Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WPBT 2010: A question

Shock and awe.

Two things that kick start a day better than any RockStar/Red Bull/NoS/Triple Cap-Low Fat-Double McTwist.

Yes the Vikings won last night, yes I am happy as a fan and it is with hope that Winfield got the game ball for shutting down Vick in the first half.

But, the fandom of rabidly rooting for the Purple was put away like Favre's noodle several games ago before some supreme being decided that this once proud team in August needed a second helping of humility by popping the bubble and sending a Minnesota style blizzard to Philly with in three weeks. 

The football game wasn't the shock and awe and nor did that happen after the lights went out with a couple in their mid-30s going to sleep.   That was two nights ago.  No, the shocker (also not used) was my wife's annual planning of our Spring Break trip.  Since she has worked for a school district ever since I got attached to the short softball player with great legs coming thru her grey St. Cloud State mesh shorts, Spring Break has been the time to take a vacation.  Whether its a couple of nights up in Duluth, across the border for an indoor water park at Wisconsin Dells, or the most popular stop:  Las Vegas.

While the wife thru out Atlantis in the Bahamas a few times and looking at the price tags that would burn the remainder of my depleted bankroll that "BET MORE" during the WPBT got (yes more WPBT stories to come, sorry but there has been Captain to drink, sledding to do, and kids to unwrap presents with stories about getting 86'd at Sherwood Forest and chopping up the WPBT tourney will need to wait).  Aside from winning a PCA ticket like some Hollyweird blondes did (congrats again Change!!) that would be out and set aside for a bucket list or save for a year type thing. 

The thought of going did appeal to me especially with the frozen wasteland I'll be gazing into for the next four months, its easy to picture oneself sipping on a Mai Tai while watching bronzed asses bounce by and a symphony of waves crashing live instead on an iTunes playlist.  Wife turned her full attention towards going to Vegas of which got an reaction out of me that was nothing short of shock and awe.

I didn't immediately want to go.  In fact I actually argued against the idea.


This last WPBT trip ruined the Vegas experience for me.  It was like the best sex with the hottest partner you could ever imagine and then turning to your fleshlight stroker with Anal Queens 15 in the background and just turning over to go to bed.  The things I got to do on that trip three weeks ago will never happen again for mostly monetary reasons, but certainly the luck of each scene playing out to its perfection.  The dinner, The Crowes (which I have a bottle of Captain waiting this weekend to write it up properly minus embarrassing stories which will remain in the minds of those who attended), The wink of the leftover Asian hooker at 5am (not found at a Steel Panther concert), Betting without concern of losses, The Sunday football games, The flight of a golf ball heading towards Red Rock national park, The WPBT tournament run, The birthday Pai Gow binge, The first class seat, and the perfect mix of degenerates and professionals one could possibly gather.

How do I top that?

Or perhaps how do I not try to top that and enjoy the moment with the love of my life while laying out at the MGM Grand pool with an overpriced mixed drink in hand?

Work (recaps not spreadsheets) and online poker funds acquired via recent strong lucky play will cover the trip's cost but it won't be the same.  Maybe I just answered my question, different but same, after all there are other ways to reach euphoria than ordering your sixth round of drinks off the 61 year old former Miss Golden Gate Imperial Palace waitress who you genuinely questioned the sustainability of her out of place looking fake tits and if they would make it back for round seven after five hours of getting cold decked playing Pai Gow dealt by a former North Korean water torture specialist named Kim. 

I don't doubt I'll have a great time with the wife, but my hesitation about going back to Vegas was nothing short of eye-opening. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

WPBT 2010 Day Two: The Bankroll Sleeps with the Fishes

The morning after a bender can be awesome, or be spend on a floor curled up naked trying to soak up the coolness of the surface wishing to die.  Since I was not plied to drink whiskey/scotch on my birthday, the awesomeness of being still buzzed while going to Starbucks in the morning started the day just right.

After picking up an overpriced hot chocolate it was time to truck down to the IP where various WPBT'ers that were sane enough NOT try to survive five days of this drink-a-thon were filtering into thru the perma-busted front doors of the Imperial Palace (seriously guys, five years is enough time to make the brass door to your dump swing open).  After a leisurely stroll from MGM to IP I happen to see a Badger fan grabbing his bags from the front door and kindly told him that his kind is not welcome here. 

I think I woke him up, had I know I'd had a Miller Lite tallboy in hand for him.

Walked into the cloud of despair and menthol smoke that is the IP with StB and found my lunch date Kat, who was checking in near the blogfather himself.  After a quick check of plans I was going to get my first blooming onion.  No, dear reader not this kind of blooming onion (writer's note : OWWWW!) but this kind over at the Outback Steakhouse.  Ok, whomever came up with the ass thing needs I guess lots of lube.  Anyway, the four us checked down to Casino Royale walking past the Ben and Jerry ice cream stand that my hungover nose sniffed some Chunky Monkey that would have sated the Greyhounds and Cap'nCokes swirling in my stomach, but alas there was slabs of meat and fried onions to eat! 

And the lunch was a perfect example on how to enjoy this weekend.  See people who know, or don't know, grab them for a bite to eat, some Pai Gow, a two-minute quickie in the back bathroom stall and get to know them behind their writing voice.  Most of the time you'll see the same person describing their lives on the internet except with facial expressions which completes the picture.

After a non-anal intruding lunch in which I did not drink as a lemonade with a big burger and fries built the greasy base for my second long Pai Gow session of the trip.  Up and down with Kat and CK as bloggers filtered in, I believe I met Numbono for the first time who was immediately chastised for not placing a redbird on the bonus circle (OhCaptain would also receive such a warning but getting him to play a -EV game was hard enough). Several hours passed and with slight win (near even with several drinks is known as a Win-Gow so coined by Aussie Garth).  If I played to win free drinks, then call me a hundredaire, otherwise I won back lunch money despite betting a quarter or more a hand.

Soon it was time to go back to the room and get overdressed for the fancy dinner at Picasso.  Yes, I overdressed with a blazer, button-down shirt, slacks, and loafers but that was my choice as I don't spend $200 on a dinner.  Ever.  That and I'm a dork, will always be a dork, I embrace my dorkism.

Aussie Garth brought his wickedly smart and beautiful G with him, as Kat, Gracie, SWEET SWEET PABLO, the walking party AlCantHang, and my fellow Minnesotan who also avoided the 5th largest snow fall ever in our state, OhCaptain made up the dining party.  For the next two hours we were pampered by the staff, as well, we were the only ones basically in the room!  But, the dinner, the conversation, the wine guy's two minute speeches on the clear liquids in front of us, the Bellagio fountains behind, all painted a masterpiece that even the Cubism master with baseball team's list of surnames would have had a tough time creating.  Right before the chocolate lava cake I excused myself to the restroom and upon coming back a familar face walked past to the same destination.  After sitting down and enjoying this sweet ending to wonderful meal it was none other than Antonio Esfandiari who was celebrating his WPT win at the same casino and the only other table still there after we posed for pictures outside the restaurant.

Our band of eight would return to the IP where bankroll-geddon happened that evening while managing to blow through a little too much at craps, Pai Gow, and my dirty secret of playing slots left me fat from dinner, and remorseful that I did not just jump into the poker fray (where someone got 86'd) or the Geisha Bar for less costly things like $4 pitchers of Coors Light.  But this was the weekend of "Bet More" and if I lost most of my bankroll I going to do it without whining about it (so pretend I didn't write this paragraph). 

Back to the MGM at around 5am where tomorrow would be about fairways, greens, and mixed games with the blogg...  oh wait I didn't play and instead was blessed with music and hurried limo rides, more on that later.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2010 WPBT Day One: Bet More, Win More Drinks

Here we go!

Most of my birthday on Wednesday was spent in a non-blog worthy way.  Staring out at the snow in the backyard while wrapped in a Snuggie (Yes, I'll own up to wearing one, as flaccid as it may seem they work) and plowing ahead with school work thus leaving little to none for the extended weekend of blogger debauchery.  After finishing up a statement of Cost of Goods Sold with a side of cheesy hash browns it was time. 

The theme of this trip was "Bet More", not just placing a different colored chip in the Pai Gow betting circle or hitting max bet on a slot machine, but to do the things I would normally skip due to cost.  After saving up my funds from working at the PokerStarsBlog and catching a few cards at Full Tilt I had the bankroll to say "yes, I think I'll have that or do that".  While my last few trips to Vegas haven't been bargain bin adventures, this one for the WPBT Winter Classic would have zero boundaries (well, at least ones that wouldn't have me signing divorce papers in three months). 

I showed up at Humphrey International Airport (otherwise known as Terminal 2) about four hours early and was greeted by a very pregnant desk worker for Sun Country.  "You know he's supposed to have the same birthday as you but didn't want to come out today".  Despite the nine pound bowling ball dropping within 48 hours she managed to to give great service and inspired by the theme I asked "do you have 1st class available?".  For just $109.00, I got bumped up to 1st class, granted this is not Delta or United but 1st Class is 1st Class meaning no cramped seats with senor dickhead ramming their seats into my lanky legs.  Plush seats, COCKTAILS!, a hot meal that didn't suck, and the ease of being able to stretch out my frame all well worth the cost.  While I did want to take full advantage of the free drinks, there would be a crew assembled on the ground ready for alcoholic libation offerings to the Pai Gow gods and I didn't want to sprint out of the gate, literally.

So to pace myself I just ordered a drink whenever the well-to-do mid 50s lady next to me did.  Eight drinks later (paced myself with a lush, well played Drizz) we're feeling pretty good and hopping in a cab for the strip.  After a nod to the driver for telling me that he would forego the highway without being told it was time to hit up the MGM Grand and the West Wing room that awaited.  Frosted windows for the toilet and shower, huge king sized bed, TV on the mirror?, and enough pillows for a six year old to make a fort, the bags were quickly dropped off as Badblood was down in the poker and The Mark were already tilting cowboys in the poker room.  Once the slot machines gave me a hint that playing them would not eat up time before Pai Gow was to be played late night ($100 gone in five minutes), I decided to try my luck in the poker room.  Normally I'd sit down with $1,000 at 2-4 limit and have more fun making chip castles instead of actually making reads and check-raises, but instead I sat down and play a little 1/2 NLHE (which is foreign to someone that plays strictly PLO and PL/NLO8 cash games). 

Enter Otis, Dr. Jeff, and 1/2 of G-Rob who's transformation was phenomenal, losing 100 pounds from the last time I'd seen him at Mastodon Weekend. They had a poker jones to sedate, so I grinded at my table picking my slot losses and diving into Cap'n Cokes with nothing to stop it.  The water backs allowed for more consumption as proud poppa Ryan from Absinthetics dropped in to join our merry band on the road to drunken Pai Gow as I left over 1/2 buy-in up and was ready to get my Pai Gow on!

Cock blocked by the Asian pit brush who wouldn't lower an empty game to $15 (on a slow Wednesday night) we were quickly tag teamed by two well-dressed gentlemen who represented a den of ill-repute.  Right in the middle of the gaming floor, not off to a corner or behind the Starbucks but five feet away from the stick handler shouting "SEVEN OUT!".  Promises of limos and boobs caught the attention of BB and The Mark as the remainder of us took to the strip in search of Dragons and Bonus Hands. 

New York New York lacked any love, but the Monte Carlo had the perfect nearly empty $10 table with we would set up shop for the next 5-6 hours.  Multiple drinks, multiple attempts to crack the hard-lined brush that refused to join in on the jokes, as we sat for a bit when F-Train hopped into degeneracy and betting amounts increased while the action surrounding us decreased.  As in none, save for a couple of guys in the adjacent blackjack table we were the only ones still playing Dragon hands while listing to a live band that didn't suck.  Think the pit boss could take her heart out of the freeze slide us a comp for such play?  No.  While denied Steak and Eggs, we would not be denied multiple bouts of white-boy dancing after the dealer turned up Pai Gows.  As the crew dispersed it would be me and Otis enjoy a non-freezing walk back to the MGM with my birthday dance done, and day one of the WPBT in the books.

Call it a filling appetizer for more to come.  I thank those who my birthday an enjoyable one, but the fun was just beginning...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Five days away from home

This is what I'm currently looking at...

This is what I'll be looking at seven hours (photo cred)...

And this is what you get if you bust me from the WPBT tourney, hope you're thirsty!

Russian Imperial Stout that kicks yo ass!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Wilson Phillips is here with a public service announcement

It is here.

Much like those days of yesteryear if you celebrated Christmas, sitting in your bed Christmas Eve with eyes wide with anticipation and it didn't matter what was or wasn't underneath that Douglas Fir, just the thoughts of ripping thru that Target-bought wrapping paper to get at something new, something exciting, something that hasn't been broken in yet.

WPBT-eve is upon us degenerates, you read the stories, you've seen the heartbreaks and triumphs, and now you get to see those friends once again or perhaps revel in the absurdness of the Geisha Bar at 2am for the first time.  It's the ex you never had sex with, the one with the Playboy model body, brain of a astrophysicist, and knows the the Kama Sutra in 15 different languages. She still pops in your dreams despite laying next to the love of your life, call it a guilty pleasure that you will never act on, but gets you through the night.

Go in this weekend with zero expectations, go out with new friends, and a story to tell your grandkids. There's no need to try to keep up with AlCantHang (as a "seasoned" drinker myself, I suggest finding other mountains to climb), but definitely shake the man's hand for getting Full Tilt Poker to not only add $1,000 to the WPBT poker tournament at Aria on Saturday, but got well-known pro Alex Outhred from Deepstack U to hand out a tutorial before hand for just a fraction of the usual $150 price tag.  And if that wasn't enough, as most people know we gather on Sunday to watch football (someone will be forced to wear Packer gear and not like it, we won't mention such things).  Lagasse Stadium served us awesome last year and we'll be doing again this year on Full Tilt's tab.  Drinks are your responsibility so I suggest finding Al under a SoCo bottle and slipping him the money up front.

PokerStars as mentioned several times is putting up the hammer challenge, the last longer, and the OG-blogger knockout bounties.  Which puts me in an odd spot of needing to start drinking much earlier since my best poker is played under the influence, not to mention I should be able to go a little further than second out this year.  Perhaps Mr. Outhred could spare me from a repeat (although I did win $700 playing craps shortly after...).

Tomorrow is reserved for birthday silliness, so if you can find me (not an easy task) I'll be the tall, chalk-white guy mostly likely double fisting Cap'n Cokes and $2 Win-Place-Show bets while playing Pai Gow but not making airplane noises.  No, we won't be doing that. 

But if I can get GRob to go on Color Wheel Tilt at Excal again, it would be the best birthday present evar.  That and taking home the golden hammer on Saturday.

Just one more day folks...

Monday, December 06, 2010

Story behind the story

Yeah, I need a haircut thanks for noticing.

Wow, was so busy this weekend hardly noticed that we're TWO DAYS AWAY from the 2010 WPBT Winter Classic kicking off.  Yes, I may have mentioned it here sixteen sextillion times but it bears repeating because such awesome people not named me will be there and I hope you, the reader, are one of those people.

But, first life threw me a nasty curveball, or rather Comcast did.  It looked like a waist-high batting practice pitch after leaving the lanky pitcher's hand.  The day was cold even by Nordic standards but the kids still went out to pave a decent run on the sledding hill in the backyard while mother and father enjoy Vikings football after it looked grim for the home team early on.  Favre threw one pass for an INT while taking a shot that I heard from the Metrodome Mall of America Field 15 miles away.  Then T-Jack predictably jump passed his way into a pick six.  But, the defense got its angry on and treated the Bills Quarterback Fitzpatrick like toddler toy and Sidney Rice ascended many time while coming down with the ball to play like the team they were supposed to be winning 38-14.

While the game was on, I managed to finish a project for school, and turned on the poker machine.  Full Tilt was unkind to me, or specifically PLO Rush poker was lancing my bankroll $25 a time while I dinked around in a couple of MTTs, busting early in 4 of 5 of them.  Finally, sane me stopped playing PLO while I still had chips in a $5 Rebuy PLO8 MTT before taking my handle of Captain Morgan 100 proof acquired as an early birthday present down from the cabinet.  While I didn't crack the bottle, I did crack enough aces on the way to chopping up the tourney for plane ticket type money (sorry no tourney recap, you'll have to read on for one of those...).

An hour later I tried to log into the PokerStarsBlog site and get an error message as I started my preamble and wanted to set up for the night's Sunday Warm-up that I was covering.

No bueno.

Power surge?  Na.

Complete shutdown and reboot?  Three times.

TO THE CLOUD!! *cue wavy dream music*

Instead of polishing up the final table write up while wrapped in my Captain Morgan blanket and a rough Steelers/Ravens game on, I had to throw on 15 layers because Minnesota is cold in the winter (errr, autumn, yeah right) and head over to my parent's house as they are my back-up and are used to their son stumbling in at weird hours.  However, I was stone sober and rushed to my old room to set up shop and....   NO CONNECTION!  Except for PokerStars which ran just fine, however anything thru a browser was met with an error message.

But I had an out, my dad fires up his hard-lined work computer and says to just work off of there since his browser worked just fine.  Yes!!  Victory is mine internet goblins, gimme the +4 Staff of Awesomeness!

But wait, what's this?  A firewall that doesn't like poker words?  No publishing site access, No PokerStars, back to square one. 

So I text a probably sleepy Otis about the issues (I found out this morning, all of the Twin Cities metro area was down, lucky for that hard-wired account or I'd been really FUBAR'd), and get on the phone with the one person I know would be up.  Enter Bluff Magazine nominated Short Stack Shamus into the fold.  Since I couldn't publish it, and I knew he would be up doing the Sunday Million I had a plan.  Finish the wrap on my laptop since I could watch the tourney and write it out, transfer the document and screen shots to a disc, put disc in dad's computer, then email it to Short Stack to publish. 


Except Yahoo mail was also behind the firewall, no likey connection.  *insert John McEnroe you can't NOT be serious*

Ok, dove around in dad's computer for an email account, hack the password (shhhhhh), and mailed off the Sunday Warm-up wrap in time for consumption for the masses!

Oh, my fuel light came on, on the way home so I had to stop and catch a handful of frostbite before returning to my snoring wife who has a bit of a sore throat and slept sparingly.  Fun night?  Youbetcha!

Please enjoy the wrap, and thanks again to Short Stack!

Two days folks.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Nothing to read on the way to WPBT? I have your back

For those looking for something to read on their plane ride NEXT WEEK SEVEN DAYS 168 HOURS FROM NOW  WHOOOOOOO WHOOOOOOOO.



After your TSA-mandated prostate check or shocker for those who lack such plumbing but still need to be check for C-4 filled vaginas, I suggest settling down with one of these books for your terrorist-free airborne travel.

Dr. Pauly has a great deal going on at Lulu and for his book "Lost Vegas", I'll let him tell you about it:

Sorry for the intrusion, but I have good news -- after months of waiting, Lost Vegas is now available on! If that's where you do the bulk of your Christmas shopping, then stop by my page and pick up a copy or two. Through Amazon, you can also purchase an e-book copy for your Kindle for only $9.99.

If you would like to save $3, you can buy copies of Lost Vegas for 15% off via At checkout, you use coupon code STOCKING305.

The 15% off coupon is valid through December 15th. Don't worry... the discount comes out of the publisher's pocket and I get my full cut.

Just a reminder... Lost Vegas is cooked to order, which means it's Print-On-Demand (POD). Due to high volume of orders with my publisher at Lulu, I encourage you to buy the book before December 5th to ensure a Christmas deliver. Please note that this only covers orders directly through Lulu.

Click here to buy a copy on Amazon.

Click here to buy a copy on Lulu. Don't forget to use code STOCKING305 for 15% off.


Photo Cred:

Yes, Kick Ass and Hit Girl took time from their busy schedule of algebra and extracting Columbian drug lord's tongues from the their bodies to pimp "The Chosen" and "Hard Day's Knight" by John "Falstaff Hartness.  I'm currently thru 1/3rd of "The Chosen" and Hard Day's Knight is my next book to tackle (planning on purchasing one from the author in exchange for a plastic pitcher of Coors Light), will finally be able to set down my accounting textbook long enough to enjoy the book on my ride to Vegas ONLY SEVEN. DAYS. AWAY!!!! WHOOOOOOO WHOOOOOOO! 

Again, apologies.  I'm not known for restraint and give apologies in advance if my excitement annoys you (I am reasonable, just tell me I'm being an idiot) but given that I'm locked away in a cube half the year and being a parent/school boy the other half, being able to let loose in Vegas for a closet degenerate is well relieving not in an asian massage happy ending way, but more of a first cold drink on the back porch in autumn sort of way.  That's autumn in places like South Carolina, not Minnesota where such as drink turns into a slushy within .5 seconds of sitting down on top of 6" of snow. 

Anyway, go now if you haven't purchased these fine books as time is running short and I've already started to get up every night at 3:30am wanting to post a Pai Gow Fortune Bonus bet.

7 days.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'll wipe that smile right off your face

Is it time for Wilson Phillips yet?



It's the home stretch to the 2010 WPBT Winter Classic where smiling is actually encouraged and won't get you a press conference beat down by our many illustrious poker writers for many different outlets.  Seriously?  Smiling?  I understand one question about the smirk, he answered cordially but to keep needling the guy and a team who just played awful football for 60 minutes is akin to having TMZ on your press pass.  Yep, just like those "reporters" who walk up to random celebs with hot-button questions "So OJ how's the right hook coming along?" "Paris do you prefer to use the left or right nostril?" "Hey!  Mr. Gibson could you tell us how you REALLY feel about Jews?".  Report, don't become part of the story.  Of course I did not attend J-school and since my poker reporting is done in the comfort of a Snuggie with a laptop and a Cap'n Coke sitting aside from the couch, I can't completely know what was going thru the mind of that reporter after last night's Monday Night Football game.

Photo Cred: ParkThoughts

Update to the last post:  I finished 12th in the PLO8 MTT after I was unable to keep my eyes open and opted for sleep.  Bad degen.  A decent shot for another small score but this week's schedule is brutal.  A full financial analysis of PartyGaming is due which was taken on due to being curious about the aftermath of leaving the US player base.  Profits down of course, but not as bad as you think.  I'll publish the numbers here after handing in the assignment.  Then, a 5-6 page essay comparing two short stories, along with normal weekly assignments, and trying to work ahead for next week since I don't feel like doing anything related to school in Vegas.  Oh, and there's taking the kids to see Santa at the Mall of America all day Friday
where I have two all-day passes to Nickelodeon Universe readied as a gift for daddy going away to spend a few days with friends.

If you see a spare me currently wandering around the back bank of slots at the Gold Coast or giving away money at the Flamingo's $2/$4 game at 5am nursing a hot chocolate, send him back to Minnesota, I could use my clone for this week. 

In case this is your first or fifth WPBT Winter Classic, is it imperative you read Dr. Pauly's guide to surviving the weekend.  Leave passing out on an off-strip Pai Gow table while Xi is trying to collect your losing bonus bet to overworked parents and veterans of such degeneracy.  We're used the five second naps and snapping awake with zero consciousness and appearing to function normally when the four year old is asking for help after turning the sink into a giant tub of cherry flavored kool-aid and playing Barbie's beach house from the sides.

8 days folks.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturdays with Dr. Pauly

If you ask me why I'm up at nearly midnight watching Mallrats on a night I was resigned to head to bed early.

I have no clue, I really don't.  But, I can tell you what I did at a more reasonable hour:

That would be me, luckboxing my way thru this courtesy of Dr. Pauly.  The Turkey cup wasn't a choice as my old ass was passed out by 9pm the previous evening, but PLO + kids giving daddy a little time to play = good decision.

Wow, Shannen Doherty was hot!

Anyway Dr. Pauly was putting up a signed copy of Lost Vegas (NOW 15% off!!  Head over to Lulu for details, or click the link) and while I was planning on asking the good doctor to sign the copy I purchased a few days after it was published, a second copy for a Christmas gift would be perfect.

Since a recap of the action is better suited for people who can write such recaps and I'm still baffled as to why I'm still up grinding in this $5 PLO8 tourney, I'll leave it that I got lucky and won.  Period.  Exclaimnation point. 

In light of the Gophers (football, not hockey, not basketball, but FOOTBALL) winning tonight I'm going to allow someone else to claim this nightcap because I will be covering the monthly promo tourneys at Stars tomorrow, and I hear a gathering of likeminded degens is getting rather close.  Good night and may the wraps be with you.

11 days.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wife Knows Best Chapter 10: He WILL Forget

After walking through the front doors after a longer-than-usual commute (a whole 15 minutes!) and missing the fine smell of bacon-wrapped steak that was promised to be pan-searing when I got home, an audiable sigh left my nose. 

"Oh, I can still throw the steaks on" said my wife, at least those were the words from her mouth. 

The actual words were "I got home and did the laundry, vacuumed the floors, pulled your daughter down from the ceiling, and rescued a bus load of 8th grade volleyball players after their driver fell asleep trying to pull an all-nighter so don't ask me to make your fuckin steak".

Calmly, I suggested Leeann Chin's and I would offer to climb right back into the car to retrieve the Sesame chicken goodness with a side of egg-fried rice and gooey cream-cheese puffs. Also, as a bonus, the mystery package I signed for yesterday happened to be a large (for me) check from my musings on PokerStarsBlog and after checking my bank balance, a wire transfer from Full Tilt also went thru so "bet more" at the WPBT may be back on (if the funds clear of course)!

A side trip to the bank was made where a cute Thai teller that would have made F-Train throw out a few suave lines, I however stumbled thru the reasons for the large foreign check and made a joke about giving it to my wife for Black Friday (which isn't entirely false, but don't let her know when she finds some extra cash in her purse from the degen fairy).  Then on to the Leeann Chin's I go to about twice a month noting the usual surly but hot blonde who wears too much makeup and a distaste for people on her face serve up some Sweet and Sour chicken for the kids, Lemon for the wife, and as an audiable, some Mongolian chicken for myself.  Wrapped up with two pairs of chopsticks for the kids to poke their food with, it was back home to a "movie night" (meaning a late-night date with "An Introduction to Literature" for daddy).

pic cred:

Toy Story 3, and this one lived up to the hype, with a excellent ending, on top of an excellent ending.  Just when you thought it was over with Woody and Buzz saving the day again, it jerks your heart strings for a few minutes more. 

All the pillows and blankets were gathered up as the nightly ritual of getting the kids to brush their teeth without flinging poo at each other began.  But tonight there was no poo, perhaps after-glow from the awesome movie as they settled down quickly, got tucked in as I returned to the porch and found my fat cat Funky rightfully assuming my ass would be on the couch for the next few hours.

Just before cracking open the play "Trifles" by Susan Glaspell and later "The Cherry Orchard" by Anton Chekhov my wife came in to remind me to put away the turkey that had been thawing out in the sink before going to bed.  I looked up and nodded telling her not to worry about it.  But, my wife was not convinced.  She takes out a strategically placed chair which blocked the walkway between porch and living room (the kitchen is in-between the two) and places a pan on it.  After seeing this I raised a middle finger in salute, and got one in return with a smile.

After the required reading I was too tired for the writing portion of the assignment and shut off the lights to the porch which were the last lights on in the house and started stumbling to bed much like I do on later nights.

WHAM!  #!#$&$#!@@

My middle toe rang with pain as I slammed it into the strategically placed chair which filled the lane like Wilt Chamberlain and Shaq standing side-by-side.  As my trudged my bruised toe and ego to the kitchen light and took the medium-sized wet turkey placing it in the fridge, I could almost hear my wife down the hallway laughing in her sleep.

14 days folks.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Quick hits: Parenting question for those with good poker faces

Quick hits:

  • Brad Childress fired = Drizz happy camper.  It doesn't help the team any, but least shows they're willing to move forward.  My hopes that the "moving forward" part means building a stadium in Blaine, MN not LA.

  • There are just 15 days left before the WPBT Winter Classic.  Do you have your three person PokerStars-infused prize pool last longer team in place yet?  What the fuck are you waiting for?  The Lions to the win the Super Bowl or Obama to admit he could have done things differently in his first two years in office?  Not gonna happen.  So go.  Sign up your weak-ass team that will visiting Davy Jones' Locker after run over by the Brad Childress-less Viking ship of TEAM SKOL!!!  If you dare bust one of us out I'm sending this guy to your house to rinse your mouth out with month-old dead trout or his unwashed arm pits:

Photo cred here

  • On Sunday I got a lazy day as a present to myself for waking up at 6am and busting out a two page essay on poems, half of my final paper (due in three weeks), and finished a statement of cash flow for a mock corporation. Shortly after the Viking's implosion that had Packers Fans creaming their green and gold g-strings my daughter entered the room with a worried face. Usually this means a) "Daddy, I took five bars of Hersey's chocolate and ate four of them while smearing the fifth one all over the kitchen" b) "I want to watch Strawberry Shortcake's adventure in Berry-Berry land for the fifteenth millionth time but can't get the DVD player to work after jamming three discs in there" or the dreaded c) "I did something that I won't tell you, but know it's wrong and need to be questioned like a police's person of interest". Can any parent tell me the secret behind keeping a straight face while your adorable four year old daughter tells you she cut her bangs with safety scissors? Bluff a flush draw on the turn in a heated PLO game with a stony face? Yes sir! Not laugh on my cutie's hair malfunction?
Not this guy.

Updated pic of said daughter for those who do not follow me on Twitter

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Life imitates smartphone

While skating last night with the kids as they attempt to gain mobility on Minnesota's most known surface, there were strands of little kids in various hockey and bike helmets in various stages of ability.  The chair-user, the future Gretzky, and the kids having the ability to stop which mine don't thus run the risk of having their faces find out just how hard the boards and plexiglass really are.

Then there was this guy...

Since our two little ones had adjacent lesson times with a half-hour practice time in front of each one, we got to spend an hour whipping around on the ice and I got a few loops with carrying the kids that they enjoy.  But, THAT guy above is real.  It's not a fuckin commercial.  He laced up his skates, most likely his kid's too, and stood on the ice Twittering to his little heart's content.  Not once looking up from his smartphone to see a smile on the kid's face or chase him/her until they would get caught.

The sad disconnect of the digital age is real, I know it because I'm at home pecking away at school work while the kids are up when I should be explaining that you go up the ladders and down the chutes and to stop trying to take five spaces when a four is spun.  At least my intentions are somewhat benefiting the kids with potential higher earnings and a father who is trying to become a better person by not standing around looking up nude Bristol Palin pics as life skates by.

Instead of saying the cliched "thanks" next week:  I thank my kids and wife for being understanding of the need to return to school, to be with friends in far away places, to allow me to be myself and not forget how big of a dork I am.  I thank my friends for the same reasons, whether you read here or not, just the occasional text message or even a "tweet" that makes me smile even when you're just as busy as I.  I thank my father who now has seen more injuries cutting down trees than his two Purple Hearts while serving in Vietnam, how you and mom selflessly give without any reward other than a fading embrace from a rushed son and grandchildren. 

To those who help me purchase my hearing aids last year, I thank you and another round of drinks awaits in Vegas in a mere 20 days, as I can't wait too see everyone again and hear their tales versus reading them.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Using a page from the whining book

Whine and thou shalt receive. 

My kids employ these method on a daily basis and once in a great while through frustration I'll give in.  Softy, I know.  Mostly because the words "daddy is working" coming out of my mouth while doing homework or describing the seventh place finisher in the Sunday Warm-Up at PokerStars, has a ghastly charcoal taste to each syllable.  Last night it was creating invoices and receiving payments for a fictional landscaping company while my son wanted a second knight to accompany him in a game called Castle Crashers on the PS3.   For the low price of $14.99 (plus some PS3 add-on cost of a buck and change) these little square-headed knights bop different ghouls and wombats Street Fighter style with a little RPG thrown in as there's leveling, gold collection, and standard strength, magic, dex, and defense add-on to improve your character. For a quick game, well worth the purchase.

As I poured some tears out on these pages way too soon about floating cash at Full Tilt the joy seeing that cash with a bonus enough to cover more than the bank fees (thank you good sirs) was back in my account by the time Michael Vick was in the middle of going All-Madden on the Redskins last night (seriously, if the Eagles played like that, can anyone beat them?).  Now with two accounts flush with online moneys, the question is:  is it safe to try to withdraw again?  One method involves several fees adding up to $60 which doesn't appeal to me but for the sake of "bet more" in Vegas a few less lap dances won't hurt the silicone and baby powder crowd too much.  The other method is wait and pray that the check clears, and with three bad checks already in the past few years I don't need my bank getting itchy to close my account that has been open since Ronnie Regan ruled the White House and I was getting my 100 pound skinny ass kicked in middle school.

For those who still drop by and play, let me know if you've had experiences (good or bad) with cashing out, and I'm not talking about getting your aces cracked five times in row while your brand new 100" 3D-HDTV blows up in the background from the cash-out curse.  Save those stories for the Geisha Bar.

22 days shopping days till my birthday folks.  Get a move on.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Checks and chips

Trying to keep my eyes open on the ice-slicked roads of Minnesota this morning thanks to winter's regurgitation of snow overnight on Friday, there was more than a few odd sights on my ass-crack of dawn commute.  The gray with white flecked bunny with ears seemingly lopped off, perhaps from a gang initiation which must have included darting out in front of a tired suburbanite at five a.m.with hopes that his green tea fix kicked in enough to dance his truck around around those short, fast legs.

No squished bunny, he'll survive enough to terrorize the neighborhood by knocking over a few gas stations before meeting his maker by a vigilante Ford Probe's front right tire. 

After avoiding animals there was the Stephen King-like mist with a 16-wheeler coming over the top of a narrow bridge that I was attempting to cross at the same time taking up the entire width.  Luckily by the time Maximum Overdrive's figure peered thru the fog it became just another commuter that probably had his eyes open no more than me.  

Sufficiently awakened by new found alertness, I see its November 15th and we're only 23 days away from the 6th installment of the WPBT Winter Classic which only half of the field has signed up for the biggest giveaway we've had thanks to the wonderful folks at PokerStars.  Be sure go to Up For Poker's for the details on the last longer, hammer challenge, and my favorite...  bust an original player from the first WPBT tourney.  No, I was not one of those folks as my bankroll was in its infancy at the time, marriage was about as stable as Brad Childress' job, head injury still kept me under supervision, and my son was just drawing his first breath so running off to Vegas that year wasn't possible.  But, those who survived the first year's drinks at Sherwood Forest will be back and guarding their bust out prizes like a child's stuffed animal. 

Lately on the online front things have not been rainbows and perky tits waiting to serve you another Jag Bomb because you're just so darn cute (or probably because you're the only one tipping consistantly).  This weekend I had not one but two checks bounce from the major sites.  Full Tilt's check bounced after waiting A MONTH for it, offered no explanation nor any forebearing that processors were having troubles.  As you know my bankroll isn't big (see: name of blog) and we're talking about enough for a plane ticket and maybe enough money to bring my golf clubs with.  It wasn't until I wrote in after my bank informed me of the NSF check that an apology was given.  PokerStars however offered a pre-emptive strike telling not to cash the check (which I didn't) and gave a bonus on top of my withdrawl and the funds are once again back in my account (unlike Full Tilt who continues to drag their feet about this...). 

In the year of "bet more" since I had been doing not-so-bad at the tables lately, there was a little extra to enjoy an upper crust dinner with good foodie friends, whiskey with a Packer Fan and a husband to a Packer Fan, golfing with a soon-to-be groom, and still have enough for playing 3am Pai Gow with Hong and Dr. Pauly at the Gold Coast.  Those things will still happen, but this extra bit was my reward to myself for the hard work over the past year.  Going back to school full time with two jobs has been tiring especially when you add a daughter who thinks it's ok to get up at 5:30am on a weekend to climb into the freezer using a chair and phone book to gobble down 2.5 bars of Hershey's then proceed to bounce off the walls for the next five hours on a sugar rush while daddy tries to book a sale of a 20-year bond bought at 102, and sold six years later at 98.5 with an interest rate of 11% and coupon rate of 12% and writing a two-page compare and contrast essay on two poems (seriously, how do ya'll read poems, I'm baffled).

As the king of the deuce-four, PokerGrump, added in a recent post about cashing out at Bodog where he was given an ATM-type card instead of cash with a bunch of loopholes and fees attached to it (read the post as he explains all the fine print).  Is this the direction we're going to avoid the UIGEA?  Or until the government finally allows us to go back to the good ol' days of NetTeller and wire MY money as quickly as needed? 

We shall see as Bodog wrote to me a few days ago telling me I had more than happy meal money in my account to cash out should I not want to play there. Thanks to the cancelled checks I feel like I had just split the uprights for the game-winning 37 yard field goal and as the guys were carrying me off the field Rex Ryan comes over to laugh in my face as he called a time-out right before I was to get in the hot tub with the Dahm triplets and I needed to compose myself for another try.

Neither site has commented on the ability to try again, and the 2+2 threads on the matter do not show much light as to people receiving and clearing a second check.  As told, I "need" those degen funds before escaping the sub-arctic temps of Minnesota for the poker felts of Vegas.  The question is, will I be on a budget and just enjoy the fact that I'm surrounded by good friends that I only get to see 2 or 3 times a year, or will "bet more" be in play making airplane noises at Excal playing 4am craps?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Just putting a pen down and writing

It's taking out the overstuffed garbage with the last bit of your wife's BBQ meatball grinder tray that fed the dozen or so friends that came out to spend a day trading landscaping work for decent beer and food.  Standing in the driveway with a fading sunset and hues of dark red climbing beyond the wall between your place and those with net incomes that will be attained sometime close to retirement.  The delicate balance between being responsible and giving up is a juggling act that most people lean towards punching their time cards five days a week at the same time or with enough regularity that the in-house Starbucks barista has your triple no-foam mocha Grande espresso  ready before punching up Microsoft Outlook to see the balance of inane meetings and fake smiles for the day.
Getting in a routine is good for goal-setting and attaining.  Each day the work gets done to the point that the pile of dishes are not resembling something you'd see an art museum next to the human vagina project that the state paid $100,000 for someone to simulate menstruation every fourth week of the month inside of glass box.  Routine of sleep, work, kids, homework, sleep gets broken briefly with self-imposed time-outs for imbibing in a few adult beverages without worries that your essay on Anne Bradstreet's "To my dear and loving husband" written with the help of rum and a deep love for my fellow routine task-master.  She's more than that, my friends are more than that, I am more than that, there's needs to be a point of satisfaction and despite having everything I could possibly want, the bottomless hole of want never gets filled.  It's not a bigger TV, house, or cool phone that produces perfectly slow-cooked ribs with a touch of a button, and achievements won't slow this down either.  No amount of "employee of the month" or Dean's List certificates (although I'm a little proud of that fact and hope to continue to carry a nerdy GPA until graduation in 2013) will stop the cold chill feeling like I need more.

More what?  It's dark, shapeless, odorless, tasteless, it's carbon dioxide, there's no stanza to describe the more that is needed to feel whole.  Do you give up the routine that keeps you buckled down enough to enjoy those who are kind enough to put up with your quirks and earn enough monetary funds that society accepts you as a productive member.  I thought going back to school would fill a void, and it does on a resume and more to the fact that the cobwebs upstairs needed cleaning.  But, I've also learned that I will never be completely satisfied no matter the amount of small glimpse of joy like sex, a Vikings victory, or the feeling my kids or wife give me with an unconditional embrace.  The latter keeps me going at 11pm after getting up for work at 4:30am while trying to figure out the present value of a $400,000 bond with a 12% contract rate and 11% interest rate paying semi-annually and how to book it properly. 

Maybe someone at the Geisha Bar or a Pai Gow table while surrounded by my very good friends in one month could sit down with me under similar intoxication explain how they "got there".  Or least how they look at themselves daily in the mirror and say "I'm pretty ok with you today, so don't fuck it up".   I apologize for my usual no structure writing but I've found that my "Nuke" Laloosh form of posting is my voice since that's also the way I threw a baseball for the Osseo Orioles 18 years ago.

In the WPBT news "Team Procedure" captained by BadBlood is looking for a wing-man (or woman) to fill out their feeble attempts to overtake Team SKOL at the Up For Poker last longer portion of the Winter Classic sponsored by PokerStars.  My advice...  don't arm wrestle The Mark left handed, drink whatever is put in front of your with a smile, and if you want to keep your winnings don't join those two degens at the PLO table afterwards.

29 days, get my birthday presents ready folks, I have high demands.  Like smiles, drinks, and tales of Superpanchos while discussing who gets the dragon hand in Pai Gow.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Heidi Montag's Tits are the Nation's Financial Problem

Kid Dynamite - Former Wall Street Trader and Vegas crusher (seriously go read ANY of his Vegas trip reports, it's a level of degeneracy I strive for myself but never get there) turned meat grinder/home garden extraordinaire packs mostly financial news with enough layman terms sprinkled in so someone like myself can understand TARPs and other news concerning our government handing out money to those who cry because they had to do away with their third Bentley.

Seriously go read, he's like a Rosetta Stone for finance. 

Anyway, there was post on someone named Paul Krugman whom I'd never heard of since my reading and media interactions are mostly poker blogs and watching Johnny Test, SpongeBob, and Literary textbooks for school.   Anyway Mr. Krugman apparently slammed people like myself who having been saving versus spending in recent years and trying to be as fiscially responsible as a good degen can be (sorry but the siren calls of Pai Gow bonus bets and Mr. Cashman slots MUST BE ANSWERED! I didn't completely neuter myself after marriage and kids).  Me and my wife both work full-time, getting up at 4:30am every day during the week and get home around 5pm, then dinner, taking the kids to swimming/dancing/skating/advanced assassin techniques for ninjas class level three then around eight or nine I start to study since I returned to school full time.  Oh, and she also works occasionally at a senior citizen function while I help out with the Sunday Majors coverage at PokerStarsBlog.  All this to pay a mortgage that is barely above water (no we did not buy "too much house" it's barely 1,400 square feet and 30 years old so take those arguments elsewhere) but on the good side our cars are paid off and we carry no credit card debt which allows us to live a little instead of going dumpster diving for half eaten ramen noodles.

The reason I mention the above was after reading a story about a chick who is more plastic than my daughter's Barbie dolls "Heidi Montag files bankruptcy after blowing $10 million".  My point isn't the money since this nation's elite need to buy rich things and do or have done something to earn that money.  It's their prerogative (ok, busting out Bobby Brown since you can't say that word without the song popping in your head)

Ah, ah, ah. THAT'S MY MY MY PREROGATIVE ... Oh welcome back.  Montag.  The whole irk behind her "financial woes" lies behind her spending something she never earned. "We thought The Hills would be like 90210" was the excuse.  Can I please punch her in one of those over-inflated tits please?  Why should semi-decent hard-working folks like myself slave over humping crappy jobs when we could be snorting coke off high priced stripper's asses at Cheetah's and playing poker with Doyle Brunson?  Just charge it, lose my house because I can't even afford the minimum payments on my 15 maxed credit cards?  Fuck you!  I'm ENTITLED to my house, you're going to throw out a family of four because I can't pay my obligations?  /internet sarcasm

I don't know when or why people in this country got to the point that don't feel responsible for their actions or even try to rectify the issue "I almost stripped for Playboy until my parents took us in!" says Montag.  Well, I don't have DDs or a vagina for that matter, so my chances of doing something on a similar last-ditch effort are slim to none, can't even spooge in a cup for cash since not producing another child we can't afford seemed responsible.

Responsiblity has a price, if a little sanity is the cost, I'm ok with paying it so I can look at myself in the mirror in the morning and only hate the fact that I root for a football team which enjoys torturing its fans year after disappointing year. 

34 days.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A Rolling Moss Gathers No Wins

My favorite football team continues yet another epic collapse.  This isn't the 1983 season where Les Steckel dropped a 3-13 bomb on this franchise with coaching ineptitude unseen until, well, now.  Brad Childress has shown this year that he is a staff accountant trying to do the CFO's job.  Last year was an aberration in a few plays that went their way, no injuries to the ghost of a Hall of Fame quarterback and his favorite receiver.  No quarrels with star players that will quit on 3/4th of the plays as I'll give Favre credit here as being someone who will put his best effort forward despite a coach with granite in his ears and similar legs for moving in a different direction when the first plan doesn't work.

Then you have Randy Moss.  A true Viking, another future Hall of Famer who had returned to the team after a few games to seemingly take the place of Sidney Rice (who took some horrible career advice and delayed his hip surgery enough to take him out this all-star lineup).  He caught Favre's 500th touchdown, much joy returned to Mudville as with the unseasonably warm weather up here just kept getting brighter. Since I personally was not eating with the team on Friday, to expound on the catering incident isn't right.  I wasn't there and can only read about what happened and offer editorals like Sportcenter ran off for the past 24 hours.  It could be a product of the Vikings' PR machine trying to save its battered coach's face, but now that the owner of the restaurant is being quoted:

Tinucci's co-owner Gus Tinucci said Tuesday. "(Moss) he comes in, and I'm helping one of the guys and didn't look up, and all of a sudden I heard, 'What the (expletive) is this? I wouldn't feed this (expletive expletive) to my (expletive) dog!' And he's screaming it at the top of his lungs.

It's hard to think Moss' return had anything with wanting another shot at 1998.  Can we blame the coach?  After all it is his responsiblity to manage the talent, as it's the owner's job to make that talent available. Childress didn't sell the program to Moss, or Moss is just an insufferable prima donna bitch, or both.  Either way the season that could have been, is mired right now in confusion with a future that has a "must-win" this week, and the next, and the next, and the next.  If there's a poker analogy, the Vikings are stuck five buy-ins looking to get even and just mortgaged the house to get back in the game.  Playing scared isn't an option, they need leadership in that locker room, they need Jared Allen to rebirth Mullet Nation and find his competitive fire after getting married becoming that guy who says he can't come out with the boys tonight, they need someone besides Brad Childress who can't fire up a lighter soaked piece of wood with a spark hanging over the top of it.

/end rant

In other news, there's 35 days until my birthday party in Las Vegas.  I hope a few of you drop by as social media doesn't give what a drink and smile do.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Again, didn't we do this just a few minutes ago?

Like begging the significant other for seconds the morning after...  Drizz did it again, after final tabling a small PLO tourney on and then this on the site that I've been donating my second paycheck to all year...

Ok I didn't get Megan Fox but in my current state WHY NOT!  I'm f'in hot dammit!  Yeah, I'm suburbanite making shit per hour with two kids and going to school but hey I knows how to play the pokers!  Ok, again maybe not but I do bust thru once in a while.  Like below (boring brag below, no more titties for you!)

Don't tell you love me, I. don't wanna knoooooooooooooooow.  Sorry I'm in my 80's hair band mode and Night Ranger hit my stick becaus they rock EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY DISAGREE!  You want to see my name up top right?  Ok then.  Without further adieu, or Favre's average sized penis...  here's we go:

ME-FUCKIN-OWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!  That's right I don't suck at poker for one whole night!  Kids are getting up in an hour and I need to go retrieve an energy drink because I'm screwed if I don't since I agree to read Hooper Humperdink at my daughter's pre-school in a few hours.  Speaking as a degen should wake up the kids?  Good grief I think I'm just a bit lame for staying up this late BUT DONKEY WISHED TO GIVE MONEYS AND I TAKES IT!

I'm done.  For now.  No more penis.  Or carpet cleaner.  Need an energy, or some spare meth.  Otis talks about such things, maybe I should inquire.  Or not. I like pie.  Good morning VIETNAM!    Yeah, I'm screwed.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Darkness Day 2010

Last year about this time me and three other fellow beer enthusiast decided a week prior that we would make an effort to get to our favorite brewery a little early for their once-a-year, limited edition beer called "Darkness".  Surly Brewery where Omar and Todd put their collective hop heads together and spawned a home in Brooklyn Center around 2005.  Since then the following of this beer has steadly grown since the days we would drop by on cold Saturday mornings to wait in line to swap out empty growlers for fresh product which sometimes included a small batch of speciality beer that the owners have been working on. 

Growlers (2006-2008) R.I.P. my dark glass encased friends

After the city put the kaboooosh on selling directly from the brewery due to city ordinances, growlers ceased to exist except for nice trophy cases above refrigerators across the state of Minnesota.  But, that didn't stop the flow of microbeer lovers from worshipping such finely mixed beverages.  No, the reaches of the songs of "Darkness Day" grew despite the release timing of the annual brew being in late October into November as Minnesotans know that despite what other states call "fall", winter's onset usually takes place while shuffling kids around the neighborhood in their Power Rangers outfit bought at Target along with 542 other things you didn't need there but bought just because.  Much like a casino, you can't walk inside a Target without spending money.

Darkness label 2010 style

After dancing around severely underdressed last year, showing up like amateurs at around 8:30am with bellies full of Sausage McGriddles, our group decided to kick things up a notch this year since the lines were getting noticeably longer at even earlier hours. This year it was no impromptu journey to the warehouse district in Brooklyn Center, we planned our attack to be at the brewery at 6:00am with folding chairs (unlike last year where we sat our posteriors on a nice, cushy ass-frozen curb), a cooler filled with beers that a long-time friend filled with a yummy selection from his gate of beer heaven, and of course bean bags! Six hours is a long time to wait and chat about just beer although the subject has conversation power and less likely to invoke religious or political backlash because beer is fuckin awesome unlike Glenn Beck.

7:36am - Do you know where your beer is?

Just an hour and a half since we parked ourselves on the corner with shots of hot cider and Sailor Jerry, the line started to inch out towards the highway already and would hit the end of the block by nine am.  Fanatic much?  People were setting up grills and one had a full open tent complete with 24" TV with an XBox360 running while our neighbors in line toyed with a iPad and of course playing "Angry Birds".   I inquired politely if he bought the tablet computer just for the game, he snickered just like I was his mother asking why the ceiling tile was off-center after hastily putting away a 6 month old Playboy and went back to demolishing those nasty pigs.

The corner bar

After eight am and the above picture I retired the camera to its resting place because batteries are a bitch and everything electronic should have the ability to be willed to life (yeah, I suck, NICE PREP WORK IDIOT).  After sunlight approached and the weatherman's prediction of rain thwarted (take THAT Sven Sundgaard!)my friend B grabbed a bottle of beer that had it's own box and was wax capped to something called an offering table.  I have a shitty cell phone pic of it, but it was literly beer porn laid out for anyone with a glass to sample some of the finest beers around the world (but mostly from the US).  It was here that I started observing license plates from Tennesse, Illinois, Wisconsin, Dakotas, and New York?!?!?  To think my commute to the brewery was a whopping 10 minutes these guys took toll ways and mostly likely started their trek on Thursday. 

Advantage:  fly-over state

After sampling a few of the beers (as you can tell I am not expert on the subject matter to expound on the savory tastes within, I just consume, a lot, because I enjoy something better than Mich Ultra while watching Brett Favre's ankle tank my beloved team's last chance at a winner for the next 10 years), there were two food trucks set up for noshing and one had these donuts with a seemingly ring of incased butter on the inside that made me moan like the time my wife...  ok I'll stop right there, but honestly, AWESOME.  I had two bags because one was an insult.  I think it was this one "Chef Shack" feel free to correct me of course.  But, after being recognized in line as "that cornhole champion from SurlyFest" (yes, my abilities known state wide people) it was time to hop in line for wristbands as my wife joined the crew to up my purchasing power to two six-packs.

What $200 in beer might look like

And fin. The beer is now sitting in the cellar with one bottle marked for a Chicago fan who will probably try to a take bath in the bottle and other things that should only be seen on chatroulette. The rest I'll figure out as tonight marks the first night I'll be able to sit and enjoy what will hopefully become a yearly journey to that small brewery that made it big.

See for another recap and more photos of the event.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Walking Scared

Walk with a careful step down Sanguine Court with Otis' short story titled "Walking Gray".

And do it with the lights on.  Not sex you perv, the reading.  Do it now.

Couldn't get the photos from Darkness Day loaded so tomorrow I'll muse on spending $200 for beer.  Until then, enjoy one of the best twisters of the English language I've ever had the pleasure of sharing a Pai Gow table with.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Champions on Paper

In the shower, along highway 169 with the tidal wave of road construction during the wee hours of a rainy morning, sitting with friends in an industrial park waiting for a brewery to open its gates like Willy Wonka.  So many things to say, so little time, so my musing go buried into what's left of my head after a 10 hour work day, followed by impromptu wrestling matches with the kids, and finally lessons on Plot, Setting, and Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" until my eyes can take no more and the cycle begins a new.

To paraphrase a certain poker brat "if it wasn't for time, I'd do it all".  My interest in things outside of this self-inflicted schedule have a gray-ish layer over them.  Even my beloved Purple and Gold have seen the decibels lowered with every Favre penis story and pick-six that would normally have me firing off a 1,000 word volcano that would be invoked even if Tarvaris Jackson lined up behind whatever center they throw along the line since the departure of Matt Birk.  Instead of the gladiator that was the scourge of the Twin Cities and football demi-god to he legion of fans, Brett Favre has turned into a circus sideshow.  Injuries, passive-aggressive tangles with a coach that shouldn't be there, Jenn Sterger's tits popping up unwillingly according to most reports right behind Ed Werder's mustache.  In what was supposed to be a reincarnation of last year improbable run to banish the ghost of the Purple People Eaters of the 70s and the near-perfect 1998 season.  But, as Dallas Cowboys fans are learning as well (Romo going down last night was a painful metaphor for their season), the only things favorites on paper win is lining the bottom of a bonfire on a chilly November day. 

Sure it's easy enough to say "Brett should have packed it in" while the team is 2-4, and like most NFL teams a few plays would have reversed that record (Purple Jesus unable to plunge into the end zone against Miami and extracting Favre's head from his ass during the Packers game).  He's throwing the ball with the zip of a young quarterback while moving like one that is better suited in play $5 Euchre tournaments after steak night at the local VFW.  It is my hope he puts aside this quest to "go out in a blaze of glory" *cue Bon Jovi guitar riff* and does what's best for the team.  If Favre is healthy and believe he can do more than add another tick to that game-streak, by all means chuck all the TDs and INTs us fans can handle. 

I'll be there to watch 2-14 or 12-4 with my jersey on (except apparently during the WPBT which I'll be donning some Green and Gold of the dreaded Green Bay Packers again due to a text message I believe was pre-written by The Wife just waiting for Favre to toss the last ball over Randy Moss' head) just make it entertaining Mr. Favre regardless of the outcome, I'm sure you will.

Tomorrow or Thursday I hope to have my post up about Surly Brewing's Darkness Day.  Really, driving from New York to get a bottle of beer?  They were not the only ones.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Your table is ready Mr. Pappagiorgio

I want to be Rusty Griswold.

Photo cred:

You wake up and roll over to the digital alarm clock that reads "TOO DAMN EARLY!" in bright red robotic font.  The muscles don't move as well as they used to even after just strenuous activities such as "golf" and "drinking too much" on the weekend.  Yes, a day of a 40 minute commute in heavy traffic with Mike and Mike giving point counter point commentary on the sports world where the athletes make your yearly salary while taking their morning piss.  The work day isn't much better as you toil within your cube like a caged cat while the scent of catnip whistles by in the form of Krispy Kreme donuts that you can't touch because your supporting your wife's decision to lose a few pounds and just one frosting fleck would be the same as banging a mid-priced hooker in the Buffalo Wild Wings bathroom and her finding the used condom in your Docker's left front pocket.

You avoid the temptress while buzzsawing your way thru a dozen Blazin wings and buffalo chips with cheese and a tall Guinness and make it home in time to read a Scooby Doo adventure to the kids while the four year old manages to kick you in the balls three times because sitting still isn't in her vocabulary daddy.  A deep sigh comes after picking up the Monday Night Football game in the third quarter as the Titans have already put this one to bed and your wife takes a quick sniff of your polo shirt to make sure hot sauce was the only thing that splattered on it.

But, there's hope Mr. Pappagiorgio.  In several weeks there's a plane ticket with your given birth name on it for a round trip to VEGAS!  Yes, you can grab a fake ID, lay $5 on a craps table, roll it up to several thousand impressing the Mirage enough to sport you a three bedroom suite with hot tub filled with European models and wise-guys who take you in as part of their crew without asking you to whack someone.  Yes, you could be snorting coke off Paris Hilton's ass in the TAO VIP lounge while playing heads-up $10K/$20K with Doyle Brunson after getting backed by the New Jersey mafia.  No Dora the Explorer to be found within a 500 mile radius of the Spearmint Rhino rooms with women of questionable morals grinding on YOU.

It's amazing that several millions Nick Pappagiorgio's visit Vegas every year toting $10 plastic replicas of the Eiffel Tower with dreams that they will be magically plucked from obscurity and placed into the life of a high-roller.  But isn't that the whole point?  The chase, the dream, the alternate reality.  It's not a concrete goal like running a 10K, or losing 20 pounds, it's slipping thru Alice's Looking Glass and seeing a different side of life.  Parents like myself love their kids and wouldn't give them up for all chips in Bobby's Room at the Bellagio.  Nor their spouse for all the fake tits and perfectly toned legs that line up nightly at the strip clubs, because the wife gives you something that baby powder and glitter can not. 

You can read Lost Vegas by Dr. Pauly and get a peek at the Vegas facade as the Nick Pappagiorgio's of the world pile into the World Series of Poker every year.  Most will go home with pockets emptied by fellow card sharks and hooker bar denizens after rolling up the stakes and going to Vegas like Mike McD and getting busted on a two-outer by some 21 year old Scandi who's bankroll online would cover your yearly household expenses with enough left over to buy two brand new Benzs and slap a new roof on your 30 year old house. 

Reality isn't why we go or get excited about Vegas, it's about the trip, the anticipation, and for this guy meeting with friends and co-workers in a way that degenerates should instead of on their respective couches wrapped in a lavender Snuggie with an internet connection.  It is 50 days until I get to become Nick Pappagiorgio for five days straight and I can't wait.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jenn Sterger's Meal Ticket

"I slipped one past the goalie!".

Now that statement would wake up a few people if said in a bubble or shouted over the top of several conversations at a recent party like my annual Oktoberfest shindig that 30+ people plus their kids drop by for bier and spatzel.  My super-sperm however is unable to even get out of the equipment room and is as cold as a puck in a bucket of ice after having my wang flipped about by the Lara Croft assistant while high on Xanax.  When you're married you remember such things vividly as penis touching by female other than the one who yells at you to stop playing poker so late or ask why you bought the salmon instead of the rainbow trout because she had a coupon for buy one get one free.  Now I doubt Brett Favre got his junk grabbed by one Jenn Sterger (as seen here when she was first "discovered" as a FSU student).  Like my naughty nurse who was probably thinking about where to have a nice pasta bowl after work, Sterger got an upfront view of a married man's unit that was attached to a very popular football player.  A player who many see as iconic but flawed which shows on the field with brillant performances and equally heart-breaking defeats.  You could play the old "Wide World of Sports" music in the background while Vinko Bogataj takes a tumble off the ski ramp and Favre throws an interception late in the fourth quarter of a playoff game.

"To be great you take risk that no one else would",  a quote stated in many different forms since the time of Socrates, most likely this wasn't our quarterback's line of thought while texting dong shots to a woman who has already lined up her second Playboy photo shoot (pending as I received an *ahem* email with pictures of a future shoot, it's NOT MINE I swear honey!).  Not to be sexist and it will come off as such, but Sterger is not Millie "Auntie May" Babbs, 74, from Council Bluff, Iowa who enjoys a rousing game of a tournament Euchre after the Knights of Columbus Fish fry at the Christ the Redeemer church following five o'clock mass.  Did Streger deserve unwarranted post patterns?  No.  Is there probably more background to this story that will never come out?  Yes.   As someone who used her road block sized chest to obtain jobs and cash do you think a pics of a man's member really upset her enough to wait TWO YEARS before talking about it after getting fired by Sport Illustrated and timing the coming out party for maximum *insert Bevis and Butthead laugh* exposure while the folk hero took the field as an opponent during a MONDAY NIGHT game against the team she represented at the time of the pictures.

But, but ,but she shouldn't be subjected to such barbarism!  True.  I'm not in the "she deserves" it for wearing such lack of loincloths.  No woman should, but there's a place of common sense here that Sterger comes off as opportunistic in this case over and over.  If she wanted to be taken seriously or was truly appalled like I'm sure the millions of Favre fans out there are, then those photos should have been produced days not years after receiving them.  Because now it feels like a sports bettor who goes to the casino window after the game is done and says "I want my money because I totally would have bet on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to upset the Argonauts today".  No statute of limitations?  This wasn't rape, he didn't grope her after a Thursday practice, or try to dry hump her leg while doing body shot at Hooters, it was a picture.  One that seemed to have stayed on her phone for two years...  do you have many pics on your phone from two years ago?

Creditability of the witness is something lawyers use to shed their opponents in court.  Flaunting your tits in public should not subject you to unwanted cock shots, but since there was no immediate reaction from yourself or public outcry of such phallus phunny talk and the timing of the story, why should we care? 

Answer:  let it go, move on, nothing some eye bleach won't solve, and hope the future Hall-of-Famer can throw on some pants and not throw a pick-six late in the game the next time.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Last to the party, still leaves with the hottie

I final tabled a tourney last week (possibly, maybe, don't know) anyway after watching Lady Gaga for the 16th time today while eating a box of Cheerios with hopes of soaking up my party for one last night I fired up Full Tilt after a running my mother to Grand Casino Hinkley as an upcoming birthday present.  Why yes I played slots next to women chain smoking Virgina Slims while wearing enough make-up to paint my son's second grade class as clowns for Halloween in a few weeks.

Won at slots, won with kids who enjoyed their $15/hour babysitter which included Skid Row's reminder that she ooooonly seventeen SEVENTEEN working the desk and asking if I'd like her to put my penis someplace around that severely stretched polo shirt.  After remembering that my mom was five feet away and I'm married and don't wish to go to jail or be that creepy old guy who hits on high school chicks with their mothers sitting in close proximity, I took the wristband with my children's name on it without further incident as there was some gambling to do.  Slots, slots, and more slots after seeing a sad dealer with no players at the Pai Gow table.  Pai Gow normally a degenerate activity goes to level 23 if you play alone, besides my mom needed me to needle her by winning on every other spin while she plunked down twenty after twenty while chasing Mr. Cashman.

After padding the WPBT trip roll a bit, being disappointed that Ms. Jail Bait had been replaced by a cross between Velma and Grimace, and taking down the prime rib buffet that actually doesn't suck it was time to bring the kids home and straight to bed.  "No, no booze tonight" said my body so I jumped into a play chip PLO8 game with Bluff's newest all-star KevMath and TheKeyLime.  Needed little something, I spotted my new favorite $3.5K guarantee Rush PLO8 rebuy tourney in late regs.  I almost missed the cut off but managed to plunk down two shiny dollars in time. 

Three hours later I walked a lad through the ropes of making a three-way deal...

I wonder if this is the other side of variance that I haven't seen for a couple of years.  Any how, happy.  Much.  Still not going to drink anything heavier than cherry flavored kool-aid.