Monday, June 18, 2007

The Universe kicks me in the ass.

In a good way.

The owner of Star City Games (the web site I used to write for) recently emailed me and let me know that my readers weren't signing up for Premium. They were still there, but my style of writing and playing Magic was more suited to casual players and readers. Hence, he was hoping to move me to the non premium side of the site. Sadly, this would mean a significant cut in pay. One that I couldn't accept.

One of the reasons I couldn't accept it was that I was ready to go anyway.

Magic is a lifestyle. You can't really pick it up once in a while and know what's going on. It requires a large investment of time and money even to play casually. If you drop out for 3 years, it will take you over a month of study to understand what is going on again. And like poker or chess, you have to play all the time to hone your skills if you want to be the best.

Something I'm not ever going to be by the way.

With the news that I was no longer going to be writing for Star City I had two paths to follow. I could hunker down and play more Magic and try to make money by getting back on the Pro Tour. Or I could quit Magic and focus more on my writing.

I have been writing a great deal, you just wouldn't know it if you didn't have a premium subscription to Star City. A great deal of my life changes, travels and observations about the Spanish culture are in there. In fact, more and more of my writing was about Spain and life in general, and each week I was having a little more trouble contemplating Magic enough to justify an article. I was also having a rough time playing enough Magic to keep up. The time just wasn't there.

And while the pay supplemented my savings, and got my thoughts and experiences out to an audience, I was never going to make it as a real writer following the path I was on. As the days ticked by, I started to think maybe I needed to focus some more on the other projects I have brewing.

So, that's that.

In other news, lets have some general rambles about life.

As well as working for Star City, I have been working part time for Wendy's company. She does all the important work, I'm just one of her grunts (and tech support) but it has been a busy month for us. Last week Wendy had a big meeting at the beginning of the week on a project we've been working for a couple months on. Friday morning, another meeting with a very important client. Her boss flew in from Paris for it. We worked until two am Thursday night and then were up again at seven am Friday morning.

This weekend we finally got to relax. We lay in bed and watched "Eurotrip", "So you think you can Dance", "The Ultimate Fighter" and read. Lest you think "So you think you can Dance" is something I watch for her, let me correct you. I used to watch the show three years ago when it first came out and actually called in and voted for the Russian ballroom dancer "Snow"until she was kicked off. (Wait, did I really just admit that?)

As for reading, I've been exposed to a market that my writing style should flourish in. I've been reading "A Year in Provence," "Driving over Lemons," and "A Parrot in a pepper tree." I'm pretty sure my tale in the same vein : "An Ultimate Magic Writer in Madrid" will hit the same audience and hopefully be met with some praise.

I've also been devouring every issue of Time and Vanity Fair that comes in. Right now in Vanity Fair I'm reading the Reagan Diaries and getting an eye opening. Like this entry -

"Thurs, Aug 12 - Met with the news the Israelis delivered the most devastating bomb & artillery attack on W. Beirut lasting 14 hours. Habib called - desperate - has basic agreement from all parties but can't arrange details of P.L.O. withdrawal because of the barrage.
King Fahd called begging me to do something. I told him I was calling P.M. Begin immediately. And I did - I was angry - I told him it had to stop or our entire future relationship was endangered. I used the word holocaust deliberately & said the symbol of his war was becoming a picture of a 7 month old baby with its arms blown off. He told me he had ordered the bombing stopped - I asked about the artillery fire. He claimed the P.L.O. had started that & Israeli forces had taken casualties. End of call. Twenty mins. later he called to tell me he'd ordered an end to the barrage and plead for our continued friendship."

Now, I've never been a Reagan fan or detractor (this was before my interest in politics bloomed) and I don't know the truths of the matter he is writing about. But I did find the journal entry eye opening.

World leaders just call each other on the phone and beg for their neighbor to stop shelling them?

I have always known America was the policeman of the world, but never quite knew how personal it got. I also thought such dealings only took place with translators and bodyguards and heads of state gathered around a huge table. Never did I guess that world leaders would just call up the President of the USA and ask for his help and he would then call another world leader and chastise them.


  1. That's the end of my Star City games premium membership then.

    I was missing your article last week, your writing was the only thing keeping me subscribing.

  2. I tried to buy a subscription to read your articles as well. For some reason the payment gateway was broken. Oh well.

    I guess I'll just have to start coming here to your new blog instead. Good luck on going pro for writing. Stay focused and don't slack.

    Vanity Fair can be a good magazine at times. Time is cr@p. If you want real perspective, read The Atlantic. If you want to see excellent journalism, read Rolling Stone magazine. If you want something left-of-center, read Mother Jones.


  3. oh the pain on my eyes, why the backwards step?

  4. "The owner of Star City Games (the web site I used to write for) recently emailed me and let me know that my readers weren't signing up for Premium."

    I am confused, how did Crag know this? Also, change is good for a man. I liked your new direction in your column, but now that it is kinda free and can be Magic-free to no avail, that is cool too. I'll be reading as long as you keep writing.

    -Samuel Alaimo

  5. have you looked at the rss feeds that blogger generates?

    I was thinking you'd just spent the last 8 days sick, but that was january

  6. This site is pretty hard to get to... is now a "Network Solutions" page, and just re-directs to You had better get this fixed before you lose your readers.

  7. Sad to see you leave Starcity. Your articles were a refreshing antidote to the dull, hardcore self important strategy articles that make up too much of the content cough *Flores* cough.

    At least it save me renewing my membership.

    Look forward to reading your Tournament Reports. I always wanted a copy!

  8. Just managed to get back on to only to find out you stopped writing for For the record I got 2 1-month premium memberships just to read your articles. I will not be getting another one...

    Admittedly I haven't read your latest articles(don't have a membership at the moment and now I might as well wait 3 months), but there was so much material I was waiting for like your first ptq's in Spain, dealing with Spanish cards and so on...

    Oh well I will stay tuned here and I'll try and pick up a copy of your tournament reports.

    Good luck with your future projects!

  9. Only just come accross this

    That really sucks. I read other articles for 'metagame' - i read yours for fun, great writing, and insights into green aggro.

    I have left comments elsewhere about missing your articles. Sorry if that was inappropriate. Good luck - Dan