March 13, 2005
As I waited for the train to come in to Santa Barbara, bearing a Green Hills recruit for me to usher through the gauntlet of the interview weekend (we went sailing!), an elderly woman walked by, folded up her umbrella, sat down, lit a cigarette, and began to speak. It wasn’t raining.
Until she arrived, I had been reading a book about colonizing Mars, but I put it down when she began to talk.
Until she spoke, I had also been unaware of the vicious gang warfare down on the mean streets of Santa Barbara. They accost you, she said. It’s getting to be so you can’t take a walk down town, anymore. And they even come into businesses, she says. They throw “S-H-I-T” she spelled. She was animated. There were hand gestures.
Imagine my surprise. Imagine the shattering of my illusions. Imagine the deftness with which I inched my way off the other side of the bench and, grinning all the while, pretended my cellphone had rung.
March 8, 2005
I returned home yesterday to find something I did not expect. At first, I couldn’t even put my finger on exactly what was out of place, but as I sat down on the couch to check my email, I did a sort of double-take at the floor. I bent down and examined the substance on the floor more closely.
“Sasha!” I exclaimed. She looked up. “Did you destroy my pillow?” She had recently shredded an entire box of kleenex that I had on my bedside table, so I knew such things were not out of the question. I went upstairs. No, the pillow was fine. In fact, there weren’t even any feathers up here. I returned to the first floor, and noticed that the feathers increased in number and in size near the closet. Also, coincidentally, near the window. It all began to come together.
“There was,” I announced (to no one in particular) “a mighty duel.”
“It ranged all over, from the ironing board to the couch”
I looked through the remains.
“The loser is nowhere to be found…”
I found something
“… save a foot.”
I held up the foot.
“While the winner…”
I glanced at Sasha. She was, if possible, even more self-satisfied than usual.
“…went off that way, to curl up on the stereo receiver. Where it is warm.”
March 2, 2005
Went to the Extended PTQ for Philly a few Saturdays ago, armed with Meddling Mage-less GrowAtog, many dice that didn’t match, and a Red Bull. Buddy Ryan accompanied, armed with Red Rock (that link’s actually to Ryan’s deck, whereas the other one is just an approximation of mine) and a substantially better ability to play said deck. He ended up in the quarterfinals, with a T8 pin and half a box of Betrayers to his name. I eventually managed a winning record of 4-3, after going 1-3 in the first four rounds.
I could tell that it wasn’t my day after I lost the first round. Now, it’s certainly possible to lose the first round and still go on to do great things. Yet, it’s incredibly disheartening to lose to someone who obviously has no idea what he is doing and was just given the deck 10 minutes before the tournament started. It’s like realizing in the middle of a race that you’re trailing someone who didn’t put his shoes on the right feet.
We went back last weekend. I again started off with a 1-3 record, a testament to my refusal to spend extra money so I could play a good deck. I did manage to pull out a 3-3 final record. ::sigh::
At least the next season is limited. I’m good at limited.