Tuesday, June 29, 2004

had to remove the tag board. it was giving pop up ads. it wasn't being used anyway.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

what's up with the weather?

We have rapidly approached summer with the sun nowhere in sight. it has been pretty darn cold to a point where it feels like we're approaching winter, not just fall. Another thing I have been noticing that we haven't had a lick of rain for the majority of the year. Are we in a drought? Laying here withering away in bed isn't all that bad when the weather leaves nothing to be desired.

Anyway, good news is that I'm about 90% better from my injury. I'm gonna take it easy for the next few weeks. I hope if I just take it easy the remaining injured part of me will slowly but surely heal. It sure was a scary 2 weeks indeed. I'm gonna go back to work tomorrow, to my new office (erik's old office/cave), and see how it goes. First thing I wanna do is get some pho to celebrate. :)

Saturday, June 19, 2004

post #446

Say what? yeah....I've written 446 entries. I haven't updated in a while... long story short, I'm having back problems again. its definitely not nearly as bad as before, but it's no ordinary muscle pull or a kink. i can honestly say that its got better since i injured it, and significantly better than when it was at its worst (for this injury). first question people ask is how i injured it. the only improper thing that might have caused it was trying to lift this heavy ass chair at work in the machine room. i dunno why it was heavy, maybe it was bolted to the floor or something. but i didn't really exert myself all that much. and if stuff like that is gonna injure me this severely, then I really gotta re-examine how I'm going to live my life from now on and make some major changes. its severe enough that i haven't been to work for the last week and a half. i think its almost better to where i can try going to work and sitting and see how it feels. but i'm not going to push myself, and probably not gonna lift weights at the gym for a while.

whenever something bad like this happens the first thing that pops in my mind is "man I hope this is just a bad night mare." and there is a long pause to see if i wake up. a lot of the times, it is a bad nightmare. unfortunately this one is not one that I'm going to wake up from. the second thought that pops up is "if I'm going to have to spend the rest of my life with this condition, do I want to continue on with life?" and it dawns on me that even if i had all the money in the world, there isn't much else that could be done. sucks, doesn't it? why can't they grow a new and improved spine (or maybe just a disc) in a test tube and give me a spine/disc implant? well, i guess i can just tell them to fuse 2 vertebraes together. i'll probably lose at least about a 1/2 an inch of height...and who knows what the drawbacks are when your vertabraes are fused...

i should really stop complaining. there are a lot worse things to be suffering from. i should be glad that i don't have a terminal condition or not have the use of all my arms and legs. so many people have it so much worse, and are more thrilled about what life has to offer for them than I do at the moment.

i went to the acupuncturist today. even though the drive was absolutely excruciating (for some reason, my car chair is unbearable to sit on for more than a few minutes). since the place where i just cut my hair was down the block, i went to get a haircut also. since i was long overdue for a haircut, i thought it would be something to lift my spirits, and it also was a preventative measure so that I don't end up with a mullet like last time.

its kinda ironic how i reinjured my back right after that one night two weeks ago i decided to cruise around san diego and reflect on how thankful i should be after going through all the places that reminded me of my initial injury a year ago. i took a detour on my way home and headed down to torrey pines beach, then went back up to downtown la jolla, to pb, to san diego zoo, to the coronado bridge, to coronado, to that strip of road south of coronado and back. i took that drive to reflect and let out frustrations. i thought i would have something good to say about that night. but i now that i reinjured my back, it really just doesn't make any sense. santa claus, please give me a new spine.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

not just another long weekend

the plan was that i was going to spend the whole 3 day weekend with my parents and we were going to attempt our first real vacation since we came to the US. unfortunately, my dad's van broke and the escrow was closing on the house they just bought, so they didn't want to go anywhere far. hearing that, i didn't think it would be worth the drive on busiest driving day of the year to go to LA for some Korean food and just lounging around at home. i just told them i'll just go there next week. that cleared up my weekend plans, and i suddenly came to the realization that i had absolutely no plans for the weekend. so i called up jeff and asked him what he was up to and it turned out he was headed to vegas on saturday to check out the madonna concert and was looking for someone to tag along. he also said we could watch dvd's during the drive since he put a dvd player in. except the money issue, i didn't have to think much to realize that there wouldn't be much of a reason not to go. i've been wanting to go the longest time, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. later on in the night, travis called me for some no limit texas hold em. not having played in 2 weeks, I jumped at the chance. We played a relatively short game...about an hour and half. I doubled my buy in, and so I was happy. The only hand that didn't go so well was when I was dealt pocket rockets, and I didn't raise enough for the guy with the 7 8 off to fold, and he hit the set when 7 K 7 came on the flop. i just called all his raises, and was pretty sure he had it, even though I was hoping all he had was AK, or something of that nature.

so i made the final decision saturday morning to go to vegas, and we were off. jeff put a really stiff suspension on his sti, so during some stretches of the freeway, it kinda felt like riding a wooden rollercoaster. maybe not as bad since we had cushioned seats. we made a stop by san gabriel. had some food there. all the restaurants over there are kinda weird. we went to this chinese restaurant, and they had everything you would expect, and everything you didn't expect. steak and eggs, spagetti and meat balls, etc. i got the rib eye steak and eggs and was surprisingly really good. cooked just right, and the eggs were over easy. the trip was getting off the right foot. after that, we headed out to vegas, and we definitely hit some slow areas along the way. i think with our detour to san gabriel the total drive to vegas was about 7 hours. we watched most of Bad Boys, and watched a lot of music videos. jeff's concert was at 8pm, and we got on the strip at 7pm. the traffic was unbelievably thick, so we just slowly cruised the strip watching some price music videos. we finally made it to the circus circus hotel and stopped by just to check in. they gave us a room detached to the hotel. overall, the circus circus hotel was pretty ghetto. the parking structure was old, the elevators looked beat up, our room was smokey, you could hear the people upstairs walking back and fourth across their rooms, and the air conditioner was piercingly loud. the tv had a keyboard running some form of windows. i wasn't surprised to see that the system was malfunctioning since it was giving me critical errors every time we tried to do something like fill out their survey. another thing that happened was that someone came by and reversed all the "do not disturb" signs on everyone's doors which probably confused all the housekeeping people as well as everyone staying there. ghetto.

after we checked in, we took the back way to MGM for the concert. i just tried to look for the poker room, only to find out that they are remodeling it. seeing that it was even hard to find $10 blackjack tables, i decided to kill time at the video poker machines. so i put my $20 in and played for a while, then someone next to me on the exact same machine started playing $.25 blackjack. the machines had about 9 different games on there. big mistake. the odds are definitely not the standard blackjack odds. i was plaing $1 a hand by the book, and it was a fast decline. every time I hit when I should, I bust, and only maybe 1 out of 20 times when the dealer shows a 6 or lower, he busts. I was going to stop at when I lost 60, and i got dealt a 11, and it wanted me to put money in so I could double down. so i put another 20, and that disappeared within a few minutes. i just couldn't believe how ridiculously rigged it was. it was not subtle. my fault for playing it. you get better odds at playing at a unacredited poker website hosted in russia where they advertise that they are going to scam money out of you. so i put in another $20 and played some more video poker. at least that game is semi fair. i got my $20 back, and jeff called me after he was done with the concert. we were both hungry, and cruised around the back end of the strip only to find out that it was just as packed. we found a no-name casino offering steak and lobster 24 hours a day for $7.77. the food was definitely worth the money (lobster was dry, steak and eggs would have been better), and we were quite satisfied. just don't get drinks there since they charge for it. after dinner, it was about 1pm, and started heading back to circus circus. we made a detour, and got back around 3pm.

the next day, we woke up, went to the bellagio buffet. entering the bellagio parking lot, there was a security check. they made us pop the trunk. i'm not sure what they were looking for but they didn't really open up any of our bags. so if you wanted to sneak stuff in, you might as well put it in your bag. the buffet was good as usual. while waiting in line, i went to check out their poker room. i was impressed with what they were offering. unfortunately, i didn't have enough time to sit down before or after lunch. at the buffet, they didn't have the tenderloin roast that they had the last 2 times i went there. the king crab legs were somehow perfectly split down the middle. the tiger shrimp was perfect, and the ceviche was the best ceviche i've ever had since it was just loaded with premium seafood. i must have had a whole pound of that. i wasn't blown alway by the food as I always am by the bellagio buffet this time. the food was good, but it could be that the sycuan casino here serves the prime rib now, and the bellagio buffet just doesn't overdo it for me. i still think its the best buffet ever. just not 10 notches above everything else anymore.

i would have played some poker after food if we had the time, but since we didn't, we just checked out the bellagio fountain show, and checked out the hotel for a bit. it was quite a difference coming from ghetto circus circus to the plush bellagio casino. not sure how they filter the cigarette smoke, but you just couldn't smell it even though everyone seemed to be smoking. unless, they smoked a fat cigar in front of you, like the ass in front of us at the buffet line. i could only gain the pleasure of imagining socking him in the gut while he took a big puff so he'd inhale all of it into his lungs. cause that's what everyone standing around him were doing. the bellagio fountain was spectacular as usual. they played "This Kiss" by Faith Hill. then we were back on the road. there wasn't much traffic at all. the only time we slowed down to 65 was when a truck carrying a lamborghini murano was pulled over to the side. it wasn't even in an accident, just resting, but causing traffic to slow down on both directions of the freeway. on the way to and from vegas, i think we hit 155mph for short distances twice in the sti. we raced a e36 m3, just to see how it would do. he kept up for much longer than we thought he would. it gets pretty scary after we hit 135+.

we got to san gabriel around 7pm. met ritchie and sandy. they tried to go to a subaru meet that didn't seem to be taking place. ate some chinese food and hung out till about 10pm. got home around midnight to put an end to a fantastic short trip to vegas.

on monday, i slept in, and met nguyen at his new house. we got some pho at pho hoacali express right in ranch bernardo. i don't know what they were trying to mean by "express" but it was the nicest pho place i've been to. they had 2 plasma screens, and looked a really nicely detailed restaurant. took my cockatiel to nguyen's house. took him outside to the park. surprisingly it was happy to be outside and not leave my shoulder. after that i came home to chill a bit, and went to the gym to burn off the extra few thousand calories i consumed during the long weekend.