Warning! This is a rant written by a mad black woman. Viewer discretion is advised.
I've thought alot about WoTC's decision to not only keep the Reserved List but also to update it and I can't help but feel its a shot in the foot to competitive Legacy. I started playing Magic just after Darksteel was released and so I was never really exposed to what Magic was before the 6th Edition changes and the new card frames. My teachers taught me about Standard and Extended and sort of glossed over Vintage and Legacy. Recently some friends have started making Legacy deck so they can compete in SCG's Legacy Opens and that got me interested in the format.
The second thing I noticed about Legacy was the enormous price difference between it and Standard. $12 for a Dragonskull Summit? Thats fine(I need them btw so PM if you have any for sale!). $90 for an Underground Sea? Wait what?!?! I know I don't need duals or other expensive cards to play Legacy but I'd like to do well in a tournament and the format sort of requires that you play the best cards available. I simply can't afford to play any good decks so I'm porting my Extended deck over to Legacy. I'm replacing Soul's Fire with Fling and tossing in some Disciple of the Vault and hoping for the best.
I've been thinking about what I'd say to WoTC if I could call them up. All I came up with is this: You're not insurance salesmen. Not one Magic: the Gathering product has a guarantee that its value will be retained. If you don't guarantee rare ratios why guarantee card scarcity? No investment is without risk and so giving collectors a security blanket from WoTC itself does more harm than good. The fact is that the secondary market can crash regardless of what WoTC says or does. Value through scarcity in a trading card game is ok in the short term but bad for the long term health of the game. The oldest reserved card will be 17 years old this year and I may be in the minority but I don't want to buy cardboard that old. Most Alpha cards are likely smelly, germy, and badly faded and thats the "mint" cards. I just want to play with the cards, not put them on my shelf and think about how uberleet I am because I have a Beta Gauntlet of Might.
I understand why WoTC has treaded carefully on this issue. Many players are also collectors and perhaps they feel they'll lose players by abolishing the Reserved List. I honestly think WoTC is simply afraid of alienating players, not collectors, who've invested alot of money into the game. If you've spent hundreds of dollar getting Legacy staples over the year and suddenly the value of the cards you spent years getting plummeted you'd be understandably upset. But you'd still have the cards, eventually the secondary market would stablize, and the cards value would probably rise. If WoTC reprinted the original duals in a Masters Edition-esqe set(please can haz?) the value of the older cards might go down at first but then they'd go back up. Reprints spark interest in the originals and people like to show off older editions of cards.
If WoTC is really behind this new policy then I guess their aquisition drive is over because it seems to go against it.
Stop being ashamed of being unemployed and go to people who can help me find a job.
Go back to counseling and create a real plan to manage my ADHD.
Be nice to my brother!!
Make a real effort to lose some weight.
Start dressing the way I really want to dress.
My general plans:
Get health insurance!!
Start drafting on MTGO
Start T4'ing at locals by August
Get my rating to 1700
Become a partner in a card store a friend is opening
Getting my first apartment
meet Sakura(she's awesomesauce!!)
Its weird but I actually accomplished a few of my 2008 resolutions. I got 2 jobs, my own place, and have health insurance. My Magic goals didn't get done because I was underwhelmed by 2008 in general. I only made one new deck the whole year. >.< Hopefully 2009 will bring better options for Black because its my favorite color for competitive play. I didn't end up going to counseling because I only just got approved for health insurance and I don't make enough to afford even a sliding scale fee. I did lose some weight but it was due to stress and therefore was unhealthy weight loss. I gained it back anyway. Soup kitchens feed you an enormous amount of food and when you're not sure when you're gonna get another meal you eat like a squirrel, meaning gorging yourself for times of famine. I'm still mean to my brother and have given up any hope of being nice to him. I love him and that'll have to be enough. My friend still hasn't opened his card shop yet. Mainly because he took a detour and decided to go back to school instead. Which is awesome and I wish him the best of luck. Saddest of all...I haven't met Sakura yet! Passports are expensive as hell and NY dragged its feet in implementing the improved driver's lisence program, which works sort of like a passport for NY residents wanting to visit Canada by bus or car. >.< I'll get there someday.
Get my Learner's Permit.
Learn to drive.
Meet lots of new people.
Go to counseling for my ADHD(which is manageable w/o it) and depression(which is NOT manageable w/o it).
Buy my first strand of pearls.
Move into a bigger apartment.
Go to Dragoncon!
Visit my grandma and dad as well as my cousin and her daughter.
Huzzah!! After two months of homelessness and bureaucratic ********, I'm actually moving. Its somewhat bittersweet because its the final nail in the coffin for me living at home with Mom and Troy, my rather large and annoying 10 year old brother.
I didn't leave when I was 18 because I wasn't ready to let Troy go. I'd conceded Mom to Troy the day he was born but I just couldn't leave my baby brother. *lol* Of course he was 3 at the time and much cuter and blissfully uncomplicated. Now he's a broody, spoiled little troll and as much as I love him I'm more than ready to leave him to grow up w/o my constant presence. I know that he'll miss me more than I'll miss him. I help him with his homework, cook things for him, and help him with video games. Even when I was living in the shelter I was at home alot and so he continued to take my presence for granted. I was nearly 15 when he was born and so I'm used to being by myself and doing things on my own. Troy has had an insufferably smartalecky, mean older sister his whole life and just doesn't know what it really means to be independent. My mom gives him enough fake independence(i.e. letting him cook simple things, choose what time he goes to bed, etc) for him to think he can handle himself but I just don't think he can handle the same responsibilities and privileges I had at his age. At 11 I got $10 each week for allowance and my mom let me go to the library and to lunch each Saturday on my own. Troy loves to show off money and possessions too much to be trusted doing the same thing.
Bah...being a big sister has made me into an old lady! Now that I have my own place I can actually have friends and gentlemen/women callers over. I'll be living near the nightclub district and there are loads of restaurants nearby. Best of all, I'll live in walking distance of my favorite library. Its not just a normal library. There's a cafe and used bookstore inside and a beautiful and intensely fragrant garden outside. Plus, there's wireless internet, self-checkout, and this cool service that let's you checkout audio books via the internet.
I'm babbling and I think I need to end things here...
After two months of bureaucracy I'm finally going to move into my apartment. Of course its not really an apartment. Its a room. As I've said before I barely have enough possessions to fill one room so its ok for now. Anyway, I have to call the mover today to schedule my move. Plus, I'm getting a second interview with a tutoring program I applied to recently. Yay! I already work at Bath & Body Works(I'll have you know that the Walden Galleria locations are the busiest in the entire country!) but I need more hours. I can still work at Bath & Body during the school vacations, which I'd have off of course, and on the weekends. *sigh* My life actually seems to like me now.
I finally got a job. Its a seasonal job at Bath & Body Works but its great because now I'll have recent work experience. I hate it when people say "We can't hire you because you don't have any experience in retail.". I'd think it was because I'm black except I've heard this over the phone rather than in person and few people associate someone with the name Cynthia Clarkspellman with being black.
Also, the Department of Social Services finally decided to say yes to a security deposit on the apartment I found. At this very moment I'm doing the last of my summer laundry(I'm a big slow poke!) and I'm packing it up when I'm done. People have been so nice to me. I'm getting a microwave and electric skillet from some friends and my mom set aside some linens and household stuff for me. Also, I have a futon, a TV(with stand), a dresser, and a GameCube(a gift from my 10 year old brother). My mom even said she'd buy me a new laptop. I bet she's just happy I'm out of the house.
Its not really an apartment. Its a room. Its small and so I have to have a futon instead of a bed. Additionally, I'm bringing 3 large plastic bins of books(I rarely watch TV), 2 bins of cloths, 1 bin of misc crap, some linens, some dishes, a dresser(my mom sorta foisted it on me), my TV(I've had it since I was 10 and it still works!), and my TV stand. My poor VCR is getting thrown out and my bed is too on big pick up day. I still need a garbage can, a mini fridge, a microwave, and ironing periphenalia.
The weirdest part of all this is that I still don't have a job. The Department of Social Services is footing the bill for everything. I put in about 20 applications in the past 7 days and I'll be calling alot of people. I want to work close to my hidey hole. I'm moving downtown so there are alot of places I can work. Starbucks is looking good right now. Its a block away from my apartment. Also, my friend lives down the block and is a Starbucks addict. He says he's buying an espresso machine so he can take his addiction out of the public eye. I have serious doubts about that.
Over the past two weeks I've learned that Yoda was right. Do things instead of trying to do things. Things bode ill when a Star Trek fan starts listening to a sword waving Jesus freak.
This has been inevitable for quite some time. I haven't been able to find a job(I'll do any job except telemarketer or executioner) and had been living with my mom. My mom quit her full time job in the spring to concentrate on finishing school. I'm proud to say that this is her last semester and in January she will have a B.A. or B.S.(I forget which one) in Sociology. Unfortunately her income is much less with her new part time job and she simply couldn't support another adult with it. We agreed that I had until October to find other housing arrangements(be it in an apartment or in a shelter) and for a while it looked like I would be living with my uncle Ronald. But he went missing about two weeks ago and I became more worried about his well-being(he has AIDS and needs his medicine) than about moving out. When the time came to make good on my promise I did so without malice or contempt. Some of my friends were saying things like "Your mom is being a *****." and its hard to make them understand that it was a mutual decision. We may have had different reasons for doing this but the end result is the same. I left because I love my brother alot and he needs the same secure environment I grew up in. By leaving the house the bills will go down and Mom will have to buy less food. Another reason I left is because I'm afraid that too much stress will harm my mom's health. She has hypertension and is at risk for diabetes. Its horribly ironic that my mom thinks I don't care about her but in reality I care about her more than I care about myself.
I'm not on the street. I live in a shelter thats a 5 minute bus ride from my mom's house and am getting help finding an affordable apartment. Heck, I'm going to see one or two today. There seems to be a big misconception about being homeless. Alot of people think you go around brandishing a "Will work for food" sign and sleep in cardboard boxes. That might be true for some homeless people but those tend to be drug addicts, ex-cons, the mentally ill, and the mentally retarded. The government is very interested in preventing you from really having to go out into the streets. But some people have alot of pride and would rather sleep in the park or in their car than tell someone at the Department of Social Services that their husband beat them and turned them out or that their landlord put them out with no notice. Its really sad.
I needed to eat something quick before heading out the door and so I made a piece of sausage. I split it, slathered it with mustard, and put it on some bread. It was yummy. Except the part where the first bite burned the upper palate of my mouth. I felt about 10 seconds of intense pain and then it just felt numb. An oral inspection revealed a huge patch of raise white skin and I thought it was a blister. I've had a blister in my mouth before and the treatment is keeping your mouth clean and time. So I ignore it and went on my way. This morning I decided to be greedy and have ice cream for breakfast. For what ever reason the cold of the ice cream loosened the burned skin and so now its only halfway attached to my palate. Not all the skin is dead and so I can't just pull it off. If I had insurance I might go to the hospital and have a doctor peel it off. My Medicaid application is still being processed so its gonna be a while before I can go to the doctor for anything.
Yesterday I sent in my application to college. Buffalo State College to be precise. My mom goes there(she's in the class of January '09) and that gave me the idea of going back to school. As the title to this blog suggests this is my third foray into college. I spent the first two at Erie Community College getting hooked on trading card games and the second two sucking at information technology(don't go to the Getzville ITT Tech..its a waste of money!!). Then my grandma got ill and I spent a year as her companion before she passed away. I spent another year in a depressed funk and now I'm tired of doing nothing and living with my mom(as great as she is). My intended major is Television Arts, which is what I should have majored in all along, and hopefully I can enter the fall semester as a junior. I might need to take a few classes over the summer to fill in the gaps though.
Another thing I need more than going back to school is a job. There are open interviews at a number of places in the next few days, mainly due to school letting out, and I hope I can grab a job. I'll need money for books, housing, and my student loans from my craptastic stay at ITT Tech. *sigh* So much stuff to do. It doesn't seem like September is close but it'll be here before I know it.
I don't know what it its but I'm just drawn to horrible cards. Well, that's not exactly true. Alot of the cards I like are good but just inferior to other choices in the meta. Uthden Troll for example. Its clearly much worse than MC Hammer but I like it. It only costs 1 mana to regenerate! Everyone always says "Cynthia, stop playing with bad cards!" but I can't. Its just too fun. I know the top decks in Standard and what cards are good. But I like challenging myself by using substandard cards and making the best of a bad situation. Does that make any sense to anyone?