My better half recently brought back some nice shampoo and conditioner from one of the high-end hotels his company puts him up in. The stuff came in nice little bottles and was a pretty blue color. I opened one of the bottles and took a sniff. It smelled nice, and somewhat familiar. I looked at the label to read the descriptive blurb and it said something about “mint and lavender”. I sniffed it again, and also detected rosemary… Ahh. So nice.
I immediately thought of lamb chops.
Happy Valentine’s Day
no love so sincere as the love of food
… = LOVE!
hello to those across the pond
I came across a site called CueSport TV – The Blog in my aimless ramblings across the web. They describe themselves thusly:
Cuesport TV is a high quality TV-over-Internet channel that specialises in pool, snooker and billiards programming.
The channel is owned and operated by Managing Director – Pete Williams (the author of this blog) and his wife Angela.
Visit the channel for access to live events, a free-to-air schedule and video on demand with content and viewership rapidly growing.
It’s a nicely organized site, both pleasing to the eye and pleasing to the billiards-soaked brain. In particular, I loved the video they posted today in the post entitled “Greatest Shot Ever?” I’ve embedded it below, but you can go directly to the original post or their YouTube channel for more.
The game is English Eight-Ball, where instead of solids and stripes, the balls are yellows and reds. I am also tickled by the fact that the table looks like a tiny (OMGWTF-sized) snooker table.
2009 Jay Swanson Memorial 9-Ball Tournament
Hollywood Billiards – Hollywood, CA
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Once again, duty calls, and my better half goes off to work on tournament day. That means I get to take the bus, which is often an interesting and not unpleasant experience.
Left. As I waited for the bus in the rain at 7:30 a.m., I noticed a heart-shaped tree. Happy V-Day, dudes.
Right. As I rode the first bus, I noticed something charming and unusual…
If you didn’t see it at first, here’s a better highlight of the photograph.
Yep, that’s a cockatiel riding the bus with its owner.
It was a pleasant bird, and chirped quite a bit. It also didn’t mind being petted by strangers, and would actually flit over to someone occasionally to investigate whistling or crackers. According to its owner, it accompanied her on a regular basis, and enjoyed riding the bus.
At a little past 9:00 a.m., I arrived at the Swanee’s host location:
5750 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
A huge crowd had already assembled, even this early in the morning. Shortly thereafter, the field filled up to its maximum allowance, an astounding 192 players, along with a waiting list of 20+. Bill Stock and “Marvelous” Mark Estes of the BCAPL, along with Jay Helfert ran a supremely efficient tournament that was a joy to play in.
This is one of Southern California’s premier tournaments, and the roster of players is quite impressive. This year, I think we may have had less out-of-state players, but the field was still plenty strong. (I apologize in advance for the brevity of this post, but when I play in an event, I don’t have time to point and jeer as much.)
Below, we have Rich “The Hat” Geiler in his hat and suit. He plays in his suit jacket, just like grand players did in days of yore.
Next to Mr. Geiler we have the world-famous Hedgehog. His shirt reads, “Quit!!” in scripty lettering.
It’s so clever it’s beyond me.
In those curious twists of fate all too common at major tournaments, we have Gus Briseno of Arizona and Some Dude From Vegas matched up in the first round. Word on the street is that juuust prior to this tournament, they had played each other in a nice, long, high-stakes gambling match.
Fate wanted to see a rematch with a different game, and so, here they are.
I did no good in this tournament.
I played extremely badly in my first match and deservingly lost 8-5. At one point, I broke in five balls on the break, but was hooked on the first shot. Arrgh!
I partially redeemed myself in my second match, but futzed the last super-thin nine-ball cut hill-hill. Sucks, especially since I had to fight back from a ridiculous deficit and make some nice shots to catch my opponent on the hill. That’s a painful 7-6 loss to fade.
Bad news: out of tournament.
Good news: I’ll never f—ing miss that cut again.
In honor of my 0-2 BBQ, my better half took me out for KBBQ.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
I had a few things to do on Sunday, so I didn’t return to the scene of the crime until later in the evening. By that time, there were just eight players left.
Below, we have Sal Butera.
Every time I have seen Mr. Butera (with the IPT events being an exception, of course), he’s been dressed the same way with extremely minimal variation. He wears a long-sleeved tee underneath a short-sleeved button-up shirt with cargo pants whose pockets are so voluminous, he could smuggle people across the border in them.
I have no insight to the purpose or message of his wardrobe.
I can only speculate that he has as many versions of these outfits as Jose “Amang” Parica has horizontally striped polo shirts (like this one). That is to say, an endless supply.
Left. The suited man on the left was an interesting character. I shall name him Jabba the Hutt for obvious reasons. Other than the sh*t-colored suit, I had no beef with him until he opened his mouth. He even sounded like Jabba the Hutt! Incredible! I was on the edge of my seat waiting for him to say, “Bring me the wookie.” But, he didn’t. Shucks.
He did, however, have a redonkulously ANNOYING habit of shushing everyone when the player he was betting on was about to shoot. I mean shushing as in kindergarten-teacher style shushing — fat finger in front of lips, extended pinkie, and all. Of course, at all other times when his player was not shooting, he bellowed, snorted, snuffled, hocked loogies, waddled around like a plucked Thanksgiving turkey in a sh*t-colored suit, and generally felt it was well within his right to shark the crap out of everyone else.
Jabba, you slobbering, slovenly hypocrite.
May you only book losers for the rest of your life.
Right. I call this bit of photographic art “Men Eating Salad With Their Fingers”.
This is Mike Mitchell, who had a hell of a tournament.
It’s tough to play in front of lots of people and lots of photographers and their clickety-clackety shutters, but he handled it like a professional.
And that concludes my lame tournament coverage.
To the three different guys that offered to buy my spot in the tournament:
- No, I am not selling my spot.
- No, I am not “holding this spot” for my boyfriend.
- No, I am not here to “hold his case and cues”.
- Go f— yourself.
- Yes, really, that’s my case and cues.
- Yes, it is a nice case.
- No, he did not buy it for me.
- Are you going to f— yourself yet?
- Yes, I am aware that my chances of winning this tournament are not very high.
- No, I do not think your chances are better than mine.
- Yes, I know I could make all of $35 if I sell this spot to you for $100.
- No, I could not buy myself something nice for $35. Unless it’s a taser. And I get to use it on you.
To the random dude that was part of the rotation on the practice table:
- Yes, I am aware these are tight pockets.
- Yes, I do know the difference between playing on tight pockets versus big pockets. More shots are missed on tight pocket tables — you’re illustrating that right now.
- Yes, I am aware that if I miss more than once a rack, I won’t be able to beat the top players in this tournament. However, you miss two or more times, so I hope I get to play you.
- Yes, I am aware that you can use knowledge of three-cushion billiards to aid in nine-ball position play. However, you keep hooking yourself or freezing yourself to the object ball, so it’s not that impressive coming from you.
- Yes, I’m going to wear my iPod now.
- No, I don’t like you.