Category Archives: Thursday Thirteen.

Thursday Thirteen: Looking toward the future in America.

That is Barack and Michelle Obama, with their two beautiful daughters.  I apologize in advance to anyone who has a different view of politics, but I need to gush today about the hope I have for our country at this transcendant moment in American history.

1. Barack Obama embodies the “American dream” in ways that usually only get exposed in fiction.

2. He had a black father from Africa and a white mother from Kansas.

3. His father left when he was two years old.

4. His mother raised him to participate in the world, changing his community for the better, and he was always an inspirational leader to the kids around him.

5. For a while, the family was on food stamps.

6. He struggled against the racism of the times, just like the rest of us.  He was born almost exactly one month after me, in 1961. 

7. His father died in 1982, in an automobile accident.

8. His mother died in 1995, of cancer.

9. He worked his way through college, graduating from Columbia University and Harvard Law School.

10. He became a United States Senator.

11. He decided to run for president, against all odds.

12. He inspired a huge movement in America, most of it arising on the interwebs and then spilling out into the actual cities of each and every state.  His background as a community organizer taught him that people are willing and able to build America back up from the ground floor.  He currently has over 1.5 million individual financial supporters, with an average donation of $96 each.  

13. He is on the verge of winning the nomination of the Democratic Party, and proving that nothing is impossible in America.  He has started a New Voter Registration Drive in all 50 States, which we will be attending this Saturday.  He gives me real hope for the future, and I thank you for allowing me to share my excitement for this historical moment with you today.  No matter what your political perspective, it is a glorious time to be an American. 


Filed under Thursday Thirteen.

Thursday Thirteen: The Meaning of Life.

That is a photograph of me getting my draft on, at the first Pro Circuit, choosing my Inmates.  Someone’s life was about to change.  Life?  What is life?


(I love the smell of metaphor in the morning.) 


1. Life is a fabulous art exhibition, and each of us creates a masterpiece for the big gallery in the sky.


2. Life is a dog show, and every human is a mutt.


3. Life is a question mark, with no correct answer.


4. Life is a never ending pouring, from one cup into another.


5. Life is an empty stomach, learning to stay hungry.


6. Life is a gaze into the mirror, and eventually we will see ourselves clearly.


7. Life is a hermit crab, looking for a new shell.


8. Life is one long sigh, knowing the void on the other side.


9. Life is an unexplainable sculpture method, crafting something from nothing.


10. Life is an opinion poll, with an infinite margin of error.


11.  Life is a game that you win by playing.


12.  Life is a huge string of adjectives, all describing this equation:


Infinity = 1 = 0


13.  Life is a list of metaphors, gone exponential.


Now you know the meaning of life, get out there and live it up!



Filed under Thursday Thirteen.

Thursday Thirteen: Meeting the Goals.


(Magneto gets inspirational, by Adam Kubert and Mark Irwin)

Hello friends, and welcome to the Spring Break edition of the Full Body Transplant Thursday Thirteen!  I have to get back to my week of cavorting, so this one is going to be a bit different. 

I got this email yesterday.  The subject line simply said ‘Thanks.’  I am going to chop it into 13 parts and share it with you.

1. “Although this is not the first of this kind of message I’ve typed up to send you, they remain important to me, regardless…”

2. “… because the revelations they signify are something that I need to express my gratitude for.”

3.  “Rian, you’ve been an immense source of inspiration…”

4.  “… both in this silly trading card game that binds and brings us all together…

5.  “… and as a person too.”

6.  “It’s that kind of unflinching dedication and experience that you have…”

7. “… and openly share…”

8. “… that made me realize that we are creatures of unlimited potential.” 

9.  “That as long as we try…”

10. “… there’s nothing stopping us from changing the world.”

11.  “Although not nearly enough, I’d like to thank you as sincerely and as I humanly can…”

12.  “… for talking to me on occasion…”

13.  “… and for being the extraordinary person you are. ”

I was touched by that letter, and it filled me with a sense of accomplishment.  It was from someone I have never met in person.  Someone nearly 30 years younger than I am, who will live on to enhance this world long after I am gone.  I don’t really set goals in my life, but if I did… a lot of them would have been confirmed by that letter.  The best part?  It inspired me to write a similar letter of my own and send it to someone who has inspired me. 

Happy Thursday, everyone.  Now back to my Spring Break!


Filed under Thursday Thirteen.

Thursday Thirteen: The Magick Returns.


You’ve heard me ramble quite often about the Chaos Magician trip.  One of the main ways it pops up in our life?  Random delayed exposure.  In this case, I finally picked up a copy of a comic book called “The Marvel Tarot”.  It’s a beautiful thing.  Deep, chewy arcane knowledge combined with superhero mythological pop goodness?  I doesn’t get any better than that.  Topaz as Temperance?  Yes please.  Does anybody know if Storm’s latent High Priestess powers have manifested yet?

The book has been in circulation since Summer Solstice 2007, a full nine months ago.  The time was finally right last night.  As always, it was perfect timing.  The great work is entering a new phase for us, and this was a sign.

I wrote a Thursday Thirteen explaining the basics of Tarot back in December.  Today I am going to put forth a set of magick goalposts for the next step in our ritualistic lifestyle.

1. Embrace the dazzling vigor of electrical existence, and cast off the gremlins of comfortable numbness.

2. Feel each cell in the current body, as it throbs and thrives.

3. Share the glow with everyone on Earth, directly through the sky.

4. Stop settling for less just because it is routine.

5. Focus on the HIGHEST common denominator.

6. Feel everything fully, instead of thinking about it possessively.

7. More punk rock.

8. Balance all four corners.

9. Unfocus the eyes, and see with the heart.

10. Follow the little tickle that is only found inside a living human brain.

11.  Realize that the tickle is available every moment between birth and death.

12.  Get it down, and display it for others.

13.  Don’t stop for anything.

There you go.   A new set of flexible rules in our house.  Make a list of yours, and link them to:  The magick is always ready to return, you only need to ask.


Filed under Magick, Thursday Thirteen.

Thursday Thirteen: The Ultimate Reward.


(Wanda getting her Chaos on.  Artwork by Brian Stelfreeze from Upper Deck’s Vs. System.)

The ultimate culmination of any inspirational activity?  Seeing a group of other people engaged in the creative pursuit that you were trying to expose the world to.  In other words, the writer is most satisfied when the readers take the ball and run to places way beyond anything previously imagined.

In a similar way, our local Miami Hobby League got me glowing last night.  I had missed the week before, and I could only stop in to touch base, since this election year is cause for major partying with wife and friends.  When I got there, I discovered that they were playing a bizarre and beautiful format that took my dreams for the game and made them more real than I could have ever done by myself.

1. They put 50 character cards in a hat.

2. All the cards had different printed team affiliations.

3. Each person picked three cards at random.

4. They chose one affiliation from the three.

5. They spent the week building mono-team decks with the single affiliation.

6. They used Random Punks rules.

7. They invited me to play, even though I only had my traditional decks that did not fit the format, and would have therefore had a huge advantage.

8. They wished me well when I declined in order to attend our election party instead.

9. They helped me brainstorm for the upcoming BigSpooky challenge before I left.

10. They filled my heart with an unusual sense of satisfaction, seeing my ideals for the game actually being incarnated on real life tables in my very own city.

11. They gave me mad hope for the future of our game.

12. They made me realize that the sky is not falling.

13. They inspired me to keep toiling on, no matter what.

Now you.  Make a list of 13 inspirational somethings.  Anythings.  Then link your list here: It will start a small movement, and you never know what will come of it.  It might even bring you the ultimate reward.


Filed under Rambles, Thursday Thirteen., Vs. System

Thursday Thirteen: A Revolution in Yin Yang Alliteration.


The social club of Vs. System is shifting gears.  We are undergoing a paradigm update.  Today I am going to describe the revolution with words that tend to clump closely according to opening consonants. 

1. Instead of an authoritative central location, we now have a Humanizing Hub

2. Rather than a completely subjective evaluation of the global output, there is now a Verifying Vote.  (A click for me is a click for thee.  If anyone ever wanted to vote for this site, now is your chance.)

3. Elitism Erodes Exponentially, as we slide into a sort of people’s revolution.

4. Instead of Conquest, Cracked Characters Create Consensus.

5. Dicks Dissolve, and we start to act like human beings again.

6. It feels like there is some kind of dissipation of electricity, as the Power Pours Personally throughout the system.

7. The whole “king of the hill” chest-thumping mentality fades, And An Elegant Equality Gains Glorious luminosity.

8. The truly passionate remain, forming the Core Civiliation that will thrive into the future.

9. We mirror the comic books that our game is based on, struggling with forces beyond our control, forming a Banded Brotherhood of hope for the coming years.

10.  The DIY Ethos Emerges.

11. Personal Pleasure Reigns Rowdy, and things are going to get sloppy good.

12. Our Own hands will build it.

13. There are no more excuses.  We can’t hide behind our computer screens and whine about The Things “They” are doing wrong.  We must do this ourselves.  We Will Win.  Watch us.

I have no clue whether that worked or not, and I guess I never did fit the Yin Yang thing in there.  The original idea was to highlight the fact that we are transitioning from Competitive to Casual, from Conquest to Community, from Elitism to Empowerment, and from Dickery to Delight.  Of course, both sides are neccesary for the dynamic beauty that makes life worth living.  Our little card game community is shifting toward the Yin, but we will always love us some Yang.  Peace out.


Filed under Thursday Thirteen.

Thursday Thirteen: Fortune Cookies in Bed.


We eat chinese buffet as often as we can afford it.  I love checking off the number of different species in my belly when we are done.  Then, the cookies.

Ten or twelve years ago, we started adding the words “in bed” at the end of every fortune.  It is really fun to play in large groups after a good meal.  Laughter helps the digestion.  Today I play with you.  Let me share the last thirteen slips of paper we pulled from our fortune cookies.  In bed.

1. “The stars appear every night.” … in bed.

2.  “Consider gain and loss, but never be greedy.” … in bed.

3.  “This is a good time to consider formally helping others.” … in bed.

4.  “You’ll have all sorts of chances to make a happy encounter.” … in bed.

5.  “You can depend on the trust of the collective.” … in bed.

6.  “Happier days are definitely ahead for you, struggle has ended.” … in bed.

7.  “Rely on your own good judgement to lead you to success.”  … in bed.

8.  “Sincerity is the finest point of communication.” … in bed.

9.  “Set high goals.” … in bed.

10.  “Take the initiative and others will support you.” … in bed.

11.  “The last thing you need sharpened is your tongue.” … in bed.

12. “Aspire to be great, then give everything you have.” … in bed.

13.  “Grasp the opportunities that are coming your way.”  … in bed.

So that’s what happens when the crumbs hit the sheets in our house.  You can grab a fortune online right now by clicking around in here, and then you need to make your own list of recent prophecies and link it to: … in bed.


Filed under Thursday Thirteen.