Overworking

So damn hot.

But who cares, who wants to hear about that?

I got a metric fuckton, which I believe is the technical term, of translation work to do that somehow lined up right before I go back to America. And it will help pay for the trip. I mean help. But I am pulling a big duty on translating and in order to have everything done in time I'm going to have to not stream, not play my FF5 Fiesta run and ignore some other things.

But then I should be able to have a good "vacation". I'll probably get translation work then, but that's fine. I want to get better at this to increase potential jobs. You know, the future. Which I guess I still have some of.

I heard the new teacher coming to our town this year is twenty-two. Born in Nineteen Hundred and Nintey Six. I was already getting into arguments about video games on the Internet by then. Goodness. I mean, this person was in fifth grade when I started teaching in Japan!

It doesn't matter. I'm not judging this person so much as I am using it as a way to put my current life into perspective. Am I doing what I want?

Well, no.

So that's the problem. It's been the problem, and it feels like I have just been spinning wheels. I worry that Magic has been me delaying my life in some ways, but in others it is me actually enjoying life, except for the times where my depression gets the best of me and I let my results in a game drag me down. But I let my results from job applications drag me down. I let results from everything drag me down. So I can't blame Magic. Or companies that don't find me a current fit. I can only blame how I let myself feel.

Which in and of itself might not be the right way to go about it, but I do have to acknowledge it, right?

I also have a lot of translation to do.

First Impressions of Core Set 2019

Ah Core Set 2019. The puns that can be made. The fact that it is M19 on the cards but it's not actually Magic 2019. Nor is it the nineteenth “core” set… Wait. I guess if you count Alpha and Beta separately and Origins as a “core” set… Well, holy shit. They lined it up. Or something. Who cares.

Pre-release weekend! I started out pulling a Tezzeret, Artifice Master and then proceeding to go 0-4 in the pre-release. Holy shit. None of my rounds lasted longer than twenty minutes either. Let's just say that… things happened each round. But I did have a game where a turn three Manalith led into a turn four Tezzeret and well, I did win that game.

I think I went a little nuts and participated in a total of six pre-releases, but I am playing in GP Chiba, which is M19 Sealed, so, I mean, practice. After dejectedly going 0-4, I went 2-1, 2-1, 1-2, 1-2 and 2-1. Okay so not great but I started to feel like I had a grasp of the format and was trying out different kinds of decks to see what could be done.

Patient Rebuilding is kind of nuts if you land it at the right time. Against someone without enchantment removal or counters you can just ride the value engine of usually drawing two cards a turn or sometimes four or at the very least just your regular one but whoops, is that your Chromium that got put into your graveyard? I’m so sorry.

Those games went well for me.

I started a league on Magic Online, but the lackluster pool has me less than excited to play. I should crank through it though, as I am going to need as much practice as I can get for Chiba. My goal for this tournament is to build a good deck. I don't feel like I did that last year at GP Kyoto, so I hope to go in a bit smarter this time. Results? Let them fall as they may. I want to know that I registered something decent.

Ninety-Nine Bottles of Water on the Wall

So thirsty. I've been trying to stay hydrated with mostly water, because I am trying to be conscious of my weight, but I wonder if I am doing something wrong.

I’m taking a multivitamin in the morning. Yes, I know I probably pee out cents a day. Might as well fill in the holes that are being missed by accident, right? Unless I totally misunderstand how the body works.

I've been eating a fairly varied diet. Quite hungry at night once it cools down. Cannot fathom eating during most of the day, though. It's just been so hot.

Ugh. I’d hate to go look at what I was blogging last year (Was I blogging last year?) and see that I wrote practically the same thing.

I finished up a Standard league on Magic Online yesterday. 4-1. I was 4-0 going into the end and... I don't want to waste times with sob stories, but seriously? Can't I 5-0 once in my lifetime? Do I have to mulligan down to... Oh, never mind. 4-1 isn't bad.

But then I sold everything rotating and put it towards a Modern deck. PPTQ season is upon us. Plus I’m going to be practicing sealed for GP Chiba, and summer doesn't have many events anyway so I might as well put Standard on the back burner for the time being.

M19 is interesting but I dunno. Looking at my notes, so many of my rounds of the past few PPTQs were against Chainwhirler decks, the lack of a ban has me kind of shrugging my shoulders at Standard. M19 isn't going to change much. It was kind of funny listening to a set review and Chainwhirler came up every other card. Especially funny when it would be a goblin card and it's like “Okay, we are borderline ready for a goblin deck in Standard... except Goblin Chainwhirler probably hurts it too much.”

Depending what I pull from my pre-release events, I might either put together Esper Control with a Chromium in the side or a Grixis Deck if I mange to grab a Nicol Bolas or... four? Three? I wonder how many that deck wants. He will die and you will want to recast him. Hm. It's going to be interesting. But I know most of the FNMs around me are Standard so having a deck together is worth it. But I’m not too excited to play.

That said, a trip to America is coming up in less than three weeks. I’ll of course be doing stuff with my son, but also scheduling time to go to Magic tournaments with my brother and friends. (Hey, my son needs no-Japanese at all, immersive English Experience, right?)

Still thirsty though. And my water bottle is empty. Too tired to get up.

Goodbye Grixis, Hello Canada

So. Deathrite Shaman. Banned. As if to make Grixis Delver even more dead, Gitaxian Probe got the axe too.

I get it. They are both ridiculous cards and don't make the format much more fun.

Well, I sure enjoyed playing Deathrite Shaman. But I get it.

I had actually slowly transitioned from "pure" Grixis Delver to a Four Color version, opting for Tarmogoyfs over Young Pyromancers, Abrupt Decays and more Spell Pierces over Cabal Therapies. So when then ban hit I was kind of ready for it.

I only needed a few pieces to go to Canadian Threshold. One of those was a fucking Tropical Island, or Isola Tropicale as the cheaper Italian version I found is named. But hey, cards get sold, cards get bought, the cycle continues.

I played it for the first time last night and I think I found a good home to transition to. Is it going to be hard? Yeah, I've already noticed some plays that I made which were not as good because my options in Grixis Delver for later turns are different from this. But there will be a readjustment time.

It was time to change, though, and here we go. This is my third (okay, technically fourth if you count the Grixis -> 4C shift and fifth if you count the proxied Stasis deck I made for a fun tournament) Legacy deck. It feels weird because I changed so infrequently. Well, small changes. But no big. And this was a big one.

Let's see how it goes.

Gold Bond and clichés

One of the first things you'll hear new JETs in Japan complain about is the abundance of teachers frequently saying "さむい" (cold) during winter and "あつい" (hot) during summer.

To be fair to these teachers, it's fucking true. As the son of a teacher, I'm used to public education lacking in terms of budget and Japan is no different. Tack on some cultural stuff (even though most teacher rooms have air conditioning, they don't turn it on during the hours when the students are in school out of "respect" for the students, since there is no AC in classrooms) and you are left being a sweaty mess in the summer or heavily layered and somehow still cold to the core in winter.

I am a sweaty mess right now. Gold Bond was applied thoroughly.

It's just gross, though. The humidity is through the roof. And we have another month to go before summer vacation kicks into effect.

I kind of hate writing this because it's cliché as fuck. I have probably written about it before and probably will write about it again as long as I am a teacher. But when you're a sweaty pile of mush it just becomes hard to think about anything else.

M19 is coming up? That might be exciting. Grand Prix Chiba is sealed so, I’m going to have to practice for that.

If I could move my body.

Them summer blues

Most of the people that I have been closest to have died in the summer months.

My parents, particularly my father, would be quick to point out that my father's parents both died outside of the summer months. I always... respected(?) them, but never felt a closeness that I would think too much about.

That's pretty lucky, I suppose, to have a fairly amiable relationship with family. Nothing bad, nothing to complain about. They were always good to me, but I never really felt those bonds like I do with others in my life. Perhaps it is a generational thing? I mean, my mother's father (still alive) has always been a "Men shake hands, not hug." kind of guy, so you know, these things are just different.

I don't mind hugging.

I don't know why I am writing about this other than the fact that summer reminds me of my friends who are no longer on this Earth. I'll be taking a trip to America this summer with my son. (Funny how now I default to "taking a trip" and not "returning". I guess after twelve years America no longer feels like a "home" to me. Even though I am a citizen still. But let's not dwell too much on America on the moment. I'm working through some shit.)

It was the death of one of my good friends which actually prompted me to get the divorce. Life is clearly too short, and can be even shorter than you expect, and I couldn't continue living that way. Not that I would say I am excessively happier now, but progress takes time, right?

Well, it's been a few years. Perhaps I need to pick up the pace.

;debra

Somehow this happened.

Of course thsi worried me at first because this means something was likely wrong with the Fiesta bot.

Then it hit me.

I use my own account for lots of testing. I probably should use another account, but it doesn't really matter until the event is live. Unfortunately it was live when I ran into something to fix, but I hadn't started playing that much yet so I just used my account to fix it.

But since I revealed my jobs and wanted to be surprised, I closed my eyes and typed in some commands.

Thanks to TextExpander I can randomly type out any FF5 job. Ninja. Boom. That was from me typing ;fjob. I can also do it speifically for Wind, Water, Fire and Earth jobs. I also added one for the GBA jobs. ;fgba. I must have fat-fingered the typing, macOS autocorrected to "debra" and the semicolon was there because that is what I use to start off all these commands.

Boom. Mystery solved. And I figured it out while trying to sleep.

Thanks brain.

Breakdown

Another 1-4 PPTQ.

I got frustrated. I said some things to some people I shouldn't have said.

Back in 2016 when I went to America, my plans were to pick up one an NES that was sitting in my parents' attic, and get heavy into speedrunning that winter. Then along came Magic.

I do have a bit of an addictive personality. When I get into things I often get into them hard. I did it with kanji when I came to Japan, I the got into Yugioh at quite the intensity, really got into translating when I started that and then had a fliration with speedrunning after I left my wife.

Now we have the Magic situation.

I'm not spending money I don't have - that's good! My "addiction" is not taking away from my work or my obligations to my son. Now yes, there are weeks where I will play in up to five tournaments, but there are others where I just get to one.

So what's the problem?

I'm not a good loser.

I'm a negative thinker and this carries out into many of my daily things. The medication is supposed to help me with my anxiety and depression but I think I might be misdiagnosed or simply not taking effective medication.

My plans were to come home and stream after the tournament today, but I didn't even want to interact with other people on that level. I just sat and did some grinding in my Four Job Fiesta run and the daily quests in Magic Arena. I'm a few days ahead on my translation work.

But see, there's another thing. I'm ahead of schedule on my translation work and yet I am anxious about getting it done on time. Or if it is actually right. But I have been doing this work for years now and have never gotten submitted work rejected. So why do I worry?

The world of possibilities.

Let's not even get into my game dev, whcih I haven't touched in over a month because... more failure?

I recognize that Magic is a game of variance and skill, and I have skills to learn, but I feel stuck. And while I enjoy going to tournaments, the losses - not really the losses but just the feeling that I'm not good enough to even have good matches just frustrates me. Then I go do it again the next week, and I am excited to play, but I fail and these strings of failures are weighing on top of the other things. Finding a new job. Dealing with life as a divorced father. Still paying my college debt. Having been a teacher for 12 years when I thought it would be five. I feel like I fucked up my life and I try to get enjoyment out of something else, but I can't because the problem isn't Magic or video games or translation.

It's that I hate myself. I hate my every being. I don't know how to "love" myself. That doesn't make sense. All I know is to hate and be negative to myself. And it's bad. It's not healthy. And I'm addicted to it.

Tickets

Bought tickets for me and the boy to go to America for a few weeks over the summer.

Primarily for his English skills. And to see my parents. They're cool. Mostly I just want to jam some games of Magic and not worry about work and shit for a while. But I'm sure I'll have translation work. That's okay. These tickets are expensive.

I'm worried about traveling with him post-divorce, since his name has been changed since the last time we went to America. There's paperwork I can get, but instead of offical forms to fill out, I just craft a leter, sign it with my ex-wife in front of a notary, pay way too much money for that service and then hope no one arrests me or takes my son away from me because they think I'm kidnapping him.

I know, I worry too much. But there is so much fucked up stuff going on in America right now that even though I know my whiteness and his American passport should get us through with no problems, I just have my doubts. Because of all the fucked up shit going on. It's scary, even though I've got good reason (i.e. privilege) to not worry about it. But hey, anxiety!

Oh yeah. I hope they let my medicine go through. Maybe I should just talk to my doctor about weaning myself off of it. Hasn't exactly felt like it's been helping lately. Or maybe I just reached a different level of anxiety and it was worse before and it's just less worse now?

Anyway. I'm looking forward to a few weeks with my family even though I have to fly for over twenty hours two times. Ugh. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it sure isn't fun.

Exhaustion

I love the Four Job Fiesta.

Working on it sure is exhausting, though. I mean, it's a 24/7 thing. But I "signed up" for this. I like doing it. Plus it keeps me on my toes with stuff like PHP and Twitter APIs and all that sorts of fun stuff.

Well, not PHP. That's not fun.

I had a bug because of a switch statment that ended in a ; instead of a :. Why this is valid PHP, I don't know. But it is and it caused some problems, but they are mostly fixed.

I have a few more things to work on the Fiesta page but I've also been translating a buttton of stuff as well as doing a bit of streaming because, hey, it's the Fiesta! Let's have fun!

Magic Standard Showdowns are done for Dominaria, which kind of sucks because they were a nice reason to get out of the house? But decent timing since that means I can stay home and stream FF5 this week. I should get in some Magic practice but, eh. This Standard is pretty much done. Core Set 19 comes out soon enough.

Anyway, woof. Tired. Bed time.

Sticking with it

I had good results with Esper Control last week during smaller tournaments, bombed during a big one. Had an on night and an off night this week. I changed my deck. Then I thought more and changed it back. Maybe it is not the best deck in the format, but it is not a bad deck and I have much to learn about it. I have much to learn about the game of Magic in general.

Shouldn’t I just be playing Black-Red then?

While the numbers show it’s on the top, I have played with it and I didn’t have fun. Now, am I handicapping myself by playing a deck that is “worse”? Well, even though my record this past week hasn’t been entirely impressive, I always beat Black-Red. So what does that tell me?

I have different matchups to work on. Differnt things to consider. But hopping around to different decks didn’t do well for me last Standard and maybe this won’t work for me. But I’ll try it. Something to stress out a little less about.

Excitement

E3 is happening. This used to be something for me. Now I play Magic instead.

I still like video games, but the news cycle about them is just completely uninteresting to me anymore.

I never would have predicted this. Hell, I swore off Magic all those years ago and now I’m in it more intensely than I’ve ever been.

Life is weird.

Letting the emotions win

I went 1-4 during Saturday's PPTQ.

I felt like I had been preparing. Online reps with the deck. A FNM. Reading up on sideboarding. Thinking about the deck.

Before the tournament started, I walked around a bit. Did some deep breathing exercises. I did some "affirmations". I know about the quesitonable "science" behind them, but I am trying to relax and focus.

I played like shit.

Now, there has to be a difference between recognizing that and insulting myself. On Saturday afternoon I was definitely doing the latter. I removed myself from a group of friends because I didn't want to start whining to others. But I did just go home and hate myself. When I played in a PTQ on Magic Online I did not act in a healthy way. I had some bad variance but I was taking it personally.

But that will happen. Because I am human, and I will fuck up.

But I have to acknowledge that I fucked up. And look at what I don't like about how I acted. And think about how I thought. Yes. That is so hard, but I have to think about how I thought beause I was not thinking good thoughts. I was hating myself.

Over a game.

Is the game unhealthy for me? Or am I unhealthy for myself? It might be the latter. You know what? I went 1-4 but I beat the "best deck of the format". I continue to be almost always the only foreigner in these tournaments playing a highly competitive and complex game in a non-native language.

These may not be huge things, but they are things I can look back at and say I did. And I'm not 1-4. I played to 1-4. Next time I can play to 0-5 or 5-0. Because there is always chance along with how I approach things.

Not doing something is so easy

Look with the amazing ease and grace I don't write on my blog!

Maybe I'm just boring.

I finished two books in the past week. The Stand and Vacationland.

I kind of hate books like Vacationland because they go down so smooth and so easily and when it's over I'm like "But aw, I wanted more of that..." So 'hate' is the wrong word but it is frustrating. Mostly because I just finished a book like The Stand which was so long that it was amazing that I actually finished it. But doing something thirty minutes a day can lead to… something, I suppose. Completion!

Not exactly what I want to be completing, but I cannot say that reading English doesn't help with keeping me at least somewhat literate when I am translating. Translating a lot can easily lead into writing how the source language reads into the target language and then ~awkward~. But still. I make some excuse to read 30 minutes a day.

Now if I could only find a way to do that with other things I want to do.

I totally fucked up the promise to play FF12 HD before this year's Fiesta. I’ll own that. Honestly, Magic and sleep are both more interesting than Final Fantasy 12, and that is why I haven't finished it. But I will probably attempt to play it as the Fiesta goes along. I don't think I have that much left in the game, but then again it is excessive in all the wrong ways.

Next on my to-read list is Dune. Another monster of a book. Then, I don't know. Maybe I could focus some energy on playing some games every day but I am on this kick of wanting to not suck at Magic. Which isn’t going well, but damn if I am not trying. Damn it all to hell.

Wow, I can write a lot of nonsense once I just start typing. Maybe I have something in my brain. Now if I can just channel that.

Also, I don't want to be translating right now, when I should be, but I just don’t. Sometimes things make you tired. Like going to the US Embassy. Ugh. I harbor no ill feelings to the people who work there, but the constant rule changes (before I could bring my laptop and they would hold on to it along with my cellphone and other electronics, but now they’ll hold on to nothing, but I cannot bring a laptop inside but I can bring a cellphone inside it just has to be turned off because… Security! I don't know). Anyway, all the paperwork, and the waiting, and the swearing oaths and waah, it's exhausting. It's not the-worst-thing-ever, it just makes for tiredness. It is tiring and I will admit that I am tired and a bit cranky.

A big cranky baby, perhaps. But my feelings are what they are, right? It's okay to have feelings still, isn't it? As long as I’m not fucking other people over? I think I’m being nice.

I’m trying.

It's been one week...

One week with no blogging.

That is actually the first time this year that happened. Usually I get on a kick and keep on blogging or streaming or whatever until something jars me. I have translation work, which is good, but between that, the Fiesta starting up, getting my son his passport, (which has been a hell of an experience, let me tell you) I have just been so tired that writing a blog at night just hasn't happened.

In fact, yesterday I just came home from the doctor, did my laundry, slept until it was done, took it to the laundromat to dry, ate dinner, slept and then woke up at eleven at night which is far too late to pick up laundry from the laundromat.

So I had to do it this morning.

That is not a bad thing, but it is a thing. I somehow made it to work earlier than I had planned. The power of mistakes adding up.

I don't know. It feels like one of those silly, middle-age (Oh, fuck, I'm not that, am I? I'm not dying in my sixties, am I?) breakdowns that are ultimately unimportant but heavy on the brain for some reason.

No one teaches you how to relax.

Not sleeping tonight

Well, first I finished reading The Stand. That was a hell of a book, and the last few chapters sure were something. I try to read a half hour of English a day in order to keep myself fueled with English so I don't start sounding too weird when I translate.

After that I had dinner, relistened to the podcast that got me to buy The Stand originally. It came out in November 2014. Holy shit that was some time ago.

Anyway.

Played some Magic Arena. Finished my backed up quests. Played one round on Magic Online. I won. Felt good. Didn't feel like streaming anymore so I cut it.

Loaded up a game I had heard a few things about. I kind of expected something, but it went even further than I thought it would. Way too much for me. I'm not even going to say what it is because I don't want people to make the same mistake I did. I know the game warned me, but it still has me more on edge than I expected to be.

Going to lie in bed with the lights on tonight, I think.

A whole day

Saturday I usually spend with my son. My ex-wife made other plans for today.

Okay, so I could. Well, I could go to a Magic tournament. But I stayed in today.

It was hard.

Super hard.

I woke up, translated, read, studied some Japanese. Did all of the things I try to do in a day. Then I was done. It was lunch time. So I had some lunch and then streamed Magic. I did things I have wanted to do.

So why do I feel so bad?

Magic Arena's quest for me today was to kill 25 of my opponent's creatures. Well hitting a creature with a Magma Spray removes it from the game, so it doesn't count. Okay, yes, I understand why it doesn't count as "dying" for rules purposes. But for quests? Come on. Anyway I am sure it is not an easy problem to solve, but I reported this interaction none-the-less. It was annoying. You'd think a deck with a bunch of burn could take out 25 creatures in no time. Except I kept playing low-creature count decks. Oof.

Well, I went 2-3 in the PTQ, so that means no prizes. Boo. I wasn't sure how to build my deck and kind of winged it at the last minute. I had some fixing in green, along with some good green and red creatures with some nice white stuff I could cast later, so it was Red Green with a white splash. Honstly, the splash never hurt that much except when I was mulliganning down to five which felt like every other game. Seventeen lands.

Okay. I just deleted a paragraph about variance whining. It does no good. It happened. I may have my day. I may never have my day. There were a few good games in there. Gotta focus on the good stuff. The bad will happen. Just gotta keep on working.

PPTQ tomorrow. Sealed. Nervous, but maybe I'll pull something that makes it worth the entry fee. That'd be nice. Then I don't have to "worry" about winning and getting my "value".

But I do want to win.

Leg day

I knew moving would be hard, but two days later and my muscles are crying. Screaming. Begging for sweet release from the ache I have caused them.

I guess I'm not that healthy.

Which is scary, but the truth. I'm thirty-five, thirty-six in a couple of months and I need to get my shit together. I'm not getting any younger as the cliché goes, and well, I have to work harder.

I do have daily reminders to do mild exercise, although ""life"" gets in the way far too often and I skip it. I wonder if basic lifting, biking and other exercises are enough to keep myself healthy. Maybe it's more of a food thing.

Chocolate is too good.

But this move and the resultant muscle pain has me scared. I live alone now. A heart attack would basically mean death, right? Unless I am able to recognize what is going on and call for help in time. Although I'm not too sure how all of that goes. That's morbid. Maybe I should know more though.

Well, that's enough fear mongering myself for today. Time to do work. I guess?

Stupid fear

I am writing this because it is something I can do instead of something I do not want to do. That is move.

Ugh, everything is just so heavy and everywhere, and I have trash to take out and... blech.

But, it needs to be done. Something is scary about it. The feeling that I will miss something. Something will get through the cracks and cause trouble.

Or not. It might work out just fine. And I will be in a new place. I can organize it a bit differently. It will be a change. Perhaps I can use that to spark some good.

Also, I sure am getting some exercise. Games are heavy. Especially when you have a ridiculous amount of them.

I should get back to work. I don't want to, but I should. At least it is a distraction from other things I am afraid of doing.

Movin' Out

Due to reasons, I'm moving.

Well, not the big move out of the countryside that I wanted, but to a different apartment in the same building.

Rennovations!

Which meant my plans of taking a nap and then streaming some Magic Online tonight quickly became a mix of packing and cleaning.

And holy shit did I have some junk.

Dead laptops, tons of boxes. Might as well just get rid of it all now. A lot of it was useful when I first moved here but now I can finally get rid of it. I threw away ten t-shirts I haven't worn in three years.

I found my old Yugioh cards. I think I sold anything that was worth value. I wonder if any place buys bulk. I could just donate them to something or someone, maybe?

Oh well. Barely scratched the surface tonight. More tomorrow. Going to be a hell of a week.