Simple Twist of Fate
(6-15 January 2005)

15 January 2005
-Yet another round of errands & I somehow still managed not to get a new pair of shoes.  It's harder & harder to find a good-looking pair of non-leather $15 shoes.  Problem is, I found one at Target but was led to believe I could find a better pair somewhere else.  Better yes, but not for my $10/year shoe budget.  So I'll have to get them at Target later in the week.
-Soaring highs & lows today.  I still manage to be sad for not very many good reasons a lot, mostly wrapped up in motivation & how hard it is to live with other people.  Eh, it's all complex & overblown.  The long & the short of it is, all's well that ends well.  & after netting $55 in 9 days on PokerStars, I've finally gotten on the plus side for my whole time there, which I kinda thought I might not do given how far down I'd gotten.  It seems I've figured out something in my life... who knew it would be poker?  If only I could really figure it out.  Some small things accomplished today; many more left unaccomplished.  Story of my life.

14 January 2005
-Despite last night's loss at poker night (down $14, most of which was lost in a massive pot where Cameron out-drew me on the river when he was a 4-1 underdog), I've made $40 in exactly one week on PokerStars.  I had somehow thought it had been 2 weeks, but that's my overall net in one week.  If I could keep up that pace, I would be pretty pleased.
-So it's not 100% yet, but it looks like Emily & I will be making a major East-Coast Tour at the beginning of February.  Which isn't that far away!  Included in this would almost certainly be stops in Boston, New York, & Baltimore, including a visit to the NYU debate tournament & possibly BU as well.  More details as they become available, but if you're reading this & want to coordinate (we will, for example, often need a place to stay), please drop me a line.  The longest the trip would be would be from 2-13 February, but it could potentially end a bit earlier than the 13th.

13 January 2005
-I'm not big on TV, but TiVo makes TV worthwhile in just the right ways.  So far I've just been picking up Twilight Zone episodes, but it's great to always have that show on if I feel like watching something.
-I would imagine that reading Lolita (which I am now, since so doggone many people I know have recommended it) is a very different experience for people who don't work with abused kids.  For me, it's just that much more creepy.
-Driving somehow has an inspirational feel to it.  Has for a very long time.  The car is a time where my brain has me for a captive audience, & tends to get creative & free.  There are times when I think my best preparation for writing would be to hop in the car for 15-20 minutes & then return to my desk.

12 January 2005
-It's important to remember that when life gives you a major break, it's not time to take advantage of that break.  There are times that we're able to get a wink & a nudge from the universe, something to keep us going & an acknowledgement that it's usually not okay to give us more than we can handle.  But if we over-extend this goodwill, we're sure to get a dearth of breaks thereafter.
-So.  Tired.  I really would enjoy feeling like I'm not at least a little sick all the time.

11 January 2005
-Motivation is such a calculable, visible thing.  When one's not motivated to get out of bed, it's obvious to those around.  When one's not motivated to get along with those around one, it'll be plain as day.  With the kids we work with, doubly so.
-How motivated am I?

10 January 2005
-I guess I'm not so bad at this job.  I dunno exactly how long I can hold up at it, but I can at least feel good about it sometimes.
-The Mexicali Rose has really become a nice little regular spot for us.  & the cheese taquito half-order is exactly how hungry I am after every shift at work.

9 January 2005
-Must apologize for the drought of the appearance of updates... had no internet access to speak of in Nuevo & I've been working straight through since returning... & then I was procrastinating & feeling sick.  I'm still exhausted, but at least I've caught up with my reflection.
-I've got mixed feelings about this whole tsunami thing.  First off, I must disclaim that it sort of crept up on me because my parents have gotten rid of the TV, barely have dial-up internet, & really only absorb the outside world via the newspaper.  Which is great in some ways, but it meant that I didn't really understand the scale of magnitude of the event till a few days after those who may have been glued to CNN.  & while it's a terrible tragedy, the top estimates of the dead pale in comparison to the number killed in Rwanda in a remarkably short time in the '90's.  I was pondering this with Em & she pointed out that a tsunami's universal unpopularity is part of what makes it easy to donate aid to its victims.  No one is busy propping up a tsunami government or sweeping it under the rug because they make big money from their alliance with tsunamis.  In geopolitical disasters, the people are probably hurt more than a natural disaster (though it's really hard to compare these things, but usually war is just nastier in more detailed ways than a big wave, on balance), but there's someone whose got enough vested interest in the disaster to make it murky enough that this outpouring of compassion doesn't happen as much in those situations.  Please don't get me wrong here... I think it's phenomenal that so many people in the first world are being so generous with the remote third world & it's a model of what should happen all the time.  I'm really pleasantly surprised.  HOWever, it makes me wonder why it doesn't happen more, given the numbers being harmed in other similar ways.

8 January 2005
-Gaw.  Looks like I'm getting sick on top of everything else that's been going poorly of late.  Have had a nagging sore throat that I thought I beat yesterday, but it seems to want to stick around.  Yes, if you're scoring at home, that's the fourth (4th) sore throat since August.
-The lows are getting lower.  Not lower than in 1999 or something, but they're quite low.  I can't fully explain how or why.  I feel like doing something extreme, something people would label "a cry for help".  But at the same time, I'm able to snap myself out of it & back much more easily as well.  As I was telling Em the other day, I used to be such a firebrand compared to what I am now.  I used to be much more explosive, both positively & especially negatively.  Now it's easier to right the ship, with so many blessings & good factors to remember & keep me grounded.  But the lows are getting more frequent & harder to rectify & the self-deprecation cycles are right back where they were... & it really doesn't seem to make me any more disciplined.
-Got Em her TiVo finally... she seems very excited.  I think we'll all enjoy it, though pausing & rewinding live TV this evening was a little too enjoyable for Fish.

7 January 2005
Happy Birthday to Natalie Garin
-Took home (well, we played at the Big Blue House, so I already was home... maybe I should say "won") $87 in profit at the poker table late last night into early this morning.  At one point, we had $158 on the table due to the brand-new chip set & it's 5-color capability.  A good time was had by all, but with my biggest lifetime poker payday, I must admit a great time was had by me.  For the Seneca/Oakland poker nights, I'm now up exactly $130.

6 January 2005
-Re-enter Fish.  He's about as excited to go to work as I am about catching up on my notes.  Third full day back & already I'm sliding back into the same old patterns.  Have I learned nothing?
-Well I cleaned up a little for poker night.  But I'm convincing myself I just have to let go.  Maybe the solution is in stressing less about the job rather than taking time off altogether.

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