Charity Work In The Big Easy, Poker, & A Karate Event! (LA) “DAY 222” – 2/11/11

February 13, 2011 - 6:00 pm - (LA) “DAY 222” - Week 32 - State 29

I woke up this morning at 8:30 am because I had a volunteer shift at the Food bank of New Orleans starting at 9 am.  Man, I am not a morning person!  I hate getting up early and I even hate it more when I get less than 8 hours of sleep.  Ahhh!

None-the-less, the positives I feel from doing charity work far out weighs the negatives of a short night’s rest.  And, there is a very true saying I live by in these moments of fatigue...  I’ll have enough time to sleep when I’m dead.

Second Harvest Food Bank
I arrived at the food bank on time (it was just 5-10 minutes away), so after signing in and filling out a few forms, I was ready to help out in any way I could.

F.Y.I. - Wende from NJ set this up for me, so I don’t know what I”m going to be doing or... really anything for matter.  Wende sends me the time, the date, a contact name, and an address and I just show up on time ready to work. 🙂

Anyway, after meeting with my contact (Tonia), she showed me to where I would helping out for the day.  Tonia was a really cool lady who I enjoyed being around.  She has a very good aura.  Nice meeting you!

My Job For The Day
As I soon found out, today I would not be serving actual people.  Today, I’m helping sort out all the food people/companies/etc... send to the food bank so it can be used to make those meals for the people I have served in past cities. (But obviously, it’s for the needy of New Orleans.)

Anyway, my actual job was to name and date all the boxes that had drinks in them.  When they got to 30 lbs in weight, I packed them up, and put them on the pallet so the fork lift could carry them to wherever.

Who I Worked With
Besides myself, there was a group of kids from NYC there to help out for the day. (They were chaperoned by some adults.)  I don’t know anything more about the kids except the ones I worked with were friendly and respectful.

Other than us, there was a guy named Steve who just there to help and then there was Anna.  Anna was real cute and looked a little out of place because she was dressed nicely.

So, I started talking to her.  I soon found out that she was college graduate (maybe even a Masters degree) and that she worked for the food bank in some management/executive position.

She was new to her to job and one the things she had to do was to actually work at the site as volunteer or something like that.  Anyway, she worked with us for half the shift and when she left we exchanged numbers incase she hit the town later.  It was very nice meeting you Anna!  Good luck in life! 🙂

Finishing My Shift
As my shift was coming to an end, I sat back for second and felt good about myself.  I tell ya... after I do volunteer work for the day... I feel like a f&$king hero!  LOL  Seriously though, every time that I’ve got done working for the needy, I do feel real good about myself.

Anyway, before I knew it, it was noon and my shift was over for the day.  So, I said good-bye to all the people I worked with and headed out to find a place to post my “DAY 221”.

Starbucks

After 221 days of being on the road, I have realized that Starbucks has the best Wi-Fi connection out of all the free places that offer it.  So, I headed to the nearest Starbuck and worked for approximately the next 2 hours.

Harrah’s - Poker Time
Even though it was Friday in New Orleans and I could easily hit the bars to get wasted, I decided I was gonna play poker for the rest of the day at Harrah’s. (The Harrah’s in N.O. is right on the water and Canal St, not a bad location.)

After finding some parking (free if you play 30 minutes in the casino), I found my way over to the poker room which is kinda on the casino floor.  In stead of playing NL, I again played in a limit game, except this time it was 4-8-12-12 limit Omaha/Hold’em mix game.

Playing Poker
I’ve said this before, when I play limit poker, it’s to much work to explain the hands because basically everybody is calling you down to the river each time and your hand just needs to hold up (if you’re not a bluffer).

During the two hours I played, I met a a couple of real cool guys.  One was named Frenchy because... he lived here and was French (I think). 😉  And the other was Tracy, who was in town just for a few days for a Karate Event.

Talking WIth Tracy
After Tracy told me why he was in town, I asked him a bunch of questions about the Karate event, including if he had any extra tickets.  He said he didn’t but was judging the event and could ask the promoter if he could get me one.  Nice!  People kick ass!

Then, after we said our good-bye’s, Tracy walked back over to me and handed me a dollar in the form a shirt.  He did it to donate a $1 to me and to make me aware he makes shirts for a living.  Not bad, it worked too because I won’t soon forget it.  Thanks Tracy! 🙂

Leaving Harrah’s To Eat
It was 6 pm-ish and I was getting hungry, so I picked up my chips (up $83) and left to find a place to eat.  As I was walking around the streets of New Orleans looking for a suitable establishment for me (one that wasn’t to expensive), I got a phone call from Tracy who I just met.

Talking With Tracy Again
When I answered the phone, I was surprised to hear that it was Tracy who I had just met.  He was calling me to tell me that he gotten me a press pass for the Karate event that was being held tonight and tomorrow (Friday & Saturday).  All I had to do was pick it up at the registration area for the competition.

Since the event started tonight at 7 pm, I decided I’d go over there after I grabbed some food.  But, after searching the immediately area for a quick bit to eat, I couldn’t find anything suitable, so I just walked over to Hilton which was a few blocks away.

Louisiana Pro-Am Karate & Kung-Fu Nationals
I had no idea what I walking into, it could have been Pro-Karate show, a exhibition with fire and crazy stuff, but what it turned out to be was a kids National Karate event.

Now, this was a little deflating because the scene wasn’t what I was expecting when I walked in.  There were little kids everywhere with just the immediate families in attendance.  None-the-less, I was here, so I was gonna check it out.

Getting My Pass
Getting my press pass wasn’t difficult as all I did was walk over to the registration area and ask for one.  During this time, there were kids all around the gym warming up for their respective events for the evening.

Watching The Karate Nationals
For this event, I decided to get a bird’s eye view and watch from the second level of the arena (gymnasium).   Being that far away, I truly didn’t know what was going on, but I was still able to watch some real young kids do some real amazing things!

Honestly, I wasn’t just deflated when I arrived, I was also disappointed because I expected a bigger show.  But, after watching these young kids use swords, knives, and other weapons in a controlled yet aggressive manner, I was happy I stayed to see what happened.

6-9 Years Olds
As far as I could tell, the youngest competitors today were just 6 years old.  The thing is, these 6 year olds knew how to use a weapon.  It was real cool to see these kids acting like little warriors and they were good at it! 🙂

Teens
After watching the little kids do some cool stuff, I watched some of the teenagers put on show with different weapons as well.  One kid was real crisp and sharp but I can’t realyy tell who’s better or worse.  I can only tell who screams louder when they strike the air. 😉

Leaving The Karate Event
After an hour or so of watching kids perform some amazing karate moves, it was time to head back to Harrah’s for the rest of the night and play some poker.  Thank you Tracy, I’m glad I made it to the event!

Harrah’s Again
Because I’m behind in my writing and I want to go out in New Orleans right now (Sunday night with Holly), I’m gomnna make this next part real brief.

I played poker in 4-8 limit game from 9 pm until 4:30 am.  After countless bad beats, I lost my original buy-in of $83 (what I won earlier).  So, basically I played all day for nothing!  Well, the bad beat jack pot here is over $100,000 so I was in for that but that’ a million to one shot at best.

Back To The Hostel
When I got back to the Hostel (6 am-ish), I went to the front desk instead of to my room because I was checking to see if I could my bed for another night. (I’m all good now but in 6 hours, I have to be out here.)

The problem... there always is one.  They are completely booked up for the Saturday night, so in 6 hours I’m homeless.  Ahhh!  Knowing what I did, I went to bed as fast as I could so I could get some sleep before a day where I’ll have to be awake (nowhere to rest).

Thanks for reading!

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  1. DAD says:

    Rooster, smooth move on Anna. Charity work has it’s rewards. I thought you liked the Karate Kid ?

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