Monday, February 15, 2010

heart break

in the spirit of valentine's day (or the day after), i've decided to write about the heartbreak that i feel everyday of my waking life.

this is about my long term relationship that i've had for around seven years now. it's been full of ups and downs, and sometimes, i admit, i haven't been the most faithful of partners, but suffice it to say that i've gotten the short end of the stick more often than not. i've given my all in the relationship at some points, and i almost feel like she's been giving me everything sometimes, but year after year, it's another disappointment.

in 2002, i met her for the first time. i'd had heard about her before, in news stories and media, but had not experienced what it was truly like to finally meet her in the flesh. it wasn't love at first sight, but i was intrigued. i started interacting with her everyday, talking about her with all my friends, and before i knew it, i became obsessed.

in 2004, we were going steady. she was treating me well, and my passion for her burned like the fire red turning blue (because in fact blue is a hotter flame than red, in case you didn't know that you stupid one republic people). we had an amazing time in march, going on adventures and experiences you yearn back for later on in life when you grow old at a nursing home. it was then that i started my, "mmm uh...JJ" chant.

alas, it was in april that she crushed my spirit. she stood me up when i planned to propose to her. i was so sure she was the one, and that she was everything i ever wanted in a relationship. but instead, she cheated on me with this douchebag from storrs, connecticut. she couldn't resist his flashy ways and strong presence in the inside (if you know what i mean). she tried to reconcile with me afterwards, but i was distraught, in tears.

but i still loved her, i was faithful and couldn't turn away. in the following two years, there were signs of us rekindling the fire that was once lost, but it was never the same. we never had those epic times ever again. after a big fight in 2006, i left her. i couldn't take it anymore. i had to start anew.

but i watched her from afar afterwards. but it was clear to me that she had been abusive in the relationship. there was no love, no giving on her part, she just gave me pain every year. all my friends hated her, saying she was no good, that i was wasting my time with her. the past three years have been some of the hardest in my life in trying to reconcile why i still loved her as much as i did. i feel like i was being tested, and that SURELY, my reward would come. she would love me again like she did in the past. WOULDN'T SHE?

i hope this is the year we can finally commit to each other. i called her up and saw if we could still try it one more time. this past week, she has given me two gifts that have really meant a lot to me. i think that we can make it work, hopefully in the next couple months. if not, she'll be really good to me next year. i hope.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

of mice and men

there's been a lot going on lately with school and what not, and i plan to blog on all i've been learning sooner or later but before all that i decided to talk shortly about some justice that was delivered today.

sometimes you categorize things in life. there are your problems, and then there are other people's problems (aka. OPP). sometimes i find myself not really being to empathize with a lot of OPP because i:

a) am an insensitive bastard
b) just don't know how to connect with people who i don't know
c) seem to have a lot of life experience that is second-hand
d) am too self-absorbed in my own problems with because of bullet point a

so when people tell me, "oh i had a mouse in my apartment", i mentally categorized this as an OPP. i mean it didn't happen to me before, so it was kind of a foreign thing. i probably gave a generic, "oh that sucks," but not really knowing how to convey how much i thought it sucked, because my suckiness receptors were not firing and i couldn't give a true genuine "oh that sucks" mmph feeling.

well, no more. a few days ago, after hanging out with a high school friend of mine, we were idly chilling like villains, upon which a black object scurried across the hall. i didn't see it but my friend said, "is that a mouse?"

" way." i replied. this was an OPP, it couldn't really happen to my apartment could it? i figured it was just his imagination.

until we both saw it again. a black streak of lightning zoomed past my bathroom...into my room. wtf. i cautiously looked into my room to see if the mouse was around, but alas, mice don't appear when you want to exterminate them apparently. my sister had the humor to name the mouse, "mickey." when i say humor, i mean retardation.

the mouse brought bad memories of when i was a young boy and we used a trap to catch the mouse, but it was the kind of trap that closed the door on the mouse so you could free it somewhere else. except...instead of freeing it, we didn't realize that the mouse was in the trap for weeks and it rotted inside the actual trap. so it died a more gruesome death. i had the idiotic curiosity to look inside. it was not pretty.

we didn't have any traps, and unlike cockroaches, we couldn't really spray a mouse with pledge to slow it down so we could scoop it up and flush it down the toilet. so we had our handy dandy superintendent put some glue traps in for us, by this company called catchmaster. pretty awesome name for a pest catching product company, imo. we used a trap pictured here under the link called Giant Rat Glueboard. when i saw it, i was skeptical, it just looked like a sheet of paper with some adhesive material on it that you might get from staples or something. but what else could we do but wait?

today, the scout discovered mickey caught in the trap. here's a picture of mickey:

as you can see, mickey foolishly covered himself in the peanut butter scented adhesive stuff. the glue was more potent than i originally thought. after the scout discovered the mouse, there was a bit of communication between the scout and me as to what to do with mickey. this was a good question, what does one do with a mouse once one catches it?

we came to the conclusion that mickey would have to die. there's no real way for us to release it into the wild. so the question was, how would we kill it before disposal? i suppose i'm a cruel person, because my first instinct was to either

a) incinerate it, but we didn't really have a handy incinerating device on us
b) flush it down the toilet, as we did with the cockroach situation
c) throw it out the window, give it one last hurrah before death, on mickey airlines

what we ended up doing is not anything as adventurous as the above, but too gruesome to print for those weak in the stomach. suffice it to say that mickey is no longer of this world. and having mice in my apartment has officially moved out of the OPP category.

that is all.

this post was approved by justice.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

guilt on the felt

sometime summer 2004:

i had been in contact with my friend, who told me about a place he had found in the city. it was an "underground" club and he told me that he was making a lot, pulling even a thousand in one night just playing no limit hold em. the games he claimed were so soft you'd have to be inept not to print money there.

i was a bit skeptical at first, after all, my bankroll was just a paltry couple of thousand dollars from playing small online, and the prospect of losing hundreds, or perhaps even half my bankroll in a single night was a bit frightening. and i imagined the scene of an underground club like those in rounders, shady villainous folk waiting to kill you in some back corner at any moment, darkly lit rooms with paint coming off the walls amidst the dusty sights and smell of cigar smoke, and big burly men waiting to collect your money the moment you dumped them off to the club owner in a rigged poker game. but my friend insisted that it was nothing of the sort, and that even alex rodriguez had played in that club before, so it was safe.

so i took the trusty metro north railroad into manhattan to visit the club and make a quick score. and it was nothing like i imagined. as in, it wasn't as glamorously gangster-like, as i feared (but secretly hoped, to increase my street cred). as jason introduced me to the staff to gain me access to the place, i noticed the bright florescent lights illuminating the paltry few tables that were available, the plain white walls that made it almost seem like an office space, and the fact that it wasn't actually underground, but in a building a few stories up.

i took a seat at the 1/2 game, putting in 200 bucks to buy in. this was the biggest live game i had ever participated in (home games i played in were .25/.50 with 25 dollar buy ins typically), so the weight of the chips felt heavier under my hands as i shuffled through them. as i sank into my groove however, i familiarized myself with this foreign new experience (having an actual dealer, tipping the dealer after a hand, having other rules that aren't as strictly followed in home games, etc.) quietly and calmly. i then took control using my experience and started winning, and winning big (well big for me at the time).

there was an old asian man at table. the man looked as if he was in his late 50's or early 60's and didn't seem to have a handle on what exactly was going on. the dealer was explaining to him some rules earlier on. he just seemed like one of those degenerate asian men that loved to just gamble at the casinos for fun. he became my mark.

we became involved in a hand where i picked up something relatively strong, and he check called me. i bet strong on each street, extracting as much value from the hand as possible, on the river i had bet 100 dollars, a big bet for me. eventually he called me, and i showed my hand. he didn't seem to know what my hand was, so the dealer explained to him what i had. he looked at his own hand and became somewhat confused, and somewhat sad, and sighed. then he mucked his hand and tossed the necessary chips for the call.

as i took the chips in, i felt terrible. i didn't know if this man needed that hundred dollars or not, but he didn't look like he was particularly wealthy. was what i was doing right? was it justified? at the same time, it didn't feel right to give him his money back, because there was almost a contractual agreement upon playing the game that this is what we signed up for, the risk of loss. he might even take the offering of money back as a slight to his ego, making for an awkward scene.

at the same time, it was like he could have been my grandfather or something (both my grandfathers passed away by this point so i didn't really know what having a grandfather would be like but still), and here i was, pwning someone else's grandfather. it was different at college, playing against people that i knew were wealthy enough to withstand a 5-10 dollar loss here and there, especially against opponents i thought were cocky and arrogant and deserved to have their asses handed to them. but the fact that this man seemed meek and senile, almost in a sense weakish, seemed to make me out to be predatory in nature.

when i started to play poker, i was more involved with the intellectual and competitive nature of it, i never really thought i could make a living playing poker, or that people could actually become millionaires doing it unless they were really lucky (like me). i suppose i ignored for the most part the social and psychological aspects of the game until that night.

at the end of the night, i ended up staying late enough that i had to stay at my friend's place in the city for the night (i think my first night that i remember staying there overnight), and counted out 500 dollars in profit. not bad for a night's work. but as i lay in that bed looking at the moonlight of the nyc sky, i couldn't help but wonder what i had done, and if it was legitimate. was i falling into something deeper that i wouldn't be able to extricate myself from? what was my justification?

but it was hard to argue with a nickel in your pocket as a 20 year old college kid.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


i have never smoked a cigarette in my life. i think i was deterred mainly because i knew i had an addictive personality and that combined with the health risks, it'd probably not be a good thing. i also was a very frugal person growing up (my mom says i get that from my grandmother), so an added expense on something like cigarettes would be unacceptable.

i used to believe that our generation grew up smoking a lot less than generations prior, just because there seemed to be a lot more educative material out there on the health risks and such. and indeed, you see bans on smoking in restaurants and other locations, designated smoking areas and what not. in "Mad Men", a show about advertising in 1960s america, you see people smoking every other scene, the culture was that different back then. (i wonder if i'll have to smoke for anything i do for acting).

but i think it's a testament to the power of advertising and how strong of an addictive substance nicotine is that phillip morris and the other big wigs are making billions of bucks now on the stuff. i suppose it is the addictiveness that still scares me into not trying it to this day.

but who can deny it, advertising and movies have convinced us that smoking is awesome. as much as it seems hilarious to think that a simple ad can change our perspective, and i even say that, i still think looks cool to just take a drag out of a cigarette and look wistfully into the air in a pensive manner, preferably on a scenic backdrop. or when someone asks you a question, you can take a puff as if the cigarette will provide you with some sort of muse-like inspiration to answer it. or when you're trying to bypass an infiltration system, you can use the smoke from the cigarettes to show the lasers. ok maybe that only works in metal gear solid.

will i ever smoke one? i dunno, i'd say it's not out of the question. but i did just buy a pack for an acting exercise recently and it's just sitting here, and it seems like a waste to just flush ten bucks (yes, a pack is 10 dollars in manhattan, wtf) down the drain like that...

here's me attempting to look cool with a cig, it's the one that looks the least douchebaggy out of the pics i took, el oh el. notice the 2 day old non-shaven look, adding to the hardcoreness.