|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, October 30, 2004
I did have a nice sized post or two to put up that I wrote at work yesterday. That is, until an unexpected network crash at work prevented me from emailing it out to myself. It's at work, I'll put it up Monday.
Two quick things...
I'm housesitting for my dad, who is trying to sell his house. A realtor came through with a couple of prospectives yesterday. Inexplicably, I left a floater in the toilet and left the seat up when I left. I never do that. Go figure.
I also mentioned that letter to the editor of the local paper regarding the proposal to add a constitutional (state) amendment prohibiting gay marriage a couple days ago. Here's the letter, and a response:
10 reasons to support Proposal 2
Thursday, October 28, 2004
I’m a wicked, wicked man…
No, not really. I’m just in some kind of “mood” here.
What kind of mood? I really don’t know actually. My mood can best be characterized by the word “indefinable.” Or maybe “indescribable.” I’m thinking “inexplicable” is a little too off the edge. Regardless, I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Let’s start with “punchy.” It’s as good a place as any.
Pauly pinged me this morning on the IM*, and mentioned that someone with another blog had taken him to task. Apparently, dude thought (right or wrong, I could give a shit) that Pauly was angry he “stole” the concept of “Top 5 Weird Google Referrals,” and that when dude left a comment for Pauly, it was edited and/or deleted or something.
He called Pauly a “Comment Nazi.”
I’m going to leave a disclaimer right now. If I happen to get a comment from someone named Sklar or Prodly, I’m going to cut it up and reassemble it to look nothing like what he intended it to look like originally. If I can just get one lousy chance to play “Comment Nazi,” I’ll be happy to oblige. So, if you’re reading, leave a message after the tone. BEEP.
*Can we all agree that the appropriate way to say that you were contacted over Instant Messenger is to say you were “pinged?” It beats the hell out of the clumsy phrase, “I was IM’ing Pauly…”
How about we move to “bemused?”
It was my little brother’s birthday yesterday. I got him a sweatshirt. I’d give him a link, but he’s not blogging anymore, so there you go. Anyway, he and his wife met up with me and my mom at her condo yesterday for dinner, where she made some of the biggest damn pastys you’ve ever seen.
Pastys, for the uninitiated, are basically like calzones, but without sauce or cheese. Just beef, potato, and onion. Most make them with rutabaga, but I make it a point not to eat anything I couldn’t identify in whole form in the produce section. They’re an Upper Peninsula specialty.
Anyway, over dinner my mom mentions that she’s going to the gay pride parade in Saugatuck this weekend. Thankfully, her boyfriend** is taking her. This topic came up due to a letter to the editor in yesterday’s hometown newspaper supporting “Proposal 2,” which is to place a constitutional amendment in our state’s constitution defining marriage as the union between a man and a woman.
We’ve been over and back on this issue, and if you’ve read me for awhile, you know where I stand. The nutshell is that I don’t believe the government should endorse a church’s decision. If a church wishes to marry two men (or preferably, two women) in the eyes of its god, then if their god is legitimizing the union, the government shouldn’t be able to discount that.
In other words, if you disagree with what your church is doing, change churches.
Anyway, the letter was a top ten list of reasons why to vote for Proposal 2, and I’m pretty sure the author wasn’t being ironic or sarcastic. One of her points was (paraphrased, but the tone is hers), “Homosexuals will have a choice. Become heterosexual or move to San Francisco.” Another puzzling statement was that divorce rates would go down because heterosexual marriage would “no longer be threatened” by gay unions. Huh?
The remaining items were equally abrasive and spiteful. Arguments that a child in a gay couple’s home would “know” that their family “wasn’t equal to legitimate families,” and that gay partners would not have the legitimacy to make decisions on their partner’s behalf “even in the hospital or funeral home” make the case to the opposite side for me.
This is such a simple problem to solve, and it puzzles me why we need restrictive legislation like this, let alone full-fledged constitutional amendments. If the government were to mandate that any two people, so long as they were both of some legal age, were to agree to form a “household partnership,” the government would recognize these partnerships along with any dependents under that umbrella the way they currently recognize a married couple and their dependents. At that point, leave the idea of “marriage” to be defined within individual churches. If you disagree when your church marches two lesbians down the aisle, change churches.
This “household partnership” idea benefits not only gays, but other hypothetical households as well. Take two sisters, both in their late 60s living together. Both receiving Social Security benefits and sharing a household together for twenty years. If one passes, the other is left completely in the cold. They could sign up for “household partnership” benefits, and be treated in the government’s eyes with the same rights a husband/wife/equal household partner should. Why isn’t that a good thing?
The government telling anyone what love can or can’t be is dangerous. Plain and simple. We’re not all Christian, and we don’t all agree. Look out for the least of our citizens and find a better way to solve this problem. Sheesh.
**My mom hates the word “boyfriend” to describe her guy, so we refer to him as “her gentleman caller.” That amuses me to no end.
What about “crestfallen?”
I had a little time to kill today, so I timed how long it would take a piece of Double Bubble bubblegum to lose its flavor.
A&W used to have this root beer gum I loved. It was awesome. And I also really dig the little square chiclet-style gum. The one gum I always hated was Gatorade gum. Stuff turned my tongue in loops it was so sour. Blecch.
I think it’s a sign of how old I’m getting that the only gum I’ll buy now is that Dentyne Ice stuff. Although, if I could create the perfect gum, it would be Topps baseball card gum that never lost its flavor.
Let’s move on over to “giddy.”
I talk to Al Can't Hang all day on the IM, and we just had the following exchange:
BG: there it is – 13:57:57I’m punchdrunk today, I swear to god. I even pondered the following question for a little while, unable to come up with a legitimate answer:
Do they hire midget migrant workers to pick baby corn?Not exactly “If a tree falls…” kind of Zen, but certainly something I have to research.
Man oh man, Saturday is going to be one helluva day of gambling. Put Breeders’ Cup alongside college football (including MSU/UM, on which I have a pastry wager – I get MSU +11 to see who brings donuts on Monday with the HR Manager) in the afternoon, toss a little poker in that evening.
If I could only ensure that I get a blowjob from a whore somewhere in that 24 hour period while drinking an expensive Italian red and eating pizza, I think I’d have all my vices covered.
I’ve been running pretty decent lately at the tables. I’ve been playing mainly at Stars, a couple SNGs and some Limit Omaha Hi mixed in for good measure. I did have a “what the hell am I doing?” session at Party’s 25NL tables on Monday, just to even it out though. One of those nights where the guy is betting so much he’s absolutely screaming “I have the kicker and you don’t,” and I insist on raising him all-in anyway.
I’m such a dumbass.
That being said, I’ve doubled my non-WPBT money at Stars, and won $49 (which was really more like +$74, as I consider my buy-in of $20 sunk money, and I paid my brother back $5 I owed him with one chip) this past weekend in the home game.
I hope to continue that Saturday night.
That being said, the horses have been really ugly for me the last few times out. Of course, the event I choose to, uh, get back on the horse is Breeders’ Cup Saturday. Probably the single toughest card to handicap during the whole year. No big deal though. All I have to do is hit the Pick 8, and I can walk away a multi-millionaire. Shouldn’t be hard, right?
By the way, I fully intend to live-blog the event. We’ll see if that comes to fruition though, as Bob and I are sharing the laptop for wagering purposes.
Can I have my OC back now?
Thank god for a four game sweep. Baseball is dead, long live the new fall season on Fox!
No, I couldn’t be less kidding.
Bringing back “The OC” is one of two benefits from the Boston sweep. The other is that those “oh so maligned” Boston fans can now just shut the fuck up for eighty years. Please. Call me when you get to Cleveland.
Actually, someone tried to refute my comparison of Cleveland and Boston’s sports martyrdoms by saying that Cleveland was only a three sport town. Well since when has hockey ever entered into the discussion? And Boston fans have absolutely zero right to whine, as they have a boatload of Celtic and Patriot championships over the last 25 years to fall back on.
Seriously, you guys can all kiss my ass and shut up now. You’ve won, congratulations, now quit whining.
Bob called me this morning, expressing a similar “thank god” feeling for baseball being finished. “One more week, and we get our SportsCenter back.”
Uh, no. Remember this summer when the Pistons won the NBA Championship? You had two days of wall-to-wall Pistons on SportsCenter, followed by two straight weeks of “what will Kobe say next???” hand wringing and Laker dismantling as the lead story every morning.
Same deal here, except Boston is a “sexier” story for SportsCenter, so give them a week. Then, expect quite a bit of Yankee coverage to close baseball down for the winter. Of course, it’ll be mid-February by then, and they’ll give us a week before every third sentence contains the phrase “pitchers and catchers.”
Damn, I hate baseball.
Instead of the game last night, I watched the new “West Wing” episode on NBC. I fell in love with this show when I was unemployed a little over a year ago, and caught two episodes a day on Bravo*. I liked “Sports Night,” and enjoyed the movie “The American President,” so I found Aaron Sorkin’s writing clever and engaging, and the cast was likable enough that you actually cared if they got the Death Tax Bill killed in the Senate before Bartlet had to publicly veto it.
I really don’t like John Wells’ hands all over this show now. Much like “ER,” there’s some sort of “something has to happen, what will we do to top last week” feel to the show now. It feels much more fake than it used to. The walk-and-talk scenes are fewer and farther between, and the characters are on cruise control, with very little depth being manufactured out of committee in the scripts for them every week.
In other words, if I wanted to watch “ER,” I’d watch “ER.” I miss when they could do a whole show without trying to solve the peace problems in the Middle East, or without someone dying or almost dying from something big.
Subtle took off last season. He followed witty out the back door.
At least blogger didn't eat my post! It took nearly 12 hours to get this post up, but it's worth it...
I put up my Breeders' Cup preview over at In The Final Strides. Check it out, and leave your picks in the comments if you're so inclined.
Monday, October 25, 2004
That’s the sound of the switch being flipped and the bulb over my head illuminating.
Saturday’s home game was the first night I’ve played where I’ve been nearly absolutely certain what hands my opponents were sitting on, and when I could push them around.
It was a beautiful thing.
We started the game with four. My brother M, JS, and Mike, with whom we haven’t played much. $20 buy-in NL ring game with $.10/$.20 blinds. Against the other guys, I like my chances shorthanded, so I’m seeing just about everything I’m dealt into cheap flops.
And the cards were not disappointing.
My first early victory was when I was dealt a hand we call “The Matt Brunson,” K5o, after one of our regulars (Matt) took out JS in a tournament and proclaimed his move a “great play” for calling a significant pre-flop raise and catching. As a result, it’s like our home game’s Hammer. So, under the gun, I spot the Matt Brunson and call. My brother from the BB makes it another $.50 to go, which I call. Flop gives me a set of fives. My brother comes in for $1.50, and I simply call. Next card is another blank, and M makes it $2. I raise him to $5, and he calls. The river is another apparent blank, and I’m confident I’m up against a pair in the hole that didn’t catch. M pushes big, I raise, he calls, and I sweep.
Sure enough, he had a pair down.
A couple of hands later I am dealt 89s in the BB, and check my way into the flop. Jackpot! 998 on the board. Oddly, Mike bets into me, and knowing he’s not the most seasoned player, I figure he’ll chase if I raise. Sure enough, he follows. Turn is a Jack, and I’m not worried. He bets, I raise, he calls. River is a blank, and I put $10 in when he checks. He thinks and thinks and calls.
I turn over my flopped boat, and he mucks.
Unfortunately for him, he threw his cards into the pile and was halfway through shuffling when he says, “All I had there was J9.” Thank god for rookies, his boat kicked my boat’s ass, but since we couldn’t prove what he had, the chips were mine.
I got up big at that point, and never looked back.
I think I really psyched Mike out over the course of the night reading his hands out loud. In one early agonizing decision for him, an Ace on the board was met with a fairly big bet from my brother, which left him pondering what to do. I told JS across the table, “Smells like AK versus JJ to me,” to which Mike shot me a look that only said, “How’d you know what I have?” By the way, I was dead right on both hands there. Later in the evening I was head-to-head against Mike in a hand with KJs, and saw a low board that missed my flush draw (and any other draw for me) completely. He made a small bet at the pot that he raised pretty well pre-flop, and I came over the top big time ($3 on top of his $1) on him. He thought, and agonized before calling. I figured him for something like 99 to QQ. He actually said while he was calling on the flop, “Well, you’ve made your set…” so I knew that he was thinking he was toast. The turn put another low card on the board, and he just folded rather than checking (rookie). I would have bet at it again anyway, so he was just sparing the pain.
It was a slaughter. I was just killing them.
So, with a total bank of $146, I cashed out $69, Mike $12, and my brother $65. I bought in once ($20), and both those other guys twice ($40 each). All in all, a nice night of poker.
I played a little online this weekend too. In a short Sunday night session, I sat down at the Omaha Hi Limit tables, playing $.25/$.50. Within the first two hands, it was obvious that we had an “expert” at the table, admonishing everyone for their bad and wrong plays.
Man, I wish I would have saved the chat transcript. I turned up the sarcasm and publicly “thanked” him for being an expert willing to come down and sit $.25/$.50 with all of us fish. His big point that he wanted everyone to know was that raising pre-flop does no one any good at these micro-limits, and that we should all save bets if we’re just going to chase and call down to the river anyway.
I don’t get why people complain when fish play hands poorly. Yes, getting sucked out on, well, sucks. But isn’t poor play more profitable to those who know what they’re doing long term?
Regardless, I was feeling punchy last night and kept after this guy for about a half an hour. If someone raised pre-flop I’d type, “Didn’t David tell you guys that’s not the way to play Omaha?” If someone bet on the flop with David in the hand, “David wanted a free card there – what are you doing?”
He tried to get personal attacking me back, which isn’t a good idea. See, much like Eminem’s character in “8 Mile,” I’m fully aware that I suck. On multiple levels. What are you going to hit me with that I don’t already think of myself anyway? He went after my avatar, which is a picture of a ten year old spelling bee champ. Major nerd.
Dude: Is that you in that picture?A few hands later I flopped four to the wheel, and check/called my way down to river an Ace, making my straight. This was against a player named VaBoy, who I quickly admonished for his play.
BG: If you had listened to David here for the last half hour, you would have known I was just check/calling you in order to suck out my ace.And just like that, six of the eight players seated at the table left.
I don’t think I’ve ever pissed off a whole table before. Man, was that fun.
I saw the soon-to-be-infamous Ashlee Simpson lip synch debacle on Saturday. I’m not fully convinced that she was 100% lip synching. I think a large part of it is bracing her voice from the back with the studio track. Regardless, that’s got to be a major embarrassment, especially for a girl whose entire image was constructed to be an anti-girlie-girl pop divette. I can’t think of another pop star who has come out in the past year or two with a more carefully constructed image than Ashlee. From the clothes she wears to the stuff she sings about, it all says “I’m not Jessica.”
Whether she has a modicum of talent, or is really a fraudulent fraudie fraud remains to be seen. I just know she gets cuter every time I see her. Bob says she looks like Mark McKinney’s “Chicken Lady” from “Kids in the Hall,” but I’m alright with the passing resemblance.
Maybe she’ll have to pose nude somewhere to take everyone’s minds off of the embarrassment. That should really be the female celebrity’s answer to everything. Look at Halle Berry. Career is going nowhere fast, she’s being replaced by younger actresses all the time and then BOOM, she takes her top off in “Swordfish.” Welcome back career.
I’m going to have to write about this at some point, but the Esquire “Women We Love” issue had a reader poll (from whence the previously mentioned “sexiest” list came), and one of the questions was “Who’s the sexiest woman on ‘The View.’”
Excuse me while I barf-cough my breakfast to the back of my throat, but Star Jones beat Joy Behar. Both unattractive as the day is long (on Venus), but I always thought everyone agreed with me that there is no bigger swamp sow in all of female celebritydom than Star Jones. Big pig. Big.
Stealing from Pauly, but only because he had the good taste to steal from me first, here are more of the Esquire Reader Poll Sexiest Women, with comments:
Sexiest Pop Star
Gwen Stefani 18%
Christina Aguilera 10%
Norah Jones 7%
Norah Jones? Really? Someone said to me they thought she was "homely," but I prefer to think she has a real effortless and casual beauty. I'm a fan, what can I say? She looks like a "real girl," as opposed to whorelicious harlots like Aguilera. By the way, Christina could be hot if she wasn't trying so damn hard. Here's one you probably hadn't considered. I give you Jane Monheit, a jazz singer you'll never see on MTV. I saw her interviewed on CNN, and I'm just smitten as all hell. Talk about "real girl." I'm not saying I'd put her on a "sexiest" list, just that I'm noticing. Oh yeah.
Hottest Product Mascot
St. Pauli Girl 50%
Swiss Miss 21%
Aunt Jemima 11%
Mrs. Butterworth 5%
You can't fuck with St. Pauli Girl. They've been using Playmates as the mascot on posters for a few years now. You know who gets me going on beer posters more though? The Killians' Red girl(s). Ain't nothing like a flaming hot redhead to get one's blood boiling. By the way, Betty Crocker got the short end of the stick on this one.
Historical Figure You'd Most Like to Sleep With
Helen of Troy 37%
Marie Antoinette 6%
Mary Magdalene 6%
Susan B. Anthony 1%
Susan B. Anthony? I've seen the coin, and my cock stayed in my pants, thankyouverymuch. I can't disagree with Helen and Mary Magdalene here though. Let me inject a dose of my reality here. If I could timewarp anyone from any time here to my bedroom for a weekend, that list would have to include Ann-Margret in her prime (especially in the sweater kittens/tight pants era), Sophia Loren in her early 30s, Marilyn Monroe when she was having fun and not all needy and shit, and JP from college who was as unbelievably hot as I've ever seen a real girl before.
Most Beautiful Face
Catherine Zeta-Jones 29%
Keira Knightley 23%
Nicole Kidman 13%
Julia Roberts 11%
Eva Mendes 9%
Julia Roberts is a horse faced sell-out. There, I've said it. Her movies are full of treacly bullshit, and you always know how they're going to end. She gets the guy, everyone is fucking delighted. She's not that pretty. And Eva Mendes is smokin' hot, but beautiful in a classical sense? Hardly. I can't disagree with Zeta-Jones and Kidman, both are lovely women. Knightley I'm not sold on. She's a good looking girl, but I'm really not buying into the corseted English thing. Gabrielle Union? Now there's a beautiful face. Charlize Theron gets no love here either? Pfft.
Rosie O'Donnell 30%
Condi Rice 15%
Ann Coulter 14%
Martha Stewart 12%
Rosie, absolutely. Condoleeza is someone that would seemingly be an interesting dinner companion. I wouldn't want to bang her (necessarily), but she doesn't scare me like Rosie. Coulter, yes. She's a blowhard, and is one of those women that always has to be right (excuse the pun). Martha is annoying, but did you know she used to be a pretty good looking dame back in her day? I saw a pic, but couldn't dig one up. Anyway, who scares me? Star fucking Jones, that's who.
Most Womanish Man
L. DiCaprio 48%
J. Timberlake 20%
B. Pitt 13%
H. Ledger 7%
R. Gosling 6%
Who's Ryan Gosling? And who forgot to add Clay Aiken to this list?
Ellen DeGeneres 34%
Anne Heche 30%
Melissa Etheridge 14%
Martina Navratilova 9%
Rosie O'Donnell 8%
Chalk this one up to no one paying as close attention to who is and who isn't a lesbian as I do. Bump everyone but Ellen and Etheridge. Ellen's funny, and Etheridge is actually pretty talented. Add the girls from Tatu*, and Portia DeRossi. There's my five.
*I know, and I don't care
Hottest Barely Legal Woman
Lindsay Lohan 56%
Avril Lavigne 15%
Amanda Bynes 11%
Mary-Kate Olsen 8%
Ashley Olsen 7%
For those who can tell and do know the differences between the Olsen twins, shame on you. Turn off the ABC Family network and go outside and play. I've got to assume the Avril thing is only due to this magazine's Canadian readership. I have no other logical explanation. I don't have much to add here, except that Mandy Moore and Mila Kunis (Jackie, from "That 70s Show") belong here. And both were porked by Wilmer Valderrama. Oy.
Most Likely To Pose Nude To Revive Career
Christina Aguilera 20%
Anna Kournikova 15%
Jessica Simpson 11%
Kelly Osbourne 4%
I think all these girls except for Jessica are likely at some point. Especially Kournikova. I'll be right there when the Playboy comes off the truck, trust me. If I were laying Vegas odds right now, I'd put the line at 5/2 that we see Britney's juggs in the next 24 months. Even money over the next five years. And Christina's basically a porn star now anyway, so where's the leap?
Wonder Woman 33%
Storm / Striperella < 1% each
C'mon, doesn't anyone watch Justice League? Give me Wonder Woman all day long. Gotta dig that tiny waist flaring up and down into monster curves. God bless her. Catwoman is great, but give me Wonder Woman (or, Rachel Bilson in costume) any time.
(I've already talked about this, here's the percentages)
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Money Where My Mouth Is
Three bets online for Week 7...
$5 to win $248
Chicago +7 (TB)
Buffalo to win (Bal)
San Diego to win (Car)
Detroit to win (NYG)
$5 to win $50 - 7pt Teaser
Chi +14 (TB)
Buf +12 (Bal)
SD +10 (Car)
Phi 0 (Cle)
KC +3.5 (Atl)
Jax +16 (Indy)
Det +14 (NYG)
Ten +13 (Min)
$5 to win $220.82
Phi/Cle OVER 41
Jax +9 (Ind)
NYJ/NE UNDER 44
NYJ to win (NE)
Ten +6 (Min)
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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