|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Friday, January 09, 2004
Just another Friday
On the XM radio’s comedy station this morning, there was some guy named Craig Shoemaker (well, “Craig Shoe” is all I know as his name was truncated by the XM unit) who was doing his “The Love Master” character. I’m only mentioning it because I was damn near crying I was laughing so hard, and I’m making my own sort of mental note to track this guy’s CD down at some point.
Well, the “I Kinda Met A Girl” girl gave me a call last night. Patience does indeed pay off. We talked for about an hour, which put me nearly two hours past my bedtime, but that’s all right by me. She and I each had car repairs bite us in the ass this week, so at least we had something to jointly gripe about. I’m making her dinner tomorrow night. There’ll be dinner, a movie, and probably a couple of bottles of wine.
Now, I just have to figure out what to make. I’ve narrowed it down to a few things:
- Gnocchi with red sauce, possibly with meatballs – I do have some San Marzanos in the can, so I’m well equipped to make sauce. I’ll probably have to go buy the gnocchi, which necessitates a trip to the good Italian deli forty minutes away. Well, any excuse, right?
- Broiled/baked veal chops with tomatoes and peppers – This is one of my specialties, but I usually make it with pork chops. She doesn’t generally like pork, so (aw, shucks) I’d make it with veal chops. I lightly bread thick chops and broil them briefly on each side to give them color. Then I make a quick pan sauce with tomatoes, onion, and peppers, dump that in the pan with the chops and bake them up. I serve it with pasta on the side.
- Risotto – I haven’t made risotto in awhile, and it scares me a little because there’s always the potential to screw up a pan of this dish by not doing things precisely right. But when risotto is good, it’s really, really good. I’d probably grill a steak, caramelize some onions, and make the risotto with beef stock, asiago cheese, and the chopped up steak and onions.
- Boursin/scallion stuffed baked chicken – Normally, I’d look to put Prosciutto in there too, but the pork thing doesn’t do it for her. I could probably make a light white wine cream sauce to go over the top of this.
- Lasagna – damn, I haven’t made lasagna in a long time. I really, really miss it. Of course, I’d have to do it without the pork sausage (that sucks), but I’ll live.
Any other suggestions?
There’s one thing that I’m absolutely beyond terrible at when it comes to dating: Making the first move. It’s not only that I can’t generally figure out when to do it, but it’s also quite difficult to figure out how to do it. It’s just something I’ve never been successful with. Making that first move is probably the clumsiest feeling in dating, hands down. Of course, once you get over that initial hump (heh heh heh… I said “hump”) though, it gets a lot easier.
I read that the woman in Ohio that claimed she lost the lottery ticket “tearfully admitted” that she had lied about it. Oh, you think? I love how the actual winner not only came forward with the ticket, but a receipt time stamped from the same store at the same time, and past losing lottery tickets playing the same numbers. And this lying bitch thought she could extort a share of this for herself? Unbelievable.
Also in the “news” yesterday (it’s in quotes because in this case I use that word as lightly as possible) were articles detailing the reaction from townspeople in whatever backwater Louisiana town Britney Spears and her husband-for-a-day were from in regards to their wedding.
This obsession we have with celebrity in this country really pisses me off. There’s a fundamental difference between feeling admiration towards someone because of the talents they choose to share with the world, and our seemingly all-consuming “need” to know every last little detail about the private lives of these people.
But if it just stopped with the gathering of these details, it might be bearable.
Where I really get annoyed is when these so-called “journalists” who cover the celebrity beat go on to E! or VH1 or one of those “Entertainment Tonight” clones and offer their opinions on the lives and actions of these celebrities. What the hell does it matter to them? Who cares what some gossip columnist thinks about Britney Spears getting married on a lark? Why is there such a need for the media to form an opinion and force it down your throat, as opposed to just reporting the facts on what happened?
Frankly, that’s a problem with all “news” today, not just “celebrity news.” The proliferation of cable news sources has created that mad dog, virulent, rabid commentator whose job it is to lace all news with enough charisma or opinion or shock value that people won’t just turn the channel after the weather report. And in the interest of having something “interesting” to talk about 24 hours a day, opinion often becomes the story. Look at CNN in particular, and all their coverage of the gaudy murder trials (like Scott Petersen’s). In the absence of real, tangible progress on what promises to be a long and boring affair in the courtroom, CNN puts that shrill harpy Nancy Whateverhernameis on Larry King and lets her shrew her way into the underbelly of everything that might happen but isn’t.
It’s frustrating to watch television news these days, as it seems that they’re either feeding you opinion or just flat out shock (“Your children might be getting slowly poisoned. Film at 11.”). I’m really quite annoyed with the whole thing.
Federally Mandated Poker Content
The Poker Penguin had a good post yesterday about scaring the fish.
It’s really disheartening to get beaten on the river by what should have been a non-hand, this I understand. But I agree wholeheartedly that yelling at the fish (via the live chat) is not the way to do things.
Well, maybe it’s not a wholehearted agreement, as I did sit in a game once where one player was consistently goading another over the course of about 90 minutes, and the player taking the brunt of the abuse was tilting like a maniac, running through his money like Brewster through his millions. It was really funny after I figured out what was going on.
But the Penguin is right. Telling them they play badly has one of two consequences (usually), and both are bad. They either leave the table or tighten up.
Take your beatings like a man. Don’t kick and scream and whine about it.
I think I’ve actually only used the chat field twice. I ignore the “nh” comments (c’mon people, can we type full words here?) and all the “what did you have” questions. I did once have to explain to someone what the rake was, and there was one time that I pushed all in on a 64o in a SNG where I was struggling, had something like six callers (I didn’t have a lot of money left), and flopped 664 for the nut full house. I actually did type an apology to the rest of the table for hitting on that junk.
My little brother has been known to be one of those who kick and scream at someone when he gets busted on a hand by nothing. It’s embarrassing. Why not just make a mental note that this jackass stays to the river on nothing, and it’s important to be more aggressive towards him in the future?
I actually didn’t hop on PartyPoker last night, as I felt like I wasn’t due any good karma on the tables last night, and I have to save up all the good karma I can for my home game this evening. I almost signed up for a $30/+$3 NL multi-table last night, but thought better of it. No sense in playing cards until potentially 1AM when I’m just going to do it all over again tonight.
Here’s the roster, as of this morning, for tonight’s game: Lil’ Bro, Justin, Dan, Jon, Pete, and myself. We may have Dwight, and there’s always a possibility of Matt. Thankfully, it looks like we’re without women this evening. I’m also hoping that we can rustle up two more for an even ten, and start with two tables of five. That would be cool. I think my game is much better short-handed in this crew.
Dan is the guy at our table with the absolute worst game, and far and away the most obvious tells I’ve ever seen. He’s a big guy too, so his tells are real hard to miss. For instance, if he’s sitting on a draw he’ll throw his chips into the pot with one of those, “fine, whatever, just let me see what comes next” sorts of attitudes. If he’s made a hand on the flop (it could be just bottom pair, but you’ll know he made it), he does the seated equivalent of hiking up his pants in his chair. He gets really obviously interested from there. If he throws away a hand and the flop would have helped him, he verbalizes his displeasure. Lastly, he folds too many hands when bet into big on the river. You can string him along on a draw with fairly big bets, but when he doesn’t make the hand, or doesn’t think his middle pair will stand up, he’ll chuck it and run.
Justin is the best competition I’ve got at this table. He and I have taken the pot at least 80% of the time in these games. His major shortcoming is playing shorthanded. He can’t seem to break me in those circumstances (usually). Because he’s the most willing to throw his chips around at the table, he’s an almost certain caller to large bets when shorthanded if he’s sitting on middle pair or less. There was actually one hand last game where he was betting I was bluffing and called me all the way down to the river, even though I was betting pretty big to try to drive him out. Amazingly, neither of us made a pair, and somehow my A6o (for A high) stood up against whatever he thought he could call me with. It’s plays like this, where he’s convinced I’m bluffing, but instead of getting aggressive, just plays to see if he’s right, that doom him shorthanded.
Jon is a guy who’s coming along at the table. He’s Dan’s brother, and used to take after his brother’s habit of hemorrhaging chips on a regular basis. He also played too emotionally, letting the fact that he had folded “too many” hands in a row dictate that he should play hole cards that he really shouldn’t have. He used to spiral really quickly downhill from there. I think now he’s getting smarter about what cards he’s playing. He still has to work on how to sucker some of us in when he’s holding, but I’ll continue to take his $10 until then.
I don’t really understand why Pete doesn’t do better at this table. Well, I do a little bit. He’s too much of a rock normally, and he’s also gotten himself into the habit during long stretches of the game of just being a calling station. When he does get dealt a hand, he’s never been good at maximizing the pot, so when he is raking, he’s not adding considerably to his stack. He also struggles shorthanded, but really I’m the only one at this table that really does well with it.
As I mentioned above, thankfully there’ll be no women at the game tonight. We’ve got a mother/daughter combo that plays with us that are insanely frustrating sometimes. I mean, they’re likeable people and all, but neither has what you might call an “attention span.”
And I don’t have what you might refer to as “patience.”
So, I’m looking forward to the game tonight, and will provide a full recap later on.
Here’s my picks and predictions for the NFL Playoff games happening this weekend…
Carolina @ St. Louis -
This is a game that could finish 17-14, or it could end 38-10. I think of all the games this one will be the hardest to predict.
St. Louis looked horrible in their season-ending loss to Detroit. If the Lions’ front seven can demolish the Ram line, what’s going to happen when Rucker, Peppers, and company step on the field? Lucky for St. Louis, they’re a team that is capable of making a mistake or two and still hanging 35+ on the board. But will the clock munching running game of the Panthers allow St. Louis enough chances to put the points they’ll need on the board?
I don’t like Carolina because of a suspect secondary and an inexperienced QB playing on the road. I don’t like the Rams because I think Marc Bulger will spend quite a few second and third downs picking himself up off the turf.
I do like that Carolina appeared to cruise easily in their first round playoff game, and played about as perfectly as they could have. They’re going to be on a positive momentum swing stepping into the Edward Jones Dome. Look for the Rams to try to take the wind out of their sails early. If the Rams can put up a TD on their first possession, they’ll have this game won.
If not, look for Carolina to squeak one out, further indicting Mike Martz as more of a riverboat gambler and less of a coach. CAROLINA 20 – ST. LOUIS 17. Carolina benefits from at least three Ram turnovers.
TENNESSEE @ NEW ENGLAND -
Arguably the marquee game of the weekend, the co-MVP goes up against the most well-balanced, well-coached team in the league in zero degree temperatures.
I’m baffled by New England’s ability to win quality football games. Sure, their defense is solid and well-coached, but their offense features not one player at a skill position that would be the #1 option on most of the bottom ten teams in the league. Troy Brown? Kevin Faulk? Antowain Smith? Deion Branch? Really? Where I think this approach really benefits New England is in the fact that they are able to utilize all their “weapons” equally, and not be put into a position where they feel they have to force feed one superstar the ball to make a big play (i.e. Randy Moss in Minnesota, for instance). Defenses don’t have anyone to key on, so the well-designed New England passing game can dictate more favorable matchup scenarios in more key situations than any other team in the league.
But I’m not sure there’s another defense in the AFC that’s better equipped to handle an offense like this than Tennessee’s. They can put pressure on up front, they have a secondary that has quality enough players to not be outmatched by Charlie Weis’ offense, and they have a rangy, speedy LB in Keith Bulluck who is capable of winning matchups that might be mismatches against most other linebackers in the league.
Where this game will be won or lost is at the line of scrimmage. Cliché? Maybe. But consider that Tennessee’s offense will need at minimum a workmanlike performance from Eddie George, as well as an efficient performance from McNair to pull out this victory. If I were the Tennessee offensive coordinator, I’m running up the middle, away from Richard Seymour, and begging Rodney Harrison to be that eighth man in the box. Then, I hope McCareins or Bennett can find a seam and capitalize downfield.
I don’t see it happening though. Look for base packages up front on running downs, essentially daring Eddie George to have a big day. It won’t happen. NEW ENGLAND 27 – TENNESSEE 17.
Green Bay @ Philadelphia -
As Flavor Flav once begged us, “Don’t believe the hype.”
And despite some sort of “angels in the end zone” legacy that the sports media is falling all over themselves trying to write right now, Brett Favre’s not swinging Thor’s hammer, he’s not been given a bag of Zeus’ lightning bolts, and he’s certainly not scrambling with the fleet feet of Apollo’s winged shoes.
In Green Bay, we’re looking at an above average QB with average passing weapons and a stellar tailback hoping he can make the score tally turn fast enough on his side of the board so his defense doesn’t have to worry about how fast the opposition’s tally is adding up.
Here’s what is going to kill Green Bay this week. First, the Eagles can sit back and play base coverages against Favre all day, as his receivers aren’t better than Philly’s DBs. Second, the Eagles can turn their whole front seven loose on either Ahman Green or Favre on every down. Third, it’s not a home game for Green Bay, and the Philly fans will make Favre’s life miserable with taunts about his dead father. Trust me. They booed Santa Claus there.
Even without big play back Brian Westbrook, Donovan McNabb’s offense is poised to make their Super Bowl run this year. There’s no dominant defense to suffocate the passing game left in the NFC. There are no offensive juggernauts that will brutalize a pretty good Eagle defense left either.
Philly is the class of the bunch. They can move the ball, will control the ground with Staley and Buckhalter, and will send Favre packing on Sunday night. EAGLES 30 – PACKERS 17.
Indianapolis @ Kansas City -
Who’s going to stop this one from turning into a 38-35 game?
No one, that’s who. Take the over on this game. Hell, double the over and take it. I’m here to tell you that short of Dorothy’s tornado spinning through the stadium causing 80 MPH winds; there is a good chance that all sorts of playoff passing records might be broken.
Here’s what I believe: this is a game that is going to come down to coaching. If I were a Chiefs fan, I’m praying that Vermeil and his staff stick to the game plan that brought them to this point. If the Chiefs decide that they want to keep Peyton Manning off the field by pounding away with the run, it’s going to get really uncomfortable to be Trent Green on third and long really quick. Who is he going to go to? Well, Gonzalez and Holmes are great options, but they have no one worth a damn on the outside, and I assure you the Colts know this.
I’d give similar advice to Dungy and his staff if asked, “do what got you here.” Edgerrin James is not the same explosive playmaking back that he used to be. He is not going to be the answer if Dungy thinks the question is, “how do I keep Trent Green off the field.” The answer is Peyton Manning, his ability to read defenses pre-snap, and his short passing game.
This will be Peyton Manning’s career and swagger building resume’ game. He’s going to dissect the porous Chief secondary, and will officially get that “can’t win the big one” monkey off of his back.
By the way, don’t think for a minute that the turning point for the Colts’ 2003-04 season wasn’t Peyton Manning calling Mike Vander Jagt the “drunk idiot kicker.” That’s the first time he had stepped into public with fire in his eyes, and I don’t think he’s let up since. COLTS 38 – CHIEFS 35 with KC only catching up to be close at the end. This is Manning’s game. Colts will romp.
Thursday, January 08, 2004
Ain’t Nothin’ Gonna Break-A My Stride
The pent-up anger comes and goes like the tides with me. And sometimes I wake up in the morning so bemused with life that there isn’t much that can get in the way of sullying my day.
It almost did happen though.
I picked up my car (the $1100 problem child) yesterday from the dealership. They had not only performed the repairs, but they had thoroughly cleaned it out, and quite possibly outfitted me with new tires. Either that, or they cleaned the ever-living crap out of my current tires and restored the whitewalls. I’m guessing the latter, but for last night I was living in that “Wow! Free tires!” fantasy land of auto repair stories.
So I got up with my alarm this morning (I usually am up well before), and broke up a dream that I can’t remember much about, but I do remember it involved poker and was amusing. I didn’t get into the shower until it was too late to brew my own coffee, so I stopped at the grocery store to buy a couple doughnuts and grab a cup of Starbucks (the Verona blend on tap today, pretty good).
I hop in my car with my doughnuts and my coffee, put the key in the ignition, and turn.
Not a click, not a wheezing attempt to turn over.
I shook my head and smiled and somewhere deep down hoped that car problems might prevent me from making it into work today. I gave it a minute and tried to crank it again.
So I’m listening to my sports radio, eating my doughnut, and sitting in the parking lot wondering if I’m going to have to pay to get my car towed the one block it’ll take to get it to the dealership, and if I’m going to be on the hook for more repairs they didn’t notice the first time.
And it still won’t crank.
I polish off the first doughnut (one of those jagged edged sour cream doughnuts with chocolate on top), take another sip of my coffee, and try it again.
And miraculously, it starts. Thank god (as an atheist, I mean that in the colloquial sense only. Thank you.).
I was also granted a reprieve from an early morning meeting I had on the docket this morning. The person with whom I was scheduled needed to cancel last minute, which means I can push him off until tomorrow or later. Not that the meeting was any big deal, it’s just one of those days where I ultimately feel that being anchored to my desk all day will be more enjoyable than walking all over Egypt for no good reason.
$2/$4 Table Wednesday Night Details...
Sat down at 20:06:55PM
Stack = $100
1) 2sQc, check, flop 787, fold, -$2 (BB)
2) QdAd, raised preflop, 1 call, flop 899, she bet, I raised. T on the turn (rainbow board), I bet, she folds. +$9 (net)
3) KdTd, raised preflop, 1 call. J46 rainbow flop. He bet, I raised. Turn a T. I bet, he called. 6 river. We both check. TT66 holds up, net +$14
4) Qd2d, fold (although Q26 flops dammit)
5) 6c6s, call with six. Jd3d6d flops. All check. 4c turn, I check raise the late position who calls. Ks river, I bet and am called. Net +$24
6) 2c2h, call with five others. 9T7 flop, all check. 8 turn, I fold on another's bet. Lose $2
7) BB hand 9d5s, check with 1, JQ3J4 hit the board, no betting all the way through, my NINE HIGH holds up, net +$3
8) SB hand, 8dTc, fold. Lose $1
9) 8c9h on the button, fold (+$45 total after one orbit)
10) 5c2c, fold
11) 2s3c, fold
12) 6dTd, fold
13) 8s5h, fold
14) As8d (early position), fold (AA3 hits the board, total pot only $15 though)
15) BB hand Ks5s, I call one raise with three total in the pot. J6J hits. I fold after a bet. Lost $4.
16) SB hand Td9c, call $1, see it with only the BB. J68 hits. I bet, he folds. Net +$2.
17) 2c5c on the button, fold (I had this hand 7 hands ago)
18) 3h9c, fold
19) Jd7h, fold
20) 5d5c, call with only BB in. 9sAs3hKc4c hits, both check all the way. 55 holds up, net +$3. (stack $146 after two orbits)
21) QdAh early, call, only BB stays in. 6h3d2d hits. He bets, I fold. Lost $2
22) BB hand 7s5s, check with four total in. Q82 hits, it's bet and raised and I fold, lost $2.
23) SB hand 8s3d, fold (board shows 389, dammit)
24) Th3s, fold
25) Jc4h, fold
26) 5cKs, fold
27) Qd3d, fold (board flops two diamonds)
28) 4c9d, fold
29) Ah8h, raised initial caller, 3 others follow. JA9 flops, I bet and am called by two. 3 on the turn, I bet and am called by one. 3 on the river, I bet, he folds. Net +$19.50
30) 9sQs (early) call, called a raise with one other. 8K4 flops. I check, he bets, I raise, he folds (heh heh heh). Net +$9 (After 3 orbits my stack is $169.50)
31) BB hand, Jh8h, check with two others. 884 flops. We all check. T hits turn. I bet, am called by one. 3 on river, I bet, he folds. Net +$8
32) SB hand 2s2c. I call with three others. 634 with two clubs. I'm first, I check, late comes in and two of us call. 3h on turn. All check. 2h on the river. I bet, both fold. Net +$10
33) 9h8h on the button. I fold instead of seeing a raise. Would have had winning hand (flush) dammit.
34) 5d9s, fold
35) Js2c, fold
36) Qs2d, fold (third Q2 in 36 hands)
37) (we're losing players fast here) ThTd, I raise, one caller. Q5Q flops, I bet, she calls. 7 hits turn. I bet, she folds. Net +$9
38) SB hand, only five left at table. 7hTd, I call, BB checks. 963 flopos, both check. J on turn, she bets, I fold. Lost $2
39) Kh9s, four players left. I'm on the button. I raise to $4, she to $6, I call. 352 hits. She bets, I raise to $4. She calls. 9 hits turn, she checks, I bet, she folds. Net +$11.
40) BB Qs2d (no shit, four times in forty hands). I fold after a raise, lost $2.
Last hand played at 20:29:36. Total profit $103.50.
How about that?
I didn’t hop back on PartyPoker last night after my +$103 session from 8P to 830P. It actually took every ounce of my strength and self control not to.
I don’t really set limits for myself, per se, but I do normally reach a point, whether up or down, where I just say, “that’s enough,” and move on. And being up over a hundred is just about where that point hits me.
Actually, that rally ended when our $2/$4 Limit table effectively collapsed. I’m confused by what happened, as it’s happened to me a couple other times while playing on the Limit tables. You’re going along just fine with ten, then all of a sudden one drop off turns into three, and within the next two hands there’s only three of you total still sitting at the table. And even though there appears to be a waiting list to join the $2/$4 games, no one is getting seated at your table. What’s that all about?
Here’s another curiosity I have about PartyPoker… 27,000 people online, they have 55 (!) people queued up for a seat at a $30/$60 table, and they only have two tables running? That doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s the same question I have when I am at the casino and see lines three deep around the $5 blackjack table, and three dealers sitting at $25 limit tables with no players. Why not open one more up?
I only need ten more sessions just like last night to pay for my car. Uh, yeah…
I found out this afternoon that my home game is a go for this Friday night. That’s cool by me. I always look forward to playing against these guys, so I’m licking my chops. Plus, it’s on my home turf this time, which means I can wear my sweats and slippers, which is my PartyPoker uniform anyway.
By the way, if you were doing the math, here’s what my last week or so of gambling has produced (doing this in my head from memory):
- +$80 on Sunday 12/28 home poker game
- +$73 on 01/02 on PartyPoker
- +$200 on 01/03 at the horse track
- +$33 on 01/06 on PartyPoker
- +$103 on 01/07 on PartyPoker
- No significant losses during this timeframe
That leaves me +$489.
But I don’t feel $489 richer. Here’s why:
- Paid for date on 12/30, -$90
- Bought jeans (necessary, not luxury) on 12/30, -$45
- Paid mom back money I owed her, -$140
- Put $100 into PartyPoker, -$109 (with Neteller fee)
- Bought my dad pizza and beer on Monday, -$25
- Bought myself lunch, Prosciutto, and a baguette on Monday, -$25
- Bought gas for car, other lunches, small grocery store trip, -$50
That takes $484 out of the equation.
So, I’m only $5 up for my last two weeks of gambling?
Well, I suppose I could take money out of PartyPoker now, as that’s where I’ve got $200 in profits. But what’s the fun in that?
Well, only because both brothers have done so, here is my list of my FIVE FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT LAS VEGAS.
(in no particular order)
1) The Sports Book at the Las Vegas Hilton - I wasn’t a poker player when I went to Vegas in January. I was, and remain, a horseplayer. And there is no better place in Vegas to watch the horse races than in the Vegas Hilton. Comfortable and spacious, with huge screens featuring all the action across the country, this is the place to be.
2) Tipping - To be perfectly frank, this is the one item that would make my bottom five list as well. It’s really quite a challenge to know who gets tipped in Vegas, and by how much. Not to mention it seems like you tip just about everyone with a name tag out there. However, there’s very few things you can do that make you feel like more of a big shot than peeling a couple of bills off a wad to give to the guy who just whistled you down a taxi. For making me feel like a guy who throws his money around without care, tipping makes my list.
3) Spot the Hooker - This is one of the two best people-watching activities in Vegas (more on that in a minute). Look, there’s not a guy on this planet that hasn’t seen a hot hooker and thought, even if just fleetingly, about picking her up. Doesn’t mean I’m ever going to do it, but just knowing I could is good enough. The biggest turnoff of all about prostitutes is knowing that you don’t want to go the same places some of their customers had. Bob and I sat just behind some skanky older dude and a fairly attractive 18-19 year old “date” of his at a comedy show last time we were out there. We both agreed we would have slept with that girl, if she were just a girl, but knowing that guy was going to be sleeping with her ruined it for both of us.
4) Spot the Tremendously Hot Chick - There are two great places to play this game. Either in Vegas or in Manhattan in the spring. Either way, there are an absolute ton of unbelievably beautiful women in Vegas.
5) The Weather - Yep, dry heat kicks ass. I’ll even take 95 degrees outside, as I know it’ll be cool and comfortable in the casinos anyway.
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
30 minutes on the $2/$4 tables tonight? +$103.
I am a happy, happy boy.
Because it's too long to not have it's own page...
100 Things About Me
(I buried it back in the archive so today's contribution to RTATS wouldn't seem like it was 11 typed MS Word pages... but it was.)
Brake lights on the highway
There are few things on this planet that annoy me worse than seeing brake lights on the freeway. Usually, there’s little excuse for this, as slowing down can be achieved naturally by getting off the gas pedal, and leaving a little room between your car and the car ahead of you.
But I’ve got anger problems today. Actually, aside from my stunning lack of self-confidence, I would say that my problems with anger are right near the top of my list of weaknesses.
Now, when you hear “anger problems,” you’re probably thinking that I fly off the handle, yell and scream, kick puppies, and twirl into a whirling dervish of rage.
Actually, my anger problems are almost completely transparent to outside observers because they’re largely internalized. And because I have never developed a constructive way to deal with this anger, I get worked up and stressed out, although you probably wouldn’t know it by talking to me.
It starts with one thing (my car problems, for instance), then I find something else (brake lights on the highway) to lump on top of it, and then another thing (realizing how these car problems set my plans back a couple months) to throw on the fire.
I can feel the muscles in my shoulders completely coiled up. And I can’t find any way to get relaxed.
I even made money (+$32 in nearly two hours on $2/$4 Limit) on PartyPoker last night, but walked away pissed because of the “fucking rags” I kept getting dealt. I probably did nothing but mutter “fucking rags” repeatedly from about 8PM-10PM last night. It didn’t even satisfy me that taking my stack to $234 online effectively puts me about even after two months of online play ($300 in, Bob played $65 down over Xmas break on my account).
Where I really get into trouble is that because I don’t have a good mechanism for dealing with stress and anger internally (or externally), I tend to just “shut down.” Rather than addressing and fixing a problem, I just let it fester and get worse because I want to try to forget it even exists. But no matter how hard I try to get these problems out of my head, they don’t go anywhere at all.
And it’s horribly frustrating and counterproductive.
Online Poker Update
I mentioned above that I played +$32 on the $2/$4 Limit tables at PartyPoker last night. I’m really (in retrospect, I couldn’t enjoy it at the time) quite proud of myself for the way I played.
I played the tight pre-flop/aggressive when you hit something game last night, and I felt like it really paid off. Yes, the chip swings were disheartening at times. I was as much as $36 down at a few points, and there were a couple times where my stack would go from +$10 to -$20 to +$5 to -$25 in a single orbit.
But where the strategy really seemed to pay off was in the size of the pots I was able to take down. I think I only “stole” blinds once, had only one other post-flop small pot victory (maybe about +$11), and rammed and jammed my way to victories that were probably in the range of $24-$60. I think our average pot size (according to the lobby’s overview of our table) was about $22, and so I know I did a good job in goosing the pot sizes up when I was involved in a hand.
Obviously, playing this way you’re going to get broken a few times, which really stinks. I raised one pot pre-flop with something like AJo, and got a few callers. Flop hit something like A48 rainbow. I bet from late position and get a couple of callers. 6 comes on the turn. The guy from the big blind raises me. I called and hit my J on the river for top two pair. I was smart enough to just check and call on the off chance that I was facing trips or worse.
It was worse. The big blind stayed in with a 57s and flopped the gutshot, picking it up on the turn. He took down a $50+ pot on that one.
Yeah, it sucks getting busted like that, but what I figure is that playing fearless like that is hopefully going to encourage the others at the table to chase, knowing that if I’m going to be involved in the pot, that it’ll be a pot size worth chasing.
I did mention that I was dealt “fucking rags” for most of the night last night. While I saw the guy on my right get dealt JJ and then KK on successive hands, I was dealt TT once, 66 twice, 55, 44, and 22. No other pairs came my way in the hole. I did make sets with the 55 and the 22 (which I slowplayed beautifully into a $40 pot victory), but bet too hard into the TT and got snapped by another’s 88 with a flopped set. Face cards didn’t treat me very well last night either. I saw an offsuit slick once, KQs once, and AJo once, but didn’t put faces/aces together again in the hole all night. It was horribly frustrating.
At least I made it count when I had something. And I did a really good job of not clicking “Call” when I had crap in my hand. I even threw away a suited Q9, which was the right move when I saw what was on the board post-flop (I was in early position). That’s a hand I used to take too far. I know now that Limit is a much different game from my NL home game, and requires far more discipline to make money.
On a side note regarding PartyPoker and Empire Poker:
I was unable to set up an account on Empire, as the “system” detected that I had an account at Party from my home PC. However, I was able to set up a new account at Party using a different email alias, even though I registered with the exact same details (name/address/etc) that I have on my current account.
Am I going to get “busted” by Party if I transfer money to this other alias and play under this name? It’s been three days and I haven’t gotten a “Sorry, can’t do that,” email from the PartyPoker people yet, but I haven’t moved money yet. Am I in the clear?
Taking Iggy’s lead, by the way, I set up this new account to appear female. I even named it after AO, the restaurant hostess who was tremendous in the sack. You know, after I learned some people think setting up an account to appear female is like getting a free table image, I just assume that every “woman” I’ve played against is really a man behind the keyboard. Not that it makes a difference anyway.
So I haven’t heard back yet from the “I Kinda Met a Girl” girl.
To recap, we went out last Tuesday, I called her Wednesday night (really briefly) just to say thanks and put the onus on her to call me this week for an after work drink.
So I haven’t heard back yet.
I’m not going to drive myself nuts over this or anything though. I think chances are good that ultimately there’ll be a second date, and if I don’t hear back from her by maybe Thursday, I’ll ask her out for this weekend.
And I’ll keep you posted.
I’m going to admit I haven’t seen any of those “Lord of the Rings” movies.
I’m sure they’re wonderful. I’m sure Orlando Bloom is dreamy. I just can’t get off on that whole “You’re an elf, I have a sword, let’s go on an adventure” genre.
That’s not for lack of exposure to it. I used to be a Dungeons and Dragons player. Well, when I was 9. I had two (count ‘em, two) friends up until fifth grade, and we gravitated somehow towards D&D and had some fun with it.
We were terrible cheats though. No one ever died, our characters were all super powered, and we didn’t keep close enough track of anything to think we played legitimate D&D.
Not that I care.
Back to the LOTR movies, I did read “The Hobbit,” but probably did that when I was ten. I don’t think I ever read the trilogy of books, and I don’t know if I can really fathom what the big deal is all about. Plus, the movies star that dude who played that retarded kid who got to play football for Notre Dame in that “Rudy” movie. The only thing worse than Notre Dame football is movies about Notre Dame football.
What’s nice about not having caught the first two (and not having read the books) is that it’s nearly impossible for someone to insist on taking you to the third movie if you don’t want to go.
Honestly, I’d probably rather sit through just about anything else in the theatre instead. Well, probably not “Calendar Girls” (which I didn’t like the first time I saw it when it was called “The Full Monty”), and probably not “Mona Lisa Smile” (ditto, “Dead Poets,” you know the drill).
So I don’t like elves. What are you going to do about it?
I did want to mention, however, that one of the stars of that movie, Cate Blanchett, was on “Inside the Actors Studio,” and was astoundingly beautiful. Way better looking than I thought she’d be “in reality.” I was wowed.
Stupid fucking car.
At least I made $32 playing poker last night, so effectively this is only costing me $1097.40. That’s much better…
I’ve got 33 minutes left in my day here. So I’m going to sit and type and seethe with jealous rage over the woman in Ohio who won the Mega Millions jackpot over the New Year’s break.
First off, that other woman who claimed she lost the ticket and is filing suit is full of shit. I hope she incurs tens of thousands in legal fees that she can’t afford to pay back.
And as for the woman who won? Well, the phrase “it wasn’t luck, it was god’s blessing” never sits well with me in regards to lottery winners. You know, if you have unexpected twins (instead of just one baby), then say that. Or if your house is spared when the tornado touches down just blocks away, there you go.
But to say that for the lottery? No way.
I think she gets about $94 million after taxes and lump sum.
So, what would I do with $94 million?
Well, for starters, I’d quit my job. I’m no glutton for punishment, that’s for sure. As soon as I got that check in hand, after consulting with my lawyer and financial planner, I’d take $100k and hop a plane to Vegas, where I’d make residence for a week or two, probably either at Bellagio or the Venetian. I’d spend most of the early-mid days betting on horses, and then the latter half of my day playing poker and blackjack. But mostly poker.
I would certainly fly my friends out to join me as well, and stake them each with some gambling money for their weekend. We’d eat good, gamble hard, and have loads of fun.
There are a couple things I’d really like to do in life that this sort of monetary freedom would afford me.
First, I’d take a long, leisurely late spring/early summer trip to Italy. I’d pick a small town, rent (or buy) a home there, and spend my mornings shopping, afternoons cooking, and evenings eating. I’d visit the vineyards that share my family’s name, tour the Uffizi Gallery, and basically do a lot of nothing for a month or so.
Next, I’d buy a couple of homes in a couple of different locations. Obviously, I’d have a joint in Vegas. Nothing fancy, just a small two bedroom. I figure that I’d be getting comped left and right for rooms anyway, so a small base of operations wouldn’t be a bad place. I’d also buy a vacation ranch in upper Wyoming, just outside of Jackson Hole. This would be my quiet getaway place.
But my main house would quite possibly still be in West Michigan. Here’s what I’ve always dreamed of having in my home:
- Full court indoor basketball
- A simulcast room with tablet PCs built into the chairs/tables that would link me to Youbet.com and other sports betting sites. I’d pay enough to get the closed circuit feeds from every major and minor track in the country
- A dedicated poker room
- Full bars everywhere
- A huge wine cellar
- The kitchen of my dreams
- A library/study that is completely soundproof
- A panic room (how cool would that be?)
- Goats for my dog to herd
- Stables, pasture, and training grounds for my thoroughbreds.
Did I mention what line of business I’d be getting into?
Yep, horse racing. I’d go between GLD and Hawthorne near Chicago and learn to be a big fish in a small pond. I’d also look to open an Italian bakery/deli/grocery in my home town, which is a badly needed addition.
I think the last thing I’d need is a big boobed trophy wife. If she didn’t have the chest, I’d make sure she had it paid for. I know I would be a lot better looking with $94 million in the bank.
And I’ll pay my little brother $1000 a week to mow my lawn.
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Stupid Fucking Car
Not in the mood today. Not after a frozen battery, coolant leak, cracked manifold, corrupted spark plugs, and a promise of $1100 that I barely have flying out of my wallet to the repair shop.
Monday, January 05, 2004
Across the knuckles with a ruler
I had to put the smack down on one of the vendors I manage today. They went back door to get a sale here, and didn’t have the appropriate compliment of paperwork completed. It’s only 1030AM, and I’m hoping that by 1PM I can get the order to get their product offsite until such time that they get their ducks in a row.
It’s insane what these vendors think they can get away with. All sales eventually have to get tracked through the software I support, so we’re going to know about their machinations eventually, so why try to work around the system? What’s funny is that when called on the carpet, they tend to play stupid. “Oh, I didn’t know we were supposed to do that.” Yeah, bullshit. You knew. Maybe if you sent your cute account rep over my way to bat her eyelashes and beg for forgiveness, you might have a good chance here.
Well, not really. I’m not the guy in charge. I just do what I’m told here.
Today I’m leaving an insane amount of messages to encourage our users internally to get on the ball and get the system stuff they were supposed to accomplish before the holidays done and off my plate. I’ve made about twenty phone calls, and have about twenty more to do. I figured a little break here wouldn’t hurt.
And food. Food wouldn’t hurt.
I’m starving this morning. With all the snow on the ground and the roads this morning, I didn’t get to work early enough to stop off for a bagel (or two). And I’m suffering for it.
It didn’t help that all I could think about was food after reading Iggy’s post this morning regarding vegans and Tony Bourdain.
I’m a foodie too.
Maybe not to the level of some people, and certainly not as adventurous as Bourdain, but great food is a wonderful thing. If someone asked me to give up great food or great sex for the rest of my life, I don’t know what I’d do. Well, actually, I can guarantee you I’d rather have below average sex than a bowl of Spaghetti-O’s in place of homemade pasta and sauce any day of the week. If someone gave me the choice between a plate of perfectly rare lamb chops and a guarantee of freaky porno sex, I’d be faced with a serious dilemma.
There’s something just so immensely satisfying about a great meal. Hell, even a slightly above average meal has a lot to offer. Could I live my life without ever having another taste of monkfish? Would I be happy without being able to enjoy a veal chop? Could I ever forgive myself if I never again had that taste sensation of biting into a piping hot mozzarella stick and getting that shot of molten oil along with the melted cheese?
No. Never in a million years.
This is why I can’t diet. It doesn’t work for me.
Look, killing animals is pretty horrific and semi-barbaric if you really want to know the truth. Thing is, who’s to say that mankind isn’t supposed to be pretty horrific and semi-barbaric? And spearing cattle on the open range is more humane than driving a spike through the skull of a Holstein in a slaughterhouse? Says who? Either way, the bovine gets it.
We’ve been killing animals as long as we’ve been on this planet. Last I checked, we’ve become bigger, stronger, and smarter than our ancestors in every subsequent generation. Don’t you think diet and nutrition makes a difference? We’re carnivores, that’s all there is to it. You can eat your zucchini and eggplant if you want to, but that choice doesn’t make your diet superior to mine. My diet is what made man into the dominant creature he is today. So if I want to have a piece of prime rib the size of my head, back the fuck off.
I didn’t get to play any live poker this weekend, and that was disappointing. After my big score at the track on Saturday, I considered taking a Sunday morning trip to the casino up north, but a Winter Storm Warning managed to talk me out of it. Considering it took me nearly an hour to cross town for low grade Chinese food on Sunday afternoon (thanks to the snow), I’m glad I didn’t trek the 100 miles north.
I’m licking my chops thinking about going to Mount Pleasant and playing in one of their Sunday Afternoon NL tournaments. I figure $50 to get in is worth the drive over. There are a few holes in my game I’m going to have to tighten up before I can sit down with strangers in a tournament setting and accomplish anything:
1) Know the structure – We play in our home game with ludicrously low blinds. As a result, it costs next to nothing to see flops, and I’ve never really been in any danger in these games of being blinded out. That’s why you have to be conscious of protecting what chips you have in a tournament, and picking and choosing a couple of spots early to try to amass as big an advantage as you can muster. When blinds increase, it will then enable you to play tighter and watch the smaller-stacked players flounder out.
2) Pot committed – Along this same topic, there comes a time on the SNGs on PartyPoker where just being in a blind with a suited face card almost absolutely dictates that you’re pot committed with your stack. Obviously, I need to work on my game and make sure that I don’t face situations like this until as late as humanly possible in these games.
3) Failed slowplays – The toughest hands I ever get dealt tend to be great hands in early position. It’s easy to limp in with a pair, hit your set on the flop, and check with the intention of check-raising. Where I run into problems though is when a small pot gets solidly checked around the table, especially without a lot of other players in the hand. I tend to want to fire out betting on the turn, rather than maybe showing patience and seeing if I can goad someone into betting against me first. Now, sometimes I’m sure betting out is the right play, and other times it’s probably best to be patient. This circumstance, more than any other with which I’m faced at the table, is the one where I’m always doing the same thing (betting out) rather than varying my play. I need to mix it up.
4) Playing inside myself – I think that a rookie in a tournament against strangers only has a shot if he plays what he’s dealt and doesn’t think too much about what everyone else is doing. Now, obviously, you have to think about their plays and their cards, but I think that people who think they can absolutely “read” someone who just joined their table is beyond stupid. There are tells you can pick up, from glancing at your hole cards when three hearts hit the board to asking how much someone just bet before they grab their chips to call. But it’s stupid to think that you can sit across from someone you just met and “put them on a hand.” I look at it this way. That one casino Limit game I played, I had pocket QQ in an early hand. I checked the flop when an A hit, and when a Q hit the turn, bet out from early position, and got folders all around me. I only showed my QQ when a guy across the table said, “Ah, you hit your two pair or set with that, didn’t you?” I figured by showing him that he “figured me out,” that I could steal a pot or two later with junk by raising when apparent “help” hit me on the turn. And I did. If he wanted to “put me” on a big slick when I’m holding 98s, he’s welcome to do so. As long as I play without worrying too much about everyone else’s cards, I think I’ll be all right.
5) Patience, patience, patience… - I think this is where I could either have a big advantage, or lose a tournament from stupidity. There are some days I feel that my patience is an asset, other days where I start tilting just because I get bored. I don’t necessarily see this being a problem at a NL tournament for money, as I normally play really patient at our home games, and those go for hours upon hours. But it could be the thing that bites me in the ass. I know it’ll be the thing that probably bites Bob in the ass though. He’s a gambler, not a patient card player.
All told, I feel that I play good instinctual poker for a newbie, and that I have a comfortable grasp on the mathematics that are inherent in making good decisions on chasing draws. I’m really anxious to get into a tournament setting and see if my home game victories can translate over into something bigger and better.
Just Some Things
I think I’m calmed down enough to mention the mother of the two year old model who ran headfirst into a piece of playground equipment in a city park. Apparently, she feels that because he took a pole in the grill, he can’t work and the city should be responsible to pay wages he would have earned, but now cannot.
Aren’t kids supposed to run face first into poles? It must really suck to have your little cash cow crapping out on you, huh mom? One day he’s modeling Pull-Up training pants for $500, and the next day he gets a bruise on his forehead and is worthless to you. Except, of course, as a method of extorting money from the taxpayers.
Seen on the license plate of an exterminator’s truck today: BYBYBUGZ
Ever see that movie “Conspiracy Theory” starring Mel Gibson as a cabbie in NYC with all sorts of crazy ideas that the government is out to get him? Search on “Sam Sloan” (in quotes, just like that), and tell me that movie isn’t patterned after this dude in some way, shape or form. I’d give you the link (I.s.h.i.p.r.e.s.s.), but I don’t really want this dude coming to pay me a visit over here. Fascinating stuff. Oh, and at the bottom of his page he’s linked to a set of old Playboy photos (either an old girlfriend, or he was the photographer, or both) from some chick in the 60s. But his ramblings about how his daughter was kidnapped by the government are pretty interesting, to say the least. For a guy who imagines himself a web designer, he’s got a pretty lousy website, but chock full of crap to keep you busy.
Denver’s exit from the playoffs doomed my last (of two) NFL Futures bets I made in February at the Hilton in Las Vegas. I had the Jets at 10-1 (with Coles and Pennington and that defense, that could have happened) and the Broncos at 18-1 (I hate the Broncos, and figured they’d do well just to spite me). Now, I’ve got nothing. By the way, Bob must be seething that Manning lit up the Broncos in the playoffs instead of Week 16 when it counted for him in the fantasy league playoffs. That performance by Peyton Manning would have given him the victory and an extra $270 or so. Ouch.
Public Service Announcement
You know who I feel really bad for? Barb. I don’t know Barb except that I know she’s in school somewhere in Wisconsin, and is apparently on Winter Break. And I know I can list her among my faithful readership. But I’m guessing she hasn’t been keeping up in her reading over the break, and with as much as I put down in print on the daily, she’ll be catching up all day long. Well, it’s better than sitting through an Accounting class lecture, that’s for sure.
By the way, on her site way back, Barb mentions having problems finding a guy. Well Barb, are you in luck today. I feel like sharing my secrets. So here we go…
Dorky Barb’s Guide to Finding a Man
You may as well call me “Dorky BG,” Barb, as I never really had much luck finding a woman. But, as they say, “those who can’t do, teach.” So pull up a chair, grab a pen, and please extinguish all smoking devices, as I’m about to give you your guide to finding a man.
LESSON ONE – Because you are a woman (presumably, you never do know on the Internet Barb), it’s really up to you to make the most important distinction up front for your search. Is it about landing a husband, landing a long-term relationship, having someone to cuddle with, or getting laid?
If it’s about getting laid, I’m here to tell you that you don’t really need to read any farther. Well, you should read Anna’s site thoroughly for instruction, but basically it boils down to this: grab a guy, make it happen. You’re a girl. All you have to do is want it.
I’m guessing, though, that you’re looking for something more deep and meaningful. But still fun. Can’t have a college relationship without fun, right? Still, it’s important to make the distinction above to understand what you want out of the relationship.
If you’re looking for a husband… Shop older men. Plain and simple. Find someone with a job, a house, and hopefully no other children.
If you’re looking for a long-term relationship… Dig through your pool of friends, past and present. I’m here to damn near guarantee you that there’s one tortured soul in your past or present that pines/pined for you, and would walk across hot coals to bring you flowers. It’ll just be up to you to get over that “friend” hump. Heh heh heh… I said “hump.”
If you’re looking for someone with which to cuddle… You’ve got gay friends, right? That’s what they’re good for. You’re going to have to do better than that to keep a real man interested. Pfft. Cuddling. Buy a teddy bear.
LESSON TWO – Wal-Mart, Target, or Marshall Fields.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I have a theory. It’s called the “ugly people at the mall” theory. It’s really my way of saying that if a bucktoothed slack-jawed yokel can find an emaciated sunken-eyed roadhouse barmaid to share his life with, then there absolutely positively is someone for me out there too.
In other words, there’s someone for everyone.
Where I always got into trouble was shooting too high to actually score.
I’m no GQ model dude. I’m slightly overweight, have a below average wardrobe, a bad haircut, and drive what looks like your Grandpa’s Buick. But, I’m reasonably smart, can make good conversation, and am a pretty good dude once you get to know me. So I’m a Target shopper. I shouldn’t be going to Marshall Field’s to find a woman. Out of my price range.
You’ve got to ask yourself, “Of all the men I’ve been pining for, how many of them are truly in my league?”
If you’re a solid 6.5 on the 1-10 scale (cute enough face, but Lorenzo Lamas would be running out of batteries in his laser pointer, let’s say), you can land guys from about a 5 to about an 8 on that same scale. Without a boatload of chutzpah, a guy can only shop about half a point up or down on that scale. Women have more leeway.
The best advice I can give you is to make sure your rose-colored glasses are off, and make a point to meet as many people as you can within your legitimate range. Be forward, introduce yourself, and invite yourself into their group of friends. Just like all girls have a couple of good-looking friends, all guys usually do as well.
I’m about a 6.5-7.0 on the scale. That’s just first impressions though. If I land in the right group, I can actually go all the way up to about a 7.5 if the conversation is good. That has enabled me to land a couple of 8.0+ caliber dates, where I know I’m probably not going to get them walking up to these women cold. But if it weren’t for staying within my league, I wouldn’t have met these women through their friends at all.
LESSON THREE – Shake what your mama gave you.
No, no, not like that. Well, maybe. If you can belly dance like Shakira, use it, but what I really mean is that we’re all good at something. Find it, exploit it, and make it pay off.
It sounds dumb, but I’ve used everything from my ability to cook a great meal to my understanding of how Reaganomics benefited the Clinton presidency to pique the curiosity of women.
You’ve got a lot of things that I bet you’re great at. Find a way to shine, and you’ll make an impression.
LESSON FOUR – It’s all on you.
Sad, but true. You know, if you’re a really attractive woman, dating must be really easy. You just sit back and wait for men to ask you out. Then you go, they pay, you decide what to do about them.
For the rest of us, it’s not as simple. Especially when you’re not a spectacular looking woman who can land spectacular looking men.
You need to remember one thing. If you’re a dork (maybe you aren’t, I’m guessing from the name), you’re probably going to find a dork to date. I’m a dork. I date dorks. I know how it goes. The thing is, most of these guys have about zero self-confidence.
If you show overt interest, you’ll get what you’re looking for. It’s all on you.
And remember, I said “overt.” Guys don’t play games well, we respond in puzzling, random ways to “signals,” and aren’t going to jump your bones unless explicitly invited by notarized proclamation.
It’s all on you.
LESSON FIVE – Finding a man.
Again, referencing lesson three, shop within your price range.
But find places where you can find men of similar interest. Tag along with girlfriends who have boyfriends with roommates. Become a valuable euchre partner. Have a friend you don’t go places with often include you in something they’re doing.
And talk to people. It’s up to you to do that.
LESSON SIX – If all else fails…
Feel free to email me dirty letters, and I’ll return the favor. I can be your “safe at a distance because he doesn’t know who I am” Internet boyfriend (sorry Anna, I’ll leave the option to Barb). And you can feel free to share my letters with all your friends as “proof” of your torrid affair over Winter Break with the vacationing boy from Michigan.
Maybe I’d write you bad poetry too, but so precious little rhymes with Barb.
Anything I can do to help, just let me know…
FIVE VERY DIVERSE THINGS THAT ARE COMPLETELY UNDERRATED
1. Root beer barrels – This goes especially for the Brach’s ones.
2. Blues Guitarist Mike Bloomfield – Greatest Jewish guitarist of all time.
3. Airplane travel – I could be in Italy in less than a half a day. Do you have any idea how long it took my Grandfather to make the trip in his day? For all our bitching and moaning, airplane travel is wildly underappreciated.
4. Darrell Hammond’s impression of Bill Clinton – This bears its own list (coming up next), but Hammond’s impression of Clinton is the greatest SNL impression of all time. No small feat considering Phil Hartman, Dana Carvey, and others are all geniuses in their own right.
5. The red wines of Chile – How could it have taken them so long to put such wonderfully drinkable wine on American shelves?
MY TOP TEN FAVORITE SNL IMPRESSIONS
1. Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton
2. (tie) Frank Sinatra by Joe Piscopo/Phil Hartman – I can’t choose one over the other. I think Piscopo probably nailed the abrasive Sinatra more than Hartman, but Hartman was much more genuinely funny.
3. Eddie Murphy as an adult Buckwheat – I don’t care if you don’t count this one, I’m putting it on my list as an impression. Now, if only Velvet Jones were a real person…
4. Dana Carvey as Ross Perot – I especially love that scene where he and Admiral James Stockdale (Hartman) are in the car and he drives Stockdale out to the middle of nowhere and lets him go. Great stuff.
5. Norm MacDonald as Bob Dole – I had a hard time choosing between this one and Norm’s Letterman and Burt Reynolds impersonations. I don’t think Norm’s good enough to be on this list two or three times, so Dole gets it on the strength of that MTV “Real World” parody.
6. John Belushi as Marlon Brando – Perfectly captured.
7. Darrell Hammond as the maniacal Sean Connery on “Celebrity Jeopardy” – “An Album Cover” becomes “Anal Bum Cover” was so dumb and so freaking funny.
8. Darrell Hammond as Richard Dreyfus – I absolutely loved it when Dreyfus was in the C-3PO costume and going nuts for his “Star Wars” audition tape. That was so damned funny.
9. John Belushi as Joe Cocker – Who could tell the difference side by side?
10. Will Ferrell as George W. Bush – He really grew into this role over time. My favorite had to be the debate sketch where he announced that the one word that summed up his campaign was, “Strategery.”
Honorable mention, non-cast member – Kevin Spacey as Walter Matthau as Obi-Wan Kenobi is comedy gold. Love that crap.
Sunday, January 04, 2004
Desi Story: "All Aunties, Housewives, Unsatisfied wives can Contact me for Great boobs massaging and I am an expert in it. I have special oils and creams for massaging to make your boobs big and sexy. So don't waste time, contact me immediately. It’s all free for you. For proving you I have before and after massage, boobs photographs of different women. If u wants I will mail you."
Hoo boy. This guy and I share a page on a google search for "side boob." One can only hope he isn't telling the truth in this story of his.
Virtual Fortune Cookie Machine
I got this one from a real cookie today:
"Frequent conversations will fill your heart with joy."
I'll let you know how this one turns out. But why would the cookie lie? They're so tasty...
Poker Pages: Weekly Tournament Listings
Filing this away for future reference... Soaring Eagle in Mount Pleasant apparently has a Sunday afternoon NL Hold 'Em event for a $50 buy-in. Looking forward to giving that a try!
According to early morning television commercials, the two things most lacking in American households must be techno-pop dance groove CD collections and a cheap and easy way to remove body hair.
Is anyone else having these problems?
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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