September182014

I’m really not used to not being able to sleep. Whether it’s falling asleep or staying asleep, it used to be so nice.

One Year Ago Today

I had a poker game, and it was when I decided to buy a very nice poker table.  I was debating back and forth between a few, and ultimately decided to get the nicest one that had everything I wanted.  In the meantime we kept playing on my old table, and this game started okay for me but then I was getting very frustrated.  I remember some of it because there were a few hands that made me sick, and the same guy kept getting lucky to beat me.  There was one hand where I flopped a flush but was against a flopped nut flush, but when I went all-in on the river he tanked for a long time.  That made me think I was good of course, so losing a pot like that takes the wind out of you. 

My Day

I had trouble sleeping mostly due to my sunburn.  It didn’t help that I didn’t expect much sleep anyway, and I kept waking up in the morning fearing it was 10am.  I eventually got up about 20 minutes early and prepared myself for another round of whatever kind of home invasion this is.  I sat and waited until about 11:30, at which point I decided I could have some breakfast without getting interrupted.  I felt I couldn’t yet start getting ready for my day because I figured at any minute this could finally start.  I played some Diablo and watched my late night shows, and then at 1:30pm I said f-it.  I shaved and showered and never heard a peep from outside.  I’m not upset that nobody came through to bother me, but I was still put out by not being able to sleep and then waking up early only to sit around and wait for nothing.  So they either bother me by intrusion or bother me by the promise of it. 

I then had about three hours to kill before work, and I had a lot of options.  I could have just left for work early to avoid the traffic, but what good is that just to sit around at work two hours early?  I could have watched some Lost, but that’d take me to just the last two of the season and I don’t want to be left on edge like that before work.  I decided to watch Hot Rod since it’s one of my top favorite comedies (probably the funniest movie actually where every line is a great quote).  It doesn’t feel the same to watch it alone out here when it’s my favorite with Brian and my other friends back home. 

Then I watched some Seinfeld and finally pre-ordered a new iPhone 6.  I’m only getting one because my phone is slightly impaired, but I probably would have gotten one anyway since I’ve long due for an upgrade.  I’ve been putting this off for a bit to figure out how to get reimbursed for turning in my current phone, and ultimately I’ll just pay the full price (with a renewed 2-year agreement) and then just get an Apple gift card for about $100.  I was hoping to either get more or to at least be able to get a rebate for the price of a new phone, but it appears it doesn’t work that way.  I figure an Apple gift card is better than a Verizon one since I’ll use it eventually for a case or other accessories.  So it’ll take a few weeks before I get it, and then I’ll turn in my old phone and hopefully get some credit back eventually.

I left for work a little early and it took about an hour to get there, but I wasn’t running late this time.  It didn’t seem very busy but I got a table to start with, and then another before a break.  I was already in the mood for some food since I ate earlier today, but it was only 8pm and I don’t like to eat on my first break if it’s so early.  I’m not sure why that is, but I missed the noodle bar because of it.  I was able to eat a few hours later and I just ordered some chow mein so it was good anyway. 

This was a pretty easy night, and I was afraid my soreness and sunburn would cause me discomfort.  My mobility (my reach) weren’t too bad but my burn itched terribly.  It was especially bad on my chest, so it probably looked like I was petting my nips all night.  I first down was pretty garbage despite being no-limit, but the rest of my tables were pretty decent.  I even had one Mexican Poker down where I was tipped nearly every pot.  Usually there’s at least one stiff, but I was not only getting at least something from each pot but often I’d get more than that so it was nice.  I did have a couple players who weren’t so nice, but I didn’t care about anything they said so it was fine.  I finished one down early and was happy to go home and go to bed because I was exhausted all night.  And for example, this last paragraph took me about a half hour because I couldn’t stay awake to even type properly.  Now I’m going to bed by 5am and we’ll see how much sleep I can get.  Thanks for reading, and “Don’t wake me / I plan on sleeping in.”

—Eric Del Medico

September172014

I came close to being upset it was so hot today, and then I realized not only is that rare, but I’ll never be freezing again.

Dreams

I had this dream just before finally getting up so it’s still fresh in my head.  I was in a high school slash grocery store, and that is actually a common setting for my dreams.  There was a story unfolding that I was both watching and a part of, and a girl was my sister and she was standing at her locker (which was more like a shelf).  On top of her books there was a piece of ham (sure) and a small gold locket.  A younger brother was standing there and took the ham, and watched in fear that the locket would fall.  It didn’t at first, and when he thought he was clear it fell and broke. 

So there was another, older brother in the mix, and the younger one appealed to him to help him out.  So the older brother decided to use this guy who was a dance instructor to help by slyly getting her to sign up for a dance team or competition or something.  How this would help I have no idea.  Eventually the younger brother found the locket, but now that was me, and I found another piece of ham.  I covertly walked past her locker and set both the ham and the locket back and hoped everything was good now. 

Then for the conclusion of the dream we saw the sister and the dance instructor—who was a young and handsome guy—holding hands as they walked up to a counter.  There was wild applause from the crowd slash studio audience, but more than I’ve seen from any sitcom of any decade.  They could hear this and at first she tried to wave it off, but then took his hand again which was met with another round of tremendous applause.  Then she found her locket intact and hugged her dude, so it seemed like everything was all good now.  But I think it was understood for the “movie” that she thought he returned it to her, so their relationship was founded on a lie and inevitably doomed.  And that was my fault and all the brothers’ faults.  I haven’t the slightest idea where this dream came from.

One Year Ago Today

This was my errands day, and there was something about my old schedule that made it feel like my entire day was devoted to errands.  In reality I probably would wake up between 3 and 4, then get groceries and whatever else I needed and then back home to do my laundry.  Now I don’t feel like I spend a whole day doing those things, so in that way I like my new schedule better.  I went to the gym that night and could feel myself getting stronger, and I loved seeing my weight continue to go down.  I really need to stop waiting and start going back because it feels so good, but I’m a sore and sunburnt piece of garbage right now so that’ll be for later still. 

My Day

I did have a fractured sleep just like I thought I would.  It took me a while to fall asleep, and for a time I thought of just trying to stay up once again.  That’s what makes this new sleeping schedule I’m trying so difficult, because I simply have to not be tired and keep myself awake to then get on a good sleep schedule.  Otherwise I fall asleep at inopportune times and then have no willpower to correct it.  So I woke up several times before my alarm which was set for 8 hours after I went to bed, and finally just got up about 20 minutes early. 

It was a really hot day today, and I was sweating inside my apartment even with the windows open and my fan blasting.  I did my laundry and was sweating inside the building, and this was the first day I was legitimately “too hot”.  But I’ve been here the entire summer and only now found it anywhere close to uncomfortably hot, so I’d say that’s a huge victory.  But also, these hot days are so rare here so it’s not like I’ll have to worry about them for an entire season or even month.  It was only in the low 90s but with a nice ocean breeze, so even that isn’t terrible.  I immediately thought about how if I was still in New York I’d soon (or already) be bracing myself for the cold days ahead, and then when winter hits it’ll be here to stay.  So I was very happy to be hot in my apartment knowing that I’m getting such a good deal here.

As for my day, I basically just wanted to play Diablo for however long I felt like it.  I finally got the last part to make a Hellfire Amulet which I’ve spent probably a hundred hours or more on, and of course it was garbage.  I don’t understand why they make these things so hard to get and then end up being a letdown.  I can’t believe that I just happened to find extraordinary rings or amulets to use instead of these Hellfire ones, so I feel like it’s all been an even bigger waste than the obvious.  Now I don’t know if I want to try to make more in the hopes that I can craft a better one, or just give up on doing those altogether. 

Again I debated a lot on what to do for dinner, and I wanted to try eating out someplace new but couldn’t settle on anything.  I want to try a pizza place around here but only to see how it is, because I can just heat up a frozen pizza and be just as good.  I could get Pizza Hut or Papa John’s which I know is good and would be cheaper, but again why get pizza from there when it’s loads cheaper to make it at home?  I could get wings, but unless I’m specifically craving them I shouldn’t waste them.  I could get Chinese like some “chow mein” noodles, but I’ll probably get them tomorrow at work.  I don’t mind eating out somewhere once a week, or now even more than that if it’s not too costly.  But I don’t want to eat out just for the sake of eating out, when I have more than a dozen meals at home.  So I ended up just having a salad I bought the other day, and that’s something I’m rarely specifically in the mood for so I couldn’t waste it. 

I called my dad and talked to him for well over an hour again, and then I settled in to watch Lost all night.  I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve seen it, since I’ve previously been watching it every day or every other day.  I would have watched a lot more of it but since I have to get up early tomorrow to let randoms walk through my apartment I figured I should try to get to bed earlier.  So I watched my movie very early to my usual time, and that movie was Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  I didn’t see it in theaters and was glad it mostly didn’t affect the plot to Guardians of the Galaxy which came out after and which I’ve seen already.  This was a good movie although I was tired and fell asleep a few times, so I had to keep rewinding it (if that’s what it’s still called).  Now I’m going to bed at 4:30am which I guess is early, but I’ll get less than 6 hours of sleep before work tomorrow so I won’t be happy about that.  Thanks for reading, and “Oh they all fall / Like a million raindrops / Falling from a blue sky / Kissing your cares goodbye.”

—Eric Del Medico

September162014

No matter how many times I might miss my old life in New York, that all goes away whenever I see that big blue ocean.

Dreams

On Sunday “morning” I dreamt I was running to a plane with my brother, and we were taking a trip.  We were with our mom at the airport, and then we suddenly had to rush to make our flight.  Our mom wasn’t going with us, and I immediately felt awful for not saying goodbye.  Then we were instead in a car going on a long trip across country and I either had some audition or was going to camp or something.  I was nervous because it was a potentially life-changing thing, and this all came from how I flew out to audition to be a dealer here.  Then I realized that I wasn’t sure what clothes I had packed, and I couldn’t be sure of any item at all.  I didn’t know if I’d even be prepared for whatever I was going for, so that was pretty scary.

One Year Ago

I worked at 4pm and I didn’t want to be there but it was my only real day of work so I stuck it out.  One funny thing was that I got stuck behind an Asian woman as I was walking out, and I wasn’t able to pass her because she kept swaying down the hall.  It was funny because just a few days ago when I was leaving work I held the door for her and then got stuck behind her when driving home.  So she walks slow and drives slow, and I had to wait for her twice now.  After work I went to the gym and was the only one there for an hour of it, since it was late Saturday night and other people have social lives. 

Then on the next day I had Sunday off, and I had already planned how I’d spend it.  I thought it’d be nice to just watch football all day, so I caught glimpses of the games throughout the day.  But my big plan was to watch The Godfather trilogy, which I’ve enjoyed doing all in one day and specifically on Sundays for some reason (because that’s when I watched them the first time). 

Sunday/Monday

I think my dreams were related not only to my near-past but also to the immediate present.  I was rushing to get someplace in the dream, and I woke up and was startled to see it was 11pm or one hour later than I needed to get up.  So I had about 45 minutes to shave, shower, put in my contacts, and get dressed before heading out to work.  It feels weird to say that I overslept for a 12:40am shift, but that’s what I get for cutting it so close.  I regretted having to rush, but I was glad to get that extra hour of sleep.  So I shaved as quickly as I could and got ready fast, and to my surprise I was actually able to get everything done and leave at my regular time.  I expected to have to make up much of time on the road, so it was kind of anticlimactic but I should be thankful.

The casino didn’t seem very busy which is normal for late on a Sunday night, but my mentality is always the best when it’s my last shift before a couple days off.  I don’t really care what happens because when the time is up I can go home and do whatever I want.  My first table was a short-handed Stud game, and I really didn’t want to break it because I wanted to continue on in my string.  Tables were going down so I had a break next anyway, but it didn’t matter.  Then I had a 4-table run which would prove to be my final string though.  By 4am we were down to just two tables in our rotation, and then only one by 5.  So I dealt that last table four times with a break in between, and that dragged the last few hours but it was a decent table so it could have been so much worse.

I’ve mentioned before that people like to ask me personal questions even when they don’t know me, and sometimes I surprise myself at how candid I can be about my personal life to complete strangers.  At the last table a guy asked me where I lived and where I was from, and I mentioned how I’ve only been out here for about 4 months.  After a bit he asked, “So have you gotten laid by any of these California girls yet?”  I shyly smiled and then without really thinking if I should have just brushed it off I simply said no.  I did feel embarrassed because it wasn’t something I had to admit, and I was basically telling the table that it’s been at least four months since I’ve slept with a girl.  Of course I know that it’s been over 25 years, so I spent the rest of those downs hoping he or anyone else wouldn’t ask anything further.  It led me to thinking though about what if I had happened to meet some random girl out here and we did sleep together.  Would I have said yes, even if I was embarrassed by it?  I think this goes back to the male desire to seem like a man among other males, so saying yes could have scored me some points among these other dudes.  But since I don’t need some random guys’ respect if it only comes with having slept with a girl, then why should I care if I don’t get it?

It’s weird because I’ve always wanted to wait until marriage to sleep with any girl, so you could say it’s noble to be chaste like that.  But it’s another thing to admit that I haven’t even had the opportunity with any girl I’ve known to do that if I wanted to.  Maybe there have been girls I’ve come across that would have slept with me if they felt I would want that, but I keep thinking about my image.  Growing up as an openly Christian guy, I wonder if girls have always just assumed (and rightly) that I’m not into just sleeping with them or having that as part of any relationship.  I wonder if that might be what has kept girls from finding any interest in me.  Sometimes I think about trying to project a more uninhibited image just to see if that’d change things, but that’s really not me. 

So not exactly related to this but close, I was at that table and saw one of the housekeepers vacuuming and whatnot.  I’ve seen her before, and she seems close to my age and she’s pretty cute.  This time she happened to look toward me one of the times I glanced over, and when it happened again I wondered if maybe there was some vibing going on.  Just as I had that thought, I looked lower and remembered that she is pregnant.  I just smiled and laughed to myself in the middle of the table at that thought.  It’s like, what could make me think she was thinking about me any less than realizing she has a baby on the way?  Of course it doesn’t mean she’s married or even has a dude, but there definitely was a person in her life not long ago and there’s going to be another one around for the rest of her life.

I kept dealing that last table for the second half of my shift, and I sort of wished it would just break so I could go home.  I would have been out when the second table broke if one of the dealers didn’t ask to leave instead.  At Turning Stone I understood how that all worked, but here I don’t pay attention to who asks to leave early or who requests to play, and I just do my time until they tell me I’m out.  At the cashier there was an Asian guy who said that my name (Eric) always reminds him of Eric Clapton, and he was asking if I knew any of his songs.  I actually can’t think of a single one by name, but I told him I like a couple songs from his band Cream.  Then he started singing “Sunshine of Your Love” and then “White Room,” and he sang well but it was funny that not only would he just start singing but that he was an Asian guy singing a song by a very white guy. 

I got some groceries and then drove home, and again I just stayed up rather than trying to sleep.  I decided to make this one post span both days because I figured I wouldn’t have much to say about Sunday, but apparently I did.  I went to the bank too to deposit a little more money, and just before leaving the teller from before came to her window.  I wondered if she’d say anything to me like last time, but I wasn’t going to bring anything up to perpetuate my M.O. of reading too much into these interactions.  I almost stopped at a bakery in that plaza but decided against it, although I immediately wished I had.  I bought some cinnamon rolls at Wal Mart so I didn’t need anything (I mean I didn’t anyway), but I could have gotten an iced coffee and at least seen what they had there.

I went home and saw a note on my door just like the last one, and I wasn’t really surprised but somehow expected they’d do this crap again.  On Wednesday they’re coming through again at 10am, so I have to sit through this shit (I’m not censoring myself this time) at least one more time.  Of course it couldn’t have been tomorrow when I should be getting up early anyway, but or on a day where I’ll already be up that late from work.  No, it’ll be when I have to work at 6:40 and now I’ll have to arrange it to be up that early and ruin another night’s sleep.  They’re pissing me off so much, and again they list the reason as the same bogus inspection as last time. 

My only real plan for today was to go to the beach first thing, and shortly before noon I headed out.  It was a very warm day (some might say it was hot) and I was very much looking forward to swimming in the ocean.  It was nice to be there earlier too, and to have the sun at my back instead of right in my eyes.  It was a good walk but I was very aware of the distance this time, and I just wanted to get there.  I thought it might be more populated than I’m used to since it was earlier, but it actually makes more sense that it was less so.  I went to my usual spot near some rocks, but you could almost not recognize it because the tide was in further than before.  More on that in a bit.

I set my stuff down and I’ve started to make my own sand chair so I can lean back against the shore without needing a chair.  I relaxed for a bit but I was hot and wanted to get in the water.  So I went out and had what felt like the entire Pacific Ocean to myself.  The waves weren’t too bad and I got to do some actual swimming rather than just fighting to stay afloat.  It was my best swim yet, and I can’t believe I went all of last summer without swimming at all.  The water felt so good, and it’s nice exercise to swim out there so I love it.  I’m never more at peace than when I’m at the beach, and it always reminds me of why I came out here.

After getting out of the water I sort of didn’t have enough, and I wanted to go right back in.  I hung around on the shore and thought maybe I’d swim again later, but I don’t want to make my towel do double work and I can’t exactly use it again after I lay on it on the sand.  I kicked back and read the last chapter of The Return of the King, and I was sad to have that story come to a close.  It was fitting to read it while at the beach because the last chapter concludes with Frodo sailing off to the Grey Havens, so it was a beautiful ending. 

While reading I could see the tide coming in, sometimes a little further than normal.  A couple times it came right up to my feet, and I feared it’d eventually engulf my whole area.  I only had a few pages left to go so I just hoped to beat it, but then a big one came in and it flooded over everything.  It submerged my towel, got all up in my shoes, got in and around my bag, and worst of all it got my book.  I hated that I’ve gone years reading through these books only to have one get wet and dirty during the final minutes of reading. 

I wasn’t sure what to do to recover from all of this, because I was standing near the ocean shore and everything was wet.  I first just rinsed out my towel in the ocean to get much of the sand out, and then wrung it out to hopefully get it dried out.  I was worried about my shoes because I can’t really walk two miles home barefoot, so I washed them out and my socks as well and hoped they’d dry.  I needed someplace dry to assess the damage to the stuff in my bag, so I went to the end of the beach and the sidewalk there was at least much less sandy than the beach is.  I didn’t have anything else important except for my phone, and I’m getting a new phone soon anyway but I really need this one so I can get some value back toward a new one.  Lastly was my shirt, and I needed that to dry out so I didn’t have to walk home shirtless.

I tried to clean off my book and I got the sand out, but many of the pages were wet and now a little stained.  No pages were sticking together though and you could still read everything, so I didn’t have to worry about how I’d finish the story.  I then walked back out to the shore to finish reading while my stuff kept drying.  I still wanted to finish the story there, and the sand was so hot that I had to stand right in the water to keep from burning them.  When I finished the story I ran back across the beach and washed off my feet at one of the shower stations, and I was thankful that my body dried naturally since my towel was still soaked.  My shoes and socked dried well enough and my shirt was completely fine so that was lucky. 

By this point I was very sore and feeling sunburnt, and the walk home was a much more laborious one.  I walked gingerly on my blistered and hot feet but made it back fine.  First thing I did after taking off my wet and dirty clothes was to enjoy an ice cream cone, and then I had to wash out my clothes again in the shower.  I rinsed out all the sand and then showered off the grime from my body, and now I could really feel my sunburns.  I put sunscreen all over my head, face, neck, and arms, but I purposely didn’t do any part of my body that wasn’t already tanned.  I’m trying to even myself out, so now I’m tan in some areas and just very red in others.  It’s not so bad though, and in a few days the red should be tanned too so this might have done the trick.  The parts I covered with sunscreen are fine so I think it worked out.

After all this walking I was very sore and just wanted to kick back for the rest of the day (and my life).  I decided to start playing Killzone again so I did the first two chapters, but it never satisfies my desire to shoot things.  I always get more frustrated than anything else, and I kept saying, “Eric you’ve done this three times already.  Why can’t you seem to figure it out now?”  After playing I watched the football game and debated on what to eat.  I wanted to eat out but wasn’t going to leave the house, and I couldn’t settle on something to be delivered.  I have leftover spaghetti and my mom made meatballs so I heated up some sauce and had that.  There wasn’t a whole lot of spaghetti but she made 12 meatballs which was disproportional to the pasta.  I only ate about half of it and was completely stuffed.

By this point I just wanted to get back to my couch and sit there, and I didn’t have the energy to even get up to my chair and play Diablo.  While watching the football game I thought about what to do next, but I ended up falling asleep.  I felt it coming on, but just like how I can’t get myself out of bed I couldn’t tell myself to resist this urge.  I missed the end of the game (I missed seeing the Eagles come back to win in what, the final seconds?), and I stayed like that the rest of the night.  I wanted to do something else but had no energy, so I just stayed there through the evening.  I woke up and watched some of The Office and whatever was on the channel currently, until I finally pulled myself up around 3am.  Then I had to get ready for bed and type this whole mess up, so now I’m going to bed at 6am.  In hindsight I guess it’s good they’re not coming around at 10am because that’d be a nightmare, but I’m worried I’ll either get stinted sleep now or sleep way too long or both.  Thanks for reading, and “Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice.”

—Eric Del Medico

September142014

I loved watching the USA basketball team steamroll the global competition, and do it with class (and with our B-squad).

One Year Ago Today

I went to see The Airborne Toxic Event in Rochester, which was my second time seeing them and not too long after seeing them for the first time.  I went with Melissa whom I met at work, and it was weird that we went together since we only really met like a week before.  It was nice having someone to go with, even though I wouldn’t have minded too much going alone.  It’s funny because now I’m going to see them in a month, but since I don’t know anybody out here I’m going to have trouble finding someone to go with me.  I bought an extra ticket though so I’m going to try my best to find somebody, but if I don’t then I’ll at least buy myself some extra space.

My Day

I had a really stinted night sleep, and I’m not sure why.  I very rarely have trouble sleeping, especially when I’m tired and looking forward to sleep.  I fell asleep fine around 10:30am, but I woke up naturally and saw that it was only 2:30.  I had a lot of trouble falling back asleep, and my mind felt really weird.  I had visions that my bed was disheveled and I was sleeping atop a pile of twisted blankets, and I couldn’t stop hearing old Newsboys songs.  I’m currently listening through all my Newsboys albums, and yesterday were the first few that are old and very weird.  I kept repeating lines of strange Australian Christian rap, and it was really driving me crazy. 

I managed to fall asleep after a half hour, but then at 4:30 I heard a knock on my door.  I expected it because my mom told me she was sending me a package, so I wondered if it was just the postman telling me I got a package or if I had to sign it.  There was a knock and I shot up, and then I heard another knock.  So I threw some clothes on and announced “One second,” but when I opened the door there was just my package and no one else.  I understand the first knock to let me know I had a package, but why the second knock if you’re just going to take off?  That really bothered me because the first knock was doing his job but the second was to just annoy me.  I grabbed the package and plunged back into bed, and both times I went back to sleep I wondered if I should just get up.  I would have enjoyed the hours free before work, but I knew I needed to finish my sleep since I was still only a few hours in. 

So then at 6pm my alarm went off, and I first thought I’d for sure get up after all of this nonsense.  But instead I felt very tired now (of course) and ended up sleeping for more than two more hours.  I was still tired when I got up, but I doubt that’ll never be the case.  My package was some mail, two drawstring bags (one of which I searched my apartment for weeks for and was relieved to know I didn’t misplace it), and some homemade meatballs.  The meatballs are pretty timely because I still have leftover spaghetti, so now I’ll just make some extra sauce for the meatballs and to make the spaghetti even better.

I went to work and I again had a pretty easy night.  I almost got to start by dealing Stud hi-lo as a new game for me (although I’ve dealt it before), but just before I was to sit down I was sent to another table instead.  I started with Mexican Poker, and it wasn’t too bad.  I went back there again, but just like last night I avoided having to deal two in a row.  I had one table where a player said under her breath how she hated me, but it really didn’t get to me at all. 

I did have one player issue with a guy I remembered from a month or so ago.  He made a “tisk” every time I dealt the cards, and he was the one who was upset with how I took the cards out of the shuffler.  I didn’t care because he didn’t make any sense and would just make some little noise in his displeasure, so since he wasn’t going to tell me his problem I didn’t bother to worry about it.  At one point he looked at my name tag and said something like, “Are you a ‘guappo’?”  I knew that was a racial slur but I didn’t know which nationality that was aimed at.  I thought I knew all the ones for Italians, and I had a feeling it was one for me but since I didn’t know for sure I just let it roll off and said thank you.  I looked it up later to see that it is where “wop” gets its derivation so that makes sense because that’s what I thought.  But he’s just another miserable old man so I didn’t give him a second thought.  But I felt like saying that if he had a problem he could bring it up with a boss because I didn’t want to hear it, but I figured that’d come across too defensive.

I was in my wind-down phase of work, and we only had three tables left in the rotation so I didn’t know how much longer I had.  I ended up being out two downs shy of a full shift, but I only had two breaks before that so it wasn’t too bad.  For the most part players were nice again, especially at Omaha and Mexican Poker where they are usually meaner and shorter on patience.  Some players stood up for me like with the guy from earlier, and some were nice to say goodbye to me when I left in a way to say they appreciated me rather than hated me.  One guy even kept saying “Deal one more” before I got up which was nice, even though I can’t once the push comes.

So I went home and decided to stay up for the FIBA gold medal game at noon my time.  That meant I’d get to bed around 2pm so I could just get 8 hours of sleep, and it’s either watch it now or get the result ruined on my phone whenever I wake up.  USA had an early 15-7 deficit to Serbia but then quickly turned it around and led by over 30 points so it wasn’t even a sweat.  I’m so proud of those guys who easily dominated all these teams, and that’s just our B or C squad.  So we won the gold medal which I’m sure feels great for those young players.  Now I’m going to bed at 2pm and hopefully will get good sleep before one final night of work.  Thanks for reading, and “What is this, 1941 Poland?  Not one Hanukah decoration.”

—Eric Del Medico

September132014

Tonight at work one of my contacts fell out. That’s one of my greatest fears but I was able to handle it quickly.

One Year Ago Today

Work was annoying so I left early.  At home I watched Rocky III and then Johnny Mnemonic.  I mentioned that for that second movie I agreed with many people that Keanu Reeves’ acting was terrible.  He’s one of those actors who is sometimes good and sometimes really bad (some might say that Nicholas Cage falls into that category), but I think he’s mostly just bad.  Like in Constantine he wasn’t terrible but he still didn’t seem to be a good actor, and even in The Matrix his acting isn’t anything special. 

My Day

I really wanted to sleep today so I didn’t get out of bed until 8:30pm.  That was over 12 hours of sleep, but I think if I didn’t have to get up I would have slept even longer.  So I only had about an hour and half to chill before work instead of 4+ hours like I thought I’d have.  I always underestimate how much sleep I’ll want, both after being up for 20 hours and before going to work late at night.  So I just watched two late night shows and checked out the new iPhone 6 info.  I was able to go through the upgrade process online, but right now I’m concerned with the new monthly charge it appears I’ll have.  Right now it’s showing it’ll cost me twice as much as before, but I think it’s acting as if I’d be on my own plan rather than still on with my family’s plan.  I’m hoping that will be corrected and this was more of an estimate.

Then I went to work, and this was a very easy night.  I had a good run to start, and I didn’t have a single table or player who was mean or annoying.  That’s almost unheard of so I was just really lucky.  I ate during my first break, and I was first super excited that I saw lo mein noodles at the buffet.  But when I got there they changed it to fried rice so that was a big letdown.  That meal upset my stomach and I feared I wouldn’t make it through even one down before needing to take care of it, but thankfully I started feeling better and made it through those next four tables. 

On my way to one of my tables I was itching my eyes like usual, and then my left contact fell out of my eye.  I’ve never had that happen at work and it’s only happened maybe three times ever, but I’m always afraid that’ll happen in this situation where there’s not much I can do about it.  It’s scary because I need both to see clearly (duh), and then to drive home as well.  I was able to go to the bathroom and use some water to put it back in and that worked decently.  Thankfully I wasn’t at a table where it’d dry up before I could replace it.  I keep contact solution in my car so during my next break I could have taken care of it fully, but I was almost done so I just kept on. 

I broke a Mexican Poker game and then was happy to take a break so I could get my body right.  I came back to deal another Mexican Poker down, but it was really easy and I had absolutely no problems tonight.  I was out after that so I left one down early, but I had a good night in basically all respects.  I went home and typed this up very quickly, so now I’m going to bed just after 10am.  Thanks for reading, and “When you tack on mass you sacrifice flexibility.  That’s just a straight-up fact bro.”

—Eric Del Medico

September122014

Today I decided to just get two tickets for an upcoming Airborne Toxic Event concert, so I have one available now and hopefully I can find someone to go with me.

Dreams

I dreamt I was doing my laundry.  I had been doing it at a public laundromat, even though in my building we had a washer and dryer like my last apartment did.  Then they were working again so I used them, only I had some trouble with one of the washers.  There were several open ones but for some reason I used one that had a faulty lid so it wasn’t working well.  This dream kind of threw me when I woke up for some reason, despite being completely meaningless.

One Year Ago Today

I rescheduled an eye appointment because I needed the Utica office rather than the Herkimer one since I moved.  It was ironic though that the new appointment time was a half hour earlier than the old one, so if I hadn’t changed it I would have left my house at the same time anyway because of the extra distance.  That night I had dinner at Red Lobster with my mom, and I told her all about some girl stuff and how to handle it.  I talked to my dad about it earlier that same day, and it’s always nice to get their advice and hear old stories of their lives.  Now that I live 3,000 miles away I value that even more, and sometimes I really miss them badly. 

Thoughts

I thought about buying the new Destiny game for PS4, which I’ve wanted to get for months now.  But I feel like now’s not the time to spend $60 on a game, not just because it’s money I shouldn’t spend but because I have Diablo which can occupy me for thousands of hours and I have three other games for it.  So I think I’ll continue to hold off on that game and maybe see if I can get it for Christmas or my birthday, and by then it might be a little cheaper too.  I am in the mood for a shooting game again though, so I think I’ll just play through Killzone again.  It’ll be nice to play a PS4 game once more, and to sit on my couch and play for the first time.  Then I can play Second Son again and finally really get into Watch Dogs, so I won’t really have a need for a new game.  But if it does prove to be a great game even for single-player, then I’m sure eventually I’ll get it.  I also need a new phone so that’ll be a few hundred dollars to spend very soon, so no need adding to that needlessly.  But I’ll talk more about that in the coming days.

My Day

I woke up at noon but naturally came awake a few times before that, and I don’t know why that would happen so early.  I watched the USA basketball game, and despite a close first half we finally pulled away in the third quarter and again won the game by more than 20 points as we did in every previous game.  Now we’ll face the winner of tomorrow’s game between France and Serbia, after the favorite and host country Spain was beaten by France.  Then I debated about what to do today, and I knew I wanted to leave the apartment but I couldn’t decide what to do.  I thought about going for a drive, possibly along the coast, but if I’m going there I might as well stop at the beach.  And if I’m going to the beach, then I should just walk there.  But I didn’t feel like taking a walk since I was still a bit fatigued from walking on Tuesday, although I know exercise is still needed. 

Ultimately I decided to just stay in since my next fixed plan was to watch the football game.  So that was at 5:30 and I called my dad, so it worked out that we talked for the entire first half.  Then during halftime I went out and got dinner from Rascals Teriyaki Grill, which is a food place right outside my apartment.  It felt weird being inside after looking into it every day for three months, and I tried to take note of everything.  The customers were about 50% Asian, and I mean that both as 50% of the total and each one seemed to be 50% Asian and 50% white.  There was one cute Asian girl who worked there so that was something.  I noticed they had a sign saying they were hiring, and I had previously thought that I’d love a second job that I could walk to.  I wouldn’t have to worry about a commute so the extra time I’d be spending at this job would be as minimal as possible, and during breaks I could go home.  So I wondered if the timing of this was a sign, but I don’t think I want to work in food service.

As for the menu, I had a feeling that I wouldn’t know what to order and would seem out of my element.  The menu was fairly basic, and despite also offering soups and sandwiches it seemed like there weren’t many main options.  I got a combo teriyaki bowl which meant chicken and beef with rice, and it was reasonably priced so that was good.  The people were friendly too so that was a bonus.  I went home and started eating, and the portion seemed pretty good and the meat looked very well-prepared.  But it was literally just strips of beef and chicken on top of white rice, and a little dish of coleslaw.  I was hoping for vegetables or at least just broccoli with it, and I remembered I had a whole bag of frozen broccoli so I fixed this myself.  That’s why I like having all kinds of foods on hand for situations like this.  That helped, although my broccoli was mostly cut up stems and not the florets or whatever they’re called.   Altogether it was a tasty meal, but unfortunately not one I feel I’ll ever be in the mood to get again.  That’s a shame because I’d love a go-to place right outside my apartment, but there are still other options.

I talked with my mom for a little bit so that was good, and then for the rest of the night I played Diablo and started Season 5 of Lost.  I mentioned before how my cable box spent an entire day updating, and then I just unplugged it and let it start over.  That seemed to do it because by the time I woke up the next day it was fixed.  So I was able to watch the games today, although it did randomly reset for about 20 minutes during the football game (which was a terrible one to watch anyway).  For a movie I watched Constantine which I got on Blu-ray along with V for Vendetta and Watchmen.  I’ve never seen it but it was an okay movie about a demon hunter trying to send demons back to hell, and not really much else to say about it.  I put off doing this blog until I was ready for bed, so now that’ll be at 8am which is much later than I hoped, but I don’t work for 16 hours so no big deal.  Thanks for reading, and “Hi, it’s George.  I got nothing to say…”

—Eric Del Medico

September112014

Tonight work flew by very easily. But I really hate that long drive in L.A. rush hour traffic. It’s really the worst.

One Year Ago Today

After poker that morning I had to stop my car and I marveled at the big red sun.  It just looked so big and like a foreign star, and it was awesome.  This ended up being a good poker game for me in the end, and it was fun playing at a new place.

My Day

I hated having to get up today, and I know that shouldn’t be but it was the truth.  It was warm and sunny but all I wanted out of life was to stay in bed.  I tried to think really hard about getting called off, but I’ve never been called off here yet which is actually a good thing.  I didn’t try for too long because I know I need to take advantage of these fourth days since they won’t be around for much longer.  So I got up and got ready for work, and I left a few minutes later than I wanted but still had an hour before I should get in.  Traffic was pretty good getting to the freeway, but then it was worse than ever.  It took me well over an hour to get there this time, and I pulled into the parking lot just a few minutes before my shift started.  So I walked as fast as I could to get inside and make my way to punch in, which I did a minute late (or 8 minutes later than I usually punch in).  I wasn’t worried about getting in trouble of them really needing me, but I just hate not having any warm-up time at least mentally before I start. 

I didn’t want to get stuck waiting around for a spot because I came late, but really that would have been fine anyway.  I ended up opening a new game which didn’t start for about 20 minutes, but I got pushed late so that sort of made up for it.  Then I went on break and was able to get myself together.  I dealt Mexican Poker, Omaha, and Stud tonight, and they were all better than they usually are or could be.  At Omaha one player complimented me on my mechanics and said I was a good dealer, and that was despite not winning any hands with me.  Later the dealer who was tapping me out said that that table was the “best version of that game,” which is a perfect way to describe it. 

I had one little thing happen that put a damper on an otherwise care-free night of work.  I cough a lot, to the point where I don’t notice when I do it half the time.  At Stud there was a player who was being nice and everything, and then he told me to please cover my mouth when I cough because he can feel it right on his face every time.  Now he was in the seat directly facing me, and I was coughing so I couldn’t dismiss him.  But I also had trouble believing that I would cough without covering my mouth.  There was a drunk guy at the table and his breath smelled like nasty beer so I wondered if that was really it, and I had just put in a mint.  I even specifically avoided getting onions or garlic in my food so I wouldn’t have bad breath.  So I felt put down after that mostly because there was a woman at the table right in Seat 1, and it wasn’t the usual comment about the cards I deal but about my personally.  I couldn’t not think about it, but he was right.  I don’t always cover my mouth because I keep my mouth closed when I do it, but I tested it later and air still flows out when I do that.  So I should work on trying to control and minimize my coughing just for myself in general.

I got pretty hungry just in time for another break, and I planned to get some noodles if I had enough time.  Then I saw that there was a noodle bar in place of the buffet, so that was like heaven.  I got to pick the kind of noodles and all the stuff to go with them, and it was great.  It was quicker too so it worked out very well.  After a third break I just had two tables left before my shift would be up, and it felt like it went by very fast.  I dealt another Omaha game that wasn’t as pleasant but still not bad, but I was tapped out halfway through.  I didn’t mind although those last two tables wouldn’t have been a problem.  So I worked for 7 hours and did pretty well for them, mostly thanks to one good tipper at a $40 game.

I thought about staying to play because the top section looked like there were still a few tables left, so they might have still had the game I’d play.  But I was tired and wanted to get home and go to bed so I can get up at noon and watch the USA basketball game again.  That extra hour helped, so now I’m going to bed just after 4am and I’m looking forward to my day off tomorrow.  I’ll be watching basketball, football, maybe some Lost or movies, and playing Diablo or maybe something else.  Sometimes just having the option to do something is all I need to be happy, which is the main reason I don’t like work most of the time because it takes away my chance to do anything else.  Alright thanks for reading, and “Do you have to / Do you have to / Do you have to let it linger?”

—Eric Del Medico

September102014

Today was a nice day out where I dealt with friendly people everywhere I went. Work tomorrow might not be the same.

Dreams

I remember a dream where I was part of or watching Workaholics, and it was showing how the three of them met.  There already is an episode for that, but this one was different.  The car belonged to Adam originally when in the real show it’s Anders’, and the car was more like a Flintstones car in this dream.  The rest was pretty weird with whatever situation they were in.  I thought it was a weird continuity issue, which I thought about when watching Louie last night.  Louis C.K. has said he isn’t particularly concerned with that with his show, like how his ex-wife is described as pasty and shown briefly as a white woman (their kids are very white), but then later she’s played by a black woman.  And at first Louie just has one brother, and then he also has a sister, and then another sister.  I also think of continuity a lot when watching Lost, because it seems like they kept everything connected throughout the entire series through all the twists and turns.

I also had a dream where I was at my parents’ house, and they remodeled or cleared out their basement.  They had a lot of open space, and a few poker tables were set up along with a little pool table and everything.  I was comparing it to their old layout, which is actually from earlier dreams where they had multiple poker tables down there.  I was telling my mom how much money they could make if she let me run games down there, and how the rake alone could pay for the house’s rent.  I think about this a lot and how you could justify having a “poker house” or apartment because the game can pay for all the expenses of running it, and then you can live there for free.

One Year Ago Today

I started watching the Rocky movies, and it’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since I’ve watched them now.  They’re so inspiring and got me really pumped up for working out later.  For my Seinfeld episodes I thought of the situation where Jerry tells a girlfriend he can’t go to the movies because they’re now friends, but at the time I couldn’t remember what episode that was.  In thinking about it now, it didn’t take me long to remember that the episode was The Bizarro Jerry with the woman known as “Man Hands.”  So that was a nice victory for me.  But when I finished reading my old post I realized I had already found the answer, so I ended up doing the work twice now.  Oh well.

My Day

I started getting tired somewhere around 8pm last night, and I was really exhausted by 10.  I finally got into bed at midnight, and I planned to sleep for 12 solid hours.  I was surprised that I woke up on my own around 8am, and then again closer to 9.  I think I just really had to use the bathroom, so I got up but then went back to sleep.  I was thinking about how it might be nice to get up that early and have even more of the day free, but it felt so early.  This is so screwy because I’m used to going to bed closer to 9am and not waking up then.  I finally did get up at noon with my alarm, so I got my full recovering sleep. 

I watched the USA basketball game, and it worked out that I was able to watch it live this time without changing around my schedule (aside from what I already did).  We won the game so we’re in the semifinals now, and I should be able to watch that game too.  I wasn’t able to watch on TV though because my cable box has spent the entire day “downloading a cablecard firmware upgrade.”  I can’t imagine this process should take anywhere near 24 hours to complete, so if it’s not done by tomorrow I’ll unplug it and let it restart or whatever to see what’s up.  I’m just thankful there wasn’t anything I planned to watch today or even tomorrow.

Afterward I showered, and I realized it had been 40 hours since I showered last since I just stayed up and then slept a long time.  I had a couple options for the day, and I decided to just head out for a bit.  I went to the bank to finally deposit some money, and every time I walk in I’m greeted by one of the tellers which is nice.  This time it was a young Latina, and she asked how my day was going.  Whenever I get asked this I feel weird for some reason, like I can’t really explain how my day is or what I’m doing.  I can’t describe this but it feels like a weird question. 

She asked if I just got off work and I said I was off today, and thought about saying (if she asked) how I planned to go to the park and maybe the ocean later.  She asked “Where do you work by the way?” which I get asked sometimes by random people, but that too feels like a weird question.  Not because of the answer, but why do people always go right to that?  To make it weirder, I always feel strange when depositing money because I don’t want to seem cool for having so much cash just to put away (if that’s even considered a lot), and I don’t want to seem shady either.  So I felt like she might have asked what I did as a way to ascertain how much money I make, like as a way to check me out.  Obviously that’s ridiculous.  That led to talking about the commute and car mileage, and something that was said made her high five me.  Then after the transaction was done she introduced herself to me and I left, and for a while I felt good.  I didn’t necessarily think that she was in any way chatting me up, but I did entertain the notion a little bit.  That upset me because anyone else would have seen that and realized it meant less than nothing, but Eric always gets ideas.

After that I drove to the park that I always pass on my way to work.  I mainly went to see if they had basketball courts somewhere, and I brought my book to read a little bit too.  It’s a nice park of decent size, and it has some fire pits, a few playground areas, and a big open field.  I walked around the perimeter once to check it all out, and it was a really quiet and peaceful place.  It wasn’t very populated, but there could have been a lot more people there and it still would have felt quiet.  There weren’t any basketball courts though so that’s a bummer.  I walked around again and found a nice tree to saddle up against, and I read my small chapter of The Return of the King when the hobbits make their way to the outskirts of their home.  Then I walked back around and made it to my car, and I drove around some new streets a bit because I felt like a little exploring.  There were even more strip malls and places I could go, and it’s crazy how there are probably dozens more like that just in Torrance that I haven’t seen yet.

Then I went to Wal Mart to get some groceries, but mostly I needed green tea because I’m on my last gallon.  I got some things but then they didn’t have my diet, so I decided to try another place and hold off to get any perishable food until then as well.  I took another less direct route, and I thought I should get food somewhere first while I was out and before I got perishable food.  But I ended up making my way to Target first, and I figured I’d just keep checking places until I found some of my green tea.  They didn’t have any there either but I bought the rest of my stuff since I already had a cart. 

I was waiting in one line until a cashier pointed out she was open right next to me, and she was pretty cute.  She asked if I tried the cookie dough Oreos I was buying because she said she wanted to try them herself.  I said how I hadn’t, and that I walked by them the first time and then decided to get them after all.  That’s partially true but it was at Wal Mart that I first saw them but initially passed, and then this time went for it.  But I recalled how a cute cashier mentioned the Snickers ice cream bars I bought a month or so ago, and I wondered again if there was any way this was flirting (I’m really not used to it so I don’t think I’d recognize it if it was).  I couldn’t think of anything good to say anyway, and I almost said “I’ll let you know” when I try them but how would I do that?  I noticed she didn’t have a name tag on or at least it wasn’t visible to me, and I always check out the name so that was a bummer.  Then with my receipt she said there was a survey to tell them how she did, and I couldn’t turn that into anything either.  I felt it weird somehow to not have a name tag but offer a survey.  But she was nice so I was running good.

Then the last of my plan worked out and on my way to the other big Wal Mart I passed by the car wash.  The line didn’t look long so I waited, although I was about 20 minutes away from getting through.  That was part of the plan to go to Five Guys for dinner next because it’s right across the street.  I always have a lot of debate about where to eat when I’m out and about and hungry at a normal time, and even though I’ve eaten at that franchise before I wanted to try it here.  Crossing the street was tough because it’s a busy street and I had to cross against traffic, but one guy was nice and saw me and just casually waited for my chance to get through.  He didn’t seem in a rush or put off, but more like it was his duty to help me out.  I had to wait for the other lanes to clear though and I felt bad, but I gave him a long thank you wave and I made it through.  I couldn’t drive straight through into the parking lot so I had to drive a bit and turn around and cross against traffic again, but I made it.

The place wasn’t too busy, and the guy at the counter was very friendly.  He asked how my day is going and said that he was just starting his, and he was just very pleasant.  I realized that something a player said the other day about this place proved true, in that it’s really more expensive than anywhere else.  You buy everything separately which I knew, but the burger itself was $8, the fries $3.50, and the drink another couple bucks.  So it was an expensive meal, although of course you get a lot and it’s so delicious.  I debated about whether to eat there or at home, but I thought it’d get too cold if I waited.  I chose to eat outside where it was less crowded because when you’re eating alone you don’t have anyone to face, so I’d feel too close to strangers.  I had to deal with the wind though which kept blowing my napkins about so there was that.  It was a fantastic meal though and I managed to eat it all without exploding.

After that I went to the other Wal Mart, and I should have done that before eating too because I felt weighed down by the food.  This time they did have my green tea so I grabbed four and just carried them so I wouldn’t have to fuss with another cart.  I used the self-checkout which was actually easy for this task, and all these grocery purchases were with my new credit card so that did make it easy.  I didn’t deal with a cashier this time but when leaving the place a guy was checking receipts, and he noticed my shirt and asked me about it.  He read the Airborne part and asked if I was in the military or something, and I said how it was of The Airborne Toxic Event which is a band.  So he was nice too even though he didn’t know this band.  (Just to be honest, this happened at the first Wal Mart but what’s the difference?)

So I had all my stuff and I headed home.  I wished I had gotten a milkshake or something somewhere, and wondered how I might still do that.  I could have gone to In-n-Out and got one there, but then I should have just eaten there instead and spent $7 less.  I could have gone to one of the four ice cream/frozen yogurt places at the beginning of my street, but I wasn’t sure if they’d have just a regular milkshake without any fancy ice cream or whatever.  I remembered there’s a Wendy’s just after my apartment so I went there, although I passed a McDonald’s I forgot about which might have been easier.  But I grabbed a chocolate Frosty there and was finally home and done with my outing.  I was out for most of the afternoon and it felt good, and now I was pretty beat.

I watched the second half of Season 4 of Lost, and I started by just relaxing on my couch and I didn’t want to move.  Eventually I played some Diablo but really didn’t get much done and it wasn’t fun.  I gotta get this Hellfire Amulet and then stop doing all these boring key runs.  After Lost I watched my Netflix movie which was Dark City, and that’s been in my queue for a long time.  I’m not sure how I came to it but I thought the poster artwork looked intriguing so that’s mostly why I went for it.  It’s about a guy who wakes up to find himself accused of murder but has no memory of it or of his life.

The premise was good, but the movie was so weird.  The way it was shot (the cinematography or whatever) was so strange, and it felt very fake.  But for how the movie played out and for what happened throughout, that was actually a good thing.  There were evil people who were aliens with telekinetic powers, and they would remove people’s memories and exchange them with other people and did a lot of other weird stuff.  It was pretty trippy and hard to follow, and I wouldn’t want to watch it again.  In reading the trivia on it afterward it got me reading up on other psychological and philosophical subjects like Last Thursdayism, the chicken and the egg, and Memoirs of My Nervous Illness.  I won’t get into any of it now but there was a lot of theories and stuff I haven’t thought about before and it was really interesting.  I might like to read that book and more about those philosophies because that’s another thing that fascinates me.  All that took longer than I thought so now I’m going to bed after 7:30am for a long but enjoyable day.  Thanks for reading, and “Well, this has been the nicest chat I’ve had in a month of Mondays.”

—Eric Del Medico

September92014

It feels so weird to be eating breakfast at 11pm and dinner at 9am. I think my body is fully nocturnal now.

Dreams

I didn’t sleep so I don’t have any dreams from today, but I remembered the one dream I know I had the night before.  I was in a large field like at my gramma’s house, and I saw in the sky some kind of great explosion.  It was either from a distant volcano or maybe meteorites, but all of a sudden fireballs started to rain down on us.  I was carrying something large that I quickly used as a shield, and I bolted for the house.  But I wasn’t scared or afraid of dying, because I thought that’d be a good way to go. 

One Year Ago Today

I had a slow and dragging night of work.  I had a little awkwardness when a player asked if he tipped me and I said no, but he didn’t quite hear so I had to repeat it.  I always feel bad saying no, and sometimes I’ll even say “I think so” when I know they didn’t tip me.  If they had tipped me I always say, “Yes.  Thank you.” and sometimes they’ll tip me again.  On this night a player tipped me and threw another out and then asked if he tipped me.  When I said yes he took the other one back, and while there’s nothing wrong with that it just looked weird. 

My Day

I got home from work by 7:30am and tried to figure out what to do.  I was hungry so I wanted food, and since I last had breakfast it was dinnertime despite being morning.  I would have eaten out somewhere but it was too early for anything other than fast food, so I just heated up a pizza.  For the second time in a row I burned the roof of my mouth on the first bite, and that’ll linger for at least another day.  It’s a good reminder I guess of how one little mistake can have a lasting effect on your life, so be careful.

I did my laundry, and it was nice to get it out of the way so early.  The place just opened so only two other people were there, and I didn’t have to worry about people needing my machines or not having any for myself.  Then I read a chapter of The Return of the King, and again I only got dozy during the final page.  I resisted the urge to “take a nap” and had my iced coffee and shook myself awake.  I finished my blog for the previous day so I was ready to start this one.

I started with Lost, and I watched the first half (7 episodes) of Season 4.  I forgot a lot of how this stuff went down, and this season might be the strangest.  I played Diablo and did some key runs and whatnot, but I never got around to resuming my crusader.  Later I debated what to do for dinner.  My original plan for the day was to go back out and get groceries, go to the beach, and check out the park.  But it was overcast and didn’t seem particularly sunny, so I saved that for tomorrow.  I didn’t feel the need to go back out just to get food when I still had half a pizza left, so I just ate that and stayed in. 

This took me to 4pm when it was time for the football games.  I watched the Giants but they were just terrible, and then I rooted for the Chargers since they’re a California team.  They lost, and I had to look it up even though it happened like an hour ago because I guess that’s how little I really care.  A player last night asked if I was a Jets or Giants fan being from New York, and I told him I root for both but I’m not sure.  I was actually trying to figure that out for myself before he asked, and while I do root for all three New York teams I’d have to say that I care more about the Giants.  I told him I did watch the Jets game that morning, but he said he was a Raiders fan.  So I realized that my answer was now a bad one because I said I rooted against his team, and he didn’t tip me at all so maybe that’s why.  Anyway, I couldn’t keep myself awake during the second game and after nodding off I got ready for bed.  Now I’m going to sleep at midnight and plan to wake up by noon which should be plenty of sleep and leave me with plenty of time to chill.  Thanks for reading, and now the songs stuck in my head are mostly Death Cab for Cutie which creates a very mellow and introspective vibe.

—Eric Del Medico

September82014

Tonight’s shift of work was horrendous. I guess all the players decided to stop tipping the dealers.

One Year Ago Today

It was a very stiffy night of work, and I felt I got stiffed probably twice as much as on a regular night.  Usually I get a few bigger tips that make up for this, but not on this night.  In the end though it was a decent night, and almost every night was actually pretty easy.  Only I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have.

Thoughts

Alright let me talk about girls again for a bit.  Obviously the only girls I’m seeing/meeting out here are at work, but one great challenge is that I have no idea what any of their situations are.  I don’t know anybody, and I fear that if I did get up the courage to ask a girl out I’d feel stupid if she said she had a boyfriend or God forbid a husband.  There’s already one co-worker who dropped that H-bomb on me out of nowhere.  Even though most of the dealers are middle-aged, there are still several younger girls around my age who work in other positions.  And that’s aside from the table games dealers, where there are several very attractive Asian girls.  But just like at Turning Stone, they are aware of it and seem too out of my league.  Like when they don’t even notice me standing there, that’s when I’m sure I wouldn’t have a chance.

In the last week I’ve seen a few “new” girls who are beautiful.  There’s this new girl who works in food service, and today I was able to smile and say hi at least when she walked by one time.  As I was leaving she was behind me, and I wished I had held back a beat so I could maybe say hi to her.  Then I noticed she had a big tray and was trying to get through the kitchen doors, so if I had hung back a second I could have helped her out and demonstrated some value to her (“D” of the D.E.N.N.I.S. System). 

Then today when getting chips from the cage I went to the very attractive Latina (is that even politically correct?  I feel it’s gotta be better than saying ‘Hispanic’ all the time) who I see all the time.  She must be in her late 30s or probably early 40s, but she’s beautiful.  There’s another woman who fits that description too that has a very beautiful face, which I see almost across the board in Hispanic women.  Oh and there was a gorgeous young Latina in a little black dress, but I digress.  Anyway, then when at the cage I noticed that the other cashier was a very attractive Asian woman whom I haven’t seen before.  So I regretted not going to her window before, but I rectified it later.  She also has a very cute voice so I was in love (figuratively speaking).

I don’t really have a point in all of this, but while some days I think I should just put all these girl thoughts on the back burner I’ll then have days like this where I feel like surrounded by girls and I need to talk to them.  I just feel even further out of my element here, and like I have no business trying to chat up girls that I don’t know.  I previously thought that I’d seem like a mysterious white guy who stands out from the regular losers, and that would get girls interested in me.  But instead I just feel like an outsider who can play no part in the game of love.  I guess though that at least it’s better that there are young girls here and many of them seem really nice, so if I ever get the circumstance to get to know them then I could be on to something.  So I guess there’s hope, if I’m into that.

My Day

I got up after 9:30pm, and I felt like I would enjoy another couple hours of sleep.  So maybe next time I’ll try just sleeping longer and still getting up that late, in the hopes that more sleep will make it easier to stay up.  I had just enough time to get ready for work, and it didn’t feel so bad having to go in when I knew in 8 hours I’d have two full days to do whatever.  The casino didn’t seem very busy, and looking at the board it was like we had half the games we had at that time last night.  I didn’t care though no matter what happened, because either all breaks or all tables would be fine.

I started with a 3-table run this time, and I wasn’t getting tipped hardly at all but at least the players were nice and quiet.  I’ve said before that I’d prefer that over tables with players yelling or complaining the whole time.  My tables didn’t get any better, but got much worse.  I dealt Mexican Poker and I didn’t get a single tip that down.  After about 25 minutes I didn’t want to get anything so I can say I had my first complete no-hitter.  To be fair, I’d need a down where each player wins at least two pots so I know that there wasn’t one player who would have tipped me if he won, and that nobody just forgot to tip one hand.  Another dealer told me he got one dollar there, and every dealer felt the woes of this night.

After that I went to Omaha, and I got some tips but that was a much rougher table.  Players were petty and grumpy, and one was being really mean with me.  He refused to tell me how much he was rebuying for when as a rule we need to know before the hand starts.  Players were just really angry in general and they take it out on us.  I dealt Stud and at that table there was a younger kid who was learning the game.  At one point he asked, “Why do players blame the dealer?  They really don’t control what cards come out…”  I laughed and said, “That’s a great question.  I appreciate you realizing that.”  It was great because he was so earnest with his question, and it felt good that at least someone realizes how stupid it is to blame the dealer for losing.  I realized also that players just play really badly, so they expect to have a good hand every hand and win every hand.  It’s their own fault for playing badly, but if they recognized that it’s their own fault then they wouldn’t play anymore.  And obviously they can’t justify not playing poker anymore, so they blame somebody else so they always have an out.

So none of my tables were any good, and the only solace was the few times I dealt quieter but still stiffy tables.  I dealt to the cute Asian girl whom I only saw before when I got to deal $80 no-limit.  I kept trying to think about what it was about her that has me so enraptured.  She’s pretty but not like gorgeous or how I see other girls, but she just seems so approachable or whatever.  Anyway I broke a table just before 6am, and by this point we had no more tables left in our rotation.  There were only four tables left in the whole place, and those were all in the top rotation.  I didn’t know that yet at the time, so I was worried I’d be stuck having to repeat the same lousy tables highlighted by the bad Omaha.  Instead I was cut, and I didn’t mind at all because there was just no money to be made.  So I only worked about 5.5 hours which is the least yet, and I made just over $50.  That comes to about $7.50 a down, but since one table I made $0 my other tables were actually a little better.  It was just a really bad night for everyone so I was glad to get out.

Normally I’d wait out the traffic and head home after 9am, but it was just after 6 and I couldn’t think of a reason to try to kill time for three hours.  So I drove home and it wasn’t too bad, and definitely wouldn’t have been worth staying for no reason.  The weather was strange: It was still a bit dark and it was actually raining, which I’m now unaccustomed to.  I was still planning to stay up through Monday, but I had I known things would have happened like this I could have been in bed around 8am and been back to my “normal” schedule.  But since it’s all free time it doesn’t matter, because I get to spend it away from people who will berate me and make me feel less than happy.  Thanks for reading, and “Don’t let your heads get too big for your hats!”

—Eric Del Medico

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