Sunday, May 30, 2004

Gambling with Boy Genius... Week 2: Shrek's Memorial Day Grosses

Well, if you don't know, Week 2 of the Boy Genius-Pauly gamblethon was kicked off when I lobbed a softball towards BG and suggested:
How much will Shrek 2's Memorial Day weekend gross be? Over or under $151 M.
And of course he took the under. Ogre vs. Disasterpiece Theatre?I'm in trouble. I should have did a better job at picking the numbers. If you get the chance go see Shrek 2! Take the girlfriend, take the kids. Take a bus load of Aimish teens. Shrek 2 will prevail, even if I have to go see it three hundred times, since movies in NYC cost as must a a round trip ticket to Bangladesh. I got lucky when Tony Randall died and won $5 last week.

The beancounters in Hollyweird are so far projecting some decent news for me. They predict that through this morning, Shrek 2 has grossed almost $75 Million, which is half way to the $151 M mark I set for Boy Genius. If Shrek 2 has a good next two days... I might beat out BG and take Week 2!

Check back to: Box Office Mojo.
Last 5 Flicks I Saw...

1. The Cincinnati Kid
2. Bend It Like Beckham
3. The Commitments
4. Old School
5. Bullets Over Broadway
Tilting the Playing Field

Yet another intersting read from Thomas Friedman in today's NY Times. Check out: Tilting the Playing Field. Here's a bit:
I have a "Tilt Theory of History." The Tilt Theory states that countries and cultures do not change by sudden transformations. They change when, by wise diplomacy and leadership, you take a country, a culture or a region that has been tilted in the wrong direction and tilt it in the right direction, so that the process of gradual internal transformation can take place over a generation.

I believe that history will judge George Bush 41, Mikhail Gorbachev, Brent Scowcroft, James Baker, Helmut Kohl, Margaret Thatcher and François Mitterrand very kindly for the way they collectively took the Soviet Empire, which was tilted in the wrong direction for so long, and tilted it in the right direction, with barely a shot fired. That was one of the great achievements of the 20th century.
Good stuff today from McFriedman.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

My Dream Phish in Brooklyn Setlist

Set 1: Rock & Roll > Carini > Moma Dance, Tube, Strange Design, Cities > Boogie On Reggae Woman > Jesus Left Chicago > Free

Set 2: Waves > Ghost, Wedge > Fluffhead > Frankstein, Reba > 2001, Slave to the Traffic Light

Encore: Sample in a Jar, Harry Hood
Phishy Breakup: A Letter from Page

Here's a letter than my favorite member of Phish, sent out to all of us in an e-mail yesterday:
Dear friends,

As we wind down the Phish career, it is done with both great joy and great sadness. The joy comes from remembering the incredibly good times we've experienced, the successes we've enjoyed, and knowing that even in our closing we are honoring the band. The sadness is obviously driven by the fact that something I love will not be a part of my life anymore. To me, we have been the greatest band in the world and have had the greatest fans ever.

I still love the music we make but the situation feels different to me now. I guess in my heart I've known for a while that something had to change, but it wasn't until this last weekend that my feelings really began to coalesce. I'm old enough now that I am able to look to the future without feeling that I need to balance it with my past. I find it ironic that half of my life has to go by before I am able to focus solely on the future. As a member of a successful rock band, it seems that every aspect of my profession encourages me to extend my youth as long as possible. Don't get me wrong, I like feeling young, but more importantly I need to be honest with myself.

The pressures and schedule of this work can take its toll personally as well as creatively. As someone who has recently been through a divorce, I know how traumatic change can be. But, I also know that if you are able to let go of things and embrace change there is the potential for
incredible personal (and creative) growth.

If I sound unusually candid in this statement, I am able to do so because in my mind I've already moved on to the next phase of my life. This is a feeling I believe I share with Trey. I have a four-year-old daughter and there is nothing more important to me than being with her. Come August, I'm not going to have to tell her how many days 'til daddy comes back from tour. Combine that with my perception that the band's vitality is not what it once was, and it's easy to see how my mind quickly begins to move in one direction instead of a hundred directions all at the same time.

I will miss it incredibly, but I have no regrets. The pride that I feel for the band, our fans, the organization, and all of our collective accomplishments is overwhelming. I love you all and know that we wouldn't be here without you.

Thanks again.


Page McConnell
Thanks Page.
The Fat Guy Speaks Out on Phish

You gotta love The Fat Guy! Here's what he said about my mentionings of the Phish break up on my sites:
Poor Pauly...he was the first guy I thought of when I read this a couple days ago.

That's an all-caps FAN. There's not a band in the world that I would go see eleven times in a row. Never, not now, not at any point in my life. The dear sweet Lord Jesus, Savoiur of us all, could be sitting in with Waylon Jennings, Buddy Holly, and Stevie Ray Vaughn, and I doubt I could raise the energy level enough to go much past show #3 or 4.
Thanks, Fat Guy!!
$5 Million Man!

The World Series of Poker concluded yesterday with a record number of entrants (over 2200) each forking up the $10,000 entry fee. My brother and I tried to win satellites to get in, both in Las Vegas at Binion's Horseshoe and online at Party Poker. Next year, I'll win a seat!!

Visit the Poker Prof for excellent coverage of this past week. Alas, the winner was a guy named Greg "Fossilman" Raymer, and he walked away with a cool $5 Miliion, the largest payout of all time. Last year's winner, Chris Moneymaker got $2.5 Million. Congrats to everyone who played.

Now that means there will be even more hype and hoopla next year.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexander Dumas
2. The Hoy Bible
3. Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins
4. Dreamland Lake by Richard Peck
5. True North by Jim Harrison
Phishy Short Stories

I wrote a few short stories that involved Phish in some way or another. Take a peek at eight them that I published to Truckin' over the past two years. If you are a Phish fan... don't miss these gems. If you're not into Phish, it's still kick ass reading. Even re-reading these, I felt a little warm and fuzzy inside.
1. Fukuoka, Phishy City
All the workers are tiny Japanese girls who wear the most adorable white and red uniforms and lovely white gloves cover their tiny hands. They greet you with big smiles and sing a nice happy song to you as the customers pay. I have no idea what they are saying but it makes me smile anyway...

2. Nagoya
About thirty or so of the most beautiful Japanese women sit and stand before us, all of them with their eyes fixated on Señor's huge smile...

3. A Phishy Proposal
"I cannot believe they got engaged during a Phish show in Las Vegas!" Angela exclaimed, with her wide resplendent eyes reflecting the non-stop twinkle of neon lights in the endless Las Vegas night, as we euphorically walked back to our hotel room...

4. Phish Reunion Concert: A NYE Review
It was the hottest ticket in town, and the most sought after Phish ticket in the history of Phish-dom. Bids were in the thousands of dollars on e-bay and ticket brokers wouldn’t even talk to you unless you were willing to pay big bucks. Even Dead Guru Bruce Cohen declared, “Every Phish freak from here to fuckin’ Idaho will be looking for a ticket.”...

5. New Jersey Blues
On my way to the men’s room, I slowly waited in line with the rest of the fucked up people. Some of the funniest things I ever overheard happened while I was waiting to take a piss at a Phish show... "Hey man, I hear Avril LaVigne is coming out to play the entire second set."...

6. Mollydelphia
I was running late and the last thing I needed was to get into a fender bender in the parking lot of the liquor store. For a few minutes, I really felt the sharp pains of having to come to grips with the worst-case scenario: I am not going to see Phish in Philadelphia...

7. Strong Island Unbound
We met up with Spider and Gil at Penn Station and took the LIRR to the Island. Molly was shocked to see people drinking single cans of beer in brown paper bags on the commuter train. “It’s routine, in many ways ritualistic for the male suburban commuter,” I explained, “in the morning it’s coffee, in the evening it’s a Bud tallboy.” ...

8. Miami Stories: Before We Begin...
With everyone’s attention span as short as Britney Spear’s first marriage, I’ll have to bring the stories hard and fast and perhaps you’ll catch a whiff of the ocean, or feel the warm sun smiling on you, or hear some of the melodious sounds of funky Phish, and maybe you’ll start to understand why Miami was one of the greatest trips that I have ever taken...
Some of these stories would be great weekend reading.
Looking for Phish Tickets

I am looking for Phish tickets to the Brooklyn Show... Friday June 18. I am also looking for any tickets at Great Woods in Boston for the August shows. I have friends coming from Texas and Japan that need extras! Shoot me an email if you know if any leads. Thanks.
Rance, A Hollyweird Blogger

There's a buzz in La-La land. Who is Hollyweird's mystery blogger? Here's a bit:
He skewers Hollywood and the cult of celebrity on an anonymous web log that has spawned a cult following. He claims to be an A-list actor, writing under a pseudonym, but admits he may not be believed.

Who, exactly, is "Rance"?

Could he really be, as some believe, Owen Wilson, Ben Affleck, Jim Carrey or even George Clooney?

The answer may perhaps be found somewhere in the entries on his blog which applies a trenchant wit and jaundiced insider's eye in chronicling the life of a Hollywood celebrity. Then again, it could all be a hoax.
Haley told me about this blogger: Rance. She thinks it's really Owen Wilson. Whoever he is... a real actor/celeb or a fake... it's an average blog. Heck, it's no... Wil Wheaton!

Thursday, May 27, 2004

2,053 Days Since Fluffhead

Yep, Phish hasn't played Fluffhead in a very long time.
Celebrity Poker Showdown = Celebrity Poker Letdown

It's time for a new season of Celebrity Poker Showdown on Bravo. Shows air at 9pm EST every Thursday night. Tonight's celebrity players: Jerome Bettis, Rosario Dawson, Mena Suvari, Wanda Sykes, Travis Tritt.
5 Songs I Want to Heard Phish Play in Brooklyn...

1. Tube
2. Lizards
3. Guleah Papyrus
4. Mound
5. Jesus Left Chicago
All In Magazine

I have amazing news. My blog, the Tao of Poker, was recently profiled in the inaugural issue of the new lifestyle magazine: All In. Although poker is the main content, there is plenty of other interesting things that make All In different from most poker magazines. Please visit their site and subscribe to All In Magazine, because I'm in it!!

But that's not all. I have been asked to contribute an article in a future issue. Yep, it will be my first freelance article in a magazine, so as you can tell, I'm very excited for the opportunity to showcase my writing skills. That's a better reason to subscribe to All In Magazine! Because I hope to be submitting an article very soon, maybe more than one. So, you won't want to miss out.

I got lucky. My friend, HDouble from The Cards Speak (a poker blog) wrote the article bringing attention to poker blogs called: The Viral Phenomenon of Poker Blogs. I was fortunate that he mentioned the Tao of Poker (along with Wil Wheaton's blog). Even better news, the six page article is located next to the Shana Hiatt pictorial (she's a model who's the hostess of the World Poker Tour on the Travel Channel). Yeah, so I'm almost certain the poker blog article will get read right after they look at the pictures of Shana. Luck of the draw again. In his six page article, he mention several poker blogs, and we're all pumped for the exposure.

As you can tell, this is an amazing opportunity for me. I wanted to share the great news with all of you! I wish I had free copies to send out. But check your local stores or subscribe at their website to get home delivery of All In. And stay tuned for an article written by yours truly... most likely under my real name.

Thanks for the support... for a sneak preview of the magazine visit the website: All In Magazine.
Shut Your Yapping.... Rat!!

The results are in! A new DNA study proves that Chihuahuas aren't dogs! I knew something wasn't right. Here's a bit:
The analysis determined that the Chihuahua is actually a type of large rodent, selectively bred for centuries to resemble a canine.
Next time I see one of those ugly yapping rats, I will out their owners!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Phish: The End of an Era
Down with disease
Up before the dawn
A thousand barefoot children outside dancing on my lawn, and I keep

Waiting for the time when I can finally say
That this has all been wonderful but now I'm on my way
But when I think it’s time to leave it all behind
I try to find a way but there's nothing I can say to make it stop

- Down with Disease, Phish (lyrics by Tom Marshall)
I was playing poker yesterday. I never answer my cell phone when I play poker. It's work for me. No distractions. Just after 1pm, my cell phone started ringing constantly. It was strange. What worried me was the constant call backs... from people. Obviously they left a message, but would call back a few minutes later... repeatedly. This worried me a bit and I was forced to deal with taking a five minute break away from the tables to listen to my messages. From the high volume of calls, I expected the worse... possibly a 9.11 attack or something like that. You must understand, I got thirty-two calls with a two hour period. I'm popular, but not that popular. When I heard the news... that Phish broke up, I logged onto to the Internet as soon as I could. And there it was... on Phish Breaking Up.

I was getting messages from non-Phish heads like my fellow poker bloggers, or random friends. Even my Mother called to tell me that she heard about, "The Puff-Phish breaking up."

Here's the email that Trey sent everyone:
Last Friday night, I got together with Mike, Page and Fish to talk openly about the strong feelings I've been having that Phish has run its course and that we should end it now while it's still on a high note. Once we started talking, it quickly became apparent that the other guys' feelings, while not all the same as mine, were similar in many ways -- most importantly, that we all love and respect Phish and the Phish audience far too much to stand by and allow it to drag on beyond the point of vibrancy and health. We don't want to become caricatures of ourselves, or worse yet, a nostalgia act. By the end of the meeting, we realized that after almost twenty-one years together we were faced with the opportunity to graciously step away in unison, as a group, united in our friendship and our feelings of gratitude.

So Coventry will be the final Phish show. We are proud and thrilled that it will be in our home state of Vermont. We're also excited for the June and August shows, our last tour together. For the sake of clarity, I should say that this is not like the hiatus, which was our last attempt to revitalize ourselves. We're done. It's been an amazing and incredible journey. We thank you all for the love and support that you've shown us.

- Trey Anastasio
This was serious. What to do? was my first impulse. I logged on and bought as many lawn seats as I could for shows I didn't have tickets to. I also bought a ticket to Vermont, the two long festival called Coventry. $168 might seem a lot, but since it's the last Phish shows... it was a bargain. Phish had two parts to their summer tour (June leg and a August leg) covering 13 shows in 8 cities. I was going to see 9 of them... but after the news, I was deciding if I could do all 13. Alas, I will skip the 2 shows in Alpine Valley... mostly out of monetary reasons (and also to make sure I get to see some friends of mine in Chicago and Michigan). But I am excited to see 11... and the last show I will see will be.. sadly, my 150th Phish show. I secretly wanted to get to see 200 Phish shows and that will never happen.

Yeah, I've seen The Grateful Dead and Phish almost 200 times combined. That's 600+ hours of some of the best live music I have ever heard. I've been fortunate to see and follow two amazing bands play all over America... and the world. I never would have been to so many parts of the country... if my favorite bands never played there. They played and I followed. It was pretty simple.

Yeah, I was thinking about how Senor and I met up with Beano in Tokyo and followed Phish in Japan for six shows in four cities. That was the greatest trip in my life... and there's not a day that goes by when I don't think about Japan and my time there. Some trips change people, and I was definitely affected by my week in Japan.

I told a few friends who had not heard yet. One female friend started crying when I told her. She knew that she'd never see Phish again. Some other friends were pissed off. They felt cheated and mislead. Indeed, Phish had been working out the logistics of a fall tour. They had MSG in NYC reserved for Halloween. They also had five nights in Miami reserved for another NYE run in December. I was pumped to hang out with Jerry and Sara again, and I was saving up for those shows. I was ready to blow off several summer shows... mainly because I was trying to pick and choose the better shows to see. I prefer to hear Phish at indoor venues than outside. The sound is always better indoors.

How do I feel? As a fan, I'm upset. As an artist I understand. The news through my entire day out of whack. I had to try to nail down plans and tickets and of course I was bombarded by the "Dude, do you have any extras?" email and voicemail message. Now everyone wants to go see Phish, and the lazy and spoiled fucks who assumed they'd still be playing forever, got screwed.

As an artist I can understand what they are going through. I always knew that the day I penned my masterpiece would be the day I stopped writing novels. I would never cease to write, but once you've done something perfect, it's hard to match that same intensity again. I wanted to stop writing after The Blind Kangaroo... but I have a dozen more novels in me... including the masterpiece, which I'll write before I'm 40. I got 8.5 years left to do it. They want to end on a good note and I can respect that. Personally, my website the Tao of Poker has went from posts on this blog that people hated and complained about and urged me to take off this blog (and start the Tao of Poker) and over the last few months has gotten popular to the point of being mentioned in the new issue of All In Magazine. Wow. I've done it. And that was never my intention. I was just sputtering along doing something I love... writing about playing poker... and who knew there was an underground cult-like following of poker writing/blogs... that would make me some money, find me new friends and connections, attract numerous female fans and groupies, and make me a person people wanted to meet in person and watch play online... whenever I showed up, they came. I know exactly how Phish feels... about their passions getting slightly hijacked and finding yourself thrust into a position of greatness, when in the end, that's something you never wanted. It's scary for me sometimes to think how big this has gotten. And it's just me. What does it feel like to be that guy from Phish? It's too much pressure and takes the fun and passion out of making music.

Part of me feels that "appreciate what you have in your life before it's gone" vibe. I had an amazing run with Phish and at least I won't be bitching about seeing any more subpar shows. It's weird, because I really felt that Phish turned the corner and started playing some of their best stuff since the Japan shows. I know nothing compared to 1998 and the Year of the Funk, when Phish threw down some of their best shit history. I'll put 1998 Phish up against any other band... at any time in their careers and they will give anyone a run. (With the exception of The Grateful Dead in 1977... when in my opinion, they achieved musical perfection.)

When I spoke to Zobo yesterday I explained to him that the Phish breakup was like coming home from work and finding out that your live-in girlfriend of a decade all of a sudden wants to break up. It came out of nowhere. At least when Phish took a hiatus in 2000, there were rumors all over... suggesting that they were going to break up. As early as Japan, I heard from insiders that they were going to take some time off. Trey quickly came out and said, "We're taking a break. We're on hiatus." This time, Trey came out and said... no hiatus. Phish will be no more.

The hard part to deal with for me was the fact that I loved traveling and hitting the road. I don't have a car in NYC, so I only get to drive long distances when I'm on Phish tour. My friends are scattered all over America and it was easy to schedule time with them as soon as Phish tour schedule came out. If Phish was playing in your city, you knew I'd be there to spend some time with you. Phish tours were an easy way to squeeze four or five cities and several groups of partying with friends from different periods of my life.

Some friends I only see on Phish tour. I'll be sad about not seeing them again. Sure we might hang out, but the excitement of "Hey two weeks until Deer Creek... see ya there!" no longer has any relevance.

Some of the happiest moments in my life all revolved around a Phish tour of some sort. I can honestly look back and pick out four week sin my life... that I can say I felt happy, since I'm someone who has battled with a not-so pleasant life at times. Two weeks in 1999... a week in Japan in 2000.... and the last week of 2003 in Miami... are moments where I felt calm, confident, and alive.

I used to follow Phish with a dear friend, Heather. We saw over 30 shows together and one of the best trips I took was the start of fall tour in 1999... which was 26 shows long. We started in Vancouver, Canada (and I saw 23 shows that tour, Heather skipped the second half). Yep... the two week binge included: Vancouver > The Gorge, WA > Portland, OR > Boise, ID > Reno, NV (no Phish show, but we crashed in Reno and I taught Heather how to play blackjack) > San Francisco > Chula Vista, CA > Ensenada, Mexico (no Phish show... we skipped the LA show to go to Mexico for my birthday) > Tucson, AZ > Las Cruces, NM > Austin, TX > Houston, TX > New Orlenas, LA > Pelham, AL > Memphis, TN. Wow... quite a run with 15 shows wedged in that period. But for the first two weeks of that trip, I was in my own personal heaven. I've been chasing that high ever since. I met Page and Mike on tour that year and almost got arrested in Las Cruces. Heather locked the keys to her car in her trunk in Boise, and I saw some kid get the shit beat out of him in the parking lot after the Tucson show because he had been selling bunk acid all tour, and finally got caught. It was an epic run, and some day I'll write up my Phish adventures into a novel.

Then there was the Japan trip. And I can't talk enough about Japan. I've written several short stories and attempted to write a novel about following Phish in Japan. Some of my good friends that I have today... I met in Japan. The phisheads I met there are a unique bunch and we're called Japhamily... a nickname especially for the core group of a hundred Americans who followed Phish half way around the world to hear them play. My Japanese friends are just as crazy. They come to America all the time to see bands. That's loyalty. The week I had in Japan was special... from Tokyo to Nagoya to Fukuoka to Osaka... wow. I can write for hours about Japan. Someday, I'll write that novel.

Miami... well, Miami was insane. Poker, Jerry, Phish... the sun! I had too much fun. I've been writing numerous Miami short stories... all inspired by my jaunt down there to follow Phish. I can and have written for days about that experience. Maybe that could be another novel.

As you can tell, I am rambling with all my thoughts coming and going without any structure. Phish was and is an important aspect of my personality and inspired me as an artist and writer. I cannot imagine all the fun I would have missed out if I skipped so many of the shows I saw. And now, I'm kicking myself in the head because I skipped hundreds of other shows over the years. At least I got to see Phish 139 times... and I'll see them 11 more times. Maybe 13?

I'll be starting this upcoming tour off with the Joker and his new vehicle, Marco. Phish tour starts soon, and I'll be enjoying every second of these shows...
More Poker in the Weeds!

My brother has completed his Vegas Trip report with a post about Day 5 to his blog: Poker in the Weeds. It includes an excellent write up of his attempt at a WSoP satellite at Binion's, in addition to meeting Scotty Nguyen. Here's what Derek had to say:
I played real tight. My first goal was to watch everyone play hands. I did not want to get knocked out first. I noticed quickly which players were the loose new comers and which players were the seasoned tourney players. The tourney newcomers were limping in in EP. You need to raise or fold in EP during no limit tourneys. These guys were seat 2, 6, and of course 9 (the Meatloaf looking guy in shorts). These fools had all their limps either raised out by LP bettors or they called and lost with crappy hands like J-2 offsuit. They all got bounced very quickly. I think I got the right table! The seasoned tourney players were not as good as they would lead you to believe. All they know is position raising. Position is critical but I picked up quick on their tells. I knew when they had something and I knew when they were just bluffing and position raising because there were only a few callers before them. Most fell for it everytime.
And wait, there's more. Here's what he said about meeting Scotty Nguyen:
I never get excited when I see famous people. Riding the subways in NYC gives me the opportunity to see some famous athletes and actors, as well as others. I never get excited or ask for an autograph because who cares. They are regular people. I don't need to inflate their egos more than it already is, right? Fuck them. So iIusually ignore them and say, "Hi!" at best. But that's it. Nothing else. Paul and I walked over to the poker room and saw every poker pro you could think of. I've seen them on TV but in person was unbelieveable. I was in awe for once. Doyle Brunson was there, so was Scotty Nguyen, Jen Harmon, Jesus, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Devilfish, Mel Judah, TJ Cloutier, Phil Laak (aka the Unabomber), Hoyt Corkins, Sam Grizzle, Ron Rose, Lederer, Gus Hanson, Meng the Master, Clonie Gowan, Dan Harrington, and everyone else you've seen or heard of (I know I'm leaving out a ton of people). Hollywood notables were Gabe Kaplan, Ben Affleck, and James Woods. There were others but they are not worth mentioning. I was truly excited. I was waiting for Vince Van Patten to fall down drunk somewhere, anywhere, as long as shana was nearby but no luck. Not even a Mike Sexton sighting. I guess they're just getting loaded somewhere waiting for the final table.

The highlight of the WPT event was getting to meet Scotty Nguyen. He was playing in the actual poker room because the tourney was over flowing so they had to use real game tables. I was leaning over the wall looking into the room and sitting a foot away from me was Scotty Nguyen. Someone asked him for a picture while he was playing a hand. He politely said one minute and folded his hand. He got up and looked at me and I said, "What's up Scotty?"

He gave me a hi five and said, "What's up guy?!"

He had a huge smile and then shook my hand and said, "How's it going big man!?"

I said, "Great! How bout you?"

"Awesome, baby!" he said and then he went over to the tourists and took a photo with them. How crappy is this? I lug my digital camcorder all the way out to Vgas and I leave it in my room. I could have close up footage of the pros and a Scotty Nguyen conversation. I blew it.
Check out his poker blog! More to come.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Happy Birthday, Tao of Pauly

Wow... two years ago today, I penned my first blog. Now the fame has gone completely to my head. I've blown off all my old friends and family, and replaced them with hipsters, posuers, European bohemians, and media vampires... plus a naughty list of B-celebrities and salacious daughters of very wealthy men... who have nothing better to do, than bask in warmth of my fame and celebrity. Fuckin' vultures won't leave me alone.

My publicist wants me to do more meet-and-greet appearances with fans in local pubs, sorority houses, and crack dens. My business manager is urging me to start more blogs - sort of a franchise... for example; Tao of Bowling or Tao of Phish. My astrologist suggests that I only blog in the mornings. My nutritionist is pushing me to eliminate the junk food I eat in Pieces of Pauly. My head of security earned me that traveling this summer might be dangerous. My limo driver wants me to stop the hookers from puking in the backseat and leaving used condoms in the ashtrays. My drug dealer wants me to start wire transfering the money to a "separate" account in the Cayman Islands, otherwise he insisted that he will blackmail me and send detailed notes of my daily drug intake to the local newspapers and Matt Drudge (obviously he doesn't read the Tao.) My personal assistant wants a raise after I bitch-slapped her in Las Vegas for suggesting I was playing on tilt, after I lost half my bankroll at the Mirage playing poker. I need to hire a slew of summer interns, to churn out "Pauly-esque" rants on all things retarded, like Nicky Hilton's change in hair color, or why Scott Biao hangs out at the Playboy Mansion, or why I can't find a comfortable pillow to sleep on.

Yeah, it's been a wild year. So much has happened in the last 365 days... good, bad, and ugly. Some high points, plenty of low points, a few horrible days, a lot of epic moments... and in the end... I wouldn't trade my trip for anything else in the world. The reason everyone checks back in... is the same reason why most of you get out of bed in the morning... because you never know what might happen next.

Thanks for reading, now get back the fuck out of my office and get back to work, you lazy shit-mongers!

Monday, May 24, 2004

Running with Al Can't Hang, Part I
"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." - Hunter S. Thompson
I've never been to Pamplona. I never even been to Spain. The Sun Also Rises is one of my favorite novels, and was one of the reasons why I wanted to be a novelist. In Hemingway's epic novel, he enthusiastically wrote about the ever dangerous, thrill and heart-pounding excitement of the Running of the Bulls at the Festival of San Fermin. I always wanted to go, mainly because of the "go see for yourself" mentality that fuels my efforts as a writer. I never got there, but this weekend, I was close.

I treated this trip like one of those embedded war reporters in Iraq, hanging out with an unit of battle tested marines itching for conflict in Al-Taniyah. I realized that my run to Philly could have been my last trip away from home. I left easy to find envelopes with just-in-case-I-don't-make-it letters addressed to special people in my life, using tear jerking expressions like, "You're the best brother a guy could ask for..." or even "You know, Sunshine, that you're the woman I loved the most..." Yeah, I knew I might not come back in one piece and wanted to cover all the bases. Al Can't Hang and his posse were professional drinkers, and I dropped out of the drinkers circuit many, many years before. It was going to be tough just to keep up with a guy who's blood type is 180 Proof, but I was ready for the challenge.

A free ride to Philadelphia was what my buddy Senor offered me. We drove cross country together. We followed Phish all over America, and I jumped at the chance to take a Sunday morning drive down to Philly with his wife and son. We made excellent time out of the city and chatted the whole way down the NJ Turnpike. I made the call to Al Can't Hang on Friday, who arranged a Sunday of baseball, drinking, and poker. I was very excited going to meet two of my new fans. Al Can't Hang read two of my novels and Mrs. Hang read three of them! But I'm also a little nervous when I meet people for the first time that I met via the online world through my blogs. There's always that tinge of skepticism that thinks I'm being set up by a rogue unit of Chinese organ thieves. I relaxed and wandered over to Citizens Bank Ballpark ten minutes before noon. I was early and Mrs. Hang called as they arrived in the parking lot. I went to go meet them.

"Look for the hippy guy," she said. We've all seen the pictures of Al Can't Hang's multi-weekly fun-filled trips to the Boathouse, so I knew who I was looking for. A few moments later, I spotted a random hippy guy walking towards me with a beautiful blonde. In the flesh, it was the infamous Al Can't Hang and Mrs. Hang. I also met the first of a couple of cool friends of Al's... Big Mike. I dropped my stuff off in the car, met Monkey Boy for a moment, then walked with Al Can't Hang to the bar where Big Mike and Mrs. Hang was waiting for us. En route she called me.

"You better hurry up if you want to see the naked woman," she quickly stated.

The police were trying to cover up an old black woman who took off all her clothes on the sidewalk across the street from the Stadium. She just laid down on the ground, face first, and placed her arms around her back, as if she was getting handcuffed.

"Welcome to Philly," I heard one Phillies fan say as they walked by me.

We went into McFadden's and found a seat at the bar. The place was packed with fans, drinking ninety minutes before the early afternoon game started. It was located inside the stadium with a separate outside entrance. In order to get into the actual ballpark, you had to get your ticket scanned at an entrance to the stadium in the back of the McFadden's. There were TV screens all over the place and a large circular bar was situated in the middle. Big Mike staked Mrs. Hang in Al Can't Hang's NL tourney on Saturday night, and she came in first place, thereby chopping her winnings with Big Mike. She was the big winner. All I know was that Big Mike kept buy round after round, while we shared some wild stories about our numerous celebratorial escapades after getting compliments from everyone about my writing. Nothing is cooler than hanging out with local celebrities. Al Can't Hang knew the bartenders, and like he wrote on his blog... they bought us drinks, beers for me and Mrs. Hang, and double shots of Southern Comfort for Big Mike and Al Can't Hang. I also had my first ever Cheesesteak Nachos... which was pretty tasty.

The game started and we slowly made our way up to our seats in the upper level. The view was good and you could see all the action. The new ballpark was impressive with a fan friendly atmosphere. The skyline of Philadelphia could been seen in the background. The only drawback was the 90 degree weather. Big Mike bailed first and went for shade and a drink. We followed a few innings later and found Big Mike in a bar one level below called High and Inside. He was sitting at the bar and ordered us another round of drinks while we watched the game on a flat screen TV, under soothing air conditioning. Al Can't Hang and I went back to McFadden's for another drink, while Mrs. Hang and Big Mike went looking for a gift for his nephew. By then it was the ninth inning and time for dinner.

Sushi? Yep, all you can eat... my favorite kind. Al Can't Hang knew the bartender and we got a hooked up with free drinks. More double shots of SoCo for Al Can't Hang. They guy was living up to his cult-legend status. By this point, thanks to the generosity of Al Can't Hang, Mrs. Hang, Big Mike, and very shortly soon after Lewey, I didn't have to pay for anything. Everyone was making me feel welcomed. Philly is underrated. They know how to kick it down there and have a great time. I met Lewey at the sushi place and he was wicked hungover from the previous night's drunken bender. I think he drank nearly an entire bottle of Tequila the night before and was struggling just to keep his head up. Lewey was also the guy I was told to watch out for. Al Can't Hang wanted me to come down to take his money. He was the loose cannon at Al Can't Hang's poker games and had a reputation to play any two cards and drive everyone at the table insane. Al Can't Hang also called Lanlow who was willing to play. We had six players. Stuffed, and not really drunk (more sun-drunk) it was ready to play poker at Lewey's.

To be continued.... Part II: Lewey the Loose Cannon.

Editor's Note: I decided to break up my report into two parts. The introduction and first part appears on the Tao of Pauly. Part II, the poker write up appears on the Tao of Poker. Please visit the other site for both exciting parts!
Trying to Hang with Al Can't Hang

I'm back. Just a quick tease before I get a chance to write up my visit to Philly for a day of fun, drinking, and poker... with Al Can't Hang, his lovely wife, and his poker-playin, partin' like rockstars posse. Oh, I almost forgot about the now infamous game at Lewey's where my KK were indeed cracked by 23o in a game of pot limit hold'em. In a rambling post this morning, Al Can't Hang quickly summarized his weekend. Alas, I caught his crew on the tail end of their weekend long bender. Here's some of my favorite bits:
In the last 24 hours, I met Pauly, watched a Phillies game, ate more sushi than one man should ever eat, and introduced him to the loosest, weirdest poker session. And drinking the entire time...

We met up with Pauly Sunday morning at Citizen's Bank Park for some drinking and baseball. First thing Pauly sees when we gets there, a buck-ass naked old black lady standing in the middle of the street. I guess she didn't like the 90 degree heat on an early May morning.
Yeah, I saw the brand new ballpark in Philadelphia. Very cool. I was impressed. They have a cool bar inside the stadium, and you can drink there without going to the game and buying a ticket. Of course, Al Can't Hang knew the bartenders. Here's more from Al:
We hit McFadden's in the stadium and started drinking and telling stories. The wifey and BigMike were throwing their new found money around and we quickly reached the point where the bartender was buying us drinks.

Once the game started, we figured it would be a good time to go watch the game. BigMike made it two entire innings before heading for cooler climates and a non-beer beverage. Pauly, myself, and the wife made it to the 5th inning before the heat, booze, and 24 hours without eating made everything a little fuzzy. We grabbed a hotdog and hit the bar for more shots. What's else was there to do?
Did somebody say... sushi?
Somewhere along the line, we decided to hit the sushi bar before playing poker. I'm still re-thinking that decision. Over-heated, half in the bag, working on being fully in the bag. Why not throw a couple pounds of raw fish on top.
No trip to Atlantic City, but... we did play at Lewey's place with all of Al's cronies... and used Lewey's new table. It was bright red.
Now Pauly can give witness to the reason I'm not that good. Playing in this game is more like playing video poker. Any two cards have a shot. And it's a good chance Lewey will bet them. I'll give Pauly the opportunity to explain the pain. His KK got cracked by 23o in a brutal manner. The wifey and myself finished up for the evening. Pauly finished down and I'm not sure how everyone else faired.
Ah yes... it was ugly, but a lot of fun. A detailed report to follow. But yeah, I had a kick ass time. Some good folks down in that neck of the woods!

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Roadtrip! A Rare Day Off from Blogging...

I'm taking my first roadtrip with Jodd! Off to Philly in the morning. Going to the Phillies game with Al Can't Hang before a late afternoon and evening of poker. I'll play anywhere, anytime... so if there's a game in Philly, I'm there. If it's AC... I'm up for it! I'll be back Monday... with some stories to tell, I'm sure.

In the meantime... how about reading the new issue of Truckin'? The epic May issue issue features six new stories, and three of them are from yours truly; another Miami story, another Vegas story, and another Subway story. Al Can't Hang joined the roster with his first of many Stories from the Bar, and we find out the history behind his nickname. All the way from New Zealand, Richard Bulkeley is back with another excellent read. And Tom Love shared a shivering tale. So sit back, relax, and enjoy. Thanks for coming back, McG

1. While She Cries by Tenzin McGrupp
I tilted my head, partly out of sympathy and partly out of curiosity. I had not seen anyone cry on the subway in a few months... More

2. Stories from the Bar: Origins by Al Can't Hang
The first thing I remember coming out of the coma was the image of my parents looking down at me... More

3. Strange Design by Tenzin McGrupp
Only in Vegas can I wander around drunk, stoned, hopped up on pills, and tripping… and still be the most sober person in the room... More

4. Big Thumb Wisdom by Richard Bulkeley
The a sudden screech from the fax machine silences our incessant mumbling that maybe the slopes had received snow. The hostel manager rips the fax from the machine and reads from it like a medieval herald proclaiming a death sentence... More

5. Bowling for Jailbait by Tenzin McGrupp
The teenaged hussies, dressed like medium priced hookers, teased us every time they'd bend over to pick up their flouresent pink bowling balls... More

6. Rising Avove It by Tom Love
A queue of runaways and druggies stood ready to take their rightful place at the edge of the entrance ramp, to be next in line for a ride. I took my turn, and was soon at the right spot. Almost immediately a sunshine yellow Beetle pulled up with two California blonde cuties... More

Don't miss a word!
Think Twice About Going Religious

My favorite Norwegian blogger, Sigge wrote a great discourse called: Think Twice About Going Religious. Here's a bit:
Some sad office in Heaven found it amusing to turn of the hot water when I was going to have a shower this morning. I found it quite injustifiable and decided to have a complaint filed in the Holiest of Heaven office archives, so I got on the phone.
I'm a Real Writer

John-Paul a Canadian poker blogger recently had this cool thing to say about me on his journal:
First off, thanks to Pauly at the Tao of Poker for linking this humble blog up to his site. If you think my random poker rants are typical of poker blogging, you're sorely mistaken. Pauly's a real writer who plays poker, whereas I'm just a dude who plays poker and writes about it. And, as you can see from my grammar, me not the greatest at this writing thing. Computer engineering major, okay. I only had to take one communications course in university, and it was pass or fail. Not really an environment that pumps out great writing talents. Anyways, I've gotta get off my lazy ass and update my links page to include these great poker blogs that have given me shoutouts.
Quote of the Day
"I hold a beast, an angel and a madman in me, and my enquiry is as to their working, and my problem is their subjugation and victory, downthrow and upheaval, and my effort is their self-expression." - Dylan Thomas
Adventures in Babysitting

I was waiting in front of Senor's parents' apartment building when my cell phone rang. It was Senor and he was calling from across the street. "Ang is busy shopping for baby food. Come on over for a second," he said, and I crossed the street and saw him standing there with a big grey stroller.

"Watch Jodd for a second. I'll be right back," and as quickly as he said that he disappeared into the crowded Midtown NYC street.

"Oh shit," I thought to myself, "This is my first babysitting gig."

And I freaked out. Well, not completely, but for thirty seconds or so, I realized... I wasn't prepared for that moment in life. Jodd was fast asleep (a shocker considering 55th and 6th Avenues is one of the loudest intersections in the world) and I ran through the possible doom that could happen. What if he wakes up and can't fall back asleep? What if he shits himself? And... what if I lose the kid?

I wasn't prepared for that sort of major responsibility. I couldn't even figure out how to stand correctly. Do I lean on the carriage? Do I hover over him? The sidewalk swarmed with pedestrians, tourists, workers, New Yorkers, and it was me and Jodd hanging out. I was an emotional mess. And my first gig lasted only three minutes. Senor reappeared and I quickly gave the stroller back to him. I've traded bonds on Wall Street. I watched the horrible images on 9.11 on Channel 1 here in NYC on that fateful day. I played in some fairly big poker tournaments in the last few months... the sort of gut wrenching affair that makes you lose your hair by the fistful for those who are unable to stomach pressure. And yeah, none of those moments were as stressful as having to watch a six-month-old baby... for three minutes.

You'll never know how you'll react, until it happens to you. And I covered up my minor freak out very well. I even laughed several hours later when Senor said, "You're great with Jodd. And I'm shocked. I'm pretty sure you don't spend a lot of time with kids, especially babies. It's not like you have nephews or young cousins."

He was right. Jodd the first real baby I hung out with. The only kids I was used to watching were drunken NYU freshmen chicks in bars scattered around the Village. And nobody told me about baby drool, and the ridiculous amounts that babies can produce in a short time... which was all over the place; on his lips, on his mouth, on his chin, underneath his chin, on his neck, on his hands, on the remote control, and all over my fingers.

Jodd's a big baby for a 6.5 month old kid. He's 20 pounds now. Wow. He's growing fast. With no teeth and big round eyes, he and I even shared the same bald spot on the top of our heads. A few times he put his tiny hand up to my face. Once he grabbed my lip and started twisting. The second time, he lathered the right side of my face with a decent sized coating of baby drool. I hadn't shaved in a day or so, and Jodd normally was afraid of facial hair. Senor was surprised he didn't start crying. I guess I have this connection with children. I respect their souls. I get along with them very well. He tried to head butt me a few times and smiled every time I did a "clicking" sound.

We took Jodd for a walk in Central Park, and I think it was Ang's first trip there as well.

"When was the last time you hung out here?" Senor asked as he picked Jodd up and put him on his shoulders.

"A few weeks ago, I dropped acid with Haley and we got lost."

Senor might be the only person with a baby on his shoulders that I could say that without being judged. He laughed.

We wandered over to the Sheep Meadow, where Senor had told Ang people have sex sometimes on the weekends. After a quick survey, Ang was a little disappointed.

"I don't see anyone doing it," she said in a mixture of Thai and English. Senor laughed again.

"It's the middle of the afternoon!" he exclaimed.

I took some decent video footage of Jodd... for the archives. I presented Ang a videotape of the Best of Jodd's Bris, something I shot six months earlier in Providence. Next time I see them, I'll splice up the footage and rework a soundtrack.

Jodd's a good kid. This is his first multi-city roadtrip. Me and his old man did a bunch of those in the last decade, and on Sunday... I'll take my first journey with Jodd when we got to Philly. I told Senor I was going to tutor Jodd on how to play winning poker. Teach them while they are young. I wonder if they have Super System in big print for babies?

Friday, May 21, 2004

Pauly in AC this Sunday?

Possibly. I'm heading down to Philly on Sunday (Senor is driving down for the day and I have a free ride) to meet the East Coast's most famous poker blogger... Al Can't Hang! Kicking around the idea of a Phillies game, followed by a local home game or a run to Atlantic City and the Borgata. It's in the early stages... so who knows! But the thought of meeting Mrs. Cant Hang and Monkeyboy is a thrill in itself!!

Lock your doors. Seal your medicine cabinets. Hide your daughters. I'm coming to Philly!
5 Songs I Want to Hear Phish Play in Brooklyn...

1. Brian and Robert
2. Punch You in the Eye
3. Waves
4. Fluffhead
5. The Wedge

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. The Collected Dialogues of Plato by Plato
2. Grapes of Wrath by John Stienbeck
3. Musical Chairs by Kinky Friedman
4. The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
5. The Umbrella Man and Other Stories (Short Story Collection) by Roald Dahl
The Bachelor, the Princess, and Gitty

Editor's Note: Blogger Ate My Original Post

Damn upgrade! The new blogger software looks cool, but it's filled with bugs. It ate my entire post. One page worth of some of my finest words. But now, I must start over from the beginning.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Wait... that wasn't it. Here we go.
We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.
Nope, still not it.
He was an old man who fished alone.
D'oh. Still not it.
Happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in it's own way.
Can you sense a theme here? One last time.
Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting.
OK, I'm still stuck. I can't recall any of my previous post and tried an old writer's trick to get back on track. It didn't work. Of course, the literate minds of my fourteen readers know that the last five lines were actual beginnings of real books. Do you know what they are?

Contest Time? Let's have a contest. Tell me the correct titles and authors, be the first one and I'll give one of those books and an autographed copy of my novel, Blind Kangaroo (and if you have read it... I'll give you a Pauly painting.)

OK, back to where my thoughts drifted away and blogger shit out my post like bad cafeteria meatloaf. Let's start over one more time.

I woke up in a pissy mood yesterday. I like where this is headed. The existentialist in me took over my life, hijacked like a fundamentalist terrorist. I was mired in one of those, "What does it all mean?" brooding moods... where the only thing on my mind was: we live in a Godless universe and I am meaningless, so what's the point being a writer?

Yeah, I probably should be shot because I woke up and I didn't want to write. (I begrudgingly wrote a short story anyway, and when it comes out, you'll see the heaviness of my mood.) I just wanted to be... and not have to do. Does that make sense? I didn't want the responsibility of having popular websites, and adhering to strict deadlines for my literary magazine and another magazine that I'm attempting to whore myself to (And for what? $75 and a small blurb in a flashy poker magazine that will only get me laid once or twice. Maybe three times max if I get her drunk enough?), and jaded by all that other behind the scenes bullshit that makes the life of a writer not as fun as you would think.

And worse, there was no desire to fire up Party Poker and play online for a few hours. Huh? Say it ain't so, Pauly! I didn't want to gamble. Yeah, I didn't even want to think about poker. Did I finally hit the wall? Two passions of mine made me sick to the sight, thought and smell, and coupled with the bad taste in my mouth that I woke up with about the futility of being a writer, I slowly slipped towards launching into a serious bender.

Normally, when I get into these dismal ruts, when a dark cloud of doom and misery follows me around for days, I recognized that the only way to break out of the existentialist nightmare was to hit the poker tables in Las Vegas. But I just got back from Vegas last month and lost most of my bankroll, so Vegas was out. I guess I would have to go on one of those old fashioned benders, the ones when your family calls the police because you haven't returned their calls for days, and you wake up a week later with a random, knocked-up, naked, high school girl in a soiled bed in a $19-a-night motor inn in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with an ugly tattoo on your forearm, with an oddly placed rash on your inner thigh, your cell phone and right shoe missing, with a pocket full of credit card receipts, and a splotchy memory peppered with jagged flashbacks of what you thought was you having the time of your life flickering through your mind, in between clutching your pounding head and yaking your guts out in your bathtub. When in doubt... drugs, sex, and rock and roll. That's what Steve McQueen would have done. Elvis too. Hemingway? He would have drank three bottles of Port and busted out the shotgun to have some serious fun trying to blow up baby deer that sauntered by his porch. Old Poppa knew how to quell the demons. We could have gotten into some serious hijinks together.


Fortunately, an old friend came back into my life. And sometimes you have those awkward moments when seeing old friends for the first time. There's the forced reaclimation period that sounds more like a job interview or a first date, than two old college buddies shooting the shit over a couple of Guinness drafts. Alas, with Gitty, it wasn't like that. Within seconds, it was a cliche... just like old times. If I didn't know any better, Gitty's life could be a sitcom, like Curb Your Enthusiasm or Seinfeld. I told him he should quit his job and write and become a stand up comic (just like Ugarte... two lawyers with great comedic timing). Right away, he launched into a story that had me laughing my tits off. It involved a towel and a bottle of shampoo... and I won't tell you all about it, because only Gitty can tell the story and do it justice, but the gist was he ruined a towel of some girl (the younger sister of one of our fraternity brothers) who was nice enough to let him crash at her place for the week, while she's out of town on business... and he was desperately trying to get in clean, in hopes she wouldn't notice. Old school hijinks. Gitty.

The last time we saw each other was a Jodd's bris. And before that the draft at our fantasy football league. Since then, he got divorced and is a free man. Which of course pleased me to no end, because he's the type of guy who never reached his full potential as a person because his wife was the type of controlling person who stifled the best parts of his personality. Sprayed? Neutered? Perhaps, but he wasn't the same person we knew he could be. And now... he's back on track to self discovery and enjoying life. He has control of his life again, and I could see the light in his eyes. And the best part, is that I get to have our long conversations again... how we used to remark about people and society, because just like me, Gitty has keen observational skills. And his intelligent commentary on the lives of New Yorkers was humorous, poignant, and dead on. I missed those nights when I used to sit in his old apartment, the dubious 8E with Senor and Girtz (and as Gitty described it... a small shithole, with a dog, Pauly eating poundcake, and one random Israeli cousin crashing on the couch.) Those were some great days, and yeah life is a series of changes, and those days were now nice memories, but it was amazing to catch a glimpse of that life once again.

Gitty invited me to hang out with some of his friends at their apartment, the ever comfortable 12F, a place where he described I'd get sucked into right away. The occupants were three 20something women, whom Gitty described as "really cool chicks". And he was right. It's been a while since I met three down to Earth, solid New Yorkers. Real people... none of these annoying hipsters that drove up all the rents, that pollute the subway with their iPods and PalmPilots, and overcrowd the bars I used to like to hang out at. No way did they fall into that category of putrid poseurs. In some weird acid flashback, it seemed like 1999 all over again... sitting on the couch, partying, and talking over the TV... with Gitty steering the humor. Everyone was nice and friendly. They were fans of the Tao of Pauly. Yep, they read my blog prior to meeting me. And as my readers know, the booming popularity of my poker blog has thrust me into cult status... so bizarre that I just log onto Party Poker and within minutes, I'll have people from all over America and Canada (and even the Poker Penguin in Auckland) watching me play. I've getting used to meeting new fans, but it's still weird, because they know more about me... than I do about them and it was the first time in a while that I met a fan of the Tao of Pauly. It was nice to be known and not because "I'm that poker blogger." Although a few times during the night I had to pause and utter, "Ah, that's right. You read my blog."

Anonymous, no longer, am I. Sounded like Yoda, I did? So do they want to see their names on the web? Do I make up nicknames to use on the blog to protect their privacy? But I realized at heart, people are whores for attention. They like getting blogged. I do too. It's awesome when I see people writing about me. It makes em feel all warm and fuzzy inside, just like a shot of vodka. Alas, (alphabetically) Andrice, Jenny and Monika read my blog... and I knew nothing about them. Sounded like an ambush by the Viet Cong. Was I being set up by a ring of Chinese organ thieves?

I still have my kidneys. And my sanity.

The Bachelor

Right away, Jenny was kind to hand the remote control over to the guest (that was me) and she was into basketball, so she made sure we kept checking in on the score of the Minny-Sacramento game. We ended up watching a fair amount of the last episode of The Bachelor. I have never seen the show, and they gave me the low down. It was down to two girls. And Jesse (the backup QB on the NY Giants) had to pick between two girls who actually agreed to be one TV and humiliated and made fun of by talk show hosts, disc jockeys, and pothead bloggers, along with millions of culturally bankrupt Americans to see. The choices were two blondes... although I'm sure they weren't real blondes. Tara, a 23 year old was contractor from Oklahoma who shoots guns with her Dad. The other was a 21 year old law student from California.

Gitty thought Tara looked like Britney Spears or Debbie Mopentopulous (from The View). Tara was the better looking of the two (but then again, you give me a choice between Budweiser and Coors... I have to pick Budwesier) but Jessica was the bright girl. I like bad girls (documented in a rant on my poker blog). I also like smart girls too. And young law students give off an independent vibe, which is better than a textbook case codependent, neurotic, clingy, emotional wrought female (I have known quite a few from personal experience.) I would have picked Jessica. Before the final talk... Tara was a mess. She couldn't hold her mud. And stopped the limo to blow chunks along the side of the road. She was wreck. Man. How did she make it that far? Never underestimate the power of a fantastic blow job. It was obvious when she got dumped that the Psycho Chick was about to emerge. She took the offensive and launched into one of those "You led me on..." speeches. Been there, on both sides. And it was just a matter of time before she busted out Daddy's shotgun and took aim on one of Jesse's shins. She's the type of girl that gives women a bad name. She's the crazy woman your doorman warns you about that's been hanging around outside waiting for you to come home from the Knicks game. She's the type you leaves suicide messages on your voicemail. She's the type of psycho chick who calls up your Mom and tell her you like getting three fingers shoved up your ass during 69. Yeah, those types of girls ruin Presidencies.

Monika showed me her pet, Stevie. He was a cool little bugger. I got to hold him a couple of times. Haven't seen a pet like that in sometime.

The Princess

And Andrice had the coolest name I heard in a long time. A true original. My first Andrice. The story behind her name is an amazing story. I'm waiting for it to come out as a movie. A young Greek woman named Andrice fell in love with a sailor. Her family was wealthy and she was supposed to marry the son of another prominent family. But she hated the man and that family. The way they abused their wealth made her sick. Her father arranged that her lover would be shipped out on a job, then murdered and killed at sea. When she discovered the plot the night before her wedding day, she walked over to the highest cliff on her island, and as the sun rose, she threw herself off and onto the jagged rocks below. She could never give herself to another man and courageously chose suicide over forced marriage. For centuries the tale of Andrice, the Virgin Princess with a Heart of Gold, wooed many tourists to visit the site where she might have made the final leap.

It was cool to meet some of Gitty's friends. But my night was not over. I met up with Haley and some of her work friends who took her out. And we all partied to dawn, before eating French toast at the Manhattan diner, in my attempt to erase any thoughts of why I was in a pissy mood to begin with.
Idiot Runs Up $28K Tab at Scores

Topless Tab Tops $28K is an article in today's NY Daily News. Poor sap denies the charges! Who can you trust? A guy who ran up a $28,000 bill at a strip bar? Or the strippers who overcharged him for 300+ lap dances, with 12 ctrippers at atime grinding their goodies!! Holy ape tits, Batman! He bought several bottles of top shelf, $3,200 champagne. Here's his bar tab from that night:
350 lap dances @ $20 a pop = $7,000
5 magnums of Clos Du Mesnil @ $3,200 = $16,000
Food, Alchohol & Tips = $5,000
Total = $28,000
I wanna party with this guy! Actually, what a fuckin' stupid retard. I wanna get this guy at a poker table.
The Game With the Floppy Thing in the Middle

I posted a write up of the poker game at the Blue Parrot from this past Monday over at the Tao of Poker. Read all about how I won $180. Here's a bit:
It was one of those Monday nights at Signor Ferrari's. I was hoping to continue my hot streak (after posting a $200+ win the week before) and end my weekend losing streak. Alas, I walked in hoping to kick some ass, and when it was over, I was shocked how much money I won. Why? Because I did not have a good hand all night. OK, that's not true. I had some decent hands and some not so good hands. But like Cool hand Luke once said, "Sometimes nothing's a cool hand."

The Players:
Seat 1: Asphnixma from Riding the F Train
Seat 2: Sugata
Seat 3: Christian
Seat 4: Ferrari
Seat 5: Rick Blaine
Seat 6: Joel
Seat 7: Coach
Seat 8: Ugarte
Seat 9: Dawn
Seat 10: Pauly
Another great night.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The Al Can't Hang Meter

Here's an IM that Al Can't Hang sent me:
AlCantHang: just found out i'm even more infamous. a fringe group of co-workers has a scale to determine how late they stay at the bar. their wives say if they leave before, fine. If I leave before them, they were out too late.
Oh, man!!
Swimming with Sharks

Dawn, a newcomer to the Monday night games at the Blue Parrot, recently wrote a recap of her experiences on her blog. Here's a bit:
Last night was the big game. We played at Signor Ferrari's apartment (Ugarte and Pauley) were also in attendance. I knew I was in trouble when one player referred to another, as "one of the poker bloggers."

Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't be playing my third game of poker in a room full of men who blog about poker.

Once everyone was seated around the table, we were each dealt one card face up.

"What're these for?" Dawn casually asks.

"It's dealer's choice. High card picks."

"What does dealer's choice mean?" Dawn nervously asks.

"Dealer picks the game."

"Umm...we're not playing poker?"

Considering in my life I had only ever played 5 card stud where jokers and twos were wild and Texas hold 'em (which I learned by watching celebrities play on tv), I imagine in that moment I collapsed into a pile of chips right before their very eyes. Easy sucker money.
For the record, Dawn walked away up $24!! Here's a little bit more:
I decided that it was time to leave, but I couldn't figure out a feasible exit strategy --the phone rang and it was someone wanting to know if there was any more room at the table. His name was, I believe "dead money."

Seeing my opportunity I said I would be leaving soon, dead money was then told to come over (oh and "to hit the ATM heh heh heh")

These guys are evil.
All in all another wild night.
Another Writing Binge

I finally completed the third of three short stories for the new issue of Truckin', due out later this weekend. This past weekend was all about bringing the new template up and working out all the bugs, and I'm still keeping my fingers crossed. This month's stories are done. I wrote three since Monday afternoon and I'm glad I won't have to write any more for at least two weeks. Truckin' has evolved into a full time job, with trying to do all the promotions, finding new writers, editing and publishing, and writing... I have too many hats to wear and sometimes it becomes more like a job, than a passion.

I know I should be proud. I had a vision. I embraced the web. And next month will mark the two year anniversary of my vision... a site where I could share my travel stories and publish short stories that had be routinely rejected by the other ezines out there. I almost gave up on it more than once, well shit, almost every month I have the same fuckin' discussion with myself... on junking it, and letting it get tossed aside like so many of my projects. But, I keep working on it... I write new stories every month. And now, it's read on six continents, so I'm grateful that my words are being read all over the world. That's something I also dreamed about happening.

To think there are people in my life who think I don't take anything seriously, or rather feel I am uncommitted to anything, let alone structure. Truckin' is the big middle finger to their method of pigeon holing me into a hole, their definition of attempting to understand reckless behavior.

I am severely lagging behind on other writing stuff. I'm one week past deadline in an essay I wanted to write on my poker blog. And that might not happen until this weekend. I have to write a fuckin' Memorial Day speech for an uncle who only acknowledges the fact that I'm a writer when ever he wants a speech written. 360 days out of the year, I'm just a lazy fuck up. But on those 5 days... (6 days this year)... when he wants something (and let's get real... he wants to look good in front of a crowd of people... of course he's going to turn to my masterful words) he calls on me in a nasty and condescending tone. And when it's over, he goes back to treating me like a pile of dogshit. Homeless people get more respect from my family than I do sometimes.

I have not played poker much (aside from the action at the Blue Parrot on Monday) this week, and I'm eager to get back to the tables on Party Poker, very soon.

I guess I woke up today in a pissy mood. I'm a little sad about some friends of mine leaving NYC. And, with no certainty on where I will be living in the upcoming months, and two novels inside me itching to get out... I'm worried that I might not be able to churn out my best work, if I am unable to find a comfortable place to write... very soon.

The societal pressures are getting to me. The desperation of the truth is gnawing at my insides. I am unable to relax, knowing the road ahead is filled with plenty of potholes and deadends. But I still get up and take steps... my journey will end, when I have reached my intended destination.
More Poker in the Weeds

My brother, Derek, posted Day 3 of his Las Vegas trip report to his poker blog, Poker in the Weeds. Here's a bit:
Two cheap cologne wearing Guidos smugly say, "Stop with the raising and re-raising guys, we all know you both have an A so let's just end it and chop it up already!" I had been playing with Vince and several of the same locals and hard core tourists since I arrived. Vince was a nice guy who I talked a little poker with over the last few days and he knew his shit. I always saw him buy in for $60 and walk out with 4 racks of $1 chips. He was good. I knew he had 4 of a kind. He was in the blind. What a bunch of stupid Guidos. It's 2004! No wonder they had no money left after their 2nd rebuys. I mention that maybe someone has four 3's. They said, "No way."

I said, "You wanna bet?"

They declined and I was right. Vince looks over at my side of the table and winks. He flips over pocket 3's.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Phish Announces Summer Festival in Vermont

Nice... knew it was gonna happen: Coventry. Here's a bit:
Phish will end their 2004 summer tour with a two-day festival named Coventry. The event will take place August 14 and 15 on the grounds of the Newport State Airport and adjacent fields in the rural town of Coventry, Vermont. Coventry is the band's first-ever home state festival, and first public outdoor Vermont appearance since 1995.
Nice. I'll be there.
Hunter and the Olympics

Hunter S. Thompson is back with a new article called: Let's Go to the Olymipcs. Here's a bit:
Last night I was offered a pound of blood sausage to predict that the Lakers will certainly win the NBA championship, but I refused. "That is too much like Washington politics," I said to the woman who offered the bribe. "Don't be coming around here with your vulgar crap about the Lakers. They are lame and weak and pitiful. Minnesota will beat them in five games."

It was a risky thing to say, but so what? I used to be a Lakers fan, but no more -- not since they went out and shot their wad on Karl Malone and Gary Payton. Indeed. There is something vaguely obscene about the sight of the Lakers in action, win or lose, and it ain't Kobe Bryant.
Random Phish on TV and the Big Screen

Yesterday, I heard a snippet of Phish on Dawson's Creek. Yep, Birds of a Feather was played for almost a minute, maybe even more. Pretty cool.

Then I just saw a film called Condon Painting about artist George Condo. What's the Use an instrumental by Phish was used in one of the scenes. He did the cover art for the Story of the Ghost album.
Tony Randall Died and I Won $5

So far the score is Pauly 1, Boy Genius 0.

If you don't know what's up, I foolishly got into a weekly proposition wagering debacle with Boy Genius. He threw down the gauntlet and I accepted. Here's the recap:
My first proposition: Pop Culture Passings. Pauly McGrupp... will the next celebrity to pass on to the pearly gates be a musician, or an actor?
And I picked an actor! Luckily, earlier this morning Tony Randall died, which netted me $5!

Why am I gloating over a man's death? Because almost 10 years ago, he was a complete dick, jerkoff, asshole to me. And I have never forgotten about our chance encounter.

A decade ago, my first job out of college was as a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was an odd period of time in my life, the transition phase from college to real life, and I wasn't exactly just ready to jump into the 9 to 5 world, so I took a bullshit job, where I knew I could just shuffle in hungover everyday... alas, I was a security guard.

One fateful day, I got stuck working in the Main Hall... specifically in the dreaded coat check. It started to rain, and the Met had a weird policy about: NO UMBRELLAS in the galleries. That meant visitors had to stand in line and check their umbrellas, wet or dry, it didn't make a difference. That particular day, the museum was swamped, and everyone had umbrellas. The line was backed up into the Main Hall. The umbrellas were dripping wet sheltering their owners from one of the biggest downpours of that year. The four security guards working the coat check area had pruned hands from handling the wet umbrellas. They were more soaked than the visitors.

I recall standing up on a wheel chair and yelling out to the crowd: "Ladies and Gentleman, if you could please help us out, since it's a very rainy day, please use the white plastic bags you see in front of you. Thank you."

And in the middle of my quick speech I noticed that Tony Randall was second or third in line. He had his trophy wife with him, a 20something year old model. He lived close to the Met and he was probably one of the more frequent celebrity visitors. Each day we'd get a Tony Randall sighting. And every guard pretty much that met him had to say the same two things:
1. He's a dick... and 2. His wife is hot.
Anyway, I got back behind the coat check counter and started to accept umbrellas. I put one away and I looked up and there was Tony Randall, handing me a dripping wet umbrella. He never bothered to use the plastic bags we provided. Instead he maliciously handed me over his umbrella like it was a dirty diaper filled with rotten mushy baby shit. He gave me a look like: "I'm fuckin' Tony Randall. I'm fuckin' a twenty year old. You make minimum wage. Fuck your plastic bag." And I was not pleased. Of course he didn't tip me, the cheap bastard.

Now, let's flash forward a decade. I got my sweet revenge. I made money on his passing. So, I'm a heartless fuck. But, I'm a winning gambler today, rejoicing about the death of a guy who thought he was better than everyone else. It don't matter in the big picture, and I'll probably give the money to a homeless person on the subway, and say, "Don't thank me. Thank Tony Randall, that fuckin' umbrella jerkoff."
New York City Makes Olympic Cut for 2012 Games

Yep, NYC made the first cut. Now let's see if we can out bid Paris and London and get the 2012 Olympics!
Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...

1. Lsd by Otto Snow
2. Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire
3. Servants of the Cane by Lisette Ashton
4. Little Acts of Grace by Rosemarie Gortler
5. A Day Late and a Dollar Short by Terry McMillan
Another Good Night at the Blue Parrot

I followed up a not-so-good weekend of gambling with a powerful win at Signor Ferrari's home game... I netted $180 in action at the Blue Parrot. More to come.

I'm going to bet with Boy Genius on the next celebrity to die... I picked an actor. Time will tell. I hope I'm right!

Monday, May 17, 2004

The Boy Genius Challenge Begins!

Part time actor, part time gambler Boy Genius issued a challenge to me on his blog. Here's the gist:
A Challenge To Pauly McGrupp

You're an admitted incorrigible gambler. I'm well on my way.

I'd like to issue a challenge to you to for a weekly wager.

We'll pick something absurd. Whether it's the weekend box office gross of the fourth week of release of Spider-Man 2, or betting an over/under for what percentile Iggy can finish in his next multi-tourney, the hype and level of interest for a friendly $5 wager could be off the charts.

My first proposition: Pop Culture Passings. Pauly McGrupp, starting with this Wednesday's newspapers, will the next celebrity to pass on to the pearly gates be a musician, or an actor? (of course, we'll wait for the next actor or musician to die to pay off this bet)

$5 and pride is riding on your decision. I'll be happy to take whichever side you choose not to.

Are you man enough to play my little games?
And yes, I'm in!!

11 Questions: May Edition

They are back. You ask the questions and I answer them. Here's the new batch of questons:
1. Bush or Kerry?
2. Who are your favorite directors, and why?
3. The famous Phi question.... If you were a tree... what kind of a tree would you be?
4. Do you have a lucky or favorite article of clothing when going to the casino?
5. If you were born in the 1920's, who would you go on tour with, how would you get from city to city, what would you be eating, and how do you think your outlook on life would be compared to today?
6. Who is going to win the Stanley Cup?
7. Which poker blogger drinks the most?
8. If you had a dog, what would you name it and why?
9. Where do goldfish go when they die?
10. If you could have sex with Katie Holmes, but had to give up poker... OR.... you could have sex with Elisha Cuthbert, but you had to give up writing... which would you do and why? (You have to pick one.)
11. What do you think... about how other people interpret the way you dress?
And now... the long awaited answers. Here we go!

1. Bush or Kerry? - Noonan, Seatlle, WA

Gene Bromberg for President! Alas, who do I think will win? Bush, by another close one. In the end, the Bushhaters will vote en masse for Kerry.... but middle of the road Kerry supporters will get gunshy and pull the lever for Bush. That' just how things work. Who would I vote for? Nader. Bush and Kerry are the same guy. It's like going to a bar and finding out that despite the hundreds of bottles of liquor behind the coolest bar in NYC... only serves Bud or Budlight and sometimes ODouls.

2. Who are your favorite directors, and why? - Haley, NYC

Woody Allen, Jim Jarmusch, Kevin Smith, Hal Hartley... to name a few off the top of my head. Woody for the comedic, yet philosophical inkling to his films, and he gives a foreign film edge, all the while set against the background of NYC. Jarmusch for the sincerity that he shows in his work, and he says what he wants to say. Kevin Smith's work resembles the type of pop culture influenced humor that I grew up with. Hal Hartley's films have a weird rhythm to them, with ambiguous characters, existentialist rhetoric, and a quirky sense of humor.

3. The famous Phi question.... If you were a tree... what kind of a tree would you be? - Jon S, DC

I would be the Old Post Office Tree in Mossel Bay, South Africa. It's one of the most famous trees in the world. A milkwood tree, that is over 500 years old, got it's fame when a Portuguese sailor hung an account of a shipwreck on its branches, enticing other sailors to leave letters on the tree to be delivered to other sailors heading off to other destinations all over the world. Alas, and they say Al Gore created the Internet!

4. Do you have a lucky or favorite article of clothing when going to the casino? - Armando, Sao Paulo, Brazil

No. If I fell weak to superstitions, it would disrupt and undermind the entire way I approach gambling, so I don't fall prey to specific superstitions. However, I do base a lot of decisions on gut feelings and hunches. If I have a bad vibe about a table or a casino, I'll get up and leave. I know people who have odd and quirky superstitions. One guy I know from Foxwoods, carries around pictures of his dead dog. Another guy has a lucky hat or lucky socks. Poker pro, Sam Farha, puts unlit cigarettes in his mouth. If he loses a hand, he throws the cigarette away and pulls out a new one. I gave my grandma a rabbit's foot once and she took it with her to Mohegan Sun and won a $3000 jackpot at the slots. Afterwards, she takes it with her every time she goes gambling.

5. If you were born in the 1920's, who would you go on tour with, how would you get from city to city, what would you be eating, and how do you think your outlook on life would be compared to today? - Modeski, NJ

If I was born in 1921, I'd be thirty in 1951... and I'd tour with Charlie Parker!! Bird... the sweet, melodious sounds of Bird! In a fuckin' second. From LA to Kansas City, from Chicago to 52nd Street... I'd be there to listen in awe, following him by the old school train and rail system, partying in the back car with the hip-refeer-toking horn players and playing cards with traveling salesmen in the bar car. I would be eating the local diner specials. Lot's of hash and eggs, the farmer's breakfast special, no fast food at all, and very little poundcake. I'd drink Ballantine beer and my outlook would be a little more sunnier. With the defeat of Nazism and Facism a few years in the past, the world was filled with possibilities in the early 1950s. That was when New York City exploded as the artistic epic center of the Western World after Europe was in the middle of reconstruction. Art, music, poetry, writing... all took form all over New York City, and I'd want to be in the center of it all, listening to the Beat poets in the West Village or drinking with all the Abstract Expressionists in the East Village or smoking up with all the jazz musicians uptown. Great question!

6. Who is going to win the Stanley Cup? - Edgar, Thunder Bay, Canada

Calgary all the way! Fuck San Jose. The Flames have played astonishing well on the road in the postseason, and if they can figure out how to win at home, and especially crucial Game 5... then they can go all the way! You gotta love the Flames captain, Iggy!!

7. Which poker blogger drinks the most? - Al Can't Hang, Phoenixville, PA

Tough question. You're all a bunch of drunk, degenerate gamblers! My money is probably on you, Al Can't Hang, after seeing all those pictures on your site... with Monkey Boy and scantly clad women, and read/heard all those stories... I'd give you the edge over Iggy. Not to say that Iggy is not a seasoned drinker. He has Guinness flowing through his veins. If he had to take a drug test, he'd pee Guinness. I'm sure The Fat Guy can put away a cooler filled with ice cold ones. Chris Halverson and HDouble are Scotch kinda guys. But y'all never saw the drunken binges of a nineteen year old Pauly. Some of my fraternity brothers can tell you about the hell I raised in the deep South in the early 1990s.... from New Orleans to Savannah, from Atlanta to Fort Walton Beach, from Biloxi to Greenville... I could put them away... I drank 24 beers in three hours once... and I used to be able to put away a fifth of Jim Beam on an off night.

8. If you had a dog, what would you name it and why? - Jenna, NYC

Flanders after Ned Flanders.

9. Where do goldfish go when they die? - Bill, Staten Island, NY

In the toilet.

10. If you could have sex with Katie Holmes, but had to give up poker... OR.... you could have sex with Elisha Cuthbert, but you had to give up writing... which would you do and why? (You have to pick one.) - Briana Buttons, NYC

I'd gladly give up both if I got to tag team them!! That's a tough question, but I'd give up poker and Elisha for one night with Ms. Holmes. And I'd give up pound cake all together if you... Katie and Elisha had an orgy with Monkey Boy, and let me tape it.

11. What do you think... about how other people interpret the way you dress? - Annie, NYC

Hipsters would think I don't dress cool enough to hang with them, which is cool with me. My clothes that look old... are actually old, decades old. And I didn't have to spend ridiculous amounts of money trying to look cool. I just wear old clothes. Someone once said, I dress for comfort. Which is true. Although I have been dressing "more like a writer" these days to quote some friends. Most of my clothes came from my travels all over the states... some of the nicer things I had from when I worked on Wall Street. Some of the swankier items came from a used shop in Seattle and San Francisco. My favorite shirt cost me $2 in Seattle. How cool is that? I don't send any money on clothes. It's my lowest expense.
A Writer's Binge...

I am so far behind in my writing... I have too much to do, in a very short time. Here's a short list of what I need to write ASAP:
1. Complete the issue, then write 3 Truckin' short stories (Vegas, Subway, & Miami)
2. The new edition of 11 Questions... I'm working on the answers for the May edition
3. An essay for the Tao of Poker called My Trouble Hands: AQo
4. Parts II through V of Home Grown
5. A Memorial Day Speech for the American Legion that my Uncle has to give.
6. An article for All IN Magazine on poker home games.
7. Write Up of the Poker Bloggers tourney from last night.
As you can tell, I'm swamped! And I write a min. of 2 hours every day... as part of my daily routine as a writer. I've been up since 6am today... working on some of the above, and then some. This past wekeend, I have been working on some of the new templates for my other sites.

Some of my listening music this morning has been:
1. Lady in Satin by Billie Holiday
2. Anthology Disc 1 by John Coltrane
3. Egypt 1979 the Grateful Dead at the Pyramids!
More to come.
Happy Belated Birthday, Coach!

Yes, it was one of my poker buddies birthday's this weekend. Best wishes to Coach!

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Blonde Joke of the Day

Q. How many blondes does it take to make chocolate chip cookies?

A. Seven... One to make the dough and six to peel the M&M's.
The Penguin

Go visit The Poker Penguin. Talk about some quality blogage out there, fom a great writer, and skilled poker player, down in New Zealand. Here's a bit of The Penguin's last entry:
Sure, it's not great comedy, and it's not hot drunk 18 year olds. But it got me another few bucks closer to being debt free. It was also wonderful to be mister suckout for a change. I have experimented with the fish lifestyle, and it was good.
Ah, drunk 18 yr olds.... reminds me of just yesterday.
Where's Al Can't Hang?

Somewhere in this picture is Al Can't Hang.
Pieces of Pauly

Back by popular demand. What did I eat in the last week?

The highlights include: Two slices of sausage pizza, eight slices of marble loaf pound cake, one orange, a banana, French toast with home fries and extra crispy bacon, one Flying Saucer from Carvel, a slice of cheesecake and Lemonade at the Manhattan Diner, Costa Rican food -- a Spicy Chicken sandwich, an Everything bagel with butter, a grilled chicken breast sandwich with melted American cheese and bacon with a side order of fries from the Riverdale dinner, a pretzel from some guy on the corner of 24th and 6th, and a black and white cookie.
5 Random Cities I've Seen a Phish Concert...

1. Orlando, FL
2. The Woodlands, TX
3. Chula Vista, CA
4. Philadelphia, PA
5. Vancouver, BC
You Got Knocked the Fuck Out!!

Roy Jones was Ko'd last night in an shocker!
Firemen Save Stoner's Pot Plants from Fire

Only in Oregon. Man’s marijuana crop saved from house fire is a hilarious read. Check it out:
A Salem man’s marijuana crop almost went up in smoke Thursday, but firefighters’ fast work saved the plenitude of potted plants. Jonathan Martinez, 30, planned to take care of the small blaze himself, police said. But a nearby Circle K didn’t sell fire extinguishers. Martinez thought that he had found the perfect alternative — baking soda — and quickly returned to his home at 1205 Barnes Road SE, police said. Much to his chagrin, Salem firefighters and police had already come to his aid...
Pot humor is always a favorite subject of mine.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Poker in the Weeds: Vegas Trip Report Day 2

My brother posted his Day 2 action from our Vegas trip last month. Here's a bit:
The others (locals) are losers. They seem to never win and constantly bitch when they get out played and lose. These degenerate gamblers are definitely living in the wrong city.
Check out his blog: Poker in the Weeds.