Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Close and no Cigar

On July 13, 1996, a horse named Cigar was at Arlington Park in an attempt to tie the record set by another horse named Citation of most wins in a row and I really wanted it to lose. Unlike the following race where it was forced to a fast 6 furlongs causing it to tire and lose to my delight, it ran a solid race and won. There was a close call with the horse I wanted to win as far as interference and stated the people who would make that decision would not have the courage to even look at it. That statement caused a huge argument with my father and I stormed out of the house with my golf clubs.

After hitting my drive off the second tee at Evergreen G.C., I twisted my right ankle getting off the tee box. Though it was sore, I could still walk ok and a few holes later realized that it kept me from over swinging. After waiting a short rain delay on 4, played the more difficult front 9 in a respectable 6 over par 42 gaining more confidence as I went.

Number 10 was 290 yards but it usually plays into the prevailing wind. With the northeast breeze that was in play and with my ankle feeling better, I launched my drive putting it on the green 10 feet from the cup. Though I missed the eagle putt, I had a birdie which was followed by one on 11 where the wind allowed me to play a short wedge second shot.

Though I bogeyed 12, a birdie on the difficult 14th down wind made up for that. The most difficult hole on the course, 15 played into the wind along OB on the right and I managed a double bogey keeping OB out of play. After pars on the last 3, shot a 6 over par 77 which was (and still is) the lowest score on a 18 hole round of golf that I will ever shoot.

Twenty year later to the date, I went to Round Lake to play at Squaw Creek Gold, the #1 rated disc golf course in Illinois for a league since I was unable to play in the World Amateur championship as my right elbow was not ready at the time I needed to register. It did not matter that my play over the previous couple weeks have deteriorated and I had confidence in myself.

The first 7 holes went ok though I did make a couple of errors but things unraveled on 8 and the rest of the round was a death march in and out of the woods at the edge of a storm. I had no idea where a disc was going nor how to correct it.

When I was done, I was an exhausted, disgusted, and thoroughly beaten man who realized he had enough and knew he should never again try to play. I sent a text contemplating whether I should to drive home or at high speed into a wall, threw my disc bag in the garbage, thanked the man in charge of the event for putting up with me, and left.

Ten minutes later, I realized my phone was still in my bag and headed back to discover that the same statement I have made to myself in the past after similar days at a bowling alley, golf course, or Scrabble tournament reads differently as a text message sent to another person and that I scared people.

After done talking on the phone to those I scared, went to the garbage and retrieved my equipment as the person in charge of the event stated he was going to do so anyway. Though I was in no mood to eat, I drove home without incident and the next morning went back to practice. Having a weekend out of town even though I was not in the mood at first to go was a benefit as well.

Being one week later, where am I?

 Such is the not so normal world of the madman on the loose.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Price is Wrong... Bitch

After the Tour de France stage ended, I turned on the second half of The Price is Right not having seen the show in a couple years interested in seeing how it looks and sounds.

When it was time for the dollar wheel, the first contestant hit 65 cents and in spite of her bf, stayed. I commented about the argument that the couple will later have since the chances are better when spinning.

I was told I was wrong. I then explained that my father and I had this conversation in the late 1980s and I did the math.

65 cents is the high point where player is better to spin winning when holding outright almost 13% of the time and winning a spin-off 4% and a person who spins though would be over 65% of the time would win just under 19%.

I continued once a player gets 70 cents, they are better off not spinning and then reminded her that I figured out the odds of winning most of the games assuming simple price knowledge like the range of item costs and that prices often end with a zero.

I was then told I take the fun out of game shows. I smiled in agreement.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Mandatory Fun(k)

I am home after a memorable day.

Started by going to my cousin's house to see people I generally see once per year (unless someone dies or I get invited to a wedding which I understand why I don't). I appreciate those who bought a raffle ticket to help pay for my daughter's trip to Orlando.

At 3:25, got a panicked text from Carrie stating the VIP preshow event for the Weird AL concert in Aurora was starting at 4. I hustled from 167th and Cicero to get her and then to Aurora in 2 hours in time for a couple cool things including a couple pics taken in the Mandatory VIP lounge to go along with the theme from Weird Al's most recent and probably last album Mandatory Fun which debut at #1.

We then got to the second row as it is festival seating and waited 2 hr for the show to start. The nice venue was only outdone by the 70 degree weather which was perfect for his show the only problem being that the stage setup made it difficult for him to access from the front and not possible to head into the crowd as he had done in all but one of the other shows I've seen over the past 20+ years.

After the show, we joined those at the party and others we knew backstage where I got an autograph and a pic with him.

So why the title? Carrie as well as others who were there commented on the smile I had especially when admitting the 50pt IQ drop I often experienced in the past at conventions. During the show I had on multiple times get my mind to stop thinking about life and to try to fucking enjoy the moment for once I course I then got unhappy with myself because I was unhappy.

After getting back to Carrie's house which took longer than it should not seeing a sign confirming a street that I needed to take, I started to shake. I initially thought it was nerves that happened the previous time I took a pic with AL but it turned out to be lack of food so I stopped at a Denny's as I wanted to see the pics that were on Facebook right anyway.

I did not see my smile in the pics. I did not see a happy person either. I saw the fat, old, sad man who does not know how to just be happy without looking stupid and who was very lucky to not fall 15 minutes before the pic because he was not paying attention to the posts that run under the benches. On the way back from the show to Carrie's, she mentioned the numerous my negative assessments I make of myself.

As I finish the words the following morning with the pics to be added later, the exact words I had eludes me. I know I hold myself to standards which I rarely meet and am aware it takes a toll on me even on the days that try to make up for the rest.

No doubt that is why I turn to food to cope and see the fat way before the smile as it feeds among itself. The evening was also a test to see if I was so tired of life to bother to continue living. Though it was a struggle, I did manage to pass it even three days later at work feeling the energy from the event.