Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympics Fever

I just saw a sports drink commercial that has made me want to make it to the next Olympics.  I've narrowed it down to skeet shooting or the uneven bars.  Maybe I'll do skeet shooting from the uneven bars.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Poker That Didn't Happen

I want to write a comic book.  Then I want to write a newspaper article about the comic book that I wrote.  Then I want to pass some local legislation that codifies the theme of my comic book.  Then I plan to write a screenplay about the experience.  Once the movie comes out, I'll inevitably write a novel about the movie.  Then I'll make a movie about writing a novel about the movie . . . and write a book about it.  Someone will be tempted to do a documentary about the entire process.  Then I'll rob all of the 7-11s in town before going down in a hail of gunfire in an intersection crowded nonsensically with eagle scouts, and that scene will have to be pasted post-production into the comic book, newspaper article, local legislation, novel, movie, book, and documentary.

All of the postmodern novelists of the 1980s would feel fucking owned.

I went ten miles east of Sioux Falls to the nearest casino with poker, just across the Iowa border.  I showed up on a Sunday at 6:30 p.m. without calling ahead to make sure that a game was running.  I figured that there was no possible way that a game was not running on a Sunday at 6:30 p.m.  At the very least, I was sure that I'd be able to get a seat fairly quickly.  Well, turns out that I'm a dumbass.

There were two tables of a tourney running, and there was a single table of $1/$2 NL going with a 5-person waiting list, of which I was 5th.  Luckily, I had brought a book.  I read for an hour or so, without a single person leaving the only NL game, then I gave up.

My first impression upon entering my first casino in more than a year?  Old lady perfume.  My second impression?  Old people everywhere.

I'll head out there again one of these nights, but not before (1) calling ahead first and (2) getting my name on the waiting list.

I like to read a book while I am playing live.  Reading a book makes me vulnerable to some rather obvious tells, I guess, but I doubt it.  I try only to read the book after I've folded and before I've been dealt the next hand.  How can I give away a tell at those times?

Anyhoo, people often act strangely when I'm reading.  "You're reading a book . . . at the table?"  They are equal parts curious, incredulous, and confused.

"Yes," I say.  What other possible answer is there?

I don't know.  Live poker is just so boring.  I think being observant at a $1/$2 table is overrated.  Plus I like to read.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mime Story

While my girlfriend and I were traveling through Italy last month, we spent some time in Bologna.  We were in Bologna, in fact, during the European football championship match.  (I don't keep up with football, so I don't know what this championship is actually called.)  The game was about to start, and the streets were full of shitheads waving the Italian flag and yelling assorted nonsense.  Later that evening, some of these shitheads would assault a mime, an act that would directly lead to the downfall of their nation in the championship game.

Bologna was nice.  Before we arrived, we had read that one of the oldest universities in the world was located there.  We looked for it.  When we found it, we saw that it was covered in graffiti.  Too bad I left my camera at the hotel room that day.

Anyhoo, during the evenings, the city was showing films in the evening in the biggest palazzo in town.  Hundreds of people showed up to drink wine and watch until midnight or so.  The first film we watched was "Lawrence of Arabia."  It was really fucking long though, and we didn't see it from the beginning, so we made sure to return the next night to check out some short films by Charlie Chaplin.

The Chaplin night was fantastic.  The town had assembled an *orchestra* to play their *own original music* while we all watched some Chaplin shorts.  Just amazing.  It was easily one of the highlights of our trip through Italy.

In any case, in the same palazzo where the Chaplin film aired, we saw a mime on one of the afternoons there.  The mime was standing on top of a box.  Next to him, he had another smaller box that was full of thin strips of paper that were rolled up and affixed with little bows.  Apparently, the people who tipped the mime would get some wise saying or something like that.  Seemed like a cool idea.  Doubtless, this mime had a better strategy than those fuckers who hang out in hallways begging their asses off.

If you're going to beg, put on a show.  At least, give the people the feeling that you're willing to do something for the cash you're asking for.  This mime understood this basic concept.

Needless to say, I like mimes.  I shouldn't, but I do.  So when I saw this mime from a distance, I instantly started heading in his direction.

But something was wrong.  He wasn't doing normal mime shit.  He actually seemed to be fighting with some passersby.  As I approached, I confirmed that he was.  Actually, confirmation came with the mime punching a passerby--likely one of the fucktard youths who had assembled in the palazzo to cheer on asshole Italy against Spain--in the face.

I thought, That mime is punching that dude in the face.  I had to get closer.

Turned out that the mime had been fucked with by the fucktard and a couple of his friends.  Their average age was probably 19; their mental age was probably 7.  The mime looked to be 60.  In a nutshell: kids mess with mime; kids rip mime's outfit; mime goes gangster on their asses by repeatedly nailing one of the kids in the fucking face.

In the end, the oldster mime grabbed one of the kids by his collar and started yanking him toward a cop car, repeatedly shouting, "Polizia!  Polizia!"

It was at that moment that my girlfriend and I decided that Italy had to lose the championship match.  Not only that, they had to get fucking destroyed.  So we headed back to the hotel room to watch Italy's complete annihilation.  Nothing creates fans of Any Country Except Italy more than a visit to Italy.


That's what you get for fucking with a mime, bitches.  You're lucky I'm not pissed about it anymore, or I would've shut your asses out of the Olympics too.

Friday, July 27, 2012


How's it going?  Wow, I'm blogging again after a full month.  I thought it would take me two weeks.  Traveling turns out to be busier than I remembered.

From UAE, I went to Rome for a while, then I went up to Bologna, and then Trento, where I went on a walk and promptly saw a guy gesticulating randomly.  He wasn't wearing a whole lot of clothes.  Anyway, I promptly stopped, and lifted my camera as if I were planning to take a picture of something very important above and behind him.  I had a feeling that he was going to do something interesting, and I didn't want to miss it.  In any case, he flung his arms this way and that.  Then he reached for his undershirt, pulled it off, turned towards me, and I took this photo:

"Welcome to Trento.  Give me your shirt."

Looking at this photo now, I have two questions come to mind.  What was he doing? and Where is his undershirt?  (And when I try to spell undershirt, why do I keep spelling u n d e r s h i t ?)

First answer is that the dude, if not full-blown crazy, was considerably off the hook.  He didn't want his tee shirt on, so fuck it, he was taking his tee shirt off.  Then as I clicked, he began to yawn, so that he simultaneously seemed crazy and bored with his own insanity.  For this reason, this photo has value to me.

Second answer is I have no clue how his tee shirt disappeared.  It was white.  Off white.  Severely off white.  And just seconds before I took this pic, he had been wearing it.  Maybe he jammed it into his ass crack.  Maybe it is on that stone seat behind him.

He appears to be looking at me as I take this shot.  Surprisingly, this turned out not to be the case.  He was turning and yawning and I had the luck to catch him as he was pointing his crazy face in my direction.

Right now I am in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the major benefits of which are the close proximity of (a) family and (b) live poker played by hillbillies.

Much has happened in the last month, including a temper tantrum of mine that resulted in me painting a hotel room with wine.  I had the presence of mind to take photos of this embarrassing meltdown.  In any case, I will provide updates as the week rolls along.