Sunday, August 1, 2010

Poker related post!? Craziness!

So over the course of the years, I've met most of the bloggers that I've wanted to meet. There are still a few out there that I haven't but they are getting fewer and fewer... one of the guys that I've "known" the longest who I actually never met was cmitch. He never came to the winter gatherings that I've been to and I have not gone to any blogger gatherings that happen during the summer (during WSOP which I think cmitch goes to). Well, now that I've moved to Tampa and he lives in Orlando, I figured it was a matter of time till we met, especially considering there's a casino in Tampa. Recently, FL passed a law that no longer caps the buy in at the poker tables so all the more reason for degens to get together right?

Well, so Thurs, I get a text from Cmitch telling me he's gonna go to Hard Rock Casino (here in Tampa) on Fri. Since i live 10 minutes away, I told him that he can just text me when he gets there and I can go meet him. Now the last time I was in this casino was back in December... during my apartment hunting trip. And sure enough, the games were shitty and but so was the rake/service so I decided that I see no point in coming to this casino... So despite living 10 minutes away (like 6-7 miles away), I never bothered to go... until tonight... and boy did I underestimate the power of degeneracy...

Friday evening, the Hard Rock Casino exit is packed... I mean there's a line on I-4 to get off the exit. I patiently wait and eventually, I enter the parking garage where I proceed to text cmitch (who was already waiting for me at the bar) that I am now in the parking garage... This begins the 30 minutes of trying every level of the parking garage looking for a spot! Eventually, I got tired of being stuck behind a long line of cars doing the same thing I'm doing so I drove to a nearby neighborhood, parked my car in there and just walked to the casino.

Cmitch and I had some drinks together to get acquainted and then we hit the tables. He quickly got to his 2-5NL table and I was seated at a 1-2NL table shortly thereafter. I also signed up for the 1-3NL table but since 1-2 was starting a new table, I figured I'd go sit there. With the law no longer capping the buy in, I show up with $200 stack when the dealer quickly tells me that for 1-2nl, the cap is a $100. WTF!? And then I see a bunch of people buying in for like $40 or $50 bucks... 3rd hand in, I don't even remember what I had but I stack this other guy and yet I'm only up like $50... WTF!?

Fortunately, I hear my name being called for the 1-3NL where the minimum buy in is $100 and max is $300. While there will still plenty of guys buying in at the minimum, at least it was a $100. The table was fairly nitty but there were two juicy calling stations who kept buying in $100 at a time (one of them bought like 5 times while I was there) and then there were some other donkeys that would spew for a while and leave empty handed. I was one of the lucky recipients of such donkeys when my AA > JT on a J high flop. T9 was also a great hand for me tonight as I hit two pair twice, both times getting me a decent pot. Some more wins and spews here and there netted me +$253 for the night. Considering the stack sizes, not a bad night.

I called it quits around 1:30am when my table started getting short.... cmitch didn't quite seem ready to go home yet but I saw on twitter that he left about an hr after I did with a profit of $200... follow him on twitter or go check out the blog (linked above) for his trip report (assuming he posts something).

Overall, it was pretty fun... the players were pretty terrible and it was an enjoyable activity... having said that, I doubt that I would go there more than once a month. Let me put it this way... It ain't no Vegas...

Saturday, July 17, 2010


So I had a doctor's appointment this week... just the normal regular checkup on my knee. And he talked to my therapist and then checks out my knee and as usual, he gives me his "You get a A plus on your knee. I can tell you're working hard and it shows!" Now, when you hear that every time, I always joke with him that that's his standard line. Part of it is obviously encouragement but then he did say that I'm at a point where if I had NBA Finals next month or the Superbowl to play in, I am at a stage where they can attempt to get me back by then in playing condition. Of course, with that comes a lot of risk as well and then he proceeded to talk about Rod Woodson who had the reconstructive surgery and while his recovery time was projected to be 6 to 12 months, he came back in 4 to play in Superbowl XXX.

Dr Craythorn who performed my surgery and who I have follow up visits with is (or maybe was) Tampa Rays doctor so he's also used to assessing where the recovery stage is and push harder than a normal doctor to get the patients back. Now, he's also used to dealing with the regular Joe Schmoe's like me but he knows what to look for and so with his thumbs up, he's able to authorize me to do more...

And so now, I am starting to jog on the treadmill... I do intervals and I use that term very very loosely as I am walking for 30 seconds and jogging at an 11 minute pace for 2-3 minutes... but considering some doctors don't allow their patients to even start jogging until 6 months post op, this is huge that I am starting now, merely 13 weeks after surgery.

I already declared on here that I will PR my half marathon in December in Vegas. I ran 1:43:00 last year and I intend to break 1:40 this year. It will be tight and it will be a lot of work but competitive and determined are two words that pretty much define who I am. I told my trainers that that is what I'm gonna do so they need to make my training to gear towards that and while at first, they jokingly laughed, I think they now know I am dead serious. I mean the assistant did go from "I'm not sure you'll be ready to do a half" to "I'm not sure you can get a PR in your half" so clearly, my improvement is going better than he expected. The head PT guy is a guy that has done more ACL's than anyone else in Tampa and based on what he's seeing out of me, he's fairly certain that I can be back to running hard in the next couple of months. Beyond that, it would be up to me to get my endurance back.

Who knows? Maybe I'll be able to get back to basketball before 2011... after all, I am already jumping off my left leg and landing on my left leg. While it's still a little unstable, I am months ahead of where I was when I had the same surgery on my opposite leg 12 years ago.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

My second home

Most of you know that I'm born and raised in Japan. Well, if you don't... I am.

But now that I've moved to Tampa, it feels like I have a second place to call home. And that's Richmond, VA. It's funny how it is. While I was there, I couldn't wait to move out. I mean there were parts of it that I loved but there were more things that made me want to move somewhere else. But now that I moved, I miss it. To be honest, I really don't know if I miss Richmond or the people there. Probably both and probably weighted towards the people... but this morning, I realized that I missed the place itself as well.

In Tampa, I live 3 blocks away from Howard Ave which is known for all the cool restaurants and bars that are down in Hyde Park area of Tampa. It's a "trendy" place where lots of "young professionals" hang out. It also happens to be the douchebag capital of the world. I swear, there must be a dbag fountain somewhere around here... Ed Hardy shirts that are two sizes too small, bling-ish sunglasses worn at night indoors, etc. Yep, typical douchebags. But chicks dig that. And these are also hot chicks. So I guess everyone just plays the game. Don't get me wrong. Douchebags are everywhere. In VA, they pop their collars. But at least they weren't as over the top as they are down here. Anyways, so while I love going to the bars on Howard, I was also craving a more chill atmosphere too. Because the whole, being a dbag, pretending to be something more than you really are, and just trying to get laid is not the game I play. Just not how I roll. I'd rather not get laid for years than to sleep with someone that I don't care about that I'll never see again (until you awkwardly run into them at a bar again or whatever).

Well, when I went to get a haircut, I was talking to the dude and I asked him for some advice on places to eat. He's openly gay and lives in Ybor (kinda known for where the gay people live/hang out - sometimes referred to as "gaybor" per wikipedia, not my words) so I figured he would know more of a different feel restaurant than this Howard Ave dbag crowd (that I would assume would be extremely homophobic). And sure enough, he told me about this breakfast joint that he and his bf go. Some homely diner where they know your name, run by a family, etc.

So... today (Saturday), I decided to go check it out.

Pach's Place. Once you walk inside, it's definitely that family owned diner feel. It's small, crowded, busy, and loud... and it reminded me of the diners I used to go in Richmond. For Richmonders, think rivercity diner but smaller, boychik's but packed in tighter, or Jimmy's but louder (and def busier). I sat at the counter since I was by myself and sat next to this old lady, Connie, who told me about how the diner has been around for years and it's family owned and the people that work there has been there for years (except for our waitress who just started today). I also talked to two other older ladies from West Virginia and so I told them about how I've been to Charleston and also driven out to Huntington for a friend's wedding. I told them that I thought the state was beautiful (the drive to Huntington crossing the state is gorgeous) and they were stoked that I knew WV and that I was so appreciative of the state. They told me that you never realize how beautiful that state is until you leave there and move down here to flat FL. So true.

It was just so nice to be in a homely feel type of place. I was craving that a lot more than I realized until I got it. The food was good... I mean it's standard eggs, bacon, grits (finally found it here!), homefries, and toast (slabbed with melted butter). Ah, finally, some southern flair. As I crushed my food, said goodbye to the ladies, and left the place, I realized that for that last 30 minutes or so, it was like home sweet home. Who knew that I would actually miss Richmond like this? I sure didn't.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Third World Country Part 2

As I mentioned in my previous post, I intend to keep this very brief. After a week long binge drinking and partying, by the end of the week, between all the alcohol and the sun that we were getting, along with the crazy bug bites, we were all ready to leave. I mean it was just a long week and so it was just draining. Plus, keep in mind that 10 of us are sharing a house and despite it being a large house and many of us having the bedrooms to ourselves, eventually, you start missing home and your normal life... at least I do.

So, the last night that we were in Roatan, we went to this bar, partied some but didn't go crazy... at this point, alcohol was starting to not get the job done for me... which I was ok with. Well, Friday night, it became really stormy and nasty... apparently, tropical storm Alex was coming in and so it was just a lot of rain and wind... and sure enough, Saturday morning, the day we're all supposed to leave, I'm woken up by one of my friends who came into my room and said "all the flights are cancelled!"


I mean are you serious? I was looking forward to going back to the US and to my home and now you tell me we have to stay another day here? I was not happy about it at all. Some of them were gonna go to the airport to sort things out but I just decided to check the status online and just go from there.

Well... remember how I had to switch my flight because Delta was delayed and so I ended up missing the flight that everyone was on? And so I had to book Continental? Well... CLUTCH!!!! It was only Delta that cancelled all their flights for the day. Continental (flying a different route obv) did not cancel any of their flights so I actually got to go home... And boy was I glad.

Don't get me wrong. Roatan was a lot of fun and being with my friends is always great. But after 7 days of just nothing but partying (I don't know how to "take it easy") and such, I was ready to be home. Also, the bug bites and the sun was taking a toll on my skin and I was starting to get bumps and rashes and I wanted some american medication. (No CVS or Walmart in Roatan)

When I touched down in Houston, I was so psyched. Connection to Tampa was no problem and the tropical storm... well, I never saw it or was affected by it so I don't know why Delta was being such a pussy but it is what it is.

You know, the cool thing is, despite remembering that I wanted to come home by like Friday, as time passes, only the good things stick in my head. The fun times that we had. Getting to know some of the others on the trip. And just having fun with old friends. I'll probably never go to Honduras/Roatan ever again... but I'll always remember the fun times that we had.

Third World Country

I have so much that I've been wanting to write about but just failed to make writing a priority. Knee is coming along good but still very slowly. 9-12 month recovery is no joke and though it's week 12 now, I can only jog for like 30 seconds at a time so as not to stress the ACL (or the ligament that is now in the place of ACL) too much too soon.

Well, few weeks ago, I went to Roatan Islands off the coast of Honduras with 9 of my friends from Richmond. Going into the trip, I had mixed feelings about this. The deal was that we were all staying in a house... of course, the house is like super nice. I mean this is the view from our deck...

Literally, we go down the steps and there's the beach... and the pier... which we went on the boat rides 2 of the 7 days that we were there... well, sort of.

And this is the island we were on...

So here's the deal. Generally, beautiful views and gorgeous scenery really doesn't do much for me. And on top of that, this is Honduras... a country where I imagine poor people walking around with AK-47's, trafficking children to be sold for sex slaves, and obviously, dealing drugs. Yes, I'm narrow minded and very judgmental. But, I was definitely stoked to see my friends. I mean two of my very close friends were gonna be there so naturally, I was just glad to see them. See, the thing is, as much as I love Tampa and all, I really miss my friends... like terribly. If it weren't for the great career opportunity, I would move back in a heartbeat. Fuck Tampa, friends are so much more important. But that's why I try to take the opportunities I can to join them and so, this trip to Roatan.

Interestingly enough, by Saturday (the trip was Sat-Sat), I was excited. I get to the Tampa airport, ready to party it up when I see that the flight is delayed... due to "crew rest." I mean are you for fuckin real!? In talking to the gate agent, she tells me that there's no way I will make my connection to Roatan... But I'm supposed to meet all my friends in Atlanta where we will hop on the plane there! No dice. She told me that I can call the reservation desk and they can try to get me on another plane but of course, the one that I'm supposed to get on is the last flight to Roatan. And Delta doesn't fly to Roatan on Sundays. And Monday is booked up. So the earliest they can get me to Roatan is Tuesday. Naturally, I said "fuck that" and I canceled the trip... got a full refund since it was their fault, called my friends who were already in ATL and told them the story. Then everyone (my friends in ATL) and I get online (me at TPA, at a bar, watching World Cup) to look for flights on Sunday... and sure enough Continental flies there and the tickets are essentially the same price. So, I rebook and I arrive there a day late. This will actually be very key for the return trip but I will hit on that later.

So I get there and sure enough, my friends are there to pick me up. Despite a night of partying, they looked alright... obviously, because I wasn't there to ruin them completely... since that is what I do. But in the truck that they drove to pick me up, they brought me a bottle of southern comfort (my staple, even though Al clearly has that title in the bloggerdom but I was into Soco way before I even knew blogs existed) and so we all took a swig. Of course, since I wasn't driving, I took a pretty big swig. And once we got there, well... all hell breaks loose. Games of beer pong starts, and we go nuts with the shots. I mean that is what I do. At one point, we somehow decided that a shot of tequila would need to be done in the crawl space. So that is what we did here.

Tequila always hurts so good (I'm stealing a quote from a friend who probably got it from some movie or show).

Despite all the drinking and the memory loss (that is slowly being pieced back together via Facebook photos), the following day was more of the same. Our boat captain came to get us and we went to different bars on the boat. And as you can imagine, more of the same.

Btw, I'm not doing these shots alone... I've cropped out my friends who are in the photo for privacy purposes FWIW. And unfortunately, no Soco in honduras so we ended up doing more tequila shots.

After a while, we noticed that there were t-shirts on the ceiling with people signing stuff so I volunteered my shirt and all of us on the trip signed the shirt to leave our mark in Roatan!

Of course, after all that drinking and partying, I was passed out on the boat... and boy did that feel really good with the breeze and everything (but I paid the price forgetting to put sun screen on my face).

Wow, I thought I can finish this trip summary in one post but I obv can't. It's already long enough so I guess I'll break it up into two parts (and this is really a very summarized version... I believe there are like 800+ pics on Facebook of this trip).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

World Cup - Japan and a trip down memory lane

Yesterday, Japan recorded its first win ever in a World Cup match. While some countries (namely European and South American countries) are expected to win each and every game, for a small island like Japan, getting to the World Cup is a big deal in itself... Think #16 seed in a NCAA tournament. Just happy to be there. We'll do the best we can, knowing that's probably far short of everyone else.

Of course, having said that, I always have hope. Well... that and the fact that I'm demanding. I get this from my dad. Just relentless pursuit of perfection or doing it right. With him, there were numerous times I felt that winning isn't even good enough. It's how you win. Like winning almost becomes a consolation prize... like "well, at least you won. But..." and there would be million things I coulda done better. I always thought that was shitty... until now, I realize that's what I demand from myself and it has made me that much better and stronger, both physically and mentally. I remember back in my freshman year in high school or something. I came home with I think a 3.64 GPA (out of 4.0). For all you "A students" out there, that might be normal but I was your typical "do well when I tried but was always distracted and found ways not to study" guy... in other words, a typical teenager (and back then, we didn't immediately find some random "disease" as an excuse like A.D.D. or whatever). So anyways, I am extremely proud of this report card because before this, I always flirt with the 3.0 line (B average) but that's it and I always have to explain why I got a "B" instead of an "A" and heaven forbid, any of the classes that I get a grade below B, I had to explain why. What did I slack off on, what homework didn't I do, what tests did I not study for, etc etc. I hated report cards. Anyways... I get what I consider a pretty awesome report card and while I can tell he was happy, his comment was "well, we need to be careful because it can only get worse from here."

Now to his defense, he's not doing this to hurt me or to pressure me more. It's more of a defense mechanism for him. He's a pessimist by nature so it's almost like he's always bracing himself for what he considers the inevitable failure. By finding fault in everything, including success (or winning), he'll now at least have a reason as to why they couldn't sustain it.

Anyways, back to soccer... so my dad always thinks Japan sucks (which we do) and that we'll never win (I'm more hopeful). However, back in 1993, leading up to the '94 World Cup, Japan came as close as they ever have in making the World Cup. Japan's professional league called the J-League had just started and everyone was really getting into soccer. The guys who have grinded it out in the 80s when soccer wasn't nearly as popular was getting a chance to be on the center stage and everything was going well. We had our backs against the wall a few times but inspirational plays from unexpected players brought Japan to within one win away punching that ticket to the '94 World Cup.

The game was against Iraq. We were up 2-1 with minutes left in the game. We're approaching the 45th minute of the 2nd half...

When we were watching it, to call that devastating was an understatement. Up until that point in my life (I was a high school senior), I was never so emotionally invested in a team... that was such a painful goal. The goalie couldn't even move or react to the goal. There were ensuing questions about why... why couldn't he dive for it, why couldn't he react... but in reality, you know that there's no one who wanted to save that more than the goalie himself who was a veteran who played through the "dark years" of soccer in Japan. But nonetheless, it was so painful.

So, having that in the background, for Japan to now be pretty much expected to make the World Cup is definitely an improvement. And sure enough, yesterday, against a much talented but very poorly playing Cameroon team, we recorded our first victory on world stage... when no one expected us to...

While I still realize it's a long shot, if we make it to the round of 16, it would be awesome. Next up, the Dutch! GOOOOOOOOOO JAPAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My old boss

In our lives, we all have people that are extremely influential to who we are today right? I mean the most obvious being your parents... whether they were great parents, shitty parents, were available or were gone, they somehow impact you. Well, and then there are the rest of your family that you might have a special relationship with. Then maybe your friends, teachers, and other social influence. Well, one of my influential people is my former boss...

I spent 8 years in public accounting, working for a regional firm... a good sized firm with visions of moving up by increasing clientele and/or merging with other firms. In my time there, I definitely had visions of the firm succeeding... strangely, I've always been a company guy... when I was with the firm, we had a motto called "One Firm" and I truly embraced that concept. Once I jumped to Capital One, I was a very corporate guy... what was best for the company and what would make sense for the company is a question I always asked myself. And in my new company now, I obviously adopt that motto... what I've now realized is that that makes me unique... but valuable to a company. And, because of that mentality, it becomes normal for me to go above and beyond the normal course of duty. I just try to do what is right.

Well, all that is to say that one reason I am able to think that way AND perform in the way that I believe is the most beneficial to the company is because I had a great boss and now a great friend. A partner in the accounting firm had a significant influence in my formative years as a professional and he was great. He recognized my strengths and weaknesses and enabled me to work in areas that really allowed me to showcase my strengths.

To be honest, so far, despite working for a traditionally conservative accounting firm, then a credit card/banking industry, and now a 100 year old insurance company, I have been blessed with great bosses. Now part of it is definitely me. I have a strong personality and will not cave easily to people, even with higher power. However, generally, I've had bosses that allowed me to run my own show and grow my own way.

Why am I writing all this? Well, my former boss from the accounting firm was in Tampa this week because of work and so I went out to dinner/drinks with him tonight. We talked about family, the firm, my current job, etc... and to be honest, it just reminded me of how much I missed working for him. We share so much when it comes to vision on the "greater good" which in a corporate world is generally geared towards what's best for the company... or at least, that's how we feel it should be. But admittedly, a lot of companies create a silo where each section would be responsible only for their parts and without a strong central leader, there's not enough coordination.

In talking to him, I was reminded of how lucky I was to have spent the 8 years of my 20's working for him and making me who I am today... and giving me the ability to believe in myself and that my values made sense. It's funny how he went from being my boss to being my friend... and to listen to his struggles even in his 50's about working in the firm. This is one perspective I would not have gotten if I stayed in the firm... but on the same token, we did have a lot of discussions around values and strategy and just thoughts about the direction of the company... and I know that every time we talked, we were on the same page. I have since moved on to other companies but one thing that doesn't change is our values. It was just nice to be able to catch up with him and despite the fact that we are 20 years apart and that we only talk like 2-3 times a year, we share very similar values and visions.

And you know he is a great boss when me and I think a few of my friends would go work for him if he were to break off from the firm and needed help from us. Now THAT is loyalty that you can never buy. You'd have to earn that and he certainly has.

I don't miss Richmond at all but I do miss all the people that are still there.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

5 weeks and counting

It's funny how this blog goes. I wrote on here before that I actually like blogging. I like putting my thoughts on the virtual paper and despite the title of this blog, there's clearly a lot more focus on "other stuff" now than poker. I might care about that hypocrisy if I were writing for someone else or for a general audience but in the end, what it comes down to is that I mainly write for myself. So, the past few weeks, there were numerous times that I wanted to blog about something I had in mind at the time... but something gets in the way... and these days, the "something" mainly consists of work, physical therapy, and work outs.

So this coming Wednesday will mark the 6th week since my knee surgery. It's really amazing how this works. I mean the knee surgery is literally like hitting the "reset button" on your leg. All your muscles go dormant, you lose whatever definition you had in your legs and everything that you take for granted like walking, quickly jogging across the street when the lights are flashing, or going up and down the steps, or climbing over the tub to get into the shower are all the things that you actually now have to work up to. The progress is fast and slow at the same time. I work hard on my PT sessions (3x a week) and on days I don't have PT, I still repeat the PT exercises to the extent that the therapists allow me. Tricky thing is, the more you can do, the better, but you don't want to overdo it because then the tissues in that area will flare up and you wlll have more swelling, less range of motion, and you will be unable to do some of the exercises until the swelling comes down which could be a day or two. And now, I can pretty much walk like normal although there are times my left knee still feels a bit stiff so I walk with a slight limp. I can go up the steps now pretty comfortably but I still can't go down the steps (yes, going up is A LOT easier than going down the steps). I can pretty much climb over the tub to get into the shower... I feel only a slight pain bending my knee that much to do it. And no, my tub is no higher than your average tub... that's how much range of motion you lose. I can now bike on a stationary bike even though I struggle to maintain 80+ RPM on Level 1. And that's not because of cardio... that's how weak your muscles in your leg become. To put it in perspective for those that don't do the stationary bikes, I can keep up 80+ RPM at Level 15 (on a bike whose max I believe was 25, maybe 20) pre surgery.

The funny thing is, initially, I didn't go out to bars and such because when my knee is vulnerable and I'm wearing a big brace, the last thing I want to do is to be around a bunch of drunk people. I had some of my neighbor friends and coworkers joke that I can play the pity game and pick up girls that way if I wore the huge brace to the bars but I really suck at playing the pity game. I'm so independent (have been since I was young) that I just don't want any pity. I don't need the "awwwwww you poor thing" type of comments and nor do I want to hear another person's injury story which seems almost inevitable... like they want to find common ground with you or something. It's just a torn ACL. I'll live and not only that, I'll be back to pre injury form and more so I don't need anyone taking pity on me and nor do I want that to dominate the conversation. I love sharing PT notes because that's fun but I don't want to hear the "yeah, I tore my ACL by xyz" or "I've torn both my ACL's" (well so have I so don't expect pity from me sucker) or any of that crap.

So anyways, that was the initial reason I avoided bars... but now, I've been so focused on working out through PT and still finding time to hit the gym 5 days out of the week so I'm more cognizant of what I'm putting into my body. I was never a health nazi and I'm not one now but I definitely pay attention to my protein and carb intake to make sure that I am getting sufficient amounts, especially because literally, pretty much all 5 days, I am working out twice a day if you include the PT exercises. So now, I'm not so keen on drinking too much because I know that that will impact my workouts the next day. So these days, I tend to have a beer or two at home or if I'm out for dinner, at that point. But nothing more. In a way, I'm kind of a hermit. I mean I go to work, I go to my PT, and I go to the gym... and that's pretty much it. Rest of my time is spent watching the NBA playoffs or playing poker online. Which seems kinda isolated and crappy but I am actually enjoying it. I look forward to my PT sessions because each session is an improvement and an opportunity to be able to do something new. Plus I've never worked out with anyone after college (in college, we had team lifts and practices, obv) so it's a nice change to have someone who is like a trainer working with you.

Oh and btw, if any of you ever have ACL surgery (and I really hope that none of you will), going to the gym with braces to work your upper body doesn't impress women but it will draw a lot of positive remarks from guys. I guess girls think you're crazy that you have to be that much of a workout nut but the guys are all impressed like "that's dedication man" or "dude, you should be an inspiration to all those other lazy guys that always find excuses." And yes, I've heard various versions of those statements from many guys. Only one girl gave me props and several others that I know just gave me the various versions of "why are you still coming to the gym?"

Hey, that is just how I roll.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2 week anniversary

So, last time I posted, it was a few days post op, I thought things were better and I was feeling good about the start to recovery... unfortunately, I ended up with an infection which caused immense pain in my shin (on the leg that I had the surgery) every time I stood up... and I mean pretty excruciating. While that didn't stop me from going to PT and continuing to do the exercises at home, it definitely hindered the amount that I can do. Nonetheless, I got my antibiotics, it kicked in and by day 8 post surgery, I felt much better. Keep in mind that if it weren't for this infection, I think by day 4 post op, I would be doing pretty well.

Now, I am regaining mobility and strength (albeit, little by little) and actually the funny thing is each night, I look forward to the next day because every day is a little bit better... a little, but noticeably so.

So, I went ahead and registered for the Vegas half in December. Last year, my time was 1:43:00... so, on the race form, when they asked me where I expect to finish, I put down 1:40. That is gonna be my goal. I did run it by my physical therapist to make sure I wasn't too crazy and while he said it's a pretty rare goal considering the timing, he also felt that it wasn't unreal either. He did make sure that I've ran half marathons before and reminded me that it would still require a lot of work. But after spending 2 weeks (7 sessions) with me, I think he now knows that I'm extremely deetermined and motivated. I mean even at PT, while half the people moan when they are told to use the tougher band or heavier weight/resistance, I'm like craving it and always quick with my smart ass remarks.

I also finally hit the weight room today with my knee brace and crutches and while some undoubtedly thought I was crazy, there were several people that said that I motivated them... their point was that if a guy on crutches who can only limp around can hit the weight room and be smiling about the recovery, there's no reason for anyone else to not hit the gym. Fact of the matter is, I refuse to let this injury slow me down. I'm in as good a spirit as I've ever been and I don't want any pity and I refuse to let this get in the way. In 9-12 months, I'm gonna be faster and stronger than I was before this injury. That's a promise I am making to myself and now that I've set a tangible goal (half in Dec), I now have something to work towards. And when I have a goal, I'm relentless.

I love it. Now I just need my knee to cooperate by reducing the swelling and getting some mobility back... speaking of which, I guess I should do some exercises before I go to bed. I'm out!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

And so it begins

The surgery went well. My hired help (for here on out referred to as the nanny) arrived around 8:30am to pick me up and take me to St Joseph's hospital here in Tampa. FWIW, St Joseph's is great. First off, it was really relieving that every time I told someone where I was getting surgery, they all said "oh, that's good, that's a great hospital." And sure enough, the people there were great. I don't know how many of you have had the experience of surgery (I've had 3... man, I'm injury prone or something lol) but it's the same every time... at least at the good doctors. You get your anesthesia, you pass out, and everything is a blur but it's all done. The nanny took me home, I don't really remember but I passed out on my bed and few hours later, I felt good enough to Skype my parents. I knew that my parents would be worried so I figured the least I can do is call them and let them know I'm ok.

That was Wednesday. Thursday morning, I still felt fine. The nanny came back to check on me, get me some food, etc etc and I dismissed her thinking I'll be fine. Well, it was probably around noon on Thursday that I started feeling really uncomfortable. The pain in my knee, coupled with the soreness of my body for just laying in one position just made me feel miserable, even with my pain medication. And even though I tend to "tough it out" I did take the pain meds as prescribed but Thursday night, I could barely sleep... I kept waking up every couple of hours and not being able to fall asleep. By Friday mid day though, the pain started subsiding at which point fatigue really overcame me. I dosed off a few times until it was time for my post op rehab. After two days of having my knee wrapped up, it was obviously swollen.

The first exercises I had to do are simple things that you would never think twice to do. One is flexing your ankle towards you. It stretches the calf and the muscles behind your knee which at this point is like stretched super tight (and painful). The next few exercises are like flexing your quads (which are completely dormant at this point). Basically, the first step is to regain your range of motion as well as waking up your muscles which at this point is completely shut down. Mike, the rehab guy, gave me the exercises to do over the weekend.

Friday night, I probably had the first good night of my sleep. Today was the first day that the nanny did not come over and I was able to manage... even though, simple tasks like going from my bed to the kitchen for a glass of water takes 10 minutes (no joke) and it feels like hell of a work out, even with the crutches. Even then, it feels good to know that I am taking my first step towards recovery.

Even though I think this might be a fairly tight time frame, it always helps to have goals so I decided that this year's Vegas half (December something) will be my goal. Well, obviously, to run it faster than last year. I don't know how realistic that is. It's probably pretty close - like it's not totally unreasonable but it's not easy to achieve... ie perfect for a goal to recovery.

But man, to think that I was gonna work from home on Friday... ha ha ha ha, I was in so much pain and then completely drowsy, I would not have been in any shape to think straight.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yeah so I'm selfish

I think I'm mentally, pretty tough. I'm competitive, determined, ambitious, and generally speaking, very resilient. However, there are times I wonder how much of it is natural and how much of it is forced.

For example, when it comes to things I'm pretty good at, I talk a lot of shit. But I usually back it up. You see, me talking shit is like my way of applying pressure on myself. Now it doesn't work all the time (remember I was trying to bench 250lbs? I still can't... I can't go higher than 225lbs but in my defense, I only weight 170lbs). The most recent shit talk that I had was that me and my buddy (both of us played in the county basketball league together) would beat 4 of my friends playing 4 on 2 half court. The rules were fairly standard. 2's and 1's (the 3 pters were 2pts), game to 15, take back everything except for steals, and loser's ball (as opposed to make it take it for those of you familiar with the bball lingo). If these were the conditions, it's pretty much a guarantee that the two of us would win. The four of them are not bad in terms of athletic prowess (whether it's running or lifting or whatever, one guy was high school football defensive player of the year... in his division or region or whatever)... anyways, but not bad does not equal great. And they have close to zero basketball skills (yep, I just outed you guys to all my blog readers... which is probably about 10 others). So, to make this fair, I also went as far as to say that the spread is 9pts... against us.

So the deal is, it will be 2 on 4, and they start 9-0 with the game being up to 15. This might sound ridiculous to those that don't play ball but I'm fairly certain we'd win. I mean I was ready to take bets... now of course, this is gonna be delayed for another 9 months since no, I'm not pregnant, but I am going in for my surgery tomorrow for my ACL reconstruction. But what was the point of all this? The point was that by making bets like these, it would drive me to work harder, train more, practice more, etc in order to make it a reality. It's self applied pressure that makes me good at the things I care about.

But tonight, as I sit here, I would be lying to you if I said I wasn't nervous. I usually cherish my alone time. But it's times like these that I feel a lot more alone than normal. In Tampa, I don't really know anyone. I mean I know coworkers and I have some friends to go out with but no one that I can ask to take time off to take me to the hospital or stay with me post op... no family member, no nothing... now don't get me wrong. I have family that would fly on a moment's notice but I really can't do that to them. Of course, they'll read this blog and feel immense guilt and helplessness but that's not the intent. The fact of the matter is, I want to get this surgery done as soon as possible so that I can start the rehab as soon as possible. It's just that as I went through the trouble of hiring a nanny (yes, I really did hire a nanny who would take me to the hospital, pick me up, grab my prescription, and take care of chores around the house for the next few days), I felt a bit vulnerable.

I mean here's a stranger that will be taking care of me (it is from a reliable place so no worries there) and seeing a very vulnerable side of me (cranky, in pain, miserable, etc) and I'm just not used to that. Now I did warn her that I could be extremely cranky but she's an older nurse so she knows and whatever...

So yeah, I guess that is my way of saying wish me luck, and if you think a hot nurse strip o gram would cheer me up, you are absolutely correct... now as Bayne pointed out, I just don't know how I will get to the door...

I know, this is extremely selfish as I know some others who are going through much harder times. You know who you are and to those, my thoughts and wishes truly do go out to you and your family. But I'm not gonna lie... some of that prayer is gonna be set aside for my operation tomorrow... so here's to wishing that my left ACL will be reconstructed just as awesome as my right one. GL me.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

No more ACL to tear

13 years ago (damn I sound old), I blew out my knee, completely shredding my ACL, MCL and the meniscus into pieces. What ensued was a surgery which was a complete ACL reconstructive surgery (which essentially means they take your patellar tendon and put it where your ACL used to be) and a long, long period of recovery/rehab. With multiple ligaments torn, my recovery took almost a year before I was running like I used to. However, from that point on, I always said that that was an experience that I would never wish on anyone else but it's also an experience that I would never take back. The reason for that is that it's moment like those (or times, I guess a year is longer than a moment) that make you appreciate the things you take for granted. I had to work hard just to go up and down the steps. I mean like months to be able to go down the steps (going down is harder than going up - the steps, you pervs). And I remember, the first time I could actually run outside and not on the treadmill, I actually enjoyed running. Now you might think, but dude, you run all the time now. Well, that doesn't mean I love it. I do it because I'm competitive. Not for health, not out of love, just pure competitive nature drives me to train.

Well, I have claimed that for the past 13 years since my knee injury and now, I get another chance to put my money where my mouth is.

I got the results of the MRI and this is the official diagnosis:
- complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
- partial tear of the medial collateral ligament (MCL)
- tiny tear in the medial meniscus (a cartilage between the bones)
- bone contusion and a small fracture

Here are the MRI pics (cuz I think they are pretty cool):

The white area on the bone in the middle is the knee contusion - white is where the liquid is seeping through

Is it just me or is there something dirty about this pic? Yeah, I'm a perv I guess... but the dark part in the middle is the ACL and apparently, that should extend all the way through... so white on the left side and the right side is where it should all be dark... hence, the torn ACL

This is a pic of bone on bone with meniscus in between... again, you see the damage from the contusion:

All the white area is where the liquid is that shouldn't be there... that's my swollen knee, hence somewhat limiting my mobility now:0

This might sound unbelievable but I'm actually not that bummed right now. Actually, to be honest, and you might not believe me unless you really know me but I'm actually looking forward to this. I thrive under challenges and set backs. I mean would I rather not have this? Of course. But am I bummed about it? Not really. I'm not trying to be tough or be dishonest or anything. I really do thrive under these conditions. There's nothing more satisfying to me than to overcome something and achieve something greater and this injury gives me a chance to do just that. I've been working out pretty hard up until now but I was starting to fall into somewhat of a cocky stage where I felt that I can challenge most things and succeed. This is like a little reminder that not everything will fall my way... or will it? This sounds sick but I'm already looking forward to the physical therapy. Because I know I'm gonna reinvent myself through this process.

I know I know, total cheese ball speech... the whole overcoming adversity, blah blah blah.... I mean what's next? I'm gonna be like let's do this for all the small schools (oops, wrong movie, still in the Butler/Hoosiers craze) yadda yadda.

Thanks for the well wishes everyone. I really do appreciate it but all things considered, I got it good so definitely don't feel sorry for me. I'm looking forward to this recovery and for most of you, by the time you see me next time, you won't even know that I had my knee operated on. I'll be faster and stronger than I ever was... ok, that's a lie... I was a student athlete in college so maybe not quite that kinda shape but you get my drift.

To get this process started, I scheduled my surgery for next Wed. I guess I'm not wasting any time. ACL recovery part 2, here I come!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

uh oh

So about a month ago, I had an incident on the basketball court where I injured my knee. After going to the urgent care, it was diagnosed as a bruised knee and based on the tests that the doctor ran, he felt that there were no tears in my ligaments. If you have ever gone through a ligament tear in your knee, the fact that this time it wasn't a tear is like a joyful moment. I blew out my ACL, MCL and my meniscus when I was a junior in college and it was not a pleasant experience... the surgery and the 9 months of rehab that followed was just brutal.

Well, the doctor did say that I should see an orthopedist just to get an expert opinion so this past Tuesday, I went to see one near my apartment. He came recommended by one of the guys I play ball with... and he did do a much more extensive tug test (you check for ligaments by tugging on your leg in various directions and apparently, you will feel a pull/stretch like a rubberband if you know what you are checking for). Anyways, after he tugged on my leg every which way, he tells me that he's worried that there might be a partial tear in my ACL (this is my left knee since I no longer have an ACL in my right knee - it has been replaced by a patellar tendon). He said that this could be how my knee has always been but it was worth getting an MRI...

So now, on Friday, I went to get an MRI done. I don't know the results yet and I won't find out till Tuesday. But by the way the orthopedist was trying to tell me about how the surgery these days (my last surgery was in '96) is much more advanced and that a "young, motivated guy such as yourself can get back to and surpass your current abilities through rehab" tells me that he was fairly certain there's a partial tear.

I really don't want to go through the procedure again, even if it is less invasive... So here's to hoping that on Tuesday, when I get the results, my ACL is fine. Come on. ONE TIME!!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dear diary

The blog is a funny thing. It's obviously very public in that anyone can read this. There's no privacy setting. If anyone wanted to know what "RecessRampage" was like, they can read this blog, click the nonpoker filter and probably find out a good deal about me... especially about who I am on the inside. In a way, this is like a gateway to my inner thoughts. And yet, this blog offers me a sense of anonymity. It might not be real, but conversing about thoughts and feelings with strangers (well, most of you aren't strangers anymore but you know what I mean) had a strangely soothing effect... and it's somewhat easier...

I've been wanting to blog for a while. I just hadn't made it a priority and nor am I doing it because I feel like I owe it to anyone. I mean for all I know, no one reads this. I don't really care. When I first started this blog, it wasn't meant to be something where I update what's going on... it was just a virtual outlet of my thoughts, feelings, etc. And since at the time, I was really into poker, the title of my blog was born. Nothing more, nothing less.

But this post... this is gonna be personal. Because I think I'm ready.

I went out with this girl tonight. Some girl that's in the neighborhood, we met a few times, decided to go catch a movie. The movie theatre is one of those places that serve dinner also (very pricey) and it was really good. We were going as casual friends but once we were together, it was obviously a date. She likes me more than I thought/expected and then that's when I realized this...

My failed marriage had (or still has) a huge impact on my emotional well being. I thought I was fine. I mean after all, we separated back in late 2007, divorce was made official in Jan 2009. I've gone out with several girls since then though none successfully. I was happy, I had more time to do whatever, I picked up new hobbies, etc... seriously, if anyone asked, I was back to being happy again and I truly meant it. I have a good group of friends, have a great career, a loving family, good health, etc etc... you know, stuff that people take for granted but what truly makes life special. And yet, I never quite thought about how the marriage impacted me.

I mean it was easy to play it off. We were only married for a bit over a year. We only dated for like 9 months before we got engaged. It was her second marriage. She traveled all the time. I was consumed with poker and basketball. I felt closer to bloggers than I did to my wife at times. It was just a failure in the making. It was a mistake. No big deal. At least that's how I played it off in my mind.

But you know what? I'm not gonna lie. I somehow didn't realize it at the time but I was more hurt by it than I ever thought or cared to admit. Since then, I haven't really gotten emotionally involved with anyone. I just thought I hadn't met anyone but I'm not sure that's true. I've met people. I tried to like them... but I just can't seem to conjure up any romantic feeling... and really, that's not something you need to "conjure" up... it should just happen if it's with the right person. I catch myself comparing women to my ex-wife. And unfortunately, no one lives up to her yet... The thing is, I was truly in love with my wife. I still remember the day we got married... once again, I thought I was fine and I was just happy... until I saw her in her wedding dress for the first time and I was just overcome with so much emotion (yes, I was the first one to break down and cry... I know I know, say what you will). I think what haunts me to this day is that I never got a chance to have true closure. She never gave me a reason as to why she left me. It's almost as if it woulda been easier if she said "sorry, I cheated on you" or "there's someone else" or "you weren't there for me when I needed you" or something. Something where I can point to. Unfortunately, there was nothing...

This post isn't meant to be a "feel sorry for me" or "give me some supportive comments" type of post. And I know I've written something along these lines before. If this stuff bores you or bothers you, you woulda stopped reading by now and frankly, I don't care because I'm not writing this for anyone else. This blog is for me and this is my outlet. I actually love my blog for what it is.

I know (well, I hope) that I will eventually find someone special... but right now, I'm finally at a point where I realize that I have some emotional baggage that somehow I need to get rid of... or at least get over. This is progress since I didn't even know that I had such baggage until now.

I'm not even sure why I'm writing all this here. Well, that's not true. I do know why. It's because this is essentially my diary. And writing was always therapeutic to me. I really need to make more time to blog more often.

Missed opportunity

It may have been more fun if I had posted this yesterday... that way people coulda wondered if I was just totally effing with them for April Fool's day or if I were actually serious.

Nonetheless, here goes.

I'm closing my fulltilt account. R.I.P. RecessRampage.

I no longer play as much as I used to and really no longer have much interest in playing as much as I used to. Of course, I still average like 5hrs per week so that's probably a lot for some but I no longer have the interest or the drive to do it. Just like any other hobbies, it is a very time consuming thing. And between my new job, new location, and my new hobby (training for triathlons and other races), I just don't have the time.

Another big factor is that as you all know, I don't get rakeback from Fulltilt. I've tried, begged, pleaded, and everything else but I never got rakeback. Not that I cared that much (obviously) but it's just another thing that made me decide to hang it up on Fulltilt. FTP was good for me and so was poker. I met a lot of people through this blog and I am definitely glad for that.

For what it's worth, this blog will live on. Obviously I don't post like I used to but I still enjoy having an outlet for myself so with or without readers, this is a space that I will continue to keep for quite some time.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I checked my account after I got this email and saw that my account was credited with $54.


PokerStars has become aware of two players who were in violation of our poker room rules. You were involved in one or more hands with these players. You have received a credit as a result. To confirm your credit, log onto your PokerStars account, go to the 'Cashier' screen and click the 'History' button. Your share will be shown as "ADMIN CREDIT", followed by the amount of the credit.

I regret that we are not at liberty identify the specific games or players in question. Suffice to say that the players involved have been barred from the site and you will not encounter them again.

Likewise we will not go into detail regarding the method used to calculate your share of the funds distributed. I can say that it is based on the net amount won using unfair tactics, combined with the number of hands that you played at a table where unfair play was taking place.

The integrity of the games at PokerStars is of paramount importance to us and we will not abide unfair play in our games. We work hard to police our games to assure our players of a fair, secure place to play. In those rare cases where collusion has actually occurred, we make sure that any players affected are compensated appropriately.

Thank you for your continued play here on PokerStars. Please do not hesitate to let us know any time we can be of help.


Dan M
PokerStars Game Security

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I meant to update this sooner but just haven't had the chance...

But today, just like many other days, I played basketball at lunch time with a few others from my company. Things were going well until towards the end, I went after the loose ball and one of the guys undercut me by accident. I came down funny and collapsed on the ground, writhing and screaming in pain. I've felt this before. Last time, it was a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus.

Fortunately, this time, it was just a bruise in my knee. I went to the urgent care facility and after the x-ray and some tug/pull check (for the ligaments), the doctor doesn't think it's ligament damage... which is obviously fantastic news. He told me to be on crutches for a week or two though and he said absolutely no leg exercises for 2 weeks.

Fuckin doctors... they're always so cautious.

So now, I'm limping around in my crutches and will be doing so for the next week or two... but in a great mood because all things considered, this is the best news I could have gotten.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Yet another useless toy...

After I moved down to Tampa, I decided to put my money where my mouth is... since I always claimed that I never watch TV (or hardly ever), I decided not to get cable. Despite missing it badly on some football weekends, I'm actually at peace with it. I've been putting in 60-80hr work weeks so I generally don't have time to watch TV and when I'm not working, I'm either working out or going out.

Unfortunately, the side effect of this is that my 46 inch LCD is just sitting there, looking pretty but collecting dust. Now unrelated to not having cable, I also have a PS3 which I got when I got what's called a "spot bonus" at Capital One which was essentially just a little bonus to tell you you did a good job on something small. Anyways, my spot bonus was literally a $250 gift card on amazon and since I never buy anything there, I bought a PS3. I have also had a Wii that I hardly ever play... basically, I just have these high demand gadgets, all collecting dust.

For a while, I also had an ipod touch but I realized that that thing is completely useless to me. First off, if you need wifi to connect, no matter what the other Ipod Touch lovers will say, it sucks. You can't connect whenever you want... so if I'm gonna go that route, I would have an iphone. Of course, I detest AT&T and so I will obv never have an i-phone and I'm actually ok with that. My dad has one and he uses it like crazy... has apps for all the little shit that I would never use. Tip calculator, measurements from here to Pluto, how to say bicycle in 15 different languages, etc etc... ok, so I'm making it up. I really have no idea what other apps there are and nor do I give a shit. When I had the ipod touch, I never used it. So basically, these gadgets are not for me. (I also don't listen to music while I work out... oh my god, what am I!?)

Anyways, so now that we established that gadgets are useless with me, I can move on to the actual story...

Last week, I saw a notice from UPS saying they attempted delivery and I wasn't home to sign it. These things always put me on tilt. Like who the fuck is home at 3pm on a weekday. Well, so, I signed the back of the thing and posted it back on my door, just to see it be ignored and find the second delivery attempt post on my door... Motherfucker. Of course, another weekday, another delivery attempt. After 3 delivery attempts, they make it available for you to pick up the item. The thing is, the whole time, I had no clue what was trying to be delivered to me. I haven't ordered anything. It's not my birthday. I got the Clif bars I ordered from Amazon. So what the hell could it be!?

This morning, I finally went to the UPS place to pick it up... and this is what I find...

A freakin ipod nano that I totally forgot I ordered when Pokerstars was having that super discount sale in January of all the stuff you can get with your fpp points. *sigh* I mean it's a good use of points because of how much this was discounted (if normally, 1 fpp = $0.016, this was like at a rate of 1fpp = $0.032, I think). And no, that's not a type, it is 1.6 cents. Anyways, so I got it.

I guess the question now is, how long will it take me to take it out of this box. Probably fairly shortly... and then it will probably just lay around after 1 or 2 uses. I don't hate music but I just never have the occasion to be immersed in my own music...

Oh my god... what am I!?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Man vs Woman... not really...

Last night's post was not intended to be a "women aren't physically capable" or anything like that. It was just my way of appreciating a woman who believes in herself and sticks to her guns no matter what... now, of course, I wasn't really clear about that but I was tired, it was late, and so I was kinda short and didn't feel like explaining.

I'm heading out shortly so this will not be long either. However, the comments on my blog made me want to write a short note...

A) If a woman is competing amongst women in sports, I see no reason why something should be "womanized" for a lack of better term. For example, in golf, why are there red tees? It's not like the women compete with the men. I mean recreationally, I understand completely. But for the pros, why have red tees... actually, nix this because I actually don't know if the women's pro golf events start with red tees or not so this might not matter.

B) Push ups - I actually am opposite with Jordan on this one. If the girls were competing against the guys in the actual number of push ups done, I think it's ok to have that handicap because for pushups, I have to believe men are naturally stronger (I could be completely wrong, I don't scientifically have any evidence, just my opinion). However, if the women are competing against themselves and men are doing their own thing, why do the knee version?

Both of these things actually tie back to CK's post on women's events in poker. How? Well, if the sex is not a factor (in both examples above, competing amongst women takes away the "which sex is superior" factor out), why have the red tee or the knee push up, etc. In other words, why diminish the actual game?

Same as poker. Poker is supposed to be a game where the sex of the player doesn't make him/her superior to others... so, if that's the case, why have a woman's event as if that's the only way a woman can win a bracelet?

To Peaker's point... of course there are women who are physically more capable than other men... but my argument has always been that physically, given the same level, men are superior to women (in sports). Like a professional male athlete in that particular sport would be better than the professional female athlete in that particular sport. A college level male athlete in a sport would be superior to a college level female athlete (assuming similar college - I'm not talking TN or CT woman's bball program vs some D3 men's bball... and even then, I'm not convinced that the females would beat the male equivalent).

Not sure if I explained myself clear enough.

Bayne, I'm gonna take that challenge. Picking up a chair... two hands or one hand?

One in a million

I am a very demanding guy... in everything I do, I demand a lot. As a leader of the team, the bar I set for the team is very high. For all the women that I meet, the bar that I set for them is also very high. CK's recent blog about women's poker events was very interesting to me because I was always making the comment about how if you create a forum for just women to "even out the playing field" then you can never claim equality... to some, I just come across as a jerk. At my new company, they have this fitness test thing going on. One of the events was how many push ups you can do. I tanked at 67 consecutive push ups. The most that the girl could do was 74. Respectable. Until I found out it was the "girl's" push ups. You know, the one with the knees on the ground. I realize the physical make up is different. But I'd have a lot more respect for a girl who refuses to do the girl's version of a push up and be able to do like 40 rather than a girl who gets upset that she couldn't beat me by tanking at fifty-something when in reality, it was a bullshit version of the push up.

But that's neither here nor there. I guess what I am saying is that, I have as high a bar for women as much as I do men. Why should they be different? Believe me, you want equality, I bring that. I act it, I live it. That is why I have very few female friends in my life because I truly believe that the society cripples them. But those that are my friends are ones that I respect tremendously and bring more than most people (men or women) bring to the table.

I saw this episode of House, and my god, I never thought much about Cuddy until this episode, but this is the type of woman that I idolize.

Yeah, I know... it's made for TV. And not many are like that in real life. But I know they exist. I married one for crying out loud. It may not have worked out for me the first time... but they're out there... kicking ass and taking names... and I dig that.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

This made my day

Tonight, I received an email from a former colleague of mine. He finally got his promotion which I denied him at the time and wanted to write me a note to share the good news as well as giving me updates on the MBA programs that he's trying to get into (which I wrote recommendation letters for).

The promotion for him was well deserved and a year overdue. However, back in December of 2008, I felt that he wasn't ready. Now he was the top performer amongst his peers and he got a rating that people rarely get. However, I am always fair on my performance evaluation and people know that. An excellent senior associate doesn't necessarily translate into a good supervisor level. I felt that he needed about 6 more months... roll forward 6 months, I am no longer in that group (I was in a different group at Cap1) and his group went through a budget freeze... so his promotion was further delayed. At the time, I remember feeling extremely guilty. I don't second guess my decision. It was the right decision at the time. But I felt bad. I felt that he deserved the reward that came with the promotion.

So, to get the news that he finally got his promotion made me very happy. But what he said in the email made my day.

"Seriously though, you've been very helpful, and I hope your new team will come to appreciate your management style the way that I have."

I've always been very fortunate with people who were on my team no matter where I've been. I still keep in touch with many that worked for me and I get great joy out of seeing them grow in their careers. To get such feedback is just an icing on the cake.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Funny how I still get fired up

As I prepare for tonight's Superbowl, I decided to warm up by watching what I felt was one of the most intense, emotionally exhausting game I watched as a Steelers fan... well, I guess I did that last night when I watched the 20 minute recap of last year's superbowl but this was the other game... the divisional playoff game against the Colts in 2005. As the 6th seed (felt like playoffs since week 13 when so many things had to go right for the Steelers to even make the playoffs) going up against the heavily favored Colts, we all knew it was gonna be a tough game. And sure enough, the game lived up to the hype.

So many things rushed through my head when I watched the recap but even before this, I remembered two big things... One was the Polamalu interception that got inexplicably overturned (well, clearly, the refs had money on the Colts - that's a bullshit call and Pete Morelli is lucky that the Steelers ended up winning... I'm fairly certain he would be dead by now if the Steelers ended up losing that game).

The other was obviously the goal line fumble by the Bus that resulted in Nick Harper running it back, only to be tackled by Roethlisberger leading to the choke job that is Mike Vanderjagt. Thank god for that.

Seriously, that was an extremely emotionally draining game and watching the recap just made me live through that excitement/nightmare again. It's funny how exciting it could be despite knowing what happens.

At least tonight, I can just enjoy the Superbowl for what it is - just another football game. It's so stressful when your team is actually playing in it. Tonight, two teams that I couldn't give two shits about are playing. But I'm tired of the whole "I want New Orleans to win because they need this after Katrina" bullshit so of course, GO COLTS!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lady Gaga - You got pwned!

These days, I watch lots of show on because I don't have cable... since I don't know what to watch, I started watching bunch of Southpark episodes... you know, I used to watch this like long long time ago (like 10 yrs ago, holy shit, how long have they been out!?)... and then I stopped because I thought it got really stupid... and now, I'm actually enjoying it... I mean it's stupid but the humor behind it is actually pretty funny and well played. It's like you never know who they are out to criticize and make fun of.

Anyways, one of my favorite episodes was the "Whale Whores" episode where the Japanese slaughter the whales and dolphins. Of course, the best part was Cartman singing Poker Face by Lady Gaga... You can watch the full episode here.

I went on youtube, hoping to find a quick clip for my favorite section and there are bazillion vids... but I felt that the video below was actually kinda cool...

"I don't give a crap about whales so go and hug a tree"

Ha ha genius!

I'm not too busy Stan... I just don't care. Kenny and I don't give two shits about fuckin whales!

Here's the clip from the actual episode:

In the interest of full disclosure, I am Japanese, I do care about whales and dolphins and I would not eat them. I also like Lady Gaga. But anytime we can mock the tree huggers, that's always a fun time.

Funny thing is, I hate this song. But this song got a lot of play from just general parody. I do remember Jordan doing a post on his blog (long, long time ago when I used to keep up with the blogs in general - blogline count 2200 and counting) where he compared the LadyGaga song to poker. I'm too lazy to link to that particular post but I do remember thinking it was pretty funny. Well, so much for the "too lazy" part... the power of the search engine is amazing so here's the link to his post.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Trying to be responsible... and getting screwed

So last night, I went out to a Greek restaurant called Acropolis in Ybor. For those of you that have never been to Tampa, Ybor is a historic neighborhood in Tampa with a very heavy Spanish (and I later learned, Italian as well) influence where it's a center of the major night club scene in Tampa. (Also a very heavy concentration of gay bars, as my friends are quick to point out)

Anyways, the place is awesome but it's one of those areas (think: New Orleans) where if you're on 7th ave which is where most of the restaurants and night clubs are, you're probably fine... but if you turn off into the side streets, you should always be looking over your shoulder...

Anyways, so after eating there, we (I went out with people I met at the NYE party) we decided to go to a chill bar instead of like a hopping night club... and good call... this is where going to Ybor with people who know the area helps. We went to this bar that had a live "band" playing... basically it was just two guys but they were really good... basically, they were a cover band but just played whatever and was just really laid back.

Well, so, I drove my car there (only 4.5 miles from my apartment) but by the end of the night, I didn't want to drive home. I wanted to do the responsible thing but when I initially parked my car earlier that night, the parking attendant told me that I can keep my car there till 8am. Well shit... no way I'm gonna make it back by 8am... but I don't want to drink and drive so... I was gonna ask the parking attendant if I can pay for Sunday as well... well, by the time this thought was crossing my mind, it's already 3am (dinner was at 7... yes, we were hanging out for 8 hrs - good times!)... anyways, no parking attendant. But not to worry! I see the parking meter thing so I was like, perfect, I'll just buy another ticket... at this point, the girl who was gonna give me a ride home thought that I would be ok without buying another ticket... I mean it was $7... but I thought, I'd rather pay another $7 to be safe rather than taking a chance and getting my car towed.

So, I do the right thing. The responsible thing. I buy another parking ticket instead of driving home. And then I laugh. Check out my parking ticket and when it expires. (click on the pic)

Expires at 6am... as in 3hrs from when I bought it. BAD BEAT! Here I am, trying to do the right thing and I just got screwed for $7. Nonetheless, I left that on the dash of my car hoping that if they saw two parking passes, they will let it slide.

I have no idea if that helped or not, but when I went to my car today (I ran... it was only 4.5 miles after all), it was still there... so all is good, I suppose.

Oh and btw, happy new year everyone!