Monday, July 25, 2011

Horse Betting

Some people are curious about what the hell I actually do when I go to these horse races here in San Diego. There are tons of ways to bet, but this entry will go into the different bets that I place.

My first bet is what’s known as the Favorite to Show, which is normally my large bet. Since the horse is considered the “favorite” for the race, the ratio for the return isn’t very high, which means you have to place a large amount to make it worthwhile. I'd say about 60-70% of the time the favorite will at least Show (which means place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd). My second bet uses 50% of my projected earnings (from bet 1) and is usually in the form of multiple Trifectas, Exactas, Doubles, etc. depending on how my previous bets are going and how long I want to stay. These bets are much harder to land, but pay extremely well, they require things like picking the exact order in which the horses finish or picking the correct winners for multiple races back to back. My third and last bet uses 25% of my projected earnings to place on the longshot to Win the race.

To have this make more sense, I’ll give you an example with numbers:

1st bet) I place $100 on the Favorite to Show. Winning this bet will give me $200, or a $100 profit (the winnings won’t be exactly be $100, but I’m using this as an example to make it easy)

2nd bet) I place $50 on a bunch of Trifecta/Exacta bets (Usually a $2 minimum. I use a Box to place a bunch of these bets quickly) If I hit even ONE of these $2 bets I’d win $1000.

3rd bet) I place $25 on a longshot to WIN. Winning this will give me $1000

So with these bets in place, I normally lose my 2nd and 3rd bets but win my 1st bet and walk away $25 richer after the race. The best case is obviously if you hit the longshot or one of your exacta/trifectas but it’s very rare for this to happen. It gives you plenty to root for in the race (scream your heart out if your longshot is nearing the finish and has a reasonable chance to win). If your longshot isn’t doing so great, you can always root for the favorite because when the favorite places that’s always a good thing. After the race, it gives you plenty to do (you have to check the boards for your trifectas and you’ll almost always have a ticket to cash). When you cash your ticket it gives you an excuse to go up and buy more beer and place more bets!

Make sure you have enough to survive if the favorite doesn’t show 3-4 times. If you’re really unlucky and the favorite doesn’t show in multiple races… it can definitely hurt your wallet, if you are playing catch-up just bet on the Favorite to Show and don’t do all the other bets. Most of my trips end up with me breaking even or winning/losing a couple hundred. The best trips are obviously when that Trifecta or longshot hits!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

You don’t think I get embarrassed? That’s ridic.

One of my friends said, “I can’t picture you getting embarrassed. I just don’t see it. You’d laugh it off or play it cool or something.” As much as I’d like to to be Mr. Cool-All-The-Time, I’ve had my fair share of embarrassing moments. My bad hearing has led to some really embarrassing miscommunications and in my younger years I had plenty of mouth-before-brain comments. I think everyone has a moment tucked away in their memory somewhere that causes them to cringe or swear audibly when they think of it. My most embarrassing moment came one night because of a silly abbreviation I made at the dinner table...

When I was a kid I used to think I was the shit and I abbreviated everything under the sun. “Yo mom what are we having for breck?” (“breck” was short for breakfast) “I’m going to MV to hang out with Bran and eat some J-Bo’s.” (Mission Valley, Brandon, Jack in the Box). I thought I was some kind of badass talking in a code language. Looking back, I sounded like a complete moron.

Set the stage to Thanksgiving dinner, I was 10 years old. I’m sitting at the table with my conservative grandparents and the rest of my family. Part of my badass persona at the time was the fact that I could eat a lot of food and that I could eat it quickly (I don’t know why this was cool, but I thought it was). So after I quickly finished my first plate I waited for a moment where no one was talking and announced, rather loudly, “I want some sec’s!” Everyone kind of froze, my grandmother and my parents were jaw dropped, a baby started crying in the background. Confused, I repeated, “What??? I just want some sec’s!!” Still silence. I looked over at the abundance of food (we always have way more than anyone can eat) and just repeated the statement to myself in my head until it dawned on me. Oh fuck. “Noooo! I… Nooooo! I meant I want seconds!! Not ugh… I… Seconds!!!”

You can imagine the rest. My bright red face must have been on the verge of tears. Silence was inevitably broken by manic laughter and jeers. “Wow he must really like the food!” “He’s growing up so quickly!” I wanted to crawl under the nearest rock and die.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

25 Cheap Date Ideas. Because being romantic doesn’t have to be expensive.

  1. Watch a Drive-in movie with a home-cooked picnic.
  2. A walk in Balboa Park to a quiet pavilion, featuring hot cocoa and a Powerpoint presentation detailing exactly why and to what degree I like this girl.
  3. Drive out to the airport. Park in a secluded area and take turns making up stories about the planes taking off. Also, hang out in the arrivals area and watch families reunite.
  4. Art crawl followed by coffee.
  5. Volunteer at a soup kitchen then wrap up with a bottle of wine and Netflix.
  6. Watch the UCSD or SDSU events calendar for interesting lectures or events.
  7. Check out a knot-tying handbook from the library and learn a few new knots. (This might be a little creepy for a first date...)
  8. Midnight hike to a remote hilltop for moonlit slow dancing. (Thank you iPod and portable speakers)
  9. Photography word jumble. Hit the town and take pictures of letters to form words and sentences for a collage.
  10. Take laptop and speakers to the top of a parking garage with a view of downtown, play movie on laptop.
  11. Bottle of wine and finger painting. First on paper, then on bodies, then...
  12. New recipe date to Whole Foods.
  13. Dog park followed by ice cream.
  14. Ice cream followed by bookstore.
  15. Ice cream followed by whatever. I love ice cream.
  16. The $20 Thrift Store Challenge. Find the best tux/prom dress you can at a thrift store for $20 or less. Get dolled up. Go out for dinner in Coronado or some other wildly-inappropriate place. Tell everyone it's your anniversary.
  17. Go fishing with a cooler of beer.
  18. Go to the grocery store and make a scene. Pretend you are in a ridiculous soap opera and accuse your significant other of taking advantage of your amnesia to sleep with your brother. Really go over the top dramatic: tears and lamentations (WHYYYYYYY?!!?!). Bonus points for throwing a costume-jewelry wedding ring or something.
  19. Carve bell pepper jack-o-lanterns and watch scary movies for Halloween in May.
  20. Go to the library and pick out some books. Sit next to each other on the couch and read until you fall asleep.
  21. Drive to a small town at least an hour away in order to eat lunch at a locally owned restaurant. Pick up a trashy romance novel and read it to each other while driving, complete with voices.
  22. Teach her how to shoot a .22
  23. Bonfire out in Julian roasting marshmallows and hot dogs. Alternatively/Additionally - Grab a guitar and a mandolin and make sweet music on the porch until the wee hours.
  24. Build a couch cushion fort, roast marshmallows over the stove top, make smores, and have a Futurama/Family-Guy marathon inside the fort.
  25. Appear as extras in movies/music videos. Search Craigslist (or know some people) for gigs.

Someone once told me that romance is the ordinary made extraordinary. Bearing this in mind, the general formula for a fun date is to take something everyday and do it in an intentional, interesting, or unusual way.