Good Times In St. Louis – A Grand Prix Report *12th*

Kyle placed highly at Grand Prix: St. Louis… and this is his story. Entertaining, enlightening, and a lot of fun, this excellent report packs strategy and good times in equal measure. The Pro Tour Qualifiers for PT: Kobe are still in full swing… Kyle’s insight into Coldsnap Draft may make the difference between a Top 8 pin and a Blue Envelope.

My father, mother, brother, and I were all gathered together, sitting in the dark theatre. My best friend at the time, Miguel, had promised it would be worth it. He described them as “huge awesome jugs.” My mouth was watering in anticipation. As we all huddled around him at lunch, he recalled the joyous experience…

“She pulled off her robe to reveal her huge awesome jugs.”

Everyone – even Jose, who hardly spoke English – was captivated by his words. I was obsessed with breasts. I was at that age in 6th grade, and the promise of a free peek at a family movie motivated me to get the whole gang out to see it…

First and foremost my last name is pronounced Sawn-chez, not Sain-chez, not Sand-chez, not Saan-chez, and never Sand-cheese.

My wingman for this tournament was none other than Taylor “The Turtle” Webb. If you’ve ever seen a goofy blonde kid in a green Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirt, chances are it was Taylor. He took on the bulk of the driving, eight hours on the way there and another seven on the way back. We were also in his Explorer, so his contribution to the team was priceless. The other person who joined us for the long journey is a friend of Taylor’s. I can’t remember his name for the life of me, so I will refer to him as X from here on out.

TWebb and I have both achieved success in the past two North American Grand Prixes, and we both had high hopes for one of us to repeat. Little did we know of the tragedy that was coming our way…

My trip started exactly four hours and ten minutes earlier than Webb’s and X’s. I had to make the three-hour drive to Houston from San Antonio in order to grab my seat in the Explorer.

For this massive expedition we decided to share it in legs. While one was driving, two could sleep with the seats pushed down in the back. This would be fine, except that X took his shorts and shirt off. His reasoning? Well, X can’t sleep with a shirt and shorts on, so I was stuck with my homophobia while we lay sprawled out in the back.

After getting lost in St. Charles for a couple of hours, we find the convention center and the Fairfield Inn across the street. Quite the bargain, as it costs half the price of the Embassy. We go inside to check in, and we are informed that we can’t do this before three. Billy called and said he needed a ride from the Greyhound station in St. Louis. I used the computer in the Lobby to print out directions. I took this time to read whatever articles were up that day, and then it happened. With the rain pouring outside, a crack of lightning resounded through the half-full lobby. Everything went dark. Thankfully, I had already downloaded the directions first. It was around 12, and X was hungry, so we headed back to the car to go get some food.

“Webb, can I drive?”

“Uh, sure. X, give him the keys.”


“The car keys…?”

“I thought I gave them to you?”


“Well, I don’t have them!”


“Don’t look at me. I left them in the car for you guys when I went to check in…”

The next twenty minutes were spent inside the hotel, waiting for the hurricane-like rain to go away. After that we got three clothes hangers from one of the maids. X initially had the idea, because he saw a guy in his study group do it once. After wasting another thirty minutes trying that, we called a pop-a-lock person.

Let me tell you, this guy was a pro. Probably ex-military. He pulls up in a white mini-van, circles the parking lot, and eventually parks so he blocks us in. He climbs out of the car and pulls his pants up over his uniquely large belly. He walks up to us and asks, “Who is the owner of the vehicle?” Twebb responds, “I am.” After a brief moment of staring us down to try and get a tell, he wobbles back to his van. He comes back with a weird pump device and asks, “Where in the vehicle are the keys located?” I tell him they are laying on the median, and he goes to work. He inserts the pump device in the door lock, and starts pumping. The door opening widens, and he pulls out a two-foot long pole out of his pocket. He inserts it through the opening, and unlocks the car.

He immediately asks for the sixty dollars, and then proceeds to engage us in small talk for the next three minutes. He asks us what we are doing in town. We tell him it’s for Magic, and give him the standard low-down on the game and what we are playing for. He wishes us good luck as he finishes his cigarette, and drives off to his next $60 victim. He spent a total of five minutes there, and made $60. Nice rake.

After we picked Billy up from the Greyhound station in the center of St. Louis, we came back to the hotel and checked in. I took a much-needed shower, and we headed over to the site to get a couple of drafts in.

The teams were Billy, Twebb, and myself, on J Evan Dean (JED), Kyle Smith, and another Canadian. I drafted a cool RW aggro deck, featuring a ton of two-drops and some cheap removal with four Surging Flames and a pair of Lightning Storms. I didn’t see any Shackles during the entire draft, which is the main reason this archetype is good. I beat Evan in the first round, and mulliganed to five in game 3 against the other KSmith. I was actually one mana away from killing him on the last turn with Lightning Serpent. Billy went 3-0 with an Aurochs Herd deck, a card he wouldn’t stop talking about all weekend. I still wasn’t sold.

Don’t get me wrong… it’s a good card that will dominate in a lot of the slower matchups. I just really like aggro decks in this format, and will draft them over the control-type decks. There really isn’t much cheap removal to justify the control decks, especially in Green. Drafting something like six of those guys, while good, seems to “clunk up” the deck. I prefer the snow-based Green decks, where you take Boreal Centaurs over the Herd… though I’m probably wrong. We’ll see as the format develops. More on him later.

Someone shouted, “Hey, Sainchez, lets draft” from across the room. I turned my head and it was Cedric Phillips, so we did.

This draft was Twebb, Cedric Phillips, and myself facing off against JED, Ksmith, and Tobey (a good Texas player). I drafted a decent White/Green deck, with four Shackles, two Juniper Order Ranger, and two Jotun Owl Keeper, along with all the standard two-drops. I went 3-0 in this draft, no thanks to Cedric. He was playing Woolly Razorback, a.k.a. Pumba (Lion King… get it?). Looking back on it, I guess he’s not that bad… Ced had cool little tricks like Vanish Into Memory to go with it. I’m not sold on that card either, although I like to shout ‘Pumba!’ whenever he comes into play.

Gabe Wall’s cube was pretty fun to watch. At one point some guy tapped me on the shoulder in amazement and said, “OMG are they playing for the cards?!” At first I thought he was just making a bad joke, but then after watching him for a while I found out he was really just an idiot.

After the draft finished, SWK, Ced, Twebb, JED, and the Canadians all went to Denny’s to celebrate. X joined us later after Twebb went to pick him up. I had an interesting non-alcoholic drink called Razzala. SWK and Ced were at opposite ends of the table, and controlled the talk throughout the entire meal. Mostly talking about their battles at Mirrodin block PTQs, and how SWK beat him with Slith Firewalkers. I sipped on my Razzala and laughed whenever anyone else did, but really I was in my own world. We had finished all of the X-Men cartoon series from the 90’s, and I didn’t know what would come next. Professor X died. I felt alone and sequestered. So many questions un-answered. I will say that Jubilee is probably my favorite fictional character to hate. Actually, thinking about it, her and Jar Jar Binks are probably on about the same level… but just barely.

The cute blondes that had to use the restroom while I was there seemed never-ending. I counted six by the time we left. Of course, I was the only one at the table who noticed. Apparently, all other Magic players don’t have hormones, or perhaps they put all of them on hold during Magic tournaments. I wish I was old enough to go out to the bars with the older crowd, but alas I just sat there and enjoyed my Strawberry-Cherry tasting Razzala.

Another topic that I’d like to talk about is how girls at Magic tournaments seem hotter than they really are, especially when the day starts to drag on. The six that I saw on Friday evening turned into an eight by Saturday night. Sunday afternoon, she was off the charts.

Blah blah blah sealed part, here’s my pool, then my deck.

“Building Ain’t Easy.”

“I Build For You.”

“Every Time I Look At You, All I Do Is Build.”

“Golgari Buildmage.”

“Together We Build.”


“Oh my God, Becky… look at her build. It is sooo big.”

“If a build leaves St. Louis a 9:15am, and another build leave Atlanta at 10am. Find build.”

“Build Song.”

“Build from the Loam.”

A pretty simple build… the only card I really wanted to play was Terrarion. I couldn’t find a card to cut for it, so I just didn’t play it. There are a lot of “tricks” in this deck – ways to outplay your opponent. I liked this most of all. I actually didn’t know I was playing four Blue spells – I thought I was only splashing for the three mono-colored ones. I definitely would have found room for an extra Island or Terrarion if I had caught myself earlier.

During my short bye period, I played Billy in eight or nine games. He had a ridiculous pool, but his build was a little off. Whenever you see Niv-Mizzet and Drooling Groodion as your six-drops, you know your mana is going to be a little sketchy. I won maybe six of those games, so I thought my deck was decent.

Highlights from Day 1

JED was wearing swim trunks that day. He quickly went 1-2 drop and was out of the competition before all of the bye players came in. Funny thing is that after every round he would ask me if I wanted to go swimming. I was looking forward to it… too bad I made Day 2. I loaned him my camera to take some pictures, since he had nothing else to do.

Cute boat in the background

Cedric digging for gold


Lucky Day 1 Shirt!

Nice pose...

So THAT'S what Canadians look like...

The face of someone who doesn't make Day 2

Round 2
I played against Zac Hill, eventual finalist from this tournament. I didn’t recognize him until I signed the slip at the end of the match. The name ringed a bell, but I couldn’t place my finger on it. He played well and I mulliganed a lot in game 2, so that was match. I had a good vibe about today for some reason. I wasn’t sure why, but I wanted to keep playing.

Round 5
I played against Ben Lundquist, fellow Savage Beatdown clan member. Game 1 took about twenty minutes and was very close. I was low on life, and he had a Stratozeppelid and Stinkweed Imp in play. He killed my Elvish Skysweeper earlier in the game, with a Douse in Gloom, so it was smiling at me from the graveyard. I was down to two life and had Golgari Guildmage in play. I created a soft blocking lock by dredging, then sacrificing Shambling Shell to get Mourning Thrull back each turn. I made this play instead of going for Elvish Skysweeper initially, because I didn’t have enough mana. Once I did, I needed to gain life to limit the number of out he could draw. After I was at a safe six life, I sacrificed the Guildmage to get back a Helium Squirter to lock the air up with Shambling Shell. I then went on the aggressive with a flying Cytospawn Shambler and Drooling Groodion, and finished the game with three cards left in my library.

Game 2 I got a very aggressive draw with turn 2 Guildmage, turn 3 Shambling Shell on the play. He killed my Guildmage with a Seal of Fire. I decided not to save it with Shambling Shell, so I could avoid the two-for-two situation. If he wanted to save himself the three damage from Shambling Shell, he would have to kill it with the Douse in Gloom in his hand, and then I could put a counter on my Euthanist. I played a Stratozeppelid with him around ten life, and he couldn’t deal with it (thanks to Shambling Shell).

Round 8
I played against Joel Manger, a Missouri native. His tiebreakers were sitting at .59, so he conceded to me since I was still a long-shot for Day 2. A really nice guy. We played game 1 for fun, and I ended up beating him with a heavy removal hand.

While round 8 was ending, we did an 8-man single elimination draft. I had a good G/W/u snow deck, splashing for the three-color rare. I had four Boreal Centaurs and six snow lands, so I was very happy with my deck. I lost to GerryT’s insane near mono-Green deck and (extreme manascrew) in the semifinals.

Then standings went up. Ced told me I still had a shot of making it before the round, but I didn’t believe him. I walked over after everyone had cleared out to see where I actually ended up.

64th?!!?!?!?!?!?!!? WTF OMG 293hgkl; jwe/hi2 oiq3j wplol TRICKED u3oj2 h3jt908 ghub

That was pretty much my reaction when I saw it.

I ran around the room giving everyone High-Fives, and I shouted my complete suck-out across the event hall. Then Star Wars Kid came up, and said, “I don’t get it… I was 67th going into round 8, and now I’m 66th.”

I told him that I was 93rd going in and I ended up 64th, and he started to cry.

There were a handful of three-bye players that I sucked out against, including SWK, Pelcak, Tormos, and Twebb. Sorry, guys.

For our dining pleasure, we ate at The Waffle House. The food quality isn’t very high, in case you’ve never been there. Knowing this, I ordered pork chops covered with cheese, onion, and grease. It was good. However, my colon is still yelling at me because of it.

After eating, Twebb dropped me off to get some sleep at the hotel, while they went to draft again.

Day 2

Jubilation didn’t wake me up this time. It was the early Sun peeking through thin drapes that awoke me. That, and the lethal combination of Billy and X’s snoring. It was around 6:30am. Unwilling to wake everyone up by taking a shower, I decided to go and sleep inside the bathroom. Bad idea. I was un-aware that X took a shower at around 2am, so the floor and tub was still wet. Of course, I was wearing thick socks so I couldn’t tell. I crawled into the tub, and in a matter of seconds I was all wet. So I took a shower. Screw Billy, screw X, screw Twebb, screw Tobey. I hope they all wake up.

They didn’t.

“Hey Kyle Sainchez, are you gonna make more money than me at this GP too?” said Antonino De Rosa.

I replied, “It’s Sawnchez. I’ll try, but I’m in 64th right now. You?”

“Yah, you got no chance.”

De Rosa claimed that he had never seen any of the Coldsnap cards, so he borrowed a kid’s common/uncommon folder and flipped through as various people tried explaining what cards were good.


I hunted down his Pro Player card, and asked him to sign it. He did the standard, “Good Luck – Antonino De Rosa.” Thanks for personalizing it… it really feels like he meant it. JED asked me if I was barning Ant now, but I assured him that Billy was still Number One.

Coldsnap Deck 1

2 Grim Harvest
Krovikan Rot
Feast of Flesh
2 Krovikan Whispers
3 Perilous Research
1 Thermal Flux
2 Mishra’s Bauble
Stromgald Crusader
Krovikan Scoundrel
2 Garza’s Assassin
2 Gutless Ghoul
Frost Raptor
Zombie Musher
Void Maw
Rimefeather Owl

2 Snow-Covered Island
Snow-Covered Swamp
Tresserhorn Stinks (heh)
5 Island
8 Swamp

Quite the masterpiece, if I do say so myself.

I first picked Garza’s Assassin. Then I got passed one. At this point my strategy shifted to getting as many Grim Harvest and cyclers as possible, to increase my chances of getting that broken combo. It worked out well.

My sideboard had two Krovikan Scoundrel, three Rimebound Dead, and three Chilling Shade. My plan was to board in a Scoundrel against any aggro decks, and board out Bauble. I really like the Scoundrel a lot. He trades with all the good two- and three-drops, and it’s hard to lose when you block and sacrifice it to Perilous Research.

It’s kind of funny that the only Mexican in Day 2 got double Garza’s Assassin, eh? Because Garza is a Mexican surname. My last name is Sanchez, so I’m Mexican. Get it?

Round 9
Bill Stark, a fellow writer for another website. Garza’s Assassin didn’t disappoint in this matchup. He wasn’t playing Black, which is all that mattered. He actually called it when I played my third Swamp on turn 5. Garza’s Assassin is very good… I didn’t know how good until I recovered it and still wasn’t anywhere close to losing.

Round 10
William Reiff. He was an amateur, so we talked about the prize and all that good stuff. He played turn 1 Swamp and I winced. My Assassins weren’t going to be very good in this matchup so I had to rely on my other two bombs to take care of him. His play was a little slower than normal, so to abuse this I played very fast to throw him off. This actually won me game 2, when he had the on-the-board kill in a cluttered game. Due to my fast play he also increased his speed to try and match mine, so he missed it. I topdecked Rimefeather Owl, and killed him several turns later with the Owl, after he chump-blocked with Chilling Shade.

Round 11
Shouta Yasooka, current leader in the Player of the Year race. He came out with a very quick start, and I was stuck on two Island and two Swamp with double Assassin in hand. My life fell quickly to his speedy White deck. He plays very quickly, and rushes his opponents. This is a fine strategy, but I lost game 1 because of it. I was at four, and he was at fourteen. His board was clear except for a freshly cast Herald of Leshrac. I had a 7/7 Owl in play. I didn’t think much before I attacked and made some snow lands, putting him to four. Then cast a Gutless Ghoul with no mana open. He took control of one of my lands and attacked… then cast Kjeldoran War Cry. Ugh, this play error made me really mad, and almost put me on tilt. During sideboarding I told myself to buckle down and slow my play, no matter how much he rushes me. I had a lot of confidence in this matchup, as he was playing an almost mono-White deck, splashing Blue for Frost Raptor and Black for Herald of Leshrac.

Game 2 saw me come out quickly with turn 2 Crusader, turn 3 Assassin. He can’t keep up. I continue the beats with turn 4 Krovikan Scoundrel. The game goes on longer, but he still has no answer for my two-a-turn from my Crusader. At one point he forgets to Recover his Krovikan Rot, but it didn’t matter anyway. I recovered Garza’s Assassin twice during this game, but thanks to Gutless Ghoul I stayed at a high enough life.

I looked down at my signed Ant card, and it gave me a much needed power boost. I felt invincible.

Game 3 was very close. We both had very quick starts, with turn 2 and 3 creatures, and we started racing. We both fumbled on our fifth mana, and he had to leave one of his bears back to try and stop the bleeding. I killed it with my Krovikan Rot, swung back, and played another guy. We both drew out of our mana problems, and the score was Yasooka – 9, Sanchez – 10. He played out an Adarkar Valkyrie when I had a Krovikan Whispers in my hand. I thought about setting up the combo with the Assassin, but instead just sac’d it on my upkeep to a Perilous Research, avoid dropping low on life and giving him outs. He played a second Valkyrie, but thankfully I had drawn into one of my Assassins. I eventually cast Void Maw. He drew his next card and offered me his hand.

When round 11 standings were going up, De Rosa walked by.

“Hey Saanchez, did you win that one?”

“Sawnchez. Yah, but I made a mistake game 1.”

He went on about how he didn’t know Phobian Phantasm had flying, blah blah blah…

I was still upset with myself over my error in game 1, but I was very happy that I was only two wins away from Top 8.

Coldsnap Deck 2

Mishra’s Bauble
Krovikan Rot
Fest of Flesh
Hibernation’s End
4 Surging Might
Boreal Druid
2 Krovikan Scoundrel
Boreal Centaur
2 Phobian Phantasm
Zombie Musher
Gutless Ghoul
2 Simian Brawler
Karplusan Strider
Balduvian Fallen
Ronom Hulk
2 Arctic Nishoba

8 Forest
9 Swamp

I had a lot of options in the sideboard. I had a Snow-Cover Island and Snow-Covered Plains, along with an Into the North (which I didn’t play because of my intensive cumulative upkeep costs). I picked up an early Sek’Kuar, Deathkeeper with intentions of splashing it with a Snow-Covered Mountain. I never found one, so that was out of the question. I also had a Blizzard Specter to go with the Snow-Covered Island, but chose not to play it. I really wanted to board in Freyalise’s Radiance against a heavy snow deck, but I never ran into one. All in all, I was happy with the deck. I wanted to avoid Shuhei, Shimura, and Ced, because they were the top players in this pod. I was confident that I could win my first two and then ID in the last round.

Round 12
Adam Boyd. He was piloting a R/G deck with three Icefalls. This hurt my upkeep costs, so I boarded in an extra land to fight this. These games weren’t that interesting, and very one-sided. He won game 1 by attacking a lot, and then I won game 2 by attacking a lot. Neither of us put up a good fight in the process. This trend continued in game 3, as I won on the back of my Simian Brawlers.

Round 13
Vipul Kothari, a professional poker player. He was 9-2-1 and had to win out to make Top 8. He also informed me that his flight was leaving at 7:30 so he could go to Las Vegas to play in the WSOP. He got fourth at an earlier event this year, and was in St. Louis visiting a friend when he heard about the GP. I asked him if he would concede to me since he’s got to leave anyway and didn’t even have enough time to draft in the Top 8, but he was also trying to qualify for Kobe. Fair enough. He was sitting next to me in the draft, so I had a good idea of what he had… or so I thought. Turns out he was also G/B, and got a lot of goodies in pack 2.

Game 1 was no contest, as I mulliganed and had a very slow start. He eventually got up to six mana and was pulling out Aurochs Herd after Aurochs Herd.

Game 2, and I thought about boarding in Blizzard Specter. If he didn’t Krovikan Rot it away, it would probably win the game for me by either keeping him off six mana, or forcing him to discard his heavy mana Aurochs. I decided not to risk it, since I was on the play, and I simply hoped for a good aggro draw. Once I saw more of his deck, then I could make that decision.

I felt like this game went very well for me. I curved out nicely and ended up playing nearly half my deck. I got him to low life early with a Ronom Hulk, two Simian Brawlers, and a Phobian Phantasm, and expected to finish him off with my Hibernation’s End. I pulled out my best creature at each slot every turn up to turn 6, when I got Arctic Nishoba. He had his own little engine going, and managed to stop all of my damage with six Aurochs Herd. Yup. Six of them. I got him down to two, and had a Boreal Druid and Krovikan Scoundrel in play, facing off against his two Aurochs Herd, Balduvian Fallen, and three Bull Aurochs. He had lethal on the board one turn, and simply attacked with his Fallen and two Herd. Why? I don’t know, but I was counting on him to do that because I had a Feast in Flesh and Surging Might to kill one of his blockers, and still had enough to swing past another blocker, and Krovikan Rot to throw off his damage. It was a good play on his part… just very unexpected that he would slow-roll the kill.

In between the round there was a lot of technical problems so it took something like seven hours to do the pairings by hand. They had everyone in the same pod sit at the same table, and then figured out what the possible pairings could be. Shuhei and Vipul were the 2-0 players in the pod, and I told him that Vipul couldn’t draw because he was X-2-1. Shuhei fell out of his chair and fainted! His deck wasn’t very good compared to Vipul’s, so I’m surprised that he actually made it.

Round 14
Ichirou Shimura. Ugh, another Japanese player. I like the Japanese players… they are all fun-loving, and they have a lighthearted attitude, even when they lose. I especially like their reactions to cards, and even though they can’t speak very much English they can still communicate via all of their hand gestures and facial reactions. Shimura and I traded mulliganed games, and we headed to a third.

I mulliganed to 4 and kept a hand of Simian Brawler, Forest, Boreal Druid, Simian Brawler. I drew into a Karplusan Strider, and sighed as I cast turn 1 Druid. I drew a Swamp next turn, and attacked for one. Next turn I drew into a Surging Might. I thought a little about how convenient that the only removal spells I saw were Chill to the Bone and Krovikan Rot, so I played the Might on the Druid… and rippled into another, making him a 5/5. I beat in for the next two turns, and Shimura chumped once. I attacked again, and he blocked with his Scoundrel and a Thermopod. I Krovikan Rot his Scoundrel, and his Thermopod died. On his turn he played another Thermopod, gave it haste, and attacked, putting me to twelve. I attacked him down to nine, played a Krovikan Scoundrel, and passed with two Simian Brawlers, Karplusan Strider, and Arctic Nishoba in hand. He played his sixth land, and sacrificed his Thermopod after attacking to play a Rimescale Dragon. I tried to think of an out but couldn’t, so I drew for my turn. It was another Surging Might. After some calculating, I put it on the Druid with the hope of rippling into my last copy. I flipped once, twice, thrice. At this point, he looked at me and smiled… and I flipped over the top card with my hand over it.

I peeked, and flipped it over as my last Surging Might.

He threw himself back in his chair. He couldn’t believe it. I attacked with my 9/9 Druid, and he was forced to chump with his Dragon. In my haste I missed the attack with the Scoundrel, which would be important down the line.

This was about halfway through the game. On his turn, he cast Phyrexian Snowcrusher and a Martyr of Ashes. On my turn I attacked, and he blocked with Martyr. I cast my Strider with the Forest I just drew. On his turn he cast Stalking Yeti to kill my Scoundrel, and then attacked with the 6/5 to put me at six. I attacked with my Strider, putting him to six on my turn. I didn’t want to attack with the 9/9 just in case he has, or draws into, the Chill to the Bone I saw game 1, so I just played my Simian Brawler and passed. My Druid traded with his Snowcrusher, along with a Mouth of Ronom, and he played a different Yeti. The board was his Ohran Yeti and Stalking Yeti against my Strider and Brawler. I attacked with Strider and Brawler, and he double-blocked my Strider. I cast my second Brawler. Life totals are now Shimura – 3 Me – 6.

He used the Chill to the Bone that I thought he had on my second Brawler, and said go. I had drawn a land the previous turn, which I was saving in case he decided to return his Yeti, so I attacked. He blocked, and I pumped the Brawler. He drew a Goblin Rimerunner, and chumped for a turn before losing.

Nice mulligan to 4.

The day was over, and I checked the standings to see that I had finished 12th. Billy hugged me, and at that moment I knew the fourteen-hour drive there had been worth it. For the fourteen-hour drive back, however, I needed a little more…

I found a Tim Aten player card on the floor, so I asked him to sign it for me, to go along with my De Rosa card. He told me he didn’t have a sharpie. After days of looking and asking random people that were walking by, I got a permanent marker the size of my forearm from one of the dealers. Tim signed it:

“I hope I die – Tim Aten

That would be good enough for the drive back… Thanks, Tim!

Jack Dawson had just won a ticket on the great luxurious ship, and was running to make the trip as the camera panned across the mighty dock filled with hundreds waving their final goodbyes to their loved ones. The movie rushed by, up until the time where Rose bared all to let Jack draw her nude.

The moment I had waited for was upon me.

I looked up at my father, to see his reaction to the miraculous event. He was smiling, and had his eyes glued to the screen. Good ol’ Dad. I heard a slap from the other side of him, no doubt my Mom hitting him for his brief epiphany. It was glorious, round, full, and wholesome. I fell asleep in the second half of the movie around the time that Jack and Rose were running from the rushing water (a.k.a. the entire second half of the movie). I woke later, during the “never let go” scene, but I didn’t understand what was going on.

Apparently, the ship sank.

Later, we all went to eat wings across the street. The wing place is another story, but I wound up getting spicy wing sauce in my nose and I had to go to the med clinic down the street.

That day really stands out in my mind. Not because it was the first time I saw boobies – I had seen my next-door neighbor’s when I was eight, so I was a breast pro by this time. I just remember them being so much bigger the first time. I recently re-watched Titanic, and I was somewhat disappointed by the nude scene. Its always good to see boobs, but I am just fascinated about how much bigger they were to me as a kid. Ah, the joys of being young and naive.

The next day in class, it was the hot topic. Even Jose, who rarely went to see movies, had seen it. Miguel and I went back and forth about which bosom was better. I argued for the left, since the right was below the sketch-board, but he insisted that the right was the superior bosom.

The teacher walked up.

“Mr. Sanchez, what are you boys talking about…?”

Thanks for reading.


1) “All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands” by Surfjan Stevens
2) “Art Star” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
3) “Oh Karissa How I Miss Ya” by Hellogoodbye
4) “Duality” by DJ Krush & DJ Shadow
5) “Everything in its Wrong Place” by Radiohead