Sunday, February 14, 2010

winning and losing, a gambler's viewpoint

quick recap.

i arrived in vegas on feb 8, 2010. i brought with me a carnitas burrito from caliente, and a yokozuna combo and hot hot ca roll from sushi deli. they were delicious even after four+ hours of waiting - in fact, more delicious.

we trained hard for poomse on wednesday despite my calves being super sore from the 1 mile of barefoot running i did at paul's. that was a complete mistake that i knew would happen when i started running but did anyways. my calves hurt until two days after the competition, after intense therapy sessions in the hotel jacuzzi.

excalibur is cheap at $40 per night (per person?), but you basically pay for what you get. i've also decided that the worst part about casinos is that they allow smoking indoors, a fact which was to our advantage as augie, nathan and brett enjoyed stogies tonight on our night out through all the casinos. but i don't think i have a shirt that isn't smoke ridden, and my underwear are slowly becoming immersed in the smell as well. furthermore my socks should just be thrown out after this weekend. the lack of laundry is killing me, and the lingering smoke is killing my throat.

alicia and i placed 6th place in pairs. i placed 5th place in individuals at the prelims, 6th place in the semis, and 7th in the finals. of course, the finals form could have gone much, much better.

from wednesday night to basically tonight, we've had a ton of fun. john wong and rene left yesterday but for a few days we went out and ate alot of good food. we went to mesa grill to meet my name twin bobby flay, and saw Ka that night as well. i'm also slowly overcoming the ingrained guilt associated with drinking while walking along, and drinking while the sun is still out. i think we've almost perfected the cranberry vodka or soco diet in a 20 oz bottle routine, and fatburger has served us twice while very drunk, or wishing to be very drunk.

and tonight, i won about $100 on craps table. i was rolling a hot hot hot field. and the best part is that my friends were in on it at some point or other. brett definitely went from $10 to $200 which is phenomenal, and alicia gained a quick $50 just by being there and putting in her $10. i was the only chump who made $200 off of a full $100, resulting only in a 100% return.

that said, i've realized some things about the world that i have never known before.

taekwondo is a filthy dirty sport. the holding area was like a pigsty. there was spilled water, sweaty equipment, sweaty people, and leftover food everywhere, on and off the mats, and among it the players were just standing or sleeping. when you're facing impending pain and stress i guess none of that other small stuff matters, though.

alcohol has become such a strange currency. bars and clubs are able to charge $10-$12 for each drink, but a casino will easily give you drinks just to keep you at the table. even when you're making money on the table and the casino is losing a bit of money. conversely, a small drink can make a person's day. winning $20 and then getting a free drink (worth about $5 in your mind) can really give you a positive mood, as if the free drink was like extra cash in the pocket.

gambling is addictive. craps is FUN AS CRAP and when you're on a streak you're on a streak. of course, this just means next time i play i'm going to lose all of my winnings from this time, and more. and humans are coded to appreciate loss more than gain, meaning that if i end up completely even, i will still be left with a lingering sadness, because losing the $100 hurt me way more than the happiness gained from earning the $100 in the first place.

so now it's time to sleep. tomorrow we have a few more matches, and hopefully we will come out positive.

Monday, February 8, 2010

end of san diego

i've left san diego and am now at the excalibur in las vegas. not much has happened yet except i've lost $2 to the slots, so I'll just do a recount of SD.

i've done everything i'd wanted to do at SD. I am highly satisfied.

friday night i just hung out with hyon at the hilton mission bay. it was a really nice hotel and had a nice view of palm trees, and a deck that got a bit chilly. but i didnt get my burrito until the next day, and i was a bit pissed because the fish burrito that we ordered wasn't great.

on saturday, i tried to hit the waves around noon. they were really rough and basically while the current drove me northward the waves beat down on my head. there was one wave which i semi caught for maybe 3 seconds, but the board didnt hold my weight too well and didnt have wax, and my general surfing skills have definitely deteriorated. after four successive monsters that bore down on my head and forced me to abandon the board and dive under the water, i ran out of strength and decided to drift back to shore. i think the day was complicated by the dark clouds that constantly shouted "thunderstorm", and the worry that my car keys, which were all electronic, would be stolen because i had to leave them in my shoes.

after that disappointing session i drove down to sorrento valley to visit the old work place and go to caliente. now, that is a burrito that is as good as i remembered. the last bite i took was greasy and filled with guacamole and fatty carnitas. however, it was raining and the old deck we used to sit under was completely abandoned, so i just ate the food in my car. here is a picture of my burrito and my surfboard. there's always a silver lining even to a bad surf day. i went by moura's surf shop afterwards and it was the same old guy i remember but of course he didnt remember me.

the one thing that goes really quickly is my sense of direction. i could not remember how to get to la jolla shores and i basically followed gilman around until my muscle memory picked up a little bit.

saturday afternoon we went to UCSD to watch them whoop on UCI. a lot of the kids i knew have improved alot - garret and andrew, mainly. after that, we went to noodle house, and jacky basically went crazy. we took soju bomb after soju bomb, and i remember the moment when i knew i would be screwed for the rest of the night. i probably took a look at the soup in front of me, took a bite of food, then took another bomb. and after that there was only brief moments - that last killer soju shot, drunkenly paying $60 for my share of alcohol, falling out of the car on the side of the highway to puke, then being unable to regain my balance. i woke up in paul's room, and panickly wondered where my camera, wallet, and rental car keys were. also, i briefly remembered puking hard into some container and hoping that the container was not paul's bedsheets.

the next day was ok, and we lounged around the house until 2 pm when we went to sushi deli 3. sushi deli is always delicious and wonderful. more to come...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

US Open Blog

This upcoming week a bunch of CW people are going to be vegas for US Open. I left a bit earlier, to go back to my old haunts in SD. I chilled with hyon at his hilton in mission bay last night, and now i'm hanging out at Pauls. I'll be going surfing in a little bit...3-4 ft waves, la jolla shore where my favorite small breaks are. it's overcast and 59, but still nicer than boston.

and i rented a Yaris. :-D i hope it fits my board.

hopefully i'll be able to take some good photos this week, and probably get some video of our competition at US Open. Thus, i'll start keeping a little blog, whenever I can get access to a computer.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

more housing work

it's been a long while and I've found myself doing a bit of work every weekend, thus progress is slow. i've made a trip to home depot to buy 2x6x12 support beams and 4x4s to hold them up, then we opened a hole into the attic and decided that there's absolutely no load on it and it would be a waste of effort and space. so we just cut down the beams for the old wall, and lo and behold no ceiling came tumbling down. back to home depot to return $30 worth of wood.

i had electricians come in and they decided that I need to gut the whole thing so that they can properly rewire up the rooms. it's pretty interesting to tear down every wall, it's like a puzzle of where to put all the trash and how to get it out of the house. by now i've gotten pretty good at tearing out the slathes and taking down the plaster at the same time. we put mail bins underneath to catch all the debris, then throw the slathes into a large pile which is broken down and put into trashbags later. it'll be done eventually.

the current state of the windows. the trim is all down in order to tear down the paneling, and i dont think they can be recovered. also, note my new $39 green ladder :)

the remaining plaster left on the first room. the door was busted on the other side when a 4x4 fell and knocked a big hole in it.

the chimney. notice that some of the brick is crumbling. not sure what to do...i might just drywall it up.

what remains of the ceiling light connectors. this is all gonna go to the dumpster.