Lousy Start

So I wake up on time and pack up my bags to head to NJ later tonight – I have three bags, my laptop bag, my disc golf bag, and my luggage, probably weighing 50 lbs.  I leave Bryan’s and walk 12 blocks to the W.  I take the W to Queensboro Plaza to transfer and get the 7, which will take me 3 blocks from work.  I try to get out and there are HORDES of people thronging in.  I start yelling “Trying to get out”, and I literally have to pull my bags through the people with full force.  I get out finally, only to realize there were so many people because the 7 wasn’t running (a fire in one of the stations).  By now, there are hundreds of people waiting for the W (the one I fought to get off) since that’s the only nearby train into Manhattan.

If I were to wait, it would be about 6 or 7 trains before I could get on (especially with all my bags).  So I end
up decided to walk the 4 miles over the bridge and to work.  That SUCKED.  Most of my body hurts now, and I don’t feel like doing ANY work.

And it’s only 11am.

St. Patrick’s Day Classic

This may be the first tournament in my life that was totally consistent and I don’t really need to break it down round-by-round (but of course I will).  My rounds were perfectly all over the place.  We played at Shady Oaks Park in Sacramento (Orangevale).  This was the closest I’ve come to New England golf (there were trees and fairways – oh my!)

Friday – Doubles – Paired up with Jesse Williams, a good pro (990+).  I had only gotten there ten minutes before tee time so I didn’t warm up.  It showed, my throws were all over the place.  But we complimented each other – when he screwed up, I had a good shot.  We didn’t really give up many strokes (aside from one putt that he had that cut clean through).  I was putting well.  We ended up at -8, which was good enough for a three-way tie for last cash.  We won the playoff, winning our $10 back.  Woo!

Tournament – overall.  There were two alarming trends.  The first was this: the better my shot, the worse my luck.  I mean, it was uncanny.  The first round, my aim was all over the place on my drives.  And I would get good kicks, good skips, or on one case the weirdest route to a park job I’ve seen in a while (a REALLY wide anyhzer S-curve with a Destroyer on a hole with a pretty wide straight gap).  But if I threw a great shot, I got penalized for it, like on hole 4.  A very tight hyzer flip gap over a stream to a protected green.  The “smart” shot is to throw straight ahead, layup and get your three; it’s a very hard deuce.  The final round, I threw a GREAT shot, hit my angle, went over the stream, hit a fallen tree DEAD ON, and ricocheted 20′ backwards into the OB creek.  Harsh.

The other trend was my putting.  I am a ‘streaky’ putter normally.  I’ll putt well or horribly, but usually for a n entire round.  This weekend?  It was 60% perfect putts, 40% airballs.  So weird.  If I hit the chains, it was dead center.  If I missed, I didn’t even hit metal most of the time.  I never knew what was going to come out of my hands.  The good was that I didn’t miss a flat, no obstruction putt within 20′ the whole weekend, and I made four or five outside the circle.  But I did miss a handful of shorter putts with some obstruction or elevation change (including a 18′ severe uphill that I barely nicked the cage, which would have been back-to-back birds, and I think I wouldn’t have tanked the last three holes of my final round.

All in all, I ended up three rounds just above my average rating (which was slightly inflated because of the strength of the field), so I played about average.  I was 8 strokes off cash, which wasn’t too bad considering the players there, and I had a few of the greatest saves I’ve ever made in disc golf.  Everything felt good, except my knee, which is now beginning to hurt every time I play.  That’s bad.  Highlight: final round hole 6.  I threw my drive right and it kicked left, about 70′ from the pin.  There was a bush in front of me, a limb above the basket and a tree to the right (with an OB stream 30′ behind the pin).  Basically, I had no line except a little floater anhyzer up shot.  So I tell my group “I hate having to layup” and throw a high anhyzer that slams dead center (I was simply trying to lay up).  If that’s how I lay up, I should never go for a putt again.

Anyway, FDR next weekend in good ole’ NY.  Dollahz is ON Cromwell!

Some People are Jerks… apparently

So on the plane back to the east coast, I started chatting with this friendly lady who told me she was terrified of flying.  She was friendly and we talked for a while.  At one point, I mentioned my website and she asked for it, so I gave it to her and she gave me her name and email.  I tucked it away in my laptop bag so I wouldn’t lose it and went back to reading my book.

About ten minutes later, she starts chatting again and I am bantering.  She acts surprised when I was all cordial and said, “Well, you did tear up my number.”  I’m a bit shocked.  I say ‘no I didn’t.’  She asked to see it, and I pull it out and show it to her.

I suddenly realized, this total stranger, after thinking I tore up her number IN FRONT OF HER FACE, still tried to talk friendly to me.  I guess there’s hope for humanity yet.

Stacy, if you’re reading this, hopefully your trip to Amsterdam goes well and thanks for stopping by.  🙂

Pix – it must have happened

The wedding photos
I won’t bog you down with my annoying stories of not being able to get my pictures, and how there was crud on the lens (so everything looks washed out), and how almost all of these pics were taken by other people.   Enjoy them.

Yes, they’re out of order.  You have two choices, watch the slideshow normal and see everyone else’s pictures first, then starting with the sunset shots, you’ll get mine backwards, or click “watch slideshow in reverse”, see my pictures in order, then the sunset shots, then everything else backwards.  I like giving choices.

The Wedding (Pixless)

I know, I know… pix or didn’t happen. Well, for now, Mitch and Marsha’s wedding never happened, but it had, here’s what it would have been like.

Monday: I had been excited since I actually thought ahead and organized the trip. I booked the tickets and printed out our boarding passes. I got a hotel near Sacramento (where we’d be flying out of for expense purposes). I got directions to the bachelor party. I had everything organized, printed, and stored with the maps of CA and NC. Of COURSE I leave that all on the couch right by my front door, where I “wouldn’t miss it”, along with my crocs. Excellent start.

Tuesday: We realize Ashley forgot the card. And I naturally forget to bring my case of CDs, which was our only entertainment for our 10+ hours of driving. Oops. Our flights were fine, and actually rather empty, so we had elbow room. We got in at 10, and text Scott. He had arrived at the airport less than ONE MINUTE of us leaving the airport to meet him (he came from Wilmington, almost 4 hours away). We all got to my Dad’s at exactly Midnight, much earlier than planned.

Wednesday: After a miserable night on an uncomfortable pull-out bed, I leave with Scott earlier than planned to get Mitch (based on Marsha being afraid Mitch would just be kicking around Wilmington for an hour, bored). It was a very smart move. We got to Wilmington around 4, and meet Mr. Fisher (great guy). We steal Mitch and let him sleep for a while, as he had come in on a red-eye. After a four hour drive, we end up at the bachelor party at around 8:15, just on time. We played a round of glow at a very fun course, and everyone libated themselves quite thoroughly (as well as a prevalence of certain fumes and illegal sundries that forced Scott outside for a while). Crashed around 2:30 after drunk-texting Ash.

Thursday – We get up early to drive back to Raleigh, to pick up Marcie. Our timing again is impeccable – we get there within 5 minutes within her being ready to get picked up. We hightail it down to Wilmington to get the ferry. We get to the island and the house (AN AMAZING HOUSE which I naturally took zero photos of) with about 20 minutes before the rehearsal. Simple rehearsal, beautiful area. The rehearsal dinner went well, and it was a good chance to catch up with family. We stopped by the “friend houses” to party, but still riding 4 hours of drunksleep, we left after a half hour and crashed early.

Friday – The wedding was great. It was simply fun. Concise yet touching. They high-fived before their kiss. After some great picture ops (thanks Jon!) we went to the reception for 4 hours of fratranization. I gave my speech (went well) and Scott jumped into the ocean in his suit. It happens. Then it was onto the friend-houses for the after part while Ash acclimated herself more comfortably with the old knitters. Many hours of drunken fun, including a game of Asshole that I vaguely remember. I somehow managed to stumble home, not knowing directions, and, as Ash put it, collapsed into bed, possibly asleep before I actually hit it.

Saturday – After a brunch with the family and friends, Ash and I depart. Pop drives us up to Raleigh for our 6pm flight. We spend an hour in the USED book store in the airport (holy crap!) and I pick up some great books, two about baseball, and one about Mars. When did I get into non-fiction? Then the lightning starts. We are put on the plane, only to be told we can’t move because the plane has no fuel -> fuel trucks can’t come out when there’s lightning -> there was lots of lightning. An hour later, we take off. We’re told our connector in Minnesota is holding, but we’ll have to run. We get there, RUN (I’m out of shape) to our plane, make it with a few minutes, only to have them say “We have to wait for the luggage” D’oh! We get into Sacramento at 11:30 to find out that the mountain pass back to Reno is snowed out and we can’t pass. Back to the Days Inn it is!

Sunday – We tool around historic “old” Sacramento, where we eat a yummy breakfast. We drive home only to realize we’re catching up on the last of the storm. So we stop in a little shop in Truckee and pick up two hardcover version of Jurassic Park and Lost World for a total of $2.60. Yeah! And then we got home. I was in bed by 11pm.

All in all, a good trip. Pics to come soon.

The Good and the Bad

So I bought a memory card reader from Best Buy yesterday to replace my lost cord so I could upload my pics onto my computer.  It’s supposed to automatically load the driver if I have windows 2000 or better (I have XP).  It doesn’t automatically load.  So I run the CD-Rom and do the manual load.  It doesn’t work (keeps saying I need to plug in the USB, which I’d already done).  Immediately after saying that, it goes to a DOS prompt lookin’ thing, then brings up the ‘restart your computer’ without first seeing “succesful!”  Either way, it looks good, so I restart.  Doesn’t work.  I try the whole process again from a different USB port and the same thing happens.

So I call Dynex to bitch.  Their customer help entails doing EXACTLY what I had done (which is what the short instruction manual says) and then saying they can’t help me.  Oh, they did verify that my computer was at least RECOGNIZING the USB in the device manager, which it was.

Now I have to go back to Best Buy, get another one, and pray it works.  Best Buy is probably 25 minutes from here.  *sigh*

The good is that the snow has FINALLY melted on my backyard today.  It was on my yard from November 28th until March 18.  That’s got to be a record for this state.

Wedding Bells

So I leave for Sacramento, where we catch a flight tomorrow afternoon to Raleigh, where we meet Scott, who drives us to West End, only to stay for about 12 hours, when we leave for Wilmington to pick up Mitch, drive north of Raleigh, play some disc golf, drive back to Wilmington the next day and ferry over to Bald Head Island, where we set up shop for a few days and celebrate the wedding of Mitch and Marsha on Pi Day at 1:59pm.  (yes, really 3/14 1:59 – do the math)

I don’t know about you, I really really don’t.  Weirdo.  But I’m pretty excited.   My internet will be spotty at best, so I’ll try to wrap it all up when I come back next week.

The Cat’s out of the bag

So I had been keeping what we were doing for Mitch’s bachelor party a surprise, but I finally caved and told him.  Well, accidentally… we were on the phone discussing times, and I figured he’d eventually know when we were driving there (there isn’t too much in that area), and he said, completely kiddingly, “Are we going to Krakken’s to play the Country Course?”  And that’s exactly what we’re doing (though I didn’t know he was known as Krakken).

We’re going to be playing glow golf at one of Mitch’s favorite courses in the country, and one where he probably played the best golf of his life at a small tournament a few years back.  We’ll have a group of about 8-10 of some great great people, drinking some drinks, having some Jagr bombs (or at least HE will be) and having a great time.

The drawback?  It’s going to take about three hours MORE than I thought to get there, so we’re going to have to miss most of the day on Wed driving, while I leave Ashley to hang out with people she JUST met that day.  D’oh!  But she doesn’t mind – she likes to knit and says she’s great with old people.  PERFECT!

But I’m really excited because I know Mitch really wanted to do this.  It’s hard to orchestrate people coming from three time zones for one night of stupidity.  I think this will do nicely.  I’ll make sure to take black pictures which I can’t upload to my computer.  I really wish I knew what happened with that cable.

First Mountain Goats Show!

While I search for my camera cable to upload my pics, I’ll talk about the Mountain Goats show that I caught on Saturday, courtesy of a very nice man named Adam who gave me a free ticket.

John Darnielle (who is, for argument’s sake, the Mountain Goats) doesn’t strike you as much of a showman.  He looks reserved, almost hermetic, and certainly awkward.  He strikes you as a guy who might play his set very quickly, mutter a few thank-yous into the microphone, and walk away.  But he puts on a pretty good show.

What’s most evident is how quickly you realize that he ENJOYS this – this is what he likes doing.  (In his paraphrased words: “My last job was cleaning up human feces… fresh human feces.  This is much better.”)   He dealt handily with loud boorish shouters, and he even went on a couple of obscure rants (somehow he went from becoming a millionaire to opening up your own farm sanctuary to organizing the ORIGINAL Deep Purple lineup to play, even if they didn’t like each other anymore, because, hell, I’m a millionaire!)

Oh, and he played some songs.  Obviously, the set was laces heavily with the new album stuff, but songs like Heretic Pride, Michael Meyers Resplendent and Lovecraft in Brooklyn were good to hear, and I could have done without So Desperate.

He played No Children, which I assumed was not a surprise – it struck me as the “Particle Man” of his set, the song that’s always played and he’ll soon get sick of it.  Turns out I was lucky because of the three San Fran shows, that was the only one where he played it.  BONUS!  The crowd ate it up like those Dots on paper.

Easily the highlight was to hear Hast Thou Considered the Tetrapod, my other favorite song (and one he doesn’t play too often).  Judging by the reception, it was a crowd favorite as well.  He also broke out an oldie, Going to Queens, which is a great great solo tune.

It was a great show, and I hope to see him again.  He’s never played NV, but then again, the Lizards had never played Jersey and yet I have now seen their first (and only) two shows there.


p.s.  There was an opening band of 30 women covering Bjork and Tom Waits (among others).  Now THAT was interesting.

The Vintage Cup

The course: most tournaments I play don’t get a ‘course’ section, but this deserves it.  It was at the Skyline Wilderness Park in Napa, Ca.  I did not like this course much at all.  There were very few holes with fairways, and at least half the holes involved throwing a spike hyzer or a thumber.  Now a thumber is one of my better throws, so it’s not like I’m complaining because this course doesn’t cater to ‘my game’ – the fact of the matter is all you can do is throw a thumber where you want and hope that a) it doesn’t get stuck in a tree and b) it doesn’t roll away on any of Skyline’s MILLION HILLS!   That’s not talent.  That’s luck, and there much to be had (or not had) at Napa.  It was pretty, sure, but not a good course.  Each round was 24 holes.

Round 1: I’ve never had a round in my life that was so characterized by a single specific shot.  My drives were good (distances were just okay because I was playing blind).  My ups weren’t bad.  My downhill and level putts were perfect (6 for 6).  My uphill putts?  Crap.  I didn’t make one the whole round.  I don’t know how many I had, but it was around 7.  That’s seven strokes lost on one round because of one throw.  Amazing.  I hit metal on my third hole, a small temp hole that’s about 200 but very uphill and with a low-ceiling guardian tree.  One guy paid me a $1.  I CASHED!  I ended up carding an unimpressive 75, which was EIGHTEEN (18!) strokes off the leader.  That round needs to be at least an 1080 or there’s a problem with the rating system.  The course is must-deuce, and I only walked away with 4.

Round 2: Round 1 of 24 holes took over four hours, and we were sent out to start round 2 at 3pm.  DO THE MATH, it wasn’t going to be finished.  Horribly mismanaged tournament, despite starting on time.  How anyone thought we could complete two rounds of 24 in the hilliest of hills with a field of 97 is beyond me.  Anyway, this round was overall much better (on the same course), but you wouldn’t know it by looking at my score.  My drives were near perfect in terms of execution (not placement because of the tremendous luck factor).  My ups only cost me a stroke or two.  My putts started TERRIBLY (missing a pair of short level putts in a row) but by the end picked up.  I started throwing some birdies at the end of the course, but only walked away with 3 on the round.  The problem was I had TWO terrible roll-aways which resulted in a total of 4 strokes.  They weren’t on putts (I didn’t have a single rollaway on a putt) – one was a hole where I very nearly skip aced, it caught an edge, and rolled 150′ into JAIL.  Funny, I got in there fine, but there was NO out.  Fix those two gimme putts and those two rollaways and I would have shot 67.  Instead, I shot a decent 73 (it was windier that round).

Round 3: This was my best round, despite playing blind and it being windier.  I threw two bad putts (15′ downhill putts), two bad ups, and two bad drives, only one of which cost me a stroke.  My putting was odd – I had some of the best putts I’ve ever thrown (a 50′ anhyzer downhill putt with a quick green), and a few right on or outside the circle.  Yet I missed some easy ones or had some unfortunate trees to deal with.  Usually my putting is on for a round or off for a round.  This was a per-throw round.  Anyway, I shot a -1 on a decidedly harder layout (they moved 15 of the 18 normal basket, with the 6 temp holes staying the same).  I shot 7 birdies and managed to stay under.  I think it will be close to (but not quite) a thousand rated round.

Conclusion: The drives were great all weekend.  My ups were average.  My putts were both fantastic and terrible at times.  My luck was pretty good, but when it was bad it was terrible.  I was average or just above for the whole tournament.  I don’t know where I ended up because I left early to tackle the 4 hr drive, and they haven’t posted it yet.

Up next?  A week of recovery.  It literally hurts to walk right now.

Time to Acclimate

So apparently everyone alive thinks that if they’re going to organize sometime, they’re going to do it on a Wednesday night.  Not only is the poker game with the east coast folks every Wed night, but now I have two new Wed events.  Once a month (the 3rd Wed of each month) there is a meeting for people interested in ASL.  I went last week and met 7 people, most of whom were hearing, and all of whom were more proficient than me.  But it’s good to keep my skills sharp (or at least less dull).

Then last night I went to see Stage Fright, a local improv group that is starting performances every Wed (starting last week at a brand-new space).  They’re mostly students of the woman who runs Studio on 4th in Reno.  Many of them are new to improv, and this is a way to get them used to getting up and being in front of an audience.  She told me I could swing by their rehearsal on Monday to see if I’m a good fit without taking classes.  I miss doing improv.  While I don’t think anything quite like “I Wash My Feet” may ever come out, it might be good to just get performing again, even if it is for an audience of a dozen friends and family members.

And I’m still doing the open-mic night on Fridays when I can.  They seem to like me there, and they have a free-form blues jam afterwards, which was fun to do.  Anyone can blues as long as you know three chords.  Or, in one case, one chord (a Bm) – not the most exciting song in the world.  I’m thinking of bringing the accordion and rocking out some Four Non Blondes.

Anyway, that’s what I’m doing.

Free gym!

I worked out like a mofo today.  If I’m not sore tomorrow night, I will be thoroughly impressed with my body’s ability to push itself.  If I am, that’ll kinda suck, but in a good way.

I get Ash back tomorrow!  WOO!!!!  (I traded her for a really nice pair of slippers.  Turns out that I still like her better.  We’ll see if she can keep my toes warm.)  Wow, I’m pretty lame without her around.

(Yes, Aaron, I’m lame with her around too.  I get it)

More white stuff

Man, I love cocaine.

Oh wait, not that white stuff.  SNOW!  We’ve got four inches already since this afternoon (okay, since three hours ago) and it’s still coming down at a fairly steady clip.  The mountain’s supposed to get several more FEET.

I’m beginning to think I’ll never play disc golf again.

Strangest Game of Poker Ever

So I played a 9-person game online.  In the first 40 hands, I had exactly 4 hands where I had two cards that were higher than 8.  I mean, crap cards after crap cards.  I finally go all in with Q7 because, well, why not?  Everyone folds.  Next hand, I get AK suited.  Great.  I go all in again (by this time, I didn’t have many chips)  Someone calls with crap.  And of course they win.

So I’m out.  NO NOT QUITE!  I have 30 chips (we started with 1500).  I am automatically all-in.  I triple up with two pair (I had K 2).  Next hand, all my 90 chips in again.  I manage to win again.  I’m up to 450 chips.  Next hand, all in again.  I have 3 3.  They hold up.  I’m suddenly up to over 2000 chips.  A few hands later, I win a big pot and I’m suddenly in the lead (still rarely getting an actual good hand).  Remember, my best hand of the day, AK suited, lost.

So finally there are four left and I’m the chip leader.  Someone goes all in with crap and I have KQ suited. Well guess what, it loses.  So I’m still in it, but they only pay top 3 so I just have to last.

I get 9s!  The best hand I’ve had so far.  The chipleader raises from 500 to 1500.  I just call instead of pushing all in (I have about 3000).  The flop comes 5 5 4.  I go all in, figuring his raise meant he had high crap.  He turns them over.  High crap.  But OF COURSE the turn comes up with a club giving him a flush.

I went from 30 chips to 5000+ in about 8 hands, and then lost whenever I had actual good cards.

Strange game indeed.

Frickin’ Desert Snow!

If there’s one thing I never thought I’d hate about living in the desert, it’s all the rain and snow.  I’ve been getting psyched for playing my first west-coast tournament this weekend, and what happens?  We’re supposed to get hit with a series of storms, producing snow and rain ALL WEEK.  What this means is that to get to CA, I have to drive over the mountains, where they’ll surely just get SNOW, and lots of it.  They still have 4-5 feet up there as it is.

What that means is either paying an additional $210 for airfare or buying chains and driving through the mountains during a snowstorm at night.  Neither of which sounds particularly appetizing.

I wonder if they offer money back. Either way, I’m pissed.

Comment of the Day

Comment of the day again goes to Lexi.  We’re playing with a jump-rope and she wanted to switch sides.  So she runs over to me, and I put my arm out to grab her, and she slips and hits her face on my leg.  She’s is crying and crying and screaming and rubbing her nose.  I feel like crap.  Her mom comes over and hugs her a bit.  After maybe 15 seconds, Lexi looks at her mom and, still crying, says “I’m done now.”  And goes back and takes the jump rope again, tears still streaming down her face, which now has a huge smile on it.

I wish most women would get over stuff that quickly.