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Old 05-03-2019, 06:20 PM   #1
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YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Hello,

I'll be staying all summer in Las Vegas and then traveling around the world. Maybe disappear and never come back.

Why am I doing this? Background posts from dating thread here:


Quote:
I'm kind of having a panic right now.

My mom went in the hospital last week, so I went to stay with her and everything. She's not doing very well. When that was over and I was leaving Indianapolis, I decided to drive around and check out all the places I grew up. We lived in some really poor areas down there-- my Mom raised us as a single mother and I was always embarrassed about our poverty. There were times we didn't have a car and had to walk a mile to buy groceries and carry them all the way home. She loved us though and despite her shortcomings, she did the best she could.

Anyway, the way I remembered it was that some of our houses or apartment complexes were better than others, some of the neighborhoods and schools were better than others; but I guess not, or the whole city has fallen apart, because as I drove around town for a couple hours, every place I went looked very run-down. I felt the poverty of those neighborhoods and dwellings much more than I ever did growing up. The houses were all very small, poorly constructed, and the people who lived there invariably had junk littered throughout their yards. Business establishments were mostly liquor stores and predatory lending places. It was a sobering way to spend an afternoon.

So as I'm sitting there in the empty parking lot of my old high school, which I hadn't visited in 17 years, contemplating how sad it was that my Mom must have dumped $20,000 rent into our house back then that couldn't have been worth more than $60,000 ... I decided to drive out to *******, and check out the $1,000,000+ home that one of my college friends lives in now. Mind you, this is rural Indiana, not San Francisco. I dated a lot of girls in my late teens and early 20s, most of them very attractive, but in hindsight I wasn't aware how easy it was for me back then. I had grown up as kind of an intellectual wallflower in the middle of rough streets, with few friends, a lot of insecurities, and not so much as a kiss until after I turned 18.







Around that time, I started to mature and gain more confidence. It seemed like every day I was meeting a girl, and having one of those moments where we both had butterflies and our eyes would linger on each other.

My first girlfriend and I dated that summer and fall after we graduated high school. She had a couple of things going for her-- one, she was an alpha cheerleader at a nearby school, and I had been in love with this other ditzy cheerleader growing up, who always teased me but never accepted a date. Two, she had a super tight family: mom, dad, sisters, all close, nice house and neighborhood, things I never had. I would drive my rusted-out clunker over there from the ghetto and park in the driveway, and I can just imagine what her father was thinking. Please not him. At least they respected their daughter's wishes and treated me nice. But whereas my first love was basically the girl I always wanted but never had, for her I was nothing more than a passing fancy. She went off to college, broke up with me, and a few weeks later started dating a new guy at school.

Engaged at 18. Married at 20. The end.

Now as it turns out, everything worked out just fine. I wouldn't have been interested in her 10 years later, and I'm sure she's more than happy with her marriage and kids now. But first loves can be a ***** to get over, and rarely are they meant to last. I had a few dalliances after that: a friends-with-benefits situation with a high school senior who liked to invite me over in the middle of the night; a beautiful but mysterious brunette that I met in a one-off calculus class; a blonde law student who later clerked with the Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court; and a crazy redhead who, like me, heralded from disadvantageous socioeconomic circumstances, but was still going places with her life. There were other girls too, but those were the major ones until I went off to college myself.


September 11, 2001

This set-up will eventually bring me back to why I decided to drive over and check out that million dollar home. You see, as a teenager I didn't have much of a social life. I never had a girlfriend or date or anything until I was 18. What drove me to succeed was the desire to escape my upbringing and provide my own family with a better life. I didn't receive much in terms of parenting, so I was lazy, undisciplined, and a notorious underachiever; nevertheless I had a tremendous appetite for knowledge. I was a national merit scholar, scored 1400 on my SAT cold, and always carried well over a 4.0 GPA -- enough to keep my teachers and guidance counselors off my back, considering I skipped classes and showed up at lunch most school days during my junior and senior years.

After graduation, I was kind of burned out, plus I had my first girlfriend and I didn't want to leave her behind. I had been accepted to study sports broadcasting at Washington State University, as far away from home as I could possibly get within the continental United States. Keith Jackson's school also happened to be the best in the country for that sort of thing, and although I had always planned to study chemical engineering, I wound up having an outstanding career as a high school sports broadcaster. Playboy's college issue informed me that WSU had some very lovely ladies, and later I got an internship at ESPN, so these kinds of things made up my mind.

Unfortunately, Washington State never happened and all of my plans got scrapped. For a year or two I wasn't really doing anything with my life, just working dead-end jobs. Making a little money, not much, and my girlfriend dumped me a couple months later. Taking time off before college wasn't the kind of sound life decision that would've been made by someone who had his parents looking out for him, or someone who had more social experience and wasn't desperately in love. Regardless, that's the choice I made. Then came the September 11 terrorist attacks, and just like Michael Corleone did in The Godfather, I went against type and walked into the recruiting station without telling a soul.

Now I was the last person anyone would ever expect to join the military, but I figured why not do something honorable once in my life? The army office was closed, so it was the Navy recruiters who sold me on the idea of sailing around the world. When I received perfect scores on my battery tests, physical, and background check, they offered me the chance to work as a nuke, likely on an aircraft carrier or submarine. The next opportunity for enlistment and basic training was the following year, but in the meantime, I worked as a government employee, tutoring or driving around some of the less fortunate recruits who were struggling to pass their screening exams. Most of those kids had little chance of success outside of joining the Navy, so it was rewarding for me to help them pass those tests.

One day at the office, a more senior recruiter from headquarters stopped by and started talking to me. He asked me what the hell was I doing?...I was way overqualified for all this, and should instead apply to the Naval Academy, or at least an ROTC scholarship. So that's what I did: I applied and eventually got accepted for a full NROTC scholarship to The Ohio State University. There I would study chemical engineering, and after graduation, receive my commission as an officer in the U.S. Navy.





When I went off to Ohio State, I didn't know anybody there. The first week I had to report early, and the campus was practically empty. Then the civilian students started to arrive. First I met my roommate and best friend Ryan, a high school basketball player who I hooped with all the time. There were other midshipmen I was friendly with too, but nobody particularly close.

The next person I met was the most important of all: we'll call her Ohio State Girl. She was my next-door neighbor, half-white, half-Japanese, beautiful, casually sexy, and only very slightly nerdy in a cool, extroverted and endearing way. Incredibly, we had grown up just 15 minutes away from each other on the west side of Indianapolis. And like me, she had also decided to attend OSU for college, where she didn't know any other students either. We even both chose to live on the only alcohol-free floor on campus ... she was just a really great girl.

Although life had seemingly brought us together, there were two problems-- I had a college girlfriend back home in Indiana; and two, she had a high school boyfriend back home as well. But it didn't really matter. That first night when we met, I knew there was something special about her, different from other girls, starting with her smile. It was the brightest and friendliest I've ever seen.

Now because we were seeing other people at first, we started out as just friends. We went out to breakfast, lunch, or dinner together, hung out in each other's dorms, studied together, chatted online and talked on the phone, hundreds and hundreds of times. I played football for my NROTC team, and when we played Michigan in our annual game, I invited her as my platonic date. She watched on the sideline as I played safety, dove in the mud for muffed punts, and otherwise did everything else that a 20 year-old football player is required to do. After the game, she went out with me and my friends to dinner and the after-party. That winter, when Ohio State played Miami in the national championship game, we were back home on break, and watched the game together at her house. When I had to attend a very formal Navy ball, I don't remember if I asked her to go as my date or not, but I do remember her romantically tying my tie for me and making sure I looked sharp. Probably my favorite memory is when I knocked on Ohio State Girl's door, and her roommate answered and said she was asleep in the back. I told her roommate to inform Ohio State Girl that I stopped by. Her roommate answered: "Oh, no. That's OK. You can go back there and wake her up. She won't mind. Trust me."

When I went back to her bedroom, she was sleeping comfortably. I sat down on her bed next to her and just admired her quiet beauty. After a moment, I gently started to wake her up, and I'll never forget as her eyes opened and she realized it was me, the smile she had on her face-- it's a scene that will stay with me forever in my mind. Even if I get Alzheimer's one day, it will be very near one of the last memories I ever forget.


Just Friends

Now these kinds of moments happen between any man and woman, but the reason I mentioned them is because I never dated Ohio State Girl. Officially, we were just friends. I wanted to ask her out, more than anything, and based on how close and mutually attracted we were to each other, I think it deserves clarification that there was or could have been something more between us. Let me explain...

Sometime during freshman year, I broke up with my girlfriend. I told Ohio State Girl, and subsequently asked her if she was still with her boyfriend or not. She confirmed they were still together. I left the question lingering in the air, hoping she might further respond. But she didn't. Silence. This may have happened twice, but after that I had to consider my options. First of all, I valued her as a friend. I know everyone is different, but I've personally had only two or three people in my life that I would consider dear friends that I loved, not including some of the girls I dated. If there was any indecision or flakiness, I didn't want to risk losing Ohio State Girl as a friend.

If I had been given the option in college that I could date her but eventually it won't work out, or we could be friends for life, I would have snap chose friends for life.

Nevertheless, I did want more with her. And I think she felt the same, because the following summer, she invited me over to her house when we were back home in Indiana. We watched a movie, close enough that we were practically cuddling, and at some point she laid back and gave me the look. I met her gaze, but after a moment I asked her again if she was still with her boyfriend, and yet again I got the same response.

Most men wouldn't have cared, and maybe I shouldn't have, but in my mind breaking two people up was just something I couldn't do. It would have been even worse if something happened between us, but then she stayed with him anyway. Then our very friendship could have been at risk. As far as I was concerned, I tried to make my desire clear without crossing the line, and the onus was on her to meet me half way. Maybe she didn't want to, but I find that hard to believe because of what happened later...

These posts are going to be long, so I will continue with Part 2 next.
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:20 PM   #2
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Part 2 (continued) ...

I haven't talked about my ROTC days in over 15 years. That first year went pretty well and I was even a squad leader at some point-- unusual for a freshman, though I was 20-21 years old. Eventually I broke up with my girlfriend so I could ask out Ohio State Girl. She either wasn't ready or I wasn't aggressive enough, I don't know. Nothing really happened between us until the following year; we remained just friends.

In the meantime I started dating Westerville Girl. She was a teen model at a local high school in Columbus. She looked like a more beautiful teenage version of Cobie Smulders from How I Met Your Mother, which is saying a lot because Cobie Smulders is A++. Actually, years later when I first saw HIMYM, I had to do a double take, maybe even a triple take and look up the cast just to make sure it wasn't her. The resemblance was so uncanny at times that it makes me uncomfortable and I've never been able to watch that show.







For a long time in my 20s until I turned 30, Westerville Girl and Robin Scherbatsky were my ideal girl.

Now Ohio State Girl met Westerville Girl one time, and if I remember correctly I think her reaction was subtle but annoyed. However she felt towards my new girlfriend, nothing changed between us. Everything stayed the same. Westerville Girl lied to her parents and told them I was 19 instead of 20, but otherwise they knew everything about me. Her mom would bake me stuff to take back to my dorm, and I started loving that wholesome family vibe. Sometimes I would hang out with my girlfriend on campus, sometimes at her house with her family. I'd pick her up from work or we would go out on dates, you know all things normal couples do.

Later that year, after we had been dating for however many months, she suddenly asked me if we should just be friends. Her comment scared me because I had started to feel serious about her and wanted something long-term. Then there was the night I picked her up from work and she had taken something illicit-- when we arrived back at my dorm room, her physiological state deteriorated. I almost had to call her parents and take her to the hospital. Luckily she came around, but it was that bad.

Was she unhappy with our relationship? Was she bored? I really didn't know. I was a clean-cut kid who didn't drink or party or anything, but for my 21st birthday I decided what the hell, it was a good chance for us to have fun. We bought beer and whatever alcohol she wanted, took everything back to my dorm, and after my roommates disappeared into the night, things took a more intimate turn. We started making out, then we went down on each other, then we started having sex. We had done all of those things before, and nothing was out of the ordinary until about 20 seconds later-- she started to shake her head no.

I froze immediately. Really? Are you sure? I guess I hadn't been paying attention to how much she was drinking, and she was such an active participant up until that point. Now she was out of it, but again shook her head no. There was no question what to do at that point, so we stopped and I dressed her, then got dressed myself. I held her in my arms for an hour or two until she sobered up, then drove her home. The only positive memory I have from my 21st birthday was the moment she thanked me for taking care of her-- she was an expert in sign language, so she told me both out loud and in ASL.

But as I drove back to my dorm that night and kept drinking, then came the self-pity and loathing. Does my girlfriend even want to be with me? Why doesn't she want to sleep with me? Every asinine, self-centered thought imaginable started to creep into my mind. Then she called me on the phone the next day, and this is how it went:

"Mark, don't **** around with me. What happened last night?"

I tried to explain everything to her, maybe defensively at first since I was completely unprepared for her tone. She didn't believe me. I couldn't understand that part, like it broke my heart and pissed me off at the same time. Worse, I started acting like an *******. Instead of considering her feelings and being there for her to make sure she was alright, I was selfish and frustrated and finally decided I'd had enough. We got into a huge fight, then we broke up. To this day she probably thinks something worse happened that never did, and that kills me inside, but the truth is my conduct and attitude were terrible. I didn't deserve her, she was better than me. We should have never been in that situation, and losing Westerville Girl will always be the great shame of my life.


Second Year

It's hard to segue from that story so I won't even try, but most people don't know that ROTC students actually have to decide by their second year whether they will commit to their training or not. The other option is to resign. Normally none of us would ever consider that option, as we were all there voluntarily, we all received a free college education, and we all got to the wear the uniform-- it was easy to pick up girls. Nevertheless, a few things happened and I don't necessarily regret my decision. First, I went through that breakup with my girlfriend. Not just a normal breakup-- it's one of the worst things that's ever happened in my life. Second, there was an incident where a superior student officer basically ****ed up and blamed me for it to cover his own ass. I was young and stupid and naive but suddenly I was confronted with the realization that being an officer might be more about politics than anything else. Third, the Iraq War started, and unlike what happened in Afghanistan, I could tell right away that it was some bull**** warmongering.

Really what it came down to was I had to decide if Game of Thrones meets Neo-Con Wars Unlimited was the kind of life I wanted to pursue. I was just an idealist who wanted to do the right thing, so ultimately I chose to resign. Every now and then I've had reason to wonder what my life would've been like if I had finished my training. And that brings me back to Ohio State Girl.

That second year we were back at her house in Indy, and she laid back and gave me the look. I was single again and wanted more than anything for her to be my girlfriend. But at a minimum, I expected us to be friends for life. Instead, she gave me the same response about her boyfriend that she had given before. Then there was the awkward silence. Then I heaved a deep sigh and slowly looked away.

Would I have swallowed my pride and followed through with my commitments if I'd had more support? Possibly. I wasn't close with any of my family or very many friends, but maybe if Westerville Girl and I hadn't broken up, or if Ohio State Girl and I had started dating, I would have felt the weight of more responsibility instead of just looking out for myself.

It's hard to say.

But things were never really the same between us towards the end of my time at OSU. She called me up and asked me out to dinner sometimes, but we weren't next-door-neighbors anymore and the frequency declined. Romantically, we weren't going anywhere. The last time I saw her was at her dorm, after we had a nice dinner together. She disappeared into her room, I asked out another girl, and then I never saw her again.

I'll continue with Part 3 next.
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:21 PM   #3
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Part 3 (continued) ...

I met Ohio State Girl in 2002 and we were friends until 2004. At that time, with little reason to stay in C-bus, I moved back home to Indiana and eventually transferred to Purdue. The following semester, I attempted to contact my friend and see how she was doing. There was never any reply. She blocked me online and refused all calls and emails. Completely incommunicado. Not even a fight or any explanation why.

You know it's easy to understand with a break-up why two people have a falling out and never speak again. It's much harder, impossible really, to ever find peace and resolution when someone you consider a dear friend inexplicably blocks you out of her life. For years I had to wonder, was it because I spurned her or asked out another girl in her dorm? Were they bitter enemies or something? Did she only view me as a potential romantic partner and then she met someone else? Did she join a cult?

I had no idea, but my entire adult life I always felt like with her I had done the right thing. Romantically, we could have dated, but she didn't leave her boyfriend and for multiple reasons I didn't want to cross that line. Certainly, she must have had a mutual romantic interest or why would she have blocked me out of her life? Yet I was happy if we were just friends-- she meant that much to me. Everyone we meet in this world comes down to chance, except with her it was different. We grew up 15 minutes from each other. We both went far away to school where we didn't know anyone. We were next-door-neighbors. Her dad had been in the Navy and I was in officer training. We never dated but we had our romantic moments and as friends, we were very, very close.

There was never any scenario where I could have imagined that Kanachan wouldn't always be in my life.

So after my Mom almost died and I traveled down to stay with her for a week, and then I left her house and kissed her goodbye, I knew Ohio State Girl lives just 15 minutes down the road. I spent all afternoon revisiting my childhood haunts, most of them in very poor neighborhoods-- but when it came time to remember my Ohio State days, Columbus was too far away. Ohio State Girl's $1,000,000+ home would have to suffice.

Quick reference timeline:

2002- we meet
2004- she cuts me out of her life
2008- she gets married sometime after college
2009- when i finished school i decided to look her up. my heart sank to find out she was married but i quickly shifted back into friend mode

Romantically I always thought she was no different than any other girl-- it didn't work out for whatever reason, in her case the boyfriend, and I just figured one day I would meet someone else. But as a friend I felt deeply hurt and betrayed. And yet, I still loved her and would have been happy to reconnect even as good friends one day.

2012-2013
For years I tried to look her up on Facebook or Google once in awhile with no luck. Finally, I found a work email address. Around the 10 year anniversary of our Buckeyes winning the national championship when we had watched the game together at her house, I decided to email her and reach out. She was married so I was careful with my words. Whether she saw the email or didn't use that address anymore or whatever, I don't know, but again I never received any reply.

2013-2019
After that, I decided to make peace with the situation and bury my feelings and write her off as a friend. I knew where she lived near my Mom's house but never had any desire or reason to try and contact her again.

But this trip down memory lane was different. There was never any question whether or not I would intrude upon her life. She's been dating and then married to the same man from her early 20s - mid 30s. They now have kids. Our lives diverged a long time ago and apparently she must have thought I was just some guy in college who she was interested in but then c'est la vie.

There would be no letter or knock on the door or call to her house. This was a simple drive-by to see how she turned out and then say my own private goodbye.

Continued Part 4 next ...
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:21 PM   #4
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Part 4 (continued) ...

So it was with all these thoughts in mind that I drove over to Ohio State Girl's $1,000,000+ home. The guy she married is ~10 years older and owns a company or something so I guess that's how they make their money.

Anyway, her house was on a cul-de-sac about a block or two off an unmarked country road. I drove past at normal speed, just a quick look, then turned around via a neighbor's driveway. Then I parked on the side of the street. This wasn't a stakeout or anything so I was only there for 30 seconds, looking at the house diagonally, looking at the neighbor's house, looking at the field and wildlife across the way. Then it was time to go.

Now driving past her house for the second and final time, I slowed down a little so I could get a good look, but I didn't want to draw attention to myself either. More than anything I was not there to intrude upon her life.

What happened next was poetic or sad or bittersweet or final-- I don't know which. It had been my hope to catch one last glimpse of Ohio State Girl, one last chance to see my friend in this life, and if that didn't happen then I suppose I would've always been disappointed. But the odds of that occurring seemed infinitesimally small. She may not have been home. She may have been in an interior room. You know, when you just drive by a house for less than a minute you're not likely to see the homeowners at all.

But there she was. Serendipity. My Audi was moving at 10 mph past the cavernous front windows. She was standing behind an island in an adjacent room, maybe preparing dinner or rifling through some bills, so it wasn't a clean look; however, it was definitely her. A little older, and now that she's had children maybe a little bigger (but not much), the memory of a woman I once knew and loved.

As in college with her boyfriend, it was just her-- her husband was nowhere around. The only sign of her children was the playhouse in the backyard. I couldn't have asked for a better, more perfect way to say goodbye.

At the last millisecond, Ohio State Girl looked up and I will never know if she saw me or felt something in her soul, but more than likely she'll never know I was there. Tears came to my eyes as I drove away, and soon I was gone, surely the last time I will ever see my friend in this empty thing we call life.


Purdue

After I departed Ohio State Girl's house, I had one last trip to make on my reunion tour. I hadn't returned to my old apartment or Purdue Lafayette/West Lafayette in 10 years. The students look younger now but the buildings have stayed the same. Ironically, those years were miserable for me but that apartment was maybe my favorite place I've ever lived.







I did not enjoy my time at Purdue. Looking back on my life, I don't think I ever got over Ohio State Girl or Westerville Girl. I didn't have a girlfriend for a few years until my mid-20s. That doesn't mean I was sleeping around either, because I wasn't. There were just the odd one-off dates and bad variance.

One girl I met on a bus and when I asked her out, she broke down crying in the street, literally crying, saying she would love to say yes but she had a boyfriend and she loved him very much. There was another girl who was a drug addict (I didn't know at first), and another rich girl who I tutored during the summer. She would fly out to New York every weekend for shopping trips. She was paying me to tutor her through Diff EQ or Linear Algebra or Multivariate Calculus or something, so it would have been wrong for me to try anything until after the summer was over...she flirted with me all the time, passed her class, and then when I asked her out she laughed in my face. Apparently you should never ask out a Hampton's girl unless you're part of the club.

Probably the most promising was this beautiful Pakistani Girl. We had a chemistry lab together and could never take our eyes off each other. But on the first date, she informed me that her parents were very strict Muslim and they would never approve. She's a doctor now, but that was the end of that.

But after a few years of being single and never getting anything more than a rare date, it was towards the end of my Purdue days that I met Dentist Girl. She had already graduated college and was in dental school @ Indianapolis. We were both in our mid-20s and got to know each other and dated all in the span of less than a year, but considering our age it was the first time I felt like I was ready for a serious, long-term, adult relationship. Unfortunately, I got pretty sick that year and my health declined. I lost a lot of weight and muscle mass and with it my confidence eroded.

I don't think she was happy or committed enough, so eventually she left me for another guy. I was completely humiliated.

Continued Part 5 next ...
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:22 PM   #5
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Part 5 (continued) ...

After I got emasculated by Dentist Girl, who left me for a hunky former football player she met in dental school (and they're now married), I dropped out of Purdue in the middle of my senior year. My spirit in life had collapsed. There wasn't any friend or lover or family member or confidant that I could rely on for support, my health was bad, and honestly I just didn't care anymore. I had worked tirelessly through my teenage years through my mid-20s with one goal in mind: escape my upbringing and live a happy and successful life. Now there was never anyone to share it with.

I had one good friend from high school who lived far away, one good friend from Ohio State who I occasionally talked to on Facebook, and so many other friends and acquaintances who were familiar faces long gone.

Most of all, I never got over Ohio State Girl or Westerville Girl.

So in that spirit I couldn't stand the idea of graduating and getting a job and working in a lab, doing the same thing every day, with nobody else to support or share life with except for myself. This same thing happened at OSU-- maybe if I had been in a relationship or felt more committed, I would have swallowed my pride and finished my officer training. Maybe if fate had treated me differently at Purdue, I would have wound up with Dentist Girl and finished my education.

As it was, I dropped out of school and decided to make my own path in life. There was a time when I was cocky and arrogant and wanted to take over the world, make all the money I could and have a beautiful girlfriend or wife. Those days were over. There was a new era, a new person, someone who became more altruistic and wanted to make a difference in the world.

During my convalescence, I dropped out of school and used my life savings to support myself for a couple years from my mid-late 20s. During prayer and meditation, I had a vision that I was supposed to write a screenplay and that was the goal that I set for myself in life. When you decide you are going to be a writer, you don't just sit down and write. Like anything else there is a learning curve, one that I am surely not exemplifying with these drunk and rambling posts. In any event, it didn't matter, because by the time my writing started to get anywhere I was eventually broke.





There's one other thing I should mention from those convalescence years when I was regaining my health. I couldn't really date anyone or didn't feel confident enough to date anyone after what happened with Indy Dentist Girl. Around the same time, all of my former friends and girlfriends were getting married or having kids.

The one person I did meet was Transgender Girl. Maybe it reflects poorly on me or my masculinity in general that I feel the need to clarify, but within the context of these posts, I should say that we never dated or anything -- we were strictly friends. She was another lonely soul in the world who had experienced a difficult and troubled life. Her friends were working as escorts but she was pretty cool and a normal chick.

Meeting Transgender Girl and a few times hanging out with her friends, going to LGBT clubs once or twice, these were essential experiences for me in terms of my development as a humanist. Without them, I wouldn't be as sensitive and understanding with regards to diversity as I am today. I'm really grateful for those experiences but equally saddened-- she was yet another friend who quietly disappeared without saying goodbye.

Continued Part 6 next ...
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:22 PM   #6
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Part 6 (continued) ...

I think I've mentioned in this thread before, but I went through a celibate period in life from my mid-20s to early-30s. The first part was during my convalescence, when I wasn't able to date the women I was used to dating. During the second part, from my late-20s to early-30s, I was flat out broke. I shelved my writing dreams to make ends meet working as a copy editor and part-time substitute teacher. Meanwhile, everyone I had ever known or cared about was working successfully as a doctor, lawyer, dentist, chemist, engineer, lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, or at least married to a semi-wealthy CEO.

Those were the most hopeless years of my life.

Now I am an obstinate and determined son-of-a-*****, so I made up my mind that I would never go back to school. That fatalistic attitude can be more than detrimental sometimes, but it also caused me to become resourceful. That's when I started playing poker. At first the money wasn't much, just small-stakes cash games and $10 and $20 re-buys. But then came staking offers, then later I played for larger and larger sums.





When I was in my early-30s, I was finally ready to start dating again, except I didn't have many chances to meet women. You know, the way my life has gone I'm kind of a lone wolf, and I wasn't in college anymore and I didn't have a real job. I tried online dating, and those were the glory years on OKCupid. My targets were women in their 20s, a little younger than me, either finishing school or starting their professional careers.

After a few dating experiences, including a flight attendant I still talk to and care about very much, I met Ex Girlfriend, a cute Vietnamese college student, when I was 33 and she was 22. Ex Girlfriend lived with her entrepreneurial older sister in what can only be described as a cartoonish Vietnamese immigrant household-- about twenty people living together, mostly family but sometimes hangers-on she barely knew. We were together for about 3 years. Sometimes I wasn't sure she was "the one"-- she didn't tell me for a long time that she was actually married (in order to enter the country); or there was the time we started investing in crypto together and I didn't want anything to do with coins I knew were scams, but she insisted "all that matters is the price goes up".

We just had different outlooks on life. But she was sweet, similarly old-fashioned, traditional, and I'm sure she loved me more than any girl I've ever known.

Anyway it didn't work out. My career took longer to get going than I wanted; she was getting ready to finish school. We broke up. A few months later I was in a more comfortable financial position and would have considered settling down, but by then it was too late. We fought too much and what we had once was gone-- Ex Girlfriend started dating a new guy she graduated with. It was a really strange feeling because she was there to support me through some tough years, and she's the only woman I've ever come close to starting a life with. I genuinely have feelings for her, but at the same time I feel like we were never married, never lived together, maybe we had too different personalities, and sometimes it didn't compare to my earlier experiences of falling in love. Maybe that was because we met online, maybe it was because I'm older now, I don't know.

But anyway, she was just starting a relationship with someone else. Probably I could have taken her back. Was I 100% sure we should be together though?... No. And she met someone at school, they both graduated together, and they are both going into the same line of work. They met in the natural course of their lives, and I'm just a degenerate poker player after all.

I didn't want to deny her the chance to find the happiness and stability that have eluded me in life. Not much more to say than that.

Continued Part 7 next ...
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:22 PM   #7
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Part 7 (continued) ...

So now all these disparate stories should come full circle, and it's why I'm starting to have a panic at this particular time. For the last decade, I fought and scratched my way back countless times from the edge of life's abyss. Finally I am successful in my career, I have paid off most of my debts, I have a few hundred thousand liquid in bank, money market, and brokerage accounts, and a nice $50,000 car I paid for all in cash. These things are hardly remarkable, and I could have earned the same amount of money with a regular paycheck in the last 10 years, but considering where I've come from and where I've been-- all I know is that it was a long and hard road back.

It feels like I'm ready to meet the woman of my dreams, start a family, and hopefully build some kind of happy life.





Unfortunately, I'm 37 now. Online dating has really dried up. I have no clue how to meet any compatible women that I would find remotely desirable. Some people suggested Bumble last year but I never got even a single match. This month I've been on CmB for a few weeks, even dumped $60 on there-- no matches. Haven't had a date in 9 months.

It's ****ing bleak right now.

Last year, not long after Ex Girlfriend and I broke up, about the requisite time after a relationship when you are ready to meet Someone New, I started seeing this Chinese poker player who was a grad student at Michigan State. Normally I would keep my poker and dating life completely separate. This was the first time that happened. We played together sometimes, went on dates, she invited me to her apartment, texted all summer while I was in Vegas, and then she turned out to be a complete flake. Someone I met in real life and couldn't have been more disappointed.

After that I was briefly with Sugar Baby Girl. Now that regrettable experience with Chinese Poker Player taught me that I need to restrict my dating range to women in their mid-20s to early-30s, with mid-late 20s really being ideal, but it's so damn hard to find single women as you get older who aren't:

1) divorced
2) baby mamas
3) unattractive
4) crazy
5) absolutely amazing and sexy as **** but completely career-oriented making a ton of money and out of my league

So I decided to distract myself with Sugar Baby Girl. She was (obviously) young, in college, spoiled, extremely hot, someone I found pleasure in supporting financially, and hard to get to know. The arrangement didn't last long-- after a few months I couldn't shake the feeling that I would rather be in an equal relationship with a woman I love, building something together, rather than something temporal that could end at any time.

When I broke it off with her, she seemed genuinely hurt and disappointed. There's always the risk that she just wanted more money, but as an excellent hand-reader, I feel confident that wasn't the case. She was adopted, maybe slow to trust people and connect. Towards the end I had already made up my mind that warmth was lacking, but in hindsight she started to really perk up when we made plans for our last date.

Anyway, she seemed crushed and I immediately regretted my decision. But what could I do at that point? Months went by and I kept looking for Someone New. She never appeared. I kept consistently coming back to my desire for Sugar Baby Girl. She just did it for me like few women can.







Normally I would never post someone's pictures here I know from real life, but **** it she was pretty disrespectful towards me and it feels weird only posting pictures of myself. Around Valentine's Day I couldn't take it anymore, so I sent Sugar Baby Girl $500 and asked her to text me so we could arrange a date. If she had politely accepted the money and declined the date I would have been cool with everything, but she stood me up!

^^So there are some thread savers at least.

But I don't like to go back and do the same things twice, so I don't think I'll ever have another Sugar Baby again. She was unique.





Quote:
Hello, Rick. How extravagant you are throwing away women like that. Someday they may be scarce.

Wish I could go back and be a gentleman with her, really impress her and carry on the arrangement, but as I've come to learn in life, sometimes with women you only get one chance.

Continued Part 8 next ...
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:23 PM   #8
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Part 8 (continued) ...

So that's where I am right now. Zero dates in 9 months. Panic. Suddenly waking up to the fact that I might never meet anyone.

At the end of that trip to see my Mom a few weeks ago, when she went in the hospital and almost died, after I finished visiting my childhood haunts, Ohio State Girl's house, Purdue, my apartment in Lafayette, I was driving home. The only thing I could think about was how everyone from my past had built lives together with someone else for more than 10 years. It was hard in my 20s when I was single and everyone was getting married and having kids. There were so many times I visited family and was designated as the person to sleep on a couch in the basement because, you know, all the married people get the bedrooms.

But I don't think I was ever prepared for the moment in my 30s when I realized, ****, it's already been 10+ years.

That's an enormous amount of precious time in your 20s and 30s for two people to build a life together-- sleeping together and waking up together thousands of times, cooking countless meals, vacations, planning weddings and birthday parties, getting pregnant and having children, combining your incomes and investments, etc. etc.

Then my mind kept going down the rabbit hole and my emotional state really started to deteriorate. What happened to all of the women I've ever dated or loved in my life?

First girlfriend dumped me for her college experience.
Got a new boyfriend few weeks later.
Engaged at 18. Married at 20.
Happily married with kids ever since.

Girl from college calculus class had a high-school boyfriend.
They got engaged after graduating high school.
She started college and met me in that class.
They broke up and I dated her.
She found out I was going to Ohio State and flaked out on me.
Couple years later I returned to Indy and she broke down crying when she saw me.
Really liked her, thought we might get back together.
But she was already married or planning her wedding with her high school boyfriend.
They had kids.
He died.
She's a single mom raising her kids in 20s and 30s ever since.

Westerville Girl was engaged at 21. Married at 22.
Happily married with kids ever since.

Ohio State Girl finished college and moved back home.
Dated and engaged to her older, semi-wealthy husband in her early 20s.
Married at 24.
Happily married and now they have kids ever since.

Law School Girl dated me in college.
Met her husband after that in law school early-mid 20s.
Happily married with kids ever since.

Dentist Girl left me for another guy she met in dental school in her mid-20s.
Now married and together ever since.

Ex Girlfriend... we broke up beginning of last year.
Started dating someone she went to school with and was graduating with mid-20s.
They've been together a year now, probably get married.

One crazy redhead ex-girlfriend, 35 still single, self-admitted borderline personality disorder, superficial, shallow, incapable of a real relationship.

That's it. Everyone except the crazy girl met "the one" and fell in love during the normal course of her life no later than mid-20s. Nobody else was at the end of her vital years still searching, still hoping, or just plain giving up. There are the rare talented unicorns out there, beautiful career-oriented highly in demand women making hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars per year, still not married, but very few, completely unobtainable, probably in a relationship anyway-- or ... the clearance rack of dating.

I started to boggle my mind and think how the **** did all this happen? Even when I was a young man I would have never considered getting married before mid-late 20s, probably was never mature enough for it before 30+. Wasn't there ever one woman that I was meant to meet and fall in love with during the normal course of my life?





Quote:
Love is all a matter of timing. It's no good meeting the right person too soon or too late.


Ohio State Girl

And that's when everything hit me, like no Revelation has ever impacted me before. All the women I've ever met in my life, we met by chance, and our lives were coming and going in different directions, the timing was just off, something she did wrong or something I did wrong-- it was never meant to be.

Except one.

The beautiful, casually sexy, only very slightly nerdy in a cool, extroverted and endearing way, half-white, half-Japanese girl who grew up 15 minutes from my house on the west side of Indianapolis, who went far away to college at Ohio State, alone, where she didn't know anyone, independent of my own decision to go far away to college at Ohio State, alone, where I didn't know anyone either, who turned out to be my next-door-neighbor, my Kanachan, the girl whose Dad had been in the Navy back when I was in officer training in the Navy, the girl I went out to breakfast, lunch, and dinner with, studied with, hung out in each other's dorm rooms with, talked to on the phone and online with, hundreds and hundreds of times. The girl who smiled at me like no woman I've ever seen smile since when I sat on her bed and woke her up. The girl who offered herself to me that summer back at her parent's house. The girl who I turned down without prejudice, and never, under any circumstance, wanted to lose as a friend.

The same girl who blocked me out of her life completely, moved back home, dated another man, married him, had children with him, and together lived a happy life of luxury while I struggled near death year after year.

Until now I always thought of her as just a friend. We never dated. I always figured I would meet someone else, but I never did.


Quote:
Love is all a matter of timing. It's no good meeting the right person too soon or too late.

How could I have known? These deeply repressed feelings are suddenly resurfacing after 15, 16, 17 years. I'm turning into a ******* drunk now. Since my perception of Ohio State Girl changed from lost friend to lost love, I've been sitting here in my room, consuming a bottle of whiskey every 36-48 hours, two or three weeks straight. I can't get over the fact that there may not be anyone else. That she was someone who I was destined to meet by fate and by God, and that she was maybe the only one. Now I'm just hoping for a single match on a dating app with a random person I don't even know.

At least when Humphrey Bogart drowned his sorrows, he still looked like Bogie. I can't even imagine how terrible I look right now.

Domine Iesu, dimitte nobis debita nostra,
salva nos ab igne inferiori,
perduc in caelum omnes animas,
praesertim eas,
quae misericordiae tuae maxime indigent,
Amen.


Now I know if I had met someone else, I wouldn't be reliving these tortuous thoughts and fantasies. Ohio State Girl would be a curiosity from my past, a friend who I loved and lost a long time ago, just as surely as she must have resented me, now that I think of it maybe even left her boyfriend for me, only by then I had deserted her and returned back home to those Nicean shores no more.

Is that what happened? Did she finally break up with him? Was she finally ready to date me, but then I left?

But now she's been with another man most of her adult life. They have kids and a business together. I'm sure she wouldn't trade them for anything else in the world, but I can only think of my would-be career as a naval officer, probably serving as a Lieutenant Commander, one day as the Captain of my own ship, lovingly calling her my wife.

If I could do it all over again, I would go back to when I was 20-21, take her gently by the arm, look directly and confidently into her eyes, and tell her how I feel, without equivocation, without subtle innuendo, without concern about her boyfriend or whether I would lose her as a friend. But I'm a grown *** man now, with many years behind me. A wasted lifetime thrown away.

Instead, all I have is a picture of Ohio State Girl pulled up on my computer screen. She's a beautiful woman now. Sometimes I click the "x" to spare my sanity. Other times I stare longingly in pain. I feel like I'm Tony Leung looking at that final shot of Faye Wong, as Angela Gheorghiu reaches the crescendo of Casta Diva in the background, clinging to the last residual images of a woman who long ago faded away.


Getting close to the end now. Part 9 next ...
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:24 PM   #9
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Part 9 (continued) ...

So as I'm sitting here in this depressed and drunken stupor throughout the month of April, I've been revisiting and replaying songs and movie scenes that are meaningful to me.

Whatever might express my grief.





At the end of Wong Kar-Wai's In the Mood for Love, Tony Leung recalls:

Quote:
In the old days, if someone had a secret they didn't want to share ... you know what they did?

They went up a mountain, found a tree, carved a hole in it, and whispered the secret into the hole. Then they covered it with mud. And leave the secret there forever.

The two main characters in that film were also next-door-neighbors. And they were also in love with each other, but because of circumstances, never acted upon or consummated their love. Just friends.

A few years later Tony Leung's character returns to look for her, but sees her only through a window with her child. Across the screen:

Quote:
That era has passed. Nothing that belonged to it exists anymore.

And then the final haunting scene amid the ruins of Angkor Wat. Time stands still for nothing, not even Ohio State Girl and me.





Chapin was also a cadet for one year at the Air Force Academy before he resigned. He wrote Taxi about a relationship he had with another camp counselor he met during his college years.

Sometime later, he was broke and working as a taxi driver when he found out she married a rich man. Chapin was afraid she would get in the back of his cab one night and they would recognize each other.

Quote:
Well another man might have been angry ...
And another man might have been hurt ...
But another man never would have let her go ...
Quote:
And here she's acting happy ... inside her handsome home ...

Reminds me of when I drove past Ohio State Girl's house, and how much I struggled myself for so many years.





Perfect song for a man who feels life escaping him. Left behind, alone. Disarmed.

Quote:
I used to be a little boy ... so old in my shoes ...
Quote:
And leave you like they left me here ... to wither in denial ...
The bitterness of one who's left alone ...
Ooh the years burn ...

Concluded with Part 10 next ...
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:24 PM   #10
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Part 10 (conclusion) ...

When I started these posts I didn't really know how I was going to finish, but I suppose I'll need to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.

Always wanted to get married, have kids and start a family, get back to my writing, but most of that seems unlikely now.


Quote:
Know thyself.

-Inscription on the Temple at Delphi

I'm kind of old-fashioned, seem to have experience dating mostly women who got wifed up early in life, and strongly prefer or even have a need for a stable, traditional relationship.

Nobody sane wants to jump into one of those right away with someone they don't know, especially not me, but I've decided for multiple reasons it's a bad idea to have children much after 40, and I don't want to be raising kids when I'm in my 60s... that's way too old. Who knows if I will even be alive then.

Five years max to meet someone, date, get married, have kids?...seems pretty tight. And that's if I even meet anyone-- I've been in two relationships in the last 15 years. The longest was ~3 years, and we never lived together. Hard to find someone compatible unless she's mid-20s to early-30s, preferably not older than 30 though, never married, no kids, wasn't living with someone for 5 or 10 years (that's a marriage in my book), not crazy, not ugly, something where you know, we just have a similar life experience and fall in love. I've been online dating in my 30s because I generally don't have opportunities to meet quality women otherwise, but I think I've reached the point where my age may be prohibitive.

I signed up for CmB and have zero matches this past month. They have a system where you can pay money to send likes to people you wouldn't match with otherwise. Occasionally I get those from women I have no interest in, but also fruitlessly dumped $60 on there myself. Then I started to think...what am I doing on there? Lots of women I would never look at twice, lots of women who are moderately attractive enough but don't really stand out-- you know they all blend together after awhile. Do I want to meet someone I'm just meh about? Not really.

And it feels like I'm just looking for Ohio State Girl on there anyway.

So I decided I need to get the **** out of here and do something drastic and meet a woman in the natural course of my life. I have no doubt about my ability to be a responsible boyfriend, husband, and father should the opportunity arise, but when I'm alone I'm prone to making these kinds of rash life decisions. This time I waited and tried to be more conservative and not do that, but I've been waiting around for almost a year now without a date and time is running out.

So I'm going to YOLO and see what happens ... more on that in a minute ...


My Ideal Woman

Another aspect of know thyself is knowing what you are looking for in a mate. Carl Jung developed his concept of the Anima in analytical psychology, which I guess can roughly translate to a man's image of his ideal woman.

Eve-- in the first stage of psychological development, a woman is merely the man's object of physical and sexual desire
Helen-- in the second stage, a woman can be found to possess other attractive qualities, such as her personality, career success, self-reliance, etc.
Mary-- in the third stage, the ideal woman is further perceived to be altogether virtuous
Sophia-- in the final stage, the Anima is fully developed; no single woman can represent every ideal quality that a man finds attractive

I've had my objects of desire in the past, and then Westerville Girl / Robin Scherbatsky was my ideal Helen throughout my 20s until I turned 30.
But after 30 I found someone else:









Classically beautiful, modest, nothing false or pretentious, only very slightly dorky in a natural, extroverted way. Talented and driven at something that appeals to my sensibilities. Virtuous.

In short, my Ideal Woman.

Now it never occurred to me before, but Ideal Woman reminds me of Ohio State Girl in a lot of ways. Most obviously, they are both Asian, or at least Ohio State Girl was half-Japanese. I dated a lot of white girls and one black girl when I was younger, had a date with a beautiful Pakistani girl, wouldn't mind dating a Persian princess or a French Alizée; but I guess I do seem to be more attracted to Asian women now, either because I was always subconsciously in love with Ohio State Girl, or because that's the image of Ideal Woman in my mind. Moreover, there is/was nothing fake or pretentious about either one of them. Most beautiful women have been conditioned throughout their lives to always put on an act, but I find it so incredibly refreshing and sexy and attractive when I meet someone who is genuine, sincere, and full of inner strength.

Now I would marry Ideal Woman in a second and die a happy man, but since that probably won't ever happen, I'm looking to meet Someone New and at least I know the qualities I am looking for now.

Actually, I think I met her two years ago-- another lost love who maybe got away.


Quote:
Love is all a matter of timing. It's no good meeting the right person too soon or too late.

Two years ago, Ex Girlfriend and I broke up for a few months. Later we got back together, but in the meantime I went on a few dates with OKCupid Girl. She's mid-20s, about the same age as Ex Girlfriend, starting her career, naturally beautiful, maybe a bit more intense than most women I have known or dated in my life, but straightforward and sincere nonetheless.







She was into poetry, and for one of our dates, she was going to see a foreign art film by herself, and asked if I wanted to come along. Of course I did. That's something I would do myself, and it takes a certain personality. How many beautiful, independent women does anyone know who would just go watch a strange movie by herself?

Anyway, my life was chaotic at the time and for awhile I had to leave for work. We had one kiss and then never saw each other again.


Quote:
Love is all a matter of timing. It's no good meeting the right person too soon or too late.

Last year when I returned to Chicago and was ready to settle down, I contacted OKCupid Girl again. More than anyone I've ever met in the last 10-15 years, I really liked her and just had that feeling. I guess she was a perfectionist and had trouble getting along with her co-workers, maybe she seemed a little sad and lost and lonely in life, but I could relate to those things.

She responded and was polite (maybe receptive?), but turns out she hated her job and was moving to San Francisco. We talked a little more but never met again-- I figured there was no point.

But now this whole Revelation with Ohio State Girl has taught me something. More than anything I would like to go back to when I was 20-21, take her gently by the arm, look directly and confidently into her eyes, and tell her how I feel, without equivocation, without subtle innuendo, without concern about her boyfriend or whether or not I would lose her as a friend.

But I can't do that now-- it's 15 years too late.


#YOLO

But what I can do is make that happen with Someone New. At my lowest point this past month, when I had drank an obscene amount of alcohol and just about lost the will to live, the one thing that kept me going one night was the thought of heading out to San Francisco and seeing if I could locate OKCupid Girl. This seems futile and possibly wouldn't be well-received, I don't know, I should have done this when I contacted her last year. However I didn't know any better back then... I was still the same guy who figured things didn't work out for one reason or another and I would just meet someone else.

Now I know better-- don't wait and hope to meet someone else. When you find someone you're crazy about, tell them how you feel. When you have a goal you want in life, give it maximum effort.


Quote:
Happiness isn't something you wait around for and expect, but something you create yourself.

So in that spirit I'm packing up and heading out West this year, wherever the wind takes me. In the last few years I've played in the World Series, just a couple/few tournaments each summer. Played and cashed the Main Event first time last year. Usually I'm a bankroll nit and rarely play tournaments because of the high variance, but I guess I don't have anything to lose now. Going to play the entire Series this summer, however many tens of thousands in tournaments, play cash and if I run good take shots at higher and higher games.

Hopefully win a bracelet or two, maybe the World Championship. Even Harry Chapin the taxi driver once had his day.


Japan

After Las Vegas and San Francisco, I'll be traveling to Japan. Really have some research to do for my Ozu and Setsuko Hara project. Like I mentioned in the OP, I didn't have any parenting growing up. My father was never around and as much as my Mom loved us, she wasn't capable in that regard. Never had any mentors or teachers or anything so pretty much always had to teach myself.





Started watching Ozu films last year and he's like the Dad I never had. The man possessed unequaled insight into human nature. He was also a great humanist too.

Pretty much whatever you want to know about life or filmmaking you can learn from Yasujirō Ozu.







And then there is his leading actress, Setsuko Hara, who I'm fascinated by because she and Ideal Woman have lived very similar lives.

Well, it's something to pour my creative energy into anyway. If I survive this year and ever get back to my writing, I suppose you'll find a little bit of Ozu, a little bit of Setsuko Hara and Ideal Woman, and a little bit of my history with Ohio State Girl in there somewhere.


Quote:
Dhritarashtra sighed. "All my work is done, and it is our custom for an old king to retire from the world. Kings ought to die either in war or in the woods."

Yudhishthira bent his head, "I ask you then-- let us eat together for the last time; then go into the forest where you will ..."
Quote:
And everyone in the city always talked of the old king, wondering: "How will he live in the woods? He is blind."
Quote:
Dhritarashtra and Sanjaya and Kunti and Gandhari went to the Gate of the Ganges. They made no home there, but wandered through the forest, taking food as they could find it. Once when Sanjaya had gone to get water, Dhritarashtra's holy fire tipped over in the dry leaves and grew into a forest-fire...

...wild animals burst past them, yet Dhritarashtra and the two queens could not move. The fire had cut them off on all sides; they met the flames in peace.

-The Mahabharata

But in case I don't win anything this summer in Las Vegas-- no money, no bracelet, no glory-- and I don't meet anyone special or find something to do with my life by the end of my trip to Japan, then I've decided that I will follow the custom of the kings of old.

I'll just disappear, traveling around the world until my money runs out, never to be seen again.
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:27 PM   #11
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

I know those are very personal stories, not unique or interesting to anyone else, but everything had been bottled up for 15+ years. TimM mentioned Weezer's Pinkerton album, and I suppose that's a fair comparison. Just a lot of raw, emotional, unedited, drunk posting that I needed to excise so I can move on with my life. Thanks for listening.

The rest of this blog may or may not include more romantic misadventures (that was just the genesis). But more often I will be posting about life, philosophy, writing, my projects, poker, meeting people, taking guitar lessons, traveling, enjoying nature, and either achieving success or disappearing into the woods, whatever my fate may be.

Feel free to follow along, engage, or rubberneck. Stay tuned ...
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:52 PM   #12
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Goal: no drinking month of May

5-1: check
5-2: check
5-3: check

Ran 1.5 miles this evening. Haven't been running in forever but used to do this 3-4 times per week during ROTC days. Legs hurt; probably need new shoes.

Need to find somewhere I can lift next few weeks. Can't imagine how bad I look after drinking non-stop almost a month. Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters 2 probably looks like a Calvin Klein model compared to me right now.

Making progress though!
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:21 AM   #13
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Subbed. See you at the WSOP!
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:14 AM   #14
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Nice read! Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to reading about your success.
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Old 05-05-2019, 03:17 PM   #15
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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Originally Posted by JoeC2012 View Post
Subbed. See you at the WSOP!
Sounds great, Joe. How long you heading out for?

I'm planning to leave here May 24th or May 25th. Stay at my Mom's one night in Indy and then drive out to Las Vegas the next day. I flew last year but couple other times I did the drive and I enjoy it. Always like to plan one hike somewhere along the way.

Might not play all of these, but tentative schedule:

$250 Rio Daily Deepstack warm-up
$500 Big 50 (x3)
$1,500 2-7 Lowball Draw
$1,100 MSPT Venetian (x2)
$1,500 Millionaire Maker (x2)
$2,620 The Marathon
$1,000 NLH
$1,000 PLO
$1,000 Double Stack
$1,600 MSPT Venetian
$600 NLH / PLO
$1,500 Bounty
$1,500 Monster Stack
$800 Deepstack
$600 Deepstack Championship
$570 Golden Nugget Main (x2)
$10,000 Main Event

Maybe fire couple bullets at WPT Aria, don't really know. Just see how it goes I guess and make sure I have some casual time, stay well rested, and maybe squeeze in a few rounds of golf.

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Originally Posted by decoop99 View Post
Nice read! Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to reading about your success.
fingers crossed
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:25 AM   #16
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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Sounds great, Joe. How long you heading out for?



I'm planning to leave here May 24th or May 25th. Stay at my Mom's one night in Indy and then drive out to Las Vegas the next day. I flew last year but couple other times I did the drive and I enjoy it. Always like to plan one hike somewhere along the way.


Sounds great. I'm shuffling back and forth between SF and Vegas all summer, being in Vegas most Friday-Sundays except for the weekend of 6/15.

I'll be interested to hear your experience. The last few years I took multiple weeks off work for the WSOP, but I was kinda disappointed by the level of play in these weekday events. IME the weekend $1500s are great and stuff like the Golden Nugget $570 is incredible, but I've been at a bunch of tables in stuff like the Marathon or an MSPT $1600 where I'm up against 7 euro grinders and 1 fish. So this year the only week I'm taking off is for the Main Eveny. YMMV, it's entirely possible I've just been running bad on table draws. GLGLGL!
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:20 PM   #17
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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Sounds great. I'm shuffling back and forth between SF and Vegas all summer, being in Vegas most Friday-Sundays except for the weekend of 6/15....GLGLGL!
Cool man, good luck this summer. If we run into each other say hi and I'll buy you a beer sometime.
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:27 PM   #18
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

In the last few days I've informed everyone I need to that I'm leaving and not coming back. Officially told my worried family that of course I will return for visits, and I might, but I can't know that for sure. There's a decent chance I'll last be seen in some remote woods in California, or in the middle of the Pacific, or on a mountain in the Himalayas, or just permanently globetrotting wherever else.

Not really sure how to handle the upcoming goodbyes. Maybe not be totally forthcoming but seems unfair.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:36 PM   #19
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

My grandpa taught me to play cards when I was growing up. He was born in southern Latvia, near Lithuania and Belarus, right before World War 2. First the Soviets invaded, then the Nazis, then his family caught the last boat out of Riga in 1944. An uncle's family missed the boat-- they were never seen again.

Meanwhile Grandpa, his older sister and parents, they crossed Germany by foot in the final months of the war. Eventually they reached the American side. He spent his childhood as a refugee in Germany, where his favorite pastime was drinking beer in bars. Even 8 and 9 year old kids could walk into a German bar back then and order beer like it was candy, anytime they wanted. Later, he moved to America and joined the National Guard, before spending most of his adult life working in an auto factory for GM.




In the picture above, where he's shuffling, we're probably playing SPIT or Tonk at my Dad's apartment when I was in high school. Those union autoworkers, they liked to play cards and gamble on breaks, and those were his games of choice.

Probably I have two great stories about my grandpa: one time during a holiday visit, he gave me and my sister some money. He extended two closed fists and announced one of them held a $20 bill, and the other held a $10 bill. He told my sister to choose first....$20! I was pissed off and stormed away. After he laughed for a moment, he called me back over. The other fist had a $20 bill as well.

The last story-- well, I mentioned upthread how horrible my 21st birthday was, everything that happened with Westerville Girl. On my 22nd birthday, I traveled to visit Grandpa on his deathbed. By then, he was dying of cancer. He was hooked up to a morphine drip, 24-7, a week or two before he died. Sometimes we talked about life and reminisced; sometimes the drugs would cause him to pass out. But later that night, just as I was leaving and saying my farewell, he gained sudden energy for the final time in this world. He wanted to play cards. It was like that scene when Wyatt Earp returned and played with Doc Holliday one last time. I even had to deal every hand myself.

I don't remember who won the money, and it wasn't important anyway-- but what I do remember was how that night ended. Grandpa told me, you know Mark, you turned into a pretty good looking man. You'll do just fine. Then I walked out the door, measured, composed, aiming for my car, but at the last second I turned around and looked through the window, where his eyes met mine directly. No words. Goodbye.

He never knew that one day I'd become a professional card player. I won my first major tournament last year.

We'll see what happens in 2019.
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:57 AM   #20
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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