|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Mommy? Is the bad man done rambling yet?
Jesus has heard my prayers.
Sarah Jessica Parker has been summarily deposed from her Gap Spokeshag duties. Maybe now the grating tones of "I Enjoy Being A Girl" that cause me to scramble madly for the mute button will be relegated back to the Vegas female impersonator shows from whence it came.
Jesus is listening.
They did sign Joss Stone, the seventeen year-old soul-singing cutie pie to replace her. Hopefully they won't trot her out singing "It's Raining Men," or something else similarly unlistenable. She's freaking adorable. She'd be somewhere on my list of Top Twenty Celebrities I'd Marry, which is a fundamentally different list to my Top Twenty Celebrities I'd Like To Pork.
For instance, take Mandy Moore. You look at that girl, and all you can think is, "Damn, she's beautiful." That, of course, is the opposite thought to what one might think of Carmen Electra, which is, "Damn, she's hot." You don't think, generally, about doing the same things with Mandy Moore that you would with Carmen Electra. I mean, could you visit Amish country with Carmen Electra? Could you see yourself slapping the crap out of Mandy Moore in a twisted S&M game?
I didn't think so. So you see what I'm talking about.
My real first name (you didn't think it was "Boy," did you?) is one of those names that, in its nickname form, could be used for either a guy or a girl. So I was passing an admin's desk here at the office today and got a really nice smile from a young and reasonably attractive girl on the way by. Then I looked down at the name plate, and saw she had the feminine version of my name.
Damn. Can you imagine marrying someone with the same first name as you? Life would turn into a big "Who's on First" routine. Actually, I knew a girl named Carrie who married a guy named Cary. She wasn't exactly bright or anything, so I'm sure this caused lots and lots of problems.
But she had a ridiculously wonderful rack, so she's excused.
So I got home last night to find my brand new iPod Mini (the 4GB model in blue) on my stairs waiting for me. I'm utterly geeked with this new toy of mine. However, after four solid days of ripping my CD collection to MP3 (or whatever I did rip it to), I realize that I'm regretting not getting a bigger model. I mean, I have a ton of music on this thing. More than I'll ever probably get around to listening to. But I haven't put my eight disc Miles Davis "Live at the Plugged Nickel" set in iTunes yet. I haven't loaded four other Miles discs, nor have I put any of the two dozen plus Coltrane discs on either. But I'm at that "don't know what else to cut" stage, with just over 3.5GB on the player.
Oh, and the cassette tape car adapter I bought keeps getting bounced out by my car's stereo. Terrific...
You know, it's crazy, but this smaller-than-a-cigarette-pack MP3 player for $199 is a more powerful computer than anything I used in Jr. High and High School.
Shifting gears for the umpteenth time today, I think I've figured out a great way to be annoying in the PartyPoker chat box. What you do is get the city name listed for the player in the one seat, and start in on him:
"Hey Matador229... Topeka. Is that Kansas?"Repeat until he responds. Thank him. Move to the two seat. Do it again.
"Hey TedyKGB11403. Where's Graniteville?"Lather, rinse, repeat. I guarantee you'll run the patience of every player at that table into full tilt status in short order.
So I realize I've been awfully light (read: non-existent) on the poker content lately. First of all, realize that when you think "BG," generally speaking you're not thinking "poker content." At least not anything you'd want to write down and remember for later. But there's a couple of good reasons you're not seeing anything from me in regards to the cards as of late.
First, I haven't been playing much. Hardly at all, as a matter of fact. I have approximately $80 between two sites (Party and Pacific), and have vowed to not deposit another penny until after Vegas in June. Yes, ten weeks is an awfully long time, but I want to be properly prepared for this trip. I want to play craps, I want to go to the Sunday Celebrity Brunch at Manetti's and meet the guy who played Father Mulcahy on M.A.S.H., I want to sit $4/$8 all day long, and I want to take a shot or two at a NL table if they're looking juicy. Mostly, I don't want to be hamstrung because I feel the need to piss away another $400 online between now and then.
Secondly, poker has really been pissing me off lately. I played about four hours online on Saturday, and maybe had two small pots pushed my way. I don't think I'm overplaying my hands, but when you have pocket Jacks, and six people see the flop of QQ6, someone's got you beat. I also was losing two pairs to rivered sets and dropping sets to straights and such. Blah blah blah. You know the drill. Then I go play a home game on Saturday night and keep missing.
I had a good run at the SNGs on Pacific, but I haven't had a winning session playing Limit in probably six months or more. It's not something I normally play, and since my sample size is small, I should just shrug some of this off and figure I can do better.
But I can't just shrug it off. Online poker is pissing me off, and in the interest of not having a fucking coronary alone in my apartment on a Saturday afternoon, I'm backing away from the keyboard.
Lastly, I'm just not able to write compelling poker content the way just about any of the people linked to my right (or the ones that I read on Bloglines who aren't linked right there) are.
I think I just got caught plucking a nose hair. It's a bad habit, I know. It's their own fault here for giving me a cube open to a walkway.
So this weekend is Easter again, or as I like to call it, April Ham Day. Yes, I realize it's in March this year, and yes, I realize that we're not having ham, but in at least seven years out of ten, that name is built to suit. I mean, I'm not a religious guy, and I don't come from a very religious family, so whether we're celebrating the crucifixion, resurrection, or both of Jesus, I really couldn't tell you. I can tell you Easter comes in April and someone usually makes a ham.
Hence, April Ham Day.
The rest of April should be called Plastic-Grass-That-Cannot-Be-Vacuumed Month. Simply put, there's nothing more annoying than Easter grass, except for finding a thin green piece of cellophane in your carpet three weeks after Easter Sunday and wondering how many times your vacuum missed it in those twenty some odd days. I fucking hate Easter grass. It's evil, and I don't want to see it in my Easter basket.
Did I mention I'm 30 and still get an Easter basket? Seriously. I could give a crap about Easter, Bob could give a crap about Easter, and Mike could give a crap about Easter, but Sunday? Happy Easter. Here's your big pile of green plastic strips you'll never fully be rid of. Oh, aren't you the one that likes black jellybeans? (No.) Didn't you say once you love marshmallow Peeps? (God no.)
Forgetting the enormous symbolic impact of bunnies on the resurrection of Jesus for a minute, I just have to say that hard boiled eggs, black jellybeans, and pastel colors are no way to spend a holiday.
I do have a favorite part of Easter, and that happens tomorrow. Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday, which is something I had never heard of until about three years ago despite my Catholic upbringing. I like it because "Maundy" sounds like "Monday," and "Monday Thursday" really just makes no sense whatsoever. Plus, "Maundy" sounds like a word you could use to describe a depressed teenage girl who wears a lot of black, goes heavy on the really dark mascara, and reads but doesn't really understand Plath. Did I tell you that I kinda always dug those girls in high school? They always walked around all Maundy and shit, and I've always found Maundy girls to be a big turn-on.
I honestly don't know what "Maundy" even means, and I really would appreciate if no one spoiled the illusion I've got in my comments widget. So long as I can tie some sort of image of a cute goth girl to Maundy Thursday, I'm okay with being wrong.
Fifteen Songs Randomly Shuffled In a Row From My Brand New iPod
Raekwon - Rainy Dayz
Jimi Hendrix - Burning of the Midnight Lamp
The Beatles - Love You To
Traffic - Glad
The Beatles - Drive My Car
Killah Priest - One Step
Ol' Dirty Bastard - Shimmy Shimmy Ya
Outkast - Two Dope Boys (In a Cadillac)
Jethro Tull - A New Day Yesterday
Snoop Dogg - Gin and Juice
Wayne Shorter - Speak No Evil
Eminem - Under the Influence
The Beatles - In My Life
Miles Davis - In Your Own Sweet Way
The Beastie Boys - Egg Man
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Is there a bigger "catch" if you're a lesbian than Ellen DeGeneres? I mean, the only ones that seemingly come close are Rosie O'Donnell and Melissa Etheridge, right? And is there a faction out there that would actually prefer Rosie to either of the other two?
See, short of the Indigo Girls, neither of which I could pick out of a police lineup, the only other celebrity lesbians I know of are the redhead from that HBO show, the ex-Mrs. Lou Diamond Phillips, Sandra Bernhard, Portia Di Rossi, and Anne Heche on alternate Thursdays. As a guy, Di Rossi is the easy pick of this litter, but I would think in the lesbian world that DeGeneres is the big get.
If I were a lesbian, I would think that WNBA games would be my meat market. I don't care what end of the lesbian rainbow one falls on, I would think that a six foot Amazon beauty like Lauren Jackson would be just about any lesbian's taste.
I used to wait tables at a steakhouse near a tour stop on the LPGA summer schedule. Most of the professional golfers whom I served came in with their girlfriends/lifepartners, and most of them were boorish bitches at best. I even had one golfer play the don't-you-know-who-I-am card on me.
Yeah, sorry babe. I'd watch men's curling on TV before giving two minutes to LPGA golf. But you're certainly wearing your "celebrity" well.
The only other guy who played the don't-you-know-who game with me did it in more of a joking manner. Rolf Benirschke was in with a few friends, and was mildly surprised when I remembered he kicked for the Chargers. He challenged me to spell his last name from memory, which I failed miserably.
At least he tipped though. Former Houston Oilers RB Lorenzo White is a cheap bastard.
Over the nearly three and a half years I worked there, there were good groups who'd come in en masse, and groups you tried to plan your vacations around.
The Barbershop Quartet convention ALWAYS kicked ass. These guys came in, ate big, tipped fine, and could be baited into filling the restaurant with song at any given moment. I remember serving in one of the rooms that featured five quartets dining at five tables. I got them all to sing "Sweet Adeline" together. Killer.
New Years Eve crowds were my favorite. No one wanted to dawdle, and everyone wanted to drink. My second biggest night of all time was six hours on a New Years Eve that ended +$225.
Lansing, MI featured a national women's bowling tournament. You'd get 22 women at one table, and 22 separate checks. They'd run you ragged and tip you for shit.
Mother's Day crowds can bite me in the ass. The problem is, you've got a number of large families all trotting out to the steakhouse together for their once-a-year comb-church-and-chow outing, and it ain't easy to help the unwashed masses. Combine that with the generally accepted waitstaff theorem that black people in a large group are more difficult to a white server (emotionally and financially) than a largely white group is, and you've got a recipe for disaster. See, I'm going to try to do my best to serve your table of 30 all at the same time, and I'm going to do my best to serve the mother(s) at the table first too. But you know what? Cut me a fucking break for a second and realize that if the lobster comes up first, you're getting the lobster first, or you're getting cold lobster. I had this situation result in a table trying to get me fired in front of the entire restaurant for not serving the mom's charcoal briquette excuse for a steak that takes forty two minutes to cook to her "refined palate's" taste before the lobster that happened to be done first. Sorry fuckers, you're going to have to do better than that to get me shitcanned. By the way, no, I didn't get tipped on that enormous bill. But they did have to pay it. These types of tables made my life hell on Mother's Day...
...and on Easter Sunday. The bonnet crowds were out in full force, and always traveled in packs. And again, it always ended up being the once-a-year crowd out for their one good meal until Thanksgiving. Very difficult people.
And, you know, I don't think I'm saying anything groundbreaking about being a server and waiting on black people in restaurants. If you've ever been there, you absolutely know what I'm talking about. But just to make sure the disclaimer is on here somewhere - there are obviously black people I've served who have tipped and treated me well, and there were plenty of white people who did not tip or treat me appropriately. However, if anyone ever did a double blind placebo study of the situation nationwide, I think it'd be a series of scandalous revelations the likes of which we've never seen before. Many to most black people do not tip well, and there are plenty of black people who purposefully abuse their server or make them work three times harder than they need to for some stupid reason. If you ever hear a server talking about "Canadians," that's not-so-subtle server-speak for black people.
Not all, but a lot. It's a dirty little secret of the food industry. I'm just saying...
I have a friend whose divorce is being finalized today. Although she's certainly not the only person with whom I have my thoughts today (Damn Fel, can we start getting better now?), I can certainly relate to what's going on in her world pretty strongly.
The worst day of my life was alone in our house, in our bed, knowing full well she was with someone else and not coming home. Somewhere in the top ten worst days of my life you'll find the day I signed the decree.
I remember sitting patiently in the courtroom with my attorney, watching snap judgments being made from the bench in cases of child support evasion and, like me, divorce. I couldn't help but think that families are created for a reason, and what the hell kind of world are we in that our legal system is needed to step in to the middle of all these situations?
She wasn't there. She wasn't going to be either. Shortly after coming back from England to an empty house I had her served with the papers. That was actually one of the few times I got to be the one twisting the knife. My attorney had tried, rather unsuccessfully, to get the papers into her hands a number of times, so when I caught her out at lunch with her grandmother right across the street from my attorney's office, I called him up and had him serve her the papers along with her gyro and fries.
She bawled and called and screamed that I was a fuck for "bringing her grandmother into it."
She fled back to England shortly thereafter. So she wasn't in court, but her lawyer was. It was my third trip in, and my third attempt to get a default judgment passed in my favor. It was her first time having representation there on her behalf.
Same judge, not the same results. He demanded we take the discussion outside for 30 minutes and put something agreeable in front of him he could sign. He wanted us off his docket.
I wanted her out of my life.
She wasn't fighting the divorce at this point. I'm sure the steady diet of whatever she was getting spoon-fed by her new British boyfriend was satiating enough. She was doing her damndest, however, to absolve herself of any responsibility so far as our debt was concerned.
It was in my name alone, but it was our debt.
Our lawyers weren't getting anywhere on their own, so her attorney called her up and put her on the phone with me. It only took five minutes of frustration for me to realize that putting that woman in charge of paying a bill with my name on it was not a good idea. I took nearly every last penny of the debt just to be rid of her.
And the judge signed the decree. And my lawyer said, without irony, "Congratulations."
And I held it together pretty well until I got to my car.
Then, I started sobbing. I instinctually picked up my cell phone and mashed out the familiar number.
"I'm sorry... I'm so sorry..." We both said it, and it was enough for that moment. It wasn't the apology for the destruction of our marriage I was looking for, but for right then it was enough.
And it was the last time I ever heard her voice.
It's days like this one that stick out sharply in my mind. Even when there's an obvious outcome to a situation like the one in which I was mired, there's something, well, final about the individual and symbolic moments that mark the trail along the way. But even in the finality of those moments, there really is no simplicity of emotion.
Closure, as a concept, is always going to be a long ways off.
So, kiddo, know that I'm thinking about you today... I know our circumstances are quite different, but the morass of emotions in which you'll be mired today is somewhere I've been before myself. Get drunk. Hang with a friend, watch a bad movie, eat some deep fried cheese. Be depressed. Wallow. Whatever you need. Make it the worst day of your life if you have to.
But remember why you're doing this in the first place, and know that there are plenty of us who have done it before.
Monday, March 21, 2005
I don't know if I've mentioned this lately, but one of the best deals for lunch out there is the snack bar at your local Sam's Club. $4.62 for two (big) slices of pizza and a 32oz Coke. Plus, I get out and take a lap around the store for good measure. Not like I need a two gallon jar of three bean salad, but it's nice to know I could get it for $11 if I ever got the itch.
I saw a young pregnant woman there with the biggest goddamn smile you've ever seen wearing overalls. Just warmed my heart. Pregnant women should be issued overalls at the beginning of their third trimester. It's just adorable.
So this little experiment of mine just rolled over a milestone marker on the old odometer (on your right) late Thursday night. 50,000 hits. Since I don't count my own hits, this is a pretty accurate description of my traffic. Pretty cool methinks. I don't really make a big deal about anniversaries or numbers, but 50k is 50k.
I'll take it.
Pauly put the new issue of Truckin' up, and it features my short story "Doc and the Dream" from about a month ago. If you've already read it, go check out everyone else's work. Great stuff as usual.
By the way, Doc is headed to Vegas in a couple of days. I'm seething with jealousy.
Speaking of Vegas, I had a random moment cross my mind from the trip in December that just made me laugh today. And you thought we were done with the 12/04 trip reports...
245PM, FridayHe told me a month later it was, in fact, funny at the time. Of course, at the time, I had no idea how to take that. I don't know why that even comes up today, but there you go.
So, officially, today marks ten and one half weeks worth of wait until we get to Vegas. Seventy four days. I'm thrilled to be reading that many of us will be staying downtown at the venerable Las Vegas Club and adjacent Plaza hotels, and I can nearly guarantee that everyone who booked down there will not regret that decision. See, four days in the Can't Hang wake is enough to give one blog fodder for two solid months. Stay close, and keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.
Oh, and don't check-raise the guy in the green hat with the shamrock on the front.
Home of the Original Gun Clappers
About fifty feet away from my cube here at the office there's a group of engineers, all of whom have their old photo badges pinned to the outer wall of their area - only one of whom is a woman. Cute picture. I see it every time I walk by.
I saw her in person for the first time today. Damned if the picture doesn't do her any justice at all. She's got a tall, willowy, alabaster-Ricci thing going on. I pulled up the company directory and couldn't find the name from the old photo badge, but did find someone with her same (unique) first name and a different last name working in that department.
The older I get, the more the pool starts to dwindle. The cute pic chick being married is an "aw, shucks" sort of resignation, but there's a special sort of depression that goes along with realizing the pool of available women is, in fact, one smaller.
I think I'm over it.
So, Fred Willard has an annual Fourth of July party. Bet you didn't know that. Food Network's Rachael Raye stopped by for a visit last year, and called the party "star-studded." The celebrities in attendance? Ted Lange, Joanne Worley, and the guy who played "Squiggy."
By the way, I know damn well David Lander played "Squiggy," but you don't get the funny from saying "David Lander."
So here's a question... what do the following five songs have in common?
Fooled Around And Fell In Love - Elvin BishopGive up? They are my first five purchases at the iTunes store for my brand new iPod mini.
That's right, I broke down and bought one. Got the 4GB model, and immediately went to work on my 300+ volume library of CDs to start "ripping" that content to my hard drive.
Holy shit is this taking a long time... I spent Thursday night (probably three hours), Friday night (about the same), Saturday (at least six hours), and Sunday (easily ten hours) ripping tracks, and I have 3.48GB on my PC. Of course, I haven't even dented my egregiously close to complete Miles Davis collection, nor have I put any John Coltrane out there.
Even with roughly 72 hours worth of music that's storable over 4GB, I feel badly that I can't upload every Miles cut I own. Then again, it's almost a given that I listen to my Steely Dan and Wu-Tang Clan at least twice as much as 99% of the Miles stuff I've got. Regardless, I'm geeked. I don't actually get the thing until Tuesday, which is fine considering I won't be done with the ripping until late tonight anyway.
So I went and got myself a haircut this weekend at the "salon" inside the local Meijer store. Meijer is West Michigan's equivalent to Wal-Mart, so you know it's a high class hair cutting joint. Anyway, the guy who cut my hair was at least 40 years old, and wasn't the manager of the store. How many poor life choices do you have to make to be a 40-something year-old dude working at the discount salon inside a grocery store?
Anyway, I got my hair buzzed off ("Just put the #3 blade on the clippers and go to town" were the instructions), and am thankful to be without need of a comb or brush once again. I told Felicia that I might have told her that I had done it out of solidarity, had I thought to make up that excuse before owning up to the haircut. Sadly, I didn't lie to her just to make her feel better. As a matter of fact, I'm not that type of guy.
I am, however, the guy who's more than apt to say something that teeters on the brink of being wildly inappropriate at any given moment. To wit, on Wednesday last week Al pinged me on the IM and told me that Felicia needed a laugh. She had just undergone surgery that had removed a chunk of her breast, so I thought it best to make fun of that. I knew Felicia's sense of humor is pretty evil, so I thought this would be funny. I wrote it, and Al posted it at Felicia's protected LiveJournal blog:
i'm sorry to hear about your cans. i mean, i don't intend to dissect your self-esteem here, but what's a woman without her boobs? you've lost your ability to carve out a niche with cleavage, you've hacked away at any benefit underwire could ever provide, and far be it from me to tell you this, but you've basically lopped off any chance you'll ever have to look awesome in a bikini. i realize what i'm saying here isn't necessarily popular, but i need to make sure you don't sever your ties with reality. i mean, it'd be real easy to slash your expectations now that you're missing a bunch up top, but you need to instead amputate the feelings of depression you're having and understand that you rip from asunder these poisonous thoughts and hack your way through the darkness to the other side. i don't want to make you mad by showing you reality here, but if you feel like coming after me and taking your pound of flesh, be my guest.Of course, Thursday she announces to the world that it is, in fact, full blown cancer and I feel like a complete ass.
(By the way, I talked to her on IM on Saturday, and she thought the above was pretty funny. I thought she would. And there's no sense leaving this parenthetical aside behind without putting one more voice to the chorus wishing her well and promising I'll be thinking about her through all of this bullshit.)
So I got into a disagreement this weekend regarding Gwen Stefani. It is my opinion that when she gets all glammed up that she looks pretty freaking amazing. That being said, when she's all sweaty and running around in a tube top, there ain't much pretty going on right there. Especially not considering she has zero chest and shouldn't be wearing tops that prove she's built like an eleven year-old boy. Of course, I say this out loud in company of a small-breasted woman, and she's gotta poke me back wondering what it is that I have against A-cups.
Um, nothing really. I swear.
Is it sweaty women?
No, Christie Brinkley gets all sweaty in that Chuck Norris infomercial, and you don't see me changing the channel.
So it must be the small breasts then. What's wrong with small breasts?
Here's where I'm forced to extricate myself from the argument with logic that a woman can understand. Instead of saying, "Small breasts are wrong because they aren't big breasts. Any idiot knows that," I'm forced to tell her that Debra Messing is an attractive woman, but you don't see her running around in tight fitting tube tops.
See, if you can relate your logic back to "Sex and the City" or "Will and Grace," then the woman's feelings will be assuaged because you've just proved that you "understand" them because you know about the two most unwatchable shows over recent TV history.
You know what would make a billion dollars, by the way? A sparkly little bracelet that came in four styles: What Would Carrie/Samantha/TheUptightChick/Miranda Do? Except maybe instead of a sparkly little bracelet with the "WWMirandaD?" logo on it, you would probably need to have that engraved into a mullet comb, or whatever it is lesbians use to keep the business in the front, party in the back going strong.
And ladies? If you're "just like" Carrie, then I'm just like Bruce Banner and you'd better quit making me angry with this bullshit. You wouldn't... like me... when I'm angry.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
I got five on it...
Two bets today:
$30 on Vermont straight to win over Michigan State (pays $135, +350). This is a classic MSU early exit tournament team, don't give them a lot of credit in this spot. If Coppenrath can have the game Andrew Bogut had yesterday with getting his teammates involved cutting to the basket and finding the open men on the perimeter, State is in BIG trouble.
$20 on a four team parlay:
Duke to win
Louisville to win
Pays $173. I think the first three are nearly a cinch. It's the Bucknell cover I'll need to be worried about.
Then again, what do I know? If you've seen my bracket in Pauly's Pub, you'll realize I don't know shit about sports betting.
But, uh, go Catamounts!
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