PRELUDE – BANG YOUR HEAD (against a wall in frustration…)

It’s quiet.  It usually is at 11:30 at night.  Moving to the country means trading the wail of the siren on the roof of the fire department and the deep, vibrating rumble of the freight train making its’ regular twilight pass a few blocks over for the soft hoot of the barn owl in the woods out back, and…
…Well, that’s about it.
It’s incredibly quiet.  I’ve played drums for nearly two-thirds of my life, and the constant high-frequency reverberations of cymbals at top volume have taken their toll on my hearing, leaving a constant high-pitched ringing just barely past the reach of my conscious mind that never quite goes away.  
As a result, I don’t like quiet.  Noise makes the noise go away.
So I’m sitting here, staring at the glowing screen of my laptop, with a million thoughts going through my head, and a million things to talk about, and nothing will come out.  
All I can do is hear the silence. 
I reach for my headphones and click the “ITunes” icon on my desktop.  It’s time for an experiment, folks…
.   .   .   .   .
Let’s look at the most recent poll results-
If you could ban a single card from the format, it would be:
5%   Insurrection
41% – None of the above
I’m pleasantly surprised here.  My personal vote was on Tooth and Nail; I find that the further I get into EDH, the less I like single-card strategies that just vastly imbalance the game as soon as they hit.  The other options I included are in the same strong vein, but none of them have the immediate potential to combo a table out, and of the bunch, Tooth is the only card I feel like I have to apologize after playing. 
It looks like you guys are more tolerant than I am, however, and I have to admit that I like to see that.  Realistically, I do think things are in a pretty good place in this format, and if I had my way, I might actually un-ban some stuff.  
This is nice to see.
.   .   .   .   .

– The Weakerthans – “This Is A Fire Door Never Leave Open”

“All straight lines circle sometime…”

These Aren’t The Droids You’re Looking For…

I got to debut my Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer deck last night.  There’s a feature in the works for this deck, but for now, but Mr. P called the unfolding of the game “the greatest Jedi Mind trick he’d ever seen.”  
It works like this:
Step 1: Play Slobad
Step 2: Vomit out the contents of your deck and do what you want while everyone else leaves you alone for the entire game.
Seriously.  The threat alone of my artifacts going indestructible meant that people just looked elsewhere to attack and utilize their removal.  At one point, my board included two Wurmcoil Engines, Pentavus, Arcbound Ravager, and Mirrorworks, and one of my opponents drew into Naturalize and Woodfall Primus.  He shrugged in frustration and destroyed two different Lightning Greaves and a Skullclamp the other players had out.
Protip: Don’t let me sit back and have my things, kids.  Force me to decide.  If you try to Naturalize something, you’re getting the expected value; I have to sacrifice something to make your target indestructible.  Better yet, you’re pressuring me, instead of letting me get active Goblin Welder and Memory Jar with no fear of retribution. 
You won’t win that one.
Slobad’s Oracle text may as well mimic Darksteel Forge word for word.  I didn’t actually have to use him until about turn fifteen.  Incredible.

.   .   .   .   .

– Public Enemy – “Fight The Power”

“Nineteen Eighty-Nine.  The number.  Another summer…”

From the “Take That $75 And Just Light It On Fire Instead” Files –

While Mr. P and I were taking our Midwest college tour and preparing for our final summer before college, the Fallen Empires expansion was released.  We specifically planned to be near a gaming store in Ohio the morning the set released, and when the day arrived, we marched into a little shop near an overpass in some city that my mind keeps telling me was Cleveland (but I don’t think it actually was.)
We were prepared.  We had cash.  Legends was under-printed, and we paid through the nose for a very small amount of packs.  The Dark came next, and while it was more available, it was still frequently out of stock in the shops we frequented.  I was thinking about the relative disappointment from that set power-wise, compared to Legends, when the shop owner asked us how much Fallen Empires product we wanted.  
Flash new Magic stuff in front of a dedicated player, and you can kiss logic goodbye as fast as the cash register will ring up a sale.
We each bought a box.
Later on in our hotel, I cracked my last pack open and asked Mr. P if it was possible that the printers had mistakenly loaded the boxes with only commons.  In retrospect, I’m pretty sure we weren’t the only ones wondering that same thing that day.

.   .   .   .   .

– Lagwagon – “Sleep”

“It’s me…delivering psychosis over the phone to you…”

Irony Is a Cruel Mistress

At some point not long after that happened, I got my hands on my first Black Lotus, and entered a tournament in Chester, Vermont.  I had started down the path of the Dirty Combo Player™ that I was to become in later life, and I found myself in the final match against a faceless revised-era aggro deck.
I won the dice roll, and opted to play first .  I peeled the cards one-by one.
Black Lotus.
The mythical first-turn kill.  In the finals of a tournament.  I was about to live the dream.
Ten minutes later, I was given the first place prize.

Eighteen packs of Fallen Empires.

.   .   .   .   .

– Motley Crue – “Anarchy In The U.K.

– Special K – “I Got A Man”
Holy hell…

– The Spitvalves – “Movin’ On”

“Tomorrow’s just another day that I can’t wait to see.”

Riddle – How Is Improper Threat Assessment Like A Cockroach?

Dudemar  “End of turn, Naturalize your Skullclamp.”
Me – “Don’t do that.”
Dudemar  “Why not?”
Me – “It’s a terrible time to do it.”
Dudemar  “It’s an optimal time to do it.”
Me – “No, it isn’t.”
Dudemar  “Doing it anyway.”
Me –   “Wanna know why it isn’t?  Because I don’t have any creatures, and you can kill it in response to me trying to equip it when I do.  You can save it for when you need it.  Now, you’ve lost an answer to a potentially bigger threat if one comes up.”
Dudemar  “Whatever.  I’m doing it.”   
Me – “$@&#!*&^?#$”

.   .   .   .   .

– The Get Up Kids – “I’ll Catch You”

“No need for reminding…you’re still all that matters to me.”

A Haiku For Temporal Mastery (Ode to Unrealistic Pre-Release Speculative Pricing)

Opened a mythic?
Sell that shit before it tanks.

.   .   .   .   .

  – Guns N’ Roses – “Don’t Cry”
Okay…either ITunes is trying to drive me completely insane, or this is a none-too-subtle suggestion that I should call it a night.  Only one way to know for sure…

– My Chemical Romance – “The End”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.  J