Final Fantasy Finally

After more than 5 years of playing off and on, my best friend and I finally finished Final Fantasy XII! I’ve been playing FFXII off and on since its release in 2006. So when we committed to play the game together I was hopeful we would actually complete it. I had no idea it would take this long. We only played on Fridays for a few hours and only in person. So I guess it shouldn’t be that surprising, especially with covid cutting out more than a year in the middle. It felt so good to finally see the end of the game. I really enjoyed the programmable battle system and the world. The storyline is a bit of a mess.

On the same weekend my girlfriend and I finished reading Le Morte d’Arthur. We’ve been taking turns reading it out loud before bed since mid-2020. It was really difficult to read, especially out loud. We took a lot of breaks but we finally did it! It was cool to see the story with much more detail than the many other versions I’ve encountered previously.

I also got a new phone right around the same time. Not just any phone either, I got the F(x)tec Pro1 X. It’s special because it has a full physical keyboard like a phone from 2010. I’m typing on it now! This is probably not a big deal or even a good idea for most people, but I’ve missed my Droid 4 since it died.

Also got a new laptop at work, which is always an adjustment.

So lots of things are changing! New tech, finished projects (yes FFXII and Le Morte d’Arthur were projects… at least toward the end). We also had a number of family things, home maintenance disasters, and just a ton of life stuff. I’m tired.

More Reading

This month I finished Creative Quest. It was much better than I expected when I grabbed it seemingly at random at the library. Way better than any celebrity + co-writer project has any right to be. It definitely felt more like a Questlove project than I expected. The main thing I learned from it is that I need to spend more time curating and managing my influences.

I read Becky Chambers’ second book in the Monk and Robot series, A Prayer for the Crown Shy. It was so good! I highly recommend this series.

Magic the Gathering

With a lot of stress, the biggest pieces of which I have left out of this post, I was looking for a good distraction. I got it in my latest hyper fixation - Magic the Gathering.

I started collecting Magic cards around the time of Portal in 1997, right alongside Pokemon and a lot of my other lifelong obsessions. I generally get focused on Magic for a few months at a time and then drop out for months or years. It has been a great source of comfort due to its familiarity. I always knew what to expect.

Unfortunately it looks like Covid has changed a lot. My old card shop doesn’t have drafts on Friday night any more, and Commander/EDH has eclipsed Standard as the most popular constructed format. The Pro Tour has been permanently cancelled - the tournaments are starting again, but there are no pro players anymore. There are these cosmetic variants of cards in timed releases for high prices (which I’m sure the crazy Pokemon card speculation in 2020 encouraged). And there are cards tied to random IP like Warhammer 40k and Stranger Things.

I think the importance of Commander shouldn’t have surprised me. During my last round of Magic, Commander decks had already replaced the typical precons, but standard and draft were still the biggest formats. It seems obvious that draft would die with covid. I’ve heard Standard suffered through a couple of bad metas. The release of Arena has shortened the time for meta “solving” as well.

This time around the familiarity is tinged with the phyrexian oil. Wizards is pushing the bounds of player acceptance with the timed release cards. Wizards is pushing the bounds of player acceptance on prices. Wizards is making cards from the next joke Un- set legal in eternal formats… It feels like they are treating long term customers as adversaries to be overcome.

I still remember when the collectible card bubble burst in the late 90s. With the Pokemon craze fueled by streamers in 2020 and 2021, I’m worried that Wizards is building a bubble with all these hyper limited special treatment cards.

After Diabotical and Halo Infinite died on me, I really don’t want to have to watch Magic die too.


My girlfriend’s mom gave me a new Polaroid camera to play with! I’m still working on the battery enclosure for my Polaroid Business Edition, but it will be nice to have a second 600 camera to use.

The first video from Brooklyn Film Camera’s new YouTube channel has also been released! I’m excited to see what they post going forward. I’ve really enjoyed In an Instant and the creator of that is also running the Brookly Film Camera channel.

The Journey Continues

I haven’t posted for a month but that decision was made consciously. There was just too much going on. I would rather neglect the blog a little than overwork myself. That said, I was pretty sad to miss the benefits I get from updating here.

No promises that I will return any time soon, but I do hope to. Take care of yourself!

Stay chill and enjoy