|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Much to the delight of America’s Wingman, I’m headed to Philly next weekend for the Bash at the Boathouse. I had been checking airline tickets online every day for the past four to six weeks, and wasn’t prepared to spend $250 to fly in on a Saturday, and out the very next day.
I logged in yesterday morning to Expedia, found a ticket for $133, and purchased it immediately. Good thing I didn’t think about it, as less than eight hours later the price was back up in the $225 neighborhood. As Pauly said when he heard about the deal I got, “That’s like basically free.”
Should be a good time next Saturday. Blogger roll call includes Al, Pauly (traveling with Asphnxma), Carter, the Blogfather, and Al’s working on Grubby and Sean.
If I’m flying over 800 miles to go, why aren’t the rest of you coming?
Well, regardless, I was hoping that my luck would transfer over to the poker tables, so for the first time in ages I hopped on PartyPoker for a quick $10 SNG. I waited for the tables to refresh themselves in order to grab my seat of choice (I take the table number, in this case 11810, and sit in seat 1, because that makes the best poker hand with the table number). I was the first one to get seated, and immediately after I clicked in, The Degenerate grabbed the 5s. Pure coincidence.
I got down to the final four (Degenerate out in sixth, if memory serves), and found KQo in the SB. I had a stack of 1300 (with 100 on the table – 100/200 level), and UTG made it 400 to go. Hoping to sweep right there, I pushed all-in. It folded to UTG, and he thought about it and called. He flipped 55.
With Al as my witness, I got a terrific flop – KQ6 rainbow. I got burned with a 5 on the turn, and my night was over, out in fourth.
So, alas, my luck isn’t changing. I played pretty well though, only making one mistake (besides that last one, which isn’t that bad a mistake anyway) when I made a play at a ragged board with a bottom pair, got called and I had to check/fold my way out of the situation. At least it wasn’t expensive.
Except that I only have $9 left in PartyPoker. Who’s got a good reload bonus for $100 that I can use?
Let’s Start With a Terrible Joke
Courtesy of Jackie “the Jokeman” Martling: “What’s the difference between a Mexican and a computer? You only have to punch your info into the computer once.”
Who here loves ethnic humor (Bob raises hand)? Anyone? Anyone? I don’t tell these jokes, but I just think they’re funny as hell. For the absurdity factor, of course. No one really believes you have to beat a Mexican into understanding. I can’t believe I felt the need to clarify this just now. Laughing at racial humor does not make one a racist. Moving on…
I don’t know if anyone remembers me talking about this, but a couple of months ago Mike Wendland, tech columnist for the Detroit Free Press put out a call looking for Michigan bloggers. I had originally emailed him with my site, but a couple of days later thought better of it and sent him an email asking him not to write about me.
Good thing. The article was published today, and highlighted six blogs, and each blogger gave their actual name and location – one was even photographed for the story. I guarantee you that even if I were OK with having my web address in the newspaper, I would absolutely not be OK with having my name in the newspaper attached to it. Let alone the freaking photograph. I’m generally fine with some relaxation of the anonymity. Pauly and Al know my name at this point, and certain friends of mine know about the website, but I think that if I can keep a small mental block up for myself that tells me that no one is going to google me to find this spot, so I can keep talking about myself with virtual freedom.
Just so’s you know, I actually have to mentally pretend my brothers don’t read this. But then again, I don’t think there’s much here that surprises them anyway.
Today is my Friday of the week. I have tomorrow off for pre-wedding activities, and have Monday off because I have to take my best friend back to the airport an hour away at an ungodly hour of the morning. God knows I’ll just want to be lazy all day, so I may as well burn a vacation day doing it. Hopefully I’ll find some time to do an update before Monday, but it’s unlikely, as this weekend is chock full of wedding related hullabaloo.
FRIDAY: While all you suckers are reading this in your spacious seven foot cubicles (I’ve got a 10’x8’ model), I’ll be knocking the little white ball around the course (815AM – Noon) with my brothers, dad, and friends. Since I hung a 49 on the back nine of the course I played last with that funky, unnatural, jerry-rigged swing of mine, I think I’ll try to play the whole course that way. 6-iron through my wedges only. Let’s see how that works out.
I get a couple hours to relax and clean up before the rehearsal, which puts me in a church for the first time since my wedding four years ago. Churches make me uncomfortable. Anyway, afterwards is a rehearsal dinner, and then we’re free until Saturday.
SATURDAY: Wedding’s at 3PM, but for some reason we have to be ready at Noon. Whatever, just tell me where and when to show up. The reception is at the golf course, and starts up at 6PM. We’ve got the room until midnight, but I’ve been instructed that a poker game at a back table is unacceptable wedding day behavior. Whatever.
SUNDAY: And on the seventh day, he doth rest.
There was an early thought to getting Lions tickets, but that’s fallen through. No biggie, we might play poker on Sunday instead.
Now, I’ve been mentally dancing around this for a bit, as I don’t want to badmouth my family, but whatever…
Can you believe I have an uncle who won’t come to the wedding because his daughter is going to be there? Here’s a list of some shitty things this uncle of mine has done in regards to his daughter:
>> She can only use the iron once a week, for 20 minutes. She also only gets one laundry cycle a week.
>> She’s going to school 300 miles from home and has the most unreliable transportation since Cute Chick saw BC fall off the stone wheel. He’s got a car that sits in his garage, and won’t be in use for all but a couple weeks out of the year.
>> He came into town to visit my dad for a day, knew she was staying in town, and chose to surprise my dad and not tell her at all about his visit.
>> He told her, an honor student who’s really quite sharp, that she should just forget about college and get a two year degree from the local CC, as that’s all she needs to do whatever she wants.
>> She’s flat broke, but he won’t send her a lousy $20 a week for incidentals.
Plain and simple, he’s a dick. So he’s not coming because he knows his daughter, a bright, attractive, remarkably well-adjusted young woman is going to be here. Retarded.
Anyway, at least we’re not throwing him into the mix this weekend with my surly grandmother and bickering aunts. That’d be fun. Hopefully everyone stays well lubricated and well out of everyone else’s way.
Simultaneous Reciprocal Oral, to a Canadian
I love gambling, but there’s no way I’m putting down money on “Canadian Idol.” I’ve bet on a lot of things before. Dogs, horses, jai alai, basketball, football, hell – even Super Bowl commercials. But I’m steering clear of this one. Chances are they’ve already run the gamut of Anne Murray songs, and there’s no sense in betting on who’s going to acquit themselves better in the Bryan Adams songbook. It’s the guy’s game, and he’s been bet down to 1 to 10.
Speaking of Bryan Adams, I read somewhere this weekend that he admitted “Summer of ‘69” was about the sexual position, not the middle of the last year of that decade. Maybe I just don’t speak Canadian, but there ain’t a whole lot in that song that sounds remotely suggestive, and I’m having a hard time figuring this out. Let’s dissect, shall we?
I got my first real six-stringNot sure talking about something that’s bleeding is a good way to get rolling here, if simultaneous reciprocal oral is what we’re discussing here, but maybe he was just young enough to be doing it improperly.
Me and some guys from schoolIf he’s working on technique and “trying real hard” with “some guys from school,” I’m thinking that explains the mid 90’s glam Bryan Adams makeover just a bit more clearly.
Oh when I look back nowI’d always wanna be there too. I’m just not likely to “last forever.”
Ain't no use in complainin'OK, now this is starting to make more sense. Plenty of guys prefer the non-reciprocal oral, as it appeals to the horny sloth in all of us. But, if you’ve got a job to do, there’s no use in complaining. There are worse places to be. Then again, if you can refer to her vagina as a “drive-in,” as in “enough room to park multiple cars,” then it might be time to find yourself a new girlfriend.
Standin' on your mama's porchHere’s a reach for you. “Mama’s porch” could possibly be a biological geography reference to the vagina. If you’re “standin’” there, you’re doing something wrong. And I think I have a fundamental disagreement with Bryan Adams on the latter part of this stanza. “You told me that you’d wait forever… Those were the best days of my life.” Us guys have a name for women that will let you do anything up-to-but-not-including intercourse. They’re called “dick teases.”
Man we were killin' timeI still don’t get it.
In my Googling, I found a 2002 list of the “Top 20 Canadians.” Ready?
1. Pam AndersonNice. Is this an official, government sponsored study? If so, I’m sure Peter North’s and Shannon Tweed’s appearances on this list shine some light on the soft underbelly of the Canadian people. And in all seriousness, can we do something to keep the Canadians from importing their musical acts down here? Is there a name on that list that we just wouldn’t be tons happier without?
Everything I needed to know about Canadians I learned from these guys anyway.
An Announcement At 417PM, Thursday, September 16, 2004
I’m on strike.
You heard me. I’m on strike. As of right now, for just shy of the next 43 minutes, I’m officially on strike.
If I could tell you all the stuff I’ve had to do today, you’d be bored to tears, but would get an accurate picture of the non-stop clamor I’ve had to quiet today.
And it started off so well too.
I got in this morning and wondered if the email servers were down. I had nothing. Not a single email from 5PM yesterday on. I got a single, lonely email at about 8AM, and then nothing for the next hour, hence 2300 words typed here today.
But that’s when the shit hit the fan. And the crap just kept on coming.
So I’m officially unofficially on strike right now. If I can manage 40 more minutes of peace, I’ll feel whole again.
I just picked up the phone when it rang just now. Thankfully, it was my brother, so I didn’t have to chase myself back across the desk screaming “SCAB! SCAB!”
This is more than just a break. But just shy of a walk out. I’m considering it a sit-in, and maybe even borderline civil disobedience, as I’m using company assets to type this up as we speak.
I’m like the motherfucking Martin Luther King of workplace laziness. Get on the bus, no one here cares where the hell you sit, just take a load off and join me.
No chanting or singing Kum-Bay-Yah, though. I’m only in this for myself. I’m no Che Guevara, leader of people.
To join me though, here’s what you need to do:
>> Take a notepad of sticky notes, or something that can stand on its own, and write “Sorry, I’m on strike” on the front in block letters. Script shows too much effort, and we need to keep our sloth clear and evident to those around us.
>> Face the notepad to the door of your cubicle in plain view of all who may enter
>> Slouch in your chair
>> Let the voicemail get it
>> Check your Fantasy Football message board again
>> Leave up to three whole minutes early today
There’s your blueprint. Let’s make it an early day tomorrow, what do you say?
Oh, that’s right, I’m on vacation tomorrow. Sorry about that, this one’s all you guys. Carry the torch for me while I golf, would you?
Monday, September 13, 2004
I’m Getting Too Old For This Shit
It’s 821AM on Monday morning, and already it’s been a long day. I actually can’t remember the last time I stayed up past 1AM on consecutive nights, let alone doing so with a beer in my hand.
Thank god for Red Bull. I’m telling you, two well-timed Red Bulls each night (Friday and Saturday), and I was ready to roll.
Friday started off with the guys meeting me at my house at 10AM for the drive across the state. With us for the trip were the bachelor, Jon, and Justin. We loaded up the trunk with our gear, and off we went.
First stop was in East Lansing, for burgers and beer on the porch of the Peanut Barrel watching the college girls walk by in the sunshine. God, I miss college sometimes. Then again, I couldn’t score then, and I can’t score now, so what exactly is it that I’m missing? Whatever.
When I was in school, the freshman girl’s uniform was one of those ribbed bodysuit tops (the kind that meet up underneath and snap together, kinda like a one piece bathing suit) and jeans. Big improvements in the last ten to fifteen years, as now girls are showing midriffs and a lot of leg. Especially in those skirts that are real tight until about mid-ass, and then flare out a bit for the last two inches at the bottom or so. There was one girl that was rocking a skirt so short you could see the curve at the bottom of her ass clear as day. It was basically porn. God love it. I stared so hard I’ll be seeing her in my sleep for weeks.
Yes, I’m exactly that lecherous.
We arrived in Chelsea at Darrin’s, which was our home base for the weekend. This worked out really nicely for Bob, as he lived about 20 minutes away, and could just go home and sleep in his own bed instead of crashing on a couch like the rest of us. Anyway, the house Darrin and Jeff rent buts right up to a landfill, and for some scary reason, they let their dog play in the pond that basically borders their house from the dump. Oy.
A quick beer at his house, and we got on the road to the Greektown Casino in Detroit. Nice joint, I had never actually been down to any of the Detroit casinos, and this one was in a nice neighborhood, and was really quite nice inside. In the interest of staying with the bachelor party guys, I sat blackjack (double spot blackjack – you have two spots in front of you, but the dealer hits soft seventeens) with the guys, even after putting my name on the list for 3/6. Cards were sour, and after 90 minutes I was down $85.
I don’t know if I had mentioned this earlier, but the early rumor on this bachelor party was that there was going to be absolutely no “adult entertainment.” Needless to say, that was depressing. But Darrin (the best man, planner of this weekend) came over and told us that he got us VIP entrance to Trumpp’s, and we were, in fact, going to be seeing some boobs.
First, however, was the Tiger game. We were in the left field stands at Comerica Park, and it was a beautiful day. Seeing as none of us were baseball fans, I was wondering what the hell we were doing there, as it was cutting into my gambling something fierce. Anyway, by the fifth inning, we were all out of our seats and up on the concourse when Justin, well drunk at this point, offered to throw baseballs in the radar gun cage. Knowing full well he throws like a palsy stricken teen girl, I couldn’t pull $3 out of my wallet fast enough to get him hooked up in there to throw. This, of course, spawned all sorts of contests. We learned that Justin can, in fact, throw harder (when he does, in fact, hit what he’s aiming at) than Bob does left-handed, or I do under-handed. We also learned that Mike’s lefty fastball is no match for a twelve year old girl plucked off the concourse. They both hit 37MPH, and the tie always goes to the girl.
From the Tiger game, we went to the Hard Rock Café, which is a new joint downtown. Let me just go on the record to say, “I don’t get it.” I don’t get the attraction to these joints at all. Sitting down next to my brother at the bar, I had the following exchange with the bartender:
BG: Excuse me… I need you to tell me we’re close enough to Greektown to basically be in Greektown. So tell me we’re in Greektown, alright?Mike was pissed. He was so dead set against letting his friends define what “good time” meant that he simply dug his heels in and dragged us down every time someone proposed he do something he didn’t want to. Now, it’s not like he had a half dozen shots lined up in front of him, this was the first (and last) shot anyone had bought for him. And no one was really pressuring him either. Whatever. Message received.
Justify this one however you want to kiddo, but just know that when your friends (and I’m not even talking about Bob and I here) are trying to show you a good time, you could do better than acting pissed off, sullen, and threatening to leave.
By this time (about 11PM), Justin was getting restless. He needed to see boobs. So after settling up (one Red Bull, one Ouzo shot, one order of Potato Skins = $19), we were off to the Bazouki Club. The stage had three poles, and three dancers at all times. We were seated by the first pole, which turned out to be the damn warm-up pole, where I guess these women are trained to spend a song dancing fully clothed, perhaps to preserve the mystery. Whatever. It was crowded, and we were lucky to even get a table.
Justin, however, wasn’t close enough for his liking. He pulled a nice, neat stack of ones out of his pocket, and moved a few feet away to one of those stage-side tables, where he proceeded to unnervingly stare down every stripper that took the stage from that point forward.
Now, Justin’s not a big fella, and he’s certainly not physically imposing, but I can tell you that if I was the one he was staring at up there, I’d probably want to be walked to my car after my shift. He was just drunk enough to where he used every last ounce of control he had to focus on the dancers, and he’d just sit there and stare with no change of expression at all. No applause, no conversation, just a blank and focused look. It weirded me out, and I wasn’t the one trying to seduce him for his money. Knowing Justin, it’s high comedy. Not knowing Justin, and it’s something that’ll keep you looking over your shoulder in the dark for a couple days.
Since Mike was on his own game plan for the evening, we couldn’t get him up on stage. It was pointless. We weren’t in the club five minutes when he announced he was going to walk out if anyone tried to get him up there. I can’t really say I blame him, as I don’t think I’d want my underwear ripped off like that either. Who started that bullshit tradition? Instead, Bob and Darrin got us to all chip in to get him a couch dance, and chose the skankiest stripper possible to do the job. She was the heavily tattooed, obviously fake breasted blonde who would climb the pole, grab it solidly by her camel toe, and use her Kegel muscles to slide down. We had a winner. She took Mike in back and spent three songs grinding him to a smile. First smile of the night, by the way. Thank god for strippers.
We walked back into Greektown around midnight, and I grabbed a seat with Bob and Jon at another $15 minimum double spot blackjack table. I bought in for $120, and started playing one spot for the minimum. Immediately to my left was a middle aged black woman with her husband over her shoulder, and to her left was an older Asian guy.
I only mention those two because the woman was making the worst plays possible. Hitting on 16 with a dealer 5 up, for instance. Splitting tens against a ten. Things like that. I saw two or three of those moves, and nearly got up and changed tables.
Good thing I didn’t.
I know it usually doesn’t work out this way, but somehow, some way, every time she took a card in a “wrong” spot, it ended up being the right move for the guy to her left, and usually ended up giving the dealer the bust card instead of the low card. It was surreal. When you combined the way this woman was preventing the dealer from sucking out with the sheer volume of dealer bust cards over the first 90 minutes I sat at the table, it turned out to be immensely profitable.
$120 turned into $825 at my peak. Asian guy at the end of the horn was betting $50-$75 a spot, wincing as she’d make a terrible play, then drawing two cards to 21, leaving only dimes in the deck for the dealer. He was WAY up. $2k at least.
I was eventually playing two spots at $20 each, getting plenty of double/split opportunities, and watching the dealer hit herself to 23 or 24 nearly every hand. As is my custom, I started pocketing the $25 chips I was collecting. Somewhere at about the 45 minute mark, the dealer was running low and said, “I know you guys have a bunch of my 25s in your pockets, make sure you color up here before you go.” Now, I knew I was up, but figured +$300 or so at that point. But I was curious. I pulled my 25s out and offered to color up for her. I had no idea.
I pocketed the $600 right there, and still had $225 on the table.
Of course, the cards will turn at some point, and that’s where it started. I hung in for awhile, and was finally down to my last $125. I played $50 on one spot, my biggest bet of the night so far, and lost. I chased it with $75 on the spot, hoping karma would come back and keep me in. No dice.
I walked with $680 in my wallet, after starting the day with $340.
4AM, got back to Chelsea and just slept it off. With a big goddamn smile on my face.
Saturday broke, and I knew we had a whole day of laziness ahead of us. We originally had planned to go to Put-In Bay for a night of camping. But since it’s a Mardi Gras type atmosphere there (so says Darrin), and since our bachelor wasn’t in the mood for that sort of fun, we decided to stick around Ann Arbor.
Thank god. I was tired as hell.
I got up after a reasonably comfortable night on the futon upstairs. I had pulled rank and told the other guys they could sleep in the basement, but I was guaranteed to be the first awake, so they should let me have the futon in the living room. It worked, and I didn’t disappoint. I got up and headed to downtown Chelsea for a cup of coffee and a newspaper. After about an hour down there, I headed back to the house, only to find I had locked myself out. Thank god I had a book with me, and it wasn’t until page 82 that someone finally woke up and came outside to see if I had taken off and headed home, or wherever the hell I ended up.
A nice, leisurely day was just what the doctor ordered on Saturday, and none of us were eager to get off our cans anytime real early.
7PM hit, and we all decided to hit the bowling alley. Three games, and we retired into the alley’s karaoke bar for some rowdy fun. I sang for the second time ever, and absolutely bludgeoned the “Love Boat Theme.” Somewhere, Fred Grandy is rolling over in his grave.
Darrin knew of a new improv comedy club in Ann Arbor, and took us to the “X-Rated” midnight show. They call the joint, “Improv Inferno,” but should instead be called “Semi-Scripted Tepidity.” Mmmm… Capture the tedium! It was 45 minutes I’ll never see again. Good luck keeping that place open.
This almost winds up the weekend, as Mike, Jeff, and I made it back to Chelsea to catch some sleep. Come to find out, the other guys stuck around in Ann Arbor and went to a party. They came in at 630AM, and woke me up because they wanted to watch a porno.
Now, Darrin doesn’t just have a television. He’s got a fifty some odd inch monstrosity. And speaking of fifty some odd inch monstrosities, have you ever watched a porno on a giant TV? What might or could be sexy becomes off-putting, to say the least. I mean, there were times in this thing (yes, I woke up out of a sound sleep at 630AM to watch a porno. I am exactly that skeevy.) that if the woman in there was life-sized, she would have been over twelve feet tall in reality. Not to mention the cock. Thank god the thing wasn’t in 3D, we’d all have had nightmares for a week.
The porno, which I’m not going to name for Googling purposes, describes the sensation of the female being a receptacle, but then allowing what she’s been collecting to leak back out. I think I put that as nicely as possible. Anyway, the “money shots” in this movie were basically as unsexy as they come (cough). Instead of some warped vision of reality where the girl is seemingly enjoying the sensation of being excreted upon, rubbing it seductively and such, you have these big gaping holes that have just been vacated, and are watching the dripping and oozing out, as if they’ve been worked over so hard that they can’t possibly keep it all inside. One of the guys remarked that he had never seen a movie where the guy doesn’t blast all over a face or chest when finished, which I (sadly) noticed as well, but I think this series of movies (we had volume FIVE) is tasteless, even for a porno. God knows I don’t want to watch someone eat with their mouth open, as once it’s inside, it should stay inside. This one fell along those same lines. From a guy who’s “hardest” movie is Alyssa Milano’s “Embrace of the Vampire,” I can safely say that this was the grossest porno I’ve ever seen.
Yes friends, that was 2,500 words on a fairly uneventful bachelor party weekend, where the mediocrity of this post was only saved by two final paragraphs reviewing a porno I couldn’t sleep through. Just to recap, won money, saw boobs, went bowling, came home, bonus code: IGGY.
It’s not plagiary if I’m not interviewing her ex-boyfriend
One of my favorite bloggers is Sarah Brown. She’s linked lower right. Because I love, not because I suck, I’m stealing an idea she had and using it for my own purposes.
Last week, she posted an interview with an ex-boyfriend. Good stuff. With my brother’s wedding this week, my best friend is coming into town, and I’m looking forward to getting some questions together to interview him, and transcribe the conversation here for all of you. This could be pretty fun. With any luck, I’ll have it posted up here this coming Monday, or in installments next week if our conversation goes long.
There’s not a soul on the planet that knew me better from 89-95 than Nate, so let’s hope we can have a conversation interesting enough for blog content.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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