attitude counts for a lot of things

mah ferrow blogger omg’s fundraising is still going on.  she has the magic rack and shot pad for sale (go to omg’s homepage and look for the links on the top right corner), as well as her handmade keychains and t-shirts.  you buy now!

also, i had a little craving last week that i took care of.  a little back story on that.  years ago my asian friendishes took me out to eat.  in an effort to broaden my gastronomical horizons, we would try other types of asian food on top of the big three asian cuisines (chinese, japanese, & korean).  so one day we hit up a thai restaurant and i was immediately hooked; needless to say, we started going to thai restaurants as well as our normal digs.  (vietnamese grub was also added to our program.)  during one of those trips to get thai grubs, i was a little tired of my usual stuff and wanted to order something different.  browsing the menu, i spotted this thing called “tom yum noodles”.  well, i like noodles, so i gave that a try.  all i remember was that i couldn’t make up my mind on whether i liked it or not; however, i was already addicted.  i just didn’t realize it then.  several bowls of the noodle over the course of a few weeks later, i now can’t get enough of that good stuff.

compared to vietnamese pho, the noodles inside the tom yum noodle dish is somewhat similar to the pho noodles––they both appear to be rice noodles but with different texture.  they’re both noodle soup of course, but that’s where the similarities end.  the vietnamese pho (at least the ones i’ve had) is a subtle and nuanced dish–light in taste, but with a multitude of flavors and fragrances in each bowl.  it’s almost floral in scent.  the thai tom yum noodle, on the other hand, is a dish with bold flavors: savoriness, sourness, sweetness, and spiciness all in the soup.  (is that even possible?!)  you can adjust the soup with different condiments to your liking, but i typically leave it alone and eat it with pickled chili peppers.  each shop kind of has its own take on the dish, but you’ll probably find chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or any combination of the above.  the soup is topped with crushed peanuts and (i think) tiny fried garlic bits.  i’ll tell ya, that stuff is magic in muggy weather when you have the appetite of a gnat.  get the tom yum noodle and your appetite will magically return.  no joke.  don’t believe me?  here’s proof.

go get yourself some.  😀  oh, there’s also the boat noodle dish i’ve been meaning to try but never did.  that’s next on my list.  🙂

one more tidbit before we move on.  i was exchanging comments with the intrepid mr. feiman of pooldawg fame, and he informed me that the kamui chalk is an ongoing development, meaning the kamui chalks for sale is not the final formula.  apparently, the “0.98” on the chalk is the version number of development, like windows 7 or OS X.  i’ll just say that i’m very happy that i passed on the chance to get one; i’d kick myself if i found out i bought an experimental formula chalk after spending 30 bucks on one cube.  anyway, on with the show.

i’m sure the phrase “attitude is everything” rests in most people’s book of clichés, and rightly so.  it is an overused phrase.  however, in pool & billiards, that phrase is actually worthy of attention.  for the sake of illustration, allow me to write about a couple of people i’ve seen at the pool hall.

let’s talk about the first gent i’ll call t rap.  now t rap is a decent player; not great, but a decent shot.  if you play him, you’ll have to pay attention and not pick stupid shots, because he can get out if you sell out.  over the years t rap has gotten better; what prevents him from actually making the kind of progress he’s capable of is his attitude.  i’m not quite sure what his problem is, but t rap just whines incessantly.  the man cannot stop.  he’ll whine about the game he makes with his opponent.  he’ll whine about the opponent.  the rack.  the temperature.  the audience.  basically everything and anything but himself.  also, t rap moves around during matches like a monkey on meth, which is distracting to say the least.  and did i mention that t rap likes to talk nonstop during a match?  i once witnessed t rap talking nonstop directly to his opponent.  now that’s just rude.  in fact, t-rap has developed such a reputation that he has become the target of quite a bit of ridicule, and the punchline for many jokes.

sometimes people tell me that i should practice with t rap for table time; it’d be a good workout, they say.  but after repeatedly watching what he does, i just can’t muster up any interest whatsoever.  i don’t mind a spirited practice session, mind you; i just don’t want to deal with people whose main passion in life is to complaint about everything.  i mean, i realize that i should play with all different types of players to better my game, but d~* it, i just don’t feel like wasting my precious table time dealing with a b~*fest.  am i wrong?

let’s turn the page to young buck.  young buck also plays frequently at the pool hall.  however, that’s where the similarity ends.  now young buck is pretty new to the game, but he is pretty much a model citizen.  he’s polite, has an insatiable appetite to learn, is quietly competitive, and very respectful at the table.  on top of all that, young buck is a patient soul; he is the type that will practice one drill for hours on end.  i’ve seen him practice the stop-shot drill for an entire session of three to four hours, not exactly the funnest activity on earth.  (in fact, it’s probably one of the most boring things you can do with pool.)  now t rap shoots much better than young buck, but buck’s attitude more than makes up for his skill level.  if you’re a serious billiard coach (kee kee, a secret plug), young buck would be the dream student you’d always want to get.

you can pretty much guess who has my respect.

there is one thing i don’t understand with people who complaint incessantly.  why do they play at all, if everything about the game bugs them?  it’s utterly illogical.  if a hobby bugs me so much, i’d go find another hobby.  am i wrong in thinking that a hobby should be fun and make you happy, or is that an erroneous thought?

anyway, from time to time i practice with young buck.  i always have fun, the games are always competitive and enjoyable, and i leave with a smile on my face.  then i watch t rap on another table, hopping around and talking endlessly to himself or his opponent.  i can only shake my head and laugh to myself.

pool should never be that painful.  we each can define what pool can be.  for me, i like to make pool fun.

lastly, a little math comic from spiked math.  i cheated and read the comments to figure out the joke.  🙂

4 comments on “attitude counts for a lot of things

  1. there is always a t rap in every pool room, it is never that particular person’s fault but everybody else. Sad but true. The tom yum soup looks yummy!

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