a beer. I’m just beginning my career as a Bear tank, so I have enjoyed reading your blog. I’ll try not to be a silly fangirl… Brown


  2. I’m from Minnesota, and grew up on my grandfathers farm in northern Minnesota…..and he shot a bear on our front step! Maybe that’s why I play a druid! lol

    Sadly, I moved to Sacramento, but know where the gamestop is that you’re going to be at. I got the CE original WoW in Bloomington on launch day 🙂

    Wish I could be there, and keep up the awesome blog! I love read it.


  3. Well, it’s fun to see another local WoW-head who also happens to blog about WoW related crap. While wings, beer, and musing about Lich King and the plague of Death Knights that we’ll see on 11/14 sounds amusing and a great deal of fun, I’ve already pre-ordered elsewhere and my wife would think I was not only nuts, but overly addicted to a video game that has me going to midnight releases with complete strangers.

    But aside from that, sounds like fun. Enjoy the beer, the wings, the midnight anticlimactic run for software, and the even less anticlimactic patch downloads. 🙂


  4. I used to live right next to Maplewood Mall, like a block south of Chili’s. Last year I moved to Maple Grove, and I’ve also pre-ordered from Amazon. But I love your blog, maybe I’ll show up to say “hi”.


  5. If I lived in the area, even if I had pre-ordered or ordered elsewhere, I’d so be there. As has been mentioned – I don’t play a druid, but I enjoy your blog. It’s not ashamed of the fact that it is a WoW Blog, and it’s _accessible_. We lub you.

    Also. I don’t think having a gathering like this… is weird. I made a half joke that patch release notes could almost be motivation enough for WoW Nerd Friends to get together and have a drinking game made out of them.


  6. You’re only a 12-hour drive away. But it IS a 12-hour drive (wow…someone else in South Dakota plays WoW!!), and in mid-November. ALMOST tempting, but I think my wife might not think the idea of a hotel room in St. Paul just to pick up a game is a great idea. (Besides, mine will be at Best Buy in Rapid City sometime on the 13th.)

    However, doesn’t mean I still wouldn’t jump at the chance to eat wings & drink beer with you and Cassie. So if you ever decide to visit Sioux Falls (why, I have no clue), I’ll drive halfway to St. Paul to see you. 🙂


  7. Thanks everyone for commenting!

    Okay, so what I’m seeing is, one guy is coming.

    That certainly makes the button ordering easier. 🙂

    Ely, you guys could certainly have buttons, if you wanted to order them yourselves. They’re like $3 in the various Cafepress stores. No, I ain’t buying all of you buttons and mailing them to you. And why you would want to buy a button saying you met the Bear when you hadn’t actually met the Bear would confuse me. Hmmm. I need to look at those button designs again.

    Anyway, I don’t really see it as hiding from folks, if I set up in BWW to meet folks. I think of it more as giong to Buffalo Wild Wings, meeting folks there in a more comfortable setting, people who would want to actually sit and chat for a bit. After a while, we obviously would walk over to Gamestop, since the whole point is getting the game. But we’d be going over to Gamestop as a bunch of gamers, not as the BBB and his posse or some shit.

    Because that is what we are; a bunch of gamers, wanting to get our hands on a game.

    And I’d much rather meet with and chat with other gamers waiting in line to get the game, without trying to lay some kind of ‘gamier than thou’ BS down. Hang out, chat, share in jokes with Xathras, and be a geek just like everybody else.

    Because I am just like everyone else.

    Let me take a moment to digress totally from the topic, since I think that covers the whole ‘Gamestop meet’ thing.

    Yes, I write a blog, and have been doing it for a long time now, but I honestly feel, and your websites bear this out, that anyone enthusiastic for something can create a blog and write about it and share your thoughts with others, and have a great time with it, the same as I have.

    I’ll take Shrinn as an example.

    Before she joined Sidhe Devils, I don’t think Shrinn had ever even heard of game blogs. But she joined the guild, and was surrounded by all these blogger whackos, and kind-hearted and sweet as she is, she decided to join in the fun and make one herself.

    Now, maybe you folks don’t read it, but I do, because she puts up some awesome fun screenshots that always have one thing in common; you can tell she is always being herself, honest and enthusiastic, whether she had fun or not. And most of the time, yes, she is having lots of fun and enjoying what she does, and her honest enthusiasm for playing and having fun always makes me grin.

    I think anyone has it in them to start and write a blog, about whatever, and the real question is how many people either WANT to, or if they do start one, how many will continue doing it?

    So if I’m out of the ordinary, it’s probably more because I’m still here than anything else. And you all come out of force of habit! Ha!


  8. This post is spot on.

    Hooking up with some people who share the same interest, enjoy the blog, can relate to the stories: FUN.

    Having the whole event taken out of context and looked down upon by some judgmental coconuts: AWFUL.

    In the end, I’d say the fun of the overall concept would overcome the negative aspect of the judgmental coconuts.

    In my previous hobby obsession before WoW, I founded a Hobby Robot Builders club. We grew to a grand total of 6 members at our apex. We had fun stuff like buttons and tshirts and stickers that we happily displayed. The outside world was mortified at seeing people having fun doing something that they themselves could not relate to. We were judged as nerds, basement dwellers, losers who can only carve off a slice by fabricating a Fem-Bot and programming it to fulfill our every desire.

    Little do the shortsighted @sshats know, the club members come from a diverse cross section of life, with varying backgrounds, experiences, ideas. Our members were the type who give back to the community and country via volunteer fire department, military / military reserve service, and one guy founded a college scholarship fund to honor a friend who passed away. The members who were of workforce age are all successful career folks including a bank manager, electrical engineer, and IT security architect, who own their own homes separate from their parents, lol. The school aged members were outstanding students who excel in science and math, two areas that are in the spotlight during this current presidential race as areas that the US needs to be stronger in.

    What I’m getting at is that you’ll find judgment and @sshats everywhere you go, no matter what you’re into. And even more so if you are invigorated by or enthusiastic about anything that the general populace doesn’t understand or identify with. Forget about them, and hand out some pins, autograph the butt posters. If I didn’t live 9 hours away, I’d love to swing by and have a beer and a wing or two, and I’ll moon the camera while the news crew tries to passive aggressively insult the participants of your event 🙂

    BTW, the fembots were outstanding!


  9. Bear your blog is awesome. If I lived near enough (which I dont) I’d come out to pick up my copy and drink a beer with you & others who love the game as much as I do. I’ll be there in spirit too.


  10. I would love to come out for the midnight release in the cities… but could not get the time off (thus at midnight I’ll be working at my gym in St. Cloud). Your blog is fun to read though, and you sound like reasonable company I would consider drinking beer and eat hotwings with while waiting for a game that we wont get to play for 2-3 days after it’s release (I think I’ll gain a few levels in outland first before venturing into Northrend. Or at least finish leveling up my druid).

    Which logo are you using for the buttons? They sound interesting, espcally if the logo in question is the “I tank with my face” images.


  11. Well, going there from New York would seem just plain stalkerish. If I could talk Grai into the drive, I would love to meet you & Cassie! Where will your little guy be? Getting a sitter for the night?


  12. You know one day l8r and I would have been up there, I will be staying at the Sheraton Bloomington in Minneapolis from the 13th through the 15th, figures that it would work out that way 😦
    A few questions over a beer about tanking druid style woulda been nice seen as how I am sure to have dinged 70 by then. ::cry::


  13. I live in Texas too. I actually have a good friend in WoW who lives in Duluth – even more reason for me to come out to MN, but I is are BBB-broke. 😦

    Hope you have lots of fun though!


  14. I believe you’re being excessively self-conscious. I think it is reasonable to assume that some people would want to meet you, you have a large number of readers, and that those who want to meet you at this event, will be looking for the guy handing out buttons and paraphenalia, and will be all too glad to receive them. Those who don’t respond to it, or aren’t looking for it, will more than likely be indifferent at worst. Hiding at a restaurant isn’t what you should do, in my opinion, if for no other reason than it rings rather sourly of a blind date gone awry.

    Instead, expose yourself, even just a little, and you may meet a new friend, earn some new readers, or have an oppurtunity at a new experience for your life. Remember, fortune favors the bold. Take a chance. I think you’ll find that most of the people you “really dislike” are pretty much fundamentally the same as the ones you have come to call your friends, its the timing and situations that often lead people into one category or another. Then again, its all just my opinion.


  15. You are a very brave soul. I went to the least-trafficked Game Stop in my area for the BC Midnight release, around 10:30 or so, and there were already 300 or more people lined up…so I went home.

    Good luck!


  16. Would have been great to join you for a few pre-Wrath beers but it’s a little hard when you’re living on the east coast of Canada. Keep up the great posting, always enjoyable checking in and seeing what you have to say.


  17. When my small guild of friends (all in the Twin Cities area) all levelled to 70 with dps classes, I decided to level a bear to tank for us. I was looking for bear tanking gear and referenced your site repeatedly, including doing all the quests you recommended to get the best bear tank gear (I still wear the Necklace of the Deep and the Styln’ Purple Hat, especially after the T4 helm armor nerf).

    I was surprised when I saw that you live in the Twin Cities area. I’d be interested to meet the man behind the bear behind the blog who basically taught me how to gear my bear. I’m not even that far away from Maplewood.


  18. “It’s the difference between vast crowds of bored asshat gamers looking to troll forums while they are stuck at work or school, and my friends here at the blog.”
    But…I do both D:
    😛 If I lived anywhere close, I would love to come hang out with you, Bear. Don’t let idiots get you down, and it’s not stupid to feel like it would be fun to meet the peope who enjoy your blog, if they can make it.
    If you’re ever in PA, let me know!


  19. Well that sucks, I was in Minneapolis for Training a few months ago, If i’d known you were there I’d of definately bought you beers and wings. Instead I ended up getting drunk at TGI Fridays with about 12 store managers from Buffalo Wild Wings that were in town… it was fun, but no BBB!

    Yakima, WA


  20. It would take Teleport Gamestop for me to be able to see all the people I want to see on release day.

    Being stuck in the middle of the Pacific kind of puts a damper on all these events.


  21. I do love BWW, and beer and wings sounds like a great way to prep for the release, but sadly, it’s just too far to drive from CA. =(

    Hope you guys have a blast!


  22. Ah thats 2000 miles away or I’d totally show! I’m more of a casual WoW player so I will be waiting at home…probably waiting until walmart can restock the game after the first rush:) Have fun!


  23. Sadly, I’m another reader who lives way too far away to join in the fun. What you’re doing is not egotistical and you can stop the self-flagellation. LOL! I’d join you if I lived anywhere within a reasonable driving distance.


  24. If I weren’t a couple thousand miles away, I’d definitely drop by… and I don’t even intend to buy the game. It’s good to meet good people, it’s as simple as that.

    The idea of wearing something distinctive (but not insane) is a great one; you can post what you plan on wearing (say, a BBB hat or maybe something from your military days), and those who want to find you will do so. You don’t have to do anything but hang out. (With buttons in your pocket, maybe, but there’s no need to advertise that fact if you don’t want to.)

    Whatever you wind up doing, I hope you have a blast! One of the whole points of an MMO is the community, and this is exactly the sort of thing that makes them something more than a bunch of internet idiots. It’s the real people that matter, the game is just another watering hole.


  25. B^3, if I could be there, I would. Sadly, the trip from CT is a little too far for me 😦 I’ve already taken time off work for one WoW event (BlizzCon).

    I dig the idea of having a table at Buffalo Wild Wings, though. It sounds a lot less awkward than setting up some kind of altar at the opening event. This blog isn’t about fandom, it’s about shared appreciation for a great game 🙂 And I like that.


  26. Sadly I would be there, however I live in Texas. Long drive lol. 😛

    Have fun guys, am going to do the same thing here, midnight release parties for the win


  27. I know South Dakota is pretty close, and a lot of people think we are just a suburb of Minnesota, it is still a long drive. I would love to be there, it would be a blast to hang out and bs druid style, but hubby may not think too highly of it.

    Needless to say, I’ll be hanging here, with the one-and-only copy of the collectors edition from our Gamestop. I’ll have a beer with ya in spirit, and toast to big bear butts everywhere 🙂


  28. Dude, if I was closer, I would so be there. 😉 The fact there’s a Buffalo Wild Wings nearby would only be the icing on the cake. Mmmm love that place. Damn, now I want wings. >< Right now, I’m jsut hoping that my Gamestop actually is open at midnight. Still have to call them again to see if they are. :/


  29. Great idea and non arrogant. Your blog is great. If I didn’t live in Ca, I’d be there to say hi and battle off the trolls and asshats. Enjoy the night and believe it will be good people that come by to say hi.
    Beers, Wings, and Expansion. It doesnt get much better than that.


  30. Yeah, when me and my friend were reading the first post about meeting in gamestop, we were like “Hey cool…somebodies doing some small party for Wrath.”

    Then after a while we were thinking… “Isn’t that kinda…weird?” But ehhh, unfortunately, I will not be available to go hang out there. I’d rather just head on over to Buffalo from Rockford, which is 30 minutes away, get my copy, go home and quickly install, playing the game for the rest of the night until the morning.

    My goal is to be the first level 80 paladin on Moonguard. =P


  31. Wow, I’ve been reading your blog for a few months and never knew you were in the twin cities area. I’m from western Wisconsin about a half hour out of Maplewood, and if I hadn’t already reserved at the Game Stop near Tamarack Village, I would so be there for this.


  32. Yeah, I’m on the Lake Michigan side of Wisconsin, too. Otherwise, if I were even as close as, say, anywere west of Eau Claire, I’d show up to your shindig. Which, if there were a flaw in your invitation, probably sums it up nicely. It’s not that you don’t have fans who would love to meet you, it’s just that we’re kinda’ spread out.

    I asked at our local Game Stop if they were going to do any sort of “event” associated with the release and they looked at me like I’d asked if they ate puppies. “By the time we can sell the game, the servers should be updated man. Go play it.”


  33. OMG RON POPEIL! Just a few weeks ago I used one of his lines in a meeting at work. I don’t remember in what context but I said, “just set it and forget it!” It was awful, but I’m a nerd and was laughing about it for a while.

    And from that wikipedia page there is a good Aladdin quote from a salesman: “It also makes julienne fries! It will not break…(the item breaks)…it broke.”


  34. hey BBB

    Wish i could be there too, wouldn’t mind some beer and wings while waiting. Unfortunately, as Tuvfa said, travelling the Atlantic is a bit over budget 🙂


  35. If I lived anywhere near the Twin Cities, I would totally jaunt on over, to drink beer and eat a wing or two. I will be in line in a Philly suburb instead, patient husband by my side, as I happily (hopefully) talk with other nerds about WoW. I say hopefully because I have met forum trolls in real life and they are not pleasant. I will raise a beer (or glass of wine) to you when I get into the game though.


  36. Oh, I know where that is! Unfortunately, we ordered from somewhere else, so we’ll be on the other side of St Paul.

    You almost had me with Buffalo Wild Wings, tho.


  37. As much as I would actually liked to have stopped by to grab a beer and say hello, The drive from Milwaukee is a bit much.

    I’m sure it will go well though. Have fun, it’s not often you can have beer, wings, and a new expansion all in the same night.


  38. 1) I absolutely adore your blog. I don’t play a druid (apart from vaguely levelling a boomkin now and then), but it’s just fun and personal without being “I did this instance and got this loot and then I did that instance and got that loot”.

    2) If I could be at that midnight opening I would – but travelling across the Atlantic for it is a bit much for my budget at the moment… 😉

    3) Hope the wings are good! 😉


  39. Dude, I’ll be there. I was planning on doing the crazy midnight launch thing anyway, it’ll be nice to have someone there that I “know”. None of my friends who play wow are crazy enough to do the midnight launch thing. In fact, the last time I did it was for Return of the King. Your posts are interesting enough I doubt anyone will be bored with the whole thing.

    See you there.


  40. Oh, and is there some way I can get an idea how many people, even if it’s just one or two folks, plan on coming out to see me? I need to order the buttons, and I’d like to have some idea of how many to get. It costs twice as much to buy them in batches of ten than as one batch of 100, but there is no way I can conceive of 100 people coming to see me.

    So if there are less than 10 folks, as I would expect, that’s one batch.

    If by some fluke of the universe, a penitentiary has an early release program and a bunch of you are coming, I want to make sure I gots enough buttons.


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