Monday, July 28, 2008

Unconnected Undermind

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

I accumulated several piles of coins during my last assignment in Las Vegas. Three massive hills of silver were sprayed across the dresser in our bedroom. The majority of them were quarters representing dozens and dozens of states. Around 5 or 6am every morning, I'd empty my pockets before I crashed as more coins spilled out.

I horded the quarters for laundry back in LA. Nicky's apartment has a washer and dryer and her cheapo slumlord recently jacked up the prices. The dimes and nickels went to Nicky's parking fund. The coin holder in her car was barely touched in Las Vegas. In Los Angeles, it serves as her parking fund. One of the good things about Las Vegas was plenty of free parking. In LA, it seems like you are paying a few bucks everywhere you go. Street parking. Valet parking. Garage parking. The LA shakedown. Fuckin' criminals.

The small pile on top of the dresser also contained several casino chips. I collect poker chips. It is one of the rare material items that I collect, and they are more like mementos than anything else. If I'm playing in a new poker room, I'll snag a $1 chip from my stack and pocket it as a souvenir. When I played at the Venetian poker room a couple of weeks ago, I grabbed a $1 chip from the Palazzo, their sister casino, which opened up a couple of months earlier.

Since our return to LA, Nicky and I ate breakfast around the corner at Nick's coffeeshop twice. We've been gambling on which server waits on us. There are four different ones and Nicky and I draft two each before we walk inside. I lost both times and had to pay for breakfast. The last trip, I went for a healthy option and ordered an egg white omelete with a Spicy Italian sausage on the side. I usually get two sausages or bacon and just went for one.

Over the weekend, I caught up on two cable series... Weeds and Generation Kill. I got into Weeds last year. Every couple of weeks in between assignments and traveling, I'd watch two or three episodes with Nicky since Showtime was the only cable station that my brother did not get. This summer in Las Vegas, I went to a party that was sponsored by Showtime and Skyy vodka. They showed a special sneak preview of the first episode from the new season of Weeds. That was the only one I saw all summer. I went into total blackout mode this summer. No TV at all. I believe I watched the final two episodes of Top Chef during the first week of the WSOP via TiVo but that was it.

On Thursday night, we ordered in Thai food and finally caught up on Weeds. There were some random poker references in the episodes, which was weird yet funny.

Daddy recommended Generation Kill on HBO which he dubbed as our generation's Band of Brothers. Generation Kill takes place five years ago and based on a book about the first marine division inside of Iraq in 2003. I watched the first two episodes back-to-back.

For the first time in months, I ate some home-cooked meals whipped up by Chef Nicky. We headed to Whole Foods and stocked up since the entire kitchen was empty. She made two delicious dinners this weekend... blackened Cajun salmon and Jamaican jerk chicken. Yeah, both were spicy dishes and she came through in the clutch. If my camera wasn't dead, I would have taken photos. On Sunday, we rolled our own chicken burritos. The special ingredient? Chipolte Gouda which I found in the gourmet cheese section of Ralphs. Spicy, yet smooth. It added a nice kick to the burrito.

I guess the weekend was lazy, with an emphasis on slack. I smoked a ton and watched a couple of flicks like Guy X and Super High Me. Both were awful. Thank god that I was faded on oxys that night in order for me to sit through both. About half-way through Super High Me, I got super bored and starting playing online poker.

A friend of mine hooked me up with some oxycontin after my car accident. He gave me a specific warning and said to just nibble on it. Anything more would kill me. Holy shit? Are you kidding me? I got a stern warning despite my experiences dabbling in all forms of pharmacopoeia.

I expected the oxy to last a bit, but man oh man. Talk about getting knocked on my ass for 2/3 of a day. That's why they call it hillbilly heroin. What I like about oxycontin is the sustained high over several hours. Waves and waves. Well, one nibble had be floored for about 16 hours. I partied for several hours, slept for like five or six, and still woke up wasted. My faded state lasted all the way into Saturday afternoon.

I played a ton of online poker this weekend. Ironically, I played my worst poker when I was the most sober. I had one awful session that wiped out all of the smaller and positive session. I broke even, but I got to play with a couple of friends I had not seen in a while, the Poker Geek and Shane Nickerson, who ironically was in NYC for an assignment.

And then there was my private tournament on PokerStars. My brother Derek knocked me out and he took second place. He was winning for most of it until it got down to three and he lost the lead.

My sloth was due to some baseball, specifically the compelling Yankees/Red Sox series. Two of the games were on TV and the other I watched on my laptop The Yanks took the first two and went for the sweep on ESPN. But the Yanks always play like shit on ESPN and they got spanked by the Sox. That game got so ugly that we watched Ice Truckers for a bit and I got distracted by playing online poker.

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