|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Monday, October 16, 2006
It Was Duck Breast In A Strawberry Port Wine Sauce With Chevre. You Happy Now Chilly?
"Wow, two and a half sessions in and I'm just figuring out you really don't think very highly of yourself at all, do you?" - Psychiatrist guy, last Tuesday.
Here's some disjointed bullshit to gnaw on for a few minutes. Maybe I'll get back to that thought later...
I have more than two rules when it comes to betting on the horses, but for the purposes of this discussion, I have two rules when it comes to betting on the horses:
One, play against a tepid favorite. If you're lukewarm, and the crowd is lukewarm, you're likely looking at a horse that's not worth your dollars.
Two, when you're getting more than a couple of odds levels better than the price for which you'd play one of your top three favorites in a race, up your bets.
I'm a stickler for the first, and trying to form good habits around the second. Think of rule number two this way... If you're content to toss a coin for a $1 bet at even money, but all of a sudden you're able to get 4-1 on your call, you're going to start pulling the big-face Benji's out of your wallet because you're absolutely getting the best of it.
Long story short, I had an absolutely disgusting 70 minutes playing races three through five at Keeneland this weekend, with big-ass win bets on some spot-play long prices that I had identified as worth the gamble. Naturally, two of those three were won by underbet favorites, which simply adds to my angst.
Yes, yes... sample size. It's only three races. I know, I know... Still thinking I did a lousy fucking job handicapping those races, despite decent enough runs by a couple of my plays who just couldn't close the deal.
Certainly gives me a breath of confidence going into Breeders' Cup.
Anyway, I know it's been awhile so here's some quick hits for you:
Two Fridays Ago: Intended to spend my day "working from home," but my goddamn cell phone AND my Internet connection both went down. I found this out when my boss' boss' boss' boss' office called me on my home phone due to a customer barking up the totem pole until they got someone live on the line who they thought could help. Beautiful, I thought it was just a quiet morning. I had my calls rerouted to my home phone, but even that started ringing off the hook, so I figured there was good reason to get off my ass and get to my desk.
I got there at 1PM and took one call through the remainder of my day. Fucking delightful. That night I went to play poker with guys from work, who run a $60 buy-in cash game with rotations of PLO8 and PLHE. I got all of another player's money when I played big with a hand on the come in PLO8 (wheel draw, nut low draw) against a player holding an overpair with only a draw to his trips or quads to consider. Naturally, when I made my hand with 20-some outs to catch, I had to go into "sorry for the suckout" mode. Then, having walked with $80 in profit last time, I pissed away all but $10 of my profit on a string of terrible calls in order to spread the money back around the table. Figured I wanted another invitation, probably not a good idea to take their money and leave early (I was wheezy and tired).
Two Saturdays Ago: Al certainly wanted me to write about the movie and dinner, but my publishing schedule is not what you might call dependable lately. Anyway...
Movie = Entertaining. Not sure that there's a better actor working right now than DiCaprio. Wish the cat-and-mouse stuff was played to greater effect.
Dinner = Tasty. Had Cajun Gator Tail (tasted like pork, nothing special) and fried crawfish to start, then a panne'd duck breast with a strawberry port wine sauce and Chevre. Didn't think much of the mashed potato starch, seemed like a lazy choice. The duck was just a half step short of excellent due to a sincere lack of crispy skin. Al had some disgusting-ass mushroom cap and copped out by getting the filet. To be fair, it's not as if they had boar, elk, ostrich or penguin on the menu, so he gets a pass.
Drove home on the turnpike, peed in a soft drink cup at 80 MPH.
Tuesday: Psychiatrist asks again if I'm letting the gambling "get out of control." Um, no. Thanks for asking. After I offer that I was a real asshole in high school, only to see marijuana level me out in college, he suggests I take the green back up in place of my drinking. Yeah, no thanks. Fucking Pablo. Also asks if I get angry or violent when I'm drunk. I have to think back to college to figure out if that could be true.
Friday: Boss and boss' boss in town for our quarterly presentation to our client. Despite being continually passed up for promotion, I'm still held in high esteem by both of these guys. Boss' boss offers that I should be a shoo-in for the My-Title-Guy-Of-The-Half-Year award because of all my hard work and that I'm doing the job of someone two titles higher than me currently. I get an unintended laugh when I instead offer that I should be a shoo-in because none of my competition for My-Title-Guy-Of-The-Half-Year have been with the company longer than three months.
Left early, saw the ball game, Tigers go up 3-0 off a gem by Kenny Rogers. Insert-joke-about-chicken/Lucille/The-Gambler-here.
Smoked the last cigarette I had in the house to finish my day. Haven't smoked since.
Saturday: Quest for pants proves fruitless. I want a pair of khakis that aren't made out of fucking space-age polymer that retains all electro-static charge when taken from the dryer. Also, no pleats. Anyway, I go to Boscov's, Macy's (which at 40 minutes from opening their doors looks as if KGB spooks tossed the place looking for the microfiche), Gap, Eddie Bauer, TJ Maxx and Kohls with no success. I'm tempted to order $60 pants off J.Crew, but do not believe they represent my Midwestern values with their female models straight out of Barnard sororities and the guys all looking like they summer in Kennebunkport. It's like they're trying to be the thinking man's Abercrombie or the rich young professional's LL Bean. I'd say "the straight man's Banana Republic," but Casual Fucking Corner is more hetero-masculine than Banana Republic.
I stopped for Chinese at the closest available restaurant, which happens to be nine miles away from home. I ordered pork lo mein, only to notice some favorites like pineapple fried rice and Singapore rice noodles the minute the guy disappeared into the back. Then I see they've been awarded best General Tso's in the county and spiral into a deep state of regret. Rangoons get a B, wontons get a C, and the lo mein gets a B-. Still better than a buffet.
Got home, played the horses, got angry, drank. Note the order of the last two, and please remind my shrink. Watched game four, got chills when Ordonez knocked it out in the ninth. Beautiful stuff.
Yesterday: Got an email first thing in the morning from Audible.com, from whom I had purchased a one-year subscription to This American Life. Turns out, TAL is going to free delivery, and you can get This American Life uploaded podcast-style every week to your iPod.
That's pretty awesome, and I strongly suggest clicking through to that link and subscribing. If that's not enough, Audible cemented its place as my favoritest place to buy shit on the Net (yes, that's my letter to Consumerist) by letting me know this themselves, telling me they're going to fulfill my entire subscription the way I've ordered it through their service, and are going to give pro-rated refunds to all TAL subscribers.
Jesus, I love those guys.
Later that morning I had to make a run for groceries. Somewhere between getting out of my car and the produce section, my back gave out worse than it ever had before. My vision started getting blurred, I got nauseous, and every step I took featured muscles getting tighter and tighter. Thank god for leftover Vicodin from my surgery this year. I got home (lugging twenty pounds of groceries up a flight of stairs wasn't very fun), popped a pill and took the pain from about an 8/10 down to about a 4/10. I'm still somewhere in the 2/10 range, but it's waning. I'm absolutely falling apart.
A quick word that I'm burying here to hopefully go less-than-noticed and wildly under-discussed around town... Seems that some people may have gotten approached with offers to buy their webspace under the assumption that they'd still be able to write whatever they wanted, so long as the new owner of the blog were the only one of their kind advertised. I'm not saying do or don't take the deal if you got the come-on in your inbox. What I am saying is that there's enough uncertainty out there right now in the marketplace that it may not be worth whatever's being offered to you to sell under one set of assumptions, only to have those assumptions changed based on a court ruling, corporate acquisition or shift in policy by the purchasing entity. I don't think anything insidious (e.g., stealing your archived content, shutting down your access to your site and repurposing your old posts link-heavy with shilly goodness and attributed to someone else) is probable in the near future, but if you decide to jump into these waters please be prepared for good intentions to turn into the worst-case scenario. If you don't get specific language to address contingencies in your transfer agreement, then it's your own fault if things go south.
I was intrigued by the thought, but the offer's not right for me. I wouldn't want to have anyone other than me holding even dubiously connected ownership of my previous posts, and I don't feel good that I'd want to have a lawyer look at what's ostensibly not a great deal of money for something like this. It's not worth it to me. If it's worth it to you, then good for you, but be careful. I'd sell my URL in a heartbeat for the right offer, but management of my content (letting it live on someone else's owned space) is a non-starter for me. That's all I'm saying.
Well, that and if you made me a reasonable offer on the URL alone, I'd listen.
(And no, I'm not going to say exactly what I'm talking about. If you know to what I'm referring above specifically, then that part was for you. If not, sorry.)
So, as opposed to that 10K I was going to run on Sunday, I watched the first two episodes of "The Nine" on ABC.com. I'll add it to my Tivo, but I'm not confident as of right now that it'll hold my interest. How about a CJ style rundown of my TV addiction:
MON - "Heroes" at 9PM gets a B+ so far. I like the tone, how it's still setting things up, and the potential it has to end up somewhere good. I don't like how Mr. Cheerleader's Dad has been as much as identified as "The Face of Evil" or somesuch in the episode III introduction, when it would have been more effective to let his motivations unfold mysteriously instead. Also unsure why this super-powered mutant dude who's responsible for the gruesome murders wouldn't just make it his business right now to take all of these neo-mutants out while they're still fumbling through handling their powers. Seems like he'd have a relatively easy time handling this crew, and it seems like he knows who they are too. Oh, and there's no way that kid who thinks he can fly lands that hot chick from the heroin-addled prettyboy artist. No freaking way.
"Studio 60" at 10PM is a solid A-, but mainly because I've gravitated towards everything Sorkin's done since "Sports Night." Matthew Perry finally has a respectable role to sink his teeth into that doesn't involve him mugging around like some sort of Down's affected cuckold. I'll watch any work place drama-comedy Sorkin wants to trot out, and figure this show's got about three to five good years in it before they turn it over to John Wells who turns it into event television where SOMETHING! HAPPENS! EVERY! WEEK! Maybe it'll be Matt Albie talking down a gunman holding what's-her-name-the-blonde-he-digs hostage in the green room, maybe it'll be Jordan McDeere saving the day by creating a Doc Brown human circuit to channel a bolt of lightning into the transmission tower to make sure the show gets broadcast in time. Can't wait.
TUES - "House" on Fox is an absolute "A," but I say this with guarded suspicion at this point. Seems like you could turn these new episodes into a drinking game easily, as follows:
If someone does a lumbar puncture, drinkCall in late to work on Wednesday, you're going to get ripped.
WED - If I continue to watch "30 Rock," which had some genuinely funny moments in its premiere, am I cheating on "Studio 60?" Tina Fey gets an early B for the premiere, but I'm not holding out hope that it'll stick around. Plus, the advertisement for the actual oven they were talking about in the early part of the episode was ham-handed and distasteful. You could at least pretend to slip product placement past me.
The aforementioned "The Nine" gets a B as well, but unless something supernatural and really freaky happened in that bank, I can't see this thing holding my interest. Sorry.
THU/FRI - I believe Thurs/Fri are my nomadic wandering evenings. I can't think of anything offhand I go out of my way to watch.
Congrats for sticking around to the end. Coming soon? How about this as a teaser:
Just one nibble - she's 39, has a head like a Rubik's Cube and a multi-color tattoo of a scorpion eating a butterfly on her shoulder. Too bad she has a kid... she had me at "Rubik's Cube."
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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