Friday, August 29, 2003

My First Autograph

I signed my first autograph this week. Jessica shared Jack Tripper Stole My Dog with one of her co-workers, a woman from Brooklyn named Renee. I met Jessica for lunch and Renee asked me to sign the title page of JTSMD. I was psyched. It was my first autograph! She's a fan of the Baby and Winky stories as well. What a cool chick!

I wrote: "Renee, to my biggest fan. Peace, McG"
Schanzer on TV again... today at 1:05 PM!

Jon Schanzer just sent me this note: "I got a last-minute call to appear on Fox News Channel today. I'll be on Linda Vester's "Dayside" shortly after 1pm EST. Topic: homeland security."

Truckin' August 2003 (Vol 2., Issue 8)


The August edition of Truckin' has been posted! This month's issue includes five stories from your favorite author. I wrote some of these stories during the "Blackout"... can you tell which two? Sit back, enjoy, and please spread the good word about this site. Be sweet, McG.

1. What Yo-yo?
Across from me, three overweight kids all around nine or ten years old held onto Burger King bags... More

2. Baby, Winky, and the $1 Blowjob
Baby and I didn’t have regular jobs but we scratched together enough cash for our hefty cocaine habit. We ripped off drunk college kids in bars... More

3. Halibut, Cici's Pall Mall, and Blazing Saddles
A filterless Pall Mall hung off Cici’s bruised lip for a few moments before it tumbled off her chest and wedged itself in between the plush orange cushions.... More

4. How I Bet $8,000 and Lost a $16,000 Pot
There's a famous line from poker professional Doyle Brunson, "If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour... then you're the sucker." ...More

5. Summer Getaway with the Dead
I couldn’t stop myself from thinking… if Jerry didn’t die, these guys would still be playing! And I would have seen well over two hundred Dead shows by now... More

All stories written by Tenzin McGrupp © 2003

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Man Molested by Penguin is a true and touching story. Check it out!

Here's what Sigge had to say: "A true story about a man and his childhood. Forgiveness isn't always possible. Only on Sigg3 dot net: 'I was molested by a penguin!'"

While you are there check out some of Sigge's other stuff. I am happy to announce that Sigge added Katie Holmes to his Female of the Year contest.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Been writing a heavy amount since my "bad beat" at Foxwoods exactly one week ago. Working on the new issue of Truckin' which will be out this weekend. My most productive writing day this previous week topped out at 8,000+ words. That might be the most I wrote in one session this year. I hope to keep up this nice run to close out the summer.
Decks, Lies & Videotape is an article about the World Series of Poker and the recent spike in popularity of poker that appears in Time.

Here's a bit:"In an era when television is dominated by made-up competitions pitting brainless pretty people against other brainless pretty people — Fear Factor, Survivor, etc.--it is the brilliant uglies of the World Series who have provided some of the best human drama of the summer. On every episode, intelligence is rewarded, hubris is punished, millions of dollars change hands, and luck makes a cameo. Perhaps most shocking of all, people are watching."
Speed Will Rule the NFL is an article written by Hunter S. Thompson and appears on ESPN.com.

Here's a bit: "And then there is Jets QB Chad Pennington, who went down and out on Sunday with his wrist broken in seven places. WHACKO! Now, only 40-year-old Vinny Testaverde is all that stands between the Jets and a 3-13 finish.

I always get mushy about Nixon when football season rolls around. He was the Real Thing, a genuinely educated football fan. I miss Nixon. Compared to these jerks we have in the White House now, Richard Nixon was a flaming Liberal."
Ben Affleck Dropped $75 K at Foxwoods...

My "source" told me that "Mr. J. Lo" dropped $40,000 playing Blackjack at Foxwoods! That's before he went to the Poker Room for a $50-$50 Pot Limit Hold'em game. And they roped off Table 46 to keep the "rail hangers" back. When one guy did not have enough money for the buy-in for the game (He only had $2,000)... the story goes that Affleck tossed him $6,000 to play and sit. Later in the game that same guy was up $20,000. He took $6,000 in chips and put them in front of Affleck. That's when Affleck said something like, "Keep it. Don't worry about it."

And in case you were wondering, J. Lo was not "in da house". Ben frequents the $100-200 tables at the Commerce Casino in southern California. Is he a player? Affleck played loose and made a couple of flush draws.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

2003 World Series of Poker

The final episode will be aired tonight on ESPN at 8pm EST. Check your local listings for more details. I have been waiting for this episode all summer! We finally get to see how Chris Moneymaker wins the $2.5 Million first prize. Will I be there next year? I'm certainly going to try.
Schanzer on TV!

I'm currently watching Schanzer on Fox & Friends. Nice tie, Rib! Here are some blogworthy highlight's from his interview about the peace process in Israel and Iraq:

1. "Arafat is messing up the peace process as much as possible... he's able to pay off people on the streets with money he's pilferred..."

2. "We need to push Arafat out of the way."

3. "There's no need for the United States to get (involved) into this (peace process)."

4. "We need more boots, more people on the ground in Iraq..."

Al-Qaeda Enclaves is a new book that Schanzer is working on.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Up at 6:15 AM? Schanzer Will Be on TV...

Jon Schanzer wrote: "Up at the crack of dawn tomorrow? If you are, then you can catch me on the Fox News Channel at 6:15am. We'll be chatting about the inner-struggles of the Palestinian Authority, which I believe is in the process of unraveling."

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Poker Face

Here is an excerpt from Katy Lederer's novel Poker Face:

“This was as close as the family ever got, and so, even though the lot of us were violently competitive (if Annie lost a game, she’d throw cards; and if Howard lost, he’d glare as if you’d insulted his deepest, most delicate part, then slink around the kitchen table like a very proud cat), the atmosphere would seem to me incomparably congenial. Somewhere along the line I’d gotten it into my head that the playing of games was the same thing as civility and that friendly competition was the closest thing to love we’d ever know.”

Now check out: Book Review: Katy Lederer's Poker Face, written by Greg Dinkin and it appears in the current issue of Card Player Magazine. From what I read from the review and the excerpt, the book seems really good. Katy Lederer is the youngest sister of professional poker players Howard Lederer and Annie Duke, whom were both featured on ESPN's coverage of the 2003 World Series of Poker.

Here's a bit of the book review: "While I don’t know Howard Lederer and Annie Duke well, like most poker players, I know enough about them to want to know more. Aside from playing at the highest limits in cash games and having impressive tournament results, their very nature makes them compelling characters. Howard’s erudite style, critiquing hands and writing voluminous essays on RGP, has brought his poker intellect to the masses. Readers will be fascinated to learn about Howard as a youngster, including his fiercely competitive chess matches with his dad, his futile but thoughtful efforts to curb his mother’s drinking, and his time in New York as a homeless late teen. Annie’s character as a child isn’t as well developed in the book as her older brother’s, but you still get a glimpse of how the middle child in the Lederer family evolved into an aggressive poker player who never had any problem blending in with the boys — and taking their money.

Ultimately, this is a book about family. The author’s father, Richard Lederer, spend most of his adult life teaching English at an old-money prep school in New Hampshire called St. Paul’s. The middle-class family lived on campus, which raised issues for the kids of blending in with their more snobbish peers. When Katy started high school and began to live in the school’s student dorms, she got a taste of New England old money. From debutante balls at the Waldorf-Astoria to chronic anorexia and bulimia, she does an amazing job of taking the reader inside the living quarters at St. Paul’s and showing how it isn’t always easy for young women who seemingly have all the advantages in life."
Ang Arrived!

Ang arrived in NYC yesterday afternoon and didn't spend too much time in the city. Ang wanted to get to Rhode Island, unpack, and meet Senor's parents right away. Alas, geographically my studio is on the way to Rhode Island. While I wrote, I got a call from Senor. He was driving north via the Henry Hudson Parkway (the street I live on) and stopped off. I met Ang and showed her my apartment. She looked adorable! She and the baby are healthy. Ang enjoyed the view from my terrace and seemed fascinated with some of my pictures of Senor, as well as a couple of my paintings. I let her pick one out (which was one of my favorites) as a "Welcome to America" gift.

The funniest moment: Apparently I say the phrase "Oh my goodness..." frequently. According to Senor, it's one of the my most popular sayings. I had no clue. Anyway, when I said "my catch phrase" one random time, Ang laughed and giggled hysterically. Senor told her on the way to my studio that I would definitely say that since I say "Oh my goodness!" all the time. Is it true?

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Nightmare in LA-LA Land is an article written by Hunter S. Thompson.

Here's a bit: "I had a truly horrible dream last night about how I blundered into a fight between Mike Tyson and Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. I was sitting next to Arnold (current betting favorite to be the next Governor of California) in the back seat of a black stretch-limozine. We were on our way to a TV studio for a debate about his long-time working friendship with the powerful Bush family from Texas and how it might affect the next Bush presidency when The Terminator seizes power in Sacramento and tries to hand over the state's 54 electoral votes by election day in 2004. That is the basic plan behind Schwarzenegger running. He doesn't want to be Governor, he just wants the electoral votes to go to Bush this time."
The Tao of Poker has been updated with a couple of new blogs about my trip to Foxwoods with Senor. I talked more in depth about the Act Two satellite that I played in, being more specific about the tournament structure and who I played against. Check it out!

Friday, August 22, 2003

Little League World Series...

I watched a crazy game last night. The team from Saugus, MA beat a team from Texas in extra innings 14-13. Saugus was up 10-2 and blew the lead. Texas came back to tie in the sixth inning, only to get the lead in extra innings 13-10. Saugus, MA came back to win it all, on a close call at first base. Saugus plays Florida for the US Championships.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

How I Bet $8,000 and Lost a $16,000 Pot!


I played in a No Limit Tournament and came in second place!

Well the good news is that Senor and I played at not one, but two different casinos yesterday. We started off at Mohegan Sun and played Seven Card Stud ($1-$5) and $3-6 Hold'em for a couple of hours (we both lost around $200 combined). I lost a couple of close hands. Since the Mohegan Sun poker room is closing in two weeks, management decided that they would no longer hold daily tournmanets at 7PM. With that information, I told Senor that we should drive to Foxwoods and play there, since it was only 15 minutes away.

Long story short, I played in a World Poker Finals Act Two Satellite Tournament. The buy in was $120 and the winner was awarded a $1,100 Coupon for an Act Three Tournament. If you win the Act Three Tournament you get a $10,000 seat at the World Poker Finals in November, which will be televised on the World Poker Tour coverage on the Travel Channel. Basically I needed to win an Act Two and then an Act Three... in order to get a shot at over $1 Million purse and the chance to play with the big boys like Howard Lederer (last year's winner), Phil Ivey, Layne Flack, and Phil Hellmuth.

Alas, I got great cards but I only came in second place. And only first place gets a prize (a seat at an Act Three Tournament). The tournament was about two and a half hours long. There are ten players with $2,000 in tournamnet chips (not real money). The goal is to be the last guy with all the chips! Simple, huh?

I started out slow, but won two quick pots with Pocket Aces and Ace-10 of spades (I flopped the nut flush) and was the chip leader at one point with $3,600 in chips. Then I didn't get much in the middle levels of play. With six players remaining, I knocked out the guy next to me. He put his chips "all-in" with an A-3. I played right back at him and called him, "I'm all in!" I busted him with my A-9. He was pissed.

I know what you are thinking... "Pauly, how did you lose $8,000?"

I made it to the end, surviving until I was one of the last two players. "Steve" held almost $12,000 in chips and I had about $8,000. It was 11 pm and the blinds (forced betting) were $600 and $1200! (Again this is not real money, and realize I normally play low limit games like $2-4 or $3-6!) I had the little blind and called $600 more. I held A-9 of spades, a better than average hand, but playing heads-up, it's a great hand!! The flop came out... 9-9-8! I just flopped a set (or three) of 9s! I bet $1,200. Steve raised me $1,200 and then I made the toughest decision of my younger poker career. I went "all in". Steve called me and the pot was over $16,000! Steve turned over his cards... K-9. He was shocked to see that I held A-9 suited. Statistically speaking, I was the favorite to win the hand. I made a textbook play and I was winning the pot after the flop. However, the turn card came and it was a King! I was stunned. Steve made a full house with Nines and Kings. I was fucked! I was now a huge underdog, with only an Ace that could save me. Alas, the river card came, and it was a Seven. I lost all my chips and finished in second place. Steve was shocked at the results. He thought he was fucked. He should have been. If I won, I would have been in perfect position to win the entire tournament. I would have had $16,000 in chips, four times as much as Steve's $4,000. With the blinds at $1,200, I would have bullied him with raises and re-raises until I got all his chips. I blew it. I got fucked on the turn!!

Steve and the other players shook my hand and complimented me on my play. Steve said I only showed two or three hands all night (a sign that you are a strong player... that other players fold to you, because they think/know you have a better hand). I wasn't looking for any validtation from my fellow cards players. I know I'm a good player (just inexperienced). I lost on a bad beat. Every poker pro would salivate over the position I was in, to double up on chips against the chip leader. They would have pushed it all in with an A-9, so I know that I made the right play. But sometimes in life and in Texas Hold'em... the right play is not always the winning play.

Fuck! I lost $8,000 and a $16,000 pot! Just writing about this pisses me off! I would have fucking rocked that Act Three Tournament, if I got a shot.

I'll be back to play in at least two or three more Act Twos... World Poker Finals are in Novemeber. I'll try again in Septmeber, October, and in early Novemeber.

Anyway, this was my quick bad beat tale. I'll get into more logistics later. I need to sleep! Visit the Tao of Poker later tonight for the sordid deatils of my bad beat!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Mohegan Sun...

I will be leaving soon. I'm driving up to Uncasville, CT to meet up with Senor. Will we play a round of golf this afternoon? Perhaps. But we are definitely going to play cards at Mohegan Sun for a couple of hours. They have $3-6 Hold'em tables. Later tonight, at 7 PM there is a No Limit tournament with a $50 buy-in.

I hope that I can make it to the final table (and at least make it into the "money"... meaning I placed high enough in the tournament that I'm awarded a percentage of the prize money.) We'll see how I play. I didn't get a good night's sleep probably because I had alot on my mind (been writing a heavy amount since the blackout), and OK... I'll admit that I'm a little nervous. Actually I'm more anxious than nervous. I just want to play! I did some prepping for tonight's tournament by reading books from David Sklansky, Ken Warren, and of course from the "Dude" himself Doyle Brunson and his epic book Super System.

Wish me good cards!

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

String Cheese Sues Ticketbastard!

Here's a bit: STRING CHEESE INCIDENT vs. TICKETMASTER... "String Cheese Incident's ticketing arm is suing corporate giant Ticketmaster in federal court in Denver, claiming it unfairly monopolizes the American ticket sales market and prevents independent ticketing companies from doing business. At a press conference in New York on Monday, members of String Cheese Incident and its management company Madison House charged that Ticketmaster, which is owned by Interactive Corp., unfairly restricts the band's ability to sell tickets directly to its fans by allocating an increasingly miniscule allotment of tickets to the band for that purpose."
2003 World Series of Poker

ESPN will be airing the final episode (out of seven hours of coverage) of the 2003 World Series of Poker tonight at 9 PM EST. Check your local listings for more details. Tonight you'll find out how Chris Moneymaker wins the $2.5 Million first prize during the WSoP last May.

I am one of the few people who does not have the Travel Channel included in my cable package! Fuck Cablevision. Alas, I am unable to watch the World Poker Tour every Wednesday night! So the ESPN coverage is the only poker I have found on TV.

Monday, August 18, 2003

The Texas Dolly Diet

This was listed as Doyle Brunson's Bio... "Doyle Brunson quite literally wrote the book on poker. His "Super System" is the tome many other pros point to as the book that was most influential to them. Doyle was the first player ever to win $1,000,000 in a tournament. He recently lost 100 lbs. on a million dollar bet with a pool of friends."

Now that's a gambler! "Texas Dolly" Doyle Brunson won a million dollars and improved his health!

Tao of Poker


I am introducing a brand new blog called the Tao of Poker. It will be a poker web log where I can blog stories about poker and my poker games. It's a great place to find poker links, as well as information on upcoming World Poker Tour events and satellite schedules. So far I have gotten a couple of positive comments on the new template. What do you think?
Ang Gets a Visa!

Senor just called with some great news... Ang (his wife to be living in Thailand) just secured a visa to come live in America! She'll be arriving within the next few weeks. Best of luck...!
Re: Faded Celebrities Get a Gig Greeting Fans on the Phone...

Derek sent me this comment: "This is the funniest part in the paragraph ... Rerun has gone through six marriages to four women. Too funny!!!! I think Rerun missed his calling ... he should have been an NBA player. I wonder if he has as many kids as a Shawn Kemp!"

Derek is talking about this part:

"On the '70s television show "What's Happening!" Berry used to play that funny, heavy-set, dancing character named Rerun in a red beret and suspenders. In his real life over the years, Berry has experienced drug and alcohol problems, gone through recovery, gone through six marriages to four women and become an ordained minister."

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Hunter S. Thompson!

Here are three of the latest articles from ESPN.com that the Good Doctor wrote...

1. Speed Kills and other Football Wisdom (8.12.03)
2. The Nation's Capital: From Bush to Snyder (7.29.03)
3. Welcome to the Big Darkness (7.22.03)

Here's a bit: "Hi, folks, my name is still Thompson, and I still drink gin with ER Nurses at night -- but in one particular way, I am a New Man, a different man, a more dangerous man than I was the last time we talked...."

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Widespread Panic!

I just scored tix to WSP's two epic shows (including Halloween!) at Madison Square Garden later this fall. MSG is a venue they have never played. I think that those might be the last shows for the boys since they will be going on hiatus after the fall tour. Excited? You betcha!

Happy Birthday, Senor!


Today is offically Senor Day on the Tao of Pauly as we celebrate the birth of the one and only Senor! If you would like to send Senor birthday wishes, send them Here! See you this week at the casino....!

Would you like to read some of Senor's Truckin' stories?

1. Chesire Grin
2. How High Can You Try?
3. Senor, Your Plane Is Waiting for You
4. Deep Thoughts: Myanmar
5. Furthur
6. A Cambodian Love Story
7. Angel of Death
8. Mysticism
9. Busted
10. Loveless Sex AND Sexless Love
11. I'm Taking Off My Pants!
12. Misadventures from the Philippines Part II
13. Laughing Laughing, Senor Falls Apart
14. Just Your Average Week in Nepal
15. Sisters
16. Graveyard Shift

All stories are written by Senor © 2002-2003!

Friday, August 15, 2003

Blackout!


Funny things happen when all the electricty vanishes! Power was restored for me about 8:30 AM. Sixteen hours without juice. It wasn't too bad. I had a great time. I was prepared with candles and an amazing book to read written by poker legend Doyle Brunson called Super System: A Course in Power Poker, a book all the best poker playes consider "the Bible". It is a 600 plus page monster and I knocked out more than half of that fucker yesterday and last night. I had about two hours of power available on my laptop, but chose to conserve it (just in case we'd be in for the long haul). I am fortunate to have a typewriter at my disposal... add a few candles and I was set to write in the darkness. I listened to the Yankees game on the radio. They beat Baltimore. I got a faint signal of a classic rock station and they played a half hour straight of the Beatles, as well as plenty of Bob Dylan, and the Grateful Dead. Overall, I wasn't affected at all. My cell phone was unable to make calls to anywhere inside NYC, but I could get calls from out of state.

The coolest thing about the blackout was that for the first time ever, I got to see a cluster of stars above New York. Way cool.

I heard some horror stories about people stuck in elevators and subways. Geez. Well that's it for now. Gotta get some stuff done, just in case the power goes bacl out.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Bad Things are Happening Underground in the Gaza Strip

Tunnel Vision is an article written by Jonathan Schanzer and appears in the Weekly Standard.

Here's a bit: "WITH SO MUCH RECENT FOCUS on the West Bank "separation fence," the issue that prompted Israel to build a barrier in the first place has been obscured. But as this week's suicide bombings show, the threat of continued Palestinian terror lingers. And in some cases, that threat literally lingers just beneath the surface.

For a decade now, the arsenals of Palestinian terror groups have been armed and replenished by way of short smuggling tunnels that stretch across Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip. It is this Palestinian-made labyrinth, more than the Israeli-made fence, that poses a long-term threat to Middle East peace.

To be sure, this issue is not new. After the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, it was reported that the Palestinians had built a network of tunnels for smuggling black market items like cigarettes and drugs, as well as weaponry, explosives, and even people from Egypt to Israel.

In some cases, the tunnels are elaborate; media reports indicate that some have wood paneling, electricity, lighting systems, air ducts, communications equipment, rails, wagons--even elevators. Building them takes less than three months and costs up to $10,000. The better ones are burrowed well beneath the surface--sometimes more than 50 feet--so as to evade sonar detection by the Israeli engineer corps.

Shockingly, many of the tunnels lead into the homes of Palestinians in Gaza, concealed beneath bedrooms, living rooms, and bathrooms."
Project Greenlight Winning Script... the Preview

Are you curious to see what film won the contest? Would you like to view the trailer of the winning script that beat out Charlie's Goldfish.

For non-MAC users: The Battle of Shaker Heights
MAC users: The Battle of Shaker Heights

Speaking of Charlie's Goldfish... a copy of the script finally made it's way to Senor! Last October, about ten months ago, I mailed Senor a copy of Charlie's Goldfish to his home on Samui, Thailand. I enclosed the script in a waterproof pouch and paid well over $20 to have it shipped (via air mail) in less than two weeks time. Of course it never got there!! A couple of weeks ago, I finally got him another copy of my script, the one that I wrote in less than one week to make the deadline for PGL.

Anyway... Senor called me the other night to tell me that he finally finished the script. And that of course, he loved it! Thanks... for the support.
That's Where They Went! Faded Celebrities Get a Gig Greeting Fans on the Phone...

Hollywood's Version Of Caller Waiting is an article written by Libby Copeland and appears in the Washington Post.

Here's a bit: "If you ever find yourself wondering, perhaps while watching late-night television reruns or idly clipping your toenails, whatever happened to former Hulk Lou Ferrigno or former child actor Todd Bridges, puzzle no longer. It turns out they're waiting to hear from you.

That's right! At HollywoodIsCalling.com, a scrappy-looking two-month-old Web site, all that's required is your credit card number or electronic check in the amount of $19.95, and within seven days you can expect to hear from one bona fide, if slightly faded, celebrity wishing you Happy Halloween, get well soon, or congratulations on your retirement. The 15-second phone call works out to over a dollar a second, which is, if you think about it, a small price to pay for the privilege of knowing that, for example, hunky Lorenzo Lamas is incredibly excited that you're turning 40."


Here's a list of the "has-been" stars that will call you up for just $15!

Andrea Thompson
Christopher Atkins
David Naughton
Fred "Rerun" Berry
Greg Evigan
John De Lancie
John Fiore
Lana Wood
Lorenzo Lamas
Lou Ferrigno
Mitch Ryder
Peter Jurasik
Reginald Ballard
Richard Hatch
Rick Searfoss
Robert Fuller
Robert Hegyes
Shauna Sand - Lamas
Steve Monroe
The Barbi Twins
Tim Russ
Todd Bridges
Tom Candiotti
Tony Todd


Is everyone going to chip in and get Fred "Rerun" Berry or Greg "BJ and the Bear" Evigan to call me on my birthday??? That would be like... the coolest gift ever!


Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Tao of Pauly on the Prom Blog!

Thanks to Alex the creater of Prom on Mars who recently gave the Tao a shout out on his Prom Blog. Keep up the good work.
The Dead at Jones Beach... a Few Afterthoughts

I think that Sunday's show was the best show (The Dead and the Other Ones) I have seen since Jerry died. There were one or two kick ass Phil and Friends shows that I got see over the last few years, but Sunday's show was up there with those gigs. All in all, I was happy to see a St. Stephen because I never saw the Grateful Dead perform it live. They stopped playing that in October of 1983. Terrapin Station was something I had been dying to hear. The acoustic set was mellow and Jone Beach is a nice place to see a show. I sat next to a guy named Jimmy who had seen well over 400 hundred Grateful Dead shows, since 1973! He smoked me out with some homegrown Maui Bsssssssss! And I was a flooded puddle for most of the second set!

Bruce Cohen e-mailed me his thoughts:

"I can say that the second night was definitely a better show than the opening night. The Sunday night show seemed like a more BREAKOUT VIBE. The weather was nicer. I caught the whole acoustic set. The Uncle John's Band opener was nice. Phil Lesh did a nice Mountains of the Moon. Jimmy Herring was chilling on a stool, finger picking out on an acoustic guitar. Sounded coolio. Must Have Been the Roses is always a nice ballad with Joan Osbourne singing, it was nice. She has a clean mellow voice. Well it seemed like the acoustic set was more like a paired down electric set. But, I kinda was expecting more like a Radio City Music Hall (Circa 1980) type of set.

The DEAD left no holds unbarred. Opening set 2 with the DRUMS was way cool and surprising all with breaking out into ST. STEPHEN which was freaking awesome. I have kinda missed all of the PHIL & FRIENDS shows that they played St. Stephen and the Eleven. For me, this was the night to finally get a shot at seeing them jam on this OLD STUFF!! They did not disappoint... the St. Stephen's > Eleven ROCKED! I was digging it... heavy POWER CHORDS and hi-energy jamming. They play most of the stuff I wanted to see, well i suppose doing a Viola Lee Blues or Alligator could have been added. But Morning Dew, TERRAPIN, UNBROKEN CHAIN, ST. STEPHEN, WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE and THE ELEVEN... NOT TOO SHABBY!!!!

They did US BLUES as an encore and they did not disappoint by doing a jamming TOUCH OF GREY to end the show. US SHMOOZ is kinda way played out so, I was psyched they didn't just bolt out after that.

Despite the bad karma on Saturday night (the smackup accident with the car entering the beach) and the off and on rainy flow at the Saturday show... all and all things were pretty COOLIO Sunday night with the Dead."


Alea commented:

"Out of four shows I have seen since the reunion, Sunday was the best show by far. The venue was very cool. Right up on the beach. You could see the moon and the waves rolling up onto the beach! Very cool!"

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Stu Ungar & Crsipy Lineta

Derek sent me this e-mail: "Hey, I was watching ESPN this morning and they had this extended cover story on a guy named Steve (Stu) Ungar. have you heard of him? He was this great poker player who died a few years ago at age 45. He last won a tourney in 1997. He won the World Series of Poker at Binions. He didn't have the entry fee b/c he was broke and spent all his money on drugs, so another poker player paid his fee and he ended up winning. He split the pot with the guy but spent all of it on drugs, etc before the 1998 (WSoP) tourney rolled around and he died shortly afterwards. He never entered the 1998 (WSoP) tourney . . . . he made it to Binions that year but couldn't make it out of his hotel room. Did you see the story? It was a good story piece on him, his drug abuse, his gambling and his daughter. Everyone said he was the best (poker player ever). His nose was all fucked up towards the end of his life. Too much cocaine abuse. They said he won over $300 million dollars in poker tourney (and side) games but died with only $800 in his pocket. Crazy story. It reminded me of your Crsipy Lineta stories in Truckin'."

Well, I saw that clip on ESPN and it's a sad story. I guess ESPN is hyping up their last 2 hours of the 2003 World Series of Poker coverage on Tuesdays nights at 9 PM EST. At any rate, the Crsipy Lineta story is loosely based on the life of Stu Ungar, a guy that I never met personally, but just like in the Truckin' story, I once saw the "Champ" at a casino in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1994. There is a serious dark side to the poker world and Stu Ungar was one of the casualities of a fast life and fast cash.

Monday, August 11, 2003

The Dead!

8.10.03 Jones Beach Amphitheatre, Wantagh, NY

Set I (Acoustic): Uncle John's Band > Mountains of the Moon, Blackbird > Me and My Uncle, It Must Have Been the Roses, Deal, Brokedown Palace

Set II: Drums > Self Defense > Mr. Charlie > Jam > St. Stephen > William Tell Bridge > The Eleven > All That We Are > Sugar Magnolia

Set III: All Along the Watchtower > Unbroken Chain > Space > Morning Dew > The Other One > Terrapin Station > Samson and Delilah > Turn On Your Lovelight

Encore: U.S. Blues > Touch of Grey

Notes: the best Dead show I saw this year!

Sunday, August 10, 2003

"There's a romance about being a young man, on the road in America and you had to do it... a right of passage and at the same time it was the material that you drew from to write about... starting to be real guys... and enjoying the hell out of it." - Bob Weir, The Grateful Dead
The Dead Setlist

8.9.03 Jones Beach Theater, Long Island, NY

Set 1: (Acoustic Set) Strawberry Fields Forever > Friend of the Devil > Lazy River Road, Candyman, Stella Blue, Cassidy, Bird Song

Set 2: Shakedown Street > Minglewood Blues, Crazy Fingers > Loser, Tomorrow Never Knows > Playin in the Band

Set 3: Jam > Milestones > Playin > Mississippi 1/2 Step > Ramble On Rose > Jam > Drums > Space > Bird Song > Cassidy > Sugaree

Encore: One More Sat Night, Ripple
Poker as a Life is written by Roy Cooke and appears in the current issue of Card Player Magazine.

Here's a bit: "Players often ask me if I think they should go pro in poker. The answer is almost invariably a resounding, “No!” But, as is the case with most difficult questions in both life and poker, the answer is always: It depends. Choosing any career is a very life-defining decision. Choosing one with the stresses and uncertainty of a life at the green felt is risky, daring, and perhaps even foolish. But, it’s certainly a decision I can understand someone making. Poker has been very good to many players who put together a successful formula, but it has not been good to everyone who has pursued the game as a career.

There are two clich├ęs that are both true, sort of: Poker is a hard way to make an easy living. And, play poker for a living and sleep till noon."

IT Pictures!


Visit the Bangor Daily News to see their cool gallery of 40 plus pictures random Phishy pictures from last weekend in Maine.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Jerry Day?

Eight years ago today Jerry Garcia died. Fitting that I will be able to go see The Dead play three sets tonight!! I hope Jerry wisks the rain clouds away!

Truckin' July 2003 (Vol 2., Issue 7)


Welcome to my monthly blog-zine and the late July edition of Truckin'! This month's issue includes three new stories. I brought back a crowd favorite, the infamous Baby and Winky for another incident. This issue represents another idea for a screenplay and one for a new novel. Sit back, enjoy, and please spread the good word about this site. Be sweet, McG.

1. Halibut by Tenzin McGrupp
With an annoying penetrating sweat that burned his right eye, Halibut raced down the street towards his destination, the grocery store... More

2. Baby, Winky, and Van Gogh's Ear by Tenzin McGrupp
Baby kissed me on the cheek, sat down on the couch, and sipped my Margarita. “How was work?” ... More

3. El Diablo Rojo by Tenzin McGrupp
I sipped my beer and stared at her necklace, a half inch unpolished silver cross attached to a slightly larger dark brown wood cross... More

Last 5 Books I Saw Phisheads Reading on Phish Tour...

1. Run Diary by Hunter S. Thompson
2. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
3. You Can't Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe
4. Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith
5. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading in Airports...



1. Unbearable Likeness of Being by Milan Kundera
2. The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith
3. Low Life by Luc Sant
4. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

Friday, August 08, 2003

Prom on Mars!


Alex, a fellow writer from Project Greenlight started his own web based comic called Prom on Mars. Please check it out (everyday if you can, since it's a daily strip!).

Here's what he recently sent me in an e-mail:

In case you haven't heard it's going to take a year for the Seniors of Liberty High to get to their Senior Prom. Not to mention that the Prom's on Mars.

Melanie’s Pop: “Why can’t you go to Honduras?”
Melanie: “Everyone voted on Mars!”
Melanie’s Pop: “What if you run out of oxygen?”
Melanie: “I'll buy more!”

"Prom On Mars" is a new, free, web-only comic strip, running for just
one year at www.promonmars.com. Aptly dubbed “retro-future” by its original venue, www.popimage.com, "Prom" reads like an extra-terrestrial “West Side Story” with the Martians being the life-forms from the wrong side of the planet.


Melanie: “Is he cute?”
Liz: “Mel! He’s a Martian!”
Melanie: “So?”
Liz: “And he’s a food-worker!”

www.promonmars.com contains the entire run of the strip in its archives with new strips added weekly, until the series finale in June, '04. Additional Prom-related pages are added monthly and, before the year’s over, readers will even be able to vote for the Prom King and Queen.

So, grab your virtual cummerbund and catch the next shuttle to Mars!


Please check it out everyday if you can!

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Concertgoers Experience Phish Far Beyond the Stage is an article that appeared in the NY Times. Check it out.

Here's a bit: "In some ways, advanced digital technologies made the entire festival happen. While the record industry frets about the financial impact of music trading over the Internet, innovative bands like Phish are embracing the latest technologies to create spectacular live concerts and phantasmagoric festival experiences that are more like computer-controlled theme parks than like the rock festivals of yesteryear.

Digital systems may have been the farthest thing from the minds of most of the roughly 60,000 fans at the weekend festival, who paid $137.50 each to attend. But they were all served by advanced technology, whether they were listening to the crystalline sound system, gazing at the intense light shows, exploring the participatory art installations tucked into a forest grove, listening to the Bunny or burning custom CD's. Many bands use technology in their stage shows; Phish may be the leader in employing technology beyond the stage."


For more articles on IT visit: 40 Archived IT articles. Some of great stuff for sure which included articles about the Late Night Tower Jam and Increased Border Security from Canada.
July Truckin' has been posted and published. Check it out...! I apologize for the delay.
Charna, Guest Bartender...

Visit Charna tonight at Tavaru! Charna sent me this e-mail: "Hey there, I wanted to let everyone know that I'm bartending this Thursday night at Tavaru, which is in the Grammercy area on 3rd ave between 17 and 18th street. I'll be working from 6-10pm. Anyway, this Thursday should be really fun- I'm guest bartending and have worked there before. Please try to come! It's free and I know that have drink specials, plus I am working the bar. Please feel free to pass this along since as a guest bartender I'm supposed to help bring the crowd :)cHope you all can come!"

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Travel Tales: Phish's IT Festival in Maine

IT!


I'm finally back from Maine and the summer ending IT festival featuring seven sets of Phish! The show was held on an abandoned air force base and the rumor was that Phish would play a fourth set a top of the control tower... which they did at 2 am on Saturday! It was an hour long set of funky ambient jamming. One of the many highlights indeed. I never did a year end Phish festival before and it was everything I expected IT to be and more.

Headaches? Traffic! I hitched a ride with Alea and her cousin. The drive time from NYC is about twelve hours, but it took nearly 16 hours to get into the fairgrounds, due to the one lane highway leading upto nowhere. Plus security was tight. If you didn't have a ticket they wouldn't let you the parking lots inside. They also searched every vehicle... for pets (no DOGS allowed) and for excessive alcohol bundles (no personal beer vending). They gave Alea's cosuin shit for having glass bottles. Plus since it was wicked wet from all the Maine rain, the organizers decided at the last minute to have everyone park on the runway... instead of on grass. That caused another back up. Traffic was not as bad as the Florida millenium show, but it was close!

IT Setlists

8.2.03 Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, Maine

Set I: AC/DC Bag, Ya Mar > Runaway Jim, Reba, Birds of a Feather, Meatstick, Two Versions of Me, Vultures, Limb By Limb, Cavern
Set II: Down With Disease > NICU, Brother, Lawn Boy, Discern, Waves, David Bowie
Set III: Rock and Roll > Seven Below, Scents and Subtle Sounds > Spread It Round, Bug
Encore: Dog Log, The Mango Song
Set IV: Tower Jam!

8.3.03 Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, Maine - IT Day 2!

Set I: Daniel, Saw it Again, Punch You in the Eye, Army of One, Chalkdust Torture, Wilson, Mike's Song > Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove
Set II: Mellow Mood, Ghost, Mist, Pebbles and Marbles, You Enjoy Myself > Chariots of Fire, Loving Cup
Set III: 46 Days, Julius, Lizards, Secret Smile, Antelope
Encore: Good Times Bad Times

Show Notes: Trey said Wilson was "the shortest version ever!" Before Mike's song the crowd chanted for Fluffhead. Trey huddled with Mike, but Mike said "No". During Chariots of Fire, Trey introduced top three female and male finalists from the Runaway Jim 5K race held the day before. Fireworks went off during the encore.

More detailed reviews and I'll have plenty of odd and random stories to tell for sure. Stay tuned!
Philly Phish Setlists

7.30.03 Tweeter Center, Camden, NJ
Set I: My Friend My Friend, Lonesome Cowboy Bill, Scents and Subtle Sounds, You Ain't Going Nowhere, Spock's Brain, Chalkdust Torture, On Your Way Down, Fast Enough For You > Taste
Set II: Twist, Bug, You Enjoy Myself, Walls of the Cave
Encore: Secret Smile

Show Notes: This was one of the weakest shows this tour. I went with Gil and Spider and we had lawn seats. The highlights were the Dylan cover song of You Ain't Going Nowhere and the rare appearances of Spock's Brain and Lonesome Cowboy Bill. There were some nice moments in Set 2... including Bug and a hot YEM but as usual, Phish cheesed on the encore. I was pissed. Security was tight. Traffic getting out was a nightmare! We had a nice hotel in Philly somewhat closeby. Senor called me in the middle of the first set! Hoooooo!

7.31.03 Tweeter Center, Camden, NJ
Set I: Llama, Moma Dance > Divided Sky, Dirt, Seven Below, The Sloth, Water in the Sky, Wolfman's Brother, Possum
Set II: Piper > Mike's Song > Hydrogen> Weekapaug Groove > Free, Friday, Harry Hood
Encore: Frankenstein

Show Notes: We had seats this night and it rained the entire show. Was lucky that we didn't have lawn seats! A much better night than the previous show. I got very drunk with Spider for the show. The first set was smoking... MoMa Dance and Divided Sky were the best moments of the set. Second set (mostly all repeats for me this tour) was solid Phish. I had a great time in Philly!
Zobo's mini Phish Review (Deer Creek thru Atlanta)

Here's what the man said: "All three of those shows were smoking hot! I haven't felt as satisfied with Phish since the Japan tour three years ago. On the drive up to the Creek, I said I wanted to hear Gumbo, Cities, Slave, Lizards, and Sneakin' Sally. Trey must have been in the car with us because they played all five of them, and played them very well! The Atlanta show was also pretty good, but nothing compared to Deer Creek. I expected a lot more from Atlanta because it was the only sold out show of the tour."
Vegas Cabbies

Zobo sent me this comment: 'Dude, I swear I had the same cabbie in Vegas about two years ago. We were there one weekend in April and it was rainy and nasty the entire weekend. When we took a cab to the airport on Sunday morning, we also had a cabbie who I still do not know if it was a male or a female. The weather had finally improved and I said "Wow, you are lucky to get some nice weather now" and its response was something like, "I fucking hate it when it is sunny outside. I love it when it is raining and dark outside and I'd appreciate it if you stopped talking to me." EVIL!!!!'

Zobo is talking about the following passage I wrote in a post about my first week on the road... here's a bit (P.S. I like quote myself!): "We had another cabbie who's sex I'm still trying to figure out. It was one of those maybe a guy-maybe a woman persons... just like Pat! He/she looked like Oliver, the wacky younger cousin with a blonde butt-haircut and wire rimmed glasses who joined the cast of the Brady Bunch late in it's run on TV. Anyway, the he/she was bitching about how slow and rough the summer has been in Vegas. But she/he also shared my disdain for California drivers. "They're the fuckin' worst," I told Oliver as I handed him/her a nice tip." from 7.16.03

I'm Back! Summer Holiday, Phish, IT, and Gigli...

After a short two week hiatus (after almost seven weeks on the road) I'll be back to regular blogging.

Where have I been? I've been busy writing a review of the new J. Lo and Ben Affleck movie Gigli. I'll post my seventy thousand opus of a review if anyone else saw it. You must send me proof. I want to see your ticket stub!