|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Friday, April 09, 2004
An offer I can't refuse
The link above, obviously, to the Poker Bloggin' Godfather of Funk, and another link here is due to NYC's Poker DaVinci, poker blogging's Renaissance Man.
And, of course, there's me... the freaking Ron Popeil of poker, whatever that's supposed to mean.
Why the intro?
I wasn't logged in two minutes to PartyPoker last night and Pauly flies me a quick ping, looking to sit in on a SNG with me. After a little difficulty, we also managed to rope a very close to drunk Iggy into our circle as well and jumped on a $10 SNG.
I played two SNGs last night, and saw TT once, no pairs bigger than sixes otherwise, and in the last game saw a turn card once in the whole tournament, and that was on my last all-in with only 200 left.
But this one wasn't about the cards.
With a Yahoo chat going in the background with Iggy and Pauly (no collusion, I assure you - we're probably not that smart or organized), no one else at the table could possibly have known we knew each other.
And I got bored with the crap cards real quick. So what's a kid to do?
We weren't five minutes in when "Adam" pushed all-in over a player named "Haag" with only 70 chips in the pot. Haag went after Adam in chat, telling him what a stupid play he just made.
I jump in and decide to have a little fun.
Haag: pretty dumb
Haag: that move
adam: or was it
Haag: why go all in there with 70 chips in the pot?
adam: cause i can
Haag: that's right
Boygza: last i checked haag, he's got you by 50
Haag: and you did
Haag: and it was pretty dumb
Boygza: that makes him better, right?
Haag: oh wow
But it became pretty clear pretty quick that Adam was the one to poke with the short stick. And, Iggy wanted a piece too.
adam: games not over yet bro, we will see the competence level i posses as oppsed to u
adam: dont judge me by what u dont know
Iggy: let me guess
Haag: hopefully it is better than your spelling
Iggy: public schools adam?
Boygza: phonics monkey?
adam: no, i go to the largest business school in new england
adam: didnt know i had to spell words correctly for u morons to read what i write
adam: but i be more careful from now on
adam: to apease both of you
Haag: well you started spouting about your competence and what not
adam: and competence is judge based on a type-o?
adam: somewhere along the line, someone lied to you
Boygza: no, it's judgeD based on a typo
adam: look up the definition
Boygza: hey you're guilty here too haag, you started it
adam: for type o
adam: and you will find that it means TO MISS TYPE
Boygza: or mistype
adam: same difference
adam: well i would like to say im pleased to be in a room full of brilliance
Boygza: good to see the largest B-school in all of NE can help you identify genius
adam: no, someone made a comment about public schools
Iggy: i did!
adam: that was my response
Boygza: i'm the freaking ron popeil of poker
adam: IT ISNT A PUBLIC SCHOOL
Iggy: shouldnt you be on a ledge somewhere?
adam: you asked if i went to a public school
adam: i answered you
adam: wtf is this the spanish inquisition
Iggy: want a cookie?
Pauly: hey adam do u go to harvard b-school?
Boygza: no one expects the spanish inquisition
adam: no, bentley college
Pauly: then stop talkin smack
adam: IM NOT TALKING SMACK
Iggy: sometimes when i sneeze i pee
Haag: this is a good table
Haag: full of laughs
Pauly: 'u aint seennuthin yet Haag
Yes Haag, and by staying out of the line of fire, you were enjoying it. Good move. Oh, and the Non-Sequitur Award for last night does, in fact, go to Iggy for his "sometimes when i sneeze i pee" line from out of completely nowhere. Congratulations. I enjoy mustard on my bratwurst.
Adam then tries to deflect a little attention by taking an amateur swipe out at Haag. Shortly therein, a proper all-in attempt happens at the table, and Haag feels the need to point out how it's done to our little TiltBoy.
adam: Haag=pretty dumb
adam: is talking smack
Haag: see, this is an example of how you go all in adam
adam: oh yea?
adam: thanks for the lesson
adam: but i can think for myself
Boygza: yeah, b-school certainly trains the next wave of independent thought
Boygza: all the best a public school education can provide
adam: what do you do for a living bro?
Boygza: ron popeil never needed b school
Boygza: all you need to know is that i like two things
Boygza: bubble gum and kicking some a
Boygza: and i'm all out of bubble gum
We all kinda shut up for a little while then. Especially Adam.
I busted out in fifth, Pauly I think in third or fourth, and it eventually got down to Iggy and Adam. I wasn't about to let Adam have any peace, hopefully giving our hero the edge he needed to take the top prize, championship belt, year's supply of Turtle Wax, and the complimentary copy of the home game.
To be fair, Pauly started it.
Pauly: im not too smart i only went to yale
adam: oooo k
adam: what does that prove?
Pauly busts out when Adam flops a flush and Pauly was low on chips...
Pauly: lucky flop tough guy
adam: what are we playing?
adam: oh yea poker
adam: luck is a part of the game
Boygza: obviously they don't have a "smack talking 101" in the bentley catalog
Boygza: are the "your mama" jokes coming next?
Pauly: its rigth after lunch
Boygza: "cause I just got off of yours!"
Boygza: you know i'm just sticking around to watch you there featherpants
adam: like u said, ur all outa bubble gum
Boygza: i may chew my friend, but at least i don't blow
Boygza: they teach you THAT on the public school playgrounds?
Boygza: you've been served
Shortly thereafter Iggy did end up winning, and I actually felt a little like I should apologize to the poor kid for being a complete turd to him for about an hour. By the way, for those who don't know, Iggy's PartyPoker persona is female with an obviously female screenname. Let's call him "Juli:"
Boygza: i was just watching my man Juli and having fun
Boygza: nothing personal
adam: ok bud
adam: Juli was a woman
I feel bad for that disillusioned kid. But even though my cards sucked, it's always nice to sit down with the guys (and Felicia) from the Poker Blogging community. Good people, and not above pissing on a poor kid just for the sport of it.
Thursday, April 08, 2004
Alright, I’ll admit it…
No “OC” on TV last night. In its place was “The Swan,” which was 37 minutes of bad TV surrounding seven minutes of what can make reality TV so gripping.
I’m talking, of course, about what they refer to as “The Reveal,” where the woman who has just gone through three months of dieting, exercise, and intense plastic surgery finally gets to see herself in a mirror.
Now, despite the producers of this show dumping (reportedly) up to $250k into these women (in surgery and expert guidance), it’s not like they’re taking the ugliest women in the world and turning them into Cindy Crawford. Apparently, that’s not possible.
What did make this show so gripping though was that the back stories on these women made it perfectly clear that each had a severe case of low self-esteem. Both (I think) had long time boyfriends/husbands, and in one case the husband said he thinks they may have been intimate seven or eight times over three years.
Yeah, that’s bad body image.
Anyway, “The Reveal” was set up with the same sort of reality TV ham handed schlock that I think Mark Walberg should have patented about six years ago. But once the curtain was pulled back from the mirror and these women got to see themselves redone for the first time, it was a really powerful moment.
Where I think this show misses the mark is in the ultimate goal, which is for these women to “make the pageant.” Two women per show are redone, and only one gets to compete in the pageant, ostensibly for big money and/or prizes.
I think it’d be far more interesting to follow both of these women back home with cameras. Not for the “welcome home” party that some of those makeover shows have, but more to deal with how this transformation affects the relationship they have with their husbands. While you’d always hope for the story that brings them closer together and deeper in love, I think that some of these women with their new found self-esteem could come home, realize they could do better, and slowly start to disintegrate their relationships. When you take a solid “5” and turn her into a “7.5” (which is about what happened in both cases last night), suddenly the husband who’s about a “6” is now married out of his league.
That’s where this would get interesting. Who gives a rat’s ass about the pageant? Let’s watch the men in their lives get insecure because they’re now married to a more beautiful woman than they have any right to be.
My recommendation for “The Swan?” Watch it from between :35 minutes after the hour and :45 minutes after the hour. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Greetings and Salutations
First of all, Happy Birthday.
Speaking of birthdays and holidays, I’m smack dab in the middle of the ugliest six months of the year. That stretch from Christmas to Father’s Day is just brutal in my family for gift giving. Here’s how it breaks out:
December – Xmas
January – thankfully, nothing
February – Dad’s birthday
March – Mom’s birthday, M’s fiancee’s birthday
April – Easter, Bob’s birthday
May – Mother’s Day
June – Dad’s wife’s birthday, Father’s Day.
Compare that with post-Father’s Day to pre-Xmas, and the only things on the radar are step-sister’s birthday and M’s birthday.
This whole Easter gift-giving thing really pisses me off. I’m OK with buying a small box of chocolates or something, but somewhere in becoming an adult I’ve moved from just getting an Easter basket (yippee.) to feeling obligated to do something for Mom and Dad’s wife.
All this for a holiday I don’t even really celebrate. It’s as much “April Ham Day” as it is anything else.
So, Happy April Ham Day this weekend.
A gambler could go broke with this many holidays to buy gifts for.
I’ve always felt jobbed by the system that chose consecutive months in which to place Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. Why couldn’t we do an April/August type of thing with these holidays? It’d save a kid some cash, I’ll tell you that.
And why do parents effectively get three holidays with gifts (birthday, Mother’s/Father’s Day, Xmas), and non-parents only two of those three? Seems hardly equitable.
Well, at least it’s only four more holidays and $200 more out of pocket until my birthday (late June). It’s not like I can recoup my losses all in one day. I’d still be down $500+ over that stretch (including Xmas).
In order to add the mandated level of daily poker content to my blog, my losses for the year (including Xmas) on these gift giving holidays are approximately (-125BB).
Tomorrow is another one of those days where my client (where my desk is located) is closed for the day, but technically I don’t get the day off.
Basically, my boss has been sitting on some stuff to toss my way so I can keep busy on Friday and actually be working, as opposed to enjoying what would amount to a free day off.
Now, if I were to want to take the day off I could, it would just count against my vacation days. I don’t necessarily think that’s a good deal.
At least the building in which I work will be completely shut down tomorrow. I couldn’t get to my desk if I wanted to. Plus, I know what’s coming my way for tomorrow, so I’ve been piling the data I’ll need into spreadsheets all week, that way I can just plug it into the forms he’ll give me, and watch “The Price Is Right” from the comfort of my living room.
It’s funny. I’ve been busy this week, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a crazy, filled to the brim sort of busy day where I couldn’t take twenty minutes or more to crack away on a side project. In other words, if he had given me this stuff on Monday to tackle, I might not be done with it yet, but I’d probably be awfully close.
Instead, it’s a Good Friday project with a purpose. Don’t get too comfortable, you’re still on the clock. At least I can do it in my sweatpants.
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Acquitting himself nicely…
I watched Pauly tackle a 300+ player field in a WPT Satellite Qualifier last night. Well, I watched for about an hour before I went to bed.
In the realm of “let that be a lesson to me,” Pauly did a masterful job of disciplining himself, playing fewer than 10 hands (more like maybe six) into the flop over the course of the hour plus I was watching. Never got baited into making a bad call, and made a couple of real nice laydowns too.
One in particular would have been a severe tilt hand for me. Pauly, in the BB (I think), limped in with what I’m guessing was a K9 or A9. Flop comes 997. Jackpot! A set with a great kicker. Pauly kept it a little too sensible methinks, check/calling his set (I’m only assuming he made a set) to see the turn with about four others. Turn shows a 6, and now we’ve got a whole bunch of straight potential on the board. If memory serves, this is where Pauly check/folded his way out of the hand. Good thing too, as the river provided a T, and any knucklehead with an 8 (yep, there was an 8) had made his straight.
Those are the types of hands that kill me. At least Pauly had the good sense to just call on the flop (again, assuming he was playing at least a set). With four others in the pot, it would make sense to hope something like a 3 or 4 would show up on the turn. A blank like that would hopefully help no one, and would open the door for a set to be bet heavily. Normally, on a flop like that one, I’d have probably went in for a raise, and someone with 8T would have chased. And, of course, hit the straight. And I would have been stinging from the hit.
Good and sensible. That’s our Pauly.
It breaks my heart to see that he finished 12th. Out of 300+, that’s nine places out of the top prize (the trip to the Bellagio and a seat at the WPT Championship Tournament), and six places out of at least having some cash to show for your troubles.
I think I’d rather get knocked out in 74th place by a well-placed trap than finish so tantalizingly close to the money. I’m sure it felt so close that he could taste it.
By the way, just based on the pictures on his site, can anyone just not see Pauly in a logo golf shirt and fancypants baseball cap plastered with the PartyPoker logo? Moneymaker looked like an accountant/Saturday morning golfer because he is an accountant/probable Saturday morning golfer. Is there logo gear for the drunken tortured artist? Has Charles Bukowski ever inspired a line of clothing onto which we could embroider the PartyPoker logo?
I think if Bukowski did inspire a line of clothes, they’d be scratch and sniff and reek of cheap bourbon and stale cigarettes. Maybe they’d have Grr-animal style mix-n-match tags on them too, with pictures of Marlboro Reds, ten dollar whores, and fifths of Ol Grandad. Regardless, I’m not real certain half-century old tattered tweed blazers, shirts that have been so carelessly laundered that the collars lay flat, butterflied across the width of one’s shoulders, and a weather-beaten fedora that looks like it came directly off the corpse of Shirley Povich, really would look appropriate with a logo applied.
Of course, I’m sure that if any of us were given a seat in the WPT Championship on the condition that we play the tournament in a diaper and six inch stripper heels, we’d all just be looking to make sure there were extra safety pins handy all week. Hell, I’d let Kotex put a sandwich board around my neck if they let me play in the tournament. I’m not above shilling.
This weekend should be fun, as Bob is coming back to town, and is gathering a few of his friends together for poker at my place on Saturday night.
Disclaimer: For anyone who might be part of the regular home game group, don’t take it personally that I’m not turning this into an enormous game and inviting everyone. It’s Bob’s game, and we’re trying to keep the number to about eight, which is more manageable considering I don’t own a table or chairs and am paying to rent them.
I really relish the opportunity to play against different competitors in NL live games. I know that a few of these guys have played a little bit, but I don’t think any of them, Bob included, have spent as much time on their game as I have. I hope that gives me a decent advantage.
I think if I could win $150 this weekend, I might just pull my PartyPoker stake and go buy myself a table and chairs. An actual dining table and chairs, that is.
I’ll give you a full report Sunday or Monday.
Thanks for letting me keep my couch in your storage locker. By the way, why does it smell like rotting flesh?
After 14 years, police have finally cracked the case.
A woman disappeared, cops were baffled. The boyfriend had a “criminal history dating back to 1978.”
Somehow, no one knew he was renting this storage facility under his own name until just last summer, and even then cops didn’t go in until just this week.
Isn’t this really the first place you’d be likely to look?
Well, hold on. There’s the crawlspace under his porch and the woods a half mile from his house. But then don’t you have to look at a storage facility?
Freaking incompetence. I’m going to patent a new word today for gross police incompetence.
Thank you Invent-Tech!
With Apologies To Lore Fitzgerald Sjoberg…
Rating Things You Can Buy On TV
The HoverDisc - What kid isn’t infatuated by UFOs? With the HoverDisc, you get what’s ostensibly a cross between a balloon and a giant Frisbee, but all dressed up like a UFO. They make it look like a lot of fun in the commercials, kinda like those guys in the mall kiosks that throw that big Styrofoam plane for loops all day long. Of course, I think they fill the HoverDisc with helium for good effect on TV, so I’m sure it’s not as fun as it looks. Also, the first time it dings a tree branch, a jagged rock, or is chased and caught by the family dog, I’m sure the Mylar repair kit (sold separately) combined with your mom giving the damaged HoverDisc a half-assed repair job will ensure your HoverDisc’s home in the back of your closet for years to come. Grade: C-
Natural Bra - “The soft gel strapless bra that increases your cup size.” Let’s get one thing straight right off the top. I love big jugs. And anything that can make them look bigger should frankly be standard issue in a girls-only senior year assembly in every high school in the country. You know what else is cool about this product? If you’ve seen the commercial, you can see that these are essentially latex rubber cups that glue on to the front and underside of the breast. Anything that resembles Hollywood monster mask makeup, and can make me feel just a little like Rollie Tyler from “FX,” is cool by me. Grade: A
Micro-Touch Personal Groomer - Here’s my question to the makers or the Micro-Touch Personal Groomer: If you’re going to manufacture a hair cutting system that only removes a swath about 1/8” wide at a time, and extremely slowly at that, to what crowd are you appealing? Those of us who find the whole concept of “scissors” just too puzzling? The heavily partisan anti-razor faction? My favorite part of the commercial is when they use the groomer to remove the hair from the overly hirsute big toe. That has got to be a special effects shot, or perhaps we now have proof that Sasquatch walks among us. Grade: C
Ronco Rotisserie Grill - Ron Popeil is a genius. If he ever invented anything earth-shattering, beyond the Pocket Fisherman of course, he might very well go down as the Thomas Edison of the late 20th Century. If I had the Ronco Rotisserie Grill though, and my kitchen was putting together their high school yearbook, the Rotisserie Grill and my rice maker would probably be neck-and-neck to become “Most Likely To Be Used Less Than The Breadmaker.” However, if my fourth grade teacher was grading the infomercial, she’d give me a “check-plus” for the whole “Set it and forget it” mantra. Still… Grade: C-
The Ultimate Chopper - Chef Tony, where have you been all my life? I don’t know anything about your credentials as a chef, but I would guess that you’ve sold a used Buick or two in your time. No matter, I just wanted to pay a compliment to your infomercial for The Ultimate Chopper. Anything you can crush concrete into a finely powdered pile with sounds like fun to me. How useful could that possibly be though? Can you reconstitute powdered concrete with a little water back to cement? Why not just buy a bag of cement? Maybe I’m thinking too much about this. Grade: B+
Turbo Cooker - Now! You too can cook your salmon! Potatoes! Vegetables! And chocolate cake! In the same pan under the same lid all at the same time? That is, if you don’t mind a chocolate flavored piece of salmon, and a salmon flavored piece of chocolate cake. Who could possibly find good use out of this product unless their sense of smell was rendered completely ineffective in a bizarre accident? Then, everything tastes the same, so why even bother getting a second pan dirty? Grade: D
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Snap your fingers and turn on a light? That was my idea…
I noticed in my script for the play I’m doing that the guy who originated my role in the first production of this play was Peter MacNicol, he of ”Ally McBeal” and “Ghostbusters 2” fame. Somehow, I just don’t see him in this part, but maybe that’s just the mark of a talented actor.
Speaking of “Ghostbusters 2,” does anyone else miss Bobby Brown in his prime? I mean, who didn’t love that theme from GB2 that he did? He was a dual threat before that was in vogue, with the singing and the rapping. And not that I’m suggesting that the fashions of the day should ever be resurrected, but who doesn’t miss the videos with three or four backup dancers sporting their high top fade gumby cuts, decked out in primary colored overalls and shirts so loud you needed earplugs just to watch the video on mute? I still can’t figure out why those clothes seemed to work on black guys, but white guys looked downright stupid in them. I had one t-shirt that was colorful like this, and I know I always looked dumb in it. At least I had the good sense not to pair it with fire engine red overalls.
There are no fewer than three billboards within a mile of each other on the highway on the south end of town that have a big picture of (a model pretending to be) Jesus, and feature phrases like “Come Experience the Passion!”
Um, no thanks. I’d let you tell me about it if you want, but if you’re looking to let me drag a cross through the streets while you whip me and throw rocks – you know, to get that true experience – then I think I’ll pass.
That’s a very Catholic thought for this area. The glorification of an event that ostensibly stands to inspire guilt. “He died for you, so behave or burn!” I guess I don’t know much about the Dutch Christian Reformed faith, which is enormously predominant in this area, but I think I’m still a little bit surprised that this movie, with its obviously heavily Catholic viewpoint, has been such a runaway success here in the area.
I still don’t really understand the billboards though. They all feature the head of TedNugentJesus, and are all wearing the proverbial crown of thorns. Of course, no blood. But the posters in and of themselves are quite self-serving, piggy-backing off of the success of a movie to try to add members to their flock. Maybe I’m old school in this regard, but I just don’t think churches should be actively recruiting like this.
Well, you know, if I was truly old school, I guess I’d believe that the Spanish Army should be going door-to-door to inquire as to your faith, and help you make the appropriate decision on a church. But again, that’s probably a little too old-school.
I stopped talking years ago to a Mormon friend of mine from high school because of his missionary work. Rather, it was his attitude towards the people to whom he was missionating (can I patent that word through Invent-Tech?). He was sent down to Colombia, and would write these letters that talked at length about how lost all these people were. A typical passage might read:
We visited a smaller village outside of Bogota today. I can really see that I’m doing the Lord’s calling out here, because these people are lost. One of the villagers had a daughter who had just given birth, and the whole town seemed to take it as an excuse to drink away their ignorance. It’s so amazing to see these people using any excuse possible to drink themselves into oblivion.
Good god. Reading those letters he used to write, I always half expected him to use the phrase “noble savages” somewhere on the next line. Of course these people are using any excuse they can find to celebrate with each other! If you lived in a rickety balsa wood shack near the edge of the jungle with nothing to do but pick coffee beans for an international conglomerate only paying you enough to not quit your job and sit on your ass and whittle all day, you’d be looking for a reason to be happy too! And I have a real hard time believing that the conversion of people in these environments to a life of pious denial and disapproval of the lifestyles of others is really making a positive impact.
They don’t need your lord as much as they could probably use clean socks, or a decent pair of boots for their work in the fields.
The one thing I can at least give the Mormons credit for in their missionary work is that they are consistent in trying to recruit everyone, not just the “misguided noble savages” of the third world.
I do admire those missionaries who feel called to go build a dam in a remote Amazon village, or houses for the poor in Southern Mexico. I think the Mormons would improve their image and recruitment quite a bit if they included public service to a larger extent in their missionary work.
As it stands though, people of the world are learning to avoid the white guys in their dark pants and short sleeved white shirts and ties who are riding their bikes around looking for anyone to listen to their propaganda. With their missionary efforts, I’ve always felt that the Mormons are less interested in these people and families as individuals, and more as just another tick in their score column.
Either that, or I’m just generally bitter because I grew up Catholic in Salt Lake City.
Weird Crap That Happens In Salt Lake City
I lived out there from 5th grade to 11th grade. Here are just a few things I find odd about that experience.
>> With the exception of Kathy Regulski (and I’m only using her name in case she Googles herself – she should write me), no one I knew out there drank, smoked, or had had sex.
>> Because the school sponsored dances that happened on a monthly basis, no one I knew out there went out on actual dates (group trips to see a movie, yes – guy/girl going out, no).
>> In order to ask someone to a dance, or to reply to the asking, you had to be creative. For example, buying five pounds of Smarties candy, putting letters to your name on individual candies in different rolls, re-rolling them, and sending the Smarties and a stupid poem out to the person you’re asking. They had to unroll every goddamn roll of Smarties to find out who asked them. And, like I said, you had to reply creatively too. Basically, as soon as one dance was over, the whole process of asking/replying started all over again.
side note: I did once ask a girl by just asking her to the dance, but her reply was, “You’ll have to do better than that.”
>> In the (literally) two dozen dances I must have attended, there was never anyone visibly drunk, nor was there ever any alcohol at any of the pre- or post-dance events.
>> Ever wonder why the Mormons (as an institution) are almost (if not) the world’s leaders in genealogy research? Because they baptize the dead. They believe that every person who ever lived who wasn’t Mormon on earth goes to a big celestial waiting room on the other side where they await baptism into the Mormon faith on earth. Then, once baptized, they still have to be pestered by missionaries on that side of the fence to willfully accept the word. Then they turn into missionaries themselves, and once they have collected enough scalps, they can move on. But not as far as the good Mormons from earth.
>> If you’re a good Mormon on earth, which means you’ve been married and have had a bunch of children and tithed and done everything the church has asked, you ascend from earth to become a god of your own world, ruling that world with your wife by your side. They give them “code names” at their wedding ceremony, that way they can find each other on the other side.
>> In what amounts to a wink-and-a-nod sideswipe of separating church and state, when a public secondary school (jr./high) is built, the city/district “accidentally” buys too much land, and “accidentally” buys too much building material, and sells it off to the Mormon church to build what they call a “Seminary” building on adjacent property to and with the same materials as the “public” secondary school. As a student, you can get release time to go to a class a day at the Seminary building, but I doubt that I could have gotten released to drive five miles to the Catholic church for CCD.
>> And, of course, on the busiest north/south artery through the valley, State Street, my friends and I stopped one night at a beer bar (liquor laws are weird out there too) in a reasonably urbanized area. After a little while, an older dude dressed like a cowboy was flirting with our women. He kept telling the girls about how he rode in on his horse, and was feeding them all sorts of cowboy crap. With the bar being surrounded by strip malls and residential areas, we thought he was full of shit. Eventually, he got up to go, popped open the back door, and sure enough got on his horse and galloped back home from the bar. I guess maybe the fact that he was wearing spurs could have been our first clue that he wasn’t lying about the horse.
Holly? Bob? Anything to add?
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
One of my favorite weekends is rapidly approaching. That’s right, NFL Draft 2004. Nothing beats a big damn pizza, a plate of nachos, a six pack of beer, and nearly ten straight hours of Saturday draft coverage on ESPN.
Sometimes, it’s thrilling and engaging. Take last year for instance. Not only do you have the drama with Minnesota letting their pick slip down a few slots, and the other teams just after doing their damndest to get their picks up to Tagliabue before Minnesota can get back on the clock, but you also had that big trade that brought Kyle Boller to Baltimore. They must have shown the throw he made from the fifty yard line where he tossed the ball through the uprights from his knees about a dozen times. Kid has a cannon, I get it.
My favorite drama from last year was when round one was winding down, and Boss Bailey had yet to be picked. I was begging and pleading with the TV for him to fall to Detroit, and when he actually slipped to our pick, I was chewing a towel like Tark with nervous anticipation that Millen would somehow blow the pick and not add this freak talent at OLB to our roster. But he made the perfect pick, and I was an absolutely thrilled Lions fan with Rogers and Bailey in rounds one and two.
Sometimes, though, it can be frustrating.
For example, watching the Lions pick Terry Freaking Fair instead of Randy Moss. Or watching Green Bay trade up one slot higher than us to grab Vonnie Holliday (same draft I think). Or Seattle, two years in a row, taking the players I coveted in Steve Hutchinson and Shaun Alexander, both one pick before the Lions could put them on the squad.
Even the low rounds hold interest for me. The Lions suck badly enough that a fourth (Artose Pinner) or fifth (Terrence Holt) round pick can not only make this team, but be a starter almost right away. So every pick is crucially important.
I’m constantly changing my opinions on what to do with this first round pick. Assuming the Lions don’t trade down, here’s the usual suspects at this point:
Sean Taylor, S, Miami - Taylor is fast and strong and outside of the big two/three WRs (Williams/Fitzgerald/Williams) and Winslow, is the only player in the draft who has a good shot at becoming the best player at his position in the NFL. I’m not sure safety is a need position, but Taylor is an impact defender, and you can’t ignore that.
Kellen Winslow, Jr., TE, Miami - Winslow is athletic with tremendous hands. Lineage aside, he could be a key piece to a West Coast Offense’s puzzle, especially for a QB that checked down to his backs far too often in 2003.
Roy Williams, WR, Texas - Smart money says Roy’s off the board at this point after posting a scorching time in his 40 at his workout. People forgot what a tremendous talent Williams is amidst all the hype about Fitzgerald and the relatively unknown commodity in Mike Williams. If Roy is here, you take Roy at #6.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Pitt - Ditto for Fitzgerald. If he’s there, you don’t pass on him. I’ve seen a lot of mock drafts that have him going to Arizona, but that doesn’t make any sense to me. They drafted Boldin and Johnson last year in the top two rounds, and would they again go WR in the first round? Unlikely, or at least that’s my opinion. I think Fitz could fall.
Mike Williams, WR, USC - There’s a school of thought right now that thinks Williams is going to hang pedestrian numbers up in his workout. He’s 6’4”, and would have been a TE five or ten years ago. But if this big possession receiver runs a 4.45? All of a sudden he’s back as a legit top three to five talent in this draft. If he runs a 4.6 or worse, he slips past #6. A fast time should lock him in the top seven or eight. If he puts up the 4.45, and he’s the last guy of the big three WRs left, Detroit would be dumb not to take him.
Stephen Jackson, RB, Oregon State - Here’s the wildcard. The Lions seem to be sending out signals that say they intend to grab Jackson, the best of a not earth-shattering bunch at RB this year. Can you make a case for picking Jackson at #6? Maybe, but he’s a 15-25 type talent, not a top six guy.
If I’m the Lions, here’s how I’d rank these guys (assuming Mike Williams runs at least a 4.45):
And with a team as bad as Detroit, you take the best guy off the board.
Here’s my Detroit dream draft:
Round One – Fitzgerald
Round Two – Vernon Carey, G, Miami
Round Three – Tatum Bell, RB, Oklahoma State
Round Four – Bob Sanders, S, Iowa (no way he slips this far though)
Round Five – Best TE prospect available
Round Six – Jeff Smoker, QB, MSU
Monday, April 05, 2004
I’m about through with giving a shit about this whole K thing.
This is not a girl that I could have dated long term anyway. First of all, she’s got no sense of humor about herself. Secondly, she’s got no sense of humor about those “Lord of the Rings” movies. Third, she’s nearly impossible to watch a movie with, what with all the shusshing going on. Lastly, my dad compared her to my Aunt Roberta after she got involved in a heated discussion my dad and I were having.
That’s the kiss of death right there, wouldn’t you think Rachelle?
Anyway, I guess what I’m most disappointed in here isn’t so much that I figured out that I don’t want to date the girl. It’s that I’m 29, she’s 23 and absolutely “in my league,” and I still couldn’t get her into bed.
That’s the distressing part.
In part, I have only myself to blame. The whole “don’t try, just let it happen” thing didn’t/doesn’t work.
It’s all good though. Would I really want to date someone who looked down her nose at me when I made a crack about Sean Astin as the “little retarded kid who wanted to play Notre Dame football?” Would I have the ability to bite my tongue and not do an Agent Smith impression with Hugo Weaving onscreen?
The People Under The Stairs
I live on the upper floor of what is probably a 60-80 year old house. Maybe closer to 60. Either way, the question is, how can you live in a house that’s this old and not own your own plunger?
The people under my stairs answered that for me Sunday.
The only reason I mention this, is that they went out and bought me a new plunger, seemingly feeling embarrassed about giving me back one that had been used.
Uh, OK. What did I think they were going to do with it? Plungers have a use, and it usually results in getting a little bit dirty. I understood that much going in.
Actually, just as I was playing about hand number three in the PJK Tournament last night, my extremely attractive neighbor came up to give me the new plunger. Now, she’s not only involved with the guy (who’s really quite cool) she lives with, but is completely and utterly out of my league, so it’s not as if I was wanting to “work on her” or something like that, but she did come up seemingly with the intention of chatting. And here I am playing Internet poker on a new interface, and was obviously not even listening to a hot chick who wants to talk.
Damn you poker. Damn you right to hell.
Of course, had I not been first out last night, this post would have been an illustration in the focus I gave to my game, and how it ultimately was the reason for my triumph.
Instead, I’ll blame the hot chick. They get away with so much in this society that every once in awhile they need to bear the brunt of the blame from time to time. So I’m putting this on her shoulders (her slim and milky white shoul… oh, stop it.). Blame the hot chick!
Not, of course, the absolute hammering that was so obvious that I called it out before I called the first raise. What a dumb call on my part.
”Why do I fall in love with every woman I see that shows me the least bit of attention?” (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
I was having a beer with a guy I don’t know all that well last week. He had graduated the year after I did from the same high school, which meant that he was of the same class as most of the people with whom I was friends.
He brought up his class reunion, held over Thanksgiving weekend, and I was curious about a few names, which he had some minor (at best) updates on for me.
Unsolicited, he then said, “You know who got absolutely drop-dead gorgeous in college, went wild, and was basically valedictorian of her class at U of M?”
I knew already.
Mel was a girl with whom I had the most unbelievably unfortunate timing. I loved her straightaway. Actually, I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a time where I didn’t, but priorities change. For a girl who had quite a bit already, she also had a ridiculous amount of potential.
Smartest and sharpest girl I’ve ever known? Check. Ambitious as all hell? Uh huh. Cute? Sure.
When I first met her, and fell hard for her, she was still seeing the 9th grade boyfriend. Three years running. For a girl who was as flat-out brilliant as this one, I failed to see what the hell she could possibly see in him. He was one of those knuckleheads whose career path was going to be determined by whether he enjoyed working on foreign or domestic cars better.
I think there was something enormously personal in her choice. She lived with her dad, who was the type of guy who was parked in the Barcalounger all day, and only barked at you if he wanted another beer.
Maybe by trying to redeem a guy like this, she was subconsciously trying to redeem her father.
So, the timing was bad.
It got worse when she started showing interest in me. At that point, I was tunnel-visioned into the thought that I was utterly and irretrievably in love with another girl from high school, and she was all I could talk about. For almost two years. Even though I got absolutely nowhere with her.
Mel and I would visit each other on rare occasions in college. She just kept becoming more and more her own woman, and it was really impressive to watch. Unfortunately, it was at a serious distance.
Shell was another girl on whom I developed a tremendous crush in high school. Truth be told, I drooled over her twin sister (at the time, they were the sexy one and the mousy one) for months, but then Shell and I were cast opposite one another in the school play (“Fame,” I’m gonna live forever).
We had a stage kiss in the script.
Shell was a nice Baptist girl with awfully strict parents. Awfully strict. Her sister used to play up that angle, getting all coy and adorable when you’d press her to go out on a Friday night, or be your date to a dance. She couldn’t, of course. Neither of them could date or dance until they were 18. I really do think that while her sister was chomping at the bit to turn 18 and have all this freedom, Shell was just fine thankyouverymuch without having to worry about boys.
But I started falling harder and harder for the girl. Smart, pretty, talented, opinionated. I really got to liking her.
But she wouldn’t do the kiss in rehearsals. She wouldn’t let me anywhere close.
As we’re rapidly approaching opening night, the director sends us after rehearsal to the student director’s house nearby to work on that scene in private. Shell reluctantly agrees. Of course, she brings along a friend for moral support.
The director just wants to run that scene. The first time we get to the kiss, Shell freaks out a little bit and backs away, nearly hyperventilating herself into shock. She calms down, and it’s take two.
I grab her gently at the waist and pull her in. Her eyes are closed and she’s obviously bracing herself against whatever horrors are about to ensue. When our lips finally touch, I could feel her let go for just a second, but the waves of paranoia are just too much. She breaks the kiss and darts quickly out the side door and runs right out to her friends car, burying her head in her hands.
“What’d I do?” I’m shocked. It was uncomfortable, and certainly not spectacular, but it was just a stage kiss.
Her friend looks at me and replies, “she was worried about this because she had never kissed a boy before.”
Oh great, now I’m her first kiss.
That’s when the crush shattered to the ground. At 17, I could date a 16 year old virgin. Hell, I was a 17 year old virgin. I could even handle dating a girl that hadn’t kissed a guy but wanted to, even though we were taking things slowly.
But a girl that ran from the room crying because of a stage kiss? I felt just a little bit more pity than I did sympathy for her then.
From what I’ve heard, she grew up to be a minister. Not the celibate kind either. Good for her.
side note: I’ve always wondered if she tells people I was her first kiss, or cheapens the whole experience further by saying something like, “well, he doesn’t count because it was just a stage kiss.” I’m sorry Shell, lips to lips, boy to girl. That there’s a kiss.
Sunday, April 04, 2004
Well, I paid about $1/minute to play poker in Felicia's PlanetPoker PJK Tourney tonight.
I got caught badly by "_chainsaw_," who I think is TheFatGuy. I was holding KQs and instead of raising preflop, I just limped. So did chainsaw. Flop comes K72 rainbow.
Guess what happens next?
I bet, he raises, I re-raise, he calls. Next card is a 6. I go all-in, he gladly calls with the hammer.
Not a happy tourney. At least it gets me out from in front of the PC today though. I'm glazing like a donut here.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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