Day 7 & 8 (Sat/Sun): The Extended Procrastination.

It was the weekends, what do you expect — once a gamer, always a gamer — and it was only natural~

Sure, I had things that I needed to do, personal admin stuffs and I left it all to the eleventh hour (Monday morning!) to complete.

So I was off for the weekends from work, and I spent it all on Gaming, Soccer and more Gaming!

Mind you, not the casino gaming kind, but the Hearthstone, Magic:The Gathering and Clash of Clan kind!

But first, soccer on Sunday morning, where surprisingly I lasted the whole 90 mins, scoring yet another goal (1 this week, 1 last week), despite sleeping only at 5.30am for 3 good hours of rest.

Why 5.30am? Because me and my Magic buddy playtested the Modern (Magic) format from 7pm till 3am from the night before, while watching Chelsea thrashed Sunderland and Newcastle drawing their games, which is probably the longest period I’ve ever expended playing Magic.

Oh my, the Magic games were intense and furious as my Zombie deck and my buddy’s ‘fair’ decks traded blows, all in the name of practice because we were practising for the upcoming Modern Championships and the events coming up the next day.

Guess what happens when next day came? Yep, we skipped all events and stayed home to do our things instead — me, playing soccer and gaming — so much for the anticipation of those events huh?

I still managed to do my household chores over the weekends. Cleaned the rooms, swept the house, did the laundry, wiped the tables and cleared all thrash. So proud of myself now. *beaming*

But the emptiness that laid bare at every spick and span couldn’t escape me, reminding me that my family are facing sterner challenges on their Umrah trip, than any whines or complaints that I can come up with.

And while I’ve been messaging Sis every now and then, my heart yearns to hear more stories from them.

Indeed it gets lonely once in a while, but I’ve been coping really well by being really busy and I’ve been really, really busy.

Work, Magic, Hearthstone, Stalwart Empire, Stickerdojo, APC, Barneys FC and housechores and I find myself stretching myself to the wee hours every single day, trying to accomplish one of these things.

Next weekend will be a much welcomed weekend as I have decided to ‘clear leave’ starting from Christmas, 25th Dec and will be back at the office only on 2nd Jan.

Now that’s 8 days of rest unlike any that I’ve experienced before, and the only think I fear coming out of it is an extended procrastination of my things to do.

Yikes.

Day 3 (Tue): A magical night.

A magical night? Lol, not quite in that mesmerising sense but more of in the card gaming sense, as I visited BricksPlay for Modern night, and promptly got thrashed left-right-center as my 4C Zombie deck’s wild variance reared its ugly head.

Indeed, sometimes you just got to put up your hand and admit defeat as luck passes you by, looks at you with one glance and ignores your plight.

Bad draws, bad draws, and bad draws were the order of the day as the Zombie deck malfunctioned extravagantly, but fortunately my dinner of Yellow Submarine ‘sub-radar’ beef with cheesy fries was oh-so-awesome.

Anyways, as for my family, they’re doing really good over there, and though it’s cold, they’ve prepared well with chemical warmers, cold jackets, thick clothes and a staunch faith in accomplishing ibadah.

I vividly recall my Arabian nights — see what I did there? — where I spent nearly 2 weeks accomplishing my own ibadah at Medina and Mecca.

They were cold, not freezing, but cool and pleasing, and the most vivid experience that I recall is that peaceful and serene effect the place had on me.

The place was no barren or desert, but it was simple and… functional.

Days pass by like cars and bikes on a busy road, where you don’t really notice them passing by, and while I’ve always wished I could go there again, somehow this time round I’m unable to.

But I’m really happy that my family gets to experience those magical nights on my behalf.

Ain’t nothin like an Umrah’s Arabian nights.

MTG GPT KL @ CMG @ Beauty World Centre

2.30am: Eyes drooping after tuning G/B Elves deck since 11pm.

7.15am: Rise & Shine. Feels too early.

8.15am: Beauty World Centre @ Bukit Timah

8.30am: Big Breakfast Deluxe @ Macdonlads.

8.45am: Farid’s Arrival

9.30am: Grand Prix Trial KL Begins.

10.00am: First Loss of the day.

4.00pm: 6 hours later and I’m looking at a 5 Loss, 1 Win scoreline.

Oh man, what can I say, the metagame for the current season is so volatile that the only expectation you can set for yourself is to expect the unexpected.

After nearly 5 weeks of ‘seasoning’ myself with the G/B Elves-Tron deck, I thought that I’d stand a good chance, figuring that the metagame is going to be filled with creatures (Delvers/Humans/Wolves) heavy deck, but lo and behold, it was more of a 70% U/x Control vs the rest of the field.

Shocking, indeed, if you even know what all these jargon means.

Still the lesson at the end of the day is…. *wait for it*… ‘Take it on the chin and move on.’

That’s right, sometimes things merely progresses on its own, ‘market forces’ traders would call it, and these are things that one can’t expect to be certain of at any time, and so the best bet that one can ultimately make is to estimate where this ‘progression’ leads to, and how to best live with it.

And then sometimes, you’ve just got to wing it and spin it.

On a sidenote, Beauty World Centre didn’t seem to have changed much since the early 90s when I first patronised it regularly, and I kind of enjoyed the nostalgic ambience it had.

Awesme!

The much needed break.

I can’t help it but to steal kisses as she’s sleeping.. so serene, so calm, so peaceful she is..

Oh what was it that I wanted to blog about? Let’s see..

How about.. Liverpool FC? My second religion, if you had to ask, and how I’m having mixed thoughts of how the season has been. Our next league game is against Swansea, a team where I used to pick while playing Championship Manager of old, playing from 3rd division, and all the way rising through the ranks into the Premiere League — not without one or two cheat codes of course! *winks*

Swansea doesn’t really allay that much of a concern to me, but it’s the trips afterwards, after the international break, to Chelsea and the hosting of Manchester City, before heading back to meet Chelsea that sorts of gives me the chill, because Liverpool never really gets an awesome result, to put it mildly, whenever they return from the break. Splendid indeed.

So what else..

NS! Of which I’ve managed to succesfully, dodge all the obstacles thrown, subversed and darted in my way. From late-comers to late-bloomers, NS turned out to be a revelation!

For the first time, I had to man the helm of my unit on my own, and though it wasn’t easy, the truth is I thought I kinda liked it. The perks that came along with being the biggest bad-ass on the pitch became quite a challenge and a thrill indeed. There’ll be guys that will dog you on for mild incentives like taking shortcuts and short breaks, annoying you a little as the requests pile on, and then there are those that will look to you as a source of motivation and inspiration, driving you forward until the end of the day.

Indeed it’s not a place that I personally chose to be in, but it’s one that I’ll heartily grab at, and given the opportunity, I’m inclined to think that I did no harm for that period, of 4 days of maintenance training, where for the first time also, I cleared my physical proficiency tests, my high-powered sub-machine gun marksmanship, as well as acing the wilfully hand-held revolver classification shootings. Thank god!

And then..

After years of taking a break from the collectible card game, I went straight back into competitive magic, still chasing for that one Friday Night Magic, or FNM win!

With what time I’ve left after my NS commitments, the magic deck I crafted and piloted at JCube’s FNM is probably the strongest ever deck that I’ve ever used for FNM. Despite losing all three closely contested pairings for the night, I think I ended up with valuable lessons from a few awesome people there, with this memorable quote that I likely will remember for nights to come: “A 5 casting cost card should be winning the game for you when it comes out. It’s the card that turns the tide into your favour. That’s what a 5 casting cost card should do in today’s metagame.

The credit to the quote goes to a certain Russell, branded as ‘loud’ by my pals, but skillful and thoughtful nevertheless, as those words of his rang within my earlobes as if giving me that wake up call that I’ve been ignoring all these while. Why have I been ignoring it, when I’ve known it all along?

I think you know how sometimes there are things where one is fully and highly aware of and yet keeps doing the same mistake of not paying heed to them, only to indulge in games of questions involving ‘Why?’s. Well I guess it’s human nature to be reminded of things that should matter to them.

Sometimes a timely reminder is all that we need, and (I guess) fortunately for me, another timely reminder is on its way soon — the Hari Raya Haji holidays, a much needed 2 days off-from-work break.

Perhaps it’s time to take a break from life’s chalice of chaos and mayhem and invest into a well spent lull of a time with my loved ones.

Ooh, that’s another challenge indeed for me!

I’m Back!

… playing Magic actually. Magic what?

Magic: The Gathering, or MTG or just Magic for shorts, a game where two or more players pit their wits against each other using a deck of cards that they’ve assembled either by purchasing those cards, or stealing them.

If the sounds of cards being chucked around sounds a little geeky to you, well that’s because it’s a geek’s game. Really.

I remember when I first opened my pack of booster cards, a bunch of 15 randomly inserted cards, sold in a nice, shiny commercial pack.

More often than not, you don’t always get the cards that you’d want to have in your playing deck, but cards which are lacklustre in terms of gamplay quality.

But sometimes you’ll get that one card where everyone wants to have a piece of, and when you do, people will start to surround you and begging you to sell it to them.

You’d feel like you’ve just won the million dollar jackpot then.

Of course, that was back then, and fast forward to today, or the past month to be exact, I’ve been reliving my childhood days of indulging in these Magic cards.

Every Friday, you’ll find me with my loved one at the weekly ‘Friday Night Magic’  event that fortunately takes place near my office, at Dhoby Ghaut MRT.

Funny enough, for someone who pursues excellence, somehow I do not find the thrill in assembling myself a kick-ass proven deck, but instead to listen to my inner-contrarian’s voice, and instead play against the flow.

I play cards that others don’t. I make moves where others simply shun. Well, like I’ve said it, somehow when it comes to playing Magic, I indulge myself with a contrarian’s approach, and so it’s not surprising that…

.. after 4 weeks of competition, I’ve only managed to win 1 solitary match against..

.. an invisible opponent!

That’s right, my crowning glory of tasting my first ever victory against an opponent, was against one that never arrived to take his seat.

Oh well, a win is a win right?

Even if it took me 4 weeks to announce that I’m back.

MTG, ftw.

ADV: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (trailer) & why I’d apply if I could.

I came up with a top 5 list of reasons why I, or anyone for that subject matter, would even think about becoming a sorcerer’s apprentice:

1) Because I get to conjure magical light orbs around my mesmerising fingers.

2) Because I get to change cars faster than my current job can ever pay for (Not that I even have a driving license to start with!).

3) Because I eventually get to meet Dragons! (And hopefully survive after the encounter.)

4) Because I can use my powers to make the world a better place and not just do card tricks.

5) Because it’s fun!

Don’t see that it’s fun? Check this out:

AND here’s the top 5 list of reasons why you should catch it in theaters!

1) You’re tired of Vampires & Werewolves.

2) You want something different from Harry Potter.

3) You’re a fan of Jay Baruchel, lead actor in She’s Out Of My League.

4) You’re a fan of Nicholas Cage, fresh off his sombre Kick-ass role!

5) It’s fun!

So “Catch The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Movie starting from 22nd July 2010 and join the Walt Disney Studios Singapore official Facebook and Twitter page!”