Saturday, February 28, 2009

Last Saturday in February Pic Dump

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

Here are some pics I took over the last week...

Friday, February 27, 2009

And the Pauly Goes to....

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

It was a hotly contested race. In the first day of voting, the Rooster jumped out to an early lead. However, Profesional Keno Player Neil Fontenot and Oti were neck in neck during the mid-week, with Otis holding a slight lead for that duration. Late on Wednesday, Shronk made a tremendous surge when he manipulated a loophole in the voting system. He stayed near the top of the pack as the race headed down the final stretch. On Friday morning, it appeared that Shronk was on his way to victory when supporters for Otis and PKPNF voted enn masse at the last minute.

When the dust settled... Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot edged out Otis and Shronk by the slimmest of margins.
Final Results:
Pro Keno Player Neil Fontenot (29%)
Otis (28%)
Shronk (28%)
The Rooster (10%)
Uncle Ted (6%)
Congrats to PKPNF! And stay tuned for his Tao of Pauly Best Actor acceptance speech.

PKPNF: Best Performance from a Male Lead in a Tao of Pauly Video

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Purges of the Chatter: Showers, Jimmy Buffet, Lent, and 27 Dresses

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA
LA life: actress next door singing a Gwen Steffani song in the shower while I write & stay off tilt from the noisy landscapers in straw hats.
She lives upstairs on the second floor in the salmon painted apartment building next door. The straw hat-clad landscapers in black jeans with green stains mercilessly whacked the weeds and chopped four inches off he pathetic thing the slumlord called shrubbery.

The window to the her bathroom faces the alley, and her melodious voice trickles down into my office when she steps into the shower, turns the knobs and the water rushes out washing away the grind and grit and filth from another day humping a shitty waitress job on the West Side and being herded along in humbling auditions with the hundreds of other starving starlets.

The waterfall recharges her battered soul and she loses all her inhibitions, completely naked and lets it rip with a titillating performance worthy of a thumbs up from the tribunal of cool at American Idol. Singing in the shower brightened my day. Her daily routine was a much needed daily reminder of why I chose to hunker down in a city of known for smashing dreams on an hourly basis, yet I sat in the Ikea chair every morning and and cranked out the pages and dispatches from my loins.

The enchanting singing popped up at random times and she unleashed vocal exercises that seeped through the walls of both buildings and blanketed whatever music spilled out of my iPod. Sometimes, she just needed to perform.

* * * * *
Whenever I hear any Jimmy Buffet song, I have a sudden uncontrollable urge to down a shot of tequila and snort a colossal line of cocaine.
The songs of Mr. Jimmy Buffet triggered something in my brain and an explosive chemical reaction commenced and altered every single one of my senses. I'm transported back to the days during the Bush I's lordship... on a vast porch in Georgia, sipping a stiff Jim Beam and diet coke cocktail and sitting around in Umbros and t-shirts shouting sexual explicit cat calls at attention-seeking sorority girls as they jogged down Fraternity Row. A Jimmy Buffet song pumped through the speakers from the sound system and all you thought about was leaving the sweltering gnat infested brokeass redneck South and headed to the brilliant sunshine state with water and sun and drugs and the seaside towns on the Atlantic coast were inhabited by gun-toting meth-snorting pick up driving Obama hating rednecks, former Cuban revolutionaries converted into Big Mac chowing masses, retired millionaire golfers soused to the tits on a Viagra & gin cocktails, tons of churches with standing room only and congregations filled with Bible thumpers and zealots from every faith possible -- Scientologists, Mormons, Amish, Rastafarian, Moonies, Sufists, and don't forget those old Jews from Brooklyn).

Florida. Home of Jimmy Buffet and the best cocaine in America... in 1991. We didn't have enough money to do coke in college and had too much trouble trying to getting anything bulk that wasn't better that ditch weed smuggled up from Mexico through Texas. Cocaine was not in sight, at least good stuff, like the primoshit that the cowboys chopped up for billions of dollars.

The lyrics and songs struck deep in the heart of the most degenerate and addicted sections in the lobes in my brain. Not only did I want to snort the largest biker rail of blow on the planet, but I wanted to kick off the feisty festivities with a shot of Mexican truth serum.... the all mighty tequila. Is there anything on the planet more courageous than someone on a dedicated tequila bender? That's jawdropping hardcore.

You're not fuckin' around with a pussy-assed pink cocktail slurped down by a bubbly ostentatious protagonist with an flaming bi-curious confidant from one of those mind-numbing chit lick books that are selling like hot cakes at Barnes & Nobles, which used to be the secret guilty pleasures of Upper East Sider women, but these days, it's a daily staple for soccer moms in flyover states. Just the thought of how much that Shopoholic movie is like printing money (which is going around much these days) that makes me want to numb my brain with a gager of Bolivian white lightning.

* * * * *
I'm giving up irony for Lent.
The above statement is self explanatory.

* * * * *
I watched all of '27 Dresses' hoping that Katherine Heigel would show her boobs. Sadly, no boobs. FML
I never really thought that Katherine Heigel was as smokin' hot as everyone hyped her up to be. Yeah, her tits are huge pillows of flesh, but their nothing compared to the handfuls of happiness that belonged to Scarlett Boobies. I enjoyed Knocked Up and she can play funny, but you know, she was knocked up and never exposed her tits, and she was pregnant in most of the scenes and it was hard for me to rub one out to a pregnant chick, not that I have never done that before, it's just it's not something that happened on a daily basis and had not happened in a very long time. Thank God.

Anyway, back to Katherine Heigel.

She was in this bad chick flick titled 27 Dresses where was was one of those thirty-something A-type personalities but couldn't find the right guy and she was a bridesmaid in 27 different weddings of her friends and I sat through it because I hoped that she'd show off those watermelons and then it could have justified why I wasted my time on that crap when I could have watched Sunny in Philadelphia DVD instead and that would have been a lot less... manly. Anyway, Katherine Heigel was quite fetching in the movie, even though she didn't show her massive mammoths coconuts.

I'm joking by the way. Maybe not. I can't tell. I was pretty shitty at that point of the night and kept smoking and smoking hoping to pass out and the movie kept playing yet I was too lazy to change the channel and I kept smoking until the credits rolled and then I saw it on the next day as I waited for Nicky to finish up cooking a fantastic dinner with some wort of French mushroom and wine cause and I sat on the couch as she blasted Charlie Hunter and I watched 27 Dresses with the sound off, but I had already seen it the night before when I couldn't sleep, so I knew what was happening.

Katherine Heigel. She never thought she was good enough to be loved that's why she couldn't find it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

VT On... No TV

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

"What's Seinfeld?" he asked me.

I knew artists could be weird, but Karl was serious.

"It's a TV show. You never heard of it?" I said.

"I don't have a TV. The last time I had a TV was nine years ago. My ex-wife got in when we got divorced. Actually, she took it and all of my Jazz records. She packed her things and left when I was working at my studio. I walked in the door and thought my apartment was robbed... until I saw the letter."

"So you stopped watching TV after you guys broke up?"

"I actually stopped watching it years earlier."


"Right after the Pope got shot. Or was it President Reagan? They both got shot within a month of each other. I stopped watching TV shortly after the shootings."

"Not once?"

"Well, a couple of exceptions. I watched a soccer game in a bar in Spain a couple of years ago."

"No TV?"

"Yes. No TV, It rots your brain. It's how they brainwash you and get you to buy shit you don't need."

"Too bad. You missed a hysterical episode of Seinfeld last night. It involved a Snickers bar."

* * * * *

I had a weird phase at the turn of the century when I barely watched TV. That coincided with a voracious reading binge and a chronic bought with insomnia where I read no less than ten books a week, since I spent up to fifteen hours a day devoted to nothing but reading and smoking pot. I wasn't addicted to the intertubes yet and still used dial-up. I spent less than an hour a day, mostly to send/read email. Sometimes, I spent less than that.

I spent a lot of time in bookstores. On the West Coast, I had a heavy staple of Beckett, Chomsky, Castaneda, Watts, Kierkegaard, Spalding Gray, and Chuck Palahniuk. When I returned to NYC, I delved into Arthur Nersesian, Paul Auster, and Michael Chabon. I spent hours inside Strand reading classic novels, biographies, and random history books. I hung out in different Barnes and Nobles, where I started reading poker books in the games section. I bought pot from one guy who worked in a graphics studio downtown near the World Trade Center. While I waited to meet him, I used to hang out in Borders located inside the North Tower. I read dozens of books while waiting to buy weed. I stopped going there after 9/11 and I got cable TV shortly afterwords.

TV fell off my radar a couple of years ago when I hit the road for work. I lost all concept of linear time and spent mostly every day in a different city and time zone and country. TV got lost in the shuffle. Sometimes I watched TV late nights in random hotel rooms, but that usually entailed Sportscenter or some sort of movie to zone out to. And it different countries, I found solace in watching old American TV shows dubbed in English. I watched the Simpsons in Spain and Denmark. I watched Beverly Hills 90210 in Monte Carlo. I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer in Holland. I watched the Family Guy in the UK.

During my travels, my brother TiVo'd a couple of my favorite shows, but I had to skip the rest. Thanks to the internet, I watched the last couple episodes of The Sopranos via Nicky's laptop. I watched most of the first season of Heroes via iTunes and a couple of different sites.

These days, the only show I follow is Top Chef and the season is almost over. I'll get a boner when Entourage returns, whenever that happens. Aside that I've been removed from the mix. I know certain shows exist, but I just kind of tune it out.

The TV pops on late nights when insomnia strikes and Superbad is on in the background for the 213th hour in a row while we rip bong hits. Over the last couple of weeks, the only time I watched TV during the day occurred at the diner. There' a TV on at the end of the counter and I sit at that end and watched whatever they have on while I ate my breakfast. Tyra Banks show was on once. Good Day LA was on most days. On Sunday morning, they aired a news program with an interview with the Governor Schwarzenegger.

The Oscars were on Sunday. Last year, we didn't get to watch them, so Nicky wanted to watch them together. I took the day off from writing and decided to zone out in front of the boob tube and hurl snarky comments in between bong hits and jambalaya. If you missed it, she live blogged the Oscars over at Pot Committed.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Best Actor in a Tao of Pauly Video

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

Here's your chance to vote for Best Actor in one of my YouTube videos. Five worthy nominees. The Rooster displays his pick up skills in New York City. Uncle Ted entertained an RV full of people during Langerado in Florida. Shronk involved himself in a prop bet in Melbourne, Australia. PKPNF gave a tutorial in Las Vegas on how to play Keno. And Otis did something unthinkable one night in Las Vegas.

Vote here...

And you can view the nominee's work here...

The Rooster

Uncle Ted


Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot


Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Oscars

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

Last year, Nicky and I were in Copenhagen and we missed the Oscars. Danish TV did not air it and we were shut out.

This year, we're behind enemy lines in the shadows of the Hills of Hollywood. Nicky will be live blogging the Oscar festivities over at Pot Committed starting at around 7pm ET or 4pm for you West Coasters.

Head over there to check out her snarky commentary and fashion reports. Be sure to tune in early... before the pot brownies kick in!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

5 Films That Start With the Letter A

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

It happened serendipitously.

When insomnia strikes late at nights and Nicky is fast asleep, I have to entertain myself. I'm bored with reading or losing at the online poker tables, I'll flip on the boob tube in search of a classic film that I had not seen in a while.

Last week, the title of the first flick began with the letter A. Same thing happened the next time. And then again. By the fourth time, I saw an unusual pattern developing. I asked Nicky what she wanted to watch on Valentine's Day evening. The title? Began with the letter A. By the fifth day, I actively sought out an A film and found one.
1. American Beauty
2. Apocalypse Now
3. Almost Famous
4. Annie Hall
5. A Clockwork Orange
Those five flicks also happened to be some of my all time favorites. Sort of strange that I watched all of those within a week of each other.

* * * * *

American Beauty

The dark comedy featured a collaboration of four men at the top of their game. Those four? Alan Ball. Kevin Spacey. Conrad Hall. Sam Mendes.

Alan Ball (the creator of Six Feet Under) had won an Oscar (best original screenplay) for American Beauty. All of the characters were formulated in the inner hallways of his mind and he crafted a gem. The dynamic team of Sam Mendes and Conrad Hall helped make Ball's vision a reality. Mendes was a successful stage director in London and didn't have much experience at the helm of a major film. He was partnered up with the legendary Conrad Hall, the cinematographer for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and he won an Oscar for his amazing photography work on American Beauty. And then Kevin Spacey stepped into the role of Lester Burnham. The guy who had a mid-life crisis, fell in love with his daughter's friend, started smoking pot, blackmailed his company, and took a job in a fast food joint because he wanted the "least amount of responsibility" as possible.

* * * * *

Apocalypse Now

When Francis Ford Coppola accepted the prestigious Palm d'Or at Cannes for Apocalypse Now, he said that his film "was Vietnam." Although Coppola was shut out at the Oscars after winning the Golden Globe, his cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro,
took home the Oscar.

Some of my favorite behind the scenes stories from the flick were featured in the documentary film created by Copolla's wife. I loved the fact that a couple of the cast members were doing some serious drugs on the set and during filming. Everyone was toking up on the set, but Sam Bottoms (who played Lance) admitted that he took LSD during the scene where his character admitted to dropping a tab during the infamous bridge scene. Bottoms was also on some heavy speed during his time shooting the flick as well.

And everyone knows that Marlon Brando showed up to the set several pounds overweight and that he never even bothered to read Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness which several elements of the screenplay was based upon.

Oh and I loved the fact that a very very very young Larry Fishburne (aka Morpheus) was in Apocaplypse Now.

* * * * *

Almost Famous

Almost Famous hits home because of my sincere love for music and traveling, but the writer in me really sympathizes with the main character. After five years in poker, the line is true. You cannot make friends with the rock stars.

We watched Untitled which was the title of Cameron Crowe's director's cut of the film which included an additional thirty minutes of footage. Nicky preferred the original version since it was more tighter and didn't drag at times. I didn't mind the extended version at all and it expanded upon some of the relationship between William and Russell.

Some of my favorite non-Kate Hudson scenes involved late night phone calls with Lester Bangs and scenes with Ben Fong-Torres from Rolling Stone... "Get it together man! You're not there to party. We've already got one Hunter Thompson." And Nicky loved the scenes with Lester as well especially in the one when he uttered one of the best lines of the screenplay, The only true currency in this bankrupt world... is what you share with someone else when you're uncool.

Several moments in the film echoed real life situations. Supposedly, Robert Plant said, "I am a Golden God." Except, he wasn't on LSD like Russell in the film and did not jump into a pool.

* * * * *

Annie Hall

Woody Allen's films from the 1970s captured the New York City from my childhood, so in many ways, the images and shooting locations bombard me with flashbacks from my youth as if those grainy old photos in the back of my mind spring to life. And as I grow closer in age to Woody Allen (at the time he wrote and directed), I have a greater understanding of the themes and struggles that linger around his flawed characters.

Yeah, it was Valentine's Day and we popped in Annie Hall since it really explored urban living and mismatched lovers and including an underlining NYC vs. LA theme.

Compared to Allen's later films from the 1990s and today, almost every single scene in Annie Hall is intricately layered with symbolism and homages to Allen's favorite artists, musicians, and directors. Flashbacks. Addressing the camera. Subtitles that contradict the dialogue. And my favorite... adult-time travel back to childhood.

Oh, and not to mention all of the witty one liners.
Don't you see the rest of the country looks upon New York like we're left-wing, communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers? I think of us that way sometimes and I live here.

My grammy never gave gifts. She was too busy getting raped by Cossacks.

(On the cleanliness of LA)... That's because they don't throw their garbage away, they turn it into television shows.

Sun is bad for you. Everything our parents said was good is bad. Sun, milk, red meat... college.
Allen shot the film for $4 million. It was one of his largest commercial successes and pulled in $40M in 1977 dollars.

* * * * *

A Clockwork Orange

I wanted to watch All the President's Men, but for some reason the disc was missing from the DVD box. Instead, I opted for Stanley Kubrick's outrageous film version of Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange, about a warped futuristic reality.

The poster tagline always made me giggle... Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven.

It has it all. Violence. Orgies. Rape. And the search for the removal of all things malevolent from our future societies. Perfect film to watch at 3am.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Best of FML

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

I was having a bad day when Marty Beckerman cheered me up with FML. I laughed my ass off for fifteen minutes straight.

Fuck my life.

Here are some of my favorite gems...
Today, at the urinal a guy came up next to me to do his business. He stared over at me, looked down, laughed and then left.

Today, I was talking to my friend about my life and she stopped me mid-sentence and told me that my life makes her sad.

Today, I discovered that my 15 year old girl had hidden a disgusting porn film in the "future career" folder.

Today, I drunkenly buried my girlfriends recently deceased cat. Later she asked to see it and came back inside crying. It turns out I didn't bury it completely and it's back two legs were poking out of the dirt.

Today, I heard my sister masturbating in her room. I took the dog around the block to get out of the house, and I came back to see her exiting her electric tothbrush in her hand.

Today my lesbian sister enthusiastically showed me her new strap on. Not only does she get more girls than me, she now has a bigger penis too.

Today, my 4 year old niece ask me why I didn't have a job or wife.

Today, my mom slept all day. But when she got out of bed for five minutes, she told me I was a worthless piece of shit. Then she proceeded to do nothing, and went back to bed.

Today, I had sex with a girl who cried out as she came "Forgive me Lord! Forgive me Lord!"

Today, my sister teased me about being a mistake baby. When I told my mom what my sister said, her response was "I still love you anyway".

Today, I was reading an article about girls who have low self-esteem and end up whoring around to feel better. When I finished, I realized it was actually written by my best friend. The girl in the article was me.

Today, my boyfriend handcuffed me to the bed, naked. Someone pulled the fire alarm, and my boyfriend couldn't find the key. So he left me, and the Resident Advisor found me. The fireman had to cut the chain.

Today, I woke up next to a slumbering girl I had just met the night before. She had all the covers on top of her and I was cold. Not only was I cold, but the sheets were really cold. So I got up and realized she'd peed a drunken night's worth of beer all over my sheets.

Today, I got in a huge fight with my mom. So, I went to my room and locked myself in there and played loud music so I didn't have to hear her. She then decides to yell at me over facebook. Shortly after, I log out of Facebook. She then starts yelling at me on Yahoo.

Today, I tried to suck my own penis. Autofellatio. My mother walked in on me and I flipped backwards off the bed. ER and 10 stiches above my eyebrow later, I asked her not to ever bring it up again.

Today, I had a wet dream. When I woke up I was touching myself. Unfortunately, I also woke up to find that I had fallen asleep on the couch after eating too much turkey at a family reunion. When I looked around the room over 20 relatives were giving me nasty looks.

I think Daddy wrote the last one.
Hurra Torpedo

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

Thanks to Wilkins who tipped me off to Hurra Torpedo. Those wacky Norwegians are at it again, banging away on old kitchen appliances. This time, they covered Total Eclipse of the Heart. Kristopher Schau's stove smashing was nothing short of exceptional in this rendition....

Monday, February 16, 2009

Unplugged for $2.05

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

I unplugged.

The experiment/rehabilitation began two Fridays ago. My goal? Stay off the grid for as long as I could in order to make serious progress in Project Z. I targeted a 50 hour window... a tough, yet clearly obtainable goal.

At some point, I'd like to go for a full week. Then two. Then a month. Then two.

The definition of 'off the grid' for me did not include a Unabomber type of shack in the middle of nowhere. Although, at times that concept sounded appealing. My version of 50 hours off of the grid included a complete shut down of my cell phone, email, and especially the ever-addicting Twitter, Bloglines, and other news readers. I essentially flushed my stash down the toilet or poured the hooch down the drain.

I successfully had a 90% unplugged weekend. I allowed myself access to the internet mostly for research while I wrote. I stayed true to that 'net allowance and did not abuse that luxury.

I survived the first day but forgot that I had to buy Bonnaroo tickets. I hopped online, purchased a ticket, and the entire transaction time took less than five minutes. I also sent a couple of work-related emails (more of the "Dude, where's my check!" variety) but I did not read any mail until I reconnected late on Sunday night.

On the second day, I craved for a big ass iced tea and walked to Jack in the Box. That became a sort of a writing routine that I developed. The big assed ice tea cost $2.05 with tax. I can't tell if I'm addicted to...
1. the plight sitting at the booths inside Jack in the Box
2. the iced tea
3. the walking meditation
4. the opportunity to unfrazzle my frazzled thoughts
The big assed iced tea came in an oversized plastic cup with photo a taco and a plate of mozarella sticks splashed on the side. The cup had a skinny bottom to fit into car cup holders. Jack in the Box knew their LA-based clientele consumed more fast food in their cars than inside their dingy excuses for restaurants. After all, in a town where image is everything, no one would want to be caught inside a Jack in the Box by paparazzi.

The Jack in the Box on the corner introduced a self-order kiosk. At first I thought that was a nifty way to speed things up. But they completely eliminated a cashier altogether.

Before you used to have to stand behind slow-witted dweebs who could barely order a taco let alone figure out how to use the fuckin' machine. The kiosk's other minor flaw... it did not accept change, only dollar bills. I assumed that was done on purpose so ghetto-rats couldn't roll up in there with a jar full of pennies and buy a Jumbo Jack one penny at a time.

Time are tough. There was a time back at the peak of the poker boom when I was so flushed with cash that I'd drop a $20 bill and not even give a shit about picking it up. It was a waste of my time. I could have outsourced a virtual assistant from Bangalore to do that for me. And it would have only cost me $1.

These days, if I see a penny on a ground I'll knock over old ladies to pick it up. The penny's monetary value has ill significance for me. I'm hording precious metals for the apocalypse. Someday I'll have smelt the pennies into weapons. Besides, a sock full of pennies makes for a good self-defense weapon according to all those "surviving 2012" websites.

The cost of my big assed iced tea? $2.05. I inserted three $1 bills into the machine and after a series of rumblings, 95 cents in coins emptied out into a small bowl at the bottom of the machine. I walked over to the counter and someone in a hairnet handed me an empty cup. Did I forgot to tell you that it was self-service drinks?

Behold the future of fast food. Thank you. Come again.

In thirty years, there will be no humans working in McDonalds. Just machines serving freeze dried cloned version of Dom Deluise's assburgers. After there's no more rainforestes to clear cut to raise cattle, the fast food conglomeratess will have to resort to alternative means of fulfilling their high demand for Big Macs and Quarter Pounders. Machines feeding humans to humans, like a scene out of the Matrix.

Every fast food joint will be manned by automated machines and robots. You walk inside and place your order at a kiosk and pay with the microchip imbedded into your index finger. You take a seat. A robot nuked kangaroo nuggets or groundhumanassburger patties into microwaves and ninety seconds later your food would pops out on your table via a series of underground tubing network.

Although Jack in the Box is just a block away from our apartment, I brought my phone with me just in case I got shanked while standing in line and I needed to call 911 for an ambulance.

I turned on my phone for the short trip and noticed that I missed a call from my brother by about an hour. The call? Sort of important. My mother had fallen down a short flight of stairs. She was shaken up but supposedly OK. Of course, the one time that I unplugged, something like that happened. It turned out that she wasn't OK and had to go to the hospital and spent the night. Long story short -- fracture, no surgery, plenty of generic vicodin... with refills.

Again 364 days out of the year, my mother can successfully walk down a flight of stairs. However, the first day that I unplug, she managed to forgot how to descend stairs.

Unless, she was drunk. Quite possible. And I'm not one to judge. Then, well, if she was half in the bag, then tough break. Whaddya gonna do? Sometimes inebriated people fall down and hurt themselves. Then they go to the doctor who fix them up and give them drugs. Then they have booze and drugs. Wait a second...

With my mother situation stabilized, I turned off the phone for the rest of the unplugging experiment. I benefited from limiting the amount of distractions and ignoring everyone's daily dramas on the intertubes worked wonders.

The internet is a magnet for distraction. How many version of Peg by Steely Dan can you really watch on You Tube anyway?

But that kid on drugs. That still makes me laugh every time I watch it, like four times a day. Every time I get high I hope that I get half as high as that kid.

Is this real life?

The initial stage of unplugging is the toughest part. Connecting? Feeling important? It's a drug, an addiction. You have to know about everything at all times and don't want to miss a thing. After the first few hours, it got easier. I no longer cared about current events and slipped into my own bubble of self-importance. I needed to delve deep and peel bag layers and layers of onion-like emotions in order to focus on the task at hand.

The result? Good ones. Lots of progress.

However, I missed chronicling the mundaneness of everyday life both on Twitter, and here. Like tales of "my girlfriend if a pothead" such as the night that Nicky made a run to the dispensary and picked up a batch of unpressed trichromes. She must have smoked herself into obliteration because she fell asleep halfway through I'm Not There.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Other Tao: Soul Cards

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

I posted something over at the Tao of Poker called Soul Cards. If you haven't read it, you should. It has very light poker content just in case you have an aversion to gambling or reading about poker.

The 4,000 plus word piece received a lot of positive feedback from friends, bloggers, and readers. Soul Cards was something that I deliberately cut out from Las Vegas manuscript.

I might post one or two cut passages here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Viva Chilito, Dream Team Triples, Redneck Wendy's, and Rent a Box

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

What ever happened to the Chilito?

Let's flashback to the early 1990s. I ate at Taco Bell frequently during college. One of my favorite items was the 79 cent Chilito. I usually ordered two of those during my dining experiences at the eatery we also referred to as South of the Border. The Chilito was essentially a chili cheese burrito. Since I had an aversion to veggies, the Chilito was the perfect item for me to feast on. It contained just sauce, cheese, and beef. Not one veggie like offensive shredded lettuce or e. coli crusted tomatoes.

Chilitos? Heavenly. Delicious. With the right amount of spices, cheese, and meat.

One day, I went to Taco Bell and the Chilito had vanished from their menu. What the fuck? It turned out that comedian Paul Rodriguez had been taking shots at Taco Bell in his stand up routine. Rodriguez was born in Mexico and grew up in East Los Angeles. He busted on Taco Bell for using Mexican slang for one of their products. He pointed out that a chilito was also known in some circles as a little penis.

The suits at Taco Bell quickly abolished the Chilito. They renamed it Chili Cheese Burrito. How lame. Some franchises removed the item from their menu altogether. Damn racists could not bring it to sell small penis burritos on their menu.

Ah, the Chilito. How I missed thee.

I stopped going to Taco Bell shortly after I moved to Seattle and did too much acid and read too many anti-corporate and "fast food is evil" books. Besides, there was a chain called Burrito Loco which served huge ass burritos that could feed you for an entire day.

In Los Angeles and Vegas, Taco Bell was an afterthought. If I considered any sort of Mexican food, I went to El Pollo Loco instead. I can't even recall the last time I went to Taco Bell. Perhaps a late-night Charlie-fueled bender a couple of years ago when we drove around Hollyweird in search of something that was open.

* * * * *

In the summer of 1992, I lived in Atlanta and shared an ice cream truck business with Feldman, one of my fraternity brothers. The summer of 1992 featured the Barcelona Olympics. The big story that year surround the first incarnation of The Dream Team.

For the first time ever, professional basketball players were allowed to compete for the gold. It was a rule that changed due to constant pressure from the US basketball officials who were embarrassed after two humiliating loses. The US men's squad, made up of a bunch of college stars such as David Robinson, got stomped by Brazil (and Oscar Schmidt who dropped 46 points) in the 1987 Pan American Games. The very next year, the men's team lost to the Russians in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The Americans won the bronze medal that year, but that was an embarrassment upon the US basketball community.

So the Dream Team was going to save America's dignity in the all American sport. Corporations like McDonald's cashed in on the hoopla and gave away souvenir cups with their meal deals. I ate at McDonald's four or five times a week back then (when I wasn't eating at Wendy's or Taco Bell) and I particularly loved the Triple cheeseburger special for $3. Fries, souvenir cup, and a triple cheeseburger for a mere $3. Best deal in Atlanta.

The back of our ice cream truck was filled with souvenir Dream Team cups and empty boxes of ice cream.

At the end of the summer, I wrote several pages of an unfinished screenplay that I based on my experiences as an ice cream man. I never completed the project but I think it would make a clever short film someday.

* * * * *

I lived within walking distance to Wendy's when I lived at the Redneck Riviera during the first summer that I moved to Las Vegas. I must have eaten there five times a week out of sheer laziness and convenience. The young black woman who worked the cashier knew me because I came in so much. I usually ordered "the usual" or something different. The usual was the #6 or a spicy chicken sandwich with a Biggie sized iced tea and fries. The something different was usually some sort of double cheeseburger with bacon and no lettuce.

On days that it was crowded, I brought my sandwich back to my room to eat. On days that Wendy's was not crowded, I ate it there in order to take advantage of the free refills on iced tea.

Some of the poorest of the poorest folks who lived in the Redneck Riviera popped into Wendy's and not to buy food. The usually went into Wendy's to use the bathroom. They were so broke that they frequented the $1 menu on McDonald's one block away. I once saw a couple of kids rush in and run out with a hand full of yellow napkins. What they needed them for, I had no clue.

* * * * *

I would never buy real food at Jack in the Box. I only venture in there for beverages and the occasional shake. Usually after writing all morning and afternoon, I head over to the Jack in the Box down the street for a big assed iced tea. I slowly drink that over the course of the evening.

I have to get to the Jack in the Box before the sun sets. You never want to be caught inside Jack in the Box there after dark. That's when the CHUD people come out of the sewers and order Teriyaki bowls.

Even at Jack in the Box, they have been slashing their work force. They installed a brand new computer kiosk and cut down on a cashier spot. You placed orders from an ATM like machine which accepted cash.

On the walk back to our apartment down the street through the slums of Beverly Hills, I noticed the plethora of 'For Rent' signs that were propped up on the front lawns of different apartment buildings of all sizes that lined our block. Apartment buildings in the neighborhood are nothing like you'd see in New York City. It's more like a massive two-story building that was broken down in six to eight units. There were a lot of smaller types that looked like a two story house that was split into two or three apartments.

As I walked around the neighborhood the last couple of weeks, those 'For Rent' signs became more and more visible. Three bedroom and two bath. Two bedrooms and two baths. And lots of one bedrooms available. Heck, there have been two opening in our apartment building for several months. The owner keeps dropping the price every month by $50. No one wants to move in.

"No one is moving to L.A. anymore," mentioned Nicky.

The entertainment industry has been slashing jobs and any of the dream chasers (actors/musicians/model types) that are moving to Hollyweird for the first time were not going to live in our neighborhood. It was too expensive and for the price, they could find something cheaper in the Valley.

A homeless guy pushed a dilapidated grocery cart down the street. Several garbage bags filled with empty cans and bottles were stacked on top of each other. He pushed the cart a couple of feet and stopped in front of a palm tree. He wandered down the alley and rummaged through a dumpster before he repeated the process and went through all of the recycling bins from all the apartment buildings on our block.

Even the housing slump has affected the dumpster diver. More 'For Rent' signs meant less occupants and less garbage and less income for the guy who returned all the bottles.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sunken Treasure! By Wil Wheaton

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

Wil Wheaton has a brand new spanking book.

Sunken Treasure! is currently for sale over at Wil's latest book features a collection of new material and old material (which appeared over at Wil's blog).

I enjoyed Wil's previous books such as The Happiest Days of Our Lives and Dancing Barefoot. Oh yeah, and my favorite Just a Geek. I thumbed through Nicky's copy of The Happiest Days of Our Lives and forgot that Wil had mentioned me in the "Thanks" section.

And yes, I'm one of Wil's legion of fanboys. I already purchased my copy of Sunken Treasure.

Oh, and if you are interested in an audio-version oh The Happiest Days of Our Lives then click here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Writing Process

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

During a phone conversation a couple of weeks ago, a fellow scribe recently asked me how I write. A fellow blogger sent me an email recently weekend asking me the same thing. And then Otis posted something about searching for a perfect place to write. I thought those were odd questions, but it made me examine the tiny minutia of the process to make sure I was doing everything right. Sometimes, I slip into bad habits.

This is not a How To Write guide or post or anything like that. This is more of a "email expanded into blog format" kinda of post that discusses the recent routine that I've fallen into which has provided me with more comfort to write.

To start off, for the first time in several years, I actually have a place to live and a place to write... in Los Angeles. The stability of the routine has done wonders for the quality of my writing. Prior to the apartment in the slums of Beverly Hills, the last home base that I had was back in New York City in a studio in North Riverdale just a couple of blocks from the city line. I wrote all of my unpublished novels and two screenplays in that out-of-the-way place. Since I got booted from the apartment, I had been homeless and shuffled between my mother's apartment and my brother's place before I fell into a job in the poker industry where I constantly lived in hotels and short-term apartments all over the world, when I wasn't crashing with at my girlfriend's pad.

Probably my favorite place in the last few years? The canal apartment in Amsterdam. When my roommates Benjo and Johnny Mushrooms were asleep, I had plenty of time to write in the kitchen overlooking one of the canals. I also liked Scheckytown this past summer in Summerlin. When everyone slept, I wrote out by the pool with the bong nearby.

But now, L.A. is the place for me and I'm able to get comfortable and when I hit a groove, I can stay in that groove without any disruptions. Lucky for me, my girlfriend worked with writers in Hollywood and had to deal with their unconventional means to an end. She's also currently a freelance writer herself juggling a career in poker writing along with trying to pen a screenplay. She respects and understands the quirks that I have to go through in order to achieve the best results. That's why it's important to have people in your life that understand there are very important moments when you need to be left alone to think and work.

The most difficult thing about working in a "open" environment such as a media room at a poker tournament is the endless amount of distractions and disruptions. You really have to hunker down and focus on your laptop and trying to squeeze all those words out to the empty page. Same thing goes for a crowded internet cafe or bookstore. Sure I miss exotic places like Budapest and miss seeing my friends on a daily basis, but what I don't miss are the complete jerkoffs that you have to deal with. They often taint the environment. I don't miss those assmunchers.

My office

Thanks to a nifty birthday preset from my girlfriend, she redecorated the extra room in her apartment last fall. We turned the spare room into my office. The most important thing? A door. That's step one. Find a "closed" environment. The shut door is a symbol that it's time for me to go to work and it's a more important symbol for Nicky... if the door is closed, don't bother me unless there's an earthquake. And if there is an earthquake, it better be above a 5.0. And chances are if there's something that strong, I'm gonna feel it.

For you, finding a closed environment might be difficult. Not everyone has a den or office. But even then, those places can be distracting. Some writers flourish in an open environment and there are instances when I do as well, but for the maximum results, you need the minimum amount of people around and that's one. You. Anything and anyone else is a distraction. I knew one guy that wrote in a walk-in closet because it was sound-proofed and whenever he walked into that tiny area, he instantly switched into writing mode. A friend of mine in Seattle, his wife was a writer and she preferred writing in the car. She sat the back seat of the car (in the driveway in front of the house) and wrote with a pen and a spiral notebook as the Seattle rain outside slowly pelted the car.

Step two is the most challenging. Unplug. I shut off my cellphone. I used to hide it in a drawer so I didn't even see it to remind me that someone might have called. OMG, what if I missed a phone call? Not the end of the world. And if something horrific or tragic is going to happen, I'm sure it can wait until my writing session is over to find out if someone blew up a dirty bomb or if LeBron James got traded to the Knicks. It's not like I jump off the grid for weeks at a time my loved ones lose complete track of my whereabouts.

Unplugging also includes stepping away from email and addictive social networking sites. I had to shut off Twitter. The entire point of writing in a closed environment is to control your surroundings and eliminate any distractions. As much as I sit on the edge of my seat waiting for Daddy to post his next gem on Twitter, everything else (including my half-baked musings) is just static and that kills vital brain cells. And if your friends or relatives can't deal with you ignoring their constant pleas for attention, then tough shit. They're not real friends to begin with. Tell them to get a dog, or hire a hooker.

The avoidance of the internet and TV is crucial if you want to make vast leaps and bounds as a scribe. Especially avoiding everything mainstream media-based. That watered-down filth taints your vision as an artist. Anything commercialized like that needs to be avoided at all costs. And don't get me started on blogs. I stopped reading them and try to fill my mind with the giants. I prefer to re-read some of my favorite authors in order to remind myself what excellent writing looks like.

Recently? Thomas Pynchon and Gravity's Rainbow has been my late night insomnia reading material. Talk about an intimidating piece of work clocking in at over 750 words, but Pynchon is a constant reminder that you have to write well all the time when you're a novelist. With the blogs, I can get away with a throw-away post or I can phone it in every now and then for a poker-related assignment. But with a complete piece of defining work like Jack Tripper Stole My Dog or Project Z, every single chapter, page, paragraph, sentence, and word has to represent the best of me. Daunting? Fuck yeah. But I'm up for the challenge.

Whenever I hunker down and write, I need to have a 100% media blackout. That's a difficult undertaking so I make exceptions usually for sports to get some sort of fix. But even then, it becomes a major distraction. I purposely picked this time of year to work on the bulk of my book because it is a dead time for sports. Football is over and college basketball is still a few weeks away on the horizon. But if it weren't for sports related distractions, I'd probably would have written a few more books by now.

The next step is background music. I love having music on in the background for anything... eating, cooking, fucking, driving, playing poker, working out, and especially writing. These days, iPods and iTunes have shuffle functions which makes it so easy to just hit one button and have music play non-stop for hours, unlike years ago when I had to constantly get up and change the CD. And then finding a complete CD to play through that won't bother me was always a tough task.

I created different playlists with hundreds and thousands of songs on my iPod. Almost all of them were created with writing sessions in mind. Nicky always makes fun of my morning Jazz mix. She'll wake up and wander into the living room that's overflowing with melodies from Ornette Coleman or John Coltrane. The Miles Davis playlist is epic and I can write for a week straight before I hear a repeat. Most recently, I have a Bob Dylan playlist that has been in heavy rotation as I worked on Project Z. I also created something called the '303 All Stars' which includes a lot of Afro-Cuban jazz along with the New Mastersounds and Medeski Martin & Wood

The type of music is important as well. You don't want to be distracted by the music but inspired. Jambands and jazz make for perfect writing music. Phish. Dead. Panic. Thelonius. Charlie. Bechet. Obviously, the time of day is crucial as well. I'm conscious of our neighbors in the mornings and late at night. I try to listen to music via head phones or at a low volume. In the afternoons, I can crank it up.

The smoking aspect is important to me mostly because nothing beats the first high of the day. I actually preferring smoking on breaks or before I need to re-read something that I have been working on for hours in order to give me a different perspective on things. Maybe that's why I have so many grammatical errors... I'm writing sober and editing stoned.

If you are a habitual cigarette smoker and have to go outside or interrupt your process? You're totally fucked. Nothing trumps a nicotine addiction so you'd better have an ashtray right next to your laptop. Don't let that vice distract you from writing.

The most important thing to writing is eliminating all desires before you sit down to write. That way you can focus on one thing... creating something from nothing... connecting the dots inside your heads and stringing together words and sentences to convey your inner chatter into some sort of coherent dialogue. Desires are distractions and infect your brain. We have enough problems filtering out all the consumerist messages all around so it's even more difficult to clear the mind and create.

Sex can be a major distraction. Get it out of the way as soon as you can before you write. And if you don't have a partner nearby, rub one out. It relaxes you and you won't be thinking about lustful things when you should be hard at work.

And if you need food? Eat it before you write so you won't be hungry mid-way. During the lowest points of my starving artist days, I lived off of biscuits (crackers) and Snapple iced tea and that's all I ate all day while I wrote until I met up with my brother at night and he bought me dinner. The hunger pains forces you to write better. It drives you. If you want to be full the rest of your life, then write better and you'll have enough money to buy whatever food you need.

At the same time, your brain needs to be sharp and food is fuel. I have a couple of Clif bars nearby just in case to keep my energy levels up during marathon writing sessions.

A perfect start of the writing day is when I wake up, have a quick romp, close the door, shut off the phone, avoid the internet and email completely, put on some music, have a smoke, and start writing.

Now, I have two distinct writing sessions; day and night.

I sort of described the day session. I have chronic insomnia and I'm up before the dawn. I have several hours to myself before Nicky wakes up. I go out into the living room to write out there with the window open. When she wakes up, I retreat to my office and shut the door. She prefers to write and work sitting on the couch in the living room with incense burning and coffee brewing and a bong close by. The smells remind her of an Amsterdam coffeeshop and that inspires her to write.

The day sessions are usually plotted out before hand. If I have time to take a morning walk, I'll figure out what I'm going to write then. If not, I'll sit down for a few minutes and brain storm with pen and paper my writing goals for the day. Prior to Project Z, my morning sessions were stream of consciousness writing for up to two hours. Some instances, I published excerpts of my morning ramblings onto Tao of Pauly or Tao of Poker or even Truckin'. Most of the time I deleted those warm up words. Occasionally, I'll save some of those scribblings into my personal journal. For the most part, the writing was simply working out and training. Once I completed my warm up, I could focus on the real writing; either for my websites or freelance clients.

When I'm writing freelance stuff, the morning sessions are pointed towards meeting the deadline in a formula; research > write > edit > re-write > edit > re-write. That's my least favorite part of writing even though folks like Mean Gene and Nicky love that stage of the writing process.

Currently, the morning Project Z sessions have included research and writing, with the editing and re-writing stage happening in the late afternoons and early evenings. I lock myself in the office and I write anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 words. I cut it down and then I print up what I've written. I bust out the red pen and slash and burn and trim and cut and re-arrange sections.

Hemingway's daily goal was 500 words a day. And you knew by the end of the day that those words were gold and every single one mattered. Me? I'm a shotgun writer. I throw up 10,000 words and hope to get 500 decent ones.

My goal is to get as much writing done by dinner time.... 7pm. Once I take a dinner break, the bulk of my day is done and it's time to enjoy a meal with Nicky or catch up on the rest of my life... ergo, I plug back in and throw up witty one liners on my Twitter feed and I play online poker and see how much money I lost in the stock market and I shake my head at hundreds of back-logged email and give my two cents into the latest group email thread with my brother and friends who are Yankees fans about the latest A-Roid scandal.

And then there's the late night writing sessions. After Midnight, when I let it all hang out. Those are my favorite sessions because they are a part of what I consider "real writing." At least, those moments provide me with the most amount of joy and satisfaction. I write for the sake of writing. Because I can and nothing feels better than the music flowing and my fingers dancing on the keyboards. In short, that's heaven on Earth.

The majority of those late night sessions are fueled by inebriation and insomnia. It's 1 or 2am and I can't sleep. I'm super wasted after a day and evening of heaving smoking (especially in LA with everyone's favorite medicinal marijuana carrying Hollyweird blonde). Sometimes, I pop a pharmie late night when my back has been bothering me or I take it for the buzz and warm fuzzy feeling. I love to let loose and unleash the inner scribe. No rules. No boundaries. I let my mind wander. You never know what you're capabale of until you take your talents out for a test drive. That's when I let loose.

And I write.

For hours on end without stopping to edit errors and run on sentences and dangling modifiers or fix my egregious spelling mistakes and just embark on old school rambling session where I just go on and on and on in one super annoyingly long paragraph without even a hint of punctuation while my drenched mind races and I do everything in my immediate power to magically capture all those magnificent words as they flutter on by and I try to accurately paint those word pictures of random images inside the hallways of my mind before all those fleeting thoughts have disappeared into the black hole of my brain and I freak out when I hear strange sounds coming out from the alley and I never know if it is a hungry stray cat fighting with squirrels to the death or a disheveled homeless person rummaging through my dumpster looking for empty imported beer bottles that the guys upstairs tossed out or its an alien probe wandering about and peeking into my window and digging up recon information as I frantically peck away at the keys in the complete darkness of the apartment humming along to a cover of Watermelon Man by the faint glow of the screen on my laptop as my illuminated thoughts drifted in and out before they faded to black and it was time for me to take a break.

Sometimes, I come up with some coherent things that are blogworthy. I also pick up plenty of ideas during those late night sessions which evolve into freelance articles and future blog posts. Some of them have evolved into new blogs altogether.

Sometimes, I have a breakthrough with an area that I was stuck on earlier in the day. Nothing is more fun than taking a crack at something while totally crocked. A scene or a sentence. Sure, the majority of the time, I'm still stuck and my revision sucked llama buttocks, but every once in a while, I manage to unclog that drain with something clever and unique that I never would have come up with during the more sober and structured sessions. I managed to go so far off the reservation that I found my way home.

And then, sometimes, when I can't sleep at all, night turns into day and all of a sudden, my late night writing session slowly morphed into a early morning writing session and as I sober up, I also shift gears. The drugs wear off and the mind thinks differently during the day that it did at night.

Early morning writing sessions at the dining room table

When Nicky went to Chile (or last year when she went to Poland) and I was home alone in the apartment, I got on a weird schedule where I was up for 36-40 hours at a time. I would take a meal break at 7am and 7pm and write in between those times when I wasn't asleep. I began my late night sessions around Midnight. I went to Nick's coffeeshop at 7am for a break and took a walk through my neighborhood. I returned and was back to my writing chair by 9am where I'd blaze through the morning and afternoon until it was 7pm and time for another break.

The key is to figure out what makes you tick and what happens during the most productive times. Then try to replicate those same exact things. For now, it has been working. I have been fortunate that there's zero construction or crying babies or noisy neighbors to tilt me.

And the things that used to distract me? No longer affect me when I retreat into my office. Once the door shuts, it's shut to the world around me. Then and only then can I explore the internal creative world in an unfettered way that will give me the best opportunity to generate the best work possible.

Then again, as Johnny Hughes liked to remind me, good writers can write anywhere at anytime under any circumstances. That's 100% true, but just think how much better they could write under optimal circumstances when you controlled every single aspect of your surroundings?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Other Tao

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

A handful of readers in this neck of the woods rarely stray over to the Tao of Poker due to the heavy gambling content on the breadwinner among my small blogging empire.

(Insert evil laugh here)

Ah, if that's the case, you missed two top notch posts that really could have been posted over here.

I encourage to take a peek at...

The Day the Music Died

Here's a bit...
Tommy Allsup, the guitarist in the Crickets, had the other seat locked up. Despite a morbid fear of flying, Ritchie Valens pestered Allsup all night to give up the seat. Allsup finally decided to let fate decide who gets the seat. They agreed to flip a coin. And here's where revisionist Hollyweird history fucks stuff up. In the film La Bamba, there's a dramatic scene on the snowy runway of Mason City airport where the coin flip took place. Except that did not happen. The coin flip took place backstage and not on the runway. The runway scene added a more dramatic effect for the film.

Where's My Bailout?

Here's a bit...
Major corporations went into the shitter and banks lost billions and billions of dollars on reckless gambling. Auto companies churned out oversized gas guzzling pieces of shit that no one wanted to purchase, so since those fat cats are lining up for a juicy government hand outs, I figure here was my chance to get in line behind homeowners with bad credit that never should have gotten loans in the first place, the crooks cooking the books at AIG, and those douchebags Freddie and Fannie. Man, if I ever see that bitch Fannie Mae walking down Nassau Street, I'm gonna punch her in the vagina.

Monday, February 09, 2009


By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

I had an acid flashback at 7:21pm PT on Sunday night. I sat in the living room with Nicky as we listened to the New Mastersounds. That's when it happened.


I sorta smirked. Nicky and I have been together for three years and by now she picked up on all my little quirks like an unexpected flashback.

"How many did you get this year?" Nicky asked me.

"I'd say about 56 or 57."

"Huh? No fuckin' way! That many?"

"That's like one and a half per day. That seems about right. Don't you get flashbacks?"

"Um, I've only done it once. And too bad, because I'd love to have flashbacks."

Ah, the elusive flashback. How many do you get? Sometimes, I string together four or five days without one and then an avalanche of flashbacks will occur inside a short period. I had a welcomed barrage of them during my time in the Bahamas.

And what's a flashback? Sort of peaceful moment like a bunch of butterflies floating by on a warm spring day. It lasts less than a second, but feels like a couple of minutes.

Serenity now.

Flashbacks usually invade me on buses. Why buses? I have no idea. Something about the makeup of said bus and how the structure rattles and vibrates on the road. It joggles my mind and I get an instant pulse of memories and experiences about encounters on previous experimentations and leaps of faith. In fact, I had a flashback on the last bus ride that I took a couple of Monday ago when I took the express bus at Grand Central Station to JFK airport. Somewhere under the East River inside the Queens-Midtown Tunnel things got a little bit groovy.


A friend of mine from Seattle told me about something called Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder or HPPD. I thought he was full of shit until I did a little research and well fuck me, there was such a thing. And supposedly one of the contributing factors to HPPD was lack of sleep and high levels of stress. Sounds like me, eh? An insomniac with Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder.

And supposedly, patients with HPPD are treated with prescription drugs... "Benzodiazepines including clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax) are prescribed with a fair amount of success."

Ah sweet, so all I have to do tell my crooked mob doctor in Las Vegas that I'm getting wicked flashbacks and lingering back pains after that car accident last summer and he'll hook me up with Lortabs and Klonopin. And now there's a tasty pharmie cocktail. Lors and Klonies. That one-two punch would knock you on your ass. If you take two of each, you'll fall asleep trying to suck your own cock.

OK, but for now, I have to live with my troubling affliction and I'm already in a couple of support groups. I also started a new blog called the Tao of Flashbacks where I will recap my flashbacks using various multimedia devices including poems and claymation.

Here's the thing, I don't have kids nor do things that require a lot of people's lives are in my hands, like drive a bus. Holy shit, that's one job I should not have... bus driver. My entire work would be a magnet for every single psychedelic experience that I ever had. I'd get like 15 flashbacks a day and drive like Otto from The Simpsons.

I did peyote once. Shit, when I lived in Seattle, I tried every possible drug with the exception of crack and shooting heroin. So the peyote? Didn't really work all that much.

I know what I like and know what I need. If there's something new that I'd like to dabble in, it has to be yopo. I'd ingest any exotic South American plants like yopo that makes you see ghosts and be able to converse with dead people and wander around in a haze and babble at spirits in a Mayan dialect.

At some point in your life, the chance to take a walk on the wild side came your way. We all got a little bit crazy due to suburban drudgery and sheer boredom in high school or lots of Grateful Dead or Phish shows in college or maybe at the end of your twenties when you had an existentialist crisis and questioned everything that you did the previous two and a half decades.

I have friends that have high end responsibilities like being soccer moms and BBQ dads and compassionate school teachers and trusted doctors - and they have all done their fare share of psychedelics, if not more than me. Think about that! You never know if your little Sally's fourth grade teacher used to be a total acid freak back in college when she basically lived on the HORDE tour in the early 1990s.

One of my friends admitted to having a flashback in front of his kid. My buddy sat at the dining room table and read the Sunday papers. His young one ran around the dinning table in circles shouting, "Sponge Bob Square Pants! Sponge Bob Square Pants! Sponge Bob Square Pants! Sponge Bob Square Pants! Sponge Bob Square Pants! Sponge Bob Square Pants! Sponge Bob Square Pants!"

Somewhere along his second or third lap, the little one shed his drawers and ran around al fresco shouting, "Sponge Bob Square Pants! Sponge Bob Square Pants! Sponge Bob Square Pants! Sponge Bob Square Pants!"

My buddy looked up from his newspaper and a he was greeted by a vivid flashback that lasted no longer than two maybe three seconds.


He unleashed a smile and his kid stopped on a dime and asked, "Daddy, what's so funny?"

"Someday, when you're a little older, I'll let Uncle Pauly tell you some stories."

Friday, February 06, 2009

Dreams Words Dreams

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

The familiar faces, random street scenes, haunting images come and go. Like a police car speeding down the street in hot pursuit of a criminal. You can hear the vociferous sirens from several blocks away as the whaling sounds grow louder and louder until the deafening sirens reach an apex in front of your house and the windows shake for a few seconds before volume of sounds slowly decrease until the sirens become nothing more than a faint whisper.

I had one of those turbulent nights. Unable to sleep because I was not tired, but totally exhausted from the lack of rest. Sleep. The other journey that we undertake on a nightly basis. Some of us brazenly jump into the other world for eight or ten hours a day. And the bizarre thing about that? You can vaguely recall a couple of minutes of those numerous hours of down time.

Why is that? Why is it so hard to recall your dreams? And why is it that the magnificent ones that you recall seem so fuckin' boring to the person you told it to?

Ah, what dreams may come. I kept detailed accounts of my abnormal dreams from different eras in my life. The first venture into dream journals occurred when I scribbled down dreams on index cards during college. It was a life-altering exercise that I got into a habit doing around my the first part of my junior year. At the same time in my personal life, I began experimenting with psychedelics mostly while following the Dead around, and the index cards were my little reminders of the insanity that transpired while my brain was friend and I was so far gone on the other side that I could only muster up obscure phrases and a handful of buzz words which were my only clues to what it was like during my perplexing journeys into the other world.

The index cards were like a trail breadcrumbs that I left behind as I passed over the bridge from sane to insane. I needed clues on how to find my way out just in case I crossed over the edge.

A rubber band held the group of index cards together. When I left Atlanta and returned to New York City after graduation, I tossed the cards in a box and took them with me.

My dreams were always random. Peculiar. But most of the time, they were totally boring. After college, I met an angry French woman who spent most of her mornings analyzing her dreams from the night before. She gave me dozens of books about the subject of dreaming including dream encyclopedias which gave you detailed explanations of certain symbols and objects in your dreams. My favorite batch of books involved lucid dreaming and exercises that you had to do in order to take control of your dreams during the sleeping life.

The angry French woman was convinced that if she could unlock the darkest secrets in her dream life, then she could achieve greatness in her waking life. As an artist she relied heavily on what her psyche told her to paint. Of course, she was stuck in a stagnant place, which is suicide for an artist. A painter who never painted. Just another malcontent pissed off at the world. She was raised on hate and cigarettes. Perhaps that's why she never evolved as an artists and her talent sputtered in the mid-1990s as she was bogged down into a depressive funk for the entire time we knew each other.

She was unable to make sense of her every day life because she became too obsessed with trying to analyze all those little things in her dreams that she was convinced were symbols. Road signs. We're all on a journey through life and some of us get more lost than others. She, oh my, she was the most lost soul that I ever encountered. No wonder. All those meaningless dreams drove her insane trying to figure out what every little thing meant. Sometimes a cat in a dream is just a cat and not about her losing her intuition. As that cokehead Freud once said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

I should be sleeping right now at the 5am hour and whisking myself away into slumberland where the streets are made of dark Belgium chocolate and sometimes I can fly. Most of the time, I can never seem to get to where I want to go in my dreams and the food tastes bland. Seriously, do you eat in your dreams? You can't taste the food, can you? Next time you have a dream remind yourself to focus on the food. It's has no taste. I never figured out why.

Sometimes I dream in black and white. I was told that schizophrenics only dream in black and white and that the truly clinically fruitcakes lack color in their dreams. Sometimes the lights in my dreams give off unconventional hues, like lots of glowing greens from street lamps. Spooky.

Maybe I'm not crazy and I'm totally sane and everyone around me are the freakazoids. Everyone is running on triple A batteries and I'm a double A kinda guy. The one-eyed man is the king in the land of the blind.

The silence of the 5am soothes me. The absence of noise intoxicates me. All I can hear is the low hum of the refrigerator. Oh, and the clicking sounds of my fingers pecking away at the keyboard. Sometimes I have to listen to music with my headphones at this hour because I don't want to disrupt my neighbors or Nicky.

So I sit in the darkness. The only light? The luminous screen on my laptop. I peck. I hunt down the meanings and the symbols and constantly check the road maps. I'm on my way. I'm almost there. I just need a little more time to get there. And I think that I'm going to have to shut up for a while so I can concentrate on the next few steps in my journey.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Stream 2/5/09

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

Let's just ramble.

A bulimic actress living in the building across from ours often pukes up her dinner at 8pm. Her bathroom is right across from my office. "Bleeecccccccccccckkkkkk!" echoed through the alley. It disturbed a couple of dogs next door as they whipped into a howling frenzy.

In LA, the locals don't walk much. It's not a pedestrian town, so when I quickly walk up behind someone, they freak the fuck out.

I fried up meats for a late lunch on Wednesday. Nicky was jealous because she's bogged down in a diet like everyone else in Hollyweird. We were both surprised that my bolognese sauce worked. She had a small taste and gave me the thumbs up which was inspiring because she's an exquisite cook. The Andouille sausage added some heat to the meat sauce. I served the sauce over an organic type of pasta that I never tried before. Not too shabby.

Cooking is a perfect distraction because it's a zen activity and allows my mind to wander and I can repair the parts of the writing project that have been plaguing me. I need to spend my morning exercising which is a great opportunity to take a mental dump.

I printed up the first 50K words of the white whale for Nicky and she gave me some harsh criticism. I wasn't looking for praise but rather an honest assessment of the work. She used to critique writers all the time as a studio exec and had lots of useful criticism about pacing.

"Needs less hookers," she said.

Just when I thought it needed more hookers. Sheesh. At least we identified some structural issues which I need to address ASAP before I continue on.

One week into February, I'm in the middle of a losing streak at the poker tables. I only posted one winning session so far this month. Ebbs and flows. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you get kicked in the balls. I hate starting out a new month with a series of consecutive loses. It seems like I'm chasing just to break even.

I found a nifty gadget for my Google homepage. It's Pac-Man. And I got addicted quickly. It was a nice way to kill time during the dead zone of insomnia, but then I found myself playing during the day when I should have been doing research or writing. I finally kicked the habit by removing the entire gadget. Gone. Vanished. No more distractions.

I missed Pac-Man. It might have been a decade since I last played. Maybe more. It was the old school arcade version too. I remember the first ever Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man. Talk about weak ass graphics.

One girl that we knew in college was uber-rich. She had an actual Ms. Pac-Man game in the sun room in her apartment.

My favorite video games growing up in the mid-1980s included Tempest and Kung Fu Master. When I got a little older, I couldn't stop playing Trivial Pursuit. The local video store had an arcade version of that game. Once the technology of home video game systems improved, arcades became useless for me. NHL Hockey and Mortal Combat and PGA Golf were much more appealing to me than pissing away quarters.

This still continues to be my most viewed photo on Flickr.

Some weird things my friends said on Twitter in the last couple of days?
It's Groundhog Day ... again. If you see Ned Ryerson, it's okay to punch him in the face. BING!

'Pickles and Potter'. Could a name be any more English? Thankfully, they do the best sandwiches in Leeds.

Kym has sneezed her head off. If you find it, please return it to it's rightful owner.

I could shoot the sequel to Fargo in the Clapham common.

Just called to get directions to courthouse. They reminded me to arrive 15 mins early for a "weapons inspection."

They should start shooting free throws like Ollie.

again, the future of seo?? it's called kickass content.

Just destroyed a gruyere crepe with ratatouille.

I know I'm an idiot, but sometimes I surprise even myself. And then I REALLY feel like an idiot. Well done, sir, well done.

There is not a joke sufficient to erase the pain of today's wind chill.

My life is weird. Awesome, but often weird.

wonders if he'll ever get used to his ex-gfs having babies. Weird.

Help me, Twitter. I started smoking cigarettes again. And I love it. Like a lot. It's been so long. Where have you been? Help. Camel Lights.

Who wears red pants, seriously.

Woke up this morning feeling the tiniest bit like Martin Sheen at the beginning of Apocalypse Now.
Yeah, sometimes the folks on Twitter make me laugh.

And I won't bore you with the worst things I read on Twitter in the last few days. A heap of dismal and depressing content on there.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Follow? Or Not Follow?

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

I really don't have much time to write, although I feel compelled to post here today. I have a few minutes before I delve deep into my latest writing project.

I recall reading something on Wil's site a couple of months ago about a different blogger who mentioned something about the fact that a blogger cannot write a book and maintain a blog at the same time. I understood his sentiments. I have several blogs and it's a logistical nightmare... without a book deadline looming overhead. However, Wil managed to write several books and blog (and live his life and work other freelance gigs simultaneously), so it can be done. Heck, I'm doing it right now.

Although, this is one of the rare instances (well aside from every summer when I focus 119% on Tao of Poker and all my other sites languish), I wish I didn't have so many blogs to keep up. I could just focus on the task at hand instead of regurgitating rushed half-baked ideas on the intertubes.

But sometimes, inspiration strikes. For example, yesterday morning I went to Nick's coffeeshop by myself. Nicky got stuck with jury duty in Inglewood and I was solo for the day. Since we had zero groceries in the apartment, I walked over to our friendly neighborhood diner. It was nearly empty at 7am and I sat in the back booth. I ordered a hearty breakfast (chocolate chip pancakes, spicy Italian sausage, and hash browns) and re-read excerpts from Project Z that I printed out.

The radio played lowly in the background. The DJ spoke about Denny's mania since February 3rd was the day that Denny's gave away free Grand Slams to anyone between 6am and 2pm. The DJ interviewed callers who headed out to various Denny's for free food. It was a clever promotion and only two franchises in the entire country did not participate (according to and those two were in Baker, CA and Las Cruces, NM. Ironically, I have been to the one in Baker. I wondered why those two chose not to participate?

Anyway, when the DJ returned to playing music, he fired up La Bamba and mentioned that Ritchie Valens died fifty years ago on that date. Just the night before on my flight from NYC to Long Beach, I noticed that VH1 aired the La Bamba film. And in the issue of Rolling Stone that I thumbed through in the airport, happened to have an article on the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Valens, and the Big Bopper.

As the story goes, Valens only got on that flight because he won a coinflip. If he lost, he'd have to head to the next gig on a freezing tour bus without any heat. Coin flips are an integral part of tournament poker and on my walk back to the apartment, I pre-wrote a post on Tao of Poker about coin flips and the infamous day that the music died.

Check out that post titled The Day the Music Died.

As the day progressed, I got wind of some other breaking news in the music industry. The Langerado music festival was canceled due to sluggish ticket sales in a slumping economy. Nicky and I went to Langerado in 2007 with the Joker and Sweet Sweet Pablo. Last year, I went to Langerado with the Joker, SSP, and the RV crew that was made up of G-Rob, Mrs. G-Rob, Otis, Mrs. Otis, and everyone's favorite weatherman... Uncle Ted. It was an epic trip and one of my highlights from last year. Of course, I had zero intentions on seeing the festival this year with the Phish Reunion scheduled for early March in Virgina. I have a limited budget this year for fun stuff and music festivals, to I have to pick and choose wisely.

On that note, the rumors were true about Phish headlining Bonnaroo with Bruce Springsteen. I'll be able to see the boys from Vermont play twice at Bonnaroo and I'll even eat a fistful of mushrooms and go see the Boss play Rosalita.

Nicky got dismissed from jury duty and returned home in the early afternoon. By that point, I posted a couple of things on my various blogs and I wrote almost 3,000 words including a deviant yet hilarious sexual encounter that I once had in a Las Vegas hotel room.

And to top it all off, I got a hearty chuckle from something that Wil posted on his blog titled what to expect if you follow me on twitter (or: how I'm going to disappoint you in 6 quick steps).

That post explained Wil's philosophy of Twitter and how that affects 53,000 of his loyal followers. Shit, just when I thought I was popular with over 560 followers, Wil's number dwarfed mine.

I admired Wil's post because he basically said that his Twitter feed was his toy to play with and if you don't like what he does, then don't follow him. The coolest part was how he explained that he can only follow a limited amount of people which he detailed in pint #2...
2. I'm probably not going to follow you. I follow a few close friends, a few people whose work I really admire or whose Tweets really entertain me, and a couple of news sources. I can't possibly follow all 53,000 of you (it went up since I sent those Tweets yesterday. Weird.) — or even one percent of that number — and still get any work done. I'm easily distracted, so I have to draw the circle very small so I can step out of it when I need to.
Yeah, I was flattered that I was one of 89 people that Wil followed. Weeee! But as much as I dig that ego boost, his words resonated a different way. It demonstrated that I don't have to feel guilty about not following people who follow me. People are sensative these days. Right now, I just don't have the time to fuck around on Twitter. After I discovered that Twitter was one of the top 3 sites that I frequently visited over the last few months, I freaked out and imposed a self-restraint on twitter. I would only read it a couple of times a day.

I limit my time on Twitter every day and I spend most of my time speed reading all of my friends tweets and clicking through a small percentage of their links/pics. I would lose even more time if I had to sort through the thousands of daily tweets from everyone that I follow. I'm shocked that people actually want to read my static but right now I'm swamped with a horde of pressure to finish my project and write a phenomenal book. I'm setting myself up to fail in many ways. And things like blogs and Twitter are distractions when I really need to keep my head down and focus.

Hopefully, Wil's post help alleviate the guilt and stress that surrounded the latest craze on the intertubes.

And this is to my close friends... please, for the love of God, stop pestering me to join your Facebook cult. I heard about Facebook several years before you even knew it existed. It's a fad and will become obsolete in a few years like VCRs. There's a reason why I didn't join the cult a few years ago and a specific reason why I refuse to join today. The last thing I need is distractions. If people from my past want to find me, they can google my ass. I'm here and many other places on the web.

So dear friends morbidly and hopelessly addicted to Facebook and trying to push it off onto me... I don't want play in your reindeer games and let's be honest, you only want me to join so you can boost your number of friends and poach my circle of friends/classmates to add to your ever growing number of people. Yes, I will not be exploited by another social networking site. So start searching for old grammar school classmates to add to your friend empire.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Kid on Pharmies

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

Hat tip to BG for this gem...

As the Joker said, this is the viral video of the day.

Some of my favorite quotes?

"Why is this really happening?"

"Will this last forever?"

Monday, February 02, 2009

long beach > jfk > long beach

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

I scheduled a quick trip to NYC. 48 hours. Business related. I didn't even pack any clothes, just what I wore on the plane. I had a stash of clothes and toiletries in NYC. No need to pack unnecessary thinks for a quick jaunt. I traveled super light and only took my laptop and iPod and the first 55K words of Project Z so I could edit during the down time.

Now, if I could always travel this light all of the time, my unpleasant travel experiences would decrease by about 15-20%. Luggage can really slow you down especially if it gets lost or you have to stand around for an hour to wait for your bag to get spit out on the belt and then again, it might have been pilfered through by sticky fingered and underpaid baggage handlers at your local airport.

We woke up at 4:30am on Saturday morning. I usually crash at that time. Nicky woke up too to drive me to the airport. We experienced zero traffic from Los Angeles to Long Beach. The local streets were empty and traffic on the freeway was light. In a perfect world, LA would be like that all the time. Too bad, the only pleasurable times to drive around are at 5am on a Saturday.

I arrived at the airport so early that security screeners had not yet arrived for their shift. I was sixth in line at the security checkpoint. We waited for about ten minutes before the workers showed up and got into position.

My 6:30am flight was on time and half full. I had an entire row to myself and buckled down in the middle seat. Normally that seat sucks, but when it's the catbird's seat when you're flying solo in an empty row. The aisle can be rough with large people bumping into you or getting banged into be flight attendants during drink service. The window seat is perfect for sightseeing but it can also be the coldest seat on the plane.

I slept for about ten minutes... during the middle of snack service. JetBlue was testing out a buy-tour-meal service with various snack/meal packages. None of them looked appealing and I skipped the pay food and opted for a free snack of Stella D'Oro biscuits.

I watched a Top Chef marathon and a couple of episodes of Man vs. Food. Yes, it was a food theme as I jetted from coast to coast. There was one crying baby in the front of the plane, but for the most part, it was an effortless flight. No complaints at all. And... my flight landed on time at JFK due to a helpful tailwind.

As soon as I landed, I discovered that the Phish ticket debacle spilled over into Saturday via a slew of text messages and voicemails. More than half the summer tour tickets went on sale on Friday via Live Nation and the rest were sold on Saturday. I got shut out of Great Woods... which I really wanted badly. Looks like Senor and I will have to go through a scalper.

And thanks to some friends, the summer tour is slowly coming together. I have tickets to 8 out of the 11 shows. I'm looking for St. Louis, Great Woods, and Jones Beach (the first night).

It was freezing upon my arrival in NYC. My cabbie drove me home fairly quickly. I spent Saturday night hanging out with my brother. We ordered pizza from the local joint. I devoured the sausage and shroom pizza as we watched the Knicks/Pacers game. I crashed somewhat early to wake up early on Sunday for a important meeting to handle some personal business. That took a good eight hours of grueling and gutwrenching drama. In short, I wanted to die and was enthralled when it was over. There's a massive storm on the horizon, but I'm doing my best to be prepared to survive that shit storm. When that BS was finally over, I had about an hour or so before the Super Bowl and returned to my brother's apartment.

Derek picked up a batch of Stella D'Oro's Swiss Fudge Cookies from the bodega. Those are one of my favorite batch of cookies... all time. You don't see those outside of the east coast very much. And of course, Derek lives within a block of the actually Stella D'Oro factory. Some days you can smell the cookies and breadsticks cooking up. I also drank a couple of cans of Dr. Brown's black cherry soda. I'm not much of a soda guy, but a can of that goodness every once in a while hits the spot.

I played a little online poker during the Super Bowl. I made several small bets including a few props and wagers on the overall outcome of the game. I took Arizona with the moneyline - as a long shot. I thought that Pittsburgh would win by a little (and hence why I bet a slew of you taking Arizona and the points) and figured that I was getting good value with a small moneyline bet.

The game was boring in the first half, just like last year. And the second half was pretty exciting, just like last year. And just like last year, I was on the winning side of the Super Bowl. I had zero emotion invested in either team but had a financial stake in Arizona keeping it close.

Bruce did a decent job with the halftime show. I figured he would play Born to Run but Promised Land was a nice surprise.

I barely paid attention to the commercials. It's sad that every year there's more and more increasingly hype surrounding the Super Bowl commercials. And everyone's buying into it... which insures that the people funding the commercials will get their product's advertisement seen at least once by everyone. What good is getting sneak peak of Super Bowl commercials a week before the Super Bowl? And with the advantages of YouTube and Hulu, you can watch the ads that you missed. Man, it's a great fuckin' scam if you ask me. Even if the sheep missed an ad on Sunday, they will head into the office on Monday morning and watch it instead of doing real work. The Man wins again. Not to mention all those folks who decided to watch the commercials again for a second or third time.

It's not Shakespeare. It's not even art. It's just an attempt to trick you into buying something that you don't already need.

I woke up early on Monday and headed to the post office to mail off a bunch of documents. I ran over to the bank and took out another batch of money. Stuffing my mattress seems more appealing these days.

I walked to the Greek diner and ordered breakfast. The old Jewish guys in the back were talking more smack about Joe Torre and his recent book semi-slamming A-Rod and some Yankees brass. Not one word about the Super Bowl. I took a short walk through the old neighborhood since it was a balmy 45 degrees in New York City... which was double the temperature for when I arrived on Saturday, but almost 40 degrees colder than the high temps in Southern California.

Instead of taking a private car to the airport and paying hefty amount, I decided to sacrifice 90 minutes of my time and opted for a cheaper way to JFK. I hopped on the subway to Gran Central Station followed by a $15 express bus to the airport. Total trip cost me $17.

On my way to the subway, I noticed that two cops blocked the stairway up to the elevated station. One of them stepped aside and a teenager sat on the steps. He looked dazed. My initial reaction was... "Wow, that kid is all fucked up and whacked out on some good drugs!" Then I saw the blood. Lots of it all over his hands. When I arrived at the platform, I overheard one lady tell another that she called the cops because she saw the kid tumble down an entire flight of stairs. He apparently ran after the subway, slipped, lost his balance, and bit it hard. He smacked his head and split it open. The cops were waiting for the paramedics to arrive.

The subway ride went fast... so fast that I was way ahead schedule. I walked around Grand Central Station. I drank some tea and ate a black and white cookie from Hot & Crusty. I caught an earlier express bus to the airport. We had little traffic exiting Manhattan. The bus was fast but it was dirty and dingy. One old lady almost refused to get one.

"This bus is terrible," she barked as she took her seat.

She had a point. The windows look like they haven't been cleaned in a year. The seats smelled funky but mine was fine and not sticky like some of the others. But heck, it only cost $15 to get to JFK. A cabbie could charge you three times as much.

Anyway, I arrived at the airport almost three hours before my scheduled flight. The new JetBlue terminal has free wifi and a couple of tables located next to power outlets. I played online poker for about an hour. I turned a $100 profit and quit.

I read a leftover copy of the NY Times. One article is drooling all over the Boss and called him the Rock Laureate. I almost peed my pants when I saw that.

I grabbed a fatty sandwich from the Boar's Head deli and wandered over to my gate. My flight was 80% full and I had a crying baby in the row behind mine. Yep. I'm a magnet for babies on airplanes. I popped a Xannie or what I fondly refer to as "Baby Repellent" and settled in for a cross country haul. I watched a marathon of No Reservations with Antony Bourdain. Otis had wrote on the subject earlier in the day. I felt it was fate
s way of telling me to watch the marathon.

I also watched Intervention. Man, I thought my friends had some issues, but those people are really fucked up. Anyway, I sort of fell in love with a wounded bird named Lana. She had me the moment that they flashed her daily intake of drugs... 5 Lortabs and 3 Xanax daily. And the Lortabs with 7.5s too. That's packs a punch. Even in the week after the car accident this summer, the most I ever took in a day were 4 or 5 and those were 5s or two-thirds the dosage of the chick on Intervention. I'll take two Xannies if I want to sleep. I dunno if I've ever taken three because if I did, I'd be out cold for 12 hours. I dunno how she can handle three Xannies on top of 37.5 mgs of heavy painkillers ever day... and slamming back a jug of red wine. So with that perspective in mind, you can imagine the dosage of pharmies pumping through the little vixen's blood stream. I couldn't do that. Perhaps I could rev it up for a big weekend bender, but there's no way I could handle that every single day like that chick. I guess that's why she needed an intervention.

My flight left 10 minutes late and landed 45 minutes early. Talk about a shocker. At least I didn't have to sit through another hour of a crying baby.