July292014

Here’s an exhaustive answer to the seemingly simple question you might be thinking, which is “How’s California?”

One Year Ago Today

On this day I signed up for something that I felt was a scam from the beginning, and even though I questioned it along the way I still went for it.  It was for something from Family Energy, which supposedly fixes your electric bill rates so your company doesn’t charge you over a certain amount.  I think the easiest way to legitimize it is that they have a price ceiling that will probably never be reached, and then they just pocket the difference.  If it ever did go above that price then this company would pay the difference, but as that is very unlikely it’s just a third party skimming cents off of people.  I was really surprised at how I fell for this even with all my suspicions, but I was thankful for my mom who listened to me after this happened and calmly told me how to get out of it (which I did with ease).  I was pretty scared at the time, but that was one of the most coherent and best-written sections of my blog at any rate. 

Thoughts

I’m in a writing mood, and since I have some time before “my bedtime” I might as well share something really important.  First, I’ll start with my grandma.  Last week I was happy to see that she sent me a thinking-of-you card which was really nice.  Since then I’ve been meaning to call her and thank her, and I realized I haven’t called anyone since I moved out here.  I talked with my parents each week, but I haven’t talked with any other relatives (except for Words with Friends chats with my aunt; speaking of which it’s my move…).  So every day I’ve thought about calling her, but I haven’t in part because it’s always late and I’m afraid she’ll be asleep or busy.  But yesterday it was 7am and 10am where she is on a Monday morning, but I just chickened out.  I get nervous about what to say, and I’m afraid of the awkwardness of not having anything else to add but not wanting to hang up on my gramma.  I hate that I’m this way, because if God forbid she died I’d have this hanging over my head forever.

The reason I bring this up (although I would have anyway) is that I’m afraid of talking with my family and friends because I don’t know how to explain what my new life is like.  I get asked the seemingly simple question of “How is California?” all the time, but the answer is very complex.  I’ve determined that the short answer comes down to my current mood that day.  If work was rough or it’s dark and I’m alone, I might say that I don’t really like it.  Or if I’ve just finished my work weekend and it’s bright and beautiful, I might say that I love it.  It also depends on who is asking me, because with a co-worker or player I don’t want to say I hate my job, and with my dad especially I don’t want to speak ill of this huge decision that I’ve reached and made such a big deal about. 

But there’s more to the answer to that question, and more than I can even see or comprehend.  To make a short pros and cons list, I love the weather (and the beach and palm trees) and living on my own in a big city full of possibilities and things to do, but I also hate how lonely I am in this big city and how I lost my economic comfort.  It’s really hard to compare those two halves of this change in my life.  I love the weather and just the smell of it here, and especially going to the ocean and seeing palm trees everywhere.  When I think about the snow and cold weather I left behind I can’t imagine ever going back, even for one day.  But it’s also been an adjustment getting used to being a young white guy surrounded by Hispanics, Asians, and every other race under the Sun.  I love diversity, but it gets really lonely when I don’t have anyone to relate to. 

And speaking of being lonely, that’s probably the toughest thing about being out here.  I miss my family and my friends dearly.  The thought of being lucky if I see my mom or dad just once a year makes me want to cry.  Sometimes I long to be a little kid again where life was so simple, but that too is another issue for another time).  I really miss my friends, because even though I felt I didn’t have many I’ve now realized that I had a host of great friends whom I all miss.  I had a great best friend in Brian, and I shudder to think that our 16+ years of friendship could come to an end if we can’t stay in touch.  I miss our weekly poker game, I miss all my co-workers at Turning Stone who were all really friendly and they truly made work enjoyable most of the time.  I just miss the possibility of having friends over to play Pokemon or to go to the movies or a concert. 

It’s just so different for me now.  My free time is mostly spent the same way, which is to say that I still watch a lot of TV and movies and play a lot of Diablo.  I go to the beach every once in a while, but definitely not every day like I previously thought about.  In honesty, after the first week when my mom was here I’ve gone to the beach just once, and that was last week for 40 minutes.  I did go to a few when visiting my California relatives, but that wasn’t me taking it upon myself to go.  Having them in this state has been a tremendous comfort to me, and I think of them as my California parents now because they’re really all I got. 

So to really enjoy my time out here, I think it comes down to money.  Since I can barely (if I can at all) afford to live out here under my current earnings, I’ve decided I need a second job to supplement my part-time income.  I don’t ever expect to make a lot of money in my life, but right now all I want is to be able to go out to eat if I want or buy a video game without feeling like now I can’t pay my bills if I do.  Having another job could mean that I can go to the movies, see concerts, and check out the theme parks and other attractions this huge city has to offer.  Of course, working more means less time to actually do those things, so it’s sort of a catch-22. 

So this comes down to happiness.  I never wanted to get a second job before because I liked my free time too much and I felt I was making enough money to easily get by (which I was).  I’m afraid that having to work another 16 or so hours a week would ultimately leave me hating life.  If I feel like all I do is work and try to sleep, when will I have time to actually do these things I talk about?  But more importantly, will those extra 16 or so hours a week feel like torture?  Right now I can hardly stand going into work each day I have to, especially when I think about how mean some players have been and how a lot of them don’t tip.  After some weekends of work all I want to do is stay in my apartment where no one can abuse me. 

In thinking about this second job, I really don’t know what I’d want to do.  I can’t expect to make any more than minimum wage, so really I just want to find something that won’t feel soul-crushing.  Ideally I’d like to either work around people where they’re always happy (like at a theme park), or not work around people but be by myself (like in a janitorial role).  It’d also be nice to do something that makes a difference, like if I helped animals or old people or something.  Sometimes I think about a whole new career in general, and possibly going back to school.  But I never give that much thought since I still don’t know what I’d want to do.  I’d hate to waste more time and even more money going to college, just to get a degree in something I don’t want to spend the rest of my life doing.  One thought would be trying to study things that interest me like space or the psychology of the mind, but I fear that I’m not smart enough to understand those subjects even though they fascinate me.  Again, this is another topic.

Now about my apartment: I love living by myself, although I do miss having my best friend right in the next room.  I can keep the place clean and organized how I want, and I can have the TV on or music playing as loud as I want.  It gets lonely though, and I really want to get a cat for companionship.  I really miss Brian’s cats, and I hate that I can’t have pets in this apartment.  I seriously consider trying to find another place just so I can have a cat—it’s that bad.  But otherwise I love this apartment, and I really don’t feel like going through that process again and having to move all my stuff.  If I did get a cat though, that’d probably be the end for the rest of my life of me living totally alone.  When I come home everything is untouched and just how I left it, which is obviously how I want things to stay.  But I think about how I really could have enough room to live here with another person, if I could stand the shared living/sleeping area and sacrifice in closet space and other freedoms.  But there’s enough room for another bed and desk if I did have a very close friend who wanted to move in (or God forbid a girl), so that thought passes through my mind as well.

I feel I’ve exhausted every angle of this, so I’ll get back to my point.  How is California?  In short, the answer is that the weather is better; I like having more possibilities for things to do, places to go, food to eat; but other than that it’s no better that the life I had.  My new job isn’t a step up in any respect, and it might not even be a lateral move.  I hate not having any friends here and I miss my family.  Does the warm weather alone make it worth the sacrifice of not having any money or friends, and feeling so alone a lot of the time?  No, not really.  Not at least until the winter will I know if the climate is enough to make me want to stay and feel good about being here. 

So the million dollar question: Am I happier being in Los Angeles, California than I was in Clinton, New York?  No.  Maybe it really is the grass-is-always-greener problem.  I keep looking for something else that could make me happy but I never really find it.  The only thing that I really think will make me happy in the end is to find a wife and have kids.  The biggest letdown of all would be to finally have that and then be disappointed as well.  But I feel like even if I had all the money in the world and could live in any beautiful locale I wanted, I’d still be unhappy if I didn’t have a woman to share it with. 

And the other question: Do I want to move back to New York, or do I wish I never came out here at all?  That one I’m not so sure about.  Yes, if I woke up tomorrow and found that this was all a dream, and I was back in my shared apartment in Clinton working at Turning Stone Casino, with a fairly comfortable bank account, I don’t think I’d mind.  There were plenty of things about my old life that I don’t miss, but it was familiar and comfortable and if I went back to it I don’t imagine I’d regret it. 

I first thought that the worst thing would be to not make the move to California and always wonder what could have been.  Then I thought the worst thing would be to move out prematurely and then not like it or not be able to afford it and have to move back, feeling like a failure (especially since I made such a big deal about leaving).  But now I think the worst thing would be to move back without giving this enough time and exploring all other possibilities.  The first thing that comes to mind is that in the winter when it gets cold and starts to snow, I’d sure as shoot be kicking myself for willingly going back.  In that respect I feel I have to stay at least a year to really get a feel for life out here.  Plus I just have to make every opportunity to make it work somehow.  Even if this job or this city didn’t work out, there are an infinite number of job possibilities and lots of other places in California I could go.  Then beyond that, there’s Vegas or anywhere else that could be a good location, if for no other reason than the weather is nice and the cost of living isn’t as bad. 

So having said all that, I still don’t know how to answer these questions.  I’ve certainly done a lot of soul-searching, and I’ve realized just how complex life really is.  When talking to my mom about all of this I told her how I thought once I moved out here I’d be done with these big-picture contemplations, like I’d miraculously just be done with making life decisions.  She just laughed and said, “Really?”  It’s one reason why I love talking to her, because she just listens and it makes me want to tell her more than she asked for.  I feel bad because conversely, I hold back when talking to my dad because I fear he’ll overreact to every bad thing and be quick to talk about me moving back “home.”  This is an example of how my answers to these questions are different depending on whom I’m talking to and how I’m feeling that particular day.  I know that’s unfair, and I feel like no one has an accurate description of what my life is like now or how I feel about it.  But that’s only because I don’t really know how I feel about it, and I don’t want to say everything is great when it’s not or say that everything is terrible when it isn’t.  This is why I’ve taken well over an hour now to discuss all these things with you, so I hope this sort of answers your question.

My Day

I wanted to get up between 4 and 5pm to get six hours of sleep tops, but it was so hard to pry myself from my bed.  After 6:30 I was finally up, but I felt I got too much rest because I wanted to get to bed sort of early tonight.  Really I just wanted to have more of the day free.  I showered and then did my laundry, and I’ve decided that I should try and do it every week and a half now.  It’ll save me a few bucks each month, but since I have enough clothes and washer/dryer space to accommodate this I might as well.  Plus it’ll give me more free time so why not?

When I finally got the laundry done and yesterday’s blog post typed up I got hungry for dinner.  I went with Asian chicken although this time any of my meals seemed appetizing since I hadn’t eaten anything yet today.  I still need to go to the store to get some things, but I decided to eat most of the food I have now rather than keep things stocked.  No sense paying for a month’s worth of food when I could potentially need that money for other things.  I believe I’ve already talked about how I will need (and want) to get a second job soon if only so I can afford to enjoy this new city I live in.  I might expound on this later, but every time I go out and see all the great places to eat and think of all the places I could go, I get sad that I don’t have the money to partake in them.  I can’t really even justify eating out once a week when I have food at home, but I have to allow myself something. 

So after dinner I watched some shows on TV and played Diablo.  I did another big part of Act V with my crusader, and I think I just have the final part to do.  It’s at level 54 now I think, and it’s possible it could reach 60 by the time I finish just the first difficulty.  I still have not died with this character, which is impressive since I nodded off for a bit tonight and awoke to a dying character.  Then I read another chapter of The Two Towers, and I’ll read the last chapter tomorrow.  Then I’ll still have one more book to go, but I’m already thinking about my next book or series.  I didn’t bring many of my books with me so I’ll probably just reread the few I have.  I wish I had my Harry Potter books or Left Behind.  I could see if I can find free books on my iPhone, or of course check out the public library (duh).

Then I sat down and watched Wall Street for the first time.  I never cared to see that movie but figured I might as well, and it was pretty entertaining.  It really makes me want to watch Boiler Room again, which I think of every time I pass by the boiler room at work.  I watched the long making-of documentary after, and there was an even longer one that I skipped that was nearly an hour.  After getting ready for bed I decided to do more blogging about my thoughts, so now I’m going to bed more than an hour later than I planned at 7am.  Thanks for reading, and “(When this began) I had nothing to say / And I got lost in the nothingness inside of me / (I was confused) And I let it all out to find / That I’m not the only person with these things in mind / (Inside of me) But all that they can see the words revealed / Is the only real thing that I’ve got left to feel / (Nothing to lose) Just stuck, hollow and alone / And the fault is my own, and the fault is my own.”

—Eric Del Medico

July282014

I finally did it: I smashed up one of my car’s side mirrors while backing into my parking space. I’m so tilted.

One Year Ago Today

On this day I went to K-Rockathon with Jamey in Syracuse.  We saw a lot of cool bands like Skillet, P.O.D., Flyleaf, Red, and the headliner of Three Days Grace.  It was a great day of bands and we had a lot of fun. 

My Day

There were a few blog titles for today that I could have used.  The first would be about how I had conversations with three different people from back home before I left for work.  I hate how I’m so lonely during my days off and would love to talk to old friends and family, but then when I’m trying to get ready for work they want to talk.  So it was my dad who called when I had about a half hour left to sleep, but that got me up.  Then Brian and I texted for a while, and just before leaving for work Corey messaged me (so all on different platforms too).  It was good to catch up with each of them, even though I would have preferred to do it when I’m just sitting at home with the whole day (or week) free.

The second title choice would be that my day was bookended with catastrophe, or really just a minor form of it.  When I went into the bathroom I saw that dirty water came in through the window and covered the toilet and window area.  I don’t have a lot of room in that bathroom so I have a tissue box and a couple other things around the window and toilet tank, so I had to clean up all of that first.  It all came right off so it wasn’t a big deal thankfully.  The “catastrophe” to end my day was much worse, but I’ll explain that at the end.

I had some breakfast and then I wasn’t really that hungry before work, but I had a tuna fish sandwich because I needed to last until after my shift.  I got to work and was ready for the night and arrive at my weekend.  My attitude toward work is very dependent on how my last shift went, because when I have a night with mean players I really don’t look forward to going back.  But this week I had a lot of nice players and some genuinely fun tables to deal.  It’s not just good tips (which there were), but some players were just joking and laughing and it made me love being there.

I saw a beautiful black girl in the casino, and I was happy to see that I was going to her table and that she was in seat 9.  She immediately commented that she was shocked to see me, because a young, white dealer is very unique.  I think she used the term “rare commodity” which I liked.  I feel like an outsider being white and young (and male), but I hope that instead of being a disadvantage it can be a really big advantage down the line.  Anyway, I enjoyed that compliment and that was an easy table.  It had the Omaha player who got on me about English-only last week, but he didn’t say a word about anything this down and it was very easy. 

I’ve said before that I don’t mind when players correct me or point out my errors, but it depends on how they do it.  I’ve had players politely bring up things that I didn’t notice, and rather than either of us lash out at the other it just helps to keep the game moving smoothly.  I say thank you for pointing it out, the player feels heard, and everybody’s happy.  But of course that’s not always the case, which is when I get players yelling at me or going right to accusing me of wrongdoing and escalating everything.

At one table it started out good, and a player told me that a new player had too much money to start with because he came from a bigger game that broke.  I thought it was the same game but I told the player his options for a starting stack, and there was no big deal.  Now this guy could have easily yelled at me for allowing it or not noticing it, and add something like how I need to do my job. 

But then he turned, after losing several big pots.  He lost a big pot and when the winner was tipping me he kept throwing me a dollar and another and another.  He was happy and talking to me and I was smiling because he was being nice and tipping me, and then the other guy said, “I lose money and you smile?”  I immediately said I was smiling with him (the other guy), and later when watching The Price is Right I realized it’s just like that.  Drew commiserates with the loser of the showcase (or at the wheel), but then celebrates with the winner.  I quickly added that I meant no disrespect, and I was surprised by how that just came out of my mouth.  I’m not used to having to apologize like that because I don’t live a life where I need to apologize for disrespecting somebody.  But I figured I better say it so he doesn’t think I’m a jerk (but too late).

Then when rebuying he told me not to touch his money, which some players do when they really think a dealer is bad luck for them (poker players are really bright).  So I called for chips instead, no big deal.  Then he must have thought I insulted him and asked what I said, and I found it funny to repeat, “I said ‘Okay the button is good.  Small and big blind…’”  He busted a few times and kept muttering under his breath how he hated me and that “I’ll remember you.”  Players have said that before and I just don’t get it.  What are you going to remember me for?  Is it just so they “know” not to play when I’m dealing?  He hung around after getting up from the table and just stood by it, and I really thought he was waiting to punch me or something when I got up.  Regardless, that was just one upset player at a table of otherwise nice and friendly players, so it really didn’t bother me.  One of the floor guys came over and another player told him how that guy was just being really nasty to me, and I appreciated him standing up for me. 

So all my tables were pretty nice overall, and then I went to my last table.  Right off the bat a lady asked who my boss was, and I’m so used to players getting mad at me that I thought she was going to complain about me.  Much the opposite, she told me that I was a really good dealer and that I belong on the top section dealing the bigger/better games.  She went on to say that I control the game, I’m friendly, and that I’m professional (she emphasized that word to say that it was really important).  During the whole down she kept looking over to see if my boss was there, and as soon as he was she got up to talk to him.  I kept thanking her every time she went on because usually when players voice their opinions about dealers it’s something negative (I’ve found).  So I really appreciated that she took the time to not only pay me a compliment but make sure my boss knew, in an effort to basically further my career.  People like that are rare jewels, and I can’t tell you how happy it made me hearing that.  Of course I have to stay professional and thank her but not get carried away.  But it also makes me want to do my job even better, and to make sure I live up to those compliments.

After that table I talked with my boss and he told me about her compliment, and that another player said nice things about me too.  So I have to remember that even on days where the vociferous players are the angry ones, there are still players who are nice and appreciate me.  He also said that the right people (higher-ups) know about me and that I do good work, but of course I can’t just be put in the top section when I’ve just started.  I wouldn’t want it either, only because I believe in working your way up and I know that I’m too new to just get the better games.  But this has made me more confident that I will be there eventually, and it shouldn’t take too long of a time to get there.

So after work I had a nice breakfast there and waited out the traffic.  I decided this time to go back to my car and read another chapter of The Two Towers since I’ve enjoyed reading a chapter each day.  I knew I’d get tired though, and suddenly I found myself asleep and I couldn’t get out of it.  I dozed off for a while and then finished the chapter because I don’t want to quit in the middle of one.  I finished at exactly 9am, so I figured I’ll just get groceries some other time since I never need to get them on that specific day.  On my way home I stopped at the bank to deposit a little more money, because I want to make sure my new account is building so I can use it to pay for rent and eventually everything else.  Then at 11am I was finally ready to get to bed, and I was very much looking forward to that sleep.

Oh, I almost forgot about the last bookend.  When I come home I park in an assigned carport, which I share with another car.  There’s just enough room for both of us, but I have to back in so our driver doors align and we can both get in and out easily.  I hate backing in though, but lately I’ve gotten the hang of it.  Today I had trouble positioning myself to back straight in, and before I knew it I heard a crunching sound.  I looked around and saw that I forgot to watch for my side mirror, which scraped against the cement side of the carport.  It didn’t fall off and isn’t left dangling, but it’s dented and the mirror is cracked.  I was so mad because I don’t know how much it’ll cost to fix, but I’m really not looking forward to that expense.  I’ve been avoiding all spending lately including a few bucks to eat out, but now after one stupid mistake (which I’m sure I made because I was so tired) I could now be set back a bit.  I’m thankful it’s not something that makes me unable to drive my car, but it still really sucks.  So that’s how I ended my day, and I knew when I woke up the first thing I’ll remember in disgust was how I did that.  So thanks for reading, and “I’m swimming in the smoke / Of bridges I have burned / So don’t apologize / I’m losing what I don’t deserve.”

—Eric Del Medico

July272014

This night of work dragged on because I kept breaking tables, but just one more to go for the week.

Dreams

I dreamt that I was at a Wal Mart with my family (my brother, my mom, and my step-dad), and we got some groceries.  The dream started with me standing outside the store with the shopping cart, and then the rest of them left.  I waited for a while and then headed to the car and found them there.  I was mad that they didn’t tell me that’s where they went, and that I didn’t get a chance to get the things I needed from the store.  I yelled toward my mom instead of my step-dad who was really responsible, which is indicative of how I usually argue through my mom rather than talk to him directly.  We got in the car and the front seat was pulled way back so I hardly had any leg room, making this situation worse.

One Year Ago Today

This wasn’t a good night of work, and it was the second of only two days I was scheduled that week.  But thankfully I picked up a third day later so that helped.  I didn’t mind getting cut early only because I needed to get up early the next day, but I still didn’t get much sleep.

Thoughts

My closing quote today comes from a line in the song “Game Over” by Falling in Reverse.  I’ve heard the song before, but when I heard it this morning the line really struck me.  The simple line is “stop complaining, and start changing,” and I immediately knew how profound it is.  I find it amazing that it came from that band and from that one song which is about how “life is like a video game.”  I only thought of myself in how this relates, because instead of complaining about anything in my life I should instead start changing things.  That means either try to change the world to make it better, or try to change myself for the better.  If you can’t change the problem in the world, then at least change how you react to that problem or how it affects you.  Either way, stop complaining and start changing.

My Day

I woke up at 5pm again, and after showering I read the short chapter of The Two Towers.  Then I made some eggs and hash browns, but I had trouble with the latter.  They came out in a big slab, so I made too much and decided I might as well make the last bit of it too.  I had to use the big pan for that which delayed the eggs, and at one point it got too smoky and my smoke detector went off.  I opened the windows and the stove fan and got it to stop, but at least I know it works. 

Then I went to work, and I started by again opening a table.  I was really flustered for some reason, and I made a lot of stupid little mistakes.  I was talking with a guy and his girl whom I’ve chatted with before, and maybe that distracted me.  I told the floor I needed a button but it was Stud so I didn’t.  Before the first hand I threw back change for someone’s ante and it rolled off the table, and later I brushed a card off the table too.  Then as I was getting up I weirdly said goodbye to that guy I was talking to, and as I did that I bumped into a lady’s tray with coffee.  It spilled a bit and I apologized, but she didn’t seem too upset and refused my offer to get her another one.  So it was a very bad start me-wise.

This night was full of broken games.  Some games were good, but I had too many broken tables and really bad downs for this to be anywhere close to good.  I had two Mexican Poker downs and in the first I made just one dollar, and whenever that happens it’s hard to say thank you when I get up because there’s nothing for me to thank them for.  Next was better and I made $4-$5 before they broke.  I broke the next two games in a row after that and then had a full break, so halfway through the night I felt I hardly dealt (or made) anything.  To finish the night I had my fourth break (way too many) and then the same terrible Mexican down.  I made $2 this time but what a terrible table. 

I was so happy to get out of there because the players were annoying me too.  Overall the players tonight were decent and there were no real problems, but damn they can just be annoying and stiffy sometimes.  Then I had trouble punching out because you have to push your finger on a pad to do it, and I have trouble with that every single time.  This time was by far the worst, and I had to give up on that machine after over a dozen tries.  Thankfully another machine was better, but it’s so embarrassing that I can’t even seem to put my finger on a little square the right way. 

I really wanted to stop and get Taco Bell breakfast, but I know I need to not spend any excess money.  I can’t justify spending money on food when I have tons of food at home.  Plus I really want to get pizza and wings soon, so I’m going to sacrifice everywhere else so I can rationalize it.  I’m thinking about going like a week with just eating ramen noodles so I can use the money I saved to eat out.  I really need another job (or poker profit) just so I can eat out again because there are so many places around here to eat, and God I miss burgers and steaks. 

When I got home I was still in a sour mood, and when my Seinfeld DVD kept skipping I was livid.  I’ve told you that computer trouble irritates me like nothing else, and I let the expletives fly.  I feel like my neighbors had to have heard me, and I imagined getting evicted for swearing too loudly.  Could you imagine?  I’m amazed I didn’t break the DVD or my laptop because I was ready to beat up anything I could.  I punched the wall a few times but I know I can’t afford to not be able to work.  Thankfully, I was able to finish the episode on my PS4 without a problem.  But it’s just so frustrating.  Now I can go to bed at 9am and I hope I can calm down and sleep now.  Thanks for reading, and “Stop complaining, and start changing.”

—Eric Del Medico

July262014

I got out of work an hour early tonight and it was still dark out. It was a nice change of pace.

One Year Ago Today

I went to work on a Thursday, and I decided to stick it out as long as they let me to see if I could make something.  I learned from that day that Thursdays will always suck because even if you hit one good table, there are just too many tournament tables and bad games for it to be worth it.  So from then on I would just sign the EO and leave as early as I could.  I miss that freedom.

My Day

I slept until 5pm and had time to read another chapter of The Two Towers.  It was a short chapter so easy to do, and the next chapter is even shorter so I thought of reading that one too.  But my goal is to read one chapter a day, and it’s even better that I could do it on a night I work where usually I’d rather just play Diablo or something.  To eat I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast because I was really craving it, and then for dinner I just wanted some PB&J sandwiches. 

When I got to work the boss told me that they put me on the schedule for a fourth day next week which really makes me happy.  Not only is it another day to make money, but it’s on Wednesday so I’ll have two days off to relax before it and then a day off afterward before starting the weekend.  Plus the shift is at 6:40pm which is more like I’d prefer, so it’s all good.  The only problem I can see is that it’d have me driving during rush hour traffic, so I’d leave early anyway but I might leave extra early so I can get to work by 5 before the traffic gets really bad.  I think if they just gave me a fourth day every week I could get by with just this job, as it’d be roughly an extra $600 a month.

This was a really easy shift and I’m so thankful.  I started with four good tables which were mostly no-limit, so I didn’t have my first down of Mexican Poker until halfway into my shift.  The players were pretty nice and I really didn’t have any problems.  There were a few minor things but nothing worth mentioning, and nothing that made me hate my job.  It was looking like I’d have a third break and have to end on break-table or something, but instead the boss just cut me with two downs left to go.  I didn’t really mind since my tables were good, and it allowed me to get out while it was still dark outside.  I drove home in the twilight as the sun was coming up, but it’s really foggy out this morning.  It was nice on my eyes which usually burn from the early morning sun.  Now I’m going to bed at 7:30am so no later than usual, and I’m hoping to get up a tad earlier tomorrow just so I have more time to read and eat or whatever.  Thanks for reading, “And after all he never had any real hope in the affair from the beginning; but being a cheerful hobbit he had not needed hope, as long as despair could be postponed.”

—Eric Del Medico

July252014

Sometimes I put some really good thoughts in the other sections of this blog, so if you’re just skimming thru you’re missing out.

Dreams

I remember a dream where I met a girl who liked me back, and I think the dream was just us being together for one of the first times.  The thing about it was that she was a big girl, blonde and white as well.  That’s sort of the opposite of what I’d consider “my type” now, with my inclination toward Asian girls and whatnot.  But I was thinking about this the other day, and how I should really prepare myself for what having a girlfriend someday will actually look like.  I always imagine that I’ll be with some beautiful girl because it’s always beautiful girls that I like. 

I realize that I won’t find a girlfriend until I find a girl who could actually like me back.  But I don’t think about the possibility of finding a girl who first admits to liking me, and then I decide or realize that I like her too.  In that case she might be someone who I first didn’t find attractive, but a relationship developed and now that doesn’t matter or I then start to find her attractive.  But my real thinking in all of this was to not prepare myself for this reality, but to prepare everyone I know for it.  I imagine that when I get a girlfriend it’ll be big news to basically everybody, since in my life I’ve had three “girlfriends” all before graduating high school and none were any bit substantial.  The last one was 8 years ago now, and it makes me sick to think back on. 

Speaking of my last girlfriend, I’ve recently realized a possible error in my recounting of the story of her.  It only first came to me a few months ago when I actually had the good fortune to go on a couple (two) dates with a beautiful girl, and I told her about my last girlfriend (she asked; I didn’t bring it up).  I realized that I always would tell people how she cheated on me with two different guys, and a part of me sort of enjoyed getting to use that word because it made me feel like everyone else.  But when telling this to her I made a point to emphasize that the most we did was make out a few times, and when I say “cheated one me” I just mean that she made out with another guy just when we first got together and was sort of involved the whole time (in terms only) with a guy she met one time at a party and subsequently kept in contact with.  So I wondered if every time I told people that she cheated on me, they would think I meant that she slept with someone else and thus implying that she also slept with me.  None of that is true, so I feel bad for misrepresenting (however inadvertently) that situation.

One Year Ago Today

I made eggs that morning while my dad stopped by, and I enjoyed all his little suggestions the whole time.  I commented that I like having my dad around during any kind of moment in my life because he can make everything either a joke or a tragedy.  We’ve had people die and he’d immediately make a joke about it, and we’ve had minor events happen and he’d fear the worst.  You just never know with him, which is one of the reasons I love him so much and why he’s my biggest comedy idol.  For the rest of the day I got some groceries and hung out, but I was really tired from not much sleep so that hurt the fun day.

Thoughts

I decided to watch the movie The Place Beyond the Pines tonight, starring Ryan Gosling (and Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes).  This was a very intriguing movie throughout, and my heart raced basically nonstop (and it doesn’t take much to get me going).  This was an interesting movie in that I felt it was really separated into three successive stories with separate characters.  I really enjoyed this movie, and I’m about to describe and ruin the whole thing for you, so spoiler alert.

The first part was about Ryan Gosling’s character who is a motorcycle stunt rider that finds out he has a baby boy, and he ends up robbing banks in an effort to support his son and his baby’s mother (who has another man so there’s drama there).  During a final robbery you see the desperation of this guy who is trying to do the only thing he knows how, but it’s ill-conceived and he gets caught.  In his final scene he’s holed-up in someone’s house and he calls the mother of his baby to ask her not to tell his son about him, hoping to keep the details of his unsavory life a secret.  When a policeman comes through the door he (the cop) immediately shoots the robber, who fires back just before falling out of the second-floor window and dies. 

The second part of the movie is about that cop, played by Bradley Cooper.  He’s a young cop who I guess didn’t know what to do in that situation, and it happened so quickly that I wasn’t even sure who fired first.  You can tell though that he’s troubled by knowing he shot first, but he suppresses the truth (lies).  He gets massive attention as a hero cop, but he really wants to just move past it.  The worst part is that he finds out the man he killed left behind a baby boy, which makes looking at his own baby boy difficult for him.

To further complicate this he finds out that his fellow cops are crooked, and they go to the victim’s house and steal the money that the robber left for his baby son.  He uneasily takes his cut, but later tries to return the money to the mother who won’t take it.  He then tries to turn it into his boss but gets chewed out for trying to rat on his brothers, so he instead turns to his judge father and they devise a plan.  He gets them on tape discussing covering up another operation or something, and he uses it as leverage to propel him from a rookie cop to assistant D.A.  You’d think he’d feel regret for being in this position, but instead I was surprised at how he instead used it to further his own career.

The third part of the movie is 15 years later, and his son A.J. (who is now 17) wants to live with him during his senior year.  This is while the father is running for Attorney General (I think), so he’s not really there for him.  Then the son meets another kid and they form a bond, and when they get busted for buying drugs we learn that the kid is Jason—the son of the stunt rider/bank robber (although it was obvious from the beginning).  When learning this the father tells his son to stay away from the other kid, most likely because he doesn’t want to interfere in Jason’s life any further.  Of course that doesn’t happen, and it culminates into the kids having a falling out once Jason learns that A.J.’s father is the one who killed his dad. 

So Jason gets a gun and goes after A.J., and when his father comes home Jason takes him back out to the titled spot (where the stunt rider lived and carried out the robberies with his partner).  He intends to kill the man who killed his father but doesn’t go through with it after seeing the concern on his face over the fate of his son.  He steals the father’s wallet and sees the picture that he kept of the robber with the baby and mother, showing that he always carried that burden with him.  The father never reveals to the police who broke into his house or held him up, as his final act of repayment.  Jason leaves and locates an old bike of his father’s, and he rides away like he was born to.  I thought it was a really great movie with a great plot and superb acting, and I really liked how the stories were linear and intertwined like that.

My Day

I set my first alarm for 1pm so I could decide if I wanted to get up then and see Transformers in IMAX 3D.  I wanted to, but I couldn’t get out of bed right away so I missed my chance.  Now it’s just on regular 3D, and I don’t exactly even feel the need to see it at all so I’ll just wait until it’s on Netflix.  I didn’t get up until 5, but all the better to get on my work sleep schedule.  Once I was up I had some breakfast and then read another chapter of The Two Towers.  I’m really enjoying reading steadily again, and every time I read I want to watch one of the movies again.  But spending three hours each day to watch the same movie would be a bit much.

Today I vacuumed my apartment for the first time, which was really the only thing I did which is why that’s my internal title for today’s post.  It’s a simple task but it involves moving all my furniture so I don’t leave anything untouched.  The carpets are really nice in this apartment so the vacuum works better than in our last apartment.  It felt good to finally do this now that everything is settled in and organized, but most of the debris was just little particles from everything that was unpacked and set up. 

So after that I decided to finally start playing Pokemon again.  Instead of going back to X I figured I should resume Black 2 since I hadn’t finished that one yet, and might as well do that first before getting back into one that I’ve already beaten (although there’s a ton more I can do).  I didn’t play for very long, but I just liked staying on my couch rather than in my desk chair.  See, since my last apartment and before that in college I’d spend most of my time at my desk in my computer chair.  Now that I have a couch, I really enjoy sitting there and watching a movie or playing Pokemon rather than trying to recline in my chair.  For my new setup I leave my futon in the corner when it’s a bed, but when I use it as a couch I put it in the middle of the room close to my TV.  Whenever I do that I think about how I could easily leave it there if I ever get a separate bed, but I do like having that big space in the middle of the room cleared. 

Then I played Diablo for a bit while watching The Big Bang Theory.  I might use this thought later in a status or blog title, but since I’m in a writing mood I’ll bring it up now.  Not only do I find that show “very funny” (TBS’s motto), but I always think about how much I’d love their life.  I’m aware that that’s very sad, but it’s true.  They get to have rewarding jobs doing something they’re passionate and very knowledgeable about.  They all hang out together and enjoy nice meals, and even though it’s take-out it just seems so appealing.  And I love all their different game nights, like how they play video games and watch movies together.  Of course a lot of it appeals to my “nerd” side, but most of it just appeals to my lonely side.  I like how California it is, so I sort of relate to it even more now.  In many ways I’m even more pathetic and losery than they are; because even though they can’t get girls (in the beginning but all have since had far greater success than I have), they at least have genuine friendship and what I find to be nice lives.  When you stay inside all day by yourself and play Diablo and watch movies it’s sad, but if you do that exact same thing with friends it’s now being social.  So the status or title I’d use would be something like how I find it really sad that I envy the lives of the nerdy characters on that show.  (And yes I realize it’s just a TV show and none of it is real, and I shouldn’t be jealous of fictional people.)

Anyway, in an effort to satisfy my hunger for a new sci-fi movie I finally watched Stephen King’s The Langoliers.  I’ve sort of seen it before, but it was still an enjoyable three hours.  Then I watched The Place Beyond the Pines as I’ve already mentioned, and if you skipped my whole synopsis I’ll reiterate that I found it very suspenseful and really enjoyed it.  Then I came down off my mood from watching the movie with a little Seinfeld, and then I got in a rare writing mood.  I looked at my blank blog outline and just wanted to type anything.  I thought about just picking a topic I haven’t already discussed so I could write about it at length.  It made me think that next time I’m in this mood I should open a separate document and write about all the things I have saved up to talk about, and then I can put each one into future blog entries.  Or, I could someday put all my little thoughts together and have them separated from the mundane recounting of my daily life.  For now, instead of all of that I think I appeased my writing desire by discussing several different things I hadn’t planned to, making this otherwise uneventful day fill four full pages of a Word document. 

Now I’m going to bed sometime after 7am, and I’m basically looking forward to (or getting through) the next three nights of work.  I feel that I’ve had more than enough time to relax in my days off, and I’m looking forward to the possibility of at least picking up a fourth day of work every once in a while.  But I still need to find a second job, and although I’ve made that decision I haven’t done a thing to follow through with it.  While I want to take my time in finding the right second job to take on that won’t feel like it’s ruining my life slash free time, the longer I take to find one the more necessary it will become.  And if I take too long to find the perfect supplemental job I might end up having to get whatever one I can find the quickest, which will most likely be sucktastic to the max.  And on that note I’ll leave you for today.  Thanks for reading, and “Who the hell is Julius Caesar?  You know I don’t follow the NBA.”

—Eric Del Medico

July242014

Today I resolved to go out and do something, so I drove to the ocean and sat on the beach. So amazingly beautiful.

Dreams

Just before finally waking up I had a dream where I was with my brother and we were spending the night at our Uncle Marc’s house.  It’s also our Aunt Sandi’s house but this dream only involved him.  We were staying over (which we used to do often as kids), but in the middle of the night we stole money from him and tried to sneak out.  It was something like $6,000, but when we were getting out the door we had trouble keeping their dogs inside.  I really didn’t want to lose one of their dogs too, but really I just didn’t want to get found out or spend any extra time there.  Of course I knew that our late-night departure would be suspicious anyway, so I was pretty sure that we’d at least be suspects in the disappearance of the money. 

So while this was happening I was thinking about how I need to be prepared to lie.  Obviously this didn’t sit well with me, which is a wonder why I was doing this at all.  Really though, I at least wanted to delay the lie because if we were found out that night I’d have to instantly cover it up when I wanted to just put it off as long as possible.  When I woke up I felt just horrible about this dream and guilty as if it really happened.  I went to put on a shirt and I was deciding between some Knicks shirts that I don’t really own, and then I woke up from that dream.  I felt like this was Inception somehow.  But I still felt guilty even though I knew I was back to real life and I had not done any stealing. 

One Year Ago Today

We had a poker game at my place for 14 hours, and I got Aces 7 times which is by far more than I should.  Every time I think about poker or read about past games I miss it more and more.  I think those home poker games are probably the thing I miss the most now that I live in California.  I always knew I was lucky to have it in my life because of the money I made from it, which I used to buy lots of nice things.  But that was the best poker game I’m probably ever going to find.  I had a very good winning record at those games and I’d say I was the most consistent winner (or maybe second to Steve) over the course of every kind of game we had.  And just about everyone who played in it would tell you that it’s a great game.  You don’t have to buy in for a lot of money but there was plenty of money to be won, and it had a great blend of experienced players, bad players, but mostly just people who enjoy playing and having a good time.  I miss the camaraderie the most, and it was really my weekly social time with my friends.  It brings me comfort knowing that it’s still going on without me, and if I was ever to return it might still be there waiting for me.

My Day

I got up at 3pm thankfully and was ready to start my day.  I first went to the bank to deposit my last paycheck, along with a paycheck I got from Turning Stone which was for my remaining PTO hours.  That was unexpected but I could use it.  So I’m building this account up as much as I can, while using the remainder of my old one for my other bills.  Then like last week I decided to drive around a little and see what happens.  I headed down Hawthorne Boulevard but South, and I decided to make my way to the beach.  I didn’t have an exact plan but basically I just make my way west until I see the ocean, and that works out pretty well.

So I hit the PCH and headed up the coast toward Redondo Beach, but I still have to figure out how to get to this so-called Torrance Beach.  Once I saw water I turned in and found a parking spot right along the coast, but although parking was easy it cost a quarter for 10 minutes.  So if I planned to spend several hours there it would have cost me a bit, but really the hassle would only be making sure I had enough money in quarters.  So I just put in a dollar’s worth and headed down.  I found an empty pocket and sat down and just breathed it in.  I don’t think I will ever get over how beautiful it is.  The weather was perfect, with a nice breeze and you could feel a light misting off of the ocean waves. 

If I had thought ahead I would have worn my trunks, so I didn’t go swimming but just took my shirt off (I’m hoping to get rid of this farmer’s tan) and laid down for a little bit.  It was so relaxing and beautiful.  I thought about listening to music while just sitting there but the sounds of the water, the wind, and children playing were so much better than anything else.  I would have stayed longer but I didn’t have sunscreen and knew I’d soon burn up my face and head again. 

I drove back home in the rush hour traffic which can be rough, so it took a while but I didn’t care.  I was just enjoying the weather and being outside.  So you see, if I want to go outside in the beautiful weather then I will.  But if I want to stay inside and watch movies and play Diablo, then I’ll do that instead.  I have the option, and just because I live in a beautiful climate doesn’t mean I have to go outside all day every day to enjoy it. 

When I got home I finally put together the other bar stool that my aunt and uncle bought for me, so the other one doesn’t look so lonely sitting next to my kitchen counter.  I read another chapter of The Two Towers, and while at the beach I realized that it’d be better to read something like Treasure Island while at the beach than a book where the characters are in a desolate place like Mordor.  For dinner I made pizza pasta (pasta with sausage and pepperoni), and that sort of curbed my appetite for pizza for a bit.  It was easy and very good, and for only $2.50 it was a steal. 

I played Diablo later on and finished Act V with my monk.  He’s at level 70 now but that final boss was a real pain.  My monk is pretty crappy damage-wise, so it took a long time to chip away at the boss.  A few times I would get within a few blows from felling him and then I’d die, and I wanted to throw slash break something so bad but I resisted.  That took a lot out of me so that was it.  For movies I watched The Internship which was funny, but movies like that are so cookie-cutter that I wouldn’t ever need to see them again. 

Then I wanted to watch a science fiction movie, but since I couldn’t find an adequate new one I went with a movie I had recorded which was Leaving Las Vegas.  It was starring Nicholas Cage who is (I think) known for being sometimes a great actor but other times just awful, but in this he won an Oscar for his performance as an alcoholic so that was good.  He played a troubled man who meets a prostitute, and they comfort each other in their broken lives.  It was a weird movie and had lots of sexual scenes that I didn’t need to see, but overall it was a good and interesting movie.  Now I’m going to bed by 7am again before a final day off, and then it’s back to work I go.  Thanks for reading, and “I hadn’t planned to gamble, but if you could keep the bulk of my money and safely blow a couple hundred bucks…”

—Eric Del Medico

July232014

I spent the entire (beautiful) day inside watching The Matrix trilogy. Here I discuss some thoughts on that.

Dreams

I can’t remember the beginning of this dream but toward the end I was in the basement of our church in Mohawk, which was serving as a morgue.  I was pretending to be dead, and when my mom came in she was really testing me.  I was holding it together until she said something that made me smirk and then I was discovered.  That came from watching the behind the scenes on Anchorman 2 with all the actors trying not to break character when someone would say something hilarious.  Watching a gag reel makes me think that acting has to be the most fun job ever.

One Year Ago Today

I talked a lot about Brian’s cousin, who would often spend the night at our apartment.  She was also very good friends with Brian’s girlfriend so I felt that worked out well.  On this day I discussed my thoughts on just the simple fact that we really never introduced ourselves.  Instead I’d just pass by her in the living room on my way to the kitchen and not say anything because I felt I missed my chance to introduce myself.  I didn’t want to make it more awkward, but by not doing anything about it I was really just keeping it awkward anyway.  The reason I brought all this up was because after Warped Tour when I thought we had finally reached a point where I could comfortably say hi whenever I’d see her, she thought my name was something else.  It showed that we really didn’t know each other, and even though it was an honest mistake it proved to be the only possible way this situation could remain awkward and not get any better.  It’s just an example of how my life will always be filled with these ironies and misunderstandings. 

As for the events of this day, I just stayed inside and played a little Diablo and watched TV shows.  One of the buttons on my mouse for Diablo fell out so that sucked, but thankfully my warranty covered it and I got a new one for free.  Later I watched The Talented Mr. Ripley which I was just thinking about the other day, and it was such a good movie which I couldn’t believe I overlooked for so long. 

Thoughts

I think my title is mostly explanatory but I’ll discuss it a little bit.  First off, I know that before I moved out here I talked about all the outdoor stuff I was going to do.  As much as I truly meant to do those things all the time, deep down I knew I’d probably just carry on as usual.  I’m aware of how lame that is, but that’s my life and I’ve accepted it.  I’m not going to apologize for it or really try to hide it, because some days I just want to stay inside and play Diablo.  One of the big reasons I prefer that is because playing video games or watching movies is free entertainment, and they’re activities I can do myself.  While money is one of the biggest reasons why I don’t go out a lot, being alone is the other big reason.  If I had friends who wanted to go out or if I had a girlfriend, then I’d love to go out all the time and do things.  But since it’s just me, most of the time I prefer to just stay inside and relax.  I don’t like facing crowds, which I guess is a factor that makes my move to one of the biggest cities in the country seem strange.  One problem I have is that usually by the time I wake up it’s rush hour traffic, and that makes going anywhere challenging even if it’s just within Torrance.

Anyway, there are always things I want to do that involve going out, but a lot of the time I’d rather just stay inside.  So today I would have gone out to at least go to the bank, but since I woke up late I couldn’t.  So I just stayed in, but I didn’t mind not leaving the apartment.  I had fun just playing Diablo and watching The Matrix.  But just as I was getting ready for bed and the sun was coming up I wanted to go out.  I wanted to walk around or even go jogging, but now that my day was over I knew I shouldn’t.  I did go out to put my Netflix movie in the mail, but I wanted to do more.  The sunlight was now coming in through my windows and I felt the day beginning, and I sort of hate my sleep schedule of going to bed once the day really begins.  I don’t think I’d mind too much if I had a more traditional job where I had to wake up at 6am because I’m going to be tired no matter when I wake up.  It would be nice to see all of the sunlight, and it’d be nice to wake up with the sun rather than trying to fight it to fall asleep.

So I don’t know what this all means.  On the one hand I feel like I should make more of an effort to enjoy the city and enjoy the beautiful weather, for which I’ve given up my good job, my basic financial freedom, my family, and my friends.  But on the other hand I think that if I wake up and feel like I’d enjoy just staying inside, then it’s my right to do whatever the hell I want with my free days.  The question isn’t if I feel bad because I think other people wouldn’t approve, but if I feel bad because deep down I know I should be spending my time another way.  For now, we’ll see what tomorrow brings and if this mood carries over.  I want to at least go to the bank and maybe drive around again like I did last week, and if I can get up early enough I’d like to go to the ocean to at least sit on the beach and look out into the water for a little while. 

My Day

I woke up a few times before my first alarm which I thought was odd, but then when my alarms came I couldn’t get up.  I ended up sleeping until nearly 4pm, so I need to make sure I go to bed earlier next time.  I remembered that I wanted to continue reading The Two Towers, and yet again I fell asleep while trying to finish the one chapter.  I had just slept 10 hours so I hated that I was so tired still.  But I still love reading that book and I could have watched any of those movies again today if I felt like it.  After I finish this book I’ll at least watch the second movie again, but what I’ll probably do is watch all three in three nights so I’ll visualize things for the final book better.

I got up too late to go to the bank, and I didn’t feel like doing some of the other little things I thought about doing today/this week.  I previously decided I wanted to watch The Matrix trilogy now that I have them on Blu-ray, and the first movie was on at work the other day so that made me want to watch it too.  I love them and they’re so much fun.  I didn’t feel bad that I spent the whole day inside watching those movies, but I realized that I really don’t need four full days off every week.  Even though yesterday was short I feel like between then and today I got my fill of relaxing, so now I’m just left with two extra days. 

Hopefully I get the motivation to find another job, which I’ve realized I really will need.  Last night while trying to fall asleep I went over the numbers in my head, and I’ve found that I roughly make enough money to cover all my expenses except for food and any entertainment.  Really that means that it doesn’t matter how much I try to trim my spending, because I simply don’t make enough after I factor in my student loan, car insurance, and other insurances and adult things.  Not to mention any unwanted expenses like for health issues or car repairs. 

I wanted to expound on this more but later and in another mood, but I might as well start it now.  Even if I made enough money to barely get by, I think I’d prefer a second source of income so I could afford to go out to eat and go to the movies (and God forbid have a date someday) if I wanted to.  Right now I can’t justify any unnecessary expenditures, even spending $5 for Forrest Gump on DVD which I wanted to buy the other day.  Ideally I’d like a job with flexible hours or shifts, so I could not work one week or another if I had visitors or wanted to make a visit of my own.  I’d also prefer to have hours where I wouldn’t have to sacrifice most of my sleep, like if I had to go from work on Sunday night to working Monday morning.  As for the job itself, I’ve realized that I can’t justify asking for any more than minimum wage because I have little education and no discernable skills (at least of which I could guarantee are superior to the skills of others).  I’d prefer to find a job that I somewhat enjoy, and one where I don’t have the threat of getting berated by people all day like my current job.  So there are a lot of factors involved and I’d like to be able to take my time to find the right job, but time might be another luxury I can’t afford.

For dinner I again debated on what I wanted to eat, which is so different from last week when I had each day planned out ahead of time.  I was sort of in the mood for pasta (of which I have several options), but the reason I didn’t make any of them was solely because I was wearing a white shirt and didn’t want to risk getting sauce on it.  Instead I made Tuna Helper which has white sauce, so that was a good compromise.  I realized today that I really miss pizza, and I’m really hoping they’ll fix my oven soon so I can make the frozen pizza I bought over a month ago.  I’m hoping they’ll come this morning which would also wake me up so I can enjoy the day.  Now I’m going to bed by 7am because of all this extra blogging.  I usually have tons of thoughts that I want to share but they often get pushed aside because I’m not in the mood to write them down.  Other times like now I get a sudden impulse to type, so I hope you enjoyed it.  Thanks for reading, and “Do not try and bend the spoon; that’s impossible.  Instead only try to realize the truth: There is no spoon.  Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends; it is only yourself.”

—Eric Del Medico

July222014

I really hate when people elongate the wrong letters in their statuses. It’s so aaaaaaaaaannoying.

One Year Ago Today

My sickness was getting worse, but to be fair I didn’t feel as terrible as the last few times I got sick.  But I hate how everyone can tell when I’m sick, and other dealers would comment that I looked ill.  That doesn’t help to make a person feel better.  After a shorter night of work I watched Apollo 13 which is one of my favorite movies, and I noticed how emotional I’d get when watching impactful scenes.  It happens a lot, like when I recently watched through The Lord of the Rings trilogy with the scene near the end where Sam says to Frodo “I may not be able to carry [the burden of the Ring] for you, but I can carry you.”  But I like that movies make me feel something, which is why I enjoy watching all kinds of movies all the time.

My Day

I slept from 11am until 5:30 but I was still exhausted.  I finally got enough energy to get my body out of bed, but it’s so hard to do even one day each week.  Taking a shower always helps wake me up, and my other weekly tradition of having an iced coffee afterward helps too.  Then I did my laundry so that’s taken care of, and I typed up yesterday’s post and got started on this one.  I didn’t plan to do anything else since I was so tired, so I just played a little Diablo and watched some of my recorded shows.  My mom called me and I talked with her for a while, and my dad called last night so I got to catch up with both of them.

For dinner I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for since I didn’t need a full meal and I didn’t want to make something.  I went with a couple PB&J sandwiches to tide me over for the rest of the night.  Then I watched Anchorman 2 from Netflix, along with all the bonus features afterward.  It was a funny movie, and the best parts were all the little crazy lines the characters come up with because each actor is so funny.  The scene with all the other news crews was hilarious, and they somehow managed to keep surprising me and topped the similar scene from the first movie.  So that was very enjoyable.

I got pretty tired watching that movie so I started getting ready for bed early, although it’s just after 5am which doesn’t feel that early.  Thanks for reading, and “Now I know women often complain about the number of things you have to do to get male attention.  The high heels, the pantyhose, the makeup.  But let me tell ya, it’s even worse if you’re a man.  ‘Cause if you’re a man, you don’t know what to do.  That’s why we’re building bridges, climbing mountains, exploring uncharted territories.  You think we wanna do these things?  Nobody wants to build a bridge.  It’s really, really hard.  Designing rockets, flying off into space.  I guarantee you, every astronaut, when he comes back from space goes up to a girl and goes, ‘So did you see me up there?’”

—Eric Del Medico

July212014

Last night at work I dealt more Stud than ever in my life. Overall I’m glad it was a smooth work weekend.

One Year Ago Today

I was right that I was getting sick again, and it wasn’t just my throat but now my eyes, nose, and breathing too.  My ears also popped so I had trouble hearing too.  This made working difficult, and there were some annoying things about the night that didn’t help. 

My Day

I woke up a little later and ate a little before leaving for work.  This will be a quick shift to summarize which is good.  I started with two tables of Mexican Poker except the first broke shortly into the down, so even worse than yesterday I felt like I didn’t really get started yet.  As I said in the title, I dealt more Stud tonight than I ever have in a single shift.  Out of 10 tables I must have dealt Stud four or five downs of Stud which is unusually high.  I like the game itself but it depends on how the players are, and thankfully they were nice tonight.  Actually almost all my tables were nice and easy so that was great.

I would have finished one down short of a full shift, and even though I still had to kill time I didn’t care if I finished early or not.  I was about to be out but then the boss asked if I wanted to do one more table.  It was just as I was telling him about this one player who probably hates me more than any other player I’ve met.  So I said I’d deal any table but that one, and that’s where he wanted me to go.  I just laughed and said that the player is going to be mad, and then the boss told me that he actually complimented me the other day.  He said that even though I give him s*** (cards-wise), he thinks I’m a good dealer.  That was nice to hear, although it didn’t keep him from continuing to insult me.

So during the down I made a joke of how I went there because that guy requested me, and he admitted to complimenting me.  He said something like he might give me crap for giving him bad cards (and he blames me for losing), but he doesn’t give any bull****.  Well he didn’t win a hand while I was there so naturally he was angry, and one thing he does that bothers me is how he stares at me when he’s mad.  Many players do this, and it feels like daggers every time.  I can feel their gaze but I just look away and don’t engage.  So I even joked before to my boss that he’d be cursing me out within three hands, and sure enough during the third hand he yelled something about changing his mind and wanted me out.  Other than him it was an easy down to finish on.

Then I talked with my boss Raul for a while about things, and I like getting to talk to him and getting his advice on things.  That helped kill some time too, and then I enjoyed a big breakfast at work before heading out.  I went back to H.R. and gave them my direct deposit form, so then I only had about a half hour to kill before going home.  I went to Wal Mart and got some groceries, and just as my cart was filled I felt an intense urge to use the bathroom.  Thankfully they had one there so I was saved.  It was funny because during my last down that guy had his best insult so far.  He said he wishes I get stuck on the toilet all night, and I just laughed and laughed when he said it because that’s the weirdest thing to wish on someone.  But his wish basically came true, because even though I didn’t spend so long the discomfort was still bad.

The bathroom stall was the only one in the men’s room, and it didn’t have a lock so I made sure I was ready to cough or blow my nose if someone came in.  Then a woman came in and said something in Spanish, so I coughed.  I remember hearing the word ‘aquí’ and I was pretty sure that meant ‘here,’ so I figured that meant she was asking if anyone was in there.  When I got out that was affirmed when I saw a lady waiting to clean.  Now that wasn’t necessarily too embarrassing, but then I went to a check-out aisle with a pretty cashier.  I hate being around people—especially pretty girls—right after I’ve taken a twosie.  She immediately commented on the 12-pack of Snickers ice cream bars I bought saying she just had them herself so we talked about that briefly.  I thought of how cool it’d be if something came of this little interaction, only because I spent like five minutes deciding what ice cream treats to buy.

Okay so this all took me past 9am so I hoped I’d be beating the rush hour traffic, but there seems to still be some even after I’d assume everyone is at work.  I got home just after 10am and I think my new tradition is to watch The Price is Right on these Monday mornings before I go to bed.  I tried to get ready for bed as quickly as I could, and then at 11 I finally hit the sack.  That feels like I’m going to bed so much later than normal, but on worknights I usually go to sleep at 9am so it’s only two hours.  And those two hours are just taken from sleep so I’m really not losing any of the day.  Okay thanks for reading, and “No money, no honey.”

—Eric Del Medico

July202014

The shuffling machines weren’t working at work so I had to shuffle like in the old days. Sometimes I miss it.

Dreams

I had a dream that I was given a Ford Mustang.  It was from my dad and he had a few other cars so he gave me that one.  It wasn’t a classic one but a few years old, but I was excited nonetheless.  It wasn’t even a cooler color and I’m not really into Fords, but it was a Mustang.  So I was happy to get it and looking forward to driving it.

One Year Ago Today

I felt a sickness coming on since I had a sore throat, and that proved to be right.  Work was pretty slow for a Friday but I did alright for six hours, which would be phenomenal compared to six hours at my new job (unfortunately). 

My Day

I slept until 5pm today, and as much as I don’t like getting up that late it does help keep me awake to finish my shift at work.  I hung out a bit and wanted to read another chapter of my book but I also wanted that hour or whatever to play Diablo because it was all I had.  For food I basically had the worst combination in terms of my stomach.  For breakfast I had chocolate Mini Wheats, then I also wanted a bagel which I ate with peanut butter and jelly (on a blueberry bagel which is so delicious), and then for dinner I had my leftover ravioli.  It was all very good but very filling, and it came back to hurt me later.

I went to work and had my first table-break start (at least I think it was my first), and I hated that.  But instead of looking at it like the rest of the night would drag on, I tried to think like I was just starting my shift over so later I’d be happy to realize I already got two downs out of the way.  But it didn’t matter because I ended up dealing seven straight downs so my next break wasn’t until much later.  The only problem was that this was the first shift I had where I really had to use the bathroom in the middle of my run, so I went several tables past when I would have liked to use the bathroom. 

I didn’t have players necessarily yell at me or flip out on me like last week, but it still wasn’t the greatest.  But it’s to the point where even if I have a table where two players yell at me for something or I make a mistake, it still feels like a good down.  One woman in Stud was complaining that I was dealing too fast, and I was surprised because I don’t understand what the problem with that is.  But later I had a problem with a player who felt he was being the small blind twice, and no matter how much I said he wasn’t or the table agreed he still wasn’t happy.  So to end the matter I put up his “second” small blind out of my money, but he gave it back and said that wasn’t the point.  So I was at a loss. 

The rest of the table was frustrated by how it was slowing the game down, but thankfully they recognized that it wasn’t me who was slowing it down.  Another player got mad at me when he thought I was taking money out of the pot he won.  It was because as I was pushing the pot I realized I forgot to take the rake, so I quickly threw four chips into my rack and put out the rake chip.  I apologized to him for forgetting and making it look weird to do so late, but he just didn’t seem to understand how the rake works.  I have to take chips from the pot, and they go in my rack while a chip of equal value goes to the house.  It’s all the same but because I did it late it looked sort of sketchy.

Now some rules are made to protect players and there are some that protect the dealers.  We learned (there were some players who didn’t know this like me) that only a player who has called down to the river can ask to see another player’s hand.  I know the rule as anyone can ask if the hand goes to the river and it’s bet-called or check-checked.  But the guy was nice who made sure we knew it so it wasn’t a big thing like it could have been.  But at Mexican Poker in one hand I took in a player’s hand and he said he didn’t fold.  I saw him push them forward after looking at them so I took them, and they all do that when they’re folding.  It was easy to give them back so I felt there was no harm done. 

Then in that same hand I folded another player’s hand and then he said he didn’t look at them yet.  Well they were not only above the line but he was facing away from the table and eating, and this was about a minute after I pitched the cards.  Nothing to be done with that, and I know I’m protected as a dealer because it’s the player’s responsibility to protect their hand and they all know it.  The first guy though took the most issue with this, and in the end he said, “How about this: Just ask me before touching my cards, okay?”  Now I know that this wasn’t my fault and he knows he should protect his hand, but there is no point in arguing any further.  I said okay and was happy we could resolve it civilly.  Now one thing that is only my fault is that a couple times in Stud I’ve accidentally folded someone’s up cards.  I get them mixed up when I’m taking in someone else’s folds, but I have to be more careful.  Thankfully both times I’ve done this the cards were retrievable and the player didn’t freak out.

So I had a slow start but then I dealt for almost the rest of the night straight.  My stomach didn’t appreciate it but it helped the night go by pretty quickly after I originally thought it would drag.  I finished with two last tables and they were rough.  The first was Omaha (again) and some players there were quick to get on my case about things, but nothing that was important or even relevant.  Many of them didn’t tip either so that’s always rough.  Lastly was Stud with the English-only guy, and his table was filled with Spanish speakers.  Thankfully they didn’t speak Spanish too much, and when they did I was able to politely bring up the rule and we had no problems.  It was a bad down money-wise though but at least my night was done.

I cashed out and was happy to go home.  Thankfully I wasn’t really that tired this time, even after nearly falling asleep on the drive to work.  Now I’m going to bed at 9am for one last night of work before four more days off.  This last day doesn’t feel daunting at all, and it reminds me of when I used to work before and would have four or five days off in a row all the time.  Of course I need to make more money, so soon I’ll have to figure out something to do about that.  Thanks for reading, “And I could write a song / A hundred miles long / Well, that’s where I belong / And you belong to me.”

—Eric Del Medico

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