Tuesday, June 23, 2009

An Exciting Life vol 1-7

So, we’ve been watching “Battlestar Galactica” and I gotta tell ya, we just don’t get it. We enjoy it in the sense of “Oh my God is it hot, let’s hide inside with a fan blowing on us and watch TV, what do we have?”

“Battlestar Galactica.”

“Sigh. Fine.”

Which isn’t the reaction you should have to something that was named 2005 series of the year and someone on the iFanboy podcast said that they liked BSG better than “Firefly.” (p.s. Dear sir, get off the crack.)

If you’re unfamiliar with the premise, think Terminator. A slave race of robots rose up against humanity and killed all but 47,857 of them who are now looking for a new home since Cylons now control the twelve planets they know of. These 47,857 humans are all aboard spaceships.

There are just so many logic inconsistencies.

In the first season, it was clear that this was mankind’s last gasp. They had no place to refuel, no place to get more food, whisky, cigars, toilet paper or supplies of any kind. That was an interesting thought. They only had so much air. So much anything.

That premise has been completely abandoned in the second season and everyone has enough of anything they want. Last season they were almost out of everything, this season they’re spraying champagne bottles over each other after a successful mission.

Cylons can now disguise themselves as humans. This is a brand new development. Usually they look like huge, robot like Terminators. They capture one of the new Cylons that looks human and the first thing they do is blow it out an airlock? Wouldn’t it make more sense to do an autopsy on the damn thing and find out which part is metal and which part is flesh?

Turns out there are a few Cylons that have infiltrated the ships and some members of the main crew have fallen in love with them. And yes, they have had sex.

“Ensign! How could you fall in love with one of those toasters!”

“Her vagina felt human to me sir!”

The genius Dr on the ship is trying to make up a blood test to determine who is human and who is Cylon. How about running each person through a metal detector? How about that?

And said Dr keeps hallucinating about a Cylon woman he had an affair with who might or might not be real only to him. But he has a brain scan done and it shows he has no implant in his head, so he must be just crazy. Except she keeps leading him down paths that make sense then make no sense then offering guidance that saves him then she appears on the ship to other people then disappears… It’s all just maddening honestly.

I could go on but you get the idea. We’ll stick with it but hope it gets better.

In other news…

I feel like I’ve been dragged across asphalt.

The wounds I have this year are different. Last year after the capea it was all bruises and limping. This year is all scrapes. The day after the capea all my torn patches of skin were just oozing pus. I sat and watched TV for a bit and my oozing elbow ended up stuck to the couch when I tried to get up. The next morning Wendy came to see me in bed before she got into the shower and asked “how are you doing?”

“Fine. A little sore,” and showed her my injuries.

“Okay, NOW that makes sense” she says while examining me.


“Everything is scabbed over. That’s why you don’t have as many bruises this year. You just scrapped the top layer of skin off of everything. You elbow and face are just one big scab.”

“Pleasant. And sexy!”

Blah. I’m finally ready for a short break from pain. I ended up cutting myself with… well, that’s a story for… never. But that cut still hurts and itches too. Then I was working on a leather chair with a jamon knife, which is Excalibur sharp and I knew it was dangerous. The first hole I cut in the leather I thought to myself “Okay Jamie; you’re a Wakefield and we suck at these things. So you have to be really careful. This jamon knife will separate your finger like a… I don’t know, something through butter as usual." So, I pushed and I prodded for ten minutes and I carefully exerted just enough force and I made the hole I wanted.


I moved on to the second hole with the same, if not more, caution. And five minutes later there was blood on three walls and the ceiling and Wendy is asking if I am okay from the other room because I am not screaming but grunting and breathing through my nose really fast and trying really hard NOT to scream.

As long time readers will know, I don’t mind pain. I refused to tap to anyone in MMA practice and one guy told me “I can’t pull any harder than that or I’m going to break something. You’re tougher than my grandpa.” Which I assumed was a compliment. I don’t mind being run into by a cow and all sorts of other things I could list that would just sound like bragging, but honestly, you know me or you don’t.

But cutting that deep into my finger with that jamon knife? That was bad. As far as physical pain goes, that was the worst I have ever felt. It still makes me a little nauseous to think about it. Which worries me, because I’ve always thought I would do pretty well if someone strapped me into a chair and wanted to torture me for information. I’ve been hit in the face and I would laugh right into my torture’s face if he thought that would be enough. Break a finger. I don’t care. That cut though?

I would confess to killing Marilyn Monroe and JFK if someone threatened to cut me like that again. I know I wasn’t born then, but I’d confess to anything they wanted. Just don’t cut me like that again.

And then the constant annoyance of the braces with wires coming loose and cutting into my cheeks. And then the feeling of being dragged across asphalt at the capea this weekend. I’m done for a bit. Which isn’t to say if someone asked “Hey, Jamie, want to run with the bulls this weekend?” I would refuse, because I wouldn’t. I’d do another capea this weekend if it was offered. But as for seeking it out, no; I’m ready to just rest for a few weeks and let my broken forty-three year old body heal.

Which is good news to Wendy who has told me she’s seen more of my blood in the last month than she thought she would ever see in her lifetime and is happy not to see any more of it.

Okay, enough of that, let us move on to reader’s comments. Which I suck at responding too and if I wanted to build a real community would answer the second someone posts a response. But I suck, so, whatcha going to do?

Sheckman - Thank you so much for your review of my book on Amazon. Really appreciate that!

Qetu – I am always up for a beer. Shoot me an email at Jamie@ well, this website.com and we’ll go have a beer. I live between the palace and Plaza Mayor. Closest subway is Opera or La Latina. Can meet you anywhere though. Have to warn you, doing a lot of traveling the next two months so time is tight but wouldn’t mind meeting for a beer if we can find the time.

Chris – Killer Bull who has never been in a capea before + earth/ground = good times. Concrete is bad.

John – Life is grand. I’ve been waiting all year for this. I wasn’t going to let one pass be the end of my day.

Many – Okay, like, 90% of you skip the MMA stuff. I’ll keep that to private emails then.

Many – Thank you for the comments on joining Star City Premium just for my writing and leaving when I left. That means a lot to me.

Important note – Wendy and I were talking at the capea and wondering if it would be worth it for me to get back into Magic. She sees that people are thirsting for more Magic content from me and I miss it. A lot. I might try my hand at getting back into Magic and writing a book of not reprinted articles, but completely fresh writing from this latest return and see if that generates enough sales to make it worthwhile. Hell, I might do it just for the pleasure but if I could get some sales out of it, that would be nice too.

Wendy also supports working on Quest II and I spent last week working on that. The amount of back articles I have is staggering. The size of the articles is also staggering. Pro Tour NJ is twenty-seven single spaced pages. “It’s all about the dinosaurs” is longer at eleven thousand words and twenty-eight pages.

Some of the old stuff is crap. Some of it is great. What it is; is too much. When you go the self publishing route, you have to be careful on the size of your book. Each page means your book costs more to publish. I can’t make a five hundred page book and sell it for $9.99. Each page they have to publish increases the cost regardless of what I want to charge for it. If I do a five hundred page book, and I want to make one dollar on each copy sold, it would cost the consumer about twenty-five dollars. If I do a hundred and fifty page book and want to make one dollar on it, I can sell it on Amazon for $9.99. This covers the cost of the paper, their business, taxes, binding, listing on Amazon, etc. Paper doesn’t cost nothing. Add in three hundred and fifty pages and the cost of the book goes up. Period.
Flores book “Deckade” is twenty-five bucks. Honestly, I would buy it if it was $9.99 (or 99 cents on the Kindle, like my book is!) But People don’t want to pay twenty-five bucks for a book. Maybe a King or a Grisham book but not a Flores or Wakefield book. So, some planning has to be done.

You know what I would like to do? I would like Quest II to be all about “The Brother’s Very Grimm” and it’s evolution up until I qualified with it and the same with progression and conclusion with “Secret Force.” Then I’d like to do a Quest III that is about “Joshie Green” and playing “Secret Force” in Chicago and then quitting for a few years, then coming back to Magic before Mare gets cancer and during her cancer. (Marilyn’s Story would remain its own separate book in its current form. ) Quest IV would be about Magic, MMA, dropping forty lbs, meeting Wendy and the twenty articles that I did for Star City when I first came over to Spain. There is some GREAT stuff in there.

And I’d like to get Marilyn’s Story published and especially get my travel journal about moving to Spain and travels around Europe published. Then I’d like to do a book about when we went to South America and the Galapagos Islands, none of which any of you have read a word about yet. I’d like all of these to be collected into a set called “An Exciting Life” volumes 1-7 and have people who don’t like travel read the travel stuff, and people who don’t like Magic be exposed to it, and people who never thought they would read a cancer memoir be drawn there just because they liked the other books (i.e. my writing style) so much that they will read anything I write, especially if it’s collected into a series numbered 1-7 and is all chronological and stuff.

And then I’d like a pony. And be able to fly. And why not, world peace while I’m at it.

Wait a minute… Why can’t I do that?


  1. Honestly, if you wrote an essay on the phone book I would read it...your style is just that good!

    And even though I said I usually skip the MMA stuff I almost always go back and read it anyway. :)

  2. I would love to read some new magic articles from you. Your writing was one of the main reasons that I started paying for star city premium.

  3. You coming back to magic (and writing) is bigger news than lightening bolt coming back to magic, more interesting than Jon Finkel winning another Pro Tour and more inspiring than the return of Brian Kibler.

    Suffice to say I hope it happens...

    If it happens however, win or lose, I hope you don't stick only to MTGO (like your last stint). My favorite articles written by you are by far the tournament reports and I believe you going to some tournaments (or just the local games shop) in spain would result in some interesting material.

    I can't remember if I already posted this or not, in the worst case I am just repeating myself. But I am a Norwegian living France and playing magic with french cards (and french opponents) really helped my french. Obviously the fact that I created a forum for our play group also helps...

  4. Thanks Tony and Enyalios. :-)

    Kjetil - The plan is to get to know the new cards on Magic Online and practice there. Then hopefully head to some tournaments here and talk about the Spanish Magic scene. I think if I know the cards by picture, my Spanish will be sufficient to play the game.

    I installed Magic a couple months ago but have not been able to play any games because of the dreaded L0001 "you are not connected to the internet" error. I finally fixed that yesterday and was able to watch some games and saw zero familiar cards. What a shock.

    No one ever really quits Magic. It's just how long a break they take.


  5. I really hope you come back for more Magic, reading about the game isn't the same without you. I paid the $25 for Deckade, and was happy with my purchase. It doesn't read very well straight through (too much analysis, not enough personality), but it serves the purpose and nostalgia makes it seem better than it probably is. You can bet I'd pay a hell of a lot more for even one volume of An Exciting Life, and I'd get all 7 no matter how much they cost.

  6. Jamie,

    I'm not sure how exciting MTG is these days for you, but they just printed a dude that costs 1GG: 3/3, pro B/U. I think it's called The Wakefield.

  7. I can help you out with respect to BSG: Don't waste any more time on it. It just keeps getting worse and worse while you hang around waiting for an episode even half as good as "33".

  8. Hi Jamie - I'd love to see you make another go at M:tG. I just relocated across the country (Southeast PA to Tucson, AZ) - and now have 4 places I could play at within 30 minutes... ... and I don't - even when I would drive an hour to play back in PA. Just not into it right now...

    Part of Magic for me - like it seems for you - is the friends you play with. I tried new shops here in AZ - and just don't feel at home like used to back in PA. So for the 2nd time in the last 12 years, I am selling a lot of my collection on Ebay... ... but this time - I kept all my good Green cards (especially Natural Order) as I might still get the hankering to play from time to time.

    You are picking a really good time to start again though - with the M:tG 2010 release. I am sure there will be a Madrid event somewhere.

    The comments here - and yours are true though - nobody ever really quits, we just take siestas. If you begin writing strategy - I will join whichever forum/medium you choose and subscribe at cost if need be - and I am sure many others will as well. Just remember though - tech should be free. 8-)


    ~ David

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