San Francisco, CA
The mornings are quiet at the Ice Palace, except for the gurgling of a bong, and whatever Jazz mix I put on. Most recently it's been a bunch of Coltrane CDs that G-Money gave me a few summers ago, but for some reason I love listening to it as I watch the fog fly over the back of our building.
The Ice Palace is the nickname for Halli's apartment that her friends came up with because it, no shocker here, gets super cold... even in the summers. The mornings are quiet, but chilly, and I often sit in the back of the apartment at the big desk and I embark on whatever I have to do that morning. I used to have to wake up and shill for the online poker industry, by writing mindless drivel about the genius of poker players, but that task doesn't pay as much as it used to with a horrendous economy, the DOJ stomping out online poker in America, and the sad fact that writers who generate web content for decent wages are becoming obsolete because some idiot out there will low ball your rate in a heartbeat. Yeah, my musings about poker have become few and far between these days. I've been writing up stories about my weekly home game, but even then I don't have the heart to publish them because I'm struggling with an internal conflict about publishing anything I write that has to do with poker. What's the point? Whispers one of the internal voices. I've written over a million words about the topic, do we need any more pollution? But another part of me keeps encouraging myself to write because some day I'll look back and be bummed that I didn't do it. Alas, for you the avid reader, you get the shit end of the shit because I've been writing but not publishing. Sorry about that. Then again, I'm probably saving you from wasting valuable time, right?
I hate repeating myself, but that's all I seem to be doing. I've become a derivative of a derivative. The only thing creative I've come up with this year has been tweeting/blogging haiku's about reality TV shows. What am I'm going to have to do in 2012 to top that? Start blogging about the future in quatrains.
Think about how much more money and pussy Nostradamus would get if he lived today and had a blog and weekly podcast?
Instead of shilling for the online poker industry or self-indulging in personal writing projects, I'm spending a couple of hours every morning entertaining myself by sifting through all of the intel, news blurbs, links about all things fear, which accumulated while I slept. Fear mongering doesn't monger itself. It takes a couple of hours of bringing myself up to speed so I can figure out what story I'm going to focus on and scare the shit out of you. Will it be WW3? Or rogue bankers? Or all the fish in the Pacific Ocean swimming in radiation soup?
I've been popping in and out of different forums (some conspiracy, others financial and political) in the early mornings, not to mention the late nights when I can't sleep. All forums are the same -- very little concrete content with a lot of lonely people seeking attention either as trolls or sycophants. But sometimes you find something valuable, which makes you keep going back again and again like a huge rummage sale, hoping to find a Picasso hidden among the Impressionist knock-offs.
I used to jump out of bed to read couple of poker forums (2+2, Pocket Fives, Poker Road)...even though I couldn't stand the majority of retards who posted/flamed others on there...but it was necessary for me as a poker reporter and wanna be "talking head" to monitor the pulse of the forum crowd. Thank God I don't have to do that anymore and I trust a few friends to do that arduous task for me and clue me in on any pertinent info, incendiary gossip or hysterical threads.
There was a time when I felt compelled to read music forums like Phantasy Tour in order to keep up with the daily happenings in the Phishy scene and other circles, but that got a little tiring. For something like music that is supposed to bring people together, the inbred nits still manage to create disruptions and cause rifts in something that in real life is an amazing, loving, community. Just like poker, luckily I have friends like Joker, B Treotch and Jonas who clue me in on any pertinent info, incendiary gossip or hysterical threads on PT.
More recently, I found myself browsing different financial forums, but that too got annoying, because everyone is either Jim Kramer or Warren Buffet. Bunch of fucking know-it-alls, right? Although one of my guilty pleasures is reading the comments on Zero Hedge, because I do appreciate the occasional commentary from savvy and informed investors, but it gets buried underneath lots of jibberish from the tin-foil hat crowd hoarding silver and bullets.
I know what you're thinking... "Pauly, aren't you one of those crazy people who comment on Zero Hedge and hoard silver and bullets?"
Um, yeah. But so what?
Even on the day I moved in, my roommate Halli asked, "You didn't bring your gun from LA, did you?"
I told her no. The one I have is just a fake, you know, one of those Hollywood props that I use to scare off the grey ETs that might try and pick through our garbage for orange peels and coffee grinds, which they use to lubricate their spaceships.