Thursday, July 24, 2008

Heath Ledger Is the New Matt Damon

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

It felt good to wake up in some place that was not Las Vegas. Although four times in the last week I had dreams about poker tournaments. Haunting. Nightmares. Well, they weren't scary or evil or anything like that. Pretty boring actually. I'm finally waiting for the time when those dreams stop.

I woke up and wrote. My brain was fried all weekend from partying and adjusting to life outside of Las Vegas. For the first time since the WSOP ended, I felt as though I could sit down and focus and blaze through work. There's always stuff to get done. I dunno how many websites I have neglected over the last two months and I paid a little extra special attention to those.

Then there's the email. Originally I had over a thousand unread pieces not to mention several hundred which I read and never responded to. I limited myself one hour a day to sorting through that mountain. Because I don't have much time, my emails are brief. My goal is to get three addresses under 100 undread pieces... but that might take a few more days.

When Nicky woke up, we headed down the street to our local diner. We missed Nick's coffeeshop. I went for a breakfast sandwich... bacon & eggs & cheese on wheat bread with hashbrowns. Comfort food. Just a block away.

After breakfast we both cranked out some work. I had a deadline which I almost forgot about. We picked up a late lunch/early dinner at Zankou chicken. A whole chicken for like $10. Unreal. They gave us an extra garlic sauce. That was an added bonus. Sort of like getting two cherries on the top of your sundae.

We also stopped off at Nicky's parents house in Westwood. Her father got stung by a ray when he was at the beach a couple of weeks ago and had to be hospitalized for several days due to the infection. He's fine now, but has become the butt of family jokes with sting ray t-shirts.

I forgot that I had been wearing my Yankees hat when we stopped by. He loathes the Yankees and can't stand Joba Chamerlin. Before he even said hello to Nicky, he pointed at me and barked, "There's a trash can around the corner. Make sure you throw that hat away before you step foot into the house."

He was semi-joking. I think.

After a visit with Nicky's parents, we headed up the street to a poker game hosted by Mark, one of Schecky and Jen Leo's friends. The players ranged from a sweet ninety-year old woman. An infomercial guru. Former NBA player. A pregnant travel writer. Former child actor. And my favorite... a foul-mouthed rabbi knocking back Kettle One and cranberry juice in a pint glass.

The rabbi got drunk and won the tournament. I got buzzed and busted out first. Maybe I should have drank more?

I woke up early again on Thursday. I read for a bit and also wrote before Nicky got up (surprisingly early). We wanted to go to the beach, but the weather was little blah this morning (even though right now it's gorgeous). We opted for breakfast and an 11am showing of the new Batman movie. We ate at O'Groats and I love their iced tea. I usually order the French Toast but went for bacon, eggs, and hash browns instead. Oh, and two biscuits. Gotta love their biscuits.

Batman was above average, but definitely blew away some of the lamer incarnations from the 1990s. Some scenes in Dark Knight were better than others. Heath Ledger stood out as the Joker, as expected from what I heard from friends who saw it already or from the critics who raved about his performance. He definitely took a different spin on the character than Jack Nicholson did. Then again, the entire franchise is on a different path.

Heath Ledger's death means we won't get to see him return as the Joker. I wonder if they'll try to use another actor? Or perhaps they'll introduce other villains? As long as it is not Mr. Freeze.

When I was in Australia in January, Heath Ledger died. I was actually on holiday in Byron Bay and Nicky and I discovered the news on the TV in our beach motel. It was breaking news on one of the five stations that we got. One of them was a movie channel and they interrupted their previous schedule programming and ran a marathon of Heath ledger flicks like 10 Things I Hate About You and A Knight's Tale and Brokeback Mountain.

At the time, industry insiders were worried about how Ledger's death would affect the marketing of the flick. And now, six months later, the new Batman flick is pulling in tons of dough every day.

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