Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekends, Or, When the World Starts Turning

I've discovered a curious side effect of leading a life full of the responsibility of work and school and relationships.

I go through the entire week of class-to-class and class-to-work and work-to-school routine and it's all very Tab A into Slot B, really. I get some variations in what I do in the times around Tab-A-into-Slot-B but inevitably I go to bed and then start Tabbing A into Slot B all over again.

But around 3pm on Friday afternoon, as I walk to the most distant school parking lot where I park my car and meet up with Roommate, there's this little feeling. And sometimes I don't even notice it.

We make the ten minute drive home and I hurriedly start packing stuff into my backpack--dice,  Magic deck, playmat, Monster, water bottle. We then all pile in LOML's car and head away to the gaming hall.

And there's the feeling.

And then I realize: it's like the world has started turning.

Sunday night I'll hear the squeaking of the world slowly winding down to a standstill and it'll be back to Tab-A-into-Slot-B again, as I run around doing homework and other things that must be got into line for the tabbing of A into slot B. But until then, the world is full of magic. And evil vampire lords. And death-defying acts of heroism.

 And dragons.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Something I wrote for my geography class. I got 10 out of 10 possible points for it.

Antarctica, A Tale

Let me tell you a tale of a world, a world that’s carved in ice,
I will tell you the fate, this fate we hold, and of this future’s price;
I speak to you of Antarctica, the land of the southern sea,
The place it was, and the place it is, and the place it might yet be.

So about one upteen bajillion years ago (or forty mil, if you prefer)
Everywhere was all one great big place we call Gondwana land,
Back then it was all tropical and a bit balmy ‘round the gills,
Until Everywhere left it there, this place the name “Antarctica” commands.

Now, here, in the present day, it’s the coldest place on Earth;
A daytime temp to freeze your blood, a nighttime temp to freeze your soul;
The whistling of the frozen plains, the bubbling of Erebus’ pool,
The click and clatter of ice-chilled matter as you approach the Southern pole.

It took us awhile to find this place, like till 1820 A.D. or so,
But what with it being a land a mite inhospitable, a land of frozen chill,
People didn’t want to come and stay until after World War 2,
When suddenly it appeared to be the hotspot of scientific thrill.

But we’ve gone and left our mark on this place; that’s what people do,
With trash lying in gulches and gullies and dumped out on the shore,
“More than just footprints [are] left and more than photos have been taken”
And if we don’t take care what we leave there will taint the future evermore.

The future can be starry bright but it’s haunted by our past,
It’s a stunning brand new day, but there is the taint that is mankind,
Us, the creature that creates and can destroy,
Our hopes and dreams, our future schemes, best done with eyes not blind.

10:37 pm, 10/13/10

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mimic My Infection

Roommate was kind enough to put together an Infect deck for me to play in Friday's Standard Magic tournament. Here is what the decklist turned out to be after I borrowed a Hand of the Praetors and two Skithiryx from another player:

4 Blight Mamba
4 Hand of the Praetors
4 Ichor Rats
4 Plague Stinger
4 Putrefax
2 Skithiryx

Other Spells
4 Doom Blade
4 Mimic Vat
3 Untamed Might
4 Vines of the Vastwood

13 Forest
10 Swamp

3 Acidic Slime
2 Mold Shambler
3 Naturalize
3 Pelakka Wurm
2 Windstorm
2 Wurmcoil Engine

Round 1 I was paired against a black/red deck that heavily utilized Act of Treason, Mark of Mutiny, and Fling, as well as several sac outlets. I lost Game 1 due to my infect creatures being stolen, used to attack me, and then chucked at my face. Game 2 I was able to put Putrefax on Mimic Vat and relentlessly whale on him. Game 3 was the same with Putrefax-onna-stick with the variation that he got Sarkhan the Mad out and staved off the end for a few turns by sacrificing his small creatures to get dragon tokens to block with.

Round 2 was against a Darksteel Lich deck. I got manascrewed on game 1 with two Forests, but that didn't stop me from doing a Turn 3 Vines of the Vastwood pumped Blight Mamba, doing five poison counters. If I had another Vines at that time the game would have been over by turn 4. I didn't however, but I eventually did draw more land for the eventually winning of. Game 2 the first two creatures (Blight Mamba and Plague Stinger) got Mana leaked, but I eventually played more creatures than he had  had counterspells and Vines saved my creatures long enough to rabble in for the win.

Round 3 was against blue-white-black control. Game 1 I kept a hand with no early creatures and ended up paying dearly for it, getting pummeled to death by a Grave Titan. Game 2 I drew 3 Swamps, 1 Plague Stinger, 1 Hand of the Praetor, 1 Skithiryx, and 1 Mimic Vat. I got Hand of the Praetor on the Mimic Vat and won by casting Blight Mamba with a Hand token in play. Game 3 all my early creatures were manaleaked and I didn't draw a Mimic Vat.  Got beat to death by Baneslayer and Grave Titan.

Round 4 was against another infect deck, which played with Duress, Sword of Vengeance, Grasp of Darkness, Tumble Magnet, and Ichorclaw Myr, and did not have Putrefax or Skithiryx.I won both both games.

The sideboard definitely needs some work. I'm going to try putting in some Memoricides, Marsh Casualities, and Tectonic Edges. I'll let you know how it pans out.

Friday, October 22, 2010



I float
like an amoeba
in a place
where there’s no up
or down

I crouch
in the darkness
I’ll be seen

I puff
with my spines
like a porcupine
to be touched.

I swim
toward a glow
a gentle face
an hand outstretched
time to
come out
into the light

10.22.10 10:18pm

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Time I won a Magic Tournament

So last Friday (10/15/10) I plaed in a MTG draft of 19 people.

This is what I drafted:

1 Tel-Jilad Fallen
Alpha Tyrranax
1 Bellowing Tanglewurm
1 Skinrender
2 Blight Mamba
1 Ezuri's Brigade
2 Vector Asp
1 Cystbearer
1 Memnite
1 Blackcleave Goblin
1 Plague Stinger
1 Wurmcoil Engine
2 Necropede
1 Sylvok Replica

Other Spells
1 Asceticism
1 Grasp of Darkness
1 Instill Infection
1 Flesh Allergy
2 Untamed Might
2 Horizon Spellbomb
1 Carrion Call

9 Forest
7 Swamp

1 Untamed Might
1 Relic Putrescence
1 Blistergrub
1 Instill Infection
1 Withstand Death
1 Razorfield Thresher
1 Blunt the Assault
1 Viridian Revel
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Psychic Miasma
1 Oxidda Daredevil
1 Ferrovore
2 Wing Puncture
2 Ezuri's Archers

First pack I opened I pulled this card:

So I thought, "Cool. Let's try for green, possibly green/black, because I like infect."

The first pack that was passed to me had this in it:
I spent a good several tens of seconds staring at it while surrepstitiously eying the guy sitting on my right, thinking, "I hope whatever you picked over this was worth it."
(It was. He pulled a foil one of these).

I don't remember the order I pulled most of my cards in but I do remember what I opened in my next two packs:

I felt a little bad passing the phoenix, but I was rather strongly into green/black at the time and I'm trying to break my habit of indiscriminately drafting rares, irregardless of their actual value (But it's okay to draft rares that are worth money). A sudden outbreak of laughter from LOML two or three seats down from me told me what color he was in, and that made me nervous.

Match one I was paired against a green/white deck that had some of the same cards I did but was heavy on the metalcraft. It also had fliers and a Sunblast Angel, which completely ruined my life in game 1. Game two I sideboarded in some Ezuri's Archers and Wing Punctures, which made life slightly easier. Game 3 I won due to Untamed Might on an unblocked Wurmcoil Engine, but it was a close thing--one more turn and I would have been dead due to poison counters.

Match two was against a red/green deck that I pretty much overran due to the opponent getting manascrewed. I felt kind of bad about it since the guy looked quite unhappy once I was done with him but there was nothing for it unless I wanted to make bad plays--and those have a way of turning on a person.

Match 3 was against LOML, who had a nasty red deck that burninated the shite out of me on game 1--well, that and his Steel Hellkite. The second game I managed to Flesh Allergy his Precursor Golem, netting him a major loss of life.  I won the third game after doing a Sylvok Replica number to his Hellkite.

Match 4 was against a blue/white deck where I won mainly due to the dint of having infect creatures shrinking his oversized defenders down to killable levels. I lost game 2 due to not being able to get rid of his flyer and things pretty much being stalemated on the ground. Game 3 went to time but was won by the dint of a great deal of creatures, not all that could be blocked.

So I won 8 packs for being first, and LOML won 6 packs for being second. It made for a good night.

P.S. And if anyone knows of a good way to make nice little Magic decklists that don't require me to indivually link every single card, they would earn my eternal love and gratitude.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Turtle Shark

A few weekends ago LOML and I went down to the bay to get our feet wet. There was an overabundance of people, as there tends to be on a Sunday afternoon, but since we had driven all of ten minutes to get there it seemed reasonable to stay. At least for a little bit. Have I mentioned I tend to not like large crowds of people?

Anyway, so LOML and I are standing up to our waists in mildly tepid water a good twenty feet or so from the next nearest knot of humanity, talking about God-knows-what, probably games, when LOML says, "Look out! You're about to be hit by a --"


Something banged into the back of my knees.

It was this huge turtle. Probably a good yard or so in diameter. We watched it drift past us with no regard for us whatsoever. It was as if we were merely fog in the turtle's world and he figured we'd either move out of the way or not, it didn't matter.

He drifted on towards a group of children. LOML and I watched in anticipation.

Suddenly, little kids started jumping around and flailing on the water. Cries of "What's that?" and "Wow" broke out after the initial flailing.

The turtle just went out his business, eating algae, ignoring the flock of human spawn that had gathered around to touch it. He also had slime on his shell. Not something you'd normally think of being ON a turtle, but there you go.

Then he swam out to sea and lived happily ever after. Maybe.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Airports and Sleep 2

So apparently I don't sleep in airports. Or planes. I was reaching a point on Monday night where I was wondering if I would ever sleep.

So, while the SACNAS conference was fun, it was strained a little for me because I didn't get enough sleep and my ability to mimic human behavior decreases sharply with the amount of sleep I'm not getting.
After the conference I went to see some people I haven't seen in over two years. This list includes my grandparents, brother, cousin, and friends (mostly people I used to play Magic with), and some people I haven't met at all (my brother's boy and my cousin's daughter). 

For the trip back I was requested by LOML if I could please collect his Rifts books that he had left at a friend's place and bring them back. I said I would.

All 70,000 70 pounds of them.

Between this picture and the airport, however, two of my brain cells randomly banged together and made me realize that hauling 70 pounds of books in as my carry-on luggage was a recipe for my arms being two feet longer by the end of the day. Or my shoulders being torn from their sockets. Or me being rendered a paralyzed mass of goo in the middle of the airport. Or someone getting fatally concussed as the duffel bag tumbled from the overhead compartment.

Plus, I can't lift that much weight over my head anyways.

So I checked the duffel bag into the checked-in luggage while stuffing 20 pounds of books into a random cloth bag I looted from the SACNAS conference. I discovered that 20 pounds of books was sufficient to make me pledge to only carry a lightly-packed bag next time I felt the urge to travel.

But I've got LOML's eternal gratitude and a status of a favor permanently owed. That's worth it, right?

And now I want to play a Crazy. From Rifts.

P.S. The duffel bag was a casualty of this trip. May it rest-in-peace-in-the-closet-because-it-has-too-much-sentimental-value-for-me-to-throw-away.
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