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WARNING

If you enjoy anything you are about to read you are debt to an old friend of mine. He checks out e2 on a fairly regular basis and complained to me that I hadn't written anything in too long. So if you even so much as smile during any of this...nay I say if you even go so far as to read the whole thing, then you owe my friend. /msg me for information on where to send money.

I could say I've been busy. That seems impossible to those who don't understand how a man like me...a man with no job...a man who regularly gets up in the afternoon...can possibly be busy.

Well, I play nethack, for one. If you would consider yourself a gamer and you've never played, a pox on you. Nay, may your genitalia fall off. When did I get on this nay, kick?

To say nethack is a good game does it no justice.

None.

The ability for the simple to evolve into the complex is what makes nethack so good, methinks. When you first play it you walk around the dungeon and most people probably think something like, "I'm an 'at' symbol? How lame."

If you are lucky you will hit a rock trap, a rock will fall on your head and you will die. I say you'd be lucky, because that would be step one. Step two would be when you kill a goblin and take his orcish helm. Or maybe you play a character that starts with a helm. Eventually you hit another rock trap, only this time the helmet protects your head. Just about fifty games later you put the the two occurances together and you wonder, "Does every way I die have some counter to it?"

By now I'm sure I've lost all the people who have no interest in games. Good. If you can't even begin to understand how much I love games then how can you really understand me? And if you can't understand me then how can I hope you'll give me oral sex?

Oh what a transition. Games and Sex. Hmm. Missing something. Oh, there it is: comedy. My trinity. Most things I love really do fall into those 3 catagories. Not all, but most.

I was just thinking about that line about oral sex. Thinking about all the men reading. Wondering if they'd get the wrong idea. Wondering if they think I'm a tease. Truth is I really don't desire sex from men. Sometimes I think my life would be easier if I were gay. Sometimes I think it'd be easier if I had been castrated instead of circumsized. Sometimes I'm too busy lusting after some woman to have these thoughts.

So yeah, I've been busy with nethack and lust. Oh and my job. Or you can say I don't have a job. Either way is equally entertaining.

Hmmm. I wonder if I should do some name dropping. Nah. Suffice to say you COULD call me a professional poker player. You could also say I lived off my savings for a long time. You can't really get around the fact that I haven't punched a clock in over a year and the only way I've made money since I moved to Vegas is through poker.

My point? Well I was thinking about what to put in this daylog. It seems a whole heck of a lot of people are interested in what it's like to be a pro like me. (small laughter) That's what we are called. Basically it's the pros, the tourists...and then there are locals that are probably small losers...maybe they have real jobs too or something.

I'm simplifying this way too much, but the point is I wanted to talk about logic and luck. I think there is an understanding that anyone who is really good...not so much really good, but good consistantly...at poker has. Basically it's the phrase I finally came up with: luck only describes the past, it has no bearing on the future.

This woman I know asked me if I have a lucky dealer. I hear questions like this all the time. People associate winning at gambling with being lucky. But it doesn't work that way. Yes, if you beat the house in any house game you could say you got lucky. But does that mean you are lucky?

I think I was trying to stay away from the whole religion/god/karma thing, but I can't. I just don't see how anyone can believe in those things, truly believe, and be successful at poker. It's like when I went flying with the last woman I fell in love with. She owned a little plane (but claimed she wasn't rich...don't get me started, I'm bitter enough) and took me flying a couple of times. People asked me if I was scared at all.

No. I mean I actually liked the idea that I wasn't going to die because the girl I loved was smart. She knew what she was doing and that = we don't die. Once you start letting yourself believe in god and karma and shit you enter a world of mystic causes.

Let's look at a poker example. For those not familiar with texas hold 'em terminology, tough shit. Say I get pocket rockets and this guy cold calls two bets with 74 suited and goes runner runner flush to beat me after I flop a set of aces and he has NOTHING but that draw. Let's even say he has two hearts. I like that because it's all metaphorical. He is drawing dead to those two hearts. See hearts symbolize love and all that shit. Hey, don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of love...especially romantic love, but it ain't got shit to do with poker.

Now this retard just sucked out on me hardcore. Was that because I'm such an obvious asshole? Does god hate me? Did I deserve that?

Well I say no. Because I AM an atheist bastard asshole. But I also understand poker and probibility and cause and effect. This guy is a losing poker player. This guy played the hand badly. This guy makes me money. Yes, he may have beaten me this hand, but the vast majority of the time he just gives me 2 and a half big bets. Just gives them to me. Then, sometimes the river (or even the turn) pairs the board with his precious heart and he gives me even more money.

What you have to realize is THAT GUY just has a lot of different faces. That guy will lose to you time and time again and you won't even know it, becuase he'll just fold on the river when he has NOTHING and you bet your top set. He'll just go all in and lose and leave the table quietly. Or maybe loudly. But he will leave a loser. Maybe not that night, maybe not in a week, maybe not for months. But if he plays like that and puts any real time in at the table he WILL lose. Don't believe me? Let's bet on it. And if you are lucky he will get replaced by another loser.

You've all seen Rounders and you all remember that scene where Matt talks about how the piranah don't eat each other. It really doesn't take too many fish to feed the others. And there seems to be a steady supply of them.

What cracks me up is I could devote my life trying to teach people about all this stuff...and don't get the wrong idea...at the table I don't teach you anything, and I'm not a jerk. I'm the most friendly local you'll meet. I won't make you feel stupid, even though you are. Nice hand, sir. I could try to teach but some just won't learn. Or they can't. Something. I believe it's all about god and luck and karma and shit.

Richard Garfield said one of the greatest things about Magic was people could blame their deck when they lost. And poker players can blame the dealer. Or the cards, or the stars, or god. Blame anyone but yourself. It's one of the few opportunities I get to profit from your stupidity.

The old lady came over today. She does that from time to time, as people do (though she never seems to remember).
I usually dislike religious zealots interrupting me at home, especially when I'm sick and not in the best of moods. Normally I would say something like " I don't want to buy whatever your selling, even your idea of god. Goodbye." This old lady seems different somehow. Maybe its her sincerity - she doesn't sell anything. Maybe its just her age, I'm not sure.

I saw her coming, so I beat her to the door and greeted her with a smile. She introduced herself and I invited her in - her name is Margaret. I apologized for my sniffling and she inquired about my health. It's just a passing cold, but she took the opportunity to slide in the question: "Wouldn't it be good if we lived in a world where no one got sick?" I replied that it would indeed be a fine existence. "God has the power to make that happen" she tells me, and I decline to say that if this is true he should have done so a long time ago.

Instead I tell her that I am not religious and haven't given the subject much thought. She tells me that it's ok, I just haven't realised the truth yet. Her look makes me wonder if she's having a joke but I just nod politely and ask how her day is going. Everyday is wonderful apparently. We talk for a further ten minutes or so before the conversation slides back to religion. She hands me a brochure with an artist's impression of a 'perfect world'. The brochure is smaller than last time, I wonder if the church is struggling financially or if these ones are just easier to carry from door to door...

The picture sure looks good. All and sundry are working equally in the fields, reaping the crop so that they might live another day in perfect harmony. I comment that (no offence) it reminds me of old communist party propaganda and get the response that "Politics have nothing to do with it, this is how things should be." Still quite a coincidence though I think. I sense that she did in fact take offence to my last remark, so I ask how she feels religion has changed her.

Having been a devoted christian for over 50 years, all that she remembers is that "Before I felt that something was missing, now I have found faith and I am complete." I tell her that I too have faith, I just don't worship I higher being as part of the deal. My faith is in the human race - sure we have our flaws but I believe that as a whole we are worth protecting. Worth fighting and dying for, in fact.

This earns me a crinkled smile and the opinion that I am a good person. She tells me that its moments like these that make her quest worthwhile. I am not sure what I have done to deserve this but thank her anyway. She gets up, wishes me well and takes her leave. I sit and ponder. A smile stretches across my face and I realise that she has just made my day as well. I feel cleansed somehow, and stable. I am in control of my future and it looks good.

Just thought I would share that.

Sometimes there is this song, and it's in your head, and it just won't leave, and you wonder what it's trying to tell you. Often it's a specific song, that does this to you over and over again. You may not even remember the exact tune, or even the precise lyrics, but you are haunted by whisps of music and the song's story.

For me this is a dialect song by Mani Matter, possibly the most famous and well-liked Swiss singer-song writer (at least by the German speaking Swiss). Unfortunately, like many good ones, he died far too young in a car accident. I will at some stage node his bio, however, today, I just want to share this song, that's been haunting me forever since I first heard it as a child.


Gygechaschte

violin case

Us emene lääre Gygechaschte
Ziet er sys Inschtrumänt
Und dr Chaschte verschwindet

from his empty violin case
he pulls his instrument
and the case disappears

Und er spilt ohni Bogen
Es Lied ohni Wort
Und er treit e Zilinder
Doch drunder ke Chopf
Und ke Hals und ke Lyb
Keni Arme, no Bei
Das het er alles verloren im Chrieg

and he plays without bow
a song with no words
and he wears a top hat
but below there's no head
and no neck and no body
no arms, no legs
he has lost them all in the war

Und so blybt no sys Lied
Nume das isch no da
Denn ou e Zilinder
Het er nie kene gha

and all that remains is his song
only that still remains
because also a top hat
he has never owned

(Lyrics are by Mani Matter, translation by me.)

The lyrics are in Bernese (Bern-German), so don't be surprised when your German knowledge doesn't help you understand anything here :)

Days go by and still I think of you


I have not been feeling well recently, it's stress. I have been very stressed out. Worried about school, worried about work, worried about my car, worried about friends of mine, worried about life.

It hit me again today, this morning actually, that caring this much isn't good. If I am making myself sick because I'm worried about life what kind of life is it? People say life is worth living, but stressed out like I have been I can honestly tell you it isn't.

So as I was saying this morning it hit me, I'M DYSFUNCTIONAL and then another thing hit me I DON’T WANT TO BE DYSFUNTIONAL. So I have realized that I am co-dependent, and I don't want to be anymore. I am better now. Honestly truthfully better. I am secure enough in my friendships to know that nothing will change the affection people hold toward me just because they are interested romantically in other people. And for the first time in a while, I am truly happy. Wonderfully happy, a lot of weight is finally off my shoulders.

As for being dysfunctional, well my goal is to no longer be codependent, no longer distrustful (so much), to believe people when they tell me things, to relax, to laugh, to not worry so much, to grow up. I have goals, if I'm not there yet it means I am still growing, still learning. If I cry now and then big deal… it isn't the end of the world, and "it hasn’t stopped the planet's turning".

This is my huge revelation of the day.



Quote from the movie Gattaca.

I am a terrible, terrible person.

I was in the shower this morning, doing showery things--singing, soaping, pondering religion--when I realized that, if there's a God, she most certainly hates me.

Let me explain:

Somehow, after a stirring rendition of Can't Help Falling In Love (with an encore of Prison Sex, no less--the irony of this just strikes me now), I got to breaking down various aspects of religion as I understand it. With the multitude of faiths in this world, both theistic and ethicalistic, there are some obvious common threads. These are, I decided:

1. The world was created.
2. Eventually, the world will end.
3. When a person dies, something happens to them corresponding to the actions they took during life.

The first two precepts are fairly self-explanatory: God, Yahweh, Allah, Brahma, or whomever made the world, and, at the Eschaton or the coming of Shiva or what-have-you, the world will end.

The third idea has much more variation between Eastern and Western faiths. While Semetic religions generally believe in a Heaven or Hell (with or without a Purgatory first), Easterners tend more towards a belief in reincarnation until ascension to nirvana or a similar goal. And karma. My understanding of karma is basically this: you do something. If that something is good, you will be rewarded for it later; if bad, you will be punished accordingly, perhaps by being reincarnated as a slug or something equally disgusting.

Now, while I'm mulling over this karma stuff, I'm also in the process of shampooing. As I try to close the top on the bottle, a huge glob of VO5 flies right into my eye. I don't recall ever getting shampoo in my eye before, but this stuff was downright corrosive. I thought my eye was melting! I leapt from the shower and started the excruciating process of rinsing my eye out to try and quell the burning. It still stings a bit an hour or so later.

What am I supposed to make of this? I think about karma and the afterlife, deconstructing beliefs in my head, and I get an eyeful of shampoo! Talk about an omen! I'm so going to hell...

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