Wednesday, October 31, 2007


This Halloween is going to be a blast. I'm not partying hard this year. Instead, I'm riding my motorcycle down to Tacoma, playing some guitar hero 3 for the first time, going to quiz night at E-9 for the first time since 04', then playing some more guitar hero! Can't wait to ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOCK!!!


Monday, October 29, 2007

Facebook Poking Spree

Facebook was all the rage this weekend, well, besides Ultimate and drinking and hot tubs and pools and saunas... and hacking the zombie ball... and heckling. But I do remember at least an hour in there spent looking at funny facebook pictures. D-Tran and Younger both tried to get me into the site a few months ago, but I resisted. Toss in a fun weekend where strangers became friends, and I'm all aboard!

Younger's friend invite was somehow still active from like June, so she's my only Facebook friend right now. I just went to Josh's page and poked a dozen or so people I recognized. I'm not sure if poking is what I'm supposed to be doing, but it seemed fun at the time. I couldn't poke Will, and I'm not sure why Will is unpokeable. Is that his super-power?

I wasn't about to get charged the ten-cent text message to verify my account as a real person, so I happily typed in the two account verification words every time I poked someone--laughing all the way to the bank! Some of the words were pretty funny, and could possibly be harbingers of doom for certain facebook individuals.

For instance, I believe Dylan's two-word account verification code was "vacate Bridgeport." Dylan, get the fuck out of Bridgeport, you're doomed! Sarah's was "value meditation." So she isn't a social sleeper, she was just deep in social meditation most of the weekend. Josh's was a fitting "(something) organized." And I think Andy's topped the cake: "Holla Back!"


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tom White

I love frisbee tournaments. They are fun, and I love them...

...almost as much as I love Tom White.

What's that? You don't know Tom White? He might just be the sexiest ultimate frisbee player alive (or dead). I tried to get him in my bed this week, but he slept with Josh instead:

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I may have liquored him up a little bit that first night, but it was all in good fun. Notice the cans of PBR and Rainier--ultimate players' drinks of choice. Josh didn't have as much fun in bed on Friday night as he anticipated, so he decided to "BAM! Step it up a notch!"

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Our Zombie drink consisted of 1 bottle of dark rum, 1 bottle of light rum, 1 bottle of gold rum, 1 bottle of 151, a splash of pineapple juice, and three body parts (guesses?). Soon afterwards, Tom was almost under my control me.

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By the end of the day, I could barely hold myself back from his chiseled Ned Flandersesque buttocks. Too bad for me, Tom White is a zombie-whore, and I think this guy got to him first:

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I don't remember much else from this weekend outside of longing for Tom-Tom, but I do remember meeting some amazing ultimate players for the first time and reuniting with some old Tacoma friends. Wynne may have won the best costume contest, I can't verify the win, but is this last picture not the creepiest picture you have ever seen?

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I came. I saw. I had butt-sex with Tom and came again! conquered.


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Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's the Wherewithals! The Wherewithals!

Stacey's band played a show in Ballard last night, and they played good. Not to say they weren't good when I last saw them about a year ago, but Tessa put it best by saying the band sounds polished now. Hop over to Tessa's blog if you want to see pictures. My calves hurt by the end of their set, getting my standing-still groove on, and the more my calves hurt--the better the show!

Just waxed my in-class math test, but have to work on my take-home test now. It isn't due until Monday, but I'll be playing in the Hanford Hoowwwwl all weekend long. The tournament raised $4000 for the Special Olympics last year, hopefully we can best that this year. I've already arranged for Friday night to have two poker tournaments, and if you know ultimate tournaments, you know there will be copious amounts of drinking and fun had by all. Can't wait!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A win! A win!

It took three hours and puts me right around minimum wage in the earnings department, but a win is a win! I placed first in a 90-person SNG yesterday afternoon, which felt doubly good after my crappy poker week last week. I've got a GoogleDocs spreadsheet going, like Kat, but I'm not sure if I want to make it public just yet. The win definitely bolstered my bankroll, but it is still a minuscule roll at best.

I'm trying the Fergie Challenge, but I just started with the money left on my Full Tilt account. And I added a few rules.

1) Never buy into a MTT with more than 2% of my bankroll, unless it is $1.
2) Never buy into a SNG with more than 5% of my bankroll, unless it is $1.
3) Must leave a cash table when 10% of my bankroll is in front of me.
4) Must concentrate solely on poker while playing.
5) Must focus on making correct decisions, and not worry about outcomes--regardless of the buy-in amount (same amount of focus at a free-roll and a Sunday Million).

I should have a lot of fun with this, because I don't feel any pressure to work up a bankroll quickly. I feel like this is the way I want to leisurely play for a long time. I might not play poker everyday or even every week, but when I do play, I want to play smart and practice good bankroll management. If I do both of those things, I know I'll be able to continue having fun playing poker for a very long time.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mac and Jacks

Recipe for a memorable weekend? Two parts hangover, one part motorcycle safety class.

My sister and her new boyfriend visited Seattle and left for Minnesota on Saturday morning. Naturally, we went out to the Ravenna Alehouse on Friday night for some drinks. My sister and I split three pitchers of Mac & Jacks, while Art drank a few mixers. Art seems like a pretty cool guy, he's a 7-12 Social Studies teacher in Minnesota, so we had plenty to talk about. Sara somehow managed to kick my ass at Golden Tee 2008, so I lived up to my side of the bet and gave her a brand-new frisbee for her long drive back to Minneapolis.

Along with the three glasses of wine at dinner, the five or so pints at the Alehouse led to one wicked hangover Saturday morning. I woke up Saturday morning at the ungodly hour of 7am. It was still dark out. This was the weekend of my MSF course I signed up for a month and a half ago. The rumbling of a thousand elephants kept tromping through my head every step I took. We did the classroom thing Saturday morning, and at noon I was still producing Mac & Jacks flavored burps.

When I got out onto the range Saturday afternoon, I was still groggy. I remember bending down by the motorcycle I was using to check where the fuel lever was. I stood up and got the spins. I'm hungover and trying to stay standing while attempting to drive a motorcycle in a safety class, 14 hours after my last sip of alcohol--a new high in my life.

After 10 hours of the hungover motorcycle safety course, I was ready to pass... the fuck... out.

But, it just so happened to be Marc's 27th birthday, and he, Sarah, Jeremy and Tanya planned on going out for drinks. I couldn't resist, so after fixing myself two brats on the George Foreman and wrapping them in a cheese quesadilla because I had no buns (it was as healthy as it sounds)--I headed over to Jeremy's for some pre-func'ing.

I just wasn't very smart this weekend. In my heart of hearts, I didn't want another 10-hour day at the MSF course being hungover--but it was Marc's birthday, so I drank. And I had a very very good time. We started out with a few beers at Jeremy's house, playing dealer's-choice poker for drinks. I lost, and had about four beers the two hours we were at J's place.

We headed down to Capitol Hill to meet Liz, Kim and a few other ladies at the Eastlake Pub. The pub is a dive bar in the best kind of way. It has four pool tables, a shuffleboard extra-long table, and two dart boards. The ladies were playing cards at a long table when we arrived. They were playing hearts, so Marc and I each picked a horse for the next hand of hearts. After watching a couple rounds, Marc declared Cassandra off-limits, because she had gotten zero points both games. I went with my Boston-friend Kim, while Marc picked the only girl he hadn't met before, Deb.

It was brutal. Kim took 25 of the 26 points (points are bad), while Deb put up a big goose-egg, which cost me a pint of M & J. The ladies finished their game of hearts and we started up a seven-handed game of Asshole. I didn't do as much moving and shaking as I'm used to, going from Treasurer to Asshole--where I stayed for most of the night. I had fun as the Asshole, especially after Marc made the rule that any forced-drink can choose a buddy to drink with, because people made me drink--a lot. I usually made Marc (el Presidente') or Jeremy drink with me, and we were loud, annoying and drunk by the end of the night. I'm not usually that guy, but variety is the spice of life!

We went to Dicks (the drive-in cheap-o burger joint in Seattle) on the way home at about 2am. Dicks was packed, and after standing in the line and not being able to act like adults, Sarah and Tanya locked the three of us in the back seat of the car, while they ordered food for everyone. Marc and Jeremy hatched a brilliant plan to go fishing at 5:30am the next morning. Three hours of sleep, and I KNOW Marc was drunker than I--there's no way they went fishing.

Interestingly, last night was the first time I've ever gone to bed with the spins and not thrown up. I was very surprised when I woke up this morning and wasn't covered in puke, nor had I soiled my sheets! Double-Huzzah! Being hungover again wasn't much fun, but I had some recovery time in the classroom until noon. I wasn't hungover for the riding portion of the MSF course this afternoon, but it was raining cats and dogs at one point--and we were all soaked.

My MSF class was a weird one. Yesterday we had 11 people. By the end of today, only five people passed the course. Ouch. Three people didn't even show up today, so we began the day with eight. One of the ladies had some major fear issues, to go along with her lack of self-confidence, so she bowed out at the start of our range session this afternoon. One of the ladies got booted out by the instructor, because she was terrible and the instructor didn't want her to hurt herself doing the more difficult motorcycle exercises... down to six.

Minutes later, one of the other ladies takes a spill. She was riding a Vespa during the "break while turning" exercise. She got owned. The exercise sucked, because it was raining, and if you didn't straighten out the handlebars before you applied the brakes, down you went! Fortunately, she was the only one that went down, but she face-planted and wrecked the Vespa pretty good. Face-planting on a Vespa isn't an easy thing to do, and it must have hurt like hell. We were down to five for a few minutes, but she was a tough cookie and came back to bring our numbers back up to six. And ended up passing! She was super-psyched, as we all were--except for the one lady who failed. There were a lot of ladies at the MSF course, Waffles would have been in heaven.

Speaking of poker bloggers, I didn't realize Kat was doing a Fergie Challenge. It is a pretty cool idea in bankroll management. Since I have a few dollars in my FTP account, I might just go with that money and adhere to Fergie's bankroll rules. I played some really stupid poker this week, way out of my bankroll, and eventually lost--like I should have. The players at the higher levels (to me) aren't really much better, but there is variance in poker, and not having the roll to withstand that variance spells disaster.

Kat also has a nice little GoogleDocs spreadsheet where you can go check out her progress. It doesn't look to be going so hot for her, mostly because she looks to have gone from strictly adhering to the rules, to playing "Fuck it!" poker. If I were a betting man (...hah!), I'd probably bet on me doing the exact same thing--but right now I'm idealistic, and would never in a million years! Right...

Anywho, I'll put up a link to my spreadsheet in the next few days if I get one going. I'd like to play a few games tonight, but I want to add in a rule that says I will only play when 100% of my attention is spent on poker. And right now I'm completely drained from the weekend and watching Boston pound Cleveland in Game 7 of the ALCS. Ouch, the ball just landed between Cleveland's third baseman, shortstop and left fielder. Blooper reel!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Has anybody seen my garbage can lid?

Storm's a brewing! Nothing like the first Fall storm in Seattle to keep you on your toes, with its sideways rain and toppled trees! Good night for a UW volleyball game or settling in for a cozy night at the Mookie... and hoping my power doesn't go out.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007


As you can probably tell from the many youtubes, I am hooked on Team Fortress 2 right now. The game is amazing. Each class you play has a very unique feel to it, and I am nowhere near being good with any of the classes yet. I do enjoy playing the spy, sneaking around and stabbity-stabbing unsuspecting cartoony characters.

Besides the whole "not being able to shoot things" issue I am currently working on, the teamwork in the game is amazing. Today, Tyler and I played against a team that just whooped us. Some of it has to do with their skill being better than ours, but their teamwork was off the charts.

If you have the game, and are interested in playing with me, finding a friend on the game is easy. My handle is "Naixin" on steam, so just come find me so we can either duke it out, or work together and prove blue supremacy! If you don't have the game, it is a $30 download for just TF2, or $60 for the whole Orange Box collection, which I would suggest getting if you have $60 to spare, because it comes with a pretty neat "Portal" game.

Ichi doesn't seem to mind me playing, as long as he can still sit in my lap and give me pointers on my stalking technique.

Blue 4 life.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Choo! Choo!

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Hinduism and Buddhism

Right around the time I started college I became interested in evaluating different religions. Not necessarily picking one to follow, but I've always been interested in what motivates people to do what they do, and their religion is a huge factor. In my Human Geography class, we're studying the sub-continent of South Asia. India and a few surrounding countries, including Nepal and Bangladesh.

We've been studying everything from the physical geography of the land to climate change, cultural diversity and political tensions between the countries. Today was the first day we talked about Buddha. For the last decade or so I've been intrigued by Buddha, because he seems like a happy, peaceful person or God (I wasn't sure which he was).

Let me back-track a little. During the last few weeks of the course, we've discussed the typical India village culture and how Hinduism plays its role. There are distinct differences between the India culture and our culture in the U.S., but there are also quite a few similarities. The big differences have to do with dharma, karma, the caste system and the afterlife.

Dharma is your duty. If your father is a priest, you are expected to follow in his steps and become a priest. If you do your dharma, you obtain good karma, and eventually stop having to come back to this world in through the reincarnation circle. If you don't do your dharma, you get bad karma, and then return to this world in a lower setting. In the case of our priest son, if he decides to be a barber instead of a priest, he might return in his next life as a lower human (priests are at the top of the caste system), or even an animal or plant.

One of the most popular stories in India is the Bhagavad-Gita. The story is of a warrior-ruler Arjuna and Lord Krisna (an avatar of Vishnu). The climax of the 18 chapter story is when Arjuna and Krisna are surveying the battlefield before the actual battle. Arjuna sees faces of friends and family on both sides of the field, and believes that no good will happen from this war. He physically and mentally breaks down, and doesn't want to fight anymore.

Lord Krisna tells him that because he is the warrior, it is his dharma to fight--so fight he must. Krisna tells Arjuna that he is only in his current position by way of fulfilling his dharma in previous lives, and must continue to fulfill his dharma in this life. The thing that finally pulls Arjuna together is when Krisna tells Arjuna that 'you cannot kill that which can't be killed, for the soul is not slain when the body is slain. The soul is immortal.' Arjuna goes on to fight, and wins the war.

Now I don't know about you, but I see some similarities between dharma, karma, and what happens in the U.S. The geography professor tries his best to distinguish the two, but when it comes to corporate America, if you get in with the right people, and do what they tell you to do; you'll make good money, get promoted, and lead a "successful" life. If you question authority and don't follow orders, you'll be on your way out the door in a hurry!

But, didn't Ghandi question authority? And what about Buddha?

Well, we learned a bit about Buddha today. Siddartha Guatama, better known as Buddha, is thought to have been born around the year 536 BCE. He was born into the Shakya, a clan ruled by his father in the foothills of the Himalayas, which is now southern Nepal. His youth was spent in wealth and luxury, and he was being groomed to take over his father's kingdom.

To prevent Siddartha from other worldly pursuits, his father lavished him with every possible want or need. He was married to a beautiful young woman and together they had a son. Whenever Siddartha left the palace grounds, his father would send palace guards ahead to make sure nothing unpleasant distracted his son.

This is where the Four Passing Sights occur. Buddha eventually sees four things that trouble him. Old age, sickness and death. These troubled Siddartha because while he enjoyed all the comforts of the world, here people were growing old and weak, living in pain with sickness, and even dying. The fourth sight Siddartha saw was a monk, whose happy tranquilty--without any worldly goods--confused Siddartha.

Finally, when he was 29 (again, not sure how people know this, but I'll just pass on the info), he bid his sleeping wife and son a silent farewell, and made his way to the forest. He chopped off his hair and wore common clothing, and began what is known as "The Great Departure" or "Great Going Forth."

For the first five years, Siddartha found no peace. He went so far as to try living on one bean a day. He nearly died, but was saved by a group of five monks. At age 35, he came to Bodh Gaya ("Place of Enlightenment"), and sat under a fig tree--where he resolved not to rise until he had solved the riddle of life.

While meditating under the Bo-tree, Mara (Lord of Death) tried to lure Buddha into abandoning his goal by using confusion, gaiety, pride, lust, delight and pining--but none were successful. Mara made other attempts at harming the Buddha physically, but Siddartha could not be harmed, as he had completely dissolved his temporal identity. Nothing Mara did could distract Buddha. Mara left, and Siddartha had become the Buddha (the Enlightened One). Buddha continued to sit under the Bo tree for seven days, enjoying his enlightened state. After that week, he arose and walked about Deer Park, where he again met the five monks who saved him in the forest. The monks were amazed to find that not only had Siddartha continued with his path towards enlightenment, but Siddartha now claimed to have found enlightenment! The five monks listened intently to what Buddha had to say, and those five monks became Buddha's first disciples.

What did Buddha have to say?

Buddha came to the realization that the only way to find inner peace is to practice moderation in all things. A life of self-indulgence was unworthy and fit for only the worldly, but also a life of self mortification was equally useless--Buddha had experienced both.

From this views on moderation came The Four Noble Truths.

1) The Noble Truth of Suffering
We all suffer. From birth we suffer. Sickness is painful, disease, hardships, death of family members, unmet desires and separation from pleasantries are painful.

2) The Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering
Craving. Craving to be loved, to be satisfied both presently and in the future. The origin of suffering is the ignorance or refusal to see things how they truly are.

3) The Noble Truth Concerning the Destruction of Suffering
Stop craving, pretty much.

4) The Noble Truth Concerning the Way Which Leads to the Destruction of Suffering
The Noble Eightfold Path:
The Right Views (Free from Delusion)
The Right Aspirations (Worthy and Intelligent)
The Right Speech (Kind and Truthful)
The Right Behavior (The Ten Precepts)
The Right Livelihood (Do not harm any living thing)
The Right Effort (Self Training)
The Right Thoughts (Self-Control)
The Right Concentration (Contemplation)

I could go on further, to how there are different sects of Buddhism, like any other religion, but I think I'll stop here. Some of the concepts outlined in Buddha's teaching really strike a cord with me. I agree with most of the Noble Eightfold Path, but the Ten precepts I have issue with. No drinking, no lying? What about everything in moderation?! I may have to start up my own sect called "Christian's Buddhism" where the drinking precept is re-worded as "No heavy drinking" and the lying part is "No lying to hurt people, but you can still tell your friends that their baby is cute, even if it is not. And you can bluff at poker."


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Team Fortress 2!

So, I made an impulse buy when Tyler told me the Team Fortress 2 part of "Orange Box" was available for half the price of the full box-set... and I could download it digitally. I played the first team fortress game for the original half-life, but it had to have been a dozen years ago. This one has cartoon-like graphics, much like WoW, so it keeps the frame-rate high and the lag low--which is a necessity for first-person shooters.

Three videos:
1)Meet the Engineer
2)Meet the Soldier
3)Gameplay of me playing a Spy (Crystal Method song)

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Fall Colors

Earlier this week I decided to take 30 minutes after class and shoot some photos of the Fall colors in Seattle. One of the most amazing stretches of in Seattle is along 35th AVE NE, from about 90th to 110th street. There is just about every shade from light green to dark red along that mile of road.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Rare Blissful Moment

I've talked about it before, but when I have high expectations and they aren't met--I'm at my lowest. This comes in the form of relationships ending, plans being canceled and I generally go from being excited about life one moment to questioning my entire existence the next.

Before I get too morbid, conversely, I'm at my highest point when I have poor (or no) expectations, and the planned or unplanned event knocks my socks off.

Today was one of those days.

For the last month I've been quietly dreading today. One of the first matches we had was against Bothell. I wrote a recap about the match, but even though both teams had an amazing time that day, their coach warned me about Inglemore High School. How that team was full of snotty kids who made bad line calls and had terrible tempers. On the bus ride home, I checked our schedule and found today's date as the day of our match. I was glad we were playing them on our turf.

As the tennis season progressed, we had our share of rain outs, but we got the majority of our tennis matches in. I would usually spend at least some time talking with the other JV coaches during our matches. We would talk about our successes and failures, but whenever we talked about which teams we had played thus far, opposing coaches would always single out Inglemore and warn me about them. I must have heard from three or four different coaches in the league that they had enjoyed all of their matches--win or lose--except for their match with Inglemore. The Inglemore coach doesn't have any control over her team and their players are just terrible sports.

I let my team know at practice yesterday what to expect from the Inglemore team. We joked about fighting fire with fire, and calling out line judges to the court and returning their bad calls with bad calls of our own. But if you know me at all, I'd never let my team do that. I had been hoping for rain, but the forecast just looked cloudy for today. Damn.

3:20pm rolls around, and I have about 16 guys who have been at the courts for nearly an hour. The match is supposed to start at 3:30pm, and Inglemore is nowhere in sight. Could it be? Might there be a forfeit today? Please God, let them not show up! But of course, the next second a yellow school bus rumbles up the steep Laurelhurst hill, carrying the Inglemore squad. Their school colors must be Black and Gold, because moments later a swarm of yellow and black buzzes its way from the bus to the courts. Since they are late, I tell my guys to get off the courts and let their team use all of the courts to warm up (it is customary to give them two courts, while we warm up on the other two).

I had been told that their coach was Asian, but a Caucasian woman introduced herself as the coach. After chatting it up for a bit, then later hearing some of the remarks she made during the match, I'm sure that this is the lady the other coaches had been talking about--but at the beginning of the match I thought the crazy Asian lady may have gotten the ax.

Their team didn't seem overly cocky or bad-mannered. Sure, they were cocky and had bad manners, but not more so than any other east-side high school tennis teams. We got the games underway and I watched all four games like a hawk.

Hmm... no bad line calls during the first few games. No mumbling. No cursing. No throwing racquets. No questioning of my players' calls. And another interesting thing was that all of the matches were close. The first match finished at 6-8, with Inglemore taking the number four ranked singles match. A minute later, Nick walks off the court with an 8-6 victory for us at #1 singles. A few moments later Thomas storms off saying, "Coach. I lost six-eight I'm going home now." OK Thomas, whatever you say, buddy!

Lucas finished up his match 9-7 at #3 singles. This match was a fun one, because Lucas is pretty much the bully on our team. At practice, he whacks balls over the fence and refuses to get them, he hits other kids with balls and is just a menace in general. But today, against a presumably hot-headed team, I decided to let him play singles for the first time this year. Up until now, I was a bit gun-shy of what might happen with him alone out on the court.

He turned out to be playing a mirror-image of himself. Lucas is easily the most powerful person on our team. Fastest first serve by a good 20mph, and the hardest ground strokes when he chooses to wail on the ball. He was up against another brute, and during the warm-up, they both just crushed the ball. Of course, once the match started, they both dinked the ball, not wanting to mess up. I did the exact same thing when I played. On a rare point, one of them would hit a very good shot, even by varsity standards.

I decided to finally go over to their court during a change-over. I think the match was at 5-4, and originally I was just going to go give Lucas a little pep-talk, but as I watched them play, I decided that talking to both of them just felt like the right thing to do. Here is what I said:

"OK you two, this is a very even match-up. Both of you are capable of hitting amazing shots, as you've already proven. This could be a varsity-level match. There is only one thing I want to see change: when you have the ball in your wheel-house, I want you two to go for it. If you get to the net and have a chance to end the point, do it! If you aren't in the best position, by all means, just get the ball back and play defensively, but both of you will get plenty more put-away opportunities. You two can make shots that no one else out here can, show us what you got."

The doubles matches finished in the same fashion as the singles. I think we ended up winning the overall match 7-5, but only because their team was deeper than ours (which I think is a first), so we had our #1 and #2 doubles team play a second match against their lowest ranked doubles teams at the very end of the match. Those two matches ended up being 6-0, 6-0, which I felt a bit bad about, but I couldn't really do much about that, seeing how our lowest ranked doubles teams were still playing when courts opened up.

Towards the end of the match, while the last few matches were finishing up, I invited players from both teams to play King of the Court. They looked like they were having a fun time, and the one team that held King-ship the longest was actually a mix with one guy from Roosevelt and one from Inglemore, so that was pretty cool. I got a request to switch the game to Graveyard, and did so after explaining the rules to the Inglemore team. They were excited to play a game they hadn't heard of, and even gave my team a few players because they had so many more than we did. I didn't play, but from what I watched, I saw lots of smiles and heard lots of laughing, so I can only assume that they were having a good time.

Being the last home match, I had quite a few parents show up that I hadn't met before. They all took the time to personally thank me for coaching this year, and I think every one of them mentioned how much fun their son was having with tennis this year. I think maybe four or five parents came up to me at various points in the day's match and thanked me. I hadn't expected that at all, and it was an amazing feeling.

While I was driving home from the match, all of the smiles, and all of the thanks I received finally caught up with me. This isn't really work. I know teaching won't be all peaches and cream, but I also know this won't be the last time I'll feel this way if I continue to coach and begin teaching. I don't think I'd ever get this experience working a 9-5 desk job.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Bent Over

Ouch, that math test hurt. My bum. I broke the cardinal rule when it comes to test-taking. I had three problems left when I checked the clock for the first time all period. It showed 12:55pm. Holy shit. Class was supposed to get out five minutes ago, and I still have 3 problems out of 10 I haven't even touched. I actually made it through two of them, but the prof. forcibly collected all of the tests so I white-flagged while on question number ten.

Driving home, I caught site of Mt. Rainier with plenty of fresh snow. Amazing.

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Monday, October 08, 2007




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Monday Math Day

I got home from tennis practice today at around 5pm and plopped down in the empty living room with my laptop, my math take-home test, and ESPN-HD. I was fighting between playing WoW for an hour or so, or finishing up my math take-home test which is due tomorrow. I decided on Plan: C and flipped on the tube.

I always forget about Monday Night Football. Saturdays are for college football. Sundays are for the NFL. Mondays are... for checking out blogs at work? I just don't associate Monday with football.

But since the Cowboys and the Bills were just getting underway, I decided to grab my math take-home test and work on that while watching the game. The Bills hadn't played on Monday Night Football in 13 years, and that stadium was rocking. They dominated pretty much the entire game, but couldn't keep the Cowboys down--even after five interceptions and a fumble from Romo. Six turnovers from the QB and you still win???

In the last 20 seconds of the game you have a touchdown, followed by a botched 2-pt attempt to tie the game lob-fade to T.O. in the end-zone. Followed by a successful onside kick by Dallas. 18 seconds left. Then a 20-yd pass to Owens and a spike with two seconds left... but wait, the booth decides to review the catch AFTER the spike play. The catch gets called incomplete, but the officials put back 13 seconds back on the clock. Get a complete pass towards the sideline for 4yds. 7 seconds left. Get another pass complete to the sidelines for 8yds. 2 seconds left. 53-yd field goal attempt... IS GOOD!!! wait... Buffalo apparently called a timeout before the snap. Reset. 53-yd attempt#2 is up... and it is GOOD! Dallas wins 25-24. What?!

The game definitely distracted me at times from my math work, but I spent nearly all of the game working on the test. I finished it just before the craziness with 20 seconds left--which is about 4 hours of math. A bit more than I thought I'd have, but I think I got every question correct and I'm looking forward to acing the in-class exam tomorrow. A few of the questions I was having issues with yesterday seemed to all come together tonight, and I'll leave you one in case you want to try your hand (it sucks):

Solve for x, y and z


And a much more fun problem:

Bob and Mary own a birdhouse-making company. They have two models, a single-home birdhouse and the deluxe multiplex birdhouse. The deluxe model sells for $20, while the single-home birdhouse sells for $12. Every single-home house takes Bob three hours to build and Mary one hour to paint and decorate. Every multiplex birdhouse takes Bob four hours to build and Mary two hours to paint and decorate. Bob can't work more than 48 hours per week, and Mary can't work more than 20 hours per week.

How many single-home birdhouses and multiplex birdhouses should Bob and Mary build if they want to maximize their profits?

Show your work!

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Lazy Sunday

I love having a lazy day every now and then, and today was definitely that day. I woke up around 9am with plans of heading to Marc's house in South Everett for the 10am Seahawks game. Somehow I managed to flip off the snooze button and the next thing I know it is 9:50am. It takes 30 minutes to drive up to Marc's house, but I made it by the end of the 1st quarter.

I didn't miss much. The game was still scoreless at the start of the 2nd quarter, and Pittsburgh ended up routing Seattle 21-0. The Seahawks looked terrible. Marc and I got a few games of our NFL2K5 season in, tying one game and winning a few others. We broke in his dart board in his garage, and I choked in typical Chris-choking manner when it comes to playing games against Marc.

I did my fair share of push-ups while losing rounds of darts to Marc, until I packed it up and we moved back to the living room. We watched a bit more football, and played a game of spades on Yahoo. I love me some Yahoo Spades, so if anyone reading wants to get a game in (it is a partner trick-taking game), let me know. The only times I've played recently are with Marc, and we had a nice little 6-game streak going, which came to an end this afternoon. I got my rating up to 1901, but it dropped back down to mortal level after the loss. Marc and I got accused of cheating in a game we played a few nights ago--we never have--but Marc is an incredible luck-sack and I can see why our opponents thought we may have colluded (which isn't exactly rare on Yahoo Games).

After a good six hours spent at Marc's house watching football, drinking, playing video games and darts, I made the trip back down to Seattle. Glad I didn't ride the motorcycle up to Marc's house! It wasn't raining when I left this morning, but it POURED all afternoon, and I would have gotten soaked on the ride home. After making it back, I had an itch to play some WoW, but I had that "I think I've been lazy enough today" feeling, so I buckled down and worked on my Math take-home test--which is due on Tuesday. I've got a Geography exam coming up towards the end of this week, so it looks like more studying is in the cards for me. Expect me to relieve some of the studying stress at Kat's donkament on Friday!

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Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 4531086


Best of Tahoe Pictures

I looked back on this compilation of pictures I made six weeks ago, and I decided that the terrible quality Pearl Jam song just didn't do the pictures justice. I've replaced the song with "Disarm" from the Smashing Pumpkins.

I strung the pictures together without having a song in mind, but after watching the video again, "Disarm" has some almost comically literal connections with the pictures. Again, completely unintentional, but I can count about half a dozen times where the lyrics of the song somehow tie to the picture on the screen. "smile" "burn" and "shoes" come to mind.

After watching the video again tonight, I'm sure glad I got so many smiling faces. Raffle, Hope, Ichi, Kristina, Andrew, Jen, Waffles, Hoy, Bayne, Brandon, Lindsay, myself, Kristina's Mom, Pam, Flo, Alison, Drew, Trish, Meesh, Sunshine, Hector, and my Dad. I can't think of a better way to remember the fun I had in Tahoe (and surrounding areas) than the smiles on their faces.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Balance is a Bitch

Don't get me wrong, having balance in my life is probably the single-most important factor in my happiness. Too much poker, too much ultimate frisbee, too much of ANYTHING wears on me after a while. But when balance manifests itself in the form of a wicked hangover following an amazingly fun night out with the guys, it is a bitch.

Last night kicked ass.

Started out with Marc and I heading over to Magnuson Community Center and playing some racquetball. It was Marc's first time playing, but he played high school tennis with me at Roosevelt, so he can handle a racquet with the best of em'. He wasn't much competition the first handful of games, as he was still getting used to all of the angles and which way the ball bounces in a given situation (it is trickier than it sounds). But by the end of our hour, he beat me in a quick game to 3. Damn quick learners!

We were driving back to my place so he could get his car and head home, when I got a call from Andrew, who is in town until Saturday. He just finished a 7-week trip over to England and Ireland, of which I am extremely jealous. He had access to his aunt's vehicle while he was in England, and racked up $800 in gas driving across the entire country. At $8/gallon, it doesn't take much--but he hit the southernmost point, the westernmost, and also the most north point in England. Not bad!

After contemplating what to do, we settled on having a few drinks at Pies and Pints last night. We peer-pressured Marc into having a drink with us, even though he knew it would get him in "the dog house" with the wifey. Way to stand up to the boss, Marc! The three of us entered an extremely packed Pies and Pints right at 9:30pm, when their happy hour starts. We didn't get anything off the happy hour menu, but that was easily the busiest I've ever seen the place.

We chatted over a pint of Mac & Jacks, about his move down to Portland and his amazing pad down there. He and his girlfriend, along with one of his buddies from Seattle, are sharing an apartment in downtown Portland. The apartment is on the 3rd floor, there is a Mcmennamins on the first floor who have already OK'd Andrew and Becca to come down in their pajamas for late-night pints, and there is an outdoor pool and hot tub on the 9th floor, overlooking the city. Damn engineers and lawyers!

Marc eventually leaves as promised after his first beer, and Andrew and I continue to catch up over two more pints of African Amber Ale. By this time it is around midnight, and we decide to head over to the Montlake house to play some guitar hero (the only time I ever get to play). To our surprise, the house is packed with people. Four guys playing Counter-strike and another group of four watching DVR'ed episodes of 30 Rock. Andrew and I sat down for a few episodes of 30 Rock, and that show is ridiculously funny. It is right up there with Arrested Development when it comes to a pure entertainment sitcom.

We eventually got some guitar hero in when the sole-objecting lady left for home at 1:30am. I got to play the 80's edition last night, and we rocked the house. Can't wait to get some more rocking in on medium difficulty. They all play on expert and have their hands hurt, while I just take it slow and steady on EZ-Mode--feelin' the flow, groovin' it~ groovin' it~

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Monday, October 01, 2007


So, a few posts back ckbluffer commented about how she too plays ultimate and also has a poker blog. Fun. Then she writes up a monster of a post today about how she played on a club team at the national level! What?!

Poker bloggers who also play ultimate frisbee is admittedly a pretty small group. But poker bloggers who have played at the nationals level?

In both 1999 and 2000, I played on an ultimate frisbee junior's club team in Seattle named MoHo (for More Horizontal). The group of friends I grew up with were into three things: ultimate frisbee, video gaming, and girls--in that order. With the rare exception, the only "serious" girlfriends any of us had were ladies who played ultimate frisbee--or ladies who played soccer and we were trying to recruit (using any means necessary) over to ultimate... sneaky, sneaky! This, of course, led to some awkwardness when the two ultimate ladies got passed from one ultimate guy to the next, but I was never in on any of that, so I'll just slide past that subject.

I started playing competitive ultimate when I was in 7th grade. I've been playing over half my life, which is pretty crazy when I think about it. I learned how to play in 6th grade, but the first ever Seattle middle school ultimate league started when I was in 7th grade. I think my middle school team lost to Bush or Noms. My gym teacher, Mr. Costigan, was a very good freestyle frisbeer, and he had connections in the ultimate community, which included a Mary Jorgensen. Mary has won WORLD freestyle championships, yes, championships--plural. She coached another middle school team and between Mary, Mr. Costigan, and the other gym teachers, they were able to put together a league.

All of my friends who played ultimate with me, with the exception of Tyler, Chase and Jimmy, were one year older. So in my 8th grade year, our team pretty much sucked compared to the year before. We sucked so bad that we won the entire tourney! I think a lot of it had to do with other schools graduating great players as well, but our team just clicked. We had lots of athletic guys, and a couple of us could throw it deep, which is all we needed.

Fast-forward a few years to high school. I missed my sophomore year of playing ultimate, and I honestly have no clue why. It may have been driver's ed., or possibly the fact that I played tennis in high school Freshman year, which meant no ultimate (same season). My sophomore year I played tennis in the Fall, so again, I'm not sure why I didn't play.

During my sophomore year, MoHo, the youth ultimate frisbee club team, formed from all of the good now juniors in high school. With Mary Jorgensen coaching and chaperoning, the team headed to the first ever Junior National Championships. I don't recall where the first event was held, because I didn't go, but I know that MoHo was the only junior's team west of the Mississippi River. Youth ultimate just wasn't happening on the West Coast--it was almost entirely an East Coast phenomenon.

Nobody in the ultimate community had heard of MoHo (quite simply, because it didn't exist!), and nobody knew anything about the team other than Mary was the coach. MoHo entered the tournament as the second-to-last seed, and upset Bronx Science, the number 2 seed, in the first round of pool play. Their pool play record got them into the semi-final game against the number 1 ranked team on the East Coast, no... make that the U.S.A. ... no, you could probably just go ahead and make that the World: Amherst. All that you need to know about that semi-final game is that Amherst beat MoHo, and it left a bad taste for my friends.

Roll around to the start of my junior year of high school, and I connect back up with some of my old frisbee buddies (my how having a driver's license and a vehicle to use changes things!). They tell me I should come join the team, and that they are going back to Nationals to BEAT AMHERST!!! I didn't have anything better to do, and loved playing ultimate, so I joined.

The guys were frigging nuts. As seniors and juniors in high school, we played in a handful of college ultimate tournaments in the Northwest. My first ever tournament was down at the University of Oregon. We camped two nights, and I remember not once taking out my contacts. We lost every single game, but had a blast and learned so much from the older and physically dominant college players. We played three other tournaments that I remember, at Evergreen State College, University of Washington, and at the University of British Columbia.

The University of Washington tournament was funny, because I missed the first half of the day taking my SAT's on campus. I had my cleats with me, and ran over to the fields as soon as I was finished. We actually would have beaten the UW-B team, but they added some ringers after losing the half to us... weak.

Up at UBC I remember smelly some weird, funky smell, and at the time I had no idea what it was. A lot of people were smoking cigarettes though, which didn't make sense to me. Why smoke and run around???

The entire season led up to our trip to nationals in Philadelphia. Besides losing lots of games to college teams, and getting a lot better, there is only one thing I remember from all the practices and games: beat Amherst... Beat Amherst... BEAT AMHERST!!!

We got to the fields and knew what our goal was, but also knew that we'd have to play our best to get a chance at Amherst. The first point of the 1999 junior's championships we lost, to a team full of scrubs. I felt a little bit like all our hard work might be for naught if we couldn't make it out of our pool. The second point got underway, and they pulled to us. I was on the sidelines watching as we made a few quick little passes, then Jeremy just lets one fly.

"Wow, he put way too much on that one," I thought to myself.

Toby was racing to the disc, but there was just no way he was going to be able to catch up to it, then...

Oh. My. God.

Toby leaps. I don't think I had ever seen him layout until this very point. He goes horizontal while using his monkey arm length to grab the disc about three feet in the air. He comes crashing down to Earth and we are all stunned. MoHo is stunned. The other team is stunned. Everyone who witnessed the catch is silent...

then a roar,


From that point on we just steam-rolled through our pool. Day 2 began and we had a matchup with one of the lower ranked teams, but they gave us a good run for our money, because our minds were already focused on our semi-final game... against Amherst. We squeaked out a victory in our first game, then had all of our juices flowing for our rematch.

"This is what we came here for, fellas," one of the seniors said.

The seniors on the team had that confidence about them that they just weren't going to lose this game. It wasn't going to happen. It didn't matter that no team had beaten Amherst for the last three or four years, or something ridiculous like that (yes, they had a team before nationals, unlike MoHo). It was payback time, and we weren't going to be denied.

The game was quite simply--amazing. Every single person on our team played to the best of their abilities. Jeremy was hucking and laying out on Defense. Marc was being the giant that he is, knocking down anything in his vicinity and bringing down the big grabs in the end zone. Phil and Josh were handling like they'd been playing for decades.

And we won. In a game supposed to go to 15, we won 17-15 in overtime. The guys were jumping up and down, I think I even saw a few tears--we had done the impossible. The entire sideline was cheering for us to win, and we delivered. The other semi-final game was long done, and both of those teams were rooting for us to beat Amherst. Looking back, it must have really sucked to be Amherst in that situation, but that's what they get for winning so much :)

We had just spilled our guts out, and feel on top of the world, when the tournament director comes over and says:

"Finals starts in 5 minutes, same field."


The other team, Nashville, I believe, had been resting for a good half-hour, watching our game as we ran our asses off in an overtime thriller. We were exhausted, and needed more than five minutes to rest. Mary protested, but her protests fell on deaf ears.

We ended up taking half, something like 8-6 in a game to 15, but in the second half the wheels just came undone. We had nothing left to give. The point that stands out in my mind as the nail in the coffin is when they threw the disc long to a guy who couldn't have been taller than 5'8". Marc is standing there waiting for the disc to drop into his 6'3" kill zone... as the disc drops, Marc reaches up to D it and gets skyed by the short kid. The kid just leaps right over Marc's out-stretched hand and takes the disc away. Marc had nothing left to jump, and I don't blame him one bit, but watching that kid a head shorter than Marc jump up and take the disc away just broke any of the little willpower I had left.

All of the seniors graduated, content with a second place finish at nationals, knowing they had done what they set out to do. We beat Amherst, and no one else could say the same. We had an amazing team in 1999, and I think three of those guys are now playing on Sockeye--one of the best open teams in the world, and winners of the national championships in 2003 (I think?). A fourth MoHo is also on the team, but he was on the 1998 team who lost to Amherst and he graduated that year.


Good memories.

Then, in much less dramatic fashion, in the 3rd annual junior's championships, we win. Much less drama, and the five guys who returned to play their senior years with me were pretty shocked at the talent difference in the 2000 team. Much like my 8th grade team in middle school--we sucked! We didn't play any college tournaments, our practices were terrible compared to a year prior--but we ended up winning the whole tournament. We still had some amazing players, and Chase pretty much came into his own his senior year. Chase was a big reason for our success, and he plays on Sockeye now and I believe he won the Callahan Award which is given to the best female and best male college Ultimate players in the country.

Another big reason for our success is that we had an incredibly easy draw. We made it through pool play on the first day with a loss (which didn't give us great hope for the next day). On day 2, we had a rematch with Bronx Science from two years prior, but they had eligibility issues, and the tournament director gave us a win by forfeit. Our second game of the day was against the only other team West of the Mississippi that year, Midwest Express. I hear nowadays, they are the team to beat. Madison, WI has an amazing ultimate community and they've been continuing to grow like wildfire. I actually stepped up pretty huge in the Midwest Express semi game with a few key D's, a couple assists and a couple scores. Out of all the big games I played in, I think I contributed the most in that one.

The other semi-final game was Amherst against Nashville. Nashville had their turn against Amherst, and were now the second team to claim victory over the powerhouse. Apparently a team called Paedaea had beaten Amherst in a friendly game, but sadly the nationals tournament was the same weekend as their graduation--another good fortune for us.

This time we were fresh though, and Nahsville didn't know what hit them. We led the entire game in the finals, and even though it was close, Chase made the difference and caught a lazer of a pass one-handed while coming in at a full sprint to win us the title. I could see the disc taco-ing in his hand as he caught it. How he held onto it? I have no clue.

The intensity at that level of play was too much for me. I loved playing frisbee, but whenever someone dropped the disc or made a mistake, teammates would just get all over them. It just wasn't fun when that was happening. And it happened a lot. Some of the better players on the team had chosen their colleges based on how good the ultimate teams at the school were. That just crossed the line for me, and I decided to retire from that level of competition.

In college, I loved playing bare-foot on the quad along with the slew of my peers who were just learning how to play the game. I still had all my throws, and could toss it long to the guys who liked to soar for the disc, but I would always be on the lookout for the open woman. Too many times I would see ladies interested in playing, but after a few points playing and standing around watching the disc get passed from guy to guy, they'd just leave. I vowed to never let that happen while I played.

My freshman year at UPS, I actually picked up with a Tacoma team in the same Seattle spring league I had played in with MoHo (did I mention we played spring league for nationals practice too? jeesh..). The Tacoma team was an amazing group of friendly people who just loved the game of ultimate. They weren't great, although they had their moments of brilliance, but no matter the outcome--they always had fun. I have played Potlatch with them the last seven years (for those of you that don't know, Potlatch is one of the world's largest ultimate frisbee tournaments, held around 4th of July every year in Redmond, WA). We are in the bottom pool, which usually is the E or F pool, but we drink (lots) and just generally have a good time. I get to reunite with my old frisbee buddies who are usually in the semis or finals of the A-pool games, which has always been a blast. Even when I've been living in Sacramento, Portland or Tahoe, I made it back up to Seattle for the tournament and hope to do so for at least the next seven years--no matter where I'm living!

Ultimate, I love you.

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