October22014

Today I got my new iPhone 6! It’s great finally having a current phone, and one that’s fully functioning.

Dreams

I knew I was getting my new iPhone delivered today, and when the guy came at noon he apologized for waking me up.  I of course told him it was no big deal because he was doing his job and I wanted the phone.  Then he said well now I can dream about the new phone, and I laughed because he’s exactly right.  I went back to bed, and on cue I had a dream where I was checking out my new phone but was very upset that it was the size of an iPad.  I’ve been fearing that the iPhone 6 would be too big itself, and I’m definitely happy I didn’t get the iPhone 6 Plus because I don’t need anything that big. 

One Year Ago Today

This was our first poker game on the new table, which is the best table I’ve ever played on and I miss it.  I had to first cut out the area for the dealer tray which was scary, but it worked out and looked great afterward.  This poker game itself was one of the worst I’ve had, in that I was just getting tortured by the rare hands I did get.  One guy who got really lucky against me left with his big stack with no notice, and then the other winners started to do the same.  The game ended very early after taking two hours to actually get started, so I was left with a very empty feeling.  We finished around midnight and I watched This Is the End afterward which was hilarious, so that made me feel a little better. 

My Day

After four hours of sleep I woke up at noon to answer the door and get my new iPhone 6, but I went back to sleep without looking at it.  I slept another four hours so I felt like I got up too late.  I showered and then my dad called, so I talked with him for over an hour.  Then I went through my iTunes to re-sort all my music because it keeps changing the info for some reason which is infuriating to me.  That took a long time but the changes went through for at least the first sync so hopefully they’ll stay that way.  I also remembered to sync my ringtone so I once again have the Seinfeld theme instead of the default tone that I hated.  I changed my waking alarm too which angered me every day, which makes me wonder why I never bothered to change it before.  Anyway so I wanted to make sure everything was ready for my new phone, and then I finally checked it out. 

I prepared myself for a phone that was much larger than my current one, and it still seemed very big.  The screen size is 1.25 inches longer and about 0.25 inches wider so much larger than I’m used to, but it’s thinner and lighter too which is also an adjustment.  I sort of struggled to hold it properly, and it was like holding a remote almost.  It slipped out of my hand a couple times which was awkward, but I wouldn’t say it was too big.  For using it to talk it seems like a better size to go from ear to mouth, and I figure the call quality has got to be better since I’m going from 3G to LTE on Verizon.  I also noticed that texts and status updates went through quicker, and it seemed like everything just worked smoother and quicker than my old phone.  A lot of this I have to attribute to the degeneration of my old phone, but it’s still a nice improvement.

I set it all up and was very happy that it automatically activated my current number, and of course restored itself from iTunes so I got all my info on it synced up.  Once I saw all the apps on the home screen and the extra two rows, my old phone seemed so small and ridiculous.  I also love the touch pad for verification and purchases, which I know started with iPhone 5 or 5S but it’s still an upgrade for me.  I got a 128 GB one so it has twice as much space, and now I can have all my songs plus all my movies and TV shows.  I’m also hoping that the other improvement will be increased battery life because my old phone would drain down to around 30% by the time I’d get out of work, so it’d be nice to be able to fully use it during long breaks.  Time will show also if the speaker quality is a lot better and how much better the screen resolution is, but obviously nothing is going to be worse than before.

After setting up my phone I was hungry for dinner already, and this was more like a typical day in the past where I’d wake up late in the afternoon.  I felt like it was already night by the time I could do anything, when I’ve been enjoying getting up by 2pm and at least knowing there was daylight outside if I wanted it.  I made a pizza for dinner around 9pm and decided to finally watch the Discovery Channel special Raging Planet on Netflix since it was going away in a few days.  I watched all 8 which talked about lightning (which also fascinates me), tornadoes (I love them too), hurricanes, floods, and sea storms (not bad), blizzards and avalanches (meh), and volcanoes which I loved since the classic elementary school project of building one.  They were interesting to watch and made me feel less guilty about not doing anything else today.  Although I wouldn’t say I wasn’t productive because in addition to getting my new phone set up I also went through my pile of papers and mail, paid the rent, and straightened out my credit card issue.  And I talked with my mom and dad so that was all good.

I played a little Pokemon but didn’t kick back and relax as much as I normally would, but that’ll be for tomorrow when I watch football and some new shows.  I got the eighth gym badge so I just have to some little side stuff and then beat the Elite Four, and I might as well do whatever story stuff is after that before returning to playing X.  I played Diablo too after maybe days away so that was okay.  I still need to catch up on all my movies, so for the next couple weeks probably I’ll be watching a few movies each day off instead of random shows like this.  A lot of my favorite movies I’d watch like once a month, but there are tons that I haven’t seen since moving out here which was four months ago.  Okay now I’m going to bed at 6:30am which feels late but it’s really not, and it’s nice that I have tomorrow off too which feels like an extra day.  Thanks for reading, and to the idiotic Canadian guy I heard on a TV program say “Picture this: Three guys spooning in a sardine can.  That’s literally what it was.”, I hate you.  Either stop being Canadian or stop speaking.

—Eric Del Medico

October12014

Last night I played poker for the first time in over two months. It was fun, but not like the good old days of home games.

Dreams

I dreamt that it was winter and I had to brush off my car.  I think I was still in California though so I didn’t know what was going on.  I thought I was done with snow and freezing temperatures, but in these dreams it’s always like it won’t last long or it’s only for one day.  Either way I wasn’t happy about it.

One Year Ago

I was going to get my hair cut but by the time I got up it was already probably too late.  I noticed that with my hair the way it was in combination with my glasses and beard I thought I looked pretty good.  I very rarely will think that of myself, and after I shaved and showered and put contacts in that look disappeared.  After getting up I played Pokemon where I was resuming Black 2 to finish it before X & Y came out, and now I’m trying to finish it for real before whatever newest ones come out.  That night I watched World War Z which was a pretty entertaining movie, and then went to the gym.

Tuesday

I got up right at 2pm after a long and pleasant sleep.  It’s worth noting that I wasn’t dreading going to work tonight at all.  I am sad that I’ll miss the Neon Trees concert that I was thinking about going to, but it’s probably better that I see The Airborne Toxic Event as my first L.A. concert anyway.  But I wasn’t dreading having to work or the lack of free time, mostly because I’ll now have two full days off afterward instead of one.  Plus I work at 6 so a little earlier than usual, and I’ll have basically three full days off before my next shift starts on Thursday.  The traffic didn’t get me down like it usually does although it was horrendous.  I listened to Twenty One Pilots and their album is so great, and it’s good to listen to when you’re upset or depressed.  But when you’re feeling good already it sort of bums me out a little, but it’s still a great new band.

So I went to work at 6pm and it wasn’t too busy, but I was happy that the boss gave me a spot right away.  She was a different boss than I’ve had before (so adding to the list of six or so that I’m already used to), and this was the first time getting called out on my white undershirt.  It’s supposed to be black for some reason, and my uniform has a deep neck so even with my V-neck shirt it sometimes still shows.  It usually doesn’t show though but sometimes my shirt will somehow get repositioned so it does.  I’d hate to have to buy more shirts when I already have 8 white ones, but I think a black undershirt would be better for when I wear just that, like after work when I get groceries or something.  So this might actually be a good thing that I have to buy new shirts.

Anyway, before I went to my table the boss asked why I was here on a Tuesday, and wondered if it was for our Live at the Bike poker game where they stream a cash game online.  I remembered that it was mentioned to me but I didn’t focus on it, so she called to see if that’s what I was here to do.  So I went on break while she figured it out, and I tried to look up what it was and everything.  It was a $5-$10 no-limit Hold ‘em game, and I’d think that it’d be too big or important of a game for me to deal.  But they seemed to think I could do it so I was looking forward to the new opportunity.

I waited during that down and then the next boss came in (the other was on day shift), and it was a woman I work with all the time.  She was giving out table assignments, and then asked for a volunteer to deal Live at the Bike.  I was confused but raised my hand and said I’d do it if I was allowed to or whatever, and she kind of looked like there was no way I’d do it.  So I was sent to another table, and I heard one of the people in charge of that event talking to her.  She asked who was dealing it because the current dealer looked nervous about it, and my boss guaranteed that they had another person who was a really strong dealer coming to do it.  So apparently the lack of communication goes even deeper, and between the three bosses they didn’t communicate to each other or me what I could or should deal.  First they get my hopes up thinking I’ll deal something cool, and then tell me no and make me feel like I’m a stupid little peon that can’t handle a task like that.  Fine, then don’t bring it up to me and make me wait around, just to have me volunteer and look like an idiot.  So that was frustrating.

I started with break-table-break which sucked, but my tables were all pretty good tonight.  I had to deal Stud with a different Asian woman who hates me, but she’s the less belligerent of all of them.  After the first hand she just sat out until I left, which aside from straight up leaving is the best thing she could do.  I didn’t have to listen to her complain about hands or me so it was fine.  At one table I sat down and a guy tipped me two bucks, and I took it but knew he meant to tip the last dealer after winning but didn’t realize I just got there.  (The dealer was an Asian woman and I’m a white guy, but whatever.) 

So I waited until I found that dealer later and gave her the tip, and she gave me half of it.  I always wonder what to do in this situation on either side, and I think this is the best way to handle it.  It’s not fair for me to keep it when I know it was meant for the last dealer, even though I know other dealers wouldn’t hesitate to keep it for themselves.  It’s nice that she gave me half for giving it to her at all, and I didn’t expect it or want any but it’s an example of when to know not to fight back about something.  So it was nice on both of our parts I think.

I ate during my break after 4 hours (which was my third break already), and I had the more expensive buffet but it was very delicious and filling this time.  I had one more break before a final table, but when I came back I was told I was out.  That was fine but again I wished they told me earlier.  I avoided Mexican Poker or Omaha again so that was nice.  This time I decided to play poker afterward since it wasn’t even 2am and there were still four games going of $100-$300.  So I told the floor there that I wanted to play and ran to my car to change my shirt. 

I came back and there were three games left, but that’s a lot better than only having one table to choose from or not having a seat at all.  I bought in for $300 and wanted to enjoy having some money on the table when I’m used to dealing to small games.  But the table was pretty low and hardly anyone had $100 or more.  That changed eventually, but I was thinking maybe I should play $200-$500 so there’s at least money to play for.  Of course I fear that those players are a lot better so it’d be easier to play against the other opponents.

I immediately noticed the same Asian girl I’ve mentioned from the two times I’ve ran chips up there and the other time I played there.  So I guess she’s there every day, but she was looking happier and less cold this time.  I should mention that she’s always there with her dude and I’m not mentioning her because I like her or anything, although she is cute.  When I sat down I said I’d wait to get in rather than take the blinds, and once the button passed I was told I still had to post.  Another player recognized me as a dealer and told the dealer he figured I didn’t know you had to post in the top section because I’m used to the bottom section’s rules.  I was slightly embarrassed since I’m a dealer and should know these things, but I just said he was absolutely right.  No sense trying to hide my mistakes but own up to it, and I joked that they don’t tell me anything about how they do things up top when I’m stuck at the bottom.  So that wasn’t a great start for me.

It was fun just to sit down and play rather than deal, and to actually get dealt some cards.  My table was nice and we chatted a bit, and I talked about sports (hockey, football, basketball, baseball) with the guy next to me which was fun.  Our table broke and we went to the last remaining $100-$300, and that was fun too.  Everybody was chatting and joking and having a good time, and I’ve really missed that.  It’s still not as fun as my old home games which I dearly miss, but it was fun to play with some people my age and relax and joke for a change.  I’ve really missed that kind of interaction even just with strangers, so maybe if I make this a thing I could make some friends here while playing.

As far as poker itself, I wanted to play a lot of hands and it didn’t get too crazy so I could.  I didn’t lose much when I missed hands and was able to pick up some pots with decent hands.  My stack varied a little but nothing drastic, and then as the night got later we were winding down and I lost a couple pots.  So I was at about half my stack, and then decided to make a play for all my chips against a guy who I knew would raise with less than stellar hands.  I reraised all-in with KQ 4-handed and was right that he had a smaller pair (10s), so I was happy to race and either bust or end with a little profit after losing half my stack.  He flopped a set and I had a straight draw, but his hand held up and I was done. 

It was the situation I wanted in that I read the hand correctly, and if I won that 50-50 I would have been thrilled so I can’t be too sad.  But on the way home I was upset with losing $300 when I need all the money I can, and to think of all the things I could and need to buy with that money made me upset.  But I use my separate poker bankroll for that so it won’t reflect in my bank accounts, but it still sucks.  I managed to get home before the rush hour traffic got too terrible, but I was exhausted since it was after 7am. 

I quickly got ready for bed and put this off, which I hate because when I have a lot to talk about I don’t want to have to remember everything the next day.  So I was happy I played poker but of course I would have rather I didn’t play and not lose money.  I know that if I left earlier I would have lost a lot less or made some, and if I played longer or won that hand I would have been good.  But poker is one long session so it doesn’t matter how one 4-hour session goes, but how much you win or lose in the long run.  So thanks for reading, and I also found out that ordering “eggs over medium” is a thing.

—Eric Del Medico

September302014

I’ve loved having Neon Trees stuck in my head the last few days, so now I’m sad I agreed to work during tomorrow’s concert.

One Year Ago Today

I enjoyed watching football all day, and last season was really the first time I ever bothered to watch a game that wasn’t the Super Bowl.  I enjoy watching it now, but I’ll be more excited once the NBA season starts back up next month.  Then I got caught on my shows, which is harder with the premier of the fall schedule and will be even harder once basketball starts. 

My Day

After work I went to the store to get a few things, but I made sure I didn’t get anything perishable.  My plan was to go to the DMV to register my car and hopefully get a California driver’s license too, so I figured that’d take forever and I didn’t want stuff getting warm in my car.  I had the address and thought I knew the general area where it was, and I used my phone just to be sure but I actually had it exactly right.  Now I read online that it can be busy and it’s best to make an appointment, but since the earliest one was in over two weeks that wasn’t helpful.  And in watching Domino last week they mentioned how terribly slow and torturous the Los Angeles DMV can be, so that made me really nervous about this. 

Sure enough, I pull into the parking lot and I see a line of people outside.  Everybody had some kind of papers in their hands and I didn’t see any steady progress in movement, so I decided it wasn’t worth waiting.  I could have been there for hours and by the time I got through there was no guarantee I’d be able to get anything done.  I still have a couple weeks before my insurance needs to be renewed, and I don’t technically need to do anything with it but for my peace of mind I should do it as soon as possible.  So I’ll try again at maybe a different time or day and see if that’s better.

Getting back home was easy so I know an easier way to get there from my house if I need to.  I stopped at the bank to deposit a little more money, and then put my groceries away at home.  I decided to just stay in today, so first I did my laundry and got yesterday’s blog done.  I’ve been craving some noodles, so for lunch/dinner I walked down the street to the nearby Chinese restaurant (Moo Moo’s), and it was open but empty.  I noticed the owner was eating some McDonald’s so I thought that was hilarious.  I perused the menu and got the combination chow mein which is what I wanted, and I didn’t get a lunch deal like other places but the price was still good compared to elsewhere.  The noodles were a little plain but it was still good, and it was a really big portion which is what I wanted.  So that could be my Chinese place, although I still haven’t found a good place to get smaller orders of different things.

Then I had time to play a chapter of Killzone and type this up before the football game.  It was between the Chiefs and the Patriots, and I don’t care about either but I just rooted against the Patriots.  I took my contacts out ahead of time in case I passed out again, but I really wanted to stop myself from sleeping like that this time.  The game was again basically over at halftime with the Patriots scoreless, and the Chiefs went on to destroy them.  So it wasn’t really a game but none have been that I’ve watched lately, but they’ve all gone the way I wanted (if I cared). 

Right on cue at 6pm—at Hour 20 of staying up—I nodded off for a second, but I was able to shake myself out of it and recover.  From then on I felt good.  I played some Pokemon and remained on the couch, and then after the game I watched a bunch of the shows on my DVR.  It was really nice to sit back and enjoy the return of shows like SNL and Parenthood, and it was still so early but felt so late.  Then around midnight I started watching my Netflix movie but quickly dozed off again, so I canceled that and instead got ready for bed.  I got a second wind and tried to resume the movie but fell asleep, and my mom called me so I talked with her for a bit.  I tried once more and then felt drowsy so I found a good stopping point and called it a night shortly after 2am.  That’ll give me about 12 hours of sleep which I’ll need so I should be good.  Thanks for reading, and “Where can I put my crap?”

—Eric Del Medico

September292014

After two pleasant weeks of work it figured that all the crap would pile onto the last night, but we persevere.

Dreams

I had a few dreams but the one that left a lasting impression was the one I had just before waking up.  It’s weird going from some dream world back to reality, and it seems very strange that this is just part of life when it’s such a crazy thing.  In this dream I was leaving my aunt and uncle’s house in Middleville (I don’t know why this is such a common setting), and I was going to school early in the morning.  I got a phone call on my way out, and it was a guy telling me about an opportunity to do some volunteer-type work in Maryland next summer.  I was already going back to school and working so I had things happening, but this seemed like the perfect thing for me.  It was an outdoor trip like in mountains or a jungle, but also volunteering to help kids or something.  I think I’d get paid so this sounded pretty good.  The dream ended with me swooping down from above into a mountainous region like I was already starting, and also talking to my dad on the phone about it. 

One Year Ago Today

I was awakened to a delivery which was the extra stuff that came with my poker table.  It was 2pm but felt pretty early, but it was a good time to get up on this day off.  I watched some shows and played Diablo, but trying to craft Hellfire Rings were really frustrating me.  I’m feeling the same way now because it’s still a painfully slow and boring process for little-to-no benefits.  But at least I break up that monotony by playing through the game with my new character, and soon I’ll go through it again with each one.  That night I went to the gym and had been looking forward to it all day, and this week should be the week I finally start going back.

My Day

I woke up a little after 10pm but it felt more like 6am or something.  Part of that was from my dream where I was just getting up for school, but when it’s dark it can feel really late or early.  I got ready for work and didn’t feel as exhausted as the last two nights, so I felt really good.  I was ready for another “just make it through whatever 8 hours await and then you get the day off” night, and it seemed like it’d slow down pretty quickly.  I was delighted to start at not only a no-limit table but the one right after Omaha with the woman who hates me.  That was extremely short-lived because I broke the table before even dealing a hand, and then I was told to go to that Omaha table anyway. 

So I just laughed at my luck, and the moment I sat down she started harassing me.  It was too early in the night for this because I hadn’t built up my deflectors, but I figured I’d at least get it out of the way.  She went on and on about how she hates me and I’m the worst dealer, and focused more on how ugly she says I am.  That’s probably the meanest stuff I’ve ever heard because it’s nothing but personal, but the big thing to remember is that ALL of her complaints are unfounded.  I was talking to my dealer friend about this later and we commiserated about her and other players, and I was sort of happy to hear that he got the same harassment (minus the ugly talk, so I guess I am special). 

I wanted to say something to her even if it was just a quiet “Please stop talking like that,” but there’s no way to talk her out of her stupid opinions.  That wasn’t any more apparent than when she complained about how “I killed her hand” when she lost with a low flush to not only a higher flush but to someone with the low for the other half of the pot.  All players who complain like her just don’t even realize how to play the game, and they expect to have a good hand every hand and for every hand to win.  That’s just ridiculous but there’s no pleasing them, because they complain when they’re not winning, right after they win, and even when they win they complain that they didn’t get more.  They feel like they deserve to always win so there’s never any thought to thank the dealer, and when they lose it’s like a travesty that we would dare make them lose a hand. 

I could go on and on analyzing their lack of understanding, but the more I’m around these players the more I realize how I’m light-years ahead of these people in poker mentality just by understanding these simple concepts.  The game is very simple: Fold most hands, bet big when you have a great hand, and fold when your hand is weak or you don’t have the right odds to chase.  Those three things are the most fundamental parts to poker, and the first one is the easiest but by far the least employed.  Ugh, I won’t dwell on this anymore.

I had a break after that table so I could recover, and then I had a good table followed by Stud.  At Stud I dealt to one woman who is also Asian and also hates me, but her insults are less intelligible and quieter so I don’t mind them as much.  She still announces how I’m the worst dealer, but again you can just see that her frustration comes from wanting a good playable hand every single time.  After a break I had the other Omaha table which was what was left of the last two games, and that woman was at that one too so I was running bad.  Thankfully I broke it and she left, so I saved other dealers from enduring that any longer. 

We were down to three tables by 4:15 with the loss of the last Omaha, but then just had one Mexican and one Stud table left.  So that was a terrible ending to the night because those are the worst on tips, but they weren’t as bad as they could have been.  Mexican was without incident but I had to deal to that woman at Stud two more times, and every time she complained about how I was back there and not elsewhere.  I wanted to say I didn’t want to be there even more than she didn’t want me to be there.  Aside from her the other players were okay and two were even very pleasant and friendly.  This time I was lucky to end with a break so I could just leave a tad early, and I didn’t get stuck dealing either of those tables one last time. 

When I cashed out I felt I made a mistake but this time at how little I made, but my tables were all garbage so no real mystery.  But it was over and now I had the rest of the day to myself.  So thanks for reading, and “It never makes much sense to me, but that’s okay / It’s like my love hate relationship with L.A. / It feels so right, we kiss so high / But the feelings come and go on every night / Yeah it won’t ever take much to make me stay / My back’s against the wall / …It’s unavoidable, you are a magnet / It’s unavoidable, I am metallic / So do what you do, do what you do to me.”

—Eric Del Medico

September282014

I’m starting to pick up on some Spanish living in L.A. I mean I only know the curse words, but it’s something.

One Year Ago Today

Work was very stiffy, and I also had to walk some new players through the game.  I understand that everybody has to start somewhere, but it’s so easy to get the basics down before going to the casino and playing for hundreds of dollars.  I also talked about how obvious it is to me when I see a new player, and how I can’t believe some players can’t pick up on the signs.  After work I watched The Fighter as part of my boxing movie kick, which reminds me that I gotta watch Rocky again. 

My Day

I woke up at 8pm after 9 hours of sleep but I felt exhausted.  I relished in the hour or so I had to sit before leaving for work, just because I wanted to be still and not do anything.  I watched the new episodes of New Girl and The Mindy Project, and then the first two episodes of The Big Bang Theory’s new season.  I’ve never seen them new before, but I felt I’ve seen (and enjoyed) enough of them in syndication that I should pick up where the series is now.  But all of the big events mentioned as backstory I could not recall, so I’m not sure how much stuff I’ve missed. 

Then I drove to work and I was very tired.  I felt more like I was at the end of a day rather than just starting one, but that’s what comes with this weird schedule.  I got to work a little early so I just sat in the parking lot and listened to the radio until the last possible moment, and I fought to shake myself awake.  Yesterday when I was this tired too I was so thankful that I have a job where I get to sit down all day, and it’s actually very comfortable and great physically.  It’s a somewhat menial job though in that I can often turn off my brain and still do it fine, but it can be mentally draining otherwise with mean players so it’s not all easy.

Last week I flipped a card up, and it was noteworthy because I haven’t done that in over a month.  Before I’d say I did that maybe once a night, but since I’ve gotten my pitch down it hasn’t happened at all.  When I did it the first time though it nicked someone’s chips and that’s why it flipped up, so I didn’t really count that.  Then next hand and to the same person I did it for real so it made it seem worse, but I knew how rare it is. 

I had a pretty easy night with smaller runs but just three well-timed breaks.  I did end with break-table again though which I hate, and my last table was my second Mexican Poker down.  It was the same table as two hours earlier and wasn’t good either time, and I made about $7 between the two.  My down rate is a lot worse than it used to be at Turning Stone, but most of the reason is because of this one game.  Stud is also very poor but not because players don’t tip like in Mexican Poker but because the bets are so small.  There’s still hope here because eventually I’ll be able to deal in the top section, and not only does it eliminate dealing terrible games but it just gives the chance to get big tips because there’s more money on the table. 

I worked a full shift and was happy I made it through again, and without getting berated.  There was an interesting issue at my last table where a player didn’t want to show the rest of his cards.  This happens all the time at Mexican Poker, but you have to show all cards to have a winning hand.  So whenever a player shows all of theirs I leave them up, even if someone else has a better hand showing while still having a card face down.  So this guy had QQ showing which beat the other guy’s five cards, but after a while I told him he had to show all of his or else the other guy wins.  It was frustrating at first but it was my chance to uphold a good rule, but then I was glad I got to do it.  It brought some levity to the game too, and afterward that guy actually tipped me and he never does.  So I wondered if I won him over by not taking his crap, so that was something.

Alright so when I got off of work I went home, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay up and watch a football game or just go to bed.  Of course I was tired, but being off of work gives me renewed energy.  Then I saw that it was also Derek Jeter’s last game so I figured I should catch that while I could, and see the football game too.  I watched Jeter’s last at-bat so that was nice, and I didn’t have to wonder if each time he went to the plate would be his last.  He got a hit and on base so that was nice.  So I didn’t have that keeping me up, and the football game was basically over by the fourth quarter so that was helpful too.  To stay productive I did some California DMV research so hopefully I can get a new license and vehicle registration soon.  Now I’m going to bed at 1pm and will get a hopefully solid 9 hours of sleep.  Thanks for reading, and “I know I’m gullible.  People tell me that, and I have no reason not to believe them.”

—Eric Del Medico

September272014

I started reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet on my phone during my boring breaks at work. But that just feels weird.

One Year Ago Today

This was the day I got my new poker table, which I really miss now.  The other day I even looked around my apartment and tried to figure out how I was arrange a poker table if I had one, but I don’t have a table nor do I know people whom I could play with. 

My Day

I got up shortly after 4pm which was really nice because it afforded me a lot of time to chill before work.  I watched an episode of Late Show with David Letterman because Jerry Seinfeld was on it, and it was nice watching a different late night show for a change.  He’s retiring soon so I might as well see an episode now.  Then I played another chapter of Killzone followed by some Diablo, and then finished up with Pokemon.  I decided to watch a movie while I played and I went with Girl Most Likely which is an independent movie starring Kristen Wiig.  It was sort of weird but was a fairly funny and enjoyable movie.  I got pretty hungry so I ate the rest of my pizza rather than just half of what was left, so it only lasted one further meal but it was very filling and delicious. 

I went to work, and I wasn’t dreading going in tonight because my last shift was a good one.  I knew I’d be tired though because I got up “early,” and shortly into my shift I struggled to keep my eyes focused.  I ran chips up on the top section again to start, so I got to get familiar with it some more so hopefully I can get up there soon.  I got tipped once so that was like a bonus, but it was basically just a break to start.  I noticed the same Asian girl I saw last time I was up there and when I played that one time, so I guess she plays every Friday and probably most days.  There was also a gorgeous girl with her dude, and since I was standing back I could see every guy’s eyes on her.  I mean she was stunning so I don’t blame them, but it’s funny to watch all heads turn when she walks by.

I had short runs tonight because there weren’t quite as many tables as usual.  I also broke two tables so I had a lot of breaks and that made the night drag a bit.  But my tables were all nice, and even the Mexican downs were decent on tips.  One woman was sitting in seat 1 and said she liked my short hair, and then she started rubbing it.  I didn’t mind, and I know it’s sad but I haven’t had much physical contact since moving out here so even that was really nice.  I just need a lovely girl to want to rub my head.

So I had four breaks tonight which were too many but I had good tables so that made up for it.  I finished with break-table, and I asked if I’d just be out so they wouldn’t cut me when I came back from break.  But the boss said I was still there so I waited, but when I came back I was about to be cut.  I was tired so I didn’t care, but then she said I could deal one more if I wanted.  It was no-limit and I already waited through the break so I stayed, and that gave me some extra dough.  I did well per down all night and overall did very well for only 8 downs. 

I was so exhausted that I fought to stay awake on the drive home and nearly didn’t make it.  I didn’t eat anything at work even though with my many breaks I could have, but when I got home I was hungry.  So I enjoyed a bowl of cereal and now I’m going to bed finally at 11am.  I’ll really enjoy this sleep but hopefully I’ll still get up in time to relax before work tomorrow.  Thanks for reading, and “Craigslist Casual Encounters is blocked?!  What is this, f****** North Korea?”

—Eric Del Medico

September262014

I finished watching through Lost again which is very sad, but I’m looking forward to starting the “new” show Breaking Bad.

Dreams

I had a lot of weird dreams again in my strange sleep.  They were mostly just random jumblings of things, but one thought I had stuck out.  I was sort of awake already but having dream-like thoughts, and it was like I was talking to somebody about something.  Then I said, “Einstein, like the wrestler?”  That made me laugh in real life at how absurd that little thought joke was. 

One Year Ago Today

I didn’t get much sleep since I went to bed so late/early, and I got called about my new poker table but I was too tired to know what they said or what I said.  Then my dad called and I got up, and I made some eggs for breakfast before starting my day.  My mom came over later and we had some delicious Chinese food, and I miss both enjoying Chinese food all the time and just hanging out and sharing a meal with my mom.  We also watched a movie which we used to do a lot, and I really miss that too. 

My Day

I slept until noon which wasn’t too early but gave me plenty of sleep, but I needed to make sure I made it until late tonight so I can get on my work sleep schedule.  The first thing I did after I showered was finish Spaceballs, and I should watch more spoofs like that because I enjoyed it.  Then I played another chapter of Killzone, and this one I was very familiar with so I did it very quickly.  I could have easily played another one but I wanted to make sure I caught the football game.  I really love how I have Mondays and Thursdays off so I can watch those games, but I can also catch whatever game is playing on Sunday morning before going to bed for work that night. 

I was very happy that the Giants were playing, and I’ve said that I root for all three of the New York teams.  I’ve been asked a few times of which team I was more of a fan, and I’d say neither since I’d feel dishonest saying I was a “fan” of basically any team that’s not the Knicks (so encompassing all sports).  But I was definitely rooting for the Giants in this game and I was cheering and lamenting (but mostly cheering throughout the game.  I like Eli Manning, their franchise legacy, and their blue color scheme so I’d say I am a Giants fan.  But I hardly understand the game and I don’t follow the scores or match-ups so I can’t really consider myself a fan.  But it was a fun game to watch until the Giants just got so far ahead that it was over soon.  I mean the game still dragged on for over three hours when it was pretty much locked up before halftime.

I recently bought some potato chips for the first time in like a year, and I was excited to sit on my couch and watch football while eating some chips.  I know that’s a very simple (and unhealthy) pleasure but it’s the little things in life that I love.  For dinner I wanted the rest of my pizza, but I figure that’s best saved for my pre-work meal tomorrow and Saturday since it’s quick to reheat.  I don’t like making a full meal and I don’t have that much food that’s the right amount of filling, so this should work out well.

I finally started playing Pokemon Black 2 again, and now I’m in it and know what I’m doing again.  I got the seventh gym badge but I only have maybe 10 decent Pokemon and my main ones are only near level 50.  That’s good enough for where I am but I feel like it’s a slow process to get them stronger.  Without the ease of Super Training I just skip EV training, and I don’t want this to take hundreds of more hours so I’m basically skipping any IV training too.  After the football game I played Diablo for a few hours and finished Act II for the third time and my crusader still hasn’t died so that’s 12 acts so far.  Then I finally checked out some other moves for my barbarian after sticking with the same moveset for over a year, and I can’t believe I didn’t try it sooner.  I quickly found one move that increases my damage so it’s stronger straight-up, and then with the other move I already use it reaches nearly 3 million damage.  I also found another move that will increase movement speed, so when I’m doing timed runs that’ll be very beneficial.

Then I finished Lost, and it’s very sad to be done with that great show again.  As the seasons went on it got crazier and sort of devolved a bit, and the last season is definitely the worst.  I did love how we finally get some backstory to the island, but there are still plenty of things left unexplained.  I have a better understanding of what happened though from watching it a second time, and it didn’t lose as much as I thought it would from already knowing what happens.  My next show will almost definitely be Breaking Bad since they’re all on Netflix, but I think I’ll wait a week or so and catch up on my movies first.  I know that when I start this next show all I’ll want to do is watch it, so I better get whatever else in now while I can.

I ended the night with Silver Linings Playbook which is another movie I don’t know why I put off watching.  The acting was great by everybody, and Jennifer Lawrence is such a delight.  She’s so talented and not to mention gorgeous, but Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro were so great that she didn’t quite steal the movie for me.  It was an altogether enjoyable movie and I’m glad I finally saw it.  I started watching Workaholics again since I finished Sunny, but it should only take me a couple weeks and then I’ll move on.  Now I’m going to bed properly at 6:30am, and I’m hoping to “only” get around 10 hours of sleep although I fear I’ll sleep until after 7pm like I did last week just because I can.  Thanks for reading, and “That rhymed.  Unintentional.” (in reference to my title).

—Eric Del Medico

September252014

I only have to brave the L.A. rush hour traffic once a week, but every time it makes me hate life more and more.

One Year Ago Today

We had our last poker game on my old table, which I had since high school.  It wasn’t a good game for me because despite doubling my money at one point, I was really just card dead the whole time.  This happens a lot, but it was just during a period where I would go an hour or more without anything playable and that’d repeat each week. 

My Day

I got up a little after 3pm and got ready for work.  I felt good about work tonight, but I always hate that rush hour drive.  On the way there I can’t help but reevaluate my whole life and contemplate my existence and whatnot.  I left basically on time, which was giving myself over an hour to make it into work instead of the usual 30 minutes.  At one point the girl in the car in front of me didn’t pull up close enough, and she was blocking my access to the turning late.  I was frustrated because it was clear ahead of me and I had a nice right on red, and if she only just moved a foot or two in front where she clearly had room I could have gone.  I never use my car horn, and this was clearly an instance where it’d be justified.  But I didn’t and just waited, bewildered by her lack of awareness or regard for anyone else.  (This was highlighted by her talking to her friend and looking down into her phone.)  It only really cost me a minute or two, and I wasn’t really in a rush although I knew I had little time to waste. 

Traffic was worse than ever, and I again got in later than I needed to.  This time it took me over 75 minutes to get in, and I had to call the boss to say I’d be a few minutes late.  I hate how I already have to leave twice as early, but sometimes even that isn’t enough.  So I guess I need to plan to leave even earlier which just makes this extra day take up even more of my time, which is one reason why I like my new late-night schedule since I get in and out.  The boss wasn’t upset since I knew there’d be dealers that weren’t needed immediately, so when I got in just after the push went through she told me to wait in the back.  I don’t like starting on break but this was necessary, and I got settled in and waited for a spot.

As tables open up we get a phone call in the back room from our boss, and that’s a better system than her walking all the way back to us to tell us where to go next.  But it’s awkward because anyone can pick up the phone, but many people don’t like to do it.  It’s very weird because I feel like when it’s an Asian D.C. then an Asian dealer should answer it for better communication, but otherwise I’m a better candidate for my clearer English.  However, I don’t know hardly anyone’s name, so it’s a struggle to hear the name correctly and then figure out who that is.  But at the same time, if the call is for me then I should answer it since the other dealers don’t know who I am.  It’s just one of the little things that’s very different about working at this place.

So before that down was over the phone rang and someone else answered it, and it was for me to open a table.  I got there about 10 minutes from the end of the down so I got a few hands in, but I dealt a full down afterward which was great.  It was no-limit too so that made it better.  Now I was at the beginning of a run so I had three more tables afterward, and by that time I was very hungry.  I would have ordered whatever was fastest but there was a buffet thankfully, and I thought surely that could not disappoint because I just needed something edible.  It was still set up as the regular buffet so I guess that’s why I was charged full price, so it was over $7 instead of $3.  To make that worse the food was very lame, and I just got some fish fillets and a pile of mashed potatoes and corn.  It staved off the hunger but wasn’t worth the money when if I had time I could have enjoyed some delicious noodles or an enormous quesadilla.

I had another 4-table run afterward, so the night moved along very nicely.  I had nearly all good tables and they were all very easy and mostly pleasant, which is the big advantage to working on this day.  From one woman I got another “cute” comment, so I guess I’m running good with the over-50 crowd (both male and female).  That’s…something.  I dealt both Omaha tables, and the first was very nice with the one guy who told me before I was a great dealer and said I had great mechanics.  He told that to me again, and this time got up to tell the boss how good I was.  These are the kinds of comments I appreciate and will let linger, because I’m used to ignoring all the negative ones now. 

I finished the night with a break and one last table which was the other Omaha, and I was afraid that’d be rough and end the night on a bad note.  Instead they too were very nice and it was a very good down.  I dealt my last hand to one of the bosses who auditioned and trained me, so he’s been like my mentor.  He won that hand and hooked me up so that made the down worth it right there.  When I cashed out I thought I must have made a mistake because usually by the time I get my $500 back I hope to get around $100 extra from tips.  This time I already had $100 plus many chips left to cash out, so that was a big surprise.  So I had one of my best nights of work and my best per down.  As much as I hate going in on these days and fighting that traffic, it feels so good afterward to have made some good money and to have had a full night.  I asked about next month and it seems like I’ll still get that fourth day, but it might be on Tuesdays instead but it doesn’t matter really.  I’ll still have two days off in a row, and the extra money will be very nice to pay for these upcoming bills I have like car insurance and health insurance. 

When I got home I wanted to watch something rather than just get ready for bed, and I decided to watch Spaceballs which I’ve had recorded for a while.  I had thought it was the movie BASEketball which I wanted to see only because I saw parts of it way back in 2002 when I first visited California.  Spaceballs was on Netflix anyway so I just watched it there, and I had a bagel as a snack to end the night.  Near the end of the movie I got uncontrollably sleepy, and I couldn’t even fight it to make it through the end or to just end it and get ready for bed.  Instead I just plunked down on my bed and that was it.  I’m really not used to just passing out, and historically that’s something I’ve done not even a handful of times in my entire life.  But now that’s twice in a week so I guess my body is reacting to this strange sleep schedule now.  I feel like I’m finally getting used to it mentally, but I guess it’s really throwing my body off.  So this was around 5am which was just an hour before I would have gone to bed anyway.  Thanks for reading, and “So Lone Starr, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.”

—Eric Del Medico

September242014

I did a little inventory and I currently have meals for an entire month already in my apartment. This’ll come in handy.

Dreams

I had a host of weird dreams throughout my long and stuttered sleep.  I had the TV on right next to me so that came into play in several dreams.  The movie Domestic Disturbance was playing, and during a scene where Vince Vaughn and Steve Buscemi were talking they took the form of two of my uncles in a dream.  I couldn’t see them but was listening to them talk, and I couldn’t figure out who my one uncle sounded like.  When I woke up and saw the movie playing I realized it was the voice of Steve Buscemi, and they were talking about real estate and buying property or something.  I had tons of other dreams that I mostly can’t remember now, but they played on all the stuff that was on while I was trying to sleep. 

One Year Ago Today

I played Diablo and watched a lot of my Hulu shows.  I also did my laundry so that was productive.  My movie was Raging Bull which I’ve seen once before but wanted to see it again as part of my boxing kick.  Then I went to the gym to get my pump on, and I was doing well with consistently losing a little weight each time. 

My Day

So I slept for about 13 hours, but it was a very weird sleep.  I was sleeping on my couch, so not under any covers and not in a completely comfortable fashion.  I had all the lights on and the TV was on too, so I remained very present throughout the night.  I had a bunch of weird dreams which kept my mind feeling strange, and my body felt weird since I had just eaten a lot of pizza and wings and drank a lot of Dew before I passed out.  Finally at 9am I figured it was late enough to get up and start my day, so I first turned off the lights and put my pizza and wings in the fridge.  Then I showered and spent a couple hours typing up yesterday’s post and getting everything squared away. 

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do today other than basically just stay inside and chill.  I could start reading another book but I’m undecided on what that’ll be.  I have a lot of options, and I’d like to reread Harry Potter but those books are in New York, along with the Left Behind series I never finished.  I could reread some books I have here but I don’t know if I want to do that yet, so I’m kind of just waiting.  Oh I vacuumed yesterday too so that was more productivity, and I like keeping the place in order. 

I watched the last two late night shows and finally saw the first episodes of the new season of Jeopardy, but I don’t really enjoy it anymore.  I played Diablo a lot and mostly just progressed with my crusader, and it came closer to dying but I still avoided it.  My dad called me which worked out because I was going to call him anyway, so I’m caught up with my parents now.  Then I resumed the final season of Lost, and I had time to watch the rest of them but decided to just watch half of what was left and leave the last 7 episodes for Thursday.  Then I should take a break to rewatch all my favorite movies and the new ones I have recorded on my DVR, and then start Breaking Bad. 

I got hungry early since I woke up so early, but I just had some apple slices to hold me over.  Then for dinner I had the last of my leftover spaghetti and meatballs, and I thought I’d end up snacking all night when I got hungry again but I never did.  I played some Killzone, and I was going to resume Pokemon Black 2 for hours but was fine with just playing Diablo.  I also played some poker online for play money on Bovada to get used to that site in case I decide to deposit money on there and try to play as a second job. 

Around midnight I sat back and watched my Netflix movie which was Domino, and that’s with Keira Knightley who plays Domino Harvey who was a real-life bounty hunter.  She was the daughter of an actor and a model but ended up down the path of bounty hunting in Los Angeles.  It was a pretty enjoyable movie and had plenty of action, and Keira is so beautiful so that always keeps me interested.  This movie has been in my queue for over a year, and it’s been near the top but I’ve kept putting newer movies on top and pushing this one down.  I’m glad I finally saw it.  To finish the night I watched the season premiere of The Blacklist, and now I’m going to bed before 6am.  I’m exhausted, but I’m surprised I made it this long.  Thanks for reading, and “‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’.”

—Eric Del Medico

September232014

I tried a new pizza and wings place here in L.A. that was fairly comparable to New York. It’s feeling more like home.

One Year Ago from Monday

Andrew was visiting so we started by shooting some hoops, and I didn’t really know where to do that.  We checked out the middle school that was near my apartment, and in their playground area they had two hoops.  One was too high and the other too short, but we were able to do some regular stuff with the high one and practice dunks on the shorter one.  After watching some King of Queens we got some pizza, and the food was good but it was also just nice to hang out and get a pie with Andrew whom I don’t get to see that much.  Then we headed back home and I went to work, and it ended up being a decent night for money but was a bit annoying from the cash giveaways.

Monday

So after work on Monday morning I was still a little hungry, and since I wanted to kill more time before getting on the freeways I went to Taco Bell.  Instead of getting a lot of food I just got the AM Crunchwrap which was made quickly yet deliciously, so it was a nice little meal to keep me until my early dinner.  Then I got groceries, and I spent nearly $50 which didn’t seem too bad for a week of groceries.  But I only bought one meal and several breakfasts so it was mostly snacks and little things.

When I went to pay I pulled out my card and the cashier said, “Oh, you’re paying by card.”  I mention that because I don’t recall that ever being an issue, and I wondered if she had to enter in that I was paying by that method.  I swiped the card and it asked for my pin number, which hasn’t happened before with my credit card.  So I said I didn’t have one and hit ‘cancel,’ and then got the option to pay by credit rather than debit.  So I thought the cashier entered I was paying with a debit card so that was the problem, but I was able to pay with credit and that was it.

But when I put the card back into my wallet I realized that it was my debit card I was using.  That’s weird because I always check the card before I use it.  But I meant to pay with my credit card, and now it was very alarming that I didn’t have it on me.  I was nervous and drove home wondering where it could be.  I figured I left it on my desk because the last time I used it was paying for a new iPhone, so I had the card out to enter the number.  I looked all over but couldn’t find it, and I was so puzzled.  I don’t know what I did with it since that Wednesday, and if it just got mixed in with my papers and thrown away or if I put it back into my wallet and it somehow fell out.  I’ve never lost a card from my wallet, and I was never away from my wallet so I can’t imagine someone would or could have stolen it and wouldn’t have taken my money too. 

I checked every inch of my apartment and in weird places like inside movie cases and in the freezer (remember that episode of The Cosby Show where that’s where Vanessa’s (?) paper was?).  I checked my car too but nothing, so I guess I lost it.  I found the paperwork for the card that showed where I could go online to check information about the card, so I was able to confirm the earlier purchases and make sure there weren’t any new charges not made by me.  Then I canceled the card so at least I should avoid any trouble here, but I haven’t had that card for even a month and I already lost it.  The mystery to what happened to it gets me more than anything else.

I went to the bank before all this but that doesn’t matter, and I deposited some more money.  Then I finally checked out that bakery next door, which is also a delicatessen and has like a little grocery store inside.  I expected a setup where they’d have baked goods on a big shelf but it wasn’t really like that, so I just tried to find one little thing I could buy since I was there.  I ended up getting a piece of cheesecake, which is ironic because earlier at Wal Mart I was thinking of buying a whole cheesecake but I knew I couldn’t keep up with the nearby expiration date.  I grabbed a menu on my way out, and they sell a lot of sandwiches and subs as well as pizza too.  The place is called Giuliano’s and has an Italian flag on the cover of the menu so that’s a good sign.

So after all of this I went to get a haircut, and I didn’t want to walk down that way if I wasn’t going to the beach.  So I got in my car and wasn’t sure which place I’d go to, because I wanted to try the other place over there or if not then go the last barber I went to.  This other place was open so I stopped there, and it was empty which is fine by me.  The barber seemed nice and asked me about my drive from New York since he knew I was from there by my license plate.  I asked to get it cut shorter than the last two times because apparently a 1.5 is too long, so this cut was very short but I like it better.  He did a neck shave too which I like so that made it seem like a much better cut overall, and he charged the same as the other guy down the street.  I’ll probably have this one as my default since it’s the first one I see, but since it’s been closed every other time I’ve driven by I’m thinking I’ll end up needing to go to the other place sometimes anyway.

When leaving the guy shook my hand and said nice to meet you, and I said you too even though we didn’t introduce ourselves.  But by that point I felt like it’d be too awkward for me to then say my name, or to just say “I’m Eric by the way.  Bye.”  I thought of going back in to do that guised by an attempt to get a business card, but that’d probably be even more awkward then if I just said my name in the first place. 

I gotta apologize now for how scattered this post is.  I don’t know why but my head is off right now and I can’t get the order right or seem to make completely coherent paragraphs.  This all happened a day ago for me so that’s probably why.  But before all of this when I was heading home from work I decided to take a detour and go down another street, so I could see new parts of the town.  I ended driving through Gardena which is the next town to the north of Torrance, which apparently is where Hustler Casino and Normandie Casino are.  Los Angeles is so massive that I can’t imagine I’ll ever learn all of it even in a lifetime.  Each town or district inside of it is so big that I can’t even imagine I’ll get completely familiar to Torrance, let alone any other city.  But the more I drive around the more places I’ll learn, although it seems like it’s all made up of little neighborhoods that have all the services you’ll need within a few miles.

I went back home after my haircut and planned to stay in and sit on the couch the rest of the day.  I showered first and finished my blog from the day before, and then I called my mom and talked with her for a while.  I was happy to just kick back and watch the football game and see how long I could stay up.  I also got to chat with Andrew online for a while so that was good.  Then for dinner I ordered a large pizza and ten wings from a place called The Slice which I checked out when I was at the barber, which are in the same plaza.  They advertised New York style pizza so I was hopeful.  That was a pretty good deal for the two things and I wanted to try both pizza and wings, and it was all pretty good.  The wings were much better than the others I had but could have used at least a side of extra sauce.  The pizza I was very pleased with, and the crust seemed legit although it could have used more marinara sauce.  Altogether it was very adequate and in my searching if I can’t find a better place this will serve as a decent go-to. 

I ate half the pizza and six of the wings before feeling like I should probably stop.  I was halfway through my second Dew, which I figured I’d just be chugging all night to stay awake.  After I finished eating I had the energy just to close the pizza and wings boxes and put them in the kitchen, but they never made it into the fridge.  I laid down on my couch to finish the football game, but again I didn’t make it.  I fell asleep sometime around 8pm, and that started a night of very stuttered sleep.  I kept waking back up but couldn’t get up, and after a few hours of this I just decided to stay there for the night.  I don’t like falling asleep with my contacts in, and without brushing my teeth and everything first.  Plus I had the lights on and the TV on, and all my food and Dew were still out and the place was a mess.  I hate living like that, but that’s what comes with this weird sleep schedule.  That sleep went on through the night until I finally decided it was late enough to wake up and start the next day.  Thanks for reading, and “Hey guys, the bathroom in this place is nuts!…”

—Eric Del Medico

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