Sunday, July 26, 2015

Everything is Easy

I'm sitting in Hank's kitchen right now drinking coffee and farting around on the internet.  I thought about driving up to the city early or playing poker at Bay 101 but I really just don't want to do either one yet so I'm just....chilling.  Things have just gotten really easy, and I'm not exactly sure why but I'm just going to run with it.  I was in the fourth row of general admission standers last night for Dashboard and Third Eye Blind and it was awesome, I'm going again tonight, flying back tomorrow, going to work, and then attending the make up of last week's rain out (yes, a concert in Orange County got rained out) tomorrow evening at Verizon.  Why am I doing this?

When I bought three of my tickets in March I told myself it was because they might never tour again and you just don't miss it when your favorite band might never tour again.  But that's not enough.  I thought maybe it was because I embrace the "do hard things" whenever possible, but that's not it either.  Do I love them that much?  I mean sure, they are awesome and my favorite band, but do I really need to see the same set 5 times (where they are actually skipping most of my favorites)? Nope.  I figured it out a few mornings ago.

I gave Third Eye Blind to Danielle.  She had barely (or never) even heard of them when we met and I turned her into a rabid fan (the same thing happened with Soul Asylum because of just one song, actually).  I think (and this is fucking sick), I'm trying to take them back.  I'm trying to say "you know what"?  I am a bigger fan.  Did she show up for six shows in three weekends?  Did she fly to SF for 48 hours to watch a pair in their home city?  Shit I don't know, maybe, but...I did.

On top of that it's just plain fun.  Last night in the fourth row of the masses it was just...amazing.  The girl behind me literally knew every word to every song they played.  The lead singer from Dashboard said "I did learn one thing on this tour.  Third Eye Blind fans can fucking SING".  During the set change we actually did just that.  So I'm doing it.  It's crazy it's nuts it makes no sense it's a waste of resources but that doesn't matter.

Life is about the generation of stories.

-  Jesse, circa 2004

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Best I've Ever Been

I'm making it, actually.  It has taken months (over a year), but I am actually making it.  I am figuring out what's important to me, figuring out my value system, how to deal with the faulty wiring in my head, and most importantly when to give and not give a fuck.  Not really playing cards that much cause it doesn't make sense.  Still heavy into sports.  Taking the job very seriously.

Vegas was awesome.  I am smashing the weight room (thanks for the bet Vic...I did lose 8 pounds but it's time to hulk smash that shit again).  I'm the captain of the Oracle Dolphins again and gonna swim 11s all day (faster than I ever was).  Not really dating but that'll change soon in 4 weeks one way or another.  Life is...pretty much great.

Doing 5 third eye blind shows in 16 days.  Seems reasonable right?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Holy Fuck

I've never gone four months between posts before, so I don't even really know what to say.  Here come some random truths

Poker has been a disaster this year.  I've played close to 400 hours (yes, seriously that many mostly thanks to a leave of absence I took from my job) and am underwater.  This happens, and that's fine I guess.  Last year was amazing.  This year has been bad, mostly because of some horrendous 60 and 1/2 sessions.  It's fine, but I haven't  Not like I was last year, not like I am when I play small.  So I'm taking some time off from the game and resolving to play against the idiots again.

Sports has been awesome.  I know I haven't been super honest about this in the past but I'm pretty heavy into the whole thing and while it sounds like everything else you've ever heard my information and handicapping actually fucking works.  Like....yeah, it really is fucking great.  So there is that.  It takes a lot of time and effort and all that, but it's a great side gig and I really do enjoy the work I put into it.

My job...I took two months off (true story) and have been back at it for three weeks now and quite frankly am really enjoying it.  Our office/project thingy has switched to Agile and I'm really kind of liking it.  My communication and game playing skills make me kind of a boss, and coupled with just having to figure shit's good.  While I was on leave my tech lead/sorta boss left the company (we did an email today where he gloated about the fact that he's just basically coding all day everyday and loving it at his new gig...good for him) and I was terrified about going back without him.  But you know what it's working out just fine.  I like what I do.

Socially...train wreck.  I put up a scary post on FB last night which basically captures how hard this whole thing has been.  I'm not ready to start dating but I have to start dating but dating involves drinking and drinking is probably a bad idea but I still do it anyway....So I...dunno.  It's not like I haven't been on dates.  I have brought home random girls from bars, done the online dating thing, even had a semi serious relationship with a girl from REAL FUCKING LIFE.  But it was all too soon.  So right now I'm just...chillin'

I'm trying to lose 15 pounds in 3 months.  I'm the heaviest I have ever been, which is bad but not horrible...I'm also the strongest I have ever been by a large margin.  Time will tell how this goes, but I suspect I can crush it like I did last time.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

She Will Lie to You

That's right.  Playing poker for a living (or even as a serious hobbyist) will cause your girlfriend to lie to you.  Before I get sexist banned let me clarify that it would probably cause your boyfriend to lie to you as well, but since I've never had a boyfriend I can't be sure.  I can say though that it will also cause your parents, friends, friend's parents, parent's friends, and girlfriend/boyfriend's parents and friends to lie to you (and him/her) as well.  Basically choosing to take this game on at a serious level will most likely poison your relationships with many of those you care most about, or at the very least put them under a great deal of strain and stress.  Here's why, I think.

First of all it's important to realize that almost all poker players lie to themselves and that most of us actually lie to the important people in our lives.  I'd like to believe I only ever did the former, but that's just not true.  I didn't tell my mom I was playing full time for close to 6 months after I started because...well I don't really know.  I didn't want to disappoint her?  It just seemed easier?  I thought I might quit/flameout and just never mention it?  So the point is that I did lie to her.  And beyond that I definitely lied to myself over the years about all sorts of things:

1.  How happy is this making you?
2.  Are you playing well?
3.  Are you getting better?
4.  What is your win rate in this game?
5.  On and on forever and ever amen....

Once you lie to yourself, about anything really, you set yourself up to be lied to by the ones you care most about.  They really have no choice, and most of the time they start off lying to themselves about whatever it is just so they can tolerate /reconcile your obvious inability to understand what's going on. The specifics aren't even that important, but here are some examples that could happen:

1.  It makes him happy
2.  He's obviously a rockstar
3.  I support whatever decision he makes
4.  It's his choice I have no right to intercede (this may be correct, but the person telling himself that likely doesn't actually believe it and therefore he is lying to himself)

So now what you have in the relationship (whatever it is) is two people who are lying to themselves, and that is just a ticking time bomb that's going to blow up again and again, piece by piece, all over the living room or over the phone or wherever because let's face it we're all not as open minded as Terrelle Pryor.  You see, in really close, intimate relationships (or in really long term ones, like with your parents), it's often easier to lie to yourself than the other person!  Your partner will realize you're lying to yourself before you do, and he/she will take that as you lying to him/her.  From that point on only the strongest and most permanent of bonds can survive.  You need to get through the fact that you weren't lying to her, just to yourself, and then ask her to realize the same thing.  Danielle and I never got close.  I'm not saying poker destroyed our relationship, we both did plenty outside of poker to ruin it on our own, but it sure as fuck didn't help anything.

I have heard some of the most ridiculous stories from extremely successful poker players; keep in mind all of these people are top 3% players, who actually win a large sum of money from the game.  I know two that didn't tell the parents they were playing for YEARS after diving in headfirst.  I know another who has seemingly destroyed his relationship with his mother over the game.  One more who wouldn't even ask his wife about adding on to his bankroll after he'd won 6 figures over the course of several years playing part time (all of which exited his bankroll) and then went on a 30k downer.  I mean, sure, I also know people who seem to have solved it, have it fit into their lives just perfectly, so none of this has to happen to you.  But it very likely will and you should be prepared if you want to jump straight in.

Don't lie to yourself.  Take time to take stock of what the fuck is going on in your life (this isn't just's everything).  Be as open as you can with everyone you care about regarding what's going on as well, what you're trying to get out of playing and if you're succeeding at doing so.  If your significant other really is in it with you, she will understand you nearly as well as you understand yourself and can probably actually help you figure out what your value system looks like and where you're missing the board entirely.  Or maybe she can't but she'll at least try.  Or maybe it's on you to figure out what her strengths are, relative to yours, and use those strengths to bring into focus the pieces of your life that you cannot see clearly.  Or maybe you're just fucked, who knows, but the best way to guarantee you won't figure any of it is out is to lie t yourself about it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Response to Optionality Comments

I have a good idea for another stream of consciousness rant but it will have to wait, because I've gotten some thoughtful comments on my last post.  So here we go:

Post a Comment On: Taking a Shot

1 – 4 of 4
Blogger RaleighRunner said...
Options aren’t intrinsically valuable; they are only valuable to the extent there is uncertainty or variation. You were a professional poker player (hard to imagine a job with more uncertainty both in terms of outcomes and preferences; your enjoyment of it changed from month to month) where as she worked for google which I imagine is pretty much at the other end of the spectrum in terms of variance. Wouldn’t it make sense that she values options less than you? Sorry if I sound like a stalker; I’ve been reading the blog for awhile, which I suppose actually does make me something of a stalker.
February 23, 2015 at 10:51 AM
I don't want to rain on anybody's parade, but your bona fides as a stalker are really lacking.  You have to do more than just read a blog to get that street cred, at least in my book which this essentially is.  If you want the title you're going to need to present more evidence.  I disagree with your first statement, but it's all semantics.  There is always uncertainty and variation in any situation in life worth actually discussing and considering the value of.  Sure if you go to lunch and order a sandwich you've had before you don't really need an option on what to do if it sucks.  If you take it back to your desk and it's not up to snuff even if the place will replace it for you you're not going to drive back and ask them to remake it.  That option would actually have no value.  But that's a trivial situation.  Anything real you do is going to come with some level of uncertainty.  If you want to go surfing for the day it could be way too cold or the waves way too big or way to small or you could get hurt or whatever.  If you try to drive to the top of Saddleback in your F-150 you COULD get a flat tire and therefore you SHOULD have a spare.  I swear to fucking god this happened....we got a flat tire like 500 yards from the top of the fucking mountain and she then informed me she hadn't replaced the spare.  Did we immediately start calling for a tow truck?  No.  We tried to fix it!  I wanted to call for help because that's an OPTION and you need to put it in place as soon as possible.  Forget the fact that driving up a mountain without a spare tire is one of the dumbest things you could ever do (some would argue you should actually have TWO spare tires for such a trip), but once you're flat and it's a national holiday and everyone is drinking and you don't have much cell coverage you need to start trying to get help as soon as possible.  Nope, she was sure we could fix it.  Someone had a can of fix a flat.  Seriously, that was the plan, drive 9 miles down the mountain over giant ass rocks with a fix a flatted wheel.  Yeah that worked out super good.  So like three hours after we got the flat and we're sitting on the side of the road with a shredded tire and cut brake line (lol....yes, she tried to drive on the rim and cut the break line, probably exposing me to like 200 millimorts) she then starts calling tow trucks.  Obviously nobody gets up there and the truck sits on the side of the mountain over night after we catch a ride down with a ranger.  She took the next day off of work and spent something like $2000 and 12 hours getting the truck down the next day.  Moving right along, sure you're correct that a job at Google would make you devalue options, especially if you're sure that's the best thing you could ever be doing.  And sure walking the professional poker wire is going to make you really value any sort of net you can put beneath you.  But I'd actually argue that her and I gravitated towards these things because we were already THAT way to begin with.
Blogger bravos1 said...
Instead of having amazing sex with Rihanna, just pencil into your calendar "have amazing sex with Rihanna or Nikki Minaj"

Money, as you mentioned, will bring forth many options. I have far more options in every sense of the the word than ever I had growing up at or below the poverty line. Having options is an amazingly important thing to me as well, but not utilizing those options to make you/your life better (how ever you measure it) is nothing but a waste of said options. But, having options can definitely complicate ones life. While this may seem counter-intuitive to some, I think it is pretty clear that simplicity equates to comfort for many people and having options is the opposite of simplicity.

You may not see it this way, but knowing you and talking to you, as little as it has been over the past year or so, I see you enjoying your life more now than before. I also think you see where your life can actually go, which is both exciting and depressing at the same time because you're not there yet. Keep strong and keep up the good fight and remember to explore and more importantly, ENJOY your options thoroughly!
February 23, 2015 at 2:23 PM
This is fucking brilliant and to some extent equates simply to "ignorance is bliss".  If you don't have any choices and don't know any better you're not going to waste any time thinking about what you have to do.  I definitely ran into decision fatigue in my days at commerce, and a similar effect certainly happens at a macro level of my life.  I am happiest when life is at it's most simple, but at the same time I know deep down that I have options and can make lots of choices to make things better or different.  Like right now I had the option to take a few months off, so I did.
Blogger mike l. said...
not to be nitpicking, it's a quality post, but you missed a zero here:

"(40/80 horses need 30k bankrolls)"
February 23, 2015 at 8:17 PM
If this is a thinly veiled attempt to ask for a $4/$8 stake I'm a little light but do know a guy....
Blogger psych said...
If you cherish having your option so much that you avoid taking it for fear of losing it, then its value never materializes... Don't keep Rihanna waiting too long! ;-)
February 23, 2015 at 9:13 PM
Absolutely correct.  I over value options and consequently have trouble acting decisively.  But I know this, and knowing is at least half the battle.