The things that come with moving

With Trevor losing his job and both of us looking at new jobs, the prospect of moving comes along with that.  What has been interesting during looking at places that we are getting feedback from is our process of ranking what we think of these locations.

First we look at the internet providers in the area.  With my grad school being online and so much of life revolving around it, having crappy internet is not an option.  We look at company reviews, the speeds they offer, pricing.  We search for if they instill caps on households and what happens if you hit those caps.  We would love to go somewhere that Google Fiber is available, but, that is incredibly narrow and maybe not so fair to a search.

Then, we go and we put a local zip code into WoTC’s find a store.  Since neither of us enjoy playing online(which is contradictory to our first requirement), we need a store nearby.  We enjoy the interaction with people, a place to go once a week that isn’t the grocery store.  Having a card/gaming shop around ensures that we have someway to connect with people who have similar interests to us and can then branch out into things we are not so interested in.

I look at crime reports for various areas.  There is a certain threshold of cost to crime I’m not willing to go back into.  Maybe it is because I did it as a kid and I know how awful it is or it could be that I don’t want to ruin my husband’s level of innocence he has on these things. Either way, I won’t go for the cheapest place if it also means being in a bad area.

Then we look at the grocery stores.  With all my allergies, having an ‘organic’ food market around tends to be a good thing.  If there isn’t, I tend to have to dig deeper and see if there is at least a section that will sell dairy free goods, note if vitamins have fish in them, have antibiotic free meat, and so on.  Smaller areas tend to not be as open to this idea while larger cities, or ones that are growing, do.

There are other things we look at as well.  Parks we can go to, recreation, tax costs, and government structure.  These things don’t necessarily get ranked though, as much as they are filed away in some part of my mind that remembers them for the long term.

But that is about it…If you know of any positions open, either in the writing or IT world, give me a yell so I can pass them on 😀

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Been Isolated

Sorry I haven’t been keeping up.  Honestly, I’ve been a bit isolated.  Some of it is self-imposed other parts are more dependent on things going on.

I had another massive surgery on my foot, so I haven’t fully walked in over two months.  Even before that walking was painful and exasperating due to the pain and swelling.  I hate being the weak link so I stopped going to as many events and being as social.  Then at the end of November, Trevor lost his job, so I’ve been determined not to go anywhere and spend money.  It is also one of those times where I’m not sure if life is going to be uprooted or not, due to his job loss and possible job prospects, so I just start to cut ties with people…not talking, not showing interest, not caring.

It probably isn’t good for me.

Most of my MTG experiences have been on DoTP and a little bit of MTGO/MODO…which was awful. Hopefully when it comes back it won’t be so bad.  I went to GPDC and did side events and saw people I normally wouldn’t, but did not play in the main event as I did not have a Legacy deck. The events I did play in I did well, but never quite made it to first.  Didn’t expect much considering how long it had been since I had held cards in my hand.

I’ll probably be at an IQ this weekend since it is relatively close and free.  Trevor and I both have cards to play with, so we had may as well.

I’ve been playing quite a bit of League as well, trying to get better in the jungle and top lanes since those were my weakest positions previously.  Until I have a multitude of champions that I can play in all positions down pat, I don’t think I will do much in the ranked system.  That and school which I have to do nearly 5 nights a week…

Anyway, hopefully I’ll be more interactive here in the future.  Might use this as an outlet for a bit.  Might post some fiction type items.  Probably do some tournament type reports.  Probably get some PS4 game reviews up…maybe even some for Vita…or go back and do more comic book reviews… I don’t know.  Tell me what you want to see

My Day at WMCQ DC (WAY LATE)

Not really a tournament report as much as a personal reflection and diary of the day. To late for a full on report, things have changed a lot since then!

I was really excited for the WMCQ in Washington, DC. Not because I had really expected to do well or I was attempting to prove any kind of point, but because it was a nearby event that I could go to and be comfortable at within my surroundings.

I had been to this convention center before since it is also where the SCG DC Open was and had been in the area a lot either going to visit places or for work type stuff.  It was a pretty relaxing thing for me.  Kinda felt like I was part of the home team.  I really enjoy going to play at places where I have already been or know something of. Philly is another comfortable location, as will Richmond be in a few months.  Can’t beat playing in the building that you graduated college from, right?

But anyway, the day started out much earlier than Trevor or I planned.  A friend from our play group messaged us at 6:30 am asking if we could lend him cash to get in since he didn’t have an ATM card. Fine, but since I’m up this early I’m making tea first. Which was perhaps the best decision in the world.

We go pick up our friend and rather than Metro in we decided to drive.  Metro is normally an awesome option unless it is 4-20, Earth Day, and they are single tracking or closing tracks all over the place and making it difficult to get around.  Plus there is $15 parking a few blocks away from the venue that isn’t all that bad. And on the way back I could hit my favorite restaurant!

So we get to the convention center and it is kind of a mess thanks to AwesomeCon also going on in the same building. So you have this mass of nerds kind of just all over the place with some really poor directions. We figured out which room the WMCQ was in and made sure our Pre-registers went though and sat down at what was a pretty empty table. Trevor had printed out our deck lists before hand, but of course, mine go left behind so I had to fill one out real quick.  Oh well, I guess at least it wasn’t both that I had to do.

The room filled up quickly and we started off the day with nearly 400 players.  It was yet another day of an SCG event being split into two rooms causing confusion for many players.  In fact, I think it is a good thing that they had so many other events happening at the same time because there were enough drops after round 1 to get at least all the WMCQ players in one room.

The most important thing I learned about today is the fact that I am not a bad player. I know what calls to make when when I know the decks I’m playing against. The issue is that my playgroup likes to play a lot of the same archetypes.  So for the weeks leading up to the WMCQ I was testing over and over against the various Aggro decks.  Against those decks, I just kicked face.  However, going up against something like G/W tokens or Planeswalker Superfriends, I just wasn’t sure of the reactions I needed to have.

Many people are telling me the solution to this is to get on MTGO, which I might start doing as soon as I have the income for both paper and online Magic. But until then I don’t really have a desire to try and balance both and feel as though I losing something to gain one other thing.  Not to mention time to play both online and in person and do school work and actually work is limited. Some people would say I’m not dedicated, but I would say balancing just three out of those four things and doing pretty well at all of them shows more dedication to life overall than just one item.

Anyway, my Golgari deck is getting put back together, maybe made into a light Jund deck and I will keep you updated on that. Hoping to have that ready for GameDay. I am going to continue keeping the Bant Control/Prime Speaker deck in order and updating it as I go.  I have cards I need to pick up over the next week or so, but I have been working on trading for more of them as opposed just buying them.

I think that is all I have for now. I’ll get a decklist for you guys as things become more solidified and tested.

 

Home and Resting

Surgery went well.  I have a follow up appointment next week and we will see how it is healing, but as long as the initial surgery went good we should be solid.  I’m very tired and in a bit of pain, but I think I’ll be okay after a lot of rest and relaxation.

I did make it to Free Comic Book day today for a little while. Picked up some stuff to keep me occupied until I’m off of bed rest and back on my feet. I’m doing some brewing with hun and we are working on sorting and organizing when I’m actually coherent, which is important. It has needed to be done for a while now and actually having a moment to get it done will be quite liberating.

Final paper for the most grueling course so far goes in tomorrow. Let’s hope that I haven’t messed up the final parts during the stress and medicated stupor.  I’ve worked hard on it, but it doesn’t feel like it really goes anywhere. It is kind of disappointing. But I suppose that happens when you are doing only half of the work ultimately.  The teacher cut out whole sections since it is only an 8 week course, but those sections to me feel like what we should have concentrated on. Oh well, time for the next one, which will be Business Continuity starting in a few weeks.

My article on MTG BroDeals, ‘Romantically Stacked’, is up and I would love some feedback! Tell me if you guys like the format and idea behind the ‘column’ so to speak and recommend topics that you want to hear from the community!

I promise to have more upcoming…but the past week has been nuts. And now I’m going to go back to my medication…

Moved!

So everything is out of Trevor and my old place and into the new one.  Now comes the challenge of unpacking it all.  Normally this is not to much of an issue as everything kinda has a pre-designated area that it goes to.  It is quick, pretty painless, and efficient.  This time, however, the apartment is such a different layout we are really having to get creative with where things how and how it gets laid out.  This is not a bad thing by any means because it is making us really thinking of of what we actually need versus which can go into storage(aka my parent’s basement) or even to Goodwill.

I’m hoping that after this week thing will be more settled and I can start deck exploration for World Quals in D.C. on April 20th.  I have to start early so I can fit in between paper writing for school since I’ve hit the one big core class for my Master’s that will be taking up a lot of time.  But I think I can do it.  This week I want to play with Naya Blitz a bit and see how I do with that.  It is still very Aggro, which I’m accustomed to, but it has a lot less control aspects.

As far as Article writing goes, well, it has been through its first set of edits and I’m mulling over recommendations from people.  I like to let thing percolate   Also I’ll do work on that and then feel guilty for ‘ignoring’ school work.  Yeah I’m a nerd.

I also have some comics that I want to start commenting on again here in the next few weeks! I’ve bought some stuff as my LCS/LGS has had a sale, so while some it maybe a few years old, I still think talking about it will encourage you all to go out and support the industry a bit, whether it is through digital pick-ups or local stores.  I always push for local stores though!  However, I understand fully how difficult it is to get to a local store occasionally.  I’m also waiting on a few new things to come in from not so large publishers that I think many people will find interesting!

 

A day behind…

So before Trevor went to Boston for the weekend we were going to deck test a bit each night so I could get used to this new deck before some small local tournaments this weekend.

We thought it would be great since it snowed yesterday and I wouldn’t have to be headed home at all or be tired.  Hell, I got a nap in the middle of the day felt great, and was still able to put in 8 hours.  Why can’t that happen all the time?

Well I had to run out to get a prescription that had come in.  No big deal.  We come home from that and getting a pizza and see how bad the roads were, get upstairs, put stuff down.  I go to switch the lights from the stairs to the living room and all I here is a small pop before it all goes dark.

Computers, internet, lights, everything on that circuit just died.  We check the circuit breaker and nothing is out of place.  Part of our living room still works, but the other part doesn’t.  However, there isn’t enough light to play really.  Plus our normal play area is completely in the dark.

So now I’m unintentionally a day behind.  I can go home and fishbowl a bit tonight, plus FNM tomorrow, but it really makes me not confident about Saturday, where I would really like to do well.

In other news, I will be discussing my blog and some other topics on ‘The Deck Tease’ tonight!  I will give you guys a link when it gets posted.  This is a podcast that I really enjoy and listen to at work when given the chance as well as in the car as I go from point to point.

Atlantic City Grand Prix Tournament Report

First, sorry this took so long.  I started school back up this week and was getting started there as well as Trev coming back home and apartment searching…so busy the past few days!

I only stayed for five rounds.  After round five I was 1-3-1 and it just put me in exasperation mode, but more on that later.

My day started at 5 am when I woke up to start driving from Delaware to Atlantic City.  Now normally I love these early morning drives, but there was fog.  Crazy awful Silent Hill levels of fog in some areas, not just the normal morning stuff in low lying areas.  So it took me an extra 30 minutes or so to get up there.  Not to big of a deal.

Then, I try to park in the parking lot across the street from the convention hall.  Press the button, press the button, one more time, no, not going to give me a ticket.  Call up the convention hall.  The number for general inquiries is just a a calendar of events.  So I start calling every person on the list for the convention hall.  I finally get someone, who thankfully sends someone over rather quickly.  However, the fix wasn’t fast and by the time he told me the machine was broken it was 9:00 am.  Registration closes at 9:30.  Crap.  He tells me another way into the parking lot which, while on the same block takes a lot of driving due to the number of one way streets, park in the first spot I see and run.  I will not have woken up that early and driven that far for nothing.

I get in the hall at 9:20 and just start to fill out paperwork.  It is these times that I’m always happy that I have my deck list pre-written out on my phone.  Got it all done and they were still registering late comers and giving them time to get things in order.  Okay.

So I milled about.  Looked at some cards, bought the playmat from rk post since I didn’t get a chance to register early.  Went and found a spot and started to do some extra shuffling.  They posted seats for the players meeting and I reported.  Got to see a lot of familiar faces.  It was very nice to see people from various other tournaments and events at the table and to know that we seem to be continuously sat near each other.

I loved it, thought it was awesome...so did my mom and she wanted to steal it.

I loved it, thought it was awesome…so did my mom and she wanted to steal it.

Then it was off to the races.

Round 1: This was an interesting round.  The first game I was able to easily take care of all of the threats that he had, which was mostly a Olivia Voldaren.  Other than that his deck was Red and Black, but control.  All about removal and life reduction through soceries.  I was eventually able to just get out enough creatures, and big ones at that, that he could no long remove.  I eventually ran him over with Jarad and some Dreg Manglers.  The next games went just the opposite.  It seemed like he side-board in some extra Olivia’s and Pillar of Flame.  Having things exiled rather than sent to the graveyard was a big hit.  I had side-boarded in some Tragic Slips rather than the usual Ultimate Prices since pretty much the only creature he had was Olivia.  I would throw things out every turn, but it just wasn’t enough between the exile and the stealing.  game three was a complete wash as I got stuck on three mana.  Lot’s of things in the graveyard, Jarad in my hand, but I could not seem to just get there in time.  It was unfortunate, but I wasn’t upset.  It was nice to lose to someone else who had completely created their deck from scratch rather than just buying the cards that the current decks were playing.

Record: 0-1

Round 2: In round two I faced a Red Deck Wins build.  This, I thought, was going to be a bad match up for me.  It turns out I was wrong.  The first game he just couldn’t deal with how fast I was able to throw out creatures, start killing his with Ultimate Price or the Golgari Charm.  I had no issues with just blocking and chunking things to the graveyard.  I seemed to really confuse him when I pitched a Thragtusk for a dual land during a Grisly Salvage.  But then again, when I can throw down a Jarad and have him huge, and throw a Rancor on him right off the bat, there is no need not to.

In between games he made the comment of not knowing what to side in against me, or how to really play against such a deck.  Which I’m fine with.  Game two went even faster, but in his favor.  I had a really bad hand and wasn’t pulling things fast enough to respond.  At most I thinkI had two Dreg’s and a Geist out, but I needed them all to block.

Game 3 was a bit longer.  It went in my favor, but it was sad as for part of it he just seemed to give up.  He started to come back at the end, but there isn’t much you can do about me laying out two Strangleroot Geists, having no issue Golgari Charming to whip out most of your critters and bring them back from undying, and then add even more counters on to them.  It just hurts.  However, he was able to do damage to me via Vexing Devils.  So I won, with three life left.

Record: 1-1

I want to know why every time I try to take photos I get jostled into.  This was the best out of all of them.

I want to know why every time I try to take photos I get jostled into. This was the best out of all of them.

Round 3: Bant control OMG I hate you and can’t wait for you to be gone.  Thankfully the person I was playing against was fantastic!  The first game just went on and one and got to the point where I didn’t have answers.  Mostly for all those Restoration Angels and Thragtusks.  It was a pretty standard game all things considered.  Had him at 2 and then he just jumped back up to 17.  Ouch.

Game two was far more interesting.  I had what in my book was God Hand.  All the right lands, great creature curve, and some removal if need be.  Liliana always helps too.  Put out a Deathrite Shaman and Gravecrawler so I was hitting for 3 pretty fast.  Then I added on a Geist.  He was able to get out a Thragtusk, but I just Ultimate Priced it to stop the Resto Angel that could happen.  Started chipping away again, and played Lilliana and started to get him into the cycle of discard while I had nothing.  He started to just play things to ry and get it out on the board, so I popped Liliana’s Ult after already doing splits with his Jace, and gave him the Choice between an Angel and his colorless lands or his colored lands.  Oh the conundrums I love putting people into!  At this point we were at time.  He wound up keeping his colored lands and was able to play another Thragtusk and some Sphinx’s revelations, but never for much life gane and I was able to just widdle him away.  Particularly after another Liliana resulted in more sacrificed creatures.

Record: 1-1-1

Round 4: This was good for me because it was the first time I had gone up against Frights/Reanimator.  I had issues.  Mostly on the fact that I mulled to 5 in the first game and didn’t have an answer for fliers other than Ultimate Price or Golgari Charm to wipe his spirits.  It was a quick game, which only about 9 turns in it.

Game two went a little more in my favor.  He didn’t draw into much and with Deathrite Shaman I was able to exile a lot of his spells that had flashback quickly.  This game was even shorter then the first, only going for six turns.  An army of Dreg Mangler’s will do that I suppose.

Game three was very long.  We both took the shock, but I was the first one to get an creature out.  And it was looking good for a while.  I was able to sit there and exile things and either do damage or gain life with Shaman and do damage with Strangleroots and Dreg’s, and the occasional Gravecrawler.  It looked promising.  And then something horrible happened where he suddenly had 20 health and I had 11.  And it just did not get any better.  He was able to take me out in two swings thanks to more flying creatures.  I really hope I can solve this problem now that I see it more clearly.

Record: 1-2-1

Round 5:  This was a round.  It was another Bant Control deck(joy of my life), but the guy I played took forever.  In fact, I was upset that I wasn’t looking at the play clock because our first game took 45 minutes, he shuffled my cards so they were missed up sleeve wise, and he looked at two of the same card that had different art for a long time.  It took so long sometimes I was forgetting whose turn it was.  He won the first game and I was quick to move on too the next.  In which a judge came over to observe and see how far along we were regarding play time.  I said Game 2 turn 2.  She seemed rather appaled by this and stuck around to watch in which my opponent kept taking time, looking at notes, tapping, untapping, and rearranging lands before playing a card.  I had him down to 1 health and we drew.  He won the round and I was incredibly bitter.  I gave the judges my report on the match and they said they would keep an eye on the player in the future.

Record: 1-3-1

Now, after that last match I decided to drop.  I would have loved to have kept playing and try to get the sour taste out of my mouth, but at the same time I was exasperated, tired, and a little pissed.  I didn’t want my ill mood to ruin someone else’s good time that I could only imagine they were playing at such a record.  Plus, two hours back to Delaware.  I figured if I had been doing well I would just crash in my car or something along those lines, but at that point I just wanted to go ‘home’ and have my futon.

I did pick up some packs from the Lowryn block because that is what I do.  Got another one of the filter lands, I think I have about half of them now.  I also valued the time that I had in between rounds.  There were a lot of great people to talk to.  Of course there was the occasional, aww you’re here on behalf of bf/husband/what have you, but by now I’ve learned to calmly explain that I am not.  It was also great that there was a young girl there who was kicking ass and I could point to and be like, been playing since I was a bit older then her.

So overall, no regrets.  Lessons learned as per always, but never regrets.  Now I’ve started to even get a group of people that I see at all of these types of events together and talk to them.  It makes me feel pretty awesome.