dance music because it is Friday
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
really just an excuse to flavor your milk with insane amounts of sugar
getting another fan for the apartment
today is the first day of summer… biatch!
things that make you go hmm
I had a discussion with a friend about vegetarians and vegans and what they really ate. I said that there were vegetarians that ate fish and chicken, which I felt disqualified them as being the plant-eaters they supposedly were. My friend clarified that there were different “levels of seriousness” in vegetarianism, and that hardcore people who ate ONLY plants (and in some cases, swore off animal products such as leather and silk) were “vegans”. He said his definition of vegetarianism was simply eating “things without eyes”. Thus, eggs (before they have eyes…) and milk were allowed in his version of vegetarianism, but no chicken or fish are permitted.
But, I want to know — what about oysters and clams?
While most animals have eyes, these molluscs do not — but I think it is generally agreed that they are animals, and not vegetables. They are also not a product of animals like eggs or dairy.
Do tell me what you think. You can email me to elaborate, or do it quick and dirty with the following poll:
Jeopardy! is one of my favorite shows. I was watching the other day and the Final Jeopardy category was United States Military. That is not a category that I am good at (my brother is the military genius). The question:
“This man said, ‘Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge.'”
The funny thing was, I immediately thought, General George Patton — and I was correct. I don’t know anything about General Patton, other than that he was a tough dude, and amazingly, my guess was right.
That made me feel spiffy all day.
no photographs today
can’t find the cord to download them from my camera
But I’ll have photographic hunger-inducing capabilities next week, I promise.
This past weekend, my better half and I went out to play some recreational pool with my brother and my friend Iron Chef. We went to a bar that had pool tables which were pretty decent. We promptly ordered several pitchers of beer and began to play our version of nine-ball, which requires at least ten attempts on every ball (because we play very badly, plus we are drinking), much talking of trash, and the wielding of glittery Cuetecs with holographic stickers.
It’s nice to play pool just for fun every now and then, and that is what we were all doing. While the skill of the people in my party varied greatly, everyone was competitive at pool, usually, and this was our vacation from being competitive. It’s like a four-star chef going home to zap some Lean Cuisine for dinner and then sitting down to watch TMZ.
We got to the pool room in the early afternoon so it wasn’t filled with very many people. After a while, some people drifted in, and a few of them you could tell were regulars — they asked for particular tables and had large cue cases. We weren’t on the front tables, but we soon noticed that we were attracting attention all the same, and it was a very specific sort of attention that any seasoned pool player would recognize. We were being clocked.
For those of you who don’t play a lot of pool (hi Mom!), “clocking” someone means you are watching them to assess how well they play, usually because you are thinking of gambling with them. Obviously, if someone runs thirteen racks and out, you might not want to play them — unless you are Francisco Bustamante.
As it is, clocking is supposed to be a fairly covert activity. After all, you ARE spying on someone to try and get a read on their skill level. In a lot of pool rooms, there are usually people who spend a lot of time simply sitting on the rail clocking the people who are playing. These people pay special attention to new players or non-regulars who come into the room because those players represent fresh meat.
There were two players to the right of our table who were obviously clocking our speed. They were close enough that they could probably just shoot around with each other while watching us out of the corners of their eyes. However, they would actually stop completely in the middle of their games and walk over to watch us shoot. Then, they would retreat and discuss with each other in hushed tones. This happened several times. They would also come over and examine our cues leaned up against the wall when they thought we were not looking.
This kind of clocking is comparable to say, a man dressed like Rambo holding an AK-47 in front of a bank in broad daylight and peering through the window to see if maaaybe THIS bank was worth robbing.
This behavior amused us, and we continued drinking and banging balls into the rail.
Finally, one of us walked over there, looked at these two guys and said, “Would you like to play for something?” They seemed shocked and sheepishly stuttered that uh, no, uh, really, not at the moment, they weren’t thinking of it. Heh. Amusing.
We finished our last pitcher of beer and started to pack up. Once everything was packed up, put away, paid for, and we were practically out the door, one of the two men who had been clocking us, strutted up, his chest all puffed out in his little striped tennis polo, and said grandly, “If you want to play for money, you will come here next Saturday — at 4:00 p.m.!” I think he was a little flustered when we chuckled at this.
“Why don’t we play now?”
“Uh, I don’t feel like it today.”
“Well, we WON’T be here next week because we’re not from here. This is just a weekend trip.”
“If you want to play for money, you will be here next Saturday!”
“How much do you want to play for?” These gentlemen looked like the $10 race-to-seven type. If they wanted to play for something substantial, or had another player they wanted to steer on to us, now was the time to say it.
“We can talk about that next Saturday.”
“Nah. We’re not driving 400 miles to come back here just for you.”
How often have you heard something like that before? They won’t gamble with you today — but try again next week! There’s no guarantee that they’ll be there or that they’ll play for anything more than a nickel, but come back and find out!
No, thank you.
However, it was an admirable attempt by these gentlemen to recover their dignity, momentarily lost to a bunch of drunk college kids with Cuetecs.
never a dull moment, but plenty of dull people
Earlier this week, I managed to make it over to the pool hall and I sat down to chat with my friend Selyem. Selyem was sitting across from a guy powering his way through a sandwich, a pile of potato chips, a hotdog, and an equally large pile of pretzels. I didn’t know who this guy was, but his voice was probably what the twisted love-child of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy would have sounded like. I looked at this human Muppet whom we shall name Kermit and Selyem, noting the scrunch of confusion on my forehead, said, “Oh, this guy is a new player.”
“Yeah. That voice is rather — unique, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t heard it in here before.”
“Well, the kid says he plays pretty good. He was talking about running three-packs on someone the other night. He’s been here all day, looking for action — I guess.”
“So he says he plays pretty good. Does he?”
“He was talking about looking to play the best players in here and that he normally played $50 sets of nine-ball…” Selyem trailed off, which meant that he was trying to put something unpleasant into pleasant terms.
“…I played him earlier today, after he said he played $50 sets all the time… and he intimated that he had no problems playing for more…”
“…and then he said he wanted to play “for fun” and split the time…”
Selyem’s face took on a look of consternation. “…so, what the hell, we played, and when we went to pay the time, he had to borrow money from me to pay his half.”
“Ahahahaha! That’s great!”
I was about to comment on this when Kermit opened his mouth and said loudly, “So, who’s the best player in here?!” I turned to him and objectively assessed this eighth wonder of the world. He looked to be in his late twenties, was portly with a strange goatee, and a healthy appetite for bar food.
I nodded toward Selyem and said to Kermit, “You’re lookin’ at him.”
A few moments later, Kermit was negotiating a game with one of the room regulars whom we shall name Alice Cooper. He said, “Here, I’ll play you some $10 one-pocket. If I lose two games, I’ll quit. If it’s close, I might play you for more.” Gentle reader, please note that the table rate at this hour in the pool hall was $12. If either of them won two games in an hour (unlikely), he would net a national-debt-clearing eight dollars.
We, the rail, looked at each other with the time-honored, universal look of, “Dude, WTF?”
Sometimes, you just gotta play. So, Alice Cooper put his cue together and joined Kermit at the premier gambling table. Kermit pulled a fairly nice cue out of his case, which was cause for more consternation on the part of the rail. As they racked up the first game, Kermit said to Alice Cooper, “Oh, you wear all black, too. I like to wear all black. Of course, I have a different reason than most people — I’m related to Johnny Cash.“
For the record, guys, I believe Kermit was serious.
After a few more minutes of conversation with Selyem, we all decided it was time to leave for dinner. As we got up to go, someone asked Alice Cooper, “What are you guys playing for?”
Alice Cooper looked over at us with a befuddled expression and said, “We haven’t started playing yet… This is… a… practice game. He wants to practice before we actually play for money.”
All I can say is, Kermit is either a total hack, or one of the best hustlers this world has ever seen. Or maybe he wanted to be featured on this blog?
Well played, Sir Frog, well played.
if you have a dream
work to make it happen
Here is a charming and amusing animated short film for all of you.
Do what you can, with what you have, when you have it. And then hold on for the ride! 🙂