Duke Smoked Michigan State

The Blue Devils really put it to the Spartans tonight! What a great game to watch for a Duke fan (me). Jeff came over, we got some pizza, had a few beers, and watched the game on the big screen.

Only another week and a half and I’ll be at Ford Field for the biggest basketball game in history (over 75,000 tickets sold) when MSU and Kentucky play. I hope Kentucky puts it to them like Duke did tonight.

Days Of December

The last month of the year is full of events for me. Here in Michigan, we usually get snow staying on the ground at some point during the month and winter officially begins on the 22nd. Have I ever mentioned that I hate winter? 65-70 degrees outside is the ideal temperature for me. Here in Michigan we are rarely above 30 or 40 during the winter months.

Since I work at a University, December also brings the end of the semester and a little bit of a lag in work as all the students leave campus for the holidays. We also get a nice little paid vacation as the school completely closes down about a week and a half. This year we are closed starting on the 24th and open again on the 5th. So that gives me 8 weekdays off and 2 full weekends to enjoy my freedom…and still get paid for it! 🙂

Does anyone know what my 2 favorite days in December are? The 24th and the 26th. Christmas Eve is a favorite in my book because that is the day my family opens all of our gifts. I LOVE GETTING PRESENTS!! I’ve been known as a little big snooper for my presents over the holidays. I don’t know where these rumors came from though…it’s not my fault if people don’t wrap the gifts right away or hide them in a good place. It’s almost like they are asking for me to find them. The 26th is of course my birthday. I’m going to be a whopping 24 this year–it’s hard to keep track of how old I am these days. And before you even ask…YES, I do get screwed on presents because people like to combine the two days. “Nick, here is your Christmas AND Birthday present.” I hear it all the time. Parents…do not try to conceive a child from mid March up through early April. Your child will be screwed for life! Ok…maybe not, but they will be dissappointed in their present count during Christmas and their birthday.

I generally like to go shopping, but December is an exception. The stores are completely out of hand and people seriously go nuts over Christmas. If people would just learn to settle down and not panic, it would be better for everyone. I’ve heard of punches being through, people being pushed, and F-bombs flying through the are because someone grabbed the last “must have” toy off the shelf. Some of these people should be forced to sit home on their computer and do all of their shopping on eBay. Not only are the stores crazy, but the shopping traffic is worse. Especially here in Saginaw where every store and restaurant that you would want to visit is across the street from the mall. I refuse to go out during the day on weekends (unless I really need to).

Who really waits until Christmas Eve to do their shopping? I can’t believe there are actually people that do this. As if the month isn’t stressful enough with traveling to visit friends/relatives, buying gifts for everyone, and worrying about the weather. Seriously…why would anyone wait until the last minutes to buy a gift for the most anticipated gift giving day of the year? I just don’t understand. If someone out there does this, please leave a comment and explain why.

This is the first year (since I’ve been old enough to ask for things) that I haven’t made a list. I guess I’m getting older.

Decmeber also brings New Year’s Eve and one of the greatest party nights of the year. Everyone gets trashed and has a blast. It is always a night to look forward to.

I hope everyone has a great month!

4 Overtimes

We lost our first game tonight in the 4th overtime. We pretty much got screwed by the refs the entire game, but we also had our chances to win. To be honest, we played horrible and still should have won the game. I think we lost 56-46, and don’t even know if we scored at all in that 4th OT. It was only the first game, so I’m not worried, but am still kind of pissed. I had like 11 or 13 points in the game and made two 3s.

My heart rate is still up and I’ve been home for about an hour and a half. Now that I have something to work for, my routine of running and working out everyday will come easier. Whoever we play next week better watch out…I’ll be ready!

Screwed At Hooters

As has become a recent tradition, Jeff, James, and I all went to Hooters for the Monday night specials and the nice “scenery”. A local radio station is always there to give out prized and make it a little interesting.

Joe (radio guy) asks for volunteers for a game, so the 3 of us volunteer as a team. As we walk to the middle of the restaraunt, Joe hands me a condom. Jeff and James each get a straw. I’m thinking to myself, “what the hell did I get into?” The object is for our team to fill the condom with more water than the other team in 60 seconds.

So the game begins… After a few unsuccessful tries, I tell Jeff and James to fill their mouths with water and then put that through the straw. It turns out to work great. Joe starts to count down, “10, 9.” We walk up to him with the full condom. The other team isn’t even a quarter of the way full. He claims we cheated so he gives the CDs to the other team and we each walk away with a keychain containing a condom inside of it. What a crock of shit!

At least the wings were good!

Performance Evaluation

I had my 6 month performance evaluation this morning and it went well. My boss praised me for being such a good employee and all that good stuff. We talked about some of my goals for the future, when I informed him that I’ve been looking for a new job for the past month or two. I explained how I hate answering phones and don’t really have any motivation for my job anymore since it’s not what I want to be doing for a career. He took it well because we had discussed in one of my previous evaluations that I wanted to get into programming. It’s what I love to do and when I’m doing it, it doesn’t seem like work to me. He also has always known that I wouldn’t be around very long. Sometimes I wonder how I’m still there after almost 2 years. Hopefully an opportunity will come my way soon.

We also talked about our upper management, raises, workflow, office procedures, student workers, and various other things. It was a good hour of talking about things we don’t normally talk about. I also made some suggestions for improvements to our Support Center and Help Desk. On Thursday afternoon I have another short meeting to review goals and sign my evaluation. I wonder if anyone has ever declined to sign their evaluation (maybe if they got a bad one?).

One thing that I have realized since returning to Saginaw yesterday afternoon is that I’ve kind of been slacking at work. This is due to the motivation factor (lack of). I’ve also realized that this isn’t fair to my co-workers or our customers, so it’s time to step it back up and get the work done.

Vacations Are Nice, But…

A vacation from work and normal life is always a nice thing. It helps to clear the mind and gives you time re-focus on things. It’s fun to get away from all of the normal, everyday responsibilities that we have. Vacations are a time to relax, have fun, un-wind, and “free your mind” (couldn’t help myself with the Matrix quote).

I enjoyed a long 5 day weekend up in northern Michigan with family and friends. Went out to the bars a couple of nights and played poker every single day that I was home. I’m not the only one becoming obsessed with the game! I think I’m going to take this week off from playing…I’ve had enough for awhile. The Lions pulled out a win on Thanksgiving, which made the food even more enjoyable. I got to sleep in until at least 11a.m. each day that I was home, so that was awesome, but I’m dreading waking up early again in the morning for work.

Is it just me, or is it that a vacation is never long enough? I never want to get back to work after a period away from the office. I like getting back to my regular life, but the work part is never fun to go back to. Maybe it’s because I know that I’ll just have to put up with the same old bullshit. Hopefully in the future I’ll work somewhere that I don’t feel that way. :-/

Well…I suppose I should try to get some sleep. My body isn’t going to agree with early to bed and early to rise after 5 days of long nights and sleeping in.

I Am "Dead Money"

I ran my 2nd successful Texas Hold’em poker tournament tonight. I’m 2 for 2 at finishing out of the money. My brother finished in first, so that was good for him.

I’m still pissed at myself for one particular play that I made. I had 5-6 of clubs and raised pre-flop. I got one caller. He checked after the flop brought 2 diamonds. I bluffed and went ALL IN simply wanting him to fold and give me the pot because I didn’t figure he had anything (since he didn’t bet). He hesitated and called me. He flipped over two diamonds…the Ace and something else I don’t remember. He had the nut flush draw, so I’m pretty much screwed because I had absolutely nothing! Needless to say another diamond came on the turn, he won the pot, I was left with but a few chips to my name, and now was forced into desperation mode. I was able to survive about 4 ALL IN calls after that (I really had not other choice with a very short stack as the blinds were raised). What I’m even more pissed about is that I didn’t realize something until after that stupid hand. The caller had not bet one of his hands for the entire tournament yet (even when he had something), which was about an hour at that point I think. If I had realized this, I would never had made that bet. If I would have checked or made a small bet, I would have had a good chance at winning. Live and learn I guess.

On a side note…I finished in 119th place out of 200 in the online tournament for the Super Bowl tickets. That may seem pretty bad, but the starting chip counts in this tournament were based on a qualifying point total. My starting chip count was well below the average. When the tournament started I was in 156th place…so I didn’t do too bad for having such a short stack.

2nd Place

Just had my highest finish in an online poker tournament. Made the final table for the first time and ended up placing 2nd out of 261 people. The top 20 finishers in the tournament are automatically entered into a tournament on Saturday (along with 20 from 9 other qualifiers to make a total of 200 entrants. The winner will receive 2 tickets to the Super Bowl and $2,500 I think, and there is prize money for the top 30 finishers.

I can’t even remember how many times I had KK in the whole. I got A LOT of good hands!

Two hands though that really stand out were at the beginning of the tournament. I had KK in the whole and the flop came down 2T9, next card was also a 9 and I folded. I could have lost my ass if I played that out (or I could have won). The other hand I raised with AQ and got re-raised pre-flop. To call I would have almost been all-in pre-flop, so I folded that one too. If I would have played both of those hands, my gut tells me that I would have been out of the tournament on one of them! Gutsy decisions, but they paid off!! 😉

Happy Thanksgiving

Well, I survived the biggest bar night of the year, unlike Tom who was stumbled home at 12:30. It’s been a long time since I’ve been out drinking in Rogers City and didn’t end up without a hangover the next day. Today is that day. 🙂

I’m not sure if I could be any hungrier for turkey, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, stuffing, and everything else. It couldn’t ask for a better day…the Lions are winning and there is also a poker tournament on TV. We’re watching poker and switching back to see the football score.

Looking forward to spending some time visiting with family later and most likely playing some cards.

Out Of Shape

After running basketball practice with Isaac’s high school varsity team today, I found out that I might be in the worst shape of my life! I’m playing in a basketball league in Saginaw township starting in December, so I guess I better get back into a routine of running a few times a week.