Tuesday, October 29, 2013

If Life was a Blog in 2013

Patient: What are the chances my cancer is gone and doesn't come back?

Doctor: First, I have to qualify my prognosis by saying I’m Cancer-Free Privileged.  I don’t have cancer and every single day that fact benefits me in tangible and intangible ways.  In our society, it’s just better not to have cancer, and even though I didn't choose to be cancer-free, I still come out ahead because of it.

Patient:  ...okay, but why would that impact your ability to answer my question?

Doctor: Oh it won’t.  Well, it kind of does since it’s part of who I am and it impacts everything.  I mean, if I had cancer my experiences would be different, I’d be able to better relate to you. 

Patient:  Doc, just tell me your conclusion and your confidence level, I don’t want to sound cruel, but I don’t care what your medical history is, we’re discussing my future.  And of course your experience could be different, but since we don’t know how that would impact your conclusion, why don’t you lay out what you think and why you think it, and we’ll let that stand on its own. 

Doctor: Okay, but just to be clear I’m not apologizing for my cancer-free privilege, just qualifying my opinion.

Patient: Please just give me the prognosis and describe how you arrived at it.

Doctor: Also, I should mention that I’m cisgendered… 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

QUIZ: Todd Anderson OR Fight Club


Paul Rietzl here. I've come up with the following quiz for your enjoyment. How much do you know about Todd Anderson and/or the movie Fight Club? Let's find out.

Your task is to determine, for each entry, whether it was something Todd Anderson put in his most recent tournament report, or a quote from the movie Fight Club. My girlfriend Kat scored exactly 10/20, the mean result we should expect from flipping a coin.

 To record your answers and compare with your friends, indicate "TA" or "FC" for each, based on what you think is the source of the quote.

1. Then the questions begin to spill out of their mouths like waterfalls.
2. Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments?
3. Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.
4. This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time.
5. We both threw everything we had at each other.
6. If you wake up at a different time in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?
7. When you have insomnia, you're never really asleep... and you're never really awake.
8. The air catches in your lungs, hanging like a bitter bloody fingernail. You rip it off, sighing at the pain and final release.
9. My face was blood red, and I could feel my body temperature rising. Was this it?
10. Without pain, without sacrifice, we would have nothing.
11. You wake up at Seatac, SFO, LAX. You wake up at O'Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, BWI. Pacific, mountain, central.
12. And then fear—or possibly just logic—stepped in.
13. I feel like slime. A shill. A husk of someone I should have become a long time ago.
14. A sharp smile begins to creep across his face. And you, sitting there with your stupid sheepish grin.
15. It was not the best of mornings.
16. Every evening I died, and every evening I was born again, resurrected.
17. People do it everyday, they talk to themselves... they see themselves as they'd like to be, they don't have the courage you have, to just run with it.
18. I ignored my stupid brain.
19. And you normally don't mind—except there's a maelstrom inside your head. A war. A battle of the heart and mind, and it is all you can do to not just walk away.
20. And then, something happened. I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.


ANSWER KEY (try it first please, it'll be more fun): http://i.imgur.com/UZVb8ES.png Please leave a comment with # you got correct if you didn't cheat.

Friday, February 8, 2013


I was reminiscing today with Greg Hatch about what we call Dr. Frankenstein's Caw Blade. Greg shows up at a Costa Mesa Women's Club ptq with no deck and is resigned to not play. I walk in 10 minutes before the start of the event, and after 5 minutes of convincing, Greg is going to use my cards to try to build a CawBlade deck. Now I didn't have the deck, I just had 2 longboxes of modern playables. Greg and I go through it. We pull out 3 baneslayers, 4 mana leak, some snapcasters, some paths, a sword or two, 4 squadron hawk, some colonnades and mutavaults, 2 cryptics I think I had, a beta disenchant, a heavily played remand, might have been a vendilion clique, 3 wrath of God emerge. So Greg finds his 26 land, his 34 spells, and 15 cards looking like they might be in a sideboard (some relics, 2 meddling mages, that sort of thing). Our 5 minutes are up so Greg is sleeving and registering the deck face up in front of his round 1 opponent. Opponent is just looking at this thing, likely thinking "ok he's got 2 cryptics, 1 maindeck wrath, 2 main baneslayers, 4 leak 1 remand, a disenchant, 1 of each sword...." It must have been as confusing as it was insane to try to play around, like this guy was probably 5% less likely to be able to win the match having seen FrankenBlade spread out before him. Greg beats him and several others. In the last round or the round before last Greg loses playing for top8. A tragic Frankenstein's Monster ending for the FrankenBlade deck, but its memory lives on. I'll never forget walking over and seeing an opponent get completely blown out by a Wrath of God when Greg had a sword in play and a disenchant in the bin. Greg was laughing about the serendipity of it all; his opponent was less amused and really really confused.