Monday, April 06, 2009

Opening Day Rush

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

The last 240 hours or so? Pleasant. Fortunate. Sunny skies. Upbeat. Funky. Like a very palatable Donavon Frankenreiter tune.

In gambling, there are winning streaks and then there's something called a rush... when everything in the world going right for a gambler, they're riding a sizzling streak. Blackjack. Craps. Sports betting. Poker. Whatever. Mathematicians insist that rushes do not exist, but gamblers in the middle of riding the highest and mightiest financial crest they have ever seen will tell you otherwise. It's during those rare moments during a rush when you have to maximize your edge. Keep pressing your luck.

For some reason, the stars aligned over the last ten days or so and I was humbled to be alive by the ll the little bundles of random coolness that had been popping up. I've been trying to soak up every bit of those good vibes. A storm is a coming and I'm living in the moment as much as possible before the rush halted. Losing gamblers will tell you that they have been waiting years and decades for any sort of a mini-rush.

I had a nice score in Vegas and that will fund the rest of Lost Vegas and some of Phish summer tour (and the boys announced yet two more shows... Fenway and a third night at Jones Beach). And for the first time in a very long time, I did not lose any money last week in the stock market. Gasp. Shocker. What the fuck? My IRA actually earned money much to the chagrin of that coke fiend Jim Kramer. I'm expecting another downturn in the market over the next 60 days, so that's only a temporary boost. However, for a brief moment, it felt good to see green numbers (indicating an upswing) next to my account balance. Maybe I'll cash it all out, move to India, and live like a king for a decades.

The unexpected bursts of coolness continued when I picked up an overseas assignment in South America. I'm back to covering the Latin America Poker Tour, where it's never a dull moment. The next event? LAPT Argentina. I had never been to that country before. The best part of the assignment? Nicky will be there with me, but covering the event for a different entity. She had the assignment booked for several weeks and I assumed that I was going to be raging solo for another week. Nope, no longer the case. I get a free trip to South America. No complaints. Plus, both Otis and Mean Gene are working the event. A fun crew to hang out with, I must say. Hijinks shall ensue. I told Mean Gene that we'd go on a couple of side trips on an ex-Nazi hunting mission. He seemed... remotely uninterested in those sorts of sojourns.

The assignment is located in not the most convenience of places. It shall be a tough journey to reach my intended destination. There are no direct flights to Buenos Aires from LAX, so I have to connect in Dallas. DFW? Yes... at least it's not Atlanta or Miami, those two or arguably the worst airports to have a tight connection.

The resort/casino is located several hours away on the Argentinian coast south of Bueons Aires which means after a 12 hour flight from the States, I gotta suck it up on a long ass 4-6 hour bus or train ride, because my client booked me on the train to save a few bucks. I can take a puddle jumper, but I would have to pay for that out of pocket. Hmmm....

With less than a week before my trip, I have even less time to devote towards Lost Vegas. The fourth attempt in four years at a complete draft is like 99% complete. I should have been in the rewriting stage at this point and I'm behind schedule (by at least a week). The crunch closing in. I'm feeling the pressure now. Yikes.

I cleared off Monday afternoon to watch baseball and the college hoops final. It was opening day for the Yankees as they took on the Baltimore Orioles, in Baltimore, which meant that VP Joe Biden tossed out the first pitch since Obama was currently jet-setting around Europe and hooking up heads up states with new iPods.

The Yankees got off to a slow start and trailed 61 before they rallied and made it a game. Alas, same old shit. They fizzled in crunch time and their bullpen failed to hold the lead in the late innings. Blowout. I turned it off when the score was 10-5. I immediately had buyers remorse about my brand new subscription... which I only got so I can watch the opening game at the new Yankee Stadium when I'm down in Argentina.

I went to Crack in the Box for a big assed iced tea. It's the most ghetto fast food eatery in the slums of Beverly Hills and it's located at the end of the block in an area that does not have a BH zip code. in the The kiosk inside Crack in the Box was broken so I had to go to the cashier. The change was 27 cents. She gave me back three coins... two pennies and what didn't feel like a traditional quarter. It was thicker. Upon closer inspection, it was a 50 cent Singapura piece from Singapore. I kept it because I knew that we had a better exchange rate. Turned out that that weird coin was worth almost 33 cents. Wow. I made 8 cents by just going to Crack in the Box.

And since I had been on a rush, there were no shoeless kids running around Crack in the Box begging me to buy them free tacos. Plus, 8 cents.

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