Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Madness Begins

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

For a 7th summer in a row, I will be blogging a shitload of content on Tao of Poker.

Yes, unfortunately this space will suffer. Please be patient. Thanks!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

7th Time a Charm?

By Pauly
Las Vegas, NV

For a 7th summer in a row, I migrated to Las Vegas for work. In 2005, I caught my big breakand landed a job as a reporter for LasVegasVegas. I left NYC without knowing what that summer would entail. I never could have imagined the journey -- the magical, international journey which took be all over the globe.

I will once again cover the World Series of Poker -- a seven-week festival of tournaments at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. I'm skipping out 9 total days to follow Phish in Ohio and for their SuperBall festival, but aside from those to side trips, I'm not taking any days off this summer. All poker, all the time. Check out Tao of Poker if you dig sordid tales of gambling and debauchery.

No wonder I always go crazy in Las Vegas during the summer...it's the gradual grind that wears down your psyche and pokes thousands of little holes into your soul. Plus, nothing fucks with your mind more than working inside a casino for seven weeks straight. I'm guaranteed to have at least one mental breakdown from all of the constant stimuli and trying to avoid temptation at every corner Last year, I had two minor flare ups, which was substantially a lot better than previous summers.

And it's not just me...friends of mine fall off the edge as well.Nothing is harder than seeing your friends struggle and there's nothing you can do to pull them out of the abyss.

I have a new client this year and I'll discuss Rise Poker more in the upcoming days. The good part about the gig is that I get to work closely with Nicky, who was also hired. She was originally going to skip most of the summer in Vegas and stay behind in LA, but this last second gig meant she'd be with me -- which is a blessing because she knows how to talk me down off a steep ledge when thinks get rough.

I've lived in seven different places in Vegas and this will be my second house. I've stayed in condos and short-term apartments most of the time (with a few hotel rooms here and there). In 2008, Nicky and I stayed with Schecky and Jen Leo in their swanky house up in Summerlin. This year, I'm fortunate that I'm crashing with Benjo in a three-bedroom house somewhat close to the Rio, where I'll be working every day.

Now... all I have to do is wait for Benjo to get here and the house will be complete. He will have copies of the French version of Lost Vegas, which I can't wait to see.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Kim Jong-Il And Why the Internet Has Its Good Moments

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Sure, the internet is a bastion of filth with millions of porn sites, thousands of political echo chambers, and more conspiracy sites out there than you could visit in six lifetimes. Sure, there's plenty of crap and mind-numbing entertainment in the strangest of places on the web, but once in a while, the internet is also good for a few laughs.

My buddy Homer is British and has a peculiar sense of humor.... err, I should say humour. We have very similar tastes when it comes to laughing at the most random shit He recently sent me Kim Jong-Il Looking at Things.

Talk about a high-end concept that delivers.

I mean, it's fucking brilliant. Genius. I was so envious and angry that I wish I created the site because I would have made millions of dollars at it and donated 1/3 of it back to the people of North Korea. The rest I would have donked off at the sportsbook at the Mirage.

Homer also sent me a cringe-inducing Chicks with Steve Buscemi Eyes, but I'm afraid to look. I can't pull the trigger and look because it will freak me the fuck out and then I won't be ableto look at anyone else without picturing them with Steve Buscemi eyes.

Okay, with the exception of Chicks with Steve Buscemi eyes, the Kim-Jong Il Looking at Things is the fucking cat's balls. It is up there with my all-time favorites...
1. Guess Her Muff
2. Unhappy Hipsters
3. People of Walmart
4. Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber
5. Awkward Family Photos

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Jack Tripper Stole My Dog = Now Available

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

The moment has finally arrived. You can now buy a print copy of Jack Tripper Stole My Dog. The best way is to use this link:
Please note the Kindle/e-book version will not be available until mid-June.

In case you missed the trailer...

Click here to buy a copy.

Here's some info like FAQs, the website, Facebook page, and @JackTripperBook on Twitter.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jack Tripper Stole My Dog Podcast, Episode 1: The 10-Day Novel and Flushy

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I recorded a brand new podcast (around 5 minutes in length) to promote Jack Tripper Stole My Dog. Nicky interviewed me about the accelerated writing process surrounding the novel and she questioned me about the highly controversial scene involving someone's head getting flushed in the toilet.

Listen here...

If you want to download the mp3 and listen to it later, click here to obtain the link.

Buy your copy here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It Stopped Raining Benjamins

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I scheduled May to be a month of rest. I can't help but think if I didn't allow myself a flexible month, I'd be completely fucked right now. It seemed as though everything that could go wrong -- went wrong -- and it all happened in the middle and end of April. As much as my life seems completely random, there's more structure than you think. I live more in cycles -- and depending on that cycle, I'll be living it up or grinding out a living.

May was supposed to be a tranquil month before a hectic summer, but it became hellacious at times. With Black Friday fallout (when the DOJ indicted two of my biggest clients and the gravy train was over), I scrambled to figure out how I was going to get paid from both old and new clients. I wondered how the fuck I was going to get my money off of online poker sites if the feds froze their bank accounts? In Vegas, I had to meet a sketchy looking guy, who walked right out of central casting for a bad mafia flick, to get paid when I liquidated my sportsbook account in Costa Rica.

And it just wasn't me, Nicky had money caught up as a player and freelancer. She never wondered when she'd get paid. Many of my friends lost jobs overnight, a few took drastic paycuts, others wondered when they were gonna get laid off, and most of them with jobs wondered if/when they were going to get paid.

Talk about bleak times in a salacious industry that seemed like it had a boundless supply of money. I mean online poker was the modern day gold rush -- printing money and creating wealth from nothing -- except there's peak oil and there was no evidence of peak poker happening anytime soon.

All of a sudden the music stop, the Feds flexed their muscle and it stopped raining Benjamins.

During a crisis, plenty of opportunities arise so I didn't want to be foolish and not see what I could do to profit in the wake of the DOJ pulling the plug on the modern online poker landscape. But as much as I wanted to entertain new ideas and prospects, I had to finish off my existing ones.

With all of the added stress, I was in the home stretch with Jack Tripper Stole My Dog. I knew it was too good to be true because the publishing process seemed like a breeze compared to the dismal experience I had last year at this time with Lost Vegas' publisher.

I finally finished a two-week assignment so I can devote all of my attention on the last leg of JTSMD. I also have less than a week to catch up on sleep, relax, and then pack for the summer assignment. My fingers stiffened up just typing those two words. Maybe I won't delve into the future just yet because it will be something I dread when it gets there, so suffice to say I'll dwell in the past and meander in the now.

The now is something that falls into my work hard, play hard philosophy. I'm always in the moment when it comes to living life or bogged down in a work assignment or writing project. That's why it's hard for me to get involved in petty things (and at times easy to avoid) because it's just a waste of time and energy because I have such little free time as is that I'm best devoting that time to neglected aspects of my everyday life and work life.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got (from someone in Hollywood ironically) was "Learn to say no." Sounded like a lame bit of advice at the time, but in the last few years I realized how empowering the word is when it comes to deflecting any excess burdens until I've dealt with the ones in front of me. It's sort of like an Emergency Room that accesses all the patients -- life and death situations are attended to first before the guy with sniffles. It's hard to have to be that cold and calculated, but sometimes it's the only way to get things done in the fastest and efficient manner as possible.

Balance is tough to achieve. I'm always putting big aspects of my life on hold while I focus my attention on the task at hand. As soon as that is done, I'm either working on a new thing or trying to play catch up with... life.

Monday, May 23, 2011

French Debut

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

While I'm banging my head against the wall with Jack Tripper Stole My Dog and trying to punch the ball into the end zone, across the pond Lost Vegas made its French debut to many positive reviews from non-poker press. My editor Jerome told me the French version was released on Friday, which meant I officially made it as a writer.

Lost Vegas will be getting comprehensive coverage in the national French media, and maybe this DSK scandal will boost sales? Here's what to look out for....
- radio coverage on Europe 1, France Culture

- TV coverage on Canal plus on two shows at least : La Matinale and Edition

- national press coverage : Les Inrockuptibles (best cultural weekly magazine),
Rock&Folk, Libération (daily press), Magic, Vice Magazine (pretty good hipster
stuff), Le Monde 2, Alibi magazine, etc.
So if you're in France the next few weeks, keep an eye out for any press about Lost Vegas!

While I'm mentally drained about the final stages of JTSMD, the news about Lost Vegas's successful launch in France came at the perfect time. Jerome and Benjo (who translated it) worked hard on this project for almost 2 years, so I'm glad their diligent work is being recognized and the project is off to an auspicious start!

By the way, follow @JackTripperBook on Twitter to get advanced info on the specific release date for JTSMD.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Silver Bears: Part 6 - The Silver Paper War

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

The Silver Bears are back with The Paper Manipulation aka The Silver Paper War.

For more episodes of the Silver Bears, check out: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Elton John Explained

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Last night, I was feeling saucy and referenced Rocket Man in poker tournament recap. That reminded me of a conversation I once overheard...
One: "Wait, Rocket Man is about astronauts?"

Two: "Yeah, going to Mars. It's part of the same story David Bowie was telling in his Space Oddity. The same producer produced both albums."

One: "Wow, astronauts to Mars? And the whole time I thought Rocket Man was about being wasted drugs."

Here's Bill Shatner performing Rocket Man circa 1978...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Magnet for Old People Wanting to Fight Me?

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Yesterday I wrote up the incident on Sunday when an old guy picked a fight with me in Los Angeles.

Here's something I wrote about how an old lady attempted to instigate a fight with me at a Pai Gow table in Las Vegas. It's titled Aunt Emma. Here's a bit...
A disheveled woman sat down next to me. She wore a green terry cloth jacket. For a second I thought she walked into the casino wearing her bath robe. But she smelled like she had slept in her car, woke up, blew a snot rocket, smoked the ends of three week-old cigarette butts, then walked over to the Pai Gow table.
Read it all here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

West L.A. Punk

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I sat in the diner this morning and looked up at a patch of blue sky above the bank across the street. A couple of chemtrails zig-zagged above. I ask myself every day, "What the fuck are they spraying?" And why are they trying to manipulate the weather?

The older I get, the weirder and more complicated basic things seem to be. And the more I read, I come across more and more questions. And as I true to figure out answers, I have thousands more unanswered questions and very few answers -- and even then, most of those answer seem like hogwash to me, which is to say, any melancholy is derived from questions that can be answered, but are not.

Someone once asked Buddha about the meaning of life. Buddha responded by saying that some questions in life will never be answered, so you should stop asking stupid fucking questions.

The fucking is my emphasis. Even Buddha had the occasional bad day. If I was Buddha, I'd be on mega-tilt from sheeple asking stupid questions like "what is the meaning of life?" and "why is the government spraying shit into our atmosphere?"

Buddha also said life is suffering. Now you know what it's like living in Los Angeles. This city is the ultimate test of Buddhist principles of tolerance and forgiveness.

Case in point: the old man who challenged me to a fight.

Not just any fight, a bare knuckle brawl to the death in the middle of the intersection of Westwood and Olympic Blvd. Here's the backstory -- I had an early dinner with Nicky. She was working and I had the day off but I didn't want to miss the end of the basketball game (technically that's work, but that's a story for another time), so we opted for an early Sunday meal at the diner. We finished up and I was antsy about the score which I religiously checked on my CrackBerry. Nicky was driving and we got stuck behind a car going 5 mph in a 25 mph. I must have said something like, "Fucking Sunday drivers! I gotta watch D-Rose dismantle LeBron and D-Wade!"

Nicky tooted her horn. Perfectly acceptable considering the circumstances. At a red light, the passenger side window rolled down and an old guy popped his head out the window and started screaming at us. Our initial reaction was -- laughter. Then he opened up the car door and screamed some more. He was wearing a suit. He looked like a cross between Montgomery Burns from The Simpsons and of JD Rockefeller (from old photographs when he lost most of his hair). I couldn't hear what he was saying because Nicky was laughing so hard I thought she was going to wet herself.

The laughing provoked the old guy.

He was even more pissed off and he wasn't even driving. Those duties belonged to a woman in her 40s (dressed in black with a weird hat). The old man was simmering over with road rage. Using a cane, he made his way to our car. I rolled up the window and locked the door -- just in case.

The old man stood in the middle of the second lane of Olympic Blvd. and screaming, yelling, and challenging me to a fight. I noticed he was missing the most of his teeth. He had what looked like several ID badges around his neck. I wondered if he had escaped from a nursing home.

I was in a no-win situation. If I accepted his challenge and proceeded to deck the old crazy man, then I'm the bad guy who beat up an old man. All I kept thinking was "I hope the light changes soon" because I didn't want him to start banging on the window with his cane.

I was reminded of the Yanks-Sox brawl with Pedro Martinez and Don Zimmer. As much as I can't stand Pedro, he did the only thing he could do -- push a charging Zimmer aside -- and even then he took a ton of guff for defending himself. As much as Pedro had no problems plunking Yanks hitters, he had some semblance of compassion when a pissed old guy challenged him to go at it.

The light changed. Nicky was still laughing as she peeled away. Laughter subsided into sober reality. Thank God he didn't have a gun.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tao of Hockey Fights: RIP Derek Boogaard

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

NY Rangers enforcer, Derek Boogaard, was found dead.

Here's a compilation of some of his most epic hockey fights...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Three Pitches

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

My favorite Don Draper pitches...
1. The Carousel

2. Basket of Kisses

3. Toasted Tobacco
I would have embedded the videos, but the folks who own Mad Men demanded YouTube that they no allow their videos to be embedded for some strange reason.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Viggo Jordans

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I had a cocktail or three in me. I was a little schwasted as I made my way down the palm tree-lined street. I had lots on my mind with very heavy topics weighing me down.
I had finished a long session of day trading. I never thought I'd return to grinding out a few bucks as a day trader, but with no more online poker and a reduction in my client roster, I didn't have much of a choice, or so I thought. I always considered myself an opportunistic investor, so wanted to take advantage in the latest downturn in the commodities market after a couple of months of the most startling leap in silver prices since the Hunt Brother attempted to corner the market in the 1980s.

To say I was in a bad mood is being kind. It's easy to stay pissed off at the world when you lock yourself inside your own mental prison. All I wanted was a Big Assed Iced Tea to perk me up before I settled in to watch the basketball playoffs. After grinding it out all day in my office, all I wanted was some mindless entertainment to cool down after getting my ass kicked trading commodities.

That's when it dawned on me that I'm betting on almost every aspect of my daily life -- in one way or another -- especially in a murky, confusing, landscape-altering environment after the DOJ indicted two of my biggest clients.

I should have been happier because I'm alive with the California sun smacking in the face. That's why I needed to leave my music-less apartment. My iPod broke and I've been on minorlife tilt ever since then because I don't have access to so much kick ass music that pulls me out of the doldrums, or gets me fired up to write.

But I wasn't happy in the slightest. I had a bad day at the grind and I was pissed off that I wasted most of the week chained to a laptop looking at numbers instead of writing. I escaped Las Vegas because I wanted to live a life without constant reminders of greed and envy, yet I washed up in the City of Angels stuck in the same rut, despite my many protests, which always seemed to spark a rift with Nicky. She loves the city of her birth, yet I loathe it. We both want to live in NYC, but it's too expensive considering we're both out-of-work writers. Who knows if we're even going to get paid for previous invoices and future ones? To live in NYC without any worries, you need a consistent paycheck coming in, or you have to be uber-wealthy. We are neither and sadly, the Slums of Beverly Hills are cheaper.

The reason I moved to SoCal and left Vegas was because of the weather (nothing beats SoCal in the winter), amazing marijuana, and close proximity to Las Vegas. The last bit was necessary for my job as a gambling reporter and poker writer.

But a new voice was whispering in my head, "Move."

If the DOJ altered poker's landscape, then there's no need to be so close to Las Vegas. Now, more than ever I want to escape Los Angeles. I have zero chance of selling a screenplay, so why am I staying here? The choice to move in with Nicky in the Slums of Beverly Hills was a middle ground and and compromise I made a couple of years ago. But ever since I finished Lost Vegas, I achieved a level of personal closure in the poker world and Las Vegas aka America's Playground.

Shit, the last thing I want to do is ride out the Apocalypse and Armageddon in a vapid city like LA. Hence, I'm feeling something... that's pulling me away from the West Coast and somewhere Eastward... as far as New York City or as centralized as Colorado. I'm a betting man, so if I were you I'd bet good money that I'm not in LA one year from now.

I opened the door to Jack in the Box and it smelled like old people and stale grease. I walked up to the kiosk because I want to help Jack in the Box eliminate cashier jobs by using their computer system. Ironically, once I placed my order (Big Assed Iced Tea), I had to wait at the counter for someone to hand me an empty cup. I could've leaned over the counter and grabbed it myself, but I patiently waited for someone behind the counter to finish up making seventeen chocolate shakes for a drive-thru order.

"What size are you?"

The guy wore a Hawaiian shirt, blue cargo shorts, and vintage Air Jordans. He looked like that Viggo actor and pointed down at my feet. He kept sniffling. He either had bad spring allergies or was a cokehead. At this time of year, I presumed both were accurate reads.

"What size sneakers are you?" Viggo asked.

I learned something about living in LA... sometimes you see celebrities in the strangest places. In any other town, you could say, "Oh, that looks like Viggo Mortensen" but in LA, chances are it is Viggo.

But that time, I was dubious. For one, why the hell would Viggo be in Jack in the Box? And why would he be asking about my shoe size? Unless he's a queer and this is some sort of postmodern pickup line that homosexual men in Hollywood engage in during the middle of the day -- walk into random fast food joints and try to pick up guys by asking them their shoe size.

"Um, I dunno... 10 and a half? Maybe 11."

"Shit, that won't work," said a dejected Viggo. "I have an extra pair of Jordans. Size 13. I also have a size 14."


He lifted up his right foot and sorta curled it so I could see the Nike swoosh. I had the same pair of sneakers in 1986 when I was in the 8th grade. That was my first ever pair of Nike's. I had fake Jordans from PONY which I beat the hell out of the previous year, but for my birthday, I was lucky enough to get a pair of super expensive sneakers. My old man wanted to make sure I didn't hang out at the projects down the hill because in the mid-1980s, we were in the middle of the crack epidemic in the Bronx. He was worried that I'd get my legs cut off by a Jordans thief since they were hot sneakers.

"No thanks," I told Viggo as the teenager behind the counter handed me an empty cup.

Viggo shrugged his shoulders, grabbed a couple of taco sauce packets, and walked out the front door.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Industrial Fans

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I surprised my mother with tulips and she was thrilled. She even liked the vase. I thought she was gonna be pissed that I went cheap on her this year. I gave her an expensive birthday present -- silver. So I decided I didn't have to splurge for Mother's Day. But even after I ordered the flowers, I felt a bit guilty about being cheap with just flowers.

Then it hit me... the fan.

Not just any fan, and industrial fan. I had already purchased my mother a gift when I was in NYC in March. She had seen an industrial-sized fan in the neighborhood liquor store and the owner told her where he purchased it. So, being the good son that I am, I bought her the same exact fan. Why she wanted an industrial strength fan for a NYC apartment is beyond me, especially because she has an air conditioner.

But yeah, that's just one of the quirky things about my family.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Invoices, Guts, and Humour

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I hate invoicing clients. I like getting paid, but invoices are a pain in the ass. Well, that's not true. Invoices should give me erections because it means I'm getting paid for doing something I enjoy, which is writing. Every invoice means I'm still living the dream, despite the drastic circumstances that obliterated the freelance field (online poker and poker media) in which I flourished the last six years.

So, invoices don't actually cause physical pain, but I often cringe at the emails I must send along with the invoices. Those two or three sentence emails cause me more stress and pain that writing assignments that are 2k and 3k words in length. I have zero confidence in email writing these days. I'm off my game! I blame my CrackBerry because it caused me to go Hemingway-esque and write short, powerful responses. But CrackBerry also makes me lazy because I'll read emails but forget to answer them.

Anyway, with invoice emails, I never know if I'm saying too much.... or too little... or I'm worried that I'm not acting grateful enough without sounding like a dubious sycophant of the Eddie Haskell variety... then again, sometimes I opt for standard business professionalism, but as a writer those words sound so cold and insincere.... and yes I over-think this way too much. It's just one fucking email that no one ever reads, because it's gets forwarded to the accounting office, where it eventually gets deleted.

Whenever I get stuck or in a rut with writing, I just shoot from the hip, which in modern day writer's terms translates into... I write from the gut. The gut speaks the truth.

Luckily, I have an editor at Bluff Magazine who has a sense of humour. Lance is from Canada -- now you get the U in humour, eh? As far as I can tell, he likes my gut.

Here's an excerpt of the last email I submitted to Lance...
Please be advised with accelerating world doomsday events and with Black Friday fallout, I have drastically increased my daily consumption rate of liquor. A swift, timely, payment from the Bluff Media coffers will do wonders to chronically depressed writers like myself and replenish my rum fund which allows me to tune out the misery around us all...one cocktail at a time.

Thank you for your help with quelling my inner pain.

Yes, I just tasked Bluff Magazine to pay me as fast as possible so I can stay drunk for the impending apocalypse. May God bless them for a speedy execution of my invoice!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Truckin' - May 2011, Vol. 10, Issue 5

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Better late... than never, eh?

Truckin' - May 2011, Vol. 10, Issue 5

1. Cusco by Paul McGuire
The tiny lady with the limp handed us cups of light greenish tea -- the infamous coca tea or coca matte. Instead of chewing coca leaves to help adjust to the altitude, we sipped the bitter tasting green tea. I eventually acquired a taste for what the locals subbed "Incan Red Bull"... More

2. Cheers by John Hartness
She was leaning out of the window mostly wrapped in a sheet, her hair spilling down over her left eye like an over-eroticized Jessica Rabbit. One amazing breast was playing peek-a-boo as she reared her arm back and threw my sock at my head. I caught it, heard her mutter “asshole” under her breath and slam the window as I shoved the sock into the front pocket of my pants.... More

3. September 11 by Kat Goodale
Cut to a woman, completely covered in grey dust except for the parallel tracks of tears down her face, wild eyed with panic yet still clutching her purse as she darted from one doorway to another. My emotions and thoughts seemed to split apart... More

4. The Last Time I Saw Buddy Holly by Johnny Hughes
I was cleaning an electric motor with naptha by spraying it, and Buddy came to the back to say goodbye -- our final goodbye. I was spraying naptha from a high-pressure hose. He was dancing around trying not to get naptha on his fancy pants which I remember as red and white, big stripes like a barber pole. I'd sprayed his direction as a joke... More
Please tell your friends about your favorite stories...

Monday, May 02, 2011

Closure After a Decade?

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

If you're just waking up, check out what I wrote on Tao of Fear titled... Ding, Dong Bin Laden's Dead.

Although I got uncomfortably and insanely popular for writing about poker, I can write about many different topics. I don't believe in writer's block, but if there's one thing I can't write about it's 9/11. And it's not 9/11 per se, because I've written in depth about the fallout from 9/11, both politically and with regard to conspiracy theories, but I've never actually shared any writing I did that particular day. I didn't start a blog until Spring 2002 (I actually think Tao of Pauly turns 9 years old this month) but in September of 2001, my circle of friends at the time were bombarded with long, ranting emails about 9/11 triggering WWIII and ushering in the New World Order.

I might finally find the courage to write about 9/11 someday. I dunno if I'll ever share it with anyone. I was living in NYC at the time, and that Tuesday in September is just too... painful. Classmates from high school and former brokers I knew well had died. One guy even jumped.

I met Rudy Guiliani. It was a 9/11 funeral, one of many empty-casket funerals I attended, and Rudy shook my hand. He said something generic, but seemed extremely politically-slanted than empathetic, "I'm sorry for your loss."

At the time, all I kept thinking was, "I'm a lot taller than Rudy."

I have a suit that is permanently retired because I wore it a lot during 9/11 funerals and subsequent 9/11 memorials that I attended at my high school in 2002. It was too tough to go in 2003 and I skipped other yearly services since then. That suit has some bad mojo attached to it. I originally wore it at four weddings. So far, three of the unions have since dissolved and who knows about the status of the fourth couple. Rest assured that the next time you see me wearing that suit -- it's not going to be for a happy occasion.

For some friends and families of 9/11 victims, there can never be complete closure on what happened, but I hope this is a big step forward for many of them. It took ten years, but maybe the news of Bin Laden's death will relieve a burden that many of them have been carrying for the better part of a decade.

* * * *

Yesterday, I created a new link dump on Tao of Fear specifically designed for silver-centric links. For lack of a better nickname, we're calling it Silver Nugs. Hopefully, Change100 will be penning the weekly, uplifting sheeple-centric series Monday Morning Blue Pill, while I'll continue to be at the helm for the less cheery and morose Monday Morning Red Pill.
Silver Nugs: Buy Side Conspiracies, Swapping for Gold, Warehouse Shenanigans, APMEX Runs Out, and Silver Plunges

Monday Morning Red Pill: Royal Wedding Aftermath, WHCD, and Beck Goes After Gays

Monday Morning Blue Pill: Deadly Tornados, Bad Radiation, Arming Dictators and Screw the Royals
I also increased the output of op-eds for Tao of Fear. I doubt this burst can last over the summer when I have to step away from day-to-day operations in order to cover the WSOP, but for now, let's just enjoy the fact that I have time in my writing schedule to write a few expanded editorials...
Manipulation of Gas Prices in America

You Want Fries With That?; McDonalds Fields 1 Million Applications for 40,000 Jobs
Don't forget, you can always follow @TaoFear on Twitter.