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Old 12-25-2020, 01:08 PM   #251
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

There are some people who feel life, and others who experience life. There's a spectrum and mix in between the two, sure, but for those of us who really feel life, we constantly reflect on our pain and sufferings because those experiences and relationships define us, who we are. Remembering and reliving over and over again, it's the only way to keep alive everything we hold dear.
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Old 12-25-2020, 01:12 PM   #252
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Tomorrow, a somewhat more uplifting and heart-warming story. Pictures of Indonesian cuisine and Christmas trees. Looking forward to it.

Last edited by Shuffle; 12-25-2020 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 12-25-2020, 06:24 PM   #253
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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Like Phat Mack, I looked around for her on the internet a couple weeks ago
I knew immediately who she was -- she was Chieko Matsubara, who played the secretary/gun moll in Tokyo Drifter...



Then I realized she wasn't, so maybe she was Mariko Kaga from Monday...




I eventually had to give up and google her. All the 60's female Japanese film stars have perfect heart-shaped faces and widely set eyes; it's difficult for me to recognize them from a still picture.
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Old 12-25-2020, 08:01 PM   #254
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Merry Christmas Shuffle! Enjoying the recent poasts and looking forward to the upcoming ones.
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Old 12-26-2020, 07:07 AM   #255
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YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition
 
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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Merry Christmas Sheep, bob, Duffman, fast, Joe, Humble, Hank, decoop, and all others who have had the displeasure of reading this trainwreck thread.
Displeasure? Trainwreck threads are the best threads.
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Old 12-26-2020, 11:03 AM   #256
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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Then I realized she wasn't, so maybe she was Mariko Kaga from Monday...


Perhaps it was your suggestion, or perhaps it was the fact that my body and mind were rebooting after being passed out dead drunk for 10 hours, but I suddenly had the urge to watch Pale Flower again and listen to Dame Janet Baker sing Dido's Lament. Of course, Ryo Ikebe's cool and eyeballing Mariko Kaga for 96 minutes are also great reasons to watch that film.

I've mentioned this to Dominic before, just an idea, but I think you need to be in the right mood to watch and truly appreciate an Ozu film. They are like sitting around a campfire on a warm summer night. The adults are drinking, not yet drunk, the kids are playing, cooking smores, singing songs, everyone tells stories ... and then one by one, everyone starts going off to bed. Later in the evening, only a few people remain. Each person's level of inebriation varies, some don't even drink at all, but the conversation invariably turns more serious, pensive, reflective, sometimes a joke or laughter may carry out into the darkness, that which cannot be seen.

You should only watch an Ozu film with the flames of life flickering around you, endeavoring to stay awake all night, surrounded by friends, family, acquaintances, secret enemies, their faces sometimes cast in shadow, sometimes illuminated by the embers' warm glow. Eventually, they all take their leave and say goodnight. They disappear from your presence. You are alone. If you are like me, and Ozu was this way too, you are always the last one remaining by the fire, terrified of going off to sleep, desperately clinging to that night and that experience, throwing another log onto the flames, looking up into the heavens at billions and billions of stars, reliving your important relationships and experiences, because if you don't, nobody else will. It's the only way to keep them alive.


And that feeling about Ozu movies is not just an idea now, but it's a religious belief. I had a different, yet similar experience watching Pale Flower tonight. It's a nihilistic film. I've reached the point where I no longer drink to get drunk, but to experience that feeling of waking up, when my mind and body are slowly coming back to life. Those hours when I'm no longer intoxicated but I'm still too ****ed up to care about anything or move around, before the hangover kicks in, before I'm sober again, before I can once again feel the eternal permanence of my suffering, loneliness, misfortune, and past mistakes in life--

That was the perfect time to watch Pale Flower. Now I know it's the only time.



Last edited by Shuffle; 12-26-2020 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 12-26-2020, 11:46 AM   #257
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Immersion, or even filmic immersion. The act of watching a film with an immersive experience.
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Old 12-27-2020, 06:44 AM   #258
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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I'm behind in my Ozu thread
Well, I did finally update my Ozu thread. Phat Mack you'll be happy, it's a Shirley Yamaguchi post.


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Tomorrow, a somewhat more uplifting and heart-warming story. Pictures of Indonesian cuisine and Christmas trees. Looking forward to it.
This one, tomorrow. It's the Christmas spirit. Happy holidays again bob and Sheep, thank you for the well-wishes.
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Old 12-29-2020, 12:54 PM   #259
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Christmas Eve 2020

Like most people, this past year was pretty rough on me personally. Back in February I had a drunk blackout one night and woke up to find myself covered in water, phone and laptop destroyed in the bathtub. I have absolutely no memory what happened, but afterwards I decided not to get another phone. It's almost impossible to live without a phone these days, but somehow I managed.

The only way to keep in touch with me now is via email, and usually I don't reply.

March was when the plague and lockdown arrived, of course, and I've been doing my part to socially distance (to the extreme), wear a mask, etc. but that month affected me in a much more selfish way that I described here: https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/s...postcount=4907

To put this story in perspective, I have to go back a little. After the age of 8 or 9, when my parents went bankrupt and divorced, and after my dad broke into our house and tried to decapitate my mother with a sword, well, my mom and sister and I moved around a lot, living in run down apartment complexes, then in high school we rented a house that was probably worth less than $40,000 itself.





Fast forward to much later in life. I've been playing poker for over a decade, ever since I dropped out of college my last semester, and I've had a winning year every year except one. That was 2017. I started to date again, try and put my life back together, there was an Indonesian flight attendant who I was serious with for about a year. She was the sweetest girl anyone has ever been to me, but I was still not in a comfortable financial position, with my lifestyle, to settle down. Eventually she left me and moved on, that was totally understandable on her part. We have occasionally kept in touch over the years, email, skype, whatsapp, etc.

After that my ex-girlfriend and I were together 3 years, and it was the same thing all over again, except more serious, with her wanting to move in together, hinting at marriage and baby talk, but I was always just trying to make more money and save away a nice stash, completely separate from my bankroll, so I would never be mr. deadbeat broke.

I kept working towards that goal with her, but then 2017 hit. That was the year I went on such an unholy, unnatural downswing, losing several buy-ins a night, dozens and dozens of sessions in a row, that my entire net worth was virtually liquidated. I mean, I took time off to clear my mind, moved down in stakes, everything I could do, but there was nothing I could do, this was the real deal doom switch we all joke about on here so much. The last night I got cleaned out was the first time I really drank a ton of alcohol and blacked out.

Since it truly felt like an unholy, Biblical curse had been placed upon me, I did something I had never done before. That was a 3-day water fast. For those of you who don't know, a water fast is exactly what it sounds like-- no food, no drink, only water. Mine was 3 days. The first day was easy because I was so incredibly hung over after that massive drinking binge the night before, but at night I did start to get hungry and almost gave up. Decided to stick with it, read the Bible and prayed, then went to sleep. Day 2 was hard, not because I was starving, but because eating is habitual, it's hard not to eat out of habit, and then your body chemistry starts changing and breaking down, you get tired and don't feel like doing much, so you're just sitting there with a lot of time on your hands, bored. Mostly I just read the Bible and prayed, watched a movie, looked around the internet, stuff that could keep me distracted. The second night I couldn't sleep much, only 2-3 hours, because my body no longer had sugar to convert into energy, so my muscles became my new food source. They ached, and I kept tossing and turning in bed.

The last day was the easiest day, because I was so close to finishing, nothing was going to stop me. I just watched movies all day, then some more praying, then finally it was time for bed. I don't know, maybe other people who have done water fasts have had better experiences, but I absolutely could not sleep. There wasn't any pain, just a low, dull ache in my muscles that kept me awake, tossing and turning all night.

So after sunrise, I literally broke my fast with breakfast: I think it was a tomato and hard-boiled egg. You have to be really careful eating at first after finishing a water fast, because you don't have the normal digestive stuff going on in your body, I think you can get pretty messed up if you eat the wrong thing or eat too much. Tomato, egg, that was all, then more veggies and egg in the afternoon, finally a salad or something for dinner that night. The next day I resumed my normal eating habits, all the toxic waste buildup and damaged cells in my body having been flushed out. Three days of prayer and fasting intended to break my curse were over.

And then the most curious sequence of events happened next ...







The day after I finished my fast, or maybe it was a couple days later, I received an unsolicited PM from someone using a burner account here on 2+2. I won't name them, but this user had evidently heard my whining and complaining in the LLSNL forum, where I did mention everything that happened at poker, but I never talked about my fast. Probably only my girlfriend and grandmother knew about that. This user told me he heard I was having a rough time, why don't I contact him at his email address sometime. So I did.

An unholy curse, the doom switch to end all doom switches, my life ruined, three days of prayer and fasting, and then a few days later I receive that unsolicited PM.

I'm thinking maybe I can get a job, do something else besides poker, the only other time I had received a PM like that in all my years on 2+2 was my first backer, a long time ago, when I didn't even know staking was a thing. Whatever was going to happen, I told my girlfriend that I have to follow this, since it happened right after my fast. Through correspondence, this guy and I started talking about bitcoin. I had heard of bitcoin before, sure, however I didn't know anything about cryptocurrency, I figured it was just a bubble without ever really looking into it.

Anyway, this guy sends me a crypto test with, I don't know, maybe half a dozen questions on it, and says get back with him. So I did. For about a week I did nothing else but read, research, and watch videos on bitcoin, blockchains, ICOs, etc. Crash course on cryptocurrency. Answer the questions. Reply back to him. Done. Then I start doing research for him on all the hundreds of mostly scam ICOs that were coming out that year, new coins, sleeping 3-4 hours per night, living, eating, breathing crypto. This goes on for weeks, July turns into August, and my girlfriend doesn't understand. She wants to know why I'm doing all this work and not getting paid, I'm running out of money, she wants me to get a job. I told her my play was to just keep my head down, work hard, and do what I was asked, reminding her about my fast, and eventually everything would work out.

Well, that's not exactly what happened. At some point my financial situation was becoming more dire, and I finally did have to tell this person that I couldn't keep going without getting paid. He said keep working, he would send me some bitcoin the following week. Great! I could finally tell my girlfriend, just one more week. She's happy, I'm happy, I keep doing what I'm doing, but the next week comes and goes, and I still haven't been paid. Actually the guy never even brings it up. The rest of the details aren't important, but there was a misunderstanding, let's call it, and ultimately what I got was $500. Then we were done.

Now besides that $500 of bitcoin, I was down to my last $200-$300 cash, already borrowing $1,000 from my girlfriend, probably going to have to borrow more money, still unemployed, can't play poker. It's been 3 months since I went busto, I'm totally ****ed, and because of the way everything went down, that $500 of bitcoin was spiteful at the time. I felt like a fool, exactly how you would expect someone to feel when they believe in miracles and prayer and fasting and it's 3 months later and they're still broke. My girlfriend wanted me to apply for a job at some crypto fund, and I laughed. Then she wanted me to invest her money, and I said that was a bad idea, but eventually she did talk me into splitting 50/50 with her. She sent me $1,200-$1,300 in ether and we had $2,000 combined.

So that was our mutual crypto fund. First of all, it was obviously a chance for me to comeback financially, but second, we were doing it together. That meant a lot to me.

Several months later we were running our fund up, just like everyone else that year, then I decided to cash everything out a few weeks before the top. Smart. Paid back my girlfriend everything I owed her, no more debts, then I had a few thousand left and started playing poker again. Unfortunately, as you all know, the story about me and my ex-girlfriend doesn't have a happy ending. The following year, I was still grinding back, and she was getting ready to graduate and start her career. She got a good job at PwC in Chicago, she worked hard for it and I was happy for her. Proud. She was doing an internship there first during tax season while finishing school, working 80 hour weeks or whatever, my situation was improving but not ideal, her frustration finally got the best of her and she broke up with me after we had an argument one day. We had broken up twice before, reconciled, first time was 2-3 months and second time was 2-3 weeks. But the last time, she wanted to get back together, but I pushed her away. I didn't want to hold her back.





Since my phone and laptop got destroyed, I lost all my pictures, I only have that one. That's all that is left of our 3 year relationship and 4 years we knew each other in this life.

A few months later, I had finally saved up $20,000 again and took down another $5,000 for 3rd in a large field MTT. I could have chopped for closer to $10k but I never chop. The next tournament I played I won for $225,000. Robusto! That was one of the great nights of my life. It was also my ex-girlfriend's birthday. We had not talked on the phone in couple months, and by then we were both just starting to date other people, but I texted her happy birthday when I arrived at the casino that last day. I also texted with the Chinese poker player girl who I had started dating 1-2 weeks earlier after we met at that same casino. She was my rail for that tournament. Now I've played poker over 10 years and I've never dated anyone from poker or the casino, never even tried, that was a lonely, solitary journey for me. Lots of nights driving 2 hours home after soul crushing losses.

But when I met her and we just start dating, and she's my rail when I win for me a life changing tournament, I thought maybe that would be the start of something special. There was also the possibility to get back together with my ex-girlfriend, finally settle down with her, but by then things were more complicated. We talked on the phone that night, she congratulated me, turns out there was another phone call that I missed the following week and that's when she decided to start dating her new boyfriend. Later she told me she thought I didn't want her anymore after winning. That wasn't true at all.

A few weeks go by, and I had not heard again from my ex-girlfriend. My intuition told me that meant she was dating someone else, so I called her up and asked. She said "yes, couple weeks now". So we were in the same situation. That summer she dated her new boyfriend, maybe that was her Someone New. I dated Chinese poker player girl. Maybe that was my Someone New. Eventually, she flaked out on me. The last time we saw each other, I told her that I hoped we would be close and in each other's lives for a long time, there was a friend from college, not a girlfriend, who just vanished on me one day without explanation, so many people that I had played poker with over the years, same thing. Chinese poker player girl never saw me again.





So now we're getting back to the story of the Boeing options, but first let me close out what happened with my ex-girlfriend. Since I had been dating around that summer, the poker player who flaked out on me, and also the sugar baby I stopped seeing around the same time, things were not complicated anymore. The only play was to settle down with my ex. I discovered, however, she was not single. She'd been dating the same guy for months. That really bothered me, they had a thing, maybe she had sex with him, but I decided to be a man about it and approach her about getting back together. I asked her if she was happy. She said yes. Nothing else. I froze. Really I didn't know what else to say after that. I will never know if I could have tried harder and broken them up, got her back, but the words:

Quote:
Me: Are you happy?

Her: Yes.
Had a very powerful effect on me. I wanted her to be happy in life. I couldn't bring myself to sabotage two people's chance at happiness because of me.

When that happened, a month later was the crash of Lion Air Flight 610, killing all 189 passengers and crew on board:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_Air_Flight_610

The Indonesian flight attendant worked at Lion Air. Immediately I reached out to her, and thankfully she was no longer working there, she had switched to a different international airline. She did know at least one of the crew. She was the only other potential girlfriend who meant anything to me at the time, so I approached her about getting back together, but she declined because of what happened before. My dating game completely dried up. Since I was 36-37 years old I was getting age filtered on dating apps, and I lived in the middle of nowhere. Poker and investing/trading was all I could do. I ran my poker bankroll up to almost half a million dollars at one point, that's the story about how I turned that $500 of bitcoin into almost half a million dollars in a little over a year.

The Boeing options were because I kept researching the company after the Lion Air crash and trying to get back together with Indonesian Flight Attendant Girl. I knew exactly what was wrong with the Boeing Max airplanes, they were dangerous and not airworthy, the company would be exposed to lawsuits, there could be more crashes, they were also reckless and irresponsible with their balance sheet, so they would be crushed in a recession. Not confident on the timing and didn't want to gamble, but I bought $40,000 of low EV deep out-of-the-money puts because I thought I had an edge. They were LEAPs that expired more than a year later, January 2020, that gave me a lot more time to be right. If they paid out because there were more crashes, I didn't want it to be blood money, so I decided I would donate some or a lot of the money to the families of the victims. If they didn't pay out, well, I could afford to lose the money and I was committed to the sweat because Boeing murdered those poor Indonesians and then tried to blame them for being third-world brown people.

In the meantime, I tried to meet someone to date because the anxiety was really starting to build that I might wind up alone in life. It's been the only fear I've ever had, since childhood, not in the desperate clingy way, because I didn't have a girlfriend for several years after Ohio State Girl, and then I was also completely celibate without even a single date from my mid-20s to early-30s. I always thought it would happen one day, but in hindsight, because my parents were teenagers in high school when they had me, and my childhood was miserable because of it, I was never interested in getting married at 20 or something, 30+ would be more responsible. However, that's just not how it works in Indiana. If you want a good girlfriend, good wife, nice stable relationship, you need to find one by late teens - early 20s. Mid-20s is rare, like that Japanese Christmas cake expression, but after that it's divorced women, baby mommas, or women that I would not find attractive. For some people those things may not matter, they are just happy to meet anyone, but for me personally I wasn't interested.

Everyone else moves to the coasts, New York, L.A., they are ladder climbers, you better be making millions if you want to marry a beautiful, successful, highly desirable woman in her 30s. That's not me, at least not so far. Would have been helpful to know these things when I was younger, but too late for that now.





So that's why I moved to L.A. last year. After a year of being single and alone and the clock running out in the middle of nowhere, I had that trip to visit my mom in the hospital when she almost died, and went back looking around all my childhood haunts in Indianapolis. Depressing. Drove by Ohio State Girl's million dollar 8-bedroom house, saw her silhouette far removed back in the room on the other side of her front window, like a faded memory, stopped at Purdue on my drive back home, kept thinking about her house and the nice life she had built over 10-15 years, kept analyzing all my past relationships, what went wrong, how was it possible to not wind up with someone? Wasn't there anyone out there for me? Suddenly all of life's insights started to hit me. There was just Ohio State Girl. My ex-girlfriend and I couldn't have wound up together. Like Wong Kar-wai said:

Quote:
Love is all a matter of timing. It's no good meeting the right person too soon or too late.
I spent several years trying to make it happen with my ex-girlfriend, and by the time I did, we had just broken up and started dating other people. It was too late.

Ohio State Girl was different. I fell in love with her the very first night we met and I have never forgotten about her and I never will. The Japanese have what they call The Red Thread of Fate:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_thread_of_fate

Destiny that ties two people's souls together regardless of how strong those bonds are tested in life. Stretched, but never broken. We grew up 10-15 minutes away from each other, and were the only two people from our hometown at college in another state. Out of tens of thousands of students on campus, all of the possibilities, we were next-door neighbors. Her dad was in the Navy and I was a midshipmen in the Navy. I was studying to be a scientist and she was studying to be a scientist. Our birthdays were the same forward and backward, 3-29 and 9-23. We were both in love with each other from the first night we met, but we never dated, just friends.

Did I do something wrong? Had their been, on my part, lack of volition? I couldn't stop thinking about her, torturing myself in my mind, over and over again. Everything about my identity and who I am comes back to this girl. After I met her and after she blocked me out of her life, without explanation, I started getting into anime. I took Japanese classes for a year at Purdue. There were the Asian movies (Zhang Ziyi) and later the Asian girlfriends. Yuna Kim and my Ozu + Setsuko Hara thread. All these years, everything was repressed. I didn't even realize I was doing these things because of her. Became the person I am because of her. Like what I like because of her. Conversely, she married up in life socioeconomically. She has been with the same guy almost her entire adult life. They are about to have their fourth kid.

All traces of her love for me have long since vanished from eternity, her identity and what defines her as a woman completely diverged. I've never stopped thinking about her and sometimes trying to look her up for 15+ years. I couldn't take the pain anymore, total crisis, I had to leave. I had to leave Indiana and get as far away from her as possible. I had to leave Chicago and get as far away from my ex-girlfriend and our failed memories as possible. I had to get as far away from Michigan and Chinese poker player girl as possible. People asked me where I was going and I said I don't know, I just have to "go". The farthest I could go before the Pacific Ocean stopped me was Las Vegas and L.A. You're always trying to rationalize and find any hope you can when things go bad like this, some path forward, so for me that was the idea that maybe my mid-life crisis was necessary. Perhaps all of that pain was necessary for me to move onto some more important chapter of my life. Vegas was Vegas, trying to put everything I had into work but instead running bad, losing lots of money, I wanted to quit, but I didn't, I had promised myself that for once I would finish my commitment no matter what and play the tournaments as scheduled. There was always the Main Event at the end, and of course I got it in good only to get busted by an ace on the river the very first night.

But it wasn't just the poker. It was the fact that I had purposefully tried to get as far away from Michigan and Chinese poker player girl as possible. We hadn't talked in a year. One weekend, my buddy was visiting from San Francisco. He rented an expensive suite at Aria and was going to propose to his girlfriend. She dumped him a couple days earlier. Devastated, I took him out to drink and pick up girls one night. We're sitting there at the Rio bar and he likes this beautiful 32 year old Chinese woman who works at the Wynn. I told him no problem, I'll get her for him. Eventually, I do get her to ditch the man she was with and hang out with us at the bar. I leave them, come back later and turns out she likes me, not him. Feels like I ****ed up somehow. Just as I'm meeting her, I get a text from guess who? Chinese poker girl. Again, we hadn't talked in a year.

Quote:
Hi Mark, this is [...]. I finished my [graduate studies]. I'm leaving the country tomorrow and returning home to China. Thank you for your support. Goodbye.
I tried to message her back but again, there was never any reply.

About a week later, I get seated next to new Chinese poker girl in the Little Drop. Of course, I'm thinking about what happened back in Michigan with the first one. What are the chances we get seated next to each other?? Coincidence? Fate? Am I going to win another tournament? Will this girl be the one? Not a chance. We both busto early, meet for one date, and decide we're going different directions. That's the end of that.

But I was also trying to get as far away from Chicago and my ex-girlfriend as possible. A few weeks after I moved to L.A., she got engaged. She got married a few months ago, on the same day Ohio State Girl got married many years ago, who I was also trying to get as far away from as possible. Now they have the exact same anniversary. I don't know how that sounds to other people reading this thread, but me and Ohio State Girl having the same birthday forwards and backwards, then all these years later, trying to make a life for myself like she did with her family, the one woman that I had, the girl who I would drop off after our dates at the house where she lived with all her brothers and sisters, she would always walk up to her room on the top 3rd or 4th floor, look outside her window and wave at me, or smile, or just stare with a sad, longing look until I drove away, unknowingly, there was a final time and then less than the following year she was engaged and now she's married to another man, and she got married on the same day as Ohio State Girl. The way I am with numbers, it was like the end of Chinatown, no matter where you go or what you do, the same tragedy happens again later in life.

But the last straw was the Boeing options and the dreams I kept having night after night for almost a year. The same dream every night or every other night, that Boeing stock would crash one month after my options expired. The same dream over and over again, just imagine what that's like, so finally I rolled or changed the expiration date from January 2020 to February 2020 thinking that really wouldn't make much difference but at least it would calm my anxiety about the dreams. I didn't care when they expired worthless in February, they were always +EV but unlikely to pay out, but it was the market crashing one month after that, in March, when those options would have been worth millions and millions of dollars, that permanently life tilted me. Those were $40,000 worth more than that house in the picture above, the same poor house my mother rented when we were growing up, and to have been that close to coming up in the world from that, to possessing millions and millions of dollars, to instead not just being wrong but to have been taunted by the same dream every night for almost a year, the same dream that came true even though I tried to make an adjustment--

Well on top of everything with Ohio State Girl and my ex-girlfriend I was just broken on permanent life tilt. Everything broke inside me. A man cannot stand against the will of God.

I no longer had any will to live, nor did I have any will to die, because of fear that my pain would then become eternal. But trying to save myself or start over or rationalize or make a plan for this or that was equally futile. Hopeless, I dramatically increased my already heavy drinking, finishing off 3-4 bottles of bourbon a week all year this year. Constantly drunk, passing out, day after day, week after week, month after month. Trash and dishes piling up, not showering for a week sometimes, finally I just had to do something so I decided to donate almost all of my money to charity, which you can read about in this thread if you're so inclined:

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/3...27/?highlight=

I only kept a little less than $10k for food and gas money etc. My body has started to break down from the incredibly heavy drinking. I didn't want to go out that way, at least try and help other people, which brings me back to Indonesian Flight Attendant Girl and the conclusion of this very long post.





The other charitable thing I've been doing this year was sending a little money to Indonesian Flight Attendant Girl because she lost her job in March and hasn't been able to work since then. She's still on suspended contract until at least June. She had to move out of Jakarta and into one of the cheaper areas on the outskirts with lots of immigrants. She has a tiny house or apartment, and her sick mom moved in with her. So I wanted to help her get through the pandemic if I could. We have started and tried to rekindle a relationship three different times without success, the feeling is not the same on both sides anymore, and I'm now far too broken for a relationship, but we still care about each other and she's the only one I keep in contact with anymore. We skype sometimes. For Christmas, she's never had a Christmas tree before, or celebrated Christmas at all for that matter, Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country, however; she loves all that marketed bourgeoisie stuff like Disney, Tinkerbell, so I bought her a Christmas tree for Christmas because that's what she wanted and then I gave her money for ornaments we both picked together.





I think she did a really nice job with the decorations.

Next, I suggested that I would order Indonesian food from a restaurant here if she wanted to cook some Indonesian food herself at her place, and we could open presents and share Christmas Eve / Christmas together on Skype if she wanted. She said yes, so that's how I spent my Christmas Eve and Christmas this year, ordering $100 of Indonesian cuisine from Simpang Asia and talking to her on Skype.





Nasi Goreng Jawa (fried rice + noodle dish w/ vegetables, pickles, spices, sweet soy sauce, and sambal) was very good.

Kroket (breaded potato ball with meat filling) and dipping sauce were all quite tasty.

Lemper (sweet rice roll with shredded coconut chicken) tasted like eating a wet sock, I could only stomach 2-3 bites.





That's Nasi Kunding or Festival Rice (Turmeric coconut rice, chicken sate with peanut sauce, coconut beef steak (rendang), sambal egg, fried noodle, shredded egg, caramelized potato, tempeh & peanuts). Very tasty.





Ayam Bakar (Grilled chicken w/ soy coconut marinade, comes with rice.) very good except for the dark meat half, I always hate eating dark meat.





Cooked some rice (I love white rice).





And she also cooked a much healthier Indonesian dish with better presentation.

We had Martabak Manis (Indonesian pancake slice with chocolate, cheese, peanut, sesame seeds, and milk.) for dessert, yum. For these side dishes I ordered each, one for her and one for me.





So that's how I spent my Christmas Eve / Christmas this year, sharing Indonesian food, she opened presents for us, and we talked on Skype. She was ecstatic to celebrate her first Christmas and finally have the Christmas tree I guess she's always wanted. Win/win for everyone involved.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone on 2+2. I hope you were all blessed this year, able to spend time with your loved ones, and I pray for those who became sick or passed on during this year of plague.

May the new year be the year you have all hoped and waited for in life.



Last edited by Shuffle; 12-29-2020 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 12-29-2020, 05:21 PM   #260
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

That was a great post, happy holidays Shuffle. May you find your purpose soon
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Old 12-30-2020, 01:46 AM   #261
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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Slowly catching up...

And that feeling about Ozu movies is not just an idea now, but it's a religious belief. I had a different, yet similar experience watching Pale Flower tonight. It's a nihilistic film.
I don't think it's nihilistic at all (and I am regarded as a nihilist by many), but I think its structure is so alien that it hard to perceive. And I'm not just talking about Muraki's code of honor, but Mariko's seemingly-random-but-actually-perfectly-rational trajectory as well.

Quote:

That was the perfect time to watch Pale Flower. Now I know it's the only time.
I think this might be the answer. I've assigned this film to forum regulars and to randos on bar stools, and I've always expected them to come proclaiming it as the greatest film ever, but they seldom do. I could all be in the timing. It has to be caught on the right bounce.
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Old 12-30-2020, 08:01 AM   #262
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Golly, that was a great post. However, it was also very long, and I proceeded to read the donation thread afterwards. So by now I've forgotten what I was going to say.

One thing that struck me (once again) is how much American society is about money and becoming "successful". I don't think I could ever thrive in that country.
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Old 01-01-2021, 12:24 AM   #263
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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That was a great post, happy holidays Shuffle. May you find your purpose soon
Thanks fast. You, bob, anyone else do anything special for the holidays this year?


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Originally Posted by Phat Mack View Post
I think this might be the answer. I've assigned this film to forum regulars and to randos on bar stools, and I've always expected them to come proclaiming it as the greatest film ever, but they seldom do. I could all be in the timing. It has to be caught on the right bounce.

I could just pick up on so many more things when in the right state of mind. Mariko Kaga's eyes in the next to last scene are everything.


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One thing that struck me (once again) is how much American society is about money and becoming "successful". I don't think I could ever thrive in that country.

Money doesn't really interest me but success does.
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Old 01-01-2021, 12:52 AM   #264
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Did get to play poker at my local cardroom, which I am thankful for
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Old 01-01-2021, 12:55 AM   #265
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

I haven't played in 10 months. Lucky you!
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Old 01-01-2021, 08:40 AM   #266
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Great post and insane bad beat with the Boeing options.
You do a lot with trading and investing or was that mostly a one-off with the connections to Indonesian girl etc...?
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Old 01-01-2021, 01:15 PM   #267
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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I decided not to get another phone. It's almost impossible to live without a phone these days, but somehow I managed.
Strong move.
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Since my phone and laptop got destroyed, I lost all my pictures, I only have that one. That's all that is left of our 3 year relationship and 4 years we knew each other in this life.
A blessing that you're such a talented writer. You bring her to life in a way that the pic only hints at.
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Those were $40,000 worth more than that house in the picture above, the same poor house my mother rented when we were growing up, and to have been that close to coming up in the world from that, to possessing millions and millions of dollars, to instead not just being wrong but to have been taunted by the same dream every night for almost a year, the same dream that came true even though I tried to make an adjustment--
This section is incredibly poignant, I mean JFC. Thanks for sharing.

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Originally Posted by Sheep86
One thing that struck me (once again) is how much American society is about money and becoming "successful". I don't think I could ever thrive in that country.
+1. Unfortunately I live here too. Shuffle's epic poast reminds me of the time when I dressed up as Chris McCandless for Halloween—why I did that, and how I want to position myself within this society.
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Money doesn't really interest me but success does.
Reminds me of the motives of so many players in the poker world. I know you despise poker, though, so I'll keep it out of your thread
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Thanks fast. You, bob, anyone else do anything special for the holidays this year?
I just updated my PGC. EOY cliffs: drove to AZ for the holidays with my folks, here for a few weeks. Things are good.

Hope you're hanging in! Thanks again for sharing.
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Old 01-01-2021, 11:05 PM   #268
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

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You do a lot with trading and investing or was that mostly a one-off with the connections to Indonesian girl etc...?
I only trade short-term in fast markets. When vol comes in I like just investing in stock or short position with LEAP puts. But really, I don't do a lot ... #1 rule for me is wait for premium spots and don't overtrade ... and #2 when it comes to long-term investing, I think Mark Cuban has a great point that most people make their money on their first or second best idea, not their tenth.


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reminds me of the time when I dressed up as Chris McCandless for Halloween—why I did that, and how I want to position myself within this society.
How many people recognized your costume?

Btw I'm going to read that Moth and the Mountain book I posted about in the donation thread.





Different from McCandless but another solo man vs. nature book if you like that genre.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...-but-beautiful


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Reminds me of the motives of so many players in the poker world. I know you despise poker, though, so I'll keep it out of your thread

Nah poker is cool in this thread. Phat Mack lectures me about being a nit all the time.


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I just updated my PGC. EOY cliffs: drove to AZ for the holidays with my folks, here for a few weeks. Things are good.

Hope you're hanging in! Thanks again for sharing.

One more post and then I'll hop over there and check out your update.

Last edited by Shuffle; 01-01-2021 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 01-04-2021, 11:16 AM   #269
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

New Year's Eve 2020

I have a severe case of Covid-19.

Early last week I was making a late-night grocery store run. The store closes at 11 p.m. and I always go at 10-10:30 on weeknights. Even wearing a mask, you don't want to share the air in buildings with lots of people, and there are very few people in the store that late at night. It's a routine that has worked well for me in the past. Unfortunately, I arrived at the store at my usual time, only for the security guard to lock the door and inform me they were closing early, without explanation. F***. Like the degen I am, I decided to gamble it up on another store. What could go wrong? Even walking into a supermarket full of people, buying milk, orange juice, red apples, and a few bottles of cheap whiskey-- I would still have to run bad to contract the virus.

So after Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, my Skype date with Indonesian Flight Attendant Girl, eating all that yummy Indonesian food in the pictures above, I binge drank my way through the early symptoms last weekend. Monday morning woke me with the familiar feeling of another hangover. But this was different. One look in the mirror and I saw swollen bags around my eyes, with a dark, bruised tint, and felt pressure in my throat, both sides, just underneath my jaw and chin. F***. Tuesday offered a false sense of relief -- I woke up feeling fine. Maybe it was too much whiskey after all.

But Tuesday night I was walking into my kitchen, and Covid hit me with breathing problems and early symptoms of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) just as fast as a storm cloud changes the ground from dry to wet with a sudden downpour of rain. The wind capacity instantly left my lungs, breathing became labored and strenuous, I had no other choice but to immediately retreat to the couch, then bed, and lie down.


36 hours


That was the amount of time, Tuesday night - Thursday morning, when the sirens of death once again sang out my name. I have been shot, stabbed, gassed, run over by a car, and knocked unconscious several other times playing sports; back in August I drank an entire bottle of bourbon in 5 minutes and woke up two days later as a test of faith. Sometimes I feel invincible. Sometimes I feel cursed, like Bill Murray's character in Groundhog Day. Always however I'm afraid the next time will be the last time, especially when you're lying immobile on a couch or bed for 1.5 days, breathing distressed and audible breaths, lungs and respiratory tract filled with toxic fire, virulent cells destroying your organs, looking at the official recommendations on the CDC and other websites, advising you to seek emergency medical attention immediately, thinking about calling the ambulance, but instead arranging your finances and writing a couple of letters that you intend to mail in case you never leave the hospital alive.


Quote:
Hello [....], this is Mark.

I tried to contact you at your old work email eight years ago, I don't know if you ever received or not.
Currently I'm going into the hospital for Covid-19. Doesn't look good for me.

In case I never have another opportunity, I wanted to tell you something important. I've been in love with you from the first night we ever met, and I always will be. I have never stopped thinking about you these many long years. I know you have a family and you are doing well, for that I am thankful. My one hope was always that we might reconcile one day later in life, even as friends. Should that not come to pass, please remember how very dear you were to me.

God Bless you and your family.

Your Friend,
Always,

Mark

Writing out that letter and another to my ex-girlfriend, and putting them in addressed envelopes with stamps, PM'ing Sheep so he could let the forum know what happened in case I was never heard from again, well, everything seemed so dreadful to me. My breathing was poor but stable, but constriction and pain continued deeper down into my lungs every hour. I have never had pneumonia, but I imagine that's what pneumonia feels like. My immune system launched into cycles of more and more aggressive counterattacks. My fever spiked to 103* F, then 105* F, then 106+ ...





Suddenly, I realized that I didn't care if I died right where I lay. The reason I was in such a position was because of my drinking, having conspired against my own immune defenses by drinking excessive amounts of alcohol through the early stages of infection. The same thoughts of pain and futility that constantly return to terrorize my mind and make me drink, enveloped my soul in that hour after midnight, seducing me into the darkness, tempting me with death and the cessation of struggle, except they were rebuked as always by ignoble survival instincts, afraid to suffer forever, afraid of the eternal unknown.

When the burning in my lungs intensified one last time and my body temperature soared far above anything I've experienced before, I remembered something I wrote in my Christmas blog post:


Quote:
I have neither the will to live nor the will to die.

A man cannot stand against the will of God, but a simple leaf does blow in the wind at the mercy of His grace.

And so like Julius Caesar pulling his toga over his head on the floor of the Theatre of Pompey, I pulled the blankets over my head and resigned myself to my fate. There were no Senators present to stab me with their blades, just the virus rampaging through my body, but whatever would happen to me, recovery, or death in bed that night -- I said to myself, let God's Will be done.





Back in April I discarded another post because I was tired of complaining , but now I'm on the other side of the wilderness. This is the perfect time to revisit that thread. Cecil B. DeMille's Biblical epic The Ten Commandments, otherwise known as "The Sexodus", is one of my favorite films for many reasons: Edith Head's costumes, Elmer Bernstein's music, Chuck Heston's proclamations, Yul Brynner's swag, more than 15,000 Old Hollywood extras, and Anne Baxter's glorious breasts. Steven Spielberg says the parting of the Red Sea is the greatest FX shot in movie history. He's probably right.

But the second best part of The Ten Commandments happens when Cecile B. DeMille narrates Moses' crossing of the uncrossable desert after his banishment from Egypt. It's the single greatest monologue of all time.


Quote:
Into the blistering wilderness of Shur, the man who walked with kings, now walks alone.
Quote:
Torn from the pinnacle of royal power. Stripped of all rank and earthly wealth. A forsaken man, without a country, without a hope.

Everyone I've ever known and cared about, scientists, lawyers, engineers, doctors, dentists, naval officers, mathematicians, a tax associate. They're all gone. They've all long since left my life.

Because I'm me, a poker player, a failed writer, an outcast, always out-of-place, forced into self-imposed exile, hiding from the rigid demands of the world. A man who hasn't seen anyone he knows in almost two years.


Quote:
His soul in turmoil, like the hot winds and raging sands that lash him with the fury of a taskmaster's whip.

Repressed memories of a college friendship, unconsummated love, the girl with the same birthday as mine, except backwards, remembering that on the night we first met I told myself "don't ever let her out of your life"; how she left me at the proverbial train station in Paris, never to be seen or heard from again; how everything I became in this world or didn't become in this world was because of her; how incredibly unlikely it is that I will ever love someone like that again, not least because we were fated to meet each other, according to our red thread of destiny; how I could shield myself from those acrid feelings by having sex with as many women as I want, except the idea of sex disgusts me, knowing my desire for her was never consummated, while she has slept with another man every night for the last 15 years; how I eventually did what every other man does in that situation, those of us who are unfortunate enough to not wind up with our one true love in life, I made peace with everything and tried to meet someone new, a nice woman, and find whatever happiness I could with her; except how the exact same thing happened again all these years later; and how she married another man on the exact same date; and how at the end of my sanity, I tried to disfigure myself into an ordinary megalomaniac, and failed, taunted by the same damned dream, over and over again, night after night, for one interminable year.


Quote:
And he is driven forward, always forward, by a God unknown, toward a land unseen.

From Indianapolis, to Chicago, to Las Vegas, now L.A. I have no idea how I've made it this far, or where I'm going, or why I'm still here.


Quote:
Into the molten wilderness of sin, where granite sentinels stand as towers of living death to bar his way.
Quote:
Each night brings the black embrace of loneliness. In the mocking whisper of the wind he hears the echoing voices of the dark.

"Moses. Moses. Moses. Moses."

His tortured mind wondering if they call the memory of past triumphs, or wail foreboding of disasters yet to come. Or whether the desert's hot breath has melted his reason into madness.

My sentinels of sin resemble glass bottles of vice, given to drink away those voices of the night with poisoned tonic, until the brown and amber hues alternately quell and elucidate my irrevocable past.


Quote:
He cannot cool the burning kiss of thirst upon his lips, nor shade the scorching fury of the sun.
Quote:
All about is desolation.

Whatever I have tried these past two years, has ended in failure, leading me further and further into the ignoble desert of self-preservation.

Behind me, I see exercises in futility and frustration. Ahead of me, I see nothing but barren terrain.


Quote:
He can neither bless nor curse the power that moves him, for he does not know from where it comes.

I'm guilty of cursing that power, far more than I have blessed or praised it. I have reached what many Christians refer to as The Dark Night of the Soul:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Night_of_the_Soul

When I started this journey, I wanted to live my life a certain way and help other people when I could. Altruism for the sake of altruism. Do the right thing. What happened was I wound up alone, miserable, disconsolate, wondering whether I had literally accomplished my goal, or perhaps I had deceived myself and hurt more people than I had ever helped.


Quote:
Learning that it can be more terrible to live than to die, he is driven onward, through the burning crucible of desert, where holy men and prophets are cleansed and purged for God's great purpose.

I am neither a holy man nor a prophet, and I cannot envision any amount of money or success that could ever bring me happiness, nor any selfish act or good deed, but I am driven onward, towards what purpose, if any, I cannot possibly hope to conceive.


Quote:
Until at last, at the end of human strength, beaten into the dust from which he came, the metal is ready for the maker's hand.

And that brings me back to New Year's Eve 2020. My fever soared to over 106 degrees. My lungs and respiratory tract were on fire. I was struggling to breathe. The official recommendation was to seek emergency medical attention immediately, but like Julius Caesar, I pulled cover over my head, and resigned myself to either life or death -- whichever it would be, God would decide my fate.

And then I succumbed to my circumstances, and passed out, and I dreamed the most vivid dreams.





There was Setsuko, across the room, except not the actress, but the real one, the one who is no longer in this world.

And she cast her beautiful, wildly eccentric smile in my direction, and I longed to stay there with her, and smile back at her, and talk to her, however she cheekily told me:


Quote:
Leave, go away!

And then I was somewhere else, and there was a cloud, and an arm extended out of the cloud.





And I was touched by the Finger of God. And I heard His voice:


Quote:
I am the Lord, and this is my only Son.

And then I woke from the deepest sleep of my life on the morning of New Year's Eve, December 31st, 2020. I was so exhausted I could not even lift a finger or turn an eyeball. But I was alive, and I was miraculously healed. There were no more early signs of ARDS, no more trouble breathing, no more fire in my lungs and respiratory tract. Within a couple hours I was walking around my apartment, cooking, celebrating, regretting it later that night, when the residual pain returned to my scarred lungs, which still hurt now, a few days later, but I am alive.


Quote:
And he found strength from a fruit-laden palm tree, and life-giving water flowing from the well of Midian!

I'm still sick with Covid, but the worst has passed, I'm recovering now. I hope my lungs will heal in time. I can't believe what happened, receiving a vision from the Lord, touched by the Finger of God. Are you kidding me? I had been in such a dark, dark place. All weekend, the same negative thoughts that had previously consumed my soul, kept coming back to me, and they are still there, but now they've been superseded by this vision I had, saved by the grace of the Lord.

And so this will serve as a liminal post in this thread, my blog, leaving behind 2020, and leaving behind my backstory, all the things I have talked about over and over again until this point.

I'm one week sober now, and it's the New Year, 2021, and any future long posts, if there are any, will be moving forward, into the next chapter of my life.

Last edited by Shuffle; 01-04-2021 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 01-04-2021, 08:47 PM   #270
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

This is shocking news, Shuffle. I hope you get well. If you have fever, you may not be thinking clearly. Is there someone you can call or talk to? It might be useful to get their opinion of how well you are, how soundly you are thinking, and whether you should take that dreaded trip to the hospital.

I wish you the best.

PM
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Old 01-06-2021, 03:00 AM   #271
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Thanks Mack, I appreciate that. I probably should have been in the hospital at least two days, but I'm feeling a lot better now. Just need to rest and hope my lungs heal. Fortunately I did not lose my sense of taste or smell, and I guess this means I'm free to play cards whenever they open the casinos back up.
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Old 01-06-2021, 09:34 AM   #272
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

I'm glad you're doing better. That dream about Setsuko must have been something though. Did she tell you to leave in English or Japanese?

I've probably said this before, but as far as I can tell you really have a gift when it comes to writing. It would be cool if you could get something published someday.
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Old 01-09-2021, 01:11 PM   #273
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Well thank you but I would disagree, this is just amateur practice writing. A little therapeutic embarrassment.
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:54 AM   #274
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

Ordered a nice throw blanket. Furniture obviously not mine.




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Old 01-27-2021, 10:58 PM   #275
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Re: YOLO -- Las Vegas and Tokyo Story Edition

1'm officially back in **** swinging mode. Everyone recommended to stay out of my way.
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