June 2004 Archives

stupid pet peeves

I'm supremely relaxed by nature. A true easy-goer. Which is why I'm always surprised when I discover a pet peeve. My current angry obsession is so stupid, I'm almost embarrassed to report it.

I think it may be therapeutic, though. And maybe a couple of you will agree with me.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I go postal about this stuff. I just notice with prejudice.

So here's the juice:

I play a fair share of online poker. Maybe an hour a day. Never for real money, usually in a tournament of some kind.

Being that it's "online," online poker has its fair share of "shortcut" acronyms. Little phrases like "nh" (nice hand), "vnh" (very nice hand), and so on. Those of you who chat at all probably know the other standards, "lol" (lots of laughs), "rotf" (rolling on the floor). And of course "ty" and "yw." Thank you and you're welcome.

Here's what (completely unnecessarily) gets my goat. When someone draws a great hand, like four of a kind. Or a full house. And someone else says "vnh."

So far so good. It was a very nice hand. Saying so isn't strange. Though I'd prefer something a little more poetic, it still does what it's supposed to do.

And then the person who drew the great hand says "ty."

Thank you?

Let's analyze the possible reasons you'd say "thank you" after someone notices that you drew a great hand in poker.

1. You mean to say, "thank you for noticing."
If this is the case, my response is, "duh." Who wouldn't notice a straight flush? No need to thank me for doing what every other (good) player at the table is doing: watching the cards. I doubt this is the correct evaluation of the TYR (thank you response), though.

2. You mean to say, "thank you for the compliment."
This is the more likely true meaning of the TYR, isn't it? And it's the courteous thing to do, right? Someone compliments you, you say thanks. Everyone should be so well-adjusted. Except that you didn't get the compliment. Your cards did. And you didn't have anything to do with drawing them.

Yeah, I know. It's a stupid pet peeve. I can't help it.

Just so you all don't think I'm a hopeless social assassin, here's my solution to the problem:

Let's introduce a new character pair into the mix: wp.

Well Played.

As in, "I've been watching, and even though you drew the flush on the flop, you were patient as hell and because you slow played so brilliantly, you were able to take both my money and my pride in one fell swoop."

Well Played, you dirty rotten no-respect son of a monkey's uncle.

And then and only then, I'll be happy to see someone say ty.

Doesn't that make so much more sense? Compliment me on the stuff I can control, not on the stuff I can't.

the Lakers lose!

I'm no sports fanatic, but I'll tell you this: watching the Pistons dismantle the Lakers in what should have been a four game sweep is one of those things that warms my heart.

These weren't any Lakers, either. They're the storied Lakers, playing their A game with the single greatest player and the most dominant player in the game today (Shaq--and don't argue with me--is not even in the top ten best players in the game . . . he's bigger than anyone else, he gets the benefit of the doubt every time he knocks some defender over on his way to the basket, and he used to be able to run). These are the Lakers, give or take a few guys, who came back to beat my home team, the Portland Trailblazers, in game 7 of the Western Conference finals.

For me, there's nothing like watching a "dynasty" fall apart. Especially since I love teams that play well most of the time but don't win championships often enough: the Blazers, the Broncos, the Mariners, the Cubs.

The best thing about this championship series, much like the World Series last year, was that this Detroit team doesn't have any one dominant player. There are guys who are all-star quality, sure, but the Pistons won this series because they played team basketball. They hustled harder, they defended better, the attacked better. Sound like the Marlins last year? It should.

hawaii or bust

So I've got this friend who is getting married in Hawaii in August. The happy couple lives in my old stomping ground, Portland, Oregon. My wife and I (though you all know this) live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

(By the way, YES, it's absolutely unbearable just about now. Hot and humid beyond human understanding.)

Though I doubt we'll be able to swing the cost of a trip to Hawaii this summer, I desperately want to go to this particular wedding. So I've been dreaming about it a bit, and obviously I've been trolling all of the ticketing sites for good ticket prices.

Here's the funny thing: It's cheaper to fly to Hawaii from Fort Lauderdale than it is to fly to Hawaii from Portland. It's no major discount--the price is better by about $50--but it's still kind of funny.

And it's not at all surprising. Fort Lauderdale is the "domestic hub" in South Florida. And from here, we can fly just about anywhere else in the country before flying to Hawaii. Going to Texas, going to Utah, going to Washington . . . from here, it's all pretty much the same. So when the ticketing engine revs up and starts looking for the good prices, there are more chances for (relatively) cheap tickets.

Anyway, it's still right up in the $800+ range, which is crazy. And in a month, I'll wager the price will double. Bah.

Maybe I've got a long-lost great great grand-uncle who will leave me a fortune in diamonds.


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