Friday, October 21, 2005

A job aint nothin but work

So recently I was looking for a job and I saw an ad in the paper. It said something about clerical work ideal for history majors or something. To most of you that probably sounds boring, but when I read it I thought I'd be like Indiana Jones' assistant, translating ancient texts and exploring temples. No don't worry I know I'd probably be doing gay office work but that's fine I was ready to bite the bullet. So I call about the job and they say, "How about you come in Friday at 10 (I've found that this automatically means AM to working people) and we'll get you situated." I'm trying be conciliatory so I just say sure. The woman goes, "Okay great, it's casual dress, and we're on the corner of 520 and 34." Good, cause I know where that is exactly, can I get someone on the phone to give me an even less specific address, because the "corner" of two highways is too much information. "Okay fine, so what is casual dress exactly?" "It's casual Friday so you can just dress casual." Well what the fuck is that lady? Don't just repeat the word casual to me. I'm not deaf I wanna know if I can roll up in sandals and a hoody. So I basically know nothing. I don't know where I'm going or if I'm starting work or if they're gonna send me somewhere but whatever, it can't be that bad.

I get up early on Friday and head out to whatever this thing is. I can't find the place, naturally, but I manage to get there after checking each of the 4 plazas they had on the 4 corners. Turns out it wasn't on the corner at all but a mile down the road; I think the woman gave me Brach directions. When I get there I realize that its like some staffing service, as I sign in I see that the names are alllll women. I start getting nervous that they're going to make me a secretary or something because if its one thing I cannot do its the phones. Then a girl hands me some paperwork to do. Work information, personal information, tax fuckin sucked. I tell them I have a resume but she smiled and shook her head no. There's something very funny about that "no." Only certain women do it. So it's back to the paperwork. After about 45 minutes (yep, try to imagine how long that would be, I had to dredge up every bit of information including my manager from MetroMarketing, Bill Sherman, and his whereabouts) I hand in my "homework."

Next I sit down and interview (in a transparent room where all employees could and did watch) with some old lady. She makes a remark about the telemarketing gig and for some reason I jumped to defend it. I think I was just so ready for the sales pitch that I defended it by explaining, "No, no, thankfully we weren't selling anything. We were merely offering people the free service of a chiropractic examination if they wanted it. No pressure." Why was I defending a job I didn't care about that I did 6 years ago? Luckily I think this old lady was day-dreaming about her cats. So she asks more questions and then says sit tight (you always have to sit tight) and that Linda would be in to see me in a minute.

Linda walks in and I quickly realize shes the woman running this place. She's a middle-aged woman typical of Marlboro (yea you know what I mean) and she's loving my resume. I start wondering what other people they must get in this joint since my resume includes things like: "able to walk dogs" and "cleans up nice." Then she informs me that I have to take some tests. Great! That homework just didn't do it for me. She lines up some data entry tests followed by one for MS Word and Excel. I start clippin through these idiotic tests but they are way longer than they need to be. No one uses macros, cmon. By the 20th question I was just guessing cause I was so sick of being in this place. She comes in to interrupt and say she might have a job lined up for me (whaaaa?). By the time I'm taking the Excel test I'm tired, I'm starving, and I can't remember one thing from Mrs. Toombs class. I just fill in answers and brace myself for the awkwardness of her seeing me fail this remedial exam.

She comes in when I'm done and says she might be able to get me a job at an engineering office. And the best part is, the interview might be today! Super. I kinda wanted to go home and have a last weekend but fine I was already moving so I figured I'd just keep going. She gets my scores and says, "Oh you did excellent on your tests, you know Excel very well." What, I left half of them blank. The average grade must be like 17% competency. So then she asks, "But do you know how to pivot on Excel?" Of course, who doesn't!? I hem and haw explaining that it's been a while but I probably just need to brush-up. Then I ask, "So what is it exactly..?" She goes, "Oh I don't know, thats just what they need." Ha, fair enough. We wrap up the paperwork and I'm out the door, absolutely starving, and in need of a nap.

Getting my keys out at my car I hear, "Bryan!" Good lord who is screeching my name? Old lady number 1 stands in the doorway to the building waving me in. Fuck what is it now, a powerpoint test? I come back in and Linda sits me down with sheets of paper. She points to the paper, "Here's where you are going tomorrow. 902 Main Street in Belmar, from 12-4. You'll be doing mostly filing, paperwork, faxes, ya know." Alarm bells are going off in my head. Astute readers will remember that this debacle was taking place on a friday. Therefore tomorrow=saturday. What the fuck!? She's telling me I'm working Saturdays for 4 hours in Belmar? Whatever happened to asking. "And then here's the address of the engineering place, I got you an interview right now. It's only about a mile away. You can just get in your car and head over!" Oh can I? Thanks! Can I pick up your dry cleaning while I'm out?

Now I'm starving and all ornery driving over to this place but I still figure I'll check this place out and bang out a good interview. As I pull up I notice it is not a very big office. Not quite the "engineering firm" I had imagined. Instead its some hole-in-the-wall operation in Marlboro. Okay, stay calm, maybe the guys are cool. I walk in and am greeted by a 50something former hippie who is balding with a gray ponytail. "You must be Bryan. How are you? Go ahead and have a seat in his office, he'll be with you in a moment." Weird at first glance but cordial, take a deep breath, it could be okay... I walk into his "office" and sit on the loveseat that is across from his desk.

Fifteen minutes later a short burly italian-acting man walks in, "Hey how ya doin," he says before he even sees me. He turns towards me and as we shake hands he looks at me as if we've never met. Which is true, so I don't know what he was expecting, but he is clearly confused by something. "You from the area?" he says. Not sure what this has to do with anything, but he asks it in a tone that suggests that I'm not. I go, "Oh yea, I'm close by down in Freehold." "Oh," he says, still beside himself, "you look kinda young.." Hahaha. Of course, what else. Faithful readers probably weren't surprised and won't be by my response either. [Big smile] "Oh, yeah I've heard that before, sure, I look young." Fuckin tapdanced for this douchebag. If I knew it would have gotten worse then I would have been a dick to this guy but I still thought I might need a job.

His interview essentially consisted of asking me random questions off the top of his head. We spent 10 minutes talking about Lehigh, and not in the typical reminiscing alumni sense, just random questions: did you graduate in four years, what was it like there, how was the food. And of course, the do-you-know-my-random-friend-of-a-friend-w
ho-went-there game, but that game is a headache for another entry. After his engaging Q&A went on for about 15 minutes, he proceeded to take a phone call...ON SPEAKER PHONE. Sure buddy don't let me stop ya, I'll just stretch out on your creepy loveseat here. You know its bad when I'm thinking someone is too unprofessional. And this wasn't some Gordon Gecko call on speaker phone, it wasn't concise and effective. He was having some innane conversation with some female trucker about the shipments not being picked up or something. This went on for 15 minutes. He gave me the "one minute" finger once. I pretended to look around the room while I wondered if he would notice if I took out my cell phone and texted someone about this.

After he hangs up with this lady, he abruptly launches into the "core" of his interview I suppose. He goes, "Sorry. So can you pivot on Excel?" Oh boy, pivoting again. I give him the same answer as Linda: been a while...I'm smart...brush-up. So then I ask him, "So what exactly is pivoting again?" He says, "Oh I dunno." Ha, well why would ya. What the fuck is going on here. I'm not some computer consultant. How are you gonna ask me to do a job that you don't even know how to do? We're at a stalemate here buddy. Is pivoting even a real thing? That was the last straw for me. I mentally checked out and started selling myself short intentionally so that he wouldn't offer me the job right there and corner me into taking it.

When I got home I realized that she was just shoving me anywhere she had a space. Her job is to put people in jobs and one came in so she thought she was doing me a favor by setting me up there. Even when I called her after the "interview" (since she insisted) she was trying to fix things so that I would still work there. The next morning I got up to go to this Belmar job and realized that I didn't even have gas in my car. Ten bucks an hour minus taxes gas and travel and I think I'd just be breaking even to kill my Saturday for five hours. I decided to call the employment agency and let them know that this wasn't the right fit for me. In a rare moment of good fortune, I got their answering machine and got to leave them a message. I didn't get a call back until Monday, but I screened it obviously. She left a message saying, "I'm just wondering what happened on Saturday." I didn't call back. She called again Monday afternoon, I ignored it, and that was the end of that.

So in the spirit Will Hunting, "So what did I think?? I'm holdin out for somethin betta."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bart rides up in the front seat today because he's a good guy at sports.

Congratulations Yankee-hating America.
You got just what you wanted: a World Series no one will ever want to watch. What provocative rivalry will we see next week? Astros vs. Angels? Cardinals vs. White Sox? Can't you feel yourself wondering what else is on already? No one cares about these four teams, and don't try to convince yourself that you do. I went through that experience last night when I tried to watch "My Name is Earl" based on the good reviews it was getting. HUGE let-down. It reminds me of an old Conan joke, "should have stopped at the premise on that one." It goes to show you, don't try to like something you know you won't, trust your instincts. These four teams are just as gay and boring.

1) Houston Astros.
No one cares about them. Outside of the players' families, no one is a real Astros fan. Ever met one? Ever even heard of one? That's because Texas doesn't care about baseball. The owners pay seat-fillers to go to the games.

2) Chicago White Sox.
Chicago is Cubbie town. You will find people on every corner and in every store talking about the Cubs in the summer and the Bears in the winter. Hardly anyone even acknowledges the White Sox existence. It's not even like the Mets compared to the Yankees. It's more like the Nets compared to the Knicks. If you're a Yankee fan and someone mistakes you for a Met fan, you will animately proclaim that you're a Yankee fan. If you're a Knick fan and someone mistakes you for a Nets fan, you will look at them confused and wonder what is this "Net" they speak of. I speak from personal experience as I have been to both Cubs and White Sox games. The Cub game was a beautiful July day with hot dogs and "pop" and lovable fans cheering on the Cubs even as they were handily beat 9-2. The White Sox game was a dreary day where I sat behind a pole next to a guy who was chewing tobacco and apparently had made the floor his personal dip cup. But yeah, go White Sox...

3) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Can anyone explain the etymology of this team name? I stopped paying attention to the AL West in the late 90's because the Yankees would routinely spank the Rangers on their way to the ALCS. So what happened to the good old California Angels of Wally Joyner and Naked Gun? Is the new name like some liberal thing to appeal to the Spanish population of LA with those extra long names? I'm lost. I thought LA already had a team that they didn't care about. So who goes to these games to follow a bunch of grown men who call themselves "Angels?" I'm not sure, but I am sure that every red-blooded American is eagerly anticipating a World Series between the Angels and the Tinkerbells.

4) St. Louis Cardinals
The only team that might have a legitimate fan base. Cardinals fans are notoriously loud and supportive. But what does that really mean to people on the east coast? Does anyone in their right mind think they compare to new york or even philly and boston fans? Call it east coast bias if you want but I don't buy it. Their fans and stadium look gay all red and yellow. It looks like a McDonald's playland.

I guess his career as a producer never took off.

"I'm still going to continue playing hard and out of control, like a wild animal that needs to be caged. I'll let the referees handle it." Lovely. Thanks Ronald. Can we get this guy out of the NBA? He doesn't even entertain me. Rodman was a nutjob but he was fun to watch. Artest is just like watching Mike Tyson come apart at the seams in a tailspin. He's not as cool as my boy Iverson. I know you're reading this man, whats up AI!? Meet me back at the Trop!

Terrell Owens is the devil.
After getting dismantled by the Cowboys, he puts on a Michael Irvin jersey. What else can this guy do wrong? I hope he puts on a Red Sox hat and drives off a cliff.

I wanna hang out with the Minnesota Vikings.
At first glance I thought this story was going to involved some Kobe-esque sexcapades. Turns out it was just the average Rutgers-style freakout. Who hasn't had naked girls dancing in front of them and then eventually ended up having sexual relations with them? Get with the times, kids. It is no longer acceptable to be sexually repressed. At this age everyone better be all growns up. No more "Ew I don't do that," "But I just met you," or "Not in my mouth!" ever again.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Don't Call It a Comeback.

As some of you may know from an earlier entry, I haven't played online poker since I quit in March. The only exception to that being when they credited me 50 bucks as an incentive to start playing again. Woo-hoo. What they didn't tell me about that 50 bucks, though, was that they were taking it back in 4 days. Boo-hoo. Nice to see that loan sharking is still a part of legitimate gambling today. All I have left in there from when I cashed out all that time ago is about 3 bucks. But its Thursday night and the Yankees are up 8-0, so I decided to see if danny was at a table, since he caught the poker bug when we took a few trips down to AC last month. The protege has now made over 800 dollars through playing online poker in his spare time this month, and he is mentoring his own student down in Virginia.

Well no one was on but I found a $2 tournament and decided to play anyway. I didn't figure to grind out a cash or anything, since it paid only a few bucks unless you made the final table. Instead I decided to treat it like an infinite sit-n-go. In an article in Cardplayer, Scott Fischman said this is a strategy he uses to cope with the extremely large fields in tournament poker right now. Seeing as how he finished 2nd out of over 2000 players in the WSOP's first event, I think it served him well. This field too was large, about 2500, because the entry fee was so small. Well, friends, I didn't exactly get to test out this strategy, and something tells me I wasn't supposed to be playing in this tournament.

I started out folding everything in the first level, maybe a limp here or there but no further. Then I get dealt 2s2d and call in EP (early position) with about 900 in chips in front of me and the BB at 15. A guy in MP (middle position), lets call him Sideburns, minimum-raises. He gets called by MP2, LP (late position), BB (the big blind), and of course, me. Flop comes 2c 4d 6d. Typically this could be a dangerous flop for several reasons:

1) I've made a big hand that will be hard to get off of if a scare card comes off.
2) I'm in early position.
3) There are about a million and one draws on the board.
4) It's a 5-way pot.
5) I'm facing a min-raise, which could represent a variety of hands, especially at this blind level.

Typically I'd want to lead out here. I hate giving free cards and I'm in bad position. I'm pretty confident I have the best hand but a lot of cards can come on the turn that will make it very difficult to play if I face pressure from a player in position. For instance, any 3, any 5 (because of the BB in play), perhaps a King or Ace (possibly facing AA or KK from the min-raiser, you'd be surprised how often people play that hand this way even at such low blind levels), and of course, any diamond.

But in the last hand Sideburns (the min-raiser) check-called the flop and turn when MP2 bet the pot. On the river he checked and MP2 bet the pot again, which was most of Sideburns chips. Sideburns thought for a while and then folded. I thought he was steaming a bit from this, and if you're going to check-raise (for value, which I was) you want the person immediately to your left to do the betting. On my left was Sideburns (original raiser and possibly on tilt) and MP2 (who fired big 3 times at the last pot, so he has exhibited aggression and might use his new big stack to take a stab at this pot.)

So the BB checked and I checked as well with 3 more players to act. Sideburns thinks for about 10 seconds and checks, MP2 and LP check through as well. Great. Free card... Turn is the 9d putting a possible flush out there. After the BB checked I decided to put in a probe bet to see where I was at, so I bet I think 70 into a 160 pot. Sideburns thinks on it for about 5 seconds and pushes all-in for about 470 more.

The rest of the table folds around and it's back on me. First I figure out the pot odds and I'm not even getting 2:1 on my money, though this doesn't much matter because if I'm beat it's likely 4:1 or worse anyway. I don't love the all-in bet at first because if you're gonna make a probe bet and someone pushes all-in, then usually you've found out just where you stand.

But I tried to figure out what hands he would have that he would min-raise before the flop, check on the flop, and then push on the turn. If he had a suited connector like QdJd would he open with only for a min-raise in middle position? I think you either limp or push the action with a hand like that, not make a value raise. If he had AdKd would he only min-raise and risk getting outflopped by any weak hand that will call a min-raise? Even if these things were true, would he not bet out at the flop when he's favored against any single pair (with overcards and a flushdraw.) Especially considering the way people play flush draws on PartyPoker, I would doubt that he wouldnt have put some chips in on that flop, or even gone all-in as many donkeys on PartyPoker do. Finally, if he did check the flop and turn the flush, would he go all-in clearly representing the flush or make a smaller bet in an attempt to get paid off?

The only conceivable hands he could have is a big pair like KK or AA (possibly with the Ad or Kd) or a hand like 66 or 44 to make a higher set. Despite the fact that set-over-set on the flop is very rare, even if he did hit a hand like that I still have the 2d for 10 re-draw outs (nine diamonds + one 2) on the river. And if I lose the pot, I still have 300 and can wait for a big hand to try to double-up. Despite how long this thought process has taken for you to read, it was all done in my head in about 5 seconds just from having played so many hands in my life. It's not bragging, you just get to a point where all this information is processed and analyzed before you even realize that you're doing it.

So what hand did Mr. Sideburns have? KhKc. Outside of an absolute bluff with no diamond, this is the best possible scenario. With me holding 2s2d and the board reading 2h 4d 6d 9d. He could only win with one card in the deck, the King of spades (since the Kd would give him a higher set but I would have him beat with a flush.) For those who don't bother with poker odds, that means he has roughly a 2% chance to win the hand. The fast-paced nature of the PartyPoker program does not include time for suspense like on TV, so as soon as I call the river card is dealt like a bullet. Thats right. King of Spades. As the program ships over 1000 chips to him, I am instantly moved to a new table. Great, now I can't even complain to the people who saw that horrendous beat nor can I berate the player for being such a lucky douchebag!

Now I'm lookin down at 300+ chips and the BB is comin around, but before I can even gather myself, the power goes out. No that's not a poker euphamism, though maybe it will be one day. The power in my house went out. Good times. Now I'm getting blinded off until I can get back on. I just sit in the darkness waiting as my family rummages around lighting candles or something. Luckily its back on in about 10 minutes and I figure to still have some chips.

I re-join my table with about 295 chips, in the small blind with Kd2s. The big blind is 20 and there are 3 limpers in the pot. Now I haaate playing weak Kings and I haaate playing out of position, but I guess I'm kinda defeated mentally at this point. I rationalize that I'm getting 9:1 on completing my call and that it might be an opportunity to double up, if I hit something, seeing as how you get a lot of weak calls on PartyPoker. The BB checks his option and the flop comes 10h 10d 2d. Something tells me I have the best hand since the board is paired and I caught a piece. Surprisingly, not many hands have me beat with only 3 limpers considering the blind level. I am first to act, though, and decide to check it. If there's a big bet or a bet and a raise then I'll muck. I don't really wanna go broke with K2o out of position, and if I fold I'll still have another round and 285 chips to try to pick up a big hand and double up. It checks around. Free card. Awesome. Did I tell you how much I like giving free cards?

Turn: 8d. Now theres 3 to the flush on the board. At this point I figure I have the best hand. The hand I have to worry about is trip 10s, if someone decided to check the flop and slowplay, which they always do at low limits. Its possible someone got lucky and paired an 8 in their hand, but there is no way for me to put them on whatever hand they might hold with an 8, so I'm not that concerned with that. Or if someone is holding the Ad, they are probably gonna call anything I bet, or anyone bets for that matter, as the nut flush draw can never be folded on PartyPoker, even with only one card to come. Truth to be told this would be a horrible call in this pot because you are getting terrible odds, you're not even sure if you're drawing live (e.g., if you make your flush, that it will be good, meaning someone doesnt have a full house.) Moreover, it's very unlikely that I'm gonna bluff off all my chips through 4 players onto a board that is paired with 3 to the flush for a small pot. But I do expect the call if someone is holding the Ace of diamonds anyway, because thats just how it is on PartyPoker. And even against trip 10s, I have the Kd for 9 flush outs. Plus there's a pretty good chance that I won't even get called, so I push all-in for 285 into the pot of 100.

It folds around to the last player and I think I might take the pot, have 385 in chips, and be a little off life support. But the last player makes a relatively quick call. Ugh. I expect an 8, a 10, or a flush draw? Not really. Jd4s. WOW. Not sure what to say about this call really. Many things perplex me about this. Why even play this hand in the first place, especially just limping in. Its absolute junk, in fact, the nickname for this hand is a "flat tire." And then he calls 285 on the turn with nothing but Jack-high and the 4th nut flush draw with one card to come. If I wanted to give him a justification, I could say that at least he had a big stack (around 2000) that it wouldn't hurt him too much to call. But this call is just throwing money away. Naturally the real reason for this call is that he's a horrible player. So now that the diamonds are locked up by my King of diamonds, he must draw to a pair, 3 Jacks and 2 fours (not the 4 of diamonds) in the deck. With one card to come he has 5 outs making him about 11% to win. I'm sure you can guess what hit. An ugly little 4 of clubs. 670 shipped to him and I'm felted.

Not the best showing of my "career," but I think I still played well. If I had to do it again, I might have bet the flop with the set of 2s. Of course this is since I now know that the guy slowplayed KK on the flop and then jammed it on the turn. In hindsight I'm pretty sure Sideburns checked because he wanted MP2 to bet in order to take back some chips from the previous pot, not because he was scared of the flop. If that were the case then he wouldn't push all-in on the turn when the board only got scarier. I believe my thinking behind my plays was correct, though, which is more important than results. Those unfamiliar with or new to poker might argue something along the lines of "whatever wins the pot is the best play," but that kind of results-oriented thinking doesn't hold water.

For those bored by this entire post, that's just too damn bad. I'm getting a bankroll together again, and I'm gonna be back at the online poker. I have too many bills to pay off by only working a 9-5 job. I need my supplemental income back so I can do nice things like eat, go out to bars, and visit the love of my life in San Diego. Also, the amount of poker players is only growing, and most of them are getting a bit too big for their britches. My competitive side has been kick-started and I miss that feeling of complete satisfaction from consistently breaking the game. Plus it would be really embarrassing for the protege to surpass the mentor.

Back to Business

I sure hope this isn't just me...
I seem to frequently lose my cell phone. I don't mean "lose" in the Bill Noesges sense, i.e. spiking it into a pool, leaving it at complete strangers' houses, and punting it across a parking lot. I mean I lose it like normal people, you know, everyone besides those creeps who use the holster. But being straight means not using the clip and not using the clip means a lot of misplaced phones. Hours will go by until it occurs to me that I haven't heard my phone ring for a while. I do the usual pat down and empty my pockets to no avail. Then I have to backtrack or call it until I find it. Ten minutes later I remember I used it in the car and suddenly everything makes sense. That's why I haven't heard anything about tonight. That's why I didn't get a call back from her. I jog out to my car with my mind racing about all the calls I probably missed, hoping it's not too late to get in on all those cool offers probably received. Then I get to the car, grab my phone, open it up....nothing. Heart drops below sea level. I feel like an idiot; two minutes ago I was thinking that everyone was clamoring to get in contact with me. Turns out, not so much. This happens to other people...right? Please?

To me, this counts as going out.
Saturday night was an adventure. I begrudgingly agreed to go out with a few old friends to a local bar. Now don't jump to conclusions, it wasn't begrudgingly because I'm too cool or because I barely like these people. You just know when you get your mind set on not doing anything and then people want you to go out it seems like an impossible request. But I snapped myself out of it somehow and agreed to go out for a few drinks, though I was not even planning to drink. Ha ha, I know, Brown not planning to drink. I really wasn't, though. I brought a water bottle! Of course after an hour and a half of sobriety that went right out the window. And it led to a pretty fun night.

"...and I'm waiting for you to write something funny."
I got a few references to the blog, but not a critique one way or the other. I would hear something along the lines of, "So I read your blog, Brown." I'm waiting for a critique so I just give an inquisitive, "Ohhh." Then nothing. That's the end of it. It was like that Mitch Hedberg joke. She did not say whether she thought it was good or bad, she merely confirmed that she had read it. So I just kinda smiled and nodded. Another person told me they read it and thought about starting their own but then decided not to. At first I was thinking, ohh well if it inspired someone to start one, I guess that's kind of complimentary, I'll take it. But then they decided against it, so what's that supposed to tell me. Not exactly rave reviews.

Dear fat people, stop ruining everything.
I guess that first sip of beer really got me fired up, because I think I started poppin off about everything. It was almost like a blog, in person! People were talking about TV shows and they were way off the mark. Troung and Erica are talking about One Tree Hill or god knows what so I hijacked the conversation and brought up my favorite fatties, The Biggest Loser. Well lets just say that had mixed results. My guy friends loved it and my girl friends cringed. One girl just had a pained look on her face the whole time, as if she was fat and I was berating her. But she's a cute girl with no weight problem so I didn't see what the issue was. I thought maybe she had an obese relative and for a split second I thought about slowing down until I hear, "Well it's not their fault..." Oh boy, look out. I cut her right off.

"Yeah yeah I've heard it all: metabolism, thyroid, glandular, hormones, big bones. It's bullshit. People have different body types, but no one's body type is 5'4" 260. These people are obese and it's disgusting."
"So you really hate fat people."
"Yes!" [stunned silence besides my one friend dying laughing] "Don't you look at me like that! They hated us first! Skinny people are the minority! Don't take pity on those fat bastards!"

It starts to sound like a rally against fat people, and a few girls are wincing but I can't help myself. And it's not that I hate all fat people either but don't expect sympathy from me when we're the ones who are persecuted. I dipped into a little bit of my evidence on this topic but I'll save that for its own entry. The best part came when I started to curtail myself only to have my friend Pete go, "Cmon I wanna hear more of this monologue!" Of course I launch back in for a few more digs. But it doesn't end there folks.

Maybe it was Bazooka Joe.
So I guess I got a second chance from the horrified girl because later in the night we end up sitting next to each other and she's being pleasant. Now she's practically married so its not like that, but I figured after the assault on fat people that she would have abruptly left, as so many girls have. But no I've known her for a while so we're back to talking later on, and she tells me she knows a funny joke. Now just so you all know, I abhor jokes. I'm talking about jokey jokes. Anything that starts with a "Knock-Knock" or a "What do you call a" is infinitely lame. But I didn't want to cut her off, I already did enough damage tonight. So she tells me something along the lines of one of those jokes, like 'What's black and white and blah blah blah.' Then she delivers the punchline and I just smirk politely. She insists, "Isn't that funny?" Taken aback, I'm like, "Ha, what?" I look over and she's downright gleeful. "Isn't that funny??" she repeats. I say, "Yea yea that's great, did you get that joke off a popsicle or what." She is not amused. I go, "Sorry, maybe it was a Now&Later." Nail in the coffin. Whatever happened to the "I already did enough damage" theory? I just can't help myself.

Worse than Booth and company in 1865
The night ended with the shadiest of all deals to ever go down in a bar. All I can say is that it includes myself and two other people, and I can't tell you their names. But they're Peter Schrager and Tom Farabaugh.

Friday, September 23, 2005

I'm gonna get quicker with these things, I swear.

These are the only people still writing letters.
Apparently Derek Jeter received some kind of threatening letter because of his "dating outside his race." At first you would think it's from some racist white guy, but he slams Jeter for being a "traitor to his race." It has to be a black guy, what white guy would care about Jeter's relationship with his own race. And what race is that by the way, considering his dad is black and his mom is white. Is the author suggesting he only date other women who are half black and half white? What if the woman's mom is black and her dad is white, is this within "Jeter's race" or is it different? I suppose this guy is opposed to all interracial relationships, and any relationship Jeter has is going to be interracial, if you think like that. And if he gets upset everytime Derek Jeter hooks up, then this guy is going to be furious. Just another retard from Ohio.

Oh and by the way, Ohio, I never thanked you for the last election! You really did the country a great service. Thank god we have W at a time like this. Quick, what's your favorite part about W: his lightning quick reaction time or his genuine care for all citizens? I know, I know, too tough to decide! Personally I like how he never puts his unqualified friends in high-ranking positions. I can't think of another person I'd rather have as our president right now, or ever! Thank god for W and thank god for Ohio. God bless America.

Speaking of hhhwhite bread
What the fuck is with all the nuts in bread now. What happened to white bread? It's like I'm in the Middle Ages. When I'm eating bread its almost 99% certain that I will be doing so in conjunction with other foods. I don't often just pick up a loaf of bread, pull out a slice, and take a bite. Therefore bread doesn't have to have all this personality of its own. Its basically just a holder for what I really want to eat. So theres no need to jazz bread up with all kinds of nuts, seeds, and swirls. And if you're one of these people with this in your house, then I hate you. If you offer me something to eat and I say yes and then you say, "Oh we only keep multi-grain hippie bread, it that alright?" Well theres no real way to answer that question is there? "Well you don't have a choice, but is this what you pick?" Uh yep guess so. I can't go, "Umm no thats not ok. Why don't you just go ahead and put that away. I've lost my appetite because of your creepy bread." White bread. Stop there. The end.

"If you were a man I would punch you. I'd punch you right in the face."
I'm so fucking sick of this voice mail woman. The one who drones on when your friend ignores your call. She talks for-ev-er. So many options: "...If you'd like to leave a numerical page, press 4. If you'd like to send an e-greeting, press 5. If you'd like this message is Spanish, press 6..." I want to leave a message and I will if you would ever shut the fuuuck up. I can't get a word in with this woman. The worst part is that I drift off while she talks for five minutes and then snap back to life when I hear the beep. At this point I'm completely unnerved and I've lost all poise, so every message sounds like,
"Umm Hey Brown this is Jackie...fuck...uh, obviously this is not're Jackie...and I'm guessing you know umm anyway just uh call me back when you can, or when you want, and uh I'll see, I mean talk to you later."
Real sharp. If this keeps up I'm gonna become one of these anti-voicemail people. They don't leave messages and they don't check their own. I don't know how they do it, but I'll make that commitment to keep this woman out of my life. Thats the kind of commitment I'm good at.

And the scariest part is that it's a true story!
Apparently "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is a very scary movie. This may very well be, I'm not debating that. In fact most of you who know me know that I'm easily scared by movies. Not chuckie movies or the Ring, but Halloween and movies that seem possible at least. And this is why I doubt that I would be scared of The Exorcism of Emily Rose. After stating this to the group of girls who just came from seeing the movie, they jumped all over me.

"What!?!? It's based on a true story Brown!!"
"Really? The true story of an exorcism? Well that's good, I sure hope they got that demon out of her."
"Oh what Brown, you're not Catholic?"
"No Vanessa I'm not Catholic. I don't believe in ghosts, goblins, and priests with superpowers."
"Ugh, why not? I'm Catholic!"

As if I hadn't realized that, and as if that was a reason that I should be. I won't rail against Catholicism at this time. Lets just say that these girls who claimed to be Catholic do not practice the tenets of Catholicism, as is the case with most Catholics. In fact, I've watched them violate some of these very specific tenets right before my very eyes. I'll write an entry about that one day, but it will be for mature audiences only.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Don't get mad, get skinny

Finally a show with an important message: It's not okay to be fat.
My reality shows are back. Listen to me, I'm like an old lady with soap operas. I can't help it, I get great enjoyment from a few reality shows. With Real World and Road Rules sucking ass for the past 3 years, I've moved on to a couple others. Wife Swap is one of my favorites, for obvious reasons, but The Biggest Loser is even better. Last year was unbelievable. Extremely obese individuals on two teams competing against each other to lose weight amidst grueling challenges and dietary temptations. The 3 finalists lost like 100 pounds each. I always say I hate fat people but thats a generalization. Fat people who try hard to get skinny are great.

Okay, the show is called "The Biggest Loser." Yes we've heard it so much now that it might not sink in just what that means. It was obviously chosen for its double meaning. The people at NBC will hide behind the fact that it means the person who loses the most weight. But if that were simply the case then they could have named it anything that didn't have two meanings. Alas, it does have two meanings, and NBC knows full well what that other meaning is: the BIGGEST.....LOSER....biggest alluding to fattest....loser alluding to loseriest. The fact that they chose this title for both meanings is evident throughout the show. Caroline Rhea, the host, insists that before the voting off process team members confer to decide "who is weighing you down." Cmon! They're fat! I know it, you know it. Are all the double entendres necessary? Is it necessary that when someone gets voted off a refrigerator filled with pastries with their name on it is shut-off? They're fat but at least they're trying!

Speaking of fat...
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Caroline Rhea, get your fat ass on that scale. Within the last few years she's really packed on some winter weight yet shes the one delivering all the thinly veiled fat jokes. Does she host this show to make herself feel better about her own weight gain? Next to them shes hot, I guess....well not really, she still looks like Miss Piggy to me.

Camera work
Spliced throughout the show are brief shots of parts of the contestants' bodies. It's just funny to me to imagine the cameraman's job. There he is filming a dialogue or exercise, and then something catches his eye and zooms in on some excessive backfat or an unusually large sweat stain. Even better must be when the editor is going over hundreds of hours of footage and says, "In between the dinner and the weigh-in, let's use the close-up ass shot of the Chinese girl."

A fat Chinese girl?
Yep, one of the contestants is an obese Chinese girl...or Asian, or something. And she was not shy during the last meal pig-out before the show started, eating everything in sight. I didn't think Asian women got fat, though, its really a strange image. The best part is her audition tape: "I'm a 23 year old med student and I really want to be on the show because between my work and my kids I really don't have any time for myself." Haha, really? Sure looks like you've indulged in yourself plenty. I'd say it takes plenty of time to oneself to get over 250 pounds. I'm pretty sure those Big Macs didn't eat themselves.

And you think you procrastinate
It's a way of life for anyone under 25, and I don't want to know anyone who gets right down to work. Those of us who went to college are used to the usual distractions: solitare, snood, compulsively checking fantasy stats, etc. But you know you're in trouble when you're not even enjoying your distraction. Like the 6th game of solitare and the 2nd episode of the Golden Girls. Well a good friend of mine has blown that out of the water. She claimed she wasn't getting her work done because she was watching Mannequin...on DVD! Not half-watching on comedy central, no, this girl actually went out of her way to put this movie on. And how did she even own it? It's not like its a tape and she can claim she had it after it came out. I can't even keep thinking about it, its giving me a headache. But I guess it gives you a good way to quantify your level of aversion to the work: "would you say you're playing-solitare procrastinating or you're watching-Mannequin-on-DVD procrastinating?"

Kids, kids, kids.
Everyone has a different relationship with their parents. Some of you tell your parents every detail of your life like they're your best friends, and some of you are straight. If you want your mom and dad knowing all your intimate secrets, I think its a little creepy, but its your life. But you have to realize that you're not the only one who is affected when you choose to make your parents your personal diary. Everytime you go to them with a sob story about a cheating girlfriend or your latest pregnancy scare, you're selling someone else out. Just because it works for you to tell your parents how wasted you get does not mean that it works for me for you to tell your parents how wasted I get. I know we're 23 but just because we can drink with our parents doesn't mean they really think we can handle it. So do us all a favor and don't gossip with your parents, just get friends.

AC revisited
One last thing about Atlantic City. I heard a very quick and histerical story about my friend Kristen's last trip to AC. I think she has a phobia about posting so she IMed it to me and it went something like this: "Last time I was in AC there was a 'Playboy' slot machine and an 80 year old man was kissing and humping the pictures of the girls on it." I should let this genius speak for itself, but I can't! I have so many questions! How do you hump a slot machine? Was it like thrusting or more like grinding? How did this get broken up? I can't even imagine the kissing... I wish I ran into this old guy when I was down there, he sounds like fun.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

I was never quite sure what that expression meant. I think I always assumed that it meant something like, when things get hard, you buckle down and get through it. But that's not really what it sounds like when you read it. So I've taken a more literal interpretation of it and it's become my life motto. When the going gets tough, the tough get the fuck outta dodge. Can't stand going out in freehold anymore? Find new friends in a new town. Lehigh doesn't do it for you? Rutgers is an hour away. Can't be around your family another second without risking explosion or implosion? Run away to Atlantic City for a week. Don't sweat it if you don't have a job, it's for everyone's good. And for the most part it was fun, but of course some people just can't help themselves...

It never ends
Maybe some of you guys thought I was exaggerating with the last entry. I don't blame you, I can already hear the objections in your head. First of all, he doesn't leave the house enough to have so many stories of mistaken identity. Secondly, people don't just up and say things like that to me, why would so many people be so blunt with a stranger? Thirdly, where did they get such random names? And finally, he doesn't even look like any of them! 1) True. 2) Good point. 3) I don't know. 4) Absolutely correct. I have no real way of explaining any of this other than to say that people just decide say whatever the hell they want from me. Maybe I just walk around looking like a punching bag that people want to unload on. If you needed further proof, I came across plenty this week down in Atlantic City.

America's Playground
Before I get into the details, though, I want to set the scene for people who are unfamiliar with Atlantic City, casinos, and poker rooms in general. These are intensely ugly places. If you've only been to Vegas then don't even bother imagining a similar place. The only comparison I can think of is that in Vegas you may need to know someone to get into a club, in Atlantic City you need to have a deformity. This is especially true in most poker rooms. If you look around the table you can list the afflictions in your head as you look at each player, "Toothless....Hairless....Jobless....Homeless....Faceless...." So bear in mind that as you look around a poker table at 1:15 AM on a Tuesday night that I'm the best looking person there, hands down..if you have em. So that makes it even more remarkable when it turns into open mic night for the Bryan Brown roast.

And for the record, there was definite fopa.
The first incident occurs while putting my name on the list in the front. The 50-something former addict takes my name and then asks for ID. Typical so I take out my license with the picture of me with short spikey hair, as opposed to my 60's mop of today. She grills it for a second then hands it back and tersely says, "Your hair looks better in the picture." This wasn't friendly banter, there was no smile. She just felt the need to bring one of my flaws to light, which I appreciated. As she's handing it back I go, "Yeah? People seem to be split about it," and I walk away. What the hell did I just say? Why did I dignify her remark and then give her some insight into my life? Stupid AC whore giving me shit and I just joke back about it. I always end up taking the high road but soon enough it's gonna be more like, "Thanks. Your teeth looked better before your meth addiction."

Round 2.
It's a day later and around 7 AM in the cardroom, a particularly eerie hour. Stragglers from the late night games and old people up early combine to form a game that's usually silent. But we caught a break and had a dealer that thought he was a stand-up comedian. He actually turned out to be quite funny mostly because he would have been swiftly fired for any number of things he was saying. At one point my friend Danny chimed in with something about us being strippers, clearly facetious to anyone with a pair of eyes. But this old black lady must have missed her glaucoma medicine, cause she looks at me and goes, "You? No no, you're too small to be a stripper." I'm stunned that someone doesn't know that that was a joke but roll with it and say, "Oh really? Fine you're not getting a lap dance then. It's all about the eye contact, lady, but now you'll never know." Got a good laugh out of the table but once again I laid off instead of giving her what she deserved. If a big fat woman told you she was a stripper, would you guffaw and then go, "Yeah right! You're too fuckin fat!" No, no you wouldn't.

Finish him.
We're into the late morning hours and there's actually a girl our age at our end of the table. Being the only people of sound mind and since I was carddead anyway, we became friends. It basically consisted of striking up friendships with the Asian dealers Ngoc and Hong for kicks, since they spoke no English outside of "Check-or-bet" and would smile politely to anything you said. But of course this wasn't just me being funny, I had to look like someone. So here it comes:

"You remind me of someone..."
"My favorite part of the day..."
"You remind me of Pauly Shore."
"What, have you heard that before?"

PAULY SHORE! In what way am I like Pauly Shore at all. Actually fuck it, it doesn't matter even if we're twins. Just another name on the list. Within 30 minutes I capped preflop and then got the rest of my stack in with KK vs. KT and lost, naturally. Simply remarkable. I walked around the casino for an hour wondering who it will be next week: Hideki Matsui, Simon Birch, Hillary Swank?

Aaaaand enough. Good stuff comes next time, that's just harder to dig up.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Oh my god, ya know who you look like??

No but please tell me! It's getting a bit ridiculous. I can't leave the house without being told that I look like some actor. I know what you're thinking, "Easy, Brown, you're not a superstar." Well no fuckin duh. The point is that these are not flattering comparisons. There's nothing to brag about here, its just a weird thing for anyone to do, especially with these names. Here's a quick run-down of the ones off the top of my head: Topher Grace, Devon Sawa, Adrien Brody, and the new one this week, T.R. Knight.

Topher "Dont call me Chris" Grace
If you had to be stuck with one, I guess Topher Grace is the best of the bunch. There's no real denying that we look and act a bit alike so it doesn't really bother me. On the other hand its the one I hear the most so it gets old fast. I was once watching "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton" when a 9 year old girl in the room whom I had just met blurted out, "Bryan looks like that guy." Upon re-reading that it sounds so made up, but the sad part is that its true. I have no good explanation for why I was in such a scenario.

Devon "Little Giants" Sawa
This one I don't see at all, but a little filipino girl would say otherwise. She was very convinced that we looked alike and that this was a big compliment. I'm not sure either of those are true. This one came at the tail-end of a month of "Topher" comments (right around when "In Good Company" came out) so I thought it was a practical joke. The only reason it sounded believable at all is that any dumb girl who would play such a joke wouldn't use a name like Devon Sawa. In fact by the end of the conversation I was slightly impressed that she even knew such a name. The best part, though, was when I was relaying this story to my friend Pete. As soon as I say Devon Sawa, he doesn't miss a beat and jumps in, "From Little Giants! That's awesome, great movie." I guess its all about perspective, he used to be a stud.

Adrien "I won't even dignify this with a nickname" Brody
The night I heard this I almost jumped out of a window. Of course I didn't really do it, the house was only two stories. This girl Stephanie brought some random Puerto Rican friend with her to our friend Landy's house. From the second she walked in the door this bitch was the mouth from the south (although her painfully faked accent was trying to show you how brooklyn she was). She was a year older and this was her birthday, so she acted like it was beneath her for being at a college kid's house. Well I'm pretty sure I don't remember us calling you to come over and watch us drink and watch basketball, but alright. So she's shuckin and jivin the whole time and I haven't said a word until she looks me over and goes, "You look like someone." I braced myself for the usual Topher Grace line but instead was hit by the Adrien Brody train. I was taken aback, stunned, speechless. Didn't play it off cool, no one-liners back from me, not even a frantic string of curses thrown in her direction. Just Mouth-Open-Game-7-in-the-2001-World-Series shock. Stephanie was an angel in attempting to re-assure me that her friend actually likes Adrien Brody and I'm good-looking, etc, etc. I didn't buy it for a second but at least it staved off suicide. Days later I found out that the girl actually does like Adrien Brody. In fact she was repeatedly asking Stephanie about me and was unaware that I was actually insulted. I figured Stephanie was shining me on until I ran into the Puerto Rican girl at Olde Queens. She flagged me down and actually confessed that she thought I was sooo cute and she didn't mean to be mean. This was a small consolation but of course nothing deserving of a "second chance" so I blew her off and found another girl to talk to in front of her. This was back in my player days. I had to include that part to make me sound cool and make up for the rest of the story.

T.R. "Down Syndrome" Knight
The latest celebrity sighting. Here's the conversation:

Dumb Girl: You know who you look like?
Bryan Brown: I'm sure you're gonna tell me.
DG: You look like the doctor from Grey's Anatomy.
BB: Is that show still on the air?
DG: Yes its great! But really you look just like him, its uncanny.
BB: Well I've never really watched it but I used to see him on Northern Exposure. He's good I like him.
DG: No, no, not him, the other guy. The one everyone thought was gay.
BB: Oh of course! How stupid of me. I should've realized that I look like "the gay one." I'm glad you came up to me to tell me this.
DG: Nooo silly he's not gay, everyone just thought he was. But he's not gay, he's the guy who just got herpes.
BB: The hits just keep comin.
DG: Yeah you look like you were separated at birth.
BB: So I look like a guy everyone thinks is gay and really has herpes. Well I appreciate that. Can we play Ya Know Who You Look Like now?

Brilliant conversation. I think the only people that come up to me are the ones who never leave their house and haven't conversed with another human being in years. After this discussion I had to see what this guy looks like and I found out that he has a third affliction: down syndrome. Check him out. Gay, herpes, and down syndrome. Didn't think anyone could top Adrien Brody, did you? Does anyone else do this? I personally have never approached anyone and told them they look like some C-list celebrity. I don't think I've even done it in familiar company. And does this happen to anyone else? Hey, maybe I'm over-reacting. If anyone out there can tell me that different people have come up to them and told them that they look like Frankie Muniz, Rob Schneider, Brecken Meyer, and Dwight Yoakam, then maybe I won't take it so personally. Until then lets just not run up to anyone and blurt out every little thought we have in our head.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

"I got news for ya pal...if your life sucks, then I'm fucked!"

Waaahhh, I'm a millionaire superstar hunk with a good reputation, waaahhh
Let's get this out of the way. I like Tom Brady. I do. I fucking hate Boston and all their gay fans, but I like Tom Brady. I think he's a cool guy and a great quarterback who is on his way to becoming a legend.

[Not quite a "legend" yet. I was pursued in an argument about this just before the last Super Bowl. A fat goth-looking toad, who was clearly used to running people over with some limited minutia and a sarcastic attitude, attempted to take the side that Tom Brady was the best quarterback of all-time. (You see what you've done, Stephen A. Smith? Now people think all you need is a controversial point and volume to be considered thought-provoking.) Naturally, I dismissed the Waltonesque comment and brought him back down to earth. I simply said that its impossible to be the best quarterback of all-time with only 5 years in the league. Elway, Marino, Montana: that's the upper echelon. Don't even poke around up there without some serious, serious credentials. The guards will toss you on sight. That's like comparing Green Day to the Beatles. As cool as it sounds now, and as good as they are now, it's still wildly inappropriate. That being said, it takes more than 5 years of clutch play with an amazing defense under superb coaching to get there. That's not to take anything away from Brady, just his fat bastard representative of the day who forgot how the fickle hand of fate can touch any superstar at any time.]

To most sports fans, even to most every guy, Brady appears to have it all. So why is he bitching in the latest edition of GQ? Apparently, he doesn't want people to think he's so nice. More accurately, he "hates [his] golden boy image." I'm not sure exactly what he's referring to here. I've always thought of him as an average guy who was an amazing athlete. The kind of guy who'd be an asset at poker night, at the bar, and at the game...especially since when you get there, he can go out on the field and win Super Bowls. I never thought of him as a lamb; I just figured he was smart about his "business" and didn't Randy Moss himself. I'm sure he gets whacked and bangs supermodels (I hope he's not "pulling a Vince" with Bridget Moynihan), but I assume he just tries to keep things under wraps, like a normal guy.

If this isn't the case, is he trying to tell us there's even more to this story than we assume? Does he have some skeletons the world isn't even ready for? When his starting center taped one of Brady's modeling pictures to his back, Tom had this to say: "I was laughing the whole practice," Brady said, "But he who laughs last laughs best, so those guys don't know what's in store." What in the hell does that mean? It almost sounds like he feels challenged to reveal something really bizarre. I hope it was just some panicky attempt to diffuse the situation and not some threat to disclose incriminating photos of him at the University of Michigan. And Tommy, if you wanna curb the comments, don't let magazines take topless pictures of you holding goats. Saturday Night Live is one thing; that's the kind of thing you can get razzed for but still be glad that you did it. Spooning puppies in Gentleman's Quarterly is just asking for it.

I like Tom Brady. He's what most guys imagine themselves being in their sports fantasies, so I hope this isn't a warning sign. If he starts trying to rebel against his "golden boy" status, he'll end up with creepy tattoos, a sliding scale of skanky girlfriends, a laundry list of petty offenses, and a spot between to Willie Aames and Ryan Leaf on Celebrity Fit Club IX. But it could be worse, I guess. He could end up a quarterback in Arizona.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Part Deux

Voted Best Smelling Reggie in North Alabama
Right off the bat let me just say if you haven't seen the video for Get Well Soon by Reggie and the Full Effect, then do yourself a favor and watch it now. If you don't feel bad for Nessie in that video then you have no soul. Amazing that they take a seemingly ridiculous premise and turn it into something powerful that you can actually identity with. I do indeed hope Nessie will get well soon.

"I wanted the bar but they gave me the hoop."
This week I got a disturbing phone call from Lindsey Mack, who will now be referred to as Asian Wife. It wasn't the typical Asian disturbing phone call, i.e. I told the bouncer I don't pay covers and ran past him, darted into the bathroom, hooked up with the Mexican attendant, and then got thrown out for taking my shirt off. No little Asian called to tell me she got her nipple pierced, followed by a creepy picture message of said piercing. She laughed at herself about it since she just did it "to be spontaneous," but I still don't think she fully grasped why it was inappropriate. So let's go over some do's and dont's with piercings and tattoos.
not get a piercing or tattoo
get a piercing or tattoo
Here's the deal, they're all gay. I know what you're thinking, "Nah mine isn't."
"Yep, yes it is."
"No, Brown, really it's not. It looks cool, people have told me."
"Hmm yea no it doesn't. People say a lot of things. I once told a girl I didn't mind Mariah Carey. I told many people I disliked Boondock Saints before I had even seen it. I once suggested someone go to Lehigh."
" ok then." (still silently thinking their tattoo is cool)
Tattoos and piercings are like girls telling jokes: 95% of the time it sucks, 5% of the time its tolerable. When a girl tries to be funny you just wanna stop her before she tries to get on a roll, because its most likely to be corny or even annoying. You want to stop them because they don't need to do that to be cool or attractive. Humor isn't exactly why guys like girls. Do I like a girl who can appreciate a clever joke? Sure. Do I want her trying to do one-liners in front of a group of my friends? No sir. You'll never hear a guy say, "She's smart, she's kind, she's beautiful....but I just wish she knew a few more knock-knock jokes." We already like girls, you don't need to do stand-up and you don't need body art and ornaments. No matter how cool you think it is now, chances are it isn't. And if its not attractive now, how do you think its gonna look in 5 years? 10 years? Do yourself a favor and avoid the whole situation. And if you happen to be with someone who actually supports this and is into the whole "lifestyle," well then you have a lot of re-examining to do don't you.

Smoke more weed Turtle, seriously, smoke more weed.
It's no surprise that the latest episode of Entourage was great once again. I'll spare you the pseudo-review but one thing must be said: does anyone like Vince? Throughout the season he's become more and more selfish and now he's whipped on Mandy Moore, who by the way always looks like she just came from a grueling tennis match before the show. Anyway, the fact remains that the show is one of the few on television that I actually make an effort to see. HBO has far and away the best shows on television (despite the fact that they will try to convince you that it's not TV, "it's HBO"). Entourage, Deadwood, The Wire, Curb Your Enthusiasm, CostasNOW (just kidding), and yes even Sopranos essentially comprise the best five shows on TV. The only ones worth watching on "regular" TV are Arrested Development, The Office, The Simpsons, and a handful of guilty pleasure reality TV shows. So lets just hope Vince gets over Mandy before he breaks up the group and theres one less watchable show on TV.

More War Distraction
Apparently two of the jurors from the Michael Jackson trial are now coming forward to say they regret Jackson's acquittal. "The two denied being motivated by money and tried to explain why they were coming forward now...added Cook: 'I’m speaking out now because I believe it’s never too late to tell the truth.'" Really? Never too late? That's weird cause I'd say that's exactly what it is right now. Too damn late. Cook's book is called "Guilty as Sin, Free as a Bird." "[Rita] Cosby asked Cook if the other jurors will be angry with her. 'They can be as angry as they want to. They ought to be ashamed. They’re the ones that let a pedophile go,' responded Cook, 79." Oh, "they" did? Is this book about her evil twin being on the jury, cause otherwise, it's your fucking fault lady! Where's the personal responsibility? Even if she says she got bullied into her decision, she should hold herself accountable along with the entire group. Oh no, but now it's what "they" did.I like how after the trial Michael said his life wouldn't change, except he probably wouldn't let boys sleep in his bed anymore. HA! Hey thanks, Mike! Good man. You're gonna leave our children alone? That's great news. Oh wait, you're not?...just not in your bed? Oh.

Loose limps sink chips.
Do yourself a favor and bookmark the blog of Paul Phillips. It is easily the best read on the internet. It's hard to nail down an exact profile of what Paul Phillips does, but for the purpose of simplicity lets say he's a former dot-commer turned poker pro. He uses his blog as a forum for discussion on a wide range of topics. Right now he's engaged in a debate with his readers about evolution v. creationism (and Intelligent Design Theory) and it's very entertaining. He's always insightful whether it be about poker, religion, or video games. Seeing him go off on some of his own readers is the best, though. Check it out and scroll down to see the past entries; there's something for everyone.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Happy Champagne Day -- Part 1

It's been a while so lets get caught up. I'm totally out of my element: I haven't been to a bar in weeks, I actually went to the beach, and [earmuffs to under 16 and over 30] I got laid. What's the world coming to. These things don't go together. Naturally, I have no idea how to gather it all up succinctly under one heading, so it will come out as I think of it, cause its my blog and I'll do what I want.

"Is it me or did you just get out of a bathtub full of rainbows?"
The first few times I saw the Andy Milonakis Show I wasn't impressed. It seemed forced and nothing came across clever. For the most part I thought it was just a bunch of dumb jokes that were just weird enough to convince some higher-up that this was actually edgy. Well first impressions aren't always right because it won me over with a bit called Weird Compliments. Young Andy walks up to old people on the streets of New York and pays them weird compliments. He turned a corner with me when he walked up to an old man and said, "Sir, that's the smile that's gonna save New York!" The looks on these people's faces were priceless. Since then I've caught a few more and the kid is pretty funny. Highlights of the show include the "I was gonna say that" sketch, the parody of a blogger, and Andy darting in a cab then telling the cabbie to "follow that man!" and pointing to an old man shuffling down the street as the cab rolls 20 feet behind him. Lowlights include Andy being fat. Overall it's decent for MTV2, though, ranking ahead of Stankervision and behind Wild Boyz. But if it does happen to keep improving, rest assured, MTV will cancel it.

"For the last time take a good hard look."
So long garage rock. With rap in a state of disrepair since Jay-Z pretended to retire, rock is falling all over itself to take the reigns. Garage rock came in for a brief stint of refreshment. But garage rock doesn't overstay its welcome so it left just as quickly as it stormed in. As garage rock waned it seemed that the rest of rock relapsed back into homogenized TRL music. Its as if someone took Blink182, Green Day, and the Backstreet Boys and threw them in a blender then took the product and portioned them out with different band names. As a result we got Good Charlotte (yes I know they've been around for years, but they haven't been good for years either), Yellowcard, A Simple Plan, and a bunch of other kids who aren't too different. I like some of their songs too but there's no denying the similarities. The weird thing is the mix of styles. They'll have like 7 earrings, a black mohawk (spiked in the middle not shaved on the sides, ya know, just in case they have to change styles by the end of the week), a sweater vest, and a huge chain filled with diamonds. What's the plan here? It's like a high school kid with a frantic identity crisis. People might try to tell you its some sort of punk anti-fashion thing but its really just pandering to different niche markets to cover all their bases.
Anyway the music isn't that bad but it doesnt compare to the top 3 right now. If you want to err on the side of hardcore, then pick up Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge by My Chemical Romance. Their two singles thus far are hard enough to get the blood going but not so hard that it creeps you out. They even show some range covering "Under Pressure." Pick up MCR's new cd if for no other reason than they are from Jersey. At the other end of the spectrum is Futures, released earlier this year, by Jimmy Eat World. A bit softer but still with several tracks that kick ass. Lyrically they might be the best band out there. Finally, Foo Fighters run the gamat with their latest release, In Your Honor. A double CD ("One Loud, One Not So Loud") that might just be their best work yet. And yes, I'm gonna be "that guy" and tell you that the radio single "isn't even the best song on the album!"

It was Leo's worst flick for a reason.
As some of you might already know, I'm not a big fan of the beach. Interestingly enough, I get a lot of flak for this. As soon as I say I don't really like going to the beach it turns into an interrogation as if I better have a damn good reason for not liking it. I don't know what it is about the beach, but people take it very personally. If I told someone I don't really enjoy going to the park, I hardly think I'd get the incredulous looks that I do from the beach people. And yet when I ask what there is to do at the beach, I always get the same unsatisfactory response.

"What is there to do?! Haha! He wants to know what there is to do at the beach! Okay, buddy, how about umm, enjoy the sun!"
"No no that's fine, but what is there to do?"
"Oh, well, you can read a book!"
"No that's reading, what is there to do?"
"Well, people play volleyball."
"Oh that's great I love volleyball, let's play."
"Well...we don't really play volleyball, when we go...per se..."
"I see. Sooo that's it then? Read or pretend to consider playing volleyball?"
" can...go in the water..."
"Go in the water? What's that."
"Ya in the water."
", ya know...around.....should I just go?"
"Would ya?"

Okay, okay, so it's not that bad. The sun is nice and the water is ok, but there still just isn't anything to do in my opinion. Beyond that is the issue of clothing, rather, the lack thereof. For some reason people think its appropriate to get virtually naked at the beach. What is that about. Here I was thinking I was being considerate by staying fully clothed at all times and yet at the shore the fattest of bastards are completely disrobing at the drop of a hat. That goes for both guys and girls, and if you've been to the Jersey shore, you know that's a large percentage of the population. So after weighing the pros and cons, I'd simply rather do something else. That's not an affront to anyone's lifestyle. You go to the beach and six flags and I'll go to the places for grown-ups. That is unless they start to allow drinking at the beach.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Jimmy Eat World - Futures - Track 11

This week I spent a couple days in Lake George, NY, a place I hadn't been in 8 years. Eight years, I found that pretty disturbing. I guess I'm actually getting to the age where I can get old man nostalgia. Up until now the longest I went without revisiting some place was probably a year. You waited 12 whole months to get back to the Pocono Cup soccer tournament to enjoy those delicious funnel cakes, and it felt like an enternity. But those days were different, you were pretty much the same person at Pocono Cup '94 and Pocono Cup '95, unless you were one of those people who actually hit puberty in their teens... In any case, the difference was neglible. At 13 you have no sense of perspective and no one cares about nostalgia, you've got banana kicks to practice. But now I'm 23, yep the "ew" age, and stepping foot in a place I hadn't stepped foot in since I was 15 and 5'6" was strange. When I was a kid, walking through Lake George Village was like walking through Las Vegas. It was surreal. It seemed huge and glamorous with limitless entertainment and t-shirt shops. The wax museum with the horror movie figures was genuinely scary, in fact, I never went in just because of the creepy guy on the piano in the window. Twenty dollars seemed like a fortune and nights seemed like they lasted forever, even though they ended by 10. There's something unsettling about remembering those times, as if I lost something I absolutely can never have again, because Lake George Village at 23 is very different.

Upon first glance, the place looks tiny. I feel like I can walk the whole thing in 10 strides. I feel like I could easily kick over a miniature golf windmill and crush the fake tattoo stand with my bare hands. Even for a quaint tourist town, the prices are not cheap. Twenty dollars doesn't feel like it would even get you started, unless all you wanted was a t-shirt with the Budweiser frogs on it. The arcade, once my idea of heaven, seems abysmal. I walk by the games and try to figure out why I played these games I could never win. Really, think about it, try to remember an arcade game you played all the way through to the end. I'd be surprised if anyone could name more than 2, and I've played hundreds of times. And if you did pump in 5 bucks in quarters and actually beat a game, what was your reward? Nothing...your initials if you're lucky. Noah Vanderhoff was right, the arcade business is easy as cake...sweet, sugary, delicious funnel cake.

So what's it all mean. You got me. All I can think of is that 23 sucks. After a few minutes I realized how jaded I sounded. Criticizing arcades? That's almost un-American. Nevertheless, it was true, I wouldn't be caught dead playing the claw game now just to try to win a mustache comb. And 20 bucks? Forget it. I can spend 20 bucks in a bar before I order a drink. And at 23 all bars are lame, to different degrees. Two years is long enough to play out every shore bar and realize how bad Bar A is, but that's the subject for a later post. Now the only thing that really gets me amped is Vegas. Atlantic City is within driving distance, but it's still just a taste to tide me over for the real dope. Going to AC is like watching the USA Version of The Terminator. It's pretty much the same thing and yet at the same time it's completely different. Las Vegas, the ultimate in entertainment, debauchery, and sin, is the only thing that really gets my blood going. Where the nights once again seem endless. Where you're once again dealing with sums of money so much larger than you're used to that it makes you giddy. And once again the town seems infinite. Walking down the strip you feel like you could never see all of this place. Once again you feel humbled by something that's still bigger than you and anything seems possible.

Yet still, it isn't quite the same feeling as when I was a kid. I'm not sure if that feeling can ever be replicated once you grow up. I guess maybe you can relive some of those days by having kids and going through it with them. That may sound sappy, but I'd rather have one of those nights than any night trapped in a meathead sandwich at DJais. So I guess that means I gotta start having kids. It's either that or get a job so I can have money to go to Vegas, and as fun as that sounds, having kids sounds easier.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

"Poker is like Sex...

...Everybody thinks they're the best, but most people dont know what the hell they're doing." This is a quote from young poker player Dutch Boyd at the 2003 World Series of Poker. With poker becoming even more popular since then, you run into quite a few people who say they play, and more often than not they aren't very shy about it. Typically it's a friend of a friend or a girl's outsider boyfriend, and they don't hesitate to tell you how good they are at poker. Well as Dutch explained, most people aren't as good as they think they are. So it's a strange feeling if you actually get to see any of them play because they are usually flatout terrible. It'd be like someone bragging to you how good they were at basketball, only to get them on the court and they're hucking it over the backboard, dribbling off their foot, and then just grabbing the ball with both hands and running around the court like a 6 year old girl. Well, I played with a bunch of these people on Thursday.

As some of you might know, I played online poker off and on for several months earlier this year. It was just for an hour or two at a time here and there, sometimes a few days in a row, sometimes a few days off. It was enough to keep me unemployed for those several months, and it even funded my trip to San Diego. I had already cashed out about 3500 by March when I decided to stop. I thought that if I took the money out of my poker account, then I would be more motivated to get a job. Ummm...Dead Wrong. Do you think that I was waking up early just because I wasn't able to play poker an hour a day? I just moved cocktail hour up to 6. So in a month I was broke and this time with no means to make any, and I've been coasting on fumes ever since.

Fast forward to this Thursday. PartyPoker was running a freeroll. For those of you who don't know, this is a free tournament where PartyPoker provides the prize money. In this case, you actually needed "PartyPoints" to enter, which is the online poker equivalent of frequent flyer miles. With nothing else to do with these "points" and nothing better to do with my time, I entered the freeroll. 1174 other people entered and the top 30 places won money. I ended up finishing 9th. Out of 1174 people, that's not that bad right? I made the final table at least. Well the prize pool for these events is paltry, so 9th paid a whopping 37.50 I think, which makes it kind of a waste of time in a $/hr sense. But if you think of it as getting paid 37 bucks to mess around on the computer, I guess I can't complain. Anyway with money back in my account I played a few small single-table tournaments and was able to run it up over 100. So now that I finally got my resume posted and I'm getting some semblance of job offers, I actually have some money to work with in PartyPoker again. One step forward, two steps back...

Friday, July 22, 2005

Pre-game Report

Before I start giving you what you really want, an in-depth look at my fascinating jet-set lifestyle, a few things must be said. Don't take it personally, unless you do any of these things, in which case take out a pen.

T-shirts: Do not wear a shirt with a "clever" saying on it. Why? It's probbbbably not as clever as you think. In fact, it's probably not clever at all. I'm guilty too, I'll admit I have a couple, but I'm phasing them out. A few samples of what I saw during a dreadful trip to the mall: "Jingle My Bells" (yes, in July), "BEER It's not just for breakfast anymore," and "No More Pictures Please!" (on a very fat Italian, naturally). Let's just agree to abandon the fad in its entirety, we might lose a few funny shirts, but it's worth it to lose the 95% that aren't. PS--The only funny one I saw was, "I fought the lawn, and the lawn won!" I don't know why, but I loved it!

Jeans: Don't tell me things like, "I always see you in those jeans..." There's a reason for that: I'M ALWAYS WEARING THESE JEANS. I'm a guy. We don't tidy, we don't drink diet soda, and we don't have outfits. I have 3 pairs of jeans, two that I like, and I wear them for days or weeks at a time. Life rule #107: Jeans are not dirty until you can physically see dirt on them...and even then, it's a judgment call. Addendum: Do not wear jean shorts, ever, to any establishment, under any pretense, in mixed company or familiar, under any circumstances...ever.

Hair: Mohawks--OUT. You waited too long and now you're the last one doing it. We're not impressed. And for future reference, you'll never be original taking your fashion cues from TRL.

Headwear: I'll just assume that people are being lazy and they aren't trying to make some lame fashion let me remind some people the proper steps in sporting a hat: Remove the sticker. Bend the brim until it is noticeably curved. Secure on head. The End. No hologram stickers or tags left on, no flat brims, no propping hat at an absurd angle. While we're on the subject, I'd like a personal apology from everyone who ever wore a trucker hat. And if you happen to still be wearing a trucker hat, I'm gonna need a rough draft of your suicide note.

I have to cut it short for now to watch the yankees desperately try to get through the 6th and 7th innings. Don't worry, though, I have plenty more ways to explain how not to annoy me. I didn't even talk about girls. Ha! Don't let me get started. Go Leiter!


Starting a blog proved to be more difficult than I imagined. First, I have to point out that this blog has only come into fruition because of a difficulty I have with writing, not the ideas mind you but the physical act of writing. I've determined I'm no good with pens. It started in elementary school. I used to hold it like between my ring, middle, and thumb, or some otherwise retarded arrangement. Not sure what my plan was there but someone on the faculty apparently noticed and then I had to have one of those gel things over my pen so I didn't hurt my hand. What an embarrassing admission, I needed equipment so I wouldn't hurt myself. How much different is that from a helmet?
Well apparently the gel taught me nothing, because I'm still struggling with them. We have one of those pen cups: a collection of well-traveled pens, none less than 5 years old. Most times I go to write and there's no ink. Then I got two moves, first I try to dice. Then I lick the top of the pen and scribble again. Where did I learn this?! It has to be the dumbest idea but I feel like people do it. What's licking it going to do? Wake it up? Even it it did somehow work, which it never has, I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be licking the ink out of pens. So when all my advanced methods fail, then what? Back in the pen cup and try another. Not sure why I'm putting pens with no ink back in the cup, but I think I'm always worried that maybe I just didnt try hard enough. I'd hate to waste a pen. I think I'm more comfortable with throwing out a pencil. You know when a pencil's done, when you've worn that thing down to the nub or the eraser is so low that the metal is scratching the paper. You can't have that and the pencil knows it. The pencil is thrown away proud that he's given it his all, and you don't have to any mixed feelings about it.
Okay so bring us back, about the blog. Once I decided to start one I had to jump through so many hoops before I even got to post anything. You have to choose a title, an address, a template; for some reason this was all very confusing to me. At some point between high school and now I became an old dad, confused and scared of technology and computers. I didn't even have email for about 6 months. But now I have this so when you feel the need to yell at me about something I did to you, you have a forum in which to do it. Good luck, and you stay classy San Diego.