Friday, September 16, 2011

Monthly Post for September--I blame Magic

There never seems to be enough hours in the day. It sucks, but that's the price I pay for actually being employed and getting an income now. Being unemployed sucked, but at least I had time to write whenever I wanted.

The problem with that thought, though, is that I didn't actually use that time to write whenever I wanted. The internet is full of time-wasters, interesting blog posts, interesting websites, and 4chan (shiver). So getting back to work hasn't really done much to me except leave me tired when I get off, which, since I was sleeping 8-14 hours a day while I was unemployed, isn't a problem.

The problem is that I've recently rediscovered a time-waster that has cancerously attacked my free time and gobbled it up live a hungry bum at a hot dog eating contest: Magic: The Gathering.

Many moons ago, before I was into RPGs and storytelling, I was captured by the Magic bug. It was kind of a thing in high school, getting a bunch of disparate people together in the mornings and at lunch to flip cards. Then I got out of magic for a few years, until an interesting set brought me back. This happened more than once over the years--I'd see an interesting set, get really excited, and buy a bunch of cards. But then I burned out, because I didn't have that many people to play with, and I'd gotten good enough that many of my friends didn't want to play me anymore.

This latest time, however, is different for a few reasons.

First, I'm more social and have more friends than I did in the past. This means I have a larger pool of players to play with, and, even better, they aren't just playing me and losing all the time...they're playing each other as well, and slowly getting better and better. We're having fun and bonding, the same sort of bonding we were getting from the weekly D&D night with less time-commitment and burnout on my part.

Second, a card shop opened up in Prescott Valley. Like I'm Game in it's heyday, this place provides a space to meet Magic Players from all around the area, at all levels of competitiveness, so now I have a community to connect with over a common interest.

This is slightly problematic, since Magic eats up a lot of time and even more money. I think I've spent about $400 on cards in the last couple of months. That's a lot when you're job is on the low end of the wage totem pole. It also is a time sink...a game can last anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple hours, depending on what decks are in use and what format we're playing. And you never want just one game.

So that's where my time has gone for the last few weeks. The king of card crack.