Friday, February 03, 2006

Thanks for the JuJu

Many thanks to all who were sending good mojo/juju/vibes my way for the interview today. I got drilled pretty hard, but all in all things went very well. There was even a couple of points where the words "That's the best answer I've heard so far" were uttered. I bet he tells all the girls that. My interviewer said that at the very latest I would know one way or the other by the end of next week, but very likely earlier.

The next couple of hours will be spent with closed eyes and Radiohead in an effort to decompress.

And now, we wait.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Alien Expectation

Garthmeister is rocking the house with his storied travails at the 180 SnG’s. Today was a tilt story, and while the blogsphere is riddled with such stories, this one hit home primarily because it is so in line with my own brand of tilt and tilt-triggers. It got me thinking more about why I tilt (yet again), and I feel compelled to expound a bit more.

The core of tilt is loss. When I first began to learn and play this damn game, I never tilted. A win was a win, a loss was a loss, and that was that. With any job I ever worked, I was never content to sit around and just do the job. I wanted to learn and be the best at my job, then start learning outside of that and advance to something better-- it’s part of my personality. So it is and was with poker. I studied and I improved, and while that trend has slowed in recent months, it is still continuing forward. I’m still a completely amateur donk, but I do know for sure that I have a distinct edge over much of the primordial ooze inhabiting the virtual tables.

Enter expectation, snuggled comfortably in the center of my being like something in the Alien movies. Come to think of it, that comparison seems pretty accurate, at least in my own case.

It didn’t take too much poker knowledge to launch myself from terra-firma and begin exploring the vast reaches of the poker universe as fast as I could. Every day brought new knowledge, and nearly every day brought an increase to the bankroll. Bigger bankroll basically means I had a ship that could explore farther, which is when began encountering Variance. It is an odorless, tasteless, formless, completely random, indiscriminate force that can hinder one’s journey at the least expected points. Instead of facing it and learning to co-exist with it, I have many times taken the easier road of ducking down and exploring the planet of Expectation.

What can I say, the trip was free.

The planet is beautiful, full of nymphs that live only for your pleasure, with real high-denomination casino chips that are redeemable anywhere. It’s not all candy and fairies down here, though. Sometimes you run across one of the dastardly face-sucking eggs so familiar in the Alien movies. The nymphs tell you it’s OK to look, so you do. When you wake up with one of them standing over you, sprinkling you with chips, it’s easy to forget what you innately know. Something bad just happened.

So off you go, back out to conquer the wild poker universe and win your never-ending battle with the ever-present Variance. You don’t realize, not for a moment, what’s gestating within. You’ve become an unwitting Expectation incubator.

You play and you battle. You’re pocket Aces are indestructible….. sometimes. You play and you battle some more. Same thing happens. Variance seems like it’s winning at a steady clip, but you are fighting the good fight, no matter it’s seeming personal interest in your suffering. Every time the indestructible is destroyed, the beast inside is fed and it grows.

It will be an adolescent Expectation beast very soon.

With adolescence comes a measure of self-awareness and a yearning for independence, and it is no different with this animal. A couple more meals and it will be ready, but you remain blissfully unaware, despite the nagging pain in your chest. You buy in and wait for your bulletproof holdings. Variance happens by, and once again, the beast gets fed and the pain gets worse until it finally bursts forth, spewing loud profanity and chips.

Upon recovering, all you can think is, “Oh gawd, I had that inside me?”

You take time and heal. You head out again to explore the universe and gain untold riches playing an easy game. As sure as the sun rises, you will be offered another trip down to partake in the wonders of planet Expectation. Do you go?

The above is completely corny, but dammit if it’s not accurate. I’ve been down there too many times already, each time harboring and giving birth to a beast that’s a bit more ferocious and draining than the last one. Stay away from this place, no matter how naked the nymphs, and no matter how many racks of black they offer you. You’ll never win in the end.

Be free of expectation. It’s much easier said than done, but I/you/we must if we are to avoid giving birth to any more ugly, chip-spewing spawn.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The unsolved riddle

Anyone reading this blog has long known that nothing too good comes out of this stinky pile of a city they call Wichita. Anything that I write having to do with this town, city, cesspool, whatever, is usually dripping negativity and pieces of an impending insanity. Not today. Today I highlight something positive being unearthed from the basement of Midwestern sensibility. Head over to AlCantHang and check out the song of the day from a local band, Nutsnack, called Mongolovely. Like Wichita, it is so very wrong, but it is also so very funny—which makes it oh so right. (Thanks for hosting, Al!)


Ironically, this story came to my attention while I was…..ummmm…well, click on the story, remember the word ironically, and then put two and two together. Or maybe it’s ironical, I forget--way too much Dubya on the news lately. There is nothing quite like this type of story to make a person feel better about their own shortcomings, which is also the reason I’m around. How ironical.

(/tongue in cheek)


While I do work in IT, it is only a section of the company that employs me (duh). I’m out working “in the field”, as they say, instead of being safely insulated by fellow nerds, warm cuddly servers, and the calming manta-like hum of various hardware fans. (Of course, doing well on this upcoming interview will remove me from “the field”, which is the reason I may have the aforementioned breakdown if I fail, but I digress) I have been in one kind of big business, corporate, soulless, idiotic environment or another for just over a decade now. The various fields traversed include popular choices like fast food (read: spat in a few burgers), telemarketing and collecting (are you a highly motivated self-starter?), languishing for a few years in sales (we know our product is crap and we just increased your sales targets, but you are our engine towards the future!), finally getting my head on straight and getting into a field that’s worth a damn. I know, I know, the world wouldn’t run without these various things and a career of substance or worth is relative. Just let me bitch.

I’m not sure why I felt the need to tell the world all of that.

Anyway, throughout all of these things there is one consistent riddle that I have been thus far unable to solve. Why, oh why, are there still so many childish games played at meetings/presentations, stupid “activities” at department birthday celebrations (for that matter, why are there birthday celebrations at work?), and money spent on a constant stream of nonsensical, company-branded trinkets? The only place I didn’t encounter these aberrations was when I was doing an internship with a full-on IT shop here in town, which I miss terribly (if I’m not figuring paycheck into the equation).

It’s like working amongst 4-year olds with PCP-sodden pituitary glands. Won’t someone help me solve my riddle?

I think I just may have graduated from bits of insanity up to chunks.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Recent Favorites

I just got GZA’s Legend of the Liquid Swords and you should too—if you’re into that rap stuff. I’m not sure if my boredom with rap is simply a product of ever increasing age or if it really has been mostly crap for the last decade, but Knock Knock from this album is the first rap to get me excited since Kanye’s College Dropout album (NOTE: The two are not at all similar).

Also, on the must see list, is Jim Gaffigan. This guy does not get the props that he deserves. He just had a special on Comedy Central called “Beyond the Pale” that all people should make it a point to watch. Absolutely hilarious. It shouldn’t be too hard to see since Comedy Central has a penchant for replaying programs approximately 840,000 times, unless it’s My Cousin Vinny, and then you can easily double that conservative number. Gaffigan’s special is on DVD, and I’m not sure if it’s censored or not, but nearly the same routine is on his CD, Doin’ My Time, which is not edited and is pure comedy joy.

UFC: Couture vs. Liddell 3 is this weekend, so if the Super Bowl is a dud all will not have been lost. If you’re not a fan of UFC or know little about it, then Saturday would be a good time to start—this is the biggest fight so far in their history. I don’t think it will happen, but I’m hoping Couture can pull out the win. He’s old (42), but if he doesn’t win this fight that will pretty much be it for him. It’s something he’s acutely aware of, which I think might give him that little bit extra necessary to pull it out. Then again, Liddell loves his title and loves to fight, and he not even close to the type that will get lax just because he’s on top. While good arguments can be posited for both sides, I will do the usual and wait to see the looks on their faces on the way to the ring before I really decide. I was able to accurately call the first two fights with this method, so hopefully my method will continue to be accurate as I just may put some money on this one.


Oh happy day! After weeks of tense waiting, I finally got the call for a second interview for the position in Phoenix. I was so pumped I nearly broke out in showtunes, and I don’t even know any—I was just going to make some up on the spot. The interview happens on Friday, and supposedly the guy will be making a decision over the weekend. Then again, he said during the first interview that he planned on having someone in place by the end of the month. Considering how that one went, I’m trying not to get my hopes up. I need a consistent weeks worth of good juju sent my direction, because if I don’t get this thing I just may have a breakdown of some sort. There have been very few times in my life when I’ve invested this much effort into a thing, and on none of those occasions did I fail in my endeavor. Now would not be a good time to break precedent.

Must. Escape. Midwestern. Prison.


Apologies for all of the poker complaining yesterday, there was just no avoiding it. While some have the ability to internalize a good beating and move on, I have to let that shit out. If the poisons aren’t released I’ll be on tilt until I finally burst. There needs to be some sort of tilt-spongy tablet. It could be like an Alka-Seltzer, but containing THC, valium, and a variety of anti-depressants. Have a Tilt-B-Gone tablet and stop caring so much about the beats! You’ll sleep like you did before you knew how to play!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Damnable Games

After a good day of writing on Friday I was in a mood to fire up the poker machine. Four hours later, I was no longer in the mood. TILT. Here’s how five consecutive SnG’s went…

Bubble time, 4 players left. This is nice, I am the chip leader. Short stack pushes, I call, short stack is dominated (i.e. AK v A7). Short stack wins, continues pushing with dominated crap, keeps winning. I’m short, push with decent hand, former short stack either calls with pure shite and wins or now has hand that dominates mine and wins. I bubble.

Dominated. Every. Time.

It’s the closest I have ever come to hurling the laptop through the television. I am so NOT immune to tilt and I’m evidently getting no better at it. Hell, I’m not even in the same geographic area as the tilt immune.

I was feeling ugly enough (or on the precipice of) to forget about poker for the rest of the weekend. Will I ever get used to the oftentimes soul-crushing nature of this damnable game? During times like these, I wonder. My intellect tried in vain to sit my emotions down for a talk about numbers and the “long run”, but all the intellect got for the effort was a beat-down, storm off, door slam. So much for that. How much would it cost, do you think, to have my emotions assassinated? Might be worth the expense, methinks.


So, it’s nearly Super Bowl time, and I think I’m actually going to try and watch it this year (much to the dismay of Rachel). Here is what I wish for the Super Bowl even though I know it will never happen. I want a football game. JUST a football game. I know that this wish is pie in the sky stuff, but I would be happy to see the pendulum at least beginning to swing back in that direction. If this year ends up being another MTV marketing extravaganza then I am pledging to boycott the Super Bowl in my house for the rest of my time on this planet. I was never a rabid football fan to begin with, but seeing the actual competition become ever more secondary to soulless marketing makes me intolerably sad.

Yes, it’s one of those days, and all signs point to it being one of those weeks.