Thursday, March 19, 2009

Up Before the Dawn...

By Pauly
Hollyeird, CA

Wednesday was a rollercoaster of emotion. Lots of gnarly highs and a couple of lowly lows. I got caught up in hours of self-expression and then found myself involved in a maelstrom of uncertainty after a compute glitch. In short, I thought that Santa Claus dropped off a present early... when in fact I discovered that Santa Claus did not even exist.

So now its Thursday morning. 6ish. The skies are still dark and inklings of sunlight are on the horizon ready to burst through as a garbage truck roared down the street and I pecked away to the faint sounds of birds chirping. Ah, the early bird gets the worm and I'm ready to pounce today and make some money. I have not earned much of a living over the last two months compared to previous years. I stopped covering tournaments (except for the Bahamas) and turned down several assignments so I can finish off Project Z. Only a couple of monthly columns and Tao of Poker are keeping me afloat... and yet, I'm still chasing down late checks from different clients.

I had my best writing session of the week on Wednesday. I made some serious headway and cranked out two chapters. I wrote about a painful experience (physically and emotionally), something that I had been dreading ever since the incident happened. I guess I finally have some closure. At this point, I'm back on my 5K/day word pace and completed five new chapters. The end is near. The mission is clear. It's later than you think.

I took a dinner break and ordered a Philly cheesesteak from the pizza joint around the corner. I left my apartment and got a call from the Joker. He said that Phish tickets for Red Rocks were onsale. They were scheduled to be sold next weekend, but he found out that they released them and he jumped online and snagged two four-day passes... including one for me. Holy shit! Aside from the reunion shows at Hampton, the four night run at Red Rock at the end of July was going to be the hardest ticket to secure on their summer tours.

The sale was short-lived and shut down in 15 minutes. Rumors raced all over the intertubes about what happened. I speculated that Phish decided to screw over the ticket scalpers and released tickets early to ensure their fans got them. Others insisted that it was a glitch. While a few hopefuls assumed that it was an inside job and that there was a wookie sleeper cell deep in the bowels of Ticketbastard and they flipped the switch so fans could snag tickets before the brokers and scalpers.

I was floating on air for a couple of hours until the reality sunk in. I had to prepare myself to not get tickets just in case it was a glitch because in those instances, Ticketbastard had been known to cancel tickets. That's when I got word from the Joker around Midnight Colorado time. Our Phish tickets were cancelled.

Dreams crushed.

Oh well. Talk about an emotional evening.

I spent the rest of the night in gambler's mode. On the eve of March Madness, I was finalizing the last bits of the Pauly's Pub pool and I expected that this year would set new records. I researched my picks for Thursday games and crunched the numbers. I'm gonna be spreading around my money... small bets on long shots and big bets on sure things. I'm looking to grind out a small profit over the next four days and then I'm gonna bet heavily next weekend in Vegas and try to make some real money. The proceeds will go to fund the rest of Project Z and to pay for Phish summer tour.

I also played a Mookie's weekly poker tournament. I rarely play tournaments these days and stick to cash games, but I wanted to mix things up and prep myself for next weekend when I play in the Dream Team poker event at Caesars Palace. I fared pretty well considering I was a bit rusty. I finished in 15th place out of 83 and only made one minor mistake.

As soon as I busted out of the tournament, I jumped into Nicky's car. I had not driven it since I dropped her off at the airport on Sunday morning. Almost 3.5 days without driving. Most people in LA would scratch their heads at that concept... but as a New Yorker... I walked everywhere that I needed to go. Except that the Ralph's was kinda far away and I needed the car to haul all the groceries. I needed to stock up for four straight days of March Madness. I loaded up on necessary supplies. Now I don't have to leave the house and have enough drinks, food, and buds to last me until Sunday afternoon when Nicky returns from South America.

Who shops at Ralph's shortly before Midnight?

Stoners and pregnant women.

The store was almost empty... no more than ten customers total and I saw no less than three women who were carrying around buns in their ovens. Wow... 30% preggers. I figured that the rest of the customers were potheads aimlessly roaming the aisles looking for munchies. Two twenty-something chicks were stoned to the tits as they wandered up and down the cookie aisle. I was there debating which type of Pepperidge Farm Milanos to buy. These days, there are so many options, so while I weighed the benfits of the traditional mint Milanos versus the chocolate mint Milanos. I overheard them giggle when they turned around and realized that the cookie aisle was opposite of the Kosher food section.

The only stoner impulse buy that I got happened to be a piece of chocolate fudge cake for $1.99. I also bought more water. I'm sorta water paranoid these days and have been stocking up on gallons and gallons of water for the apartment. I have been slowly constructing my Armageddon closet which actually serves a purpose in a earthquake zone like LA, whereas the most likely scenario is a 6.0 earthquake knocks out water and electricity for a couple of days... so we'll be more than prepared.

So now it's super early, but the March Madness games start at 9:20am west coast time. I needed to get a couple of hours of writing in before I embarked on the gambler's binge.

Oh, and I created a new photo gallery on Flickr... Chop Marks & Currency. It's self explanatory.

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