|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, March 13, 2004
Currently on ESPN Classic...
I hate Notre Dame, but I live on the pain a Notre Dame victory over the University of Michigan puts in the souls of Wolverine fans.
On TV right now? 1989, UM vs ND. Two KO returns for TD by Rocket Ismail, probably the greatest college football player at his position in the past 25 years.
One of the benefits to unpacking fully, after two plus years of having crap still in boxes after fleeing my miserable marriage, is being able to have all my stuff out in its proper place again. Here then, are a couple of top ten lists that I came up with, based solely on having all my stuff out of boxes again.
Top Ten Surprises From Moving Day
1) I didn't pack my $100 coffee maker when I moved, which is surprising, as the ex-Mrs-BG didn't drink coffee, and I'm sure wouldn't have fought me on that item. I had to go buy a $20 Mr. Coffee machine, which I guess will have to do.
2) Two years in a box will make your towels smell rather musty. Packing them with one of those scented-soy-husk-neck-roll-therapy-things will make them smell with a faint hint of musty lavender.
3) While I seem to have taken every last large cooking utensil (spatulas, wooden spoons), I took very few pieces of plastic or ceramic cookware, leaving few options for storing things like extra pasta sauce in the fridge.
4) I only have four things (two foot tall Voltron toy excluded) that could conceivably be called "knick knacks." First is the Bob's Big Boy bank I got for Xmas (with "Sweetie Boy" on his chest, which I, apparently, used to call him). Secondly, I have a blue and silver wax dipped Maker's Mark bottle autographed by Detroit Lion Shaun Rogers. Third is a Norwegian carved figurine of some coneheaded dude playing a big horn (or smoking a big pipe, right Thor?) with an enormous erection. Good stuff. Lastly, I have a small Fred Taylor (RB, Jacksonville) action figure/talisman, featuring "Ouch, My Groin" action. He's the only item here that didn't make it on to my far-too-spare dedicated-knick-knack-shelves on my bookcase.
5) Two years in boxes gives one little idea as to what he might have in cookware. As a result, adding my recent purchase to the mix, I have four colanders.
6) When you live with a woman, multi-colored Fiestaware is fun. When you're a dude on your own, multi-colored Fiestaware is bound to raise eyebrows.
7) Although I can't drink hard alcohol (liver problems), and don't keep it around the house as a result, I have every tool necessary for a home bar. From a small cutting board to a jigger, from little ice cube tongs to a shaker straining pouring sieve.
8) Even though I've weighed the same for about five years now, for some reason I still have two boxes thick of skinny-BG clothes.
9) The "Def Jam 4CD Retrospective" is pretty damned funky. I had totally forgotten I owned that.
10) I unearthed two long-forgotten cans of DeLallo Italian Plum Tomatoes With Basil from my kitchen boxes. I can't find those (my favorite) tomatoes anywhere anymore, so... Score!
Bottom Ten Books On My Bookshelf
1) "Bump And Run" by Mike Lupica - a gift that I got about fifty pages into before remembering that I fucking hate that squirrely bastard Lupica and he should just shut the fuck up.
2) "God's Other Son" by Don Imus - another moonlighting asshole. Didn't get far in this one either. It was crap.
3) "Beloved" by Toni Morrison - Oh man did I fucking hate this book. I'm sure she's a talented lady, but I just really didn't dig on this one at all.
4) "Stung" by Gary Ross - and the movie ("Owning Mahoney") was worse. I got this one as a gift, and did read it all the way through. I can't imagine a drier interpretation of what could have been an exciting story.
5) "Fletch and the Widow Bradley" by Gregory McDonald - Let me save you the trouble of reading the first 25% of this book and flipping to the end to confirm that you did, indeed, have this figured out. The "Widow Bradley's" ex-husband got a sex change. He's still alive. That's why the memo from him seemed to come from "beyond the grave." I just saved you two hours of your life. You're welcome.
6) "Demian" by Hermann Hesse - the more I think about Hesse, the more I think that Nietscheian viewpoint can make one sound like a pretty egotistical fucking bastard when writing. I really used to like this book, but just can't get there anymore.
7) "Confessions..." by "Larry Sanders," aka Garry Shandling - trite, tripe, trying "tell-all" by a fake talk show host. Oy. Does not come remotely close to capturing any of the brilliance of that show on any level.
8) "Wilderness" by Jim Morrison - OK, so I own a book of Jim Morrison's poetry. Would you give me some of my dignity back if I told you I have poetry books by Quincy Troupe, WB Yeats, Lou Reed, and Langston Hughes as well?
9) "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff At Work" by whoever is responsible for this travesty - I got this book as a "thanks for playing" present from the people with whom I used to work. I could make a top ten list of what they should have spent $14 on instead of this bullshit I'll never read, but let's just say they should have bought me a bottle of wine, and left me to get drunk on my own. Although, that's probably me just getting angry because they moved my cheese or something. I need a little Chicken Soup for the Sniper with the High Powered Rifle on the Clock Tower or something.
10) "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles - I get it, I get it... The tree is life, the fall is a fall from grace. Yeah, yeah. Water = baptism. Uh huh. They oughta just issue teachers who insist on having their barely-literate ninth graders read this garbage a sledgehammer with which to bludgeon the obvious symbolism into their students' heads.
No explanations, just ten books from my collection I'd suggest if you were to ask
1) "Fast Food Nation" - by Eric Schlosser
2) "A Man In Full" - by Tom Wolfe
3) "Confess, Fletch" - by Gregory McDonald
4) "The Outsider" - by Richard Wright
5) "Kitchen Confidential" - by Anthony Bourdain
6) "Seabiscuit" - by Laura Hillenbrand
7) "Miles" - by Miles Davis and Quincy Troupe
8) "Hold Em Poker For Advanced Players" - by Sklansky/Malmuth
9) "The 158 Pound Marriage" - by John Irving
10) "High Fidelity" - by Nick Hornby
Ten CDs With Which To Start a Jazz Collection
1) "Kind of Blue" - Miles Davis - This is the Rosetta Stone, the Holy Koran, the Torah from which all great album collections should start. All-star lineup, gorgeous music, amazing solos, never ever gets old after hundreds of listenings.
2) "My Favorite Things" - John Coltrane - It's amazing what these artists can do with corny showtunes, and having a familiar melody around which to wrap your head while Coltrane does his best to blow your mind from there is wonderful.
3) "Everybody Digs Bill Evans" - Bill Evans - Piano trio work from the master. As a general rule, I don't buy white-guy jazz. Except for Bill Evans.
4) "Jazz at Massey Hall" - The Quintet - You've got the greatest players of the be-bop era at each position here. Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charlie Mingus, Max Roach, and the G.O.A.T. Charlie Parker. Amazing document of the be-bop era.
5) "Smokin' At The Half Note" - Wes Montgomery - There's something impressive and vital about how hard this album swings. It goes to show you how great all these musicians are, considering they didn't really play together before this date, showed up, and laid down a classic live album. Wes' guitar jazz is eminently listenable, and any Wynton Kelly-led rhythm section swings hard, but is very approachable.
6) "Speak No Evil" - Wayne Shorter - Shorter was a very fluid esoteric soloist. I'm not even sure what I mean by that, but I'm trying to say that you can tell there's something complex about his musical structures, but this group really allows the listener in and brings them to the music. Beautiful stuff.
7) "John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman" - Hartman was a smoky voiced jazz singer, and the ballads they record here are so lush and so gorgeous. Great bedroom jazz.
8) "In A Silent Way" - Miles Davis - "Fusion" jazz sometimes runs the route of being aggressive and full of those blisteringly fast solos. In what is one of the first fusion albums, Miles coordinates a structural suite around a couple of motifs, and the music is more ruminating than it is blistering.
9) "Sonny Rollins Vol. 2" - Rollins is a very conversational soloist on his tenor sax, and matching him up with the very different Thelonious Monk on piano on a couple of tracks really sparks some magic.
10) One of the following: "Workin'," "Steamin'," "Relaxin'," or "Cookin'" - Miles Davis Quintet - In order for Miles to get out of his contract with Prestige and join Columbia Records, he owed them four albums. He brought his first great quintet into the studio, and cut four albums over the course of two sessions. All this stuff is spectacular. A young Coltrane is growing into a tremendous player, the rhythm section plays beautifully, and Miles shines, especially on his ballads. I guarantee you that if you buy one of these albums, you'll own all four within a month.
Moving Day Is Done...
Thank God. 99% of the heavy lifting is done. I've got my living room set up, my kitchen unpacked, and dishes done.
I have a room full of steel-sak garbage bags full of clothes hastily dumped off of shelves, now all over the floor. I also have a multitude of pictures left to hang. And a side table for my living room still in the flat-packed IKEA box left to build.
And laundry detergent to buy, a refrigerator and pantry to clean out at my other place, and shirts to grab from there as well.
Oh, and I still don't have my bed. I have to find someone with a truck willing to help me out in that regard.
Thanks to Littlest Bro for helping with the move. We had everything done by 1030AM yesterday.
Two moving notes:
1) If you need services performed by utility companies that necessitate a visit to your home, schedule a Friday. I had Two Men And A Truck (who barely got my enormous couch up a narrow, twisting staircase), the cable company, and the phone company all looking "between 1 and 5" for their visits. All three landed here within 90 seconds of each other promptly at 115PM. My guess is that happy hour starts for them as soon as Friday's done, and they all were anxious for that to happen.
2) I stopped just short of boiling my refrigerator in a big vat of bleachy water when I found the last of someone's prescription box of rectal suppositories in my butter door. Mental note, when moving out of your house, take your fucking rectal suppositories with you next time.
Thursday, March 11, 2004
Another Blogger Tournament Post
Loads o’ fun last night in the second NL Poker Blogger Tournament. Big huge congrats go to both Otis and Chris, who placed first and second respectively.
It just goes to show you what patience and cards can do for you. Both those guys were nearly dead in the water at the final table. And amazingly, they both clawed their way back from the precipice of doom to crack Pauly’s big stack and knock the once powerfully McGrupp out in third.
As for me, I finished tenth. I was happy I made the final table (of the 28 entrants), but made an all-in steal attempt with JTs from middle position (on the first final table hand), only to be taken out when a big stack was dealt KK. I did make top pair on the board (T), but it wasn’t enough.
Aside from an early ugly loss (two pair to a straight) to HDub, I played some pretty good poker through the middle of the tournament. Here were some of my highlights:
>>Pushing all-in pre-flop against Grubby, who was trying to steal-raise from late position. I had a nice size stack, was on the BB, and would have chopped him off at the knees had I caught a flop. What was I holding? 24s. Kicking yourself now Grubs?
>>I knocked out Ugarte in early action, when he pushed all-in on an Ace-high flop. I was holding AQ, and thought he probably had an Ace with a smaller kicker. I was right, but he paired his 9 on the turn, giving him two pair. Thankfully, the river paired a flopped T, and it was back to judging kickers, and I knocked him out.
>>When we were down to about 18-20 players, I caught a fairly magical run of high Aces and connecting face cards. It worked out beautifully, as my 3X BB raising stole five or six sets of blinds over two rotations, and pushed me up into second place with 18 players left to go.
>>For one part of one hand, when Grubby had chips on the table, I was, but for a moment, the chip leader of the whole thing.
While enough can’t be said about any poker portal’s propensity to provide (grrr…) private poker parties to paying patrons (OK, now I’m just pissing myself off), True Poker is certainly not a place I’d be comfortable playing regularly. First off, their blind structure was a little aggressive. 13 minute levels, and doubling blinds each time. We were done in under two hours. Secondly, the tiny little slider used to select a raise amount was ludicrously difficult to master, especially ham handed on a touchpad mouse laptop. Third, too much talking. The chat log feature was nice, but the avatar players were annoying and obnoxious after about four minutes of goofing with them.
But True Poker does provide an interesting environmental alternative to PartyPoker. To say the least.
All in all, I’m really quite happy with my showing last night, except for that last hand. Even with ascending blinds, that attempted steal at a table of ten probably made no sense. Maybe five or six handed, sure. But JTs isn’t going to get you very far when you’re the low stack.
Ten Warning Signs That You Might Be Married To My Ex-Wife
A Public Service Announcement
1 – You find yourself in at least week three of your stand-off on who’s going to clean her cats’ litter boxes.
2 – You’ve been sleeping with the woman for at least six months, and you’re still unsure of what she looks like naked in a reasonably lit room.
3 – You’re home from your ten hours at the office, she’s unshowered, in her pajamas, presumably having occupied the same space on the couch since “waking up” at noon, the house is a disaster, and she asks you what you’re making her for dinner.
4 – The second the topic of capping her unbridled spending is broached, your manhood and ability to provide for your family is assailed with soul-crushing speed and intensity.
5 – The only thing you begin to have in common is a mutual contempt, but unwillingness to be the first to walk away.
6 – The parts of yourself that you dislike the most are open season for constant dissection, even in conversation with family, friends, and in front of strangers.
7 – Your lack of energy after an hour drive to work, ten hours in the office, and an hour drive home becomes her excuse for getting fatter (not just fat, fatter).
8 – Her fuzzy math and lack of logic makes discussing household budget concerns with her pointless. However, when told she can’t afford to do something, her excuse becomes supporting you for the two months you were unemployed eight months ago with the job she used to have, even though she’s technically unemployed (er, “self-employed”) currently.
9 – She doesn’t find anything the least bit wrong with surreptitiously dating other guys, and even asks you to wait for her to visit one overseas for a month, just to let her come back to you to figure things out in the “marriage” (uh, no thanks).
10 – When a nice old lady in a restaurant tells her she looks like Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, you have to bite your tongue before blurting out, “No, she just looks like she ate Tiffani-Amber Thiessen.”
If warning signs persist, please consult your attorney. That is all.
Sidebar to “Warning Signs” just above
You know, it’s possible she comes here and reads this site. I do have one visitor from England that doesn’t use a referring link to visit.
Eh, what do I care about being nice? I’m not the cheater.
Ten Years Gone…
Some memories fade.
Amanda, Andrea, Angela.
No, that’s not it.
What wouldn’t I have done for you at the time? Hell, what wouldn’t I have done to you as well? My god, for someone whose every nuance, every awkward, yet self-assured moment is so indelibly scratched into my brain, why can’t I for my life remember your name?
Beth, Berta, Christine.
I knew a Berta, just for a bit. She had red hair too. Not like yours. Not the carrot-top red you wore with pride. Hers was more of the strawberry blonde.
That’s where the comparisons stopped though. Berta was a wallflower. Berta was a porcelain doll. I’m not sure that either of those things could ever have been pinned on you.
Denise, Dorothy, Erin.
This is killing me.
I remember so much of you. Shooting goofy half-cocked grins with full intent across the floor of the restaurant at each other. Getting you laughing that unabashedly unrestrained way that was ridiculously infectious. Absolutely killing the boys in any beer-for-beer showdown you faced.
I’m reasonably sure your name doesn’t start with an F or G, and you’re not a Heather, Holly, Hunter, or Iris either.
You came to me at the best and worst possible moment. Angelique was in throes of worship, and far be it from me to stop that girl from throwing herself all over me. I had confidence and satisfaction in spades. I was getting laid. Constantly. And it was rarely less than just spectacular. And with the possibility of Jenel still lurking out there too, I wasn’t looking.
I didn’t have to.
You were far too… everything to just be a Jenny.
We walked the ledges once. All day. I was deep in the middle of Angelique, and of that you were conscious. We sat in the grass in the middle of the park and just talked. Talked that loaded kind of conversation that can’t possibly topple into flirting, but was certainly threatening to.
Talking about everything and nothing, but always – always – everything.
You wanted to go to Colorado. There was a guy there, one of your “used to’s,” and he had a couch. I’m not sure there was much of a plan beyond that, but I’m pretty sure you didn’t really need one anyway.
Kelly, Katie, Lisa, Laura, Michelle, Mandy.
Jesus, this is bothering me.
One day, you were just gone.
That didn’t surprise me at all.
I wasn’t there, but I’d guess there was a bus ticket, a couple of sandwiches, and a wry smile on your face, knowing Colorado was only twenty-something hours away.
Where there’d be a friend. A couch.
You could have asked me to go. The logical thing, to stay and finish school and graduate, well… some guys will follow a beautiful girl anywhere she wants to lead him.
Penny Lane: “Do you want to go to Morocco?”
I didn’t realize how much I missed you until I knew for sure you were gone. Actually, the first shift you missed after that day on the ledges, I knew you were gone. Forehead pressed against the glass of the Greyhound bus, Iowa cornfields slowly whipping by, and that magnetic smile just plastered across your face.
I missed you instantly, and I’ve missed you since.
And it slays me that I can’t remember your name.
I was in a theatre a few weeks back, and six rows up and twelve seats over, there you were. It wasn’t you, of course, but it could have been. It could have been you nine years ago. It was the smile. It was the face. It was the pure electricity in your eyes.
I know we didn’t know each other long, and I know that I can’t presume to really know you anymore at all anyway, nor you I, but just know that I miss you.
And everything you were. As it was.
And really, how it should have been.
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Can a brother get a kicker up in this joint?
I played last night in a $9+$1 NL multi satellite for the $200k guaranteed Saturday tournament. 377 entered, with 15 seats being given away for the big one.
My main attraction to this tournament was that I figured that the play would probably be a lot tighter than the usual $5+$1 multis I play in, which I thought would lend itself better to my game. The tournament certainly didn’t disappoint in that regard.
In my estimation, I played nearly 50 hands on the first table at which I was seated. Without actual stats, I’d guess that while we did see flops on 90% of the hands, we only saw showdowns on about 5%.
Self-preservation was the name of the game.
I promised myself I’d play patient poker. I needed to do so as a confidence boost more than anything, as I’ve had a bit of an itchy trigger finger lately, and I need to just buckle down and play solid, and only play truly playable hands.
It does help, however, to get dealt truly playable hands.
I don’t know what my problem is lately on these multis. I can’t seem to put two cards together in the hole. Well, that’s not entirely true. I got every pocket pair south of 66 dealt to me last night, folded the ones from early position, and never once made a flopped set. I also landed TT and 99, but both were brutalized with massive overcard flops. Outside of the pocket pairs, I never once saw suited face cards, saw an unsuited slick once, KQ once, AJ twice, and that’s about it.
So I folded nearly everything I was dealt in early position, most of the late position stuff, and only limped carefully a few times with the few low suited connectors I got near the button. Nothing ever touched me on the flop.
I did have one good early hand that spun me from 900 to nearly 1200. I was dealt KT unsuited on the button, and made a marginal raise. I had a few chase, and saw TJ8 hit the flop. All checked to me, I made it another 50 or so to go, and only one followed. Another 8 on the turn, another check, and another 50. When the 9 came on the river, putting an easy open ended straight on the board, I was checked to yet again, and went in for 250. Total semi-bluff with second pair, but it was enough to scare the guy off.
That was my only decent victory of the night.
I was patient. I was folding like a cheap card table. I was waiting for playable hands.
They never arrived.
I did last until Level 6 (I think), which is when the blinds were 75/150. I was two off the big blind, and had almost 600 in chips, making me the low stack at the table. I was dealt KQo, and I tried to just limp in. Another low stack, a guy with 1300 or so, pushed all-in pre-flop for the third time in five hands. He stole the other two times, but I was guessing that he was holding a hand that could only be a slight favorite at worst to mine. Sadly, the big stack (6000 or so) at the table also pushed all-in, and it was the three of us. My KQo, steal-raiser’s QJo, and, you guessed it, big stack’s AA.
So, my night was over, placing somewhere in the 135th place neighborhood.
Just once I want to play in one of these multis where I’m dealt a few more hands that let me see flops, where I see a few more flops that let me see turns, and a few more turns that help me see rivers.
I don’t really feel like my poker skills were put to the test last night at all. I won probably three pots total out of nearly 125 hands (guesstimate) I was dealt, and only showed down on one. I want to have the opportunity to make a tough decision with top pair with a bad kicker, or four to the flush with two cards to go against a possible full house. Something.
Last night wasn’t that night. It’s obvious when you’re holding low suited connectors and a flop hits with rainbow overcards that you should get out. It’s obvious that your pair of pocket deuces needs a set on the flop to make sense to play further. It’s obvious that if your ten makes a second pair to an Ace on the flop, but there’s five players who saw the flop with you, you’re probably sunk.
Maybe I’m whining, but I want to have a chance one of these times to make the money. I want to go into the second break with at least an average chip count, or one that isn’t going to be blinded off in two rotations of hands like 94o and Q3s. I’m not asking for rockets all the time, but once in awhile they’d be nice.
In the News…
Only at Wal-Mart would someone think this would work. A woman with a cart (or three) full of about $1700 in merchandise tried to pay for her purchases with a (counterfeit) million dollar bill. If you’re trying to pass phony bills of that denomination, why Wal-Mart? Why not the local Jaguar dealer? Or find a Saks or something in an upscale mall. Wal-Mart?
In RTATS news, I’d like to thank the many, many people who visited me on Tuesday. It was quite a nice little spike according to my counter, with about a 30% increase in my usual traffic. Specific thanks go to HDub, as I got A LOT of traffic from him yesterday in particular. Looks like there’s quite a few people checking in with Henry on the daily.
I’m also getting near-daily hits from people desperately looking for pictures of current and soon-to-be former Fox 2 Detroit anchor Lucy Noland naked. Trust me guys, if I had those pictures, there’d be a $5.95/mo price tag on reading this blog. Good god is she hot.
I read that the NFL is scrapping their plans to have another pre-game concert before their opener “in the wake of the Super Bowl halftime show.” It’s really amazing how one loose boob a month and a half ago still has America paralyzed.
BOOBGATE DAY 46 – AMERICA HELD HOSTAGE – More fallout today from the Super Bowl’s halftime show. All concerts by all R&B, rap, and rock artists have been cancelled across the nation for the remainder of this year. Ticketmaster spokesman Ron Schindleman confirms the news, “In this post-Janet Jackson world, we just can’t take any chances.” In other Justin and Janet news, threats of impending indecency charges are communicated to Clear Channel Communications, the owning and operating company of nearly 2000 radio stations nationwide. Clear Channel’s CEO reacts by dictating a complete format switch effective immediately nationwide. “Effective tomorrow, all music stations will move to the popular ‘adult contemporary’ format, featuring your favorites like James Taylor and Jim Croce. All talk stations will now carry the Fox News Radio feed out of New York.”
Look, I think it makes some sense that a mom shouldn’t have to worry about her kids seeing nudity and hearing the “f” word on broadcast TV. I just think that the people in power who are all for regulating morality are using the national attention that event generated as the catalyst for moving their agenda forward. That scares me.
In news on the home front, Littlest Brother got himself a job. No longer will he be sucking from the teat of unemployment! I know he was excited to get back into the workforce. Being unemployed sucks, but in some ways it’s like taking a little vacation. It’s when that unemployment drags out that things become problematic.
Got a call at work this morning from Bob, who’s in LA at a sales conference. If you remember, he flew out a few days early to visit Santa Anita and the card rooms of the area.
I hope he’s got it in him to write up his trip when he returns (next week), but I will mention that he hit a royal freaking flush in a $2/$4 Limit game at Hollywood Park, and raked a $50+ pot. I’ve hit quads about three times now, have drawn to one straight flush, but never have been graced with a royal.
Detroit today signed Tai Streets to a one year deal.
I guess Streets was probably the best remaining guy on the market at WR, but this is a guy who not only couldn’t practice down the stretch due to a bum knee, but lost snaps to a (pretty good, at least) rookie in the latter half of the season.
I guess a one year deal doesn’t obligate the Lions to much. It’s one of those toothpaste/spackle jobs. You know, the ones where you have so many holes to fill that you just smear some toothpaste over the crater and move on?
What irritates me is this: This is probably the deepest draft in ten years for WR talent. It’s also tremendously top heavy at the position. There are two absolute stud picks, and three more guys who are top ten caliber talents. Between this signing, tendering Scotty Anderson an offer, the signings of McCord and Gaylor from Atlanta, the progression (one would hope) of David Kircus, and Az Hakim and Charles Rogers, there really isn’t a defined “need” to chase that position.
So where do the Lions need the most help? LB. Where it just happens to be the weakest draft in ten years at that position.
If my eternal pessimism needed any further catalyst than being a Lions fan provides…
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
Misery Loves Company
Poor Frye the Dog.
I think I gave him my cold. I’ve been wheezing and sneezing for about a week now, and for the past couple of days he’s been sneezing too.
I don’t kick colds very easily. They tend to really linger on and on, and it’s really distressing. I almost took yesterday off of work (I did take it off from blogging) due to feeling, as I like to put it, thick with snot.
So, as I’ve had a cold which has kept my activity level below the already minimal levels at which it normally exists, I don’t have a lot of “here’s what’s happening in my world” type of updates today.
I suppose I could ramble a bit about K, which I’ll probably do a little later. For now, however, I’ll just touch on a few topics:
Jealousy, thy name is BG
Freaking Bob. He is on a business trip in Los Angeles this week, and took the opportunity to fly out a few days early to spend the weekend doing what Bob does best.
So, on a cold and blustery Michigan Saturday afternoon, the phone rings. It’s Bob. Just checking in to let me know he got in alright?
How about just calling to rub it in that he’s currently at Santa Anita on Big ‘Cap Day. He got to see my boy Buddy Gil run! The biggest races I’ve ever seen live and in person is the $50k Michigan Sire Stakes program. At good ol’ GLD. Freaking Bob.
Then, late on Sunday night he calls and leaves a message that he played in a NL Satellite tournament out in LA (presumably at the Bicycle), and finished second. While second doesn’t pay in a satellite, he was just playing for fun anyway. Second place!
Here I am having a lousy time playing on Saturday night in the home game (crap cards + ill-timed bluffs + being really tired = impatient self-destructive poker), and Bob gets to be out in LA’s warmth playing NL in a card room. Bastard.
I need a vacation.
Moving day for me is coming up on Friday. I had enlisted Mike to help me, particularly with getting my massive couch up the winding staircase to my apartment.
Mike, however, has bulging discs (is that right?) in his back, and is currently without health insurance. Mom came through with an offer to enlist Two Men And A Truck to move my couches for me. That’s awesome. Aside from the couches, there’s really only a bed, a TV, a futon, and my heavier Ikea boxes that need two to move. And all that stuff will be super-easy to get up the stairs.
Assuming I’ve fully shaken my cold by then, I’m going to crack one of my three expensive bottles of wine for Friday night. I’m geeked.
Great red wine + baguette + Prosciutto + PartyPoker = my kind of fun
Just Like A Woman
One of the home game regulars told the group this weekend that he was getting divorced from his wife.
You know, all the crap consolation advice (i.e. “at least you don’t have kids”) people throw your way when this stuff happens doesn’t soften the blow in the least.
It’s OK to be angry. It’s also OK to be upset, sentimental, forlorn, confused, distressed, relieved, happy, vengeful, hopeful, depressed, or just about anything else you want to be.
There’s no one way this is supposed to go. I do, however, have some very general divorce advice I can give:
Make it Quick - Get a lawyer, get the paperwork in order, get it done. That is, if there’s no chance things are going to be repaired with counseling. If her mind is made up, don’t let things drag out.
Make it Clean - Try your best, whether it’s spelled out in the divorce decree or just coordinated in a civil manner between you two, to not have any more shared obligations once that paperwork is signed. No joint credit cards, no co-signed loans, nothing. That might not be totally practical, but hopefully it can be accomplished.
Make it Quiet - With mutual friends in the picture, be cautious about sharing too much info with too many people. This goes for during and after the divorce. Definitely find a couple of people you can trust and you can talk to, but the further they are outside of the shared circle of friends and family you have/had, the better. The less you poison the waters you share, the better. Why? Well, first, what happens if there is a reconciliation? You’re going to be spitting venom at times here, and you don’t want everyone you talk to hating her if things even out. Secondly, there’s nothing wrong with being a good guy here. Keep your anger from getting back to her, and you’ll be better off when you do need to discuss ugly matters. Third, the better and more maturely you handle this, the better a shot you’ll have down the road to bang her hot friend or little sister.
OK, bad example.
Lastly, just know that this will feel better in some ways after awhile. It really will.
Ten Things I Miss From Childhood
Little League Baseball
McDonald’s Orange Drink
Saturday morning cartoons
Chicken Fried Steak for School Lunch
Firsts (kiss, girlfriend, school play, etc)
Toilet-Papering someone’s house
Ten Things I Wouldn’t Want To Live Without
Good Dark Coffee
Lamb and Veal
Who are the people in your neighborhood?
A list of the professions of the people I consider friends of mine over the course of the last fifteen years (incomplete list):
Alternative Medicine Doctor (2)
Pool/Hot Tub Supply Salesman
Computer Repair/Networking Guy
Time Share Assistant
STD Drug Salesman
Staffer for a US Representative
Assistant Golf Pro
Four Star Hotel Banquet Coordinator
The K Chronicles
Well, I promised a rambling post, so here you go…
I found Grubby’s post about his date with his K pretty amusing. Reminds me a little of my brother (Bob), who always finds some reason to nitpick a girl out of his life. Although Grubs, to be fair, two wrongs might not make a right, but four or five wrongs make you want to get right the hell out of there.
At least she had the decency to show her stripes all in one outing.
I like K. I really do. I even think there is/was potential to date the girl.
However, I’m getting the “nope, not gonna happen” vibe big time right now. What’s terrible is that this vibe is intermittently laced with the complete opposite vibe, one that just encourages me to keep pursuing.
For example, a conversation that basically boiled down to her telling me, “Eh, you’re alright, but just know I’m not settling and I’m going to keep looking for better,” followed by her hanging off of me all day in front of my family like a girlfriend would.
I don’t get it. I really don’t.
So, I’m not going to bother trying. Look, if this was something I felt deep in my heart was exactly right, I’d probably be driving myself bonkers trying to get with her. It’s not though. I don’t know that I can date someone who takes the Lord of the Rings movie series so seriously that:
a)She and her roommates dress up as characters from the movie together for Halloween
b)She is completely humorless about making fun of the movie
Not to mention that I don’t think I can make myself get serious about someone who apparently doesn’t think enough of me after nearly two months of seeing each other often to not have the “Just to be fair to you, I’m still looking” conversation.
All right, screw me then.
It’s not like I was laying massive pressure on her or trying to push this “relationship” to places it wasn’t going to end up. What bothers me most though are the mixed signals. If I’m not the guy, fine. I’m not the guy. Frankly, I’m really quite OK with that. Just don’t dick me around with the mixed signals.
By the way, just as an experiment, I just gave her a call to try and ask her out for Friday night. Apparently, she’s not free again until Tuesday of next week. Uh huh.
So, whatever is whatever. I’m not going to stress or agonize about this stuff. There’s no point. For now I’m just going to take her off the front burner, skip the back burner altogether, and maybe find a little hotplate I can keep her on for a little while.
Any Chance We Can Change The Subject?
I haven’t seen the new Jesus movie. Nor probably will I.
Can we stop talking about it please? It’s been open for nearly three weeks, every major news source in the hemisphere has had a chance to review it and has. They’ve had op-ed pieces about it. They’ve had masked “legitimate” news stories about it. They’ve had stories about what the local churches are doing about it. They’ve had articles about its perception, about its impact, and about its message.
Stop. Really, just stop.
America’s media drives me up the wall.
Maybe it’s because I read more than one news portal on a daily basis. Maybe the major outlets for news really have become so corporately intertwined that “variety” is only the sum total of the different ways to spin a single story.
”The Passion” gets Vatican thumbs up! Bishops deny Vatican endorsement of “Passion.” “The Passion” screened by area churches. Area churches interpret “Passion” to their congregations. “The Passion” number one at box office again. Marketing tie-ins cannot escape “Passion.”
And so on, and so on.
This is what bothers me. Why we have twenty straight days of constant media coverage of a movie opening up. Is there an angle on this that hasn’t been probed? Tune in tomorrow.
Kobe. Martha. “Passion.” Super Bowl. Super Bowl fallout. FCC indecency fallout. Gay marriage.
There is seemingly no end to the news cycle for these stories. And others, of course.
Here’s a challenge for you. Just to prove my point, take any of the following names and plug them into Google on the “News” tab. If you are shut out of articles that are less than 72 hours old, you win:
Go ahead, I’ll wait…
Can’t do it, can you? “News” doesn’t die, it just turns salacious and redundant. Even the damn Lindbergh baby gets near-daily mention in some news source somewhere.
You’ve got to look real hard in this country for news that isn’t salacious, and isn’t carrying some sort of loaded political ideology. Frankly, I don’t know where to begin to look to find it.
If I were to create a news portal, I would include a box at the end of every story that says “If you do not wish to see umpteen thousand more articles about this topic over the next ten weeks, please check this box.” No more Janet/Justin, no more wacky Michael Jackson, no more JonBenet, no more Kobe, no more freaking Lindbergh baby.
Just news. Not recycled and revisited stories that are days or weeks from being fresh. New news.
Sunday, March 07, 2004
Bad-Beat-o-Meter - rating the hand I got knocked out on below
According to this, it looks like I did play the hand right...
Yesterday featured a day trip to the Northwest Chicago suburbs (sadly, passing Trump's in Gary, Blue Star in Michigan City, and other casinos) to Ikea, that wonderland of housewares and decor.
As I've mentioned, I've got an apartment I'm moving into this week, and in the interest of getting the fuck out of my marriage in a quick and clean fashion, took very little with me on the way out the door (well, aside from debt).
I thought I'd relay some of what I got. Why? Because this is my blog goddammit. Screw you and page down to the next post if you don't want to hear about buying bargain housewares.
My only purchases over $10
- Blue chenille rug - 4x6 - for my kitchen: $17
- White with blue stripes duvet cover/pillowcase set: $20
- Side table for living room: $35
- Bookcase for living room: $80
- Coffee table for living room: $80
- Green rug for living room - 6x10 - $25
All this for between $5 and $10
- Wine rack: $7
- Two towels: $7 ea
- Mixing bowl set: $6
- Rug for front door: $7
- Rug for bathroom: $9
All at or under $5
- Rug for bathroom: $5
- Tupperware type stuff set: $4
- Two bamboo shades (for french doors to my porch): $4 ea
- Kitchen scissors: $1
- Towel: $2
- Two picture easels: $1 ea
- Two chopping boards: $3 ea
- Shower curtain liner: $2
- Colander: $2
Total spent: $371.64
Man, that place is great. It's a freaking shame it requires a four hour drive to get there though. They oughta open one in metro Detroit.
$5/$1 Multi NL Report
I had a REAL good shot to have a nice early chip lead in this thing. I was sitting on level three with about $970, and limped in early with 56 of diamonds. Six of ten follow.
Flop hits KdQd6h. I'm sitting on four flush, although I don't like having low cards here, and I've got bottom pair. SB and BB check to me, and I go in for 3xBB, or $60.
Just to my left, I'm raised to $120. Two call, three fold, and it's back to me. I don't think I'm in the lead here, but I'm betting there's a few holding high Kings or Queens, maybe a straight draw, and possibly a flush draw. I don't know. But, I call the $60 anyway, with the intention of getting out if the heat gets turned up with the next card.
5 of clubs floats my way on the turn. I've got two pair, but they are bottom two pair, and I'm still sitting on my flush draw. I think the play is to check-raise here, and I'm now first to act. I check, the raiser from my left checks, and the last remaining to act pushes $620 in. I've got $845, so I figure I'll just push all-in, as I do like my chances sitting on a flush draw, even a low one, with two pair.
I'm not sure if I made a good play here or not, so I'd like some opinions. I'm sitting on two pair, there's a lot of money in the pot, and in these multis you have to pick up a monster pot or two early on to have any sort of chance to see the money.
So I pushed them all-in.
The player to my left calls me! Maybe I can triple up here! The last in pushes his $245 in, and we're going to see the river.
The river shows a Jack of Diamonds. I don't really know how to feel about this right off, because the flush, if someone has a higher one, obviously, kills my two pair.
After the other two both check (both had marginally bigger stacks than I had), it's revealed...
The player to my left had T7 of diamonds. She made the flush. She had a ten-out (in her eyes - eight out if you take my two diamonds out) draw that she couldn't have been 100% would have been good against Ace-Rag of diamonds, let alone Jack-Rag before the Jack hit, and she took the risk.
The guy who pushed me all in had Q9 of hearts, making SECOND PAIR on the board. Once the turn hit, if I were in his shoes, I'd be guessing I had about two whole cards in the whole deck that would have given me best hand (the other Queens). I mean, he had to figure one of us for a King, right? I think his move was a steal raise that completely backfired. I think where he really made a bad move was calling my all-in when I came over the top that additional $200+. That was not a great call.
So my 5566 two pair was the best hand until that last diamond hit. Even then, I had to feel OK about a flush, right? Especially with a high card like a Jack hitting.
In a million years would you have put that player with T7d on that hand?
I would have more than tripled up (from $970 to $3155), so that hand really bugs me.
Would anyone here have played that differently? Should I have been concerned about the player to my left, who had just checked to that guy who pushed in big-time? I always feel better heads-up with a marginally strong hand than I do three-way, so I was hoping my all-in was going to slam the door shut on her. No dice.
I'm agonizing about this. Someone dissect this play for me...
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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