Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Artificial Sunlight...

So I want to write an update on my mental health, which I feel is important to do on a day to day or at least a week to week basis. Trust me on this, doing a blog or a vlog to stay in check with yourself is one of the many ways to stay on top. I look at my own demons, my own depression, as a constant and never ending fight, I feel like it's something that will never "go away" so I am not going to bother with that idea. That being said I will constantly do my best to beat this and control it, not let it control me and dictate my head space. So I just wanted to talk a few points, for you friends and for future me if I ever get lost.

So I guess the first thing to talk about is the passing of Linkin Park's front man Chester Bennington. I think a lot of us can relate when I say that LP was our language when we were teens, and granted my music choices have changed over the years and I didn't really hear a lot of their new albums and projects in recent years. But when I tell you Hybrid Theory, Meteora, Reanimation and slightly even though my big brother, Fern swears that it was the worst thing ever, Minutes to Midnight. His death is absolutely tragic, especially considering the family and loved ones he leaves behind, and the many of us who grew up with his voice as ours. Yeah, it was angst but when you are a teen, your confused, pissed and lost in the worst kind of way. I hope Chester finds peace and love in the next world. To everyone one of us who has dealt with suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety or any kind of mental health troubles; now as always we need to take care of one and other, fight as one. 

So if I had to make a suggestions on the best Linkin Park songs, I would say to check out this Spotify playlist I made just for the occasion, here. My personal favourite might be Numb. I always felt a certain pressure growing up to live up to expectations from my old man that I felt I could never do, feeling like a disappointment most of the times. I know now, that what my dad wants most from me is to be a hard working and honest man, everything else is second to that. And yeah, every single day I do my best to be the best me I can be. 

These days have been weird for me, work is there but lately been feeling underwhelmed, if that makes sense. I just want more, the hours this summer have been abysmal at best, so I am in desperate need of more hours and money. But just more from my day to day job as well. Some say I need to be patient, I am still in school for this very reason, to get a degree and get a better job. But I still feel like I can do better. I don't want to seem ungrateful for my current job at Starbucks, the company does a lot of good for it's employees, but I think I just need more. So I think as soon as I get back I will be looking into another part time job, split the time between the jobs and by the new year part ways with the company. I will always remember the experience, and Brewgatory will be there for me to tell many and many of not only my stories but the the stories of the many incredible people I've had the chance to work with. 

Well that's all the time for today, I have to save my thoughts for tomorrow as well. I've also been meaning to try and update my Magic: The Gathering blog, but I find it rather difficult to place thoughts into words when comes to MTG, hell I have a hard time finalising a lot of my Commander decks, how I am going to write about them? But I want to hear back from you reader, what are your favourite Linkin Park tracks? How are you doing these days? Leave a comment below and let's start a conversation here. Thanks again for the read and until then, keep chasing the storm! 

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Back to the South...

A lot can come and go in a decade. Presidents and parties change power in a country, sports dynasty are made and conquered and technology can look radically different from the start to the finish of these ten years. So needless to say, it's going to be quite the experience when I return to Chile for a few weeks this August. It's been over ten years since I last set foot in South America, and I know I have a lot of reconnecting to do. I am a born Canadian, but I am also a Chilean at heart. My culture and my history is rooted deeply to Chile and all my family there, my last grandparents and my massive expansive Cruz side of the family. I will only have two weeks to make the most of the time there and take back home the knowledge and power that comes with being a Latino in North America. 

I am feeling pretty damn nervous though, not to mention thinking about all the things and projects I am currently working on and trying my best to finish as soon as possible. Not to mention, being away from work is going to place a dent in my wallet, so there is also that to be worried about. A vacation is nice, but it's hard to forget about all the responsibilities that need to be taken care of back home. Lately I find it hard to focus on today, always thinking about tomorrow and the future. I know as soon as I get back from Chile I am going to be focusing on a few goals...

  • Finding more or new work.
  • Working out every single day.
  • Finishing up every single art project.
  • Take care of the ChileanStorm brand.
  • Getting ready for my trip to Japan.

I want to post these here, mostly for me to see them and to be held accountable if I f*ck this up and lose my place on the path in life. I am also placing this here to show you that I have my goals and you have yours as well, and you can do everything you set yourself out to do. If you need support and encouragement, know that I am rooting for you. It's not going to be easy, actually it's going to be extremely difficult. But if I can do it, so can you. 


So I am off to get ready for my Chile trip, I will be planning different locations that I am going to want to see while I am there, although I think I will mostly be in Santiago for most of the time. But if you've got any suggestion for where to go and what to see, by all means let me know in the comments below. As well as what are your goals in the future, what challenges will you be facing? Just want to let you know, you are not alone in this adventure. We can do this! Until then, keep chasing the Storm! 

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Be Alive...

Hello Friends, today is a pretty simple topic, being alive and being happy.

What a thought eh? But why is this such a big deal to me? Well I think it mostly comes from the fact that a lot of my ideas tend to have a dark undertone of sorts, And I think sometimes, especially with my own history, it's important to look at life and reflect on everything you have going for you. I get caught up at times with everything that I don't have, and yeah, I get into a slump about things. But the reality is, I've got a lot going on these days and a lot to look forward to as well. School has been a great learning experience for me, work has been good as well although I am thinking of looking for new opportunities. I have the ability to go as far as I want to go with my creativity and my craft, and I plan to go as far as possible and beyond. I don't want to become ruled by my fears, doubts and insecurities. 

I've got a lot ahead of me these next weeks as I aim to complete 22 pages of my very own first independent comic book, Brewgatory! It's exciting and fun project, but it's a lot of work! For anyone who has ever tackled this, I am in awe of your power! And for those who are thinking about doing one, by all means go for it, just know that it is a dedication, you can't half ass this one. I am missing out on a lot of social gatherings and outings, but I know this is the only thing that makes any sense to me, there's nothing more important for me. And when you find your passion, you have to go all in. 

I am still waiting to hear back from a certain comic book convention that takes place at the end of the summer, but here is hoping I can get a spot on the floor. This would be the first time on my own at a show, but with the experiences I've had with my friends and brothers in the comic book art scene I aim to take everything I've learned and make my mark in this business. I am not the prettiest, not the flashiest, but God damn it I plan to be a part of this world! Come hell or high water, I am going to be a comic book artist! 

So to you mt dear friend, if you are living with depression or anxiety or any mental health problems, take it from me. You are not your mental health, it is a part of you but it is not what defines you. And even though some days it is harder than others, fight, fight with everything you've got and create something incredible. I know you can do it. 

Until then, keep chasing the Storm. 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

It's All in my Head...

Hello friends,

I think I had a mental collapse last night. I don't do well with accusations or with hatred, I always take someone else's hatred personally. Why? I don't know. It gets to me though and I sink into darkness, it doesn't help being alone or having your family tell you these wonderful little gems...

"You don't have depression, get over it."

"Grow up."

"Your too old to have depression."

If you are reading this, please, never deny help to a friend or a family member. Mental health is real, just cause your parents or their parents didn't come to term with their own mental health problems, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And don't tell someone that nothing is wrong with them, you don't know and so you shouldn't say anything. Listen and reach out to help however you can, don't make them feel alone. I know one thing for sure, I need to get more help and see my therapist as well. 

I really hope to be stronger, maybe tomorrow or maybe a month from now or possibly a decade from now, but I just want to be a mentally stronger person. I think I can get there through my work, reaching out to others in the world and trying to change the way we see things. 

Thank you friends, thank you for everything you've done for me. And for you, I will be better and I will be stronger. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Thing About Love...

Hello friends.

Well it is here, one of the most dreaded holidays, I would even say possibly the most dreaded holiday celebrated here in North America. It is Valentine's Day. A day built on expectations. What you need to do if you are with someone and how you should feel if you are alone. But that is the thing about expectations, you don't need them. I wanted to write to you today, because I know what you might be going through if you are indeed alone this time of year, what you might be feeling. And if I can help you feel just a little bit less lonely, well it would help me out as well.

This year, by societies standards, I am alone. But here is the thing, while I might be on my own today, I know I am loved and I have been loved. And that is something no one can take away from me and they sure as hell can't take it from you. I have some incredible people in my life, I am truly blessed, just on my last post friends wanted to make sure I was alright and let me know they are there for me. I also have an incredible family that while is scattered through out the world in South America, Asia and here in Canada, I know they love me and are always making sure to stay in touch. It would be stupid and ungrateful of me if I didn't recognise all the love in my life, and I know it is hard at times but you need to see and feel all the love around you. 

It's also important to understand the importance of self. In this life you need to be the best you that you can be if you want to share your life with someone, mentally and physically. If I have learned anything from relationships, it's not about doing everything you can so you can stay together. I do mean that you should be the best partner you can be for your loved one, of course, but I think it's about being strong enough in your life with or without that someone by your side. It's never easy to say goodbye or to let a beautiful union go, but the love that was there is something that will always be there. I've been really lucky in my life, I've had some really incredible relationships with some incredible girls, who have grown to be even greater women. And I am really happy to see them living a life filled with joy and surrounded by love as well. And I will be the first to say, nothing makes me happier than seeing my friends and family find true love with an awesome partner, I am a sucker for true love. It's the Disney princess part of my mind for sure, but it's a part of me. 

Do I want to find true love? Well, I've already found it. What I need to find now is a peace of mind, I need to find the man that I am going to be and what I am going to for the world of tomorrow, what role will I play? Because take it from me, you are not a pawn in this game. So aim for the throne, become a queen or be the loyal knight. Whatever you choose to be, go forward with love inside your heart. Thanks for reading friends, until then keep chasing the storm. <3 

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Depression, my monkey...

Hello friends.

It's been awhile since I've written one of these. Especially one that I completely break down all my walls and express myself for a few paragraphs. I hope you get the chance to read this, that would be nice and maybe you get to feel better from this as well, maybe this can help you. Lord knows I could use some help right about now. That is always the hardest part really, getting help. I think it's our nature to associate help with weakness. A lot of times I know I would use alcohol, drugs and especially sex as a form of help. But honestly, I think sometimes it makes it worst. When you don't have the vice of choice, you start to lose your mind even more and more. It's a dark path, and one that I can't go down on again. I am not okay and yes, I need help.

The worst part of all this is really it is my fault for not taking care of my mind in 2016, I didn't seek any professional help in the entire year. And I've been away from a lot of friends and my family, I've felt pretty isolated in a place I decided to move out to, the price of independence and all. I wasn't healthy enough to start a relationship with another person, I sure as hell wasn't ready for when it all came to an end. I am not okay, I am a sick depressed individual who needs to be loved, feel loved and feel wanted. I am not comfortable with my own solitude, and ironically I spend most of my time alone and disconnected. I am doing my best as anyone with depression knows to make face, at work and in public. I don't want to worry my family and friends, at the same time I don't think anyone really understands. And this is part of the sickness, because I am very well aware of all my friends who are fighting their own mental health battles, anxiety and depression and many others. Some are braver than me and post online and make videos talking about it, I don't think I am important enough to do that. Until now that is, I am writing this and trying to reach out to someone, to something. I am not posting this on Facebook though, I haven't logged on in over a month and I don't want to log back in, because f*ck does it hurt to see happy people, beautiful people, perfect people. I can't do it, it hurts way too much.

But if you want to share this, by all means. If it is something you feel strongly about and think others should read, well kudos and thanks. I think if we can talk about this, it would be great. If you feel like this and wanted someone to talk to, I want to be there for you.

I am gonna use this blog to talk to you more, about me and well everything that is wrong with me. I am going seek help, I am going to take care of myself and focus on being the best me I can be. It's not going to be easy, everyday I wake up will be a victory and it should be for you as well. I know I am the only overly emotional f*cker with depression, I am just sharing my story and you should share yours as well. Because we don't hear this too often, but I want to hear your story. I want to know how you are doing and what do you do to stay out of the deep waters of mental health. So expect many more of these kind of posts, I will keep you in touch.

Until then my friends, keep chasing the storm.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Mail Magic #2

I've got a bunch of cards to look through thanks to plenty of trades. If you don't know what I do here, by all means check out my first post on Mail Magic, but I share with you guys all my recent cards acquired through Puca Trade. I take a look at some strategies with these cards as well or reasons on why I wanted a specific card. With that said let's get going!

Spelltwine (Jace vs Vraska): Something you should know about the way I play Magic, I love me some spells! The game typically wants to create a more creature versus creature battleground, but I am a classic Wizard kind of guy and love to casts all sorts of spells. So yeah, I am a Blue/Red Planeswalker all over and Spelltwine is an absolutely wonderful spell for many reasons. Not only do you get to reuse any spell in your graveyard, you can casts any spell from your one of your opponents graveyard. So if you want to use a board wipe from a the White mage, you can do that and play that Blue spells that gives you a turn or two. You can play your opponents spells against them and bring back another one of yours, two spells for the price of one. Sign me up! 

This is a Blue Commander staple in my books, if you have Blue in your deck then you should really consider a Spelltwine. Great for Mizzix, Melek, Talrand, Yidris and Riku of Two Reflections! Hell in this trade alone I got four sent to me, and I plan on using one in each and every single Blue deck I play. 

Yisan, the Wanderer Bard (M15): A sort of banned Commander depending on your play group, I had no idea he had already many decks that made him go sideways. I figured Green players were playing mostly Ezuri Elves or Titania Lands decks. I got him because his ability got me curious to try and build something around him, But since he can't be the Commander doesn't mean he can't be an incredible force in a lot of decks as part of the 99. Any Simic based Proliferate decks can totally abuse his ability for sure. 

Oh, and Atraxa. Yah. 

Serra Avatar (Commander 2014): A classic powerhouse, I remember when I first was playing MTG and my brother showed me this card for his UW Control deck. I couldn't believe it, this was at worst a 15/15 creature a lot of the times, but since it was in White you could gain as much life as you wanted or add a Spirit Link for absolute insanity. And over the years a lot of crazy big creatures have come and gone, you forget some cards after awhile. But as you guys know I've got Brion Stoutarm deck, a WR deck with an Equipment sub theme. So you can image my reaction to the idea of throwing a 40/40 Serra Avatar at one of my opponents, I had to get this monster in my deck. 

But Serra Avatar works really well in a lot of other Commander strategies like Trostani, Selesnya's Voice or Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim.

Temple of Abandon (Theros): Kids, something you are going to learn in Magic is that dual lands are important in every single format you play, the ability to play the game depends on the mana. If you can't play it, you aren't gonna win a lot of games. So take it from me, take what you can get in terms of dual lands, especially in Commander. The Theros block had a collection of lands that while they do come into play tapped, add two colors and let you Scry 1 when they hit the board, which lets you fix your next draw, a small scry goes a long way especially in colors that don't have as much card drawing power as Blue or Black.

The "Temple" cycle is a pretty underrated set in my opinion, I would recommend this for a lot of players on a budget. I got three alone from this trade and I have all the combinations on my trade list, you can can't go wrong with a little mana fixing.

Chandra, Pyromaster (M15): So I wanted to take a little longer look here at this Chandra. By no means the best Chandra available but I think there is a lot more to her if we take a closer look. Off the bat, all Planeswalkers are extremely powerful cards, even Tibalt can be used to some effect. At worst they take attention off you and some possibly strategies you are trying to brew. They can give you a slight edge every turn, drawing a card or even untap a permanent per turn can go a long way. So let's take a look at Pyromasters abilities here...

+1: Chandra, Pyromaster deals 1 damage to target player and 1 damage to up to one target creature that player controls. That creature can't block this turn.

So this ability is really good if you pair it with creatures you need to get through to your opponents, especially if the board has limited blockers available, playing Red you should be burning and removing any opposition in your way. You can even combined this with Gruul or Vampire cards that have the Bloodthrist ability, all it takes is one damage to make it trigger. I really like this ability in creature based strategies.

0: Exile the top card of your library. You may play it this turn.

So this ability is a sudo card draw of sorts, you have to try and control the situation as best as possible. You can know and be ready if you had a Scry lined up, maybe from a Temple land perhaps. This ability also works really well in Rakdos Hellbent strategies, the card is technically not in your hand. You don't gain any loyalty from using the ability which is a bit of a drawback but when you need a last resort answer, Chandra can do that for you.

-7: Exile the top ten cards of your library. Choose an instant or sorcery card exiled this way and copy it three times. You may cast the copies without paying their mana costs.

Yes. So you remember at the top of the post, I was saying how much I love spells, this is the ultimate ability that Izzet Mages dream of! The possibilities are endless, you could take six turns with a Time Stretch or steal three creatures with a Bribery. Or even casts a Spelltwine three times for a potential of six spells from the graves! So many possibilities! Though some things to keep in mind, if you don't have a lot of spells, you could end up with nothing to show and that would be a big bag of not fun. I would say make sure you trust your deck to have the spells ready for the onslaught.

So one think to see here in her design, she fits a lot of different strategies, which is a good and bad thing. When you are a jack of all trades, you are a master of none. While her ultimate is great for spell based decks, can you take advantage of her +1 at all, spell deck creatures are support or defensive cards for the most part. Though I don't doubt players finding a deck that is perfect for her, I worry that her better designed incarnations will find more playtime in various different strategies. But if you got big dreams for spells, I highly encourage the Pyromaster in your decks.

So there you have it, a new batch of cards from trades and ready to be used in my Commander decks. What do you guys think of these cards, do you use any of these in your decks? Any strategies you want to share, by all means leave a comment below or you can reach me over on Twitter @ChileanStorm and on Instagram as well. And also a big thanks goes to fellow trader CRONUS TITAN for these awesome cards. If you are interested in joining Puca Trade as well and maybe trade some cards with yours truly, you can join here and start your trades. Until then guys, I got more cards to look at and maybe a Commander deck tech in mind as well, until then keep chasing the storm!