Thursday, May 04, 2006

Bills, Bankers, and Ponies

On Wednesday morning, I was asleep for about three hours when my cell rang. I foolishly answered and discovered it was a family emergency, so I thought. I rolled out of bed, took a long leak then dressed before I headed out to a relative's house in a cranky and in a pissy mood. I didn't crash until 6am and wrote for a good three hours before I passed out in my clothes. I was disturbed for nothing but a false alarm. I didn't apologize for my surliness and walked out.

I couldn't fall back asleep and had to wait at my mother's apartment for UPS to redeliver a package. I suspected that it was something from Staples. I ordered some office supplies on Sunday including printer ink, screen wipes, and a new portable flash drive. They tried to deliver it the last two days and no one was around, not even the doorman. But Derek thinks it's his new laptop. So I made an effort to hang around to find out. There was one delivery in the morning, but it was Fed Ex. Verizon sent me a new charger and a battery. I ordered both this weekend. Talk about fast delivery. They sent it Fed Ex at no extra charge. I checked to make sure.

I spent the late afternoon writing. But my mind was tired, so it wasn't anything special. I avoided a Friday deadline for Poker Player Newspaper and spent the rest of the time answering email and fanmail. If I let those accounts build up, it takes a full day to run through it all and that does not include taking the time to write out responses. But if I devote an hour everyday towards the tedious task, then I feel like I'm wasting my time. I need an intern.

I read everything in my Bloglines folder, catching up on European and African world news, and shuddering when I read so many terrible and poorly written blogs out there. I've been neglecting my current event but didn't miss much. The world is still a fucked up place. People are still evil. Suicide bombers. Celebrities acting like idiots. Snakes on a plane. Same old shit.

I had $10 left on my Metrocard when I came back to NYC. That was a pleasant surprise. I thought I was going to have to get a new one. I noticed that the subways are the dirtiest it had been since the pre-Rudy days. There's plenty of graffiti and scratchitti on the windows. I guess that's the first part of the MTA budget that gets cut.

I got sent an email promotion that boasted a $499 round trip sale to Helsinki, Finland. I scoffed at the idea. But I was interested in the $299 round trip fare from NYC to LA. A cab from Riverdale to JFK airport costs about $60 plus tolls. Now you see how great a deal that is.

I just paid off my Mastercard bill. I sent off a transfer payment of $2,204 and paid the fucker in full. The bill is actually $400 more and almost $2600, but a few charges haven't gone through yet, so I paid the amount they said was due. So what the hell did I spend $2,204 in one month on?
03-21 JETBLUE $ 87.80
03-22 KENNETH COLE (Las Vegas) $ 170.25
03-22 BANANA REPUBLIC (Las Vegas) $ 207.96
03-27 BALBOA PIZZA (Las Vegas) $ 37.30
03-27 MATTRESS DIRECT (Las Vegas) $ 405.35
03-29 VERIZON WEB PAY $ 85.47
03-30 WALL STREET JOURNA $ 25.90
03-30 SMITHS FOOD (Las Vegas) $ 18.52
03-31 SMITHS FOOD (Las Vegas) $ 9.97
03-31 SMITHS FOOD (Las Vegas) $ 41.13
03-31 SUNSET QUICK CARE (Las Vegas) $ 95.00
04-01 SMITHS FOOD (Las Vegas) $ 4.18
04-01 FERRARA CAFE (Las Vegas) $ 185.50
04-02 BUFFALO WILD WINGS (Las Vegas) $ 31.19
04-03 NUGS NET $ 9.95
04-04 TIV*TIVO SERVICE $ 14.03
04-08 RALPHS (Los Angeles) $ 22.92
04-10 NICK'S COFFEE SHOP (Los Angeles) $ 20.52
04-10 RALPHS (Los Angeles) $ 28.61
04-11 HOUSTON'S (Los Angeles) $ 112.90
04-12 ITUNES MUSIC STORE $ 12.99
04-12 NICK'S COFFEE SHOP (Los Angeles) $ 21.86
04-12 EXPEDIA*TRAVEL (San Francisco) $ 103.28
04-15 SHELL OIL $ 17.45
04-15 SHELL OIL (San Francisco) $ 20.11
04-15 SHELL OIL (Los Angeles) $ 20.89
04-15 SAV-ON DRUGS (Los Angeles) $ 39.10
04-16 NICK'S COFFEE SHOP (Los Angeles) $ 16.77
04-17 SMITHS FOOD (Las Vegas) $ 16.17
04-17 AMZ*AMAZON PAYMENT $ 21.84
04-17 BALBOA PIZZA (Las Vegas) $ 33.60
04-17 DELTA AIRLINES $ 288.60
04-19 TARGET (Las Vegas) $ 9.37
04-19 MLB.COM $ 79.95
04-20 DISCOUNT SMOKE (Las Vegas) $ 20.67
04-21 OSAKA (Las Vegas) $ 58.17
04-22 RITE AID STORE (Las Vegas) $ 11.42
04-22 CHEVRON 0208552 (Las Vegas) $ 26.03
04-22 BELLAGIO CAFE (Las Vegas) $ 12.39
04-24 DENNY'S (Las Vegas) $ 15.81
04-25 VILLAGE SHOP (Las Vegas) $ 31.31
04-26 TERRIBLES (Las Vegas) $ 5.00
04-27 BUDGET RENT A CAR (Las Vegas) $ 363.13
04-28 RIVERDALE DINER (New York) $ 19.94
04-28 STAPLES $ 84.97
04-29 J J VINEYARD INC (New York) $ 15.20
04-29 VERIZON WEB PAY $ 85.47
04-30 VERIZON SHOP $ 75.84
05-01 STOP & SHOP (New York) $ 20.53
I spent $500+ on plane tickets and hotels (Cincinnati and San Francisco) and that does notinclude the ticket I bought to Nashville, Tennessee for Bonnaroo that did not clear yet. I dropped $400 on new clothes for the Playboy Mansion. I paid two aircard bills for about $170 which is a business expense. Almost $100 went to personal enjoyment like downloading music (including a kick ass Galactic show from the Fillmore in San Francisco), several books, the Wall Street Journal, and TiVo. I bought a mattress, sheets, and pillows for almost $450 that I needed when I live with Grubby for two months this summer. I picked up a subscription to for $80 so I can watch Yankees games on the road. I dropped almost $700 in meals and trips to the grocery store. At least four were legit business dinners. The trip to the emergency room and getting medicine ran about $150. Gas is super pricey. I dropped $150 for fuel during the LA-San Francisco drive and for a week in Las Vegas with a rental car. The car ran me over $360 and that's with a discount. The insurance was a killer and cost more than the rental fee. Jesus, I can't believe I wasted 15 minutes writing up this part.

I've been listening to one of my favorite NYC radio stations, WFUV 90.7 FM, which is Fordham University radio. You play can a full stream via iTunes... here. It's a public radio station and features NPR news. They also play a range of music styles that includes old school blues, whiny hipster bands, local acid jazz acts, angry indie chick music for girls who don't shave thier pits, 1980s prog-rock, and plenty of Grateul Dead, Bob Dylan, and Johnny Cash.

WFUV is great background music to write to. Most of the radio stations in Las Vegas and LA sucked donkey testicles. I usually listen to the classic rock station that Grubby works for in Las Vegas. My biggest complaint is that they have too many commercials and after a few days, you start hearing the same songs. His good friend Carla is an afternoon DJ for their sister station which is a hard rock format. AlCantHang and BadBlood would dig that. I'm not into the music and I only listen to the show because it's Carla's. She's good too and has a perfect radio voice... flinty.

After cleaning up my storage space, I found a box with CDs which I've been uploading to my iPod. Also, Bruce gave me a shitload of Dick's Picks, which are a collection Grateful Dead shows remastered by their archivist. The August 1971 show from Los Angeles at the Hollywood Palladium is pure smoke. I got flashbacks during Mr. Charlie and Lovelight.

"Pure sickness," as Daddy would say.

You can download that 8/6/1971 Grateful Dead show via etree. I still religiously listen to Ben Harper's new double CD that I picked up in Las Vegas. And late nights, I turn out all the lights and sit in the dark while zoning out to old jazz records like Buddy Rich, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Thelonius Monk, and Miles Davis.

If you don't know, this weekend is the Kentucky Derby which is held on the first Saturday in May. The favorite this year is a horse called Brother Derek (that's the horse pictured at the top of this post). I got my bet in and I'm pumped. How can you go wrong on a horse named after my brother? Several months ago, BG gave Derek a ticket that was priced in at 16-1, er... 60-1. Since then Brother Derek has been tearing it up.

Last night (or early this morning), I played in a semi-high stakes poker game against some uber wealthy individuals. It's called the "Wall Street Game" and it's the biggest stakes that I ever played in. I held my own, too. It was hosted in a hotel suite downtown. I was invited by Briana's father, who openly admitted he's lost several thousand dollars already this year. He wanted to stake me so he can get some of his losses back. I'm going to post a recap of the game over at the Tao of Poker on Monday. I ended up winning $600, which is a small win considering there was at least $15K on the table at one time. I had to pay an entrance fee which sucked, but the suite was swanky and they hired two hot chicks to serve drinks and food. I realized that they were high-priced escorts that also offered up relaxation therapy sessions in the bedrooms. Stay tuned for more details...

I wanted to write more but Blogger ate my post and I had to rush to get this up. Ingrates!

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