|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Thursday, October 14, 2004
The Twenty List
aka, “BG in a Box”
If the ad wizards at Ronco were to come to me and say, “BG, what’s your secret? And if you tell us, can we box it up and sell it to the masses?,” I’d have to give them The Twenty List. That is, twenty things that can be packaged together, priced attractively, and sold on shelves of stores near you that tell you a little bit about me along the way.
Let’s get it started.
It couldn’t be more difficult to try to distill my music collection (300 CDs strong) down to a choice few. But here goes anyway…
Miles Davis: “Kind of Blue” and “In a Silent Way.” Both classics, each appealing to a different side of jazz which each run deep in my collection. “Kind of Blue” is the ultimate showpiece of 60s cool. “In a Silent Way” is a fusion disc that requires no thought at all to appreciate, but has such a wonderfully simple yet complex construction that I never grow tired of it.
The Beatles “Revolver,” Jimi Hendrix “Electric Ladyland,” and Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde.” All classic albums, although to some “Ladyland” is a surprising choice. The love I have for “Burning of the Midnight Lamp” through “Still Raining, Still Dreaming” runs awfully deep though. And I think I could listen to “Blonde on Blonde” every day for the next twenty years and never come that close to deciphering it.
Raekwon’s “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx,” Outkast’s “Aquemini,” and Digable Planets’ “Blowout Comb” are not what anyone would necessarily call “essential” hip-hop CDs, but to me they are indispensable. Rae’s CD, to me, is the best thing the RZA and the Wu-Tang ever did beginning to end. Outkast’s effort here is probably their most unified and consistently listenable disc, and “Blowout Comb” is as severely underappreciated as an album can get.
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is a movie that is quintessentially me. It’s warped and twisted, and features a character played by Jim Carrey that really may as well be me up on screen. Yes, I just might be that boring.
“The Godfather” box set (counted as one item) is an obvious choice, and is easily my all time favorite movie.
“Rushmore” is a movie I’ve always loved too, as absurd and nuanced humor is more my style than Three Stooges pratfalls are.
“A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving is a book about friendship, faith, and fate. I don’t believe in faith in a religious sense, and I don’t believe in fate, but I believe John Irving has written a beautiful book about friendship that gets better every time I read it. This book also holds my personal record for most times given away to someone, as I’ve bought at least eight or nine copies in my life, and have only one to show for it.
“The Italian-American Kitchen” by Lidia Bastianich is, as far as my little research on the topic goes, the cookbook for Italian-American recipies and, more importantly, technique. Lidia doesn’t push foo-foo dishes with truffles and weird ingredients. This is the type of stuff your Italian grandmother would have made on a Sunday afternoon. Essential.
“The Outsider” by Richard Wright. I never fail to be moved by this book, which stands as the first African-American existentialist novel.
“Fletch’s Fortune” by Gregory McDonald. Probably the best of the Fletch series, I have read almost all of them and enjoy them immensely.
San Marzano Tomatoes, whole and peeled, in the can. Absolutely indispensable in an Italian kitchen.
A username, password, and deposit bonus (BONUS CODE: IGGY) for PartyPoker.com.
A Blue Marlin Brand baseball cap.
Retail Price: $599
Vegas On My Mind…
I woke up this morning at 550AM, but it wasn’t until about 730AM that I really “woke up.” Just one of those mornings where it takes a couple hours to clear out the old noggin.
I really didn’t want to get out of bed this morning, owing largely to the fact that I slept poorly and restlessly last night. I was awake every twenty to forty minutes, and am still dragging that malaise behind me well into my morning.
Oddly, the recurring dream I kept having was an ongoing argument with a guy at a tux shop who was renting me a tux for a wedding in which I was apparently standing up. He was trying to talk me into renting a brown pinstriped suit for the reception. His argument was, “Don’t you want everyone to know what a classy gentleman you are? You must change your suit for the reception.”
The only dressing room in this joint doubled as their bathroom, and was absolutely filthy. There was barely room to turn around, and the toilet was mounted on about a thirty degree angle. There were no hooks, so I had to decide where to put clothes down in order to try clothes on.
What a stupid dream.
Every time I woke up I repeated the mantra, ”Dream about Vegas… Dream about Vegas.”
I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is Las Vegas.
The news that we’ll be seeing Otis out there (as well as FilmGeek, whom I haven’t read) brings the blogger count up to a likely number of nine, assuming you count Grubby and PokerProf. Toss in a possible visit by HDub, and a likely stopover by Felicia, and this is getting redonkulous.
In a good way.
See, I’ve been to Vegas twice since coming “of age” to do Vegas. The first time was just for a night, just for a few hours, as a few of us were two hours away in Mesquite on a golf vacation, and planned Vegas for the tail end of that trip. Of course, everyone but me had pissed their money away in the Mesquite casino beforehand, and I ended up picking up a ridiculously expensive dinner for five at the steakhouse in New York, New York (if memory serves) as a result. There was really no gambling, and just a slightly disturbing side trip to a porn store where my 6’9”, 425lb friend (actual size) bought a home bondage kit to use on his 5’2”, 135lb wife.
Oh the humanity.
The second trip was for the Super Bowl two seasons ago, when Tampa Bay and Oakland squared off. Bob and I went, and met my friend Nate and his girlfriend for a couple of days. This is pre-poker for us, but we still had a good time. I got to do some things I will always remember (won $300 at blackjack on our last day, had a good time at the Hilton’s Super Bowl party, saw Jay Mohr live, walked through the Venetian’s shops area at 2AM with their faux daylight environment tripping me out), and missed out on doing some things I would have liked to do (eat one night at one of those kick-ass buffets, gamble more, didn’t stay on the strip).
Plus, I’ve never been to Vegas more than four strong. While I don’t expect everyone to do everything together, I would wager we’ll all find some excuses to run roughshod through a card room or two, possibly do some damage to a buffet, and maybe someone will hit a big enough win so that a few hours at a Gentleman’s Establishment can be accommodated.
Man oh man, am I geeked for this trip.
I’ve got my fingers crossed that the next 56 days don’t drop anything in my lap that I can’t manage financially. I mean, anything unexpected. Plus, I should – in theory – be getting my third quarter bonus, which is going straight to the vacation. In all probability, it’ll all work out and I’ll be able to gamble like I want to out there.
And if I’m really lucky, I’ll hit a winner or two worth a crap on Breeder’s Cup Saturday.
Actually, Bob and I are eschewing the track this year in order to keep our costs down. We’re going to be watching the BC coverage from Mike’s house, where he has Direct TV (for HRTV, where the feed from Lone Star Park will be carried) and Wi-Fi, where I can bring my laptop for a little YouBet.com action. Nothing like gambling from the comfort of a couch.
Which brings me to my mandated weekly poker content… In order to make sure I have the cash to do Vegas the way I want to do Vegas, as well as enough cash to gamble my $100-$150 on BC Saturday, I’m largely putting PartyPoker aside for the time being. Why? Well, first of all, I have only $70 in there right now, and I won’t reload before Vegas. Second, I want to use that $70 to get back into the Limit HE rhythms before I go, so that should get me through a few sessions of $1/$2 if I lose. Third, well, if I’m putting money anywhere it’ll be out for the next blogger tournament, not to reload for Party.
So, consider it a poker hiatus. Certainly not a blogging hiatus, as this week’s collaborative content has proven.
See you in Vegas. Look for me the morning of the 10th in the Excalibur race book. I’ll be wearing the green hat with the white shamrock on the front.
I’ve got another woman!
Wait, that wasn’t the whole sentence.
How about, “I’ve got another woman who’s now reading my blog!” That’s not quite the same thing, but I think you’d agree with me that it’s pretty cool that a wonderfully gifted blogger by the pseudonym of Gutter Ball chooses to stop by and give this page a once over every now and again.
She even pirated my 100 things. Well, I pirated that too, so I guess I can’t be too upset. Her list is better than mine.
Now, Gutter, I know this is going to seem like blogogynistic segregation, but I’m going to link you where I’ve linked a couple of non-poker blogs. Unfortunately, you’ll notice that you’re joining a short list of entirely female bloggers, which just so happen to be at the bottom of my link list.
Nothing personal kiddo. If you have a post or two complaining about getting rivered by some jagoff playing J6s in a raised pot pre-flop, or your feelings on the so-called “action flops” on your favorite Antilles-based poker portal, then you can move up with the Poker Blogs. Until then, you’re actually mired with two of my favorite reads – Sarah Brown and Mimi Smartypants, as well as with my first blogger friend Anna. She’s good people, although I miss her eye-opening sexual candor.
Regardless, counting Anna, Felicia, and Maudie and my friend the Doc, that counts five women who read here.
And you’re all some combination of too married, too old, and too far away for me. I really oughta advertise in the local papers…
The rest of the Al vs. BG email thread is up, follow the link below for the whole thing.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Let's Try a Little Something...
Click that link above. C'mon. Click the link. Right there you'll find a running email commentary between yours truly and Al Can't Hang. We're going to keep this up as long as we can, and right there is where you'll find all the fun.
Go ahead. Click it.
Those Crazy Canucks
So, Happy Thanksgiving to our friends from the North. I hear the story of Canadian Thanksgiving is somewhat like our own. Many, many years ago, the Indians came over to Toronto and bought a number of gas stations and party stores. The good people of Canada chose the first Monday after the second Friday in October (which, actually, is “Octdeca Point Three Six” on their metric calendar) to celebrate the arrival of these Indians, their overpriced fountain drinks, and their willingness to carry Canadian porn on the magazine shelves.
And there was much beef jerky to go around. And it was good.
Today is also “Columbus Day” here in the States, which was declared a number of years ago to celebrate the contributions to our society of “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” director Chris Columbus. Dude did write “The Goonies” after all.
Actually, the reason I bring up Columbus Day at all is that Bob’s company has declared it a day off for the entire workforce. These are the wonderfully arbitrary decisions that I wish my company was making. When I worked for a bank, if the government was closed, so was the bank. Made sense to me. Now that I work for a company that serves other companies in a business-to-business fashion, there is no such time off.
I receive ten vacation days, and two and one half “floating holidays.” I don’t know if this is their way of saying, “If you want to go back to Edmonton for beef jerky and fountain drinks with the family on October 11th, we’ve got you covered,” but thanks I guess. Really, it’s these two and one half days that I’m having the hardest time spending.
I work in support of the automotive industry, which means there’s a shutdown period between Xmas and New Year’s. However, why would I want to take those days off instead of a day I might actually have some honest-to-god work in front of me to do?
So, I’ve got to find a couple days to spend on my couch in sweatpants watching “Dawson’s Creek” reruns. I’m thinking what I’ll likely do is burn the half day on the Thursday before Vegas, giving me ample time to meander across the state that afternoon before I fly out on Friday. Then, I’ll probably take Wednesday and Thursday of the week following Vegas (where I’m already taking Monday/Tuesday), and give myself a 3.5 day week, followed by a 1 day week, followed by a 4 day week, followed by the easiest 4 day week in the history of 4 day weeks (Dec 27-30).
I’ve been dancing around talking about this all morning in my mind, but screw it, what do I care. Yesterday, I found myself filling out a profile on a well known Internet dating site.
Wait, wait just a second… They asked me to subscribe, and I’m not about to pay money (yet) for something like this, especially considering that there weren’t but a couple of profiles on there that intrigued me even a little bit. But I did figure out a couple of things inherent in these profiles that turn me right the hell off.
First, learn how to spell. Better yet, I don’t ever want to date a girl that slept through ninth grade English, and can’t tell the difference between all the homophones for “there.” There are few things that irritate me more than careless misspellings, so proof it before you post it.
Second, for all you “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Bridget Jones” readers, I’ll at least give you points for honesty. If your last book was one of the Tolkien ones, or worse yet, a Harry Potter book, lie. Lie your damned fool ass off. Seriously, I read about four books at a time (because I have problems committing to just one), and finished two off yesterday. Those books in which I had actively moving bookmarks before the day was done yesterday were:
The Theory of PokerI enjoy breezy books as much as the next guy (I think I’ve read almost all the Fletch books, at 240 pages a pop), but, to some extent, you are what you read. At least pretend for me.
Third, there are a few things that you need to be careful you’re not including in your profile. Don’t talk about your cats, especially if it’s plural cats. Don’t compare yourself to a celebrity, especially if it’s some bullshit chick icon like Bridget Jones (or any one of those fucking “Sex and the City” women – especially out here in middle America). Actually, I’m happier if you use Bridget Jones as your benchmark (i.e. – you like to drink and know you’re a touch overweight) than I am if you tell me you resemble Tara Reid and turn out to be some nicotine stained, husky voiced, bleached blonde with more than a two cup size deficit to said celebrity. Don’t ever say that you “don’t want to play games.” You’re a woman. Games are what every relationship in your life are constructed upon. Just say, “I don’t want to get fucked over again.” I think that covers it.
Fourth, and I can’t believe I need to say this out loud, if you’re older than 19, you need to find another picture besides your high school senior photo to submit. I can’t tell you how many 25-30 year old women are putting that one up there. If I wanted to date the girl in the picture, I’d ask out the daughter you’re not mentioning you have in your profile.
Fifth, if you’re trotting out every cliché in the book… ”looking for a soul mate,” “don’t want to play any more games,” “looking for a man with a sense of humor” then you’re not showing any imagination, and you deserve a humorless man who dicks you over and cheats on you with your sister. She’s hotter than you anyway, that’s why she’s not trying to date someone from the computer.
I actually think that these Internet dating sites have it completely wrong. Dating sites should be like “Ladies Night” at the bar, except in reverse. Let the men sign up for free. Women are the ones who are the primary users of these things, and if they want a huge pool of guys to pull from, they should open these sites up so that men get on for free while women pay. After years of paying full price for drinks on Tuesdays, it’s the least you can do for the men of the world.
Three-and-One and Four-and-One
That, my friends, would be the respective records of your Detroit Lions, and (assuming Brett Favre doesn’t throw seven TDs tonight) of my fantasy team as of Tuesday morning.
Fantasy team first. I laid an egg last week when injuries to Rich Gannon and Charlie Garner prevented me from fielding anything more than a JV team for Minnesota’s bye week. I roared back with a vengeance this week. Culpepper threw five TDs, Moss caught two of them. Mewelde Moore had 11 catches and 182 yards, Artose Pinner had a TD, and the Baltimore defense hung two TDs on Washington. I still have Chris Brown and Ryan Longwell left to go tonight too. As long as Minnesota keeps clicking, I’m going to be tough to beat.
Now for the Lions. This win against the Falcons was one of those games that the bad Lions teams of the past wouldn’t win. They’d find a way in the fourth quarter to let the Falcons tie it, and look frazzled and confused every time a QB like Mike Vick rolled out of the pocket.
Not this week. Not these Lions.
I’m really amazed by the way the defense played this week. Kalimba Edwards, Shaun Rogers, and James Hall each had huge sacks. They found a way to keep Vick contained in the backfield without having to spy a linebacker on him. That meant that they could take away much of the short outlets Vick would check down to. The difference between the D’s performance in this game versus the Houston win was tremendous. Against a much less mobile QB (who isn’t less mobile than Vick?), Detroit was torn up by dump off passes to Domanick Davis, and burned deep a couple of times by Andre Johnson. This week? The biggest pass play of the game was by their punter.
Speaking of, I couldn’t be prouder of Terrance Holt’s read/reaction to the fake FG at the end of the first half. Kid played it perfectly. Why he isn’t getting more reps on the defense is beyond me.
For a team that is missing three key parts (best CB in Dre Bly, best OLB in Boss Bailey, and best nickel back in Andre Goodman), this defense played aggressively, and didn’t break all day long.
I still don’t know what to make of this offense though. I’m really frustrated with Mariucci’s play calling, especially early. He’s too intent on running to set up the pass. Problem is, we’re predictable early, our QB isn’t a solid play-action guy, and teams can just gang up on us and force a couple of early three-and-outs. You’d think that with the way Roy Williams has been playing that we could take a couple of shots early, loosen up the defense, and then gash them with a few well-timed runs from there. As it stands, Artose Pinner (who was being called “Harold” by the announcer all game – either an homage to a British footballer named Harold Pinner, or the guy was confusing a young black halfback with a dead English playwright – I’ll opt for the former) averaged under three yards a carry, despite having a few nice seven to nine yard gains.
Still, Mariucci showed some balls with the fourth-and-five pass to Hakim that went for a TD. This is the type of playmaker he was brought here to be. Sadly, if the injury to Williams is going to sideline him for a game or twelve, Hakim will be moved out of the slot to the outside, where his effectiveness decreases considerably.
All in all, this was a satisfying win because of the way the defense played. I’ll be keeping this game on the Tivo for further review up until next season.
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Time for "money where my mouth is," with my NFL picks of the week.
Bet One: $5 Eight Team/Seven Point Teaser (take the lines, add seven grace points to each choice in a parlay)
CLE +12.5 (PIT)
ATL +.5 (DET)
NO +4 (TB)
NYG +10.5 (DAL)
BUF +13.5 (NYJ)
JAX +4.5 (SD)
CAR +12.5 (DEN)
ARI +8 (SF)
That's $5 to win $50
Bet Two: $5 Five Team Parlay
MIA +12 (NE)
NO straight to win (TB)
BUF +6.5 (NYJ)
CAR straight to win (DEN)
ARI +1 (SF)
$5 to win $162.62
Go Panthers! (and Bills, and Dolphins, and Cardinals...)
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
About the Author
Greatest Hits [archived]
Guinness and Poker
Al Can't Hang
The Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Tao of Pauly
Scott, Texas' favorite Fat Guy
Only Built 4 Cuban Links
Up For Poker
Ugarte's Poker Grovel
JD's Cheap Thrills
Poker Stars Blog
Vegas Poker Blog
Poker in the Weeds
Nickle And Dimes
Not a Poker Blog
Dispatches From The Culture Wars
Horse Racing Links
Curb My Enthusiasm
Daily Racing Form
They Are At The Post
Tampa Bay Downs
Your Average Horseplayer
Tote Board Brad
Left At The Gate
design by maystar
powered by blogger
Syndicate this site
Online Poker : Visit Dr. Pauly at Tao of Poker for the best written journal on Poker Around. From on-line poker rooms to off-line live tournament coverage including the WSOP.
Las Vegas : The Poker Prof's Las Vegas and Poker Blog is the goto stop for people who come to Sin city to hit the tournaments and poker rooms. From the World Poker Tour to the World Series if it's big poker in Vegas it's blogged here. Home to the Prof's Las Vegas Links Directory.
Utilities Provided By