Tuesday, November 17, 2009

LA > Las Vegas > LA > ??

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

The Tao of Pauly is my favorite blog. If my sites are like my children -- I hate to say it, but this is the favorite son. Yet this space gets neglected during heavy work times in Las Vegas. Tao of Poker pays the bills and funds my luxurious lifestyle so I have to give that space (and other poker-themed freelance work) first priority.

I had a shitload of content ready to go for Tao of Pauly. I encountered plenty of stories -- I just didn't have the time to write all of them with looming deadlines and the flu bug that I picked up almost a week after all of my friends were stricken in Las Vegas. I'm starting to think that I acquired a different strain of the flu in LA, instead of the bug that literally demolished Nicky, Benjo, Otis, and a few others.

Benjo was deathly ill at one point and had to go to a hospital in Las Vegas. I've had mixed results in Las Vegas. Luckily Benjo had a positive visit to a clinic. He scored TamiFlu but it cost him over $100 since he was a French citizen (living legally in London where he works). Healthcare is low-cost (basically free) in his host and home countries. The Euros have it right, but he didn't care about the price of the meds. He just wanted to get better.

Funny story here. We took Benjo to the drug store to pick up his meds. Standing in line behind him? A very hagged out Carrot Top. He looked pretty beat up like he was at the tail end of a 72-hour bender but I overheard him say that he had a scratchy throat.

Benjo had a flight out of LAX - which was postponed one day so he could be in safer condition to fly. We drove him back to LA and he slept most of the way home and almost the entire time he was here. He basically got up to smoke a cigarette every few hours. Shit, even the swine flu can't prevent a Frenchman from enjoying a smoke.

One Benjo left, Nicky was hit hard with the bug. She spent the rest of last week laid up in bed while I barely slept and raced to complete a slew of deadlines. I had some problems last week getting pulled and tugged in so many different directions. Phish announced New Years Eve in Miami and all of my Phishy friends were going nuts. And understandably so. But I really couldn't think about that trip with work on my plate and three big trips before Miami. Shit, I had to finish all of my poker columns and articles before I could even unpack from the Las Vegas trip and start packing for Costa Rica. After that trip, I'm only in LA for less than 36 hours before I fly to NYC for Turkey Day and Phish tour. Then I fly back to LA for less than a day before we drive to Vegas for an annual gathering. Then I head back to LA catch my breath before I fly home to NYC for Christmas... and eventually Miami for New Years Eve.

I'm one who lives in the moment and can only focus on the "next trip" in front of me. I couldn't be bothered by anything beyond today and the Costa Rica trip. So I put everything else out of my mind -- those were serious distractions. I can't think about play when I have all this work in front of me. So I withdrew completely. The people who pay me don't give a shit about my social life. They want their articles on time so I had to pull the plug on so many things (like email, cell phone, Twitter, et al) until I caught up. And the moment I shipped off my last big assignment -- the flu quickly invaded.

I think it was more like those germs kindly waited until I finished my work before they decided to fuck up my world. For that - I thank them - but as a result, I spent the last two days in utter misery and unable to enjoy the Sunday football games. I was also unable to write a dozen or so stories about the Las Vegas trip. I'm hoping to find some time in Costa Rica. Otherwise those stories are lost forever.

I slept 8-10 hours on the three different instances in the last three nights. As an insomniac, ten hours is sometimes as much sleep that I get in a week. Yeah, I was pretty run down after a three-day bender for a Phishy Halloween and two all-nighters in Las Vegas.

Hopefully, I'll be healthy by the time I arrive in Costa Rica on Wednesday morning. Nothing is worse than being sick on vacation.

Time to finish packing and sweating out the rest of this nasty bug.

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