Getting back

What’s going on, everyone? So yesterday was a little more of the same in a bunch of aspects. A little work to do, a little pool after work, and then just vegging out by the time I got home. Then, as expected, I finally got to talk to my friend Steff for the first time in what feels like ages! Even though we’ve been e-mailing each other back and forth, it’s always a lot nicer getting to hear the voices of my friends. So we talked for a while, mainly about her last semester at UMBC and how fast things seem to go. I’ll have to admit, the last semester at college is definitely the most chaotic, because you’re trying to finish off the degrees, certificates, minors….I mean, even the Phys Ed credits seem like a hassle at that point. Alongside of that, you’re trying to arrange a resume, get job interviews, plan out the future, and it all happens in the course of just four months, so it really gives you a feeling like you’re just floating through the last semester. It’s like you’re working hard, and feeling the pressure, but at the same time, you’re in this haze the whole time. I mean, there are also a million things running through your mind, like when’s the next time you’ll get to spend time with all the people you’ve grown to love throughout college. It’s just a hard time, and that’s why there weren’t a lot of dry eyes at commencement. College really is the best time of a person’s life. Notice that I didn’t say the best four years of someone’s life, because a four-year tenure isn’t truly possible anymore. There’s so much more to learn in the world today that it’s not possible to graduate in four years and have the adequate knowledge base to work in today’s job market.

But now, I get to see Steff this weekend, just to catch up and help her out with this graphic design project that she’s working on. It should be really fun, and I’m definitely excited! I mean, it’ll be the first time I get to see her in nearly a year (barring any interactions from Skype), so I’m looking forward to helping her out just like in the old days. =]

That also gave me the incentive to continue working on her birthday present, but a part of the way into it, I got really upset for what seemed to be no reason at all. I don’t know what it is that came over me, but I ended up falling asleep as I worked on it. When I woke up, it’s was already past midnight, and now my sleep pattern was all messed up, so I started running around, doing stuff. Took a shower, checked facebook (where I saw a bunch of posts from my friend Lisa which I’m going to talk about in a little bit), and played some poker. Now, as for the poker…nearly nothing went right last night. I went into two tournaments, the first holding two jacks in the first hand, and the second holding AQ in the first hand. Of course, if you ever play online tournaments, it’s a terrible idea to play the first hand since everyone moves all-in with anything, hoping to hit a home run, and the rigged system tilts the odds in favor of the worst hand most of the time. So I lost about 750 in chips doing that, which I guess isn’t so bad since I was up 1,800 from finishing high in the last tournament. After that frustrating moment, I decided to try PokerStars. To be honest, I wasn’t really that into it when I started playing it. It just didn’t seem as engaging as Full Tilt. I ended up just playing Razz the whole time I was on PokerStars. They could do things a lot better, I think.

Right now, I’m listening to “Sweepstakes” from the new Gorillaz album. I still can’t get over the fact that Mos Def recorded his MC part of this song in one take. Plastic Beach is an awesome album, but for those of you who were really into demon days, this is a far cry from the last album. Damon’s really tried to explore new sounds in the newest album, even getting the Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music on a track with grime rappers Kano and Bashy. You’ll hate it in the beginning. I mean it. But at you listen to it, it grows on you, and then you’ll begin to appreciate what the artists were going for in this album and love it. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s when an artist comes out with a new album, and it sounds just like the old one. I love it when musicians challenge the way they look at music in pursuit of developing new sounds. Linkin Park is probably the best example of a band from this era that’s completely overhauled their style. They knew their sounds were getting repetitive, and with Meteora, you knew that changes were coming, and it was exciting. The Beatles are my favorite example, when they made Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Everything they did with that album was completely different from what they’ve done in the past, and that’s why it’s one of the best albums of all time, and a personal favorite of mine. It’s also why my sister’s cat is named Sarge!

Yesterday, I recommended that a co-worker of mine who’s into bodybuilding to try out the Odwalla Protein Monster. Seriously, for anyone that’s into getting into working out and building muscle, that thing is literally like celestial. Yes, I said celestial. Of all the vocabulary I learned in college, that was the best I could come up with! But there’s around 33g of protein per bottle (despite the nutrition facts saying it’s two servings of 18g). Do the math, that’s some serious healing power!

I was talking to my friend Kelly last night who told me that she got a Kindle recently, and that she’s loving it. I had only heard about this thing in passing, but I thought it was interesting that you could preview e-books on a machine prior to buying it and reading it on the device. Something like that could actually get me back into reading. Honestly, I’ve drifted away from the reading scene a long time ago, but I’ve been trying to find something that could captivate me to read it all the way through. Most of the books I’ve read in recently memory were instructional. Maybe I should read up on my politics since I don’t have a clue about any of it! But if anyone else here has a Kindle, let me know about it. I’ve been curious =]

I’ve also been thinking about getting a digital guitar effects processor. It seems like such a better alternative than getting an amp that doesn’t even have all the things you want in it. They don’t cost a whole lot either, so I figured I might look into it. Playing my electric guitar unplugged gets too boring after a while.

Alright, so back to what I was going to talk about earlier. I received a message last night from my good friend Lisa, and she was saying that in recent months, it seems like we’ve become complete strangers to each other. To those who didn’t know, Lisa and I spent a lot of time together the last semester I was there at UMBC. I would go to visit her almost every day, it seemed. She was a freshman, and just getting accustomed to the college life, and I was already one foot out the door. When I read her message, I knew that she was absolutely right, and I felt bad that I hadn’t been in contact for so long. It went from practically inseparable to really choppy, sporadic contact, and it made me feel guilty as well. Ever since I got into the working world, I’ve been almost a recluse since I work a lot of the time. And many of my best friends have seen that there are times where I just reach a boiling point and need to see my friends, too. There was a point while I was working that I wasn’t really doing anything I wanted to do: I hadn’t played a round of golf over a year, I hadn’t played pool for several months, I was working a few Saturdays out of the month, one of my friends wasn’t talking to me, and I was just miserable.

So now, especially since it’s getting warmer and the day are longer, I’m making it a new goal for this year to reconnect with everyone. I feel like I’ve been disconnected for several years now, and that I’ve been so focused on establishing myself in the working world that I almost forgot that I still need to have some fun every now and then. It’s no fun being a workaholic! I was never really as social in college, either, which I think was probably the biggest mistake I made in college. The game room was basically the focal point of my social life, and that was about it. So I’ll work on it, and expect to hear a lot from me in the coming weeks =]

Alrighty, time to get some stuff done. See ya!

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Gooooood morning, Vietnam!

It’s hump day, and things are going pretty well! I decided against my better judgment to play another NLH freeroll last night. There were 10,000 people in this one, since it was a satellite to a major $1,000 tournament, and I was running really well! I made it to 92nd in chips at the first break with 28k, but ended up busting in 841st when my aces were cracked by a set of queens. But 841st out of 10,000 isn’t too bad. That’s the top 8%, so I’m happy with it!

Other than that, it was just another say at the office. For the life of me, I couldn’t keep my attention on my work today. There were so many things just running through my head! To top it all off, I accidentally ripped the cover to my iPhone so I went out to find one during my break. Fortunately enough, RadioShack just started carrying iPhones and the accessories today! So I got a new cover for my phone and didn’t have to walk down about 6 blocks to get it. The sales rep Olu was a really cool guy, too. He pretty much flat out read me and knew I was an IT major. Being an up and coming IT major himself, he asked me about the job market for IT people coming out of college. It was a pretty big eye opener talking to the guy. Oh, and for those who don’t know, RadioShack also carries livestrong bracelets! I’ve been looking for a new one since I broke my old one. Yes, I’ve broken a lot of things recently.

Another thing I’ve been doing a lot was playing a lot of pool after I get out of work. I actually feel like I’m building the confidence in my playing ability. I hope I can still compete against Kyoo, since I heard he’s been playing some strong pool. If not, I’ll just play him in razz hehehe

I really do need to visit UMBC. There’s so many people I want to visit, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get to them all in one day. I know Lai’s been asking when we both can pay a trip to UMBC together, but the game room isn’t the only place I’ll be visiting if I go back.

I know, I’m rambling at this point. It’s crazy because I’m writing this whole post from my phone, I’m loopy from the allergy medication and I’m getting anxiety for what’s to come later tonight. Maybe I’ll do some more creative writing if I can think of a topic. Usually, I start writing when I think about a topic or just hear some phrase or saying that sounds good. I start writing based on that one thing. Like, with “with love from overseas”, I was just thinking of the phrase “why do I do this to myself?” and drawing off experiences of my friends, I started writing about a relationship on opposite sides of the world. It’s therapeutic for me, although I know there’s gonna be a bunch of haters. Haha!

Well I’m almost home, and I might even take a nap. I’ve been run down from working out, the pollen count, long hours at work, and my own personal demons. So I’m due for a nap. Peace!

The week’s just dragging on, and it’s only Tuesday!

First off, NO, I’m not really married! My friend made a facebook account with my last name attached to it just for shock value. Although it’s kinda funny the attention it’s been drawing already. She’s just teasing me for being single so long. =P Besides, I would have to be engaged before I get married! I’m not just gonna leap right into it! I still have a couple of years of singleness before I do that.

Anyway, now that that’s out of the way, I was getting ready for work this morning in the break room at my office, and one of my co-workers pointed out something about me that I hadn’t noticed until that point. She said, “You have a routine in the morning! I’m amazed by that because every morning I have to run in and out of my house because I forget things, and if my keys are in the wrong place, I’ll go nuts!” I didn’t realize it, but I actually had developed a routine every morning to make sure I have everything, which isn’t really anything so unnatural until my co-worker let me know that most of the people in the office don’t have a routine, which makes what I do in the morning seem so much more mechanical.

It seems like everyone’s been telling me recently that I live the life of an older person, and I believe it’s true. Compared to many other people that are my age, I seem like I’m living the life of a 28-year old. For right now, this is the life that fits me. Later on, I’ll be more out and about, but right now, I just have to focus on building a strong foundation. I’ve held off on many of the projects I wanted to work on, like the musical projects and YouTube videos because I feel I still need to learn more about the parts of the project in order for me to get what it is that I really want out of it. They’ll be coming, but I want to do them right.

Well, that’s all from this end. Hopefully Stephanie calls me back tonight, since I missed her call earlier from getting my haircut! Other than that, adiĆ³s!

Great weekend, bleh Monday >=[

So I haven’t really had a break in a long time (I’ve worked 23 of the past 28 days), and I decided that since I didn’t have to work this past Saturday, I would head up to my sister’s place in Northwest DC and make a weekend out of it. So I get over to her place, and from there, I had to head to my bank on Pennsylvania Avenue because the very nice people at my bank didn’t give me:

  • my PIN number
  • my password for online banking

I’ve been with these guys for months now, but I never had the time to actually get my account info straightened out since the place is damn near packed on my lunch break, so I finally got it all set up, and ready to go. From there, Christina and I headed out to Georgetown to go shopping. I’m not big on shopping, but after losing all that weight, none of my clothes fit me anymore! So I went around, got some lunch, bought a few things, and just enjoyed the sun.

One talent I apparently discovered when I was shopping with my sister is that apparently I know how to price clothing just by looking at it. My sister even started testing me, just showing me things and asking me how much they were, and I nearly got them all right. I really don’t know where the hell I picked it up, but it might be useful!

After we got back, I took advantage of the gym that was in my sister’s building and had a good workout, and I also hit the Korean supermarket that was on the bottom floor. Now, this place is pretty sick because they have just about everything you could need, and the people that run the place live in the building anyway, so it’s always around. They had to have made serious bank during the snowstorm over the winter. But they got all kinds of things in there: your standard groceries, all the spices you could need, tools, utensils, beer, DVD rentals, and even some international food items (they ARE Korean, after all!).

Then on Sunday, I got to go to Ben’s Chili Bowl for the first time! For those of you who aren’t familiar with DC, Ben’s Chili Bowl is pretty much the mecca of chili. The building itself is a historical landmark, and they’ve worked really hard to maintain the personality and tradition of the place. If anything, the only new stuff they’ve brought to the restaurant was an ATM and a TV projector in the back. But this place was always buzzing, and I’ve heard so many things about it, so I had to pay a visit to U Street to see what the fuss was about. Here’s Adam Richman with a summary of the place:

And god, were they all right. I got the chili half smoke, and it was probably one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. It seems to go all too quickly, and yes, the onions got stuck in my teeth, but it definitely lived up to the hype. On top of that, I got to watch the beginning of the Maryland/MSU game on the big projector, so life was good (well, up until the end of that game when Lucious drained that 3-pointer to boot my team!)

I was playing a LOT of poker over this weekend too. I managed to just squeak into the money of a 90 player NLHE sit-n-go, making 562 in chips, and then Sunday night, I played in a massive Razz $150 freeroll tournament. There were 7,215 people in this tournament, and the top 45 people get paid. I made it all the way to 92nd place, despite falling asleep three times during the tournament. I probably would have cashed in the tournament had it not started around 9:40 pm, but finishing 92nd against over 7,000 people who play this game for money felt really good. Razz has always been one of my favorite disciplines of poker, particularly because it’s difficult for maniacs to be aggressive playing this type of poker. They always say that Razz is the hardest game because it’s the only game where your hand can get worse as the hand progresses, but I think it’s a bit easier for a few reasons:

  • flushes, straights, and pairs don’t count
  • it’s a limit game, meaning you won’t get any hideous overbets to bust you
  • there’s a lot less bluffing – most of the people didn’t even know what they had, much less try to think about what you have!

Just before I came on here, I cashed in another NLHE sit-n-go 5th place finish, this time making 1,800 in chips. One of these days, I’ll go for the big $150 freeroll again, if they ever hold the damn thing at an earlier time!

The other down side to this whole weekend was that in the end, my sister ended up developing strep throat again. The weather wasn’t being particularly nice to her, so it flared up the lymph nodes in her neck, and now it’s gotten pretty ugly. She went to the doctor this morning and got medication for it, but the real concern was actually if I was infected with it, too. After all, I did spend a weekend with her in her apartment, eating some of the food that she had and all that. I hope nothing develops out of it, but if it does, you’ll be seeing much more blogging here in the coming days (since I won’t be at work).

But for now, it’s time to hit the bed. See you all next time!