|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Get To Work.
A patchwork of a couple of my old posts via audio file inspired by, but not directed at "A Missive."
(Oh, and I meant "starving," not "starting" at the end... but I threw this together pretty quick.)
I'll be out at Great Lakes Downs with THG and Duggle Bogey for charity poker ($55 entry fee, top prize $500 mandated by state law - whee!) and horseing around.
(Ha. Ha. Ha.)
Anyway, my picks for the Tampa card today are up on my horse racing blog. Not a longshot-heavy card today, but don't miss putting a couple of bucks on the #6 in the tenth. Trust me.
If the usual suspects are playing horses today in IRC, don't hesitate to call me throughout the afternoon to let me know how you're doing.
Friday, March 03, 2006
I've got a new post up at my horse racing blog called "A Crash Course In Handicapping Maiden Races."
It's a labor of love, so go easy on me. I wrote it in small pockets of time I found during my day, so if it's a little disjointed I apologize in advance.
Also, I'll have picks for the terribly uninteresting (at least through the first six it appears this way) card at Tampa for tomorrow up later. Like tomorrow morning later. Keep hitting refresh every 11 seconds, they'll pop up eventually...
Thursday, March 02, 2006
As previously speculated, it took less than 48 hours to get the rebuttal email. It was not a point-by-point refutation, but a "you know you're lying here ha ha ha" sort of thing.
She also trotted out the "I don't know why you're still writing about me, that seems like another lifetime ago" thing. Technically speaking, if you look through my archives for the past five and a half months (my last 100 items, as per Bloglines), there are three instances in which I referred to the ex.
· The aforelinked post, which didn't mean I had the ex on the mind. It just meant that I thought a friend could use some levity.
· This post, which I'm still rather fond of, where I talk about a dream I had of another girl, and compare the purity of one to the sullied nature of the other.
· Some post from the last few weeks where I make an off-handed joke about pork and move on.
If you've read me for any length of time, two things are obvious. One, I do trot out stuff of a personal nature and two, I write about what I know. Since the ex happens to exist in both those frames, I'm likely to visit aspects of that part of my life from time to time here. However, I'd like to point out that references in three posts out of the last six months does not a hang-up nor obsession make.
Dammit, now it's four posts.
Anyway, you (you all, everyone, people of all races and colors from all over this planet of ours) know what I mean. I don't really care what has happened since, because that doesn't concern me. What happens here isn't always present-tense either, so let's not read too much into too little.
A friend of mine, upon reading the aforeandbeforethat mentioned post, emailed me the following:
Man, your ex was a BITCH. I sure as hell hope you have more of a set of armor around you, though. She asked you if you wanted to see the pictures from her cheating spree to London: that is disgusting. But you speak of what is actually in the pictures, which implies that you said yes you wanted to see them. Please tell me you at least snuck a peek when she was cleaning her hooves or something, and that you didn't just let her show you. I hope now if she asked you if you wanted to see the pictures, you would take them calmly, fake a trip to the kitchen to get a drink and shove them all down the disposal or burn them or something. That would be the only reasonable thing to do.She wasn't a bitch, she was just misunderstood. I loved her. No, really. What, bruises officer? These bruises? I fell down the stairs officer. I tripped and fell and hit my head on the coffee table. She never hit me sir. Sir, I deserved it sir. She be real good to me when she don't come home drunk on the likker officer. No sir, I ain't been drinkin' neither...
Same friend, by the way, who sent me the premonition that I'd pick a girl up in the Italian grocery. I kid you not, the very next day I get the urge to go. Here's what I wrote her back:
So, absolutely true story from Tuesday night... I couldn't take the pressure anymore, and went to the Italian deli/grocery for supplies. This, of course, is about 100 miles total out of my way, but worth it for $30 prosciutto. Anyway, I'm at the deli counter 30 min before closing in an empty-ish store and I order 3/4 pound of the prosciutto thinly sliced.I didn't get the girl, but I got $22 worth of ham. Best goddamn ham you've ever had though, believe you me.
Switching gears completely, with extreme begrudgery today I acquired my first cell phone in over four years. My employer is asking me to put out fires on one of our accounts, and in the interest of becoming more accessible to them, I had to pick one up.
I loathe myself this afternoon.
I opted for Nextel, got the entry level phone (Salesdude: "It's free, but it's not a flip phone." Me: "So?"), and already feel like punching myself in the kidneys. It had to be done though. My company is flying me out to somewhere near Allen's Town, Pennsylvania to resuscitate an enormous problem. Somewhere between circumstantial lulls in my responsibilities and their confidence that I'm the only man for the job, my bosses saw fit to ask me to step in as a savior.
Not that there's any pressure on me or anything. Noooo... The guy who'll be overseeing me on this effort used the phrase "pressure cooker" seven times, and "feet to the fire" thrice in our call yesterday. Needless to say, it sounds like I'll be needing to drive the hour or so to the Boat House on random Mondays and Tuesdays in the coming weeks to have that beer or four. It's going to be a good experience for me, it'll be a resume builder and a stepping stone to better things if I succeed.
When I succeed.
So, aside from the obvious benefits of spending three days a week (for the forseeable future - could be six months plus) fighting fires, building relationships, and raising barns in the spirit of the Amish, there are some subtle and not-so-obvious plusses to this gig too. To wit:
Top Five Hidden Benefits to a Recurring Business Trip
· Get to expense pancakes and coffee every morning
· 38 miles to the Al Can't Hang home game on Tuesday nights
· Zero percent chance I'm going to bump into the escort I hired in the grocery store or at church
· I really miss driving Chevy Malibus from rental companies
· Since I'll be traveling in the same timezone, I won't have to reset my watchI'm flying out for the first time on Monday, and couldn't be more eager to dive into this thing. After all the time off I've had, any variety is good variety.
If I missed you on the email I sent with my new cell number and you need/want it, let me know. I can't imagine it's going to make me any more popular than I am currently, but at least I can order pizza from the car on my way home again now.
Remember Me? The One You Got Your Rhyme Style From?
Back when I was part of the vast corporate blog machine that is Gawker Media, my editor and I would frequently lament the lack of traffic growth we were seeing. Seemed like every dumbass "What's Going To Happen On The OC?" post got one-and-done links all over the LiveJournal community, but any reasonably well-thought out look at why you shouldn't be playing the mid-summer stakes races at Saratoga would just be glossed right the hell over.
My patience was thin. Upon ascending to the role of paid flunky with OJ, I showed my corporate loyalty by subscribing via Bloglines to a variety of the Gawker Media titles (or, at least the ones that were safe to browse at work), and I became obsessive about their traffic numbers. Obviously, Gawker and Defamer do really fucking well, and Fleshbot is about porn so there you go, really.
The one that really got me going was Lifehacker. Not to denigrate the work of the editor and contributors, but there was a post in particular in early October that really pissed me off. I will transcribe it in its entirety:
MacGyver Tip: Secure Your Sliding DoorI'm over at OJ busting my ass trying to help figure out a way to hit 2500 visitors a day without showing boobies and Lifehacker posts "USE A STICK," and is in no danger of getting shut down by Denton.
Need to secure a door? Use a stick.
Gotta get something off a high shelf? Use a stick.
Person, place or thing need to be poked? Use a stick.
The possibilities are endless. And jesuschrist wouldn't you know that the readers support this idiocy? From the comments on the page linked above:
My parents have been doing this for years, with a piece of wood cut down to just barely fit in (so that you can't rock and damage the door). That makes it hard to pick up and get out, though. So they put a duct tape tail on one end, just like the remote control duct tape tail mentioned here a week or three ago. Works great, but while their tail is probably three inches long, I think five would probably be better. - JaySo, let me get this straight. Use a stick, but put a duct tape tail on it and make sure it's neither too large or small. And if you're really stuck? Your local retailer may be able to help.
Use a stick. That'll be $50 asshole tax.
Similarly stupid is the following article from today's local paper: Gyros Are Popular Summertime Treats. This, naturally, appears on the "Opinion" page, likely right next to the latest anti-liberal screed from Charles Krauthammer. In one column you'll learn to loathe welfare mothers, in the other you'll discover that gyro meat is over 95% "beef, lamb and spices."
What really ticks me off about the local paper is that they have a blog now, and seemingly did not think to ask their city's most indisputably prolific unpaid freelance amateur self-published egomaniac to participate. Instead, they picked some girl who's studying abroad to noodle around. You can read her blog here, but here's a selection from her latest post:
It’s been a week since I last posted - I’d like to say that I’ve just been too busy to get to the internet but, in reality, I caught a cold last Thursday and haven’t had much energy to explore or even get to an internet café. Yet everyday activities in Praha tend to be great adventures for me. Shall I elaborate?If you have to. Proceed.
Last weekend we spent a day in Prague’s Jewish Quarter, known as the Jewish Museum in Prague.She certainly seems to enjoy labeling everything as "Jewish." Maybe they should have checked her diaries for anti-semitic content before sending her to Europe, but why would a newspaper want to be bothered by fact-checking background investigation like that?
My roommate, Polina, is Jewish and was able to explain to me many of the traditions and holidays of the Jewish religion.I've got no problem with Jewish people. My roommate is Jewish.
...(T)here were a couple of other events I think you might be interested in hearing about.schlep all of my clothes across the town.She's got a Jewish roommate for how long and she's already tossing Yiddish around like a maven? That certainly takes chutzpah. Anyway, I feel awfully proprietary of the style I've created here over the course of the last few years, and for some shiksa (sorry about that, I'm done now) to wander in off Washington Street and think she can ramble on about the oddities of doing laundry in Prague? Come on. Stick to the travelogue style sweetums and leave the aimless noodling to the professionals.
With all due respect to THG, the blogs (not all blogs, just almost all blogs) from my town are atrociously awful. You've got the typical teen myspace types:
Who I'd like to meet:People who won't be ashamed that I'm only marginally literate and terribly uninteresting... My little town has also fallen in love with those newfangled churches with odd names and a different sense of community. The youth ministers are even blogging. This guy, on the surface, seems like a regular blogger. His profile isn't out of the ordinary:
InterestsSmiley his, not mine. But you click in, and this is as dirty as you're going to get (ha. ha. ha.):
Am I good soil? Am I a sage? Am I sifter?Ah, the famed Parable Of The Soils. I must have skipped that day of CCD. And then, of course, you've got do-gooders like this one, whose blog I couldn't possibly imagine clicking into. It's called "Still Emerging," and she writes her "About Me" to read:
I'm older than most, married to a guy I REALLY like, have 3 teenagers (yikes!), am PASSIONATE about preaching and creating space for worship, am totally unfulfilled when I don't have outlets for the above (like now), and believe strongly in my vision for emerging pastors who lead balanced, incarnational, holistic, spiritually directed/discplined, fun-filled, friend-enriched livesGood luck with that ma'am.
So I guess my only beef is against the local paper, who trots out a pale imitation of my pointless blather and gives her the banner as a "voice of the community." We all know what the people want, and I suspect this Euro-stranded chick has taken more than a couple of clues from Gambling Blues about how to dig the absurdity and anger out of everyday events like getting your car washed and shopping for tube socks. Slovakian laundry issues my ass. I bet she read 5,000 words on wicker furniture and gay looking polo shirts, pocketed the airfare cash, and is writing this series using the WiFi connection at the local Panera. At least that's what I'd do.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Proof That Great Marketing Will Bring You Attention
I may not need a sports bra, but I sure as hell know what they do now.
Do not pull that site up at work...
The Absurdities Of A Failing Marriage
This post is dedicated to Joe Speaker from the Divorcinarium. Our situations have some obvious parallels, and I think in a few years time he'll be able to kick back and see how ridiculously absurd everything around him really (is) was. Of course, while I was in the middle of the shit it wasn't real funny to me at all, but in retrospect it's frigging hilarious.
Anyway, you remember that famous quote from As Good As It Gets, where Melvin was asked how he managed to write women so well:
I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.With a cheating woman you can add "logic" and "common sense" to the equation as well. So, in that spirit, I've bullet-pointed out some of the ridiculousness my ex-wife trotted out in 2001-2002, mostly just to remind Joe that what he's going through is ridiculous, couldn't be more absurd, and absolutely will someday be laughably ludicrous.
That much Joe, I promise. On now to the incomplete list of profound stupidity that tested every ounce of emotion and endurance I had in me then...
· The first British Internet boyfriend she had was named Mick. So was the second.
· On Mick's (v 1.0) first (and, I think, only) visit to Detroit, she brought him straight from the airport to meet her brothers and spent the night with him in her brother's living room, despite their pleas to drop the charade and try to make her marriage work.
· She wanted to "take a break" to "clear her head," all the while feeding me crap about "trying to make it work." I said that'd be fine, so long as it didn't involve going to England. She promptly purchased airfare to London.
· How did she pay for the trip? She brokered a business deal between an IT consulting firm and a company in need of a consultant's skill set. She then kept the money that was given to her by the company, of which she was supposed to take her cut and pass the rest to the consulting firm.
· She had the balls to ask me if I wanted to see pictures of her trip.
· One of the pictures featured some British dude making (her) breakfast wearing the Red Wings jersey I had bought her for her birthday.
· After eight months of being "self-employed," which was simply a euphemism for "wake up around noon, don't bother getting out of pajamas, and spend day talking to British Internet boyfriend(s)," she had the balls to continue to assault my ability to provide for my family for the 60 days I was unemployed between jobs earlier in that year back in my face. She brokered one deal in one year of "self-employment."
· The last time we did it was on a toilet in the bathroom of a bar. Seems fitting in retrospect.
· She fought me tooth and nail for every possession in the house as I was loading the truck to move out for good. Within 60 days she abandoned everything but her clothes and moved to England.
· I did not spend a single night in the house with her after her return from her "head clearing" England trip. At some point in between her return and my official move-out, she suggested having a child would be a good idea for us.
· She dodged my lawyer's efforts to serve her with summons for a couple of weeks. One afternoon she called from the diner right across the street from the lawyer's office while eating with her grandmother. I immediately called the attorney and had him serve her over cheese fries. It was getting served in front of her grandmother, not the act of dodging legal responsibilities, that she found lowbrow.
· She moved to England before our first court date was set, and managed to get a continuance while she worked on getting a lawyer. Because she had no money she offered to build a website for some pitbull if he'd represent her. He agreed (and was a royal asshole in court), but she never ended up completely building the website to fulfill her end of the deal.
· Immediate reaction in the wake of signing the papers that morning in July? What the hell did we just do? Reaction now? Jesus, what took me so long?
There is a slim possibility that some of this stuff may be exaggerated slightly in my own head. That would be the disclaimer I'm issuing to avoid having the point-by-point email refutation I'm fully expecting emailed to me in the next 48 hours. Instead of bantering with me, go read Joe's stuff starting in early January, and start to grasp a little bit where my head was (note the past tense please) then. Thankyouverymuch.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Asshole Tax Redux
I've been thinking about Shawn Nickerman's latest video blog where he proposes an "Asshole Tax" be levied on those most deserving. Hell of a good idea. I'd like to add to the list, if you'll indulge me. This is, naturally, a wildly incomplete list...
Talking on your cellphone...
· In a restaurant, at your table - $100
· While in a stall in a public restroom - $200
· In a darkened theater, even to say "I'll call you back" - $100
· In any public place with no effort to shield your conversation for privacy - $50
· While weaving in and out of traffic in excess of the speed limit by 15% or more - $100
· Purchasing a "ringtone" - $200
· Having the volume cranked on that ringtone loud enough that heads for 100 yards in every direction turn when you get a call - $200
In a public restroom (men only)...
· Speaking (exceptions include "excuse me," "sorry" and "thank you") - $50
· Speaking while in a stall with the door closed - $100
· Purposefully ignoring urinal etiquette* when appropriate choices can be made - $100
· Reaching the sinks at the same time as another in an uncrowded restroom - $50
· Eye contact of any sort - $100
· Not making at least a token effort to pretend to wash your hands if another person is in there - $100
*"Urinal etiqutte" simply means that you should always have a one-urinal gap at minimum between yourself and another who is/may be using the facilities.
On the Internet...
· Responding to any email with only "thank you." - $50
· Choosing abrasive and/or electric/neon styles for your personal page - $100
· Using "LOL" - $100
· Forwarding a joke and/or survey - $50
· Taking anybody seriously enough to start a flame war - $200
· Being dumb enough to respond to said flame war - $200
· Arguing that these taxes are the same when "he started it" - $1000
While out and about...
· Wandering aimlessly like you've got nowhere specific to be - $50
· Ordering food for your entire construction site at a fast food drive thru window - $100
· Making any argument against tipping less than 15% - $200
· Public usage of the words "fabulous" or "decadent" - $100
For restaurant owners/chefs only...
· Naming a dessert "Death By Chocolate**" - $200
· Implementing any apparatus for portion control behind the bar - $500
· Putting any item with the descriptive term "extreme" on the menu - $200
· Sneaking sour cream, mayonnaise and/or mushrooms into a dish where they do not belong*** - $1000
· Cranking the music so loud your patrons cannot miss the "ambiance" you're creating - $500
· (Olive Garden complaint) Having your waitrons arrive to greet the table with a two-liter bottle of "the house Rose'" instead of schooling them on matching a non-Boone's bottle to the guest's meal - $500
**When you see "Strawberry Shortcake" or "Key Lime Pie" on the dessert menu there may be minor variations on a theme, but it's largely the same type of thing every time. "Death By Chocolate" might be a moussey-puddingcake thing, it might be like an uber-choco trifle, it could be a multi-layer cake that might or might not have (I'm going to misspell this next one) ganache as a molten core... Can we at least pick a phyla and go with it please?
***I've had a French Dip sandwich slathered with mayonnaise with a slice of cheddar and potato skins with an underlying layer of sour cream despite no warnings as such on the menu. I've had French Onion soup with mushrooms too. What the hell is wrong with people?
General character flaws...
· Rooting for Notre Dame - $200
· Thinking your time is more valuable than mine - $200
· Leaving a voicemail in excess of seven seconds - $50
· Leaving a voicemail in excess of thirty seconds - $200
· "Knowing" Darwin is wrong despite almost failing high school biology - $200
· Using the Bible as anything but a personal guidebook for your own personal code of ethics. Privately. - $200
· Choosing residential real estate as a career - $200
· Spending more than 10% of the true value of your unimproved automobile on after-market stereo and/or trim/decorative equipment and parts - $200
· Spending half an hour or more on your hair to make it look like you slept (and fitfully, at that) on an unshampooed head for the last three days - $200
I could continue, but please feel free to add fees and levies to the comments below. Now, if there was only a way we could collect...
Monday, February 27, 2006
Watched the first episode of NBC's "Conviction" on a free download from iTunes the other day. The show won't hold my attention, but the marketing approach will. I loves me something for free, and free of commercials is even better. TiVo also started channelling podcasts through their interface including "This American Life," to which I already subscribe. It's not as convenient as downloading to my iPod, but I'm not paying $44/year for the subscription this way either.
I wrote a pretty boring look at the Lions' offseason personnel possibilities which I archived so as to not put all y'all to sleep. It's here if you're interested.
My friend The Doc (not Doc) emailed me today with a premonition she had. Normally she shouldn't worry about me posting her emails, but I'm putting this one up for dissection:
I had this moment of clarity and I think I know how you will find your next serious mate. You will first see what she has in her grocery cart. It will be fresh basil, mozzarella, a bottle of wine, some prosciutto, some fresh bread. Only then will you make one of your snarky remarks that will make her laugh. You will look up and see that she is a really cute girl who is well dressed and has a look that makes her look like someone who is just a little bit dangerous but overall professional. She will look in your cart and see practically the same thing and make some comment about how you have similar tastes. You tell her that you’ll cook if she brings the wine. She is surprised. You start to load your stuff on to the register and say that you just got done with a long day at the office, that she obviously did too, that you were going to make enough for two anyway and that you seldom get to cook for someone who would really appreciates Italian cooking. She takes you up on it and you live happily ever after.Not that The Doc has problems with spelling, but kudos to her for getting "Prosciutto" correct. Of course, I mention my favorite pork-product here often enough spelling it should be second nature for all of you by now. Anyway, she's not the first one to have this thought as my parents have been harping on this theme for years (and no, the connection between my ex-wife and pork isn't in this same vein).
In order to clarify The Doc's premonition into something that more resembles my patented and recurring Italian Deli And Grocery Fantasy I'd like to offer the following list of what a woman can do or say to me to get my heart pumping:
· Ask for a taste of four or five salamis/other cured meats at the counter, eliminating at least one by saying, "Where the hell was this made? Milwaukee? Gimme the imported."
· "Can I have that packed in the whey?"
· "The Alessi is overrated but for a commercial production the Colavita is actually quite decent."
· (In reference to an expensive Gorgonzola) "Screw chocolate, this is better than sex."
· "No, not par-me-san... Parmagiano-Reggiano."
· "I can't get out of here without a half pound of your Sopresseta please."
Yeah, I'm a sucker for a woman who knows her (my) ethnic cuisine.
I wrote The Doc back:
On my 40th birthday desperation sets in. I haven't been within five feet of another human being since I was allowed to telecommute in for my job five years ago. I realize that this is no way to continue to live so I order a bride off a Russian amputee mail-order bride site. Her name is Svetlana, and I lovingly call her "Stumpy." I never do find the stomach for Borscht, however.Far more likely than finding a woman who's got a love for heavily cured imported pork products methinks.
I got criticized by a friend of mine recently for offering a counterpoint to some advice she was getting. She heard from him on Tuesday, he was supposed to call on Wednesday to set a dinner on Thursday and didn't. Thursday morning she was ready to write the dude off for life (essentially). I was trying to give the counterpoint that women often read everything into something that may very well be nothing at all. I mentioned that women are real quick to reach final decisions on shit, and it's often based on nothing but speculation and assumption that they're reading "signals" and signs from guys.
Of course, a woman basing a final decision on a guy based on reading signals is usually shit because guys aren't as full of subtext as women like to think we are. The friend said that I had "obvious issues with women" based on that thought.
If by "issues" she means "carefully observed and true phenomena exhibited time and again by women no matter how unique, liberal or open-minded they think they are," then sure I have issues. Probably my least favorite trait in
Men dumb. Men usually mean what men say. Men rarely load comment with subtext so men don't need decoding.
The friend, to her credit, stayed patient and seems to be getting paid off little by little in this situation. Hope it continues to improve for her too, not even a little bit so I can say "I told you so."
I mean that, not the opposite.
I swab the shit out of my ears in the wake of every shower I take, but somehow with my earbuds in all day long I still manage to loosen earwax into my canal on a moment by moment basis. Maybe Ghostface Killah does have a purpose after all.
Speaking of earbuds and iPods, I mentioned "This American Life" earlier, which is one of my true pleasures on a weekly basis. However, nothing makes me skip to the next chapter faster than hearing something like "Chapter Three. David Sedaris joins us with a tale of what happens when a squirrel and a chipmunk..." CLICK. I enjoy the guy's writing, but for the love of god knock it off with the animal allegory already. We get it, you're endearing. Your fans love you. Quit mailing it in already.
Bob's got details up about a charity tournament at Noble Poker for some disease named after Patrick Ewing. I think it affects your brain stem to the point you begin to believe you're a seven-foot underachiever who has the magical ability to make four steps to the basket not appear as traveling to the referees.
I'd play, but I'm waiting for the disease named after Matt Bullard, which apparently afflicts white guys taller than 6'10" to the point where they spend all their time on offense outside the three-point line. Matt Bullard never pulled down a rebound in his career, do we need to see what might happen to Andrew Bogut and Joel Pryzbilla if they catch this evil malady?
Top Seven Wu-Tang Family Albums, In Order
1) Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version - Ol' Dirty Bastard
2) Only Built 4 Cuban Linx - Raekwon
3) Enter The Wu-Tang - Wu-Tang Clan
4) The Pretty Toney Album - Ghostface Killah
5) Supreme Clientele - Ghostface Killah
6) 718: The Mixtape - Ghostface Killah (Theodore Unit)
7) Liquid Swords - GZA
What's with the volume in this spot? It's that kinda day around here. I have a job that has a fairly narrow focus, the tasks I'm here to perform are currently "on hiatus" for a short period, and until there's some trickle-down I can help with, I'm basically a cubicle monkey with tied hands for the short term. No worries, it's a temporary hiatus and nothing I'm concerned about. Still, having stuff to do beats not having stuff to do.
Soundtrack of the Century wrapped up on PBS last night with a 40 minute look at pop music from the Monkees to Britney Spears. Terrific documentary series, but to cover 40 years of pop music in 40 minutes? Especially after one of the songwriters said that writing a classic pop song is a lot harder than you'd think. There's no explanation as to why one set of lyrics work while another set of equally banal words doesn't.
What we learned (or were reminded of) last night:
· Young Deborah Harry was smokin' hot
Regardless, the other episodes of the series were terrific. If they replay it on PBS (and why don't they do this? MTV plays shows incessantly...), TiVo the whole series. Great stuff.
It's like that y'all, have a ball.
BG's about six feet tall.
Since They're Rare From My Keyboard, Here's A Bad Beat Story
Excuse the indulgence, but I'm allowed one of these every once in awhile...
I think I've figured out what must be the worst feeling in online poker.
I played the Stars Deep Stacks on Saturday, and found myself approaching the end of hour three with a fairly healthy (but under par) 10K. UTG I find QQ. I bump the blinds to 4X (which I think means 400 at this level), and a semi-maniac in the cutoff rebumps to 800.
I know, "fishy min raise." Considering the source I didn't think it was AA/KK or even AK. I was confident I had him beat, but wanted verification. I made it 2K to go and got a call.
Yep, got him beat.
Flop is TdTc9c. I check to the guy who wants to bluff me off my hand and he fires 1200 into the 4K pot. I raise him all-in and he doesn't even blink before calling me with...
A7o. Which, apparently, is also known as "The Tourist." He's got the 7c and apparently was on one of the following draws:
1) The I hope he doesn't have Aces or Ace/King so I can catch my Ace pair draw
2) The I could go runner-runner sevens if he doesn't have TT or 99 to make a full house draw
3) The perfect-perfect straight flush draw
4) The I'm pot committed in the 50/100 level with only 5K back and 3500 in the pot, let's see what happens draw
5) The I always play three parts to the low end of a straight strong draw
6) The maybe I could make a flush from here unless he has a bigger club draw
6) The I wasn't paying attention to this guy folding for an hour straight just now and can't imagine he's got a stronger hand than Ace Fucking Seven Offsuit when he raised and then re-raised from UTG just now draw
We both caught a club on the turn, so that left him with two red Aces left in the deck... We all know what happened next.
Anyway, it's not the details of the beat so much but the gut-wrenching feeling of getting almost-deep in a deep stack multi after investing three hours of fruitful solid tight-aggressive play, only to fall victim to what can only be described as a "bluff-call."
Seriously, what hands does he put me on with my pre-flop activity that don't have him beat? KQs? Would I push him all in with KQd? KQc would have to be the worst hand that might be theoretically possible that he might be near 50/50 against. Maybe something like 22 or 33 where he needs to count on his Ace, his seven or the 9 to pair (or running pair).
Frankly, his best-case scenario (besides the slim shot I'm overplaying A6o with no clubs) based on the range I gave him preflop is that I'm holding almost exactly what I am holding - an overpair to the board that isn't three parts open ended to a straight or Aces (if I had no club, even better). Aces have him dominated and Jacks corrupt his straight draw a bit. QQ or KK gives him the (in his eyes) three outs he needs for the Ace, and runner-runner possibility for the straight.
Why call? I know I want this call 100% of the time and was an enormous favorite to win the hand before the last card, but why do you call off 5K in a deep stacks with nothing?
I'll never understand people. I would have ended up above par and second biggest chip stack at a fairly weak-tight table. I could possibly have folded into the money (maybe, maybe not).
I maintain that these deep stacks tournaments are more fraught with potential frustration than a bigger buy-in multi. The bubble seems closer, but "short" stacks aren't necessarily desperate-short until hours five and beyond. Players aren't dropping like flies and the play is (generally) more conservative with respect to starting stack size than a traditionally structured multi.
In other words...
I just wasted how many hours and dollars to lose like that? Fucking hell.
Life's Not Fair - BOMBARDMENT!
What's good is I've lost 35 pounds since December. Spending roughly five weeks of the last eleven fasting* will do that for you I suppose. I look better than I did at the peak of my chubbitude, which was probably in the instant I took my last bite of dessert at 3950 in Mandalay Bay in early December. More importantly, aside from the slight tenderness of the Frankenscar up and down my midsection, I feel better too.
What's bad is that I've shrunk out of a couple of pairs of my favorite pants.
*These would include December 19th through January 6th, where I can count roughly three actual meals, plus the nearly two weeks between the Sunday before my surgery (2/5) and the fifteenth, which is when I had a full meal again for the first time since.
Now, far be it from me to complain that I've lost too much weight (boo hoo) and am back to 34 & 36 waist pants after a good six months at 38, but I really liked my stone-colored corduroys in 38. I had purchased a pair of 36s about a year ago at TJ Maxx for $12, and they were fine. Then, after my bloat, I picked up an identically toned pair from a different manufacturer. The 36s are a tight 36, while the 38s were comfortable and roomy. The 36s aren't as comfortable on the inside as the 38s, presumably due to a higher grade of corduroy fabric in the 38s. The 38s were a button-fly, and have front pockets that run parallel to the belt line as opposed to the vertically cut side-access ones on the 36s. Also, the softer fabric on the 38s cuts down on the traditional corduroy walking VWEET/VWEET/VWEET noise, so now that I'm back in the 36s I have to mince around like a bow-legged cowboy to avoid alerting people to my oncoming approach.
Most importantly? The 38s are flat-front and the 36s are pleated. I don't know why I did this to myself, I should totally know better. Pleats are perfectly acceptable in true "slacks" and other dress pants, but khakis and cords (and especially fucking blue jeans)? The only type of pants that can be worn casually have flat fronts. Period. Just looking at myself in these things disgusts me. I shouldn't even call them pants, they fluff out so much I should pin them under my kneecaps and call them "pantaloons" instead. This balloon-crotch look I've got going reminds me of all those middle-aged men like former FEMA boss Michael Brown doing the pseudo-casual thing with their powder-blue oxfords on short torsos with too-high khakis belted tight around the equator and not smartly tailored enough to taper down from there.
I think if you were to pump my crotch full of helium, I'd be likely to float the hell away. These pants are what must be best described as "blousey." I think if I somehow grew 44" hips and kept my waist at 35", only then would these things look filled out.
I'm not a vain man, but I cannot for an instant imagine how bad my ass must look in these things.
I made two poor wardrobe choices today with the addition of a thick royal blue Old Navy oxford completing the ensemble. This shirt was fine when I was portly. Now that I'm merely chubby it doesn't seem to want to contribute to the horizontal lines of svelteness I've managed to acquire. I seem to be wearing today's combination as some sort of stunt clothing levitation feat of amazement as each individual article hovers a distinct two and a half inches from where it should be laying against my body. I'm not sure if it's the shirt's fault I look like I'm swimming in an electric blue moo-moo, or if it's the fault of the pleated cords for faking the Jiminy Glick physique in the middle, but I'm really disturbed by the whole thing as it stands. If I didn't buy most of my clothes at discount outlets like TJ Maxx and the Gap Outlet store I'd hustle over to find another suitable pair of cords like the 38s.
Yes, this stands as the only thing so far I miss about being fat.
My jeans don't fit right either, so I ran out to the Gap on Sunday morning to take a look at picking up a pair of 34s. When did jeans get to be $50 at the Gap? That's blatant robbery so far as I'm concerned. My price point is $39.50 for jeans, and I absolutely refuse to pay more unless they're flannel-lined from belt to ankles. They were some good looking jeans to be sure, but I can't get my head around paying $50 for them. Of course, Old Navy's jeans are made of recycled 20 oz pop bottles or something, which is the only thing I can assume to explain the lightweight "denim-esque" material they put in play to keep their tag under $25. I also dig J.Crew's jeans, but it's been awhile since my last pair ripped apart on me, and I'm sure I'd be paying $68 or more for denim from those high-falutin bastards. And don't even get me started on Banana Republic, whose clothes are only cut for the male equivalent of a women's size zero. Do I need to be gay and addicted to heroin to enjoy their new spring line?
Getting back to my wardrobe for a minute, you know who the unsung heroes of my closet have been? The second and third buttons from the bottoms of each of my dress/button-up shirts. If you think about it, the top button has the easiest job. He just hangs out and only gets stuck in a supporting role if there's a tie involved. Since I haven't been to a wedding where I wasn't in a tux for almost six years, I've been able to avoid the necktie for quite awhile to this point. The buttons down the chest have it pretty easy too, considering I'm 31 years gynecomastia-free and counting. The bottom button is usually fairly well protected inside and under the belt line, so it really doesn't get a ton of stress from daily wear-and-tear.
No, it's the second- and third-buttons from the bottom that need the credit. They're just above belt line, so every time you sink under your desk a little, they're probably getting clipped by the edge of it. And if your weight tends to fluctuate as mine has, those buttons are the crucial link to keeping your dignity on a day-to-day basis. They work over the belly roll or under, they take stress from your growing love handles, and have a variety of doughnut-induced forces able to pull their stitching taught in any direction.
The seam of your pants right up your ass-crack is and always will be there for you. When was the last time you realized how important those two buttons are?
Aside from maybe three of my shirts and about four pair of pants (which are 38s, of which I have 36s in play in near-identical styles), everything is fitting better than it did two months ago. Oddly enough, even my hats. I probably lost about an eighth of an inch around this cranium of mine, and while it's not sub-orbitably large, it's certainly big enough that I require what they refer to as a "low profile" ball cap.
"Low profile" basically means "without stuff on the front panel that extends the top of your hat into the troposphere." My noggin is big enough, thank you, without putting what can best be described as a drive-in movie screen sized flat front above my forehead. Instead, my hats need to tightly hug the top of my head all the way back to that annoying bean* on top that holds the whole damn hat together. If there's any sort of vertical rise off my head, the hat goes to the bottom of the pile automatically.
No offense PokerStars.
*In this day and age of space age polymers and special fabrics developed for NASA, you'd think the "bean" on top of the baseball cap would be the vestigal tail of the habadashery industry. The only purpose they seem to serve is to localize the painful welt on top of the heads of those who repeatedly take blows to the bean by a bigger kid. Even if that's the only true purpose, how stupid would ball caps look without a bean?
By now I'm assuming you've gotten this far in the post with only one thought on your mind... "Jesus Christ, how does this guy cope?" Well, not an easy question to ask of someone who's 6/7th the size he was 60 days ago with a shrinking head and a crotch that's billowing like I'm wearing a hoop skirt. Sooner or later I'm going to end up dropping more weight in my head and when you put a pea-sized cranium on these narrow shoulders of mine I'm going to quickly have five or six more pair of pants that make me look like I'm wearing stage pieces from the Rose and Swan era upon Avon.
These pants are getting buried in the backyard as soon as it thaws.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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