Friday, November 6, 2009

Seattle's keeping me in tune, part 14

In the final round of IPA, Matt Tabak's deck dismantles me and I drop the match in two games.
Draft Record: 5-1
Constructed Record: 4-4
Overall record: 9-5.

Pretty good weekend. Let's see if we win, since Bubba managed to win sweep the multiplier event.

Later dudes,

Seattle's keeping me in tune, part 13

IPA match 2, overall round 13, I play against Aaron Forsythe for the third time in the weekend, and take him down in three games, leaving my overall record at 9-4 on the weekend.

One more to go, can I sweep the draft?

Later dudes,

Seattle's keeping me in tune, part 12

The final three rounds are IPA draft, and of course I am matched up against Mark Gottlieb, who I have beaten previously in an IPA practice draft. My draft is a decent Dromar concoction, but with no bombs, just good card advantage. I get there in game three with a little (read a lot) of help from Hall of Famer Randy Buehler, we manage to take down MaGo.
Okay, his stunted mana development helped some.
8-4 on the weekend.

Later dudes,

Seattle's keeping me in tune, part 11

Round 11 against Tom LaPille, I force a game three and keep a hand that is great if I draw one of my 14 green sources in two turns.
I do not draw one until turn 10.
I'm now 7 and 4.

Seattle's keeping me in tune, part 10

I complete my sweep of WotC employees named Erik/Eric, and run my record to 7-3.
Eric was running a great Mono-White Wrath/Planeswalker/Ascension deck and locked me game one. Game two I am able to force through damage with the unblockable Bear, and game three he stalls on three land and scoops when I kick a Mold Shambler to take him back to two lands.
Not a pretty way to win, but I'm doing this for the community.

Later dudes,

Seattle's keeping me in tune, part 9

Round 9 has me face off against Lee Sharpe in Unified Standard. Thankfully, he's running Warp World which is a deck that I have had some experience with. The games are not very close and in the second one I manage to remove every threat he presents. Good games, and I'm able to run my record to 6-3. Go go community team!

Seattle's keeping me in tune, part 8

First round of Unified Standard is the Bant Mirror.
Against Mike Turian...again.
So I'm 5-3 now, but still smiling.

Later dudes,

Seattle's keeping me in tune, part 7

So the day ends with a rematch. Aaron Forsythe is dead set on extracting revenge for the defeat he suffered at my hand in round two.
Sure, I can take it to the same fprmer pro twice in one day.
I must be tired, I must be exhausted, I must be bad.
In game one, he goes and tutors for Moat. This is bad because I actually have Aven Mindcensor in hand and just skip my priority, thinking he was just making more tokens with his Sword/Thopter combo. He then gets down a Humility and I rip the Disenchant. Of course, I have no idea what to do. So I call Randy over, and after examining the board position, I take out the Humility. It turns out to be the right play, as eventually I rip and Elspeth and swing over with a flying Soltari Champion that is exactly lethal.
Game two he gets a draw that allows him to keep drawing cards thanks to a 5th Dawn Station and Chromatic Star. He cycles Decree of Justice and I am just unable to punch through.
Game three, for all the marbles. I get an aggressive draw and whittle him low on life. However, I blow my Disenchant on a Porphyry Nodes for no reason, even knowing he runs the Grindstone/Servant Combo. It is pointless because I'm holding Stillmoon Cavalier that will not die to the Nodes, and I'm building towards seven Plains for the Sky Ruin, so it can Nodes can never take out my bigger threats. As it stands, he gets the combo and kills me while he is at two life.
No excuses, I knew about the combo and did not think for the long game. I can blame it on being tired, but I should have listened to the voice that said "no."
No excuse, I made a mistake.
But the competition is over for the day. We go to the party which involves wacky drafts and Zendikar 1v1 Sealed. I win some, I lose some, and then I get an EDH game going against Erik and Pete Jahn. Pete manages to win with his Starke deck even after I had an active Citanul Flute. Hopefully, I'll be able to grab some revenge later today.
All things considered, I went 5-2 on the day, getting wins against players who are much better than me (I think), and I am ready to post another positive record today.
Later dudes,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Seattle's keeping me in tune, part 7

Round 6 on the day has me up against Erik Lauer/Matt Tabak with UG Good Stuff. Game one I get trounced after keeping a bad hand and never recover from multiple Acidic Slimes on my only land.
Game two I get the sick curve and there is nothing he can do, even with two Ravenous Baloths in play.
Game three I make a critical mistaker, thinking my 4/4 Figure had flying. It did not. The game drags out and I have my self on Horoki lock down, but I manage to get both Emeria active and a Shadow creature which, with the help of a topdecked Bonesplitter, goes all the way.
5-1 on the day. I can't complain.
Later dudes,

Seattle's keeping me in tune, part 6

So round 5, I am paired against Mike Turian.
A Hall of Famer.
Running Dredge/Reanimator.
In other words, I have no chance, so I just try and have a good time.
I have a blast, with some witty banter and I manage to resolve Armageddon.
Some quotes from during the match:
As Mike casts Entomb, Lee goes: "There's a reason we banned that card."
After the match and shaking hands with Turian, he tells me "I heard you were the draft champion, so I had to take you down."

That's pretty darn cool.
Later dudes,

Seattle's keeping me in tune, part 5

So 100 Card Singleton is underway, and after a scary first game where Chris gets both Sorin and Oona in play to my three lands and not much else, I manage to crack back in two quick games for victory.
Game two he stalls on two land and I 'Geddon with two beaters for on the board for the win. Game three he elects to draw and I punish him for it with a turn one 2/1 Jump Knight thanks to Chrome Mox. I keep his threats off the table, even though he takes two extra turns with Time Walk and Temporal Manipulation. Despite a misplay on my final turn, I seal the match and run my record to 4-0!

Seattle's keeping me in tune, part 4

At the end of the first event, Community is up 59-58 on the back of my 3-0 draft!

Seattle's keeping me in tune...part 3

I somehow have managed to 3-0, 6-1 my Zendikar draft, taking out Adam Dixon, Aaron Forsythe, and Mark Rosewater along the way.
Aside from the sleep deprivation, I'm feeling pretty good about myself.
I got the hook-up and had a sick UW aggressive deck. I had triple Steppe Lynx and enough evasion that no one could really keep up. Cards like Windborne Charge helped me win some games and, well, I'm still on a high right now.
My draft was strange, I first picked the Black Ally Hill Giant over a bevy of great Red cards, and then the Black dried up, but the Azorius kept flowing, so I reaped the rewards to 3-0.
Tired, but doing well.
Later dudes,

EDIT: Here is my draft, just make sure you're looking at CC_Spike:

Seattle's keeping me in tune...part 2

So here I am, two rounds into the event, and I'm 2-0, including a win over Aaron Forsythe. I'm running hot and managed to not get my Mind Sludged, so I consider myself very lucky.
It looks pretty evenly matched as far as decks/skill go, and even though I'm running on minimal sleep and my body is still on East Coast time, but I'm playing well and getting lucky. Good combos on a day like today.
Later dudes,

Seattle's keeping me in tune...

I guess it hit me when Randy Buehler congratulated me on the work I have done with Pauper...

It's 4:30 am, NYC time on Wednesday, November 4th. The last hour of sleep has been absolutely terrible as I am unable to stay asleep. I somehow manage to be woken up by my alarm (I'm surprised I was able to sleep) and go through the motions of gathering my thing. I start up Obi-Wan and go to scrape the frost from the windows.
My Late Nite UB ice scraper snapped in two. Yet another thing my old supervisor has done to try and screw me over. This does not deter me, however.
Windows mostly clear I start my trek at an unfamiliar hour, driving the roads I have driven so many times at dusk, but now at dawn.
No traffic, not even at the Whitestone.
I find the parking service no problem, and almost instantly I am on a bus to JFK. I sit next to a man with a Kindle. Turns out he is on my flight, but I do not learn this until much later when we're both at the gate and he comments on the book I had just picked up- Neil Gaiman's "American Gods." He tells me I'm in for a great ride.
He has no idea how right he is.
I grab breakfast at 7am NY time, or 4am Seattle time. I go to my gate and ravenously devour my Dunkin' Donuts approximation of breakfast. With time to kill, I end up at a Chili's and order a Coke. The bartender tries to convince me it costs $200, but I'm distracted by the classic "Saved by the Bell" on the TV. You know, the one where they go to the Attic and get caught by Zach's mom with fake IDs. I leave five bucks for my three dollar fountain soda. I'm a sucker for fountain pop, ever since I started bar tending. It has a soul that the canned stuff lacks.
I meander to the bookstore and pick up the aforementioned Gaiman piece and a novel about biker gangs, fed by my love of "Sons of Anarchy."
I board the plane and change my watch to Pacific time. I turn off my electronic devices and begin to work my way through the new mythology at my finger tips.
The time flies almost as fast as we do. I spend the early half of the flight bemoaning the editing done on our in flight movie- the fantastic "500 Days of Summer." Not a dirty film by any stretch of the means, but they censored some pretty tame stuff, by my count.
I keep looking out my window and am amazed by America. I do nothing but gape at the Rockies as we traverse the range.
We land an hour ahead of schedule and 240 pages in. I get to the hotel and grab a bite, and then sleep.
Two hours later I begin getting ready and make arrangements to meet the crew for dinner. I watch the Yankees on their way to their 27th championship and remember the pain of being a Mets fan. 2010 will be our year.
Dinner time. I make my way to the lobby and meet Erik and Thomas (hamtastic and Tweaker). It is surreal. We make our way to dinner thanks to the lovely Wizards staff (Tolena and Marcella) and are soon joined by Adam and Eric. We're informed that one of our team members will not be playing, so Wizards hired a ringer.
Then Hall of Famer Randy Buehler walks over and introduces himself. I thought he was just in the area. Turns out he's the ringer.
I get to play Magic with a legend on my side.
I fight every urge to text all my friends right then and there, but I manage to e-mail one from the bathroom.
He congratulates me on my work on Pauper. I almost die from the smile on my face.
More people join the party-Mike, Walter, and Sam from our team- Chris and Mike from Wizards. Pete's plane is delayed, but he arrives at some unnatural hour.
We eat, we befriend each other in real life, much as we have done online, and of course, we talk about Magic. There's some smack being talked on all sides of the table, and obscene pieces of cake.
But then the night draws to a close and we make our way to the hotel. I watch the coverage and the champagne on the Bombers. My last thoughts before slumber are:
I can't believe I am here
I love this game
The Phillies suck
I cannot wait for tomorrow

I wake at 4am Seattle time, and cannot return to sleep. It does not matter though, as I am refreshed and ready to go.
I love this game.

Later dudes,

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm going dancing

So after neglecting this thing, I decided to start treating it right once more.
I've been on a serious music kick recently. Thanks to my compatriots in the Sock Drawer, I've uncovered a whole mess of music that I was missing out on before. This makes me both happy and sad.
It makes me happy because I get to listen to new music and share it with people and this is a good thing. I love music- it is just a wonderful way to express yourself without actually having to express yourself. It's a common language that tells you so much about a person. I have ended more than one date when someone tells me their favorite band is the "Goo Goo Dolls."
No, really, I can be that much of a dick if I want to be.
However, at the same time, it makes me sad. It makes me sad that I did not have this music in my life before. Instead, I spent my time not listening to this awesome stuff. I don't know how I got into music before stuff like Hot Water Music and La Grecia. I mean, how could I have listened to anything else? It's not that I don't like what I listened to then, it's just that now, I like this stuff so much more. And I like to way more than I liked the stuff I listened to in the past.
Anyway, I'm sitting down, getting ready to watch Sons of Anarchy. The show is entertaining and just compelling drama.
Of course, as I type that, they mention the surgery to implant a fake testicle in one of the characters.
Later dudes-

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Body movin'

It's amazing, the human body.
I am not a coffee drinker by any stretch of the means. Sure, in grad school I had four or five cups a week, but overall, I Probably average two cups of the stuff a month, including coffee style drinks. This, in turn leads e to be incredibly sensitive to the stuff. I had a coffee drink at 2:30pm on Sunday, and it was keeping me awake at 11:00pm that night. I did not sleep well, skipped the gym, and had a hard time staying awake at the later hours of work yesterday.
I crashed, woke up, went to the gym.
I feel great.
So much can be done to improve your health with body regulation. Just by changing my diet to include better food and conforming to a body rhythm, I am more energized and just generally feel better.
That being said, I am upset with myself for taking so long to catch on to Hot Water Music. Seriously, just listen to this song.
Later dudes,

Monday, August 24, 2009

It begins anew

Orientation training week is here. This means I get to work a ton. I love my job.
I say that a lot, but I do love what I do. There is very little as good as waking up in the morning and not dreading the next eight (or twelve) hours of the day. I spoke to an ex briefly today, and when she was talking about her job, I did a silent victory dance- my life at work is great...her job sounds dreadful. So win.
My current string of dates have been interesting. I had two dates with one woman, but sadly, the second did not leave me desperately looking for a third, yet. She's a sweet woman and great and all, but I just did not feel a click, a spark, whatever it is that makes people want to be together.
Another first date...well, that was a train wreck. I did not have any real desire to see her, but wanted to give it a try, just in case something serendipitous happened. It did not. We basically had a "who's camp is better contest?" There was no way I was going to lose to a camp that did not celebrate 4th of July (yes, it is a camp in America).
My friend got engaged, so this is prompting an evaluation of where I am in my life. Things are good, but I'm still searching for that next step.
But whatever, I'm young. I have a doctorate to get. I have an apartment to furnish. And not only that, I am just exhausted, so I'm going to turn in soon.
Before I do, LaGrecia's "On Parallels" might be the best album I have heard in a long time. I cannot get enough. There is such depth and emotion to every nook and cranny in that record that just amazes me on every listen. If you like good music and aggressive, passionate vocals, this is a record for you.
Later dudes,

Monday, August 17, 2009

Oh, There's Legwork

The students are coming back. This is daunting. I've been here for almost a year and I'm just now feeling that year and the job. It's not a bad thing, just a new sensation, and something else I am going to have to get used to feeling.
I've tried working in a new way with Magic, trying to fully explore an idea before moving eagerly to the next one. This will hopefully allow me to see things with clarity and thoughtfulness and help me to improve my game.
It's annoying because I had a great subject today, and I totally forgot what i wanted to talk about. It was a story from my past that is utterly appropriate to my current situation, but I really cannot remember.
I tip toe around my ex a lot, mostly because until relatively recently, I was not really over her. Needless to say, she fucked my head over rather badly. Basically, I cared about her, but at one of the hardest points in my life, she left me hanging. To be fair, I did move away to grad school, but after what I had gone through to be there for her during her rough times, I thought I had earned some slack. Alas, it was not to be. What's annoyed me is that it's taken me three years, almost, to move on. I don't like this. wake up in the morning, and still think I'm 17, and then I think I'm 21, then 23, and then I realize I'm 25 and am damn close to 26. It's scary sometimes. I think of all I have accomplished, and all there is in front of me. I think about how long a year is, and yet how little I've done with my life n the last year...y'know, aside from moving and starting a career and generally starting life as an adult.
Adult. what a weird word. I'm still a kid at heart- I find all the same things funny, except now my knees crack occasionally.
I'm kinda tired, kinda out of it, and just ready to move forward. Hopefully, I'll be able to swing a second date with someone.
Later dudes,

Monday, August 3, 2009

Don't cry

I love my Mets, I really do. I hate the way some outlets are covering them. But first things first.
Ever since Beltran struck out looking, the Mets have lacked an identity that they can latch on to. They were choke artists, underachievers, but never anything positive. This year, they are being called undermanned and stricken by injuries...but they have never had anything positive to get behind. Now, they're the underdog, but it does not suit them well since they can't really get a winning streak together and sustain the so called underdog magic. I get it, they're banged up but still.
That leads me into my next point: people have called the bench into question constantly. This is bullshit, as the Mets are fielding their bench currently. Tatis and Pagan and Cora would be great bench players, but they've been thrust into a starting role. If these guys were our bench, it'd be pretty darn solid. Alas, not to be this year. Next year guys, next year.
I was playing Chuck Ragan for my friends the other day, and it got us talking about folk punk. I mean, I'm just sick of trying to classify everything I listen to musically. I like general categories, as they can be helpful, but my definition of punk could be drastically different. Example: I told a girl at a party I liked punk. I meant Bouncing Souls and The Lawrence Arms- she meant Good Charlotte.
Anyway, what makes folk punk? Acoustic guitars? Folk structure? I'm not sure, I just know that this was one of the few times I was able to talk about some music with this friend, and we came to the same conclusion: folk rock is good, indie sucks.
Later dudes,

"Don't cry if you've never seen the rain
A thousand ways we've come undone are never quite the same"
Chuck Ragan- Don't Cry

Sunday, August 2, 2009

So my vacation ends in approximately 12 hours, and I'm just happy to be getting back into the swing of things. A few brief updates.
I had a good date...a little longer than some others, but not so long that it became inappropriate. The odd moment was learning her mother's maiden name is my family name. We then spent twenty minutes trying to figure out if we were cousins. Also, we saw The Ugly Truth...I do not recommend the film, as it is highly predictable and rather annoying.
Friday was another day at Head 2 Head for Magic. I was all prepared for Standard but we drafted instead. Good news for me at least. I did pretty well, made some new pals and helped every get their pizza during the evening.
Saturday was driving to camp for Alumni Day. The party was great, the day was rained out more or less. was good times with good people, and I got to drink on a mountain, watching the sunset and miles long freight trains.
One thought ran through my mind over and over again this weekend, as I saw people from my past. Some of them are just finishing school, and are either unemployed or working jobs they hate. Some of them are contemplating the next step and are worried about their future. I realized I am exactly where I want to be.
I have my career, even in the nascent stages, and I'm doing okay for myself financially (although I could always use more scratch). I just...I cannot imagine going back to a time when I would wake up in the morning and not feel happy about the work I was going to be doing that day. Yes, sometimes I'm tired and cranky, and sometimes it is work. Nevertheless, this week has given me a chance to step back and see how truly awesome I have it currently.
This positive streak will not last long, I promise.
Later dudes,

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Run Like Hell

Monday evening I decided to try my hand at some bars. Needless to say, it was an experience. The first bar I went to was one I frequent, but the clientele that evening was a bit older than I was used to, and made socializing hella awkward. Well, scratch that, just regular awkward, because the next bar I went to...that was hella awkward. I had heard about this bar on Craigslist and was excited because I was told it would be an Irish Pub featuring good music on the jukebox. I was expecting a hangout for the good punks of the region. Instead I got the old Irish people. I, being a spry young Jew, did not jive so well. I faked a phone call and left post haste.
The next day I actually decided to do something with myself and drove to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut. It is a great aquarium and a wonderful trip.
However, going to an aquarium by yourself in the early afternoon is a great way to feel like a child molester. Seriously, I felt like every one was watching me, getting ready for me to go all pervy on their wards. Hey...not cool random strangers, not cool. Maybe I was getting awkward looks because I was wearing my Bad Sandwich Chronicles T-shirt, which prominently features the face of a man with a mustache. Who knows.
After my time at the aquarium, I wandered around the town and found this nifty little burger joint where I had a decent burger, and a PBR. Mmmm, PBR. Also, this place had really really cute waitresses.
So after driving home, I did nothing until kickball. It was a hard fought game, we were down 3-0, then tied it, then down 6-3, then tied it, and won 7-6. So afterward we head to the bar, where I proceeded to drink Coor's Lite for the first time in about 6 years. Seriously...I was actually tipsy.
Oh, anyway, I shaved my beard. I get bored with them after a while and sometimes decide I need a change. This is part of my overall rebranding as a male. It's all about confidence, and I just don't like the way I've looked with a beard recently, so it had to go away.
Later dudes,

"Your face was smiling as you hit the ground
We're running out of time"
The Flatliners- Run Like Hell

Monday, July 27, 2009

American Steel Dance Party

Howdy y'all. I meant to update this thing last week, but basically, I was too damn tired. I was finishing up stuff at work in preparation for my vacation and trying to just get my shit together. What it all comes down to is that I was just a lazy boy and did not do anything.
I have been listening to the new American Steel, "Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts," just about nonstop since I picked it up last Tuesday. Holy shit this album is amazing. It is just a nonstop barrage of dance friendly punk rhythms backed up with fantastic lyrics and just gritty enough vocals. The first two tracks are rising quickly on my favorite tracks of the year, and the emotive force behind the vocals just make me smile and's one of those things you can't describe, but just feels good. End of story. Get it, however you can.
So this Saturday was my best friend's girlfriend's birthday party in Brooklyn. After a convincing text, I decided to show up, my sister in tow. You see, my, my friend, my sister, and his sister, all grew up together. So we all ended up there..and I felt out of place. First, knowing your little sister is getting hit on is awkward enough, but then not getting hit on yourself...ego killer.
Also, it was a hipster party, so I felt very out of place. Everyone was just taking random pictures and trying to be clever and ironic, and it was just...awkward. No other word, but awkward. I mean, at one point "Groove is in the Heart" (I only know that song because of my pre-teen obsession with Pop Up Video) came on the stereo...and people were dancing. I'm not sure if it was like, ironic dancing or not, but it creeped me out. Seriously.
And props to my best friend for trying to be a good wingman, telling everyone I had the best job in the world. It did not work, however, more due to my lack of confidence than anything else. Enough self effacing, however.
Friday, before the party, I went gaming at H2H and won the FNM, netting myself four packs and rounded out some draft sets. Also, added to the team, which is a good thing.
Finally, driving back from Brooklyn, I saw a cheesecake delivery truck that featured a young child laying naked on a bearskin rug. WTF...that does not make me think of cheesecake. If it did make me think of cheesecake, I'd have some serious fucking issues.
Later dudes,

Sunday, July 26, 2009

AmSteel Dance Party Preview

I really want to post an entry, but I'm too fucking tired. Expect something soon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Boom goes the dynamite

So Big D and the Kids Table released a new album last week, "Fluent in Stroll." I've grown up with this band, more or less, for the past eight years. They were the last band I saw before leaving home for college and have seen them a handful of times since, including one time sharing a beer with the lead singer. I have grown to love their blend of soulful ska and aggressive punk. Their albums always struck me as an interesting balance between the two, but their last effort, "Strictly Rude," struck me as a far more mature and groove based record. The snarling punk licks were still there, but there were far more dance numbers and lyrically driven rhythmic songs focused on intertwining vocal and horn lines. Even so, the ethos and chugging style of punk still existed on the record.
That driving force is hidden so well on FiS, that it might as well be gone.
And the record is phenomenal.
This record takes that ska sound and blends it with blues, rock, and soul, and creates something which is incredibly easy on the ears, yet has a depth of sound that was only hinted at before. Fans wanted them to go in the direction of "LAX"- the band chose "Chicago." Dave McWane has learned how to meld his distinct vocals with the band and wind the two together so that they compliment each other, as they did on "The One" from "Strictly Rude."
The backup singers add another layer to this record, which is already deceptively complex. Of course, this is coming from the perspective of a dedicated punk rock enthusiast, so anything more complex than a 1-5-6-4 major scale progression is going to knock my socks clean off.
That is not to say the record does not have some shortcomings. Sometimes the lead vocals get a bit too jokey, and you really want another lick here or there in certain songs. The Euro accent lady becomes slightly grating after a while, but is tolerable. Also, the record is missing one balls out rocker, and rather focuses on nice, easy danceable rhythms. I would have liked a mosher, but I'll setle for now.
But I think that this record has a lot to offer. The lyrics are simple, yet poignant and smart, the musicianship and orchestration is better than anything Big D has done before, and shows a growth in a direction I was not expecting. On top of everything else, it is an incredibly fun listen that I can see enjoying as I sit on a porch with friends, knocking back whiskey and beer.
Later dudes,

"Daylight's for recover
Walking home's a misery"
Big D and the Kids Table - A Kiss A Week

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Up and down the river

What a weekend! But I'll get to that in a second.
I just noticed I had 20 posts in June. I think that's pretty cool. Looks like I'm getting back into a groove...maybe...probably not...I like ellipses.
But yeah, the weekend. Well, it started with a day off on Friday. I took myself to lunch at Applebee's and thought the waitress was flirting with me, thanks to the fact she had an Autobot watch. Yeah, I can't read women for the life of me, but it was a nice lunch. I then went to Barnes and Noble and lo and behold, they had the new paperbacks of Iron Fist and Moon Knight. This was total joy, as I devoured those books in enough time to pack and pick up my friend from the train station. Let me tell you, I still love these arcs and I cannot wait for them to put out the next batch in paperbacks. There's something about a wise-cracking martial artist who fights against the forces of mythology and a schizophrenic man who wants to be a hero and control his murderous impulses...well...just joy.
So I picked up my friend from the train station and we drove the two hours to the campsite. It was fine, except for the pouring rain for about forty minutes, and well, was not exactly a fun drive.
Of course, the conversation was also pretty bad. We both play Magic, but he's very much a first level thinker, and very much set in his rut and thought process, so talking with him was like smacking my nuts in a drawer. Other conversations I had with this friend over the weekend:
1) Why he felt dog fighting should be legal. He believes that some dogs really want to fight and should be allowed to do so. Even if they have been bred and taught and drugged to fight, they still "want to" willingly.
2) Why he felt there was too much aid for attending college. Considering my line of work, I actually told him he had his head up his ass right before dropping him off for his train ride home.
Back to camping. It was awesome. Sure, the first hour was soaking wet and I barely slept in my tent, but it was so relaxing. I had a few beers, got fucked up, and just generally enjoyed sleeping out in nature.
The next day, well, was interesting. I had a bad reaction to something and ended up throwing up about 40 minutes into rafting. Speaking of that, we got started incredibly late, which turned into a positive since one of our friends got a late start and ended up showing up right as we were getting ready to get on the river.
We went down the river incredibly quickly, so fast that we actually got there earlier than we had in any year, and left later than ever before.
Of course, some of us drove back to camp to go out to dinner, but I didn't realize how tired and hungry I had become. By the time our dinner came, I was so hungry everything I ate made me feel like I was going to throw up. I drove back, barely able to keep my eyes open, and by the time I saw a hotel to crash I was ten miles from home. I got here and just crashed, and about halfway through Sunday finally felt back to normal. Now I'm in bed, getting ready to pass out and face the week.
All in all, a good weekend, I just wish I had not gotten sick so I could have enjoyed the rafting a little bit more.
Also, I would have liked to have worn a touch more sunblock, as I'm tender in a few spots, but nothing major.
Well, I think that's all for now. Later dudes,

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Crappy movies for the win

So as I write this, I'm sitting in bed catching the end of the first Transporter movie. Since my DVD player went kaput, I haven't indulged my love of all things Jason Statham in quite some time, and watching it on tv is quite nice. Statham just kicks ass in this move, and there is no second guessing him. I mean, he uses his legs to throw a guy out of a moving truck, while he's hanging off the roof. Total kick ass.
Work has been good recently. I have spent a significant amount of time cleaning my office and making my workspace more conducive to the work I want to be doing. This is a big plus, as the year is about to kick into gear and I want to have some good flow.
So, nerds and girls. the ultimate dilemma. Right now I'm dealing with two very different nerd-female relations issues.
First, is the former crush. This is when the nerd still talks to someone he/she had a crush on, normally because of stuff going on in the ex-crushes life. You see, the nerd usually has little to complain about (well, little of consequence to complain about anyway) and so when the ex-crush (or ex-partner, or whatever) lays on the sob story, the nerd can't help by listen, no matter what the feelings may be.
Now, this is done for two reasons. Sometimes, the nerd just genuinely feels bad, but most of the time, it's for schadenfreude. The nerd takes sick joy in seeing those who scorned him/her (real or imagined) have issues with aspects of life. This was the case whenever I would speak to my ex. Her life seemed to be stagnating, whereas mine was going up. This made me smile, as dick as that may be.
The other nerd to female relations issue I am dealing with currently is trying to analyze my situation. As I have written, I've been single (without a serious girlfriend) for nearly three years. After recently having a string of unsuccessful (read: no second) dates and getting stood up, I've done what every nerd does: analyze the situation. I have been trying to figure out what I am doing wrong so I can correct the "mistake" and just move forward in social life issues. Fact is, there's a good chance I am doing nothing wrong and I just need to be patient. Of course, this is logical, and nerds are only logical when it comes to things that do not matter, like why Optimus Prime could kick He-Man's ass.
1) Laser sword
2) Matrix of Leadership
3) Optimus isn't wearing a banana hammock

See what I mean?
Later dudes,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One Day I'll Never

Ugh, this was supposed to be my return to form with mentions of delicious food and a review of the new Big D and the Kids Table (it's awesome).
Instead, I have a headache and will be passing out shortly, but I wanted to talk about the kickball game we had tonight. We won (finally) after establishing a strategy that seemed to work against us last week. Basically, you bunt the ball as best as you can and run your ass down to first base and let your big guns knock in runs with bombs.
I went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI today. Big win for me.
We won 16-4. I am stoked for next week.
I feel much better than last week, seeing as how I was in a funky anyway, and got back on the right track today.
Totally excited for camping and rafting this weekend. I cannot wait for the annual adventure. I'm bringing the PBR, and it's awesome, no matter what my friends say.

Also, you should listen to the Cobra Skulls. They are the the real deal.

"One day I'll be able to live for today
And I won't be affected by the shit they say
But if I never get there
I don't care if I never get there."
Cobra Skulls - One Day I'll Never

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Someday I Suppose

What a fucking week. Let's take it one step at a time:
1) My car decided to die while the boss and I were out at lunch. I took it in, got some stuff done, but it was still have problems starting. This means that I have to take it in again to have, potentially, more work done which could make the costs rise into the thousand dollar mark. Oh yeah, that would totally suck. However, I need Obi-Wan to be in tip-top shape, and it's not like I'm broke, so that's a good thing.
2) Rafting is next week, preceded by camping. I am very excited . I just hope I don't make an ass out of myself this time, but I probably will...multiple times.
3) I tried a new recipe this evening- Chorizo Latkes. If i didn't burn them, they would have been awesome. Next time.
4) I got stood up on a date. I am going to take some time to vent and explore. Ever since I was dumped, I've been having problems connecting with women and haven't really liked anyone since I was dumped. Instead, I have brief infatuations that inevitably end, almost always by my hand. It's not that they are bad people, but I just stop being interested. These past three dates have gone to show that I can go on dates with nice women, and may want a second date, but one is convinced I gave her the flu, the other is looking for marriage, and the third, well, stood me up.
I don't even remember where I was going, but basically I'm just trying to find my way in the world, and hope to one day, just find someone.
Sometimes I wish I had more money so I could afford therapy and talk to someone about this, but despite what my family thinks, I can't really afford it right now.
Oh lord, I'm whining again. Sorry, I guess I just had one of those weeks. Sorry to dump this on you.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Feeling gross.
Nasty cold.
Lost kickball 10-0.
This cold is kicking my ass.
New Big D is pretty fucking rad.
Mu body hurts.
Need to become a better writer.
Need to let go of some things I hold on to in Magic to become better.
New Cobra Skulls is sweet.
I need to recharge.
Later dudes,

Saturday, July 4, 2009

And what if I get lost?

Welcome to post number 200! Are you as excited as I am? I'm very excited I need to change my shorts.
So last night was a whirlwind evening. It started with a drive down to Brooklyn to make camp at my parent's place. Whenever I have to spend some seriously time in Brooklyn, I make camp in the guest room/sister's closet/sister's old room for the duration. Since I had a date yesterday and one today in the Kings County, I decided to pack a bag for the weekend and move home for thirty six hours.
Oh yes, the date. Well, it was not the worst date I have ever had, but far from the best. When the subject of marriage comes up, on her end, well, it was not a good sign. She asked what I wanted out of relationship and I was honest, said looking for something serious that may develop, but not looking for that terminal relationship right now.
She, on the other hand, wants her next relationship to end in marriage.
She also came across as highly competitive and is a perfectionist. My problem with that is that it goes against my ethos of learning from mistakes.
Well, it ended, and I am not certain if I'm going to call her again.
Regardless, last night the Andrea Doria played in Manhattan and were awesome. I feel bad for these guys, as they have some serious ability and stage presence and are awesome guys, and it sucks that they played to three people, including myself. But seriously, check them out: . They are doing a cross country tour and are good their merch.
Okay, that's all for now. I have another date lined up for a little bit and I need to get ready.
Happy 4th, later dudes

"I know you want a lover for the rest of your life
But man, this woman her intentions ain't right"
Big D and the Kids Table- The One

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Some say it's a blackhole

So, I guess it's time for a real update.
I'm finally totally out from under my family. I switched over my cell phone plan today and now am totally self sufficient, money wise. It is definitely a weird feeling. I mean, yes, I've been on my own since September, but this is it. It's a weird and liberating feeling.
I now have a Blackberry, and while cool, it is going to take some getting used to. I mean, I like it and all, but I feel like I just upgraded phones, rather than got a personal pocket computer. Time will tell.
So, the Mets. I mean, I love them, but I really cannot get a read on this team. Are they the scrappy never say die underdogs or the injury plagued fill ins waiting for the stars to align? Every day it's a different team and I just do not know. Trying to figure this team out is almost as frustrating as watching them play.

I still love them.

Mark's band, The Andrea Doria, are playing in the city tomorrow, and this just happens to coincide with Mark's birthday. This means drinking, and quite a bit of it. I am excited. I like the guys in the band and they have crashed at my place a few times.

More news: I have some dates lined up. Ever since I changed my jDate photo to something more mature and clean cut, I find the ladies slightly more receptive to me. Holler. So yeah, I have some dates lined up, and I am sure to let everyone who reads this know how they end up.
I hope it does not make me a scum bag for having first dates with a few different people in a row. I don't think so, since I'm just trying to feel my way around the dating scene. I guess I'm making up for lost time.
Later dudes,

"Day to day, night to night, that's how we live and we're alright
Time's better lived in shorter lengths of time, paycheck to dollar night"
The Copyrights- Kids of the Blackhole

Interesting fact

I found this out at kickball: If you are ever in Parump, Nevada, the best place to get a burger is the local whorehouse.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Riding on a dolphin, doing flips

So Orientation is over. I love my job. I was driving around in my golf cart all weekend just awed at how much fun I was having. Of course after it was all said and done I crashed hard. I took Tuesday off and saw the Hangover and got a haircut. Kickball was supposed to start, but got rained out. I still got to meet my team and have a beer, so it was all good. I am looking forward to playing in the future.

Interesting moment is finding your student's youtube station, and being horrified.

This weekend should prove interesting. I have a couple of dates lined up, finally getting to play the field a little bit. I'm not trying to whore it up or anything, but rather just taking advantage of the ability to see multiple people and not spread VD around.

I'm honestly still wiped from this past weekend. I'll write more another time.
Later dudes,

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Eyes half shut

It has been a week. Non-stop Orientation action.
I'll have more stories, but needless to say this one is great: I was moving boxes and some of the female OAs started to joke about my arms/guns (as they called them). Needless to say, I turned bright red. You see, as a 25 year old male, no matter what, if a woman starts talking about my physical appearance, I am going to blush like a baby.
So of course they kept doing it, and I kept blushing.

I'm a winner.

Later dudes,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fingers Crossed

In my other life, I am a gamer. I write for a website on Magic the card game. Well, technically I write for the online version and a specific format, but that's neither here nor there. Well, that's another lie, since I was, for a long time, the only writer about this particular format. I have a reputation for being opinionated and making strong declarative statements that sometimes are proved false, and other times become truths. To quote Ron Burgundy... I'm kind of a big least over there.
So a new writer comes along, and he's just getting started. He makes some statements that are, well, not supported by evidence and I argue him in message boards. He learns, gets better, and comes back with a vastly improved article. I commend him, then continue to critique.

So of course I'm getting slammed for being a soulless, arrogant prick. Apparently I don't understand what he wrote, even after I read it five times (in other words, I'm pretty sure I get it). I lose my cool and call one of the anonymous posters a coward for posting without registering, and the shit hits the fan.

Why do nerds do this? Again, it is that sense of ownership. I am invested in the things I write and take great pride in a community in this format, since it has a strong community of players and I have watched it grow. I feel like I am vested in this thing, and when I speak and am misunderstood, i try to correct myself. I want this to be mine and for people to understand that I know what I am talking about. I want to own this, as a nerd wants owns everything n his or her nerd-o-sphere.
I believe that my comments were warranted and that I was a bit harsh, but still, I don't appreciate people hiding behind the anonymity of the internet to be callow jerks. You see, just like everything else, I want to own what I say. If I say something, I will not deny it and will defend what I say. I mean, it's my word, am I really going to be like "Sorry, no, didn't say anything like that." That's fucking weak.

The ownership of things by nerds is definitely a subject I should examine more. For example, the idea that nerds a re bad with women to an extent. I'm not sure this is the case, it's just that nerds are far more comfortable in their own little world sometimes, surrounded by perceived stigma from the past, that they don't want to venture out for change. Hey, I get it, change is scary and that's just human.
Later dudes.

"It doesn't matter what others say
Even those you call friends
Don't leave it out for another day
This might be your big chance"
Millencolin- Fingers Crossed

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's Mars versus Hollywood

I know it came out almost a year ago, but seriously, the Dark Knight is just about a perfect comic book movie. It captures the essence of Batman and does not pull punches to put it on screen. Bruce Wayne is all at once the vulnerable human and Batman the impervious symbol that the comics have educated us on for decades. Unlike some other, rather poorly made films, this one does not try to stick to a story perfectly but rather crafts its own narrative around the general concepts that are common threads throughout the series. The first X-Men movie did this very well...Wolverine not so much (as I understand it, seeing as I have yet to see it since my friends basically told me it was not worth my time).
The Dark Knight was also able to capture the conflict that brews at the heart of the best Batman stories, and that is Batman's own methods mirror those of his enemies except he refuses to kill. It does not hurt that Heath Ledger just blows all other villains out of the water with his portrayal of the Joker.
But why am I talking about this? As a Nerd, I value the integrity of Nerd-dom. It hurts so much when something that I, or other Nerds, cherish, is bastardized by other people. These stories made up our childhood and we feel a deep ownership of them. I mean, look at Star Wars. We all know that it sprung from the mind of George Lucas and is technically his, but he gave it to us before and we took it. Now, he wants it back so he can milk some more money out of the thing, and ruin everything we loved about the films. Seriously, before, Vader was hands down the best villain ever. Now, I dunno, since he basically decided to kill everyone over his girlfriend. Seriously- Vader is emo...and not like Sunny Day Real Estate, Julianna Theory emo.
So when someone takes something that we've loved so intensely and basically said "guess what fuckos, you were wrong about this" we get angry and upset and hurt.

And it's the funniest thing in the world, because it's a movie. Yet nerds everywhere, myself included, are so passionate about those things that shaped our lives that we can't let go. It's like when artists "sell out." Sometimes, yeah, they start sucking hardcore and should be forced to listen to their music on repeat while Celine Dion gyrates for them publicly...but sometimes its still great music, just on a bigger label. Those times from the past aren't gone or any less valuable...we just see them in a different light now.

And this comes back to movies. Transformers was such a great part of my youth- I had the toys and loved the show. When the movie came out I loved it, and really hope the sequel lives up to the first one. But you know what? I still had a problem with the first one.
Not enough robots fighting.
Like I said, nerds like things to stay the way they remember them.
Later dudes.

"You're so over it
And I can't stand it"
The Copyrights- Over It

Monday, June 22, 2009

Less talking, more kicking

So I've been asked to be a bigger nerd on this thing. No, seriously. You see, I've become part of a subculture of internet mavens who follow the blog of a punk rock singer/savant that we all follow, not just because we like the music, but because he has some damn good stories and entertaining prose.
So, nerdy, eh? Well, the title of this post comes from the recent run of The Immortal Iron Fist. I've grown fond of graphic novels as of late, in the wake of Watchmen (I'll get to that shortly), and Iron Fist is one I can't wait to get a hold of in softcover editions.
The story follows a wealthy young man who inherits the mantle of Iron Fist, a martial arts expert defender of a mythical city. He basically fights against other defenders and the forces that keep the hidden world hidden. He's also fighting against his history and the fate that all those who were Iron Fist's before him have ceased to be so at the age of 33. Guess how old our protagonist just turned?
Regardless, the art in these volumes is top notch, blending gritty action with marital arts crispness. It evokes a real underdog superhero story with wonderful wit- our lead, Danny Rand- utters some of the most memorable lines I have seen in the past year. The title, though, comes from his predecessor before a large battle against the forces of evil. I seriously recommend this run as it blends sharp wit with a flurry of fists.
But about Watchmen... The book is absolutely amazing. It is everything you want in a great novel- it questions the human condition in an interesting way and from multiple view points. We see existence from the vantage of the totally human to the depraved sociopath to the utterly insane and the transcendent. Really, you have to read this book as it is just...great. The art, however, sends the text over the edge. The imagery is unique and provides so much insight into the text that the two are inexorably linked forever.
But the movie just sucked. I do not want to go into all the reasons, but the main one, for me, is this: it tried to be a superhero movie.
Now, all superhero movies are about the human condition, but about how the superheroes reconcile their alter egos with their humanity. One of the nice thing about the novel is that it forced us to look at the inverse- these heroes are forced to abandon their adventuring aspects and have to reconcile their humanity with this aspect of the world. The problem is that the movie did not get this and tried to be a superhero movie- it took out the examination of the human condition, but left in the giant blue dick.
Well, that's all I really have to say about that for now. Watchmen is a fantastic book and the movie tried so hard, but it just missed on the big screen. When you're retelling a story, keep the point in tact.
Later dudes.

A scientist, a golden age

Afternoon blogging? Is this anything like Afternoon Delight?
Since I'm not getting any, the answer is a depressing "no."
Yesterday I was feeling down, today I am feeling significantly better. For me, work is my escape and cure all. I know that's not necessarily healthy, but it's the truth for me right now. So as much as I bitch and moan about the upcoming long days, deep down I'm excited and stoked.

However, I apparently will be forced to dance at some point. This is big frowns.

"We didn't need it/It just killed what we loved anyway"
The Riot Before- You Can't Sexy Dance to Punk Rock

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What a cluster

So yesterday I was feeling down. It happens, I try to move past it, but it happens. Aside from a pair of short lived periods spent dating the same woman for a few months, I have been remarkably single for well over two years. This has left me feeling isolated and lonely at times. Saturday was one of those times, and the fact that Philly canceled on me just exacerbated my feelings of being alone. Like I said, shit happens- I treated myself to a cheeseburger to try and cheer me up.
Only problem was it gave me indigestion, ruining my sleep. It made me a grumpy asshole for my drive down to Father's Day. On the plus side, Dad loved my gift of Ballentine Ale, since he never goes into the bodegas that carry the brew he loves so.
Anyway, all was going well until we piled into my car (Obi-Wan) to travel to Coney Island for a Cyclones game.
Parking was a disaster and took forever. Seriously, what the fuck? I know NYC is trying to Green itself up, but give us a real fucking parking lot.
Oh, wait, there was one, but a traffic cop decided to direct us to another lot that we bypassed for street parking.
So we get in and sit down, all of us pissed off. And then, as if on cue, it starts fucking pouring. Not like, a little bit, but enough to turn umbrellas inside out. Needless to say, we were all quite sour, and by the time we left the rain was tapering off. I drove us back and changed into hand me downs I gave to Dad years ago for a dryer ride home.
So now I'm here, ready to give my life over to Orientation for the next ten days, and hope I come out better for the trial of this week. I am exhausted and ready to crash to get ready for this week.
I wish I had something more interesting to write, but alas, I am a boring lonely fuck.
Later dudes.

Friday, June 19, 2009

No title today!

Well, at least for now anyway. Yesterday was really weird. I made a small gaff at work but recovered to be my typically awesome self, and I'm overjoyed at the prospect of driving a van today to pick up $500 worth of junk food.

Part of my job is to spend $500 on junk food. Seriously.

Last night though, I was just wasted. Not drunk, just knackered, wiped out, whatever you want to call it. I got home a little after five and by 8:00pm I was crawling into bed. I barely had the energy to sit upright, but couldn't fall asleep. Thank goodness for the USA Network, which kept me distracted from K-Rod's implosion (it's okay, it's only one blown save, and we're still in the running). Anyway, this mindless character driven television helped me pass out with ease.
Except, of course, my dreams were fucked again. Only in my dreams can I get up the nerve to ask a girl out, and then somehow forget to copy down her information, thus ruining any chance of a my dreams.
Later dudes, off to work!

"This is not a case of lost ambition
Never had any to speak of so it can't be missing"
The Copyrights- Out of Ideas

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Parting Glass

Okay, another blog post from bed. Today was exhausting, seeing as it started with me trying to flush water from my eye. You see, I come home from the gym and get ready to make breakfast and I see one of my drinking glasses has cracked. I go to pick it up and it my face. I panic and start trying to flush whatever glass had gotten into my eyes out. I call Mom and panic, I go to work and panic, and finally go to the doctor (rather, Urgent Care Facility). They perform the test to check my eyes which involves numbing my eyeballs. Now, let me tell you something- you may not know you feel with your eyes, but you sure do after they become numb. It's like your seeing straight out of your skull.
Needless to say, my eyes are fine.
So my day is kinda stilted, and I get back to find out that my date has been canceled. I honestly don't feel like trying to find out why and defriend her on facebook and erase her from my phone. Of course I get a text from her later asking about the facebook snuff, but I don't care.
Honestly, nice person, but I just do not feel like pursuing this too strongly since it is in another city and I was going on the date to get to know the person.
I'm a tool, that is all, later dudes.

"And if they offered a test: 'Have I Been A Good Friend?'
I'd put money down that you'd surely flunk."
Alkaline Trio- "Jaked on Green Beers

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The quick and the undead

I'm not really full of things to say tonight, but here it goes.
I'm trying to rest up as orientation is fast approaching, so I have to save all the energy I can so I do not crash over the next ten days.
I am incredibly excited for my date on Saturday, but really do not want to drive to two hours. Oh well, sacrifices must be made.
The Mets...please pull it together. We easily could have gone 5-1 against the Phils and Yanks, but we didn't...because we suck (there I go, using the fan We).
I made tacos from scratch tonight- no mix. Best tacos I've ever had in house.
I don't know why I wasted such an awesome title on such a lame post. Later dudes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Advertising Fail

Dear Mexico,
The fact that your country had a well received reaction to Swine Flu does not mean you should use this fact in your tourism commercials.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Boys will be boys

What a weekend. It all started in Irvington at the Friday Night Magic. I got there early after taking a half day at work to trade in some cards so I could have a deck to compete with that evening. I ended up brewing up a budget Black Red Zombie deck and went 3-1, netting myself 4 packs to round out my three draft sets. I'm loving this little gamer community and find myself slotting in nicely.
I spoke to Philly a bunch this weekend, and am looking forward to our date, for lack of a better term, next Saturday. I am not, however, looking forward to the two hour drive, each way.
Anyway, Phil came up this weekend. Phil is one of my best friends from college and we used to play in a band together, but we have not hung out in over half a year. He came up for a night of good times and good music. He arrived late, dealing with the left over BS of his former band. See, Phil was the bank- the only person making good income so the big purchases, aka the van, came out of his pocket. The band is now trying to see if it can sell the van, and move it around the former member's houses for storage. And all this took longer than expected, so Phil came up and we immediately went shopping for dinner food. Dinner was broiled turkey burgers with smokey spice, roasted onions and peppers, bound together with panko breadcrumbs and chipotle chedder. This was served on a hearty roll on a bed of spinach and onion slaw and topped with bleu cheese crumble. Served with a side of Pabst.
We hit the bars and consumed our booze, laughing at the popped collars and Affliction tees until I ran into a student and we had to leave the bar. We hit up another bar then pizza where there was a very loud singing effeminate man in high waters and dreads. Needless to say, we made it home laughing as I came up with an idea for a charity "Hand Jobs Across America" (it'd go guy-guy-girl-guy-guy-girl, etc.). We made it home, and he crashed on my couch, me in my bed. I dreamed I was thirsty and decapitating my old enemies, and woke up seven hours later to go get brunch.
The rest of the day was spent getting groceries and doing and absurd amount of laundry. And now I'm in bed, after working on two Pauper decks and writing this blog, just about ready to pass out.
Later dudes-

The Menzingers- "They Speak of my Drinking, but Never of my Thirst"

Friday, June 12, 2009

Plus and Minus

Congratulations to my sister on getting into the Columbia Pre-Med Post Bachelor's Program.

But seriously, what the fuck Mets?

My MASH Unit Mets

Seriously, I'm just not even going to worry about the Mets until after the All Star Break. The number of injuries our team has endured thus far borders on comical and we are all kidding ourselves as fans if we think the team can compete as is or with making a few, obviously bad, moves at the trade deadline. Sit tight and wait, and then wait some more for next year, perhaps.

"Scrape up the stone to know it’ll be alright
If you don’t know where you’re gonna sleep tonight
But you know, it’s all within your reach
Go outside, lay your heart on the street
If only I could practice what I preach"
The Copyrights- "Second Hearse, Same as the First"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A kick in the ball

So this is really a few short weeks I will be playing on a team in an amateur kickball league. I can't tell if this makes me incredibly awesome or incredibly creepy...perhaps creepily awesome.
I love baseball, and ESPN's baseball tonight. The show is smart, funny, and insightful, and covers the best damn sport on Earth. However, I can't stand John Kruk. Now, 95% of the time he's a fine analyst, lending his experience as a solid hitter and long time player to the program and doing a bang up job. However ,when talking about the Phillies, his former team, he always down plays how poorly they are playing and uses softer words (unless the mistakes are so egregious he has not note them). When talking about the Mets, if they play anything less than perfect baseball he calls them out as if they are an insult to the game. I mean, I know that there was a rivalry there when you were a player, but please leave that behind now that you're in the booth. A few notes:
1) I fully acknowledge that Kruk could kick my ass easily.
2) I am sure I only notice this because I am a Mets fan and pay more attention to the show whenever they are on.
3) In all other aspects I find Kruk to be a fine analyst. In fact, it is his battle with testicular cancer that has made me comfortable taking the proper precautions to preventing the disease in myself, since I am at risk. Basically, I use it as an excuse to feel around down there more often.
Now that Lost is off the air for the season (seriously, I hate that show but have to watch every episode because I need my fucking answers), Thursday has become my cheesy TV night. Burn Notice and the new Royal Pains are my opiate of choice, allowing me a relief from my day in humorous action, neurotic doctors, and Bruce Campbell. Everything is better with the Chin!
Phil is coming up this weekend for burgers, beer, and bonanza (I needed a word that began with B). It should be a good time, recounting days of yore, getting smashed, and talking about the finer points of college, like the multiple times he saw me naked. Not on purpose, but things happen.
Later dudes,

"Cause my friends are fucking awesome
And we keep on doing our best
Even though our lives are a mess"
Big D and the Kids Table- "LAX"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


So Magic announced a huge change to the rules. I am not sure how I feel about this. I will want to wait until I play a few games with the new rules and cards before I say yay or nay, but I honestly feel like it'll be okay an I'll keep playing (as if the latter was ever a question). basically, combat got "more intuitive" to their focus groups, but makes less sense to everyone else playing the game. I can't travel back to my days of learning the game to see if these rules would have been easier to grasp, but I don't think they would be.
I still love the game.
American Steel posted a new song which is just, absolutely fucking perfect. Check it out at I mean, really...this guys just kick so much ass and play music with such raw emotion that shine through in their lyrics and tone; it gets me every damn time. Seriously, if you like punk rock even a little, check out this band.
I feel bad for my pal, who shall remain nameless, but posts here from time to time. She's having a rough time of it, dealing with a terrible work situation. I wish she could quit, but in this economy, I know it's a bad idea to do anything drastic. She's doing all she can, and I know her situation will get better, but I am hoping for sooner rather than later.
So Philly (code name people, code name) called me today. I am still awed by this, and I find it incredibly endearing, mostly because the girl I dated for almost a year only called me if A) something was going wrong, like she was bleeding to death or B) she was returning my call. So yeah, getting calls from a woman who I haven't even been a date with yet...nice change of pace and ego boost.
I also got the information about the kickball league today and talked to my co-worker about signing up with me, which would be sweet.
Okay, that's all for now, later dudes.

"We only need a song to dance to
We only need a chorus to sing along to
Pabst tall boys and all of our friends
And everything will be alright
If only for tonight, if only for tonight
Drink and dance and sing along
Cause everything will be alright
If only for tonight"
-American Steel- "Emergency House Party"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Spoon out your eyes and...

I'm taking a week off from the gym. My body has basically told me to sleep more than usual, so I've pushed back my wake up time by over an hour this week to give my body the time it needs to recover from this past year. That being said I'm an antsy fucker and want to get back into the gym. And this is boring, I know...but it is my blog and I want you all to know I am a sleepy fucker this week and have altered my plans based upon that fact.
Oh, I have a new follower...which is scary, since I've never actually met the dude. Hi guy! We both post on the Sock Drawer, aka the fan boards for Brendan Kelly's blog the Bad Sandwich Chronicles, which is far and away the funniest shit I've read in a while. If you like breathing, read that blog. If you like being compared to the results of male masturbation, sign up for the fan forums. It's like a circle jerk...but with ladies!
So now I'm sitting here, watching the Mets play the Phillies (and right now they're winning, yay!) listening to the Dopamines drinking a Blue Moon seasonal brew. I'm trying to think back a year, to when I was still technically living in Buffalo and job hunting. Right around this time I was driving home for my cousin's wedding and interview at a school in Poughkeepsie, NY. I was miserable...well, close to it. Now, though, so much has changed. Life is good, and I just need to get out there and meet people. This, of curse, is leading me to sign up for a honest and true kickball league, playing kickball against other grown people in the sport of PE classes everywhere. I am stoked. Hopefully they will encourage me to wear headbands, short-shorts, and Keds...just like grade school.
I think I have a date set up in Philadelphia in just over a week. I'm not sure how this happened...okay, yes I am sure. I used jDate. This is all well and good, but I need to head back out there, you know, and be a person, not just a digital image.
I've actually gone out and done a ton of stuff in social settings. In addition to the kickball thing, I've started going to brunch and am seriously considering becoming a beach bum. I do wish cabs here were cheaper, seeing as how it costs 15 bucks each way for a ride to the bars (and it's only 4 miles- the joys of living on a college campus with students who go six to a cab), I end up driving myself out there a bunch...which in the end isn't a bad thing, since I don't get too sloshed. However, sometimes I want to get sloshed. This weekend might be one of those times, since I have friends visiting, which means someone to split cab fare with. We'll see.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I don't need blood stains on my hands to make me feel like I'm a man

What a weekend. I am exhausted, and I did not do all that much.
Friday I played some Magic and drafted rather well, going 3-1 and placing second, hopefully making some new gaming pals in the process. I was all set to go drinking after, but I was beat, so I came home to sleep...
And ended up talking to a woman on the phone for an hour from 2am to 3am, leaving me thoroughly exhausted for my Saturday. Now, normally, I would have liked to sleep in. However, thanks to the Sunday event that would be taking place not fifteen feet from my bed room window, I was jolted awake at the ripe old hour of 8am to people setting up tents and port-o-potties. That's right- you're shit woke me up.
So I did my grocery shopping and went to a Starbucks to finish working on an article, where I randomly accidentally farted on some people. I didn't mean to- I was sitting down and it just sort of happened. Thankfully...well, they noticed, but it was funny anyway.
I ended my Saturday by going to a bar and waltzed right into the middle of some fucked up birthday party. I left when a double chinned, orange tanned, absurdly breasted (presumably the birthday girl) started dancing and shaking my bar stool and smacking my shoulder with what was either a boob or a well formed pocket of residual vodka that was hibernating under her bust for a later date and know, for emergencies.
Sunday, I walked through the madness of the charity walk (that had woken me up again, after too little sleep), encountering a Stormtrooper and apparently, Bristol Palin, as I attempted to go eat brunch. He mother was, as I was told, on the campus (where I for the charity event. So not only was I tired, but I was likely in the presence of ignorance incarnate.

This is really my life.

So I enjoyed my brunch and went out to buy some books. I find myself rereading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? so I picked up another Dick novel. I also bought Closing Time, the so-called sequel to Catch-22. Then, in desperate need of human contact, I went to the beach, found none, and came home to eat dinner and do laundry and watch the Pro Tour online.
I live in the suburbs, and it is difficult for me to get out. Well, not difficult, but drinking in the evening is a pain since the cabs charge extra to come here. This means I end up driving myself and not drinking a lot, which is fine. However, since I live where I work it makes it difficult to really get away, mentally.
I dunno, I'm just ranting. Looks like I am going to be signing up for kickball in a few weeks.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

So, in my attempt to actually have interesting things to is my day.
I slept late and skipped the gym. I like going to the gym in the morning, it helps to wake me up and get my blood flowing (that and I'm too cheap to spend money on coffee...also I like thinking I'm good looking). But today, too sore..too tired...sleep won.
Work is..well, slow right now. The big myth is that when you work at a college you do nothing during the summer. Bull shit. Yeah, now is slower, but I still have work to do.
Another myth: girls. So many of my friends think that it's okay for me to just, like, mack it to the students for lack of a better term. Um, this is a good way to get my ass I won't do that.
People have a lot of ideas about working at a college and most of them are heavily influenced by Donald Sutherland's character in Animal House. reality is far different...if I'm caught in a short bathrobe, bye bye paycheck (and sadly, I need that money to do things like live).
As I write this, I found out my Mets lost Jose Reyes for quite a bit of time. Well, this sucks. Whatever, it's happens. next year...let's go Mets.
So yeah, my day mostly consists of playing Magic online, surfing the web, sleeping, working, exercising, and trying to find food to eat. I also spend way too much time trying to figure out ways to meet people that do not suck. So far, I've signed up for jDate, which has, in the past week, sent me two messages telling me to start working out.
Sigh. The website was an experiment that has not exactly panned out. Rather, it just gets me frustrated at the shallowness of quite a few people on that site. But any way...
Yeah, I'm gong to try and be more positive, but the Reyes news knocked the wind out of my sails..that and I'm drinking more than usual tonight.


I skipped the gym this morning, deciding that sleep was far more important. So of course in my extra hour of slumber, I dreamed that i was keeping some sort of giant robot insect in a box in my apartment and that it had gotten loose and was now some where, free in my domicile. Now, normally this would not be an issue except that this guy was big and scary and deadly (so of course I was keeping him in a cardboard box...because I'm 7 and cardboard boxes are super sweet).
Needless to say, the sleep was good.
Strange things happen when I sleep- about a month ago I was woken up and could have sworn my home was being attacked by zombies. As it turns out, people were just throwing eggs at me.
Possibly one of the worst feelings in the world, stemming from a lack of sleep, is the inability to do something you know you're good at. Whether it's work, hobbies, exercise, cooking, whatever...having an off day absolutely sucks. And you know, it's like a slump..sometimes you just have to keep going up there and striking out in order to find your rhythm. Of course, you have no idea how long it could take you to get out of your funk, so sometimes it just seems endless, but in your head, you know things will even out.
Okay, off to work.

Musical recommendation: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones- "Live From the Middle east"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Holy shit!

I know I should post more, but I'm lazy.
The MASH Unit Mets are going to be's a long season.
Why do weathermen treat Hurricane season like porn? Seriously, it's like they want to blow their wad on the Doppler. Seriously..people are dying, at least use a condom.
Music is still awesome.
Creepy vendors who show up unannounced and try to ambush your boss are not cool. Don't do this, it makes you a douche.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

So We Are The like New Found Glory + Less Than Jake.
That's right, my favorite band from high school!
Except they're new and amazingly awesome.
They're a band that just makes me smile to the music but feel deep about the lyrics.
Top that with an energy that is just hard to beat, and well, you have a winner for the Alex:

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I am exhausted.
There are some people in this world who need to learn that getting the last word isn't everything.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I love my job.
I don't love all the hours.
Sometimes I wish they had a nap scheduled into my day.
When I say sometimes, I mean all the time.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Don't laugh, I'm completely serious...part 8

I've been back home for four days, and never got to wrapping up my trip.
It was awesome. I think I need a vacation for a little bit though- I am knackered for real.
My car ride play list:
"Suiticide"- Pour Habit
"No Matter Where We Go...!"- Latterman
"Not Without a Fight"- New Found Glory
"Who We Are"- We Are the Union
"Losing Streak"- Less Than Jake
"Somewhere in the Between"- Streetlight Manifesto
"A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology"- The Menzingers
"Sink or Swim"- The Gaslight Anthem
"Sam"- The Sidekicks
"Hospitals"-Off With Their Heads
And then I went the the conference. Okay, I actually got lost and played the next two albums, but was so upset because I got lost that I didn't listen and considered them "unplayed."
"C I V I L W A R"- Dillinger Four
"Oh! Calcutta!"- The Lawrence Arms
"Little Brother"- Dead to Me
"Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers"- Lucero
"Los Feliz"-Chuck Ragan
"So Long, Soggy Dog"- The Sidekicks
"Resignation Day"- Banner Pilot
"Broadway Calls"- Broadway Calls

Good times.

It's opening day...let's go Mets!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Don't laugh, I'm completely serious...part 7

I am listening to Vernon Wall talking about Social Justice.
This constitutes a win.

Don't laugh, I'm completely serious...part 6

So you might be asking yourself- "Hey, why is this guy posting at 7:00am?"
I, on the other hand, am asking myself- "Hey, why are you up so damn early? You went to the Big Gay Dance last night!"
You see, ACPA has these socials on Monday night, and that last one is the Standing Committee for LGBTQ Affairs social. A number of years back, Allies started attending en masse and it got the tag line The Big Gay Dance.
It is big, and it is a dance, and yes, I suppose it is gay.
It was, however, an absolute blast, as is evidenced by the fact that I actually danced...a lot. I don't dance- I actually fear it in my day to day life since I have the rhythm a broken squiggle pen. However, just as ACPA allows our LGBTQ brethren to be who they really are without fear at these conferences, it allows people like me to make total fools out of themselves while cutting loose.
Of course, I want to go to sessions today, so that meant getting back at 1:40am for a 2:00am pass out has left me a bit tired now. But hey, it is definitely worth it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Don't laugh, I'm completely serious...part 5

Today marked the beginning of the educational sessions. As of this writing, I have attended two and a half.
Starting things off, buying groceries was the right move as yogurt wins over nasty cereal any day.
Craig got down here nice and early, so I was able to show him around and get him acclimated to ACPA.
The first session was an interesting look at the spiritual development of college students, presented by none other than Astin and Astin. When listening to Mr. Astin speak, I could see the words out of his mouth and surrounded by quotation marks on a page written by me at some point in the future. It was a powerful presentation on a subject I didn't realize fascinated me. However, after listening to them speak, I now see ways to help my students develop as spiritual beings without being overly preachy or religious.
The next two (or rather, one and a half) sessions were based on trying to be a better advisor to student groups. While the first proved useful and informative (and will inform my practice), the second was more of a workshop and less of a way for me to learn how to advise those who donate their time to the wonderful student groups with which I work.
What is disappointing is that this was supposed to be a focal point of my trip. In working with the clubs of my institution, I have seen a need to develop a strong set of guidelines for the advisors (or rather, my supervisor has seen this and I wholeheartedly agree), and while these sessions have shown me some potentially strong methods, I am not certain how I will implement what I have learned when I return to my campus.
The great thing is I still have two days of convention left!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Don't laugh, I'm completely serious...part 4

So the conference has officially begun. Yay!
I picked up enough groceries to last me for the week, all for twice as much as lunch cost me. Go me for being cost effective!
The opening ceremony was nice. The convention chair was absolutely wonderful (Jonathon Poullard)and the keynote address by Greg Mortenson was nice, but lacked the fire and passion to back up his incredibly important message regarding education. However, he did give me insight into a great maxim: "When it's dark out, you can see the stars." I like that.
The reception was great and I got to connect with a ton of people (recurring theme for the win).
The most important thing, though, was how the opening ceremony reaffirmed my love for the field. After a exhausting job search and seven months of non-stop work, I feel that I have lost my way just a tad. The speeches lit a fire under my ass, and I want to go back to work, guns a blazin', so to speak. I went into this field to help students- to make their lives at college and beyond better. Have I done that? Yes, but I can do more. Somewhere along the lines I got comfortable and let some things fall by the wayside (my attention to detail, for example). This needs to change, and hopefully, after plunging my fist into the heart of my own personal Shou-Lou, I will return more powerful in the ways of student affairs.

Don't laugh, I'm completely serious... part 3

So my volunteer session is over, and part of me wishes I had more time spend volunteering. Alas, programs start tomorrow and I have an awful lot to do.
I did manage to catch up with a bunch of people, including a ton of people from Buffalo, which was nice. I also got to see Jay for the first time since Orlando, which prompted us both to exclaim it had been too long.
These days are great since I just get to spend my time meeting people. I am excited for tonight's cocktail hour and then getting into the conference proper tomorrow. But for now, I need a break!

Don't laugh, I'm completely serious...Part 2

I'm wide awake- it's morning.
Okay, half of that sentence is a lie. I discovered the joys of being on call last night as I am woken from my peaceful and much needed slumber by a call from campus. Nothing major, but still took me a while to get back to sleep.
Breakfast was awesome. The food stunk, but I managed to meet two more people from the conference, which is just really cool.
The food...well, it's a hotel continental breakfast.
Now it's time to shower and get over to the conference site for a sold stretch of time.
A quick shout out to all of my friends following my misadventures over the internet:
Hi Boss!
Hi Trish!
Hi Dan- you called me by accident at 10:45 last night!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Don't laugh, I'm completely serious...part 1

ACPA is here! That means I'm in DC!
That's all, update over.

Just kidding. Today was easily one of the more exhausting days I have had in a long long long long time. Let's start at the beginning, which of any good exhausting day is actually the night before.
I had work, which isn't too bad. It was just the culmination of an incredibly long and taxing week. I love my job, but sometimes you just have days that make you go "seriously?" And work did not end until 2am, in all the loud sweaty glory of a college toga party (I love my job!).
Highlight of the night: my boss (hi boss) finally understanding why I get uncomfortable at parties after witnessing too many scantily clad individuals.
So since I was going to drive myself down from Westchester to Maryland (where I'm currently sitting in bed), I thought that I'd get up at around 11:00am and lounge my way down I-95.
My body had different ideas, waking my tired ass up at 8:00am. Thanks biorhythm.
So I'm out the door at a quarter past ten and nothing of note happens, aside from me seeing another car with a Manhattanville decal down in New Jersey.
No, nothing major happens until I hit Maryland, at which point, my directions are worth precisely diddley shit. What should have been a simple 4 hour trip turns into a 7 hour opus as I somehow end up in Virginia, crying at the top of my lungs as I dial my savior, Trish, who gives me three different sets of directions to finally get me to my hotel.
And not a moment too son, as I was mere moments away from trying to find a way to pee in a discarded water bottle.
So I check in and find a place to eat, gorging on my first cheeseburger in six weeks. It was nothing special, but I tipped the guy five bucks on a ten dollar bill because it hit the spot.
Even though registration is closed, I haul my ass over to the conference site. Lo and behold, in the car ride over I find someone who has a connection to me: she knows my cousin who currently is a first year at her school, and has met my aunt. Small. Fucking. World.
I end up at the site and run into some of my old program mates from Buffalo. Of course, then I run into Dr. Pope, and it was just great. Dr. Pope is the reason I am still in this profession, and just seeing her...well it made my day. Even after that horrid trip that proves that I am a horrible navigator...the day was a sum positive.
So, here I go again, trying to be a professional and keep my youthful streak alive.
I think it's time to pass out.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Here we go...again

It's time for me to make my third annual trip to the ACPA Conference, this time in lovely Metro DC.
I leave tomorrow. I still have to:
*Take out money
*Fill the tank in Obi-Wan (that's the Honda folks)
*Get directions to my hotel
*Copy down important phone numbers
*See everyone I intend to see
*Save the princess
*Set up my iPod playlist for the long ride there and back
Oh, I also have work until 2:00am. Good times.
This conference is different though; for the firs time I am attending one of these shindigs as a full fledged professional and representative of an institution. I don't have to carry around that "student" tag anymore. In one sense, it is liberating, as I do not have to concern myself as much with impressing potential employers. This is a huge relief. At the same time, I am a real professional now, which means that, you know, I have to act professional (which I do...just ask my boss...who said she'd be reading this. Hi Boss!).
I'll be missing the second Pauper PE, which sucks, but thus is life.
I will be blogging from the conference, thanks to my new super awesome deluxe lap top.
Off to work.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

25 Random Commons

So back when the 25 Song shuffle was popular on facebook, Brian David-Marshall told me I should do 25 random notes about 25 random commons. I'm going to do that now, well after the meme has passed.
How I did this: I hit random card on Gatherer Beta until I hit a common.
All commons must be potentially legal for online Pauper play, meaning common and from a set beyond Mirage (even if the set isn't on MTGO yet).
I will skip Basic Lands.
Here we go:
1: Crown of Flames- A strictly better Firebreathing, I am sure people want Auras to be good, but they just aren't. In order for one to be good, it really has to do something special, like Armadillo Cloak.
2: Keeper of Kookus- I remember years ago, for my birthday I got a box of Visions. As far as Pauper, this card could be tech in the Goblins mirror match. Of course, Goblins are not a popular choice right now.
3: Sandstorm Eidolon: The Eidolons provide a free form of card advantage, if you pack your deck with enough multicolored cards that is. As of now, there just aren't enough cards to make a deck featuring these cards viable.
4: Craw Wurm- The iconic common green fatty. I remember seeing this card in my first packs of revised and being instantly hooked. Totally worthless in Pauper.
5: Coordinated Barrage- One of the biggest problems with Pauper is that Wizards uses commons to help push a set's theme and make interesting cards for draft. That often leaves a healthy portion of commons absolutely worthless for most serious Pauper decks. This is such a card, unless a great Soldier deck shows up.
6: Barbarian Bully- What was I just talking about? Sometimes there are cards that aren't there to show off the theme as much as to be limited filler with the theme tacked on.
7: Whimwarder- I like this card as some MUC sideboard tech for those decks featuring Errant Ephemeron.
8: Footbottom Feast- some people like these types of cards. I do not, as they require far too much work to make work well.
9: Reckless Abandon- This will appear in some mono-red weenie decks when it comes online. I remember a humorous article in a Duelist years ago about a deckthat ran 8 of this card.
10: Giant Growth- Another iconic green card. This one rarely makes the cut, as (Predator's Strike) is far more exciting.
11: Restless Dreams- I really love the tensions of this card. It used to be on my short list of black refuel cards until Grim Harvest came along. My first exposure to this card was as a great late game breaking in Prismatic Stairwell Highlander (like Stairwell Highlander, only 5 of each color in each casting cost slot).
12: Nacatl Savage- I love cards like this, but sometimes i wish Wizards would be a little more creative in retreads.
13: Rat's Feast- I do not think anyone has ever cast this gainst me. It is far too slow to matter.
14: Magma Spray- I love elegant cards like this. If Stinkweed Imp and Blind Hunter make a serious comeback, I am prepared to run this bad boy out there.
15: Enfeeblement- I have no idea what to say. This card could be good for Pauper if it was not black. I think that sums it up.
16: Strangling Soot- I love non-traditional card advantage. Soot is not only a fantastic limited card, but an under appreciated removal spell. If a Rakdos Midrange deck ever emerges, or the Rock wants to splash red, this card makes the cut, no doubt.
17: Taunting Elf- So many people want Elves to be a good deck. Those people eventually run into Crypt rats and cry.
18: Goblin Sledder- Goblins, on the other hand, have the burn to back up the beats. My first successful Pauper deck ran these guys as a way to increase damage output. Now, this card helps to fight off Tendrils of Corruption.
19: Rofello's Gift- Sucks. No constructed Pauper applications. However, I did attend the Urza's Destiny Prerelease in Florida, after I scrubbed out of the JSS Open. MaRo was the head judge (I think), and I passed up an opportunity to take a picture with Richard Garfield, who my father had started talking to (not knowing who he was at the time). My reasoning: I was busy in a game. Apparently, when told this, Dr. Garfield smiled.
20: Regeneration- Another aura. I do love the original Quinton Hoover art, though.
21: Keldon Mantle- So many auras.
22: Path of Peace- At some point, this might have been a staple. Now, with cards like Oblivion Ring and Sunlance, it's just another bad card for theme decks.
23: Sonic Seizure- I love this card; I love this art, I love dealing damage. Sadly, this card just is just not good enough for competitive Pauper (yet).
24: Zombie Cannibal- Once again, another card that fills a role for limited. Come on random algorithm, give me some something good for number 25!
25: Norwood Ranger- I could not have asked for a better punch line.


Monday, March 2, 2009

I have been working here for six months, and already I have had more snow days here than I had during my entire career at Binghamton. Speaking of snow...
There are albums that really just seem to be made for snowy cold days. Polar Bear Club's "Sometimes Things Just Disappear" is one such album. If I wasn't such a lazy bastard, I was going to put on that album and walk around the in snow. The anthems that are drenched in the despair of Western New York seem perfect for a day like today.
Instead, I was a lazy ass and took a nap on my couch. No Polar Bear Club, although I doubt they would have approved of my waling, unless of course I was drunk. Which I was not. Sorry to disappoint.
Spring Training is underway, and I for one am excited. I can't wait to start rooting for the Mets and watch them lose in the clutch again. Baseball is the ultimate nerd sport- it's all about statistics and absurd arguments. I mean, that's what nerds to for fun?
it's also the game most nerds think they can play- guess what, you are wrong nerds. Baseball seems to me to be incredibly difficult to play at any level and most people who proselytize about the game that aren't professional broadcasters probably stink at the sport. Unless, of course you don't. In which case...don't hurt me!

EDIT: This song is really doing it for me today.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Grixis teachings, part 2

A supplement to my article here, for all you Magic folk.

I am not a fan of Teachings in Pauper for this reason: there is no need for such specialized answers. The best part of Teachings is just being able to go get multiple answers.
But is that enough? I don't think so. Unlike formats where Teachings was popular, there is no one overwhelming card you can go get that will send you over the top with card advantage. In other formats, you would be able to go get a Tendrils of Corruption and, with an Urborg in play, generating an immense tempo advantage in the form of life gain. No such combo exists in Pauper.
So what is the appeal about Teachings? It is for all those Blue control players who want to survive in a field of aggressive strategies but also for those who don't like to yield to formats. To me, Teachings lacks the ability to dominate against the field, but rather has the ability to be slightly above average or slightly below average to everyone out there. This does not suit my style of play.
Yes, those with great skill and perfect knowledge will succeed in a given metagame, but even the top Teachings deck at the recent Premier Event, I felt, was not well prepared for a field with a healthy dose of aggro- only one Echoing Decay main, for example. Teachings, rather, is strongest in a field on control, where the counters fetched represent a real advantage.
Why is this the case? The flat power level of Pauper means that getting one, or two, or even three cards does not really matter. Instead, it is when these advantages begin to stack that they actually matter. Teachings requires a huge mana and time investment to make such an advantage possible. In a format with a fundamental turn of four, this is just too slow for my liking. There are no big game changing plays, aside from Corrupt, that come after that turn.
This is why I favor aggro with disruption and midrange control decks. They have the ability to apply consistent pressure across the span of the game. They react to the flat power level of the format with an even amount of pressure, which serves me well.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

I got called old yesterday.
I was called old because I was listening to punk rock.
I was at work on a Saturday night, helping the students put on the rock show. It was a blast, although one of the bands showed up an hour early. Seriously? What kind if rock band shows up an hour early for a show? Aren't they supposed to show up late, and snort cocaine off of the penises of transvestite prostitutes? I mean, an hour early? It's a good thing they rocked (the Looking Glass Wars).
So in between sets, I set up my iPod to play some tunes and I switch on "Ruby Soho" by Rancid, and the guys from the second band, Searching for Skylines, basically go "Holy Shit, how old are you? I mean, this song is way too old for these kids to listen to!"
Fuck, listening to Rancid makes me old? I'm 25 (coincidentally, the song "25" on the latest Bomb the Music Industry! album is nothing short of fantastic.
Working at a college, things are interesting. I am constantly surrounded by people that, if I were a few years younger or in a different profession, I could easily be their friend. However, given my role, I am actually a supervisor and administrator, even if I am only three years older than some of the students.
Fuck, I am old..aren't I?
No, no I'm to old, I'm just dealing with the fact that I'm older. I mean, everyone goes through this at some point- learning how to cope with life after college (or grad school, or whatever).
You know, the media has a ton of movies and shows about life in college or the early 30's, but nothing in between. You know why? That time tends to be rather boring if you're just a cog in the machine.
Oh, I'm just complaining again. I just did not like getting called old.
Now I'm going to bed and going to watch CBS.


EDIT: Man, I was so depressed, I forgot to talk about nerd stuff. I picked up the second volume of Moon Knight, and it was pretty amazing. I mean, I am a sucker for characters who are based around vengeance (see Ghost rider). But this guy, Moon Knight, takes the cake. A former mercenary, he ends up dying, but gets resurrected by an Egyptian deity of revenge. Of course, we don't know if he actually talks to the god, of if he's just fucking nuts. Either way, it makes from some great character study.
The "god" appears to our hero in the guise of a dead nemesis, of who MK has relieved of his face. It's pretty graphic but also adds a hint of black comedy to an otherwise bleak, and character driven piece.
Unlike the other books I've picked up, this one feels like it rests squarely on the shoulders of our lead. Iron Fist has the entire history of the Iron Fist and really seems to focus on the mythology of the piece and the relationships of our main character to the world around him. Ghost Rider, well, again, with the mythology but also the internal struggle between justice and vengeance. But Moon Knight, the greatness is, we're not sure whether or not some of these characters are real or just fractured parts of MK's psyche. Coupled with amazing detailed and brutal art and pulp story telling, the entire book feels as if you are along for the ride on this mental roller coaster.

Friday, February 20, 2009

So last week I came into possession of a Squirtgun album. These guys are a ton of fun. I was brought into punk by the left coast style of bands like MxPx and the saccharine like tunes of The Ataris. While I still listen to these bands once in a while, I have problems relating to the lyrics the way I once did. Squirtgun, somehow changes that- they play the same pop sensible music but manage to mature it like a fine wine. The lyrics are older and the rhythm section is absolutely fantastic. For all those who are embarrassed by some of the lighter records in their collection, I recommend you dive into this band- quality stuff.
Speaking of rhythm, (Shit's Fucked" by The Copyirghts has one of the best drum and bass interludes I have ever heard. I mean, I must have listened to that song a hundred or more times, and only this past week did I realize how absurdly tight and explosive the breakdown was. Being a total sucker for drums and bass, it comes as no surprise, but I'm pissed at myself for missing such awesome stuff for so long.
Way to be guy, way to be.
I have recently discovered a love of comic books. I've picked up the three most recent volumes of the Immortal Iron Fist, and I have to say I think I'm in love. The art is wonderful and the writing has this impeccable sense of timing. It manages to blend cheesy kung-fu flicks with dry wit and the Venture Bros. Total classic.