From Right Field – What’s in the Bag?

Read Chris Romeo every Thursday... at StarCityGames.com!
It’s been a while – probably too long – since I reached into my male bag. I mean, my mailbag. Without further ado, let’s see what interesting stuff is in here. As usual, I’ll be changing the names to protect whatever dignity people have left after writing to me. Unless they want me to use their name. In which case, I will decide if they’re just going for Internet immortality or if they’re being genuine.

It’s been a while – probably too long – since I reached into my male bag. I mean, my mailbag. Without further ado, let’s see what interesting stuff is in here. As usual, I’ll be changing the names to protect whatever dignity people have left after writing to me. Unless they want me to use their name. In which case, I will decide if they’re just going for Internet immortality or if they’re being genuine.

Dear Chris,

I’ve been reading your column for a long time. I’m probably like most of your readers. I read the column. I enjoy it. But I never write to you. I finally had to because you left Platinum Angel off of your Staple Rares list for Tenth Edition. How could you do that? She’s so f***ing awesome. I remember this deck that I had when she was still legal before. I’d play Tooth and Nail .

I mean, what’s up with that?

Your fan,
Greg Brady

Dear Greg,

I wasn’t going to respond to this or any other non-forum communication on my staples rares list because (a) there were too many of them and (2) everyone’s points were pretty much valid. However, I decided to respond to this one because it hit a problem that I think a lot of people have when looking at reprinted cards and because Platinum Angel was the number one most requested card that I needed to add to my list.

Platinum Angel just isn’t very good right now. First, her upsides. She is a 4/4 flier, and, while she’s in play, you can’t lose the game. Better yet, your opponents can’t win the game. So, no Coalition Victory tricks for them! Now, the downsides. She’s only a 4/4. Sudden Death kills her. Two Shocks kill her. Incinerate plus Rod of Ruin kill her. Moreover, she’s an Artifact. Disenchant kills her. Seal of Primordium kills her. Come on, folks. Fury Charm kills her! Yes, it’s true that there are some decks that won’t be able to deal with her. For example, if a Black deck’s only creature removal is Terror, they should just concede and move on to game 2. Ditto for Green and/or White decks that don’t have any actual removal. In other words, if their only creature control is Glare of Subdual, Temporal Isolation, or Utopia Vow, Platinum Angel is golden. Or, I guess, platinum.

So, if she’s not great right now, why were so many people eager to see her on that staple rares list? Almost every single person who wrote to me mentioned the same thing: “I had this Tooth and Nail deck with Platinum Angel, and…” Well, of course, you did. Everyone did. Getting out the Angel and Leonin Abunas at the same time was pretty much game over unless the other guy had some fancy tricks. Or, you know, Wrath of God. When those two came down in tandem, your normal path to victory was to find a way to kill the Abunas and then find a way to kill the Angel. Meanwhile, the Angel was pounding you into submission.

You know what? There’s no Tooth and Nail in Standard right now. Platinum Angel hits the board with a huge target on her chest. Sure, there are ways to protect her. You could enchant her with Pentarch Ward or Shielding Plax.

Or, you could, um, I dunno, play better creatures for the same mana.

Often, when I write something like that last line, someone will later respond in the forums or in an e-mail that I seem to contradict myself when I say that you could “play better creatures for the same mana” while writing articles that feature creatures like Stalking Vengeance or Heartwood Storyteller. While it may seem that way, here’s why it’s not.

Playing the best spells doesn’t often cross paths with being creative while also being cheap. It’s true that, sometimes, you can find a Pro Tour-winning deck that’s cheap, but it doesn’t happen often. And, most PT-winning decks play the best spells. This column, though, is about getting the most for your Magic-playing budget and having fun plumbing the breadth and depth of the Magic cards out there. You want the best decks, money be damned? There are eleven other writers on this here site here to give you that. They’re better players than I am, and they’re better strategists than I am. Wanna find a use for those Rootwater Matriarchs that you dug up and nobody will take off of your hands? I’m your man. I just need a little of your time, some of your commons and uncommons, and maybe a small investment in some other rares that you’ll hopefully use later on, too.

Don’t be confused by my writing. I know most of the good cards from the bad and the great. I often defend a card just to be playing Devil’s Advocate.

(I actually have a lot of fun playing Devil’s Advocate. It keeps people on their toes. It also means that I often have to look at a discussion from a point of view that I may not really like. In the legal field, that’s crucial. You can’t delude yourself into think that all of your arguments will persuade a judge, jury, or appellate court, because the other side is going to try to shoot holes in them. Best to see the holes in your arguments and patch them up. I was so good at this, in fact, that one firm I worked for always made me play The Other Side when we’d practice for court or arguments on appeal. One attorney who had been at the firm many years longer than I had got so upset at how badly I punctured one of his arguments that he complained to one of the named partners. “He’s supposed to be playing Devil’s Advocate,” the partner told him. “Fine, but he’s more like In-House Counsel for Hell!” I found this out when the partner told me the story. He told me to take it as a compliment.)

Anyway, Platinum Angel may have been a showstopper a few years ago, but she’s not anymore. If she was a couple of bucks each, I might even say “Pick up a set. You never know.” However, for a dollar more, you can get Troll Ascetic. I’d rather see you do that.

Speaking of the staple rares lists…


I still don’t like those so-called staples lists of yours. They’re way too long. Quit copping out with the “it depends on what you like to play.” What are the top ten cards people should be trying to get?

Pretty Much Everyone

Dear PME,

You want a Top Ten Staples list with no copping out? Can’t be done, folks. If I did my copying and pasting properly, Gatherer says that there are currently 554 rares in Standard. That, however, doesn’t count the purple Timeshifted cards printed in Time Spiral packs at the same frequency as regular ol’ gold rares. There were 121 of those. Many of those, however, were reprints of very common commons, like Disenchant, or uncommons, like Willbender, that are still readily available. Just to be conservative, let’s say that sixty of those Timeshifted cards were true rares. So, we have, effectively, 614 rares in the current Standard environment. And you want me to narrow that to ten without any sort of qualification? I don’t think it can be done. Prove me wrong in the forum.

What I will do is this list of Ten or So Staples or Staple Groups. How’s that? Well, it’ll have to do. First, though, lemme say that Ravnica Block is on its way out. If you are a budget player, I can’t recommend that you spend any money on rares from that block if you don‘t already have solid plans for them. The reason is simple. You‘ll only be able to play those cards in Standard until October 19th. As for those solid plans I mentioned, they can certainly include playing in Extended or Legacy. Heck, if you have a deck that you know you’re gonna play every single week until 19-October-2007 and you’re confident that you’ll win enough packs to cover your expenses, that’s also a solid plan. Other than that, put your money in other cards. Cards like:

12) Reiterate; Word of Seizing; Take Possession; Commandeer; Clone: There’s just nothing like being able to use your opponent’s cards against them. They work so hard to cast them, and then you deflate their sense of accomplishment by turning the tables. Isn’t that just too much fun?

11) Glorious Anthem; Gaea’s Anthem; Bad Moon; Wild Pair; Saffi Eriksdotter; Adarkar Valkyrie; Field Marshall; Lord of the Undead; Goblin King; Elvish Champion; Grave Pact; Loxodon Warhammer; Gauntlets of Power: Can you see what these have in common? They all make your creatures harder to deal with. Some, like the Anthems, are obvious about it. If it’s yours, it’s bigger. Others are subtler. For example, they can try to kill your guys while Grave Pact or Saffi are out, but will it really help them? The final group, the Lords, require specific creature types, but you’d only buy them if you planned on playing those Tribes anyway.

10) Aeon Chronicler, Detritivore: These cards give you free effects that are huge. If they resolve, great for you. You also get a creature out of the deal. If not, you did some major damage that was effectively uncounterable.

9) Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir; Draining Whelk: The connection between these two may not be readily apparent other than the fact that they often show up together in Blue decks, but they both fundamentally change the way the game is played. Teferi is forthright about it. When he’s out, your opponent can only play spells when they can play Sorceries. No responding to anything. No Suspend cards. Nothing. The Whelk is subtler about it. The Whelk stops a spell cold. Okay, we’ve seen that before. However, Draining Whelk leaves behind a (usually) huge beast to deal with, one that’s normally ready to attack right away.

8) Bogardan Hellkite; Korlash, Heir to Blackblade; Teneb, the Harvester; Numot, the Devastator; Hypnotic Specter; Shimian Specter; Shivan Wumpus; Mystic Snake; Ohran Viper: These are all creatures that wreak havoc just because they’ve hit the board or hit the opponent. Even without Dragonstorm decks ruling the roost, the Hellkite can wipe out entire armies. You might be pooh-poohing the Wumpus, but, once it’s been dropped on you, you’ll respect it.

7) Mobilization; Dragon Roost; Sacred Mesa; Mirari: These guys reward you for playing slow and steady and having lots of extra mana.

6) Molten Disaster; Hurricane; Squall Line: You gotta love mass damage spells that also hit your opponent.

5) Ascendant Evincar; Crovax, Ascendant Hero; Jaya Ballard, Task Mage; Magus of the Scroll; Thunderblade Charge; Serrated Arrows; Royal Assassin; Seismic Assault: I lumped these all into reusable removal even though the two Crovax cards aren’t really being reused per se. The Evincar and the Hero can still wipe out more than one opposing creature. While they’re on board, they also keep more of the weenies off.

4) Birds of Paradise: There’s nothing like the original. Birds of Paradise means that everything you want to cast can be cast a turn earlier than normal, starting on turn 2. The faster you get going, the quicker you win the game.

3) Akroma, Angel of Wrath; Troll Ascetic; Epochrasite; Stuffy Doll; Seht’s Tiger; Stonewood Invocation; Chimeric Staff: These are all creatures that are next to impossible for an opponent to deal with or cards that make your creatures next-to-impossible to deal with. Yes, Wrath of God and Damnation take out Akroma and the Troll. They do that with, well, pretty much everyone. Most of the removal out there, though, can’t even be pointed at the Troll and Akroma. Of course, killing the E-Site is easy. Keeping him dead “is a job for Superman!” Heck, Wrath and Damnation don’t even faze Stuffy Doll. The Staff typically can’t be handled by those Sorceries, though. Meanwhile, Hobbes and the Invocation just make targeted removal (sans Split Second) useless.

2) Wrath of God; Damnation; Desolation Giant; Void; Teferi’s Moat; Sunscour; Flowstone Slide; Plague Wind: “Can you believe the nerve of this guy, putting Plague Wind in the same category as Wrath of God?” Okay, obviously, Wrath and Damnation are heads and tails above those others. Four mana. “Everyone go home. Except for you, Stuffy Doll. You can stay.” However, they all serve the same purpose: neutralizing the creatures on the board. (In the case of Void and Teferi’s Moat, they even do the job on some that aren’t yet in play.) Clearly, Void, Flowstone Slide, and Teferi’s Moat need help to do the complete job like Desolation Giant with Kicker, but they can do it. (The reason I didn’t put the Sixes in here is that those are damage-based spells. In other words, Protection from Red or Green can stop them. Flowstone Slide just doesn’t care if you have a 2/2 Paladin en-Vec on board. Just make X two or more, and he’s gone, too.)

1) Tenth Edition and Future Sight Dual Lands: I could write about this one every week. Being able to play more colors gives you more options. You could play two colors without dipping into rare lands, but you don’t get the benefit of speed. For example, you could make sure that each of your decks uses four Terramorphic Expanses. Fantastic. In fact, when we saw the Expanse, we budget folks screamed a collective “Eeeek!” like teenage girls when The Beatles finally showed up. We could now play any two (or three or four or five) colors we wanted for the cost of four commons. The thing is that, while our land is coming into play tapped and allowing us to only have two mana on turn 2 *yawn*, our opponent, who used Llanowar Wastes to get out Birds of Paradise on turn 1, has dropped a Caves of Koilos and has cast a Coalition Relic. This will allow him to get Teneb, the Harvester, out on turn 3. Guh.

Besides, as I keep pointing out, not only do these lands keep getting reprinted (even if they skip a Core set once in a while), you can use them anywhere to make your decks better. If you’re a budget player, you probably also play some casual, kitchen table games. No reason you can’t use those there, too. In fact, I find my rare lands to be so important that they’re the only cards that I don’t have grouped by the format in which they’re legal. I just have a fireproof box called “Lands.” Then, no matter what format I’m playing, I know where to find them.

There you have it. The final time I’m going to address this issue of whittling down the staple rares list. You know, until next time, that is.

Dear Mr. Romeo,

I’ve seen you mention a lot that you should budget for rares, but some of them, like the Shock lands from Ravnica, are really expensive. How do you budget for your rare purchases?



Let me start off by saying that, like nearly every other human being on the planet, I am better at giving advice than taking my own. For example, when Guildpact came out – Remember that set? The one with Godless Shrine, Stomping Ground, and Steam Vents? – what did I spend my first twenty bucks on? That’s right! A Godless Shrine! No, wait, I bought four of each of the Leylines for a buck each. Wouldn’t buying a Shrine have been a better use of my money? Uh, maybe. You see, as budget players, we often have to make sure that we get the most bang for our buck. In the long run, Godless Shrine will definitely be worth more to me. However, I had a chance to get twenty cards that I knew that I’d use. (Check my archives; other than the White Leyline, which I have in a 250+-card casual deck, I’ve used all of them in decks I’ve written about on this site, either maindeck or sideboard). In addition, having followed this game and the prices of cards on the secondary market for over eight years, I feel that I’m pretty good at figuring out when a card is underpriced. In the case of Leyline of the Void, I was dead on.

That’s what you have to do. Try to figure out where your money is best spent. For example, did you follow Evan Erwin’s advice and scoop up Tarmogoyfs when they were three bucks each? Or were you busy snapping up Nimbus Mazes at six bucks each? If you did the latter, you’re probably kicking yourself now that the T-Goyf is twenty-plus dollars for one.

I’m not saying that buying lands is a bad thing. In fact, as I said in response to the last e-mail, buying lands is your best long-term plan. Sometimes, though, for us budget conscious players, we have to try to get the best deal first…

If it’s something that we think we’ll play. Going back to the example of the Leylines, I only got them because I knew I’d build decks around the White, Blue, and Red ones, while the Green and Black ones would make fantastic sideboard cards. (I could also see a fun, casual deck using the Black Leyline in the maindeck if I was trying to use some universal reanimation strategy like Patriarch’s Bidding or Living End.) I don’t get all cards that look like bargains. I had a chance to get Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, for two dollars each when they first hit. You’d think that card would scream “Romeo! Build a deck around me!” Of course, it did, but I wasn’t sure that I’d play the deck beyond testing.

In a case like that, I get out the ol’ Proxy Pen (a.k.a. Sharpie) and I turn some common that I’ll never use into a fake version of the card. I want to play it before I commit my resources to it. It turned out that I did like Niv-Mizzet, and I got four copies, just not before they went up to four bucks each. So, did I waste eight dollars by waiting? Depends on how you look at it. From a budget player’s point of view, I didn’t have eight dollars to spend on four copies of a card that I’d never use at all. However, sixteen on four copies of a card that I would use is okay. Would I have rather gotten them for eight bucks? Let me answer that this way. Wouldn’t you rather have gotten your Tarmogoyfs for twelve dollars per set instead of eighty or a hundred?

So, how do I buy my rares? I try to get the most bang for my buck. That includes looking at how underpriced I think they are, how overpriced I think a card currently is (i.e. how far will it drop and how quickly), how much I might use it, and how much fun I’ll have using it. And I always keep in the back of my mind that I should be saving something to get a set of four of all dual lands.

Dear Mr. Romeo,

I’m pretty new to the game. One thing that confuses me is that writers will say “Lifegain sucks.” I’ve been trying to read a lot about Magic, and almost every writer that mentions it says that. I thought the point of the game was to get my opponent down from twenty life to zero. If he gains life, how can that suck for him? Please, help me understand this.

Thank you very much,


One reason that we Magic writers say things like “Lifegain sucks” is because we feel that we have to speak in absolutes. This makes us just like all other pundits and self-proclaimed experts. Think about the talking heads on TV discussing politics. Have you ever heard a Democrat say anything positive about President Bush? If you have, you’ve been watching more TV than I thought possible. I’m sure some Democrat has said something nice about him, but they usually speak in absolutes like “He’s the worst president ever.” On the other hand, when was the last time a Republican said anything nice about a Democrat? Again, it’s probably happened, but more likely you hear things like “Democrats want the terrorists to invade America.” Of course, they do.

My point is that a lot of people simply like to speak in absolutes. For one thing, it’s easy. I make an absolute statement, and I’m done with it. If you disagree with me, it’s because you want the illegal-alien terrorists to murder our children. See how I did that? Tricky, no? Now, you can’t disagree with me on one issue without first proving that you aren’t rooting for homicidal maniacs.

For another thing, it’s actually pretty dadgum hard to address all of the exceptions to any “rule.” Speaking in generalities gives us shorthand for the topic we’re discussing. Like when a woman says “All men are scum,” she probably doesn’t mean each and every man in the world is scum. She probably knows a couple that she really likes. She just doesn’t have time to list each of the males in the world who aren’t scum. Also, notice how I had to use “probably” two sentences ago. Can’t even be absolute on this issue, can I?

Specifically as this relates to the statement “Lifegain sucks,” what writers should mean is that “absent some other effect, simply gaining life is not the best use of your resources.” Doesn’t really roll off of the tongue, does it?

Still, why would we even say that? Like Eric pointed out, the object of the game in the vast majority of cases is to whittle your opponent’s life from twenty to zero. When he gains life, he makes your job that much harder. So, how can lifegain suck? The reason, as I stated above, is that, absent some other effect, simply gaining life is not the best use of your resources. Why is that? Because it’s easier for a player to take that life away from you than it is for you to replace the resources you used (typically, a card and time) to gain it.

First, though, let me give you two situations in which gaining life for the sheer point of gaining life is good. In one case, we have the Infinite Lifegain Strategy. There are a couple of decks out there that can gain as much life as numbers will allow. If you can’t reset the opponent’s life total from eleventy bajillion back down to a reasonable number, you can’t win via that avenue. The end of time would happen before you could attack that much. When I say “the end of time” here, I don’t mean the round would end. I mean, the actual end of the universe. Therefore, with your opponent at eleventh bajillion life, you’d have to win another way. You could deck them or hit them with Phage, the Untouchable. If your deck doesn’t pack Phage and you can’t deck them, lifegain in essence wins it for them. It doesn’t actually win it for them since no rule says that a player with X life wins the game, but such ginormous lifegain has made the game effectively impossible for you to win. The other way that lifegain can win you the game is if you’re playing with Test of Endurance.

Those are the extremes, though. When you’re just gaining life to be gaining life (and if it’s not an infinite amount), you’re not winning the game; you’re just not losing it. Those are two very different things, and you have to truly understand the difference to move ahead in your game playing.

Let’s take the typical case of a new player gaining lots of life: casting Stream of Life. We’ll say that you’re playing a Green deck with a little bit of Red so that you can cast some of those neat multi-colored creatures like Scab-Clan Mauler. You and your opponent are each at ten life. You get Stream of Life, tap eleven mana, and gain ten life. Woo hoo! All of that work he’s done to get you from twenty to ten, and you’ve undone it! Oh, the humanity! What’s your opponent going to do about that, huh?

Whoops. Looks like he just used his mana to cast Jedit Ojanen of Efrava. Gosh, it isn’t gonna take long for that guy to eat way at that life you gained, is it? Yuck.

So, to gain some life, you wasted a card and a turn. Instead, you could have cast two Spectral Forces. You could have cast Blaze for the win. You could have done thousands of other things that would have actually won you the game instead of doing something that just kept you from losing the game for a couple of more turns.

What I said, though, was that, absent some other effect, simply gaining life is not the best use of your resources. Does this mean that there are times that a little lifegain can be a good thing? Heckfar (that’s “heck fire” to those of you above the Manson-Nixon line), yeah. All we have to do is look at two four-mana cards from Ravnica, Faith’s Fetters and Loxodon Hierarch. Each one gained its controller four life when it came into play. Four mana. Four life. You’d play it just for that, right? Wrong. Again, gaining life just to gain life wouldn’t be a very good play. However, look what that lifegain came attached to. In the case of the Fetters, it could shut down the activated ability of any permanent. This wasn’t just an overcosted Arrest, as some “experts” swung and whiffed. This thing stopped players from activating and attaching Equipment, from using nasty abilities on creatures, and even stopped other Enchantments like Glare of Subdual and Greater Good. Man, those are just ones that start with G. Meanwhile, the Hierarch gave you an efficient 4/4 body for that four mana as well as the possibility of regenerating your entire team. In each case, the lifegain only made the cards better. Often, that four life, combined with what else the card could do, was too much for the opposing deck to deal with.

There you have it, Eric. That’s why we “experts” say that “lifegain sucks.” We don’t have the time to write all of that each and every time we talk about lifegain. So, we just say “lifegain sucks.” Tune in next time when I explain “Auras suck” and “rap sucks.”

Mr. Romeo,

I’ve played you several times online, and you’ve conceded to me almost every time? Why do you do that? Why don’t you finish out the games? If I’ve done something to upset you, please, let me know.

That Guy

First of all, unless you’ve clicked the green check mark at the end of game before my system would let post “Good game,” I have said at a minimum “gg” every time I’ve played. Second, let me say how slick that was that you got to point out to the entire world how you beat almost every time we’ve played. Grrr. (Just tweaking him, folks. I really don’t care about my W-L record in the testing rooms. I care about test results.) Third, if you’d done something to upset me, I would have blocked you so that you couldn’t even join my games.

The reason I concede online is the same reason that I concede in real life. If I can’t possibly win and the situation is such that I can’t even get decent testing data from continuing to play, I’m not going to waste any more of my time.

There is, however, an interesting bias in point of view of the person asking the question as evidenced by the phrase “finish out the games[.]” It’s obvious that some people online don’t consider a game “complete” unless they actually deal the fatal blow to their opponent. I find this quite interesting because I have never been a part of nor seen or heard another player in real-life say anything like “Oh, come on. Don’t concede. Just play it out.” I’ve heard people say “You wanna play another game just for fun?” Never, though, have I heard a player who was about to win through concession ask the loser to keep playing.

I don’t know why, but this loathing of concessions is peculiar to the online game. If someone is doing their Masters or Ph.D. thesis in Sociology or Group Psychology or whatever subject to which this might pertain, you might want to try to answer this question: why do online Magic players appear to detest concessions in such overwhelmingly significant numbers as compared to real-life players? When you find out, lemme know, mmm-kay? Thanks.

Now, I can understand you not wanting people to concede at the first sight of a counterspell or an expensive rare spell if you’re trying to get some testing done. If that happens a lot and it bothers you, you need to find a group of folks who will help you test. However, if people are conceding to you because you’ve got the game won, stop “complaining” about it. Be happy. Your deck has done what you want it to do.

Hello, Chris,

My name is Shawn, and I’m the father of six-year-old twin girls. I also have a nine-year-old son. I am one of those budget players that has followed your advice for a few years now regarding deck sets of commons and uncommons. I save up over the course of the four months between sets, and I buy four of each common and uncommon as they come out. By the way, did I mention that I have three kids? I don’t have any money for rares. I get those deck sets, and that’s it. Sometimes, I feel like George Jetson in the opening of The Jetsons. I’m lucky if I have ten bucks at the end of the week. If I do, I spend it on my entrance fee for the tournament (five), and Taco Bell during the tournament.

My question is this: are you ever going to write about decks that don’t contain rares? I’d really like to see something for people like me, a faithful reader who’s been getting the commons and uncommons but can’t get much else.



I’ve actually gotten this question a lot over the past six or so years. “How can you call yourself a budget writer when all of your decks have rares in them?” The answer is that, to me, anyway, there is a difference between peasant (or pauper) and budget. I’ve never been against spending money on rares. Even when I first started playing this game, I had rares. You get one rare per pack. If I bought four packs, I had four rares. What bothered me about the tournament scene was that it seemed that you could only compete if you had gone out and bought tons more rares than you’d get in packs. Anytime that anyone tried to help me with a deck I was designing, it seemed to start with adding four Rishadan Ports, four Masticores, etc. I had rent to pay. I couldn’t afford hundreds of dollars for all of those cards. I still had rares, though. I looked for ways to use what I had to at least be competitive.

However, I am going to be more conscientious about writing about so-called “peasant” decks (i.e. ones without rares). Except on special occasions, though, don’t expect to see any “pauper” (i.e. commons-only) decks from me. I like my uncommons too much.

That’s all for this week except for my obligatory health update. It seems that my current uber-specialist has figured out what’s wrong. It seems that there’s been a buildup of fluid in my left inner ear. Not my middle ear; my inner ear. So, no, he can’t put tubes in it like when you were three and had an ear infection. I had a test last week that confirmed this buildup. It seems funny that a little fluid could cause so many problems. However, as he explains it, the fluid buildup does two or three things. First, it messes with the signals going from the cochlea to the nerve that comes out of the cochlea and goes into the brain. Second, it just makes it harder for the inner ear to do its job, period. Third, and worst of all, it presses on the brain. Pressing on the brain is just never a good thing. Anyway, it looks like the drugs he has me on are working, but they work very slowly. If everything goes, perfectly, I should be as good as I was before within two weeks.

Finally, I couldn’t find a way to work in this ScarJo picture. Just enjoy it. All I can say is that I hope she never thinks that she has to lose weight. I’d hate to see her do a Linsday Lohan. I mean, remember when Lindsay looked real, with curves and everything? So sad.

Chris Romeo