Monday, December 21, 2009

clean without bins

the holiday got off to the worst possible start when i was picked up in a cab (which i was not responsible for arranging!) and it turned out to be one of those 'transport for london sticker' cab driver mongs. the only way from that start was up.
and up it was. essentially, it's an awesome place to visit.

the best and worst of japan

everyone is polite. i got bowed to millions of times. and i'm not even important.
kids aren't bastards like they are here.
lots of women walk around in short skirts and long socks even in winter!
there was a little earthquake, about 5.3 Richters, when i was there (though it didn't wake me)
heated toilet seats
bullet trains. sat in first class by mistake for a bit. how lovely it was while it lasted.

there weren't robots everywhere, flying cars, hoverboards and all the other gadgets i expected. although the taxi's did have automatic doors and you could pay them by card.
air hostesses on plane didn't speak english and on the way back all the meals were frozen. frozen fruit, omlettes etc aren't tasty even when you haven't eaten for 10 hours.
enormously high population density means everywhere in tokyo is always busy.
weak pound means everything is slightly more expensive than london.
stupid currency difference means i have no idea what anything costs. ie have to pay for everything in the thousands and am too lazy to convert numbers in my head.
no vending machines with anything other than soft drinks and cigarettes - nothing crazy like knickers.

it's clean but there are no bins

gonna add some photos when i get a chance.

had a tea ceremony where the lady said words to the effect of "you only get one meeting with some people in life, so make the most out of every experience"

Sunday, December 06, 2009


leaving in 13 hours.

haven't started packing yet.

got my suitcase out but cat has fallen asleep in it.

oh and yeah, ran bad.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

all the small things

people think that a hero is someone who does a noble and grand gesture to save others from perilous danger. well, that's what the tv tells me.

and the reason i dislike most people is because they believe that to be true. well, that and the fact that as chuck once (almost) said "people never really listen. they're just waiting for their turn to speak".
and when i read those words i was happy someone else could put so simply into words something i hadn't been able to formulate myself, yet it was something i instantly knew to be true. and since then i've been depressed every time i notice how true it is.

so i always cherish the moments when people don't act so selfishly, and it restores my faith in humanity after it gets grinded away by everyday life (mostly by other car drivers)

of car drivers, my least favourite is an illiterate man from new orleans. my friend and i left houston after outstaying our welcome at a friends house who was leaving on holiday with her family. so we were taking the 30 hour bus to orlando. and whilst there were reports of a hurricane on the way our hosts really had to go on holiday.
so we took the bus. after about 6 hours, and reaching dusk, i blinked and the sky went black. my friend and i shot each other a glance and before we could say anything the bus driver announced we were shortly gonna stop in n'orleans cos there was a hurricane and we couldn't go any further.
we roll into the bus stop at about 10pm. we find a phone box and call some motels listed next to the phone box. one has space so we go outside and hail a cab. we tell him the address, show it to him to as we had written it down. he kinda nods and drives off. 15 mins later he stops, we pay him and get out. it was a beautiful neighbourhood but it slowly dawns on us that there was a distinct lack of hotel. we turn around to question him and notice he's already taken our bags out the boot, dumped them behind us and started to drive off.

so we look around. 1030pm. no phone boxes, no shops, no people.
till we see some young dude walking down the street and then towards a house on the other side of the road. we cross over and as he's waiting by the door i shout to him (it was a nice long pathway up to the door) "can we borrow your phone?"

"not my house" he replies "it's my girlfriend's"

not so great.

some middle aged lady opens the door and lets him in. he must have mentioned something to her as she looks at us and asks if she can help. we explain the goings on and primarily due to our english accents she invites us in. apparently her daughter had been travelling in england the year before and she would have expected someone to help her daughter out in a similar spot.
so she calls us a cab as we sit round the kitchen table with her daughter who was hot, and her daughter's friend who called us wankers! she said here, wanker meant someone from the west bank of the mississippi, but she also knew what it meant to us!

so we exchanged emails caught a cab, and enjoyed n'orelans for a day before moving onto to florida the next evening which included meeting some old dude at a bus station in tallahassee showing us his gun shot wounds. plural.

so whilst hero may be a bit strong, the unnecessary kindness towards strangers is something that i hope i'll never forget.

if someone is so kind to strangers, imagine how they'll treat people they care about.*

i like to think of stu ungar, who's lawyer once remarked to him he was short of cash. so stu gave him $10k and said pay me back when you can. and if you can't, i don't care.
or pavel erdos, who literally gave away any money he ever had.

*imo sometimes it harder to be nice to people you care about because if a stranger fucks you over it doesn't hurt half as much as when someone you care about does.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

the end of days

well, that was overly dramatic a title but the completely irrelevant timeline of the end of the year is almost upon us.
i'd heard lots of things before about days/weeks/months being unimportant as it's a game for the long run but only recently have i begun to not just understand that it's true but act in a manner than accepts it.
this end of year goal setting worked pretty good for me and it was only last night that i tilted hard for the first time in ages losing about $3k at 2/4.

what's nice about now is time off 'work' but also i'm off to japan for two weeks so i'll only be playing a few more hands of poker in december. gonna try to hit my vpp target this week before the i go away, but likely will have to finish it off when i return.

i checked my yearly results and i thought that i had two five figure months earlier in the year (march and april) (one positive, one negative) but it turns out they were both just short of 5 figures.
and even though i did loads on my last session i hit a $10k month. woo.

i bought some jelly bellies again recently. they're so so so good. and i mean so good that i have to hide them from myself (so i can't see them all the time) otherwise i just don't stop eating them. and then all the flavours melt into one so i just eat them faster. which is good but also bad.

one thing i've noticed is that i really don't like taxi meters. i rarely take cabs, but the never ending rising of the numbers without an end in sight always makes me nervous. i find myself racing against the meter even though i'm not driving. i think i'm competitive.

i also noticed that one of my cats is highly electrically charged. when i stroke her and then touch her near her ear a spark will literally fly between said ear and my hand. this is weird. my cat also finds it weird judging by the look she gives me when it happens.

the main difference between cats and dogs is dogs have owners whilst cats have staff.
the second difference is when cats bite you it hurts a little bit. when dogs try to bite your leg off at the ankle because they 'want to play with you' but just miss, catch you jeans and wont let go it's much scarier.

anyway, here's a garph

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