Thursday, September 30, 2004

When I Dream


She's really day dreaming about... me!
Happy 40th Trey!

Trey and his Mom do the Sexy Bump!

My 5 Favorite Trey Moments...
1. Seeing Trey get pegged in the head with a glowstick at the end of the third set for the Halloween Las Vegas show in 1998.

2. Watching Trey drool during Ghost in Osaka, Japan.

3. "How much for the grenande?" ...the scene from Bittersweet Motel when he haggles over a gun purchase with an arms dealer in a store in Spain.

4. During one of the Miami shows after they jammed out a kick ass Foam he turned around to Fish and said, "Wow! That was fun!!" I had second row seats side of the stage with Zobo that night and I could see him chatting with Page and Fish and Mike in between songs.

5. At the last Great Woods show, Trey polled the audience and asked if they thought Fish vaccuum songs made or killed the show.
The Good Life

Some days your the bum. Somedays your the street. Think about that one for a minute.
5 Lists of 5

It's that time of week again. Five random lists of five random things...

Recent Google Referrals in the Last 24 Hours...
1. Jane Pauley manic depression
2. Pink rabbits love tequila
3. Lindsay Lohan licking her left breast
4. Shark tale cocaine bathtub
5. Pics of female celebrities hairy armpits

Recent Writing Music...
1. Toots & the Maytals
2. Velvet Underground
3. Vida Blue
4. STS9
5. The Beatles

Last 5 Flicks I Watched...
1. Shooting Fish
2. American Splendor
3. Sylvia
4. Interiors
5. Ash Wednesday

Airports I've Gotten Drunk In...
1. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
2. LAX
3. Keflavik (Iceland)
4. Hartsfield International (Atlanta)
5. Denver Stapleton

Recent Poker Music...
1. Little Feat
2. JJ Cale
3. Billie Holiday
4. Jerry Gracia & David Grisman
5. Galactic

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Private Table Birthday

Thanks to Maudie for the screen capture!

I logged online to just check my email. I got home after walking several blocks in the pouring rain to be invited to a private table at Party Poker, full of poker bloggers in honor of Al Cant Hang's birthday.
The Players:
Seat 1: Dr. Pauly
Seat 2: Maudie
Seat 3: AlCantFold
Seat 4: Bad Blood
Seat 5: Carter from Cubanlinks
Seat 6: Iggy
Seat 7: Lord Geznikor
Seat 8: Sean from Anistropy
Seat 9: Daddy from Snail Trax
Seat 10: Otis B. Dart
I was still dripping wet during the first few hands. Can't recall much aside from raising Al's big blind every orbit from the button! As always, a blast even though I lost a crushing $8, which is about the price of one drink in NYC.
5 American Cities I Visited the Most in the Last Decade...
1. Las Vegas
2. New Orleans
3. San Francisco
4. Los Angeles
5. Philadelphia

Editor's Note: This list does not include cities I've lived in.

5 Cities That Just Missed the Cut...
1. Boston
2. Chicago
3. Portland
4. Dallas
5. San Diego
Belated Boobage

For Al Cant Hang... Lindsay Lohan's GQ spread pics. I glanced at that issue while standing in line at the grocery store, stuck behind an old lady. She took forever it seemed and I kept flipping through the pages as she complained and whined and held up the entire line. I felt like that scene in American Spledor when Harvey Pekar lost his shit and left the store.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Back to Vegas

I've been to Las Vegas so many times in the last two years that I've lost count! In 74 days, expect to see me back in Sin City... for an undeteremined amount of time. I hope it's snowing in NYC that weekend when I'm playing a round of golf in 75 degree sunny weather. Time to build up the bankroll and I hope that my oil stocks take off in the next few weeks so I can fund my December trip.
Oil Hits $50!

Today's Oil prices

Just as I predicted nine months ago... Crude Oil Futures would hit highs near the election. Instability in Nigeria has Wall Street and OPEC worried. Rebels are promising a war will begin on October 1st. They warned oil companies to shut production in the Niger Delta before they declare an all-out-war on Friday. That news drove oil prices up the last two days, hitting a high of over $50 this morning. Nigeria is the fifth largest supplier of our domestic oil consumption. Global oil production is pumping out at just about full capacity to feed the enormous demand of China's economic expansion and boom, which is reaching it's fastest output growth in 24 years. There are also serious security threats involving Suadi Arbaia, Iraq, and Russia which has magnified the price surge. Opec promised to increase their production to help combat lower prices, alas some experts don't think Opec can do anything to stop the price surge.
Bash at the Boathouse

My brother woke me up with a phone call saying that he was going to take the train from NYC to Philly so he could attend Al Cant Hang's fifth annual Bash at the Boathouse. I told him we'd pick him up at the 30th Street train station downtown after we met Boy Genius at the airport at noon. I went downstairs and Al Cant Hang was already up doing his horse racing picks. He kindly hooked up the computer and DSL line in the living room for late night amusement just in case I couldn't sleep. Mrs. Hang got up and made breakfast... a homemade recipe for French Toast which kicked ass. Life was looking great when Al flipped on MTV and Katie Holmes: Diary was being aired. Could not have been any happier!

Mrs. Hang was gracious enough to act as the airport & train pick up for out of town guest poker bloggers. Derek missed his first train by just a few minutes and his second was being delayed due to Amtrak mechanical problems. We picked up BG at the airport then drove down a few exits on I-95 towards Delaware to pick up cheaper cigarettes and get a great Philly Cheesesteak at one of Mrs. Hang's favorite places. I split a large cheesesteak with provolone and mushrooms. It was scrumcious. The onion rings melted in your mouth. Derek's train from NYC finally arrived and were on our way to the Boathouse a twenty minute drive from downtown. Big Mike picked up Al Cant Hang at noon and they had been drinking steadily with Lewey when we finally arrived. Al pre-ordered hot buffalo wings for Derek so as soon as he met Al, he had a double Jack and food awaiting him! Lewey bought the first several round of drinks. We all caught up watched a little college football (friggin Virginia Tech killed me!) and we quickly sat down for some poker.

I will be updating that part (the specifics of the infamous Boathouse Game) on the Tao of Poker in the near future. For now, I'll just have some general comments about the game. So there's very little poker content in this entry for you non-pokerheads. Big Mike had dirty cards that he picked up in Greece the week before. It was cool in theory, but in reality, it was hard to see the actual card rankings, since they were shrunk to a small corner, while the majority of the card displayed a kinky sex acts involving gals with huge breasts and guys with cocks the size of small alligators.

Everyone was downing drink after drink during the game. The party started at 6pm and I was ripped by 4pm... and I didn't down any shots at that point! Derek said I had been drinking a lot more than I originally blogged on my last edition of Pieces of Pauly. I low balled those numbers in a conscious effort to tone down the flippant remarks regarding my superfluous drug and alcohol usage. At this point, it's pretty much a given to all of you that I was inebriated at some point of every day, especially at an Al Cant Hang sponsored function. Plus add the fact that I have a somewhat infamous poker blog (read on six continents and forty-three countries daily!) that the word is out that I'm a degenerate gambler and wandering, bohemian, party animal. Do people really want to know that I knocked down at least 7,000 bong hits this year alone? And popped more pills that could easily put 1/3 of all of Romania to sleep for two weeks straight?

Back to the party. During the pre-party poker game on the deck, Lewey got wasted. Very wasted. Landow said he had never seen Lewey that out of control before. Early on, he wasn't doing anything outrageous except that he lost the volume control on his voice and was speaking in that drunken volume where everyone within a two mile radius can hear what he's saying. At one point his exgirlfriend came over to say hello and he ended up telling the table and the entire Boathouse, "Yeah, I used to nail her!" Poor girl was standing ten feet away with her mother and there sat Lewey bleeding away his stack of chips, discussing his sex life at a table full of bloggers. Al Cant Hang had to say something to Lewey to calm him down. He muttered, "When I'm the voice of reason, you know something's wrong."

That was just the beginning of the implosion of Lewey. He was down $210 at one point playing poker and who knows what his bar tab looked like... and the party had only officially started for an hour!! Big Mike and Al Cant Hang were knocking back Irish carbomb every fifteen minutes. It was impressive, kinda like watching Willie Mays play centerfield. You had a feeling you were watching greatness unfold before your very eyes.

I won $110 mostly from Lewey and I was up $200 at one point. The first of five bands came on and we sat in the VIP section and chowed on some Boathouse burgers. They were good and were just warming up before they played a longer set later in the night. The second band was an 80s cover band with a cute lead singer with the largest real watermelons I've seen in some time. She was short and solid. BG made the comment that, "She was chunky enough to have some self esteem issues." She had an OK voice and afterwards we chatted her up at the outside bar. It was her first gig with the band and she was a little nervous. I think she was a Delaware girl but we didn't get too much time to chat.

Carter finally arrived after a day long session of poker at the Borgata. I slowed down a bit waiting for my second wind. That's when Lewey started speaking in drunken tongues. I saw that Al Cant Hang was sitting down with him. He had a stressed out look on his face . Landow decided to drive Lewey back home. I joined him (just in case he needed help and because Landow was going to drop me off to pick up my car at the hotel). Derek tagged along and as we were taking Lewey out to the parking lot, he escaped! He bolted past me and took off down a steep hill adjacent to the boathouse. I saw him sprinting and then he disappeared from my line of sight. Al Cant Hang joined the chase (and bolted as fast as I ever seen Al Cant Hang move) after him. I quickly followed. The hill was more steep than I thought and I had to look down to make sure my footing was OK. That's when I saw Lewey bounce off of the bottom of the hill and onto the pavement, a good twenty yards from where the hill ended and a paved parking lot started. Al Cant Hang was bending over him and Lewey looked like he was knocked out cold. After a quick inspection, Dr. Al diagonsed that Lewey did not have any broken bones, but he had a gash his arm, which was scraped pretty bad. Al picked him up and we threw him into Landow's SUV and we took off. After Lewey was escorted to his front door from Landow, Derek noticed the blood stains on Landow's upholstery. My prediction almost came true... "someone was going to the hospital"... and I was glad it wasn't going to be me!

We reurned to the Boathouse. I threw on the red jacket and was ready to party. It was almost 11pm when we got back when I found Al and Big Mike for a round of SoCo shots. I ended up doing three very quickly. Went back inside and caught the end of the Petey and the Bandcampers set. They played Patience and the Al Cant Hang Song. The Al Cant Hang Experiment was up next and they were dressed up like 80s rockers with bad hair and makeup. That when things got fuzzy and I at some point I drove BG back to the hotel, which was a two minute drive, where we hung out for a little late night partying before I crashed for three hours and got up to drive him to the airport!
Happy Birthday, Al Cant Hang!

Another shot??

In honor of America's Favorite Wingman and North America's foremost SoCologist's birthday, I penned a poem for him.
Ode to Al Cant Hang

Happy birthday, Senor Al No Puede Colgar! Hope it's a good one.
Blogger Reviews

There have been a few updates from my fellow bloggers about this weekend. Grubby and Helixx posted blurbs about our Borgata Blogger Convention in Atlantic City.

Boy Genius had some interesting things to say about the Bash at the Boathouse. Here's a bit:
After grabbing Derek from the depot, we went straight to the Boathouse, where Internet Celebrity (TM) Al Can't Hang was already in pre-bash preparations. And yes, by "pre-bash preparations," I mean "doing shots with Lewey, Big Mike, and others at 2PM. So with Pauly, Derek, Al, and myself all under one roof, how long do you think it took to get a poker game started? I think they measure frames of time like this one using the Heisenberg Principle, or Occham's Razor, or something. Needless to say, in less than 30 minutes, we had a game going.
And this was my favorite part:
I have never seen guys drink like Al and his boys. Every time I turned around, they were drinking another SoCo shot. And another. And another. Oy. They're trained professionals kids, DO NOT try this at home.

I was telling Pauly this morning on the way to the airport that Saturday happened exactly as I thought it would. I had talked to Al enough online, and had seen pics of him and his wife online that I felt like I knew them already. And so it was comfortable and cool. I expected to see a lot of drinking, hear some bar bands, play some poker, and not get nearly enough sleep for my tastes. That's exactly what I got. And it was fun.
And of course, Al Cant Hang posted a write up of Blogger Borgata game and the Saturday fiesta. Here's what he had to say:
I did make one guy cry with a horrible beat. Really really. Right there at the table. I made a move at a pot where this kid flopped his K with a bad kicker. He called my all-in on the turn after a long time. He flipped his cards and said, "I have the King". I just cringed. I said, "I just have Ace high". Just as I said it and flipped, the dealt put a lovely Ace on the river.

Young guy went completely ape shit. I attempted to apologize for the bad beat (as I was reaching over my newly formed stack of chips) and I eventually just walked away for a smoke. I found his girlfriend (who was sweating him the entire time) upstairs and I told her she might wanna go check on her man.

Later, I made Pauly honest-to-god, "I'm coming over the table", Hellmuthian (his words) mad. I bet the pot with absolutely nothing. A7s. A monster. JJ8 on the board. He thought and thought and eventually layed down the Hilton Sisters. It would have been all golden had I not pulled the ass move of the night. I flipped over my crappy hand. eek. Bad form Al....

....How to know it was going to be interesting? Lewey and BigMike hit the upstairs bar first thing and loaded up a buffet of shots. 4 Soco, 4 Jacks, two Irish Carbombs, and 1 Tequila, and miscellaneous beers. That was just the first round and it's around 1pm. 5 hours til the doors open....

....My blogger guests were truly impressive in my environment. It's not real easy to walk into a situation where myself and BigMike do doubleshots at a quicker pace than most drink their beer. BG slowplayed me by saying he was a lightweight. Don't buy the myth ladies and gentleman. He knocked back beer at a pace to impress certain Texan. Two minutes after meeting and shaking hands with Derek, he had a double Jack in him. Dr. Pauly, of course, had no problem hanging with the Soco and Yuengling. Carter showed up late with a completely valid excuse. He didn't bother to sleep the night before at the Borgata. He wasted no time getting into the swing....

...For the record, BigMike's tab had a total of 22 Jager Bombs. Good lord almighty...
More to come. I will be writing up the highlights and lowlights from Saturday. Stay tuned.
Recent Driving Music....
1. Led Zeppelin
2. Bob Dylan
3. Charlie Hunter
4. Medeski, Martin, & Wood
5. Miles Davis
It's Going to Be a Slow Weekend

Huge bust!

Monday, September 27, 2004

Pieces of Pauly

What did I eat this weekend? Some Friday's Borgata highlights: chocolate donut, General Tso's combo special from Noodles of the World. After poker playing snack included a bacon cheeseburger with fries (dipped in ranch dressing). On Saturday, I also had a cheesesteak with provolone and mushrooms (with a side of fries) with Boy Genius and Mrs. Hang in Deleware. I also ate a few buffalo chicken wings from the infamous Boathouse. I drank at least ten beers (Yueng Ling Lagers during the party and Heffewiezens during poker) and late night I downed three shots of SoCo with Al Cant Hang and Big Mike at the Boathouse Bash. On the way home, I ate some tasty cakes and drank on Orange Gatorade.
Borgata Blogger Misadventures
"You might wanna check in on your boyfriend, I just put a bad beat on him." - Al Cant Hang
Editor's Note: You can read the entire write up via the Tao of Poker. I included some of the highlights and some of the better written parts...

24 Sept. 2004... Atlantic City, NJ

It took exactly two hours to drive from midtown Manhattan to the Borgata, with a piss stop along the way. Not bad time for a sunny Friday morning. I forgot that Atlantic City is actually a few minutes closer to NYC than Foxwoods. As soon as I parked, I called Al Cant Hang and the lovely Mrs. H. They were just five minutes behind me. We arranged to meet at the B Bar, centrally located in the middle of the casino. I had only been to the Borgata once before during their first opening week but never had the chance to play cards.

By 11:43am, the ever generous Senor Al No Puede Colgar bought his second round of drinks... the usual for himself, a cranberry and Malibu for Mrs. H and a pint of Lager for yours truly. We toasted to Iggy and Sean and everyone else who couldn't make the journey. We were awaiting the arrival of Grubby who had passed out at 8:30 that morning after a late night session of poker. He finally wandered downstairs and recanted his previous night's performance. A few minutes later, Helixx popped in (he got carded!) and within seconds we had four degenerate gamblers drinking at noon in a bar in an Atlantic City casino yapping about all things poker. We could have probably sat there all day and night knocking back cocktails and comfortably discussing our deep passion for gambling and other related interests, but alas, we were in AC to play some poker. The three beers on an empty stomach made me a little tipsy and I needed food. I never like to play serious cards when I'm pounding beers. I'll drive after a few drinks, but I hate playing poker when I'm liquored up. Why is that? I know that my decision making processes are heavily impaired while I'm on the sauce. Just think about the five ugliest women you ever hooked up with... then you'll understand why I need to have a little more self control at the tables. Conjuring up those nasty mental images is enough to rapidly drive a man to the nearest AA meeting.

After a kick ass General Tso's special from Noodles of the World (and thanks to Grubby who graciously picked up the tab... on his birthday I think!) we invaded the downstairs poker room. Within ten minutes we were seated. Helixx was called first for his $2-4 game and then they announced open seating for a new NL table. I bought in the $300 max and sat down ready to play. The blinds were $1 and $2.
The Players:
Seat 1: The kid (had his girlfriend sitting behind him)
Seat 2: The suit
Seat 3: The mechanic (and later Carter)
Seat 4: Al Cant Hang
Seat 5: Grubby
Seat 6: Boston Guy 1
Seat 7: Mrs. Hang
Seat 8: Boston Guy 2
Seat 9: Dr. Pauly
3:31pm EST... I played my second hand in an hour when I found cowboys in late position and fired out a $30 preflop raise. I had two callers... Al Cant Fold and Grubby. I put Grubby on AK or 10s figuring that he would have come back over the top with any other big hands. I put Al on big suited cards or something like AQ or AJ. The flop: 6xJs9s. I opened up with a $50 bet. Al Cant Limp folded. And Grubby thought for a second and moved all in. That's when I should have folded. I was used to being bullied around by my fellow poker bloggers and the guys at the Blue Parrot. I had $80 already in the pot and $160 left. I foolishly called and of course the Grubster had JJ. He took my $240 in what was a $500+ pot. I was busted in the first hour! I looked at the time. How was going to last until Midnight with just $200 left? I only brought $500 with me out of my thin (Eastern European model-thin) cash bankroll. I wanted to cap out my loses in case I was on a bad run. I didn't want to have to go to the ATM but I pretty much decided that would have to happen if I lost my rebuy. I walked back up to the cage and got $200 in red chips. I took my seat again. Like that old Chinese proverb said, "Fall eight times, get up nine."

4:41pm EST... -265. The suit was a calling station. With AA in the BB and three limpers in the pot, I raised to $50, well over 25% of my stack. The suit called and before the last card was dealt on the all rags flop, I pushed my chips all in. He took his time and for the first time all day, my heart jumped out of my stomach while my breathing intensified. I live for those moments. Some folks jump out of airplanes, others climb misty mountain tops, and some party themselves into frenetic highs. The rare instances in my life when I never felt more alive and in the moment... were at poker tables. At 4:41pm EST... that moment was no different. I'll be chasing that high for many days in the future for sure. My heart was thumping harder than Monica Lewinsky rushing down the street to Krispy Kreme first thing in the morning. Sweat was dripping off my face harder than Patrick Ewing at the free throw line. The suit was staring me down. I couldn't decide if I wanted him to call and chase or fold. He took more time before he peeked at his cards one last time, sighed, then folded. I wish he waited a few more seconds. The rush of adrenaline sobered me up and kept me going for the next day or so.

6:13pm EST... The hand of the day... Al Cant Hang raised in LP with A10. The kid in Seat 1 called with K6s. The flop: KJ2. The kid bet and Al raised. The kid called. The turn was another rag, but it gave a second club to the board. The kid bet and Al moved all in with nothing but an ace high!! The kid took his time. That's when I put him on a small King. He called with top pair but was worried if Al had him outkicked, or even had paired the board with his kicker. It seemed like a couple of minutes before the kid made up his mind. His girlfriend wasn't there at the time (she had gotten up to got for a smoke or bathroom or boredom break) and he kept staring at the board. He finally called and showed his K6s. He almost jumped out of his seat when Al Cant Limp showed A10s. The guy next to me whispered, "I folded an ace." Al had a flimsy two outs to win. In dramatic fashion an ace fell on the turn followed by the chorus of "Wow!" and "Holy shit!" Grubby's jaw dropped. The kid punched the empty seat his girlfriend had been occupying. He smacked it a second time and then a third. I heard the muffled shout of, "No!" over him trying not to cry at the table. He smacked the chair a fourth time. If his sweetheart had been sitting there, chances are she would have had two black eyes by that point. Al slowly stacked up his chips then left the table which was blanketed in an uncomfortable silence as the kid pulled his shirt up over his face to hide the tears. He was visibly shaken (for the following next forty minutes). The guy next to me made a comment (in jest) that the kid lost all the money he was saving up for his wedding. If true, that would have been fucked up. At the time, I was cracking up on the inside because Al Cant Hang made some kid cry after a vicious bad beat and possibly took all his wedding and honeymoon money! All I could think was two things:
1. Thank God that wasn't me.
2. I can't wait to blog this!
When Al went out for a cigarette, he saw the kid's girlfriend and said something like, "You might wanna check in on your boyfriend, I just put a bad beat on him." Tragically funny, kinda like when a clown dies. Like a vicious storm, Hurricane Al Cant Hang terrorized the poor kid. He was lucky to still have the shirt on his back.

6:50pm EST... The Hilton Sisters were flashing me. I raised preflop and Al cold called in the BB. The flop: 8JJ with two clubs. He bet $30 and I called. Did he have the Jack? Would Al Cant Limp smooth call when he flopped trips? When a 4 hit the turn he bet $100 or roughly the size of the pot. Was he on a flush draw? I took my time and went through all the possible hands. I figured he had a AJ or something like that. I folded. The dealer pushed him the pot and he flipped over A7s. I expected the ace, but not the 7! I pounded my fist on the table and in Hellmuthian fashion, I stormed away intoxicated by a haze of ire. Seething? Yep. Irked? You betcha. Did I lose my composure? You would have too. Those damn Hilton Sisters. I didn't want to loose my entire stack to three Jacks again. I should have moved all in against Al and folded against Grubby. I sat down completely embarrassed that I lost my cool in a casino. The dealer never said anything and we moved on to the next hand.

Overall Grubby came out on top netting over $200 (most on the $500 pot he won against me!). Carter only lost $25 (on his last hand to me) and Helixx had a $50 loss at the $2-4 tables. Al Cant Hang and Mrs. H lost their buyins at the table but the big slot win made the trip a profitable adventure. Mrs. H had some meal comps so we grabbed a late night dinner at their diner. Cheeseburgers for me and Grubby! I think Al Cant Hang was eating pancakes. We chatted and rambled on. I got bogged down into an "industry chat" with Grubby and we shared not just poker, but writing as a collective interest. Carter encouraged me to get a full RSS feed so he can read my blogs at work (I think I fixed that... lemme know). I wish I had the chance to play with Helixx especially since we all had a blast a couple of Friday's ago at the micro limit, drunken, blogger convention on Party Poker.

We said our good byes and I drove with Al Cant Hang back to chez Hang. We blasted Led Zeppelin the entire drive home and I eventually had to slow down near Valley Forge Park when I saw all the friggin' deer grazing all over. It was freaky because I could barely see all the deer through the faint moonlight and the low fog. I had this fear that Bambi would sprint out in the middle of the road and I'd slam on the brakes and Al Cant Hang would go flying through the dashboard (he'd be OK of course... a half a bottle of SoCo makes men bulletproof) and we'd be spending the rest of the night explaining to Mrs. Hang why we needed a crowbar and a bucket... to remove the bloody hoof from the front end of my rental car.

Day 1: -325

To read it all visit: Tao of Poker.
Birthday Message from Japan

Emi recently blogged me birthday greetings. Here's what she wrote in English:
Thanks Dr.Pauly, We had great time with you when we enjoying the show together! and thanks pauly, always you rescue us from our horrible seats! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Thanks Emi! I hope to see in Japan next year! My Japanese is not too good. I did not understand the rest of her entry. Maybe someone can help me translate it better? Here's what I understand:
My friend of Pauly lives in New York. His occupation is a good writer and artist or does such a thing it seems. As for him loving the Phish, he chased them 100 times or more. He is rather funny with Tao of Pauly. Of course because it's written in English, it's too long and hard to translate and you become tired, however sometimes when you read there is also a time of laughing. His humor is my favorite and best part of his writing.

He's friends with Zobo. As for encountering him for the first time, it was New Year's Eve 2002, the MSG Phish show. He is a very frank person, always with a smiling face. After the Japan tour of the Phish, he became friends with many Japanese. Funny person. First impression was a good impression in person. 2nd meeting was at the Miami Phish New Year shows. Although it was a long time since we met, for him my face was not forgotten. And he was the usual good person and the funny person when he talks We had bad seats of the third Miami show behind the stage, a high and fearful place. He found us and took us to his better seats. lucky!

As for 3rd meeting, it was August 10th of this year. We met in Great Woods with Senor outside the woman's rest room. It was pleasant. Knowing this type of person always helps... dividing the thinking which is pleasant, giving, when it meets. He's a very delightful person. Always, it was grateful, passed grateful.
As I said my Japanese is horrible and this is loosely translated!! But you get the point. Thanks Emi!

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Boathouse Bash Preview

This is just some of the things I'll be addressing in a future post.

1. After picking up Boy Genius at the airport and Derek at the train station with Mrs. Can't Hang, we were drinking at the Boathouse by 3pm.
2. We played poker on the outside deck for 5+ hours.
2. I won $110 for a $40 buy in NL game. I was almost up $200 at one point.
4. I won all the money back that I lost from Lewey in June. I rivered Lewey on a really bad beat.
5. Lewey had to do 4 rebuys.
6. Big Mike had these cool "dirty" cards from Greece with all sorts of orgy scenes and guys with cranks the size of 7-iron.
7. I bluffed Al Can't Hang out of a huge pot. He actually folded trip Kings!! I had nothing.
8. Boy Genius was shortstacked most of the early part but hung on surviving all of his all-ins.
9. Landow won a hand with AA! They weren't cracked.
10. Derek flopped a straight with 25o, went all in and doubled up against me when I flopped two pair.

Some non-poker things...
1. Carter arrived a little late and very tired after a day long sessions in AC!
2. I heard one of the bands play the infamous "Al Can't Hang" song.
3. One of the bands were called: The Al Cant Hang Experiment
4. One of our fellow poker bloggers... puked. I'll reveal his identity later!
5. Two words: SoCo Shots.
6. I went with Landow to drive an extremely inebriated Lewey home.
7. BG had me cracking up all night with his observations of the crowd.
8. There was a female singer in one of the bands (an 80s cover band). She had huge watemelons. BG described her as "chunky enough that she probably has self-esteem issues."
9. We chatted up the "watermelon" girl at the bar. She kinda blew us off.
10. Another random blogger passed out for a few minutes. I'll have photo evidence very soon.

More to come.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Today's Horses

I just made my picks:

Let's Smoke 'Em
Polish Crown
Vermont Summer
Inda Sun
Tanwi Spring
Irish Colonial
Golden Commander
Western Ransom
Hour of Justice
Ocean Drive
Borgata Blues Preview

1. I started drinking with the Hangs at 11:15am, Atlantic City time.
2. Met fellow poker bloggers Helix, Cuban Links, and the infamous Poker Grub.
3. I dropped $325 in 6 hours playing NL.
4. Played at the same table with Al Cant Hang, Mrs. Hang, Grubby, and Cuban Links.
5. Grubby won a $250 pot from me and busted me. His Jacks cracked my pocket cowboys.
6. I lost my entire $300 buyin within the first hour.
7. Carter from Cuban links sucked out a runner runner flush to beat me out of a $100 pot.
8. Al Cant Hang made some kid cry after he won a $300+ pot when he bad beated the poor kid on the river when Al Cant Hang caught a near impossible two outer.
9. Al Cant Hang bluffed me out of a $220+ pot. I folded on the turn. I had the Hilton Sisters and all he had was... ace high, which he proudly showed me. Why didn't I call?
10. After the AlCantHang Bluff, I lost my temper and smacked the table loudly and had to walk away from the table to collect myself.

More to come.

Friday, September 24, 2004

On the Road...

I'm off for the weekend. Today it's Atlantic City and a poker bloggers convention (not really an organized convention, but there will be at least six or so of us there playing poker) at the Borgata. On Saturday, it's more cards and the Bash at the Boat House, thrown by our host Senor Al No Puede Colgar, otherwise known in some circles as Al Can't Hang. Here's the directions he sent me to his house:
1. Take the New Jersey Turnpike South
2. Take exit 6 from the Jersey Tpike toward Pennsylvania Tpike
3. The New Jersey Turnpike turns into the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
8. Follow RT xx for approx. 6 miles.
9. Turn right on Gay Street. (there will be a 7-11 on the left)
10. Turn right on xxxxx Avenue.
11. Look for the fat hippy in front of the house
Some folks have stone fountians, some have pink flamingos, some have gnomes or lawn jockeys... I'm looking for the fat hippy!! More to come.
Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...
1. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
2. Asking for Trouble by Elizabeth Young
3. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
4. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
5. Men Are Like Fish: What Every Woman Needs to Know About Catching a Man by Steve Nakamoto
Truckin' - September 2004 (Vol. 3, Issue 9)

September's issue of Truckin' is short and sweet. I'm excited to add another new writer to the roster. Ignatious J. Reilly shares a story about his recent trip to Aruba during a hurricane. Diane Roy is back with a touching piece of fiction. And of course I have two stories; an Amsterdam tale, and another Coventry, Vermont story. Sit back, enjoy, and please spread the good word about this site. Be sweet, McG.

1. Charlie's Albatros by Tenzin McGrupp
She barely touched her tea, instead she put a hefty dent into the pack of Gitanes she bought during our desperate search for hash and French smokes in the early afternoon... More

2. Mausoleum by Diane Roy
The answering machine was the only thing alive, waiting like an exasperated lover, waiting to be released from the duty of reliving that day, over and over and over... More

3. Ivan and Aruba by Ignatious J. Reilly
Hurricane Ivan was on it's way and everything was closed up or shut down. Arubans were twitchy and dumbfounded, and that alone made me nervous. A hurricane, much less a category 4 storm, had not hit this lovely island in nearly 200 years... More

4. A Vermont Wake Up Call by Tenzin McGrupp
Sure it might have been the first strange thing I saw that day, but I was guaranteed that by Midnight, the naked pregnant chick taking a shit behind my tent would be the 136th weird-ass-happening that I'd experience... More

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Happy Belated Birthday... Lori & Armando!

I missed it, but a late blog is better than no blog! Happy birthday guys... to Lori, one of my favorite Kentucky readers who I finally got to meet at Phish at Deer Creek. And to Armando, who I've known for almost fourteen years! Happy b-day guys. Hope you had a great day.
John Romeo = Asshole

There's this clown in my fantasy football league with Senor. He complains about everything. Since day 1, I've had my email inbox bombarded with his annoying emails complaining about everything. I got fed up and posted the following to our league's message board:
Look, I kindly asked Mr. Romeo yesterday to nicely remove my name from this REPLY TO ALL list. And today I found 4 emails from him. Now, I'm not in a good mood. All this nonsense will end today.

Dear Mr. Romeo,

It is not unreasonable to ask you to simply erase my name from your emails. Frankly, you seem to be having problems... serious psychological problems from what I can tell in this short amount of time I have been bombarded by your idiotic assults on our commisoner and other members of this league. Who the hell are you to think that you can blantatly keep abusing us without any serious retributions?

I hope you seek help. Fast, before you damage to yourself and your loved ones. I don't know you and I never want to get to know someone like you.

Keep me off your email list of whiny complaints. Jeez. You are probably the worst possible person to have in a fantasy football league. You should be proud with your inadequacies, that is you are an annoying jerkoff who has nothing better to do with his life than complain about semantics.

I applaud Mr. Litchman and Mr. Kaye for their work. They do this for free and you could not pay me $2200 to have to deal with selfish assholes like yourself.

If you do win. I hope you use some of your winnings to get a hooker so you can end your decade long dry spell. Maybe finally fucking a $25 whore will do wonders for your inadequacies issues. And afterwards, I hope you use your remaining winnings to remove that stick that's wedged in your ass.

Pauly... someone who's completely tired of your antics
Man, this guy sucks. I feel bad for our commissioner!!
5 Random Things I Like Eating at Waffle House...
1. Pecan Waffles
2. Double cheeseburger plate (with bacon)
3. Hash browns... scattered, smothered, covered, and topped
4. Sausage and Cheese sandwich (basically a grilled cheese with a patty in it)
5. Bert's Chili

Phish Out of Water Interview with Chris Kuroda

I just read a great article, pointed out to me from Alea. Phish Out of Water is an interview with Chris Kuroda, the lighting tech for Phish. I always said that he was the "fifth" member of Phish... and his lighting direction is some of the best in the business. Here's a bit:
Kuroda started working with the band after an offer from Trey Anastasio, vocalist and guitarist, to carry gear at local gigs around Burlington, Vermont, where the band and crew got started and still reside.

"I was taking guitar lessons from Trey, and he asked one time if I knew somebody to carry some gear locally around Burlington for like $20," explains Kuroda. "I was a roadie, but I wasn't prepared to travel or anything. Within a couple weeks, I was essentially part of the crew in an undefined way. I didn't realize how deep I would get into it."

His lighting career started a few weekends later in New Hampshire, when the prior LD took a mid-set bathroom break."

"There was another guy doing the lights. He stepped out for a minute. I jumped in to push the buttons on the tiny little light board, and I knew the songs from seeing the band 50 times in bars in Burlington. I knew, even then, the changes coming up. After that show, Trey called me and said, ‘You're doing the lights.’ I said, ‘I don't know anything about lights. I don't even know how to set up gear,’ and he said we'd figure it out together."
Check it out. Thanks, Alea.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Dead Money = Senor Al No Puede Colgar

Al Can't Hang changed the name of his blog today... in honor of my b-day and after something I penned in a write up of the poker game late Monday night. Check it out.


In related news, CBS and 60 Minutes report that have uncovered documents concerning the legitimacy of the Spears-Federline union.

Pieces of Pauly

What did I eat in the last couple of days? Tuna salad sandwich on Italian bread, French Toast at the diner, chicken parmigana sandwich with cheese fries, mozzarella sticks, four slices of pizza, a half a loaf of garlic bread, two Everything bagels, buffalo chicken wings, a red rice and bean burrito, a spicy sliced chicken breast sandwich with American cheese and bacon, and seven slices of pound cake. I have grown addicted to Arizona Raspberry iced tea, although I've been drinking a lot of Orange Gatorade.

I would like to thank everyone for all your birthday wishes, comments, cards, e-cards, phone calls, and e-mails! Some of you even blogged birthday greetings. Thanks again.

I never saw Phish on my birthday, but I once saw The Grateful Dead play Madison Sqaure Garden in NYC on my b-day as a teenager. Talk about a raging show!
Poker Musings

I had two lengthy write ups of poker games in the last few days. I played cards until 6am on Monday and last Friday I got to play with a bunch of different poker bloggers online at Party Poker. Visit Tao of Poker to read the complete entries.

Late Night Weirdness at the Blue Parrot
"Swish, I'm right fucking here!" - Ugarte scolding a player for continuously acting out of turn
I had a great birthday yesterday. I wrote for several hours, played a few hands on Party Poker, ate dinner with my brother, then ventured off for a late night game at the Blue Parrot. Signor Ferrari had not hosted a game in several weeks. He pushed back the starting time a couple of hours and suggested that everyone bring a lax attitude this week, along with alcohol. Lots of it. Most of the regulars were back... Coach, Ugarte, and even Swish made the game. He was in town covering the Giants-Skins game and stuck around an extra day to play. Weirdness is the norm when the games get into the late hours. You can imagine what it was like when we left his apartment at 6am. At one point I was down almost $200 and left at 3am. I'm glad I stayed because I stormed back, saved face, and walked away only down $30.

It was a full table at the Blue Parrot, with the MNF game on in the background.
The players:
Seat 1: Joel
Seat 2: Om
Seat 3: Matt (first appearance at the Blue Parrot)
Seat 4: Signor Ferrari
Seat 5: Ugarte
Seat 6: Swish
Seat 7: Diane
Seat 8: Coach
Seat 9: Dr. Pauly
Man, I have lost so much money on Anaconda at the Blue Parrot that I could probably buy an entire bar in Southern Mexico somewhere, a place that Al Can't Hang and Mrs. Hang could vacation, and where the locals would shout out, "Senor No Puede Colgar!" everytime our favorite Socologist entered the premises. I cannot fold hands in Anaconda. I know better too. I feel like one of those battered wives, with two black eyes and a broken collar bone, who constantly runs face first into the fist of her pugilistic husband, unable to break free from the sadistic nature of life that we all crave, yet lack the self-esteem to walk away.

I finished the night only down $31!! It was one of those sessions where I gutted through all the misery and waited until I had the chance to get better hands and take advantage of a short handed table. I was pumped about only losing $30 because it could have been a lot worse. My cash bankroll is more thinner than the anorexic Olsen twin and a huge loss at the Blue Parrot would have made this upcoming trip to AC uncomfortable with a limited bankroll.

It was just a few moments before sunrise when I left the Blue Parrot. Ferrari had to crash for a few hours before he went into work. I grabbed breakfast with Diane where we chatted about the night's game. She made a few mistakes but also made some great calls. She reads people well sometimes and that's her best asset. As I walked past Penn Station to get to the subway, I was nearly run over by a horde of bitter, early morning commuters heading to work. I smiled. I pulled an all night poker session on my birthday of all days, gutting out only a $30 loss after almost losing my buy-in and rebuy. I rode the subway home in silence, my eyes heavy, and my body wedged in between two NY Times reading, Starbucks drinking yuppies. They were just starting their day, while I was ending mine. Well, not really. I got home and wrote for several hours, including this rambling review of another wild late night of poker at the Blue Parrot.

My next big report will be about my tales in Atlantic City on Friday with Senor No Puede Colgar, El Comida del poker, and friends. Stay tuned.

Friday Night Blogger Convention

Last friday night, I went slumming at the 50 cent tables with some of our favorite poker bloggers on Party Poker. It's been a while since I let loose and had a good time. I wonder what the four or five other players thought about the wretched insanity we all brought to the tables? I'm sure they had no idea that we knew each other. It was like that scene from Rounders... except they were playing with some seriously demented, distrubed, drunk, and disorderly people.
The Players:
Seat 2: HDouble (later)
Seat 3: AlCantHang
Seat 4: Otis
Seat 7: Dr. Pauly
Seat 8: Helixx
Seat 9: Iggy
Seat 10: Ugarte
Over an hour, I dropped $19 most of it to a hand with AlCantFold. Party Poker's wild and loose tables at micro limits especially suck when you flop a set and still have five mentally unbalanced players rampantly jamming the pot with two gappers. I flopped four sets and only once did they hold up. Alas, I wasn't really there to win money.

Poker used to be a social event for me. I love a good party. In the last year or so, I adopted a more serious approach to poker. And at times, that new mentality took a lot of the fun out of the game. Sure I have plenty of poker passion, but the fun had slowly slipped away in my most recent sessions. Last night was unlike so many other nights. I actually had a blast... losing. I guess technically everyone was on tilt, playing garbage starting hands and trying to outbluff each other. Maybe it was the liquor or the pain killers or the excitement, but that table was one of the best I ever sat down at. Even the rock-solid Ugarte loosened up a bit. I swear I saw him play A7o in early position! When HDouble sat down, he busted out the $1000 stack. Iggy wanted to show everyone he had a bigger one, so he whipped out his $1000 stack. I wished I could have stayed longer, but I had a few things I had to write before I crashed and got up early this morning to write some more.

As always it was a pleasure to sit at a table with everyone and enjoy such fine table commentary.

Visit tha Tao of Poker to read more.

Monday, September 20, 2004

The Connection
"Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
About a year ago I almost hit rock bottom. I live to write and one September day in 2003, I woke up completely uninspired. That was not a nimble mischance. My once vast pool of inspiration had dried up. You could imagine the treacherous confusion that set in as I wandered around unhinged, unbalanced, and under-excited-about-life, surfing the tumultuous waves of postmodern society for several weeks while my mindset was tepid, at best. I was anonymously slumped at the end of a bar, muddied in a mid-afternoon buzz, when out of nowhere, I got up from my stool and walked out into the crowded street. I decided at that point to stop contemplating the big questions and start living. I'd push myself to write, to live, to travel, to explore, and most importantly... to make mistakes. Lots of them. I found something that day. Something I had been missing for several years. I discovered the intangible fearless attitude that I used to give me a glittering swagger when I walked so many years before. Within eight weeks, I penned two new novels, one of which I can proudly say, was my best piece of writing I every created. Coincidence? As soon as I shrugged off the possibility of failure, I found the energy and inspiration to start more projects. Some of them have panned ut, others fizzled out. But if I didn't take the first steps, I never would have figured out what parts of my vision could become reality.

A year later, I find myself overwhelmed with projects. Instead of pulling myself out of a deep depressive funk where I felt I had nothing pushing me... I find myself, today, slipping into a deep depressive funk because I realize that life is so short and because of that... I won't be able to have the time to do every project that has crossed my mind. Sadness smothers me when I think about all those poems, short stories, screenplays, stage plays, and novels that I'll never have the time to write. Or how about those magazines, paintings, photographs, films, and sculptures I'd like to create? I had so much time... and I wasted it all, mostly, caught up in a haze of conformity. If I just slipped away from the restraints of conventional thinking years earlier, who knows what I could have accomplished by now.

Alas, I am where I am and how I got here has very little importance anymore. It's how I live my future days that counts the most. I'll make myself the same promise; to live, to write, to explore, to travel, and to make mistakes. This upcoming year I shall still be a student of life. I'm a decade away from being a master of both literature and poker. If I study each subject with tenacious focus, I'll reap the benefits of my dilligent efforts in the next decade. For now, my energies will be focused on strengthening my liabilties, while capitalizing on my assets, and plodding forth on a path of creativity and personal enlightenment.

Top 5 Highlights of The Last Year..
1. Meeting Jodd
2. Going to Las Vegas twice with my brother
3. Reconnecting with Jerry in Miami
4. Seeing 24 out of the last 26 Phish shows
5. When Wil Wheaton read, then linked up the Tao of Poker to his blog

By no means is this list in any specific order. They're all equally amazing moments I've had. I wish I could list them all. But these stand out as some of the points in my life when I felt truly lucky to be alive.


My readers from all over the world, and all my fellow bloggers, and the numerous creative people in my life... all inspire me. Words like, "Thanks" can never do enough justice. One year later, I realize how blind I used to be, because all the inspiration I'll ever need had been surrounding me all along.

Mmmmm, German girls...

By the way, nothing turns me on more than big-breasted German girls with an octuplet of beers. But then again, I'd be just as happy if Katie Holmes showed up with a five-pack pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Dream Poetry

I had a dream last night. It was simply spectacular. I frantically scribbled down my thoughts. Here's what I wrote:
In a mere gracious utterance, wholesome flowers wilt in the shadow of my wretchedness, for I am their executioner sending them to their inncoent deaths, tearing their souls in half to expose their barren existance. Memories of sunshine filled days can only be conjured up on idle afternoons as my rebellious prosperity privately sluaghtered my friends, signifying the end of a spree of heinous and grievous crimes. I can no longer comfortably sit on the grassy carpet owned by the pink-clad, malcontent heiress, constantly summering at the sea-walled estate on one of the royal islands, the largest one in the chain of Paradise, which is always overcast with envious clouds.
I have no clue what I'm talking about either, so don't worry.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Eddie Adams Died

Siagon (1968) photo by Eddie Adams

The photographer of one of the most famous photos died recently. Eddie Adams captured the shocking image of a bullet entering the head of a Vietcong prisoner in 1968.
NFL Week 2 Best Bets

Picks of the Week
Chicago Bob (1-0): Jacksonsville +2 1/2 at home aginst Denver
Zobo (1-0): St. Louis +3 against Atlanta
Dr. Pauly (1-0): Green Bay -9 vs. Chicago
Jodd (1-0): The Jets -3 at San Diego
Poker Blogger of the Week... Snail Trax (1-0): Under in Denver/Jacksonville
Rib Boy (0-1): Indy -1 over Tenn

Parlay of the Week (0-1): The Packers, Detroit Rock City -3 to upend Houston, and the Jets -3.

Upset of the Week (0-1): The Cards taking down Tom "GOP" Brady and New England!

Rib Boy's Beating of the Week (0-1): Packers and the Cheeseheads to whoop da Bears

The Skinny Week 1: It's still early, but it helps to get off to a good start. The Seachickens covered which made me pretty happy. The Blogger of the Week pick from Al Can't Hang pick panned out. Jodd and his Jets are 1-0, as are Zobo and Chicago Bob. Rib Boy picks didn't look too good. I missed my upset, but the lowly Texans made it somewhat close.

Week 2: Chicago Bob loves home dogs. Jodd loves the Jets. I love Brett Favre against da Bears. Zobo is betting against his home time team. Should be an interesting week, as Snail Trax tries to keep the poker bloggers undefeated.
Dingos and 34th Place

Do dingos really eat babies? I wanted to find out. Alas, it was not meant to be. I am not going to Australia... yet. I finished in 34th place last night out of 73 other players in the $600 Aussie Million Satellite on Party Poker, with a prize pool of over $43,000. Top 3 places won seats/prize packages to the Australian Poker Championships, with some cash going through places 4-6. I pretty much folded everything last night (eveen folded AK twice!), and when I was shortstacked I moved all in with the Hilton Sisters and lost to AKs.

Thanks to everyone, bloggers and readers alike, who stopped by to root me on. You guys rock. I wish I could have made it a little more interesting for you. Next time for sure. If I could win a seat in the satellite for just an $11 investment, I'm sure I can get back for a second chance.

Due to time constraints, I will be unable to write a complete report this morning. Stay tuned, because tomorrow I'll post a recap of my week to the Tao of Poker, including a bunch of random tournaments I played online at Party Poker, including last night's satellite.

Thanks again!

Texas Bloggers

The Joker from Bathtub Gin called me up last night from the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Trey Anastasio Band was playing and he called during First Tube. His band also played Stash as well. Anyway, the Joker posted some great political commentary about the upcoming election. Lone Star Molly blogged a funny story about her shoes that's worth checking out.
Trey Anastaio Band Setlist, 9.18.04, Austin, TX
Set I: Curlews Call, Money Love & Change, Push On til the Day, Ooh Child, Alive Again, Mozambique, Night Speaks to a Woman

Set II: Mr.Completely > Stash (instrumental & unfinished, Drifting, Makes No Difference, Last Tube, Way I Feel

Encore: First Tube
Saturday Gambling

Only two of my horses won yesterday; Captain Corelli and Knight of Darkness. Two of my other horses came in second. I kicked ass in my college football pool. I thought I was going to win the week after going 9-1 and calling the Auburn upset over LSU. Alas, my brother had a perfect week, going 10-0.The Yankees saved face and tied the series with the Red Sox after a Saturday thumping. The Americans are getting their asses handed to them in the Ryder Cup. The Europeans are outplaying the Yanks in every aspect of the game. On the poker front, I had a great day on Party Poker despite coming in 34th place, almost wiping out my losses over the previous three days.

Yesterday's Writing Music Included...
1. Beastie Boys
2. Art Blakely
3. Widespread Panic
4. Jerry Garcia and David Grisman
5. Cream

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Pot Freak Busted!

I got the friggin' munchies, bro!!!

Breaking news... a former child star tragically falls victim to the dark side of marijuana abuse! Ex-Child Star Macaulay Culkin Arrested on Drug Charges in Oklahoma During Traffic Stop is another sad story about a child star's decent into refer madness. Here's my favorite part:
Photographers captured the scruffy-faced former prodigy strolling from jail dressed in a "New Yawk" shirt, a jacket and a baseball cap with "Pre-flop" written on it, an apparent poker reference. The young star is slated to play a celebrity poker tournament next month.
So the Home Alone kid likes to smoke doobies, pop pain killers, and play poker. He can crash my party anytime. Does he have a poker blog too?
Pauly and the Ponies

I've been called a degenerate gambler from my peers. And those guys and gals are a hardcore group of serious gambling addicts. It's the fall, which means plenty of meaningless college football and professional football games to wager on. But I'm also involved in a horseracing pool with Al Cant Hang and Boy Genius. I'm in last place, but I think I got my groove back. Last week, I picked 3 winners in 6 races. Not great. That's roughy 20% of my horses won. I really dig the creativity behind horse names. I've written dozens of poems inspired solely on some of the more unusual names out there.

So, which fifteen horses do I have this week?
Belmont, Race 6: Derby Fever, Forest Rhythm, Devil's Command
Arlington, Race 5: Captain Corelli, Rush Bay, Space Hero
Calder Race Course, Race 9: Lox and Kippers, Match Race
Monmouth, Race 9: Frisky Spider, Knight of Darkness
Woodbine, Race 10: Bottom Bay, Johnny Magic
Belmont, Race 10: Fiddler's Pride, Kitty Connection, Raffit
I realized I'm betting on two horse with the word "bay" in it.
5 Lists of 5...

I haven't done a few lists in a while, so let's do five of my favorite random topics... film, literature, donuts, and music.

No, I'll never ever pick this up.

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...
1. Jazz by Toni Morrison
2. Glass Menagerie by Tennesse Williams
3. The Holy Bible
4. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
5. Confessions of an Heiress by Paris Hilton

My 5 Favorite Krispy Kreme Donuts...
1. Chocolate Glazed
2. Choolate Glazed Kruller
3. New York Cheesecake
4. Glazed Chocolate Ckae
5. Key Lime Pie

Yesterday's Writing Music Included...
1. Radiohead
2. Velvet Underground
3. Miles Davis
4. Widespread Panic
5. Djano Reinhardt

My 5 favorite Gene Hackman Films...
1. Hooisers
2. The French Connection
3. Poseidon Adevnture
4. The Royal Tenenbaums
5. Unforgiven

Recent Poker Playing Music Included...
1. Charlie Hunter
2. Trey Anastasio Band
3. The Grateful Dead
4. Toots & the Maytals
5. John Coltrane
Wild Weekend
"A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic." - George Bernard Shaw
Tonight I play in the Aussie Million satellite on Party Poker. That should be one of the biggest events I ever played in online. I'm itching to go to Australia, which will happen if I come in first place. I was supposed to play on Wednesday, but due to techical problems, the tournament was cancelled.

I bet heavily on the Bloody Yanks in this weekend's Ryder Cup golf matches. Yesterday, I was watched Dan Harrington's cousin play against Tiger Woods and Phil Mickleson (in between flipping back and forth between CNBC and Dawson's Creek). Of course it's always an event when the Yankees go heads up with the Red Sox. This weekend's series will have an October-post-season flavor to the the greatest rivalry in baseball. There's a lot of tough college games this weekend. Auburn-LSU could be a thriller. Week 2 of the NFL has a few trap games... like that Atlanta-Rams game. The local bookies (Vinny and the infamous Cologne Brothers) are putting the Hotlanta at a 3 point favorite. My brother smelled a trap right away. I'm tempted but I won't go there. Instead let's double up on my Jets! They never play well on the road in California, but after last week's glimpse of a rejuvenated Curtis Martin, I can't help but think he's going to run all over them and show LDT that he's still the dude. I'm 1-0 in my fantasy football league ($2200 to the winner) and Uncle Jodd's Band is 4th in points overall. Last year we only won two games so we're excited about our victory in week one.

Next weekend has the potential to be one of those epic adventures where at least someone goes to a hospital or jail... or both. Al Can't Hang has his yearly monster party. He's be telling me about it since May. I had my calendar marked since then. OK, that's not entirely truthful. I don't own a wall calendar. But, I've been carrying around a piece of paper in my pocket that says, "Al Can't Hang Party 9.25 Philly."

So far, we have confirmations from several poker bloggers: Iggy, Boy Genius, and Carter from I heard that Sean might be dropping by... as well as the Grubmiester.

Before BG and Iggy committed, I already made plans to hit the Borgata in Atlantic City with Al and Mrs. Hang. Now, Iggy can bankroll me into the $30-60 game. Just kidding. We'll be combining bankrolls and staking Mrs. Cant Hang.

My brother can't make it for the festivities. He's got a friend in from outta town and he has to show him the city. He's bummed out. The only poker bloggers he got to meet were Felicia and Glenn.

How many poker bloggers have I met? Well, I met Felicia and Glenn in Vegas in April. I met Ugarte (and through him Signor Ferrari and Rick Blaine from Rick's Cafe and Asphnxma from Riding the F Train.) I met Daddy from Snail Trax at one of the Phish shows in Indiana. On my way back from Phish tour, I stopped by Boy Genius' home game and met Lord Geznikor and one of the brother's of BG. Hopefully I'll meet Monte Christo soon. I had a chance to meet up with Poker Chronicles and Double As on Thursday, but never had the time to go down to Atlantic City. Speaking of which, I'm still waiting to hear how Riding the F Train fared yesterday. He played in the $1500 NL event at the Borgata.

Motherless Child

I recently commented on Maudie's site that I think she might be my illegitimate mother. Here's how she responded:
Pauly I can't think of a better illegitimate child to have than you... I'm sure my girls would allow an addition to the menagerie as long as you follow Maudie's rules:

- Smoking (all kinds) outside.
- Take out the trash.
- Do your homework.

And at least introduce me to the sluts girlfriends.
Hmmm. Paris isn't exactly the kind of girl you bring home to meet Aunt Maudie. Now, that Katie Holmes... she's a whole different story.

Hope for America

One of the protestors outside one of Paris' book signings.

Paris Hilton has a new book out and a group of people known as H.O.P.E. were protesting everyone's favorite hotel heiress. Here's their mission statement:
We at H.O.P.E. have a simple stated mission: to bring quality to the world of entertainment while working outside of the traditional network, record label, and studio structure. It is our "hope" that by voicing our feelings and concerns to the powers that be a better tomorrow, and not The Day After Tomorrow, is only around the corner for the good people of the United States of America, the world, and beyond.
Yeah these folks are hardcore. They're slogan was: "Read a book. Don't write one!" Here's a little inside information... Paris Hilton never picked up a pen or typed a single keystroke in the construction of her book.

Fucked Up Super Freak!!

I almost pissed in my pants when I read this blurb called Tests Shows Rick James Died of a Heart Attack. Here's a bit:
The coroner's office also listed focal pneumonia and "effects of multiple drugs" as other conditions contributing to the cause of death.

"Toxicology revealed the presence of the following drugs: Alprazolam (Xanax), Diazepam (Valium), Bupropion (Wellbutrin), Citalopram (Celexa), Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Digoxin, Chlorpheniramine, methamphetamine, and cocaine," the statement said. "None of the drugs of drug combinations were found to be at levels that were life threatening in and of themselves."
Like I said. Super Freak was fucked up! Man, that's one helluva binge... gives me flashbacks of 1998.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Last 5 Flicks I Watched...
1. Spinal Tap
2. The Grey Zone
3. The Missing
4. Henry V
5. Dinner Rush
Top 10 Phish

One of my readers, Rob, sent me this email:
I've got a challenge for you: What are your Top 10 specific *live* Phish renditions? (For example, "Wolfman's Brother, Coventry Day Two, 2004") No song may be repeated more than once. Venue and date required.
That's a great idea, Rob. Here's my answers. Sorry it took me so long. I wish I had more time to really get into this idea! I'll elaboarte more soon.

This are the best versions I saw... live.
1. Wolfman's Brother, 6.13.00, Club Quatro, Nagoya, Japan
2. 2001, 6.14.00, Drum Logos, Fukuoka, Japan
3. First Tube, 6.16.00, Zepp Theatre, Osaka, Japan
4. Mike's Song, 7.17.98, The Gorge, WA
5. Piper, 6.19.04, SPAC, Saratoga, NY
6. Boogie On Reggae Woman, 9.18.00, Coors Ampitheatre, Chula Vista, CA
7. Harry Hood, 12.30.94, Madison Square Garden, NYC
8. Ghost, 10.31.98, Thomas & Mack, Las Vegas, NC
9. Weekapaug Groove, 10.22.96, Madison Square Garden, NYC
10. Divided Sky, 12.29.98, Madison Square Garden, NYC
Stay tuned. I'll be working on the best live versions... ever.
"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading." - Lao Tzu
My mind has been cluttered with interpreting the plenty of shit that was shoveled onto my plate from others the past week or so. I woke up to a heavy day, my shoulders aching from the invisible load of mental baggage I had been slugging around. To remedy my frazzled mind, I wandered the streets of New York City in an attempt to figure those though questions out. I walked the noisome streets without any specific intended destination, sometimes sober, sometimes buzzed, allowing my mind to brainstorm solutions to the pressing problems. All the answers are inside of me. It just takes a while until my brain warms up and my courageous intelligence leaps forward and siezes control of the frantic breakdown in my ability to make proper decisions.

I don't know how I started, but I was on 157th Street and Broadway in Harlem or as the gentrificators and hipsters fondly dub it... Hamilton Heights. I began walking south. One of the routine questions I found myself pondering on was this: Do I worry too much or too little about the direction of my life?

Most of the time, I think I spend too much internal dialogue discussing the day to day worries. But on the tougher days, I can't help but wonder, "You're barely keeping it all together."

We had an expression on Wall Street, "You're only one trade away from humility." Poker players would agree from experience that you can easily go bankrupt on one hand.

To be or not to be? I was on 143rd Street near a bodega, when I muttered, "Hamlet, thank God, I'm not you, you Danish waffler."

Should I stop being a pussy and keep plodding forward? Or should I slow down and realize how lucky I've been living the last decade and a half of my life with brazen recklessness? Have I reached my limits as the prodigal son?

That's when I stopped in my tracks in the middle of a street, a thundering shock of clarity striking my gut. Paralyzed for a second, I narrowly escaped being hit by a speeding gypsy cab and came to my senses amid a barrage of Spanish curse words raining down my way. How foolish was I to even question my agenda? I live how I am, and that's how it shall be.

The quick banishment of those demure thoughts instantly energized my stride. With the usurpation of an onset of sudden depression, I continued walking with more confidence. With my head on straight, the time had come to hunker down and take a quick mental and moral inventory of my profane life.

I failed to use the advantages of my mind and lofty creativity, for years not allowing myself to have the faith that some of my projects could pan out, instead yielding to the stench of fearful bending failure that often leaves behind in it's wake of a dust cloud of failed dreams. For many years that fiery portal of random ideas has been closed and on many occasions I willingly clogged it up with crimson tempests such as work, relationships, drugs, and religion. For God. For pussy. For the Man. For the buzz.

Thursday, September 16, 2004


Thanks to everyone who showed up to root me on in the Aussie Million Satellite last night on Party Poker. Twenty-seven players entered with one first place Aussie prize package going to the winner. Second place would have gotten $1800, third place $1080, and fourth place $720. Due to a problem with their server, the tournament never started at 11:15 pm, and I sat at my table for twenty minutes before I called up support. Everyone was seated but the tourney never began. I was on hold for ten minutes before support told me that the tournament would be canceled. That was thirty minutes after the scheduled start time.

I was irked. A lot of people contacted me during the day asking me for my screen name so they could watch. I felt bad for them. My brother stayed up late to watch and had to get up early to go to work, as did plenty of the other players. Party Poker failed to properly communicate the problem status with any of the tournament players. I never would have found out what was up unless I called them.

Here's the email they sent me:
We apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.

We have refunded back the freeroll to your account and you can go ahead and register for the next week tournament. Our technical department tried hard to start the tournament, but due to technical constraints they were not able to start it and that is the reason why it was canceled and it was later posted on the lobby.

We thank you for your support and cooperation in this matter.
I don't know how some of you prepare for a big poker game or a tournament. For me, I try to have a mellow day leading up to game time. Since the tournament was scheduled for 11:15pm and I got up very early, I had a full day in which I did everything possible not to slip into an anxious groove. The half hour before the event started was when I began to psyche myself up. I was mentally prepared by the time I sat down. When the delayed happened, I had to wait without knowing the status of the tourney. That was taxing. I tried not to get too outta whack and lose my focus on the game, but I was agitated due to Party Poker's fuck up. I was treating last night like a fist fight. I was ready to viciously throw down and get my ass kicked. If I was going to lose, I was going to go down swinging. You didn't expect me to just fold away my chance at a shot at $1 Million Aussie bucks, did you? You can imagine the state of mind I was in when I was told, "You won't be brawling tonight."

The tournament has been rescheduled for Saturday Sept. 18th at 11:15 pm EST. I have a free roll to play in that one and I'll be signing up. My only problem is that I think there will be more players in this event. I really liked my chances when I had a 1 in 27 chance at winning. A Saturday night satellite will probably draw more entrants than a Wednesday night one. I'll drop to a 1 in 50 shot now. All because Party Poker dropped the ball.

Thanks again for everyone who stopped by. Your support is humbling. If you have nothing to do on Saturday, feel free to stop by and say hello.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Wednesday's Politco Roundup: 48 Days

Editor's Note: I published this entry to my poli-blog This Side of the Truth. Check it out.

With 48 days to go in the election, my gut feeling tells me that Bush is going to be President for four more years. John Kerry's camp blew the election after they failed to properly handle the Swift Boat mess shortly before the RNC. He should have blown it off, moved forward, and focused everyone's attention on domestic issues. Instead he whined and moaned which turned off older voters who are sensitive to Vietnam-era related issues, and pushed a slew of angry veterans over to the Bush side.

Bush beat Kerry to the punch and preyed on the fears of the voters. The message the RNC was clear, "Not everyone likes me. I don't give a shit about France. I make decisions and who's Al Qaeda more afraid of?"

Democrats or Republicans, we're all the same. Some people on this planet hates us because we're Americans. Four years of a different ruling party won't change the world's view.

This past week Dan Rather and CBS got their hands dirty in the latest Vietnam shit storm. Was someone trying to frame George Bush and foolishly used a computer to forge a 1970s era military memo? Or was someone trying to frame CBS? If anything this instance once again shows that two mainstream media giants, both the NY Times and 60 Minutes lack any credibility and professional integrity. Those organizations are full of pompous idiots who can't even accomplish simple tasks like fact checking. The NY Times and their anti-Bush administration agenda and 60 Minutes are on the same level the Weekly World News and Entertainment Tonight in my eye. And kudos to the blogging community who covered both the NYC-RNC protests and Dan Rather's Memogate better than all the major news organizations combined.

With less than 50 days to go Kerry's numbers are slipping. He keeps denying the fact that Bush's numbers took a huge bounce in the week after the RNC. And everyone knows the more John Kerry talks about Vietnam, the more people are giving up on him and moving towards Bush. His team thinks Kerry will smoke Bush in the debates. Who's really going to watch two rich stiffs debate about who had a bigger dick in 1969? Does anyone know when they'll be on? Most of the swing voters will be working their second jobs, or surfing online for porn or watching Kill Bill Vol. 2 during these televised debates.

We all heard Dick Cheney's assertions that a John Kerry Presidency will ensure a new attack. People were up in arms about that... but I happen to agree with our Veep. At least with Bush in office, you know some of the bad guys are constantly looking over their shoulder. But what I want to know is where the hell is John Edwards? He's been absent since the convention. Bubba Clinton went under the knife for heart surgery. That leaves only Hollyweird and Michael Moore left to stump for Kerry. On the other hand, the GOP is pulling out the big guns. Arnold. Rudy. McCain. They're flying all over America, pressing palms in swing states and talking up Bush to the picket fence crowds. I don't see ant of those Hollyweird hipsters rolling up the sleeves and mingling with the common folk at town hall meetings in small Ohio towns, nibbling on apple cobbler and chatting with the town's cheap-suit wearing Mayor. Seems like they're almost giving up on the Kerry bandwagon. They talk a good talk, but when it comes down to it... this Kerry campaign was like a bad Hollywood movie. The previews looked great however it lacked substance, had a poorly scripted plot, and was filled with redundant themes from shallow characters... but in real life, they won't have a happy cheesy ending tying up all the loose ends. Unless Michael Moore gets to direct the project.


Moore-itis is running ramapant through Hollyweird, or as one conservative writer dubbed it... Moore Disease. After the huge fundraiser at MSG a few months ago featuring plenty of musicians, it made me wonder, "How sincere are the celebrity supporters of Kerry?" I'm sure a large percentage of their support (much like Kerry's core supporters) is rooted in sheer hatred for our President, so they are of the NOT BUSH crowd. But like so many other trends in Hollywood, how many celebs are jumpping on the anti-Bush bandwagon? Out of "group think" mentality? For free publicity? Or because it's the cool thing to do like Yoga a few years ago, Kabbalah last year, and celebrity poker this year? Behind closed doors, celebrities, the real ones (none of this B-celebrity bullshit), the uber-rich snobs whop refuse to fly coach or have the picture snapped by paparazzi... might bash Bush to their friends and in front of the bright lights... but they have more to lose financially if a Democrat is elected into office. Cheney has been pushing forth the elimantion of the death tax and many other legislation in tax policy that favors the wealthy (and big business... and these people happen to own or have their hands in major studios and other business deals). Will Kerry the Liberal tax the rich and give away to the poor? Bush will protect their big bank accounts and on Election Day that's the last thing that goes through their mind after their limo driver dropped them off to vote. Those hypocrites mouth off on the hot trend du jour... but in the end, you can't trust anyone who makes more than $5 Million for a single film role. Actors at heart... are liars. The give away prizes every year for the best liar... it's called the Oscars.

At whole it's a good idea for celebrities to use their public popularity to encourage lazy Americans to get involved in politics... but there's a fine line in pushing forth their own selfish, political agendas, than encourage people to give back to their communities and immerse themselves in politics on three levels... international, national, and local.

Boo Birds

On a sad note, I heard that there were a few idiots in Texas who decided to show up at a candlelight vigil of a fallen solider. The anti-war protesters taunted his mother and booed and hissed her. That was uncalled for. You don't do that to the mother of a slain soldier. That young man died for their right to protest and assemble and watch cable TV, and that's how they thank his mother?

Ralph Nader finally got onto the ballot in Florida. With more votes getting pulled away from the arrogant Dems, it looks like Bush can now lock up that swing state after hurricane season ravished Florida and their residents focus is more on their personal situations than national politics. Yep, old man Nader is still hanging tough. Here's some interesting things that his site says about the crap he's been getting for three years about costing Al Gore the election in 2000:
Al Gore won the election in 2000. George W. Bush cost Al Gore the election.

No one is entitled to votes, they must be earned.

To say someone is a "spoiler" is to relegate all third-party and independent candidates to second class citizenship. American does not belong to two parties.

The Constitution does not mention parties.

This country had a rich history of third parties.

George W. Bush’s recount strategy in Florida cost Gore the election.

The deceptive butterfly ballot, which Democratic officials approved, cost Al Gore the election.

Katherine Harris-style purging of tens of thousands of non ex-felons from the voter roles cost the election.

A 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court stop of the recount cost Gore the election. (See Jeffrey Toobin’s book Too Close to Call).

Playing the "what if" game, Gore cost Gore the election in Tennessee, Arkansas, and each of the presidential debates.

Except for brief, progressive moments, such as at the convention, which helped his polls, Gore ran the usual, lackluster corporate Democratic campaign.

And they did. They voted for Bush, including more than 250,000 self-identified Democrats in Florida.

Moreover, a Democratic exit poll showed that Ralph’s votes came 25% from Republicans, 38% from Democrats, and the rest were nonvoters who would have only voted for Ralph.

In other words, more than sixty percent of Ralph’s voters would NOT have voted for Gore.

In New Hampshire, exit polls showed that Ralph "took more votes" from Republicans than Democrats, by a 2 to 1 margin.

If one accepts the flawed logic that suggests Ralph 'cost' Gore two states (New Hampshire and Florida), then it would also follow that Buchanan 'cost' Bush four states (Oregon, Iowa, Wisconsin, and New Mexico) in 2000.

CNN’s polling data said that if neither Nader nor Buchanan had run, Bush would have beat Gore 48 to 47 percent, with 4 percent who voted not voting.
Stop picking on Ralph about 2000. Without a third party's role in our government, our future will be continued to be ruled by first class assholes. Nader is trying to teach the Democrats a lesson and they're too smug to listen and include all those Americans who truly want a change in the entire system. And that's why Bush is going to stay in office. With 48 days left, there's no way Kerry can get his shit together to win this upcoming election.
Dukes of Hazzard

Johnny Knoxville? Stiffler? Jessica Simpson? Who's going to be Uncle Jesse? The rumors that the Dukes of Hazzard tv show will be a major motion picture are true. Unreal. I thought Britney was supposed to play Daisy Duke? Hmmmmmm.
16 Hours Until Australia: Maybe a Dingo Ate Your Baby?

At 11:15pm EST... I'll be logging into Party Poker to play in the $600 buy-in Aussie Million Satellite. The winner gets an all expenses paid trip (and entry fees into two different events) to the Australia Poker Championships in January of next year. The Crown Casino in Melbourne will be giving away $1,000,000 Aussie bucks. Am I nervous? Not really. I'm anxious more than anything. Didn't sleep well at all, and will spend most of today relaxing and writing. Yesterday, I played a warm-up event... a qualifier to a satellite for the European Open... and I came in 4th place out of 80. I played well and I'm on my game right now.

If the field is small tonight (less than 40 players) then I really like my chances. If you want to watch me play, you can download the softyware from Party Poker. Make sure you mention my bonus code: TAO4 if you end up signing up for a real money account. (You do not have to deposit money right away to watch me play.) I usually get a few cyber railbirds watching me play and tonight will be no different. Hopefully, I'll have great news for you tomorrow.

I have never been to Australia and I'd totally love the opportunity to travel to an exotic land, get drunk in their bars, puke in their streets, and take pictures of dingos, wombats, kangaroos, and koala bears.

Yesterday's Poker Playing Music...
1. Medeski, Martin & Wood
2. Charlie Hunter
3. Galactic
4. John Coltrane
5. Crusader Rabbit
5 Random Things I Miss About Living in the South:

1. Waffle House at 3am
2. Sweet Tea
3. Cute girls with those twangy accents
4. Atlanta Braves baseball
5. Two words: Mmmmmm biscuits!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Birthday Greetings

Today is Mrs. Can't Hang Day! The wife of everyone's favorite drinker and poker blogger is having a birthday. I hope it's a good one. Best wishes in the upcoming year. Here's what Al Can't Hang said on his blog today:
31 years ago today, the future Mrs. CantHang was born in Bumblefook, NY. I still can't believe this lovely young lady puts up with all my degenerate behavior. You would think she could at least teach my how to play poker.

A couple people have asked how a troll like myself landed such a fine young lass. Easy, we met at a company 'function' and she was a little tipsy. I kept her drunk for the next 18 months and she didn't sober up until the honeymoon. By then it was too late to get out!

Happy Birthday Princess.
My 5 Favorite Grateful Dead Albums...
1. American Beauty
2. Terrapin Station
3. Live
4. Workingman's Dead
5. Mars Hotel
Words Like Clorox
"What do I know of man's destiny? I could tell you more about radishes." - Samuel Beckett
Mondays. I wandered around the city, half buzzed, half stoned, and half awake, and I talked to homeless kids and doormen and street vendors. They were as bored as I was. They had no answers and neither did I. Sometimes, I wandered over to the book vendors in the Village. They populated the Southeast corner of Washington Square Park near NYU and catered to the majority of students who needed books for various classes. Sometimes I visited the booksellers near Astor Place, by the Noguchi cube. I became friends with the older woman that ran one of the tables near St. Mark's Place. Her husband, Carlo, died a few years earlier, and I used to buy green tea off of from him. She did not continue Carlo's profitable side business of green tea distribution, but she gave me books at half price. That was a deposit. If I returned the book in the same condition I bought it, she'd give me the money back, or I'd get to pick another book. I always picked books that I wanted to read but not buy, or books that I had been curious to read and never did, or something I read once before but wanted to thumb through a second or third time. Obviously, I did not borrow books that I wanted to keep, just those I knew I'd be bummed out after I spent $15 for a new copy of Identity by Milan Kundera, and then it did nothing but collect dust on my shelf, because it was something that I would not have recommended to my friends, and I would have been embarrassed to give away a book that I did not enjoy. Carlo's wife hooked me up and I always wondered if she was going to sell books on the same corner for the rest of her life. She did not know what else to do. I assumed that books were her life and made her happy. I was shocked to find out that she stopped reading many years earlier.

"After a while, the words lose meaning," she flippantly said one blazing summer afternoon almost a decade ago, while I waited with her while Carlo went back to his apartment to fetch me my bag of green tea.

I've written more in the last three days than I did in a long time. I just looked at the clock. In less than 48 hours, I'll find out if I won a trip to Australia. I told Mr. Dickhead I'd bring him with me if I won.

Writing Music Tonight Included...
1. Talking Heads
2. Radiohead
3. Steely Dan
4. Traffic
5. Johnny Cash

Monday, September 13, 2004

"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently." - Nietzsche
I found out some unfortunate news this past weekend. My father's mother, my 95 year old grandmother, passed away. Sad, right? Here's the fucked up part. My father, nor anyone from his side of the family, bothered to tell me or my brother. They held funeral services and a wake... without inviting me. And here's the other doozy. Two of my father's sisters died of cancer all around the same time as my grandmother, and again, no one said a single word to me about that.

My relationships with virtually everyone in my family (both sides) are nonexistent (with the exception of my brother). Sure, when I was working on Wall Street, I was treated like an actual human being. The minute I took off the suit and started to honestly comment about the society we live in... I'm regarded as a nonentity. And you betcha the day I get to a level of recognizable fame or if I make the "TV table" at a major poker tournament... I'll get the call. I'll get hundreds of phone calls, from long lost family members and old friends. I really feel sorry for those fools. I've lost a lot of respect for a lot of people in my life. I guess my standards were too high.

The failure to inform me about the funeral is another incident in a running series of tragic disappointments that I find myself having to deal with every few months. I wonder if my choice in careers and lifestyle directly attributed to the cold reasoning behind my exclusion from the family. But it's not the first time that's happened to me, and I haven't completely flipped out, because I know it won't be the last. I'm an easy target and I often catch the brunt of people's emotional baggage and their inability to control their own psychological inadequacies, self esteem issues, personal failures, and lack of originality. It's been happening in my family for three decades and every day I see more of my friends slip away as they fall as victim to their own bitterness and they coldly toss me aside like an old pair of pants that they'd never wear out in public.

I know we live in an empty, Godless, meaningless universe, and you all know it too, so stop the fucking around, get off your high horses and realize that we're all headed to the same place... the void of nothingness. Chill out, relax, and stop the scorn.

I've been too busy to get angry or sad. Why should I devote any energy towards people who don't give a rats ass about me? I keep moving forward. My life is more important that the mind numbing drama everyone else tries to suck me into. I have deadlines. I have piles of books stacked to the ceiling that I want to read. I have money I need to make if I want to travel more in 2005 than I did this year. I have hours of videos footage to view and edit. I have a few meaningful relationships (some old and some new) that I'd like to devote more time cultivating and strengthening. I have my poker game to improve upon. Which reminds me... that I have far more important personal things to worry about that routine family shit.

I have a chance to turn $11 into an all expenses paid trip to Melbourne, Australia in January. I've already discussed the possibility of an extended holiday on that side of the hemisphere after the tournament... that is, if I can win on Wednesday on Party Poker and win the prize package. I've also been trying to win a trip a poker tournament in London next month. I'm trying to use poker as my means of seeing more of the world. It's expensive to travel, but it feels good that I can generate income out of nothing by riding the waves of good luck.

So what's up with Ghostzapper? It's the name of one of the winning horses I picked this past Saturday at Belmont Racetrack. I picked winners in three out of six races. Not too shabby, eh? I used to bet big on the ponies, and I all but stopped betting on animals. Pro football players are a whole other story.

Jodd is good luck. Senor and I named our fantasy football team (Uncle Jodd's Band) after his son... and we won our first game! It feels great to start the season 1-0 after a horrible performance in last year's pool.

I could write more, but I already spent more time than I wanted to babbling about family stuff. I have short stories to write and an interesting life to lead. I got no time to waste sucking up to those swine.