|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Thursday, November 18, 1999
What's up BG,
Ok, let’s give this email posting a shot again. (oof, who said shot?).
Running a bit on the slow side today due to some exception drinking that was accomplished last night. Reader beware.
Considering my condition at the moment, I was interested to see one of the newest comments on my site by reader JunctionJoe. Welcome Joe.
“Bad men live that they may eat and drink, whereas good men eat and drink that they may live.”Socrates. 469BC-399BC
According to Socrates, I’m a very bad man. I definitely spend a lot of time in “Eat, drink, and be merry” mode. But that doesn't mean I sacrifice "living" for gratification.
Does traveling count as gratification? I feel fortunate to have spent some great vacations doing everything from spending the day in and climbing the tower of the Cathedral in Cologne Germany to partying with a million whack jobs during MardiGras.
Of all my vacations, I'd have to rate my bachelor party as the tops. BigMike and Caucci carried me off to Germany and Amsterdam for a week. One day we spent the entire time inside the Cathedral in Cologne, the very next day we were sitting in a "coffee" house in Amsterdam across the canal from the prostitutes. The next day we were figuring out which museums to go to.
A great time was had by all.
That brings me to your question. I'll start with a softball. What was your best vacation?
Back to JunctionJoe's comment.
Socrates was a fool! He killed himself because he had to comply with the state as part of his belief system. Any philosopher, be it Socrates, Diogenes, or Epicurius, usually has the fatal flaw of being short-sighted. They adhere to their beliefs even when their common sense and best interests speak to the opposite. I am not a philosopher. I think I accomplish too much for that. The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
Alistair, old bean…
“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom” was coined by a guy who liked to draw spooky demons and was a manic depressive who was brought up once on charges of treason.
I’m just saying…
I’m happy to share what my top vacation was, but frankly it makes for a lousy story. Since I’m all about the entertainment, I’d rather tell a good story about a lousy vacation if you don’t mind (best vacation – NYC for spring break in college, walking the city alone, touring the Met by myself – I’m a hermit, what can I tell you?)…
Back in the summer of 1991, I was going into my senior year of high school, and was about a month away from packing up and leaving Utah behind for good. My dad, in his inane attempt to try to get me to attend his alma mater, signed me up for a summer youth camp up at Michigan Tech in their theatre program.
Now, I was a pretty talented kid so far as the acting was concerned. Especially comedy. I was sharp like a razor, and had a bit of a swagger about it onstage. I only mention this to preface the ego I was lugging with me into the North Woods of Michigan’s desolate Upper Peninsula.
So I get into “class” on day one, and immediately note that I have two years at least, four years on average, on every other person in the class. Every last one. There’s not a soul in sight that’s remotely close to my age, and no one remotely close to being as experienced as I was either. So on day one I sit there and participate like a good egg. Day two I’m still being a good kid. Inside though, I’m boiling over with boredom. Nothing frustrated me more in those times than to be reined in, and here I was playing fucking mime games with seventh graders.
I look at the calendar and note that I still have three and a half weeks to restrain myself and play nice. Fuck playing nice. Fuck it right up its stupid ass.
The next day we get into class and are playing the classic theatre improve game “Freeze.” It entails having two or more people start a scene together, someone from the audience yelling “Freeze!” and tapping one person out. They then carry the scene in a completely different direction, forcing the other(s) onstage to respond and react. I’ve had it up to here. I’m pissed off at my dad, I’m bored to tears, I can’t hold it in any longer.
“Freeze!” I pop onstage and tap out some kid and am left up there with a girl of about 13. “Why you…” I grumble as I’m approaching her and “SMACK!” I turn her cheek with one of those fake slaps. “You whore!” I scream, as I start berating her. I’m keeping the profanity in check, but am certainly using more “big boy” words than a seventh grader would have heard on the bus by this point.
The room was dead silent. They let me play this out just a little too long. She started crying. And no, she wasn’t “acting.” The barrage I was heaping on her shoulders was just too much. She went from doe-eyed innocent to spoiled and scarred in about forty-five seconds. So did just about every other twelve year old in the room.
This kept up until the facilitator, some college girl with an attitude, basically dragged me out of there by my ear lobe and laid into me outside. How I was being “inappropriate,” and she didn’t care how bored I was, these kids were here to learn, and I was not going to spoil their good time by being an asshole. She gave me that bullshit trip about “being one of the people to set an example” due to my age and experience, but didn’t hesitate to tell me she’d bounce me back home in a heartbeat if I kept this crap up.
It really would have been more fun had I tried to push it as far as she’d let it go. Really.
I giggle with glee thinking about that day. I was such a prick, I swear to god.
Funny thing about that trip. I made friends with two guys who were going into high school in the same town in which I ended up going to college. So one night my freshman year, I’m out with a couple of friends and we stop at a party store to grab a pop before running over to the Union to do some bowling. Through the window of an adjacent coffee shop I see these two guys with another group of guys, all dressed like fucking French poets or something. I think one may have even had a beret on. Anyway, I popped in to say “hi” to these guys. They’re all smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee, and I believe at least one of them had a book of poetry on his lap.
I said my greetings, and as sullen teenagers are wont to do, they didn’t exactly show enthusiasm and basically grunted hello back. Then they asked what I was up to, and I pointed to my friends outside and said, “My friends and I are going bowling,” at which point the dude in the beret (I’m remembering him as French, so kiss my ass) makes that “PFFT” noise, and huffs “Bowling!” half under his breath.
I’ve never wanted to kick someone’s ass so much before in my life. We can’t all sit around reading Plath and feeling sorry for ourselves there dickweed.
I’ve only ever been in one fight before though. Some neighbor kid stole my baseball cards, denied it, and then gave them back to me – all bent up. He deserved a whuppin, and I was thrilled to oblige.
Even though we’re not supposed to talk about Fight Club, got any good ass kickin’ stories to keep me entertained?
So BoyWonder, you don't like me using Blake while bitch slapping Socrates? How about some Billy Joel?
"I believe I've passed the age, of consciousness and righteous rage. I found that just surviving is a noble fight."
The number one rule of fight club.......
Looks like middle class housewives will be getting some new soap.
I've never been much of a fighter. I wrote a story for Pauly's Truckin' e-zine which turned out to be more breaking up a fight, than actually being in a fight. Band wives start fighting, band members break them up, band members start fighting. Street riot breaks out.
There's plastered Al in the middle trying to break it up.
I'm typically a very mellow drunk. The only time I seem to have a problem is if someone gets between me and my booze. Then we've got a problem. The main fight I'm having these days is between my liver, brain, and my oddly placed will to live.
Every once in awhile, I get this little fellow in my head whispering maybe I should go at least 48 hours without getting loopy again. He seems to make valid arguments like health, income, family.
So then I just grab a bottle and drown that lil' fucker.
So there's my fight. Don'tcha know man, I'm a lover, not a fighter.
Ok, no fancy segue’s from this hack. Straight to the hard hitting questions. How about some poker? or a poker blogger related question?
Which bloggers are you most disappointed won't be able to make the December Vegas round up?
For me, it's simple. I'd love to knock back
Mssr. Scant Wang,
Can I tell you how delighted I am to have thought of “Al’s Scant Wang” as your Mad Magazine name? Makes me chuckle, even if only Mrs. Scant Wang (one would hope) and Mama Scant Wang know the truth.
Yeah, I’m a little disappointed we’re not going to be graced by Scott, Chris, and Iggs. It’s unfair that you get to ask the question then give the answer, as you pretty much stole my thunder. Add Hank, Sean, and Gene-O to that mix as well, and just know that I would have loved to see forty or more bloggers kicking it old school in Vegas.
I just love that phrase… “Kicking it old school.” Are we talking “old school” like the Rat Pack? Or maybe “old school” like shell toe Adidas? Whatever. So long as we’re not “Hangin’ Tough” like the NKOTB or anything. They were really old school.
By the way, I really figured with your crew you’d have a better fight story than that. Something about Big Mike blowing the hell up when the dude across the bar kept calling him “Siragusa” or something, and you, Lewey, and Landow having to get his back. I’m not a fighter either though. I always tell people that I’d be most useful in a fight as the guy who gets down on his hands and knees behind the big dude’s knees so they can push him over more easily.
That’s about as good as I get. In a fight at least. I can get pretty good in some other ways. As a matter of fact, I have a few hidden talents that I don’t think many people know about. First off, I can juggle three similarly sized items. I can type pointless and mindless drivel to the tune of 2000 words a day if I’m properly motivated. I can even type with my eyes closed, and know when I’ve made a mistake and how far back I need to go to correct it.
But there’s one talent that I rarely let out of the bag anymore. Blues harmonica. That’s right, I can play the harp. Unfortunately, this isn’t a talent I get to display very often. I used to play along with CDs in my dorm in college, which I think pissed off a great many of my floor mates. I actually ran across an opportunity to play this past weekend when my dad’s going away party featured a guitar player just noodling out some blues and jazz.
I went up to the guy and requested a semi-obscure (to my non-jazz fan friends) Wes Montgomery tune, to which the guy replied, “You gonna play that one with me?” Well, to be fair, it was a pretty hard song to play all by himself. I asked him to play “Unit 7,” another semi-obscure Montgomery tune, and he obliged. Does anything put a hop in your step quite like having the band (or in this case, the guy) play the song you requested?
Still, if I had my harmonica there, I would have sat in. That would have been fun.
So save “putting away mass quantities of Southern Comfort,” which we all acknowledge is pretty special (in that helmet-on-the-bus sort of way), what tricks can you pull out of the bag?
Hey there Lunchbox,
I'm starting to feel a bit of humanity creep back into my being. Marlboro and a little hair o' the dog (later, not during work) should make me right as rain.
Since I've been throwing random quotes here and there, here's a funny one I found....
"Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit."
W. Somerset Maugham
So let's see, what tricks do I have to pull out.....
1. I have a weird ability to regurgitate lines different comedies. Drives the wife crazy. Fast Times at Ridgemont High, any Kevin Smith movie (FLY FATASS FLY!), etc. Christ, I could probably do Eddie Murphy's standup routing from Delirious and Raw. Don't know if that's a trick, but it cracks me up on lonely nights.
2. I have this odd ability to... hmmm..... errrr.... produce methane on command. This skill my wife is spectacularly impressed with.
See you take the high road, and I take the low road
BG - obscure jazz songs
Al - body functions
Someone help me!
3. I have found in myself the ability to completely forget all the lessons learned about playing this game of poker. How is it possible to read the books, play thousands of hands, and still be a complete nudge at the table?
4. Apparently I also have the incredible ability to turn a phrase and write prose that would bring a Texan to tears. Can you believe they actually pay me to write this crap? Oh wait. No one pays me.
You would think after writing so many useless words I'd finally write something memorable. Maybe number 2 will get me there. A thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters. Or something like that.
Since you won't let me use my ability to drink mass quantities of booze as my trick, I'd have to say that I am/was a fairly decent baseball/softball player before my knees turned to mush. After 'retiring', I moved on to coach a couple of teams. We had a mediocre record, but my team could drink any other under the table. Oh wait, back to the drinking again.
How about we combine the two passions for the next question.
We know the blogfather won't be making the trip, so which blogger do you think will pick up in his place and trudge along with me towards drunken Vegas infamy?
Random chik pix for Pauly and BadBlood. Still with us boys?
A before L except after booze,
Man, I'm hoping Big Mike and Lewey can get out there with you so the other bloggers don't think that Pauly and I were making things up. You guys are trained professionals. I give you full license to get my brother battered. He's got a nice tolerance, but nothing like you guys. I'm thinking that Otis has a helluva liquor streak in him, but I have no idea. Bob though, he'll be like a CBA player on a ten day contract with you big leaguers.
Maybe he can introduce you to real bourbon along the way.
So I'm home now, and got my coffee in the mail (thankyouverymuch). I also got a piece of mail for the hot girl downstairs in my mailbox. Wait, did I not tell you she's not moving out until June? That's pretty sweet if you ask me. Not that I have a shot or anything, but damn. So I go and bring the mail down to her (it was actually for her ex-boyfriend), and we stand around chatting for a bit. And then I notice it.
A rotten tooth.
Oh good god. How do you not look at the rotten tooth when talking to her now? Well, it's not a fully rotten tooth, just the tenth of an inch that's up near the gums. But it's brown. Really brown. Like an apple wedge on the counter for a half an hour brown. But she's so hot otherwise. I mean, you know those jeans that girls wear that have no pockets on the back? You know how there are maybe one tenth of one half of a percent of the female population that can pull those off? She's one of those girls.
And all I can think about is “Could I even bring myself to kiss this girl? I can't imagine it's contagious, but I don't want rotten tooth. Or god forbid it migrates when she's going down on me and I'm left with pseudo liver spots on my dick or something.
Jesus, I'm paranoid. She's so hot other than the tooth thing, so I think I could probably find some way around it.
By the way, I had the opportunity to give her the “you should date for height” comment, but didn't. I'm a wuss.
This will be my last email of the night, and I'll gladly resuscitate the email madness starting tomorrow. “The O.C.” is coming on, and that's one hour out of my week where I'm not fucking around. Give me my TV, and some peace and quiet. Maybe a beer. Damn, I love my trash TV. “The O.C.” and Lions games are my non-negotiable times of the week. I don't care how hot the girl, or who in her family died, I'm not budging when the Lions are on or if there's a shot Summer may give Seth some dap.
What's “dap” anyway?
I don't think I'm asking too much. If there are 20 new “O.C.” episodes, and 16 Lions games, that adds up to 68 hours out of my year.
Of course, the only other thing I ask for really is for a woman to be rational and not a raving flaring bitch. I'll share my favorite bitch story with you, assuming you'll enjoy reciprocating back...
I was dating this girl in college. Ex-stripper, current waitress, big time bitch. I don't know why we were together. Oh wait, we both loved getting stoned. Anyway, one morning I give her a call and she's wheezing and weepy. Totally sick. I ask her, very nicely and generously, if there's anything I can bring to her. She says “Soup.” I ask what kind, she says “Whatever.”
Stop the story for a moment and consider this thought... If someone asks you to bring them soup because they're sick, what are you going to get them?
So I go to a good deli, and I pick up a quart of fancy and expensive chicken noodle soup. I drive it clear across town to her, where she proceeds to dress me down for being late (!) and takes the chicken noodle soup and dumps it down the disposal in front of me saying, “You should know I don't eat this bullshit.”
We didn't date a whole lot longer after that.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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