The best feeling in the world I think is feeling like you’re making progress. Whether you’re talking about lifting, sports, studying for a test, spiritual walk, or whatever, there’s nothing better than the feeling of progress.

A corollary: one of the worst feelings in the world is feeling like you’re making no progress. So, in grand tradition of Eric Yang, this entry is titled Things In Life That Currently Frustrate Me Because I’m Making No Measurable Progress On Them No Matter How Much Time I Spend.

#1: Basketball. I’ve resigned myself to sucking at basketball. You know how bad I am. You know how sometimes you’re playing and there’s like one girl there. I’m the one the girl guards. Sucks. Eddie says he gets excited about playing basketball. Can’t relate at all. Me, my primary goal in basketball is to minimize injury. Whatever, I’ll keep playing because it’s a good social activity for guys but I’m resigned to sucking at it.

#2: Spider Solitaire. So I’ve been playing a lot of this recently. (Don’t bother telling me I’m a loser. Preaching to the choir.) And I can’t get my mind around it. I’m not sure what my win rate is, but it’s pretty low. The thing that’s frustrating is, I’m still not sure what good strategies are for this game. I’ve been trying to come up with reasonable heuristics and they haven’t made any discernible difference on my win rate. Either the game is totally random, in which case I’m stupid for playing it, or I’m too stupid to figure out good strategies. Either way, I’m stupid. Argh, frustrating.

#3: Poker. After every poker session I analyze my play and I realized: I suck. The times I end up ahead it’s a couple lucky hands, but by and large, I’m a poor poker player. I’ve been playing a lot, but I’m not getting much better. If anything, I’m worse.

Which in a sense is a blessing. You know, you can learn a lot about life playing poker. I’m not joking. The worst thing in poker is having an OK hand. It’s not enough to win, but it’s enough to make you want to keep playing with it, and you end up losing the most on hands like these. The same is true about poker itself, I think. The worst thing is being a decent poker player. Over time, you won’t win, but you’re good enough that you’ll want to keep on playing. That’s a curse.

So it’s good that I know I suck, so I don’t do anything stupid, like try to play for money online or go to card clubs. I’ll stick with just playing with friends, because like basketball, poker is a nice social activity. I think I’m in favor of tournament games, losers buy winner lunch at In ‘N Out. Makes the games matter, but doesn’t make it matter too much.

But anyway, it’s still frustrating that I suck after spending so much time on it. I played with some high school friends whom I always used to do well against, and either they’ve gotten a lot better or I’ve gotten a lot worse. I think it’s both. As the Koreans in my complex might say, that is the suck.

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