catching up with current events
tasty over rice
gotta love it
Your eight-ring billiards extravaganza is the only party I really look forward to. As I declared last year, I would be there for the whole time this year — and I was, due in no small part to you.
If luck will have it, I will see you again next year.
Thanks for a great event.
… people who read this blog. Thanks for your patience while I was down for the count against those f—ing microbes. They should pick on opponents their own size, although I know I’m pretty close.
…all the great people, new and old, I met at Derby City. It was an awesome time with all of you…
Derby City Classic 2008
Hell yeah I went to DCC 2008.
I had a MAJOR F—ING BLAST. It was worth every conniving lie I had to tell my boss, every penny I pinched, and eating nothing but granola bars for many weeks.
If you say you love pool and you’ll do what you can to support it, you’ll stop by next year.
In the meantime, let’s see what I remembered through the haze of pool, action, and substances that occasionally impaired my judgment. Occasionally.
Friday, January 4, 2008
After a nice lunch of corned beef and hash and two poached eggs, I hopped on a jetplane and hauled ass to Louisville, Kentucky.
Louisville welcomed me with wet, s—ty weather. Thanks, Louisville. However, the cockles of my heart were thoroughly warmed by the sight of cars from ALL over the country in the parking lot. Road players of the world, unite!
I flew in (flight was late), promptly ate a hotdog very precisely with a knife and fork (with ketchup and relish), and then went to sleep to charge up the ol’ batteries.
Saturday, December 5, 2008
This was a fresh weekend and I was energized. I made my way to the tournament room to watch a match or two. While I was under the large screen that listed the current and upcoming matches, I was approached by someone who looked familiar, but who I did not immediately recognize. I believe he traveled to DCC from my side of the world. Here is the text of our very enlightening conversation.
“Hey, how’re you doing?”
“So you made it to Derby.”
“Yessir, I did.”
“You know, I don’t play pool anymore.” I thought this an interesting statement from someone who traveled across the country for the Derby City Classic.
“Yeah, it’s because I beat everyone already.”
“Did you now.”
“Yeah, I beat everyone a long time ago. When I played tournaments, it was too easy to win. When I gambled, since I always won, it wasn’t really gambling anymore. None of my friends wanted me to play them, even for fun, because I’d beat them. Pretty soon, no one would play me.”
“I moved cities, and it happened all over again. I’d beat everyone and no one would play me.”
“So, why do you keep playing pool? What drives you?”
“I want to beat everyone.”
“I already did that, trust me, it’s no fun.”
“Oh, no. I’m not talking about beating everyone in a two-block radius, or even a city. I’m talking about everyone.”
“What do you mean “everyone”? Everyone in this room?”
“No, everyone in the whole f—ing world. That’s what drives me.”
“F— yeah, really.”
“Well, then, what are you gonna do after you beat the whole world? You’ll have nothing left to do like me. Then what?”
“Spot the world and beat it again.”
I love people who come to a HUGE tournament featuring the best of the best, and then say they are refraining from play or gambling because — they’ve already beaten everyone. I do not doubt my conversation partner was an excellent player, but I am fairly sure he has NOT beaten “everybody”.
But, thanks for the mild shot of amusement.
After this highly inspirational conversation from a fellow pool player, I wandered off to the Action Room, that lovely section of the Derby City Classic that caters to action, and action ONLY.
S—, I love that room.
I love it in all its old-hunting-lodge glory with garage-sale oil paintings, mismatched painted moldings, stained-glass windows, 1970s earth-tone color schemes, randomly carved wall panels and bannisters and completely random collections of china mixed in, for a week, with styrofoam dinnerware-loving pool players in ripely-scented week-old t-shirts playing for stacks of money that weigh more than I do. Really, how cool is it to see little Justin “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” Cone scurrying under the painted, slightly-offended monocled gaze of some dignified old Kentucky socialite? With a Colonel Sanders mustache? How wacky is it to see beer and soda bottles, placed discreetly by lazy pool players in various corners grow into a recycler’s paradise under china dishes painted with pink roses?
In the Action Room this year, there was a new entity known as The Action Report (TAR).
For those of you living under a slime-mold covered, mossy, rock with various invertebrates and fungi for housemates and pets, The Action Report produces and promotes challenge matches between the best players in the world. They also provide live streaming coverage of major events in the pool world and feature an informal, insanely fun commentary format. By insanely fun, I mean they don’t have regular commentators (although they do sometimes feature legends like Billy Incardona) and pretty much let everyone with a good sense of humor and knowledge of the game have a go at the microphone.
An intimate atmosphere of commentary that is more reminiscent of the types of conversations you’d have at your local poolroom with your friends (including bad jokes and minor amounts of vulgarity) rather than formal, buttoned-up men discussing how “fraught with peril” the players’ choices on the table may or may not be. I know it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they did the best they could with what they had — professional players have tight schedules and I thank the ones that did grace the booth with their presence and knowledge. Besides, there’s always the mute button.
Below (left to right), Billy Incardona, looking stylish in Sean John, Derek “Disco” Bivens, looking like someone just told him the 70s are over, and Chris “2007 Louie Roberts Pageant Winner” Bartrum looking like a leprechaun missing his dapper hat and hiding a pot o’ gold.
For those of you who don’t know (really, you need to crawl out from under that rock more often), TAR provided LIVE, FREE internet streaming of some of the bigger action matches going down in the Action Room. Thanks to their efforts and the awesome support of Greg Sullivan (grand pooh-bah of Diamond and the Derby City Classic), they had cameras positioned on a nine-foot Diamond Smart Table and a seven-foot Diamond Smart Table (for barbox fans such as myself) at almost all hours of the day. They were only limited by how many people they had to staff their headquarters (and by headquarters I mean a long, folding table with a gap between the wall which they plugged up using a large garbage can as a “door”). I think after the first few days, TAR’s staff/volunteers/indentured servants started sleeping in shifts, the better to bring the fabulous, thrilling, gritty entertainment that is unbridled, uncensored pool action to all the armchair athletes at home.
In case y’all are wondering, what the TAR does is not easy. Here is Justin “TAR’s Bitch” Collett arguing with the internet service provider over problems with the streaming service. He is on two cell phones at the same time, calling into the same customer disservice center. He’s simultaneously on hold. I took a listen, and the hold music was also playing seamlessly on both phones. It was like Dolby surround sound — but not in a good way. TAR would have many more of these futile wars with the internet company throughout the event.
But, they persevered, and brought a bit of DCC to us all.
Good job, dudes.
Here is a picture of my second taco, ever, from Taco Bell, courtesy of TAR. It’s classic road-player fare, and it was, I must admit, quite good.
After lurking awhile around TAR, I felt a little weak.
I had a spectacularly unhealthy dinner at Vito’s Italian Eatery, a little joint just a mile or two away from the Executive West. The prices are reasonable and the food is so good that I am convinced it is a money laundering joint for… whatever organization needs to wash their money in delicious, delicious marinara sauce.
Caution: the aluminum “plates” are so hot that it burnt the plastic laminate on the table. Once I smelled burning cellulose, I wisely opted to wait awhile before taking a bite of the entree freshly brimstoned from the fires of hell.
Vito’s Italian Eatery, 3213 Preston Highway, Louisville, KY 40213-1329 (502) 634-5400
After recharging on ridiculously good Italian food, I looked for refueling of the alcoholic kind. I met up with Pooh Bear and we headed to the bar. I know the bar has a name, I just can’t ever remember what it is. Whatever. I shall refer to it as the bar. At the bar, we first sat down at a table for four, but I quickly made the move to a table for twelve, because, as I told Pooh Bear, when we start partying, we have a tendency to “collect” people.
And so it was.
Here is one of our victims for the evening, John “Mr. 403” Schmidt and his lovely, pink striped shirt. He’s dancing the macarena for us. All we had to do was buy him a — chocolate milk. He has a great love for straight-pool and it was a pleasure discussing the game and its future with him. On the right, Mr. Collett demonstrates the correct way to drink Maker’s Mark & Coke — with extended pinkie. At 6′ 5″, he can drink whatever the f— he wants with an extended pinkie. No arguments here.
Then, the tequila began to flow.
Note to self: tequila tastes terrible and this is why I don’t like it, remember? I don’t know how you do it, Pooh Bear, but I can’t keep up with you and Señor Patrón. You win.
Towards the end of our little party, this fine gentleman accoutured in Tony Stewart style approached our group to ask if the lovely Sunny Day was sister to Jeanette Lee. A normal observation, since they are both Asian, no? He seemed disappointed when informed that, although Ms. Day was Asian, she was not related to Ms. Lee.
He gallantly replied that she was just as lovely as The Black Widow, and moseyed off into the sunset.
Asians of the world, we really have to stop looking alike… 😉
Sunday, January 6, 2008
After recovering from last night’s tequila, I trotted on over to the Action Room again. I watched many matches and I already noticed that this year, I was spending a little less time in the Tournament Room and more time in the Action Room.
Action is probably what defines the Derby City Classic.
There are tournaments and tuxedos all across billiards and billiards history, but, honestly, what most of us love is when the pomp and circumstance is shed and the competition is no longer from a field of players, but one-on-one. Mano-a-mano. A two-player tournament, winner take all. I grew up on westerns and my mother herself made the observation that I must love pool because the road player is the last cowboy. He travels from town to town, works with the seasons, and, occasionally, has the one-on-one tournament known as the duel. Winner lives. Loser dies.
Luckily, this is just pool, and the loser might lose money, equipment, assets, or dignity, but I don’t believe we have had “loser dies” rules officially set, yet.
Action is so danged fun. I love the woofing, the gambling, the nonsense, the insults, the players, the games — I love everything about it. It’s like going to a dance hall where a bunch of boxers are trying to fill their dance cards for the evening. Some are loud and brash about asking others to dance and some lurk quietly on the sidelines, waiting for the right dance with the right partner.
After being thoroughly entertained for a while by various matches, I — surprise — went back to the bar.
Here is an excellent photograph of Mark Griffin of BCA Leagues. I have had many requests for photographs and commentary on his hair. Here’s the lowdown on his hair, as told to me by Mr. Griffin himself.
He will cut his hair when he wins a match.
Mr. Griffin… did you want us to call you… Rapunzel? Hee hee hee!
(Just kidding, sir. I got your Coors Light… for life.)
Here, again, is Sunny Day, a pretty face well-known to all. She shares my love of Bloody Marys and she one-ups me by pouring half a bottle of Tabasco sauce into her drink. I surrender. Especially after she started drinking the Tabasco straight from the bottle. I suppose it’s the only way to make a hot woman hotter. Her distress is apparent after the hot sauce is all gone. Sniffles.
One thing leads to another — or five. Or six. Or eighteen.
Below is yet another priceless moment caught by my awesome camera. This camera I have really is the nuts. It captures great photographs and seems to tell me when I should be taking them. Dave “Spidey” Segal, I hope you are not running for office anytime soon. When you do, let me know and I shall take this photograph down. In the meantime, everything about this photograph (especially the wink and smirk) yells that you are having a great time. Do see if you can sell it to Heineken. I will give you 20%. 😉
Note to self: double shots of straight Grey Goose taste terrible and this is why I don’t like it, remember? Ms. Day, I bow to your superiority in all things regarding alcoholic consumption. You have me beat by several hundred light-years. I am not worthy.
Monday, January 7, 2008
After such a fabulous evening, I slept thoroughly. When I woke, I went back over to Action Central. I snuck in behind TAR’s commentator booth and saw this whiteboard. Apparently, some commentators were woofing at players through the plexiglas partition. I must say, it’s very polite to use the whiteboard, and not to shout. Kudos!
Here is a picture of Timmy “The Tool” Heath, being his usual classy self. As far as I can remember, he never changed clothes.
Meanwhile, back at the bar, I discovered they had Blue Moon on draft. SOLD! Whilst I was drinking my ale (and feeling my game going up by a ball with every pint consumed), Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan stopped by. He bemoaned the fact that he is developing a beer-gut. Honestly, I don’t see it. You look fine, Mr. Pagulayan — don’t go all anorexic on us. You might disappear and then we’d lose one of the most entertaining players, ever.
Tonight was a relatively tame night, and I was glad. A little R&R was definitely in order. I know what you’re all thinking, but, honest, I don’t just party all the time… 😉
“I’m not on a diet, a schedule, or a budget.”
A reply to a remark regarding the speaker’s unlikeliness to play for a five-digit sum.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I spent a good portion of today trying to find an available table to practice on. I managed to hit some balls for a hour or two before relinquishing the table to others with pending action.
In the midst of my wanderments, I was recruited to go to the One Pocket Hall of Fame Dinner. At the dinner, Billy Incardona was highly entertaining. He pulled a fun stunt where he had his cellphone ring in the middle of his acceptance speech. The ensuing conversation had Mr. Incardona assuring the person on the other line that indeed, memorabilia signed by him were available — but the prices had *just* gone up, since he had been officially inducted into the Hall of Fame. Bank on, brother!
In addition, Mr. Incardona spoke with great feeling about building the perfect pool player. The best individual game qualities of all the legends, Vernon Elliot, Ed Kelly, Allen Hopkins, Bugs Rucker, etc., would be combined in this one person. It would be a formidable player, indeed. And then, he would send that person to play the “man who was just sitting over there [Efren Reyes]” — but ONLY if he could get a ball. Well played, Mr. Incardona!
Left, Don Wardell showing his plate-juggling skills. (Thanks for the advice about coughing up Mississippi mud.) Right, Ronnie Allen signing a photograph already peppered with the signatures of legends.
Below, Donny Anderson, the Hall of Fame Banks inductee, greatness frozen in a moment of time.
After dinner, I returned to the Executive West.
Here is some bling I saw as I wandered around. Dickies coveralls, a beer, and two headlights on the fingers. This is a pool player, for sure.
Yet another diamond-encrusted watch. They’re a dime a dozen out here. 😉
Meanwhile, back at the ranch…
Jason “Dark Horse” Kirkwood had matched up with Bobby “Drinking Is My Job” Pickle in what had to be one of the most entertaining matches so far. They were playing barbox nine-ball, ten-ahead, for $1,500. And they had to drink one beer every fifteen minutes. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong.)
Aren’t pool players awesome?!
Here they are, checking each other’s beers to make sure they are legit and not just carbonated iced tea. In addition, there was no time limit on the match. It was play until you win or play until you drop. (No, I don’t know what the arrangement was for bathroom breaks.) How’s that for the wild, wild west of pool?
The crowds for this event were impressive.
I watched for a while, but was suddenly struck with a case of the chills.
I left the party early and went back to my room where I promptly ran up a 105 degree fever. If only I had a dollar for every degree of that fever — then I might have enough for the minimum bet at the Action Room and a Coke besides. I lost feeling in my toes and fingers. Despite the fever, I felt like I was freezing to death. I packed on the layers and tried to sweat it out. Problem: I wasn’t sweating. I felt like my entire body was just a bigger version of my cold, cold heart.
This was no bueno.
After a few hours of suffering, a miracle appeared, and my fever began to subside very slowly. It was obvious, even to me, now, that I had caught some pool bug that was not friendly. I tried to sleep, since tomorrow was the first day of the nine-ball division.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Today found me holed up in my hotel room for the entire day due to the fever I had last night. I was very sick, but all I wanted to do was watch the blurry, orange scrolling schedule of matches on Channel 13 on the hotel television. This is because this was the first day of the nine-ball division, the only event I entered in, and I knew I had to keep alert in case I had to play.
My day went something like this: doze for 30 minutes, wake up in panic, stare at scrolling schedule for 30 minutes, fall asleep, wake up in panic, stare at scrolling schedule, lather, rinse, repeat. If I wasn’t hallucinating before from my fever, I certainly was after watching the schedule scroll endlessly by. Yeah. I did this for about ten hours. It was not pleasant. Match rounds came and went and still I did not see my name. I was beginning to wonder if they had correctly processed my entry. I had friends insist on taking me to the hospital, but I declined the honor.
I came to Derby City to play, dammit, and I would play if it killed me.
The suspense regarding whether or not I was going to play seemed more likely to kill me first. I knew there were hundreds of people entered in the event and it was a good possibility that I had fallen through the cracks. Some friends of mine made inquiries and learned why I did not have a match scheduled yet. They informed me why I was waiting with a mixture of glee, apprehension, and sympathy.
It seems that during this, one of my greatest moments of sickness, I had drawn one of the greatest players of our time.
He was still in the one-pocket, so I would not play him until 11:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.
I had twelve hours to get rid of a fever, eat a can of spinach, and get prepared for a billiards funfest.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
This morning, I dragged myself out of bed with a half-hour until match time.
To say I felt under the weather would be a massive understatement.
All my joints were on fire, my throat had swelled up something fierce, and I was unable to talk. (I know many, many of you were extremely happy about this — don’t worry, I’ll make it up to you! You won’t get away that easy!) I made a monumental effort to walk without keeling over like a drunk Asian (waaay too many of those, and how embarassing to fall in public — when I’m sober fer chrissakes) on my way to the tournament room. All I could think about was putting one foot in front of the other. One step. At a time. And I could make it there.
I would play if it killed me. Forfeiture is NOT an option. EVER. Unless I am at Death’s door. And then I’ll just prank his doorbell and run away like the little kid that I am. “Haha! Death, you got the seven! Catch me if you can! “
This is one of the greatest features of the tournament side of the Derby City Classic. Where else in the world can a no-name hack like me draw a world-class player and have a (microscopic, admittedly) shot at the upset of a lifetime? Life is grand. Obviously, my chances at making it to the next round are slimmer than the Olsen twins on water diets standing sideways, but I’m going to give it my all.
As expected, my all wasn’t good enough.
I was in great pain, and had difficulty breathing, but I did what I could and managed to snag one pity game of the many my opponent tried to give me out of sympathy. He could blow me out of the water with a flick of his finger, so it was nice of him to try and allow me to look like I might know what end of a cue to chalk. However, my body was shutting down by that point and I simply had no game whatsoever.
But, let me tell you, there is no experience (for hacks like me, anyways), quite like playing the greatest players. I’ve watched the greatest players many a time, and, although I pretty much did just that in this match (I might have pocketed three balls, total), it was just redonkulously cool to watch the best do what they’re best at. From the frontest of the front-row seats. Caroms. Kicks. Safeties. Five-rail position. Extreme draw. Carom-kick-safeties with five-rail position using extreme draw. Gorgeous table-length cueball-kill shots on thin cuts executed with just the right touch and pocket speed. Watching the cueball being made to dance and bend to the will of a human being. It mesmerized me and all I could do was shake my head (ouch, that hurt) and smile (dammit, that hurt, too) in wonder at the magic of this game when played by the experts.
My first Derby City Classic match, ever, in my lifetime, and I got my ass kicked to the next millenium by the greatest in the world.
That’s just f—ing awesome.
After the match was over, I made the long, laborious trek of the loser back to my room. I slept very briefly, and when a friend came to check on me, I couldn’t talk and I was in enough pain by now that I couldn’t argue with a trip to the Emergency Room. The whole way there, all I could think about (yet was incapable of saying) was, “This f—ing SUCKS. I still have a buyback, dammit!”
Left to right. The entrance to this supposed place of healing. The torturous applicator swabs they used to take samples of my inflamed throat. All you need to do is swipe it along the affected area, but this lady stabbed my throat at least ten times — enough that my friend who came with me was moved to say, “Come on! That’s enough! Do you have to keep stabbing her?!”
And, finally, the strange pattern on the drapes of the Emergency Room. I hear Mr. Corey “Prince of Pool” Deuel is a champ at tic-tac-toe. I can’t remember who told me that, but that’s all I could think of when I saw the drapes. Mr. Deuel should have pants made from this material. It will go well with the rest of his wardrobe.
So, for all of you who asked why I did not exercise the buyback option, it was because I was too busy being stabbed in the throat by a large Nordic woman wielding applicator swabs who was obviously having a bad day.
The verdict was tonsillitis.
OMG! WTF? Tonsillitis? Didn’t we eradicate that along with smallpox back in the fifties? Well, I guess old diseases don’t die, they just lie in wait until a hack like me gets a chance to play the match of a lifetime — then they break out the kegs and have a goshdarned carnival with funnelcakes and a ferris wheel.
Later on that night, a fire alarm led to the evacuation of the Executive West. After a few minutes, some enterprising pool players began selling beers out of their coolers in the parking lot. You guys make me proud.
As I stood around with my friends, a Random Dude came up and asked me, “Are you the girl on the cover of the magazine?”
I shook my head. He was probably confusing me with any number of other Asian women on the cover of magazines such as Xiao Ting Pan, Ga Young Kim, Margaret Cho, Sailor Moon, Pokemon, etc. Random Dude continued to look at me, expecting a verbal answer. I was incapable of speech at this point, so I tapped my friend and motioned for him to tell Random Dude that I could not talk.
“Oh, she’s sick and she’s not able to talk.”
Random Dude considered this piece of information. He leaned in towards my friend and motioning towards me with his hands, he said, “Does she know sign language?”
My friend looked at Random Dude for a confused moment before answering, “She’s not deaf. She’s got something wrong with her throat. She can’t talk.“
“So, she doesn’t sign? No sign language? “
“No, she can’t talk. She can hear you. She just can’t talk.”
I love it that Random Dude couldn’t tell the difference between a deaf and a mute. Hearing and speech are two ever-so-slightly distinct and different things, no?
A lot has been said regarding what went down at this infamous time.
Eric “Fatboy” Peterson has peppered the internet and pool tournaments lately with his presence as the self-described “new sheriff in town”. He has supporters and detractors. He has infamy and notoriety. He has money and far, far too many Ed Hardy shirts. I haven’t kept up much, but I have heard that he and the legendary Richard “Bucktooth” Cook have gotten into it about gambling high.
Bucktooth is a legend as a player, a woofer, and now, a Keno enthusiast. He can be found at many tournaments sucking in all available oxygen for use in his woofing routine. Unfortunately, in recent years, he has become known as somewhat of a lock artist. He’ll flash the haybales of cash and then ask for a game so easy for him it borders on a gaffe. If no one decides to play him, he’ll launch into a diatribe about the lack of heart and the lack of gamble being all too prevalent in high pool society. One of his favorite phrases is something along the lines of, “I’ve got more hundred-dollar bills one than one-dollar bills in this entire room.” The highroll, as you can imagine, is his signature move.
Enter one Eric “Fatboy” Peterson. A self-made millionaire, pool enthusiast, and the billiards community’s latest lost puppy in search of affection. Also enter his $900 Louis Vuitton duffel bag packed with hundreds.
A lot of people have praised Fatboy for highrolling the highroller.
As Agent J (Will Smith) said in Men In Black, there’s “old and busted”, referring to Agent K, (Tommy Lee Jones) and the “new hotness” (referring to himself). So, accordingly, here is the billiards version of the Men In Black Changing of The Guard.
And, now, for my commentary on the matter.
What went down was nothing spectacular. Why? Because no action actually happened. Am I impressed with the amount of money being casually heaved around in softball-sized wads? Kind of. Yet, not really, because that money is not mine and therefore has no impact on me.
Highrolling the highroller is nothing new in the world of pool — or the entire world, for that matter. It’s a grand gesture and very satisfying, especially in cases like this where a betting bully gets his comeuppance. Some of us who have wanted to do the same but lack the funds are thrilled, “You da man!” It warms our hearts with that peculiar buzzing glow that only karma, or standing too close to a microwave, can bring.
However, there was no gambling, and therefore, nothing was really won or lost.
I’ve been there before on a much, much smaller scale. I inadvertently highrolled an opponent once because, due to certain pointed comments prior to the match, I expected we would play for a few hundred a set and I came thusly prepared. He did not. When he asked if I would play a race to five for a thousand dollars, I said yes. He said he had never played for that much before. I said I hadn’t, either, but there’s no time like the present to give it a go. A mild argument ensued, which escalated, and, in the end, my opponent declined to play, citing the fact that I was a girl. I lowered the stakes until they were reasonable, but he still declined to play.
To some observers, this was a triumphant moral victory. My opponent, who was not a popular guy, had backed down. However, in reality it was a defeat. It was a defeat because I left with the same amount of money I arrived with, and lost four hours of my life to wheedling, negotiation, and insults. No money was won. No issue about play was settled. It was just one giant exhalation of methane, in which I regrettably had a part.
The moral victory is praised, and starves. People clap you on the back, shake your hand, tell you how awesome it was that the s— went down, but, when last call is called, the pool room closes for the night, and after a week or two has gone by, you will find that you have won — nothing.
I do hope that these two behemoths will play each other someday. I’d like to see them pay each other off by throwing wads of cash like fastballs. “Take THAT, you bastard!” “Why thank you, I WILL!”
We’ll all be there to catch the stray bills, won’t we? I can’t imagine that one Franklin out of a few thousand will be missed.
Friday, January 11, 2008
I slept in for a very long time today, and I’m glad I did as I felt much better upon waking up. I was feeling so good I made my first ever trip to Cracker Barrel.
I had something I believe was called the Sunrise Special. Eggs, bacon, ham, hash browns, grits, biscuits, and cinnamon apples. I did not finish it all, and I was sad.
Afterwards, I poked around the store and saw these interesting items. Left, this is a tractor lamp. When you turn it on, the engine revs and the wheels turn. I can imagine that would grate on your nerves after awhile. Right, this inexplicable sculpture of a cat looks like a mutant bean trapped in the web of a wire-weaving spider.
Below, this novelty plush toy looked tolerable until you pressed the paw. Then, you realized it was a male voice talking about how he works like, well, a dog. Yet, the dog is nursing puppies. Someone didn’t tell the toy designer about the birds and the bees.
Back at the Executive West, I saw two faux-hawks in quick succession. A faux-hawk (pronounced fo-hawk) is like a mohawk — but not really. Instead of shaving the sides of the head and leaving the long hairs in the center to be styled as a stegosaurus like a geniune mohawk, a faux-hawk finds the wearer brushing all his hair into a mountain range at the center. It’s like a temporary tattoo. If you need to get rid of it and get the Victorian center-part hairstyle going, just add water and slick it back down.
The first faux-hawk was on the fine head of Karl “Boyzone” Boyes from Great Britain. Very nice.
The second faux-hawk was on the head of Jerry Tarantola. And it was dyed partially green. Very… interesting.
Oh, and Darren “Dynamite” Appleton has a healthy fixation on women with healthy breasts. That is all.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Today was the last day of the Derby City Classic.
Ralf Souquet won the nine-ball division somewhere near 4:00 a.m. and with that, Derby City’s tournament side came to a quiet close. The Action Room was still occupied with people gambling, even as the tournament was winding down and people were leaving for reality.
“I’m easy-e and I play for keeps.”
“This is DeadPoked and I won all of easy’s keeps.”
banter featuring AZBilliards Forum members easy-e and DeadPoked
Below is easy-e’s hilarious t-shirt. It reads “Initial Success or Total Failure”. He disarms bombs for a living. So, if at first you don’t succeed — hell, why would you care? You wouldn’t even realize it. *poof!*
Mr. Bivens could not resist a stop at the TV Table, where Mr. Souquet had just declared victory a half-hour earlier. He wanted a souvenir.
Below, a few of my favorite things. Shane “2008 Louie Roberts Pageant Winner” Van Boening is a frickin’ pool-playing cyborg, I swear it. I don’t think I saw him do anything except play pool. Every time I saw him, he was either playing a tournament match or gambling. He played a variety of matches, some were long sessions, all week with a number of well-known tournament and road players, among them Jonathan “Hennessee” Pinegar, Justin “Those Aren’t Black Eyes, I Just Haven’t Slept in 96 Hours” Cone, and Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan.
I must say, the three sets between Mr. Pagulayan and Mr. Van Boening for a tidy $5,000 apiece was a refreshing treat for spectators. I must give kudos to Mr. Pagulayan for jumping up (literally, that boy is a walking sugar-high) and playing three sets. It gave us all some great pool to watch.
Mr. Incardona below promptly hollered out after each set:
Sunday, January 13, 2008
All good things must come to an end, and so it was with the 2008 Derby City Classic. It was over too soon, but only because I had such a great time.
There have been rumblings that the 2009 Derby City Classic will be changing venues and such, thereby causing more inconveniences. This may be true, but it won’t stop me from going. Greg Sullivan has done much with this event and although there are hiccups every year (and how could you not have a mogul or two on this Matterhorn of an event), he does his best to provide an event that offers something on some level to every pool player out there.
There is no event remotely like this tournament and action free-for-all. I’ve tried my best to convey the sense of fun, camraderie, humour, excitement, and I know — like the sodium benzoate preservative that swims around in my soy sauce — I’ve only got one-tenth of one percent conveyed here.
There is nothing I could describe to you that would equal your own feelings and memories.
You just gotta go.
Also, don’t plagiarize my shit.