Monday, February 28, 2011

Rubbing One Out; The Last Howl in the Alley

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Why small dogs?

I understand the security-minded reasoning behind a big dog -- a fucking mean, menacing muthafucking attack dog that will bite your arm off -- like a pitbull or Rottweiler.

But, I never understood the attraction to small yapping dogs. Why? Unless you're a spoiled heiress, who is cool with adorable, furry, little creatures that urinate and defecate inside a $5,000 designer bag.

The smaller the dog it seems, the more annoying the bark. For one, the emitted sounds are utterly atrocious.

Yap. Yip. Yap Yapyapyapayapayap! Yap. Yip. Yappppppppppppppp!

I'm speaking the truth here -- every small dog I encounter during my daily existence in the slums of Beverly Hills -- won't stop barking. Fucking barking.

Yip. Yap. Yapyapyi! Yapayipayap! Yap. Yip. Yapppp!

If we're friends and you own a small dog, then please send me a 3,500 word email explaining why a fellow pet owner willingly upsets the harmonic flow by letting their dogs bark... nonstop.

For the love of God, please explain...someone...anyone... why small dogs?


Most people are civil and take the high road when it comes to dealing with incorrigible pet owners. I try keep the relationship simple: 1) clean up any dog shit, and 2) keep the barking to a minimum. Luckily, our neighbors do a great job with the feces removal department and keep our sidewalks clean. Alas, the canine sounds from across the alley tilt me to no end.

I only ask my neighbors to abide by two simple fucking rules. But one twat thinks she's above the "good neighbor policy" and ignored rule #2... keep the barking to a minimum.

If this were the East Coast, I would have already confronted my neighbor and they'd would've apologized and actually stopped because East Coasters are more civil to one another. But here in California, the sunshine-baked denizens of Los Angeles are selfish, self-involved, self-absorbed shitstains. They only care about how they look, and not about doing the right thing.

In Puppycide, I chronicled a festering problem with dog owners across the alley who constantly left two huge-ass dogs in the backyard when they went to work. For 8-10 hours a day, the dogs were chained up outside and went apeshit crazy when they spotted squirrels, heard other dogs bark, and attempted the scare the shit out of anyone who wandered into the alley. The actress who lived above them couldn't sit out on her porch and read scripts because the dogs would angrily bark at her until she left. The dog owners refused to keep their pets inside because the big dogs would've destroy their quaint apartment while shitting and pissing on their material possessions. Their "stuff" was more important than whether or not the dogs bothered us as we (the neighbors who shared the alley) bore the brunt of the noise pollution. I chatted with other neighbors (and a few maintenance guys who encountered the wrath of the dogs) and we were all in accordance that it had to stop, even if it meant gong through red tape and dealing with city agencies like Animal Control. The actress filed the paperwork.

I couldn't wait, so opted for technology. You should read Silence of the Dogs, the back story about the purchase of a gizmo that prevented dogs from barking, which I tested within minutes of its arrival -- I approached the dumpster, the dogs barked and jumped against the fence like the raptors in Jurassic Park, but I pressed the button on the gizmo, and...


Viola! It worked. I zapped the dogs and they shut up.

When my neighbors refused to fix the problem, I took matters into my own hands and altered how the big dogs barked. The results were remarkable and reduced to acceptable volume level. Whenever I took out the trash, I hid the gizmo in my pocket so when the dogs charged the fence... I instantly zapped them and they whimpered off. Sometimes, the dogs barked when I was writing in my office, so I had to zap them through the window, which only had a 50% success rate. The gizmo was most effective when I stood within 10 yards (luckily separated by a fence). The couple who owned the big dogs moved out sometime over Christmas/New Years, because when I returned from NYC, the two growling beasts didn't confront me every time I threw out an empty can of seltzer. I don't know if they left on their own accord, or if they got in trouble because the actress complained so much that the landlord or Animal Control finally pressured them.

Exit the big dogs. Enter the small dogs.

Equally annoying. Once the big dogs left, I noticed the new pesky disturbance -- the two small dogs in a different apartment building across the alley. I guess the two big dogs were so vociferously mean that they drowned out the whinny yelps from the small dogs. Or maybe that the big dogs are gone, the little dogs think that they own the alley?

Man, I never thought that I'd miss the big dogs, because at least their barks had a little punch. The small dogs? Sort of like being forced to listen to the new Justin Beiber record while seventy-five different sets of nails screeched on a chalkboard.

The owner leaves the two hell dogs outside in a fenced-in terrace with astroturf -- which is unfortunately out of range for the zapper. Whenever bums and homeless people wandered into the alley and dug through the dumpster, the dogs went berserk. They won't stop even after the bums left. They never stop. They were the worst possible nightmare for any neighbor -- an alarm that will never turned off. Nonstop.

Yip. Yap. Yap. Yip. Yipyapyapyipyap. Yip. Yip. Yap. Yap. Yap. Yip. Yap. Yap. Yip. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap. Yip. Yap. Yip. Yap. Yip. Yap. Yip. Yap. Yipyapyapyip!

I usually kept my ire in check, until I crossed paths with the dogs. My toilet exploded on Sunday and I destroyed three perfectly good towels in the process of cleaning up the flooded bathroom. I was was livid and fucking pissed, because instead of watching the Knicks game, I was dealing with a flood. When I dragged the soaked, toilet water-logged towels out to the dumpster (nowhere near my neighbor's building's dumpster), the dog alarm went off.

Yap. Yap. Yip! Yap! Yap. Yip. Yap. Yip. Yap. Yipyapyapyip!

"Shut the fuck up!" I screamed to no avail.

I didn't realize how loud -- top of my lungs loud -- I bellowed. Aside from Melissa Leo, I'm confident that I dropped the second loudest f-bomb in Hollyweird on Sunday. I frightened the neighbors on all sides. Nicky freaked out. I scared everyone, except the one person I wanted to spook -- the actual owner -- who was nowhere to be found.

Typical. Always absent, while the dogs cause trouble. Canine sound pollution. Do we need anymore pollution over the skies of Los Angeles? With carbon emissions from cars and planes taking off at all hours from LAX, not to mention all of the chem trails. I gotta breathe toxic air, but do I really have to deal with toxic noise pollutions from tiny shaggy canines that I'd like to punt over the Hollywood hills.

I took out my frustrations by penning a note...
Dear neighbor with the incessant barking dogs,

I'm kindly requesting that you reduce the excessive amount of noise pollution that your dogs generate. At the present status, your disruptive dogs disturb the tranquility of the neighborhood.

Your dogs (that you leave out unsupervised on your terrace) will be under heavy surveillance over the next week beginning immediately. If conditions do not improve and the noise pollution continues, then I will alert the proper authorities about your inability to comply with city noise ordinances.

Just to be clear so we're on the same page here -- your dogs are loud, so minimize the barking, otherwise the Los Angeles County of Animal Care and Control will intervene.

Your cooperation in this matter is appreciated.

Your Inconvenienced Neighbor
Last week, I spotted my neighbor doing laundry. I tried to complain about her barking dogs, alas, the twat ignored me. I was invisible to her and her fucking mutt almost bit me. I wrote about our unfriendly encounter in Matisse's Chroizo.

Alas, the note to the twat will have to suffice. Even if it's a literary gem -- it's passive-aggressive cop out. I'm being fair to my neighbor because she has a week to get the dog's shit together, otherwise I'm gonna drop a dime on the pesky, irksome, over-sized rats. The City of Angles is broke and the state is even broker. A struggling municipal agency like Animal Control is looking for excuses to generate revenue. They will jump at the chance to slap an "excessive barking" fine on my neighbor. I hope the twat rips up my letter, because I'll enjoy the payback when those slimy, money-grubbing fucking bureaucrats have a go at them.

I thought for a moment that I'd be a dick if I ratted them out -- but that thought subsided. You're not supposed to rat out your friends (and good neighbors), but they ain't my friends, which means that egocentric fucktard neighbors are fair game. A more callous adversary would have already complained to Animal Control, but I fired a warning show and gave them a legit chance to improve their behavior. They should be thanking me.

I should record (video and audio -- the audio could be a good podcast) the dogs yapping it up all day long, then find out where the owners worked and I'll stand in their cubicle and blast the recording. Full volume. Barking dogs. All day long. See how they like their precious little mutts now.

Yip. Yap! Yapyapyapayapyip! Yap. Yip. Yapppp!

I know -- it's absurd and inappropriate to disrupt someone at work like that, but that's essentially what they are doing to me -- because I work at home.

And how about sleep? The dogs from hell yelp and whine in the earliest of hours on weekend mornings -- particularly when I'm hungover to all hell -- so is that acceptable behavior, to fuck with a hungover neighbor? What happened to civility?

If you think I'm overreacting, then how about the next time you are hungover, I'll blast a mashup of the barking dogs with Justin Beiber's greatest hits, meanwhile mixing up a pitcher of Margaritas on your nightstand. Not much fun is it? Unless you're an alcoholic homosexual dog loving Canadian, which in that case, I'll make you listen to anti-gay sermons from the Reverend Jerry Falwell.

My biggest dream? Not to sell a screenplay, but to wake up and write in my office with the windows open (for an entire day) without hearing a single yelp from a fucking purse dog.

I've never hired anyone to whack a dog before, but it's disturbing that I know someone who knows someone who can take care of my problem for me for just a few hundred bucks. Maybe $1,500 at the most?

What's the going rate to silence a dog these days?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Oscar Picks

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I only care about the Oscars because I can bet on it.

Here's my (few) picks...

I didn't bet on too many categories. Most of my bets are "chalk" or heavy favorites. I get fucked if there's an upset, but I went with chalk this year because it's basically printing money. You know the saying, "It takes money to make money...", well this is one of those instances because you have to lay out so much money to turn a small profit, that it's only beneficial to a select few.

I hedged with a bet on Annette Benning in the Best Actress category. Nat Portman is a lock and I put a big bet on her, but a small bet on Benning ... just in case. For non-gamblers -1000 means that you have to bet $1000 to win $100, and +300 means that you have to bet $100 to win $300). So, if Benning wins, I make more money on that category than if Portman wins. Obviously, when hedging it's important to win enough to cover the losing side.

I like The King's Speech bet because I locked it up at -300 when the lines opened a few weeks ago. Since then, the line moved as it jumped to -1000! I'm bummed out that I didn't bet 3x as much...but didn't anticipate a drastic move.

Best Director was almost a coinflip with Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) at -150 or David Fincher (Social Network) at -175. I guess I was betting with my emotions, in this instance being anti-FaceBook, so I went with the other favorite.

Obviously, I'm hoping that the Academy voters are bigger fans of royalty with speech impediments than social media.

I haven't seen The King's Speech, but if I win both bets for Best Picture and Best Director, I will spend my winnings and take Nicky to see the flick. If I split, I'll go see The Fighter instead. And if I lose both bets -- then I'll sink to a new low and open up a FaceBook account.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Prophet

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

A Prophet is a French prison film recommended by Benjo. He actually bought me a copy last summer. I finally got around to watching it. Here's my thoughts...
A Prophet

Fresh fish.
Easy target.
No protection.
Stolen sneakers.
Thugs walk right over him.
Upside to French jail? Baugettes.
Queers in the shower.
But, no hummers for hash.
The crew finds the kid in the yard.
Simple proposition.
Kill or be killed.
Practicing with razors.
Reflections of slashes inner cheeks.
The day of reckoning.
Blood trickles.
No ball massage needed.
Throat slit.
Blood sprays.
No blood on sneakers.
The kid gets protection.
Makes coffee.
Haunted by the ghost of the man he whacked.
Sharing the same cell.
Tormented guilt.
Sometimes, the ghost smoked cigarettes.
Other times, he appears as a smoldering fire.
Protection is welcomed, but assimilation arduous.
The Arabs consider the kid one of the Corsicans.
The Corsicans belittle the kid as an Arab.
The curt insults and snide remarks pile up.
More coffee.
The gypsy hash man cometh.
He slings hash rocks in the yard.
And loves porn in castles.
Because the girls are more classy looking.
The kid befriends a musilm...with nut cancer.
The kid, once illiterate, learns to read.
He secretly learned the Corsican dialect.
Sounded like a mixture of French and Italian.
Most of the crew got paroled.
Except the Boss.
The nut cancer muslim also gets out early.
The kid gets default.
Becomes the #2.
Gets new cell.
Upgrade to TV.
Watches porn.
Gets a goth-looking hooker for visiting day.
The kid's good behavior gets him a half-day furlough.
The Boss takes advantage.
The kid goes on a mission.
A suitcase filled with Euros.
One of the crew is returned.
The kid plans his own smuggling venture.
Hash runs from Paris.
Beaucoup kilos.
Kid returns to prison.
Kid has dreams, vivid dreams.
Antelopes and deer.
Running out of control on a highway.
The Boss sends him out again.
Lets him in on his business.
Casinos and sot machines.
Next furlough.
The kid flies on an airplane.
First time.
He gets picked up and hands tied.
Then cuts a deal for the Boss.
But not before...he predicts something bad.
He begged the driver to slow down.
The deer exploded.
Smashed the windshield.
The thugs dubbed him...
The prophet.
The thugs want the Boss to kill a rat on the Corisican crew.
The prophet returned to jail...
30 minutes late.
Guard let it slide.
All guards are on the take.
Hash man introduces heroin to the prophet.
The prophet rides the H Train on Christmas.
Joyuex Noel.
The Boss sends the prophet on an epic mission.
To kill the Boss' Boss.
The nut cancer muslim visits.
Reveals his ticking clock.
The prophet and the nut cancer guy agree.
The mission...risk heavy.
The prophet fearless.
The nut cancer muslim with nothing to lose.
The ambush in Paris.
Not what it seems.
Plans runs awry.
The prophet whacks bodyguards.
Yet let's the boss' boss live.
The prophet returns.
Tossed in the hole. 40 days. 40 nights.
The prophets chooses a new side in the yard...
...with the Muslims.
Boss tries to hang out.
But gets beat down.
The prophet new day of reckoning arrived.
His friend with nut sack cancer -- now dead.
But his wife and child -- become under the protection of the...Prophet.
Thanks again to Benjo or the heads-up on A Prophet.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sitting on the Dock on My Couch

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

"Did you sit around without pants?"

"Actually... no. I wore the same jeans every day except the night I went to play poker at commerce."

Nicky assumed that I sat around in my boxers when she went to Brazil for a week-long work assignment. Although I settled into my own world, I wore pants. I crushed Nicky's vision of what I did when she wasn't around. It wasn't as weird as she thought. I spent lots of time working at my desk or at the living room table. One of the benefits of being alone, is that I'm able to accommodate insomnia thereby allowing myself to live out 30-hour cycle (instead of the usual 24-hour daily cycle because my brain is wired differently so I'm awake for 26-27 hours yet still only sleep for 3-4). It's tough to have that type of elongated waking schedule when you live (and share a bed) with someone who doesn't have a similar sleep regimen. So when Nicky is away, I stay up until I'm absolutely tired, then crash.

Part of my routine last week included writing/editing for 18-20 hours (with a few mini-breaks ever 3-4 hours) and then winding down the night with lots of ganja and either music or documentary films.

Nicky left her iPad behind (along with her Netflix account logged in) so I took advantage of the ability to stream flicks. I rigged the iPad to stand up perfectly on the coffee table and I propped myself up on the edge of the couch and smoked tough while watching a several films including the G.I. Joe flick, which was a guilty pleasure. I grew up watching the cartoon version right after school, so I was a little bit curious (damn childhood nostalgia) when they created a post-modern updated version of the cartoon into a Hollywood feature film -- directed by the guy who did the Mummy franchise and featuring a cast that included Dennis Quaid. Not Randy... but Dennis. Oh and one of the Wayans Brothers played the "wise-cracking token black guy" and Siena Miller played the bad girl. Anyway, I watched the bit of mind-numbing entertainment because I was overloaded on the grim reality of the impending doom of peak oil and financial implosion. And you know what? I slightly embarrassed to admit that I enjoyed it.

So, the other documentary flicks?
The Outlaw Comic: The Censoring of Bill Hicks -- The downside? Hosted by Jeanne Garafalo. The upside? An compelling E-True Hollywoodish summary of the behind the scenes struggle of Bill Hicks -- from getting jokes cut by censors on late night talk shows, to finding an educated audiences in Canada and the UK who meshed more with his style of humor ranting on America-hypocrisy and not straying away from hot button politically-sensitive topics.

Crap Shoot -- I never finished the first act of this shoddy doc about a struggling writer who embarked on a road trip to Hollywood to find out why studios were not making epic films (like the banal trilogy he wrote).

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward -- The continuation of the Zeitgeist film series. This installment emphasized the imperative shift that all of society must take to move away from the current monetary paradigm and embrace a new resource-based system in order to survive and flourish in the future.

The Third Jihad -- Chronicled the rise of radical Islam in America. I didn't really like it, but out of most of the films, thoughts and scenes from the film have lingered inside my head over the last week, so something struck a chord.

Plunder: The Crime of Our Time -- I never finished this doc about the 2008 financial crisis. Most of these films hold my attention, but this one was just --- awful. I bailed after 18 minutes.

Mark Twain -- I dunno if I could have sat through Ken Burns biopic about America's greatest novelist because of his repetitive format (another black and white photo of Twain with messy hair, ragtime music in the background, and a prodding narrating voice delivering lush excerpts from Twain's letters and manuscripts) for the entire film, but spreading it out in 30-40 sections helped retain my interest. Random note: Twain briefly lived in the Bronx (at the Wave Hill mansion) circa 1901-03. I lived in a studio a block or so away....the same studio where I penned the original manuscript for Jack Tripper Stole My Dog in November 2002.

A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash -- Peak oil doc. This one falls somewhere in between better than average and good.

Jazz on a Summer's Day -- The 1958 Newport Jazz Festival was featured including performances from Thelonious Monk,Louie Armstrong, and even Chuck Berry.

Tapped -- The bottled water industry is not quite what you think. Did you know that Coke and Pepsi bottle tap water and sell it as Dasani and Aquafini? Did you know that the Nestle company operates under different regional water companies (Arrowhead, Deer Park, Poland Spring, Ice Mountain, Zephyr Hills)?

Rolling Stones: Stones in Exile -- I re-watched this flick about the making of Exile on Main Street, which happened after the Stones went into exile after they ran into tax problems with the Crown and getting fucked by bad management. They hit up the French Riviera to frolic in the sun, party it up, and come up with material for a remarkable double album. The band grew tired of France and eventually migrated to Los Angeles to finish up Exile on Main Street. I took that to heart when Jagger said that the band always ended up in LA to finish off their records. Personally, even though I wrote parts of Lost Vegas in Las Vegas and New York City, it wasted until I finished it off in LA before it became a reality. Same goes for the current project Jack Tripper.

The Art of the Steal -- This flick pissed me off at corrupt cultural institutions. The infamous Barnes collection, a private collection of post-impressionist paintings worth 30-50 billions of dollars, got hijacked by the city of Philadelphia (and the state of Pennsylvania), who moved the collection from the Barnes estate in Lower Merion to the Philly Museum of Art.
I streamed most of those flicks on Netflix, and caught a few at

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Lazy Echo

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA


That's all I can hear right now -- BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRUUUUUUUUMMM -- it even drowned out the melodious sounds of John Coltrane that usually filled up the living room and dining room during a writing session.

My only solace was the time of disruption. 12:53pm. At least it was a reasonable hour. I've heard the gurgling leaf blowers as early as 7am. The most annoying of them usually crop up between 8 and 9am. That's the time I liked to write with the windows wide open before Nicky woke up. I usually (well, mostly always) lost the face off and had to shut the windows to drown out the whirling sounds of the machines from across the street or down the alley. Some days, it's nonstop from the time I wake up until late afternoon. The deafening machines often rile up the yapping mutts next door, who in turn go berserk and won't stop barking. As a result, at the times when I need the most concentration to do work and create something out of nothing, I have to drown out the cacophony of barking dogs and bellowing leaf blowers.

It's one thing to have to deal with distractions at work. But that's why working at home is supposed to have an intrinsic benefit -- that it would be a much quieter place with less distractions than a press box, or a cubicle.

Alas, I live in a part of the world where appearances are everything that matters. Style and flash are more important than substance and practicality. Which is why neighbors who can barely afford their rent, let alone the payments on their BMWs or SUVs, also add to their unneccesary expenses by adding a gardener or landscaper to their monthly bills.

That's such an L.A. thing to do -- hire someone else to help you look good instead of doing it yourself. I'd have more respect for my neighbors if they toiled on their lawns and gardens. But they don't, so I don't. They contracted landscaping companies, themselves one of the most corrupt industries in all of Southern California. Don't think I'm writing this to bash the landscaping industry. At some point in my life, I've held a couple of random jobs that included landscaping work in Georgia, Washington, and even New York.

It's one thing if my neighbor woke up early to work on the aesthetics of his house, but that's not the case, because everyone is too lazy to do their own lawn, or so removed from manual labor that they don't know what to do. Alas, the lawn "has to look good" by any means necessary, which is the excuse for some many atrociously retarded things (like fake tanning) in Hollyweird.

In my neighbors' frenzy to have a cosmetically perfect lawn, they overlooked the rampant corruption within the landscaping industry and failed to do any due diligence, often hiring shading operators who in turn hired illegal immigrants and purposely paid low wages. Classic skimming scheme -- the landscaping company pockets the bulk of the fees from my lazy neighbors, who then sub-contracts out the work to a different company (and the sub-contractor takes his cut including a fatty kick back to the original feeder company), and the sub-contractor in turn hired illegals to do the actual labor. So, not only do the guys with the leaf blowers not speak English, they also make peanuts, a ;owly day-workers rate, because the greedy contractors force them to do more lawns per day to increase their overall profits. To squeeze in more lawns per day, the landscapers show up at the crack of dawn and to speed up the process, they use leaf blowers.

Alas, who do I take my grievance up with? My neighbors, right? The guys with the rakes and leaf blowers are members of the proletariat, just guys working hard and trying to make ends meet. The contractors are running businesses and working within the confines of a corrupt system, so can I fault them? After all, they are trying to stay competitive by maximizing client fees (never underestimate the extent that a denizen of LA will pay in order for something to "look better") and reducing labor costs. So, the onus falls onto my neighbors -- the lazy ones who indirectly fund illegal workers and condone the use noise-polluting leaf blowers that disrupt my work day.

Maybe I should find out where my neighbors work and hire gardeners to fire up a leaf blower in the middle of their offices for 20-minute stretches.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Buddha Dice, Snake Eyes, and Top Chef

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I'm not much of a reality TV junkie, although I'm fascinated with Hoarders and Intervention, mostly because those are shows about people struggling with addictions and compulsive behavior.

But then there's Top Chef. It's food porn. It's about egomaniacs. It's about artists. It's about food porn.

But, you can also bet on it. With six chefs to go in Top Chef All-Stars, I drafted a team against Nicky. This season is special because all the chefs were former contestants who got close -- but didn't win. I bailed after the first episode and stopped watching it. I didn't like the format -- too many clashing personalities. One of my colleagues, Jess, told me to stick with it because the show settled into an good groove. At that point, the show was 3-4 episodes in, but I said I'd give the second episode a shot. If I didn't like it, then I'd only waste an hour. I watched that and I was curious enough to want to watch the third episode, and then I got hooked for the rest of the season and sucked into the drama -- egomaniac artists creating food porn.

I'm not much of an adventurous eater -- I can't stand vegetables -- but the show gives me a chance to explore that realm without actually having to eat it.

Then again, maybe it's because I've been drinking rum while I watched the show?

So the the past, Nicky and I drafted teams with 10 chefs to go. Using an elaborate point system draw up by Garth, we played heads-up against each other. The winner would get a free dinner at a nice joint in town -- in one of the restaurants affiliated with any former Top Chef contestant. In LA alone, there were five or six places, maybe more if you counted Santa Barbara or the OC.

Nicky got first pick. She rigged it with the Buddha dice -- one of three dice that sits in a sake glass in front of Showcase's Buddha statue (the one that was too heavy that it didn't take it to NYC with him, so we inherited the Buddha).

I originally grabbed the Buddha dice to settle a decision for dinner. We narrowed down the possibilities to two places Saffron (Indian food in Beverly Hills) or Gaby's (Mediterranean diner), but couldn't decide. That's what the dice is for. Odds for Saffron. Evens for Gaby's. I rolled against the wall I snapped the die onto the hardwood floor. It rocked against the wall and spun for a few seconds before it settled onto...1...Saffron wins. Snake Eyes equals Indian food.

With the Buddha dice in my hand, I asked Nicky if she wanted to use it to settle on who gets the to pick first draft in the Top Chef pool. She picked odds. I got evens. I handed her the Buddha dice. She tossed it against the wall, but it bounced behind the bookcase. I called "sloppy dice", which would void her toss. She protested. I lost. She grabbed a flashlight and moved the shelf. She couldn't find it at first. Then it magically appeared.


Bullshit. Nicky got first pick and she refused to use the "snake format" where she'd get the first pick, then I got the next two. Alas, I got the 2nd and 4th pick and saddled with the last chef.
Team Pauly: Richard Blaze (1), Tiffany, Carla
Team Nicky: Dale (1), Antonia, Mike Isabella
I gotta say, I like my team. We're gonna finish 1-2. When I win, I'll get a free meal to whatever Top Chef joint I want in town.

And when it's time to settle up, I'll convince Nicky to take me to In-N-Out instead.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Matisse's Chorizo

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Washed-in morning. Cotton-candy mouth.

Awoken from a dream. My alarm clock? The conversational chatter from the neighbor across the alley. I stepped outside and looked up. A cigarette snugly fit in between her fingers from her hand that lazily hung out the second-story window. She gripped a land-line cordless phone with the other hand and rapidly spoke in Farsi.

I stopped because of the music. Sounds. Musical sounds of unknown origins. Which one of my neighbors on the other side of the alley were watching a Bollywood musical or blasting gypsy music peppered with Egyptian scales. And was someone actually practicing a xylophone too?

The unfriendly woman in a purple sweater allowed her leashed shar pei to nip at the bottom on my jeans when I walked down the alley. The hashed-out censor in my head muted my scornful thought: "Hey, fuck you lady! Your yapping wrinkled mutt bit my ankle! You're lucky that I don't drop a dime on your ass and report you to L.A. Animal Control as an animal hoarder!"

The heartless twat drizzled a thick, bluish goo into a gurgling laundry machine instead of reeling in her ornery canine. I didn't exist to her. Me? A mere scruffy ghost to my neighbors, maybe even a scruffy goat? No, definitely a ghost. I'm invisible.

Who knows if anyone of my neighbors were callous snitches who answered one of those "If you see something, say something" HSA-funded advertisements that the Military-Entertainment-Fear complex pawned off as each American's Patriotic duty. The entire campaign in the War of Terror became a successful re-branding of Soviet Union-era intimidation tactics against the populous. The intelligence apparatus easily converted your paranoid neighbors into "snooping toms" in order to keep America terrorist-free. They were an additional layer of surveillance in our post-modern digital age and kept tabs on your comings and goings. Domestic espionage.

While continuing to reside in a major metropolitan area, I will NEVER evade the Watchers -- security/traffic/copter/satellite cameras -- for more than a couple of minutes at a time, but even when I'm off the grid temporarily, I'm still being watched by my fellow humanoid homegrown spy network (armed with iPhones, Crackberries Droids, and other tools of the citizen paparazzi), who filled in gaps for the Great Eye in the Sky.

They knew your every move before you made it.

My every move.

Every move.

My. Every. Move.




My. Every. Mood.

The Eye saw me kick the dog before I sauntered down the street and paused in front of a palm tree. I hoisted my own CrackBerry toward the sky and snapped evidence of the white smudges. Zig-zag. Zag-zig. Across the sky. More chemtrails. More jets. More unknown contents. Aluminum? Unknown? Harmless or helpful? If the smudges over the horizon were helpful, then some slippery politician would have seized the opportunity to steal credit for "saving the world" by curing the ills of out environment, and signing autographs for his best-selling book en route to accepting a Nobel prize (and hypocritically flying first class on Royal Scandi Airlines).

I forgot what day it was. It is.


Fuck. The cluster of hungry hipsters in front of the coffeeshop narrowed down the choices to Saturday or Sunday.


On Satursundays, the undersized pixies in scarves and oversized sunglasses and their douchenozzles boyfriends, clad in plaid-checkered shirts and tight black jeans, all impatiently waited for an empty booth at my small, yet beloved coffeeshop. They hovered and drooled over the outdoor tables filled elderly ladies in hats and pearl necklaces. They wolfed down omelets. Wolfed. Even though the post-Church crowd were spiritually nourished after services, they were still famished in the food department.

At that bewitching hour, the coffeeshop's clientele were divided between: 1) religious Baby Boomers observing the Sabbath, and 2) disenfranchised, spiritually-rudderless Gen X-Y-Z philistines.

Regardless of who worshiped who/what, everyone in search of food had to wait for their place in line. But... not me.

Life is so much smoother if you're well-liked by the right people in this fucking town. Or I should clarify -- well-liked by the powerful watch guards of Hollyweird holding the clipboard.

The omnipotent list.

Coincidentally the cosmos aligned perfectly that my faded ass stumbled into the one joint in all of Los Angeles where I actually had some pull. That juice finally came in handy on a slammed Sunday. No wait. I got bumped to the top of the list, a welcomed a perk of a valued regular (good tipper) at a family-owned and operated business -- a true rarity these days. Miserly corporate conglomerates boast about their so-called rewards clubs, but those mega-monsters can't match the residual benefits of a small business who look out for their best customers.

No list. I didn't even put my name on a list. I bypassed all of the hipsters by simply making eye contact with the owner's son (a.k.a. the guy with the list). He nodded and I nodded back. I discreetly passed the drooling hipsters and walked into the back. I slid into an empty stool at the end of the counter. Right above my head, a Eastwood's spaghetti western played on the TV.

The mayhem behind the grill was organized chaos -- nonstop chatter mixed with food lingo and broken Spanish. Much needed communication at the busiest moment of the week. And in a city with "special" denizens, that also meant lots of "special" orders.

The Beatles faintly played on the radio. Penny Lane sounded like a hapless opening act that none one in the crowd paid any attention and talked over, because they anxiously awaited the headlining act -- the symphony of sizzling bacon and sausages.

I never saw anyone work faster than the two cooks. Two cooks, only two. They did the work of eight men. They were octopuses. Octopi. It seemed like 16-arms cranked out a variety of breakfast dishes every twenty seconds. All sorts of eggs concoctions. Fried. Sunny side. Over hard. Poached. Scrambled. One of the prep cooks in the back emerged with a pair of tightly-rolled breakfast burritos. Piles and piles of yellowish greasy potatoes were quickly converted into darkened strands of hasbrowns. French toast. Banana pancakes. Canadian Bacon. Real bacon, but sadly a health-nut ordered that lame excuse of a substitute. Turkey bacon. The methadone of bacon. Turkey bacon.

The lottery winner of the day was the fortunate soul who ordered a swirling maroon and gold plate of Chorizo and scrambled eggs, which reminded me of a Matisse painting.

Maroon + Gold = Matisse's Chorizo and eggs.

A young woman with a Rhode Island accent sat on the stool to my right. She wore her pajamas pants, flip flops, and a UCLA hoodie and updated her Facebook status on her iphone while simultaneously tearing apart creamers and dumping them into her coffee. The silver-haired gentlemen three stools down ruffled the pages of a gaunt copy of the L.A. Times. He took a more classy and dignified approach while dressing up for breakfast: a paisley bow-tie and seersucker suit. He looked more like a clarinet player in a Dixieland jazz band who had been up all night playing sets in the basement of a whorehouse, than one of the Bible Beaters grabbing an omelet after communion. The clarinet player sipped a cup of black coffee infused with four spoonfuls of sugar; the only thing keeping him awake and face-planting onto the counter. For me, a strong big-assed iced tea was the only thing that kept me awake. Although a bump of nose candy would have been fine and dandy. In an L.A. diner full of Jesus Freaks and hipsters, the percentages were good that someone was holding cocaine.

A sticky cup of maple syrup became my first nemesis of the day and it made a few pages of a book stick together. Dirty plates scraped against each other as the busboys rushed back and forth clearing off tables to seat the ever-growing line outside. The clattering of silverware and plates (made in China) sounded like a gentle rain. Bright beams of sunlight cracked through the chemtrail-laced fog and blasted its way through the front window. Even though I sat all the way in the back, the sun was so intense that it blinded out Eastwood on the TV. I considered wearing sunglasses to shield myself from the irritating beams.

The waitress whizzed by in front of me with a maroon and gold swirl dancing on a plate followed by its own chemtrail of deliciousness.

Matisse's Chorizo.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Corporate Cosmology vs. Mad As Hell

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

The infamous "Mad As Hell" rant in the film Network is one of the greatest moments in cinematic history. And 35 years later, the overall message in the rant still hold up especially considering the current status of the world.

God bless Paddy Chayefsky for penning the sensational script. For some of you not familiar with screenwriters or for you non-film buffs out there, Paddy Chayefsky was the Babe Ruth or Michael Jordan of Hollywood screenwriters. He's the best there was, best there is, best there ever shall be. Paddy's screenplay (which won an Oscar) from Network was a subversive indictment on the absurdity of television (opiate of the masses) along with the decay of democracy, and to take it even further... the decay of America.

The "Mad As Hell" diatribe from jaded/suicidal/depressed news anchor Howard Beale (played by Finch) drew all the acclaim and accolades, but it was only the second best scene in Network. What's better that that? The chilling "Corporate Cosmology" monologue (often called the "Money" speech) delivered by Ned Beatty, which is absolutely mind blowing. I watched it a few minutes ago and then watched it again on You Tube. It sent chills down my spine because even though he's talking about America and the world in 1975, he could be talking to us today.

The first clip is "Mad as Hell" by Peter Finch (who actually died after the film completed production. He got nominated for an Oscar...and won. At the time, he was the only Oscar winner to have won an Academy Award posthumously, until Heath Ledger).

And the second clip is the haunting "Corporate Cosmology" lecture from the Jensen (the CEO of the company that owns network) as played by Ned Beatty. It's so fucking powerful and dangerous that for whatever reason, the powers to be will NOT allow it to be embedded onto you have to click here to watch it on YouTube.

But luckily I found the speech, which I'll share with you below...
Jensen: You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it!! Is that clear?! You think you've merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case. The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance!

You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels.

It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU WILL ATONE!

Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?

You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.

What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state -- Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do.

We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality -- one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.

And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.

Beale: But why me?

Jensen: Because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.
Don't forget, click here to watch the Money/Corporate Cosmology speech on YouTube.

When you get a chance, watch all of Network. You'll thank me later.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Forgot to Eat

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I got a late start to the writing day -- I began at 3pm as opposed to noon on Tuesday and no later than 11am last week. Despite the later start time, I still put in a productive 10+ hour day. I finished around 1:30am.

But, along the way I got so caught up in editing and I forgot to eat dinner.

Nicky is in Brazil on a work assignment. Had she been here, at some point around 8pm she would have popped her head in my office and reminded me to eat and that most of our favorite eateries close between 9 and 10.

But by the time I noticed that I missed dinner -- it was closer to Midnight.

By the time I finished printing out a few things and answering email, it was closer to 2:30am. Instead of dinner, I drank two cocktails starting and watched Top Chef. By the time it finished, I was starving and wanting another rum drink. I decided to skip both and try to crash before 6am.

I have a lunch meeting around 1pm. I hope I can hold out to eat until then...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Not Right Now...

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I've finally reached the back nine of the re-write. Nothing more to say until I finish the final fucking draft of @JackTripperBook.

Monday, February 14, 2011


By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

It might sound strange, but my anniversary with Nicky falls on Valentine's Day.

Maybe someday I'll write the longer version of it all (approaching book-size considering it'll clock in in excess of 35,000 words). For now, I don't have the time to pen a philosophical rant on the "the search for love (light) in a darkened meaningless universe", not to mention sharing my scathing indictment on the military-industrial-entertainment complex's successful coup when they hijacked innocuous Catholic holiday and forced Americans to spend money in the middle of February.

A year or so after we were together, Nicky and I both selected Valentine's Day would as the date that we celebrate our anniversary. The actual date was ambiguous because we started "dating" in mid-February 2006, but we had similar feeling about the insincerity of February 14th. Valentine's Day in the post-modern era has become an overcomplicated holiday and commercialized to death. Not to mention, it's a day of utter torture for recently broken-hearted lovers, and just another soul-crunching holiday that made lonely people feel even worse about themselves. So instead of society and big business determining a day of celebration for us, we hijacked it back.

Fuck the man, Valentine's Day is now our own.

With that said, I'm amazed that Nicky has put up with all my bullshit over the last five years. I wouldn't have accomplished as much as I've done in the last five years without her in my life, which makes me one of the luckiest people I know.

Nicky always cooks for me, but tonight, I'm going to cook for her. I can prepare a small range of dishes, but I excel in the "cooked meats" department and have a somewhat familair background in Italian food (my mother acquired recipes from Vinny the Barber's wife). Inspired by a recent viewing of the The Godfather Part II, it made sense that I went for a combination of tortellini and bolognese.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Nine in a Box

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Two-story box. That's what we live in. Our box is very similar to the one that you'd see in the trailer for the The Slums of Beverly Hills movie, except that our box isn't pink (e.g. check the :09 mark in the trailer).

Our box is broken down into seven apartments. Nine of us live here -- five solo tenants and two couples. Here are their stories...

The ginger appeared about once a week. He's the 20-something guy in our apartment building who got shut out of a parking space. Seven units -- six spaces. I suspected that our slumlord had a bias against gingers. Occam's Razor simply suggested that the ginger got shut out because he was the last person to rent an apartment. Now, he's stuck on a waiting list until the next tenant moves out. For now, the ginger circles the adjacent blocks in a desperate search of a spot because parking is ridiculously sparse in our hood.

The artist, in her late 50s, uses her studio space a few days a week. Nicky is convinced that she lives in the building because she's actually been in her apartment (more like a huge one-room studio) and noticed a bed in the corner. I told her that most artists that have studios also have a crash space to sleep or to hook up with art groupies. The artists' car is noticeably gone more than 50% of the time during the day an almost 90% of the time at night.

The 40-something-year old French lady chain smoked. I didn't know she was French at first until I heard her speaking on the phone. When she first moved in, I assumed that she was an American, but since my discovery, I noticed a ever-so-slight accent. Maybe she was born her to French immigrants? Or maybe she was born overseas and migrated to LA? Who knows. I'm pretty sure she's a gourmet chef because I noticed a tons of cook books on shelves in her kitchen. Her evenings were spent sitting on her couch, smoking, and watching the alphabet news stations in the dark. At night, I often passed by her apartment only illuminated by the flickering glow of the TV.

The single girl with dark black hair has never said hello to me. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and assumed she was shy, but maybe she's just an embarrassed USC grad who's stuck in a dead-end gig as a waitress? Every morning around 10am, she slammed the door to her her apartment and stormed down the stairs. She's always wearing the same clothes -- black pants and a white dress shirt. That's why I knew she was a waitress. I wonder which restaurant she worked at? Maybe she'll talk to me if a tip was involved?

My only problem with the hipster couple above us is their kitten. Sometimes that fucker is jacked up. Are they putting meth in his water dish? On the other side, I bectha my neighbor vents her frustration about her wacky neighbors by writing diatribes on her LiveJournal blog, or making fun of me on Facebook: "My neighbor downstairs smokes weed all the time and constantly yells at his TV expressions like: 'HIT YOUR FUCKING FREE THROWS!'" On a good note, I found inspiration when my neighbor played her violin in her practice room, located right above my office. As much as I rag on Los Angeles, thousands of creative types are sprinkled throughout the city hell-bent on chasing their dream. I dunno what sort of market Hollywood has for violin players, which is probably why she recently took up the ukulele. Nicky told me that the other day she was practicing a performance of Cee Lo Green's Fuck You.

And then there's the angry-pissed off-unfriendly yuppie across the hall who drives a BMW. His friends that visit him also drive BMWs. I think it's a cult, or a club, or just required membership to being an LA Douchebag. Angry BMW guy constantly walked around with a permanent scowl. I attempted to say hello and introduce myself on numerous occasions, but he always avoided eye contact. Well, you know what? Fuck him that guy! The BMW guy probably leased the BMW and spent most of his income on payments and insurance. He has next to no furniture in his apartment -- just a plasma TV, a couch, and a dining room table. Nothing else. He's a suit of some sort. Haven't figured out what. I noticed one thing -- he liked baseball. In the summer's at night, there was always a baseball game on. Made me wonder if he was one of those geeky fantasy baseball league guys?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Silver Bears Are Back with Part 4!

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I fucking love the Silver Bears. I've been eagerly awaiting part 4 of their series on the manipulation of the silver and commodities markets.

So here's the Silver Bears with Part 4...

Watch the entire series of the Silver Bears talking about the manipulation of the silver market: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tao of Hockey Fights: Goalies - Carey Price vs. Tim Thomas

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Giddy up! More goalies rumbling during the Canadiens/Bruins game last night.

And thanks to StB for sharing this article (it's in PDF form) about hockey's all-time greatest goon - Bob Probert.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I began editing Jack Tripper Stole My Dog. I got a little heavy-handed on the edits, so much so, that now I'm re-writing the entire manuscript that I originally penned in November 2002. By my account, this will be version 3.0.
Me: "I just finished re-writing Chapter 5."
Nicky: "Is that the chapter when she gets her head flushed in the toilet."
Me: "No, that's Chapter 6."
Yes, that conversation actually transpired last night.

By the way, you can follow @JackTripperBook on Twitter.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Vol. 2 - Random Unconnected Thoughts: Eight Men Out, Slinging Crack Rock, and Herb/Dorothy

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I stumbled upon an old episode of Ken Burns' baseball documentary while flipping the channels. He was talking bout the tail end of the Black Sox scandal. That's when I started talking about Eight Men Out. When Nicky heard that John Sayles directed the film, she was interested in checking it out. Voila! The magic of Netflix on an iPad. Within ninety seconds, we settled into the couch and watched the entire film.

During "Eight Men Out", a film that was shot in 1988, we kept joking how young that Charlie Sheen and John Cusak both looked. "Cusak had his real hair then," I observed. "And Charlie was still a few years away from his 'hookers and blow' addiction."

I also broke down John Sayles' career into this simple statement: Sayles makes movies about "men grappling with decisions" and the consequences they suffer, real or imagined, by their ability or inability to make that decision.

I had fun watching the Super Bowl. It could be its own post, but I've worn myself out writing about the exhausting topic of sports betting. In short -- most of my bets lost and I wipe out any profits I made in 2011. I will survive. I shall get my roll back up in time for March Madness, otherwise I'll have to borrow some from my poker bankroll, which barely gets used these days anyway.

I think that I scared Nicky when I explained how trading commodity futures worked. She was amazed that you can buy a futures contract for only a small percentage of the actual contract. Now she knows why I don't waste my time with online poker anymore and why I get up at 5am to check my open positions.

On Monday night, after a long day of editing, I settled in with a stiff drink and watched Boiler Room for like the thousandth time. I got a DVD for just $2.99 on Amazon,which included Prime Shipping. Boiler Room resembled how Wall Street operated more so than both of Oliver Stone's Wall Street movies. Yes, it's all just a bunch of schemes -- Ponzi, Buy the Dip, Pump & Dump. I went along for the ride...twice. I get a pass for the first time that I worked on Wall Street because I was young, broke, and didn't know any better. But the second time around, I knew exactly what I was getting into, which is why I went back. I just didn't know to the degree of moral hazard happening on the other floors of our building. Lucky for me, I couldn't hack it and got my walking papers before things really blew up.

I watched a slew of documentaries over the weekend that might get me on a watch list. I won't publicly state some of the titles (no worries, they were not 9/11 conspiracy films -- that was sooooo 2005-06), but let's just say that some of the documentary films about banking, global finance, money as debt, and the 2008 financial crisis are all amazing resources. Like most of the information you access from the web, you have to sift out the fact from fiction, or fact from disinformation.

If you're a bit embarrassed about your lack of knowledge on finance or how the financial world really works -- don't be! That's the entire point of the powers to be -- to intimidate you, to make you look stupid, and use big words and vague definitions in order to confuse you, and then dupe you and take all of your money! In a few months, you can catch up to the curve if you educate yourself. Definitely take a peek at some of the stuff we post on Tao of Fear. But, Netflix, YouTube, and other sites definitely uploaded plenty of amazing films that break down complex financial definitions into simpler terms. Shoot me an email if you'd like to watch some of these docs. It's in your best interest to know what exactly is going on behind closed doors at the Federal Reserve and in boardrooms for the brokerage houses on Wall Street.

On a positive note, I've been devouring documentaries about art, art movements, artists, and art critics. Thanks to Woylinski who recommended Herb and Dorothy, a wonderful couple who worked as civil servants in the 1960s. Herb was a postal worker, and Dorothy was a librarian. They lived off her salary and bought art with Herb's. They couldn't afford higher-ticket items, so they had to settle on collecting pieces from living artists, many of whom, they developed close-knit relationship over the years. In four plus decades, they amassed an art collection worth millions, but they refused to sell the art for profit, instead they donated their collection to the National Art Gallery in Washington, DC.

Viewing paintings triggers something in the creative lobes of my brain. I usually write better after letting different works and artists soak into my brain. Maybe it's total bullshit and there's no correlation, but I think I write better after looking at paintings, so I'm gonna keep doing it before I have to work on a major project. Alas, time to go because I have a novel to edit and fucked around here for too long.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Flying Fecal and the Crazy Old Lady in the Cage

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

"I don't get the bird people," Nicky proclaimed with a very judicious tone. "They are freaky. And cruel. All those birds shouldn't be locked up in cages."

"They should lock the old lady up in a cage and let her sit in her own shit for a few months," I said in defense of the restricted parrots, cockatoos, and other exotic birds. "Then after being a cage bird for a while, maybe she'll get off her lazy ass and clean up all the fecal matter."

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Super Bowl Pastiche and Gambling Writing

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I focused on sports-related gambling stories on Tao of Poker over the last week or so including a list of my Super Bowl bets. Check it out...
Super Bowl Picks, Super Bowl Hangovers, and Cokeheads in the Bathtub
Syracuse Point-Shaving Rumors Debunked; Major College Basketball Scandal Averted?
The Rum-Drenched Sports Betting Diaries: Your Hands and Feet Are Mangos, Part 1
The Rum-Drenched Sports Betting Diaries: Your Hands and Feet Are Mangos, Part 2
Eight Voices and a Sea of Troubles
Yep...I've been focusing on sportsbetting-themed writing, straying away from poker but still staying within the gambling genre.

Oh, and I recorded a podcast with Nicky about the Super Bowl. Listen here...
2011 Super Bowl: Exotic Betting on the Super Bowl - Pauly and "Change100" (aka Nicky) chat about "exotic" proposition wagering for this year's Super Bowl. If you're looking for some easy money, then you're in luck because Change100 also shares a tip on how long it will take Christina Aguilera to sing the national anthem.
Good luck today...

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Tao of Hockey Fights: Goalies - Brent Johnson vs. Rick DiPietro

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Thanks to StB for the latest batch of Tao of Hockey Fights featuring two goalies...

Here's StB's commentary: "I don't know what I like better. The way he follows through with the elbow, causing the real damage or the pat on the chest as if to say "No hard feelings, OK?"

And the fight...

One-punch and he got knocked the fuck out!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Early Risers?

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I set my alarm for 6:30am. I woke up at 5am.

I get more work done when I'm up early and finish a morning writing/workout before 7am because it takes me at least a full hour to answer/write/triage my email surplus from the previous day, not to mention trying to keep up with whatever hit my inbox from the previous night. It would take me longer, but I only limit myself to one hour of email maintenance per day.

My best creative work happens when I'm up before the dawn and get all that petty bullshit out of the way, including eating, and especially making sure all of the sites are running smoothly. Some days I'm rushing to catch up and before I know it, it's 2pm and I haven't done a lick of my work.

On the flip side, some of the more "out there" bits of creativity happen between 3am and 6am -- if I've been up all night. That's one of the few blessings of insomnia -- when you're sleeping, I'm prowling the hallways of my mind extracting creative bits of rock that get pounded out into actual precious metals.

Or something like that.

I read something from a successful trader on Wall Street pontificating that the two biggest keys to success included eating good food and getting up early. Ha...he never mentioned anything specific about his industry because he felt as though what really made him successful was his willingness to get rest and eat healthy. Those choices set himself in front of the herd. Obviously, it takes a little more than just those two lifestyle changes to succeed in life, but I'm assuming that he's comparing himself to his peers and colleagues -- and that they are all relatively equal in skills and intelligence. He simply cited the two things in his life that he feels as though gives him an edge...nut not just an edge...a winning edge.

But as a trader, he works in a timed environment -- the markets are open at specific times and he has a Monday through Friday (M-F) lifestyle. As a writer, there's no linear schedule to adhere to, but I learned something extremely helpful -- the majority of my audience is part of the linear and M-F lifestyle. If I want my snark to jive with their lives, then I have to be able to run parallel to their schedule.

I dunno if that makes any sense to anyone except me.

That trader might be onto something about his keys to success. Maybe not. The "eat good food" aspect was proven to help -- when you eat better quality food, your body feels better, which affects your creativity. Food is also linked to booze. If you drink too much and wake up hungover, it's harder to get your body in a state of normalcy. Some days, you're hungover until late afternoon and that destroys all types of productivity.

I don't care if you're Picasso or Jimmy Page or Fat Tony the bookie or Niles the bond trader -- if you feel like ass, it's harder to work.

One thing is certain: good food or abundant sleep is debatable. However, I definitely feel better mentally when I wake up early and crank out a ton of work by noon, because that inflated sense of self-worth is a power-boost that often carries over into the afternoon. It's infectious. When all is said and done -- more is done than said on those days.

Yeah, waking up early is one of the obvious keys to getting you shit together. But you really have to push yourself once you're up, otherwise, you get into a rut where you're just dicking around You Tube watching old hip hop videos, yapping on the phone with a friend gossiping about petty shit, or flipping through the 1,000 channels on the boob tube and settling on a random episode of Law & Order that you've seen six times already, or worse, you're taking part in a retarded Facebook meme.

Or even worse -- you're dicking around writing "new agey" posts stating the fucking obvious.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Random Unconnected Thoughts, Vol. 1: Bacon As a Main Course

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

On Tuesday, I ate bacon for lunch as my main course It came with a side of eggs, biscuits, and home fries.

This is one of the only times of the year that I actually dig living in Southern California. I heart goes out to everyone freezing their ass off. Actually, I'm lying. No it doesn't. I pay a dear price to not freeze... by putting up with chemtrails, insane traffic, and surrounded by vapid shitstains.

"The American economy is based on Wall Street banks selling shit to each other and collecting a fee," said Max Kesier in his latest report, in which he also called Fed head Ben Bernanke a "crackhead."

I lost three bets on basketball games by a total of 2.5 points in the last two days. Either the bookies know exactly what they are doing, or I'm just having a bad week.

Aside from basketball, I have been avoiding TV. I watched Egyptian protests while streaming live feeds from Al Jazeera via my laptop. Aside from that, it's been tons of reading and watching documentary films on a variety of topics, but it seems in the last few weeks, I dabbled in films about artists (painters mostly) and art movements.

I'm not the only one on a recent doc film kick, Otis has been on one as well. In his latest post Dry Doc'd, I left a comment listing a few films that I saw recently.

I must have been super wasted the other night, because when I woke up I shockingly discovered that... 1) I bet a 4-team parlay, and 2) it included 2 hockey teams. I blame the Xanax. I took it to help me sleep, but either I was "sleep betting" or I made the bets in that fuzzy stage before I crawled into bed

In that same schwasted stupor, I bet on the Oscars. In the sports betting world, we call those "exotic" bets. In the Best Actress category, I guess that I didn't want to go with chalk and the favorite, Natalie Portman at -100. Annette Benning was getting +300 for her role in a film about lesbians. I figured, if anyone was gonna upset Nat, it was gonna be Annette. At least, that's the logic I assumed went through my fuzzy head when I made the bet. When I mentioned that to Nicky, she said, "No way that Natalie loses." Gulp. I should know better because the Oscars are rigged.

Nicky got a random card from her aunt and uncle (who live out of state) congratulating her on winning a poker tournament. They ended the car with a blunt, "Don't forget to take care of us." That took balls.

I've drank rum everyday for almost two weeks. If you count my mini-vacation in the Bahamas, where I acquired this new-found addiction, it's been something like 20 rum-infused days out of the last 27. I haven't drank that frequently in a couple of years, probably since the last time I had a lengthy work assignment in Australia.

I got an email from a friend who said, "I'm enjoying the Tao this week." I had to ask him which one (I knew it wasn't Tao of Bacon because I don't post very frequently). It could have been one of three Taos: Pauly, Poker, or Fear. He said: "Poker"

I got a text from a friend asking me if I was OK, because he read that I as "drinking gay (pink) drinks."

In the last 10 days, I skipped a proper dinner a couple of nights and only ate some sort of derivative of peanut butter along with fruit. In the same stretch, I never skipped breakfast at all.

I broke a streak of eating breakfast at the coffeeshop for 12 straight mornings....including two weekend mornings, something that I never do because it's always so crowded with hipsters. The streak was broken when I woke up past noon.

Sometimes, the hipster kitten upstairs drives me crazy, running back and forth and darting back and forth because you can hear the slightest movement with the hardwood floors. I haven't complained yet, because what are they really going to do? Kill the kitty? Cut off its legs? If anything, I just have some fire power if they ever complain about anything. So now, I blast my music a lot louder than usual in protest.

I left my copy of Griftopia at the coffeeshop on Wednesday. Incidentally, as much as I love that book, no one there was interested enough in the topics that they'd want to seal it.

My nose hurts. It must be allergies. I forgot that in SoCal, winter is over by the end of January and now we're in the Spring.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Truckin - February 2011, Vol. 10, Issue 2

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

The latest issue of Truckin' is here. Enjoy these five stories...

1. Sweet T'ings by Paul McGuire
The flavor of the Bahamas ran up my nose when I unpacked my bag and caught a whiff of my dirty clothes. If you ever want a quick and last memory of a vacation spot, just quickly inhale your clothes as soon as you unpack them...More

2. Early Night by Alex Villegas
I lit up and began my prowl around the casino. As a lone hunter I had to pick my prey wisely. But this time, the prey found me. I was on the second floor of the Rio casino stumbling about when she found me. She had a punkish mohawk and was equally as drunk as I was. Maybe drunker. We locked eyes and the inebriation served as a catalyst for horny telepathy...More

3. The Almond Tree by May B. Yesno
I'm predisposed to flights of imagination at this time and these email and referrals are not helping my mental health. They stir the still, quiet, layers of the mind and bubbles rise. There's a fellow here in my apartment building I have an occasional drink with at the local watering hole and after listening to me explain the mini-crisis I was under going said I was crazy and the only thing rising was methane...More

4. Valley Girls by Mark Verve
Everyone on the set knows that she'll never rise above the status of fluffer. It's just a matter time until she figures it out. I've watched her for several weeks now as she earned two hundred dollars a day plying her trade on command. She does her work day after day with a surprising enthusiasm. It almost appears as if she enjoys it... More

5. Training Wheels by AlCantHang
In the short term I was defeated by the bionic liver of my friend. In the long term I have come close to mastering the delicate balance of hard booze versus functionality with a few spectacular failures along the way. But I now had my drink of choice... More
Thanks for your support.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Sleeping In

By Pauly
Los Angeles,CA

Not much to say because I slept until noon. That's right. I knocked myself out for almost nine hours after a week or so of restless nights and horrendous insomnia. I think I equaled last week's sleep total in just one session. I needed the rest, but my day was shot. By the time I got back from breakfast, er lunch, and ran a few errands, it was 3pm. Gah. I have bets to sweat in two hours!

I'm way more productive when I'm up at 5am or 6am and get all my crap (emails, early morning writing exercise, plotting to corner the cocoa market) out of the way by late morning then I can really put in a full day's work (freelance, personal projects, plotting to corner the cocoa market).

As is, today will be some catch up work and publish the new issue of Truckin'. Alas, tomorrow is when I tackle Jack Tripper.

Oh, here's a more in depth (much more gambling details) on last week's rum+sports betting binge... Your Hands and Feet Are Mangos, Part 1.