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.
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?
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.
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.
This, more than anything, will determine the success of the Sixers this year. If Embiid can play 60+ games, and Simmons / Saric / Covington / Redick have no major injuries, this team has a lot of potential in the East.
JJ Redick – A 1 year, $23 million deal is a major overpay, but for a team with a ton of cap space and in desperate need of a shooter, this is a good move.
Markelle Fultz – Looked good in his Summer League Debut and should be a much needed reliable scoring option.
Vegas / the Eastern Conference
With most major free agents going to the West, the Sixers odds of making the playoffs / winning a playoff series increased dramatically.
Vegas ranks the East in the following order:
Cleveland (100% ahead of the Sixers IMO)
Boston (100% ahead of the Sixers)
Washington (80-90% ahead of the Sixers)
Milwaukee (60-70% ahead of the Sixers)
Toronto (60-70% ahead of the Sixers)
Assuming this team is healthy, I’d put the O/U at 44 wins.
The East is so bad that a genuine ‘bold‘ prediction would be “The Sixers host a playoff series”. You could make that statement and people wouldn’t look at you like you were crazy.
As a slightly biased observer, my predictions are:
46 – 36
Ben Simmons is voted Rookie of the Year
Joel Embiid makes the All Star Team
Brett Brown is a Coach of the Year Finalist
Book it. Here’s some Joel Embiid for those who live under a rock.
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.
I debated whether I should write this post or not, but ultimately decided I should.
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).
Here’s a video that was posted back in April where a ~11 year old kid goes HAM on the Mets. You get the point after about 10 seconds.
Kids these days are cursed with the ability to film themselves at all times. 10 – 20 year olds shouldn’t be able to film themselves out of respect for their future selves.
As a 25 year old, technology like this was just becoming accessible when I was growing up. Alex and I once recorded a voiced over Linkin Park song to include the word “Jew” like 20 times in it just to piss Ben off. I’m pretty thankful that file isn’t still available.
When the ~13 year olds of today grow up, a large percentage of them are going to have videos like this Mets kid to look back on and cringe. Whether it’s choreographed dances, singing your favorite song, rants, whatever. In 15 years he’ll probably sigh every time someone brings it up.
Some may say it’s a good thing. I for one have no interest in looking back at myself in the most awkward years of my life. I remember them well enough and would gladly choose to not relive them.