Saturday, June 20, 2009

The C-word

On Tuesday I felt my grip on my job become more and more tenuous, and frankly I just didn't want to be there any more. I was hoping that someone from work could get swine flu - just a mild case of it - so that we could all be sent home for a few days. I calculated that if H1N1 continues to spread throughout the country at the same rate, then by July 2nd it would be more likely than not that someone at work has it, which would be great because I'd be able to stay up all night and watch the business end of Wimbledon. Nadal has pulled out - probably a sensible decision - opening the door for Fed to break Sampras's record, though in my mind he's already surpassed Sampras. The career grand slam, five straight Wimbledons, five straight US Opens, twenty consecutive grand slam semi-finals, what can you say?

So I felt utterly hopeless on Tuesday. Work was crap and I couldn't summon up the energy to do anything about it. That situation has changed somewhat, and I'm now seriously looking at vacancies. I found two promising jobs on the internet, but anything advertised online is likely to get so many applications that I've got more chance of winning one of my badugi tournaments. Still, no harm in trying.

Today I had a longish session on the cardio-glide machine Bazza gave me. Then I took the ferry into town on what was a sunny if slightly chilly day. When I got back I spoke to my aunt and uncle on the phone, sidestepping any questions about my exams. They were in Auckland, about to board a plane to South America, which if I had the time and money would be near the top of my places-to-go list. Later I gave Brendan from the men's group a call - we talked (or rather he talked mostly) at length about the vagaries of real estate.

The C-word by the way is cholesterol. Every two years at work we're given a health check - a great idea I think - and yesterday I found out I've got cholesterol up the wazoo. I received a magnitude 6.4 shock on seeing those results: how on earth have I ended up there? I do consume my fair share of fish and chips, red meat and cheese, but I don't think I'm any worse than the average Kiwi bloke, and I eat plenty of fruit and vege. I will try to change my diet over the next few months (I've just bought a whole load of salmon and cashew nuts - foods I really like anyway but are just a tad on the expensive side). If I stay somewhere in the sixes despite my best efforts then I'm afraid it might mean more pills.
Cholesterol isn't the only aspect of my health I'd like to change. I've also been missing out on a whole load of vitamin D. I used to live in a sunny flat in Milford and took a two-mile walk to work, which was by the beach, so I got out at lunchtime and soaked up the sunshine if there was any. Fast forward three years and I'm living in a dark basement flat (with great views but I don't get the sun) and I drive to work, which has since relocated to a faceless business park where there's nothing to do, so people just stay inside.

I'm now getting into another new poker game - deuce-to-seven single draw. It works just like five-card draw, you know, the one you learn as kids, but the object is to make as bad a hand as possible. In other words the hand rankings are the same as for regular poker but in reverse. The only exception to this is A2345 which doesn't count as a straight, because for some unknown reason aces always play high in deuce-to-seven. The nuts in this game is a non-flush 75432. On Thursday night I had my first turn at a single draw freeroll. Out of 3600 entrants and after 4¼ hours I came 86th, thirty places outside the cut-off for the next round. I ran hot for the first couple of hours but then the hands dried up. It was the first time I'd played a tournament with antes - I didn't feel I adjusted enough for the extra pressure these put on my stack.

When I first arrived in Auckland I often used to hop in the car and get the hell out of the city, usually somewhere up north. I haven't done that in ages, so that's my plan for tomorrow.

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