Tuesday, January 31, 2006

5 Random Pics

Here are some pictures that I took in Atlantic Cty over the past few days.

Gelato at The Metropolitan

Borgata's Flower Atrium

Life's a urinal...

Outside Harrah's

The Borgata

Monday, January 30, 2006


I've worked at least 151 hours at the Borgata in the last 10-11 days. That's a lot of pure oxygen in my brain. Most Americans work 150 hours in one month. Yikes. I'm tired thinking about it.

I met Miss America this afternoon. She's mighty purty. I also met Anontio Tarver the boxer yesterday. I got to interview the bad ass dude as well. That guy could kill me in one punch. He played in the poker tournament yesterday and was eliminated early.

Man, I go to LA in 15 days. So I can hang out in another casino for another ten days.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Greyboy Allstars

I have to see at least one of these shows! Check out Greyboy Allstars Tour.

I'm currently seeking submissions to my monthly literary blogzine Truckin'. Stop by the site to read submission guidelines. Thanks....
5 Pictures

I took all of these in the last few days at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, NJ.

Root Beer stand

Four aces

"Dog Playing Poker"

Steve Dannemann's cardcapper

Sweet Svetlana

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Tough Times

It's 5:13am, and I'm finally done with work today. Another long ass day. Someone puked in the elevator and it smelled like rotten eggs and vomit.

I just completed one of the most horrendous 36 hour periods of my life. I don't think it could get any worse.

Time for sleep. That's where I'm a viking.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Frazzled Wednesday Thoughts

I worked 75 hours in 5 days. At least the Borgata threw in two free massages.

On dinner break on Tuesday, I went down to the employees cafeteria and I ate some fried chicken which was horrible. I settled for a slice of pizza and some rice pilaf. I discovered English Muffins and since they also have a toaster, I'm now pleased I can expand my food base.

I've been eating gelato. Tons of it. I can't get enough. Is it sherbert or icecream? It's gelato. The cherry gelato kicks my ass.

I heard that a hooker rolled a poker player over near the Boardwalk in one of those no-tell motels that you find former child stars strung out on heroin and diet pills. Any woman that would be willing to have oral sex with me for $50 cannot be trusted.

I make an effort to go outside every few hours. Living inside a casino is strange and breathing recycled air has defintely kick my immune system's ass. I've had to ingest Airborne regularly just to survive.

I see some of the same degenrate gamblers along with a new wave of fresh blood entering the casino every few hours.

I've been getting up early to write everyday. Late nights, I'm so exhausted that I simply pass out after a 15 or 16 hour day. I logged 60 hours in the first four days here. At least I have that mint-thyme lotion to keep me slap happy. The early morning writing session have been luke-warm at best.

I can't wait to get back to New York and work on the book or a week straight before I go to LA. I haven't touched my Las Vegas book. I've been having fleeting thoughts of finsihing it and then just putting it aside. For some reason I want to re-work Jack Tripper Stole My Dog and in many ways I'm already working on new scenes and thinking of ways to make the story line smoother and tighter.

Sometimes I dream about playing poker with random people like politicans, celebrities, professional poker players, and kids I went to high school with.

I had a bad day on Tuesday. Long work hours and covering Limit tournaments suck. Plus I found out some bad news after I lost a freelance assignment that I thought was in the bag. That blows. Oh well. I can't think about that now. I got one week left here then I go home and have to finish the book.

The blinking lights of the Taj make me sleepy. I think I'll crash soon.

Recent Writing Music...
1. Paul Simon
2. Phish
3. Jerry Garcia Band
4. Traffic
5. John Coltrane

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Happy Birthday Briana!

Everyone's favorite elevator button heiress turns 26 today. Happy birthday Briana! What can I say that can't be said about her? I do know this... I'm a better person with her in my life. Enjoy your special day.

By the way, I penned this short story (over two years ago!) for Truckin' that was inspired by Briana. It's called Never Trust a Naked Guy Juggling Three Cantaloupes. Here it is...

Never Trust a Naked Guy Juggling Three Cantaloupes

"Oh shit! I can't go to my therapist drunk!"

Cordelia had just stumbled back from the bathroom where she had snarfed up no less than two Bobbie-pin sized lines of coke. I added three more olives into her vodka martini, and she quickly fished them around with her fingers. Like a six-year old on Ritalin scooping out four-day old, dead goldfish from her massive aquarium tank, she splashed and splashed as tiny puddles of vodka collected on the stained mahogany bar, until she finally got a firm grasp and then yanked the helpless soused olives out with the brazen authority of a veteran dentist. With her lanky fingers drenched in top shelf vodka, she unsympathetically popped both olives deep into her gaping mouth. She sensuously and slowly licked both fingers, and almost fell off her bar stool when she caught me staring at her.

"What am I going to do? I'm drunk!" she insisted as if 'drunk' was a form of terminal cancer. Cordelia and I played this game twice a week. She'd come in and get drunk and I'd have to convince her that curing her mental health (or at least attempting the illusion of correcting her woes) was far more important that trying to see if I could draw the entire map of the United States on the back of a cocktail napkin, from memory, in less than five minutes for $50. Her therapist had an office one block from the dive bar where I leisurely worked the afternoon shift. I spent most of my time watching Dawson's Creek and Sportscenter and pouring draft beers for the regulars, that was until Cordelia came in and took over the remote.

"Seriously," she continued her slurred rambling thoughts, "I can't go see Dr. Phil while I'm all fucked up like this. And what am I going to do? Show up to my therapist's office, shitfaced and with a quarter-pound of weed in my new Kate Spade bag?"

"You could always trade him for a couple of prescriptions. Valium. I'd prefer 200mgs," I suggested. Doctors were as crooked as lawyers. They just got more respect on the streets because you have to be smarter to go to medical school than go to law school. Anyway, I never should have sold Cordelia the rest of my stash, but I needed the cash for rent. She finally gave up and tossed the remote control back to me. She sauntered out of the bar, reminiscent of a run-down cowboy who just got laid in a West Texas whorehouse, and wandered outside.

"What does she do for a living?" one of my regulars wondered.

"Cordelia?" as I strained out the front window to see her blindly crossing the street, almost getting hit by a speeding taxi.

"Yeah, what's Blondie’s job?" another guy piped up after downing his beer.

"She calls her Daddy."

Monday, January 23, 2006

Soft Pillows and Pure Casino Oxygen

On Sunday morning, as soon as I walked out of the elevator and onto the Borgata's casino floor, I was bombarded by the combination of the shrill sounds of slot machine noises and a woman screaming in ecstasy. The old broad hit a jackpot and she was celebrating with her friends and family as the machine kept ringing non-stop. Some people go to Church on Sundays. Some people win big jackpots in Atlantic City. Such is life in a gambler's paradise. There are no signs of God in a casino. Just pathetic pleas for help from desperate and degenerate gamblers.

After four days of living in the Borgata, I'm getting both used to the routine and starting to get slightly agitated by the little things. The routine has been the same. I get up and look out my 40th floor window. I stare at the Atlantic ocean for a few minutes while collecting my thoughts. I make a metal note of things I must do and things that I will try to do if I can find the time. Then I shower. The showers are kick ass and I like taking long hot ones where I can control the temperatures. I prefer about 84 degrees. There's also a tiled bench in the shower, which makes it fun to masturbate in a hot shower, sitting down, using the silky mint-thyme body wash that provides excellent lubrication and afterwards makes my testicles smell like a Mint Julep.

My room is very nice and I have no complaints. It's not Euro-chic like the Princess Hotel in Barcelona where I stayed in September, but it's definitely one of the nicer casino/hotels I've experienced. I'm impressed with their maid service. They never pop in early in the morning, which many maids do even if there's a "Do Not Disturb" sign on your door. The signs read either "Tied Up" or "Tidy Up." If you leave the "Tidy Up" sign... they come quick and clean your room right away.

After my wanking session, I watch some ESPN or news, then head downstairs and go outside. Living in a self-sufficient casino means that you never have to leave the place. That's how casinos are built... to keep you trapped inside. I make sure that every few hours I go outside and whiff fresh air. It's been unseasonably warm this past week, so it feels nice to stand outside and watch the kids working the valet hustle for tips.

After heading back inside, I shuffle past all the people checking out of the casino. They all look hungover. Some won, some lost, but they all have a ton of luggage with them. Non-experienced travelers always overpack. With the oversized bags you would think people are on a two month holiday instead of a weekend in Atlantic City. I rush past the long check out line and head for the employee's cafeteria called Mangia. The food is better than most Las Vegas buffets and as soon as you walk into the restaurant, there's a big sign that reads, "All Borgata associates are entitled to at least one hot meal a day per shift." Yeah, the Borgata knows how to treat it's employees. They even have a few computer terminals set up in the eating area where you can check your email or surf the web on your meal break. I've been eating the chicken specials... and yesterday it was Chicken Parm. On Saturday it was Fried Chicken. There's all you can drink iced tea (unsweetened) and soft serve ice cream.

After a quick bite, I navigate the back hallways (think of those scenes in Ocean's 11 where they infiltrate the Bellagio) and take a shortcut upstairs to the ballroom. I pop out of a secret passage a few feet from the entrance to where the poker tournaments are being held. I find my seat in press row and set up for the day. Computer. Camera. Voice recorder. Notebook. The wifi is quick and I'm logged in within seconds ready to perform live blogging duties for the Borgata. I get a couple of bits of information from the tournament director and check in with Michael. Then everyone leaves me alone for the rest of the day and I have the freedom to roam anywhere in the casino (except the cashier's cage). I can take breaks when I want, but I'm usually covering two tournaments... one is just beginning while the other is finishing up. I have to stick around to about 3am and collect the end of day chipcounts for the Top 10 players. Although that's a pain in the ass, I do have some time to myself the last few hours. The only thing is that I'm usually too tired to write, so I take the time to bullshit with the staff... security guards, hot cocktail waitresses, or poker dealers. Yeah, the cocktail waitresses are some of the best looking I have ever seen. Everyone seems cool and they all like working at the Borgata, which is the premiere casino in Atlantic City. It's the only post-modern Las Vegas style casino on the East coast.

On Saturday, AlCantHang and EvaCanHang came down to AC with some of his entourage which included Landow and Tony. I also bumped into fellow bloggers Helixx, -EV, and Beck who came to the Borgata to gamble and play poker. Al's a real rockstar and he was spotted right away in the ballroom. Eva won $1500 on a slots jackpot. A few years ago, she hit a slots win for $1200 at the Borgata on a weekend excursion and I was there for that too. She said I'm her good luck charm.

I'll do a post later this week on "Effective tips on eating a buffet."

Sunday, January 22, 2006

5 Atlantic City Photos

I took these over the past few days, all at the Borgata Casino.

Night view from the 40th floor

Fanned cards

This guy won $171,000

Landow & AlCantHang

Shirt of the week

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Swanky Room

As requested, here are some pictures of my luxury room.

Room with a view



Friday, January 20, 2006

Atlantic City Update: First Day of Work

The drive down yesterday was relatively quick with no traffic from NYC to Atlantic City. I arrived at the Borgata around 11 AM. My room wouldn't be ready for a while so I hit the buffet first. The salmon was tasty along with the fried chicken and cajun rice. The brisket was just OK, could have been better. They still had some breakfast foods left over and I made a sausage and bacon biscuit. The eclairs for dessert were tasty along with the gelato. The Borgata has great gelato.

I hit the poker room and played for almost two hours. I left up $8 or won $4 an hour. I met up with Michael who told me that my room was ready. I got the 40th floor with a great view of the ocean and all the casinos on the boardwalk. Not too bad. The rooms are swanky and also include a safe and a mini-fridge.

We met some of the people we're working for in the Public Realtions, Marketing, and Poker departments. With the Borgata being as big as it is along with being a corporate casino, there's plenty of freedom for me. They aren't going to be sitting over my shoulder. The Borgata hires professional contractors and I fall under that descrption. Let's hope I don't let them down. Otherwise, I get booted from my nice room.

Here's my ocean view:

Last night, I wrote a freelance article, played some online poker, and then watched a little TV and the Knicks game. Late night, I could not sleep and headed down to the poker room to play until 3 AM or so. I lost a few dollars. Nothing of significance.

This morning I woke up, wrote, watched Dawson's Creek, then showered. The showers here kick ass and have a bench inside. The water pressure is strong, which I'm a big fan of. They also have clearly labeled nobs with actual water tempatures on it so you can pick a cold shower or hot shower. Awesome. The mint-thyme soap was an added bonus.

My first day of my new work assignment begins.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

On the Road

I'll be away on an assignment for two weeks. The Borgata Casino in Atlantic City hired me to cover a poker tournament that they are running. This is the first time that my services has been hired by a casino. In the past I've done things from a media standpoint, so it will be interesting to experience a poker tournament from the side of the casino/management. They are putting me up in their swanky rooms. I have to pay for porn movies, but the room is free. Living in a casino for the next two weeks... what's not to enjoy?

You can check out a schedule of events for the Borgata Winter Open.

I'm a skilled traveler, which makes me a savvy packer and yet I still think that I over pack. I threw everything together inside of two hours. Remarkable. First you have to make a list. What do you bring on the road.

I break it down into a few areas: Clothing & Toiletries, Equipment, Entertainment, and Big Dogs.

Clothing is simple. Underwear, socks, t-shirts, dress slacks, and a few dress shirts. Toss in my toiletries bag with an assortment of pills and cold medications. Done in ten minutes.

Equipment is stuff I need to cover tournaments... laptop, power cords, cameras, batteries, voice recorder, notepads, pens, and air card.

Entertainment is iPod, books, DVDs, and party favors.

And the Big Dogs are just that... the things I can't forget... my wallet, cell phone, passport, press badge, and poker bankroll.

That's it. I'm ready to roll in less than 2 hours. In the past I've forgotten one or two things but I always adhered to the Senor rule.

"You can always buy what you need when you get there."

Unless you are trekking in the Himalayas, he's right. No need to overpack.Sure, it's going to be expensive whatever you need, but it's worth the extra bucks to be able to travel light. I've wandered the streets of Reykjavik with Senor in quest for a jacket. One gay Icelandic salesman grabbed his junk when he tried one on.

"I'm shocked to say, I actually liked it."

"The jacket or him grabbing your junk?"


Senor didn't buy the jacket. But he found one eventually. He still wears it five years later.

Anyway, I'm a good packer. And I'm packed ready for a two week stint away. I can pack for a weekend or one week trip in less than an hour. Those are easiest to pack for. First gig of the New Year. I got a haircut, shaved, and I'm in a good headspace after writing for two weeks straight.
Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...
1. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
2. Chronicles: Volume One by Bob Dylan
3. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
4. The Tent by Margaret Atwood
5. Awaken Me Darkly by Gena Showalter

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mercedes, Bacon, and Bums

I went to stroke my beard that wasn't there. That was forty-five seconds ago. I always run my hand over my chin before I start writing something. I quickly noticed that my chin was smooth to the touch. The scruff was gone. I had not shaved since my grandmother died. I did a fifteen minute job in about six and a half minutes this morning. I was late and rushed the shaving process and didn't get cut which astonished me. When I used to shave everyday, I had a routine down. 15 minutes to shit, shower, and shave. I know. That's remarkable. I had a turn around time in less than 30 minutes from the time I got out of bed until the time I put on a suit and walked out the front door. Those days of speed morning were over. And this morning I wished I had my old routine down pat. It took twice as long to get ready.

Yesterday I told my barber Vinny that I'd stop by at 9:30 to see him. Late for a haircut, but with a clean face. Now I look about five years young and feel about six pounds lighter. Plus my thinning hairline an expanding bald spot looks smaller when my hair is shorter. Vinny had been cutting my hair for over twenty years. He's seen the best and the worst of my head from short hair to long hair back to short hair and now to losing my hair. Our conversations are never specific and flows back and forth between a number of topics. Inside of a half hour we talked about the Yankees chances this year, the awful weather, playing golf at the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas, and I briefly explained what small cap stocks were. I did all that before you had your first cup of coffee.

Yesterday I bumped into some guy I grew up with. Pedro lived in the apartment building down the street and we went to grammar school together. Long story short, he was a former cracker dealer who went to jail. When I saw him yesterday, he was with his wife and driving a brand new Mercedes.

"Things have changed. This is my new wife. I got three kids and a fourth on the way," he told me as he pointed to his wife's stomach.

Pedro knocked up one of the neighborhood girls when we were in highschool. I think she had two kids with Pedro. She seemed like a nice girl but for the life of me I kept wondering, "What the hell are you doing with a crack dealer?"

In the late 1980s, when crack was the cash cow in New York City, Pedro took advantage. he started out in an entry level position. He dropped out of highschool and sold nickel bags of weed to kids who would cut class and hang out in the park to get high. He eventually started scamming the private school kids and sold them oregano and other spices. If you complained he beat your ass to a bloody pulp. Rich Jewish kids were not going to mess with a crazy Puerto Rican with a loaded gun and a pitbull.

Pedro eventually graduated from low level thuggery to middle level drug dealing. He started out at the bottom as a look out, then a runner, then a full on dealer. He would hang out at bus stops and at subway stops and deal his goods as people got on and off mass transit. His peak sales happened during rush hours, when his highly addictive clients would step off the subway and Pedro would be waiting there for a $20 or $40 rock. And it wasn't just poor people smoking crack. Tons of suits and functioning drug addicts with real jobs were part of his expanding customer base. When I was in college in the early 1990s, I heard that he got busted and went to prison upstate.

Years later I bump into him on the way to the subway. Mercedes? How was he making those car payments? The world finally made sense to me now. Former imprisoned crack dealers with four kids are rewarded with luxury German cars late in life. I should have skipped college altogether and started dealing smack in Phuket.

* * * * *

On the subway, I saw a chubby black woman wearing an orange jump suit with Uggs. Except the Uggs were knock offs and they were actually called Iggs. The orange jumpsuit hurt my eyes and I wished I had my sunglasses. She had gang tattoos on her hands and listened to an old school Walkman. She thumbed through an old copy of People Magazine with Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey on the cover. Sitting next to her was the guy who ate is entire breakfast on the train. He got bacon, eggs, sausage and pancakes from a diner. They put it in an aluminum take out container and he struggled to eat everything in his lap. I admired his efforts and the bacon smelled good.

A guy wearing a fur coat got on at the next stop. He carried an oversized Hefty garbage bag with him and stood in the center of the car. His fur coat looked like it was made out of some sort of rabbit or raccoon. The lady in the orange jumpsuit started making fun of him.

"How many dogs you kill for that?"

He ignored her and she continued to taunt him. That happened for three more stops. When he was about to get off, he walked over to the lady in the orange jumpsuit and slapped her. Twice. Her Walkman fell onto the floor and she knocked over the breakfast of the guy sitting next to him. A piece of half eaten bacon slid a few inches away from my right foot. The guy in he fur coat ran out of the car when the doors opened.

Bitch slapped on the subway.

* * * * *

I met Jessica for lunch in Midtown and we both ate bacon cheeseburgers at a diner. On our way, I spotted a bum sitting on a corner of 42nd Street and Madison Ave. panhandling for change. (Editor's note: He's the guy who appears in the picture above.) I gave him $2. Last night I almost won $200 on Poker Stars. Coincidence? I have a theory that the amount of money I win playing online poker is directly proportional to the amount of money I donate to worthy causes, like handing out singles to bums on the subway.

* * * * *

Briana kept pestering me about the book yesterday afternoon.

"I left you alone for two weeks and didn't ask once. You have to let me read it."

"No way. You know my policy. No one reads it until the first draft is done."

"It's my birthday coming up and I know you haven't gotten me anything."

She was right on both accounts. Shopping for Briana is hard. When you are a spoiled heiress who has everything, what do you get them?

"You can let me read your book. That's my birthday wish," she asked and did the seductive sexy look women do when they want something really badly.

"It's not done."

"Jesus Christ McFucker. Just let me see what you got."

I told her no. I wanted to make her sweat. Of course I was going to see it. Letting her read the Las Vegas manuscript saved me a couple hundred bucks. But I wasn't going to let her win so quickly.

We ended up hanging out, getting high, and watching movies. It wasn't anything too exciting, but the weather was so crappy that walking around seemed like a bad idea. Plus Briana was wicked hung over after Jenna's Golden Globes Party. Two years ago, I used to hang out in bars with Briana on weekday afternoons and we'd shoot the shit about how absurd life was which why we chose not to work and drink in bars. I'd run up a healthy tab which she always paid. Last year we spent a lot of time in diners talking about how absurd life was especially since I was finally making money to write. I offered to pay for our meals. Always. But she declined. The most pissed off I ever saw Briana get was when I paid for bill one day. She had gone to the bathroom and the waitress brought the check over. It was the diner near her apartment and it wasn't much. I paid the waitress. Alas, Briana was furious when she got back from the bathroom. I've done at least six or seven horrible things that she should have gotten more pissed off about and she didn't.

Briana's birthday is next week and we said we'd do something tonight since I'll be away for two weeks on assignment in Atlantic City starting tomorrow. I'll give her the manuscript tonight, well only parts of it.

Recent Writing Music...
1. Wilco
2. Medeski, Martin, & Wood with Trey Anastasio
3. Stanton Moore, Charlie Hunter, & Skerik
4. Eric Dolphy
5. Morphine

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Gay Cowboys and Snakes on a Plane

New York City, Jan. 2006

The winter winds finally whipped up. It had be relatively mild the last few weeks since I got back from Las Vegas. I felt strange walking around in spring like weather in early January. Then winter took control once again. Thinking about heading to warm places like Miami or California sounds very appealing to me as I scanned the discount fares on JetBlue. Ah, but the weather is why I was able to focus on the task at hand. With nothing pulling me outdoors or giving me an excuse to go outside, I was able to hibernate and hole myself up for two weeks. 14 very long days and nights. I think I had about 11 days in that span. I stayed up two or three nights writing so I technically lost a day or two in there.

130,000 words is a massive output. I wrote almost that much in a month once. But that was over four weeks and not two. The scary thing is that I have more to write. I got 50-70K more to say. I wish I had one more week to say it. One of my favorite movies is Wonder Boys where Michael Douglas plays a pothead writer/college professor who can't seem to finish a book while spurning the sexual advances of Katie Holmes. He had over 2000 pages worth of a book he couldn't finish. We didn't have the same problem. I knew where I wanted to go and he didn't. Some sections took me longer for me to tell that story and then in some sections I condensed entire chapters into a couple of paragraphs to speed things along. That's how scary this project had become. I can't possible say what I want to say about Las Vegas in less than 250,000 words. A quarter of a million? That's what it looks like this project is headed. That would be 4 or 5 times bigger than any book I wrote. Indeed what I have right now can be split up into two books. And the last part could definitely be a third book. I should see if I could condense everything into 100K words. Something smaller, compact, tight and powerful. Where every page describes the insanity and intensity of that city. I wish I had a full year to write the book. I' gave myself two weeks and I juggled around my schedule to fit two more week in there.

I'm so glad that I don't live in Las Vegas anymore. You have to mentally capable to handle the depravity of that town. I was very close to moving to Las Vegas full time. I have to go back this summer for a few months regardless and I figure that it would be easier to stay in one spot as long as possible. But the more I thought about it and the more time I spent away from Las Vegas, I discovered that I loved it less and less. Seeing things from the other side gave me a tainted and foul vision of Sin City. I did my best to capture that in the book and at time I never felt more depressed than in Las Vegas. And at the same time it was one of the few places I experienced some of the most pleasurable moments of my life. Good times. Bad times. Peaks and valleys. There were points when Las Vegas made me so crazy that I felt like I was the village drunk out of an Irish novel. Complete with urine stained pants too.

I fell back in love with New York City again. Nothing specific. But the anonymity is priceless. There's nothing humbling that walking down a crowded street and having people knock you over if you aren't paying attention. An entire city flowed and it you didn't mesh, you got ran over. I missed riding the subways and people watching. Trying to figure out people's life stories. Trying to peek into their world. If only for a few minutes. I missed sitting in diners and listening to Briana ramble on incessantly about the most trivial things from how she really loves her new shampoo to how bad the coffee tasted that morning at Starbucks. I missed sitting on my brother's couch and watching basketball.

I guess places like Las Vegas fabricate reality and try to make the Nevada desert seem like some place else, some place exotic. Fly to Vegas. Get wasted. Lose all your money. Go home happy. Maybe you'll get laid or be one of the rare winners. You only have to win once. That's enough to make you go back the rest of your life. A big score? Ever hit one? Gambling when you shouldn't? When you are broke? Especially when you invested very little? It took me over two years to turn $200 into $10K and there was a time I turned $50 into $5K in less than six weeks. That rush is something you chase the rest of your life. That's why gamblers always return to Las Vegas.

Moving on...

Jenna had a party. I thought it was weird that she had one on a Monday.

"Are we celebrating MLK day?"

"Golden Globes party. Dress nicely."

Ah that's right. My friends like to get all dressed up and throw Golden Globe and Oscar parties. It ends up becoming a drunken "shout at the TV ruckus" where everyone instantly became a fashion critic and railed on the poor clothing choices of their favorite celebrities.

"But I haven't seen too many movies this year," I said hoping to get out of going. It was true. I used to see a steady influx of flicks in NYC. Mostly independent and arty films but even the occasional blockbuster. Since I was on the road so much, I had very little time to sit down and rent a movie. I missed out on a lot of films both good and bad. I'm backlogged a good 12-15 months. I'm waiting for a serious bout of depression to set in where I get completely anti-social for four months and I don't go out in public and I order pizza six times a week and watch movies non-stop and download Brazilian Amateur She-male porn. As soon as I start up my Netflix account again, I'll have a ton of flicks to see.

Usually those awards parties were a good chance to win serious amounts of cash off of rookie prop gamblers. And we're not talking basic who's going to win what category. I'm talking about which winner thanks God and who gets mentioned first... spouse or agent. Once you get enough hipsters drunk enough on overpriced wine in a crowded NYC apartment, they'll be willing to bet on anything involving celebrities.

Gay cowboys. I heard there's a movie about gay cowboys. And it's not a period piece set in the West Village in the late 1970s. Gay cowboys. Real ones. How about Snakes on a Plane? Only in America can we export two different artistic expressions, both in the same medium, yet polar opposites in form.

Brokeback Mountain. Two guys in love. On horses. A western? A love story? A modern-day examination of frontier life?

Snakes on a Plane. Deadly snakes. On a plane. In the air. Nowhere to run to. Nowhere to hide. And a wise cracking Samuel L. Jackson saving the world from a plane full of snakes.

Someone had balls to make a movie about gay cowboys. Someone had the balls to make a movie about snakes on a plane. There are some risk takers in that town. Maybe one will take a shot at me.

My first ever manuscript Jack Tripper Stole My Dog was reviewed by a major studio. However, they decided to pass. Sorry folks. Ivan the Russian can driver will not be appearing at a theatre near you.Here's what a slick Hollywood studio exec said to me about Jack Tripper Stole My Dog:
"I finished your book. I laughed my ass off. Have you had a lot of fucked up relationships with women? I mean seriously? He flushes her head in a toilet? Man, you need to meet a normal chick, some sweet girl to bake you cookies."
Our conversation gave me confidence to breathe life into an old project. I'm going to find a month to take off to write a new draft and make some much needed improvements. JTSMD is my next project. It's much more appealing to me than moving to Hollyweird.... right now. Unless they happen to need a writer to pen the sequel to Snakes on a Plane.

Recent Writing Music...
1. Van Morrison
2. The Flaming Lips
3. John Scofield with Soulive
4. My Morning Jacket
5. Curtis Mayfield

Monday, January 16, 2006

Last 4 Messages Daddy Left Me On My Voice Mail....

1. "Seen the city. Seen the zoo. Traffic light won't let me through."

2. "Where you at you ugly fucker?"

3. "That was ten beers. Three joints. And a fistful of mushrooms for a pre-party. (Inaudible) Wow!"

4. "Doctor. What the fuck? How could a professional rambler not answer his phone? That's right you are a professional fuckin' rambler. And if you don't know what that term means, I highly suggest tht you start listening to more bluegrass music. I am extremely jealous and envious of the life that you lead. It's gorgeous. It's beautiful. It kinda reminds me of ripping a big fucking gagger off a stripper's titties. I hope this message find you strong."
Happy Birthday Geek!

One year ago the Poker Geek was broke, unemployed, and just got dumped. In other words he was a total loser. One year later, a lot has changed. Except the loser part. Despite his ubergeek status, the Poker Geek is still one of my favorite people. He's doing good these days... recently engaged and gainfully employed at Full Tilt. Stop by his blog and wish him a Happy Birthday.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

5 Random Pictures

Signs (Sept. 2005 Amsterdam)

Bowling Balls (Las Vegas, NV Oct. 2005)

West Side Car Wash (NYC, Nov. 2005)

Wall of Buddha (Foxwoods, CT Nov. 2005)

Nevada Sky (Dec. 2005)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Four Days

I got four days left to make a big push with the Las Vegas book. I haven't even written the two biggest chapters yet. I was worried that I wasn't going to have enough material for this project. Now, I'm worried that I didn't give myself enough time to finish writing this. 15 days? I needed a month, but only had 15. Fuck, fuck, fuck. I have a week in early February, which I think I'll devote to the rewrite, but after that I'd have to wait until March for the next window.
Current word count: 86K
Thursday's binge: 11.7K
I broke a promise for myself and wrote one freelance article the other night. 1,400 words seemed effortless compared to the 8K to 9K I had been cranking out every day.

The Knicks play tonight after winning 5 straight. Unreal. They will try to make it 6 tonight and I'll take a break to watch.

One week from today I start a freelance assignment in Atlantic City. Yes, a casino hired me to write for them for almost two weeks. Details to follow.

The Tao shall be on hiatus until I'm done writing the book.

Recent Writing Music...
1. Galactic
2. Neil Young
3. Radiohead
4. Miles Davis
5. Lotus

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Last 5 Books I Saw People Reading on the Subway...
1. The Holy Bible
2. Grapes of Warth by John Stienbeck
3. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
4. State of Fear by Michael Chricton
5. The Psychology of Winning by Denis Waitley
A Bad Beat Story: A Guest Post from Daddy

Editor's Note: As you know, I've been working the past two weeks on my Las Vegas book project. In the meantime, my friends took over the Tao of Poker where I went on a hiatus. Here's the first guest post from your Daddy. It was so fuckin' good that I had to share it over here. As you know, Daddy pulled his blog, so it's a sincere honor that he decided to share his words with my audience. Thanks a lot Daddy!

A Bad Beat Story

"Happy New Year, man. Sorry I didn't stick around."

"Bro, no shit. We were all wondering where you went. I'm assuming you had a productive night with whatever her name was, eh?"

"Shit. Worst New Year's ever. Easily."

"Yikes, man. Didn't land any of that ass then, I take it?"

"Nah, I got the ass."

"Well, fuck. What are you bitching about? My wife passed out at midnight, and wouldn't budge."

"Well, her name was Lori, and I think she's from Brookville. I do know she ate Mexican food with her cousin before the party, and that ended up being the demise to my New Year's."

"What did she have?"

"How the fuck am I supposed to know? Probably enchiladas. That's not the point though. All I know is whatever it was it fucked her up pretty good."

"Did she puke everywhere?"

"Not that I know of. She was just fine at the bar when we left you guys. Her cousin lives in town, and she got the keys to her place. She drove us over and as soon as we got there she had a bottle of wine cracked, and put some Usher on the stereo."


"I think. That's who she said it was anyway. That's not the point though. She was all over me, dude. I had zero doubts that I was gonna rail that ass."

"Is Usher the name of the band, or just the guy?"

"Fuck if I know. I couldn't even hear the shit by the time we made it into her cousin's bedroom. We were practically naked by the time we fell onto the bed. This girl was apeshit crazy too. Kept asking me to call her names and shit. I had her doggied for about fifteen minutes or so, and was pretty close to losing my shit when she told me to roll over so she could ride me."

"That rules, bro."

"Well, she starts to ride me, and it's hot as fuck in this room, so we're both sweating like Patrick Ewing in a sauna, when all of a sudden she just stops. I ask her if she's okay, and she looks at me and says, 'I don't feel so good.'

"Had you blown yet?"

"Fuck no. I was damn close, but that's not the point. She cropdusted me, dude."


"Yeah, she farted and sprayed a mist all over my balls. As soon as she'd realized what she'd done, she started crying and ran into the bathroom. I could hear her crying, but just barely over the sounds that were coming out of her ass."

"Let me get this straight. She shit on your balls? That's a bad beat, dude."

"Yes. It was basically a wet misty fart, but still not cool, bro. And it stunk too. Real fuckin' bad. So, the way I saw it, I only had one thing left to do."

"Did you whip that bitch's ass?"

"Nah, man. I finished the job she couldn't. I sat on the side of the bed and rubbed that fucker out. I was so pissed off I just let it fly too. Got it all over the curtains. The best part though was wiping off my hog on her cousin's teddy bear. I wiped my shitsoaked bag off on that little bear too."

"Man, it sounds like that fucking bear got the worst of it."

"Yeah, I got the fuck outta there quickly. She was still crying and shitting when I left. I didn't even say good-bye."

"Sweet. Yeah, fuck her anyway. Who does she think she is shitting on your sack?"

"I had to walk five blocks just to catch a cab. When I finally got back to my place I could still smell her enchiladas on my balls."

"That's sick, bro."

"Yeah, I took a long shower. My guess is that I ushered in the New Year scrubbing my grundle with a test tube brush and a gallon of bleach."

"Is Usher considered rap or R&B?"

"Fuck if I know, that's not the point. The point is, this was the worst New Year's ever. I've only told you half the story. As soon as I got out of the shower, I fired up PokerStars. I wanted to sit at a Deep Stacks tourney, but they didn't have any running. After the enchilada ordeal, it's safe to say I was on mega-tilt, so I did what everyone else would've done it that situation."


"Nah. I took my entire bankroll to a no limit table. I only had about four grand left after I bought Candice the engagement ring, but I wanted action."

"Well, since you've already said it was the worst night ever, I'm assuming you lost your roll?"

"First fucking hand, and I'm dealt 'Jimmy Walker'."

"What's 'Jimmy Walker'?"

"Jack of clubs, Jack of spades. If it holds up you have to type 'DYNOMITE!!' into the chat box."

"Sweet, bro. That's hilarious."

"Anyway, I raise it up 3 big blinds from early position and there's one caller. The flop comes: Jack of hearts, Seven of spades, Three of clubs."

"No way you lost here, man. Did he hit quads?"

"I check, obviously. He bets the pot. I ponder for a bit, and I raised. I ask him 'Did you hit your Jacks?' He types in the chatbox, 'Yes,' and pushes his entire stack which has me covered. I call, obviously, and he shows the Ten of clubs, and the 4 of clubs."

"Fucking sick! Dead to runner runner clubs, and hit?"

"Nah, he turned the eight, and fifth brought the nine. Runner-runner-double-gut down to the felt. I was devastated, bro."

"No shit. Too bad you didn't have a teddy bear."


Last 5 Books I Saw Hilljacks Reading at Subway...
1. The Dale Earnhardt Story by Kevin Mayne
2. Fisting for Dummies by Mitch Cumstein
3. The Holy Bible
4. No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem! by Jeff Foxworthy
5. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fisting by Stanley Dalrymple

Happy New Year, Doc.
Hope all is kind,

Daddy is a former blogger, poker player, and donkey fucker from Hilljack, Inidana.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Million Little Pieces of Birthday LSD

First it was Jenna. Then Change100. And factgirl. Then Josh. And Texas Heather. They all sent me this link The Man Who Conned Oprah. By the way it's a very long article but a must read. Shit even Gawker was talking about it... Michelle Malkin Remembers James Frey's Fake Writer Day.

Yep, supposedly the guy who wrote A Million Little Pieces is caught up in a media shit storm. The things in his book are not true. The book was dubbed as "based on a true story."

I never read A Million Little Pieces and I'm not going to. I torched the one copy that someone sent me for Christmas. That decision had nothing based on the author James Frey. It had everything to do with Oprah's stamp of approval. That killed it for me. I ranted about that a while back. Now the Oprah Junta is pissed at Frey. Why should they be? He just wrote a book. His publishers and his PR people are the evil-doers in this one. If they were duped by Frey, we'll they are foolish for not doing their homework. If they knew Frey's book was based in partial-truths, then they should accept full responsibility for their actions - they knowingly marketed the hell out of A Million Little Pieces saying it was a true story.

But this is America where people don't stand up an accept responsibility for anything? Hurricane Katrina was God's fault. It was Bush's fault. It was FEMA's fault. It's was the poor black people's fault for being poor and black. Heck it was John Stamos' fault since we're passing the blame. He deserves a good junk kicking for creating the evil weather machine with Karl Rove.

Oprah fucked up. Frey fucked up. His publishing company fucked up or did they? How much will this boost sales of A Million Little Pieces? They can now sell it as "the controversial book from author James Frey." Big companies like that hire spin doctors to do what they can. Spin. Spin. Spin.

I wrote 5K words yesterday. I wrote 5K on Monday. Half days both days. I hit the wall yesterday and my brain was too fried to write. I read mostly and worked on a central theme. Obviously the book is about Las Vegas, so it should be very obvious to the reader... you will be reading a book about Las Vegas, specifically my take on America's playground. The manuscript is at 65K and counting. My goal is 10K today and I'm still trying to finish it by Sunday night.

I missed the Knicks victory last night over the LeBronJames Cavaliers. They won four straight and are on their best winning streak of the year. Jamal Crawford carried the Knicks last night.

Moving on...

Today is a special day. The dude who invented LSD would have turned 100 today. Let's have a nice warm of applause for Dr. Albert Hoffman. He accidentally created LSD in his lab and got some on his skin. He drove home on his bicycle and tripped his balls off. Without Hoffman's introduction of lysergic acid diethylamide into modern society, I'd be a lost soul, most likely a miserable suit somewhere humping a desk job while reading A Million Little Pieces on the commuter train to work everyday.

Albert Hoffman showed me that a tree often goes overlooked in normal life. Just take some of his invention and that same tree is the center of all of life in the universe. When I was in college, I used to walk by this particular one tree all the time, sometimes 5 or 6 times a day. Never paid any attention to it. One night after I dropped LSD, I stood at the tree in wonderment. My buddy Danny fell out of the tree one night because he was so drunk. I kissed a girl underneath that tree. She'd later break up with me (also under that same tree) and break my heart into a million little pieces. I found a stray kitten underneath the tree too. The tree was older than me and almost older than my school. Psychedelics gave me the opportunity to look at things different ways. I took that back into my normal life. Since then I haven't examined life the same way. My modes of unconventional thinking are rooted back in those heavy phases of experimentation. And I wasn't doing it to expand my mind and seek a higher consciousness. I wanted to get off and get higher than I ever had been. That's what your late teens is all about, being thousands of miles away from home and doing what you can to fuck anything that moved while ingesting anything in sight that might get you rocked.

Someone once asked me, how many times did you do acid?

Too many times to count. I'm pretty sure I can estimate based on how many Grateful Dead shows I went to. When I mentioned the number to Senor he laughed. He said I was being conservative in my accounting methods.
5 Random Things I Did on LSD (that I'll never do again)...
1. Flew on an airplane.
2. Took a final exam.
3. Drove a car.
4. Went to an Atlanta Braves baseball game.
5. Toured Graceland.
Oh speaking about acid freaks, Ken Kesey's bus was pulled from a swamp on his Oregon farm and shall be restored. Yep, Neal Cassady used to drive the fuckin' bus. Lucky fucker.

What is more important to you... Angelina Jolie pregnant by Brad Pitt or the war in Iraq? I'm become so wrapped up in my own little world, I could care less about either. Hollyweird babies and external conflicts both make me shrug my shoulders.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I Skate for Jesus

I had a family meal on Monday night. It was my uncle's birthday and we ate Italian food in the Bronx. I ordered the veal parmigania. The sauce was good. The service was bad. The birthday dinner killed my wrting session. I just got into a good groove when my brother called me to remind me about dinner. Last Monday we had to drive up to Westchester to visit my granmother's grave It was the one month anniversary of her death. Since then I've done LA to Vegas, Vegas to NYC, NYC to Vegas, and Vegas back to NYC. She's buried in the same plot as my grandfather. They are buried in the same cemetery as Babe Ruth. I think that's what I heard once. I never went over to look. That killed a half a day of writing tme as well. So my first day of writing last Monday was a half a day, just like this past Sunday.

It was unreasonably warm on Monday in the city. My body gets fucked up when it's freezing one day and mild the next. I don't mind cold weather as long as it's consistent. I'd like to take the time and go sit and the park and read my work, but it's been too cold.

The stock market closed above 11,000 for the first time since 9.11. That's good news for some. I thought it would take at least five years to hit those marks. It's been 4 years and 4 months. I only have one major holding... an energy stock. Sort of.

BG sent me his Soul Brother iMix which he made on iTunes. Had some good stuff like Grant Green, the Digable Planets, and Miles Davis.

I miss Hollywood of the 1980s. They made some great flicks back in the day. Some things they'll never ever make again, gems like Easy Money or Fletch. These days we get sequels of the ass and movies based on comic books and video games.

The Las Vegas project is over 62K words now. Less than one week to go.

Dammit. My ten minutes is up.

Recent Writing Music...
1. Medeski, Martin, & Wood
2. Jack Johnson
3. Galactic
4. Jerry Garcia Band
5. Rilo Kiley
5 Pictures

Drive out to the mountains (Boulder, CO Aug. 2005)

Where's Elmo? (Las Vegas, July 2005)

Vegoose shrooms (Las Vegas, Oct. 2005)

Penthouse Sunrise (Las Vegas, June 2005)

Winner's Share (Las Vegas, June 2005)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Ghetto Blasters and Wine Cellar Dwellers

I wrote 10K words on Saturday. That was nothing compared to Friday when I set a new personal record with 14K in one day. When I woke up on Sunday morning, the book hovered around 47K. On Saturday and Sunday, I regurgitated 25K words onto my laptop. Even with a half day on Sunday, I cranked out 8K more. I wrote the longest chapter of the book this past weekend at 18K words. That's insane. Most of the previous manuscripts and novels that I wrote were around 60K words and under. I can definitely see this project topping 100K words. Of course I'll try to cut it down to 90K.

Unofficial word count: 55,711 including footnotes.

Las Vegas. I've been writing about Las Vegas. Las Vegas is a city that needs footnotes. I was living in Las Vegas and I had a tough time writing about it there. Horrible. That town fried my brain and sucked up all my creative juices. As soon as I distanced myself from Sin City, I found myself writing about it with a greater ease. Maybe it's the isolation in New York City. I love anonymity of a large city, especially in Winter. In case I bumped into someone I knew walking down the street, the freezing temperatures limited the awkward catch-up conversation to less than two minutes. The sheer size and number of people in the city keeps me humble and allows me to observe things without growing bored of my surroundings.

Here's been the daily break down so far...
Monday: 3100 words
Tuesday: 9103
Wednesday: 6850
Thursday 6,900
Friday: 14,100
Saturday: 9,7000
Sunday: 8,300

Chapter 1: 16K
Chapter 2: 7.3K
Chapter 3: 7K
Chapter 4: 7.2K
Chapter 5: 18K
I've been trying to write 5K per day and I've been getting just under 7K per day on average. I used to try to sleep everyday and set my alarm and get up after 3 or 4 hours of sleep to finish working. I stopped doing that and developed a new procedure. I sleep when I'm dead tired and don't set an alarm. I wake up when I wake up and start edting and writing. No alarms. I let my body tell me when my battery is charged. After being up for 25-30 hours I finally crash for up to five hours straight, which is tough to do for me. I usually wake up about 3 hours in and can't fall back asleep. I slept six the other day, which never do. I'm getting some rest but the feeding schedule is way off.

On Sunday I took the morning and afternoon off to relax. I ate a bagel, played a little poker, read everything over, and watched football. I bet heavily Pittsburgh over the Bengals. Everything that I had in my offshore account. I picked one game and made one big bet. If I lost, I went bust in that account. If I won, I'd withdraw 75% and add it to my Slacker Fund. I want to earn enough cash this year through poker and freelance writing that I can take off the last three months of the year to travel and write. That big win funded one week of Slack. I have 11 more weeks to fund.

On the first pass of the game, Carson Palmer busted his knee and left the game. I once bet on the Bengals. I took them last year against the New England Patriots. I got 10.5 points and although the Bengals lost the game, they covered the spread and I won a big bet. In that game Carson Palmer left due to an injury and John Kitna, the journeyman QB, came in and kept the game close. I hoped that this time, he'd fail against the Steelers. In the first half, it didn't look good. The second half was a different story. The Pittsburgh defense stepped up and their offense put up a few TDs to seal the victory for me.

On Monday afternoon I'll start the heart and bulk of the book which will take me all week. NaNoWriMo novels have a goal of 50K words in 30 days. I passed that in six. A new record. Does that mean that right now, I am writing 5 times faster than the average writer? I wrote Jack Tripper Stole My Dog (2002) in 10 days. I wrote Sweet Nothing (2003) in 11 days. I wrote the Blind Kangraoo (2003) in a record 9 days. The manuscripts were 50-54K words in length. All of those projects were written straight with no breaks. I wrote Gumbo (2004) spread out over 18 days in Rhode Island last year.

Jerry Ferrara or Turtle from Entourage has been appearing in NY Knicks commercials on the MSG network for the last few months. They are hilarious. And the Knicks won their last three games and pulled out of the basement. They've been scoring points which makes watching the games enjoyable. David Lee. Nate Robinson. Channing Frye. These guys can play. As soon as the Knicks get rid of Stephon Marbury, they might have a shot at winning in the long term.

The apocalypse is upon us. America's greatest writer stooped to a new low. He wrote about poker. I had never been more sicker in my life.

I write about poker non-stop. Somebody shoot me. Quick. Playing poker is 10,000% more fun than writing about it. Unless you're me and lost $1K since Christmas and $4K since Halloween.

Recent Writing Music...
1. Beck
2. Curtis Mayfield
3. Bob Dylan
4. John Coltrane with Thelonius Monk
5. Charles Mingus

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sunday Mornng Link Dump: Vegas Fat City, Late Books, Swayze Rap, Suing Waffle House, and the Ten Worst Movies of 2005

This has been my new favorite site. The title tells it all. ChicksnBreasts.

You gotta read the Neil Young interview in Rolling Stone. My favorite line came from Neil after the interviewer told him he sounded fucked up on a certain album:
They should hear what the artist sounds like under all circumstances if they want to get a complete portrait. Everybody gets fucked up, man. Everybody gets fucked up sooner or later. You're just pretending if you don't let your music get just as liquid as you are when you're really high.
Patrick Swayze: Next Big Rapper is funny on several levels. He's been using "rap rhythms as an emotional undercurrent for ballads." Discuss.

Phish is now offer video downloads at Livephish.com. They have a special promotion and you can download a free video of Auld Lang Syne > Weekapaug from NYE at MSG 1995.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Parents leave kids home alone and went to party it up in Vegas for the weekend. They were arrested as soon as they got home.

By the way, Las Vegas was ranked the second fattest city in America. When I lived there, I put on 15 pounds. It's too hot to exercise and with all the buffets, it's hard to keep a slim figure. Welcome to Fat City, USA.

The kind people of Cincinnati bring "cornhole" to US troops overseas.

Man sues Waffle House for refusing to serve him milk. I miss waffles at 3am.

Beware of the Book Police! Man returned late library book... 68 years overdue. I wonder if it was Henry Miller?

The Movie Blog put out their Top 10 Worst Films of 2005 list. Here's it is.
The Worst Films of 2005:
10. The Corpse Bride
9. Dukes Of Hazzard
8. Stealth
7. A History Of Violence
6. The Fog
5. XXX 2: State of the Union
4. Aeon Flux
3. The Ringer
2. Dark Water
1. Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
5 Lists of 5

It's been a while snce I did 5 Lists of 5 where I randomly list five things. Blog fodder at it's finest.

Last 5 Blogs I Read...
1. Biggestron
2. Wil Wheaton
3. Lone Star Molly
4. Alexa's NY Hotties
5. Raymi

Last 5 Cover Songs I Listened to...
1. Werewolves of London by The Grateful Dead
2. So What by Jerry Gracia & David Grisman
3. Superstition by Widespread Panic
4. Sneaking Sally Through the Alley by Phish
5. Personal Jesus by Johnny Cash

My 5 Favorite All Time NY Knicks...
1. Patrick Ewing
2. Walt Clyde Frazier
3. Bernard King
4. John Starks
5. Charles Oakley

5 Books You Should Read Beofre You Die...
1. The Fuck Up by Arthur Nersesian
2. Tropc of Capricorn by Henry Miller
3. People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
4. Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski
5. Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

5 Random Cities that Senor and Partied in....
1. New Orleans, Louisiana
2. Reykjavik, Iceland
3. Laramie, Wyoming
4. Reno, Nevada
5. Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Happy Birthday BJ!

Today is BJ's birthday. He's one of the hardest working poker reporters in the poker business. He writes, blogs, and takes photos for Card Player. They need to give him a raise. He's in the Bahamas for his birthday covering the Poker Stars event. Lucky dog. Have a great birthday, BJ!!

Hanging with Isabelle Mercier during WPT Ladies Night III

WPT hostess Courtney Friel at the Bellagio last month

At the Bellagio, on the set of the WPT in September

Friday, January 06, 2006

Congrats Geek & Kori

The Poker Geek
and his loving girlfriend Kori have just announced they are engaged. That's amazing news. Congrats guys.

Freak Me Friday

Today's really Thursday for me. I never went to sleep last night. I wish I could say I went on a huge bender and was partying it up. Instead I sat at a desk for most of this week, cranking out my latest writing project. I have nine more days to complete it.

Alas, it's Friday and I skipped out on two big poker games this past week in New York City. I wanted to go, but had to stay disciplined. I fell behind and needed to catch up. That's the one thing that's been the difference in me as a writer between my 20s and 30s. I'm much more disciplined today. And it's been affecting my career in a positive light.

I went on a major push last night/earlier this morning. While most of you slept and went to work this morning, I penned almost 13K in the past 12 hours. A bulk of that was a rewrite of previous material. Right now, the book is four chapters long and sits around 37K words. The chapters are around 7K words unlike the first chapter which clocked in at almost 16K. Chapter 3 is the best written in the book so far. I'm content with where I'm at right now. I'm way far ahead in terms of words - I expected to have 25K by now. It's just that the first five chapters took me 37K words when I really wanted to say it in 25K. I held back too. It should be way over 40K but I rushed the end of Chapter 2.

It's still surprising me, the direction of where this is all headed. It's like I was a musician and I sat down to play the blues, but a whole bunch of jazz came flowing out of nowhere. I hadn't played jazz in a very long time and it felt like the perfect form to channel my feelings and experiences. That's what happened with the book. I wanted to verbalized my experiences and feelings and it spewed out of me in a way I never anticipated. The last 48 hours have been tough and amazing at the same time. Within a few hours I went from completely loathing the project to becoming re-energized.

I feel like that scene out of Wonder Boys when Grady Trip (Michael Douglas) couldn't finish his book because he couldn't stop writing. His biggest flaw was not making any decision with his characters and that's what held up his book.

Speaking of poker, Shannon Elizabeth won Nicky Hilton's poker tournament on New Year's Even in Las Vegas. Dammit. If I was in Vegas for NYE, I would have been there dammit! Last June, I knocked Shannon out of the WSOP Media/Event when I cracked her A-A with pocket Jacks.

Thanks to BigMike for doing a guest post on Tao of Poker today called... A Day in the Life.

Here's my link of the day... yummy Alba... for the Donkey Puncher.

Recent Writing Music...
1. The Meters
2. Lotus
3. Widespread Panic
4. Pink Floyd
5. Jimmy Cliff
5 Random Photos

Masquerade Bar at the Rio Casino (Las Vegas, June 2005)

Streaks of Orange (New York, Oct. 2005)

Fruit Salad (Las Vegas, June 2005)

I won 1/2 of this (G-Vegas, SC, Aug. 2005)

Sign post (Boulder, Colorado, Aug. 2005)