|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, June 12, 2004
$5 Multi Report
Damn, I'm spent. It's only 310PM and it's a Saturday, but I'm wasted. I've been playing poker solid (save the 30-40 minutes between getting bounced out of the $10 multi and the start of the $5 multi) since 8AM.
In a tourney of 1042 people, I finished 30th.
Tight play, and encouragement from two railbirds, and I managed to make the money (110 paid), and threatened to take it even further.
Maybe more later, but I'm sleepy...
8AM PartyPoker NL Multi Blog
In the deck for my listening pleasure...
Bobby Hutcherson – Happenings
Sonny Rollins – A Night at the Village Vanguard Vol 2
Disc 2, Miles Davis – The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions
Disc 1, Miles Davis – The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions
Miles In Tokyo
Disc 2, John Coltrane – The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings
$10+$1 Multi, two cups of coffee down, and I'm ready to fold like a machine. Fifteen minutes to game time, and I'll be back soon with the whys, wherefores, and hows of my latest attempt to make the money of a multi.
np: Bobby Hutcherson - “Bouquet”
Looks like we're playing eight handed initially at my table, which I kinda like. Nearly 350 signed up, and I'm ready to try for once to make the money.
Opening up in the small blind, I limp with A7o, and the board pairs Queens, missing me wide left. Early damage done, now I can get down to folding.
By the way, I need to make at least 40th to make the money.
One thing I really dislike about this random seating for these multis is when, like today, I'm stuck at table 34 out of 36, and know that at some point soon I'm going to be moved. Table 2's competitors don't have to worry about that at all.
Fold A4s, flop would have missed me anyway. Discipline young Jedi...
Of course, the nice thing about random seating is when you're UTG one hand, then they move you to LP on another table. Five free hands. Beautiful...
I threw away 22 from EP just a second ago, and good thing, as the blinds moved the price to play up to 250 (from 15). Board would have missed me again...
Of course, UTG I get 33 on the next hand. I limp for 20, dude to my left makes it 80, and I get the hell out of there (and thankfully no 3 hits).
Down 65 after 18 minutes. Patience, patience...
np: “Orange Lady” from Miles' “Bitches Brew Sessions”
Folded KJo to an unraised pot, and would have had to deal with pairing my King with an Ace on board. No thanks.
77 players bounced in 25 minutes. Even I don't suck that bad.
First win of the day – took 350 with T6o from the BB. Limped in, caught T67 flop, but the 7 paired on the turn. Still fired out, and someone chased me down, although two pair was enough. 1110 now.
np: Sonny Rollins, “I'll Remember April”
Just caught 77 on the button, limped, but with an Ace on the flop, Sir Robin bravely ran away.
First all-in at my new table, and he manages to give all his chips to the table's chip leader. Asshole.
By the way, that pot I won featured a guy calling me down (20 on flop, 50 on turn, 75 on river) with Q9o – he caught nothing on the board until a 9 did show on the river. Dumbass.
np: Coltrane's “Chasin' Another Trane”
68s in the BB, and I can't limp due to a raise... flop would have given me an open ended draw (577), and a tough decision with an EP aggressor. Sigh...
QJ off on the button, and I get out of the way. Thank god. I would have caught the Jack on the flop as high pair, but a slowplayed set of ducks would have been an expensive lesson learned. Fold, fold, fold.
AQ off, and I see a raise of 100 (15/30 currently) to play with two others. Flop is 333, and with 345 in the pot, EP bets out 200. I run away. Down to 945.
np: Miles in Tokyo, “So What”
870 now, after blinds of 25/50 pass me by. I'm getting no premium hands to play, and I'm less than half the average chip stack in the tournament. All my Aces are paired with a 3 or 4, and Kings with a 7 or 8. I'm still patient.
Folded an offsuit JQ from EP. Would have caught the Queen with an Ace on the flop. Too bad, I didn't play, as the Jack paired on the river. Ten high won that one.
np: Miles in Tokyo, “All of You”
First break, and I've been peeing like a racehorse thanks to cup #3 of coffee this morning. I'm sitting here with 820, and have been a folding machine. I've contested one pot post-flop and won it. Otherwise, any pot I've entered I've told you about already. Less blinds, and I don't like where I'm sitting with blinds of 50/100 coming up. 167 players left, meaning I made the top half, but without cards to play, I'm in bad shape.
I know at this point I have to loosen up some, but getting loose without catching anything could be dangerous to my chip stack (meager as it may be).
First hand back, A7o. Can't I get some paint to match? Sheesh.
About to hit the BB again after folding around such lackluster hands as Q2, J7, and 58. All offsuit, not that I'd play them otherwise. Just got 96o in the BB. Let's see if I can limp. Yep, with a 6J2 flop and two diamonds, someone bet out big, and I had to run away with middle pair. SB passes with 24o. I would have caught two pair on the turn and a boat on the river. Fives and fours won it. Folded instead, down to 670.
66 in LP. I try to limp, and dude to my left makes it 700 (all-in for me) to go. Short stack (200) calls. Dude flips AT suited, short stack A2s. So, I've got the best of it.
Flop doesn't help anyone, neither does the turn.
River is a Ten. I'm bounced in 146th.
Gotta get your cash in while you can I suppose. I don't think this was bad timing to do it, and I feel I made the right call in this spot, as there's no guarantee I'd see anything worth playing in the next six hands before blinds took another 150 out of my stack. I'm just disappointed because I didn't come here to fold, I came here to play.
Fucking terrible cards this morning. Maybe I'll play the $5 1030AM multi too. That should be a crapshoot.
Friday, June 11, 2004
At my desk currently, aside from your average office supplies, you will find:
In the drawer
Condiments - 11 packets soy sauce, one packet green Taco Bell "Border Sauce," ten Chinese Hot Sauce, 13 Taco Bell sauce (hot = 2, fire = 11), 11 Chinese Mustard, five Wendy's Hot Chili, two Tabasco, six Arby's Sauce, one tub BBQ sauce
Other lunch related items - one knife, three spoons (all plastic), two moist towelettes, one set of chopsticks, four salts, two peppers, one-half packet crushed red pepper, assorted napkins
Menus - Two Chinese, one Mexican, one Italian
Various - One Allegra, four Tylenol Allergy, half roll 1/16" crepe tape, $.90 in silver, $.44 in pennies
Photographs - Frye the Dog in "Top Dog" frame, Frye the Dog on alligator clip being held by rubber penguin carrying clip and "Dude!" sign (also clipped with trading card from cigarette pack featuring spooky looking Golden Lion Tamarin), coil clip picture holder with three pictures, one of my near hole-in-one, one at a NYC Cajun restaurant with two friends, one drunk in the mountains with another friend smoking cigars.
Various - Personal scotch tape dispenser, personal stapler, crappy combo clock/calculator with vendor logo, vendor logo golf calendar, Palm M105, Palm HotSync device, Office Max receipt for expense report, Starbucks silver travel mug
Personal, from my drawers and cabinets
Bottle of mouthwash, blue Listerine, nearly empty, 401k info from long since cashed out former employer's plan, grammatically poor instructions for crappy clock/calculator vendor gift
Tom Chambers Fan Blog
The older a woman gets, the more likely I’ll be rendered nearly unconscious by the sheer volume of perfume she’s wearing. When does it go from a little to three yards and a cloud of Charlie? Do they just make perfumes for young women that carry a subtle smell, but when you graduate to the post-menopause line do they crank up the intensity in hopes of incapacitating all available men in a ten yard radius?
Speaking of old women, what ever happened to blue hair? I remember literal, honest-to-god blue hair was some sort of fashion statement for the elderly woman, and now they’re apparently eating granola and leading an active lifestyle with their naturally graying locks. At least America’s ancient haven’t given up on polyester and enormous sunglasses.
Not a great deal of poker content this week due in large part to two things. First, my vacation. I gambled, I lost, I need to decompress. Second, I did join a $25 NL Ring game with Pauly, Maudie, and StinkyPants the other day, and promptly gave $40 to a couple of players before closing out of PartyPoker in disgust. I’m not real sure I get the nuances of the NL Ring game. I’m not going to get into details, as I just don’t want to talk about it, but getting away from gambling for a couple of days is good for me methinks.
I read an article last weekend, shortly after having a discussion with Bob on the same topic, in regards to Congress’ push to enable consumers to have more choice when it comes to their cable TV lineup. I think it’s ludicrous that I have four religious themed channels, two home shopping, one country music, and at least two home-and-garden networks that I pay for but absolutely don’t watch. And at least one Senator agrees with me on this one. Here, in a nutshell, would be how a cable system should line up for me:
Essentials - Broadcast networks (ABC-UPN, and everything in between), TBS, TNT, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNNews, ESPN Classic, CNN, Headline News, Fox News, Bravo, A&E, Comedy Central, FX, Fox Sports, MTV, VH1, IFC, Univision, WGN, USA, Discovery, Travel Channel, Food Network, Cartoon Network, TV Land, AMC, Turner Classic Movies, Weather
Eliminate - TLC, all religious and home shopping, CMT, E!, Home and Garden, PAX, CSPAN, Golf, Speed, Outdoor Life, Nickelodeon, Lifetime, Fit TV, Hallmark, Animal Planet, G4TechTV, CNBC, MSNBC, Court TV, ABC Family, Disney, Oxygen, Soap Opera, Women’s Entertainment, Style (especially fucking Style)
Take It Or Leave It - Game Show, Spike, National Geographic, Sundance, BBC America
Must Add - TVG and Horse Racing Network (two horse racing channels)
In essence, I’m only asking for 30 channels (and broadcast, maybe 36 total). That couldn’t be that complicated to deliver.
TVG is actually part of the basic cable package in Louisville. Bob and I would watch and pick horses off the cuff, gambling with no money hoping to hit it big.
Rather a lot of hubbub this week in regards to Larry Bird’s comments in that interview that aired last night on ESPN. First off, when he says he considered it “an insult” when a coach would send the white guy out to guard him, I don’t think any reasonable person could interpret that to mean “every white guy.” Tom Chambers would have played him tough, probably Kelly Tripucka too. But this is Larry Bird we’re talking about here. He destroyed everyone. I think he was showing his basketball ego there, and insinuating that the stiffs of the league weren’t well equipped to stay with him. Who were the best guys from 6’6” to 6’10” in his day with athleticism? Outside of Tripucka and Chambers, and probably Bobby Jones, I’m pulling at straws to come up with names. Rambis couldn’t check him, neither could Laimbeer. You couldn’t put Sikma or Gminski on him, they’re too slow. Ehlo would have been too small. There aren’t a lot of guys in that height range with enough athletic ability to challenge Bird, black or white.
The other comment was regarding having more white superstars in the league. Look, the NFL has got to be thrilled that they have a guy like Peyton Manning. Having Peyton doesn’t preclude you from marketing Vick or McNabb, but he is a personality that appeals more widely across age, gender, and race than Vick or McNabb. That’s all there is to it. You want a pool of superstars in your league that represent, to the best of your league’s ability, the consumers that walk through your door. Yao Ming is great for the NBA, as he can and does capture the attention and imagination of Chinese Americans (not to mention mainland Chinese) across the country. Most of us are rooting for the guys in uniform (go Pistons) much more than the color of the guys in the uniform. But it doesn’t hurt to have someone that looks like me playing a primary role in my team’s success.
If you play this out in reverse with a Chinese American Yao Ming fan saying, “It’s great that the NBA has a superstar that looks like me,” no one has a problem. There should be more Yao Mings. No one for a minute is suggesting this has to, or inevitably will come at the expense of the Black athlete.
Of course, even though Larry Bird didn’t say it, it’s somehow insinuated that Caucasian athletic success comes at the expense of the Black athlete.
Mike Lupica, a guy I normally loathe, had a great point on “Sports Reporters Primetime” last night. He said something to this effect:
”What we need is a manual. We need a manual to tell us what it’s OK for a white guy to say about a black guy, and for what a black guy can say about a white guy.”Keeping in mind that Jim Gray led Bird to that comment by asking a question Bird comfortably and honestly answered, we are simply far too sensitive to be talking about each other without a major travesty being insinuated in the media. As a public figure, I don’t believe you can win if race is brought into the argument.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
An aborted attempt to blog the MTV Movie Awards
I buried it back in the archives due to length, so there's your link. Anyway, I got an hour into the show, and predictably, I'm bored. Maybe I'll finish this during another viewing, provided they re-run this at some point this summer .
I have a great idea for the next reality show. It’s going to be called “See, I Fucking Told You.” For example, we’ll take one of those conspiracy theory idiots that don’t believe we landed on the moon, follow him through astronaut school, and put him on board a rocket and shoot him to the moon just so the host can point out the Neil Armstrong footprint and the flag.
”See Bill? Right over here we have a footprint, and over here there’s another one. How does it feel now to know that we did land on the moon all those years ago after all? See? I fucking told you.”
We can train a Kennedy conspiracy nut to become a sharpshooter, and let him take a couple of cracks at a dummy in a motorcade from the Depository window. Then, we can bring a Fundamentalist Christian to the Museum of Natural History, and make him sit through a lecture by a pre-eminent scientist.
You know, along those same lines, a fascinating idea would be to take a man from a remote African or Amazon tribe, one of those tribes that has never seen civilization before, and give him the chance to do something mind-blowing. Put him on the Space Shuttle, or maybe drop him off alone in the middle of the MGM Grand Casino in Vegas. Whatever. We’re white people, we’re not above fucking with other cultures for our amusement.
By the way, during a call with one of my customers right now, I just told them that I’d give them a call back “on your celly.” I’m not sure, but I think I just used hip-hop slang during the course of business. Was it inappropriate for me to end the call with, “Fo Shizzle?”
I checked my blog stats, and yesterday was my second highest day ever for page views. That being said, I was only slightly above average for total unique visitors (with a nice symmetry of precisely the same number of new and returning visitors). This can only be attributed to a certain intern working for a major Defense Contractor who needs to be given a project sometime in the near future to keep busy. Or, he needs to start his own blog. I also got a visitor from Washington DC whose ISP read “Sargeant At Arms, US Senate.” He was searching for GLD thoroughbred tips. Here’s one: Don’t bet on Secret Romeo to win anymore. He’ll only disappoint you in the end.
One nifty thing about the new Blogger.com interface is the Blogger Profile area. It’s cool to be able to see all the blogs locally to my town or my state, and also anyone who has claimed the same interests and hobbies as I have in my profile. This isn’t the most robust feature at this point, as it’s only a few weeks old, and I don’t believe most people with blogs have even set up a profile yet, but it’s growing.
From the page featuring my local blogs, I came across a new blog from a 16 year-old girl who wrote, “All the extremely creative people, the geniuses, usually have a well of hate, guilt, or sorrow to draw off of.”
It’s an incomplete thought, in my opinion, but an interesting one. I don’t believe that those three emotions are the complete wellspring from which all genius has flowed since the dawn of man. I’ve listened to too much Coltrane to discount “faith.” I’ve heard plenty of “joy” out of Louis Armstrong’s horn. And I certainly have read enough Al Can’t Hang to believe “drunk” can be a factor.
Point being, I don’t believe a person can create, build, or grow without emotion. I’m not even just limiting myself to art, literature, and music here. The reason this sixteen year old girl’s thoughts got me thinking in the first place is due to my own personal dark period.
Just to recap the last fourteen months of my marriage, my ex-wife lost her job, became “self-employed” (sat on her ass all day), became depressed, found “romance” online with someone willing to whisk her away from reality, and chased that feeling instead of working out her own (and our own) problems. This happened circa 2001.
It was the first time I’ve been faced with depression, and I fell victim to its succubus-like draw, spinning me lower with each passing day.
Some people, when depressed, cry a lot. Others can’t find the strength to beat those feelings of despair and stay bed-ridden for days.
Me? I just quit feeling anything. I got up. I went to work. I came home. I deadened myself with anything at hand. Didn’t talk to anyone, didn’t want to. I wouldn’t even let myself think about what was going on in my own world. I put the blinders on and stuck to the routine.
And for awhile, it really didn’t hurt. Most of the problems with the other guy(s) and my ex were going on behind my back, so I didn’t sit there and speculate, and I certainly didn’t beat myself up over it. It wasn’t denial, where the false assumption of security is the overriding factor. It was a simple non-acknowledgement of the external world. Nothing for me existed outside of my field of vision. I wasn’t about to let any of it in.
For approximately four months, maybe longer, I was in this waking catatonia. I lost friendships because I was no longer the same person they once knew. I rarely left the house beyond work and necessary errands. I wasn’t “sharp” anymore with my thoughts or wits. I felt as if I became utterly disconnected, and completely unable to relate to people anymore.
I could go to work, sure. I could go get more beer at the liquor store. But I couldn’t approach fixing my world, my relationship, my life, on any terms at all. I wasn’t acknowledging internally whether there was or wasn’t a problem.
I believe what our sixteen year old friend meant when referring to “geniuses” was people who create. People of action, to put it very simply. And in this cocoon I had spun myself, I was undoubtedly a man of inaction.
Looking back, I can identify one night in particular as a turning point for myself. I had long since found out about the other man from England who, via the Internet and eventually the telephone, was telling my ex-wife everything she needed to hear to block out her ugly reality. After three months of their flirtation, he bought a ticket to come to Detroit for the week.
I begged, I cried, I threatened, it didn’t matter. She was going to see him.
The very first night I knew he was in town, she didn’t come home. I badgered her constantly for a few hours on her cell phone, hoping to slap her back into understanding how unfair and wrong she was being.
Darkness fell, and it had been six hours since his arrival. I was at once incredulous, livid, grieving, and despondent. I’ve never been suicidal, save for this one night. I didn’t get close enough to be dangerous, but I was getting there.
What I remember most about that night wasn’t the hours spent trying to talk myself into ending it (never could put a good enough argument together). It wasn’t the pleading and threatening voice mail messages I was leaving every three minutes for the first few hours.
What I remember was lying awake in bed and, for the first time in my life, crying with a true purpose.
I don’t believe I decided anything officially that night, but why I feel that night in particular was a turning point was just simply knowing I could cry again. I was grieving, I was sad, but I was feeling. Collapsing under the weight of my emotions showed me that I could do something again to help myself. I was done ignoring problems. I could get out if I wanted to.
I was still a long ways from being a “man of action” again, but damned if I didn’t realize how important it was to think about my life, to worry about the future, and to feel every bump along the way for the joy or sorrow or whatever it made me feel.
I’m not a great artist, or a genius by any stretch of the imagination. I get bonus points for honesty, sure, but by and large what you have here are the ramblings of a man that was indelibly changed by one night of gut-wrenching sorrow. The only reason I can smile now is due to the tears I shed then.
Anything is better than sleepwalking.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Best Wishes To Iggy's Cat
And no, I'm not being facetious.
My dog, Frye the Dog, is also named after a Groening-verse character (Futurama, naturally), and he was more valuable to me getting through the last three years alone than anyone else emotionally.
Man, I hope everything turns out as all right as possible. Go Monty.
She could steal, but she could not rob…
You know it’s a good morning when you catch the XM Top Tracks station playing the last side of “Abbey Road” in its entirety (“Here Comes The Sun King” to “The End”). This happens with relative frequency on XM, which is one of the wonderful benefits having XM provides.
As soon as that suite of songs ended, I flipped to the classic hip-hop station and caught Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing.” That was sweet.
One more XM note that weirded me out a little bit. I had the comedy station (stand-up) on when I started the car up this morning, and John Leguizamo was on. He was talking about meeting the woman that became his wife. Here was the exact phrase he used to describe her:
”She could call me on my bullshit, but she was sweet about it.”Sound familiar?
Tonight on the agenda is a trip to Clover Bar with cousin Rachelle, who I’m introducing to Nick, a guy I did a play with last summer. Rachelle, for those who don’t remember, is that cousin of mine that looks like Summer from “The OC.” She’s in town for the summer and knows next-to-no-one, and Nick is a good guy, so I thought I’d make an introduction. Rachelle, predictably for a girl of 18, is all sorts of nervous. She even asked me, “What should I wear?” Uh, we’re going out for pizza, what do I care?
I had a friend from high school that not only slept with his cousin, but bragged about it too. This was the very beginning of his “skeevy phase.” He got a lot of action, but damned if most of those girls weren’t well below expectations.
To be fair, his cousin was pretty hot. Not that that is an excuse or anything. Bad idea. I mean, it’s OK to say, “Damn, my cousin is hot.” It’s probably even OK to have, uh, impure thoughts cross your mind. But for not only one cousin, but both to somehow think hooking up is a good idea? Something is seriously wrong with that family.
I remember one of the girls this friend of mine hooked up with in college. She was a peroxide blonde with the most gargantuan set of natural knockers I’ve ever seen on a frame that small. I mean, she was probably 5’4” and thin, but easily had three Ds on her chest. Probably more. Only thing was, she had a face built for porn, and not in the good way either. She was one of those girls that was fortunate she had such a big rack, because it improved her looks by about 40% overall, even though she was a 7 of 10 on a good day. I always wondered why a girl like this doesn’t automatically move to the San Fernando Valley and get into porn as a career. With breasts that big, no one would have blamed her.
This friend and I had two girls we both hooked up with in common. Unfortunately, he slept with both while I only got to “third base” with each. Freaking Utah upbringing. Anyway, one was a girl I’ve talked about before , and the other was this girl Kori.
Fall of 1992, freshman year of college, I trail my boy P and a bunch of people from his dorm to a party. Freshmen at Big Ten schools circa 1992 travel in packs, drink kegs dry, and sing along to Pearl Jam’s “Ten,” the ubiquitous house party soundtrack of that autumn. P’s group spent a little time finding the bottom of various bottles of Blue Maui and Root Beer Schnapps (freshmen, remember) before leaving the dorm, so I was the only one without a serious buzz going so far.
As we’re walking twenty some odd strong to a house party about a mile away, P points out a girl near the front of the pack, and lets me know this is the one he’s after tonight. Red bodysuit top with plunging cleavage and a pair of tight jeans, the typical freshman girl uniform. What an ass on this one though. P, sometimes, had good taste.
Less than an hour into our visit to the house party (about the distance between “Evenflo” and “Jeremy,” if you’re keeping score), P has killed a few beers, and has turned into “abrasive, obnoxious, drunken P.” And he’s cornered the object of his affection, who through rudimentary understanding of body language, obviously wants nothing to do with “abrasive, obnoxious, drunken P.”
I manage to wedge my way into the conversation, and introduce myself to a grateful Kori. As P makes his way back to the keg for a fourth or tenth refill, Kori whispers to me, “Let’s get outta here.”
Not at all willing to look a gift horse in the mouth, I mention that my dorm is not only closer, but my roommate’s gone and I’ve got beer.
And off we go.
It bears mentioning that P and I hooked up with the same girl simultaneously (uh, we were both hooking up with her individually, but not together, at the same time) previously, so I knew I wasn’t doing anything he’d get pissed off about.
We weren’t inside my room two minutes before she’s got her shirt off, and is all over me without any small talk at all. With absolutely no standing on ceremony, we’re both naked and in bed moments later, and groping and pawing at each other like monkeys at the zoo. We didn’t end up having sex, but there wasn’t a whole lot else left on the table by the time the early morning hours hit.
We didn’t leave the bed all night long. It was the first time I had spent the entire night naked with an entirely naked girl right next to me. No talking, just sweaty foreplay driving me bonkers into the wee hours.
The next morning I realized I was waking up next to a stranger for the first time in my life. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, mind you, but I’m fairly certain at this point that I’ve got a girl that digs me here, with whom I’ve had less than fifteen minutes of true conversation.
And call me old fashioned, but I kinda need to be able to get it up for someone mentally as well as physically.
Fortunately, we had a long walk in front of us back to her dorm across campus. She was predictably clingy that morning, probably in the same moment attracted to me and relieved that she met a guy that didn’t feel it necessary to bang her on the first date.
We hit the sidewalk together, hand in hand, and found our first opportunity to size each other up with the animal hookup lust and early morning afterglow behind us. I don’t think we got two hundred yards before it happened.
I don’t remember the exact quote (it’s been twelve years), but she said, ”supposably.” And then general vapidity followed. I swear to god the closer we got to her dorm, the dumber she got. And the dumber she got, the more she started talking about “our future” together.
Oh no. Oh my god no.
She had that gleam in her eye that was obviously envisioning long walks down by the river, lunches and dinners together, and spending night after night in each other’s arms and beds.
I had that nervous look starting to bubble up that burgeoned into full-fledged panic once she made a remark about meeting her parents when they came up in a few weekends.
Oh my god no.
It wasn’t the first time, and it wasn’t the last time I pulled that dickhead guy move, giving her the old, “I’ll give you a call,” and reneging immediately on that promise. She took a couple of weeks to get the picture, and predictably fell in with P soon thereafter.
And I resolved never to hook up blind like that again.
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Christians Disturb Me
Follow that link above - thanks to Mimi Smartypants (link at right) for the hook-up on that one.
Here's something else that bothers me... Bob and I were up late watching TV at the hotel, and that show "Cheaters" was on. I love that show. As a matter of fact, that show should have its own channel, as far as I'm concerned. Trade it straight across for the Home and Garden Channel. Whatever.
Anyway, without getting into the sob stories these two women had when finding out their men were cheating, my question became, how do men like this get laid in the first place?
The first dude was one of those guys with the peasy mustache, crew cut, and probably featured a wardrobe 50% thick with NASCAR logos. Not well spoken, not good looking, didn't have a job, and passed his time by drinking whole cases of Busch at a time and popping his paintball gun off in the backyard. They showed some undercover detective footage of this guy in a bar hitting on some other guy's girl. When other guy got back, it took all of six seconds to turn into a full-fledged fight.
And this guy has two women. Granted, they both had a staggering lack of self-esteem, but one of them wasn't bad looking at all.
I don't get it at all.
I'm a nice guy, I enjoy spending time with, and even money on an interesting woman. I have a job, my own place, and even a cool dog.
How do losers ever score? Man, am I tired of paying for it.
Wait, did I just say that out loud?
Editor's note: There are no prostitutes in my hometown. I'm not really paying for it, although don't think I haven't considered it.
Long day yesterday.
It was a day like every first day off of a long vacation weekend should be. I walk in to fifteen voice mails, over one hundred emails, and can’t identify a ten minute stretch of my day yesterday that didn’t feature at least one phone call.
Top that off with the fact that I’m actually watching not only my account, but another account remotely at a different location due to a maternity leave and manager’s meeting, and I certainly don’t have a whole lot of time to be screwing around and writing to my good ol’ blog.
But, here we are.
I had a good “white trash evening” last night. A TV dinner, Coors Light in the can, and hours of couch time in my underwear. That’s not normal for me, but was born of necessity. It was HOT in my house. Real hot. Although the house in which I live does have central air, the people below me “aren’t air conditioning people,” and control the thermostat for the whole house. It really wasn’t terrible for the better part of the early evening, as I was catching a nice little breeze blowing in from the South in my living room window, but once the sun went down the air grew still, and it must have been a dead calm 85 degrees in my bedroom last night. It’s one of those nights where you wish you could somehow arrange your body on the bed without any single part of your body touching another. I don’t even like having the sides of my fingers touching when I’m that hot. The worst, though, are the back-of-the-neck sweats. Those make me miserable. I used an ice cube to cool down and finally got to sleep after quite a bit of fretting, tossing, turning, and sweating.
I’m making a lunch hour trip to buy some fans. I can’t continue to spend my nights in my underwear like that. I have some pride.
Sunday night I had the opportunity to pop on to PartyPoker for a quick $5 SNG, hoping to redeem my luck after my rough weekend. I actually quadrupled up in the first two hands when two players pushed all in on my AKs and I caught on the first hand, and when my QQ on hand two held up against one more unfortunately aggressive player. By the time we got down to the final three, I had railbirds Phil from St. Glyphic, other brother M, and of course Dr. Pauly, along for the rest of the ride.
Once I went heads-up for the final two, I wanted to just goof around (what’s $10 when you’ve lost $200 over the weekend already?), and goaded the guy into pushing all-in on every single hand. Although he pussed out and actually folded a couple, he did manage to catch a few luckier low hands than I did, and busted me into second place.
Pauly, Phil, and I jumped next onto another $5 SNG where my luck was stopped cold on hand number one. KK in the hole, I limped from EP, and saw one minor, then one major raise on the way back around. I pushed all-in, and got one caller. He had 77, caught his 7 on the flop, and busted out quick. Stupid flop.
I then caught HDub online on the chat, and we talked for a little while. He assured me that the casino beat I took was simple variance (he can be quite reassuring), and that I played it fine. He also asked about K, that girl I quit talking to after the whole telling-me-to-shut-up debacle. I told him I had to let her go, and he said that I wasn’t writing her very as a very likeable person anyway.
He asked me what I look for in a woman, to which I responded with this answer: ”I look for a woman that will call me on my bullshit with a gleam in her eye.”
I don’t think I’ve ever put it better than that before.
Five for Five
With all due apologies to Pauly
Five Random Cities in which I've eaten Chicken Fried Steak
1. Sandy, UT
2. Livonia, MI
3. Evanston, WY
4. North Platte, NE
5. Some small town over the Ohio/PA border
Five Random Acts I've Seen In Concert
1. Henry Threadgill's Very Very Circus
2. Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials
3. Jethro Tull
4. Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock
5. Jimmy Heath
Five Random Favorite Beef Dishes, aside from steaks
2. Beef Noodle flavor Hamburger Helper
3. Spaghetti and Meatballs
4. Pot Roast
5. French Dip Sandwiches
Five Random Concepts I've Given Up On
1. Makeover/Home Improvement Reality Game Shows
2. Major League Baseball
3. Owning TiVo in the near future
4. Ever appearing on "The Price Is Right"
5. Serviceable ethnic food in West Michigan (not including Italian/Mexican)
Five Random Drinks I Miss Now That Liver Problems Preclude Hard Alcohol Consumption
1. Single malt scotch on the rocks
2. SoCo Manhattan, Sweet
3. Sapphire and Tonic
4. Premium Margarita, On The Rocks
5. Jack and Coke
Sunday, June 06, 2004
Bob and BG on the road
Jesuschrist am I tired. I've just arrived back to palatial BG Estates after approximately eight hours in the car (roughly Indianapolis to Ann Arbor to Grand Haven, if you're doing the math), and I'm just freaking emotionally spent.
The beatdowns of the last two days of gambling don't help much.
I mentioned in my Friday morning quickie (below) that I had made a little cash at the track on Thursday. As far as the horses go, I felt like I didn't cash another ticket all weekend long. The tally, then the particulars...
Gambling Profit/Loss (n/i food, beverages, lodging, etc)
Frankly, down $190 for three days of seemingly straight gambling isn't terrible. It was well within my budgeted allowable losses, so I'm not that bitter. The marginal bitterness shall be explained henceforth...
Thursday - With a Churchill Downs destination and a post time of 1PM EST, Bob and I loaded up the family truckster from the student slums of Ypsilanti, and proceeded south on our 350 mile quest for dollars.
Actually, let me start with a Wednesday event that I felt might be one of those fluke luck indicators that would hopefully bless my gambling efforts for the weekend. I departed my side of the state right after work and drove out to Bob's joint. On the way out, as has been par for the course in this Michigan May, I caught myself in the middle of a couple of fluke rainstorms that produced driving rain and extremely hazardous driving conditions out there. After the second one faded away, I caught some sunshine and a nearby rainbow was visible out the windows. A few miles later, one of us caught up to the other, and the end of the rainbow was perched right on top of my hood for a few miles. Was this an omen?
We arrived in Louisville and had little trouble locating Churchill Downs. CD has been going through major construction for over a year now, and it was a little disappointing to have the outer facade half historical, half wrapped in Tyvek. Not only that, but the construction severely limited or flat-out restricted access to some of the more interesting areas (restaurants, for instance) in the building, and prevented any spectators from getting closer than the 1/16th pole to the finish line. No matter, as we were just happy to be there, and were lucky enough to be given box seat passes by a gentleman who had a few extra to give away on the way in.
Churchill oozes history. The paddock is a pretty nifty place, and they have an OTB area that reminds me quite a bit of the LV Hilton's Sports Book. With a crowd of only 4,000 out on Thursday afternoon, we had no problems getting around, finding prime seats, and getting our bets in when needed.
My big score for the day was based on the DRF's tips in the form for the third race. I boxed the two favorites (8/5 and 8/5 odds) in with a 7/1 horse that I felt was a nice overlay into a trifecta. Luckily, the 7/1 horse won, placing the other two behind. $135 later, and I was bankrolled for the day. Overall, I put $20 in the machine and cashed out $84. Not too shabby.
One thing that was striking about Churchill was how unbelievably nice and pleasant all the people working there (not to mention nearly everyone else I met in Kentucky) were.
In one exchange, I walked into the deli to go grab a sandwich. The woman behind the counter was a forty-something year-old black woman whose daughter of about 18 was working with her shoulder-to-shoulder. As I'm ordering my sandwich, the manager taps the woman on the shoulder and tells her I'm her last one of the day and she can go home. We (the woman, her daughter, and I) start chatting a little bit about how she makes the best sandwich in the joint. She was exceptionally pleasant, which is a rarity for my experiences with $6/hr sandwich makers at a horse track.
I stop her and compliment her by saying, "You know, I've got to tell you that you Kentucky people are a lot more friendly than the Detroit people I'm used to." I not only remember to qualify "you people" with "Kentucky," but usually just tell people I'm from Detroit, as it makes it easier (if I don't give a shit that they know where I'm from).
She replies, still with a smile and not at all abrasively, "I know about them Detroit people. My sister went to live in Detroit and got herself a little bit murdered up there."
"I'm sorry?" I ask, as if I'm just making sure she's not trying to lump me into the the Motown Hellspawn that took her sibling's life.
"She fell into the wrong crowd. Got herself a little bit murdered. Whattareyagonnado? Would you like an extra pickle with your sandwich?"
This is how nice these people were. For $6/hr behind a counter, Detroit (err, Michigan) people aren't generally this friendly.
We chatted with a worker at the beer counter for thirty to forty seconds after making our purchase about nothing while someone was waiting patiently and pleasantly behind us for his turn. We got a steakhouse recommendation from a guy running a betting window, who took the time to draw us a map while someone was waiting patiently and pleasantly behind us for his turn. Workers went out of their way to get a door for you, made eye contact, and were about the damned nicest people I've ever met.
Re-reading that last paragraph reminds me of a piece of advice I'd like to pass along to those of you out there who may not know any better. Don't ever get a steakhouse recommendation from a dude that makes $6/hr. Bob and I visited Dillon's Steakhouse on Thursday night, hoping we'd land somewhere that was about a step below a Morton's or Ruth's Chris. What we ended up with was a place about a half a step above a Lone Star Saloon. Here is a comprehensive list of everything the waiter fucked up at our table for our meal:
>>Forgot entirely to bring us our bottle of wineYou know Bob, looking at this list doesn't make it look as bad as it was. Anyway, we had the manager bail him out (who served me a complimentary glass of wine with a big chunk of wax that had fallen off the bottle in the bottom), and I pulled the asshole move at the end of the meal when he brought the check.
We got the cash, gave him 15%, and I basically said, "You know, you're lucky you've got two guys right here who were servers for a long time. We know you got busy and lost your head a little. I mean, you and I both know the service sucked, right? (He nods) Let me give you a piece of advice. If you ever get in the weeds like this again, you need to ask for help a lot sooner. You're lucky you had us here, because we got your manager involved and he bailed you out, and instead of just having one table with terrible service, you could have had all four of these (in his section) tables really unhappy with you." I think that kinda pissed him off.
We spent Thursday night at the Country Club Estates home of my dad's best friend and his wife. As bushed as we were, Bob was thrilled when he broke out a fresh bottle of Maker's Mark (and a half bottle of Chianti for me) and we went out to the deck to drink and shoot the shit. He and his wife did mention to me what has become the standard party line when discussing my short-lived marriage, "We all had bets as to how long that would last." Why didn't anyone get me involved in that pool? I could have made a mint.
Friday - Dad's best friend is a golfer, and belongs to a nice Country Club outside Louisville, so we managed to sneak a round in first thing in the morning. Beautiful club out there, and I actually made two pars, which is tremendous for me (I suck terribly, and it was the first I'd played in ten months).
We then meandered over to the track and had a light day of betting and watching out there. I went down $60, which I filed under "acceptable losses" due to Thursday's win. Then, to the hotel for a pizza and out to Caesar's Indiana for poker.
Bob and I arrived around 9PM, and got ourselves on the list for $4/$8 Limit. The average age in the cardroom was about 60, so I was a little concerned I'd be playing in a rock garden.
Thankfully, we were sat at a table where I, at nearly 30, was possibly the second oldest person playing to one forty-something dude.
Now, I'd love to rehash the entire evening, but let me encapsulate so I can talk about one hand and one hand alone. I sat down, went up off my original $260 buy-in to nearly $400, and went down to about $230 in my stack again over an hour and a half of folding and catching second bests.
So, with about $230 or so left, and the clock reading about 1230AM, I looked down from middle/late position to see AKo. Tiger Woods (young black guy who carried a PGA card and dressed like he stepped off the links) bet out from EP, another called, and I raised it up to $8. Older dude went to $12, SB called, as did Tiger and the other dude, and I capped it at $16. All four call.
File this away. Tiger Woods called two bets, then the third. Five in the pot, $80 (ignore rake, it was brutal though).
Flop comes AK8 rainbow. I'm wetting myself at this point (no Iggy, I didn't sneeze), and EP leads out for $4. Tiger calls, other guy runs away, and I bump to $8. Older dude thinks and chucks (thank god, keep reading), and EP and Tiger call.
Turn is a 3. Four suits on the board, and because of the calls from EP and Tiger, I'm confident I'm not up against a set. I figure one (probably EP) for QQ, and Tiger probably for something like AJ or AQ. Check, check, and I go in for $8. EP and Tiger just call. $128 in the pot.
River is a Queen. Now I'm worried. Thankfully, it's check, check again to me, and I think for a second before rapping my knuckles, as I figure it's 50/50 I got beat by a set of Queens, and I don't want a check-raise here.
EP, much to my delight, turns over AQo. I had him from the get-go. I flip AK to much oohing and aahing.
Fucking Tiger Woods turns over JTo.
Jack Ten Off? Where the fuck does he get off seeing four pre-flop bets with that hand?
EP, remember, had AQ. There's one Queen he needed gone. Older dude then tells me that he bowed out on the flop with QQ.
Tiger Woods had precisely one card in the deck to make a hand, and he hit it.
Sad thing is, the more I think about this hand, the only thing I think I can get truly upset about was his pre-flop play. Because EP didn't push the betting on the flop and turn, Tiger was getting appropriate pot odds for his play. After the flop, that is.
He had (without knowing the other three Queens were spoken for) four outs. $8 into a $120 pot is 10-1. He was just about 10-1 over the last two cards to catch his Queen. And the last $8 (on the turn) would have been enough of a "what the hell" to make the call worthwhile.
So his fucking straight robbed me of my poker profit. His one-out-motherfucking-straight.
This is where my gambling went downhill. I got up after mucking my next hand $80 lighter from the casino, and Bob and I took off.
Saturday - We drove up to Indiana Downs in run of the mill Shelbyville, IN for our viewing of the Belmont Stakes. They have a gorgeous facility there, all brand new, with an upper crust sportsbar type environment to it. Probably a great place to spend a Saturday night. That is, if you can pick a fucking winner.
All I want to say is this... I don't remember cashing a ticket for profit all day long. $110 down, and no, I didn't bet on Smarty Jones. I stayed away from that race.
All in all, this was a well-deserved vacation for me, and I'm glad Bob could find the time to fit a little gambling into his schedule for a change. God knows he certainly doesn't do enough of it. Now, I'm tired and I want a pizza...
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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