All that is wrong with the world…

September 22, 2010

Two months in Vegas

Filed under: Travel — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — allthatiswrong @ 6:28 pm

So, a lot of interesting stuff has happened in the last two months or so. It’s been a very interesting year what with Central America, personal relationships, traveling and such, and now I plan to write about it. I don’t know how many people will care to read this, but it’s interesting for me to have an outlet which can serve as a record.

I have my laptop back!

So, I got my laptop about a week and a half ago. It was pretty damaged, and now everything has been replaced with brand new parts and it works beautifully. I’ve been without it since the end of May, just a few days before I left for Costa Rica and Nicaragua for two months.

It was such a nice feeling to have it back. I’ve felt quite lost without it. While traveling, it is my primary source of communication, entertainment and work. There has been so much I have wanted to do and write, and have been unable to without it. Well, now I can, so I can finish the 20 or so articles I have been planning – hopefully before the end of the year.

I honestly thought I was going to need $300 or so to repair it.., what with spilling Dr Pepper over it, breaking several seals when cleaning it and finally shorting it out due to forgetting it was still plugged in. Add to this the fact that it was purchased overseas and no longer had a serial number or proof of purchase with it. $300 isn’t much…, but at the moment without income and limited savings, it is a significant amount. It’s kind of sad, but getting it back for free was definitely the best thing that happened to me this month.

The only difference now is that I have a US keyboard. This doesn’t matter and I’m quite used to it, although I had gotten used to having access to pound and euro symbols, not to mention a lot of now wasted effort to get my Alt+Gr key working properly under Linux.

One thing I was worried about was that my trial of Windows Server 2008 R2 had finished, and Windows was now reporting it as not genuine. I would not even consider paying the $700 or so for a license, and the last crack I tried, ChewWGA ended up leaving me with an endless reboot loop. That may not have been ChewWGA’s fault, but I couldn’t find out what the cause was. This time, I tried RemoveWAT which I had used successfully on installs of Windows 7. I am happy to say it worked perfectly, and I now have a fully functional install of R2.

Recently when trying to access one of my external hard drives…it failed. Having a hard drive on top of everything else in a suitcase and having it fall forward…the full weight of a suitcase pushing it to the ground, is not a good thing. I was somewhat dismayed, as despite making sure to copy my lists of movies and all my comics across all of my hard drives, I apparently never bothered to backup my photos, the one thing not replaceable. I had thought they were gone for good, but this was OK as I thought it was only my Europe and USA photos that were on there, which I had copies of somewhere. However, when trying my hard drive again a bit later…it works! Not great, but well enough for me to copy 8 GB of photos from a clicking sorry sounding hard drive with robocopy.

It’s actually a nice surprise, as I forgot all about my photos from Egypt, Brazil, and other places that I definitely did not have copies of anywhere. I can’t believe how well that worked out. Now to send it back under the awesome 5 year warranty, and start downloading all those classic TV shows yet again. What was also interesting was my collection of music videos I had on there. All 232 of them. I remember how nice it was to have all the latest singles that I could play whenever I liked, back in 2002/3 or so. I completely forgot about them as YouTube has made them completely irrelevant, something I thought was interesting.


With that out of the way, I’m going to write about what has happened in the last month and a half, because I think it has been interesting, as my life so often is. After DEFCON finished, I literally had nothing to do. I didn’t have my laptop so couldn’t really write stuff, I was still waiting for some bank stuff to be sorted out so didn’t have any money, and didn’t really know anyone here. I was staying with a cool girl I met, which was a burden of my mind that I didn’t have to worry about accommodation.

It was nice to just chill out for a few days, trying to work out what I will do next. I spent quite a lot of time playing counterstrike 1.6 with my friend’s friend’s son. It was nice to play what is now a ‘classic’ game with one the next generation. Spending my days talking philosophy and politics had to come to an end however, as my friend was going overseas at the end of the week and I had to find somewhere else to stay.

I managed to find a couple to stay with, which was a relief. They were a small family, and pretty chilled out. Again I didn’t really have anything to do, and didn’t have my laptop, so spent most of my time reading or watching movies or just finding a way to procrastinate somehow. I talked a lot with one of my hosts, who I shall refer to as Mary. Mary was a very hospitable host, very kind and generous, but I found that I couldn’t talk to her for too long. The reason being was that her beliefs were basically completely ignorant. Beliefs such as raw milk can cure cancer and such are bad enough, but then trying to tell me that quantum physics is defined as the ability to alter reality based on will alone? Fail.

The thing with these types of people is that explaining why/how they are wrong will do absolutely nothing. Its one thing to believe that you can alter reality based on will alone…fine – but to label this quantum physics when quantum physics is well defined as something completely different and scientific is just…dumb. It’s impossible to help those who are not willing to help themselves. Which is truly sad…what is left of the optimist in me believes there must be some way as I can’t understand why people would bury themselves in ignorance to that extent.

The other interesting thing I noticed was Mary’s kids. Mary’s kids had absolutely no discipline. This is not a criticism of Mary or her husband by any means, but it seems all the parents I meet of kids these days refuse to discipline them in any way. Of course it is better if you can reason with your kids and not have to resort to some sort of punishment, but there is nothing inherently wrong with punishment either. While it is completely anecdotal, I think it is interesting that all of these kids who grow up without discipline assert themselves over their parents, and do what they want to do. Since the parents won’t use discipline, they don’t seem to have any way of actually stopping them from misbehaving.

I started looking for someone else to stay with, as I didn’t want to feel like I was imposing on a small family’s residence. I started looking frantically for someone to stay with as my money was still tied up, and no one seemed to be responding. I managed to find someone to stay with eventually, just out of dedication to basically messaging what seemed like everyone.

A few nights before I switched hosts, I went with Mary and her husband to a poker night. I couldn’t play, as I was unwilling to gamble even $5 from what I had left, instead I just watched and talked to people. This is where I ended up meeting CT. CT was an interesting guy, very charming and generous and promised to put me in touch with investors I could show my business plan to, as well as hook me up with some acting gigs.

This was awesome news, as I am always looking for investors I can show my plan to. I’m extremely interested in getting into acting as well, so hookups in both of these areas would have been amazing. Unfortunately it seemed the guy was full of shit. I tried contacted him after that night, and when he finally replied he insulted me for not knowing who I am, and then said he had no time to be my agent. What a shame.

My new residence

A few days later I changed hosts to stay with a guy I’ll call Zane. Zane is a very interesting guy. It is nice to meet someone interested in arguing who can actually do so properly and support their points or admit when they are wrong. The first night I came over Zane and a friend were smoking a hookah, which I joined in. The last time I smoked a hookah was in Tokyo back in 2005, which made it easy to drift back to then.

Zane’s roommates were interesting. A gay couple who stayed to themselves in one of the bedrooms, and who I didn’t really talk to. A girl we can call Tori was by herself in another of the bedrooms. Tori was very interesting. She was about three months pregnant and still agonizing over whether or not to have an abortion. This seemed pretty wrong to me. I’m for abortion, but not when it’s kicking and clearly a human being. She then went on to profess how the moon landing was clearly a fake and talk about just how stupid the rest of humanity was, equating them closer to dogs. Amazing. Lastly, there was Frank, who lived on the couch. Frank seemed cool enough, but as I would find out later there was a lot of drama going on in the house.

The next few nights were interesting as I settled in and met Zane’s friends and roommates. One of the most interesting things was the whole communal nature of the apartment. Anyone was welcome to take anything from the fridge or pantry.., it really didn’t matter who it belong to. It was a share and share alike culture. This really wasn’t working out too well for Zane, as instead of the communal environment that Zane had wanted, it was more the case of everyone taking advantage of Zane’s generosity. The main reason for this was that his other roommates were on average 10 years younger than him and just expected things handed to them.

One of the main things about Zane’s apartment…is that it is/was a party zone. There were always people over and drinking and games and much fun. Despite having a computer to use and internet for the last six weeks, I’ve barely written anything. By the time I wake up each day and check email and read gossip, maybe watch an episode, it’s time to start drinking again. I’ve basically secluded myself after getting my laptop back, which is the only reason I have been able to write anything. Since I don’t like the new roommates, it makes it easier.

Ahh yes, the new roommates. The whole thing with the old roommates getting kicked out was quite a bit of drama. First to go was Tori, who no one seemed to really like. Zane and she had some sort of argument, and he basically told her to get out immediately, although ended up giving her a few hours. What I found interesting was that both Zane and the manager of the apartment complex were positive that he could kick her out immediately and take control of her belongings simply because her name is not on the lease. Either they were both wrong, or Nevada law fucking sucks. If you are paying rent for a room then you are a tenant, and failure to remove your belongs by a certain time does not imply abandonment of those belongs. At least under any sane law system.

Then the Frank situation got interesting. Frank was a cool enough guy, but apparently had a history of alcoholism and being less than respectful. The guy was staying on the couch for free and not paying bills, yet demanded certain things like the AC stay on all the time or that he be allowed to have sex on the couch. Quite a nerve and I wasn’t surprised when he was forced to leave. It’s a shame because he was a smart guy, but was just making some really dumb choices.

So, then came the new roommates. First there was Ruddy, who picked up and left the east coast without any money or plans. AT just 20, he was very much a kid and acted like it. His only source of income was a credit card that he somehow got approved to and had no intention of paying back. I quite enjoyed him treating me and everyone else to whatever we liked. If he wants’ to be stupid, he has to learn one way or another.

Then came Bob. Bob was just 19, and one of the more annoying people I have met recently. He has an opinion on everything, and is totally convinced he is right. The only way to shut him up on stuff when is clearly so very wrong is to bet money, which he backs out of embarrassed. Everything he says is literally “that shit is tight dog, I’m not gonna lie” or “nah dude, you trippin”. I have never met anyone who actually speaks like that constantly before. The kid is like a living cartoon.

Lastly there was Rowan, a pretty cool guy. Very friendly and engaging, but has one very annoying characteristic. I don’t know if it is because the guy is studying acting or not, but he wants to act out everything. Instead of just having a conversation, he sets up a scenario and acts it out as different characters, for even the most trivial of things. This shit is annoying. He also has a habit of touching people….hands on shoulders and such. A very annoying person, yet at the same time very generous. Aye.

Now, while not anew roommate, Bob has some friends. Bob’s friends are idiots. Bob isn’t an idiot as such, but Bob’s friends certainly are. One big guy just 18 called CK is so very annoying. He walks in and acts like he owns the place. If you’re playing Xbox against a friend he just expects you to give him the controller so he can take over. When playing a game he just arranges the rules or whatever best suits him. I guess it was just another example of the lack of discipline in children these days, but it’s aggravating. The roommate situation went from having two guys who stay in their room all the time, to a semi cool guy on the couch and a lot of friends coming over; to barely twenty year olds who think they know everything. Gah.

One of the more annoying things was how often they ask me to buy them alcohol. I don’t really mind doing this, as Ruddy was paying for food and Dr.Pepper and basically whatever I wanted for near a month, so it seemed a fair tradeoff. Of course, now that his card has run out I can’t really be persuaded to go these days. They really shouldn’t be drinking anyway. They can be high all the time as they are without having to be drunk as well, I mean, they need to save some money for Doritos.

One night out in Vegas

One night I got bored of hanging with the kids at the apartment, and decided to go to the strip. I was hoping something interesting might happen…meet some random girls, win large amounts of money…, meet some random supermodels. Something not unlike any episode of any TV show where someone would go to the strip themselves and have amazing things happen. Unfortunately, nothing like that happened at all. The first mistake I made was going too far on the bus. I guess I kept seeing the strip ahead out the window, and when we got to it took me a while before I realize it wasn’t ahead anymore, and realized it was behind me. Lame.

A bit more walking and then catching the bus again, to at Las Vegas Blvd. Which, only technically is the strip. I was too poor at this time to take the Deuce bus, which is a rip-off as it is. It took me about 20 minutes to walk to the stratosphere and then another 30 to walk to the area around Caesars’ Palace. There were many hot girls around, but none easily approachable simply walking the strip. I went through a few casinos, until I ended up in Caesars after walking past Pure and not wanting to pay the $30 or so cover. I put my only $20 in a slot machine, and watched it go down to nothing before getting back up to $26, a win of $6! I decided to leave, as I now had enough for at least one beer, somewhere.

After some more walking around and trying to figure out what there is to do being over 21 and by myself on the strip, I ended up in the Mirage, where I again played a slot machine. This particular slot machine ended up taking the rest of my night, and I believe I played it for over two hours. The thing with this machine was, I became obsessed with getting the free spins. 300 free spins were possible apparently, although the most I got out of this was 20. With 4 out of the 5 free spin bars, it was still only 20. During my quest for the free spins…I got as high as $70, back down to $20 or so, then as high as $96…then back down to…0. Nothing. Just enough money to tip for a free drink and catch the bus home. So very lame. Although as the $20 came from Ruddy, I managed to stop myself from feeling too bad. I ended up catching the bus home and walking through the sun, and so ended my attempt at a night out in Vegas.

Not feeling too well

I’ve been really quite depressed for the last month. Well, longer than that, probably this entire year. Things worsened at the end of May as I felt I had to end my friendship with the only person I considered to be my real friend. Part of that reason was finding out that a lot of what I thought was true in the friendship was false, and worse that my friend did not want the same thing as I did out of the friendship. Despite telling me that they did for two years, and me moving to a different country to try and work on things. Lame. I’ve been thinking about them a lot..we have not been in each other’s live for a few months now, and I can’t help but wonder what they are up to, and if they wonder about me at all. Missing someone can be consuming at times, and its lame. Very lame.

At the same time, I was struggling with whether or not I should return home. I have not been home in basically four years, and since it was quite possible my sister was going to die, was thinking about it. I’m glad I didn’t end up going as she was fine, but I was actually considering not going anyway…what kind of a person does that make me? I’m not close to my family, even so, I surely would have regretted not going back had something happened. Yet.., I wanted to focus on setting up my business, getting investors and my visa and such. A lot of what I can do I can from anywhere, but it’s important for me to return to New York as that’s where I want to have things set up….having to return home would have been such a setback, having to raise the money to come back to the US and everything. I guess a part of me wanted to avoid having to go home at any cost, to face the fact I’m not close to anyone there.

I really don’t have many friends at all. It’s a side effect from always being on the move, and at some low level the entire reason I travel so much is probably based on the fact that it stops me from being attached to anyone. I don’t talk to my family, and don’t have any friends I really stay in contact with or can rely on. It puts a dampener on things. Then for the rest of the year my money has been tied up for most of the time, making it near impossible to even go out and meet people. Even being at home all the time and having a lot of free time, I have not had the motivation to write as much as I want to. It took me almost two weeks to write this article, when it should have taken two days.

Suffice to say…dealing with such loneliness and other feelings of depression is hard. It is quite the burden. It gets to the point sometimes where I can’t help but think of suicide. While it isn’t something I think myself capable, I still think about it. I feel like telling people, but I don’t want to worry them for no reason, as I know it isn’t something I would do. It seems to be a way for me to better examine how I feel by exaggerating things.

When going out grocery shopping one night for alcohol and various foods, I decided to take a free blood pressure test at the grocery store. Not for any reason and expecting it to report me healthy as they generally do. Alas, this time it reported I have stage 1 hypertension. Not good…not good at all. Considering I live off fast food and drink copious amounts of Dr Pepper, probably inevitable. The interesting thing is how this has affected me. I basically have no motivation to do anything about it. While I could never commit suicide, letting my body deteriorate until it takes care of itself seems like the solution. I am consciously aware this isn’t a healthy train of thought, and despite having no motivation to do so will go to a doctor and get some advice when I can.

During all this time, since the end of DEFCON, I had resolved to try and quit smoking. As I get older the risk to my health just gets worse. It’s an unnecessary expense which didn’t really worry me, but saving money is a plus. I still expect I will smoke socially, as it is one of the easiest ways to meet people. Traveling around the world by myself, that’s a useful thing. For whatever reason, I don’t think my body develops much of an addiction. I went from smoking a pack a day of cigarettes with 1.6 mg’s of nicotine to maybe one a week to none for the last month…with no noticeable difference except the odd craving. I certainly don’t notice everything tasting better as many people stated was the case. Having said that though, I’ve been smoking hookahs every few days each week since moving in with Zane…

Trying to make some new friends

I liked meeting a lot of Zane’s friends. They tended to be a bit younger, but it was fun to hang out and drink and play beer pong….it was somewhat similar to a frat house experience I imagine. There was one girl in particular, Aimee, who was somewhat odd. She would call everyone an affectionate nickname, and tended to jump to conclusions. After being alerted to the fact that she liked me I made an effort to talk to her one night, and some secrets were shared and such. It was a few weeks later I found out she somewhat complained about what we were talking about. Why would you carryon on a conversation if it made you uncomfortable? Sigh. I’ve been away from adults for far too long.

It was also the first time that I have heard Americans say that a different accent is incorrect. I mean, seriously? Some of these kids are the same people who thought Australia was in Europe. I just can’t get my head around that. If they went to the UK or somewhere would they still think everyone around them was pronouncing everything incorrectly? That level of arrogance and ignorance boggles my mind. I don’t know which is worse, thinking other accents are wrong, or thinking Americans don’t have accents. Aye.

About a week ago some friends came over, Max and Rachel. They are a pretty sweet couple, and I could sense a lot of genuine feelings for each other. Unfortunately, Max is just too damn stubborn and believing the worse. He became convinced that Rachel was cheating on him because of stupid shit like a friend leaving her a voice message saying let’s get fucked up or her sleeping platonically next to a friend. It made me sad to see a relationship end for no good reason. I honestly hope that they work it out, and Max learns to trust Rachel. It’s kind of necessary for any relationship to work.

That whole dating thing

I met up a few weeks into staying with Zane with Lisa for what turned out to be a date. This was one of the most interesting dates I have ever been on. I thought it would be just two friends meeting up briefly…, but it ended up being a date. What was interesting about this…was the amount of offending things being said which were not meant to be offensive, resulting in awkwardness. Lisa is a great girl, but I honestly don’t understand why she wants to date me. We have no common interests, quite opposite personalities and possibly get on each other’s nerves. I think it’s nice to try and make new friends, but I don’t really understand it unless you instantly like the person…

When I was in Costa Rica, I really hit it off with this girl, let’s call her Nancy. We talked for a few hours and seemed to have a good chemistry, and this then progressed to kissing. We added each other on Facebook after she left the next day, and I thought at the last I made a new friend. Apparently though she felt guilty about the whole thing, may have been seeing someone back home, and ended up disappearing completely from Facebook. This disturbed me, as I really hit it off with this girl. I couldn’t find her on the internet at all, and messaging her friends to get her to contact me didn’t work. Knowing a paper she published, and her university managing to have a predictable pattern for student email addresses I managed to find her after many hours on Google. She basically said she went through a bad time and removed everyone as a friend, and politely denied my request to be friends with her. I find this sad, as I think we would have been amazing friends, but I guess there isn’t much you can do in such situations.

Of course, Nancy was not the only girl I wanted more to do with. Aside from many anonymous online dating girls, there was Marsha, who I met in Nicaragua. We really hit it off, and I know I made her laugh all the time, and she seemed attracted to me. We were talking late one night and she even said she just prefers occasional casual sex instead of relationships, like me. So, I couldn’t help but be…miffed, when I couldn’t get her into bed. I blame it all on me being depressed, us being in a hostel, and her being with her friend. Lame. Even so, I really did have a fun time talking to her…and would possibly like her as a friend, but have to make the effort. Random Facebook chatting is not the best way to get to know someone. Still, I will see where it goes.

As I knew I was heading to LA soon, I tried arranging to meet up with some of the girls I met in La Fortuna in Costa Rica. They were young, but obviously old enough to travel around Central America by themselves. Of course, I got knocked back which was kind of annoying. All of these people I met while traveling and I can’t stay in contact with any of them…it’s always my problem. Of course, that isn’t quite true.

I’m still in contact with Megan, an amazing girl I met en route to Nicaragua. There was a lot of flirting and a lot of intellectual arguing, and just chemistry in general. We really hit it off, and I plan to visit her in November. We’ve been talking sometimes online, which is nice. Even so…, I feel such an urge to try and build friendships with these other girls. I don’t know why…perhaps because it’s a challenge and something to fill the void…it’s a strange feeling. I guess also that having more people couldn’t not hurt…at the moment I have like 3, and I’m not that close to any of them, so building more seems to just make sense, if not only as a contingency plan.

Feeling lonely as I was and with my complete lack of money, I thought I might try some online dating sites. This really didn’t work out so well. I filled out my profile all thoroughly and with photos, and a got a great many views and winks or whatever. However, it didn’t matter how many girls I started talking to…the conversations never really went anywhere. I just don’t know how to keep a conversation going days apart.

I went out on another date with Lisa a few days ago…; we went to see a movie, Scott Pilgrim Vs the World. I persuaded her she would like it as I had heard nothing but good things about it, and had wanted to see it myself. In any event, it certainly beat the alternative to Lisa’s pick, Cats and Dog’s 3D. It was interesting hanging out, and making jokes of the awkwardness. I mean…, its one thing when someone’s knowledge is based entirely on stereotypes and you can’t shake them from it, but it’s another when that person is somewhat condescending and insulting without meaning to be. I don’t mind hanging out with her but…It’s just strange. At the same time here is someone making time and effort to see me and I can’t see the positive things here. I am aware of that, and not really sure how to change my outlook, or if I want to. If people annoy me, they annoy me…anything else would seem to be burying that annoyance for the sake of…what exactly?

What next

I just found out yesterday that all my money has come through. I now have a few thousand dollars to secure me for the next few months, hopefully until next year as I find some work and settle on setting up my business. Good news and a huge weight off my chest. Who knows, perhaps my blood pressure has gone down as a result.

I’ve also been trying to work on my business plan for a long time now. I have a pretty awesome idea and solid plan. However, I know almost nothing about business plans, accounting, financial projections etc. I’ve read a lot on it, but there is a lot of conflicting stuff. So, back in 2007 or so, I decided to hire someone to help me. Well, I got fucked over, as all I got sent was automatic output from the Business Plan Pro software, which is extremely useless. Two years later my business plan is still a horrible hodgepodge, with horrible redundancy and inaccurate information and a confusing structure. Even with a computer to use, I haven’t had the motivation to deal with it, and the person I hired this time round to help me has not really gotten back to me. I may not succeed with my business, but I have to try. There won’t be much worse than seeing my idea in common place and knowing I could have been the one to cash in on it and make it a reality.

My time so far in Vegas was not the sex crazed topless pool constantly drunk crazy adventure I had secretly hoped for, but it was interesting in and of itself. I met cool people and had a place to stay and feel secure while I worked out my money issues, and get in touch with people and try and come to grips with stuff. One of the more interesting aspects that I could have been anywhere. Las Vegas is like anywhere else, except for the strip, and I only went there during DEFCON and my failed night out. Somehow I feel like things would be different back in NYC even though they probably wouldn’t be, and there is just as much chance for random adventures and encounters. Even so, it’s been an interesting two months and I’m ready to make my way up to Canada, and see what adventures I will encounter on the way.

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