Thanksgiving Break

I’m entirely aware that for 23 days of not shaving, the beard and stache in the picture above is pathetic. I’m no doctor but I guess that’s puberty’s job. I pussied out and shaved because of an orthodontist appointment/thanksgiving dinner/the turkey tourney. I wouldn’t imagine that there would be a noticeable difference from an extra week of growth. Now I have another year to get my shit straight so I can grow a sweet beard for next November.

Anyway, my break has kicked off quite nicely. Yesterday I saw Katie, Paul, Jonny, and Pat. We all went to Lancers and it was just a good night. I strayed away from my usual (bacon egg and cheese on a bagel) to get the french onion soup… terrible idea. I don’t know why but I  just hated it and that only reinforced the idea that you should always get the usual, always. I know what I like and there’s no reason to try new things if you really like what you always get.

So I went home and went to bed. I had to wake up at 10 for a stupid orthodontist appointment which was annoying but what’s new. Post ortho I went on one of the best runs of my life. I went out for 9 miles and was just flying the whole time. My slowest mile I believe was 6:45 and I closed in 5:50, I probably averaged 6:20 for the whole thing and felt awesome. I wasn’t working very hard to run that fast so I think that bodes well for the upcoming season. I kick it off with a 5k where I just want to qualify for conferences. If I somehow manage a PR that’d be awesome but I’m not counting on it.

After the run I played guitar for about 2 hours and it was awesome. Then Ben called me to go to the mall with him and Alex. We went there then hung out for a bit catching up and whatnot. We wrestled a little bit which we used to do all the time in 6th grade… I’ll go ahead and declare myself the champion but I have a feeling that they’d beg to differ. I’m a lover not a fighter anyway. Anyway, the night progressed and more people showed up and everyone voted to go to Stolz’s to drink. I just wasn’t feeling it at all and opted to go home instead. I’m sure Alex, Ben, Jared, and I will have one night before we go back to drink and dick around and cook… hopefully not.

Anyway, that’s how my break started. I’ve also been playing a good amount of online poker. I was on a heater but have since cooled down. Tonight I played 3 tourneys, two 11 dollar 9  man tourneys and 1 45 man 11 dollar tourney. I bubbled in both 9 mans which pissed me off so much. The one I pushed with 77, got called by A3, and the guy spikes an ace on the flop, fair enough. I still had a decent chip stack and then pushed again with AQ. The same jackass called me with A10 and spiked a 10 on the river to win it. I got 21st in the 45 man where I played decent and had a good stack but made one bad play with A8 and a flop of A, K, 10. The guy had A10 and I thought he was bluffing so I blew that one. The account’s at 189 and I put in 100, granted they gave me 50 free dollars, but still. I just want to have a steady increasing rate. If I go on bad streaks here or there I’m okay with that but just nothing to drastic.

Tomorrow if finally Thanksgiving! Tons of good food and time with the family. I drank last year on Thanksgiving and played pong with my aunt so hopefully something cool like that can happen again. We’ll see what happens. Happy holidays.

Last Night/Mile Challenge

Last night was the final night before Ursinus campus goes on Thanksgiving break. I didn’t really have intentions of drinking but one thing led to the other and I did. We played Mario Kart and drank for about 2 hours until somehow talk of running and challenges came up. Mark had run a 5:02 mile earlier in the day just for fun on the track and Imbemba seemed to think he could beat that. It was about 10:00 at night and we were all wondering, “well are we really going to go and do this or what…” I told Imbemba that I’d pace him through 800 meters just for fun and he agreed. We both went to our room and when the door shut he told me he was in no condition to do it. He just had a 4 loko and wasn’t feeling good but he was pretty much at the point of no return. I laced up my running shoes with no socks and already had on boxers with running pants (I really needed to do laundry, no running shorts or socks). Mark, Brett and I warmed up to the track on this brisk night and realized this was actually going to happen.

Mark and I jogged a lap together and Imbemba was clearly hurting. He said he wasn’t going to be able to do it but it was way to late to not even try. There was a nice crew of Pane, Gofus, Ali, Bogdan, Mark, Yoko, and Pane’s friend that came to watch. I don’t know how it came up but someone asked how fast I’d be able to run a mile. I think I said under 5 and people called bullshit. My intentions were to pace Brett but if there was a challenge at hand I wasn’t going to refuse it. I said I definitely thought I could break 5 and no one bought it. Something along the lines of 60 dollars worth of value (I think it was 45 bucks and a case of beer) would be awarded to me if I ran sub 5. I took the challenge immediately. At the time I was really confident and thought that there was no way I’d be over. I had 4 or 5 Natty Ice’s prior to this and had also just devoured a 6 inch hoagie from Sub Connection. That along with the fact that I was in trainers without socks made people really doubt me.

I jogged around for a bit warming up. Right before the start Brett gave me a pair of mesh shorts that I freeballed in for the race. We toed the line, (this was a full mile by the way, not a 1600) and Yoko set us off. I wasn’t completely sure how I’d feel for it and for a second I thought “Maybe I’m in way over my head and I’m going to hit this first 200 in something like 39 and not be able to accelerate”. I hit the first 200 in 35 (37.5’s is 5 minute pace) and felt pretty solid. The first 400 was 74-75 with Brett right on my tail, perfect. My game plan was to just run 5 minute pace or a tiny bit over for 3 laps then book it the last lap. I hit the 809 meters in 2:30-2:31. I was still feeling good but I was only half way there. The next lap was another 75ish and I was at 3:46 with 400 to go. I knew at this point that I was going to break it. I picked it up a bit and with 200 left I looked at my watch. I saw 4:22 and had to close in a 37. at the slowest. I kicked it in a bit feeling good and finished at 4:58.20.

Imbemba, who people were questioning if he could finish or not, ran a respectable 5:27. We said beforehand that realistically, if he broke 5:30 it’s be pretty impressive. Afterward I was sweating and breathing hard and just wanted to go back. I think I could have gone a decent bit faster than that too if I had too. We went back to the suite and the party continued. We hung out and played pong until about 12 and then I went to bed.

I have two classes today and then I’m off to my real home. The Turkey Tourney is on Saturday (everyone should go) and Thursday is obviously Thanksgiving. It’s going to be a surprisingly busy break I think which is whatever. As long as I don’t have to go to class. Once we get back it’s pretty much just coasting in to winter break from here. I only have to take two finals which isn’t bad at all. Enjoy Thanksgiving everyone, it’s a pretty sweet holiday in my book.

Sleeping

I’ve grown up a lot since I was a kid. I’ve matured in many areas of life both mentally and physically but there’s still one thing that gets me every now and then. Sleeping by myself sometimes freaks me out beyond belief. It’s always the same string of thoughts that eventually make me paranoid to the point where I have to turn the lights on. I think I was a relatively normal child in terms of how scared I was of everything. Nothing in particular would make me lose it, a scary movie every now and then would keep me up for a night but nothing out of the ordinary. There was one sleep over my senior year in high school that I remember which planted the seed. The talk was about sleep walking. When it’s 3 in the afternoon it seems like a stupid topic but when your lying in bed at 2 in the morning, the thought of waking up some random place and having no idea how I got there would freak me out.

I get extremely uncomfortable, also the thought of other people sleep walking is horrifying too. If I’m at a sleep over and I wake up at 4 in the morning to my friend pacing around the room in the pitch black, I’d freak the fuck out. Sleeping walking is just the beginning. Then I started thinking of night terrors. If my friend woke up during a sleep over screaming as loud as possible, I’d be too scared to move but I’d be too freaked out to not run outside as fast as I could. Do you wake him up? Do you just sleep through it? No, you get the hell out of there.

Then last year, Rob and I had a talk saying we should film ourselves when we sleep. Well what if I do that and I find myself waking up in the middle of the night doing something really freaky like just walking around the room or staring at Brett or grabbing a knife or doing something totally fucked up.

Last night, I lost my phone and used Ali’s phone to call it. Well I found my phone but her phone stayed on and left me a six minute voice mail at about 1 in the morning. We were just laying there in the dark and I was listening to the voice mail to see if it picked up anything. For the first 10 seconds it was dead silent and I was about to hang up but what if I heard something like really weird. Some scream or some really weird thing. I don’t know exactly but once that thought gets in my head I just start losing it.

One other thing that was really scary was a recurring dream that Laura told me her friend kept having. In the dream, the girl was in her room trying to sleep and in the opposite corner of the room was an Amish man just standing there staring at her. Every time she blinked the man moved closer and eventually he would be right next her staring down at her and then she’d wake up. If I ever had that dream I be really scared but if I had that dream every single night? I don’t even know what I’d do.

Now, none of this has ever actually happened to me (besides last weekend when I somehow ended up in Pane’s bed) but still, if any of it ever did I’d go nuts. Scary movies don’t really do it, just thoughts like this. Am I a big pussy? Probably, but nonetheless, these are things that I think about.

Weekend Update

The weekend is over. Only 2 more god damn days until break. We didn’t have a meet this weekend so I got to drink both days. We had the XC dinner and Mark and I planned to be a little bit tipsy for it. I’ve never done a power hour before but there’s a first time for everything. We started at 3:19 and I only had Natty Ice to do it with. This was a bad start but I figured I wouldn’t let that stop me. Mark and I just sat in front of the computer for 20 minutes drinking every time the song changed. Things spiced up a bit when Adam decided to join us. Before I knew it we were 50 minutes in and almost done. I stood up to piss and I was drunker than I thought I was. Everyone showed up to go to dinner and we were on our way, although first Ryder and I bonged a beer.

The dinner was at Outback and I had been craving the ribs for a while. All 14 of us sat down and the dinner as a whole was really fun. We talked about the season and everything like that and it was just a really fun time. We got back and continued drinking. I attempted to play in a pong tournament with Jay but the only reason we were partners is because we were the two worst people there. We lost the first game, shocker, but it wasn’t a massacre. I managed to make 2 cups which was better than I thought I would do. I went to bed at 11:30 and woke up with the worst hangover of the semester. I felt terrible. I had a killer headache and absolutely no appetite. I drank some water but wasn’t feeling it. At about 1 or 2 I started to feel better. I went on a run and everything was back to normal. At 4:30 everyone went to dinner but I already ate so Dave, Ali, and I did a power hour by ourselves. Two in two days, new record. We did the power hour and then played Thumper. I’ve never played it before but it was actually really fun. It’s nice to switch things up from pong and Jenga. Alex called me and said he was on break so he was coming to visit. He told me he’d be here at like 7 or 7:30 so that was great. I continued drinking and was having fun and whatnot.

Alex showed up and I was pretty drunk. Not blacked out but well on my way. I introduced him and everything and then was just hanging out. I attempted to have a jam sesh with Josh Hesney who was visiting Ryder but that failed rather miserably. He was really good and besides the fact that I’m not that good at guitar to begin with, I was hammered at the same time. That ended and at that point I was pretty much blacked out. I don’t remember anything and apparently I passed out at 9:30. I felt pretty bad because Alex drove up to hang out and stuff but I just passed out. Apparently he had a good time so I was happy but still. I woke up at 7 and felt awesome. 10 hours of sleep and no hang over. Unfortunately no one was awake at this time so I went back to bed.

My mind is pretty much on break already. I don’t really want to do homework or any form of work for the next two days. I know people are drinking tomorrow night and I may or may not join them. We’ll see what happens.

Also, special shout out to my sister Laura who ran a marathon today. She didn’t run for a while week before and still ran a 3:34 which qualifies her for Boston, kudos. Maybe one day I’ll attempt a marathon but not while I’m in college.

Life/Poker Update

It’s finally Friday. I pretty much count this as already on Thanksgiving break so let the fun begin. I bought my 3rd case of the year today which is pretty surprising, I think that surpasses my total from all of last year. The first track meet isn’t until 2 weekends from now so I have to take advantage of these two day weekends where I can drink both days. There’s nothing really special planned for this weekend but it’ll be fun nonetheless. Well, there is an XC dinner that all of us are going to tonight at Outback, so that should be a fun time.

Online poker has been a mild success. I expected to be a bit off initially and I was right. It took me a little bit to settle in but the past 2 days have been good. I put in 100 and they gave me 50 free for reloading. I’ve been doing mostly 11 dollar 9 man SNG’s but I switched it up last night with a 45 man. I made it to the final table and then to the money but I was pretty short stacked the whole time. I pushed with 3’s and got busted by AQ for 5th place and 27 dollars which wasn’t terrible. An hour and a half for 27 was a little disappointing especially when I could have won 171 but it was pretty exciting nonetheless. Bad beats are still pissing me off like no other. In one tourney I was heads up with a guy and I had 10k and he had 3.5k. I got him all in on AQ vs AQ… neither suited  but he managed to spike a flush on me to take the chip lead. A couple hands later we got it all in again and it was something like K9 vs J9 or something like that and again he spikes a jack on me. What the hell am I supposed to do? I’m up a couple bucks right now not including the 50 free they gave me so things are going well.

It seems the weather read my last blog. It’s been fairly nice outside and I’m going to try and squeeze in as many last minute Frisbee games as possible. Once the cold hits it will be all poker and Mario Kart. Classes have been relatively easy of late and since I’m taking few to begin with I’ve just had a ton of free time. I’ve been playing guitar a little bit more and I actually signed up for music lessons next semester, little did I know they were going to cost me money. I receive a credit for doing it so I figured okay I’ll play a bit extra and take the credit and the lessons. They’re one hour a week every week and I’m thinking something like 20 bucks a lesson would be acceptable. 40 bucks a lesson is what I was told and personally, I think that’s outrageous. I’m already paying a shitload to go here, I could go down the street to a music store and get cheaper lessons, take it out of my tuition. 600 dollars a semester is a lot of money for a kid. Unless I come out of these as the next Jimmy Paige I don’t know if I want to go through with it. The bad thing is that I’m down 4 credits from this semester. I intended to take lessons for 4 semesters and make it up that way but there’s no way I’m paying 2400 dollars. We’ll see what happens I suppose. Enjoy the weekend.

Why I Hate the Winter

Running Paragraph
The 800 time trial just happened. I did literally nothing to prepare for it. I’ve been eating terrible the past 3 days and my lunch today included 5 chicken fingers drenched in BBQ with two things of fries. I didn’t really hydrate at all. My sleep has been average. I didn’t do the leg thing. There are a couple of other reasons too but you get the idea. There were 19 kids in the race and I knew I wasn’t going to get out very good. I settled in the back of the pack and moved up a bit at 300 in on the straight. I hit the first lap in 63 high. I stayed relaxed until the last 100 and kicked pretty hard. I had a solid kick and crossed in 2:07. I think I could have run something closer to 2:03 for a real race with less people and actually preparing which bodes well. I have a decent amount of speed with little speed training. At least enough for the end of a 3k-10k. I never thought I’d say a 2:07 was a real confidence boost but I know I didn’t go all out today and I know I could have run significantly faster than I did. My endurance is there, speed is the question and I think this partially answers it.

When winter track starts, that mean that the winter season is near. I despise winter. I cannot stand cold weather and most of all I hate the snow.

I wear shorts and flip flops, I don’t like jeans or shoes. Jeans have the smallest pockets and I can never get my phone out of them, and when its wet out the bottom of them always get drenched and then I get really uncomfortable. I wear Khaki shorts pretty much year round.

Shoes require socks and I don’t like putting socks on in the morning. It’s too much effort when I have flip flops as an alternative.

Getting into a freezing cold car is terrible. Fortunately I don’t have to deal with that anymore but in high school I’d get into the car at 7 in the morning and drive for 10 minutes before Barney could get any heat going. I’d be able to see my breath for half the damn car ride.

Dry skin is always a huge deal in the winter. My hands, legs, and face become all scaly and disgusting. I don’t like spending money on moisturizer  because I always think if I stay inside enough I’ll be okay but that never works. I have dry skin until Spring.

It gets dark at 5 pm. It’s currently 7 pm and it’s pitch black outside. This always makes it feel way later than it is and less sunlight just makes me unhappy. By the time practice is finished you can barely see your feet. Sunlight brings happiness, darkness brings depression. This accompanied with the cold makes for a really depressing few months.

While I hate all of this, I must say I hate snow most of all. Snow is every little kids dream but I realized early on in my childhood that I didn’t like snow. I get all dressed up to go diving into freezing white powder and after 20 minutes I can’t feel my toes or my fingers which leaves me virtually crippled. I go sledding down the hill 5 times, which isn’t fun unless you go off a huge jump and eat shit, and then I can’t grip anything so I leave. For a family vacation, my family went to Colorado for a week. I went skiing the first two days then spent the rest of the trip inside playing pool with Tom or doing other things. I have poor circulation to my phalanges and snow exposes that weakness to the fullest.

Even if you enjoy playing in the snow, it’s still a pain in the ass to deal with when you’re not playing in it. I don’t like walking to class with snow all over the place, jumping over it so I don’t get my feet wet. After 3 days of it being around all the snow turns black from the car exhaust and things like that so it’s gross to even look at. I will admit, if you’re looking at the right scenery immediately after a snow storm, snow can look quite gorgeous. That along with sitting next to the fire place on a snowy afternoon when you know there’s nothing else you can be doing, those are the only decent things snow has to offer.

Anyway, that’s my take on the next 4 months. If I seem like a grouchy person then that’s probably why.

So Long Mohawk

The Mohawk is gone. My hair is somewhat normal now. I’ve never been big on really short hair and this is what I consider really short. It’s a step up from the Mohawk but definitely not what I’m used too. I’ll post a picture tomorrow that will also display my progress with No-shave November. Pretty hideous.

I’m off from running for a few days now besides the 800 time trial which is tomorrow. Hopefully I don’t lose too much from taking off but I think I need these couple days off. No running means more time which is why I’m also officially back on the online poker train. It’s been a while but I need to shake the rust off before I play the Turkey Tourney. I was going to do Pokerstars but Fulltilts perfect timing with emails made me choose them. They sent me an email literally as I was logging on to stars to deposit with an offer of a free 50 dollars if you deposit using they’re new instant Echeck thing. So I’m going to do that. Let the tilt begin.

I also picked my classes for next semester. Physics is gone and business/econ is in. I always knew in the back of my head that this would end up happening and I’m not too upset or anything. I gave physics a shot, whateva. I have 3 business courses, one history course, and a guitar lesson once a week for an hour that I have to pay for (still don’t know how much though). It should be a much harder semester than this one simply because this one has been ridiculously easy. I’m ready for it.

Regionals!

I meant to post before I went to regionals saying that I wouldn’t be posting because I was at regionals but whatever.

Running Paragraph
Regionals was yesterday and the more I think about the actual race, the more disappointed I am. I didn’t run a fast time (granted the course wasn’t easy), my place overall really wasn’t that impressive, and people who I’ve beat before and should be beating ran significantly faster than I did. I was first on Ursinus but barely, I managed to beat Jatin by 2 second which isn’t very much. The race itself was okay. The first 500ish is uphill so I went out easy. I hit the first half in 2:57 which is really really slow. I hit the mile in 5:45 or something and pretty much knew I wasn’t going to run a fast time. I ran with Jatin and Jeremy for most of the race which was good and had a decent kick but ended up at 27:50 which isn’t exactly how I wanted to end the season. Overall, the season was good. I pr’d by over a minute and was first guy for the majority of the races but there were a few goals that I fell short of. I’m expecting a big track season. Maybe I have unrealistic expectations for track and maybe I did for cross country too but I really think I’m capable of doing what I’ve been setting my goals at. It’s only a matter of time until I reach one of them.

It was a 5 hour drive out to regionals and 5 hours back. We left Friday morning and stayed over night. We went out to eat as a team and stuff which was fun. I slept in the same room as Jatin and Jeremy. I learned that they’re both really weird but when there are two weird people and one normal person, it’s easy for them to gang up on you and make it seem like you’re the weird one. Anyway, we woke up, ran the race, then drove back. I saw Mr and Mrs. Palmisano at a rest stop in the middle of Pennsylvania which was really really bizarre. We got back at 8:40 and everyone was already pretty drunk here. I don’t like it when that happens because I feel like I’ve missed out on so much and I’m not drunk at all so I have to play catch up. I caught up quick enough and all was well. I was terrible at pong like always but who cares. We also had another really long sing along which was fun. I managed to black out and I don’t remember going to sleep. It was a pretty normal night of drinking but it was fun nonetheless. Somehow I had a huge rip in the back of my shorts too which was surprising but no biggie.

Thanksgiving is almost upon us. I’m ready for a break even though every day is pretty much a break for me. I’m excited for the Turkey Tourney. Anyone who wants to play is more than welcome, spread the word. Other than that, another week begins. It’s only going to be warm out for a couple more weeks so enjoy the warmish weather while you can.

Mohawks

So I got a Mohawk for Regionals along with Bogdan, Jatin, Mark, Amos, and Gofus. My hair was really long so there was a lot of work to be done. It actually looks alright right now. Since we all got these though, we better run really fast or we’re going to look like jackasses. I’m not too worried though. It’s about having fun and that’s what we’re doing with it. The last picture is a little blurry but you get the idea.

Pre Mohawk
During Mohawk
Post Mohawk

Overdue Heater

Saturday night was fun. I went to dinner with my family and Ali for Tom’s birthday and it was a good one. I was the only one who wasn’t 21 so that was a bit of a bummer but it was fun nonetheless. We don’t get to gather as a whole family very often but for birthdays and special occasions like that we do which is nice. We got back to Ursinus at 10 o’clock and not too much was going on. I wasn’t even sure I was going to drink. I was in the 201 common room and probably 2 out of the 10 people there were drinking so I didn’t feel too much motivation, that was until Imbemba showed up. He was pretty hammered and hilarious. It wasn’t the too drunk Imbemba who gets a little crazy and destructive but he definitely had a good amount. Once we saw him, Ali, Bogdan, Chelsie, Ang, and I all started drinking. In the words of Ben (I’ve never heard this before), we played the most dangerous game, catch-up. I was attempting to get on the level of Imbemba and was initiating as many chugging contests as I could. We hung out in Ali and Deb’s room for a while just take a bunch of pictures and stuff. After that we went over to 203 and had a close to two hour long sing along session with any fun song we could think of. Pane was the star of the show due to his killer dance moves. Generally I’m a decent dancer but I wasn’t blacked out and Pane was just on fire. The boy band songs are really a hit for sing alongs, i.e. N’Sync, Backstreet Boys, etc… Them and one hit wonders from the 90’s.

After that I went to bed, but something very very strange happened. I was not blacked out when I went to bed, I remember everything pretty clearly. This was at about 2:30. After falling asleep in my bed, the next thing I remember is waking up on a mystery bed in a mystery room sleeping head to toe with someone. At some point during my slumber I woke up, either went to the bathroom or something like that, then wondered off to a different room somewhere,  climbed up into the top bunk, and slept with whom ever was occupying that bed. I don’t remember it at all which either means I somehow went from kind’ve drunk to blacked out while I was sleeping, or I was sleep walking. Either way, I woke up at 5:30 AM in the bed because I was freezing. I glanced around and saw that I wasn’t sleeping with Ali, but some dude with short hair and a beard instead. I looked around the room and after about a minute realized that I was not in my room at all. I got a closer look at the mystery man I was next too and saw that it was in fact Nick Pane. I was really confused but actually relieved that I wasn’t in some random suite somewhere with some random girl or guy or something. I hopped down and was laughing at the whole situation. To make it even funnier, when I walked into the common room Ali was sitting on the couch talking to someone on the phone and when I walked out she said, “Oh god I found him, he’s here”. She asked what I was doing in Pane’s and I couldn’t really give an answer besides I have no idea. We went to bed and everything returned to normal.

While it’s really weird that I was sleeping in his bed, the real question is why didn’t Pane kick me out. He claimed he thought it was a random dude who came in and jumped into bed with him and instead of asking him to leave, he toughed it out. He did eventually draw up the genius plan of stealing all the covers so I would get cold and leave. Well that’s exactly what happened. I wonder if I only walked across the suite. What if I was wondering around Reimert for a while just in a daze and then settled for Pane’s bed. I guess no one will really know what happened. How long was I there? Where did I go? I’m just glad I’m okay.

I got my linear algebra test back today, 90… NBD. I’ll get my econ test and history paper back tomorrow which will only extend the heater I’m on right now. School work has been great, I’ve been killing scrabble as of late, I predict I’m going to run very well at regionals (why wouldn’t I predict that), and just everything is going very well right now. It’s been a while since I’ve had a streak of good things happen so I think this was somewhat overdue. Everyone should go on a heater at least once a month or so. I was also contemplating starting online poker again which could either really help out my heater or completely extinguish it. It’s a risky move but I’m feeling good right now.