Sunday, April 22, 2007

Weekend Update (marathon 4-hour post!)

Lots of things to update: sports, ankle, poker, Stacey, blogging...

This weekend started out a lot of fun. Got off work on Friday early and remembered to use up the rest of my $10 iTunes gift card from my sister. I had my eyez set on "All Eyez On Me" the two-disc compilation by Tupac.

I don't have enough good rap, and what's better than some of Tupac's best? I smoked a blunt and listened to the rhymes of Tupac while catching the first game of the Red Sox/Yankees series (OK, I don't smoke, but it just sounded right). Now, I'm not the biggest fan of watching baseball on TV (or in person, for that matter), but watching the Red Sox and Yankees play is always a good show. Their rivalry is right up there with any rivalry in sports. I root for the Red Sox primarily because I can't stand the Yankees. When you have an unlimited budget, and it seems like half of your team is going to the Hall of Fame, where is the challenge?! Now, the Red Sox aren't much better, I'm pretty sure they are the 2nd biggest spending team--but the only reason for that is because they are trying to compete with the Yankees.

The Yankees had the game in the bag and Alex Rodriguez had hit two more homeruns to add to his amazing April. The Yanks had their Hall of Fame closer, Mariano Rivera, in to close the game out, when the craziness started to happen. Boston scored five or six runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to come from behind and win the game. Feeling good about the game, I decided to go hot tub down in South Lake, then head to the casinos to play poker.

The hot tub was empty, and I soaked in the tub while contemplating writing and life. I keep having ideas for characters to base a story around, but whenever I start writing I get all caught up on the background--which doesn't make for very entertaining writing. I'll have to work on just diving in and writing the entertaining parts, then weaving in the history as I go. While contemplating life, I decided that I'm pretty sure I want to move back to Seattle come November or so. It could be earlier than that, it could be later, but I don't really want to miss out on friends and their lives anymore. Knowing that I'll be leaving Tahoe then also impresses on me how important it will be to soak up all of Tahoe while I can. That means lots of hiking, lots of swimming, and hopefully lots more pictures :)

I started to prune in the hot tub, so it was time to move on to the casino. The obvious problem being, 'how do I change out of my swim trunks?' I ended up parking in a dark and gloomy corner of the casino parking structure, where things much worse than getting naked had been going on. I looked around and didn't see any movement, so I wriggled and squirmed out of my trunks (which is much harder in a car seat than I thought it would be), and into my strategically placed shorts and warm-ups. I got out of the car, pretending like nothing sinister had occurred, and of course the first thing I see is two people in a mini-van right behind my car staring at me. I quickly break eye-contact and head to the poker room.

I check in for $3/$6 limit (in my comfort zone, money-wise) and get a seat right away, which was unexpected. After a quick scan around the table, I actually recognized one of the guys at the table, which surprised me. He is one of the better basketball players I play with on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays. It was pretty comical, because he sat there with about three buttons undone on his shirt, showing off his possibly waxed chest. He also had a lady caked in makeup on his left arm. If I didn't know he lived in town, I would have presumed they were on an anniversary trip to South Lake... or maybe that he was entertaining a hooker (hope he doesn't read this!). I smiled to myself and pretended not to know them.

Other people at the table included two wiley-looking old asian guys, a college dude, two ladies who were pretty solid players, and a middle-aged guy to my right from Cameron Park, who I chatted it up with. I told him about the Grass Valley music fest I was going to this summer to see Ani Difranco. As soon as I said "Grass Valley music fest" his eyes lit up.

"Do whatever you can to see Tommy Emmanuel."

My new friend was coo-coo for Tommy Emmanuel. I've never heard of him, but apparently he is the best guitarist in the entire world, according to Mr. Cameron Park.

"He makes Eric Clapton and Santana look like beginners."

This, of course, perked my interest. I am intrigued, but he isn't playing on the same night Ani is, so chances are I probably won't stick around (and pay for) another night of music.

The actual poker was pretty uneventful, I got pretty lucky and didn't have many difficult decisions. I had pretty bad cards all night long, but that was fine with me because I just folded until the good cards came. I ended up winning a few big pots, and finished up $86 for the three hours or so I played. Surprisingly, the basketball buddy and his wife went busto within the 2nd hour. I had made a mental note to stay out of any pots with them, because I just assumed they'd be sharks. In their defense, they did get pretty unlucky with a few hands, and that is all it takes to crap out at $3/$6.

I came back to the house at about 12:30am or so to a house full of strangers. But they were friendly, drunk and high strangers, so all was good. When lots of people come over we have to re-arrange the furniture in the living room so everyone can fit in and see each other. This means blocking any route to the kitchen, and I was craving some food, so I hopped over the end of a couch and was treated to a very happy site in the kitchen. Cans upon cans of Coors Light (Silver Bullet!) covered both counter tops. If I hadn't had such a fun and profitable time at the casino, I would have been bummed that I missed such a fun time.

I thought (as did my roommates) that they would have a little drink here, then head out to the other people's house. But Kristara apparently started up Asshole, and was the first president, and was a mean bitch--so she got her comeuppance and everyone got trashed, lol. That would have been a site to see :) I finished some left-over pizza and people decided it was time to buck up and go home. I'm not sure if any of them was in a good state to drive home, but I was in bed and asleep by the time they made it out the door.

Saturday morning was fun, woke up around 11:30am and decided that basketball at noon sounded fun. Grabbed my ankle-brace out of my sports box and wrapped my ankle up good. It didn't feel too hot, but I could always just work out a bit if running on the ankle didn't feel good. Skipped breakfast because I didn't want to run after breakfast like I did on Thursday. No warm-up for my ankle, because when I got to the gym I was the 10th person to show up, so a game started up.

I saw the guy from poker the night before and we had a fun little talk about it. He said he and his wife only play once a month or so. It was nice to finally have a conversation with him (still don't know his name), because we tend to play against each other a lot, and we had gotten into a little argument on Thursday about a crappy call by him (or so I say!). He's a nice guy though, and I made a point to be on his team today.

I'd say my ankle was at about 10%, but we won the first game somehow as I hobbled up and down the court. I was actually skipping most of the time when I changed direction, because I had to use my right foot.

We lost the 2nd game and I was ready to stop playing basketball for the day, but by that time 8 more people had shown up, so we had two games going--and by losing on the "winners" court, we had another game on the "losers" court. So instead of abandoning my team, I played another game... and lit it up! We played a team that didn't have very good defense, and in a game to 11 by 1's and 2's, I made four 2's to score 8 points. I couldn't really do anything but shoot threes, because I could hardly move, so I'm glad they left me open!

Winning that game put us on the winners court again, and my ankle was screaming at me to stop, but I played again because I'm an idiot. We got beat pretty bad, because this team played defense, and I couldn't really play defense. Back down to the losers court for game #4, against the team I lit up. This time they decided to guard me, and we got whooped. My ankle praised Jesus, and I went upstairs to work out a bit. After working out I came back down to the basketball courts and watched as my team (minus me, plus Mike, a cagey veteran) won their game on the losers court, then ended up beating the reigning champs on the winners court. That felt good, because I didn't want them stuck on the losers court all day because I couldn't play any defense! I'll probably take it easy on my ankle this week, because of the Sacramento Hat Tourney next weekend. Can't miss that, so I'll have to miss some bball this week, dems the breaks!

After bball on Saturday I was CRAVING a French Dip. Not sure why, other than I hadn't had one in a long time, and that I skipped breakfast. I hit Sam's Place for the first time in a month, and the food was grubbin' as usual. When I got there, there was a breaking news special about the Blue Angels. One of the planes crashed at an air show in.. Brunswick? I think? That'd be a pretty horrific site to see.

(this clip isn't the crash video, just a random clip of them flying over Lake Washington)

I grew up with the Blue Angles flying around Seattle every summer. They'd do warm-up runs all around the city, flying right over all the houses, inbetween the buildings in downtown Seattle--it was pretty nutty to see. Then we'd watch the show and see the four planes flying literally within feet of each other. I always thought it was extremely dangerous, but at the same time, watching them do it year after year it seemed like they were pretty much invulnerable (and untouchable, because as a color-blind kid, I knew that was something I'd never be able to do). Not invincible anymore :(

One of the other TV's just so happened to be showing game 2 of the Red Sox/Yankees series, so I watched a few innings while I chowed down the dip and spicey (and I mean spicey!) fries. Big Papi hit a two-run shot to put the Red Sox up by 4, so I was content when I left in the middle of the 5th inning (and they held on to win).

I headed back home and thought I might get some Vanguard in with the gang, but it wasn't to be. Played some spades and listened to the Tupac CD again--that CD is where it's at. Had a pretty nutty spades game where me and my partner were at 359 (9 bags) and our opponents were at 473 or so. I was first to act and went double-nill (no passing), because it was really our only hope. I was surprised to see a hand that just might work... although even if we got my double-nill, my partner would have to bid his cover hand perfectly and get no bags, or else the opponents would win. My partner bid 4 and we pulled it off perfectly. No way we should have won that game, but we did!

I didn't have any plans, and was feeling lucky, so I headed back to the casino for the evening. I got a seat right away again, and only recognized one guy at my table--one of the old asian guys from the night before. He ended up leaving about 30 minutes in. The rest of the table was hilarious though. This is what the table looked like:

Seat 1: 23yr old guy who I chatted with all night, lost his first buy-in and went to the ATM and came back saying defiantly, "I'm not going to that damn machine again tonight!" He also was there because he and his roommates were vastly different, much like me. He said, "Well, it is either poker, where I have fun and might win some money, or sitting at home with my roommates who just do shrooms and watch SNL on Saturdays." He used a line I had been waiting to use for some time now--in response to "good players don't (play 7-2 offsuit, cold-call three bets on draws, yada yada)"--"good poker players don't play $3/$6 either!" Which got a hoot from the table. He also had a broken ankle. Mine is just sprained, but eerie similarities!

Seat 2: 30-something husband of Seat 9, good poker player and also a really funny guy. The lady in Seat 8 couldn't stand the guy because she thought he could "look into her soul." He called her down with crap two times and she folded, cursed under her breath, then went on a smoke break both times. He hit quad nines in a big pot where I folded a pair of Kings with a Q kicker on the turn to his aggression. The jackpot was about $150 for his quad nines. About five hands later he hit quad 8's, which only got him the $30 pot, because jackpots were only for quad 9's or better--I didn't feel too sorry for him though.

Seat 3: 40yr old guy with a golf hat. Wasn't very good at poker, but was a jester. He'd show his cards every time and could hardly believe his bad luck when he was behind the whole way. He and I chopped a huge pot in a hand that I live-straddled and woke up with AK, which was his hand too.

Seat 4: 50yr old hilarious black guy. He did pretty well, and had more than his fair share of big hands. Had a cackling laugh, which I usually can't stand, but he was laughing at himself more than at anyone else, so it was alright. He was joking around with me and seats 1, 2 and 3 all night.

Seat 5: 50yr old skinny Italian guy with a hairy chest and an unbuttoned shirt. Not great at poker and pretty quiet all night.

Seat 6: 40yr old guy. First time at a casino, and got a run of cards. Eventually the lady in Seat 9 said, "you never bluff, do you?" which of course got him to bluff in the next hand, like clockwork, lol. He had some pretty funny lines, I remember laughing, but I can't remember any specifics.

Seat 7: 60yr old guy who nothing could possibly go right for. He'd have AK and flop AK, only to lose to a set on the river. He eventually would just look at me across the table and shake his head as he got beat again and again. Apparently he thought I understood his hardship? I did, and I'd be a shoulder to cry on as long as he kept calling when he was beat!

Seat 8: 60yr old lady who had a temper and liked Camel cigarettes. This lady was funny without trying to be. The guy in seat 2 would call her with nothing and she'd fold and go into a tirade, then leave. A few minutes later she'd come back and assure us all that she was in complete control of her emotions, until she lost another hand, then she'd storm off again. We didn't specifically make fun of her, but she was the cause of a lot of the table laughter.

Seat 9: 30-something wife of Seat 2. She was originally from Germany, and she unknowingly hit a straight-flush for a $240 jackpot. It was a pretty ridiculous hand. I had AK in the BB, the flop was T-J-Q, all clubs. She bet out first to act, I called the bet, Seat 2 re-raised, Seat 4 re-re-raised, and Seat 7 re-re-re- raised. She called all the bets, and I insta-folded my now ugly flopped straight. The 8 of clubs peeled off on the turn, and there was a crazy amount of betting again. When all the dust (and the 3 of diamonds on the river) settled, she had the 9 of clubs for the straight-flush, I had the flopped straight, Seat 2 flopped a set of Q's and was hoping to boat up, but folded on the river; Seat 4 had the A of clubs; Seat 7 flopped a K-hi flush (and stared at me after the hand, looking for some hint of understanding, I suppose). Talk about a juicy flop!

Seat 10: your hero!

I ended up drinking seven Sierra Nevadas through the night, and didn't leave until 2:30am. I finished down about $70, and continued my break-even poker playing. A bit frustrating to keep breaking even on weekend treks, but I have a blast, and I'm not losing money, so hey hey!

Got back home and took a fun trip down memory lane by checking out my old livejournal. There are some pretty funny comment conversations back there with Stacey, Tessa, Kristle and other friends. Which got me wondering what Tessa, Brien and Kristle are up to nowadays. I read through some of Tessa's recent posts on her new blog... she's still got it! She continues to write a very entertaining blog updated almost daily, and makes me wish I had kept on blogging (and also motivates me to blog now!).

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I wasn't able to find out much about Kristle and Brien. A few entries down in my livejournal were at a really fun and exciting time in my life, when I was just about to move down to Sacramento with Kristle. Kristle, Brien and I had a great time the last few months of college together... then Sacramento (and Japan for B) happened, and I think the bad situation in Sacramento put a hold to whatever friendship we had. Since I'll be moving back to Seattle in November most likely, I spent some time wondering last night what all these old, possible friends are up to now. Anyone know what happened to these two?? Last I heard they were living in South Seattle?

Ended up hitting the hay around 3:30am and woke up this afternoon at 3:30pm... nice! Waking up tomorrow for work is going to suck, ah well.

Had a nice chat with Stacey today about lots of things, including her new relationship with Ben. Not a huge shocker there, and I'm sure they'll have a lot of fun together. Her plan was to stay single for a while, but guys tend to have other plans when it comes to smoking hot, bass-playing ladies :)

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Holy crap, 3-hour blog entry! I think I can extend it with a few pictures... time to search!

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Blogger waking jonas said...

wow, see i come home from work and i either go for a ride or sit on my butt with my laptop.

i eat lunch with kristle on mondays, though i haven't seen brien in a while. they actually live in northgate now.

this is the first i've heard of ben and stacey, but i kinda sensed that was coming too.

12:53 PM  

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