Ratha (papertygre) wrote,

Magic: The Gathering, and general huge update

Last weekend alacrity and I went to the Magic: The Gathering pre-release event at Seattle center for the "Time Spiral" set coming out this week. At the event you could enter several competitive matches, each of which lasted several hours and established a ranking among participating players. For joining a given match and paying the sign-up fee, you got to build a deck, play in four or five rounds, and keep the cards even if you didn't win any prizes (which were, generally, more cards). I did one sealed-deck flight and one "two-headed giant" (a 2-on-2 team event), and he did two sealed-deck flights. We both enjoyed it a lot -- very engrossing, and lots of opportunities to learn from other players -- so we wound up staying all day Saturday, from opening at 8:30 AM until almost midnight. We left satisfied, but also so exhausted (and motivated to go back on the second day) that we bailed out on the two parties that we'd also been hoping to go to that night. Which was kind of disappointing, since we hadn't otherwise seen the people who would be at the respective parties in weeks or months. However, we're nerds and we were (are) caught up in a new obsession. Also, I am still hoping to see some of these people at another party-like event which should be next weekend.

I used to play Magic when it had just come out, in 1993 or so, but after a few months of playing with some college friends, I decided it was a fad and quit. But the newer "limited" formats are pretty fun (where, instead of collecting cards and building decks from the collection, you attend an event where you just get a limited number of random packs and you have to build an effective deck out of that cardpool). I am also noticing that not only did the game not pass into (further) obscurity as a fad, but in the 13 years since I knew anyone involved with the game, a *lot* more theoretical sophistication has developed (not to mention that the complexity has increased as the number of different card abilities has gone up.) This has changed the character of the game enough to make it very interesting for the moment. Someone at the pre-release said that Magic is like a cross between poker and chess: poker because there's an element of psychology play and estimating of odds; chess because of the employoment of strategy. So I'm discovering that there is a lot to learn in order to play well. Of course, I'm also discovering that it can be hard to not let a game like this become a time- and money-devouring preoccupation.

Anyway, that was last weekend. This weekend, haven't done much but work on the apartment (there is constantly more unpacking and organizing to do), read some M:TG articles, and work from home. Also, last night went out to dinner with disappearinjon and quasilaur and E, who said she would be leaving for Los Angeles this morning. Plus, got to see the inside of our next-door neighbor's apartment, which is stunningly well decorated! I was inspired.

At work I moved to a window office on Friday. My new officemate is amicable and the office's location is much closer to the kitchen/bathroom/copyroom/lobby. On the minus side, I will be sitting farther away from the people I work most closely with.

On Wednesday there was an annual morale event at work: my product group (~200 people) went to Teatro ZinZanni in Seattle. I enjoyed the acrobatics, but the situational comedy mostly went over my head. I drove myself rather than took the bus, so I had to keep going outside to feed the parking meter, but I was glad for the opportunities to take a break and get outside. The food was pretty good but they really dragged it out, with 3 appetizer courses, after each of which you had to watch more theatrics before they would give you the next. On the way home, I stopped by a few of the condo complexes in Capitol Hill and got informational brochures. I'm probably not in the market for a condo now for a number of reasons, but it's fun to think about since D and I are probably moving again anyway in February. Then, on the way home, I got pulled over and issued a ticket for going straight from a right turn only lane. Hello stressful. There were no pavement markings, and it turns out the sign was sort of behind some chain-link fence from some construction, but not so obscured that I think I would have any chance disputing the charge.

Exercise has been fairly neglected. Only went running once last week and not at all the previous. D and I want to get back on the wagon, but finding the time is hard. It seems like for each thing I do (working, exercise, sleeping, reading, cleaning/organizing, socializing, cooking, Magic, etc.), I'm never spending enough time on that thing, but there's no more time to go around. So as a pragmatic move, my main goal for exercise has changed: at this point I just want to get in good enough shape for skiing. D said he does want to run for running's sake, though, and maybe lift weights. I think we settled on trying to hit the gym twice a week in the evenings for 30 minute sessions and doing a longer session on the weekends.
Tags: etc., m:tg, social, work

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