Friday, March 31, 2006


Here's the skinny. I have tonsillitis. That's why I haven't answered my phone if you've been trying to call me the last three days. If the killer drug cocktail of antibiotics and steroids that the doctor gave me doesn't improve my throat by Monday, I have to go under the knife. I'm hoping that the drugs work since I don't have health insurance. The doctor strongly suggested surgery but I talked him into letting see if the treatments work.

It all started on Wednesday. I felt a scratchy feeling in my throat and that blah sensation that's an indication that I was coming down with something. I drank some Airborne and canceled my Wednesday plans to gamble and hang out. Instead I bundled up on Grubby's couch and watched a 9.11 Conspiracy video. That would come back to haunt me over the next two days. Nothing is freakier than fever dreams and nothing, I repeat, nothing is more horrifying than having your friends who died on 9.11 haunt you in your dreams. Especially one guy who jumped to his death.

I've been ill the past few days. At first I figured I caught the flu. High temperatures and a sore throat were my major symptoms. I'd try to fall asleep only to wake up 10 minutes later. The problem was that it seemed like I was asleep for 3 or 4 hours and I would roll over to check my cell phone to see that just 10 minutes had elapsed. This went on for almost 36 hours just like out of a bad episode of the Twilight Zone... from about 10pm on Wednesday thru 7am on Friday. It seemed like almost a full week had passed. I tried all the tricks of the trade. Nyquil wasn't working. I'd pass out and wake up in a deep sweat 10 minutes later, only to have to change my damp clothes. I tried home remedies to cure the sore throat... gargling with hot water and salt, or lemon tea, or ricolas. Nothing worked. Depression set it. Being away from home when you are super ill is not fun.

My throat hurt so much I couldn't eat anything except sip on chicken broth and that was a chore. I'd drink some water and hot tea, but it was painful to swallow. My fever finally broke this morning, but then my entire neck was swollen. A quick glance at the internet told me that my symptoms meant I had strep throat and that I needed to see a doctor.

Grubby works at a radio station from 5:00am to 9:00am so I had to take a cab to the emergency room this morning. Lucky for me they treated me without insurance. The hard part was that I had to wait for three hours before anyone saw me. Nothing is more depressing than the waiting room with other sick people. The crying babies were the toughest to handle. I wanted to shoot them.

And as soon as the doctor saw me, I suggested that I had strep throat. He looked at me for less than 5 seconds before he sort of agreed.

"You should be a doctor," he joked.

"I'm not a real one, but I play one on the internet."

Of course the next five minutes involved the doctor bragging to me that he made $500,000 day trading last year. He gave me a few stock tips and then tried to get me to have surgery to correct my tonsillitis. Without insurance, asked him for a cheaper alternative. The only reason I went to the doctor was to get a prescription for antibiotics. That's when he came up with the cocktail with explicit instructions ... if I don't improve in 48 hours, then I have to get surgery... which means removal of my tonsils.

What am I, 8 years old?

So now, I can't talk and won't be able to for a few days. I can eat all the ice cream I want, since it's the only food that goes down smoothly with just minor pain. But I'm on steroids for now to reduce the swelling and I'm well enough to write now. I just can't talk. But I'm super tired and starving!!

Silent, exhausted and in pain, I wondered how I got so unlucky?


Thanks to Flipchip and the Poker Prof for driving me home today. It was a $25 cab ride to the hospital and not only did I save a few bucks, they cheered me up on the way home.

I'm on four different drugs... amoxicillin, a random steroid, lidocaine, and Motrin. Total cost: $50. I'm supposed to take four Motrin every four hours. I take 5 because I'm a badass. I can finally eat solid foods due to the lidocaine, which numbs my throat and entire mouth. I have to gargle 2 teaspons of this thick gooey liquid that tastes like Elmer's glue. I can't feel my lips. I tried eating a bagel and half of it kept falling out of my mouth because I have zero control of chewing functions. At least I can swallow with just some minor discomfort. I haven't eaten any solid foods in 2 days! I lost 4 more pounds.

The steroids are already working. I have to make sure I take them with milk, or ice cream, which I'm doing. I'm pretty sure I can hit 60 home runs this year and I might run for governor of California after all of this is over.

Last 5 Movies I Watched While Sick...
1. House of Wax
2. Two for the Money
3. 40 Year Old Virgin
4. Bittersweet Motel: The Phish Movie
5. History of Violence

Another Update...

I got an adorable email from Molly who offered to take me to Mexico to get inexpensive throat surgery then said she would take care of me at her house. Can we go to the cock-fight post op or before I go under the knife? Thanks for the offer, sweetie!

I did laundry and cleaned my new sheets (again) plus all my clothes that I wore this week to kill any lingering germs. Afterwards, I went to Subway acrosss the street and had to write down my order on a piece of paper. I handed it to the kid behind the counter and he freaked out for a few seconds because he thought I was trying to rob the place! He figured out I couldn't speak, so he calmed down and made me a meatball sub on wheat with extra cheese. I got the cookies but didn't eat those... yet. After not eating for 2 days, your stomach shrinks and I struggled to finish my sub while taking tiny baby bites with my numb mouth and throat. It was messy too. I was spilling out all over the place.

Man was I starving. Over the last 48 hours I had not gotten high, eaten solid food, got an erection, played online poker, nor took a shit. Not being able to speak is something you never think about until you are forced to deal with that situation. 90% of communication is non-verbal anyway, but a lot of good that does while standing in line at Subway.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Beds, Scales, Bagels, and Suicide Girls

I like my new bed after securing 8 hours of sleep inside of a nine hour period. That's about 2x as much as I normally get which is outstanding. I've only logged 8 hours three other times this year. Once at the Borgata, once in LA last month, and in NYC the day after I finished writing the Las Vegas book for 14 days straight.

I was exhausted from several days of gambling with Senor in Las Vegas last week, plus the travel to and from Vegas-LA, and all the partying I did at the Playboy Mansion... my body was spent. It felt good to catch up on a normal night of sleep. I envy people who can sleep for 6 hours wthout any complications. Right away the bed is 150x more comfortable than my bed at the Redneck Riviera last summer and I hope that can score me an extra 30 minutes of slumber a night.

Grubby suggested that I buy sheets with a 400 thread count. I have no idea about those sorts of things. Domestic things like that do not register with me. In the past, I purchased sheets based on color. Grubby explained that the high end casinos like the Bellagio or the Borgata have 400 thread counts in their sheets which is why the beds are so comfortable. The Redneck Riviera had 100 count, much like hospitals. I went the cheap route and bout a 220 count. The 400 or 300 count was just too expensive. I refuse to pay $90 for a set of queen size sheets. I washed them last night before I threw them on the new bed. I'm pleased with my bed and linen purchase. Oh and I bought two pillows too. I like one and I'm on the fence about the other one.

For fuck's sake, I've spent almost $1300 in the past week buying one shirt, a belt, a pair of pants, a bed, sheets, pillows, a flight from LA to Vegas, and a really crazy trip to a strip club with Senor, Joe Speaker, Grubby, and Change100. I look at the strip club as an entertainment expense, I'll do my best to write it off on next year's taxes. Uncle Sam recognizes lapdances as a legit expense, right? My counter argument is that it's research for my Las Vegas book.

At least I feel much better about the purchase of my bed. I don't normally spend money on material items. Usually I'm dropping cash on plane tickets and on travel, which is something I have no problem doing. Buying a camera or laptop is a necessity for me for work (plus those were paid by poker winnings). The bed was something I needed during an exhausting 2 month stretch of work, were I expect to log 16-18 hour days, seven days a week for 6 weeks straight. But that hipster shirt I bought for the Mansion has been bugging me. Especially since I stained it with cocktail sauce just an hour into my journey at Hef's.

* * * * *

Grubby has a scale in his bathroom and I weigh myself from time to time. Last summer, I put on nearly twenty pounds after no exercise and living next door to a Wendy's and In & Out Burger. I get a lot of exercise when I'm in NYC because I don't have a car and walk everywhere. By August 2005, I flirted with being 200 pounds, which is not too bad for someone who's six feet tall. Even in December my weight had slipped a bit, but I was still hovered around 190.

As of this morning, I weigh 181 pounds and I'm back to a size 34 waist. I can think of one reason why that is so... The Charlie Diet.

170-175 is my comfortable weight and I'd like to get down to that before the WSOP start since I know I'll balloon 15 more pounds.

* * * * *

I walked across the street to the strip mall that houses a Brooklyn Bagels next to a Subway. A buttered bagel is just $1.07 which is a lot cheaper than what I'm used to in NYC. The quality is not as good, but as far as non-NYC bagels go, they are up there with Noah's Bagels (in Seattle). The 20-something girl behind the counter commented on my Grateful Dead "steal your face" hat. I forgot I had it on. She said she remembered me at the other store (a few minutes away down the road) that I used to eat at when I lived in Las Vegas during October and December of last year.

"You want it toasted?" she asked.


"You must be from New York, right? Real New Yorkers don't get their bagels toasted."

"Really?" I answered.

She told me she was from the Albany area. She looked like one of those Suicide Girls in a dirty, yet sensuous kinda way. She had too many tattoos on her neck and arms for my tastes and her face looked like a pin cushion. She gave me extra butter on my Everything bagel, which I like. I tipped her $1.38 thinking that a huge tip from an internet celebrity like myself might get be a handjob behind the dumpster out back.

No such luck for me. Wheaton would have nailed her for sure.
Bloggers and Bunnies Part II: Where's AlCantHang?

Joe Speaker tipped the bartender $20 for a Jack and coke and a Vodka tonic. The bartender smiled an informed us that we were a part of the Platinum Club, which meant that he'd hook us with drinks whenever we returned. He also gave us a book of Playboy matches.

As I stood at the stone bar, I surveyed the scene and didn't see to many people outside. The Grotto was in front of us. To the left was a row of folding tables that had various items for the charity silent auction. Behind that was a raised terrace and the Mansion stood behind it all. I spotted a large white tent in the distance with a DJ booth in front.

We were one of the first shuttles to arrive and there were no naked women milling around the Grotto and Hef was nowhere to be found. We almost had the entire place to ourselves, but we were still missing AlCantHang who had split from the group and took a limo to the Mansion with Steve Dannenmann and Hoyt Corkins.

I spotted Scott from CardPlayer and his girlfriend near the terrace area and wandered over there to shoot the shit. Since we both cover poker tournaments, we've never actually seen each other outside of a casino. I was shocked that Scott actually had clothing that didn't have a CardPlayer logo on it. His girlfriend had to pay $350 to get in. When she told her parents, they agreed to pay for the price tag. They said, "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity!" which was a phrase that I heard uttered a lot. For my parents' generation, the Playboy Mansion represented an urbane sophisticated status. It was not the lair of some sleazy porn-guru from the Valley, rather the retreat of a successful businessman who enjoyed the company of women. Lots of them. Aged 18-25.

I looked around and took a deep breath. I stood in the backyard of Hugh Heffner's palace. He set the standards for the term "stud" over the past four decades. In many ways an invite to the Playboy Mansion was more prestigious that an invite to the White House, with the exception of the Slick Willy years, when Bill Clinton and his hooked penis meticulously jizzed all over chubby interns. With his pants around his ankles, Clinton ran rampant through the same hallways where Richard Nixon used to mutter drunk ramblings at the portrait of Abe Lincoln during the Christmas bombing campaign of Cambodia. Besides from Clinton's two terms, life at the White House was superbly lame compared to the Mansion. Yeah if I could pick two worthy souls who deserved to live at the Mansion after Hef died, it would be Bill Clinton and/or AlCantHang. Those two know how to throw a party.

BG figured out that we were standing right in front of the kitchen, so we were in prime spot for all the hors d'oeuvres. They had a variation of food such as fried wontons, crab cakes, several kinds of sushi, beef with spicy horse raddish sauce, and chicken satay. The beef was pretty tasty and I filled up on sushi as bloggers took turns returning to the bar for refills.

AlCantHang was still AWOL. He called (actually it was loud slurring) to say that his limo was turned away from the Mansion. Hoyt Corkins ordered the driver to take them to the nearest bar, which happened to be the swanky Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I told him that they could get into the Mansion but had to check in at UCLA's parking lot.

I chatted with John Caldwell from Poker News. This was his second stint at the Mansion. One of the bands he managed in the 1990s was invited for a bash which seemed a lot more out of control that the mellow start to the evening.

Where were all the naked women? There were none.

I spotted a few good looking women and slowly more poker players started trickling in, but no Bunnies. Chad found a bar in the tent where the tournament would be played. Since it was on a slight slant, about 70 tilted poker tables filled the gigantic tent with a few gaming tables on the backside. We made a beeline for the bar and walked out a different entrance. We were on the otherside of the tent and saw a few tables set up and the infamous trampoline pushed to the side. Several ducks and peacocks sat on rocks in the pond in the darkness. You had to squint to see them. That's when I spotted the red light in the far corner by some trees.

I stumbled upon the aviary and zoo. A large parrot and cockatoo sat on a perch and I followed the stone steps down a spiral path near a few more cages. The spider monkeys were all the way in the back corner up near the top of the 30 foot high cage. No one was around and I figured that it would be a good spot to get lit. After a brief session, I found the other bloggers and showed them my discovery.

Originally we were told that there would be no photography. I usually carry around two cameras, my small digital camera and a larger professional one that I've taken pics for magazines and such. I left both behind and followed instructions. We soon found out that everyone had a camera except us. CJ and Bobby Bracelet decided to head back to the cars at UCLA to get theirs. While they were gone, I showed the rest of the bloggers the monkey cages.

AlCantHang finally arrived and he told us the most hilarious story involving Daniel Negreanu. He had been drinking with Hoyt Corkins and Steve Dannenmann who kept yelling at Negreanu from inside the limo. They questioned his sexuality and flipped him the bird. When Negreanu passed by us near the Grotto, Al stopped him. When Negreanu realized Al was part of the crew who verbally harassed him a few minutes earlier, he stormed away as we all laughed.

"Negreanu, you're a douchebag!" Al screamed at the top of his lungs.

By then the party started to fill up and a few stars began to show up like Joe Torre, Oliver Hudson, Morris Chestnut, Anthony Anderson, and Jerry Buss. There were more poker players there than I expected such as Amir Vahedi, Erick Lindgren, Mel Judah, Josh Arieh, Gavin Smith, Chad Brown, David Williams, John Phan, Ted Forrest, Johnny World Hennigan, Cyndy Violette, and The Grinder. Even Sean Sheikhan was wandering around. He wasn't hanging around any pros, because they all don't like him very much either.

At that point, the best looking women were some of the guests. Still no Bunnies and no Hef when CJ and Bobby Bracelet returned with the cameras. They shared the shuttle bus with Shannon Elizabeth who did not recall me cracking her A-A during the WSOP last year with J-J. She was kind enough to snap a few photos though.

The cocktail hour was winding down, and for the first time all night, the 8 of us bloggers were together at the Playboy Mansion. We toasted to Spaceman who was our inside man who scored us the invite. Then we headed back to the bar before we figured out how the hell we were going to cover a poker event without a media table, internet access, and a sufficient power source. I didn't care much. I didn't bring my laptop, just my notebook and voice recorder and started to interview random bloggers and guests as the players slowly made their way to the tournament tables.

Before we wandered inside, I turned to AlCantHang and said, "Let's go do some shots."

As the late arriving players rushed past us, he didn't say anything and walked to the stone bar. Just as Babe Ruth called out a home run in the 1932 World Series, AlCantHang made a similar motion towards the bartenders. He raised two fingers and by the time we arrived at the bar, two double shots of SoCo had been poured for us.

Yes, even at the Playboy Mansion, the bartenders know what AlCantHang drinks.

... to be continued.

Photo credits: Poker Pro Lynette Chan sent me the first pic and the Shannon Elizabeth pic is courtesy of Image Wire.

Previous Installment: Bloggers and Bunnies Part I: The Arrival

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Back to Vegas

FYI... Part II of the Playboy Mansion posts will appear tomorrow.

My flight from LA to Las Vegas took less than 40 minutes. That was sweet, plus I got to fly on JetBlue to add to my frequent flyer miles. I was in Las Vegas less than thirty minutes last night before I bought a matress. I haggled a little bit and scored a nice queen size for Grubby's apartment. He's going to be my roomie during a two month stint at the 2006 World Series of Poker and I had been crashing on an air matress when I've stayed at his place in Henderson (a burb of Vegas). As an insomniac, I need all the help I can get. I decided that after sleeping like a baby at the Borgata... that a comfy bed is what I need. Seriously, if you ever stayed at the Borgata in Atlantic City, you know that their beds are awesome.

Anyway, I gambled until the wee hours and crashed late. Of course the mattress was delivered at 8:20am! I requested before 5pm and never expected such an early delivery. It's nice and somewhat soft. I tried to fall back asleep but gave up and woke up to write.

Before noon, here's what I did...
  1. Completed one article on Doyle Brunson.
  2. Made three phone calls.
  3. Turned down a writing assignment.
  4. Paid one bill.
  5. Fixed the code on my blogs.
  6. Fixed the code on Change100's blog.
  7. Wrote 2,500 words about being on the Left Coast for 6 weeks.
  8. Answered 103 pieces of fan/hate mail.
  9. Booked two rentals cars; one for Vegas at the end of April and an SUV for Bonnaroo.
  10. Tried to find my buddy BJ... who is AWOL. BJ, if you are reading this... please call me!!
We're all worried about you, BJ! I'm sure you're just shacked up with a hot French-Canadian chick knocking boots for 4 days straight, but your friends (especially Heather from Poker Wire) are concerned.

Now, I'm off to the Fiesta Casino because Grubby has an interview there. I might play some poker, but will probably get stoned in the parking lot and pick up 80 year old women at the slot machines.

In the past week, I have been offered jobs with two different magazines, an online poker/casino site, and another poker website. Sweet Jesus... when it rains, it pours. I can't turn down these gigs fast enough. I hope these folks will still offer me jobs in the future when I'm a broke loser...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Bloggers and Bunnies Part I: The Arrival

I ripped a gagger in front of the spider monkey cage and wondered how many blowjobs Hef must have gotten standing in the same exact place. Did all of Hef's girlfriends swallow? The blonde hair and the enhanced boobular region was a must and I assumed slurping down Hef's love juice was also part of the job description of being Hef's latest fuck toy.

The existentialist moment of "How the fuck did I get here?" (which creeps up on me every few months) got a hold of me as I stood in the middle of the largest concentration of Redwoods in Southern California. It kept the Mansion secluded from the outside world while it provided a lush habitat for his small zoo and aviary that housed Hef's parrots, cockatoos, peacocks, rabbits, and spider monkeys. If you are a fan of the HBO series Entourage, there was a scene where Johnny Drama was banned from the Playboy Mansion because Hef assumed he let all the animals out of the zoo during a pajama party a decade ago. During the course of the episode, the viewers found out it was Ralph Macchio Pauly Shore who got drunk and let loose all the monkeys and finally Johnny Drama was back in good graces with Hef. I prayed that none of us would do anything stupid enough to get kicked out (like puke in the Grotto) or egregious enough that we would be banned for life (like puke on the spider monkeys). At some point during the course of the evening, we'd all flirt with that one moment where if the impulsive side of our degenerate gambler brains would steer us down a dark path of lunacy. Fortunate for all of us, we all survived the mind fuck of wandering around the Hugh Hefner's backyard shithoused drunk.

We all gathered at a hotel near LAX to meet up with AlCantHang who flew in from Philadelphia just for the event. The other seven of us drove from Las Vegas where we had been partying and gambling. Change100 drove Spaceman and I through bat country in the desert. Without any traffic to LA, we made great time. CJ drove the rental car and followed Joe Speaker a few hours later. By the time they arrived, I was already downing glasses of SoCo with AlCantHang.

We were given a free room that was given to the bloggers for covering the event. We were supposed to get two, but they only had one, which meant that Bobby Bracelet had to sleep on the floor wrapped in an AIDS-ridden bed spread and that BG had to curl up into the fetal position in the mildew encrusted bathtub. I luckily was going to stay with Change100 anyway which helped alleviate the sleeping situation. We really paid very little attention to that. We had bigger tasks at hand like getting ready for the Mansion. Between the eight of us, we must have spent about $300 each on new clothes. I know most women who will spend that on a pair of shoes but for us guys that's a ton of money. We didn't care. We were heading to the Mansion.

Several poker pros were also booked at the same hotel. Steve Dannenmann, who took second place at the 2005 WSOP (and won $4.5 million), ended up drinking with us at the bar along with "Cowboy" Hoyt Corkins and Gavin Smith, who's one of the top young players on the tour today. Dannenmann bought us all drinks and said he'd reward the blogger who had the best fake story about him. None of us had been invited to the Playboy Mansion before, but since poker players were the new rock stars, they were invited to appear at the charity poker event.

AlCantHang got chummy with them and hitched a ride in their limo to the Mansion. We were stuck having to drive to UCLA's parking lot and hop on a shuttle to the Mansion. We parked under the athletic fields and I quickly took a piss behind a pillar with Boy Genius. It was our first classless move of the night and would not be the first stint of public urination.

We figured out that we had to check in first before we could get on the shuttle. There were several lines... players, guests, talent, and media. Yeah, we were media reps and got word that no cameras would be allowed. So I didn't take one with me. I just took my notepad, a pen, my voice recorder, and my party favors.

There was a mix up and we could not get checked in. Spaceman called our contact and when she arrived five minutes later, we had the go ahead. We boarded the shuttle to the Mansion and I felt like a kid on Christmas morning ready to tear into my first present. As we passed through the gates, BG who had been sitting next to me said, "I think we should enjoy this moment in silence."

He was right. We were stepping onto scared sacred ground as the iron cast gates slowly crept open to allow us inside. As the bus climbed the hill, we could see the Mansion sitting on top with a large sloping lawn in front.

The bus stopped and we all got off clueless on where to go. There was no sign of AlCantHang's limo with the poker pros. The red carpet was in front of us with paparazzi clutching cameras and a film crew behind the ropes. Should we go behind the ropes? Or walk the carpet? We huddled in hesitation for a few seconds, when Joe Speaker pointed to the red carpet.

Fuck it.

I led the way and headed down the carpet while I took a deep breath. When the red carpet ended, I found myself in the backyard only a few steps from the Grotto and infamous stone bar. I never stopped my stride and walked up to the bar with Joe Speaker as I looked back and watched CJ, Spaceman, Bobby Bracelet, BG, and Chad all saunter inside with shit-eating grins on their faces. Speaker flashed me that million dollar smile and said, "Doctor, we've arrived."

... to be continued

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Veni. Vidi. Vici.

Here's my favorite conversation of the evening....
AlCantHang: "I used to spank it to you."
Julie McCollough: "Was that Growing Pains or Playboy?"
AlCantHang: "Both."
We survived our epic adaventure at the Playboy Mansion. No one got arrested, but Chad puked a few minutes ago. I won the prop bet with Boy Genius. I'll have some more updates soon, but nothing I can write can fully explain the experience of hitting the Mansion with some of my best friends and getting completely smashed.

Reports soon to follow from the Tao of Poker, Spaceman, Bobby Bracelet, Chad, BG, Joe Speaker, CJ, and... AlCantHang. Stay tuned.

Mucho thanks to Spaceman and Joy for hooking me up with the invite.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Three Hours Away...

The lovely Mrs. Spaceman sent me an email the other day that I'd like to share with you. Enjoy!
Yo Pauly!

I hope you guys have a blast at the Playboy mansion. I have given Jason permission to do anything he wants, as long as he stays out of the grotto (I don't want him traipsing through 25 years of cum stains. Ewww gross!) And if things get really kinky, make sure he (and you!) wears a condom, for god's sake. I don't want any bunny funk, if you know what I mean. But really, are the bunnies going to want anything to do with youse guys? Hell no - they're looking for some millionaire dickin'. But I bet there will be plenty of Hollywood wannabe socialite strumpet types looking for a good time. Hence the "wear a condom" comment.

I read on your blog that Change100 picked out your clothes. We went shopping last night, and since I have no fashion sense, we enlisted my friend Lydia to be Jason's personal stylist. And guess what outfit he ended up with? A nice shirt, sports jacket, and jeans. So I have to ask - just what is so wrong about that? Is it too casual, or is it too predictable, or is it too nice? I have no idea what "LA Chic" is, and I don't want Jason to like a Tennessean. Regardless, we dropped some mad cash on this outfit, and I think he looks FINE, so fuck em if he looks out of place. What are you gonna wear?

Enjoy the fake boobies! And please make sure Jason has a good time... I know while you guys are having a once-in-a-lifetime evening, I'll be enjoying fantasizing about Jake Gyllenhaal's fine ass.

Take care!

Mrs. Spaceman

Friday, March 24, 2006

Strippers and Blow
Blonde Stripper: "Where are you from?"
Senor: "Rhode Island."
Blonde Stripper: "Awesome! I love New York."
Yes, it was one of those nights in Las Vegas, where everything you experience is blogworthy. To start, Senor flew in at 11am and Change100 and I picked him up at the airport. We checked into the Mirage and then Joe Speaker arrived soon after. We hung out at the bar near the sports book and watched the March Madness games. The place was super packed and full of gambling excitement. I had a blast with LSU. Not only did they cover, they beat Duke outright, which means that my team Strippers and Blow, has a shot at winning my pool!

Of course, I fucked up and took UCLA -4. Yeah, I don't wanna talk about it. Joe Speaker actually took them with the moneyline. The guy at the counter laughed at him when he cashed his ticket.

We ate dinner at Joe's Seafood and Steakhouse in Caesar's Palace forum shops with Flipchip, Grubby, and the Poker Prof. The filet mignon was excellent as well as the Jenny Potatoes.

After the meal, we headed to a strip club. I mean, that's what Grubby, Senor, and I do when we're in Vegas. Grubby drove and we took Change100 and Joe Speaker along. One of Grubby's friends is a dancer at Scores and we went to check it out. I've only been to the one in NYC. Strippers love Grubby and Senor loves Asian strippers.

"Holy shit, I'm going to a strip club with Dr. Pauly," Joe Speaker mentioned on our way to the Scores.

I have enough material for a new installment of Existentialist Conversations with Strippers. This one was named Nicki, and she was Vietnamese, Chinese, and Irish, What a combination! And she was from NYC. She dances at Scores there and she also flew into Vegas on Jetblue.

Nicki was smoking hot. Amazing ass. And I loved her hair.

"She has a crush on you," said Senor.

"I'm just a mark," I answered.

"Not this one. She's fallen for you."

Indeed, she did. She kept coming back. By the end of the night I must have paid for her flight from NYC to Las Vegas. The lapdances were average, but she was feisty and kept grabbing my nipples. I know that too much information to reveal, even on a blog, but I admit... I like have my nipples squeezed by hot strippers in Las Vegas at 1am. And she just didn't squeeze them, she molested them. I loved every second of it.

She gave Change 100 three lapdances. At one point, she was grabbing her breasts and pinching her nipples. They were all over each other. I admit, I got a chubby. Nothing beats girl on girl action. I love to watch.

"I can tell, you're a naughty one," Nicki said.

"Don't you know it," admitted Change100.

After it was over, I asked Change 100, "Were you making out with the stripper?"

She said no, but the look in her eyes said, "Yes."

Nicki was so good that I had to share her with the entire group, except for Grubby who was entertaining a dancer on his lap. They were talking about fashion. I paid for lap dances for Change100, Senor, and Joe Speaker. All of them had Nicki. I like to share.

She walked up to Joe Speaker and said, "I'm going to hurt you."

Joe Speaker turned to me and gave me a look like, "Holy fuck, what did you just get me into."

Afterwards, Joe Speaker jotted down some notes. I can't wait to read his post. After Nicki danced for Speaker, she headed over to Senor. She grabbed his belt and tied it around his neck, she used the end of it and was smacking him in the head.

"She was a rough one. We should invite her back to our room."

On our way out to the car, Joe Speaker said, "My God. I have not gotten a lapdance since 1986 at my first bachelor party! Twenty fuckin' years! And she had an amazing ass."

I realized that if I didn't gamble as much and didn't go to strip clubs, I would have paid off my school loan by now. Sure I'd be debt free, but I'd have nothing to write about.

Yes, there was no poker content in this post. I have yet to play a hand since I arrived in Vegas.

Editor's Note: This was crossposted to the Tao of Poker.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Please Don't Hate Me
"No, you can't come along." - Boy Genius
"The greatest cliche ever!" my buddy the Joker screamed into the phone when I told him about my invite to the Playboy Mansion on Saturday night. "I'm really curious about the Grotto. What's that all about? I get the concept of Heff putting on these parties with tons of hot chicks walking around. But are they lame? Please give me all the details. Oh, and are you gonna get high with Snoop Dogg? I'm glad I have a reporter on the ground embedded at the Mansion. I'm so proud of you. I can finally sleep at night knowing that you will be at the Mansion raising hell."

Yes, the rumors are true. I'll be heading to LA on Saturday to the Playboy Mansion with a group I'd like to call Pauly's 8 in homage to Ocean's 11... Spaceman, Bobby Bracelet, Chad, BG, Joe Speaker, CJ, and... AlCantHang. I'm still looking for an acrobatic Mandarin-speaking Chinese guy to fill the last spot on my crew. Oh and we need a wise cracking black guy for the zany one-liners. If you have any leads, shoot me an email.

A few weeks ago I turned down a free cruise to the Bahamas. The Poker Prof handed me a "gift assignment." And I declined. He was shocked and didn't know what to say. He ended up going himself and took lots of great photos. Make sure you read his trip report.

This past Sunday I found myself in another stressful situation. When Spaceman told me about the invite to the Mansion, I originally declined. I think he was shocked. It was bad timing... I'm here in Las Vegas to hang out with one of my best friends in the world... Senor. He's my Neal Cassady. He's my attorney. He's my Goose. He's my Carl. (Bonus points to you if you get all four references.)

Anyway, Senor works his ass off and hasn't had a vacation in a very long time. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife and 1.5 kids. He's got a second son due in July. We were both looking forward to our yearly trip to Las Vegas for March Madness. Gambling. Golf. Strip clubs. What could be better?

So when I found myself at a fork in the road... I was perplexed. Do I take the road that leads to the Playboy Mansion? Or do I spend time with my best friend? (Make sure you read this short story I worte called... Amanda Dick.)

I made the decision and declined the invite to Hugh Heffner's paradise. I'm a good friend. You want me in that foxhole with you. I'm the guy you wanna be stuck in an elevator with for three hours. You need me on the wall...

Slowly, my friends and my brother all took time out to tell me how stupid I was skipping out on an invite to the Mansion. My buddy Jerry called me "retarded." Derek questioned my sanity. When I got Senor on the phone he was concerned, "Dude, you skipped a cruise to the Bahamas and a now trip to the Playboy Mansion? Are you OK?"

He talked me into going. That's why he's a great friend.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," Senor said. "As a writer, you have to go."

He was right. The last thing I want to do is cover another charity poker tournament. I've done that and it sucks. But this one is different. So different that I needed to buy new clothes.

"What are you going to wear?" Change100 asked.

I mumbled something and she quickly disagreed with my choice.

"You have to go out and buy a nice outfit. This is not some hipster bar in the East Village you're going to. It's the Playboy Mansion. I dig your 'I'm a writer' look with jeans and a sports coat. But that's not going to cut it at the Mansion."

When she arrived in Las Vegas, she took me shopping. Two hours later I spent $400 on an outfit. $198 for a shirt. $148 for pants. $40 for a new belt. I haven't spent $400 on clothes in the last three years. I usually let Briana buy me clothes. I hate shopping. The concept horrifies me.

I discovered that Joe Speaker and CJ also bought new outfits. The spent about $400 too. That's $1,200 on new clothes since the dress code will be strictly enforced.

That's the skinny for now. Stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, I have to go win an extra $500 on March Madness game (I'm driving to LA and flying back to Vegas on Monday on JetBlue) just to cover expenses. UCLA is my team in the Sweet 16. If they cover against Gonzaga, my trendoid clothes are free.

Please don't hate me.

Editor's Note: This was cross posted to the Tao of Poker.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Almost in Vegas

On Monday I had a "To Do" list of about 20-25 things that I had to do before I left for Las Vegas. I cranked out about 10 of them last night and added 10 more. I did about half my list before Tuesday at Noon.

So what's on these lists you ask?

Some of the errands included going to the post office and doing laundry. The most important thing on the list is making sure I bring the right plugs and cords for my various electronic items like my laptop, two cameras, and my cell phone. In Barcelona, I had to get a UBS card reader and I luckily had a mall next door to my hotel. It was much cheaper in Spain than in the US. Packing for six weeks is no different from packing for six weeks. Lucky for me, where I'm staying in Las Vegas and LA, there's a washer and dryer.

I also had to answer my email. When I first had email, I used to write lengthy responses to the handful of people who sent me messages. It was cathartic for me, plus it was a great writing exercise. No one writes long letters anymore. It's been replaced by the coldness of two-line emails with plenty of "lol" and :).

Anyway, I have a few different email addresses and it takes almost 30 minutes every morning for me to look at all of them and pick out the important ones from the crap. I had almost 100 emails that I never answered and I took 2 hours to do all of that. And I still feel that I gave a few people just a few seconds of my time when they deserved more. Oh well. That's the hardest part these days... too much email. It's good and it's evil. The good news is that I got over 100 messages down to 4 in one account.

I also have a lost of people I owe phonecalls too. It seems the people you need to get in contact with the most are never around or in the middle of a vacation in Chile or at a business luncheon. I've got through 80% of my list.

I ate an Everything bagel yesterday. There's three main people who work that shop; an old white lady with a hair net, a young Cambodian girl, and a middle-aged ethnic guy from somewhere in Eastern Europe. I've been going to that place for years. The young girl and old lady know what I want by now. I rarely have a problem with them. I always cringe when the ethnic guy takes my order because he always fucks it up. They do a bad job buttering the bagels. Since they keep jacking up the prices, I want my fair share of butter. Anyway, I always have to ask for "extra butter" because they always skimp. Sadly, whenever ethnic guy butters my bagel, he barely gives me any. I ask for "extra" and he simply does not get it. Maybe I should try "double butter" or "extra extra butter."

I finished up a few writing assignments. I've been cranking stuff out the last few days. It seems since I got back to NYC, all I've done was write and watch basketball. I finally cranked out the latest issue of Truckin'. That project had been taking up a lot of my time. Just when one deadline is over, I have another one looming.

I watched The Soprano's on TiVo so now I'm all caught up. I appreciate it when writers take risks. And they did it in this episode. The beginning started out great and then it fizzled. The Sopranos still suck. I did like the Tibetan monks bitch slapping Tony. Oh well. I'm awaiting the new episode of Entourage. Johnny Drama baby....

I completed The Tipping Point. I read most of it on the subway on Monday. I started Arthur Nersesian's new book and I read the first 20 pages of Charles Bukowsi's Hollywood.

I cooked dinner for my brother last night. I cooked spicy sausage and cheese tortellini. I made the marinara sauce from scratch with extra garlic. Oh, and I made garlic bread with extra mozzarella cheese.

I just have to finish up last minute packing before I head to the airport for another cross-country flight. I've done the NYC-Las Vegas leg so many times that I think I can do it in my sleep. 5 hours on a plane used to bother me. Now I can do it without blinking.


10:10am... I arrived at the airport super early. My flight does not board for another hour or so. I had an incident of sorts to report. Last night while I was packing, I grabbed my press badge for the World Poker Tour which I keep with my passport in a drawer. Since I was going to be on the road for 6 weeks, I decided to take my passport with me. I usually take it with me whenever I travel because you never know when you might have to leave the country at the last minute. Being on the road for six weeks meant that it was a necessity. I'm glad I packed it because when I arrived at the airport, I could not find my driver's license anywhere. I used my passport to get past security and everything is fine for this trip as long as I don't drive... which is supposed to happen at the end of April when I get a rental car to cover the WPT Championships at the Bellagio. I was fixin' to stay with Grubby in Henderson and commute to work everyday. If I can't find my license, I might have to stay in a hotel near by! I'm 75% sure I know where it is... on my old dresser next to some business cards. I had taken out an old credit card last week and replaced it with my new JetBlue American Express Card. I must have also taken out my license at the same time. If it's not there... I have to go get a replacement when I get back to NYC in May. Yikes.

10:21am... Hot Asian chick with a book sat down next to me. She smells like peaches.

10:23am... In a moment of clarity, I realized where my license was! I had to photocopy it for a bill for proof of address. It's sitting in the tray of my printer/scanner. I'm such a retard. I'll ask Derek to mail it to me in Las Vegas/LA. Problem solved, for now.

10:50am... While on the shitter, I sent Bobby Bracelet a text message.

10:55am... I called Senor to tell him what a dumb ass I was for forgetting my license. He's flying into Vegas on Thursday morning via Providence. He suggested that we go to a strip club tomorrow night. He wants to play golf on Saturday, which I'll miss because I have to drive to LA. In case you are wondering, I'll just be a passenger since I'm totally inept and can't drive stick. So the missing license is moot anyway.

11:01am... A suit sat down next to me and checked his Americtrade account. That reminded me about a small windfall that unexpectedly came my way, part of my grandmother's estate that was liquidated this week. It's not much, but more than the $1700 I got last month. At least this check won't go to pay my taxes. I have three options...
1. Pay my school loan.
2. Open up a new IRA account.
3. Use the money for travel and blow it on hookers and Thai stick.
11:11am... I'm playing online poker at the airport. Man, am I a shill for Poker Stars or what?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Truckin' - March 2006, Vol. 5, Issue 3

The LA issue of Truckin' features a face lift and a new look! This issue features some of the best bloggers in the greater Los Angeles area contributed stories and tales about their beloved city.
1. Let's Do Lunch by Tenzin McGrupp
We were surrounded by a gaggle of trendoids and pharmaceutically bloated ex-actress-model girlfriends of semi-famous directors who carried around eight balls in their $2,500 Marc Jacobs purses... More

2. For Sale by Joe Speaker
Two stories, four bedrooms plus the den, four baths. Too big for the three of them, but they planned to live there a long while, growing both family, possessions and equity. Of the three, they only managed the last and that was nothing but serendipity... More

3. The Pitch by factgirl
From my office I can see downtown with its chewy cloud of smog. My boss's office has the better view – the Hollywood sign. The sign is much closer than downtown, which tricks the eye into believing the air here is better. Its not... More

4. Heat by Shane Nickerson
As I glanced around the party, I couldn’t help but feel a certain sense of achievement. After all, I was on the Warner Brothers backlot at one of the hottest events in town... More

5. Paging Dominic Leare by Change 100
He hadn't showered in weeks. A poster of his Oscar-winning film hung behind his desk, itself buried within a hurricane of paper while an outdated laptop sat atop the mess, displaying a page of text... More

6. If I Was Homeless I'd Live In Los Angeles by Dan Keston
There are open air farmers markets in Los Angeles, everyday, that offer free samples of top quality meat, cheese, deserts, fruit, veggies and anything else you need to balance out your diet... More

Monday, March 20, 2006

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...
1. The Holy Bible
2. Lair's Poker by Michael Lewis
3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
4. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
5. The Doctor's Daughter by Hilma Wolitzer
Almost On the Road: 16 Flights Later

In a very unceremonial and lonely moment, I completed the first draft my Las Vegas book on Saturday morning shortly after sunrise. I printed it up and read the last part over the weekend. The book is almost 180K words, which makes it at least 4x bigger than any other book I wrote. I humbly put it aside on a shelf with all my other manuscripts and screenplays in an old blue milk crate that I stole in college. I won't be sending it off to a developmental editor. It's simply not good enough and it needs a thorough re-write. At least three other of my books are more worthy of being published. The Las Vegas book fell short of the mark because I didn't have enough time to write it. Three weeks? I needed a year to write a kick ass book. Time is something I don't have and cannot afford to buy until September. Maybe then I can find the time to write the second draft.

For now, the Las Vegas manuscript is going to sit in the crate for a few months, untouched by anyone's eyes. I know I promised a lot of you sneak peeks when I was done, but it's not ready for public consumption. The project has been shelved for now as I gear up for new projects and the mother of all assignments... the World Series of Poker this summer.

I'm about to head out on the road for six weeks. That's the longest stint for me since heading to Vegas for three months last summer. This most recent trip to LA was supposed to be two weeks, which I extended nine days. And that was a long time to be on the road. I have to double that amount... and split time between two cities; LA and Las Vegas.

It seems like I've been on the road so much in the last 7.5 months when I left Vegas finally last August. I haven't been in one place for more than a few weeks... Denver, Boulder, New York City, G-Vegas South Carolina, New York City, Amsterdam, Barcelona, New York City, Atlantic City, Phoenixville PA, New York City, Las Vegas, New York City, Foxwoods, Rhode Island, New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City, Las Vegas, New York City, Atlantic City, New York City, Los Angeles, and back in New York City... that's like 16 flights and four rental cars worth of travel, not to mention a lot of taxis, trains, and even included a hellish bus ride from Atlantic City to NYC. I figured it out and once every 13 days I'm getting on a plane to go to someplace different since last August. I've wasted at least 3 full days in flight time and another full day waiting for delayed flights or having to stand in long security lines.

I'm excited to spend time with Senor during our yearly trip to Las Vegas. A long time ago, way before the blogs existed and before I was employed to write about poker, I used to take two trips a year to Las Vegas; in December with my brother to gamble on pro football and in March with Senor to gamble on college basketball. It's been a tradition the last several years and I start bubbling over with excitement on March 1st because I know within a few weeks, I'd be headed to Las Vegas for a wild four day bender in Las Vegas with Senor.

I'm also excited to head back to LA for a bit. I firmly believe I can find work in that town. And if that doesn't pan out, the sunshine and great weed is always a nice consolation prize. It was snowing yesterday morning here in NYC and light flurries again in late afternoon. It's been too cold for my tastes and I'm longing to feel the warm sun on my face. I also have a random chance to partake in a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity next Saturday. More details to come....

* * * * *

I have three deadlines looming before I go to Las Vegas. I'm done with one piece and have two to go. One is just 600 words and the other is around 1600-1700 words. I'm hoping to crank those out in the next 24 hours along with publishing the next issue of Truckin'. The March issue has a theme... LA Stories. It also features some of your favorite LA bloggers.

I've been trying to read as much as I can part of a personal crusade of my own to strengthen my mind by feeding it literature. Reading too many blogs is terrible for my vocabulary. My work is filled with millions of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. But blogging is not writing. There are some good writers out there who have blogs, but for the best of the best, you can't top books as the best available literary medium. Of course, once the college basketball tournament started, I've been glued in front of my laptop and watching 12 hours of basketball a day. So all reading has been put on hold.

I have a stack of magazines to read through before I leave on Wednesday. Some of them are issues of the magazine I write for, others are alumni magazines from college and high school. And a few are random clothing and computer catalogues that will get tossed aside with the rest of the junk mail. I'm getting a heavy stream of credit card applications. I have awful credit and ever since I paid off my credit card last summer, I'm technically credit card debt free (aside from one or two old accounts that are in dispute between me and The Man) and the greedy banks and credit companies are lining up to get my business. I'm a known credit risk, yet I still get invitations to abuse the system. When will they learn?

The last book I read was Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. I actually read parts of it when I was first sent a copy a year or so ago. I finally re-read those bits and finished the whole thing. I admit that I skimmed parts, because at some point what he's saying is redundant. But overall he makes some remarkable assertions about people and somehow explains what ties Bernie Goetz, Paul Revere, and outbreak of syphllis in Baltimore and the Ya-ya Sisterhood all together. The guy knows his shit. And I can read his books in a day, maybe two tops.

I have a few other books to read such as East Village Tetralogy, which is Arthur Nersesian's book of four plays about New York City. I've been a fan of Nersisian's for years starting with The Fuck Up. I also tried to adapt Dogrun as a screenplay but that project was too overwhelming. Adapting books to screenplays is a tedious and horrendous task. I'm more comfortable writing screenplays from scratch.
My three year writing plan:
1. Write one solid one act play.
2. Complete a sellable screenplay.
3. Write a children's book for Jodd.
I told Senor about #3 as my goal for Jodd's 6th birthday where I'm gonna write a children's book in an attempt to diversify my writing ability. I can write on a blog. I've proven that I can write novels. I currently earn a living writing for magazines and newspapers. I'm going to find out if I can write for TV, film, theatre, and for children. I know that facty offered to give me some tips! I guess I'm also looking for a new category to tackle. I'm getting bored with writing about poker and any other topic seems interesting at this point. Besides, I like a good challenge and I'm trying to add depth to my writing ability. It's not good enough for me to be considered a good writer. I'm looking to maximize my ability and be good in all areas of writing. If I'm like a utility infielder in baseball, I'll always have a job. Finding work as a writer is the most difficult and stressful thing in the life of a writer. Writing is the easy part. Having to stay sane during menial assignments is where the true talent lies.

I also got sent a copy of Hollywood by Charles Bukowski, where he recants the back stories about getting the movie Bar Fly made.

The OC sucked last week. I missed it because I went to play in a poker game at the Blue Parrot instead. I'm glad that Ryan dumped Marissa. She's the uber-psycho chick. I know that Showcase is dating a chick from The OC and she too is super crazy. What's the deal with the drinking water in The OC that breads hysterical and promiscuious BMW driving residents?

I watched a couple of random DVDs in the past week. I finally saw Domino which was based on the life of a real bounty hunter from LA called Domino Harvey. The lovely Keira Knightley played Domino and I got to see her nipples. It was worth the bad editing and horrible camera work. There's a scene where everyone was supposed to be tripping on mescaline. However, since the entire movie resembled a mescaline trip, that effects of the drug were not properly presented. Now I understand why that flick got awful reviews. It sucked. But Mickey Rourke is always good in whatever he does and Keira Knightley can sit on my face any day of the week and three times on Sunday.

I also picked up the latest DVD/concert documentary from Traffic called The Last Great Traffic Jam. It came with a with bonus track CD that featured an acoustic vesion of three songs. Jerry Garcia makes a cameo in the DVD for Dear Mr. Fantasy. What a rush! I got to catch a glimpse of Jerry shortly before his death. It included full performances of several hit Traffic songs such as:
Pearly Queen
Medicated Goo
40,000 Headmen
Walking in the Wind
Light Up and Leave Me Alone
Dear Mr. Fantasy with Jerry Garcia
John Barleycorn
Gimme Some Lovin'
I'm a big fan of Medicated Goo and I watched Jerry Garcia on Dear Mr. Fantasy like six times already. Catching a glimpse of Jerry makes me miss him even more.

By the way, fellow blogger Raspberry Sundae mentioned me in a post last week. I suggested a question and she happily answered. Thanks Sweetie!

Before I go for the day, I guess I should address my gambling problem. Sure society did not care that I was an action junkie when I worked on Wall Street and traded bonds and swapped stocks down in the trenches. You have to be a sadist to want to log those insane hours being a broker or you have a desire and hard-on for money. I loved the rush and the thrill and the excitement of gambling with other people's money. These days, all the money I gamble with is my own. And I took a bath this weekend. I lost a substantial amount of money in the last four days. It's as much as some of you make in a week and I pissed it away on a few basketball games. In my defense, it was an unpredictable year. I had made money in the past on Wall Street and betting on sporting events solely by wagering on the future. This year the games were tough and several favorites lost. What can I do? I lost most of my "sports betting" bankroll after I built it up thanks to the Pittsburgh Steelers run in the NFL playoffs. I hope that I can save face in Las Vegas and try to break even.

Regardless. Gambling is a horrible disease and I'll never find a cure. Pot helps.

* * * * *

Before I go, here's one last picture just to keep things interesting on a Monday morning. Everyone loves Swedish girls kissing! I could look at these photos for several hours on end and let my imagination run wild.

Swedish Girls Kissing

Sunday, March 19, 2006

March Madness - Day 3 Recap

I finished up 3-3 yesterday and hit two big bets to end up +205 for the day after Gonzaga pulled out a tough victory over Indiana. I'm -345 overall, which is great since I'm 9-13 in bets. I'm gonna try to make it all up with one team today... UNC -6 over George Mason.

My teams in the Pauly's Pub March Madness Pool are tied for 4th and 14th as AlCantHang is still on top. Spider is a close second with Hector jumping up into the 3rd spot. Geek is lingering around 5th place but his team is doomed since he picked Iowa to win it all.
Top 6 Thru Day 3:
1 Marlboro and Lungbutter (AlCantHang) 380
2 Damon's My Bitch (Spider2) 370
3 warren coolidge all-stars (Hector) 360
4 Strippers and Blow (Pauly2) 350
4 Fear and Arrogance (Landow) 350
4 Iowa FTW (Geek1) 350
Sundays games mark the official end of Round 2. By the end of today, we'll have the Sweet 16 teams set. My goal is always to try to get 12/16 teams right. That's a decent sheet for me. 14 or 15 is remarkable and means I have a good shot of winning.
Today's Bets:
UNC -6
Bucknell +8.5
I'm sticking with Derek's alma mater Bucknell. They are +350 with the money line and I can't ignore that! I got them with both the points and straight up to win.

Random Updates...

1:45pm... Bradley is kicking the crap out of Pitt. I almost took them getting 5.5. I have them in a 4 team parlay today with Arizona, UNC, and Ohio State. I'm eagerly awaiting the Bucknell and the UNC game which are both being aired at the same time.

2:57pm... CBS blows moose cock. There's 3 games running right now. I have action on two of them, and of course CBS is airing the Kentucky-UCONN game featuring Billy Fudge Packer. I haven't seen one live look in with Bucknell. I'm watching that online and they are down.

3:10pm... At the half, Bucknell is down 10, while UNC is up by 7. My teams need to play better in the second half!

4:21pm... Not only did UNC lose and blow a big lead which fucked up my sheet, but they also lost to George Mason. Talk about a bracket buster. That lost cost me dearly. I'm -860 now and Bucknell isn't looking too good.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patty's Day and Day 1 of March Madness

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone out there. Last night I played in what might end up being the last ever home poker game at the Blue Parrot, which is a huge part of NYC poker history. It was a good-bye party of sorts to me since I'll be on the road for six weeks starting next week, in addition Ferrari is selling the Blue Parrot. Which means that when I return to NYC in May, we'll be playing at the Blue Parrot II. I had a good night and I'll post the recap of the event on Monday to my poker blog.

Here's a quick glance at the leaderboard in the Pauly's Pub March Madness Pool:
Top 8 Leaderboard thru Day 1:
1 Marlboro and Lungbutter (AlCantHang) 160
2 Like DWright at 3rd (Spider1) 150
3 Damon's My Bitch (Spider2) 140
4 Fear and Arrogance (Landow) 130
4 Strippers and Blow (Pauly) 130
4 Good Little Monkey (Gracie) 130
4 Black Tar Heroin (S. Lovelace) 130
4 Fook Dook (ScurvyDog1) 130
All hail AlCantHang who had a perfect Day 1 with a 16-0 run! I'm hanging around the top of the pack after going 13-3, but it's still early. Spider is in great shape with 2nd and 3rd place after a stellar day 1. I got slaughtered betting on the games yesterday. I went 1-1 in my big bets. Monatana prevailed but Gonzaga only won by 4 when the spread was 7. They were up by 6 and Adam Morrison missed a crucial free throw with 4 seconds remaining. They allowed Xavier to score an uncontested layup as time expired to kill the game for me. The Zags didn't cover and I felt a stinging sensation in my testicular region. I ended up going 2-5 overall and now I'm in the hole.... $470 at the start of day 2. I need to make it up today! Let's hope Derek's alma mater can pull it out today. Buckell is my horse on St. Patty's Day.
Today's bets:
Bucknell +5 ... Won
Kentucky -3
Cal +2
Iowa -7 ... LOST
Arizona -1.5 ... Won
Kansas -7.5
Pitt -6.5
S. Illinois +5 ... LOST
That's it for now. Go out and have a great weekend. Go get drunk. Get laid. Get into a fight. Drop acid and take a walk in the park. Go read a book and try to win some money on Party Poker!


2:45pm... Bucknell holds on for a 59-55 victory over Oklahoma. Too bad Northwestern State drilled a three-pointer with 0.05 seconds left to send Poker Geek's team Iowa home after a first round upset.

2:56pm... OK, Bucknell kicked ass today and it always feels great to win your first big bet of the day. And Arizona won, but Iowa lost. I started the day 2-1. If Iowa didn't blow their lead, I'd be 3-0 and unstuck! But I also had a second bet on Bucknell... I took them with the money line +180. So I'm +260 for the day so far.

5:20pm... Finished the afternoon games 2-2... +150 overall today. The Salukis of S. Illinois could not upend West Virginia. I still have four open bets left.

9:22pm... I suck. NC State edged California by more than 2 points and I slipped to 2-3 today.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

March Madness Begins!
Today's Big Bets:
Montana +6
Gonzaga -6
Marquette -3
Tenn -7
Oklahoma -3 ... Lost
Syracuse -1
LSU -7.5
San Diego State +2
Tip off is a few minutes away and I'm pumped. Thanks to everyone who signed up for my pool. We have 38 players and a prize pool of $760. First place will win $380!
Prize Money:
1. $380
2. $190
3. $120
4. $70
First place also wins a phone call from Daddy! Last place gets a Snail Trax T-shirt.
The Teams:
Stop Your Begging (Coach)
Chico's Bail Bonds (Derek1)
Buttamaker's Boilermakers (Derek2)
Inside the Paris Hilton (Pauly1)
Austin Drunks (Matt S.)
The Luckbox (CJ)
Oyster Bay Moore (JoeMoore)
Dry Hump (BobbyBracelet1)
Friction Burn (BobbyBracelet2)
Signor Ferrari (Ferrari)
Black Tar Heroin (S. Lovelace)
Strippers and Blow (Pauly2)
Homer's Hard Wood (Armen)
Al Gore's Revenge (BoobieLover)
Truck Stop Hoochies (Drizz)
Like DWright at 3rd (Spider1)
3 Knuckles Deep (Daddy)
I Fooked Alba - twice (DonkeyPuncher)
Pete Rose Made My Picks (Geek1)
Al Groh's Monkey Butlers (ScurvyDog1)
Iowa FTW (Geek2)
Janet Gretzky's ToutSheet (Todd Commish)
As Picked By God Himself (Nerd1)
Tubgirl's Dirtier Friend (Nerd2)
Schaefer 1 (Brandon Schaefer)
facty's money (factgirl)
Ugarte's Picks are Funny (Charles Star)
Semi-Flaccid (JoeSpeaker)
Fook Dook (ScurvyDog2)
warren coolidge all-stars (Hector)
Gillen Guide (Senor)
Well T'anks for Nuttin' (Jerry)
Good Little Monkey (Gracie)
Fear and Arrogance (Landow)
Marlboro and Lungbutter (AlCantHang)
luscious jackson (Mena S.)
You Call That a Knife? (Garthmeister)
Damon's My Bitch (Spider 2)
Best of luck everyone!

* * * * *

Random Updates....

12:21pm... I kicked off my March Madness traditon by ripping a bong hit and making a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich. It's not officially March Madness until I take a bite of the grilled cheese.

12:32pm... CBS is airing the Seton Hall/Wichita State game and Wichita state is spanking them early. I tried to log into their website to watch the other games. Site won't load. Have to rely on ESPN.

1:01pm... My only open bet, Oklahoma, is down at the half to Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

2:20pm... Bomb scare at Cox Arena in San Diego and the Marquette game is postponed. I wonder how that delay is going to affect the players? I have to assume the worst. I'm already written off that game as a loss.

2:25pm.... The Poker Nerd had a similar problem loading CBS's online coverage.

2:30pm... Oklahoma is coming back. Down 66-60 with 3 plus minutes to go.

2:41pm... Oklahoma lost to Wisc-Mil. I'm 0-1 so far this year in bets. Way to start out the year, with a loss. I actually liked Wisc-Mil as one of my first round upset teams. I picked them on one sheet. I liked how Oklahoma matched up on paper and that's why I put money on them. I should have listened to my gut.

2:43pm... Pacific justed tied the game at 65-65 against BC with a three pointer with 9.1 seconds left. Damn. I'm totally rooting for the underdog in this one.

2:46pm... OT in the Pacific/BC game.

2:57pm... Mike Webb drilled back-to-back three pointers for Pacific, the last one off of a sloppy turnover from BC. They lead 71-65 with 2 minutes to go in OT.

3:02pm... 74-72 Pacific leads with 40 seconds left. Both teams traded three-pointers during the last two possesions.

3:05pm... BC tied the game at 74 with two free throws. Pacific couldn't score. Game went into double OT.

3:12pm... Pacific lost their mud. BC went on a 7-0 run for the first 3 minutes of OT.

3:18pm... BC won by 12 in OT. Unreal. At least one of my final four teams is still alive! I also picked BC to go to the Elite 8 in both pools. That was a close scare.

3:20pm... Chad is also live blogging his afternoon. Tomorrow AlCantHang is gonna do it.

3:41pm... Montana got out to an early 2-0 lead over Nevada. I feel great about the Grizzlies' chances today.

4:10pm... Halftime of the Tennessee/Wintrop game and Tenn is up 36-34. Montana is up by 9 on Nevada. CBS is airing Alabama trouncing Marquette by 10.

4:20pm... Smoke break.

4:30pm... Tennessee started to pull away in the second half and were up by 6. Marquette is getting ass-spanked on national TV. They are down 15 in the first half. Montana is up by 8. Florida is having a tough time with S. Alabama and are only up by 6. It's been close.

4:41pm... Winthrop just took over the lead. Tenn trails by 1. Montana up by 7 at the half.

4:48pm... Winthrop/Tenn update: Tie game at 54-54 with 10:44 remaining.

5:01pm... Have to miss the next 2 hours of coverage. Heading downtown for dinner at 6pm then poker afterwards. Not pleased with the results so far. I need Montana and Gonzaga to come through in order for me to break even for the day.
Can't Blog This....

I'm shocked it took so long for me to discover this. MC Hammer has a blog. What has our world come to?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Ten Fuckin' Minutes: Did We Just Break Up?

A friend of mine was having a tough time on his blog. He wrote a semi-depressing 2nd Blog Birthday post and I told him he needed to do the ten minute exercise that I came up with to keep things fresh with my main blog. It worked for Wil when he was caught in a rut and it's worked for me as well. This past week, the Nerd took my suggestion to heart and he had two of the more interesting posts he's had in a while. Plus I got to know him a little better when he discussed his personal life instead of posting about poker strategy, which he's one of the best at doing.

When I read about him having to explain to his two-year old daughter why she shouldn't over use the word "nipples" I nearly did a spit-take. Good stuff. Made me almost wish I had kids. Almost. Then if I did, my blog would sound more like Neal Pollock's musings on being a soccer Dad these days. If I had kids and sat around all day and smoked weed and played poker with degenerate gamblers in Vegas for three days non-stop, I'd get thrown in jail for being a bad parent. I'd get lumped into the same category as Courtney Love, Michael Jackson, and Susan Smith.

Anyway, I wasted two minutes with that rant. I got eight more minutes to complain about the weather and my health.

It's cold again in NYC. We had temperatures that were 30 degrees above normal when I came home. Now it feels like winter again. Booooooo. Plus I'm sick. It's like the flu and it's festering inside of me. I've done everything I know to try to kick it... except sleep. I've been writing nonstop since Sunday and my head hurts. My back aches from sitting down and writing in a crappy folding chair for 50 hours straight. I know that if I get some rest, then my body can fight the infection. I did serious damage to my body in LA after 23 straight days of intense partying. I only took one day to catch up on lost sleep when I needed at least a week.

Who am I fooling? I need an entire year to rest and sleep after partying hard for 17 years and working just as hard during that stint.

Back in the 19th Century European doctors used to describe "sleep" as a drug for either physical or mental ailments. They'd tell their patients to do nothing but rest and sleep. That's how spas were invented... places for rich people to relax and catch up on sleep.

When I think about that... I realized that I do need some time off. The last week of 2005 was reserved for me to relax and do nothing. Sure, I didn't write any assignments. I took off from work, but I didn't really relax. I had the stresses of the holidays (and the first Christmas without my Grandmother which was a mental toll on my family) to endure along with the anxiety of knowing I had less than 2 weeks to write the perfect book about Las Vegas.

What good is one week off when I spent it depressed and anxious?

I fucked up. I never should have undertaken such a huge project, one that could make or break my career. I loathe writing about poker on some days (ok, on most days) and to write an entire book about Las Vegas was not only artistic suicide, it was just down right a fuckin' bitch to write.

I made a bad decision. I read somewhere than people with integrity and character can admit when they made a mistake. I made a huge one and I got a lot of other people involved in my vain pursuit. I cannot possibly write anything of substance in two weeks, let alone the first book I want to get published. Even if I took two months, that's still not enough time to write about an epic city such a Las Vegas. I need at least a year maybe two to write the book.

I'm foolish and I thought I was strong enough to do the impossible. Man, I was so wrong. Now my head hurts and my health is fading because all I want to do is finish the book. I can stop now and declare that the first draft is officially complete, but I know as much as I hate to admit it... I can write better than that.

I have a lot of pride and if I say I'm going to do something... that I'm gonna fuckin' do it. I told myself I was going to write a book about Las Vegas. I should stop bitching about it and crank it out. My intentions were pure and I thought I can perform a miracle. Now that I'm stuck in writer's quicksand, I'm fearing for my life. I totally fucked this up and I'm jeapodizing my career as well.

Why am I doing this again? I lost sight of my original intention. I wanted to write a commercial book about Las Vegas so I can eventually sell my other books.

But why do I want to do that? All I wanted to do in life was to write. Not write books for sale. Just to write. I lost touch with the sole reason that gets me out of bed every day.

I think about how guys like Francis Ford Coppola said "Fuck it," and still went off to the jungle to make the impossible Vietnam flick Apocalypse Now. Or how like the guys from Phish decided for twenty years that they were going to play what they want, when they want.

But I'm not even in the same category as those guys. I'm a fad. A trend. I'm an entertainment hack. I'm on the lowest rung of the entertainment ladder just a step below reality TV stars and women who contributed nothing to society aside from fucking famous people. Yeah, I'm grouped together with star fuckers and reality TV losers.

And at some point, poker's popularity will die down and I'll become someone who used to be famous once. Maybe then I can have my old life back when I played poker for fun, wrote one novel a year, and penned monthly short stories. I was broke, but happy then and thrilled if just one or two people read what I wrote.

Now I'm surrounded by fleeting feelings of fame licking at my bare feet while the heavy weight of wealth drawing me in a totally different direction. I'm more confused than ever. There's a mob of people waiting for me to say something everyday. The more that I think about that reality, the pressure to perform is immense. Imagine an entire town of people, heck how about a small city of people stopping by. Everyday. Sure it's cool and the ego has a hard-on the size of a Redwood tree, and I have a core group of people (my friends) who encourage me to say anything and write whatever I want. But having a group of people the size of a small city stop by everyday to check up on me or they are there so they can kill their boredom... certainly scares the bejesus out of me.

And it's getting bigger and bigger everyday.

Be careful what you wish for.

I have to say this and I have to say this now...

I want to walk away from my blogs. I want to quit writing on the internet.

But the money is too good. And the popularity is at its peak. And I'm a whore for the attention. Today the empty and hallow feeling I have inside of me by fat outweighs the desire to have attention and the eyes of the world constantly focused on me and my life.

To walk away now would mean that years of hard work would end up becoming meaningless. But life has become utterly meanlingless to me. I used to be an existentialist. I've morphed into a nihilist. I believe in nothing. Plus blogs are not cool anymore. Everyone has one. I want to be the first one to walk away.

I'm 33 and 1/2 years old and I've hit the wall.

I keep telling myself... "Six more months of life as a monkey grinding it out as a writer for the Man."

I thought that being able to take off for a month or two months at the end of the year would be the coolest thing ever and make me happy. My goal was to finish up the 2006 World Series of Poker and make enough money so I can take off the rest of 2006 to rest, travel, and re-write Jack Tripper Stole My Dog and another project... either a novel or screenplay.

Now I know why Phish broke up. Exhaustion. Confusion. Artistically bankrupt. Too much time on the road.

I realized today that if I want to live until I'm 40, then I need to take a year off. I'm seriously considering a hiatus... not just from my blogs, but from myself.

I must do the following very soon (the first two points sound like rehab!) or I will go completely crazy:
1. Sleep for one month. Just sleep. Repair my body after 17 years of non-stop partying.
2. No TV and no gambling for the same month.
3. Read 30 books.
4. Take two months to re-write Jack Tripper Stole My Dog.
5. Take off four months to travel and visit 10 new cities.
6. Take 3 months to write a new book/screenplay.
That's ten months. If I took a ten month hiatus starting on August 20th, then I'll be able to show up in Las Vegas for the 2007 WSOP completely refreshed. That is, if I decide to come back to poker and to blogging. Who knows if I discover something else that's more appealing?

I'm sorry folks, but I think we're going to have to break up. It's not you... it's me.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Jaywalking in the Old Neighborhood

I finished an article about 6 hours before this morning's deadline. I worked on it for about six hours straight on Sunday afternoon and for another hour late last night. It's almost 5K words. That's more than 3x as much as I usually write. Although I get paid by the word at my highest rate for this particular publication, there's a max payout, so I'm not going to get any more than normal. My only hope is for the rare bonus. I've gotten those a couple of times, but never for that particular magazine.

I also got offered up a regular column for one media outlet I had done freelance for. It pays much less than my current rate, but they only want 600 words twice a month. I'm gonna do it anyway. And yes, I have to write about poker.

Someday someone is going to pay me to write about something other than poker. I eagerly await that day.

For now, I'm fortunate that I make a comfortable living writing about poker. It could be much worse and I could still be pitching pharmie stocks on the Street and have to wear a tie everyday and have to deal with a dipshit boss who I'm a thousand times smarter than.

Ah, I got my jaywalking ticket in the mail. $114! Fucktards. Bastards. $114? You can see a scanned copy of it here. I'm just gonna pay it especiallybecause I expect to go back to LA in a few weeks. Like I said before, jaywalking was the least illegal thing I did when I was in LA. $114? That sucks goose testicles. LA county is infested with child molestors, rapists, murderers and people who are doing all kinds of human smuggling, and that's just in Beverly Hills. They could have let me go and used that time to go break up a ring of Thai sex slaves run out of the back of a dry cleaners in Glendale.

Moving on...

I worked on the Las Vegas book for a little bit today. I spent the late afternoon playing online poker and then went food shopping. I cooked dinner for me and my brother, some Italian food. Those spicy sausages rocked. I even made my own sauce. Needed more garlic I thought.

Take a peek at this blurb from Gothamist: Riverdale Country Day School is the most expensive private school in NYC. My father thought about sending me to Horace Mann, but I got a scholarship to an all boys Jesuit school in Manhattan and I wanted to go to school in the city. I'm glad I did instead of going to some tight-ass prep school in my neighborhood.

I strolled down the heart of Riverdale down aptly named Riverdale Avenue this afternoon. There were like a half a dozen construction projects going on as new buildings were popping up during the recent housing boom in my old neighborhood. Because it's an excellent school district, plenty of yuppies with kids have been trickling in. It's still part of the city but on the fringe of the burbs so you have the best of both worlds. I noticed that plenty of random 20-somethings have been moving in as well. All the hipsters and trendoids drove up the rents in all the cooler neighborhoods and the kids without trust funds or generous parents had to look for cheap housing. I guess $1400 for a studio is cheap compared to the outrageous rents in Manhattan. Growing up, my neighborhood was dominated by Irish and Jewish families. Over the years it fluctuated and more ethnic groups moved in. First it was a wave of black and Asian families, then Hispanics and Russians. These days, it's just like NYC... a mix of all kinds.

I bumped into someone I knew during my walk along Riverdale Avenue. Milla came out of the flower shop with her twins. It had been a while since we last saw each other because her kids were running around. The last time I saw her she was pregnant and the size of a school bus. She couldn't talk for too long. Thank God because she had the little ones to attend to. I got caught up in what Larry David called "The Stop & Chat." It happens more in NYC than LA or any other city, especially since everyone walks around in New York. I couldn't tell if she knew I had a blog. If someone from my past doesn't bring it up, I assume they don't know and rather keep it that way.

Anyway, I chatted for a few minutes. Mentioned about my trip to LA and my upcoming trip to Las Vegas next week. Milla had that look in her eye that's he wished she could go with me, even just for a day.

I headed to the post office which was packed during lunch hour and I kicked myself in the junk because that was a rookie move on my part. Never go to the bank or post office in NYC during lunch hour. With only one window open, the line snaked around the small room. It was hot as hell in there too and I sweated profusely as I stood in line.

To determine how long I was going to wait I counted everyone in front of me and I multiplied by 3 minutes. That's the conservative estimate for post offices. During holiday season I'd add an extra minute. There were four people in front of me. I figured 12 minutes. I settled into "stuck in a line" mode and figured out what I had to do the rest of the day. An old Jewish lady got right behind me as the line quickly tripled in size. The old lady already started complaining.

"Why is there only one window open? It's so hot in here. Why don't they turn on the AC?"

I ignored her as I waited for an Irish guy at the window to finish up his transaction. He was obviously sending two packages home and he had to fill out the extra paper work that the post office required post 9-11 for all overseas packages. The old lady grew more bothersome. I don't mind waiting in line. What I can't stand is being stuck with impatient people. They test my patience.

"Why is this taking so long?" she moaned trying to illicit sympathy from anyone.

I refused to acknowledge her. A young woman with a stroller bought stamps next. She was quick. We were back on schedule until a large black guy waddled over to the window with a huge package wrapped in brown paper and about forty CDs wrapped in white packaging. He was a DJ sending a piece of equipment back somewhere and he was also submitting demos to different clubs all over the world. I could hear the post office worker call out the countries he was mailing his grooves to.

Australia. Japan. Germany. England. Canada. Brazil. Netherlands. Los Angeles. Spain.

He took at least eight or nine minutes while he engaged the postal work in idle chit chat as she frantically stamped all of his packages. I dunno what made the old lady behind me more angry; the fact that the guy and the postal worker were both black and having a polite conversation or that she had to wait in line a few minutes longer.

"All right. Can we go a little faster please?" she nearly screamed. "The blacks are always so slow."

Everyone heard her. Especially the postal worker who all of a sudden slowed down her pace. That's when I snapped. Everything was going fine until the old lady bitched.

"What's your problem? There's twenty people waiting patiently in line and you know what were all thinking? 'I wish that old lady would shut the fuck up.' Waiting in line sucks as is, you're making it worse."

"You have no manners," she screamed at me.

She looked like she was going to throw a punch. She turned around to complain at the nurse standing behind her.

"He's right," the nurse said.

The old lady pushed me aside me and walked up to the window as the DJ paid his tab.

"That man harassed me. I want you to call the police."

I should have kept my mouth shut and started to regret what I said. That's when one of the guys standing in line said, "What's your problem ma'am?"

It was one of NY's finest. The cop was waiting in line with the rest of us. And he was black. As she went over to complain, an old man in front of me with a NY Mets hat on walked up to the window. He had to send something through registered mail. Then it was my turn. I quickly got postage for my taxes and apologized to the postal worker for snapping at the old lady. She laughed it off. You really have to have a good sense of humor and a Buddhist attitude if you are going to collect a check as a postal worker.

The old lady was too busy complaining to the cop that she missed her place in line. I left the post office as I heard her shriek, "Aren't you going to do something?"

Sunday, March 12, 2006

21 Flavors: LA Picture Dump

Here's a huge LA picture dump. This is just a small percentage of all the photos I took over the last three weeks. By far my favorite set of pics were taken at Zuma Beach in Malibu.

Moe Zuma Beach

Downtown LA

With Spaceman in media row at the LA Poker Classic

From the Bluffs

Wil, Costanza, and Danny Masterson at the WPT Invitational

Fabric store on 3rd Street

At Zuma Beach

The wall in Swingers

Big Boy in the Valley

Side street

A view from the car

Last 5 Random Google Referrals...
1. free sex wth dogs
2. olympic garden "vip room" blowjob
3. cost of a panini sandwich
4. 17 year old girls seducing dogs
5. southern college girls that like to get golden showers

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ten Minute Saturdays: Mr. Clean

It all started with the messy desktop on my laptop. I recently added a new background image from one of the pictures I took at Zuma Beach last week. I couldn't see most of the spectacular beach because of all the orphaned files and unused shortcuts that infested my desktop. It took a good hour, but I finally got rid of most of them.

I can see the ocean now.

That frantic energy spilled over into cleaning up my storage space in my mother's apartment. My old bedroom is where Derek and I store random shit. He has boxes of old insurance manuals and files. I have dozens and dozens of boxes of books, CDs, and hundreds of Grateful Dead bootlegs on cassette tapes that take up a ton of space. I also have all of my paintings in the corner along with a few boxes of clothes, not necessarily old clothes, just the items that missed the cut. I pretty much have a limited wardrobe since I'm on the road more than half of the time. I can only wear what I can fit in my luggage.

I took a good three hours to clean up all that crap. I tossed some old clothes and set aside a bag or two for the church clothing drive. I'm sure there's one out there that would be willing to take a few questionable purchases that I made over the last decade. There's a nice hipster dress shirt than an exgirlfriend bought me which I refused to wear on principle along with a sweatshirt from some seaside resort town that someone gave me as a souvenir. The thought of some poor and freezing immigrant wearing something that I never wore that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

I slept until noon today. I crashed around 4am and first woke up at 9am. I went back to sleep before crawling out of bed to do laundry. I printed up my taxes in between cycles and played a poker tournament online. I cashed and made the money. I ended up making the final table (the first final table for me in a very long time) and took 7th out of 468.

I did my taxes last night. I started at Midnight and it took me less than two hours. I used Turbo Tax. I did a few hours of prep work before I left for California and had all my business expenses already itemized. I owe about $4K which is great considering I had a very good year as a freelance writer. I expected to pay double which would have wiped out most of my poker bankroll.

I have about 36 hours until a deadline for a magazine article. I have not written a word and I've been procrastinating. I mean, I willingly wanted to do my taxes before I worked on the assignment. I also did laundry, answered a back log of email for two hours, and cleaned up my storage space getting rid of a ton of trash and old clothes. I'm looking to do "busy" things to justify why I'm putting off the writing assignment for a few more hours. Heck, I'm even wasting time surfing for Swedish lesbian porn and writing this post.

In college, I used to clean my room in my fraternity house before writing a lengthy paper. I didn't want to rush the process so I distracted myself. I did laundry, threw out empty cans of beer and bottles of Jim Beam, and returned random dishes, spoons, and cups to the kitchen. I'd clean out my bong. I'd return all those random phonecalls that I had been blowing off.

My attitude then was that I'd write when I'm ready and I'm not quite there yet. Same still applies today. I'll start the article later tonight and I'll probably finish the first draft by noon on Sunday. That's my goal.

Of course there are four things I wanted to write over the next two days and I'm gonna do all of those before I start the article... which is the only one that has a deadline. I thrive on pressure.

I watched The OC via TiVo yesterday afternoon. What a let down. It sucked big time. We need Seth smoking more pot and more 15 year old sex kittens raising hell in trailer parks.

Recent Writing Music...
1. Widespread Panic
2. Wu-Tang Clan
3. John Coltrane
4. Bob Dylan with The Band
5. Charlie Hunter