LA Trip

Let’s try to be brief…

Day 1
We arrive at the Albany Airport and the Contential people insist on me using the computer ticketing thing. I say that it’s a waste of time since my name is on the “No Fly” list and they’re going to have to do it manually anyways. Sure enough, 2 minutes in I’m back at the counter getting my ticket by hand.

Next stop was the Saranac resturant for some food and a call to Hertz to try to get GPS installed on our car in L.A. A little backstory:

About a month ago I tried to install some more memory into my PC. I say “tried” as I didn’t seat the chip correctly and fried both the chip and the motherboard by causing the magic smoke to escape. Then there was the whole ordeal of me wanting to buy a nice, new motherboard, but unable to since my processor was too old. Once I got the new motherboard Windows refused to boot since the hardware was different and I had to re-install Windows. After re-installing Windows I found that I had misplaced the map disk for my GPS. This was about a week before the trip. While I was in Austin I was emailing Garmin back and forth to try to get a replacement disk sent out, but did not recieve it in time, hence talking to Hertz to get their GPS.

Back to the story. The Hertz GPS is not available on the economy class cars, which we have reserved. We booked the car through and they can’t change a reservation on the same day we’re supposted to get the car and Hertz can’t change a reservation made through a third party. They can cancel it though and give us a refund. So we decide to sort everything out at the counter in L.A.

We arrived in L.A. about on time and wandered around LAX looking for the Hertz counter before we found out that we actually have to take a shuttle to get to it. Once there I was quite excited to see some Jags and 350z’s in the available lot. Sadly those are not available with the GPS. It basically came down to a Seabring and a Grand Prix GT. We took the Grand Prix and it wasn’t bad. The seats were nice, the power from the supercharged V6 was alright and it had a nifty display that showed the current mpg. The GPS sucked though compared to the Garmin. It was slooooowwww, and had a hard time figuring out when we were off course and it should caclulate a new route. It also didn’t have a “detour” feature (more on that later). The points of interest were handy though.

On the way to the hotel (on Vermont Ave!) we stopped at a 24 hour Korean resturant so Sunghee could eat. It was about 3am local time at this point and everything was very sureal. Our hotel room was the perfect L.A. hotel room. Hot tub, high ceilings, huge bed, balcony, and cum stains on the carpet.

Day 2:
We woke up and Sunghee discovered that I didn’t really pack sutiable clothes for her friend’s wedding. So off shopping we go! Breakfast first though. We found an interesting resutrant though the GPS that about a couple of miles away, but arrived to find it closed. Darn. Oh, there’s a mexican/italian cafe across the street, we’ll eat there. I had french toast with bananas and strawberries while Sunghee had a panani. All the waiters were aspiring actors, of course. Next was shopping. The GPS was off by about a mile for the mall and we had to as for directions. We hit Nordstrom first but didn’t really like anything there and actually ended up buying a shirt, tie and belt from The Gap, and shoes from Payless. I also needed a haircut. My cutter was “Candy” (actually spelled something like Kanndee) and that was alright.

Off we head to the wedding! My first Korean wedding at that. The event was actually in a office building, but it was near our hotel in Koreatown. The wedding was marred by the baseball game going on at the same time as various people from both sides would leave to go to the sports bar next door to watch the game. I, having no interest in baseball, stayed and checked in after everything had settled down. Now I had heard lots of cheering and stuff from the bar during the wedding and dinner an expected to see a high scoring game, but it was 0-0 in the 5th. WTF? Baseball isn’t that exciting.

I got to witness the after-wedding traditional Korean stuff where the bride and groom are dressed in traditional gowns and have tea with the parents and the parents signify how many grandchildren they want by chucking dates and nuts at the newlyweds.

After everything was all over Sunghee went to Karoke with her friends and I went to the Commerce Casino.

As soon as I walked in I spotted the poker room. “Wow”, I thought “This is bigger than Borgata and the tables are nicely spaced, nice lighting, great!” I wadered around for a bit, past the boards (400/800, 200/400, 40/80 stud) and finally asked a floorman what games were open. “We have 1k/2k open”. Um…, no. Anything lower? “400/800? 200/400? 40/80?” Um…., 6/12? “Oh! That’s in the other room.” Other room? Ok…. I walk in the direction he pointed and do indeed find the Other Room. It’s twice the size of the first room and PACKED. I get on a list for 4/8 and get seated in about 20 minutes. And, holy crap, the game was soft. In about three hours I’m up $400 and I head over to 9/18 as I hear that’s very good. And it is. Just as soft as 4/8 but with one exception, the gentleman in the 1 seat who kept holding his cards up so his buddy on the rail behind him could see. And his buddy would give away his hand EVERY time. And amazingly nobody else picked up on this as they kept paying off his big hands and folding to his bluffs. I kept isolating him and winning pot after pot from him. He was able to stay around because he kept running over everyone else. I’ve died and gone to heaven. I wish I could play in this game every day.

I get out and go pick up Sunghee, found thanks to the GPS. On the way back to the hotel, I’m a bit hungry. The GPS says that a In and Out Burger is near by. Alright! But by the time we get there they’ve closed. Bummer. We hit a Denny’s instead and I appreciate the one on Rutland that much more now.

Day 3:
Ok, so the plan was to go to Venice and rollerblade or ride bikes and enjoy the sun, but there was a small problem. The marathon. We were unable to get on the proper road as it was closed off as part of the race route and the GPS wouldn’t offer us any alternate routes. My Garmin will do this. It has a nifty “Detour” button on it that would’ve been really nice in this situation. Unable to go west, we head east and visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which pretty much sucked. I also spotted a TVR driven by some goofball who kept telling people it was a Ferrari. He also almost spun it out trying to make a left through an intersection. We bombed around Hollywood for a bit then Sunghee went off to have dinner with her friends and I went to the Bike. On the way Flock of Seagulls came on the radio as I was going over some bridge and for a split second I thought I was playing GTA and I was worried that I hadn’t unlocked the bridge yet and I wouldn’t be able to get across. I also drove by the Spearmint Rhino, which I didn’t think actually existed.

Once at the Bike I sat in at a $40 NL table with $40 and ran it up to about $250 in an hour. Soft games again! I headed over to a 4/8 table and the spectator sport that is L.A. poker began. There was one woman who would request seat and table changes every 10 minutes, but never moved. Well, she would move some of her stuff during a hand, win, and then move the stuff back to her “lucky” seat. Then there was an asian couple that were colluding, badly. They would try to trap people between them with raises, and were passing signals, which I was able to pick up on and exploit. One hand I capped the whole way with them and announced “Straight” at showdown, the man buried his cards in the muck and I flipped over mine to show that I actually only had a pair of fours, the woman had J3o for a rivered pair of threes and MHIG. Yes, I’ll angle shoot people trying to scam me. A couple of twoplustwo’ers were at the table which I didn’t find out about until later. After telling the floor three times about the asian couple and nothing being done I moved on to a 6/12 game. Sunghee arrived a few minutes after I sat down and I played about one orbit before they announced a new 3/6 Omaha 8/b game. That sounds like fun! We get some dinner at the table and I find the table is full of rocks chasing the bad beat jackpot. I’m at the table for a couple of hours and end up +30 or so. A huge victory as I suck at Omaha. We head back to the hotel at about 3am and set the alarm clock for 7am for our flight.