|in this issue of OMGWTF
Things That Have Recently Made Me Happy
slower than snails… but quality is worth waiting for…
Random: Interesting articles & websites to pass the day
This site is for all of you out there who had something happen that you just HATE, or maybe you just have that ONE pet peeve that gets you mad. We’ve all had it happen, and we know it’ll happen again. We created this to let everyone come together and see that you’re not the only one who dislikes certain things!
If television has taught us anything, it’s that heroes can come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, they’re dog-shaped. In fact, despite having a lifespan shorter than an average Mazda 626, some dogs have managed to accomplish more than most of us could ever hope to.
no rest for the wicked
I wasn’t even at the pool room yet
I think we are all familiar by now with the fact that I take the bus everywhere.
This past Saturday, I started out at around 2:30 p.m. or so for Hard Times Billiards in Bellflower to watch the second day of TAR 16 by The Action Report. To get to Hard Times from where I live, I have to take two buses and a train. One of my earlier posts (“realign all the stars above my head”) details the typical timeline of travel for this trip.
The train is the middle segment of the trip. This time, it was late and the platform was as packed. Eventually, the train did arrive and I took a seat next to the door facing the door on the opposite side. The train filled with people. Eventually, the movement of the train and the heat (I don’t think the air conditioning was working too well) made me drowsy. I read for a while, but eventually began dozing off.
My phone buzzed in my pocket and I took it out to read a text message. The train came to stop and the doors opened. As I tapped the phone (it’s one of those ubiquitous iPhones) to wake it up, it was snatched out of my hand. I made a swipe to get it back but the guy smacked my hand out of the way and he sprang for the door.
I had only one thought.
GET THE F—ER.
I ran through the doors after him and chased him along the platform. All the while, I was yelling for someone to stop him, but, no one did. It didn’t matter. I was single-minded in my mission to catch this asshole. I dodged through the crowd with great agility and I was probably running faster than I ever had in my life. Eventually, the platform came to an end and I continued chasing him into the street and into a neighborhood. I was surprisingly close to him the whole time, maybe only 20 or so feet behind him. He took a few glances back.
I knew the chances of catching him were slim — but I didn’t care. I was going to run after him until I knew for sure I no longer had a chance to catch him. It ain’t over til it’s over, y’know?
As the guy ran, I think he may have been surprised or confused as to why I was continuing the chase. During one of his glances back, he failed to see that he was running…
…right past a police cruiser.
He saw a little too late and immediately made a right turn into a residential area but the policemen saw me tearing after him and flipped on the sirens and proceeded to pursue. In a few moments, the officers had caught the guy and cuffed him.
One of the officers came up to me and said, “Did he take something from you? What did he take?” I told him he had taken my iPhone. Meanwhile, the guy was yelling that he had taken nothing and that the phone was his.
Some women who had seen the whole thing caught up to me and stood next to me as the guy was arrested. Hilariously, one of them started scolding him, “Don’t be sayin’ that’s your phone! We all saw what you done! Shame on you! You thought you could take her phone ’cause she a girl!”
I began to describe my phone to the officer saying it had a plastic case, was covered with such-and-such scratches when I thought upon the perfect way to identify it as mine. The evening before, my phone had malfunctioned and that morning, I had taken it in to a store to be reset. After the phone had been reset, all the security settings had defaulted to normal. While I was waiting for the late train that afternoon, I had been bored and fiddled with the passlock feature, which allows you to set a code that locks and unlocks the phone. It’s a bit of a hassle sometimes and I hadn’t planned on using the feature again, but, in my boredom, I had activated it. I told the officer I could unlock the phone, and I did. Ta-da! Cheers to coincidence.
By now, there were several police officers and their cars in the area. As the initial pair of officers took down the information on the guy, some of the other officers questioned me about what happened. I told them about how he had taken the phone out of my hand and how I had started running after him.
“Do you know where you are?” asked one of the officers.
“Uh…” I thought for a second. “Not really. I always get off at the same stop on that train so I don’t pay attention to the other areas I’m passing through.”
“You’re in Watts,” he said. “This is not exactly a good area to be in — and it’s easy to tell when someone isn’t from here.”
The first officer had returned. “You’re very lucky. Usually people don’t get their stuff back in cases like this. It was lucky that we happened to be right there.”
“I swear if I wasn’t in heels, I SO would have caught that guy. I swear I would have got him! Ten years of track and field are supposed to pay off today and I’m not wearing the right shoes!”
“That was one of the things that alerted us. We saw the guy running — and then we saw you running after him, and you were running in heels. You don’t see women running that fast in heels unless something’s wrong.”
“Dammit, I swear I could have caught that guy! Dammit, I soooo could have caught his ass, and then I would’ve–“ I paused. The assembled officers were smiling at me looking amused by my irritation. “–but I’m glad you guys, uh, caught him. First.”
“Yes, let us catch him for you.”
As they paperwork was being filled out, one of the ladies said, “Good thing they caught him. Who knows what he might have done to you?”
I was surprised by this remark. I hadn’t considered that. “I never thought about what he could have done to me — only what I was going to do to him. I would have beaten the S— out of him.”
Interestingly, no men bystanders had helped me in this situation. The women had all tried their best to help me. They had called out to others to stop him, called the police, or described what had happened to the officers. I remarked upon this oddity to the officers.
“Yeah, whatever happened to chivalry, right?” said one.
“Well, it is a equal opportunity age,” I said. “I suppose women have every right to be chivalrous, too.”
“Oh, honey,” said the lady, “What happened to you, happens all the time to women on the train. It’s always women. They never try to rob men. They figure we can’t do much after they run off.”
“I was going to run until my shoes broke or I couldn’t run anymore. I was going to try, at the very least, to get him. I had to try.”
The officer chuckled. “Those are some good shoes!”
“Yes, they are. I think I’ll get another pair.”
In case any ladies (or men) are interested, these were the badass shoes that I ran so well in. They are “Christa” by Anne Klein, available in a variety of colors, with a spiffy, ass-kicking three-inch heel.
I received the following as a memento of my unscheduled fun.
I would have taken pictures of the whole thing, but I had a feeling it might not have been appropriate at the time…
After this little bit of excitement, I got to ride in a police car as they decided it’d be safest to drop me off somewhere outside the neighborhood. The robber was someone they were familiar with, and they knew he had family in the area who had just witnessed what happened. The ride was nice. The back of the police car has plastic seats, which reminded me of the chair-and-desk combinations from elementary school. I got to see their standard-issue shotgun. All in all, my ride in the taxpayer taxi was quite fun.
I was dropped off at a further point along the way and I resumed my uneventful trip to…
TAR XVI: John Morra vs Oscar Dominguez
Days 2 & 3 of the Young Guns Challenge II
…Hard Times Billiards in Bellflower.
This was where The Action Report was holding TAR 16 featuring John Morra vs Oscar Dominguez in a $20,000 winner-take-all pool party.
Going into the second day, the score stood at 35-29 in favor of Oscar.
The tournament area, which holds the ten best tables in the house as well as bleacher seating, had been roped off for this shindig. You entered from the back of the area. This is what you would have seen upon entering.
Since I am an unpaid TAR intern, I got to watch from the bridge of that wonderful starship we know as the U. S. S. EnTARprise.
The owner of Hard Times had allowed a few alterations to the room. A table had been moved aside to provide more room to the players and more bleacher seating. You can see that four additional sets of flourescent lights were brought in, and installed. Also, the regular light had been raised. This allowed for much more even lighting and the elimination of shadows, which greatly contributed to the high-quality of the live internet stream.
After Saturday concluded, The score was 70-48 in favor of Oscar.
At the table is John’s father, Mario Morra, showing his son how it’s done.
My journey to Hard Times for the final day, Sunday, was uneventful.
The fact that there were very few break-and-runs during the match led to much discussion about the size of the pockets on the infamous Table 6. Here you can see just how small the pockets are. They are easily 4″ or less.
Here is Ken “Who Is This Scott Smith You Speak Of?” Shuman doing the pre-game interview for Sunday.
John getting ready to kick out of one of a bajillion safeties Oscar locked him down in. I think he successfully kicked this one.
Towards the end of the whole thing, I got to ride shotgun in the commentator’s booth where Jay “Are We There Yet?” Helfert was about to die from exhaustion and/or boredom. Here is what a $20,000 ten-ball shot looks like, at about 1:30 a.m. Monday morning.
The final score was 100-79, Oscar.
After yet another nine-hour day (all three days ran about nine hour of play apiece, even more if you count the equipment set-up time), the primary TAR staff got to eat. On the left is Andy “TAR Monkey-In-Training” Chen with his dinner of Korean BBQ, kindly donated by a spectator. On the right is Justin “King Kong of TAR” Collett. Have you ever seen such profound joy? I think not. Behind Mr. Collett is yet another TAR Monkey-In-Training, Daniel. You have these three to thank for all the cool new camera angles. It takes a lot of work to coordinate all three cameras and their simian operators in order to churn out a professional product.
Hard Times Billiards had food specials all weekend and one of the most popular items was the ceviche tostada. Mr. Collett is supremely happy. I know it doesn’t look like it, but he is.
And now, here are two guys that helped make such a great event (and stream) possible.
On the left is Eddie, owner of Hard Times Billiards and on the right is Elias Valles, his trusty manager (and a good player, too). Without these two gentlemen, TAR 16 would have been a hell of a lot less fun. I mean, really, how many room owners are going to agree to rearrange tables and lighting for a three-day match between just two players? Not to mention more than half of the famed Tournament Room, as well as the longest-running weekly tournament (Sunday) in California (some say in the nation, at about 21 years) had to be shut down for the event as well.
There are rumors that challenges have already been issued to Oscar, so stay tuned — it’s very possible that TAR will return to Southern California and Table 6 (a.k.a. Canadian Nightmare) will soon be back in big action…
There was a lack of break-and-runs for players of this caliber. It was difficult to make balls on the break and the players had a better chance of running out the opponent’s dry break rather than breaking and running one of their own. Oscar was very comfortable with the table as the match progressed while John never seemed to find a rhythm or a gear.
All told, the players played over 27 hours during the course of the three days. That’s a lot of pool for the players, and a lot of action to sweat for the spectators. I have to be honest — at times, I was pretty much ready to conk out and take a nap. Still, Oscar’s $10,000 profit came at the rate of roughly $370.37 per hour. Sure as hell beats bagging groceries or working at Walmart to buy custom cues.
If you’re really, really bored, you can read my detailed, play-by-play updates for Sunday at my Twitter, which is like a mini-blog. There are game-by-game updates for Saturday as well. Twitter lists it all in reverse chronological order — so you’ll have to scroll something fierce back to the beginning to read it as it happened. I haven’t found Twitter useful for much else other than me doing game-by-game or play-by-play during matches.
question for you
inquiring minds want to know
Do you think 4-inch (or smaller) pockets are too tight for rotation-style games?
Would you rather see more break-and-runs on looser equipment or would you rather see players grind out the safety battles on tough equipment?
merci pour m’avoir aidé