Monday, September 28, 2015

Laser Tag and My Dad

My father passed away yesterday. It was peaceful and my mother and I were holding his hand in the hospital when it happened. I take comfort in knowing he is at peace now. If you're wondering how or why I could possibly be writing anything right now, let alone my blog, let me just say that the reason is largely that it is just cathartic to do so after everything that has happened in the last few days.

24 hours beforehand I didn't see this least I didn't expect it to happen this day. The night before I was actually playing laser tag. I had spent early Saturday evening during visiting hours at the hospital, knowing he was going to bed when I left. That's why I arrived to tag late. By the time we left his bedside I needed a distraction that would burn some energy. I am thankful that on a Saturday night I knew where to go for this distraction. Nobody at tag knew what was going on or that running around last night was serving a way more important purpose for me than just the typical weekly entertainment. It was a necessary release. In hindsight I wonder how I could have compartmentalized this so well, but again, there was no imminent indication that he wouldn't be with us another day and I was planning a return visit on Sunday.

So much is going through my head, but I'll try to focus for a moment here on how I shared laser tag with my dad. He was 88 and blind. He had very little idea of what laser tag was all about and his sight was gone before I could share either of my websites with him to show him what it was. But when he was in the hospital at the beginning of this year I found several ways that laser tag helped me to connect with my father.

First, there was this blog. There were times in the hospital when I simply ran out of relevant words to say. So I shared stories instead. I read to my father some of my "adventures" from when I first began writing this blog. Since he couldn't see, I hoped I was painting a mental picture for him. I know he enjoyed hearing about it and I am grateful that I had something to share with him when otherwise words were lacking.

Next, there was this..."Mandarr made me apologize". Ok, I know how bizarre this sounds, but follow me here. The one thing my father wanted most in life was to have family harmony. Without getting specific, let's just say that has been difficult regarding my brother and his new wife. But here's where "Mandarr" enters the story. I became friends with the actor who played this character on the Photon (laser tag) TV series (there's your laser tag connection) and he offered me a piece of advice. "No matter what it is or what was done, make yourself wrong. Apologize to someone you didn't think you could, no matter who did what. There's power in that." Well, nine months ago I thought my father was on the verge of passing then, so I took David's advice and apologized to my brother, at least for my part in keeping the distance that had been. When I told my dad that I made peace with my brother he was as happy as I could have made him and if the end had arrived right at that point he would have at least known that. So I said it then and affectionately still say that "Mandarr made me apologize." If my father had any recollection of who this person is he would have appreciated the cute irony in that statement.

Third, my dad knows that laser tag is something I do well and I know he was proud of every accomplishment. Even if he didn't exactly "get it", he was always incredibly supportive. Two weeks ago when I was competing in Philadelphia he landed in the hospital for a short stay. My mother opted not to tell me about this until after the fact, knowing that there was nothing I could do while away and not wanting to worry me. She was confident this would just be a short stay (which it thankfully was). But after it was all done and I found out where he was and talked with them I know that, whether or not he really understood what I was doing, he was happy I was off doing it. My dad always favored hitting the open road for an adventure. :)

My father is the greatest man I have ever known and I don't know how I will handle the next few days. But I will end my writing here knowing that laser tag (loosely) played a small part in what I could share with my father towards the end of his life and for any such part I am grateful.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Unbelievable...I had the BEST TIME playing LAZER RUNNER!

Unbelievable...I had the BEST TIME playing LAZER RUNNER!

I can't believe I am writing these words, but I just had the BEST TIME playing LAZER RUNNER! 

This morning started crazy early as I was driving Lauren to a competition (good luck!) and I didn't actually make it home at all from tag last night. Instead I stayed at my parents house which was closer to both destinations. After I dropped her off for the interviews I realized I had five hours to kill before the main event so I drove to Syracuse, but at 10:00 on a Sunday morning none of my usual arenas would be open (or have players) so I went to the Lazer Runner (aka laser tag lite) site in the mall and arrived just as they were unlocking the doors. I knew I was the first and only person in the place, but I asked if there was an employee who might go one on one in a match with me. Better than that, I actually got to go in against three game masters at once!

That was a first. One of them forewarned me that he knows the arena better than anyone and is the best player in the place. Hmmm...I love it when I hear someone talk like that because it's just as good as saying "game on". Anyone want to guess how that round ended?

I want to thank these three employees for stepping up to the challenge. We played three games and when we left the final round some of the other employees who were working at another facet of the amusement area were shouting that they were jealous their coworkers go to play tag instead of working. :)

Although the equipment is what it is, I had a great time and this was by far the best laser tag I could have asked for at 10:00 AM on a Sunday!

And a little extra...

Although not really related to laser tag, consider this next part Photon adjacent...on the same floor as the laser tag center I happened upon an interesting, fully immersive adventure center where you could select one of four interactive experiences. I must say the Deep Space adventure was like stepping right into a Photon episode! From the "beam you up" introduction...

To the M.O.M.-like console...

And the part I was best at...exploding space debris using a "laser"...

I went through the challenges with another woman and a young girl and together we walked through portals as we unlocked the challenges as a team...

And I was reminded of my time in Project Quest with some of the tasks, such as the "ship rewiring"...

Then entering a room that was reminiscent of the elevator scene from Willy Wonka and having a computer voice ala a female Hal tell us "I can't do that your name even Dave?" where I felt my age because I was the only one in the room that got the joke. :)

So again, it was not really about laser tag, but I certainly got a kick out of having the TV Tivia experience. :)

Comments or questions?

Force and Zone Collide

When I arrived for tag last night I had a moment of panic when for the second night in a row I was told I was the only one there. Fortunately that was short lived and it turned into a great night. I was the only one there from our team and the first round was a smaller group, so I hoped more people would show later on, which they did. Early on I felt unstoppable. For awhile I was running a nice little streak of being first every game. However, at some point during the night I saw a shift in players that I didn't immediately recognize. 

I saw one player from the other arena who is a very impressive tournament essence he is the one running "auditions" for the local Laserforce when I came in second to him by a scant 250 points I told him I hate it (and I love it) when the scores are close like that. For awhile I figured he was the only one visiting our Zone spot from Laserforce. I didn't immediately connect the dots until the next game when there were plenty of new players and one of them yelled "blocking" at me...that's when I realized our zone arena had been invaded by force players! :) And I was the only regular holding down the fort while these guys from the other arena came in a bit more like a team. Well, this chick was up for the challenge...

Had I not been away for so long I would have recognized a few of these faces faster (as I did soon enough), but tag is tag and even when someone looks familiar I don't always place where I know them from. Somehow I felt compelled to represent this arena particularly well tonight.

These were some competitive games and a very good night. It's too bad my teammates weren't around for this because I think it would have been a blast to collaborate again with this level of game play...and I wouldn't feel silly yelling "Cookie Monster" to myself. :) 

The second to last game the numbers decreased and I was on a two man team with a teenager who had never played before this night. He picked it up very quickly and when he saw I took first in that game he said "I'm on your team from now on." Little did he know that the house would empty out before our final go around and we went in with a one on one on one including game master Kimmy (who does a great job and deserves a shout out). 

Kimmy stepping up puts her in league with the Zero Gravity guys (and gal) who never let someone who wants to play be without a game, even if it's one on one. It was a great way to end a really good night.

Comments or questions?
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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Football?! Seriously?!

I set out last night to return to my favorite Laserforce arena that I had been MIA from for the last two months while focusing solely on Zone. I was pumped up from the last tournament and ready to play...but I was the only one. There was NOBODY there except a couple of the staff members. It was deader than dead and I didn't know why, but they did...a high school football game was taking place and everyone was there.

Football?! Seriously?! Football ruined my wasn't even a Syracuse University game! I spent about a half hour talking with one of the regulars/staffers about tournament rules before abandoning this effort and heading over to my Zone arena...where it was equally empty. What is up with this? Now, I am a person who has only attended one high school football game in my life (and that was under duress) so I really don't get the appeal. How can one game basically put everything else in town at a standstill?

Neither location would sell me a game pass because there was nobody else around for me to play against, but at least here there was some slight optimism that if anyone bought a single game I could easily jump into the game with them. well, that eventually happened. Four kids bought a game pass so I handed my punch card to Kevin and said "beggars can't be choosers", but the truth was I could have chosen a better re-entry to tag. If I didn't have to drive an hour and a half just to get to the arena I would have just gone home. But this appeared to be my only opportunity to play tonight, so I accepted it.

The problem with not being more choosy about games is that once in the vesting room those four kids went two on red and two on blue. I took a lone vest on green, but felt pathetic for even entering the arena this night, so I played it differently. I played the game standing in one place. Other than taking the base points when I knew they were vacant I just stood in the back hallway next to the game master for the entire game and only picked them off if they happened past that one spot. It was pointless.

I'm not sure if I am mildly proud or thoroughly embarrassed that I did actually win just off the points acquired while standing still. I rationalize that they knew where I was and didn't have to keep coming at me. But as I left the arena and looked at the scoreboard I shook my head that this was the result of my night and the only tag I was going to get to play this evening. So all in all, this doesn't count for anything. This was a Friday that would have been better spent staying home...or trying to figure out what the fuss is about high school football in this town!

Comments or questions?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Philadelphia Invitational 2015

Philadelphia Invitational 2015. Wow...

This has been an experience. First, I count myself incredibly lucky to be here and to be playing with a team of people I genuinely like and respect. I also think it's amazing to be surrounded by the kind of laser tag talent that has come out for this event. Some people here are suggesting this is an even more competitive tournament than the Armageddon. It definitely is in a similar league of intensity...similar, not the same. :)

Day 1:

I drove over five hours for the third weekend in a month to get here. Our team agreed to gather in our hotel room for pizza and chill time prior to the event and the first person I met was Isaiah. We had a nice chat about our respective laser tag experiences before I crossed paths with Joe and Tyler, my fellow Syracuse area players, as I left to pick up Amber, Zach, Rachael and Amber's boyfriend Alex (who was playing with a different team that was also staying in our hotel). Upon meeting everyone I felt like this was a good place to be. I think I really lucked out for the second tournament in a row to be matched with wonderful players who I enjoyed being around.

We strategized a bit at the hotel (the dry erase map I made of the arena layout was put to good use) and then a bit more once we got to the Ultrazone site.

Once here our team captain Amber hooked us up with our tournament swag...

And I got to play a couple of practice rounds using Helios Pro packs for the very first time.

Wow, these are different! They are a bit bulky, but in general I feel they most closely resemble nexus packs in terms of the feel while playing...this may have the most to do with the audio cues.

The first competitive event was LOR (Lord of the Rings, essentially a three man dogfight happening in the confines of a taped off circle. I was not participating in this event this time (maybe next time around, but I just wanted to check it out first). I got to cheer on some of my teammates as they took their turns in the ring. 

I'm not sure this is really up my alley, but I would certainly at least try it next time around.

Then it was time for the draft rounds. Now, a few weeks ago I wrote about the weird experience of being part of a draft. This was the culmination of that experience when I got to meet the people who were selected by our captain, Trigga (as in that) and play with some talent I would never otherwise have the chance to. Honestly I was initially a bit concerned that I wouldn't be able to run in this league and that I might get pushed to the side or dismissed because of the caliber of the other players. I am very happy to say that my personal experience with the draft was only positive.

I do have to be real about what transpired (so stick with me until the end here). The first game I choked on a mix of intimidation and self-imposed pressure to stick with our team strategy. I felt it as soon as I was put on defense (which is not my strongest area, but I did volunteer to do whatever role was requested of me). There was some really intense competition and impressive talent everywhere I team and elsewhere. And for the first couple of minutes of that first game I tried to defend from below and frankly did a miserable job. Quite a drop from the place from where I usually come at it. When I realized this was not working I took to higher ground and was able to do a bit more defending from the upper level of the red base. However, when I came out of that round all I could think was "damn, when did I become the weakest link?" There was a real moment of self doubt stepping out of that first draft game. Thankfully, things improved.

The second game my performance was better, though not up to par (or my own standards), and while I was happy to have gotten further ahead than some it was still a far cry from what I am accustomed to. We're not in Kansas anymore! But I was very fortunate to be on this team with some players who were unexpectedly quite motivating and that team attitude made an enormous difference to me going into the next round.

What impressed me most about my draft team was our captain's ability to lead in a strong but incredibly calm and respectful manner. Trigga was specific in identifying the weak element of our game and in structuring a plan to address it. His leadership was on point but he never made me or anyone else feel in any way "less than" while doing so.

When we needed to rotate and have someone sit out I volunteered myself (someone had to sit out each round simply because of the team numbers). Berserk asked me how I did the last round and I said not well enough to push to stay in because I'd rather see the team ascend. His reply was "you're ascending with us" and I was really heartened by that attitude. Then our captain Trigga says "I think Tivia plays and (so and so) sits this one." Wow, I didn't actually see that coming. In fact for a moment I was not certain that he was serious. In hindsight I realize this was obviously the right strategic move since he probably wanted to play me now so that a stronger player could return to take my place during ascensions. However, that show of courtesy and respect awoke a desire in me to not let them down for choosing to keep me in. That game I played my heart out and, courtesy of some real teamwork and a show of genuine leadership from the more experienced players, I ended up 2nd on my team that game and 7th overall having taken both bases. 

Seriously, I want to offer kudos and my sincere appreciation for the awesome show of teamwork, support and "no man (or woman) left behind" attitude from Berserk and Trigga especially. It was not what I was expecting. Ok, we weren't first, but I felt good coming out of that experience and count myself lucky to have played with this draft team.

I feel that way all the more when I juxtapose my draft experience with that of another player who ended up with a very different draft experience. Without getting into specifics, this player got what I feel was a seriously uncalled for snub when someone told their draft team captain "if you put her in before finals (instead of the player saying this) I'd put money on it that your team is out", so the captain had her sit out and played this player instead. Seriously? Regardless of ability or anything else I just feel that this whole exchange was rife with unnecessary ego and rudeness. Smack talk is one thing, having an opinion is another, but expressing yourself like this is uncalled for when you are on a "team". I don't actually know the other players involved so this is not a personalized comment, just an observation that made me shake my head. Winning isn't everything. Sheesh.

Now, my own draft team was called in for the first round of ascensions and at this point my captain had me be the one to sit out. Absolutely fine. The call was made with respect and I was absolutely happy to cheer my team on from the sidelines. I also fully realize that this was the point where I got my spoonful of the same scenario outlined above, but in a much more appropriate and courteous manner. And, well, they came in second that round and did not ascend further. However, I couldn't be more proud to have played with that draft team because of how cool and welcoming they were to this newbie. I also thought it was a class act move when after it all my captain came over to me with some nice words of appreciation. I told him how impressed I was with him as a captain and, especially in light of the other story, really feel I lucked out in the draft.

Once the draft games were behind us we moved on to our pre-made team rounds and All About That Base was ready to rock...albeit an hour late by the time we were called. We didn't play our first team game until 5:15 AM!

To not play until this hour when we were all walking zombies was undoubtedly not anyone's best showing, but we played with all the heart we could muster. I had downed my five hour energy drink, well...almost five hours before. But out of respect for the team and each other you do what you have to do and push through. I was grateful that Joe and Tyler made a coffee run (who knew that Dunkin' Donuts opened at 4:30 in the morning?) and I got a bit of caffeine in my system before the next game. That may have been the only thing keeping me upright after more than 24 hours without sleep.

My one disappointment with this game was the result of a flaw with the system. I understand that the Helios system is very new here (it had not been installed as of two weeks ago when I last played at this arena) so some little things are bound to come up. We were intended to register our player names online to be linked with swipe cards to pair with the packs. These were also intended to be our "tick cards" in the event of an infraction during the game.

Unfortunately, we may have overloaded the system and this simply did not work, so we just had to keep track of our pack name after each round. Well, I know I took two bases during this second game, so I was somewhat optimistic about my standings (and the simple fact that I actually WAS still standing), but when I came out of the arena the pack name I had just used was nowhere on the screen. We did however have seven packs on the board, so apparently mine registered with a different name and I have no idea which one or where I ranked that game. Oh well. That bummer was short lived because we got the welcome news we were calling it a night and would play the remaining games tomorrow instead of powering through for a third game at that hour. Yay! Sleep! Back to the hotel to crash.

Day 2:
Ready to rock...but first, ready to eat. Because the tournament played overnight we slept until about 4:00 in the afternoon, so breakfast essentially happened at dinner time. We went to the restaurant next door to the arena for some delicious Mexican food and very...wet water. Sorry Isaiah! By this point in the weekend I think we had really bonded as a team and it was nice to spend some time getting to know the other arm of my team who came in from Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. They were all great to hang out with and lots of evidenced when Amber suggested we go next door to the dollar store to buy crowns to wear later in the night. Crown? Um, yes! :)

Meanwhile Isaiah tattooed up with an assortment of glow in the dark designs.

Then we went over to the arena where there was more LOR competition underway and the public games were still going on in the arena. A few of us jumped into one for a warm up before we returned to the main tournament. I had a great time playing just for the fun of it, which is good because in a short time things started to get intense.

Our first game of the night was really the final game from last night that we ran out of time to play, so it got moved to the next day. It was a good one. We were playing hard, taking bases and felt like we were doing really well...but the system was not. There were all sorts of issues going on in the arena, particularly with reload stations. There was a lot of time lost trying to get them to register and most of the players were having issues as a result. When we came out we were optimistic, but the scores on the screen were not ours. We had to replay that game. Sigh...really? We put everything into it just to have to do it again? Call that the theme for the night.

We were a bit worn out when we had to go in and play that game all over for a second time. It was frustrating because we had worked hard on a strategy that now the other team was ready to defend against...or attack against depending on your vantage point. The second time around was not as good, but what can you do? It's hard to go intensely with barely any we realized for the final three games which were only separated by one game each. So the rest of the preliminary games were exhausting because of intense rigor of play coupled with the lack of rest time in, did I feel old!

During one of the games I was given the option to sit out and rest so our alternate could play. Icestorm (or Iceman as I called him all night...must have had Top Gun on the brain) was there to be our relief player and at that moment I wanted nothing but a relief break...but I didn't get it. Unfortunately Bubblez had injured herself earlier in the week and suffered another fall that took her out of this game, so barely a moment after I was given a reprieve I heard Zach yell "Tivia, you're in" and I knew there was no rest for the weary this night.

I don't know which game I learned my lesson about comps, but it was probably this one. I couldn't believe the score I got in a game where I had taken two bases, however it was a result of getting taken out mid base attack. That royally sucked...what, no partial credit?! I say that with plenty of sarcasm as I realize what that did to our score, so I set my resolve to learn from it and not let that happen twice. Fortunately by the final preliminary it didn't matter.

We regrouped outside (largely because we all needed fresh air by this point) and we discussed a completely different strategy. We were going to enter the ascensions in exactly the same position no matter what happened this I proposed the strategy my Armageddon team employed. With nothing to lose, let's just all head up top and mess with the other teams. We actually began by taking that strategy to the bases first, then just having a good time playing out that round before getting as real break before moving into the first round of the ascensions.

We knew there was only one game that would really make any difference and this was it. If we got first or second we would be moving up, so that was the focus. We played HARD! Speaking for myself, that's perhaps about the hardest I have ever played. I was once told "leave it all out on the stage" and that's what I did in that arena with everything I had left in me...and I know the rest of my team did the same. I believe it was the best show of heart and passionate playing we could have asked for and was definitely our best game of the whole tournament. Unfortunately that made it all the more heartbreaking to see that we were less than 2000 points away from the position we needed to continue on. It was a disappointing realization only because we had come SO close and played SO hard. But I am incredibly proud that in a tournament with the level of competition that we were up against that we came as close as we did and ended with an amazing final game.

Team disappointment aside, the bright spot for me in that final game was looking at the scoreboard and seeing that the top score on my team was mine (first place on blue, sixth overall). I had played with the Gothyk pack that round and I had given it everything (as I know we all did) so I walked out of there feeling like I had gotten some validation for the effort. For me it ended on a high note to see that placement.

Some of my teammates also got some nice validation/recognition for their playing and team results. In the draft Bubblez was on the second place team and took home a medal, while Zach was on the third place draft team.

Congratulations to them and to all of my teammates for doing an amazing job. It was an honor to play with all of you.

Amber - Thank you for reaching out to invite me onto this team. It was great to get to know you this weekend! I admire your ability to lead a team and kill it in the arena in equal measure with my appreciation and respect for your DIY skills. Those t-shirts rock!

Zach - You have some impressive skills, but I am all the more impressed with where your head is about what this sport is about and what a team should be. You guys had the right idea in how to assemble a team and as a result I think we are getting in on the ground floor of a team with some massive potential. Thank you for that!

Bubblez - You never let anything keep you down...your leg or anything else. I can tell that what I saw of your playing this weekend was only the tip of the iceberg. I can't wait until we get the chance to play again. Take care of yourself and heal up in the meantime.

Isaiah - Oh Captain, steer clear of the water! Seriously, it was great to meet you and I had a wonderful time hanging out with you. You had some great strategy insights and are a great player. It was a pleasure!

Tyler - You jumped into this at a crazy time, but I'm so glad it all worked out. You have such enthusiasm for everything you do and it was great to see how you channeled it into being a real asset to the team.  It's always great to play tag with you!

Joe - I have amazing respect for your laser tag skills. You are always the best competition when we play against each other, but it was really nice for once to have you using that talent to be on our side! You are a force to be reckoned with and I can't wait to see how far you go with this sport.  :)

Icestorm - Wake up! It was a pleasure meeting you and we are appreciative that you were there to step in when needed. You know how to get things done in the arena and you were a real asset.

I am proud to be part of this team, I am proud of how our local arm of the team represented Syracuse and, on a side note,
I was also proud to be a witness for a historic moment involving someone else who once represented Syracuse...

Because of playing laser tag in this weekend's tournament I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to be able to be present as a witness to history being made live right in front of my eyes. It was an amazing end to an amazing weekend. Philly Invites 2015...epic!

Comments or questions?

Monday, September 7, 2015

I Love the 80s

Tonight I am sitting at home watching the 1987 movie "Masters of the Universe" on Netflix and enjoying the scene before they transport through the open portal because as I watch it now I realize that in essence I am watching a laser tag battle between He-Man and Skeletor. Re-watch this film and you will see exactly what I am talking about. :)

And I'm also thinking back on the tag I played over the weekend. Not quite sure what to make of Saturday night. In a lot of ways it was average. The normal outcomes for games played hard, but somehow I sensed that it was more a night of going through the motions than anything else. I was ready for some serious practice, but rolled with a more basic night of game play instead. Meanwhile, outside the arena a few interesting things took place.

Speaking of things from the 80s, I had recently returned from a convention that I will be chairing next year. I wore my t-shirt promoting an upcoming related movie and was delighted and surprised when a teenage girl with blue hair got very excited and asked me where I got my shirt. Has my love of all things retro suddenly become cool again? It appears so. I shared some pics of the guests I had been hanging out with and the girl loved seeing the faces behind the did her two little sisters who were there to play some tag also. I suppose they found my laser tag kryptonite because after bonding over the photos I really didn't have the heart to tag any of them!

I also saw a couple familiar faces from the Laserforce arena. I didn't expect to see them there. Oddly, in a way I feel like I'm cheating on Laserforce because I haven't played there in about two months while I've been putting all my focus into Zone in preparation for the tournament. Oh, well...I told them I'll be back in a couple of weeks once the Invites are over.

Finally, I realized I've been racking up a ton of points in the arcade between games these last few weeks, so I decided to take home a prize to add to the collection of oversized plushes that I've acquired as a result of spending way too much time (and money) at the arena. So look who was riding home shotgun on Saturday night...

Maybe a laid back night was actually a good thing because it kept me from overdoing it and pushing too hard this weekend...much better that I save it all up for the event. So I am reflecting and also getting excited to meet up with my team and see what we can deliver. Philly, here we come!

Comments or questions?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

What I Do on the Weekend

I had a coworker tech for an event with me yesterday and we were close enough to Albany that I figured I'd get some laser tag in afterwards. I mentioned it and invited Spencer to come along and experience what I do on the weekend and we went to play a few rounds of Infusion.

I enjoy introducing my favorite game to others for the first time. Although he has played other systems before, this was a first experience with Zone. It was not an overly competitive night, so it was probably a good evening for trying the system out. I showed him first how to take a base immediately and get it out of the way. Then we scattered and I used the night mostly for target practice. We did a three game package and had a good time...and by the end of the third game Spencer had made it into the top three scores for that round...nice job!

Comments or questions?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Back in Bensalem

My last couple of weeks have been so crazy/hectic that it's tough to believe I played at the Ultrazone five hours from where I live on Sunday and somehow life landed me right back there Thursday night! So I was back in Bensalem for a few rounds before meeting up with some of my closest friends for our favorite weekend of the year! :)

I played four rounds that night. I was top score in every game, which is good for confidence, but means very little as far as what I will encounter in two weeks. However, the experience of playing in this space was what I came for. I only wish that at this point (two weeks out from the tournament) they had the new Helios system installed as I really would have liked to play using those new packs.

The games were predominantly teenagers, many I could tell played there often. During the second game I was on an all girl team. Both of the other teams were filled entirely with young guys and the girls on my team whispered nervously "we're gonna get wrecked." I said "no, we won't". I made it my mission that game to play hard and carry this team as best I could to make sure that didn't happen because I don't ever want any girl to walk away feeling like we can't do this because of who we are up against. Now, looking at the results our red team was not first, but I am pleased to say that it was hardly getting "wrecked" :)

So ladies, don't ever let those guys intimidate you. Play hard and show them what you've got. I had a blast playing with them before taking off for the rest of a weekend of Music and Magic.

Comments or questions?