Monday, May 04, 2009


By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

I finally finished McMafia and now I'm currently reading Mr. Nice, the Autobiography of Howard Marks, a notorious drug smuggler. I could not find the book in the States and had to buy it online from a London book store. Nicky thumbed through the first two chapters and thought his story would make a great movie. I told her to adapt the screenplay.

On Friday morning, I sat down at the counter at the coffeeshop. The empty seats on either side of me quickly filled up. To my left? A motorcycle cop. To my right? A fuckin' pimp. A actual Superfly looking mofo. And he smelled like he had been up and out all night. It was almost 8am at that point and the guy was crocked.

On Friday night, Nicky had a get together with high school friends down in Hermosa Beach. I somehow got out of going and stayed home to work on the re-write of Lost Vegas. Since I was raging solo, I had to fend for food by myself and heated up a batch of Nicky's famous turkey chili that she had whipped up the night before.

I was fortunate that I get to eat the leftovers. I really think the chili reaches it's peak flavor on day 2 when the spices soak in deep over night. Here are some things to do with the leftover chili on the day after you make a batch...
1. Turkey Chili Burrito: Grab a tortilla skin and roll up a fatty. Feel free to add rice and cheese or any other offensive veggies.

2. Turkey Chili Nachos: I just made these. I nuke a layer of shredded jack cheese on a bed of nacho chips. Warm up the chili and then dump the chili onto the chips. Add more cheese.

3. Turkey Chili Naan Sandwich: This came to being by sheer accident. The only bread we had was Indian Naan bread. I toasted the bread, cut it in half and slapped the chili in between the two pieces of Naan. Instant sandwich. Warning... it can get a bit messy.
The Naan sandwich rocked my world.

While Nicky was driving down to Hermosa Beach, there was an earthquake. I barely felt it and thought someone slammed the door in one of the other apartments. According to Wil's twitter feed, it was a 4.4.

On Saturday morning, I wrote a short story about a Norwegian slacker who works in a pickle factory for a future issue of Truckin'. I had the idea a few months ago, but never got around to writing it. Glad that I took an hour or so to work on it. When I finished off the story, I worked on the upcoming issue of Truckin' while I waited for the Derby.

There was one horse that had a name that Nicky's father was very fond about. Well, her mother insisted that they bet $20 on the horse, even though it was one of the longshots, except they are wholesome Catholics and had no clue how to bet on a horse race. I suggested they drive down to Hollywood Park, but they were not keen to driving from the posh West Side of L.A. to head down to the hood to just place a simple wager. I offered them to book the bet and that I'd do it at a Swedish online sportsbooks. I ended up not even bothering putting in their wager. After all, their horse was a long shot and wasn't even going to come close to winning. I pocketed the $20 instead and decided to book their action by myself.

Man, I dodged a bullet. Their horse never came close, although I would have been shitting bricks if they had bet $20 to win on Mine That Bird which came in at 51-1. And I'd have to pay them a nice chunk of change out of my pocket.

On Saturday night, I worked on the re-write and listened to the Dead simulcast in the background. Sirius Radio was broadcasting the show from Philly. I signed up for a three day free trial and got to listen to the show for free. Friends of mine saw them in New York and New Jersey and had positive things to say about the tour. I was eager to listen in for myself and was pleasantly surprised. Solid setlist with several highlight which overshadowed the muddled parts.

When the show ended I watched my brother play in an online poker tournament. He went deep and made the final table with a 6th place overall finish and cashed for a nice chunk of change.

On Sunday morning, I woke up early and headed over to the coffeeshop to beat the church crowd. The special was fried chicken and pancakes. I read a chapter of Mr. Nice and ate chocolate chip pancakes (minus the chicken) while a trio of undercover cops walked inside and took a seat in the back booth.

Since the Yankees game was rained out, I settled into the re-write. I was merciless and hacked a part the middle section of the book. Through 30 chapters, I eliminated 13.5% of the original first draft. I cut off almost 15K words in an attempt to streamline the book and improve the pacing. I had to be cold-hearted and trimmed the slow moving, redundant, and self-loathing scenes. Some lines were too good to flush down the toilet. Maybe I'll splice together a book of Las Vegas poetry and include all of the orphaned lines.

Anyway, I'm more than half-way through the second draft. I'm trying to finish it up by mid-week so I can sit down with Nicky and we carve out a third (and hopefully final) draft.At that point, the painstaking process of a line-by-line read through will begin. We hope to finish before the WSOP... which is less than a month away. In fact, we're supposed to head out to Las Vegas in three weeks. Unfortunately, we don't have a place to stay... yet. This has been the latest that I've gone without knowing my accommodations for the summer. I'm gonna finish the second draft of Lost Vegas and then focus on finding a place. I might have to drive out to Vegas for a couple of days to scout out a cool place to crash for the summer, but that will reduce the time I have to edit. Yikes. Potential housing headace looming.

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