Friday, January 15, 2016

Thank You, Alan Rickman

.:Thank You, Alan Rickman:.

Newsflash: human beings die.

Indeed, Lourd De Veyra is correct. that's what happens to all of us in the end, and even someone who always seemed larger than life as Alan Rickman did could not possibly be immune from this reality.

I suppose it's just comforting to know that there is more to life than just eventually dying, or else I have nothing else to write after agreeing with Lourd on that point.

You see, it always seems like such an easy idea to attack people who sympathize with the loss of someone famous because we generally don't feel this way about other deaths. After all, there were people who lost their lives in Jakarta on the same day, after all, right? The thing is, though, this is not a contest, nor is there a shortage of sympathy and mourning to go around. Commemorating the life and times of Alan Rickman is not mutually exclusive from denouncing the needless loss of life in Jakarta at the same time. Because indeed, human beings do die, and that's why we need to cherish the human beings who somehow made a difference in our lives.

Alan Rickman was one such man to me.

No matter where in life I may find myself, I will always look to Severus Snape as the distillation of one's indefatigable capacity for love. Among all the characters in the Potterverse, it was Snape who resonated with me the most. Misunderstood as he was, nothing was truer about him than his love for Lily Potter, as unrequited as it may have been.

I know the pain of unrequited love. I know it all too well. I know how it straddles the fine line between a hopeless romantic and a creepy loser, and ultimately, I realize that there is nothing easy about carrying a torch for someone you love for as long as Severus did for Lily. The kind of love that transcended everything and extended to his implicit concern and affection for Harry Potter himself.

Indeed, it's easy to look at all that and to dismiss it as disturbing or pathetic. Yet at the same time, one cannot help but respect, if not admire that kind of devotion, because it goes far beyond reason, yet never once dips into something sinister or harmful. For all of Snape's fault, it was because of his love and not in spite of it that he managed to be the way that he was, working against years upon years of indoctrination, of biases, and predilections just so he could continue holding his torch of love.

It is in this fine line of sweetness and hopelessness that I see solace with Severus Snape, and it was Alan Rickman's masterful rendition of this character that has allowed me to truly find what it is about him that resonates within me. As changed as it may be, as different as the circumstances may be, when one would ask me, "after all this time?"

Without a doubt, the response remains to be, "always."

Magic is a lot of different things to different people. To me, magic is about going beyond the possibilities, and making something more of yourself than anyone ever expected of you. In that regard, everything Severus Snape did was truly magic.

So yes, human beings do die, but newsflash; it is the lives that these human beings have touched before they have died that choose to cherish and remember their legacy.

Alan Rickman has indeed touched many lives, and one of those will indelibly be mine, and that is why I will choose to remember his passing.

Whether he was a villain as sinister as Hans Gruber, or a schemer as ruthless as Judge Turpin, whether he was a man who would take your heart as Colonel Brandon, or one who would cut it out with a spoon as the Sheriff of Nottingham, Alan Rickman has managed to touch lives in a way that only he could. Is it truly a disservice to acknowledge that difference he has made? Was it not he who precisely told us that being an actor makes one "an agent of change," and in being such an agent, he has indeed changed the world?

Every single time I watched "Love, Actually" in the last couple of years, I never failed to relish how Alan Rickman's Harry became the polar opposite of his Severus Snape: a man who was so drowned in the mundane that he has lost the meaning of love and tried to seek it elsewhere than his own wife. It was something that resonated with me not because I went through the exact same thing, but realized that the love never went away, so much as it was forgotten.

So I will refuse to forget.

I will refuse to forget what it means to love, even if it will not always be given back in kind.

I will refuse to forget what it means to seek to change the world, no matter how seemingly insignificant it is that we do. There is no opportunity too small to make a difference.

Ultimately, I will refuse to forget the fact that though human beings die, but they can also live forever, thanks to love and magic.

I mourn the passing of Alan Rickman not so much as it is because he is a celebrity that I know of. I mourn his passing because thanks to him, I got to know myself just a little bit better, and there is no greater boon a performer can bestow upon us than leading us down the path of self-discovery.


Thank you, Alan Rickman. When I think of one word that could best describe what you have inspired and enabled in me, I do believe that word would be "Love," Actually.

Alan Rickman (1946-2016): An agent of change. Thank you for the love and the magic.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

The 2015 Year-In-Review!

.:The 2015 Year-In-Review:.

A crazy year, but one I'm glad I went through. Here's what I ended up realizing about the year that was...

1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?

I hosted a TV show. I'm hoping there's a second season, but the jury's still out on that one. It was on PTV-4, and it felt like I was doing something important there.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn't make any last year, and I don't plan to make any this year. As it has always been.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Jaycie Tanseco, I guess? Can't really recall anyone else at the moment.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Celebrity deaths abounded, but this year, I think I was spared the loss of anyone specifically close to me.

5. What countries did you visit?

Welp. Looks like I stayed in all 2015. :|

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

More shows as a solo performer. I slowly made headway into that this past year, but I've only just begun. Also, I ought to travel more. 2015 was pathetic for me, travel-wise.

7. What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

December 18. The day Patty told me we were going to give this a try.


Insert cheesy quote here.


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Hosting "Bara-Bara: Anything Goes" on PTV-4  was a big deal to me. I never would have thought I'd be doing that. I also managed to get a nameplate on Kick Engines for winning a big Legacy tournament.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Playing sidekick to someone who never once really knew the value of that. For years. Talk about sidetracking myself.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Food poisoning a couple of times?

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Several Modern decks that really gave me a semblance of an MTG career!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Ryan Rems Sarita, for winning "Funny One" this year. Cheers, mate. And for most of my friends in comedy and improv, seeing as a lot of them really stepped their game up in 2015. Also very proud of Rederick Mahaba and Vintendo, two of my friends from PWR. I think it's pretty awesome to see them live out their dreams as professional wrestlers.


Love, Rederick, love!

13. Whose behavior appalled you and made you depressed?

Oh, you know. The douchebag who thinks he owned my free time? The guy who apparently mistook me for his boyfriend. LOL. There were a few more, but I'm willing to accept part of that was my fault, so I don't really resent them for it.

14. Where did most of your money go?

MTG, Food and Uber, it seems.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Hosting a TV show. I will keep harping about it whenever applicable. And oh, definitely Patty. Hee!

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

"Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran, but only because it refused to go away since 2014. If I had to pick an exclusively 2015 song, I would probably say "Hotline Bling."

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? – mostly happier
ii. thinner or fatter? – fatter
iii. richer or poorer? – richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Gigs, and actually writing for Cracked.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Beating myself up over past failures.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Quietly spent at home.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?

Absolutely.

22. How many one-night stands?

Nah.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

"How To Get Away With Murder," although the other shows I've been already watching still stand: Hannibal, Elementary, and Flash.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

Yep. It's a wonder I put up with that one for as long as I did.

25. What was the best book you read?

"Mind Mysteries Guidebook, Vol. 1,"  but only because that's the only physical book I've actually read this year.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I have a thing for death metal covers of really popular songs, like say, "Hello," by Adele.


Hello from the f*****g other siiiiiiiiidddddddeeeee!!!

27. What did you want and not get?

To go to Hong Kong with my old friend, Jan. Sadly, budget concerns got in the way.

28. Favorite film of this year?

It's either "Heneral Luna" or "Magic Mike XXL," or "Star Wars: Episode VII," but the last one is mostly just a reflex action from the guy named "mistervader."

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was actually at a wake when I turned 32.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Getting started with writing for Cracked and actually having more shows during the -Ber months.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

Hats, hats, and more hats.

32. What kept you sane?

Cracked.com, the 8List, Switch Improv, Comedy Manila, Modern, Legacy, and video games.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

For a fleeting moment, one of my castmates on "Bara-Bara." My lips are sealed. Then again, I could always volunteer Harriet Sugarcookie for this.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The Fallen 44 and the INC Protests.

35. Who did you miss?

So many people, but maybe the one whom I met only twice but pined after for a while.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Patty. No contest,.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

Sometimes, you just have to dare.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"Ikaw na ba si Mr. Right? Ikaw na ba ang love of my life? Ikaw na ba ang icing sa ibabaw ng cupcake ko?"

It sums up my year in that it doesn't make a lick of sense, but it makes me smile.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Take A Bow

.:How 'Bout A Round Of Applause?:.

A standing ovation?


For the past thirteen weeks, I don't exaggerate when I say that secular me felt downright blessed to have been a part of "Bara-Bara" as one of its hosts. I've worked with old contemporaries like James Caraan and Red Ollero of Comedy Manila, as well as comedy legends like Leo Martinez and Kuhol, and made new friends in Phoebe Walker, Miggy Marty, Nikki Viola, and Kat Medina. This was, without a doubt, a show I loved doing every single time.

In about an hour, our last episode will air. Well, our last episode for our first season. What I don't know for sure is if we will have another one after that. Either way, I can't help but be grateful for the season that was.

I could regale you with stories about the things going on behind the scenes, of how the cast grew closer with each other with each passing episode, about our foibles and misadventures involving CSG and other hilarious stories that could let you in on the inside workings of a fledgling show that's been trying to find its spot in this world of entertainment that has mostly been unwilling to shine a mirror upon itself if the reflection wouldn't be completely flattering. In doing this, we ended up opening not just the minds of those who watched us, but even our very own minds, as we saw things we never saw before, when we merely consumed media and didn't think of the things that go on behind it. There were issues. Boy, were there issues.

We willingly called out these issues head-on, even if it also meant exposing ourselves to the very same pitfalls, simply because we wanted to open up the minds of those we could touch to the opportunity for critical thinking.

We aren't looking to make cynics out of our countrymen. We aren't looking to make them believe that the media lies while the government is a beacon of truth. We simply wanted them to question everything: yes, even what I say this very moment. Because in that questioning, the seeds of wisdom are planted, and we could all use that kind of healthy skepticism for ourselves: not just so we could be contrarian, but so we could be capable of defending the very positions we hold dear, instead of just saying it is because it is.

I will always be grateful for the opportunities I've gotten because of this TV show, but more importantly, the friendships I've built thanks to it. I would be remiss if I didn't specifically thank GB for having put me in the right place and the right time to be a part of this, thanks to the Open Mic in Uno Morato, and of course, the people behind the scenes in PTV-4 as well. It was an experience I will always cherish and be proud of, and while I fervently hope we would find the sponsors we need for a second season, I will have no regrets if tonight's season ender is our swan song for this show.

For years, I've always wanted to open minds as a mentalist: to unlock the potential of people via entertaining them through feats of mind-reading and psychokinesis and the like. In 2015, I managed to open minds through commentary, and that is something I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to do.

We hope to see you for our last episode tonight. And we hope even more to see you for our first episode for our second season in 2016, if the stars align for us just right. It truly has been a pleasure and an honor to be the host of Bara-Bara: Anything Goes for the past three months. 

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

No Christmas Spirit

.:No Christmas Spirit:.

Not this year, not at this point.

There's been so much good in my life this year, in all honesty, and I hope to write about them sooner than later.

But something has been bothering me lately. And it's been unshakeable.

I spoke with a friend about it: the fact that I hate it when I leave things on a bad note with someone. Maybe they were a friend. Or a romantic interest. Or anything else. But for one reason or another, it just got all messed up, and now, I'm not exactly one of they're favorite people.

Maybe I was misunderstood. Maybe I was taken the wrong way. Or maybe I was being an asshole. It doesn't matter at this point, because it is what it is. A time for me to just accept that I am indeed the villain in some people's stories, no matter how much I think of myself as a good person. I will be. Inevitably. And it's not an excuse for me to keep being the way that I am, but a reminder that I can't please everybody, no matter how hard I try.

And believe me, I try. Really, really hard.

So Justin Bieber is on loop right now as we speak, and here's all I could say on this eve of Christmas. A simple message.

Is it too late to say "sorry?"

I won't qualify. I won't offer excuses. If I have wronged you, and you are reading this, I leave it up to you to accept it or not. If you want to call my bluff, feel free to ask me to coffee and let's talk about it and bury the hatchet once and for all. Or not. It's your call, really.

All I know is that Christmas should be one of the happiest times of the year, regardless of creed or belief. But I don't think that's something I could focus on.

I'm sorry. Not for anything else, but because something is broken when it didn't have to be. I wish I had the chance to fix it, but that chance is not mine to give.

Thank you for indulging me. And a merry Christmas.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Second Chance: A Non-Review

.:A Second Chance: A Non-Review:.

"Pangako, mamaya, huling beses na nating maghihiwalay. Ito ang huling gabi na merong ikaw at ako. Simula bukas, ang meron nalang, tayo. Tayo, habangbuhay. Hindi ka na matutulog mag-isa. At hindi ka na gigising ng wala ako sa tabi mo. At itong mga kamay na ito? Kahit magaspang na,Hindi ka na bibitawan, ha? I will never let go. I will always love you, Basha Lopez Eugenio."

Some questions really did not need to be answered. But don't worry, there will be no spoilers here.

I watched "A Second Chance" because I had to. The first film, "One More Chance," is probably my favorite Filipino film of all time, as shallow as that might sound. The idea of a love lost that could be gained back was something that resonated deeply with me then, as it does now. But in between the first film and the second one, something changed, and that something turned me from someone who could completely feel every single pang of pain Basha and Popoy went through to me being a spectator, outside merely looking in.

Basha and Popoy got married.

If you didn't know this was gonna happen, then you don't need to watch the movie at all.


I can only relate so much to that, obviously, given that I myself am not. But in that one, big, momentous change for the two of them, their pathos has taken on a kind of gravitas that is no longer within my purview. I accept that. People do change, and certainly, fictional people would, even more so than real people. But the moment they exchanged "I do's," I lost Popoy and Basha to the ether, because I was no longer quite like them.

That isn't so much a fault of the filmmaker as it is a fault of having two characters that were so relatable and powerful as Basha and Popoy that living vicariously through them and their apparent rekindling of their romance towards the end of the first film simply seemed like something we could all aspire to. It felt like something that could indeed come our way. The moment they jump into a stage of life we aren't quite in yet, that sense of verisimilitude is utterly broken for me.

But no, this doesn't make for a bad movie. It just makes for a different one. One that recognizes the plateaus of a marriage far better than it has any business doing, but one that unintentionally alienates me because I'm not there at all. Maybe I will be someday. But given just the trailer, they don't exactly make the married life something aspirational now, do they?

Have you ever put off going to the doctor purely because you're afraid of what you might have, knowing that you're probably not well? That's rather how I felt about this whole thing, in all honesty.

When we left our lovers in "One More Chance," it was open-ended, but rather obvious where it was headed: a reconciliation. We wanted to have the ambiguity and our happy ever after despite all the realism in one lovely bittersweet cake and we wanted to eat it. "A Second Chance" jettisons that, and decides we needed to see more, and as much as we wanted to look away, to not force ourselves to ask those hard questions, we are enthralled to because we know we have to know the answer now that the answer clearly exists.

To say that I am not the target audience of "A Second Chance" would be an understatement, but it is also a massive boon to the makers of this film that I still enjoyed it, no matter how I felt like an outsider, trying to find the smallest of vicarious moments.

And irony of ironies, or should I say appropriately enough, I find those vicarious moments in the moments of pain that both Popoy and Basha go through. Because unfortunately, that is all that remains that I have in common with them: not the moments of wedded bliss, but the moments of indescribable pain. Of emasculation and emotional disembowelment. And if there is one thing this movie franchise has been good at, it has always been king at eliciting pain as a reminder that we still live and we still love.

I can ascribe every single profound philosophical idea I have learned and project them onto the film, but that would be merely self-serving and masturbatory and in no way helpful to even myself. I could look at the ennui of married life and take it as a warning beacon, or ask about the existential quandary one faces in the midst of feelings of inutility. In the end, what one could draw is that one feels, no matter how "shallow" the film may be, and let's face it, it is no more deep or shallow than, say, a Kalyeserye, that we are alive, and that there is something rather than nothing.

Especially with love.

It will always remain. It will always be there. And when you love someone who does not, cannot love you, then so will the pain be there. We may call love beautiful, but it is a force of nature, and like any force of nature, it overruns us even when we come unprepared for it.

Because love lost will always lead to pain until one becomes numb. Because that love goes forth and empties itself out, but simply refuses to extinguish itself.

"A Second Chance" is a beautiful masterpiece in mirroring reality. Unfortunately for me, it is not my reality I am looking at, but a reality I find myself denied of. And it is that jarring break from immersiveness, that moment where I simply cannot suspend my disbelief that I am Popoy or Basha up there in the silverscreen, where I actually find myself impotent and inutile and utterly helpless. And that is the moment where I realize that even at its grittiest moments, the silverscreen love story of Popoy and Basha still far outstrips my own: something I didn't feel in the first film, and something that points me to not like the second film as much, not out of a technical shortcoming.

But out of resentment.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Because I Refuse To Be The Goggles

.:Because They Do Nothing:.


Don't be the goggles.

I recently started hosting a television show, and surprisingly, I didn't really spend any time on the blog promoting it. Now, maybe it's because I've been remiss on blogging lately, and it seemed like going on social media and promoting it there in 140 characters or less was far easier than devoting an entire blog entry to it, but this also explains why I wanted to take the time to choose my words carefully before talking about the show.

And that's because I don't actually want to talk about the show. At least, not directly.

You see, when I auditioned for "Bara-Bara," I came into it with a lot of optimism and hope that we could finally have our very own response to "The Daily Show" or "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver." There's a lot of growing pains within the show at the moment, but I still see that happening in time.

On top of that, I'm even working on a "Colbert Report" kind of webshow this weekend in Burger Company, where I finally get to run with an over-the-top caricature for once, instead of the more serious non-character I am on "Bara-Bara." The show is going to be called "Better Late Than Never." It's gonna be a lot of fun.

Anyways, let's talk about what I really wanted to talk about. I think a visual aid is very necessary at this point.

Hello there, Elizabeth Bathory (or not)!

If you ever wanted living proof of how evil can triumph when good people do nothing, look no further than this. It's the equivalent of a German publication coming out with the headline "Hitler did nothing wrong," if you ask me. Or do you think I'm merely exaggerating?

When we were talking about Martial Law during the taping for Bara-Bara's first episode, I had to keep a lid on all my opinions about people who were glorifying Martial Law, because I didn't want to dominate the conversation. It was sobering, really: true, none of the cast were political analysts, but that's exactly why it becomes very unconvincing to any neo-loyalist that Martial Law was really that bad, if we didn't put a concerted effort towards correcting those notions.

When we removed the Marcoses from power in EDSA, we said "never again." We said "not on our watch."

And then we stopped watching.

This week, Bongbong Marcos files his candidacy to become a vice-president. The sins of the father should not by default pass unto his son, but not when it's pretty much an inheritance of millions, maybe billions - of our money, ill-gotten under the cloak and dagger of the Marcos regime.

Really? We didn't see this coming?


The sins of the father should not by default pass unto his son, unless the son willfully denies what his father has done, and chillingly promises to uphold his dad's legacy in the same breath.

The Marcoses are erudite, educated, eloquent, and most certainly empowered. How could they not, when they took all our money to make themselves all of these things? Our money. Taken along with thousands upon thousands of lives, as a matter of historical fact.

Nation,we forfeited the right to attack anyone who thinks the Marcoses aren't so bad the minute we let them creep back in to the point where another dictator himself, the late Lee Kwan Yew, could only shake his head in disbelief. According to him:

"The difference lies in the culture of the Filipino people. It is a soft, forgiving culture. Only in the Philippines could a leader like Ferdinand Marcos, who pillaged his country for over twenty years, still be considered for a national burial. Insignificant amounts of the loot have been recovered, yet his wife and children were allowed to return and engage in politics."

It is with that fact that we know: we have failed this nation.

When a certain article calls us "uneducated," he doesn't do it merely to posit a false dichotomy (which he's still totally doing, by the way) and paint us as emotional people who have a knee-jerk reaction to anything Marcos. He is calling us out for sleeping on the job. In all the hype of #NeverAgain, we still managed to look the other way for the Marcos cronies, much in the same way Voldemort's Dark Eaters slowly made their way back into the wizard community, all hiding under the guise of being under the control of the Imperius curse.

No shit, Sherlock.


Yes, nation: we have become every bit as complacent as Cornelius Fudge. We stood by and did nothing when Enrile and Ramos made their way back to power, because, hey, they helped us out when we needed them right? We stood by and did nothing when the Marcos family slowly revised the story and made it seem that the ends of the Marcos regime justified the means, and nobody actually paid attention to what the ends were.

We are every bit as competent as a school that specifically had a House whose member's defining characteristic is that they are 99% evil.

We have failed this country, and now, we are slowly but surely paying the price, as if we aren't already are. We took it too easy. We treated them with kid gloves. We thought they were harmless, but all they really needed was the Dark Mark to send them sprawling back into action, and all we could do is look on and wonder what we did wrong.

That's exactly the problem. For most of us, we did nothing. We were complacent in thinking that it would be impossible for anyone to ignore what the horrors of Martial Law truly were. We were self-assured that time wouldn't erase the wrongs done to us as a nation by the Marcoses as a family. We were wrong.

We were mistaken to think that the golden standard were our supposed liberators, the Aquino's, when they were little more than a transition that we should have built ourselves up from. They were the baseline, not the exemplar: yet we confused the former with the latter, and here we are now, disappointed with that realization.

It shouldn't have taken us as long as it has to realize: this was never Marcos vs. Aquino. Anyone who thinks these are the only valid choices to be had in this discussion is living in a very sad world.

In the meantime, we now have a man who insists we shouldn't condemn us for having his father's name, while also demanding we recognize him for the achievements of his own father. He wants to have it both ways, and we're pretty much letting him have it both ways. He wants us to forget the atrocities of martial law, but he wants us to remember the so-called glory years of his father's administration. He wants us to give him a chance to be his own man, yet he quickly proclaims that his dad's era was the kind of golden age he wants to bring back.

And now, his very own running mate, a woman who worked so hard to make us believe she was for justice and against corruption, decided to absolve him of his family's crimes, saying they don't owe us an apology for martial law, while crucifying her political rival over the very same topic. Slytherin, indeed. They slithered back in. After Martial Law. After Jose Velarde. After countless other breaches of trust. We are truly a forgiving people. And a forgetful one, at that.

This is why I refuse to be the goggles. I refuse to do nothing. I refuse to stand idly by and let him go there unchallenged, assuming what he likely believes to be his birthright. I am not Harry Potter, nor Neville Longbottom. Heck, I'd be lucky to even be Argus Filch. But what I will not be is quiet. For when the Death Eaters march in once again, I will at least get to scream out "Expelliarmus" once, before someone inevitably Avada Kedavra's me. I may have taken this analogy a little too far.

I agree with Miriam on one thing: indeed, the Marcoses don't owe us an apology. What they owe us is justice. Justice long overdue. Justice that still cries out to this very day. Justice they have tried to deny of countless victims for so long, knowing full well that the Marcos era was and has always been a family affair. Anyone who wants to pretend it wasn't need only take a look at the facts.

Would you ever elect Draco Malfoy as the Minister of Magic, if you were a wizard? How about Deputy Minister? How you answer to this seemingly whimsical question could very well explain how you feel about the Marcoses, in the end.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Back To The M:TG Grind

.:Or Not:.

Kind of difficult to say I'm going back to the grind when in reality, I have never extended this much effort in Magic: The Gathering before. Only now have I ever actually found myself seriously playing and actually making it far in tournaments like last weekend's Last Chance Qualifiers for the World Magic Cup Qualifiers, or a huge 37-man tournament for Legacy with a foil Liliana of the Veil on the line.

Pictured: hard, nerdy work.

In any case, I've been doing a lot of playing lately, and that's really been paying off for me. Won an LCQ and could have tried out for the National Team, won countless Modern tournaments, did mostly the same in Vintage and Legacy, and so on and so forth. Overall, I've been on quite a roll, and it's been showing in the fact that I've been consistently placing in every tournament I've shown up in, and I'm even beginning to make some headway with Lantern Control, which is really one of the decks to watch right now.

In any case, that's all I could really say for now. It's good to be gaming this much again, seriously.