My First Pedicure

Laura took me for my first pedicure on Saturday.

I expected a relaxing 30 minute spa treatment for my feet. Apparently that’s not quite what a pedicure is though.

The face she made when she saw my feet.

Two thirds of a pedicure is tense. Nothing was “painful” but you’re sitting there watching this girl go HAM on your feet / toes. Toes are sensitive. Feet are ticklish. It’s a dangerous combo, though the massage part was obviously enjoyable.

I didn’t get my nails painted (but I considered it!) and that would be the obvious visible takeaway from a pedicure.

For $40 it’s not something I would do again but I can cross that off the bucket list. Thanks sis!

Heaven’s Gate Cult – Wat

A little light reading for your Sunday night.

In 1997, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate Cult committed suicide in a house in San Diego.

I watched the 45 minute documentary on Youtube and it’s pretty bonkers.

A summary:

Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles founded Heaven’s Gate, a sci-fi religious group, claiming there was a level above human, ‘heaven’ more or less, and joining the cult could take you to that level.

Marshall Applewhite

The group was super weird. They were entirely celibate, some going as far as castrating themselves, and often used enemas to “cleanse” themselves.

In 1997, the Comet Hale-Bopp passed the earth as millions watched. Applewhite took that as the sign that the group was ready to move to the “next level”.

39 members killed themselves shortly after. The group documented goodbye messages. Here’s some of what the members said prior to the suicides:

“I couldn’t have had a better life then I’ve had in these 21 years, and if it’s good here I know it’s going to be twice as good when I get up there.”

“This isn’t a troubling circumstance, don’t take it as that, it’s just a gateway.”

“What we’re doing is we’re going home. We’re going home to those individuals who sent us here to do this task. and this is the happiest and joyous thing that you can possibly imagine. We’re going home!”

The question posted in the documentary – if these 39 people all lived and died believing this and doing exactly what they wanted, is it really a wasted life?

Things like this fascinate me for some reason.

I Haven’t Brushed My Teeth in 4 Days

I left my booth brush in D.C. this weekend so I haven’t brushed my teeth since Saturday afternoon (it’s Wednesday night), though I’ve been flossing and using mouth wash.

Most people would go out and buy a toothbrush the next day.* Tasks like this are arguably my biggest flaw. I don’t know why, but I could’ve told you it would take me days to get a tooth brush.

This is what happens if you don’t brush your teeth for 11 years.

How do people hold themselves accountable for this shit?! I’m still using the personal scrum but it’s not perfect. For example, I still have “hang poster in room” which has been there for three months.

Is this just part of getting older and being more mature? Does this disappear when I hit 30?

*I just went to CVS and bought one, but wanted to write this BEFORE I brushed.

Reflections on Losing $18,000 in 15 Minutes

I wrote my last post 7 hours after going from $18,000 to $0 at Sugar House (for the record, only $1,500 of it was mine when I walked in, the other $16,500 was profit).

I was hungover and having a very difficult time wrapping my head around what just happened. Now that I’ve had a few days to soak it in, my thoughts have changed slightly:

I thought about not sharing this with anyone.

Having $18,000 in chips and not have the discipline to save even one dollar of it could be seen as a fault in my character. It’s judge-worthy. But what’s the point of having a personal blog if you’re NOT going to write about that?

It didn’t feel like real life when I woke up.

I felt like losing it all was a dream and that I would check my pocket and find the money. It was a very hard / depressing reality to accept.

The reason I didn’t walk away when I was up, more than anything, was because I was drunk. 

Plain and simple. This didn’t fully occur to me that morning because it was so soon after. The magnitude of how much I was up was lost on me because I was drunk. That’s why I didn’t put any of it aside or have any goal in mind.

The reason I got up to $18,000 in the first place is because I was drunk.

I bet $4,000 when I had $10,000 and DOUBLED it to $8,000 (and won). Betting 40% of your stack, then doubling it, is not a sober-person move.

I don’t think I need to evaluate my life.

I felt like I had sinned the next morning, like this was a deeply troubling issue that I had to face up to. A few days later, I don’t feel that way, and I’m not swearing off gambling.

I’ve already ‘moved on’.

I’ve told a dozen people in person and the reaction has been the same from everyone. It’s a great story and a bone-head move and I’m taking it at that.

…But if I DID walk away up $16,000…

What the actual fuck would I have done? Left with 160 $100 bills? Left with all of my chips instead? Gotten mugged somehow out of the casino? Do I report it as earned income? I’m just curious for the next time this happens.

Gambling Problem

I debated whether I should write this post or not, but ultimately decided I should.

About what I could’ve left with.

I went to Sugar House Casino last night and took out $2,000 to gamble with.

I played for 30-45 minutes and worked my $2,000 up to about $6,000.

Then I went to the high limit room. I was betting ~$2,000 – $6,000 a hand. 10 minutes later my stack was $18,000.

10 minutes after that my stack was $0.

When I was at the first table, I was sitting with a middle aged guy who was betting $25 – $50 a hand. He was telling me it was his son’s graduation this weekend and he was so proud. I threw him a few $100 chips to bet on hands and ultimately he ended up like $1500. He was so pumped.

Gambling is a mindset. When you start betting $500 on a hand, there’s no “thrill” to $50 bets. At the moment, I’ve pushed the “thrill” limit too far.

It’s very easy in hindsight to say I wish I took a minute, took a deep breath, thought about where I was at, and walked away. Even put $10,000 aside and just gamble the other $8,000, it sounds so easy now. But you don’t win $16,000 if that’s your mindset from the start.

The funny thing is the flow of the game is exactly the same whether it’s a $25 hand or a $2,500 hand, I’m just betting 100x more than I normally would.

Additionally, the thought of going back to the casino and winning back the $2,000 I lost seems so realistic. It’s just a few hands. It can happen so quickly. Obviously the opposite can (and more often does) happen too.

Gambling is a dangerous thing. I’m not addicted to gambling. It doesn’t consume me throughout the days, weeks, or months. But when I gamble, I have a problem, and you can bet all of the “I lost everything gambling” stories start like this. If I wasn’t walking away up $16,000, would I have walked away at 20? 30? 50? I genuinely don’t know.

$2,000 is a lot of money, but it doesn’t change my life. I’m still alive. Sure it stings for the short term and I have to look myself in the eye and tell myself that I screwed up, but this will just be a great story to tell down the road (assuming I’m not broke by then).

Bowling Beat Down

I wish we were the ones giving the beating, but we received it instead.

Game 1

Tom bowled a ~240 and was the only reason we had a chance. Weens was 185 (above average) and Wevs and I floundered with ~140 each.

They didn’t bowl great but they had a clutch 9th and 10th and we didn’t.

Game 2

Even if we were bowling well, we weren’t winning this game. They went hammer time bowling a ~900 game which we’ve never done.

The snakes after last night.

Season Take Away

My ball was significantly more chipped when we started game 1. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t get in my head regardless of whether it actually affected the ball (it didn’t seem to be moving as much but who knows).

I feel weird because I want to use that as an excuse (I am?) but it doesn’t make a difference either way. We lost.

When put in perspective, we had a great season. 2nd out of 14 with some great individual averages and high games.

Summer season starts up soon, but first, I’m going to get a new ball.

Bowling Finals TONIGHT – Come Watch

The Snakes have made our way to the end of our bowling league playoffs. The winner is to be determined at 6:30 tonight at South Bowl in a thrilling best of three match up. All are invited!

We advanced in rounds 1 and 2 due to two well-timed games (290 and 269) by Tom and myself respectively and some consistent bowling by Evan. Jordan has struggled in the past couple of weeks but we know the 300-man is in there somewhere, and we’re sure as hell hoping to see him tonight.

The team we bowl tonight is the best team in the league as far as average goes, all four bowlers being around 190-200, so we need to bowl like champs tonight.

We went for a practice session on Saturday and Tom and I finished three games within a pin of each other, 613 to 614 (score one for the Owl!) which is an encouraging result, however this is what my ball currently looks like.

Needless to say this will be the final night of bowling with this ball. I brought it to a pro shop on Saturday and they assured me it wouldn’t be an issue, but that I should get a new ball once these finals are done. I’ve had a good run with it and it would be a fitting end if I bowl three 300s tonight to go out on top.

I’ll be sure to update with the results. We encourage anyone to attend. We’ll tell you our pre-determined team chants that you can do anytime one of us gets a strike.

Dear Younger Me: Lauren Fleshman

Lauren Fleshman wrote a letter to her younger self that I thought was worth sharing.

For those who don’t know, Lauren Fleshman was a very successful runner for the US from the early 2000s until about 2012. Here’s a good race of her’s.

The letter touches on the issue of young runners, specifically girls, going through puberty, and how it affects their running and personal health.

Puberty affect boys and girls unfairly when it comes to running. For boys, it’s an automatic performance enhancer. For girls, it’s a total guessing game, and often leads to a decrease in performance.

However, girls, and more specifically, coaches, don’t handle this well. Pressure exists to perform well in the short-term and this often results in sacrificing health, most notably in the form of an eating disorder.

The athletes are too young to recognize how serious it is and the coaches (not all, but too many) are too selfish to stop it. This can be a plague on college teams and the culture is such that girls on the team often don’t speak about it at all despite everyone knowing what’s going on.

This issue isn’t talked about enough based on the amount of impact it has on young women in the sport, so Fleshman’s letter, and any other effort to bring this issue more to the forefront of high school / collegiate running is a positive.

A Monday for the Ages

Going into Monday night I wanted two things to happen. 

  1. Advance in the Bowling Playoffs
  2. Break 16:00 in the 5k

Bowling Playoffs – Round 1

How I felt leaving the team in game 3

The #5 seeded Snakes faced off against #4 seed Icantbowlieveitsnotgutter in a best of three matchup.

We crushed game 1 and were looking good in our second until I foot fouled and things went down hill from there. I had to head out for my race and leave it to the other Snakes to advance us for game 3.

Jordan bombed, Evan bowled well, and TC put up a legendary 290 to win by a mere 13 pins. The Snakes advance to the semi-finals next week. WATCH OUT!

Swat Last Chance

Drew’s 1500m

In an un-Mackin-like performance, Drew pushed during the third lap of the 1500, clocking a 61 for that 400m, and nearly won his heat in a very impressive 3:56 (4:15 mile equivalent). There’s a lot more in the tank for Drew. 3:56 and 1:50 are only the beginning.

My 5000m

At nearly 10:45 PM my race started with 33 other competitors. I had my fingers crossed for sub 16:00. I got out just fine but was getting passed non-stop. Eventually I had to decide if I wanted to latch on to a pack or slip back into no-mans land. I went with the former.

We hit the mile in 5:02, which was fast, but I could feel that I wasn’t in over my head. The ~15:5x pack stayed in touch through two miles in 10:09.

With 850m left I made a move to the front of the pack and immediately regretted it, thinking I’d shot my wad too early. I had my 200m left face on with 600m to go. Once we got to a lap left I knew at the very least I could maintain pace.

My last 400m was a 73 and my final time was 15:51, good for 74th out of 86!

All things considered, I’m pretty happy.

My PR is going down.

Bed Frame for the Sheep

After four straight years of not sleeping with a bed frame, I caved and bought a bed frame.

The higher the frame, the more of a sheeple.

People can only laugh at your mattress on the floor so many times before you break, even I’m not immune it.

But I stand by my statement, that bed frames make no sense. Does anyone stop and ask themselves WHY they have a bed frame? What is the benefit of sleeping three feet off the ground? I don’t get it.

The only one that comes to mind is storage, but my room has nothing in it as is. Maybe less spiders will crawl on me? I actually like spiders.

Forget spiders, here’s to being one of the sheep!