Monday, January 11, 2016
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Don't know what to do when you wake up? Steak. Up.
Amount of time spent listening to Drake up? Steak up.
You might be asking yourself: why would he put a picture with vegetables in this clearly steak-biased piece? Doesn't he have the whole world of Google Images at his fingertips and the ability to hand-pick one of six billion pictures of steak available? If you noticed the vegetables, you definitely need to steak up. Brussels-sprout a pair, buddy.
I found myself flummoxed recently. Broken hearted and moping around, I was weak, bereft of all of the power I once felt. My world lacked contrast and seemed to be a collection of grey hues and rain clouds. And then, as if delivered from the dream gods, I woke up and the solution was sizzling on the edge of my tongue. It's not every day that a man comes up with an idea that could change the world. Much less one that is delivered through whatever recent dream-god-technology is out there without any previous prayers or even acknowledging of the existence of said gods. But let us not make this all about them, for they are humble gods, and I'm from a generation of entitlement.
I got in my car one morning, drove to the store and picked up a pair of Rib-eyes. I slapped them on the cutting board and as I applied the kosher salt and cracked black pepper, I felt a change in my demeanor. By the time the grill had been sufficiently heated I already felt my moribund day reviving.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Although we feel every malicious step the summer takes towards us, the heat has not yet arrived in full force, and the Samaritans of Las Vegas are stuck in between turning on the air conditioner, or opening windows and doors. In a household consisting of three young males, the door stays open.
There are a few things in our house that might be attractive to a stray dog; scattered Kibbles and/or Bits, a bottle of ketchup on the floor that nobody can explain, but namely my roommates’ dog Megan. Megan is a small Beagle mix with a cute face and personality. She tends to chew on shoes, but she doesn’t have the jaw strength to complete the destruction. It still seemed strange when we heard the non-threatening yelp of a miniature pinscher at our door late in the evening.
We looked at the dog as he filibustered at our door. By we I mean me, Scotty in one of his trademark pro-rap or pro-weed shirts, and Ken, probably dominating at a video game at the time. The unfortunate thing about a miniature pinscher, or a mini-pin as some lame people I have run into at the dog park refer to them as, is that they have the markings of the powerful Doberman, but none of the pinache. They’re like a little dog with a Napoleon complex, barking at things that tower over them.
We were intrigued by his brashness, although we didn’t like his manners. We stood up and he ran out into the street. We did what anybody else with nothing better to do would do, and followed him outside. Megan chased behind us to watch the scene unfold. It was clear to me that there was a connection. I suggested that the dog was here not for violence, but for reproductive purposes. The idea didn’t catch on quickly.
“I told you,” I shouted as we looked in the back yard and saw the mini-pin mounting our sweet little companion only a few minutes later. He had slipped his fragile little body through the gate and ran his game. Although the fairy tale of dog courtship is not that cut and dry. Megan was fending him off, she did not want nor need his services.
“Maybe they already finished, and she just thought it was just alright,” Scotty said, connecting the dots first. It was obvious at this point that we had to intervene. We approached it to eradicate it and the mini pin lunged at Scotty with a bark, but to no avail as he just leaned back, balling his hand into a fist in case of emergency.
We discussed what a terrible guest this little dog was. You don’t sneak into somebody’s back yard, have sex with their dog, and then threaten them. Then the dog did the unspeakable. He squatted and pooped. Things got out of hand after that. There were scuffles. Names were called. We chased him out and he retreated into the street. We went and watched television, ten minutes later we see him mounting Megan again in the back yard. We chased him back into the street. It took two or three cycles before we realized that Megan was just crawling out my bedroom window by jumping on my bed.
By this time we felt like disappointed fathers when their daughter brings home a guy who is way less than what they deserve, and despite what they tell her she just keeps seeing him because, “we’re meant to be together forever” at seventeen years old is really going to happen.
It was probably a good thing Megan had a little maturing experience, but it’s times like these that I wish my roommates had a Rottweiler for instances when mini-pins roll up trying to act like a boss so we can get some real nature in this house.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Much ado about Nutting
Because an eye grabbing headline gets ratings. Irrelevant or not.
I reached into my bankroll with plans on nurturing it. If you live in Vegas and you don’t have a bankroll, then you aint doin’ it right. I had been steadily grinding mine up to one hundred and eighty dollars with some savvy football bets. Basically, I got lucky.
A bankroll starts as a dream. It’s when you tell yourself, “I’m going to do this right. I’m going to gamble the smart way.” It’s delusional, but it seems like a way to keep yourself from gambling your life away. Most people just lose money until they end up sitting at a slot machine just hoping to break even and drink for free.
In theory a bankroll is something you should be rigorous and stern about. In practice, a bankroll is very malleable. It can be used like an instrument tuner; as long as you’re in that yellow zone between in and out of tune, you can get by. Any bankroll expert has their own methods, and current theory would dictate that you never use more than ten percent of your bankroll on one bet. Five percent is probably high.
Sometimes though, you must take calculated risks if you ever want to play in the big leagues.
And if you consider taking a pot cookie and spending about half of your bank roll on a poker tournament with no preparation calculated, then I took a risk just so.
It was ten thirty in the morning and I was on my way from the gym to the MGM. The pot cookie was delicious, with little peanut butter morsels. I could faintly taste the marijuana, but I could see how one might eat the cookie and never even know. I’d never consumed pot in that manner before. I’d heard it is a completely different experience from smoking. Remember that story a few years back when the two cops ate some kid’s pot brownie and called the cops on themselves saying they were leaving the universe? I figured my odds of winning the tournament were very slim. Then I remembered that a major league pitcher once threw a no-hitter in the throes of an LSD trip.
People started trickling to the tables and the tournament started a few minutes after eleven. I didn’t feel high yet, and I sized up the competition to see if anybody looked solid. Across from us circled around a table there were a bunch of cowboys in town for the PBR event. Somebody asked if they were in our tournament and I made a joke that your hat must be “this” tall to play in that tournament. Everybody chuckled and the host of the room announced that the cards were to be in the air.
On the first hand a wispy looking old man with saggy forearms next to the dealer asked, “so how does the betting sequence work? This is no limit, right?” The dealer looked at him like he just asked if he could eat his asshole, and a couple people sighed. Everybody wants an idiot at the table, but nobody wants the guy who holds up the game because he doesn’t know how to play. Part of me wondered if this guy was a shark trying to pretend he doesn’t know how to play. I chalked it up to me being jaded from growing up in Las Vegas. Recognizing shady people like that is integral to survival. I wasn’t high yet, so I ordered a screwdriver. It’s free, why not?
A few hands later this overconfident guy who would play on his phone as soon as he was out of every hand put the old man all in. The old man called and as the lax guy turned over his top pair, the old man turned over a full house and knocked him out of the tournament. He played solid the rest of the day, and my gut feeling was confirmed. This guy probably recited that same line at casinos around town every day, twice a day. That motherfucker. By this point I was thoroughly high, and considering that this whole tournament might be a conspiracy.
How many of these guys work here?
I was starting to lose my grip on things. I looked up at the clock and the first break wasn’t for another fifty minutes. I could get up and walk around a bit, but I had already lost about half of my stack and couldn’t afford to miss the blinds. I remember thinking about how cool the felt table felt on my fingers, then thinking that I was way too high to be playing for keeps.
This is just the warm-up game, right?
The blinds kept going up and my stack kept dwindling. I got very low, doubled up, and was still low in relation to the blinds. About twenty minutes before the break our table split up and we filled up the other three tables. They give you this little plastic rack for your chips when you move tables, but my puny stack fit just fine in the palm of one hand. So I meandered around with my chip stack in one hand and the empty plastic rack in the other until the host finally sat me down in my rightful spot. I asked the dealer where to put the empty rack and he said, “just throw it behind you, and make sure you don’t hit anybody.”
Dude, can you not fuck with me while I’m this high?
The table laughed. I had no comeback, so I sat the thing under the table in defeat. The lady sitting directly to the right of me cackled. She had a big stack and an attitude. She represented a common archetype of the female player at a casino. She was cocky and insulting on the surface, but it was obvious she was trying too hard to compensate. She celebrated with a high pitched squeal after every hand she won. A few hands later I won some chips, and I didn’t immediately give my cards back to the dealer (you try stacking a pile of chips while high), so of course she was on the ball saying, “you have to give those back, no matter how good they were.” I smiled because there’s no winning in arguing with a girl at a poker table, and hated her internally.
Finally the game went to break. I realized I went to the gym and never ate anything afterwards, but I didn’t have time to wait for food to cook. I figured some Starbucks would hold me over. Maybe it would even bring me back down from the stratosphere. I took a minute to check out the lion habitat, which was pretty much the most amazing thing possible at the time, even though the lions were sleeping. I’d probably seen the lion habitat about twenty times in my life, but never under those certain circumstances. I feared for the lives of the two young guys in the glass with the lions. I felt bad for the lions. My mood was plummeting almost as low as my chip stack.
I sat back down and the blinds had grown again. A few hands later I was convinced that it was my time to go home. I got Ace-King and planned on going all-in immediately. The second guy to act went all in, and the guy next to him went all in as well. That’s basically the worst situation AK could be in. It’s the kind of hand you want to go one-on-one with. I called anyways, because I had to, and I was surprisingly far ahead when the cards are turned over. It held up and I tripled up. Things weren’t so bad after all.
The next hand a guy went all in against the preachy annoying girl and she had him dominated with two pair until he got a straight on the river. Only she didn’t realize he got a straight, and she did a Tiger Woods fist pump which she actually had to stand up from her seat to perform. Then the dealer said, “straight.”
She sat down and huffed and called bullshit. I smiled. The guy apologized for the bad beat. Some people do that, I don’t. Maybe he apologized in hopes of getting laid. I might do that.
The next hand I knocked her out the tournament and she threw her cards in like an angsty teenager and walked off. I wanted to hand her my plastic rack and ask her to hand it to the host on the way out, but I would actually need it with my current chip stack. Justice was already had, no need to rub it in.
I struggled to stack my chips, still very high and my arms weren’t responding correctly to what I was telling them to do as they were sore from the gym and needed nourishment. I knocked over my empty Starbucks cup and the guy next to me said, “I think you’ve had too much coffee.”
I’m a writer buddy, there’s no such thing as too much coffee.
I dominated quite a few hands after this, and shortly after we were at the final table.
That was my stack upon entering the final table. We hit another break and I spent the whole time text messaging my friends that I might actually place in the money. I was no longer high at this point. I got a bottle of water, put in my headphones and decided to get serious.
I played the final table aggressively. The top five people got paid, so I knew that a lot of buttholes would be tightening up with people just trying to survive. By the time there were five of us left, I had three times as many chips as the guy behind me. I cruised the rest of the way, even getting pocket Aces for the first time in the whole tournament and wrecking my nearest competitor. By the time there were two of us left, I had about fifteen times as many chips as the other guy and it was only a matter of time. He seemed so worn down and helpless after five hours of playing that he didn’t even attempt to win. He would be content with his seven hundred dollar second place.
When I knocked him out I immediately took a picture of my chip stack, because I don’t adhere to the phrase “act like you’ve been there before” that coaches preach. I had never won a thousand dollars before. I tipped the dealer fifty bucks(like a boss), bought my girlfriend some flowers, and called it a day.
Needless to say I learned some things. I learned that pot cookies get you very high, but not interplanetarily high like I had expected. I learned that sometimes you make the completely wrong move and get rewarded for it anyways, because that’s how life, like poker, works sometimes. And now I have nine hundred extra dollars to misuse somehow, because poor people still spend money like poor people even when they have more of it.