Monthly Archives: October 2008

There’s a chill in the air…

Things are heating up, just in time for the first cold front of the season!  It’s a chilly 72 degrees here in Miami, and between the election and the coming Halloween madness things are about to go nuclear.  Check out the prize card in the photograph.  The kids always pick their rewards at random, and this one fits just right.

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I got my Greatest Hits.

eightieshippievan

Every other Saturday I will be re-posting something special from the archives of the blog. The inaugural edition is inspired by a connection I made via Facebook with a teacher I used to work with who is now rollin’ in a ’69 VW van!

That’s me with my mom and my beloved Aunt Donna, in 1987. I actually drove that VW micro-bus around Miami for six years during the eighties. Bill and I painted it, and then something magick happened. It died mechanically and was sent to the junkyard. Nearly two years later, I looked up to see a beige VW micro-bus driving down the street… with the painted nose and front doors of mine attached! The dude had driven down from North Carolina, smashed into something, and replaced the whole front with a psychedelic upgrade. He said he might even keep it like that.

Sometimes we look back and see a person so different from the person we have become, and sometimes we don’t. I haven’t been clean shaven for at least twelve years, most of the hair on my head has disappeared on its own, but I am still the wild and crazy guy I was back then.

It’s just a different decade.

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Glowing with the act of giving.

That’s my class, glowing with the act of giving.  We decorated some boxes for the the annual Toys for Tots biker run that combines gleaming chrome with glorious compassion.  Here’s some pics of that from a previous roaring give-o-thon.

Whether it’s a screaming parade of Harleys or a squealing pack of second graders, it’s the spirit of the gift that counts.  It’s an opening of the self, reaching out to expand the possessive nature of ego to embrace the greater community.  It’s a beautiful thing, and my life has been dedicated to it.

“To make every blade of grass sing with joy.”  That’s the motto that Nina brought into my soul oh so long ago.  That’s what expands and sustains me.

In terms of Vs. System, it has been such a tickling squizzle of joy to see the students receive some random common card for good behavior and watch them cherish and trade the things as if they were solid gold.

It makes our cards glow, like never before.

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Barack Obama loves the Rays.

What perfect timing.  From an awesome article by Scott Helman on boston.com:

Thanks, senator, we really needed a reminder.

Barack Obama is campaigning today in, of all places, Tampa, where Red Sox fans’ hearts were broken last night in a season-ending Game 7 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Oh, well, we pushed them to the brink, right?

As if the dateline from Obama’s event wasn’t enough salt in the wound, he chose a half-dozen Rays players to introduce him, including relief pitcher David Price, who closed the door on the Sox in the late innings. The players basked in their win, and helped Obama make a pitch for early voting, which begins today in Florida.

“Give it up for the Rays!” Obama said to cheers after giving high-fives and hugs to Price and his cohorts.

Oh, and if you didn’t think this was torture enough, this all happened at (gulp) George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, the winter home to the New York Yankees.

“I have said from the beginning that I am a unity candidate, bringing people together,” Obama said. “So when you see a White Sox fan showing love to the Rays, and the Rays showing some love back, you know we’re onto something right here.”

Obama joked that he was going to get a mohawk, in solidarity. “My political advisers said they weren’t sure how that was going to play with swing voters,” he said.

He doesn’t have enough hair for a proper mohawk, but he sure was in the right place at the right time for some good lovin’.

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Rays Win The Pennant!

David Price was right as rain, and Florida baseball once again dealt the pain.  Bring on the Fillies!

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Hello, have you heard Goodbye?

Sometimes I cry for joy, hearing an old song that touches my heart.  It happened just now.

I was toying around on www.pandora.com and I created a Sundays radio station.  The first song?  This one:

“Goodbye” by The Sundays

I vow that it’s goodbye and God bless.
Why did we have to assume we’re exactly the same?
Oh no, talking about yourself.

I could never be seen
falling down on my knees crawling.
Oh no, talk about a sell.

I vow that it’s goodbye to the old ways.
Those stories were a good read,
they were dumb as well.

As the heavens shudder baby,
I belong to you.
They said you get what you deserve and all they said was true.

So is this what it’s come to?
Am I cold or just a little bit warm?

Oh well.
Give me an easy life and a peaceful death.

I was astounded when I googled those lyrics.  The song fills me with hope and bliss when I hear it, kindling fond memories of a heart bursting with real deep love.   The lyrics are rather bitter and tortured, yet the incomparable voice of Harriet Wheeler melts my soul every time.

Art is a curious thing.  The audience brings such sublime subjectivity to the activity.  No matter what a musician, or a painter, or a writer puts out there – it always carries the potential for triggering transcendence.  Quite often it makes me cry for joy.  It happened just now.  Listen to The Sundays and see if it happens for you.

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Taking Requests.

Guess what? I got my interwebs back on en la casa! That’s right, Full Body Transplant will be back to daily updates and Vs. System ramblings are about to commence.

In honor of the occasion, I dove back in and found this gorgeous example of chaotic synchronistic epiphany by googling “sloppy bliss connection”.

Julie Andrews herself, from her memoirs:

Once in a while I experience an emotion onstage that is so gut-wrenching, so heart-stopping, that I could weep with gratitude and joy. The feeling catches and magnifies so rapidly that it threatens to engulf me.

It starts as a bass note, resonating deep in my system. Literally. It’s like the warmest, lowest sound from a contrabass. There is a sudden thrill of connection and an awareness of size — the theater itself, more the height of the great stage housing behind and above me, where history has been absorbed, where darkness contains mystery and light has meaning.

Light is a part of it … to be flooded with it, to absorb it and allow it through the body.

The dust that has a smell so thick and evocative, one feels one could almost eat it; makeup and sweat, perfume and paint; the vast animal that is an audience, warm and pulsing, felt but unseen.

God, I love that feeling. Leave it to Mary Poppins to remind me.

Now it’s your turn. Submit your requests. What do you want from me?

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Getting in the Spirit.

This, the month of all months, is almost halfway gone. What are you going to be? Today I’d like to share with you some of my students, turning themselves inside out.  Boo!

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Vs. System Weenie Wonderworld Championship Results.

Hey y’all.  I will be cross-posting the results of Stu’s Return-ament both here and on Vs. Realms.  The first four games are contained in the comment section of this post.  You can also click on the eye candy to be redirected to the artist who blessed us with such visual bliss.  The card representing X-babies is an original sketch card by Andy Price from the Rittenhouse “Women of Marvel” set. 
Enjoy.

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“Like being savaged by a dead sheep.”

 

Hoo boy.  This election is becoming the greatest single sporting event of my lifetime.  Except, of course, for the 1996 Florida Panthers winning the Prince of Wales trophy and the 1998 Czech Republic grabbing Olympic gold… but then again we have not reached November 4th yet.

Stu’s Return-ament is uncovering some serious tech advantages, but like all match-up theory things can spin around in a heartbeat.  Therefore, in the spirit of winning in ways you would have never dreamed, I am quoting two seriously conservative Republicans here on the blog this morning.

First, George Will himself:

Time was, the Baltimore Orioles manager was Earl Weaver, a short, irascible, Napoleonic figure who, when cranky, as he frequently was, would shout at an umpire, “Are you going to get any better or is this it?” With, mercifully, only one debate to go, that is the question about John McCain’s campaign.

… the McCain-Palin campaign’s attempt to get Americans to focus on Obama’s Chicago associations seem surreal — or, as a British politician once said about criticism he was receiving, “like being savaged by a dead sheep.”

That quote is mad crazy coolness on a morning that saw so much rain that I nearly had to swim to work.  And then there was David Brooks reminding me why I have worked so very hard to elect Barack Obama:

Obama has the great intellect. I was interviewing Obama a couple years ago, and I’m getting nowhere with the interview, it’s late in the night, he’s on the phone, walking off the Senate floor, he’s cranky. Out of the blue I say, ‘Ever read a guy named Reinhold Niebuhr?’ And he says, ‘Yeah.’ So i say, ‘What did Niebuhr mean to you?’ For the next 20 minutes, he gave me a perfect description of Reinhold Niebuhr’s thought, which is a very subtle thought process based on the idea that you have to use power while it corrupts you. And I was dazzled…

… the other thing that does separate Obama from just a pure intellectual: he has tremendous powers of social perception. And this is why he’s a politician, not an academic. A couple of years ago, I was writing columns attacking the Republican congress for spending too much money. And I throw in a few sentences attacking the Democrats to make myself feel better. And one morning I get an email from Obama saying, ‘David, if you wanna attack us, fine, but you’re only throwing in those sentences to make yourself feel better.’ And it was a perfect description of what was going through my mind. And everybody who knows Obama all have these stories to tell about his capacity for social perception.

David Brooks dazzled by a Democrat. It doesn’t get much better than that.  Unless it is a self portrait by my former student turned famous painter Stephen Bauman

Steve once said about me “I learned everything I know about hair from a bald-headed man.”  This morning, I learned everything I know about the 2008 presidential election from two cold-hearted conservatives.  I gotta say it was a good day.

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Marvel Evolution Preview: Multiple Man, Army Hydra and Multiplicity

 

Jamie Madrox is a man with a split personality.  And another, and another, and another.  Many of us can relate to his mutant ability, since we often seem to be different people according to our surroundings.  It can feel like we are multiple men.

 

Human life is a shattering experience.  Born as a clean slate, each day writes a new line in our individual identity.  Advancing through childhood, we come to know who we are.  Then everything changes.

 

Conflicting urges and motives exist within each of us, and integrity hangs in the balance.  Yet somehow through it all, we keep our focus and create a unique life of accomplishment that makes an original mark on history.  There is a central sense of self that orchestrates the shifting sands of consciousness and chooses the path we follow.  Many comic book myths speak to this phenomenon, but none more directly than Jamie Madrox as Multiple Man.

 

Myriad meaningful myths merge merrily in the cardboard incarnations that Vs. System has brought to the human condition.  Preview articles unveil new frontiers of heavenly hobby high-water marks.  Four paragraphs is the approximate maximum attention span before the reader scrolls past the rest of the verbiage to see the card in question.  That time is now.

 

 

Wow.  Perhaps the most powerful single one-cost army card for Limited play ever printed.  Our new Madrox is a 4 ATK bulging bruiser all by himself when defending?  On turn one?  Thank you very much.

 

And then there are the Constructed possiblities.  Think of this.  On turn two with a pair of copies alongside, one measly Multiple Man can be 6 ATK when attacking… and 8 ATK when defending.  Swollen weenie for the win.  Of course, like most things in my mulitiple mind, it goes exponential from there.  Vs. System has always thrilled me most when I have a six-pack of one-cost characters in formation on turn three.  This new Madrox means major meat in that case, without any plot twist support at all.

 

Plot twist you say?  The title of this article is teasing you beyond your limits?  hehe…

 

 

Oh.  My.  Madrox.  Personally, stall decks have never been the flavor.  Now I must expand my taste.  Notice the fact that this is NOT restricted to any phase or step.  Multiple possibilities.  Infinite control.  That card is exhausting just to think about!

 

In an attempt to find the right me for the job, I took a stroll down multiple memory lanes.   One of my favorite articles ever details the life and times of Jamie Madrox from birth to Pro Circuit Atlanta Playroom glory.  Then there was the time we built a masterpiece collectively using Multiple Man’s original incarnation to fuel a Mutopia driven little red frenzy.   Of course you can scroll down to the post under this one to see the second Vs. System appearance of our cloning crusader starring in X-babies, but alas.  No stall strategies in sight.

 

I guess I must hand it off to you then.  How will Multiple Man and his Multiplicity be maximized?  Leave a comment here on the blog, head over to Realms and let loose, or talk amongst your selves.  It’s a great day to be a lot of people at once.

 

 

My one true self wants to leave you today with one more thing.  That card was previewed on Facebook, and my face has not stopped exploding ever since.  Re-Absorption is perhaps the most mind-blowing card Vs. System has known.  If I ever pull myself together, I will write up all the crazy things I want to do with it.  For now, I need to chase down that guy that just ran across the street after emerging from my elbow.  Enjoy the many faces of Jamie Madrox.  I’ll meet you back here tomorrow after I get everybody back in.

 

 

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Kitchen Table Go! Stu’s Return-ament Decklists.

Okay gang, it’s party time.  This will be a round robin tournament.  Each deck will play each other deck in a seven game tournament.  The two decks with the least losses will play in the finals and the two decks with the most losses will play for the bronze.  Make your predictions, and reap the rewards.

Wild Vomit

24 Wild Sentinel
12 Sentinel Mark 4
4 Longshot, Rebel Freedom Fighter
4 Senator Kelly

4 Search and Destroy
4 Reconstruction Program
4 Cover Fire

4 Underground Sentinel Base

War Paint

18 Infernal Minions
4 Zazzala <> Queen Bee, Mistress of the Hive
4 Mantis
4 Tattooed Man, Living Ink

3 BRPD Signal Device

4 Criminal Mastermind
4 Secret Files
4 World War III
4 Infestation
4 Die for Darkseid
3 Strategic Thinking

4 Hard Light Storage Tank

X-Babies

12 Multiple Man, Army S.H.I.E.L.D.
4 Domino
4 Shadowcat, Phase Shifter
4 Wolverine, Logan
4 Cable, Nathan Summers
2 Jubilee, Mallrat
2 Beast, Bookworm
2 Bishop, Timecop
1 Bishop, Age of Apocalypse
1 Changeling

4 Bodyslide
4 Fastball Special
4 Mobilize
4 X-Men Assemble!
2 X-treme Maneuver
1 Power Nexus
1 Bamf!

2 Birthing Chamber
2 Xavier’s Institute of Higher Learning

Squirrels Gone Wild

16 SHIELD Agents
4 Squirrel Girl
4 Speedball<>Penance, Painmonger
4 Maria Hill
4 Wolverine, Agent of SHIELD

4 Mobilize
4 Savage Beatdown
4 Blinding Rage
4 Flying Kick

4 SHIELD Helicarrier
3 Torture Chamber
3 Birthing Chamber
2 Evil Lair

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