TagFamily

Pokémon!

Since there is so much time spent indoors with family during this time of crisis, my son and I have picked up our once-favorite TCG: Pokémon! Right now, we have a pretty large glut of old cards, but only a few of the newer sets (Sword & Shield). For one of my wellness wins, I decided to pick up an “Elite Trainer Box” for Sword & Shield to try and outfox my son’s impressive decks.

Right now, I’ve been looking on TCGPlayer for good cards to fit a theme. I’d like to try some control with a sleep-styled deck, but since the stadium card that forces your opponent to flip twice for wakeup checks is out of standard, I’m rethinking that. I don’t like building tourney decks, because they end up being really technical or just not fun to play against.

If anyone has any ideas, drop me a line.

Pokémon

My son has been bitten by the bug. The massive money making, lines around the block, international juggernaut that is Pokémon. He has a book with all of the current pocket monsters names, stats, pictures, regions and more in it. Right now, he is a walking, talking Pokédex.

To that end, he was introduced to the card game through other kids at school. This was kind of exciting, because I was a huge Magic: The Gathering kid, and TCG’s are my jam. So, I started he and I out on some pre-constructed starter decks from Target/Amazon. Now he’s hooked.

Normally, I wouldn’t be excited to get my son into something this potentially expensive. There are, obviously, much cheaper games to play and ones that don’t have the same far reaching marketing machinations. However, this is something that we’re actually bonding over. I get to teach him how to play, how to think strategically and about deck building. Stuff I had to learn on my own. He also gets access to all the various accessories I’ve accumulated over the years. Things like card sleeves, boxes, carriers, etc.

Typically, I’d say that Pokémon is a game that is far too basic for someone who played Magic so heavily in his early years. However, it has some level of charm. The game is simplified and often doesn’t take quite as long as an average Magic game. There are also a really simplified set of mechanics that don’t require understanding how “the stack” works. Overall it’s just very fluid. While I generally prefer my games to be a bit more crunchy, I still find myself seeking him out to play a game before dinner or in our spare time.

Spending time with kids was something difficult for me to understand as an adult. Communication is often my biggest issue as I don’t typically understand how they’re processing the world. This game has helped me by focusing our interactions into something we can both understand and agree on, while having fun.

So, yeah. I guess Pokémon has helped me bond with my son. A sentence I never thought I’d write.

Bernard DeGruchy

My grandfather.  Bernard DeGruchy.  Passed away last night.  He was 83.

It’s hard being more than fourteen-hundred miles away from home.   Away from people you love.  It’s not that I don’t want to be here.  It’s just times like these make it very difficult to process your feelings.

I wasn’t there, I never got to say my final goodbyes.  That’s hard.  I never got to say my final goodbyes to my dog, Aften, when she died.

I know I can’t dwell on it.  I know that I need to, almost cruelly, soldier on.  Relive the good memories and don’t let tragedy pull you down.

He lived a good life, and I’m proud to say he helped make me what I am today.  He helped raise me with my grandmother and if that doesn’t get you into heaven, I’m not sure what would.

Goodbye Grampy.  I love you.

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