Thursday, April 14, 2011

Winds are Changing

I used to be one of the luckiest people I knew.  While at Michigan, I:

  • won cash at a 50/50
  • won a digital camera
  • won a DVD player
  • Granny won (and gave me) a free trip for 2 to Las Vegas ($$, amazing room in Caesars, luggage, airfare, etc.)
  • Pops won the lotto and bought me a new car
  • won a pre-show Rent raffle in NYC
  • won a pre-show Wicked raffle in Chicago
  • Annie's sister was the 1st name pulled in a pre-show Wicked raffle in Los Angeles
  • went to a free Ludacris concert and sat in the middle of the 4th row

Then I moved to CA.  It got so bad (which is probably regular-person luck) that I thought it must only happen 'east of the Mississippi'.  The worst moment was when I won premiere tickets to Mummy 3 from a Bay-area radio station, and when I took a group of friends, they handed out ~150 extra tickets and we didn't get it in.  I have reason to believe things are starting to swing my way again.  Here's why:

  1. I think I'm going to pay off one of my credit cards (entirely) by the end of the summer.
  2. I won 2 prizes out of 5 raffle tickets that I bought when seeing my roommate perform in San Francisco (tickets to another show & a psychic reading).
  3. Yesterday, I got a free $130 tennis racquet.
Here's the story.  I bought a Babolat racquet from tenniswarehouse on crazy clearance in 2003.  It was a black/white, over-sized,  Power+, and I used it to win the Huron League Championship and to be named to the Monroe County Dream Team as #1 Doubles my senior year.  I'm getting back into tennis big time.  I took a bunch of lessons in my last quarter at UCLA, and I was playing regularly with one of my closest friends in L.A.  On Friday, I busted the strings on it (though I just had it strung in October).  I took it to Sports Authority, since it was the only place I could find nearby that restrung racquets.  (Yes, I spell it the right way, and not the American way, which makes it look like a gambling racket.)

Anyway, I got a call on Tuesday notifying me that while tensioning the strings to the weight I asked (3 lbs above the tension recommended by the manufacturer), they cracked my racquet.  Instead of blaming me for having an old, over-used racquet and requesting the tension to be higher than it's supposed to (all us tennis players do this), they offered to replace it.  I went there yesterday, and when a manager finally came out to talk to me he said "Grab any racquet on the wall. No limit."  This would be like winning the lotto if I was in a tennis specialty shop, but all the racquets at Sports Authority are pre-strung (note, not super-fancy).  Regardless, I got a brand new racquet to replace a racquet that I paid less for almost 9 years ago.

They even went so far as to refund my string and grip purchase since they "didn't provide those services".  So, I guess, technically, they gave me $160 (+ tax).

I'm obviously ignoring the premiere for She's Out of My League that I saw at Paramount Studios, or the free VIP Paranormal Activity experience I got at Hollywood's Arclight Theater that included free food and meeting the stars of the movie, and the silent auction I snagged for 50-yd line tickets/parking/chancellor's party at a UCLA football game, and everything else I've forgotten I've won in the past decade,

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