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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Good news - no work, I'm in work sponsored education.

Bad news part 1 - no internet access. (I'm currently at the bar)

Bad news part 2 - this short post.

So today you need to go visit PokerKat who had her first dial-a-shot last night. As shown here.

Then go visit Terry the Bartender's brand new blog. She's keeps me in the booze.

Cheers, I'll be online tonight from the bar, feel free to stop by. ScubaSteve taking requests on AIM, username = attheboathouse.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Poker? 

How's that for a Mardi Gras card protector?

An honest-to-god New Orleans mudbug. BigMike and I stopped in to the Boathouse before hitting the regular Tuesday night game and sampled their Mardi Gras menu. Crawfish are yummy creatures.

Holy crap, he's about to talk poker.

Our regular Tuesday night poker night is similar to the west coast bloggers version of Murderers Row except that we're full of mentally deficient players and others with liquid dependencies. In my case, both. Close really.

We've been tracking everyone's tourney finishes each week using points and each tourney had an extra fee. The intention was to find the best 8 players and have a money-added tourney after 8 to 10 weeks. Here's the odd thing. I'm leading in points yet have never one a single one of these things. Does that mean I'm playing like a wuss and just grinding my way to the end or does it show consistency? Does is show that I'm consistently wussy?

Who knows, you tell me.

Sure to form, Lewey was the first one out. He is definitely consistent. He either goes out first or wins the damned thing. The booze started flowing as the game wore on. Lewey was kind enough to come back to Landow's with a brand new bottle of Southern. Vodka and Snapple Grape-ade just wasn't cutting it. It's amazing how fast you can plow through a bottle when 4 people are sharing it.

I won a single hand the entire night. How's that for a crappy run? To make it worse, it was the very first hand of the tourney. A flop with two sevens looks great when you start the tourney holding The Hammer. I managed to get a decent amount of chips and waited. And waited. For nothing to happen.

Royce (aka Maverick) knocked me out be waking up with rockets to kill my only decent hand post-flop. I go drink now. Lucky for me, I happened to get a call from Dr. Pauly 30 seconds after my knock out. We did a dial-a-shot/bowl while I was freezing my ass of on the Landow's porch and he was sitting comfortably on the beach in Malibu.

Royce went on to play a great tournament and win the whole thing. Landow bubbled. Again. BigMike finished with third place money.

After the tourney there were 6 of us still hanging around so we started a crazy 6-handed NL cash game. Retarded. I continued my streak and did not drag a single pot. Twice, not once, twice I got into a big hand against two players. One time holding TT vs AJo vs AJo. Down go the tens. Rebuy! The second time had both players calling a big flop bet and both managed to hit their gut shot on the turn (which conveniently, for them, gave me top two pair). One hit for the nut straight, the other the sucker straight. Either way.... Rebuy!

The game came to a halt when Royce's girlfriend busted him with set over set. QQ v 77. Queen on the turn, 7 on the river, Royce goes broke.

Another good time was had by all.

~

But wait, that's not the end of it. It was Mardi Gras after all and the booze was flowing. Anyone can have a boring old poker night. No offense to the great minds on west coast bloggers. I'm sure the Murderers Row game has it's nights. But....

I gotta think stuff like this doesn't really happen during their poker nights. (the "might not be quite safe for work" alternative.) Hey, it's only one boob. Maybe I'll post some of the other pics Royce provided me with later. This is what happens when you leave the camera downstairs and head up for a smoke.

For the record, that second pic contains the now empty bottle of Soco that Lewey brought over the house after he got knocked out.

I challenge the west coast bloggers to top that one. If any one out there wants to add to my collection, feel free to email your pics here.

~

Raise or fold. Shit or get off the pot. Fish or cut bait. Drink or get out of my way.

Cheers, I'll try to not dirty the water with any more poker for awhile.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

MardiGras pics... 

The ones safe for work (click to enlarge)....




Southern Comfort welcomes me to Mardi Gras.




Eva and KAK preparing to hit the streets.




Lil' school girl complete with knee pads.




Be prepared!




BigMike is properly prepared bead-wise.


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Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler 

Another year, another Mardi Gras missed. I think the pic on the left was taken by Eva on our last trip to Mardi Gras in 2003 from the balcony of Cat's Meow. I'd be depressed even if the city wasn't ravaged by Katrina because I'm not there. I homesick for a city that I've never lived in.

So I'm forcing myself to remember the great things. Using old posts and even older memories. These are a few of my favorite things....

The bartenders that were so used to us, they knew our drink when we walked in even though they only saw us once a year. Michael at the Carousel Bar would hold back the Soco goodies for me. Squirrel, the first one in my bartender hall of fame, always took care of us. The Carousel Bar was the kickoff each day. The Aft Deck, Cat's Meow, Dungeon (known for the topless Princess), Igor's, the Old Absinthe House, Tipitina's, and every jazz and blues bar in the quarter. The small bars between Royal St. and the river. We could never remembered their names but always knew how to get back there.

The 2am recharge at Cafe Du Monde for beignets, coffee, and the surliest waitresses on the planet. Walking around Jackson Square watching the freaks and balloon sculptors (not necessarily a difference between the two). Getting your fortune read by two different people with completely different outcomes just to cover all the bases. The forces of good vs. the forces of evil on the steps of Cathedral St. Louis.

The long Sunday walk from the French Quarter down St. Charles to Igor's in the Garden District to watch the Thoth and Bacchus parades. Having your 'contact' on the float handing down bag after bag of the high quality "good" beads. The college kids bringing out the couches to the median with their generators and stereo systems. The walk back seemed 10 times longer than the walk there.

Every tiny eatery that added 50 pounds to our girth with each trip south. Jambalaya, crawfish, Eggs Benedict, and gator-on-a-stick. A Lucky Dog with the works at 4 o'clock in the AM that might have been the best tasting food in all the world at that one moment in time. Brunch at the Court of Two Sisters. Attempting to drink every version of the Hurricane possible and the wife falling in love with a drink called a Hand Grenade. Very easy to spot since the large glass looks like.... a hand grenade. And stay away from the grain infused Hurricane called the 190 Octane.

The sound of a lone man playing the trumpet on a street corner early it the morning with the sound reverberating off the buildings down the street or the old guy sitting on a crate playing the blues pumped through is pignose amp.

"Let the good times roll!", they love to say. I agree.

Cheers my friends, let the good times roll.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

February Truckin' 

Pauly has the latest version of Truckin' up and posted. He was kind enough to include some of my idiotic ramblings about the Honey Wagon guy....

Enjoy.

1. Highway Job by Tenzin McGrupp
They smelled like a combination of three-day old urine and rotten eggs as the aroma of depravity made me nauseous for the entire fifteen minutes I sat and waited for my Greyhound bus bound for NYC to arrive... More

2. Action Island by Otis
I couldn't see any coke on his nose. Still, if you'd told me there hadn't been some marching powder shooting up his nostrils in the last couple of hours, I would've called you an idiot... More

3. Tomorrow Thoughts by Jaxia Kiley
Window's open. A soft breeze runs across our skin and under the sheets as we dance together... More

4. The Honey Wagon by AlCantHang
I drive the shit truck. The Honey Wagon. I'm a drunk. It's my job and I hate it. The job, not the drink... More

5. Two Loves by Human Head
A person with self-esteem as fragile as mine often questions the reality of things. Everything is easy when nothing stinks, enough money is in various accounts, and cartoon bluebirds flutter to and fro in the background, but sooner or later Mr. Yin makes a call to Mr. Yang and the balance sheets are once again set in order... More

6. Merry Fucking Christmas by Ben Rillie
The only thought in my tiny, tiny brain at the time was, "Man, this is going to be a monster of a fart," and I immediately pondered the best way to record it so I could email it to my friends... More

7. Can I Hit It and Quit? by Tenzin McGrupp
She reminded me of a young Meryl Streep. Her accent was thick and she smelled like flowers and blueberries. She sipped on a Sea Breeze or some sort of vodka-cranberry concoction... More

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Fight Night 

"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." - Robert E. Howard
You spend enough time around bars and idiots, sooner or later something bad is going to happen. You never know when or where.

~

The night started out on a very good note. Eva, BigMike, and I were cruising right along through the ScubaSteve inspired trivia game last Thursday. Teams made up of the other patrons were no match for the silly amount of useless knowledge stuck in our heads. In the finals, BigMike made quick work of the other team (I think I knew two of the final 11 questions) and we had extra money in our pockets and a reserved table with booze for St. Patty's Day. All day. From noon until closing which is also the first Friday of March Madness.

I hope they have enough soco.

~

During the 6 different rounds of questions, BigMike and I were boozing it up as usual. Talking to old friends and making new ones. There were three new people sitting to our right. One guy and two attractive women. The guy was one of those we typically get along with. Hard drinker, fucked up attitude, "I just wanna sit and have a few cocktails to forget my day" kinda guy.

The girls were having a good time and weren't opposed to dropping the occasional double shot of soco on top of the girly martini's they were drinking.

We were having a good time. The norm for a Thursday night.

Then some south Philly gangsta wanna bees showed up. Never saw these guys before in my life. It started with one of the older guys coming over to chat up the girlies. He seemed like a nice enough man even if he was a little 'touchy' with the girls. Hey, they weren't with me and if the boyfriend (Drunk Neighbor) didn't mind, who was I to say anything?

Apparently the girls were having a little fun with the new guy by playing up their 'friendship'. There may have been some girl-on-girl action with the gratuitous groping and touching. The old guy seemed happy that they weren't sending him off like every other reasonable girl in the joint had done already. They were tipsy and having fun. The other friends came over to our side of the bar to see what was going on.

Before long there are 6 or 7 guys surrounding them. They were liking the show, the girls were having fun, and Drunk Neighbor still didn't care. He wasn't stuck paying for their drinks and he didn't have to entertain the girlfriend. Until one of gangsta boys starts to get lippy with the boyfriend.

I was sitting there minding my own business. I was actually on a dial-a-shot with StB when I noticed the voices next to me raised in anger. I knew that tone. I quickly said to Steve, "I've gotta hang up, there's about to be a big fight in the bar. I'll call back when it's over." And hungup.

I have no idea what got the argument going, but when I turned around, the Drunk Neighbor was surrounded by a couple of yahoo's and every single one of them was yelling and pointing.

Now I don't take too kindly to shit going down in my place of relaxation. I just don't like it.

I hopped out of my seat and found myself standing in the middle of an impending tussle between one drunk guy and three wannabe tough guys. Luckily I was able to convince the triple headed guido machine to calm down and they moved off to other parts of the bar. Drunk Neighbor sat back down and we lifted toasts to dodging an "IROC-Z driving" bullet.

The girls came over to thank me for calming everything down. We started talking about other bars we had in common and basically got back to relaxing and having a good time.

Drunk Neighbor guy nudges me a couple minutes later after a good conversation about the current state of music and says, "This shit ain't over. Look at 'em, they're not done yet."

Sure enough, they were congregating on the other side of the bar in a huddle that can only mean bad things. You've seen this before if you spent any time in bars. These guys were feeding off each other's testosterone and an explosion was coming.

The older guy made the first move. He came over and made like he was apologetic about the whole affair. Next thing you know, two guys have Drunk Neighbor by both shoulders and the shits going down. He was looking for something to swing and the girls are taking cover like they've seen this show before.

Like I said before, I don't like this shit going on when I'm trying to relax and get my buzz on. Especially not 6 against 1.

Luckily there were two of the biggest and ugliest fight stoppers sitting right there. BigMike is, ummm, big. Only the tremendously drunk or stupid do anything other than stop in their tracks when Mike's hackles are up. Me? I'm just ugly. Being a cross between a Hell's Angel look-a-like and Rusty from Mask gives people enough to think twice about throwing down.

"Jesus, that guy looks like he wouldn't care if he got cracked in the face with a bottle. Fook that!"

BigMike and I were on our feet in no time. Mike has access to the bar area blocked off so Drunk Neighbor and I only have to worry about the two that got through. One of those was going nuts, the other seemed more sane. I took care of nutso guy and let the other two talk it out.

Taking care of psycho was easy. While I was backing him off, he was yelling at me the entire time with his finger in my face. I remained calm. All the while telling this fine young man that it might be in his best interest if he removed his digit from my sight. Something calm along the lines of, "get the fuckin' finger outta my face or I'm gonna snap it off."

See, I can be calm and rational.

When Mr. Psycho decides that fighting isn't in his best interest, he drops the classic line, "Yous guys don't know who the fuck you're dealing with" (classic South Philly accent et al).

This really cracked up Drunk Neighbor guy who was ALMOST calmed down at this point. Of course he had to interject, "Hey look, it's Tony Soprano, why don't you take out my trash you piece of shit. Now go get your shine box."

And... ding ding. We're back on with Round number 3.

BigMike still has most of the guys separated but they're yelling over BigMike (like they had another choice) and Psycho guy's girlfriend is trying to pull him out of there. Nothing like adding another girl to the mix. When Psycho's girlfriend and Drunk Neighbor's girlfriend starting yapping at each other, I made the immediate decision to stay the fuck out of that one.

Finally, all the guys on BigMike's side have settled down to the point where he's no longer physically restraining them. Drunk Neighbor guy is talking to the saner one of the killer pimps and things are settling down. Everyone has been talked off the ledge and there will be no fists this evening.

I negotiated a truce between the two which was sealed with a double soco and hand shake. I walked the three of them out to the parking lot and the crisis was over.

Time to get polluted.

The amusing part which we discovered later? Not a single employee of the bar saw any of it go down. Not the bouncers, bartenders, waitress, or managers. Not even ScubaSteve who happened to take that 15 minutes of his life to get something out of his truck.

~

Lessons learned?

- if your girlfriend is going to put on a show, better be ready to defend.

- we need to get to the bar earlier so we don't have to sit with the great unwashed.

- BigMike and I really don't like fights in the bar. Bad for the buzz.

Now go home and get your fucking shine box.

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