|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Thursday, July 15, 2004
TouchGraph GoogleBrowser V1.01
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Thanks to Cuban Links for that one. Super cool toy.
Mr. Happy Finger Button Clicking Man
That’s the sound I’d imagine a fish makes.
That’s also the sound of the boat sinking due to a hole in the hull. In this case, the hull represents logic and reason, and the hole represents my idiot approach to playing these SNGs lately.
Am I capable of finishing top two to four in nearly every SNG in which I play? Yeah, I think I am. Then why am I busting out in sixth place after blowing a nice sized chip lead? Why am I pushing what I know is a second best hand against some of these other players? They’re the ones that are stupid not to call me. I’m the one that’s stupid for putting them in that position.
I have to commit to myself to use my bankroll for the forces of good, not the forces of evil. I have to commit to continuing to learn this game constructively, and not look at poker as a form of gambling, but as the game of skill it should be.
Last night I played two $10 SNGs. In the first one, I folded my way into fourth place. It’s not an exaggeration to say that over the course of the last six to ten orbits (as we pared players away and orbits were only five or six hands long), my best starting hand was 89s. I didn’t play like a moron in that one, but that may have only been due to the cards being ice cold.
They continued to be ice cold in the second game, providing me no starting hands worth playing for the first two orbits. However, by the time the blinds hit 25/50, I had built up a slight chip lead at the table and was feeling pretty good.
Then, I get A8s in the hole. I see a mild raise, and then two clubs on the flop: K42. Predictably (lately), I get into the "Oh yeah?!? You want to re-raise me?" war with the guy holding the best hand, and on a draw I should know well enough that I’m not getting the proper odds to make the call when he pushes all-in. This guy (by this point) barely had me covered in chips, so it was "hit the flush or go home" time.
I even typed in the comments "I know this isn’t a great call, but whatever," or something like that. I pushed all-in.
He had K2. He hit another King and another 2. Full house, I’m bounced.
When he led out betting on the flop, I told myself, "let’s raise him for information." When he re-raised, that should have told me – at least – that he had the K, and maybe two pair. I did have ten outs in the deck, but that wasn’t enough to make the call. I knew that, and I still pushed.
These are the hands I need to learn from. No more playing like a moron. I’ve got to buckle down.
For Every Letter, Let’s Nitpick My Past
Thought this might be fun. From A-Z, here’s a brief snippet of what it’s like to be me. Some of this stuff I’ve written about previously, but it’s staggering to put this all down in one fell swoop. By the way, I’m going to try to complete this list without referencing my marriage…
A – AO, the restaurant hostess. I know it wasn’t a mistake to dump her, but this is the one and only girl from my past that I can’t get out of my head, only because of what she brought to the table in bed. There’s not a single time we were together physically that I can’t vividly picture in my head. I’ve toyed with the idea of calling her, but I saw a recent picture online by Google stalking, and she’s more than a little bit bigger now. Not gonna do it.
B – Bob’s college housemate Beth was one of those legitimately unique people who was just adorable in her "alternative" sort of look. It was while watching "The Graduate" with her that I made what was easily the clumsiest pass at a girl that I had ever made before in my life. Joe Namath’s "I want to kiss you, I just want to kiss you" pass at Suzy Kolber was far smoother than I was. I’d get into details, but I think I’ve emotionally blocked out everything but the embarrassment from that moment.
C – CS, of whom I’ve spoken of before. This girl was smart, beautiful, funny, and did I mention beautiful? Problem was, I convinced myself that she was only using me and didn’t really like me. That’s because I’m an idiot. Biggest non ex-wife regret in my dating history. I totally blew her off after a couple of dates due to having no self-confidence.
D – Detassling corn is the most miserable job I’ve ever had. Out in the fields by 5AM, working in the heat of the day, and beating the ever living crap out of your hands is hardly a way to spend a summer. Not to mention the fact that I was living with my aunt and her asshole then-husband for the summer doing this. It was good money, but just beat you up physically and emotionally every day.
E – One big "What If" I have is what if I hadn’t passed along news of my Engagement to JP (mentioned below) when she called me completely out of the blue two plus years after I had seen her last? Basically, after exchanging pleasantries, she asked me what was up, I told her about the engagement, she cut the conversation short, and I haven’t heard from her since. I really do think she was calling to see if I was available. Now excuse me while I go bang my head against a door jamb for a couple of hours…
F – Football. I played one year of football in fifth or sixth grade, and was really out of my element. I’m too big a wuss to tackle appropriately, so I was useless on defense, and I was too small and slow to be of value on offense. Needless to say, I didn’t play much. Still took an undeserved beating.
G – There was this Goth chick from my AP English class senior year that fell hard for the new kid in school. She tailed me everywhere, following me to Taco Bell at lunch, and calling me at home. It got a little unnerving. Anyway, she eventually asked me to go with her to the midnight movies, and I said, "Sure, but it won’t be a date." She was pissed. "Why won’t it be a date?" My answer? "Because I’m not going to let it be." She left me alone after that. She wasn’t one of those cute Goth chicks either. Good move by me.
H – CH was this little punk bastard who lived across the street and three houses down from us in Utah. He’s the only person with whom I’ve ever been in a fight. Well, not a fight so much, as I just attacked him and kicked his ass, but still. He stole all my baseball cards, denied it, got caught by his older brother, and returned them to me. However, he bent them all up first. At the time, those were worth over $100, probably over $200. Still, that wasn’t the dumbest thing I ever caught him doing. I was making lunch in the kitchen and he was with my brothers in the living room. All of a sudden I’m hearing "No! Don’t!" and I run in to see he’s moved the couch away from the wall, and is pissing on the carpet behind. The bathroom was ten feet away.
I – I once contributed to driving a girl nearly Insane. Basically, freshman year I met this girl C, who had a roommate Jen. C and I hooked up shamelessly for a few nights, but I became friends with Jen on the side. C and Jen were friends from way back, and C was much prettier than Jen, and came from a wealthier family. Jen probably always resented C a little bit, but one night on a walk to the store, Jen stopped me and said, "Why are you going out with C and not me? I like you more." Oy. I did my best to diffuse that situation there, and C and I flamed out shortly thereafter. About a month later, Jen flipped out and nearly burned all her possessions to the ground in their shared dorm room, and left school abruptly. I can’t help but feel partially responsible.
J – JP was the best looking girl I’ve ever known. She worked with me at a restaurant, and lived in an extra room in my house for a few months while she was both waiting tables and stripping. One night while I was the closing manager for the steakhouse, she came in absolutely loaded and totally came on to me. As we were living in the same house, I just asked her on her way out the door to be there when I got home. She wasn’t, and I never got that close to having her again.
K – KS was a girl in high school that was – again – smart and cute enough that I just figured she was kidding when she constantly bugged me by asking "When are we going out? When are you going to ask me out?" Of course, I didn’t believe her and poo-poo’d the idea. Growing up in Utah does strange things to a kid, I’ll tell you.
L – Lisa, a roommate and best friend to my freshman year hook-up friend MP, hated my sense of humor, acerbic as I can be. I think she might have resented my hooking up with her friend, as ultimately Lisa came out of the closet a few years later, and her friend was (in my estimation) very much "her type." Anyway, she hated me until I came through in the clutch as an excellent Secret Santa for her, and although we never became real tight, the tension was broken.
M – MP, as mentioned above, was my college hook-up for much of my time there. I got it through my head early on that we weren’t ever going to be much more than friends with the occasional make-out session, but it still always bugged me when she introduced me to other guys. One in particular I hated was a short term guy, but was around long enough for me to loathe. He looked just like Brian Krakow from "My So Called Life," which was on TV at that time. Could have been twins. I wanted to crack his skull open with a baseball bat, pretty much just because he looked like Brian Krakow and took my girl away temporarily.
N – "N" is for Newspaper, either the Salt Lake Tribune or Deseret News, I can’t remember. I won a Nickelodeon contest when I was in eighth grade, and was Mayor of Salt Lake City for a day. I ended up giving interviews to both local newspapers, but I guess one of the writers found me so dry and boring at age 13 that they felt the need to make up a whole bunch of crap that never came out of my mouth. Complete fiction. They turned me into a gum-smacking, slingshot in the back pocket caricature of Dennis the Menace. All I could think about for months was, "Am I so boring that they had to do this in order to write an article?"
O – OK, the "big O." I can remember the when, where, and what of the first one for me. It was probably fifth grade, and I had this little room built into the back of my closet where I went to read. Yeah, "read", that’s it. Anyway, I was in that room, it was probably fifth grade, and I had the SI Swimsuit Issue. Not only do I remember that it was the SI Swimsuit Issue, but I remember precisely what picture I was looking at. Whoever the Duke QB was at the time (Dave Brown is my guess) had an article written about him, and they threw in a picture of his girlfriend in a bikini. That’s what I was looking at, and those are the circumstances of my very first payoff.
P – The Pool house snack bar and ticket gate was one of my first jobs, and was the first job from which I got fired. I was working the gate, and the lifeguards had stolen the stamp with which we stamped hands for re-entry. I did, however, have a black magic marker. I marked a few dozen kids’ hands for re-entry with "BFD." No, not "Brooklyn Fire Department." Anyway, a kid went up to his mom and asked what "BFD" meant, and I was summarily canned. There’s actually a bar now locally that calls itself "BFE," and advertises on TV. We’ve come a long way, baby.
Q – Well, Q is for "Queue," which is what I was in, waiting to buy HORDE Festival tickets after an all night bender that had left me completely unable to put words together coherently that morning. Unfortunately for me, that’s when the best looking girl who had ever tried to make a pass at me, tried just that, just then. For over two hours she was trying to get me to talk to her, and was flirting hard. I just couldn’t respond. I wanted to, but was on the downside of the bender, and flat-out incapable. Talk about timing, that was about the worst timing of my life.
R – I can only pick out one instance where I successfully picked up a Random girl. In college, I asked out the girl from behind the counter of the mini-mart a few houses up the street from my house. Now, I'm about to admit an embarrassing moment here, so bear with me. We went out to a lunch and a dinner, and hung out a bit before anything really happened. But the first time anything happened, was basically the last time anything happened. She came over fresh from work, and within a few minutes of TV watching, we were all over each other. We went upstairs, and slowly started to strip each other down. I've almost got her naked, and she says that she doesn't want to have sex just yet, which I'm OK with. Regardless, she still let me get her naked, and put me in the same boat. We're pawing at each other and making out like animals on a National Geographic special, but again, I'm fighting every urge possible to get inside her. I'm that kind of respectful. Half hour, forty five minutes, an hour passes, and I'm just getting hornier by the minute. And I'm just now noticing that she's steering well clear of my dick. I mean, she'll brush it lightly and briefly, teasing me, even goes down on me for just ever so quick moments, but never for more than fifteen or twenty seconds at a time before moving on elsewhere. I'm leaning in, bending toward her, doing the hip thrusts, whatever to try to draw attention to where attention is needed. On the other hand, she's letting me do whatever it is I want to do to her, and I'm reasonably certain (as reasonably certain as a man can ever be I suppose) I've gotten her off at least a couple of times so far. And I'm still throbbing purple. She just won't help me out. Another hour passes, same story. We're both sweaty and rolling around on the floor, I've just brought her close to hyperventilation for about the fifth time, and she rolls away from me with a smile thanking me while sighing relief. You're done? And it's just now that I just have to lay it out for her. "You know, I could really use some help here." I'm so in need down there I look like I must taste like blue raspberries. "No, that's OK. I don't really want to." WHAT?!? You'll let me violate you with everything but my dick and my left middle toe, and you're not willing to close the deal for me? I couldn't have been hornier, and I've never needed release more in my life before or since. So (and this is the embarrassing part) I tell her, "Fine then, but I've got to help myself here," and proceed to, uh, help myself there. Right there in front of her. Bad, bad move. I'm pretty sure I successfully weirded her out, but if she wasn't willing to give me a piece of ass but was willing to let everything else happen, nothing else here is my fault. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
S – There was another CS in my past, besides the one I used for "C" above. This one was a co-worker of mine I had just started to see frequently when my ex-wife hopped back into my life (we dated briefly in college, didn’t for awhile, then she hunted me down). Pauly is going to kill me, but she kinda resembled Julie Delpy. Not as delicate, but the resemblance in the face was definitely there. I remember dumping her while driving back from the MSU-Notre Dame game where Plaxico Burress torched the Domers for something like three TDs. I dumped her with at least an hour left to go in the ride home. Wasn’t exactly the most fun I’ve ever had in the car right there.
T – Tina was this gorgeous and quiet Italian girl who worked in the corporate offices of my first employer when I was there for nine months of training. After a couple months of absolutely killing myself trying to work up the courage to talk to her (let alone ask her out), I went to one of her co-workers, someone I was friendly with through the training. This co-worker went to Tina and presented my case. However, I’m fairly certain that she told Tina "there’s a guy in that training group…" and didn’t identify me further, because when I found out Tina had interest, I called her, she asked which one of the group I was, I told her the guy with the shaved head and glasses, and she blew me off unceremoniously with some flimsy "family won’t let me date" excuse (or something of the sort). She also never made eye contact with me again. Partially my fault, I’m sure, for not sacking up and just talking to the girl, but I still was irritated by the whole thing.
U – All you can eat spaghetti night in the Moab, Utah Pizza Hut was the site of one of my biggest victories, followed by literal pains of regret. My dad challenged me to see who could eat more spaghetti. I took him seriously and killed nearly five full plates with garlic bread, meatballs, and pop. He, apparently, was kidding and only finished one plate. Yes, I won, but I was so bloated that I had to sleep on the floor as the tiniest cushion from the bed in the hotel was making me motion sick enough to forego sleeping on it. I haven’t eaten that much since.
V – The circumstance surrounding the loss of my Virginity were pretty standard. Boy meets girl. Boy chases girl. Girl blows off boy. Months later, girl gets drunk and jumps boy out of the blue. Boy needs a place to bang girl, and makes sure Little Brother gets so drunk that he passes out in the bathroom so his room is freed for usage.
W – JW was part of this group of girls that my friends and I hung out with my senior year of high school. One afternoon, completely out of left field, we’re on the couch watching the local news (her brother was on camera for a blip, we were heading out with the group a little later) alone, there’s no one in the house besides us, and she basically tackles me to the floor and starts kissing me. We’re rounding second and trying to make it to third base in mere minutes, and the stupid freaking garage door goes up, signaling her parents’ early arrival back home. It’s funny. That whole thing lasted less than twenty minutes, and we never were put in a position of being alone again, so it never happened again. We never even really talked about it. Oh well, whatareyagonnado?
X – I’ll dedicate X to my first girlfriend, who became my first eX-girlfriend. Let me present a logic problem to you, OK? You’re dating a girl who takes a trip to represent the school at the National Model UN in New York City. While there, she meets a boy with whom she obviously had struck up a friendship, as he’s all she can talk about for weeks later. Less than a week after her return, she’s sequestered with Mono. Hmm… The women in my life who have cheated on me always deny it. I never understood that. I’ve already dumped you, why hide it further?
Y – My 10th grade Yearbook, which I have lost and will never see again, was no big loss to me at all. Reason was, I made a friend that year named Steve, and the two of us were about the biggest dickhead assholes you could imagine. All of my "friends" who signed my yearbook who had to endure Steve and I in drama class wrote something to the effect of, "Now that Steve is graduating, you have a good opportunity to be a more pleasant person – and you should take it." Not that I didn’t deserve two dozen entries right up that alley, but it still sucks to take back what you’ve been giving out all year long.
Z - Zero, refers painfully to the number of times I was able to even so much as get a girl's shirt off while living in Utah. It's like fucking "Leave it to Beaver" out there (editor's note: No one is fornicating with Jerry Mathers here, I'm saying it's like the world of the 50's, and it's fucking annoying.). Totally warped my abilities to function appropriately with women for years, as most of letters A-Y will indicate.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Somewhere between derivative and bullshit
Rather than playing full-fledged commercials during programming breaks on stations such as ESPN Radio, XM airs segments such as “Consumer Watch” and “The Country Music Report.” During “The Entertainment Minute” yesterday, they were talking to Danny Bonaduce about a couple of different things, god knows why.
First, the geniuses over at VH1 are looking to put together a “new” Partridge Family, although it was unclear as to whether this was for a TV Movie about the TV show, or whether it was some sort of hip update on the old formula. Either way, I don’t really give a shit.
What really annoyed me was what Bonaduce said to close out the segment (paraphrased):
I was in the offices over at VH1, and I overheard two programming executives talking about trying to find a show that was somewhere between “The Osbournes” and “Nick and Jessica.” I told them that my wife is a Fundamentalist Christian, I’m heavily medicated, and my kids are out of control. So we shot a pilot.Besides the obvious Altman/”The Player” absurdity of that remark, I am left with the following question: What happened to quality writing on TV?
From “The Player:” “I was just thinking what an interesting concept it is to eliminate the writer from the artistic process. If we could just get rid of these actors and directors, maybe we've got something here.”I’m not buying the company line that “reality” is crazier than anything that could be made up, and I’m certainly part of the crowd that is really turned off by what the networks are trying to cram down our throats. Great scripted TV is possible. Look at what HBO is doing. They take chances, and put creative people in positions to succeed without blanching every last piece of individuality out of the project with network “notes.” I don’t believe for a second that HBO is providing better entertainment simply because they can show nudity and curse. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” would work without Susie Essman’s foul mouth. It’s just that the networks are freaked out about putting something on TV that a mom in Iowa won’t understand, so they stick to formulas and don’t give unique programming a chance.
Basic cable isn’t much better right now. Reality is cheaper to produce than scripted programming, so what you get are seventeen knock-offs of “Trading Spaces” across your programming spectrum. Or, of course, VH1 or E! could always trot out Joel Stein, Michael Ian Black, and their cronies for another smug retrospective on wacky moments in some sub-classification of pop culture history. I think the only original scripted programming on basic cable nowadays are those Lifetime “Woman In Trouble” afternoon movies. Anything, I suppose, to keep Joanna Kerns working (more on her in a bit).
In all seriousness, there are only four scripted programs that I will make sure not to miss. One is “The OC,” which has taken trash TV to a new level. The second is “Monk” on the USA Network, which features the enormously talented Tony Shalhoub. The last two are “South Park” and “The Simpsons.” Anything else, I’m not too depressed if I miss a viewing.
There are ZERO “reality” shows that are a must watch, in my book.
Hot Sitcom Moms, the Definitive List
Disclaimer: In order to qualify for my list, the TV Mom must be a legitimate mother, not just a foster parent/caretaker of kids. This would disqualify the smoking hot Kelita Smith, who plays Mrs. Bernie Mac on his self-titled show.
>> George Lopez’ wife on his show – she’s a good looking lady, but is a little emaciated looking. Not quite top ten material.
>> The mom on “Gilmore Girls” – Lauren Graham looks like the type of girl I could have gotten in high school. I bet she was a little nerdy back in those days, but really hit her stride in her 20s. She doesn’t make the list because her show technically isn’t a sitcom.
>> Donna Reed. Much hotter than her TV Sitcom daughter Shelley Fabares, but people sleep on how attractive this woman was because her show was one of the last of the purely innocent sitcom genre of the late 50s/early 60s. No cleavage or tight sweaters on this show.
10. Tisha Campbell on that Damon Wayans Show – I’m such a big fan, ever since “House Party.” Tisha is just ridiculously sexy, and even as she ages isn’t losing it very fast. No, she’s not as hot as she was on “Martin,” but you have to admit, for a “mom,” she looks damn good.
9. Christina Applegate as “Jesse” – While there’s not denying that Applegate was at her peak between the ages of 17-19 on “Married, With Children,” she is still pretty damned attractive. I’ll take her at 10 playing the single mom title character on this impossibly bad sitcom.
8. Claire Huxtable – Just a classically classy lady. That weenie Ahmad Rashad is a lucky man. By the way, her sister – “Fame” star Debbie Allen – is no slouch either.
7. Susan St. James in “Kate & Allie” – Some part of me remembers Susan St. James wearing nothing but a football jersey onstage hosting “Saturday Night Live.” That’s a great look for women – tousled hair and a just-long-enough football jersey. Of course, my impressions of the “K&A” days St. James might be colored by putting her next to Jane Curtin. Next to Jane Curtin, Anne Ramsey is an attractive woman.
6. Patricia Heaton in “Everybody Loves Raymond” – Heaton gets major bonus points for actually looking like a real mom, besides being quite an attractive woman. I did see an interview with her though, where she comes off as a little “new agey” and that was a turn-off for me. Not that I care, I’d love it if I were 45 and had a wife that looked like that.
5. Mrs. Keaton on “Family Ties” – Highly, highly underrated. She looked every bit the part of “ex-hippie” that they had as her character, and had a nice chemistry with Mr. Keaton as well. I’m still not sure about putting her above Patricia Heaton, but here we are.
4. Megyn Price on “Grounded For Life” – Try as I may, I can’t slot her up any higher, despite the cult classic “car wash” episode. She’s hit the wall these last two years, but in the first couple of seasons of this show, when it was good, she was curvy and perfect. She fell over the curvy cliff into chubbyville, which is still OK by me, but doesn’t put her on this list. Only her first two seasons qualify her for #4.
3. Laura Petrie on the “Dick Van Dyke Show” – People forget how hot Mary Tyler Moore was back in the mid 60s. She was a classically trained dancer, and had that tall, lithe body that dancers have. Not to mention the fashions of the day pushed everything up and out and barely hid them under tight sweaters. God bless the mid 60s.
2. Maggie Seaver from “Growing Pains” – Not only was Joanna Kerns just flat out mom-hot, but she had extraordinary chemistry with Alan Thicke that really made that relationship believable. That’s underrated. Frankly, that’s probably half of her allure is her personality on this show. I could make a lame joke about Mike Seaver’s friends coming over and say, “I can see why they called him ‘Boner,’” but I won’t. Shit. I think I just did.
1. Samantha from “Bewitched” – Elizabeth Montgomery is easily the hottest sitcom mom of all time, and she didn’t even need Agnes Moorhead next to her to prove that. I also hear that the actress that played her daughter grew up to be a hottie, but I’m not sure of that. Anyway, with or without the witch powers, Samantha is an easy choice at #1.
I’ll take ‘Potpourri’ for $400 please Alex
I tried watching the baseball All-Star Game last night, I really did. Unfortunately, somewhere around the third inning I remembered that I really don’t like Major League Baseball. I did, however, enjoy the almost-but-not-quite speculation going on over the radio airwaves this morning that stopped just short of saying Piazza gave away info to the hitters in order to watch Clemens get shelled.
I really almost wish that were true, but then I remember again that I really don’t give a shit about Major League Baseball.
Congratulations are in order to America’s Wingman for his recent promotion. I teased him that the increase in pay now means he can afford to upgrade to the 100 proof Southern Comfort. Not that I think that’ll make any difference in his drinking. I am to pizza as Al is to Southern Comfort, there’s no telling when we’ll stop throwing it down our gullet.
I haven’t mentioned this on here yet, but I’m up for an award this Sunday. The local Community Theatre group is handing out their yearly awards, and I’m in contention for “Best Supporting Actor.” I’ve got mixed feelings about the whole thing, and I think I’ll have a sense of relief more than a sense of injustice when I find out I didn’t win the thing. Chances are good that one of the other nominees either had a better performance, will get the award due to having been a longer-term contributor to the group, or some combination of both. And that’s OK by me.
My town has an incredibly lame tourist attraction that bills itself as “The World’s Largest Musical Fountain.” Actually, I’m confident the Bellagio’s fountain kicks our fountain’s ass, but it isn’t quite as impressive to say “The Upper Midwest’s Probable Largest Musical Fountain.” Anyway, this thing runs between May 1st and September 1st (or thereabouts) on a nightly basis. As it’s only about six or seven blocks away, I can count on hearing the lame-ass production every night at about 10PM. It always starts off with that “Thus Spake Zarathustra” (however you spell that, I’m lazy – the “Close Encounters” music) introduction, and then the voice behind the curtain talks for a bit before it launches into the night’s theme music.
It’s horrifically lame.
Anyway, the only reason I really bring this up is because I was out letting my dog do his dirty work before cashing it in the other night, and “Thus Spake Zarathustra” started up just as he was copping a squat. I was really amused. It added a certain nobility to the most ignoble of deeds.
My mom asked me this week when I was going to get a cell phone. Here’s the deal on that one. It really only makes sense to have a cell phone if you have a need for a cell phone. And I can only think of a few reasons why I’d have one. First, ordering pizza on the way home from somewhere. Two, well… there is no number two. So I had to make the tough decision between whether I wanted to have the flexibility to order a pizza from my car, or to not have a cell phone at all.
I chose the latter.
Seriously, my phone at home might ring ten times in an entire week, with a vast bulk of those calls being family. Since I’m only on the road to and from work, there aren’t many times I’m gone where they won’t be able to reach me. Plus, why do I need to be “reachable” anyway? The last thing I’d want are business calls at all hours, and the feelings of guilt I’d have when I ditched picking it up when it rang. I also can’t stand the way cell phones are being marketed nowadays, as if it’s more important somehow that your phone can take a picture than to be inexpensive, reliable, and wide ranging in service.
I already have TiVo, XM Radio, and WiFi in my apartment. I’ll stay wired on this one, thanks.
From this point, ten words put me at two thousand today.
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
500 lb. Gorilla at the All-Star Game
Every time a right handed hitter steps out of the batter's box, you can see former President and Mrs. Bush over the batter's shoulders.
We're through one and a half here, without even a passing "Hey, there's George and Barbara Bush!"
How long are we going to pretend like he's not there?
Want to be jealous?
For dinner tonight?
Homemade jerk pork and goat cheese quesadillas with caramelized onions.
Good god, that was good.
Roxy and the Chicken Carbonara
Look, I’m oblivious. Let’s get that out in the open right now. I’m ridiculously oblivious to the world around me, especially when it comes to women. I don’t generally believe there’s flirting going on, even when there is.
In retrospect, there probably was.
There’s a sandwich shop that I frequent locally for lunches here that features a funky Latina brunette behind the counter helping push things along. She’s a short-but-wild haired girl that’s attractive enough to not need the Tina Fey glasses, but works them beautifully anyway.
Her nametag says Roxy. I’m wondering if that’s like a stripper name.
I walked in during a lull in the late lunch rush, and was delighted to have Roxy as my personal sandwich consultant.
“Chicken Carbonara, regular, with no mushrooms please.”
She puts the bulk of the sandwich on the conveyor belt through the oven while I pay for my sub, chips, and fruit punch.
“Can I have lettuce on that, and a healthy bit of pepperoncini?”
She knew what I meant, I could tell. Still, she couldn’t resist.
“These peppers are healthy?” She was obviously playing dumb. Not that we need to talk about all the nitrates and salt present in the pickling process, but she was just needling me. “So, you want the healthy peppers on your sandwich.”
I’m sure I was blushing. She gave me a wry smile, with an undercurrent pushing me to serve her up something she could playfully tee off on. God, I love a woman who challenges me.
“Uh, a healthy bit,” I started, uncertain as to where to go from here, “somewhere north of a few, stopping just a bit shy of a lot.”
“So, a healthy bit of these peppers then, right?”
“Yeah, give me just enough to ruin my breath for the remainder of my day.”
I don’t know why I said that. I can be witty. Maybe even witty and charming at times. Disarming? That, I tend to have a problem with. But I can be wry and amusing I guess. Not that I was here.
I took a few steps over to fill my fruit punch from the fountain, and she called over to me. “Is this enough for you?” I curled my lips up into a smile and nodded, just catching her acknowledging me with the “Isaac from ‘The Love Boat’” patented double finger shooter from the hip.
She wrapped up my sandwich, and I asked her if there was a bag behind the counter for me. She looked up at me and smiled and said she thought she could find one.
I got another smile on my way out the door. No number, no date, just another smile.
And that’s alright by me.
Don’t Drive Angry
I can be a moody sonofabitch sometimes.
I went out for a pizza and beer with my family last night, but between the restaurant and my front door, hit the wall emotionally and just was feeling irritated and self-destructive.
Why not fire up good ol’ PartyPoker to wind down?
I’m acutely aware that I have some habits that, if I were to let them loose, would be pretty damaging. For example, I dabbled in substance abuse in college, and know that there are two things in particular with which, if I were to have easy access, I’d be likely to have a problem. Of course, I don’t put myself in that position.
My other love is (surprise) gambling. There are, however, times that I just shouldn’t be throwing money down on the table. If I’m depressed or irritated, I don’t give a shit, and the money doesn’t mean anything to me. If I went on a long term bender of depression, I’d have to cut gambling clean out for awhile. Reason being, I’d just be throwing money down the black hole just to feel the remorse.
And that ain’t good.
So, without that sense of logic and reason in my head, I logged on and sat down at a $10 SNG. Third or fourth hand in, I catch AKo. It’s raised nominally by the guy to my right. I re-raise. He re-raises. This guy can kiss my ass, I’m all in.
Of course he’s got Aces and calls. I’m bounced.
I immediately click over to a $5 SNG. JTs on the very first deal. I limp, and am four to the flush on the flop. Someone bets, I raise, they re-raise, I re-re-raise, they’re all in, I call. They win with top flopped pair nines (A9o) when I don’t see my fifth heart.
I pack it up and call it a day.
This doesn’t beat the true-and-unpublished-story of three SNG losses in five minutes from this past weekend, but it certainly is close.
Frankly, I don’t even have a good reason why I was in a funk last night. That’s the way it is with me nowadays anyway. I don’t regress into moodiness that often, but it’s always lurking around the corner. I’ve always wondered if one of those social-anxiety drugs wouldn’t be a bad option. I mean, I am the guy who scurries nervously out of the soup aisle at the grocery store if someone’s browsing in the same section I am.
A Random Assortment of shows/movies I have TiVo’d
2.Best Week Ever
4.The weekday 5AM SportsCenter
5.1995 Detroit Lions NFL Yearbook
A Random Assortment of obscure CDs I own
1.“Mistaken Identity” – Vernon Reid
2.“Moby Grape” – Moby Grape
3.“Too Much Sugar For A Dime” – Henry Threadgill
4.Stockholm 1960 – Miles Davis and John Coltrane (import)
5.“Bing Bing Bing!” – Charlie Hunter
A Random Assortment of DVDs I own
1.Rushmore – Criterion Edition
2.This is: Spinal Tap
3.Embrace of the Vampire
4.Monterey Pop Festival
A Random Assortment of recent book purchases
1.“Dubliners” – James Joyce (edition with literary criticism – thanks Hank)
2.“Theory of Poker” – David Sklansky
3.“Flynn’s In” – Gregory McDonald
4.“The Buck Passes Flynn” – Gregory McDonald
5.“The Wine Bible”
Infestation can be a good thing
I wasn’t sure I wanted to post anything about this, just in case by some freak chance the neighbors find out about this website, but I don’t care, I just have to share.
At some point yesterday, carpenter ants decided to take over my stairwell. There were hundreds of them (huge ones too) all over the windows and floor on the inside. They actually were taking over my apartment in the house too, clinging to a few of my windows and crawling all over my floor.
Why is this a good thing?
Because my ridiculously attractive neighbor came up the stairs to see if I had seen all the bugs. And she was wearing a belly shirt and about the shortest pair of terrycloth shorts you could imagine. I took the opportunity to work alongside her to try to sweep all the bugs outside, which was a good ten to fifteen minutes of barely paying attention to what I was doing with the broom, and trying hard not to get caught looking.
I just want to reiterate that both her and her boyfriend are cool people, and because he’s a nice guy, he’s impossible to root against. Which sucks. That, of course, is my disclaimer just-in-case.
Anyway, liberal usage of a can of Raid and a whole bunch of ant traps changed my problem from live ants to dead ants. I vacuumed up at least 100 dead ones last night, and I’m assuming I have hundreds more in my windowsills. Should be fun to clean up later…
Well, Saturday’s home game may have went well for some people, but for the rest of us, it was a lackluster effort.
The old adage about not getting fancy with your play when you’re playing someone who’s just going to call you with anything anyway bit me in the ass, which was fine anyway, as I don’t have the patience to play cards with one of the people who came out Saturday night anyway.
So, I bounced out third out of seven (or something like that – fourth place), and got invited to hang out for a little while with JC at his house, as he lost early too.
JC is the father to Anna, of “Anna and the King Queen Suited” fame, and while there, she challenged me to a game of checkers.
Which I won, despite not having played checkers in something like twenty years.
Anna’s mom left me with this remark on my way home that night: “Well, if you can’t win at poker, at least you can beat a seven year old at checkers.”
Hey, a win is a win.
Of course, there are times when a win should be a win, as Pauly can attest. He was watching me play a quick $10 SNG last night, and saw someone make two enormously bad calls that gave them the victory.
Actually, it all started when this player, at the time the chip leader, pushed all-in pre-flop three handed twice in a row. I typed “Are you tilting?” in the chat box, and that really seemed to piss this person off. “Did you see me lose?” and “I’m winning, aren’t I?” seemed to excuse her (presumably) betting habits. I was, of course, kidding, as she showed pretty decent hands (AK and AJs, if memory serves) in both cases. Still, she was irritated, and started getting chippy in the chat.
It got down to heads-up between she and I, and I had managed to whittle her down to about 2600 (I had about 5400). I looked down and found AQs in the hole. I pushed all-in pre-flop, and she called. With Q5s. And caught her pair of fives.
Of course, she was just rolling with delight at this, and Pauly was calling her out for the fish she was.
My tournament ended when I made a steal attempt with 8To, and pushed all-in. She thought for a moment and called.
Now, she did have a pretty decent lead, but had I doubled up here, I would have been less than 1K – possibly less than 500 – off of her stack. She called with 6To.
It looked good for me when 899 hit the board, giving me two pair. I think a Q came next.
Then, of course, she spikes a 7 on the river. Nothing like a three gap off-suited connector. I know I love pushing all-in with those. I always catch.
Well, whatever. I know I played better poker than she did. It’s a moral victory. But, in my mind, she owes me $20.
Sunday, July 11, 2004
Pauly vs. BG Gamble-a-thon Week 9
I apologize for not posting on, or gloating about my week 8 win correctly identifying John Edwards as John Kerry's running mate.
For week 9, in celebration of the MLB All-Star Game, I collected some proposition wagers for our gambling pleasure. The way the bet works is this - We each pick five of the ten props (whatever we want), and declare our picks with a mythical $10 bet. Assuming they all pay even money ($10+original $10 = $20) to win, whoever has the bigger bankroll is the winner.
The tiebreaker will be a guess at the final score. Whoever is closest to the real final score will break the tie.
1) Runs+Hits+Errors, AL+NL +/- 29.5
2) Home Runs, AL+NL +/- 2.5
3) First Five Innings O/U 4.5 runs combined
4) Total Hits, AL+NL +/- 19.5
5) Total Strikeouts, AL+NL +/- 16.5
6) Team to score first
7) Team to score last
8) Team to hit more home runs
9) Team to have more base hits
10) League to hit first home run
I'll post mine in the comments later. Happy betting!
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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