|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Friday, February 18, 2005
Doc and the Dream
Pauly has encouraged me to write something a little bit bigger than what I've been chipping away at here. Actually, he's been on my ass about it, but that's a good thing. This is the first draft of the first chapter I've written in that "something a little bit bigger" I want to tackle. The dream is mine (and rather fucked up), but Langston is a guy who's been writing and re-writing on the same manuscript for nearly fifteen years, and only his shrink knows he's been writing. He's never told anyone else. Oh, and his mom is a well-respected novelist.
It was, as it usually was, a mercifully short wait for Dr. Meyer. In those minutes prior to our sessions alone in the waiting room, I had moved well past my initial inclination to sprint for the exit doors and now was content to leaf through three month old issues of Architectural Digest, even though I couldn't tell Doric from Ionic without a cheat sheet.
Not that people are utilizing Roman columns the way they used to, I mused with a sideways smirk. If you can't get them at Home Depot, or buy them out of the box at Crate and Barrel or IKEA, America doesn't want them anyway. Of course, all it's going to take to bring them back is for one rapper to show up on MTV's Cribs with a Gladiator fetish (as opposed to the usual predilection to Tony Montana), a pool surrounded by a mock-up of the Colosseum, and the words, "Russell Crowe, now that's my nigga."
Maybe instead of iced out platinum chains and medallions, you'll see brothas rockin' gold plated olive branch crowns and trading their gats for broad swords.
"Langston, sorry to keep you waiting. Why don't you come on in and grab a seat." Doc's office was large and comfortable, outfitted with couches, chairs, his desk, books - all the things you expect and desire from your shrink. As usual, I took one of the two low-slung leather chairs with the ottoman right out of the picture in the Pottery Barn catalog. Doc took the other.
I always took this chair. It faced the back corner of Doc's office, in which a tall and colorful metal sculpture was placed. Actually, it was more fair to say it was perched over there, as it seemed to both hulk over and cascade down and around a single fulcrum point where its shape and perceived bulk gave an illusory nod to the forces of gravity. It looked like it should be falling off of the base - as a matter of fact it looked as if it were in mid-topple - but was always balanced in the same position.
I've never been one to truly understand art, but I loved this piece. I asked Doc about it in one of my early sessions, and he brushed me off. "You can tell me what you think about that whenever you're ready."
It had been nearly five years of weekly sessions, and I hadn't given it a lot of thought since.
"So, Langston... How have you been doing this week? Is there anything in particular you wanted to talk about today?"
"Actually, I had a dream." Dr. Meyer smiled. I rarely had dreams I remembered in the morning, and the "dream journal" idea he had proposed years ago was a colossal failure.
"Wow, great. Throw me a curveball this week, why don't you? I'm ready, let's dive in."
"Are you familiar with the game Cutthroat?"
Dr. Meyer nodded and started jotting notes in his spiral. "Billiards - pool, right? That Cutthroat?"
"Right. I was playing against two guys..."
"Guys you know? People you know?" I shook my head. "Who were these guys then?"
"This is the weird part." I shuffled up in my seat, eager to get this dream out in front of the Doc. "It was obvious there was a lot riding on this game. So much so that we all were playing incredibly defensive pool - playing not to lose, if you will. Shot after shot was executed to simply make the next guy's shot that much harder."
Doc jumped in, "You were guarding something. So were they."
"Yeah, so were they. It went on like this for a little while, and I finally relented and laid my cue down on the table. I gave up, declared a stalemate - which I guess meant I was the loser. So the guys come up to me and grab me by the shoulders..."
"Violently? Or gently, as if they're taking you somewhere?"
"Gently, I guess. One of the guys says, 'You know you're done, right?' I nod and he adds, 'We're going to put things back the way they should be, and there's nothing you can do about it now.'"
Dr. Meyer perked up instantly. "There's nothing you can do about what?"
"Time. They were going to wind time back. The guys locked me in a bathroom, and I took a seat on the toilet and looked out the back window."
Doc was scribbling furiously in his notebook. Without looking up he said, "I'm not sure what the bathroom means, if anything, but what were you looking at out the window?"
"There was a convenience store. Or, rather, a building that used to obviously house a convenience store. The building was boarded up and run down, and weeds were growing all over the property."
"Do you remember what you were thinking while you were looking out the window?"
"Nothing - not yet at least. I'll get to that. But I can remember feeling defeated. Well, defeated, and that when things started to get reset that I'd be wiped away with them."
"Like everything I had ever done in my life was going to be nullified."
Doc paused to let that last sentence sink in. I'm not sure if he wanted that to sink in for me or for him. "So when everything was all said and done at the end of this - reset of time - you'd be operating with a clean slate?"
"No. Like when everything was all said and done at the end of this, I'd cease to exist at all."
Doc was absentmindedly nibbling on the end of his pen. The silence was loaded. "This isn't quite the same thing as when one dreams about their own mortality, is it? You're not falling out of a plane, you're not jumping off a tall building - none of those things that people do purposefully or accidentally when they dream about death. This isn't a fetishization of death in any sort of sense at all. You played a high-stakes game where your existence - not just your life, but the whole of your existence - was on the line."
I nodded. "Everything I am, everything I've done."
"And what's interesting is that you didn't lose, did you?" I hadn't thought of it that way. I didn't lose. I gave up, resigned, called a stalemate when I knew that doing so was an acquiescence to this fate. I sunk a little lower in the chair and shook my head in agreement. No. I didn't lose. "What happened next?"
"I was sitting on the toilet - just sitting, mind you - and was watching the convenience store out the window. That's when time started rolling backwards. Slowly, at first. The weedy overgrowth started to back down, and then signs of life at the store started to appear. The boarded up windows came down, and there was a sign - a clock - that was one of those red digital scrolling message boards on the outside of the building, and all of a sudden it was on and the time and date on the board kept rolling steadily backwards."
Doc nodded. "Do you remember thinking or feeling anything as you saw this store come back to life?"
"'Stop.' That's one thing. I just wanted everything to stop. Then I started to see landmark dates pass by."
"Which dates? What did they signify?"
"It started as I began to recognize the significant dates. The date of my divorce. The day I left my ex-wife. The day I married her. They kept rolling past me and I just wanted time to stop, just for a minute."
"My first impulse was so that I could fix things. Make things right, or at least more right than they had turned out. But I was locked in the bathroom, sitting on that toilet, completely defeated and unable to do anything. I wanted so badly to get out there and fix things."
"What would you have done to fix them?"
"See, I don't know. It's a different question than if you were to ask me 'What would I do if I had the chance to go back in time to those days?' In the dream, there's a different context."
Dr. Meyer obviously agreed. "I'm glad you understand that. Sometimes what we're thinking and feeling inside of a dream can be taken at face value, sometimes it's thick with subtext, and sometimes there's no sense in trying to break the code at all. What do you think 'fixing these things' meant in the dream?"
"I thought it was a dream about regret, but I'm not so sure anymore. See, the milestones I mentioned already are the most recent ones. Over the last seven or eight years, they're the ones that have most impacted me. But then I started to notice more dates rolling by on that digital board, but they weren't exactly milestones. The last time I was fired from a job... the other time that happened... the day I wrecked my car..."
Dr. Meyer interrupted, "All mistakes? Every one of these dates you noticed in your dream. They're all mistakes." He let that marinate for a moment. "What were you thinking as time continued to roll back?"
"That I was completely powerless to stop the ride, get off, and do anything about anything." I looked over and saw Doc rocking slowly back and forth in his chair, which was what he did when he was waiting for me to fill in the rest of the blank. "I guess this dream wasn't about regret, was it?"
Dr. Meyer set his pen and pad down to the side and leaned forward into the conversation. "We've established this isn't a dream about death, and this isn't a dream about regret. Why is it you chose to only mark mistakes as signposts through your past? Why is there no mention of the day you lost your virginity? Or the days you come back from the track having doubled or tripled your stake? Why aren't you recognizing a first date, a first kiss, first time you tasted success on the job, first time you had five figures in the bank? Why is it you focus so pointedly on mistakes?" I shrugged and shook my head. "Something one of your Cutthroat opponents said to you..." He leafed back a couple pages in his spiral. "'We're going to put things back the way they should be.' What do you suppose you mean by that?"
I huffed and threw away, "That I'm a colossal fuck-up and everything is my fault?"
"Get serious, would you Langston?" Dr. Meyer hated it when I did this. In this room is the only place I felt comfortable getting personal, but sometimes the walls would come up, even in here. "Why do you think things needed to be reset?"
"I don't know Doc, I don't know... I am confused though. Why, if I was so resigned to defeat in this case was I even willing to fight to keep these guys from turning back time to begin with?"
Dr. Meyer began, "You were playing defensive pool, right?" I nodded. "Then you just laid down your cue and gave up, correct?" Again, I agreed. "That's hardly a fight. That's really more of a situation where you're looking to preserve the status quo - a stalemate is essentially a conflict that ends in status quo, isn't it..."
I hated it when the Doc was right.
"You've got a tenuous relationship with your own past. 'The way things should be' is a myth. The past exists as it is, or rather, as it was. And you have a curious way of resigning yourself to the past without accepting it." We sat there in silence for thirty seconds, a minute, while Dr. Meyer let his statement wash through my head. "Answer me out loud this time, first thing that comes into your head. Why is your life's story told through mistakes and failures?"
I took a single beat and answered, "I'm never going to be as successful as my mom, am I?"
Doc grinned and asked me the only question that had survived each and every one of our sessions over the past five years, "So how is that manuscript coming along Langston?"
"Hi BG. I'd just like to call and ask you a question that I know I'm going to get the answer to in about two and a half minutes, but I'm really horribly impatient and a blowhard to boot, so I feel the need to call you directly to waste your time and mine with a question you're going to get annoyed that I asked you in the first place. So if you could please call me back..."
There are days where I dig my job, and there are days where I just want to take Fat Man and Little Boy and drop them over the greater Pittsburgh area. Sorry Geno.
By the way Gene? I read a comment on someone else's site that was responding to your "anonymous commenters are a piece of shit" comment, where this dude opined that you're somehow hiding behind the pseudonym "Mean Gene." Now, this would make sense but for the fact that it doesn't take a boy genius to figure out what your last name is. Or maybe I am just that smart.
Anyway, if not for two pop tarts this morning, I might be dead of starvation by now. It's 11AM, and I've reached Ghandi levels of profound hunger. I only have the Karen Carpenter stop left to pass on this bus ride before I get off at the Bloated Belly Ethiopian stop. And yes, I currently do not have the strength to so much as brush this horsefly from my cheek.
But, my friends, I type on for you. I'll fight through these hunger pangs yet.
Before we move on, I just want to state for the record that the perfect reason to get a pizza for dinner continues to be "because I didn't have a pizza last night." Guess who's coming for dinner at my house and bringing the new Heatwave bag?
Anyway, I need to add a few things to the column labeled "Things I Couldn't Give a Fuck About:"
Major League BaseballSo you can see how much I'm enjoying SportsCenter and Sports Talk Radio right about now. Seriously, act shocked and aghast all you want sports media, but y'all are the ones who could have tried harder to break this story over the last fifteen to twenty years and didn't, so don't start trotting out the asterisks and sanctimonious bullshit right about now. Plus, there's never going to be any proof that Brady Anderson or Mark McGwire did or didn't use the juice. It's like me accusing Iggy of having blueberries on his oatmeal three weeks ago Saturday. He may or may not have eaten oatmeal at all, but he's not ever going to provide satisfying proof to me that he didn't, in fact, have breakfast the way I'm accusing him of having it.
And the only reason I'm upset that there isn't hockey going right now is that it allows for more highlight/discussion time on ESPN for baseball and car racing, which sucks.
I only like my mullets on the rocks.
Oh, and fuck Mike Greenwell.
Maybe I'm just bitter because I'm too dumb lately not to chase flush draws. Talk about a fucking leak. Not only that, but I get even more upset when I start turning the aggression on with middle pair, hit my two pair on the turn, and some jackass playing King Nine off in middle position flopped a better two pair than I pulled.
See, it's just that both the plays at my table and my hole cards were atrocious. I saw a guy call a pre-flop $6 all-in bet with three people left behind him to act with K4o. I saw Q-high flush draw and T-high flush draw with 7-high flush cards on the board battling it out for a $40 pot. I want to be that guy who can make the idiot assholes pay for their pre-flop all-in $20 bet by having Aces down. I want to be the guy that catches the set and finds J-high calling him down for big bucks.
No dice on Wednesday.
But there absolutely will be dice this weekend, as Bob and I are headed up to Manistee for some Indian tribal gaming. Apparently, they've got a new Texas Hold 'Em table game, which I'm real curious to see. Note, I said "see" and not "play." I'll reserve blackjack and/or craps for my seriously -EV pleasures. It'll basically be a freeroll for Bob, as I still owe him $150 from Vegas, but you couldn't talk that kid out of a casino day no matter how hard you tried anyway.
I did play last night, and ended a marathon session (for me, nearly three and a half hours) at the 25NL tables a solid $3 ahead. Yeay. That'll secure me a spot in the Poker Hall of Fame, I'm sure. Actually, the session was notable in that I did not tilt despite having a VPIP of ZERO through my first 55 hands. Oh, and I was at an "action" table too. There was one $109 pot that was contested three ways all the way through the river - and it wasn't an AA/KK/AK match. JTo made two pair - not even top two pair - to take it down. $109. With JTo. No straights, no flushes, no sets, not even a big pocket pair. $109.
No, I didn't tilt. I wanted to, but sometimes the cards are so egregiously awful that tilting takes effort. I just can't make myself tilt on T3o. Now, the subtle tilt of A8s flopping four flush and chasing willy-nilly is something to behold, but I didn't even have the chance to do that.
Good thing too. I finally registered PokerTracker last night, downloaded some 4800 hands of mine, and saw in black and white exactly where some of my leakiness is coming into play - smallish suited aces, suited faces (KQs, KJs), and medium pocket pairs. Oh, and pocket aces? Losing hand for me. Technically, I should just be folding them. The hammer, on the other hand, is a hand I'm voluntarily playing 52% of the time, and I have a green number for profit on that one. Therefore...
Hammer > Aces
I realize the sample size is small, and the perceived leak on the Aces is actually due to two or three hands where I got my money down as a favorite and got sucked out on, but seeing that number really makes me chuckle. Best starting hand indeed.
I do feel good, however, that were I to take out three miss-and-run sessions from my sample (since late December) where I pissed away $25 in mere minutes on tilt and got up, and were I to mentally add back what I "deserved" to win in three monster suckouts last weekend, I'd be an overall winner at the 25NL tables.
I'm not, so that's a problem, but one that can be fixed with steady play.
Steadier than I've been, I should say.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
I Drop Jewels Like... Paraphernalia
Part of me has always wanted to grab the microphone onstage in front of thousands and scream "I'm the Osirus of this shit!" Don't ask me why, it's just one of those impulsive sorts of things.
Closest I got was at Lil Bro's wedding when my dad started rambling in a three quarters drunken way in front of friends and family both old and new. I had to grab the mic from the old man, and was overcome with the urge to stomp my foot and yell "SEXUAL CHOCOLATE!"
Then my dad backed into my car on the way out of the parking lot on his way home and insists he doesn't remember. I was wasted and I remember.
I think I would have made a fantastic rapper, if not for the rhythm and rhyming parts. Oh, and I'm a white guy. But beyond that, I've got the sneering attitude, the throwback jerseys, and (in college) could hang tube for tube with the best of the bunch if Cypress Hill came by for a visit. Add to that the fact that I can make up semi-sensical slang terms with the best of them (see: "retrospectia" and "arithmanalyses" from a couple weeks ago), and I'm pretty sure I could hang.
Well, until me and the other rappers got into the fight about spelling things properly in the album liner notes. The song "Hellz Wind Staff" would have to be renamed "Hell's Wind Staff" or there'd be an argument. See, I'd try to make my point, someone would pull their gat, I'd have to brandish my nine, and you know how these things go. On the real.
I'm not real sure where this is coming from today, but I did spend some time on Saturday leafing through "The Wu-Tang Manual," written by the RZA, at Barnes and Noble.
You know, if you're going to read "The Wu-Tang Manual," be in a comfy chair in a well-lit bookstore within shouting distance of a Starbucks counter somewhere in the upper Midwest. I think Bobby Digital would have wanted it that way. Anyway, this would be one of those books that could have sold pretty damn well about eight years ago, but I don't really know who (besides me and Bob) really gives a fuck about the Wu-Tang Clan anymore. I mean, Big Baby Jesus is dead, Golden Arms has left the group, and even Cappadonna tried to throw these guys under the bus and got bounced.
Well, whatever. I spent about thirty minutes with the book and felt a little like I could cook some marvelous shit to get your mouth watering... on some "Oh, shit!" So, as a result, I thought I'd do the most "gangsta" thing I could possibly think to do at 8AM on a Tuesday morning at my desk...
...I bought Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau a hand towel off of their wedding registry. The card, signed with my real name, reads "Good luck to both of you - Warmest regards, Boy Genius - Grand Haven, MI."
That's $17 well spent. If I get a thank you card (unlikely, I didn't leave my address, and I'm not sure if the registry provides that stuff), I'll have someone scan it and I'll put it up. I'm going to put the chances at roughly even money that this wedding registry is, in fact, a prank of some sort (the ones for them at Target.com are obvious pranks). If it's not though, I've got a hand towel in the closet of the bathroom of the home of a notoriously famous couple.
That's as motherfucking "gangsta" as it gets. Motherfucker.
Such is Life
Why is it that khakis never go out of style, but there are certain three to five year periods where wearing corduroys brands one a fashion pariah? I'm glad we're not in that time and place now, because I've got a pair of cords that I really dig. Not only do they look pretty nice, but...
VWEET VWEET VWEET VWEET
They should write a "Wheels on the Bus" sort of song for kids about the joys of wearing corduroy pants. "My legs while they walk go VWEET VWEET VWEET!" I actually remember being embarrassed by that noise as a youngster, but now? Well, there's definitely a nostalgia to the corduroy sound that I dig.
So I'm headed out tonight to meet a few former co-workers - all women - for a drink or three at a local restaurant. One of the girls who'll be along for the ride is someone I'd have a crush on for sure, but for one little thing. She's attractive, but not out-of-my-league. She's sarcastic, and never was afraid to mix it up with me in the office (my "Work Personality" is "Goofball Sarcastic"). I think she's terrifically smart, funny, and has a good heart too. And, so far as I know, she's single.
So what's my problem? She loves Jesus. She's one of those people whose personal relationship with Jesus colors every corner of her life. That's terrific, and I'm glad that works for her, but it really doesn't for me. I could definitely be with someone who didn't share my religious beliefs (or lack thereof), but I know she couldn't.
Totally my type in every way but the one that's easily most important to her. What a shame.
There's a small part of me that misses working with this group, just for the social interaction. Then again, I grew to really hate my job, and so I'm glad I'm not with this group every day anymore. Not only that, but I think I'm fond of them and they of me in small doses only. I almost feel like I have to be "on" the three or four times a year we get together. I goof around, they make fun of me, I poke fun back, we all go home happy.
Except I don't get the Jesus girl. Such is life.
I also have no shot at hot neighbor girl, but that's to be expected. Actually, as I had probably mentioned, she came upstairs and had a glass of wine with me one evening last week. In the year that I've lived upstairs, it was one of the first times we had a conversation that was more than three minutes long, and I learned that pretty much the only two things that would make her "my type" are that she's hot and screwed up emotionally. Not that "screwed up" is my type, those are just generally the women I'm gravitating towards historically. Anyway, I don't think she's that smart, so I'd figure that once the attraction - the "hot" part - wore through a little, I'd be left wondering what the hell I was really doing with her anyway.
Not that I'd get a shot to get that far. She was saying all those little things ("All the guys who ever were attracted to me came out of the woodwork since I broke up with so-and-so." "I'm so not ready for a boyfriend.") that basically just said, "I'll have that glass of wine because you're a nice guy and you're my neighbor but don't even think about hitting on me."
I didn't. I did trot out one line to test her sense of humor, and even that fell a little flat (she dated a short guy and when she was explaining his, uh, shortcomings, I said "Maybe this time you should date for height." I thought I was funny.). I'm not that impressed.
Still drooling, but not that impressed.
Of course, I'm probably nitpicking because I'd never in a billion years land a girl this attractive. But deep down I know I'd trade 30% of her looks away for 30% more intelligence and wit, and ultimately end up happier.
OK, maybe 15%.
If everything I needed to know about women was gleaned from watching commercials, I would be adding one crucial and possibly personal-safety-saving item to the list based on what I've been seeing over the last two weeks.
God for-fucking-bid I don't produce Russell Stover chocolates for my woman on Valentine's Day. I don't even want to think about what might happen if I don't.
Are men that stupid? I mean to say, do advertisers think men this ridiculously dumb? The fact that it was a "man on the street" style commercial means that I can't take this as tongue-in-cheek. Instead, they legitimately want us to believe that women of the world expect discount drugstore chocolates on Valentine's Day...
At least they're not setting the bar that high. I mean, the diamond commercials over the holidays notwithstanding, five dollars worth of chocolate as a threat isn't too much to ask I guess.
But where, pray tell, are the commercials that tell women precisely what men want? The only one in recent memory I can identify is the beer commercial where the two women in the canoe misinterpret the meaning of "switch," and end up trading bikini tops in order to secure Labatt's. Maybe we need to play with the tag lines of a few ads in order to create a better life for men everywhere...
"News 8 at six, followed by the NBC Nightly News at six thirty. One hour you can use to pretend to care about Uganda so you don't have to listen to her drone on about her day."Yes ladies, I absolutely am saying that a man's needs boil down to only a few key things. His own space, peace and fucking quiet, someone to cook him dinner, and to feel like that ass is satisfied.
Oh, and to not feel like we're going to ruin the relationship because we didn't make with the chocolates on Valentine's Day.
My cousin called me from college last night. "I have a journal for my Finance class and my assignment says I have to find someone who's wise and ask them a couple of questions."
Presumably, I'm the wise one.
"What was your biggest financial mistake?"
Well, that's a hell of a question. The easy answer is "getting back together with the ex-wife a couple years out of college," but I'm not sure that's going to fly. I cobbled her together something about getting in over my head and missing credit card payments and such. All pretty standard.
"What advice would you give to someone my age?"
Um, "don't get back together with my ex-wife?" I guess that probably wasn't going to fly either, so I jumped through the standard hoops about budgeting and credit cards, and proved my wisdom through boring platitudes.
Then, of course, she had to run her man problems through me. She's dating this dude who lives about 50 miles away, and is working something like fifteen hour days as an engineer. It's a good gig, but it's tiring. And she's your typical nineteen year-old girl who just wants her man to go all schmoopy on the phone for six hours a night before they both fall asleep to the hum of a dial tone.
"I don't get to see him all week, and he doesn't want me to come over to his house this weekend either."
"Really?" I ask. "What did he say?"
"He said he feels smothered. I don't understand what he means! Doesn't he want me to come down there and be with him?!?"
Holy hell. My cousin somehow lands a guy that is telling her exactly what he's thinking and feeling, and she still can't make heads or tails of it?
Women make no sense to me at all. It's like they want you to say one thing, mean another, put a labyrinth of subtext in the middle, and give them a puzzle to solve.
I got to meet this guy a couple months ago, and he certainly fits the bill as "Earnest Young Man." He's like a stock character out of a bad script. Seems like a nice enough guy, real amiable and such, but seems like Dudley Do-Right without the pratfalls.
I've really grown to dislike Earnest Young Man as a "type." I'm on the committee with the local theatre group to help select the 2007 season of shows, and there seem to be a preponderance of these Earnest Young Men in all the romantic comedies.
My question then, why does a female character get to be complex in these romances, but the male character needs to be cut from some sort of simple, yet noble cloth? I played Earnest Young Man in "You Can't Take It With You," and I played Earnest Young Man in "Crimes of the Heart," and I'm freaking sick and tired of seeing him trotted out.
I think women like to think of themselves both as the object of pursuit as well as the protagonist of the circumstance. Men want, women choose to oblige, and maybe there's some sort of feeling that while the want is primal, the choice is complex. Choice, in this scenario, is actually a reaction to the pursuit. There's certainly subtext to the lowering of the guard, the giving in, but that sort of shift is more of a passive move than an active one.
Why then is so much attention paid to the female psyche in these romantic comedies, and very little time spent on what makes the hunter, the pursuer tick?
There's very little middle ground in the male character in a romance. On one end you have the bad-boy lothario, emblematic of the "wrong" choice. On the other? Earnest Young Man, whose single-minded dedication to the woo is seemingly his only motivating factor.
I have got to find something to read that's light and funny, but doesn't run Earnest Young Man out under the lights again. By the way Lil Bro? My big problem with "Proof" is that it's the worst case of EYM I think I've ever read. I'm prepared to vote it down.
Monday, February 14, 2005
Return of the Gangsta
Hi there blog... how you been?
Yeah, I know. I've been slack in my mack and haven't been willing or able to put the virtual pen to page very often here over the last week or so. It's not as if I've been busy either. Just slack.
From the files of "funny because it didn't happen to you," I had a rough night on Wednesday. I gave my dog a marrow-filled veal bone from the stock I had made on Sunday, and he absolutely destroyed the thing. I think it took him about ten minutes to chew and swallow the whole damn thing. So that night, 1AM, I'm awakened to a familiar noise - my dog is going to puke.
Problem is, he's on the bed.
He pukes all over (I'm smart enough during shedding season to have a beat up blanket covering my bedding full time), and all of a sudden I'm looking for an appropriate angle for my body to find a dry spot to go back to sleep. Unfortunately, my dog wasn't done. He spent 1AM-5AM with the dry heaves (nearly continuous), and I was forced to stay up with him all night while he retched.
Good times, good times. I called off work at about 4AM (nothing gives legitimacy to a calling-in-sick voicemail like a 4AM timestamp) just in case I had to take the little bastard to the vet. Luckily, the dry heaves stopped, he took a nap (I got mine later), his poop was solid (always a good sign), and I got all my bedding laundered and watched "Dawson's Creek" instead of being stuck at my desk all day.
Yes, that is the award winner for Most Interesting Thing To Happen To Me All Week.
Actually, and I alluded to this before, I got terrific news on the work front. We get quarterly bonuses, provided business is good. Last year February, my bonus was roughly (pre-tax) $750. Now, I had only been with the company since October when I received that bonus, and what I didn't understand is that $750 was not a quarterly bonus but a year-end bonus.
Imagine my shock and amazement when I'm counting on $500-$800 for the quarter, and instead will be getting nearly $3,500. I swear to god it couldn't happen to a nicer guy, really. If there's anyone more deserving of this, I'd like to meet him. Tag all this to my tax returns, and all of a sudden I'm more flush with cash than I thought I'd be at this point.
Actually, if you were to add back the money I deserved to have right now but lost on three suckouts (a two-outer, a five-outer, and a six-outer - all rivered), I'd be another $180 ahead of the curve at this point too. In every case I went to the river a big favorite, got all of their money on the table, and lost to two Jacks (one to make a pair, one to river Broadway) and a King (for a rivered set). I got AK, KK, and AA cracked in those cases, respectively.
The cards were pretty good for me this weekend, despite losing roughly $60 online (those three hands were the difference between up and down this weekend - lost $50 of "my own" money on those three hands - in addition to $40 table profit money). Not as good, however, as they were for Lil Bro in the home game on Saturday. THG joined five of us for a $20 tournament, and as he alluded on his site, played the role of newbie fish as a first time visitor. I've got to assume that either his cards were awful on Saturday, or they were incredible in the WPBT event, because he barely grazed a pot with a bet all night long. That's tough to do in the home game too, especially with Dan in attendance. Sometimes Dan is sharp, but on Saturday he was a call-to-the-river-then-fold machine. He was pushed off of everything. If I could read every player as well as I read Dan, I'd be on the pro circuit in no time flat.
THG was possibly playing the role of nice guy to endear himself to the crew, as he never once pressed Dan as hard as some of the rest of us did. Don't worry my man, you can shark these guys and come back for more another day. It's only $20. I look forward to a cash game next time.
Lil Bro though... there was a point in the game with about 30-40 minutes remaining until he ended up winning the damn thing where three of the four players left were roughly equal in chip count. From that point, he just got hit in the head with the deck and ran the table over. First, he executed a tightrope bluff against one guy to win an enormous pot (which his opponent should have called - I forget the cards, but it was an astonishingly bad laydown). Then the run of pocket pairs and big flops started hitting him over the head. He ended up knocking out fourth place with a big pair, and third place by playing 79o into a pre-flop raise and hitting the straight on the turn. TPTK in the form of AQ got bounced (but at least he freaking called). It got to heads-up, Lil Bro had a 6-1 chip advantage on me, and landed a pocket pair (55, counterfeiting my kicker on my 85s I tried to bluff-steal with on hand one of our match) to bounce me quick.
Whatever. I made $20. I'm good with that.
Regardless, I've missed you blog. I won't neglect you anymore.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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