Oh, go fuck yourself.

I streamed some Arena and Magic Online tonight.

I went 4-2 with Eight Drakes. I did terrible with the deck over the GP weekend (I still need to write up the whole GP stuff, but that is coming.) but winning with the deck at least made me feel a little bit less insane. It literally felt impossible over the GP weekend.

Then I went over to Magic Online for some Legacy. Gotta get ANT practice in before Eternal Party 2018.

So I get paired up against Manaless Dredge. Go off game one. Game two I get them with some back to back discard. You might think "But they want to discard!" Ah yes, but if you keep them off of their Dredge cards and unable to choose what to discard, well, they get stuck.

So I get to my turn three and I have the kill in hand. I cast Brainstorm to get things going. I cast Dark Ritual.

They don't respond.

A minute passes.

Five minutes pass.

Eventually the respond. I combo off and win. But this kind of shit is why I'm starting to like Arena more and more. Yes, Magic Online has the timer that almost prevents this, but still, having to wait, what, ten minutes if someone disconnects or is just quote mode, AFK?

Fuck you. Come on.

Sure, something seirous might have happened, but I doubt it. People just want to be buttholes.

Bring on Arena.

Focus lost

I finished up a lot of translation work last week. I was actually ahead and only had one job that required minimum work a day. I figured I deserved the time "off".

But then I get a big job today and it was surprisingly hard to get into it. Maybe it was because I had just woken up from a nap, but focusing on getting 5000 characters done when I only needed to do around 1000 for the past three days was surprisingly hard.

In just a few days, and seriously just a few days because I was doing a lot of characters per day last week, I got super lazy. Or maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it?

Perhaps over-analyzing it will get me nowhere. Perhaps I just have to be grateful for the work, grateful that I had time to nap and woke up around the time the new work came in, and was able to get some translation done and then even streamed for about a half hour.

Not a bad day. Hopefully I can just focus better on translating tomorrow.

ANT Progress

One of the nice things about streaming, even if I don't get many viewers, is that I will get people who will help me with my playing. That was a big help.

Although I went back to review some of my play and I don't talk enough. I went through one thing thinking a lot, but I don't think out loud, and that's not entertaining for viewers.

I still need to find a Magic Online layout that I like. I realized into a Ad Nauseam that my video was covering part of my hand, and rewatching the video I see my chat covered the Storm count. Whoops.

Although I am no designer and don't know what would look good. Or how to get Magic Online to fit the best while still being able to have the stuff available. I’ll have to try and figure something out.

I usually don't go back and watch my videos unless I know something is awesome that I want to make a clip of, but seeing myself play silently for five minutes, even though I won, is eye-opening. I think a lot, I should just vocalize it. That’s probably not only good for viewers, but for helping me think.

That said, I ended the night 3-2. Not only did I get my first match win with Storm tonight, but my first set of prizes. So the event paid for itself and I’m up two tickets. This was my third league with the deck, so ticket-wise I’m down, but knowledge-wise I am making progress.

I played Vintage Magic

So for some reason I was looking at Vintage deck lists. I think the ship has sailed on me having a set of Power 9. But then I looked at Magic Online and they are... Relatively affordable. Well, I mean we're talking $2 or so for a Mox instead of $1000+. So hey, I had a bunch of tickets from some winnings and selling other stuff so I grabbed a list that seemed interesting, had put up some results and didn't require stuff like four Mox Opals.

So I put together this. Is it good? Well, I never got to cast its namesake once, but in my first Vintage game ever I started off by cracking a fetch for an Underground Sea, played a Mox Emerald, cast Demonic Tutor, got a Black Lotus and then cast Tinker to get a Blightsteel Colossus. I had a Force of Will but my opponent scooped.

I did win one game each match but overall went 0-5. I definitely don't know the format well enough to say that I wasn't making terrible mistakes, but goodness it was a good time. A genuinely fun time.

Now I just need to make a game that makes me hundreds of thousands of dollars so I build a Vintage deck in person.

Learning

I went 4-1 with Gifts Storm Monday night. That felt good. I have been playing around with Gifts Storm since September. I feel like I'm constantly getting a little better.

Last night I tried Ad Nauseam Tendrils, affectionally known as ANT. I’m playing a version with Daze because I don't want to buy a Bayou. Yes, I purchased Lion’s Eye Diamonds, but that is neither here nor there. I can't be spending all the money all the time.

This was my second attempt at playing ANT. It was another 0-5 experience.

I’m sure the Daze version has its issues, and I’m also sure I’m just making mistakes or have a weak Sideboarding or sideboarding skills. But it's actually fun to play, which despite my worries that now is not the best time to be getting into ANT, as they say, formats like Legacy are part about knowing your deck and the matchups. So I’ll keep trying.

Maybe I’ll win a match one day. I hope so. Grand Prix Shizuoka is coming up and maybe Grixis Control or Grixis Delver would be the smarter choice, but right now I’m thinking ANT. We've got a few weeks for me to decide.

Little Joys

So. Today is my birthday. I don’t really expect much. A few “Happy birthdays” from friends and family. Maybe treat myself to a nice dinner.

Normally on Tuesdays I stay home and stream. But I didn’t want to stay home alone. So I went out.

One of the shops I like to go to does Legacy tournaments on Tuesdays. It’s a bit of a drive, but hell, treat yourself.

So I went. Got some happy birthdays from my Magic playing friends. Played Grixis Control. Got beat by Mono Black Reanimator, Burn and Miracles. Wasn’t a great record, but I felt like I played pretty well and just had some bad beats. Whatever.

Last place. Eh. I had fun. Chat with my friends. Store owner comes out, announces the winner. They get a Masters pack. A die gets rolled for the random prize. I win it. Nothing good in the pack, but still nice.

Shop owner says one more thing. Happy Birthday starts playing. A piece of cake gets brought out to me. Everyone applauds.

It was good cake. It was a good night.

Now it’s my turn to make 36 a good year.

Wish me luck.

On the edge of 36

It's New Year's Eve for me!

Tomorrow starts my thirty-seventh year on the planet because I'll be thirty-six years old. That's how the math works, right? When you're zero, that's your first year, so... Yes.

Ah, I am glad I studied computer science. It came in handy.

I've been... a bit of a shit recently. Well, I can blame lots of things but I've just been an up and down emotional rollercoaster. I could and slash or want to blame it on things like my results in Magic tournaments, but that's not quite it. It's... more existential. Or some bullshit. I dunno.

I streamed for a few hours tonight. It doesn't matter how many viewers I got since I would have wanted to practice Magic anyway, so why not stream it? But still. At some point the brain goes "Why am I doing anything? Am I actually being a service to the world?"

And that makes me sad.

I know several people who just seem to do things. I don't. I have intense fear of, well, everything. And for fuck's sake do I not have the excuse for it. I am blessed in so many ways. And yet I let so many opportunities pass.

Why? Why am I so scared? What made it so innate in me?

What makes me hate myself so much?

I've made it through thirty six years. That's nearing the halfway point of life expectancy. I could die tomorrow. I probably won't, but things happen. I've already lost two of my gradeschool friends. Their families lost their children.

I'm alive. So why am I not living?

Pointless, but it feels good

My classes were canceled today.

I’m really lucky in several ways with this job.

So, I was a mess yesterday. I’m actually a bit embarrassed about the post, but I’m not taking it down. I need to remember the good and the bad.

Today I slept in, did translation work, handled some bank stuff, took a bag of Halloween goodies to my son, got a haircut, went to Standard Showdown.

I went 3-0. Crushed it. I haven’t done this well in a while. Now, I have to stop myself and remember that this changes nothing. Not really. I just played a game and did well instead of poorly.

But I needed it today.

It was a reminder that sometimes things can go “right”. Sometimes they can go wrong. I actually was mana flooded two of the games I won. Let’s talk about math. A 21 land deck should probably not be hitting land drops more consistently than a 26 land control deck, but that’s not what happened.

But it doesn’t matter what “should” happen. What happened happened and I had to deal with it. And I was able to turn it into wins.

And much like I’ll forget the many tournaments I bombed out of, I'll forget this one I won. It doesn’t make me suddenly the best player in the world.

But while winning was nice, I’m really happy that I played well. I mulliganed more aggressively than I usually would. It happened to pay off this time. I set up plays where I knew I was reducing my opponents’ chances to win while increasing mine.

And I feel like I learned stuff. How to handle this weird Phoenix deck. When to sideboard a bit more aggressively. When to side into a controlling position.

Does this mean I’ll always win as I continue to play this deck? No. Does it mean I’ll never make a mistake again? No.

But it’s a reminder that I’m not a complete failure in everything I do. Some days I’m lucky. Some days I’m on point. Some days I don’t be, but that’s okay.

I’m not fixed, by any stretch of the imagination. But between the people who reached out to me today and my success in a silly little game, I got a little boost of confidence that I needed right now.

And the next thing I need is some sleep. Goodnight, all. Take care. And thank you.

Pointless

I stream and no one watches.

I make games no one plays.

I play Magic and I lose.

I write and no one reads.

I teach and no one listens.

This has been a dark year. While simultaneously realizing how lucky I am, I realize how unhappy I am. And this is because I am selfish and have trouble with that.

For some reason I want attention. I crave it so badly. Perhaps it is because I live alone and it’s starting to get to me.

But it’s not that I don’t put myself out there. But I’m clearly a selfish, self-obsessed person without true passions. When I stream, people don’t watch because I’m not interesting. People don’t play my games because they aren’t good. I don’t win at Magic because I’m so focused on winning and “proving” myself instead of having fun. No one reads this blog because it offers nothing but an outlet for me to be a whiny fuckwit. No one listens when I teach because they don’t care about what I’m teaching.

I know I have these problems but I don’t know how to fix them. I don’t know how to stop being such a bore. I don’t know how to make friends or keep them. I don’t know what I’m doing here and why I care so much that other people know it.

I know I don’t like myself, though.

Dominaria draft is still fun

I don't know if Magic Online has Dominaria draft still, but it's just finishing up a run on Arena, and goodness it's still fun.

I probably wouldn't pay the cash to play in Magic Online, but I sure will trade in my Arena funny money to play it there. Yeah, drafting with bots has its problems. The games are still fun.

They did this "Gaby Greedy Dominaria Draft" where it's still basic drafting but you start with nine cards and can play two lands a turn. It gets kind of stupid with all the good Kicker spells in Dominaria. But stupid fun. I drafted two decks I thought were pretty mediocre but took them to 6-3, one win away from the top prizes.

All the while earning credits for my daily rewards.

I've been playing a lot of Shadowverse on my phone and the thing is I never seem to complete my dailies on that because they are generally tied to winning with certain classes. With Arena, they are tied to either casting spells of certain colors, dealing damage, destroying creatures or the like. Things almost any deck can do. Especially if you're doing sealed.

So I'm liking Arena more and more. I'm getting frustrated with my Windows machine, so I really cannot wait for this to be on my Apple stuff. I also did some Standard practice which was good enough that I sold out of all Standard stuff on Magic Online and dumped the tickets into Legacy and Modern decks. I'll do my practice for those there, but Standard I am pretty sure I'm sticking to Arena from here on out.

Big Mouth Season 2

So I finished Big Mouth Season 2 last night. I am not sure why I am watching this show. Honestly, I am not sure who this show is for. I think it's trying to tackle the social issues of going through puberty this day in age, but it also feels like it is written by someone with experiences with the time where I myself went through puberty, but is trying to talk about modern days.

Also some of the characters are... I don't know. I don't know if they're bad stereotypes or trying to break stereotypes or being insensitive or what.

I don't remember season one having as much in terms of penises, pubic hair, breasts and vaginas on screen - although I think the vaginal stuff is still more implied than implode, but hey, the world is a tricky place. Anyway, there were arcs that felt really questionable (Like is this one adult character actually mentally challenged or just supposed to be a stupid fool? The characters in the show actually call this out at one point but again, I don't know exactly how I'm supposed to feel about it.)

The season’s main story seems to resolve around shame in the form of a character called the Shame Wizard. The kids each have their own experience with the Shame Wizard and the various things that life as a pubescent teen entails. Having sexual thoughts about people you might consider “out of bounds”, doing things with people not because you like them but because the opportunity is there, kiss-and-tell, slut-shaming, masturbation shame, questioning sexuality, inexperience, experimenting with drugs, fear of future loneliness, depression, and more.

But there's also pillow fucking and a grown man living in a storage unit that sometimes gets taken on a diaper barge because... I’m not really sure I follow that one.

It hits home on a few personal notes. Depression and shame especially. I know I was ashamed of myself as a teenager and still carry a lot of that shame with me today. Depression is of course a thing I deal with daily.

But at the end, I just don't know about this show. I realize it is supposed to make me feel uncomfortable, but I’m unsure if it is doing the things that it wants to do as well as it wants to do them. I’m not even sure if that makes sense, but it can be as confusing as going through puberty is, and perhaps that's the point.

I don't know.

Counting blessings

When you go to a lot of Magic tournaments in the same area you're bound to run into the same people over and over again. Sometimes there are new (or at least new-to-you) faces, but sometimes it's a fairly solid crowd that you've seen before.

Yesterday I was at a Sealed PPTQ. I went 2-3. That's like my fucking mantra at this point. But that is neither here nor there.

There's this guy I see a lot at PPTQs. I've never actually played against him, so I don't know his name. But every time I see him I count my blessings and am reminded of some important things.

While the majority of players sit down, he has to stand.

He has a, well I guess the word is stand, and uses that on top of the table to play. His opponent might sit, or might stand and use something to play on top of. Sometimes I’ve seen this guy lift up his shirt to scratch himself (This makes me sound more like a pervert than just something I've seen by chance.) and he's wearing a back brace.

Every single time I see this man I adjust my posture a little bit and try to be more conscious of how I’m sitting.

I have been typing since around age eight or so. I wanted a typewriter for, I believe, my eighth birthday so bad. I got one. I also had access to a Commodore 64. In 1995 or so we got our first PC, a Windows machine with, guess what? Windows 95. It was the “family” computer but I commandeered it pretty hard. When I went to high school I started taking programming classes and that led, weirdly, to where I am now.

But even as a teacher, I type out all my class notes. My freelance translation is a lot of typing. I still program. And I just use my computer for lots of communication. During summer and other long vacations sometimes I don't use my voice at all. (This is one of the reasons I started my YouTube series An Honest Five.) I type to lots of people though.

This all goes to say that I haven't had any wrist or finger injuries at all. Either I’m doing it right, still young enough or extremely lucky. I'd wager it's a mix of all three and some stuff that I don't exactly know.

I do have a bad back. I don't know if I am misremembering this because it sounds kind of weird to say but I remember being told by the doctor that my spine is “a little too straight”. Not bad enough to require surgery, but they could have done it. I do recall hearing that it would have been risky (at the time?). This came about after one night of bowling with my grade-school’s bowling team and then me being unable to sleep because of back pain. Not something you expect an eleven-year-old to endure. I remember “sleeping” on the couch that night and going to the doctor the next day.

X-rays, talking, pamphlets featuring old people laying on the ground and squeezing their buttocks. I never got into that stretching routine. I probably should have. I still get some back aches now and a again. Rarely is it as debilitating as that one night back in 1993, but sometimes it hurts bad.

And then I have to remember that I’m still pretty lucky. No RSI, no back braces. But I probably slouch a little. I could stand to improve my posture a bit. I sit a lot for playing Magic and when I stream and probably could have a better layout. I don't actually have a desk, I just have a table on the floor and a legless chair. I doubt that's good posture making with my legs stretched out under the desk and weirdly positioned because there's not enough space.

I need to move somewhere nicer. Eventually. That's not going to be an easy process. But that's another story for another time.

Anyway, I see this guy standing. He's still out playing Magic. He gets by. I’m sure it sucks though but it's nice to see someone making it through their issues and a reminder that I am a lucky boy and should try and take advantage of that as best I can.

Booster Blitz

So I did three ""serious"" tournaments yesterday at the GP, two today and then there was an even neard the end of the day called "Booster Blitz." I wasn't entirely sure what it was, but I signed up for it.

Six ten minute rounds. That's right. Ten minutes. Now, if you're American (or maybe somewhere else, I don't know the exact way these things happen) you've probably heard of Pack Wars. You and your opponent open a pack facedown, shuffle it up, draw two cards and play. Infinite mana, you can deck, and any land card can be cycled for free.

It's fun and sometimes the winner gets both packs, sometimes it's just a more interesting way to open a box without having to do everything a draft entails.

This Booster Blitz is something I've only encountered in Japan.

Rules are you make four three-card decks. Since packs come with lands now, that's 14 cards to pick from. Sometimes you get lands, but you don't want those. So you make four three-card decks and whoever finishes deck construction first goes first.

You and your opponent each point to an opposing deck and that's what gets used. You have all three cards in your hand. There's no decking, you each have five life that's that. First to two wins takes the match.

Now you'll notice there are four decks. Sometimes you use two, sometimes three, sometimes all four. Because drawing is common in this format. You and your oppnent had equal amounts of threats and answers and a blank board is left were you can't do anything. Game's a draw, move on to the next one.

Now this is something people do for fun with packs. Making it into a six round tournament, with a cut to top eight made it really interesting.

My trip was a bit of a roller coaster. Lose, win, lose, win, lose, win. You need three wins to earn two more packs. Anything else got nothing. So eight packs for the $30 entry fee is about retail price for packs so that's not super value, but I got some decent rares and, hey, I had a real good time.

That's worth thirty bucks.

Also, one time I got Izoni, Thousand-Eyed and a Ledev Champion, so I made infinite tokens and got infinite life before my opponent did anything. One time I had Inescapable Blaze, which yes, that would let me win even if I was going second, but my opponent luckily didn't pick that deck.

It's good to remember Magic can be silly fun.

On the train to Nagoya

I am currently on a train to Nagoya. Not the fast one. I could have been to Nagoya by now. But whenever I take these trips to play Magic for a weekend, I like taking the slow route Thursday after work. I sit on trains for a bit longer, but I get to play games, listen to podcasts and exiast in a different way than I do most days.

There’s something about being in a public place yet still being private that is oddly... Relaxing? Freeing? Focusing? I translate faster on a train, that’s for sure. Less distractions. Well, more distractions, actually, but I have to conciously tune them out which means I focus more. I don’t know. There’s probably some science behind it all.

I am a bit sad that I don’t have a team for this Grand Prix. I’m not playing in the main event, instead I signed up for the “Constructed Fanatic” package, which if I play my cards right, will save me nearly ¥7000 and let me play a lot of Magic. Which is the point of the weekend.

But I’m sad that I don’t have a team because it makes me think. Am I not friendly enough with the people I spend lots of hours playing Magic with? Am I too bad of a Magic player for them to want me on their team? Am I a shitty person?

That’s Depression talking. I hate that fucker. Shut the fuck up, would you?

Who knows. I didn’t ask anyone. Well, I did ask a group chat but it either wasn’t seen, was ignored, or was a bad time. Or some other reason. Point is, I didn’t get a team. But that isn’t going to stop me from going out and trying to have fun.

I worry something like Magic might not be the best for someone like me. There’s a reason I’ve never smoked nor gambled. They have these raffle like things at the store booths at Grand Prixs in Japan and I’m ashamed to say I’ve “gambled” on them. I always say I won’t next time, but then I do again. Although I manage to cut back a bit. I guess? But there’s a thrill there. At least I’m not spending money I don’t have. I’m not putting myself into (further) debt. Is that a piss-poor excuse?

I get frustrated, but I do have fun. Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this. I am sitting on this train to Nagoya, a literal train on a literal path to Nagoya Station, and I wonder if I’m off my rocker for traveling for a weekend, spending a bit on a cheap AirBNB, just to play a card game. I could do it at home on my computer.

But there’s something about getting out. Something about doing it in person. Even if I’m too shy to talk with many people, too concerned about sounding like a fool when I speak Japanese or English, that I become a bit of a recluse even in public. But I’m trying to work on it. I guess? It’s hard. Magic’s hard. Life’s hard.

But we all keep on going, right?

What do I get at the end of my life for having spent these weekends going to play Magic? Stories, I suppose. Those of bad luck, scrubbing out, but also those of good luck and triumphs. Small and “pointless” as they may be. And I get to look back and smile.

I don’t like traveling. But here I am on a train to Nagoya. The AirBNB guy messaged me to say there’s a festival going on this weekend. He hopes I get the chance to check it out. I hope it doesn’t interfere with me getting to the tournament site on time.

Maybe I just want someone with me. I kind of feel stupid for wanting a significant other who shares a hobby with me. I’m not going to “hit on” anyone I play the game with or at a place where I frequent. That feels gross. Although I don’t tend to “hit on” people in general. My last few relationships just grew out of circumstance, so perhaps I’m just waiting for circumstance to happen again.

My youngest brother just got engaged. The story, as my father told me, was that on their first date my brother asked his now fiance what one thing people would find surpsing to find out she has interest in and one hobby she has as a guilty pleasure. Or something like that. She answered, and the ordering of these answers is both unimportant and a bit lost to repeated tellings of the storty, WWE and Magic. My brother and his fiance seem to get along quite fine.

That’s not to say I’d be in a perfect relationship if I found someone who liked Magic. Maybe it’s someone who likes RPGs with overly complicated battle systems, books that are too long for their own good or someone who just has a deep and intense passion for something beyond their day to day job. Just an intense passion to do something. Wanting to do it all the time. Someone with a love for a part of life that doesn’t matter but doesn’t care that it doesn’t matter.

Maybe I need to love myself first. That’s hard. Like life and Magic.

Train’s about to stop in Nagoya. This is my first time in the city. I’m going to go play some Magic. You all have a nice weekend.

Missing the Obvious

I finished up a Legacy Compative League I started last week when I was still playing Canadian Threshold. I had extra stuff I wasn't using to put together Grixis Delver, but Grixis Control requires some stuff on the pricier end of Magic Online's prices and I don't feel like picking up those copies of Jace, and so on.

Although I do like playing Grixis Control. I'm wondering if I could hock some of the stuff from Canadian Threshold and pick up the pieces for Grixis Control. Anyway. I have Delver. Going to practice that tomorrow night and then decide which I want to run in the side events at the Grand Prix this weekend.

But first there was finishing the League with Canadian Threshold.

I ended up 3-2. I was 2-0 going into tonight where I faced UR Delver, Grixis Control, and Lands. I made slight misplays against UR Delver and Lands which cost me the game. It's funny to me that I beat the deck I want to be playing, but that's Magic sometimes.

The thing about both of my losses is that it was subtle things that caused them. Forgetting to take the fourth Thespian's Stage with a Surgical Extraction led to my eventual demise against Lands. Not that I was in a good position with Choke and The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale making me unable to do anything, but having removed Punishing Fire and Thespian's Stage, had I done it correctly I could have probably run my opponent out of time.

But one little click. I might have lost anyway but I gave my opponent the chance.

I also cast Force of Will when I should have cast Daze against UR Delver and that cost the match. I don't know why I did it. Too fast. Not thinking through the plays. But these little things solidified my losses.

And that's part of what makes Legacy so difficult and so enticing. Now I am sure if I kept playing Canadian Threshold I would find myself playing it better and winning more, but after this weekend's tournament, Grixis is just where I want to be. Delver or Control I'm not entirely sure, but I have more fun playing those decks and I think that's what I need to focus on first and then slowly getting those small details as I continue to play.

First time with Legacy Grixis Control

I wasn't feeling good about Canadian Threshold. It wasn't bad per se, but I either didn't get the playstyle or my meta isn't great for it. I don't know. Magic is hard.

Today was the 100th KMC event. Monthly Modern Masters was also going on at the same time, but since I have Storm built on Magic Online I figured I'd get reps in with Grixis Control before playing in the side events at next week's GP.

Although Canadian Threshold had treated me well, I realized I had Grixis Control and decided to put it together. I took the second place deck from this and replaced the maindeck Pyroblast with Bitterblossom. Considering that out of seven rounds only in two did I not side in Pyroblast/Red Elemental Blast, yeah, I guess I can see why the maindeck copy has begun to show up.

Lost round one to Lands. 0-2. Smashed. The deck really need something to hedge against this matchup. It just feels impossible. I talked to a friend who went 6-1 playing Grixis Delver and he lost to... Lands!

Round two was against Death and Taxes and Dread of Night did some work. Take that all your X/1s. I get to push through with Gurmag Anglers and other stuff. Wee.

Round three was against BUG Delver and I was just able to take the advantage and push it. Not a real spectactular match, just really had to work for it.

Round four was Sneak and Show and while my notes show two victories for me, there was lots of me doing my best to keep them at low resources. You know you're in a good spot when they have to chump block with Emrakul.

Round five was Show and Tell and I messed up here pretty hard. I should have fought Show and Tell on the stack, instead I let it resolve knowing they'd get Niv Mizzet, Parun out and I had a Pyroblast. Uh. Why not just fight the Sneak and Show and then they don't get all those draws and pings from Niv Mizzet? Worse case scenario, I tap them out and hope they don't draw a Force of Will for my Jace which can just bounce Niv Mizzet. Silly. Plus Niv Mizzet turns Brainstorm into a Lightning Bolt that can target three thigns and that's just stupid.

Round six was against Bomberman, and this was my first time playing the deck. My opponent seemed worried about having to explain the deck to me in Japanese, but I basically knew the deck even though I had never played against it. Game one I kept him from comboing and pushed through with the zombie fish. Game two was a bit slower but I managed to get Liliana, the Last Hope to ultimate, and with a Pithing Needle on their main creature whose name I forget already, I was able to win. (They goofed and tried to combo and I just pointed to my Needle. Whoops.)

Round seven was versus Grixis Delver and I was lucky they mulliganned twice game one and then game two I was just able to get them with Hymn to Tourach and well timed Pyroblasts and Hydroblasts. Boom.

A friend went 6-1 with Grixis Delver. They also lost to Lands. I'm not sure if I want to go to Grixis Delver. I kind of do because I like Delver. But right now I think I'll stick with Grixis Control. I like having those basic lands since I saw several people packing Assassin's Trophy.

Twenty-third place out of 133 players. Not too shabby for my first day with a deck. I'll take it.

I coded today

Little steps.

I had some time today before some translation work came in and I was too tired to do anything else and I just coded. It is a little project, neither of the two "big" ones I am working on. But this little side project is letting me work on different things that I tend to find to be my weaknesses when it comes to coding and game design. So I did a little bit of grunt work that needed to be done for the game engine today, but I made progress.

Honestly, since this is a game of much lower scope that some of my other projects, I am slightly confident in thinking I might be able to release it within the next few months. Of course things can change, but being able to get something done felt good. Yes, I only worked on it for an hour today, but that is an hour more of work than I have put into this sort of thing for the past few months.

And that feels good.

A whole lot

I played nine Guilds of Ravnica prereleases. That’s a lot. Let’s not think of the money. At least I I budgeted for it.

Sealed has a lot more variance than constructed or draft. This is obvious. But the Guild Pack really made it for some pools I saw. Some people couldn’t play their selected Guild due to a mediocre Guild Pack and rares for other colors. Oh well, right?

But coming off of M19 and Dominaria before that, it was fun. I’m looking forward to a sealed PPTQ next week.

I am not looking forward to Standard because it seems like it’s going to be a weird mess. I wish Amonkher wasn’t rotating.

Why

I’m not feeling well.

I was really exited for the prerelease weekend, but my perfectionism is getting in the way of my joy.

When I was playing? Fun. When I was done and looking at my results? Well, they weren’t perfect, so I have to feel bad, right?

Well, of course not. But my brain sure wants it that way.

They don’t teach you how to control your own head. I don’t think that means there is someone to blame. It’s probsbly not sonmething you can easily teach. I don’t know. I only took one class on psychology and it was just reading and taking a test each week. If you passed on Monday you didn’t have to go to class again until the next week. I didn’t go much. I can take tests.

But that’s the cliche I am. I did what people would consider great in school. I graduated third in my high school class.

I still feel like a failure about that.

Why? What does that get me?

The Panic

I went to a gaming “industry” meet up last night. I put that in scare-quotes not to diminish it but because it's not like the event is limited to gaming industry people only. I mean I’m allowed to go.

(Is it fucked up that I have released five games and I still don't consider myself part of the gaming industry?)

While I was waiting for people to show up, I was doing Shadowverse’s equivalent of drafting. People started coming in and I chatted with them, but I wanted to finish the Arena best-of-five that I had started.

Plus there were people there.

While I know it was rude to keep playing the game while chatting, my panic was starting to hit in hard. I don't get it. I knew at least half of the people there, and the new folk were friendly enough. But I just started to fear for my life.

I tried to calm my nerves with pizza and booze. It didn't help. I just remember sitting at one point, conversations to the left of me, conversations to the right, and here I am in the middle just paralyzed without a thing to say. I eventually interjected a bit into a conversation about localization, but after that I just slowly looked at the clock and decided to head out.

I was a bit early for my train, but that was okay. I played some Shadowverse on the train. I got home, exercised a bit and went to bed.

I could have stayed home and played games but I don't think I would have done that either. I was exhausted from work - and it wasn't even a hard work day! But I went out and didn't feel it either.

I’m feeling lost right now. Not sure where I am heading in life or with any of my hobbies or interests. Which is funny because this morning I recorded my daily video and was pretty pumped for Guilds of Ravnica. I guess I still am? I’m just scared of life all of a sudden and not making any moves.

Who am I waiting for permission from?