Writing, I have learned, is a discipline. Blogging, also, too, is a discipline. I spent the better part of a year not doing it and now that I’m – theoretically – back I find that I lack the discipline to keep doing it. It’s not that I lack the time, really. It’s that I’ve gotten used to devoting my time to not-blogging specifically and not-writing generally.
I used to claim that I was a writer. I still do, really, but that’s beside the point. Back in the day I was dating someone who told me I wasn’t a writer once because I stopped writing for a bit. Words weren’t coming to me and I didn’t see the point in attempting to force them. So she decided that meant I wasn’t a writer.
I think that meant I was pragmatic. If I have nothing to say there’s no point in speaking, right?
So what have I been doing instead of writing? I’ve been preparing. Not to write, that’s silly. You’re a silly person for thinking that.
No, instead I’ve been preparing for Grand Prix Cincinnati. Well, no, let’s take a step back. I’ve actually been preparing for Grand Prix Chicago, but…ah, hell, it’s all the same thing, really.
I started playing Magic: The Gathering again last year. I played way back in junior high, then quit, then played again for a few years right after high school. I went to competitive stuff from time to time and always quit right after. Magic wasn’t fun back then if you were a casual player who didn’t want to be associated with, well, the sort of people who played Magic. Going to a Pro Tour Qualifier or even a prerelease meant having to associate with “those people” and it sucked.
There was another problem, too. I was a socially maladjusted weirdo. I was a geek in a world that had not yet been overtaken by geeks. I wanted to be something better than that. Going to Magic tournaments meant being surrounded by the very sort of people I was desperately trying to not be or be associated with and it caused a bit of a problem. It was one of those mental problems that was my own damn fault, but it was a problem. Kinda.
Yet here I am, ten years later, playing the game again. Right now, at this exact moment, I’m looking forward to spending my own money to go to Cincinnati to play at a Grand Prix. Crazy, right?
Part of the equation, of course, is that it’s been ten years and I’m in a very different financial place than I was back in the day. A road trip to Cincinnati in my 2010 Mazda 6 will cost exactly one tank of gas each way and the odds of car trouble on a four year-old car with just over 40,000 miles are low. A hotel room also isn’t that big of a deal. Hell, I’m taking a trip to Seattle in a couple months. One of my reasons for going to GP Cincinnati is because I haven’t made a completely random excuse for a road trip since my last Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers show in Madison back in 2012. I figure I’m due.
Also, I’m sad that there isn’t a Fuzzy’s Tacos location in Cincinnati. I thought there was one in Indianapolis, but I was wrong. I wish there was a GP Madison I could go to, is what I’m saying.
I also can’t really complain. My last trip? San Diego. I also went to New Orleans in 2013. My life ain’t hard.
Anyone who has been with this blog since the before time, the long, long ago knows that I used to write about my dating experiences. More specifically, I used to write about online dating and why I thought it was shite. I still have a couple profiles floating around.
A couple months back I had a whole correspondence thing going with someone who was super into me, or, at least, as into me as someone who I’ve never met in person can be. There’s a progression to these things. It usually starts with an email, followed by a response a day or two later. Then the emails gradually become texts, then possibly phone calls, then an actual meeting.
Good god, dating in 2014 sucks. But I digress.
Either way, this one wasn’t following that track. It was more like immediate emails and her sending me her phone number within, like, two days. That turned into a text conversation.
And, really. Dating in 2014 sucks. Like, seriously, what the fuck?
The thing is, when you don’t know someone there aren’t a lot of things to talk about. When you’ve already progressed to the level of, “Hey, let’s have a text conversation,” that gets a lot worse. So things quickly progressed to the, “So how’s your weekend?” thing.
It was a Saturday morning. I’d been in nearly constant communication with this person for about four days. I’d already told her that I was a total geek and I was involved in gaming. I told her the game I had been playing was Magic.
I literally have not heard from her since.
That kind of pissed me off for about 24 hours. Then, for the first time in my life, I said, “You know what, it’s her loss,” and meant it.
I don’t know what the actual story is, since she literally stopped talking to me the moment I mentioned Magic. Her last text was “oh ok.” I tend to think this was one of those situations where correlation is causation. You know what? It’s her loss.
So, either way, I’ve been preparing for GP Cincinnati. Well, not really. I’ve been preparing for a post-Born of the Gods world. That takes some doing for me.
See, I’m a red player. I don’t know how to play Magic when there is no option to set all the things on fire. In fact, this is my current favorite pint glass:
For the record, that pint glass came from a place called Decoy’s Dork Décor. It’s fucking amazing. I also got a TARDIS night light for my niece from there. If you want random geek shit give them all the monies. I just sent them more money for more things, specifically a Swamp mana symbol pint glass and an TARDIS pint glass.
The problem now is that it’s really hard to be a red player and expect to do well at something like a Grand Prix. The metagame isn’t really working in my favor. That’s okay, though, since I’ve been able to leverage my love of playing red black for a while. And I recently got Top 8 at a Grand Prix Qualifier playing red-white-blue control. They give out these neat playmats these days. I think I’ma use it as a mousepad.
Interestingly enough, the deck that got me to the top 8 at the Qualifier most likely won’t be my Grand Prix deck. I was just doing a tune-up and the metagame isn’t going in the direction I thought it would go.
Besides, my first love is Red-Black. And I’ve been working on one of those for a while.
The problem I have with playing Magic competitively is pretty simple: I don’t want to play the deck that everyone else is playing. I consider it a point of pride that I don’t net deck, as the practice is called. Hell, the current top deck is Mono-Black Devotion. I was about 2/3 of the way to that decklist right before Theros dropped. Do I play Mono-Black Devotion? Nope. The deck is kinda boring. I also had a list for a Mono-Black Aggro deck that looked almost exactly like one that’s currently making a splash. I don’t play that, either. Part of the problem is that my favorite all-time mono-black is the old school Suicide Black. Without Hatred, Drain Life, and Necropotence I just don’t like playing mono black.
I also have a somewhat time-consuming deck-building process. It usually involves coming up with several decklists, usually with tiny variations of one or two cards, then picking one, then testing it, then coming up with a whole bunch of new variations on that decklist. It’s a process that’s both good and bad for me. It completely engages the part of my brain that always wants a problem to solve. It also seems to engage the part of my brain that obsesses over the tiniest details and tries to figure out how to account for and control factors that are completely out of my hands.
And so but anyway, I’ve been focused on other things for the last few weeks. I think I finally have the deck that I’m going to run, though. So my plan this coming weekend is to try to actually run up a buffer on the site and have actual content starting next week. Some of it will be re-runs, but if it’s something you read on a blog two years ago you probably immediately forgot it, anyway, so it’s new to you!
Hell, some of it will be new to me…