11.25.06 this was supposed to be a much longer post

NP: nothing.
NR: still the Pinera.

phrases / cliches i could live happily without ever hearing again:

calling a motorcycle a "crotch rocket".
calling an accountant a "bean counter".
when playing poker, calling Q3 "the gay waiter".

11.24.06 black friday

NP: nothing
NR: nothing

I watch the olive fall to the floor from the waitstation. It rolls right into the middle of the aisle between the bar and the tables. Nobody else sees it. The first ten or twelve footfalls pass overhead and nearby, but miss the mark. Two minutes pass and finally the smash I was waiting for takes place. It's not nearly as satisfying as I had hoped. I get bored and stop looking before I see if they even clean it up.

I just had dinner at the bar at Frankie's 457. I was thinking I was late for work but right when I started to leave I realized that I didn't have to be at work at 6:30, but at 7:00 PM. I catch a train quickly, and I know I can be a little late for work, so the plan is hatched.

I walk in and the cute girl bartender from last time is there. It's a little more crowded, and it's later in the day, but there is a seat at the bar. I start into "Dubliners" by James Joyce that I picked up at the thrift store last week with The Twilight Sad. I get a hot steamed cider and a big sparkling water. I order the roasted pork chop with broccoli rabe and pine nut polenta. It's delicious. The sauce is garlicy and salty and the chop is thick and perfectly done. It's the best meal I've had in quite a while... I almost don't count the steak at Wolfgang's because that's not like a dinner, but a big hunk of meat.

I guess I'm a little on the depressed side. I don't want to feel like I'm nostalgic or down during the holidays, it seems so cliche, but... I guess it's there. I can't help but think of Kendel, of Molly, of Debora. I'm not the first single guy to think of the loves of his life at this time of year. Real original.

I also know that I'm just a little depressed because my last two poker sessions have been losers. Even if I look at the stats and know that I'm up $1000 since I've gotten back from tour, I know how that can put me off. It just sorta runs as a background process to everything. And, of course, I've done nothing but sit in the poker club for basically the entire week, so it's hard not to think about poker.

I haven't really been thinking about sex, either. I'm feeling a bit numb to all of that. I've told myself that anybody new that I date / pursue / fuck / whatever is going to be truly beautiful and truly sweet, and that I'm not going to make any exceptions. And I actually think I can hold that promise to myself, but... I'm not going out or doing anything, so where would I meet her anyway?

It was really lovely to see Vicky the other night, and Allison is very sweet and smart. Melissa is a bit annoying with her negativity and clinginess, but still a very nice girl. It's probably good that Abby lives in Philly, and that whole Courtney thing was a mistake. And i'd love to see Kristin or Whitney or Jeanine (not that I even know if anything would happen with Jeanine), but... it would really just be for sex, even though I have fun with all of them and find them interesting.

I'm really so very much into the THOUGHT of Tessa. I have such warm thoughts of her. I think she's simply amazing. But... I know how she feels, and how I feel, and I don't know if it will ever progress. I already care for her so so much, but I already know that I'm keeping her at arm's length, and she's doing the same to me, and I don't think we'll ever hit a harmonic frequency and synchronize. I was talking with her about Lisa today, and I think in some regards it's going to be the same story with Tessa, although certainly not as crazy.

I really wish I could stop using "although", "certainly", "actually", and "of course" so damn much. I'm sure I can't, but... it's really driving me crazy when I read what I write... It drives me crazy WHILE I'm writing it.

But Tessa. Dear Sweet Tessa. She's a truly amazing woman. It doesn't hurt that she alternately reminds me of Molly and Debora, but... She's her own woman, and it's refreshing and amazing. It was very lucky to have met her... I'm very lucky to be spending the time I am with her now. I definitely know these things. I hate knowing these things. Because then the mind starts racing: am I only hanging out with her because I know how amazing she is and feel like I SHOULD be hanging out with her? I know that's not the reason, but sometimes I just really love to overanalyze my analysis. It's a good way to ruin something, and perhaps that's why I do that? I don't know.

All I know is that I should have sent her a text message an hour ago and I'm sitting here typing this instead. What's that all about? I know how to be responsible. Why do I choose to do something so unnecessary and dumb as to sit here and not do the basic things that I'm supposed to do. So I have an excuse for when things get fucked up or difficult? So that I can pretend that Tessa keeping me at arm's length is purely her decision and has nothing to do with my actual behaviour or attitude?

That's probably it, and I understand why somebody like Molly would call me pathetic. It IS pathetic behaviour. If you're a smart person and you KNOW that you are self-sabotaging, then why wouldn't you stop yourself from doing it? There's the cunundrum I've been trying to parse for the last fifteen years.

FOOTNOTE: As soon as I stopped typing the above and closed the file, Tessa texted me. I responded "just out of the shower. can i meet you somewhere?" Then I got in the shower. Such a fucking liar.

11.23.06 is this even worth bothering to post?

NP: nothing
NR: nothing

I introduce "5-2 Guts Beat The Ghost" to the dealers and regulars at BBBB tonight. We end up playing for two hours, until 8:00 AM. The biggest pot we see is actually only $50, which I'm a little surprised at, but... I think we'll play it again at some point, and I bet it gets crazy when we do.

Last night was silly... playing Showdowns for $60 and $100, Carmine and I play Acey Deucey for a couple of hours. Starting with $2 antes and $1 to pass, we actually saw the pot go up to $160. By the end we both had $150-$200 on the table. I only ended up $54 down, but... it could have swung either way for either one of us. Biggest bet we saw was for $105, and he won it.

Thanksgiving dinner was a pizza, breadsticks, and hot wings from Domino's. I have to admit it made me a little depressed.

11.22.06 why i should have stayed in bed all week

NP: "Jeane" - The Smiths.
NP: "The Other Side Of Mt. Heart Attack" - Liars.
NR: same as last post, but haven't been reading much. Haven't had time.

I shouldn't go to play poker when I'm sick. You'd think that would be a fairly obvious thing to say / do, but... I didn't listen last night. Not that I think that's the reason why I lost $1300.... I was playing 10/20 Omaha Hi/Lo, and I just wasn't playing well. Playing too many hands, and also ran into some stupid bad luck. Kept turning a set of Jacks, only to find out that somebody had flopped a set of Aces. It happened three times last night. Which is half bad luck, and half stupidity.

But... I just shouldn't have played 13 hours of poker when I had a fever, a headache, and had kinda a crappy day. My laptop was broken, and I dropped my ipod at the post office and it's dead for good this time. I had also thought that my computer speakers were fucked up, too, but... now I guess that just had something to do with my ipod (I had dropped it a couple of weeks ago, and it's been strange ever since.). Not a good combination of events.

With all of that said, all I wanted to do today was go play poker. But I successfully resisted the urge. I actually haven't left the house all day. It's now 6:27 AM, and I'm starving. I absolutely have to go to veselka. Now. I'm dying of hunger. I ordered some Paquito's earlier, and it was damn good, but... that was almost twelve hours ago. I have to take better care of myself.

11.20.06 if it plays an instrument with four strings, i have a crush on it.

NP: "Black Boys On Mopeds" Sinead O'Connor.
NR: just editing these postings.

I'm exhausted on Saturday. Didn't get to sleep until 6 AM, and there was something about the trip with The Twilight Sad that kept making me sleepy. Didn't sleep well on the trip, but... I really was almost convinced that the van had exhaust / carbon monoxide problems, because I just could not stay awake on the one drive.

But, anyway... I'm home. The Twilight Sad end up staying at my apartment, so I go to stay at Melissa's. In her dungeon. We don't wake up until 2:30 PM. Brian is coming into town from Philly, supposedly arriving around 5:00 or 5:30. I run some errands with Melissa, and we get some breakfast at Relish. I get home at like 5:00. The Twilight Sad are still in my apartment, I talk with them for a while, then I end up on the phone with Jon for a bit, and with Adam from Fat Cat too. An hour goes by and I'm still not in the shower, but Brian is stuck in traffic, so I'm off the hook a bit. I call Wolfgang's and push back our reservations. Brian finally gets in, and we get a taxi up there. We had 6:15 reservations and are showing up at 7:30. Fortunately it's Artie at the door, and Mookie is there, as are two or three other waiters I've met (but not Mario). We get seated immediately.

And proceed to talk about nothing but poker for a half hour. The old couple next to us was super annoyed. I quite enjoyed their irritation, I have to admit.

We have some shrimp, the bacon appetizer, the steak for two, and the creamed spinach. And a bottle of the Justin Isosceles. It was amazing. I treat Brian to the meal. I haven't ever had the chance to do that before.

One of these days I need to write about these couple of amazing meals I've had lately. The Grocery with Tessa, Wolfgang's with Tessa (actually, that one goes pretty much exactly like the one I just talked about... except Tessa doesn't enjoy the poker conversation.) And some other meal I wanted to talk about, but now can't even remember what it was. There was a Blue Ribbon trip in there somewhere, and a brunch at Prune... Hmmm... What am I missing?

Anyway, Since we're so late, by the time we get to Mercury Lounge (the ultimate reason for Brian's trip to NYC), we've missed all of Charles Bissell's set except for half a song, and then a closing number: a stunning cover of Sinead O'Connor's "Black Boys On Mopeds". For some reason I recognize it from the second line (if I'd been able to decipher the first line as being something about Margaret Thatcher I probably would have figured it out sooner), and I'm just spellbound. He makes it fuzzy and warm and haunting and it's almost as good as the original, and that's saying a lot.

Today I download the album via bittorrent and listen to the song a good ten times. It's even better than I remembered it. And it reminds me of Erika (driving on 202 was making me think of her all weekend, anyway. I wonder how many times I drove on that road with her to / from Philly.), and I thought about Liz (how many times did I drive back and forth from Horsham to New Hope with or for her?), and I thought about DJ playing "The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance" for hours on his acoustic guitar in college. Sinead is more loaded with memories and associations than even I realized. Soul Asylum covering "Emperor's New Clothes" at Maxwell's on New Year's Eve 1990/1991... and of course that video for "Nothing Compares 2 U" which was everywhere that year.

Really wished I had seen all of Charles' solo set. Although what I saw was enough, for sure.

We run around the corner to Cake Shop. Overlord are still playing. I really enjoy the couple of songs I see. Then Palomar are next. Is it ok to admit that I have a crush on Sarah Brockett? With those Joni Mitchell cheekbones, that look of easy concentration when she plays, and that adorable red hair... What's not to have a crush on? The fact that she was wearing a lovely blouse that made accented her just right didn't hurt.

Brian has a crush on Christina. Palomar have something for everyone. They're set was really great. I'm excited for them to be working with Misra / Absolutely Kosher. I think it's going to be a good fit for them.

And then The Oranges Band came out. They're now a four-piece, and they have a new bass player. And they're bass player is a hot as hell blonde girl I've never seen before. I had just seen Roman in Baltimore a couple of days before and he didn't mention anything (not that he needed to), but I was still surprised. I wonder if they're a couple? Anyway, things like this shouldn't matter, but... I'm suddenly struck with the fact that I'm in love with both of these bass players. I kinda liked it. It made me feel a bit like a teenager again.

I quickly forget about anything that I'm thinking, because The Oranges Band start playing, and they're tighter and better and awesomer than I think I've ever seen them before. We only stick around for 5 songs because we run back to the Mercury Lounge, but... goddamn. They were great, and really bringing it. I regret not seeing the rest of the set. Actual genuine regret. I feel like I missed something that would have blown my mind.

Centro-matic are good, but... a bit too rote / prepared. There's a couple of great songs, and they play them well, but it just doesn't move me. Still, a good show, but... I wish I had stayed down the block.

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However, you may download material from The Self-Starter Foundation website (one machine readable copy and one print copy per page) for your personal, noncommercial use only.

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