Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Friday, September 29, 2006

Bill Frist at it again - call your senator NOW

This came in from the Poker Player's Alliance this afternoon. Please take a moment to call your senator and let them know that you care about your ability to play online poker, and that you don't agree with the idea of attaching legislation restricting internet gambling to a bill for Port Security.

The U.S. Congress is Trying to Ban Online Poker TODAY!!!
THIS IS NOT A TEST -- Call Your Senator Now

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is attaching the Internet Gambling
Prohibition Act to a bill that is expected to be approved by the Congress
early this evening. PLEASE call your Senators today and tell them that
they should oppose the Internet gambling bill being part of Port Security

If the Port Security bill passes, with the Internet gambling language
included, your ability to enjoy poker online will be at serious risk.

Each member of the Poker Players Alliance has two Senators which are
listed below. They need to hear from you RIGHT NOW! Let them know
that you care about your rights to play poker.

Please Call!!! Tell your Senators to oppose attaching Internet gambling to
Port Security!

First Name
Last Name
Phone Number

(202) 224-3004

(202) 224-6665

(202) 224-5744

(202) 224-4124

(202) 224-2353

(202) 224-4843

(202) 224-2235

(202) 224-4521

(202) 224-3553

(202) 224-3841

(202) 224-5941


(202) 224-4041

(202) 224-2823

(202) 224-5042

(202) 224-2441


(202) 224-5274

(202) 224-3643

(202) 224-3521

(202) 224-6361

(202) 224-3934

(202) 224-3254

(202) 224-3744

(202) 224-6142

(202) 224-2752

(202) 224-2854

(202) 224-2152

(202) 224-4814

(202) 224-5623

(202) 224-4774

(202) 224-6521

(202) 224-2541

(202) 224-4343

(202) 224-4623

(202) 224-5824


(202) 224-2742

(202) 224-4654

(202) 224-4524

(202) 224-5344

(202) 224-2523

(202) 224-6221

(202) 224-4822

(202) 224-5641

(202) 224-3244

(202) 224-5721

(202) 224-6154

(202) 224-5054

(202) 224-6253

(202) 224-2644

(202) 224-2651

(202) 224-3154

(202) 224-6342

(202) 224-2043

(202) 224-2551

(202) 224-4224

(202) 224-6551

(202) 224-2841

(202) 224-3324

(202) 224-4744

(202) 224-3224

(202) 224-5521

(202) 224-6621

(202) 224-6244

(202) 224-3542

(202) 224-6542

(202) 224-4451

(202) 224-3353

(202) 224-2315

(202) 224-4721

(202) 224-5754

(202) 224-3753

(202) 224-5244

(202) 224-4254

(202) 224-6324

(202) 224-2921

(202) 224-4642

(202) 224-6121

(202) 224-5972

(202) 224-5842

(202) 224-2321

(202) 224-3344

(202) 224-4944

(202) 224-5922

(202) 224-2934

(202) 224-5444


(202) 224-4024

(202) 224-2023

(202) 224-5141

(202) 224-4242

(202) 224-3441

(202) 224-2621

(202) 224-5323

(202) 224-5653

(202) 224-3954

(202) 224-6472

(202) 224-3424

(202) 224-6441

Bash n' Stuff

So yeah, I went to the Bash. Yeah, I had a great time, and yeah, I drank a goodly bit.

Now I was never in contention for the Golden Barfbucket Lewey Award, unlike Drizz or F-Train or the Mr. Drunken September, TripJax, but by my estimation I consumed 2.5 gallons of PBR over the course of Saturday.

I'm still pissing every five minutes and it's almost a week later.

So I'm sitting there, buzzed and sweaty (humidity is hell on the portly), attempting to play Chinese Poker with Jordan, Wolf and Tripjax/Soxwife (which consisted of Trip looking at cards, handing them to Soxwife and her setting his hands) when I feel something cold and solid bounce off my head. Twice.

"John!" I vaguely hear, and finally realize that someone is trying to get my attention by throwing ice at me.

I did mention I'd been drinking, right?

I turn around and there's Gavin sitting at the table behind me, with two folks I don't know.

"Come over here."

Okay. Not far to lurch/stagger, so I manage okay.

"Dude, these guys are just sitting over here in the corner and they don't know anybody. So I figured we'd introduce ourselves."

So Gavin and I proceed to hang with a couple of folks that work with BigMike and Al. The guy is an avid reader of Al's blog, and his lady friend didn't really know what she was in for coming to this party. But she was game for whatever. Especially after we informed her that Gavin was the 3rd sexiest eligible male poker player (as voted on by some internet poll), not to mention the 11th best HORSE player in the world (as of this year's WSOP).

A little while later Gavin meanders off for more booze and I explain that he really is kind of a big deal in the poker world, and she exclaims "oh, I need to get his autograph for my son! He watches poker on TV all the time and wants to know if he can get a scholarship to go to college and play poker." I respond that I think poker may very well pay for his college education if he does it right, or obviate the need for college otherwise, but the upshot of it was that she got Gavin to autograph a dollar for her kid, and bemoaned the fact that her son wasn't a little older, or she'd get Gavin to sign her breast instead.

Well, you can imagine how that was recieved. Positive would be an understatement. So the topic turned to one of my personal favorites, boobies. Notably hers. You see, our friend was very proud of her boobs. As well she should be, since they were apparently expensive. And fine work was performed, too. And sometimes, even in the grownup world, things just fall into place and bullshit lines work that haven't really worked since college. So out they come on the flop and Gavin bets the turn like a true World Class Player.

Gavin - "You know, they look good, but I can't really tell anything unless I feel one."

Nice lady - "Ok, go ahead."

Gavin - "I think I need to feel them both to be sure."

Nice lady - "Ok, go ahead."

Gavin to Bracelet - "Bobby, come over here, you gotta feel these things!"

Bobby - "Ok"

And that, ladies, is how they roll. I admit no culpability in boob-grabbing or evaluating. But the lady definitely got her money's worth. And while the Bracelet claimed to have been able to feel a little something silicone in there, the other judges, upon further evaluation, overruled the junk-wielder.

And then for some reason, in a totally disconcerting moment, I turn my head to the right, and there's Drizz. Not that Drizz is particularly disconcerting in his own right, but the fact that he had his ass in the air and his pants around his knees made it a little more unusual than the typical drunken Drizz encounter.

"Hi Drizz."


"What are you doing?"

"Look at my boxers!"

And indeed, plastered across Drizz's ass were the words Mix it Up! And across the front was the iconic image of Captain Morgan, foot on cask.

"Dude, does your wife know you're going around showing everyone your Captain Morgan underwear?"

"She gave me a free pass for the weekend, and she bought me the boxers, so she must want me to show them off."

It was kinda like Underoos for grownups, a booze-superhero version of the Spiderman Underoos I had when I was a kid. So here I am in Malvern, PA on a September Saturday night sitting next to an overeducated woman who's just had her boob job evaluated by several degenerate poker players while she's drinking trailer park wine (White Zinfandel for the curious), while another degenerate named after a fictional elf in a series of D&D novels shows us his alcoholic underpants. That shit just does not happen every day. Unless you're Pauly, then it happens every day and twice on Sundays.

That's why I love my friends. Not to mention the several generous offers to fly my wife to PA after her holdup Friday night and several other generous offers to make the perpetrators disappear if I found out their identities. Thanks, guys.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I have 27,000 words regarding the activities of last weekend. And irrefutable proof that F-Train is the whitest man in the universe.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Question for the masses

Anybody wanna get cracked out in Atlantic City New Year's weekend?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Revenge of the Luckbox

So here’s how I ended up outlasting (note that I make no claims to outplaying) the WPT Player of the Year and giving the Luckbox his revenge for my win at the 2006 Bad Blood Series of Poker Season-Opening Event.

Let’s start with the fact that I didn’t plan on playing. But when a couple guys who had originally planned on playing bailed at the last minute, there were seats open. Since I’d had a really good run in AC on Thursday (I think 7BB/hr is pretty good, amounting to better than +$300 at 3/6) and since it was for charity, I talked to Al and he added me in as a late entry.

Since we didn’t draw for seats and I was one of the first to the table, I picked the seat two to Gavin’s left. I’m fat, I ain’t stupid. Loren, our internet qualifier, took the seat between me and Gavin, Joe Speaker sat on my right elbow and CJ sat to his left, with Brandon Schaeffer between. Great. I have position on the guy I fear most at the table, but I’ve given it up to #2 and #3 in that ranking (and those two are in no particular order, but I don’t want either of them on my left). Steve (Little Mike’s dad) and Lewey (OI OI OI) were on the other side of the dealer, and Bobby Bracelet, showing all the confidence of the 860th greatest poker player in the world, sat immediately to Gavin’s right.

Now coming into this I knew nothing really about Brandon’s game. I assumed he was pretty frickin’ good, since he plays this silly game for a living and has a couple of big tournament wins under his belt. Loren was wearing his Team Pokerstars 2006 jacket, so I knew he had big field experience as well, but frankly at an 8-person table that didn’t bother me. So I figured I’d just watch these guys and try to figure out how to play against them.

I had played the night before with Lewey and Steve, and knew that Steve’s aggression would either lead him to the final two or the first out, because the guy plays hard and fast and doesn’t have a whole lot of middle gears. That stood him in good stead in our tourney the night before, as he finished victorious after getting heads-up with Gavin after Gavin bought (yes, literally, at about $200 a pop) about half the stacks from the final table. Lewey’s just a friggin’ nutjob, which worried me a little, but I promised myself to only play pots with Lewey if he actually looked at his cards before he bet, which is not a given.

I’ve played a bit with both Bobby and Speaker, and figured their game would be not much different than mine, only probably with a little stricter starting hand requirements, since I like to play a ton of junk. CJ is the player I had the most experience against, and figured I’d avoid getting all my money in against CJ as much as possible, because not only is he The Luckbox, when the Ms are still reasonable, he’s not going to put money into a pot without a good reason.

Gavin? Yeah, I played I think three pots with him all tourney, and I don’t think there was a ton of play in any of them. He took one or two, I took one or two, and it usually meant that the best hand preflop won. I never got all my money in against Gavin, and that was part of my plan – stay out of the way of the World Class Player.
Wasn’t hard to stay out of everyone’s way early, since I played tighter than a frog’s asshole for the most of the first hour. I didn’t get a chance to play many pots all day, probably a good thing. Having position on Gavin means folding a LOT. CJ also should have changed his name from Luckbox to Tightbox for the first three hours of play, since he played one hand per level, whether he needed to or not. I played one big hand early, against the Bracelet, which crippled him. I had KQd on the button, blinds were 50/100. I had paid blinds for the first two levels and that was it, so I still had most of my starting T5000 chip stack. Bobby raised to 300 preflop, and since that was the raise I was planning for, I just called.

Flop comes 10-7-3 rainbow with one diamond. Bobby fires 250 into the T750 pot. With my two overs, a pretty solid stack and the backdoor flush draw, I flat call. Turn is 8d. Bobby looks over and says something about a straight, then checks. I check behind because there’s no point in doing anything silly. River is my gin card, the Ad. Bobby fires 1,000 into the pot and I think my read of AJ-AK is really solid, so I take a little while trying to figure out how to get all of his chips. I raise to 2500 and Bobby pushes. I call and show my runner-runner flush. That puts me over T9000 and into the chiplead at the first break.

Photo courtesy of Carter.

I don’t think I played a hand for the second hour, which saw us start to lose people. Steve went out first, then Lewey fell when he made a sick push with his signature hand, 4-6 off suit. Gavin made an even sicker call with 2h-5h and flopped a deuce to bust Lewey. He went down to a rousing chorus of OI!s. Once the blinds got high things started to get interesting. Bobby rebuilt by picking off small pots here and there and pushing a couple of times and picking up uncontested blinds, but he finally went down. I don’t remember the hand, because I was playing turtle at that point and avoiding confrontations. Eventually I got fairly short and made a pretty loose preflop call which worked out well and sent Loren packing.

I’m in late position with pocket 7s and Gavin raises. Duh, Gavin’s been raising a shitload and is now the chipleader. Loren shoves in directly in front of me, with a few more chips than I have. I think for a long time, finally decide that I’m about 80% sure that it’s a race, and call. Gavin folds, and Loren turns up As6s. It wasn’t exactly a race, I was actually further ahead preflop than I expected to be, so his push was really just a re-steal. Ace in the door made me a little less happy. A couple of threes on the flop, rag on the turn and my two-outer seven on the river put me back into contention, at least in my mind.

Brandon was next to fall with something I really don’t remember, because I wasn’t in that hand either, and then we were down to four. Disclaimer – this bustout order could be completely fucked. I really remember that Steve busted first, and I remember the last four. The rest of this is guesses based on how I remember the action. Please correct me in the comments.

We were pretty even when we got to the bubble, with CJ being the short stack, but I wasn’t very far ahead of him and Gavin wasn’t very far ahead of me. Speaker was the big stack at that point. The blinds were really high and the Ms were really low, so the preflop push was pretty much the move. There were a few times that we saw a flop, but not many. One of those hands Gavin took a lot of chips off Speaker post-flop when his A7 hit the A45 flop and Joe had to lay his hand down. CJ took a little off me when I raised preflop with JTc and he pushed in a re-steal. Then Joe got short and pushed, and CJ woke up with his first (but not last) premium hand of the day, AA. They held up and Speaker was the bubble boy.

I don’t remember how Gavin went out, I just remember that I had nothing to do with it, and suddenly he was gone and I was heads-up with the Luckbox and a 3-1 chip dog. Like I said, I played very few pots with Gavin all day, but he was a hugely entertaining tablemate, with a monstrous heart. His winnings were immediately donated back to the charity. Fitting, since he donated the prize pool anyway.

I looked at CJ and remembered that this was how I started my year, across the table from CJ in a poker tourney. So I offered the same deal. “Chop?” We decided that of the $4K in the prize pool, half would stay in there for the charities, and we’d chop the other evenly. I pulled out all the stops, even breaking out my BBSOP engraved moneyclip for my psychological edge, trying to take CJ back to the last time we played heads-up, but it had the opposite effect, spurring him on to even better play. Yeah, I know it had no effect on how he played, but it was absolutely the pride that we were playing for, which is always more important than money. Well, almost always.

A couple hands into heads-up play I looked down at A3h and push. CJ instacalls and I figure I’m down when he flips up AJo. The board is all babies, with 3 pieces of the wheel by the turn. I don’t remember if the river was the 2 for the wheel or a 3 for my pair, but it was a pretty monumental suckout, continuing my streak. Unfortunately, three times was all the charm I was going to have.

A few hands later I look at K7c and with the 3-1 chiplead on my side of the table this time, I push. Again with the instacall, and my heart sinks when I look at what is only the most powerful hand in poker. Yep, CJ had THE HAMMER. Things were not looking good for our hero – I had not only gotten all of CJ’s money in the middle when he was behind, dominated even, but he had the power of The Hammer to boot. Needless to say, when the dealer dropped a deuce on me, it was on the river, the only time all day he hadn’t fished me out with that last card.

A few hands later I got it all in the middle with 9To against some silly pocket pair, oh yeah, those were aces. I didn’t make my straight on the river and to add insult to injury, he beat me with the 4-flush when the last diamond gave us both the flush, only his was had that silly ace involved.

It was a great tourney, it was great to play with my friends for charity and it felt great to outlast a couple of top pros like Gavin and Brandon, both of whom played a great game. Then the partying started in earnest, and there is much more to be written about that later.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


In the past few days I've had a shot called Snakes on a Plane, watched an amazingly hot bartender pour SoCo down Pauly's throat, had a fantastic meal at the Palm, drank enough PBR to float an armada, brutalized the geriatric nits at the Borgata limit game, sold my chips in a tournament to Gavin Smith for 2nd place money with 17 people left in the tournament, caught a boat on the turn after a loose preflop call in PLO8 to scoop, had my wife robbed at gunpoint (yes, really and no, she's fine), and donated half my winnings to charity.

And the Bash at the Boathouse?

It hasn't started yet.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Cody in Times Square

Last night I had one of those stereotypical New York experiences. Not the first time on a subway, or a rude cabbie (which I’ve actually had more of in non-tourist towns than in NYC or Vegas), or even my first glimpse of the Naked Cowboy.

A friend from work who was up here on the same training session I was here for was also hanging around an extra night. Unlike my slack ass, she’s still here because she has work appointments today, while I have some lonely vacation time looking to join all my other days in the “spent” column. So we grabbed dinner at some joint on 51st, then headed up to Times Square to kill a little time.

“I gotta get watches for my girls,” was her impetus for our trip to Times Square.


“Watches. You know, the watches, from the guys on the street.”


So we traipsed around Times Square looking for the guys with the briefcases full of watches. For like half an hour. And when we finally found a guy with a couple card tables loaded down with knockoff watches, none of them were what she was looking for.

“I didn’t realize you had such specific needs in a knockoff/hot watch.”

“My girls are picky.”

“You don’t get to be picky with gifts!” Somehow this offended me a little.

“You don’t know my girls.”

The girls in question are her employees, not her daughters, although I have no doubt when her daughter is a little more coherent in her communication that she will be at least as demanding.

So we look over the watches, and as we turn to go, this little guy in a very big jacket says “You want watches?”


“What kind watches?”

I turn the floor over to my friend, who we’ll call Cody to protect the somewhat innocent.

“Cheap. Silver. Women’s.”

“I got watches, I sell to you $40.”

“No Way! I’m not paying that for a cheap watch on the street!” Cody can get a little strident at times, and our little friend was looking furtively around to see if her exclamation had attracted the attention of one of the 97,000 cops that were hanging around Times Square.

“How much you pay?”


“I give you four watches for hundred.”

“I’ll pay maybe twenty apiece.”

“Okay. You wait here?”

“How long?”

“Fifteen minute.”

“Okay, but hurry back.”

It took our little friend about ten minutes to make it back, then we went around a corner to conclude our furtive transaction, purchasing four identical ugly knockoff watches for $80, guaranteeing that her girls would have an authentic piece of New York life on their wrist for at least a week or two until they self-destructed.

Little fella looked hopefully at me for more business when Cody was done with him. I looked down on him, gave him a little headshake, and sent his disappointed behind on his way.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Let the Dog run Free

86 counts of rape. That’s what Andrew Luster was convicted of, in absentia, while he was surfing and partying in Puerto Vallarta Mexico. 86 times this individual drugged and abused women on the basis of his money and his drugs.

Duane Chapman, popularly known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, put his family’s financial well-being on the line, spent months chasing this piece of walking excrement and finally found him in a nightclub, on the prowl again. Dog and his team, including his brother and son, captured Luster and got him extradited to the US.

But bounty hunting is illegal in Mexico, so Dog and his team spent a week in a Mexican jail awaiting bond to be set. Once bond was posted, they left Mexico, assuming that the misdemeanor charges would never bother them again unless they went back to Mexico within the next three years. So they all came home to Hawaii and resumed chasing bad guys while filming their A&E reality show.

Well that all went to shit last week when federal marshals arrested Dog, his son Leland and his blood brother Tim. They were stuck in a federal pen with some of the same criminals they put behind bars until bond was set and made. This was done because a Mexican diplomat asked for it.

A foreign diplomat asked for an American citizen to be arrested and extradited for a misdemeanor charge which was the result of carrying out a law enforcement activity on Mexican soil. Why? After three years who gives a shit about a high-level misdemeanor?

Something smells fishy, and Dog put forth the theory that he’s part of a trade for a big-deal Mexican drug lord that was just handed over to US authorities. I don’t know about that, but I know something smells fishy. And I know that if this guy had the stones to go to Mexico on his own nickel to recover a sack of shit that committed 86 counts of rape and bring him back to get gang-banged in the prison showers for the rest of his bow-legged life, he deserves a medal, not extradition.

I don’t watch enough TV to have seen his show more than twice, but from everything I’ve seen and read, this guy is the real deal. He hunts bad guys with his family, never uses a gun, relies on his wits and pepper spray to subdue people, and genuinely gives a damn about his community. The kinda guy we could use a lot more of.

So do me a favor – go here and sign the petition. If you think he’s a stand-up guy, stand up for him. I’d damn sure rather have him out here on my side than rotting in a Mexican prison.

Friday, September 15, 2006

No coherent thoughts

Don't eat bagged spinach, it grows in shit and has E. Coli.

No, really.

Wil has a great post up that took me back to the days of velour shirts and bowl haircuts. I never go into the Transformers thing, but Greedo was always one of my favorites and the COBRA tank was eight shades of badass, especially when you rotated the turret and hid extra bad guys in the body of the tank under the turret to pull a Trojan Horse move on the GI Joe weenies.

Watched the local professional theatre company open up their season last night with a production of I Am My Own Wife. If you've never heard of this play, then you're not a theatre goof. It's the story of Charlotte von Malsdorf, a German transvetite who lived through both the Nazi occupation and the Communist occupation, neither of which were pleasant places for a transvestite. One actor plays over 35 parts in this solo 2-act play, which is a helluva test for an actor. It's a challenge for the director, too, and everyone involved in this show really stepped up to the task. It was a fantastic performance, and the set, sound and lighting were also really well done. So that was a good theatre night.

The Duhks, with the amazingly hot lead singer, have a new CD out. It's pretty damn good, check it out.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A new goal? Maybe

Bad Blood says we need a new goal, something to inspire our writing and our play. My play has been dramatically uninspired for a while, so I'm going to take Blood's advice and some info from an article that Tyler Caby wrote on and tweak my game.

First, I'm cashing out a chunk of my bankroll, cashing down to $1,000. That will be $500 online and $500 for live. Then I'm going to grind limit for a few monthly bonuses that I can clear safely at those limits (thanks Interpoker!) and play low-stakes SNGs with the rest. Thanks to a monstrous losing streak, that puts only a couple hundred extra random dollars in my pocket, and I'll use it to buy Suzy something nice for her birthday next month, since I'm going to the Bash and leaving her at home, then going to Tunica and leaving her at home, then going to Vegas for work (wink, wink) and, yep, you guessed where she'll be. So I need a couple of husband-points there. And I don't think paying to have a tree surgeon come over and cut the limbs off the roof counts as a birthday present.

Hopefully this will focus my play somewhat, and my goals will be this - to be sufficiently bankrolled (again) to play 3/6 limit and $30 SNGs by the end of the year. Income from writing on poker and blog ads (I love my sponsors) will be split between helping pay for real life and padding the bankroll. And 25% of any weekly profits will be cashed out, excepting bonuses. This will actually allow me to pay myself something for playing cards, and should fairly quickly rebuild my roll to put me at more profitable limits.

So, starting today I have a bankroll of $1,000. I have a goal by December 31 of a $3,000 bankroll, which will also mean that I've cashed out at least $500 for other things, helping me be a little more well-rounded (insert gut joke here).

I had written a long a rambling post on the laptop yesterday about tech rehearsals and all the shit that goes into opening a show, and I'm really glad I didn't have any wifi access. Suffice to say that I'm opening a show tonight with in my opinion some of the best lighting work I've ever done, and that it's been a great experience to be back doing creative theatre work again. And the fact that they're paying for my trip next week doesn't hurt either. But really, the show is A Chorus Line, and it's a helluva good community theatre production. I'm sure it can't hold a candle to the Broadway revival next month, but it's a good show. I brought in almost as much gear as the theatre owns, and crammed over 200 lighting cues into a 90-minute show, which means that my spot op, board op and stage manager don't have any time to fuck around. Typical sequence -

"Standy lights 85, 86, 87, 87.5, 88, 89, 89.5, 90, 90.2,90.3,90.4,90.5,90.6, 91 and 92."
"Standy spot in, out on 85, in on 87, out on 90.2"
"85 gospotoutGo,86 go, 87 go, 87.5 go, 88gospotrestoreGo89go89.5go, 90goSpotoutGo90.2goGoGoGoGo91...GO. 92 go and thank you."

That's the last half of one number, and the crew is all volunteers. More power to 'em, I wouldn't want to run that beast. I just designed it.

Sometimes I'm just evil.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five years...

This is from Kid Dynamite's blog, a post he wrote five years ago. Go read the whole thing, it gave me chills.

As we are watching the footage on TV, I ask the guy across from me, "Chris -who else is in that building - Lehman? Merrill?" Chris says "My wife." - try to imagine how that hits you.

Five years ago, some nutbags with box cutters fucked up my country. We've spent the last five years doing a lot of wrong-headed things in the pursuit of other nutbags and their leaders, but it is important to remember the feelings of vulnerability and fear that we all felt on that Tuesday morning. While most of us watched it on TV, some of us walked home through the ash because the subways were closed. While most of us wept for the images and icons that we had lost, some of our friends were getting ready to go to an empty-casket funeral. But for a little while, no matter where we live, we were all New Yorkers.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Started a long rambling post today analyzing my feelings of inadequacy and failure since the demise of my theatre company.

Blew it up when I realized it was veering fast into whiny drivel that I was forever going to regret writing if I ever hit publish. If you're interested in that BS side of me, wait until about 2AM on Friday 9/22, when I can almost assure you that I'll be drunk enough to get maudlin if anyone provides the impetus to maudle.

Was reminded yesterday that I am to teach a workshop this afternoon to a group of NC theatre eductors today at 5PM. I have a 45-minute drive from office to workshop site during which I can figure out what I shall babble about. Fortunately I only have an hour to fill, which shouldn't be much of a problem.

Trying to get everything line up so that I can be gone for a week is harder in the fall than in the summer, especially this particular point in the fall. But the light at the end of the tunnel is somehow SoCo colored...

This NY/Philly Bash/Management Training trip will include my first trip on America's 2nd-oldest form of mass transit, the train. I will be Amtrak'ing from Philly to NYC on Sunday and then back to Philly Thursday morning. Any specifics to avoid when travelling by train would be welcome, as I have never utilized this mode of transportation before. But it's pretty damn cheap, so no matter how bad it could suck, it's still cheap.

I'd like to see a show while I'm in NY, but it's hard to pick something that won't induce divorce, or at least violence, on the part of the wife. She loves theatre as much as I do, and is much more fond of musical theatre, so me seeing anything on Broadway is right out, unless I want the cat to be my only bedwarmer for the foreseeable future.

I'm a little sad that the Crocodile Hunter guy croaked, but I'm more sad for all those snakes and crocs in the Outback who now have nothing to look forward to, nothing to strive for. Their existence is now meaningless, since the one thing they wanted, above all else, to kill, croaked from a stingray. The outcry from Croc Local #317 for territory infringement is going to be huge at the next Animal Kingdom Labor Rally and Sheep Chow.

My end of year CD may have to be a double disc this year, with great releases from Sam Bush, Yonder Mountain String Band, Darrell Scott, Johnny Cash, Gov't Mule and so many other killer bands. I'm missing the Violent Femmes play a street festival this weekend in Greensboro because of tech rehearsals. Damn that money-grubbing nature.

I noticed something this morning on my drive into work, a woman, obviously Latina, standing on the corner talking to another woman as they waited for the school bus to come take their children five blocks down a quiet residential street to the elementary school. But what I noticed was not that particular bit of idiocy, it was the look on the woman's face, that particular kind of embarassed half-smile that says from all the way across the street that "I kinda know what you're saying, and whole-heartedly disagree with you, but I'm too big a wuss to say anything about what a jackass you are, so I just smile this little smile, duck my head a little and hope that you'll stop speaking (or breathing) soon." It's an interesting mannerism that I've never seen an actor manage to duplicate on stage, but see in real life all the time.

I played poker last night. I played 2, count 'em 2, $1 SNGs. I finished 3rd in the $1.50 turbo HORSE for an overall $2 profit. Yay me. But it helped me wind down after focusing lights for the night, and I played well, so that's all I needed to do. End obligatory poker content.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Oh yeah, and another thing

Go over here and congratulate Wes on Trixie, his newest swabbette. No, her name's not really Trixie, but Wes is certainly southern enough to have given his baby girl about 17 first names.

And please welcome to my list of kind sponsors. I loves my sponsors.


Cursing my lack of liquidity, I missed the Mansion guaranteed bet on the Steelers. They closed the promotion after accepting 5,000 people, putting themselves on the hook for a cool $5 million if the Steelers win, but less than that actually since a bunch of people signed up before Big Ben blew out his innertube and has to sit at home watching, so the line moved dramatically from Friday to Monday. Irrelevant, since my recent forays into ultimate loserdom have crushed my bankroll and left my without enough floating around to make an $1,100 wager without cleaning out a bunch of sites, so by the time everything made it back into Neteller, the promotion was closed.

Oh well, at least now all my money is in one place, rather than being spread all over the intarweb. It's not like I'm going to have any time to play poker for the next week or so anyway, since I go into heavy tech time for A Chorus Line starting tonight and continuing until opening next Wednesday. Not to mention meetings for the Metrolina Theatre Association and Southeastern Theatre Conference tonight and tomorrow night, and a seminar that I'm supposed to present tomorrow afternoon on some topic that I don't for the life of me remember what it is.

And it doesn't really slow down until roughly December, since my gig as President of the North Carolina Theatre Conference really kicks into high gear in the fall. The organization sponsors a statwide High School Play Festival with eight regional sited culminating in 16 shows being performed at our Fall Gathering the weekend before Thanksgiving, not to mention a Tony-Award-winning keynote speaker and a host of other programming at the Gathering, which is one of two major events that NCTC puts on each year.

Oh yeah, and I'll be going to Vegas for most of a week for a conference in the middle of October, right in the middle of everything. I annually attend LDI, Lighting Dimensions International, the largest entertainment lighting trade show in the US, and it's in Vegas every other year. This year I've convinced our company that instead of just being another guy in the booth, that they should turn me loose to live blog the show, giving multiple daily reports on new products, new hires, mergers, rumours and other jazz from the show. So that will at least be interesting, if tiring. Usually with booth duty, I only actually have to work 4-5 hours each day of the show. This gig will take a lot more time and concentration, which will likely cut down on my alcohol consumption. Bummer.

So the fall is kinda crazy 'round here, but I can't wait until I can put it all on hold for a few days and piss around NYC, AC and Malvern with the rest of you degenerates in a couple weeks. And my ten minutes are up.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Fuck self-censoring. Some folks have recently raised questions about outing yourself as a blogger, and what if THE MAN reads your shit? Some folks with monstrous penile appendages even had their blogs stifled because their bosses read their shit.

I have cooler bosses. Both my immediate manager, my immediate supervisees and the president of our company know that I blog here, and have at least on occassion stopped by to check it out. So I don't really blog about work here. It helps that I work in the entertainment industry, which was largely founded on eight-balls and quarter bags, so the concepts of propriety are somewhat more lax than in other fields, but we're a pretty big company within our industry, and we weren't founded on quarter bags and eight-balls, more like a corned beef sandwich (go to our company's website and read the history of the company to understand that one), so I don't really talk about this little slice of heaven to other folks in the business outside our company, so's they don't get the wrong idea and all.

Although I'm not sure what that wrong idea would be? Do I sometimes think my job sucks ass? Of course I do. Most days I think my job is pretty cool, and they pay me well, so I keep showing up and selling a shitload of stuff for them. It's an arrangement that's worked well so far, and I see no reason it won't continue to work that way (until I hit the mother-luvin' Powerball, bitches, then I'm gone!).

But I guess I do self-censor, more out of a sense that I could hurt someone's feelings (and then have to listen to them whine) than out of fear for my job. So I don't write everything in the world here, which helps me keep it at least somewhat of a poker blog, rather than going off on every wild-arsed tangent that leaps into my addled head. So I guess that's my take on being "out" as a blogger at work. I am, but most of the folks at the office could give two shits about poker, so they don't usually come here to visit. And if they do, well, hi.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Yeah, well...

I'd love to have a great post about going down to G--Vegas and raking in enough cash to completely fund my trip to the Bash and but everybody their fill of SoCo on top of it, even BigMike.
Good thing I've got a day job to fund my trip to the bash and at least my drunkenness.

I can't even blame it on bad beats or unlucky tendencies, I just played poorly for most of the day.

Tourney #1 - never had chips, ended up in 2nd place for a strong start to the points race. Got all my money in on a bluff that I didn't think there was any way my opponent could call. He could. He did. His Ace high was good. I could have certainly picked a better spot. My bad.

Tourney #2 - had some chips, not a ton. Had position on Otis, which helped for a while until he got MUCH chips, then he just pushed me around, along with the rest of the table. Figured I could hammer on the other two players remaining, but there was to be no folding to my steals, so I was forced to have legitimate hands to win. My play is very limited when I am forced to have legitimate hands. I threw a bunch of chips away. Again, could have picked better spots. My bad.

Tourney #3 - I didn't outlast the ghost who went home for a nap after tourney two and didn't come back. My trips with an Ace no good against a turned boat. That one would have been a lot harder to get away from, but a good player probably could have managed. My bad.

Cash games - I no longer had position on Otis. That got expensive. It's a good thing I like all those guys, or giving them all that money would hurt a lot more.

I will drive that 90 minutes down 85 at the drop of a hat to hang with a dozen or so of the finest folks I've ever slung cards with. It's always a mark of great hospitality to me that no less than three people always offer me a place to crash whenever I'm down there. To be invited into the homes of these folks and then offered space on a spare bed, couch or even plush playhouse is really an honor.

Bad Blood always sets up a great tourney structure, and hopefully I managed to pick up one or two POY points for my futility. And Mrs. Blood makes the best meatballs in the upstate.

Came home and stemmed some of my online bleeding by dropping to $2/4 limit and playing only good cards. It's remarkable how much your VP$IP will drop when you remove hands like KJ, QJ, AT from your preflop 3-betting stable. I'd like to clear my Interpoker bonus this week, but the play has gotten very nitty since they changed their bonus requirements.

Oh yeah, and if you haven't signed up for the Mansion Poker guaranteed bet on the NFL season opener this Thursday, the line is now at 0, so all you have to do is pick the Steelers to win, and if they do, you win. If you made this bet last week, you're less happy that Captain Faceplant went in for an emergency appendectomy and will not play this week, because the line was a 5 a week ago.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Marking Time

So tomorrow I get to go donate money to my buddies in G-Vegas, so last night I went back to what was once my favorite fishpond, and has lately been my lake of despair, Party Poker.

Let's just say that the river was less than kind. In the span of one orbit I had a set cracked to a rivered flush, top two pair busted by a rivered flush and a middle pocket pair (overpair to the board) busted by a rivered Ace. I was cruising along, thinking that I could get away after this last hand UTG, when I pick up a hand that is admittedly bad in Limit, KJ sooted.

It's been a fairly passive table, so I raise. I get two callers to see the Jack-high rainbow flop. I bet, both callers stay with me. Turn is a King which puts two clubs on the board. I bet, get raised by the guy on the button, and I put him on AK, since he falls in love with that hand and is incapable of releasing it after he misses the flop. I call (MISTAKE) and the third goof calls. The river brings the third club, I check, Goofball bets, AK raises and I fold, having seen this movie before. Goofball calls, shows his A-Rag of Clubs, AK guy flips up his AK, and I log off for the night. Hopefully Blood has invited some dead money for the side games this weekend...

In other completely geeked-out news, the sequel to my favorite compter RPG comes out next month. Neverwinter Nights 2 gets released on October 17th and I can't wait! The original NWN kinda rewrote the book on CRPGs, since it gave away the dungeonmaster's toolset with the game, allowing people to create their own adventures (modules) and distribute them for free (or a small fee) across the intarweb. I've honestly played this game off and on for the past four years, and because there are thousands of user-created modules out there, I can always find a new game anytime I want. You can also play online with other people on server-hosted persistent worlds, where they've created massive playing areas to explore, beat up people and beasties, and shit like that. I'm not much of an online gamer, so I usually just download the modules and play solo, but it's pretty badass.

The only hitch is the graphics requirements. I may see a new video card in my future...and maybe more RAM...and maybe a faster motherboard...or maybe I'll just buy a bigger box...then I can put my 250G music hard drive in a portable enclosure and move it from computer to computer...God, somebody save me!