Monday, October 01, 2007

Preaching to the converted and the best dump ever

My attention is distracted by Heroes which is on the television. But then again, seeing as I haven't written in over a month, I think it's pretty clear that I've got enough distractions already. That, and the fact that I've not had much to write about, is my latest excuse for being a lazy fucker.

Let's just jump balls deep into it. I've been back in Falmouth for over a week now. I've done my fair share of settling in (i.e. sitting around on my arse, drinking and catching up with mates) and in all honesty I'm looking forward to getting back to school tomorrow. I've spent too long not doing anything productive, and getting back in the swing of things is looking good. As is having a few nights in.

I can't say that the organised fun doesn't have its benefits. This is my first freshers week where I haven't got a girlfriend to hang out with. And despite maybe coming across as a bit of a sad, old, third year fart, I have managed to get out there and meet some new folks.

The most entertaining night so far, ironically, hasn't been a freshers event. It was a free party/gig/party up by the castle. There was a crowd of locals as well as new faces, and new faced locals that I haven't met yet. The whole vibe was refreshing because there wasn't the Big Brotherly 'let us show you around' attitude. It was a straight forward 'here's our party, enjoy it', kind of thing. Very nice.

Anyway, it was a sweet night, with a great range of music on offer. Tom and Luke opened up the show (I still can't remember their band's name) and despite a slightly ropey, soundcheckless opening, it got good after a few songs. Some chap with an acoustic followed. Then Ayla (whom I later met), played some very smooth, girl, hippy tunes. After that, some guy got up and did an acoustic set. His thing was some sort of political rap. Like a Mark Thomas meets Jamie T. But without the depth or wit of Thomas and T. Good effort, I have to admit. But for the type of crowd and event, it seemed like preaching to the converted.

Another band to which I have no recollection of their name came on after the anti-Bush guy. They had a tight set, but reggae/ska isn't really my cup of caffeinated beverage. Julian Gaskell and His Band of Raggy Trousered Philanthropists closed the show, successfully preaching great tunes to the converted (those who know their tunes) and to the uninitiated. I haven't seen those guys play in a while, (what with being out of town for the summer). A while is too long between Julian Gaskell gigs. The whole place erupted into crazy dancing. An absolute treat.

Skipping to the end, because it's getting late and I need to be up in the morning, I had better cover the 'best dump ever' part of the title of this post. We were down at Gylly Beach Café for the Open Mic/Free Curry Night. Anyway, I won't bang on about how I played my first set of originals at an open mic (it was rather fun). But (because it got a good reaction), I'll mention my thoughts on one of the acts. They were a group of kids, about sixteen years old. Full on 80s style, cock rockers. They could play. The drummer could drum, the bassist could knock out a sweet bass line. And the guitarist... Well, the guitarist could shred. And he did, throughout their entire set. That was about half an hour of ear bleeding solos. I won't pretend that I'm a lover of the Steve Vai/Slash approach to guitar, but I'll give credit to anyone willing to devote their spare time to practicing an art to such an extent. Somewhere towards the end, amongst the rolling of eyes between my friends, I managed to come up with an analogy that pretty much summed it up perfectly (I was told to mention it in my blog). Basically, you know when you've had a bit of gut ache, usually following a few beers, and you go for a massive shit? Still with me? That feeling of relief and of being purged of all worries once that bomb has been dropped? That's how it felt when these boys had finished their set.

That seems like a nice steamy note to leave it on.

Friday, August 24, 2007

There are about twenty old folk congregated on the bowling green. It's a warm, sunny Friday afternoon and I realise that this isn't the first time I've spent a short while on my day off watching the bowls. It's not even like I planned to get into watching old people play sports, like some half arsed New Year's resolution (I think I'll take up badminton). At least last Friday it was a bizarre aside to a quiet afternoon's smoking and skating session. Today I only had a cigarette to chuff on. But these coincidences that keep appearing have become commonplace recently, I barely notice them anymore.

I'd walked into town to pick up some tobbaco and find somewhere with a wi-fi hotspot to potter on the internet somewhere. As per usual I'd found myself side tracked, taking a cigarette break and enjoying Newquay's only form of free entertainment in the near vicinity. I remember thinking about how good it would be to have a laptop with a screen that worked in sunlight. That way I could write down what witticisms and thoughts I had floating through my head. Pen and paper is so twentieth century. And due to the fact that I had neither pen nor paper to my disposal I can't really think of what was on my mind. The only two thoughts that stick now where: I wonder what that device the bowlers are using to collect the balls (I'll check online later when I upload this), and annoyance at my Mum for not giving herself a break.

I'd offered to work in my folk's shop so my Mum could have the afternoon off. It's been a long summer (thank God there's only another week left, and that's coming from a slacker) and the parentals haven't had a day or even a half day off in six weeks. As a slack fuck I can't imagine what that would be like, although I get the feeling it's not much fun. I was pissed off because for one of the few times in my life I had actually made an effort towrads the folks. Communication and polite gestures don't occur too often in our family. I was woken up to my mother on the phone, saying that there's no point in me coming into the shop, there's too much for me to have to pick up to bother coming in. I just know that she's going to spend another depressing day at work, resenting everything, when she shouldn't even have to. There's a girl that I work with that reminds me of my mother. Her attributes are identical, she doesn't do happy, positive or optimistic. Working with her is like standing next to a black hole. I can feel all emotion draining from me. It's horrible. Nothing comes from self pity, only misery. And it only needs one thing to live (and by that I mean destroy everything but itself) and that's company. So at work I switch off. I'm not trying to be rude, despite the fact that I am, but I don't need it. I like being happy, I like having confidence. I like the fact that when I wake up in the morning I'm glad that I've woken up and have another day to enjoy. It's no surprise that I don't spend much time at home.

Returning home, I found myself pottering about. Pottering's good, but it can also be detrimental. There's always plenty of things to do, but I find myself veering from the point often. In life, as well as in writing. Instead of getting on and writing this, I'd decided to see if my old skateboard was in the shed. I'll clarify here: I can't skate, never really have been able to. At best I can move forwards, I can also pop an ollie, but not both at the same time, yet. The board is a state, the trucks for some reason were loose as hell and the wheels were jammed up. I'll fix it, I thought and enjoyed working on my tangent plan. [Note to self: pinch an old deck off of Gerard]

Once I'd completed my spell of pottering, I find myself at both top of the page in the past tense and at the bottom of the page in the present. I've completed what I have set out to do and have more things to get on with that aren't writing or fixing skateboards or watching old people play lawn bowls (I believe the contraption used to collect the balls is called a 'pick up', I was hoping for something a bit more creative than that). It's a busy day off.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

My first big bitch of the summer. And I don't mean a fat chick.

Anyway, back in the day of being single and a proud owner of a pair of beer goggles, I wouldn't think about posting a story about shagging some fatty. Have a laugh about it with some mates, but sharing it with the world...? I don't think so.

No, this post is to vent my building anger at the state of my life right now. I'm on holiday from college, my only source of income is from busking in Newquay's tempestous town centre on the evenings. Some arsehole in uniform informed me that, "There's no busking in Newquay." I tried to reason with him, (you can't reason with the police), I've been been busking for weeks, years even, I told him. I packed up my guitar and headed to the pub for a moan to my mates. After a few swift pints I thought it would be worth another shot.

I walked down to my spot, and would you believe it, the same officer came rolling past in his suped up Ford Focus. "What have I told you?" he asked. What did I tell you, I've been doing this since I was sixteen years old. I responded (in my head at least). Again, I packed up my shit and went to another pub. My gut was screaming at this injustice, no amount of alcohol could quell my distain. I was getting bored of hanging around with a few friends and drinking. I wanted to be working, singing, playing. I looked up and down the street, no police cars, no police officers. Quite an interesting tactic taken by the Devon & Cornwall constabulary, especially at two o'clock in the morning, I thought to myself.

I set up again and started playing, nice and laid back stuff, nothing to aggro or loud. I was there a minute, I shit you not. The assclown came at me from my left and tried to take my guitar off my shoulder. "Right, I've had enough of this", he said, trying to remaining calm. My thoughts were exactly the same. At least he didn't have some asshole trying to take his salary from under his nose. "Okay, all right, I'll pack it in", I diplomatically replied, putting my hands up in the air as if he had a gun or something, but also to distance him from taking the guitar from me. I walked home in a state of rage. I dumped my guitar on the floor and realised I had made enough to get hammered and still afford an eighth of green if I could find it.

Newquay's fucking changed, I know it sounds old of me, but literally two, three years ago, it was a different story. My initial thoughts of scoring some weed was Towan Beach. It was deserted. There was four or five people down there, tops. So now in 2007: I can't make any money from busking, I can't get hold of any smoke, and considering that my girlfriend is hundreds of miles away, the fact that the town is no longer a sausage fest, I'm getting randy as hell watching the scantily clad talent walking about with no outlet for my frustrations other than a box of Kleenex.

This summer is bullshit!
Solstice Part 3.

I know Facebook only uploads this every other week, but I'm getting bored of this string. I've got better things to write about.

To conclude, I went to Stonehenge with my mates and got really stoned. Just like hundreds of other people that were there. Next track...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Solstice Part Two

I've just had to check how I left that last post. Between shaking my fists at Netscape and the dial up connection on my folk's computer, I had forgotten where I had reached in my post of a really long day. Ironically, it's taking me more than a week to post about it, because I'm having a busy week.

Yes, that was it. I'd just been to college to get my end of year tutorial. Upon arriving home, there was just a few minutes spare to wolf down a hearty dinner of beans on toast (right of of the Student's Cookbook). Battling with the possibility of indigestion, I made my way to the practice hall to pick up the band's equipment. The downside to owning a car and being in a band, is being the chauffer to the band. It took two trips to get the drums, piano, guitars and amps down to the Woodlane bar. Unsurprisingly, we started a little late. Which was alright, because hardly anyone had shown up at the time we said we'd be playing. Skip forward a few blurred hours of poker (an unmemorable session at the table), and the final table had been played down to. With me included. My only goal was to make it to the final table so I'd get a shirt. I know that's not great poker game play, but playing poker was the last thing on my mind. I was getting regular weather updates from my mate who wanted to go to the solstice. My only argument against going was that I wouldn't if it was pissing it down.

My final table stint lasted all of ten minutes. I kept getting rag aces behind pre flop raises. At least four or five times on the bounce. The button had just passed me and I told myself, "Any ace is an all in." Someone in early-middle position made a standard 3-4 times big blind raise. I'd just seen pocket sevens shown on a pre flop all in (which was folded round), so when I looked down and saw A-Js t was time to move. I paused for a second, counting my chips and then pushed. The original raiser spent a few minutes thinking. At least he hasn't got pocket Aces I thought to myself. He called and turned over A-Q. "You called my all in reraise with Ace Queen!" I screamed to myself. The board was helpless and I could now get on with playing a decent set with the band.

I got another weather (and green) update, "I'll be done by 12", I told my mate on the phone. By the time I'd got off the phone, the other band had started playing. Bugger, this wass going to hold me up for another half hour. Tom's band (Tom on the banjo and Luke on some sort of pedal powered organ) put in a good twenty minute set. I was gnawing at the bit to get up, play and pack off to get to Stonehenge. We played four, maybe five songs, all Ben Folds Five covers, and were done by about 11pm.

Sweet, I can get out of here quickly. I thought. Quickly it wasn't. I had to do three trips back to the hall, including one trip to drop off the pedal organ. It was about midnight by the time we'd filled up the car, and picked up some smoke. I can be very punctual when I want to be.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Solstice Pt 1.

About this time last week I was going to post one of those "I've got nothing to write about, so I'll write about nothing" kind of posts. It's a good job that I didn't, because the only thing worse than having nothing to say, is saying something about nothing. Then Wednesday came.

Wednesday was the summer solstice, and ironically one of the longest days I've had in a long while. I'm pretty sure, if memory serves me correctly, that I got rather drunk on Tuesday (oh yes, it was a friend's 21st birthday); Wednesday started on a hangover. I fell out of bed and crawled into the shower at around lunchtime. My band Bennett Folds Fives had a practice at about two, so I wanted to be a little awake for it. Cramming a bacon sandwich down my neck, I rushed to the rehearsal, which went well. Walking back home at about four o'clock, I remembered that I was supposed to have an end of year tutorial at college in the morning. Bugger.

And so, via a trip home to drop off some crap, I ventured to college. After cheekily jumping ahead of someone in the queue to chat to one of my tutors, and explain to them why I was four hours late, I was a bit pissed off with my results. But, in all honesty if I'm on a 2:1 with submitting half assed, last minute work, I could be in a worse predicament.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I know I shouldn't waste my time with bad beat stories on here. But it's almost 5 a.m. and it's so hot I can't get to sleep, I've been playing 2c/4c cash games on party, and haven't hit a hand all night.

Fuck it, $6 shit or bust, I told myself. Nothing, nothing and more nothing. Then the dreaded A-J (I'll explain some other time) pops up in early position. Fine, I think to myself, this table's tight. Five times BB raise will do the trick. If anyone's paying attention they'll at least figure I've got A-K or better. One caller. Flop comes 6-J-3 two clubs, one heart. I check, he bets. I call. The turn brings a blank heart. I check, he bets out again. I call. The river is an Ace of neither hearts or clubs. I bet, smallish (third the pot maybe), he raises. He's missed his flush / has put me on an ace and thinks he's got a better hand... "Dumbass", I say, reraising all in. He shows trip Aces, I come on here and bitch about it. It's a routine I need to stop.

Friday, June 08, 2007

About three hours ago I was feeling rather hungover. The fry up was nice, but the effects of the previous night's drinking remained. I was quite impressed by the bargain I found earlier in town. A Polaroid camera, only a few years old, was found in a charity shop, for a quid, and it was something I had to buy. Having wanting one as a kid, for a hundred pennies I couldn't say no.

A few glasses of red wine, a bit of a smoke later; I was feeling a lot better, a lot healthier. I decided to write down all the songs I know how to play on the guitar. Everything since I started playing (about ten years ago). When I jotted down about sixty I was impressed. After a lot of hard thinking, and the point where I couldn't think of anymore, the magic number passed one hundred. I know over a hundred songs. I felt quite proud. My next task is to write down all the lyrics and chords down, in some sort of book. To keep with me when I go busking. That was the plan behind the list. I'm fed up of my mind going blank, resulting in me going back and playing the same tracks.

It also got me thinking. Now my college year's finished, and I'm not working at a magazine, I've sort of run out of things to write about. At least if I'm busking, or generally keeping myself busy, I'll have something to work with. I need to get on my busking myspace page. Update it. Maybe put my place list up there. But I'm a bit tired now. So I'll leave it to the morrow.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

It's official, I am a poker geek. The World Series kicked off in Vegas a few days ago and also, a few days ago I finished my college term. I've been spending my spare time (which is just about all of it) trying to keep up on the action via the t'internet. Let's put this in perspective for a second. In America, there are hundreds of people queuing up to play in tournaments with buy ins of thousands of dollars. I am in Cornwall, destroying $3 sit and goes on PartyPoker. The one thing I can take from my nerdy obsession is that I can actually play poker, and poker is one of the few sports where the playing field is open to anyone. I spend hour upon hour reading up and watching football, but I haven't kicked a pig's bladder about in about three years.

That's the poker talk out of the way. I wish I could write about my exploits online, taking down big tournaments, but I'm still only a nipper in terms of things and I'm not risking any big chunks out of my bankroll. I'm doing it properly, following the words of Jesus. That's Ferguson, not Christ.

Yesterday was a bit odd. After feeling the effects of Friday's session, I decided not to drink. I was going to have a night off the beer. A night out, but sober. Reel Big Fish played down the road, and to my surprise I managed to thoroughly enjoy the night without the aid of alcohol. Hell, I even managed to skank for a good 45 minutes whilst sweating my arse off. After the gig, me and Lauren got talked into going to the pub. No worries, I'll have a Coke, I thought. And we went to the pub, and it was a glass of Coke that I drank. And that was all.

It got to about midnight when we decided it was time to head home. We got a text from one of our housemates saying that she was in another pub with some of the guys from the band. Being too cool for school (or too tired), we decided to leave it and go back. I was hungry.

The Who's film Tommy was on. I'd never seen it before, so we figured we'd watch it while I devoured a bowl of Super Noodles. By around half one, it was time to hit the hay. Me and Lauren were just drifting off to sleep after getting busy when we got a call from our housemate. "Reel Big Fish are coming to our house", I could overhear Holly on the phone. We started pissing ourselves. Then a little clichéd light bulb popped on in my head. I've got an excuse to watch the Hockey. I put the kettle on and sipped a cup of tea watching the game whilst the girls were... being a bit girly. To my surprise, a few minutes later, Nicky showed up with Ryland and Derek from the band. In true guest style they brought a bin liner full of beer and liquor. Bands are ace. About 24 hours after I had passed out from drinking, I found myself incapable of turning down a beer from the Fish. They did have Guinness after all. And Jack Daniels. And Absolut Vodka. (That's not a cocktail, just the order of what I drank.)

So yeah, I got hammered with some guys from California. I'm going to see Electric Forecast tonight, I wonder what will happen.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

There's a brick wall stood between whatever part of my brain does the thinking of stuff and the part of my brain that tells my limbs (specifically my finger tips) to move; i.e. the typing and the application of putting my thoughts on screen is proving rather difficult today.

It would be easy for me to use the old "I was up drinking til 5 o'clock in the morning and now my head hurts" excuse, but that would be lazy, unoriginal and uninspired writing. It would however be true. So, being hungover is one factor. But I'm not going to dwell on that. The reason I haven't posted a proper post for the last few days is because I've been so bloody busy. I got back from London on Tuesday night, spent Wednesday and Thursday writing up what I did in London for college work (5,000 words in about 24 hours, fun!) and yesterday was a blur. Following the handing in of the college work on Thursday, I got rather drunk. (Not paying London prices for booze is very appealing to me, and very bad for my overdraft.) I woke up on Friday, foggy of head and sore in the stomach. After a well needed fry-up, I found myself in a friend's guitar shop, being sold a guitar by a friend. I was then convinced by him to go out busking. I've never been out busking in Falmouth, and I've never done it hungover like a bitch. Fortunately, busking in Falmouth is quite pleasant when compared with busking in Newquay. At least in the day time there aren't that many piss heads about.

I've just realized that my head must really be hurting, as this post is nothing more than a 'I got drunk and this is what happened'. I really mean to write intelligent stuff, and do it often. But the last week of college has brought with it all the responsibilities of being a student (there's one, it's getting pissed), and now as I type, I find myself incapable of writing anything remotely interesting at all.

That's it, I'll call it a day. I'm just writing bollocks now, and I'm aware of it. At least I've got off my arse and done some writing today. I was afraid that I was starting to dry up in the word department, and if you've paid attention to this blog you may agree that I have. Ah well, tomorrow's another day and I might not be hungover.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mmm... I'm sure there's something I need to do... Oh yeah, make a decent post to my blog. Bit busy at the minute, I'll get on it when I've got some spare time

Monday, May 28, 2007

Not a long post today. I've been abusing my last weekend in London. Last night I ended up in Camden, drinking and eating sweets. Think there was a murder or something outside the station. It was all quite bizarre.

Had a lazy day, watching TV and drinking tea. Watching a film now.

Said it would be a short one.

Friday, May 25, 2007

A blaggers guide to...

I awoke yesterday on the sofa. It was lunchtime and with only 5 hours until the deadline for my magazine features it was time to do some work. I spark of inspiration entered my head: Instead of not handing any work in, why not hand a couple of shitty articles and if they receive a grade of 40% or better it's a bonus.

I can write shitty articles, I thought to myself. So with my balls against the wall, I knocked up a thousand words on 28 Weeks Later (using very little research) and five hundred words titled "The Blagger's Guide To: The White Stripes". The latter being a run through of my favourite White Stripes album "De Stijl". Not too much thinking work involved, and not too much effort spent. With the big hand approaching the twelve and the little one edging on to the five, I got my work submitted. Job's a good'ne.

The evening was spent carting my crap over to my mate's house in West London. I must have lost about 3kg in sweat as I heaved my backpack (which weighs at least the equivilant of my body mass), two laptop bags (only one computer, the other one full of magazines and other assorted junk) and my parker (I don't know why I brought a parker with me. It's been drizzling at best) to Shepherd's Bush station.

After the blandest fish and chips I've ever had, about 3 or 4 cups of tea, and a little smokie, I passed out at my new lodgings. I'm going to miss all these adventures when I go back to Cornwall next week.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The suited hammer hits home!

I've just got a fresh gust of wind in my sails after dropping the suited hammer (7-2) to smash an ace high all-in bluff. With bottom pair (the 2s) and a flush draw I felt it was time to raise up the pot. Some jackass re raises me and pushes. What else could I do? It's my first hammer in ages. I call (not a great call, admittedly) and he shows A-Qo. The hammer holds and I double up. Shit yeah! Or as the great Alan Partridge just said on UK Gold "Jurassic Park"

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ho hum...

I haven't done any real work today, despite having a feature to hand in tomorrow, I haven't started (and can't, because my contact hasn't come in and won't answer their phone). This doesn't really put me in the mood to do any work.

At the placement today my task was to go around London and photograph the town's casinos and cardrooms. A very enjoyable task on a hot and sunny day. I don't know what it is, but either more good looking girls come out in public when it's hot, or it's the heat and everyone looks hotter. Are hotties just a mirage? No, that can't be. But as soon as it went cloudy I couldn't see a looker among them.

My last cardroom to photograph was the Gutshot. I almost walked past it. Through the media and stories of grandeur, I imagined the Gutshot to be a classy and quite intimidating place. The fact that it looks like an internet café from the outside made me laugh, and wee a little. The inside wasn't much of an improvement either. But, I can understand that they're effectively fighting a legal battle against the legal system - so finishing the building work can't really be on the top of their list of worries.

The timing of my arrival to the Gutshot fit in perfectly with their lunchtime £20 tournament. Not wanting to look like a complete twat, I made sure not to be the first player eliminated. As the first hour approached I found my stack effectively destroyed. The player to my left said he was going to raise, out of turn. I looked down to see pocket Queens. I called, to see how much he was going to bet. He bets about 4 times the big blind. The button calls and so do I. The flop comes down 10-6-3 with two spades. Out of turn guy starts talking like he's on a flush draw and bets (about half my stack). Matey on the button calls and I figure, fuck it. If anything, he is on a draw and the other guy has a low pocket pair or A-10 or middle/bottom pair top kicker. I push. They both call. Out of turn guy shows A-J spades, exactly what I thought. Button turns over pocket Tens for trips. Shit. I'm effectively drawing dead. The turn and river don't help and I'm down to about 500 from a starting stack of 1500. With the blinds going up every other hand (or so it seemed), I pushed with K-10d looking to steal. I get called by out of turn guy, who shows A-Q and a Queen on the flop speeds up my exit. No help again on the turn or river and I'm sent packing ruing my weak play. I should've pushed with the Queens pre flop, but seeing as it was early on in the game it's bit of a marginal decision. Ah well, at least I can vent my frustrations in cliché poker speak.
Need to sleep, must write...

Well, in all honesty, I mustn't. It's late, I've had a long day (been at the office all day, until 7.30 - quick sit n go afterwards). I've been doing college work since 9.00, that's over 5 hours in my book, and now I need to sleep. [You can tell from all the sentences I'm being with the the "I've"]

It's really annoying because I spent the day doing pretty much sweet f.a. My tasks included: going to the post room and writing some ideas for a feature on the best ways to steal a pot. Why they asked me, I do not know. My style of play doesn't get in the slightest bit aggressive until the really late (probably too late) stages of a tournament/sng. I even proved the point by making terrible moves with terrible cards. I should stick to my own game, that if anything, is the only thing I've learned from any literature. Perhaps some stuff is seeping in subconsciously.

Yes, the lovely college work. My first task (and I use the term task very lightly in this case) was to sub-edit a college colleague's work [I like the sound and look of those two words together]. It wasn't a pleasurable job, but I did have a laugh (and a cry almost) doing it. Following that was the joy that was transcribing my interview with the Associate Publisher her. Firstly, that use of the word 'joy' was sarcastic, whereas actually doing the interview was of the standard definition of the word. I think I'm getting better at doing them, I must be if I take pleasure from doing them.

That's it for today. I've got to get up in five and a half hours to start again.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I arrived back from work tired and hungry and with the intention of eaking a little bit more work out of my sleepy body after a long day at the office. Seeing as we had a game of poker, I didn't get in until around 8.30. But it was worth the delay, I came second (again), which isn't bad when you are as bad at heads up as I am. The deciding hand I decided to push on the button with anything. I'd been folding often, and generally being beaten around the park for the past five minutes. "I'm all in", I say with confidence, concealing the fact that I had 4-5o. Rick replied "I'd string it out like I did with Alun, but I can't do it again", I knew as soon as he said that it was over. He had Aces. The flop was friendly, giving me a pair and an up and down straight draw. It was to no avail though. I walked to the tube in good spirits, knowing that I was beaten by a better hand.

When I got in I was going to have a pizza and do some transcribing of an interview I did. It turns out the recording was really quiet. Too quiet to hear barely in the office. "Barton Fink's on in a minute", my mate Jane said. "Great film. It's got an awesome script, you should watch it." These comments came about from me telling her about my new found (or is that re-) interest in writing, with a certain focus on screen writing. Bugger, I was going to have to watch it.

And so I did, and I did enjoy it, very much. I don't have to explain how good it is. There are film critics for that, I get the impression that they enjoyed it as much as I did. Although at the minute I don't have the slightest energy to go on about it any further.

So now I'm in bed. Completely knackered. Inspired by a great film (inspired to not go to Hollywood and be a writer perhaps) and still miles behind on my work load. I have an article to do for college that I need to email in tomorrow night and I haven't got a clue where to start. I also don't have a clue when I'm moving out of this place, which will make things even more fun. But that's my working time frame, the last second of the last minute. I wouldn't have any excuses if I spent too much time over my work.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I thought I'd make notes on a tournament I entered, to see where I went wrong etc etc. I played alright until the cards went a bit quiet. And then I got caught on the fish hooks. Back to the 5/10c cash games...

Shootout notes
$11 294 entrants

I haven't played a shootout before. And seeing as I've made +$11 on the 5c/10c tables, if think it's worth an investment to step up my game from the $3 s&gs that i'm placing in and the $6 games that i waste.

AJh on the button, get raised behind me, call. Flop comes 7 A K all spades, checked round to raiser. i call, they fold. turn 2h, he bets small. i call, not putting him on flush. river 7 blank, he bets 1/4 pot. i call, he shows Ac-Qs, winning with kicker. cock.

A-Qo pre flop raise, (4bb), one caller. A 10 7 flop, bet out 3bb, called. turn 8, bet 4bbs called. river 2, bet 5bbs, called. i win.

Big blind, 5 handed. I get Jacks, matey on the button raises to 1000 (bb 200), i put the squeeze on. Push. He calls, flips the hilton sisters. Bugger. A queen hits on the flop. Mother fucker, I'm out.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Less than two minutes ago a thought entered my head. I'll write it down on a scrap of paper I initially thought. That was followed by, no I'll remember it in the morning. By the time I decided to turn on the laptop and start writing, because I can't get to sleep - I had no recollection of the original inspiration. Hopefully, if it was that good an idea it will come back to me. If not, never mind, I've got plenty of ideas in my thick skull.

This is something that has taken me by surprise. I haven't engaged my brain to this extent on a daily basis since; I don't know when. In all honesty I'd have to say I can’t image it being in the last ten years or so. Have I really been coasting for that long? A quick scan of my brain (no more than ten seconds or so) can't find any evidence to argue that number. I really have been a lazy fucker.

That might have something to do with me not having the inspiration to do anything (mentally or equally physically straining) for so long. I've just been putting in half the effort and receiving half the rewards. Now i'm in London, working-eating-drinking-sleeping (not too so much on the second and fourth) I'm really enjoying 'doing'. Whether it's a shitty run to the shop to get some crap for the ed / researching the mundane, or trying to put together some questions, then ask the questions: whilst feeling the brunt of the night before's drinking. I'm being active. And it seems to be agreeing with me.

I think the lack of enjoyment has been the core reason why I haven't been writing. Also, because I haven't been writing (or working) so much, for so long, I haven't let myself get into any sort of momentum and anything that I have produced has been doomed from the get go. I think that's why I've forced myself to get back into the blogging lark. It's there, an output for all the crap that's running around my head. I don't care if anyone reads it, because I've managed to get it out of my noggin and into some form of fruition. Because I've got a means to empty my head, I have room to produce more stuff in my head. It's like some sort of farming mechanism I guess.

I'm also not afraid to bang out whatever I'm thinking anymore. I've always been a bit conservative with what I put on a page. Now I know that I can churn stuff out, who cares if some of it's crap. When it comes to publishing stuff (well, except this blog), the crap can be edited out. It's not like films are made in one take, or records are recorded in one session. These things take years to learn, to refine, and ages to produce to the point (or as close to the point) of the artist's/writer's/director's satisfaction. If only I realised this a long time ago. I'd be on my way to being a good writer.

That's another thing. I've got to stop this British, self depricating crap. Fuck knows why I do it. Well, I've got my theories but now's not the time to go in to detail on that. I was a bumbling, nervous fool before I went to Australia and did a stint of 'growing up backpacker style'. I came home confident. I seem to have lost that along the way in the last few years and I want it back. I no longer want to be nervous, or bumbling and definately not a fool.

When I get into working, I seem to switch that (the nervous, overthinking) part of my brain off. Whereas for years I've adopted the 'what seems to be enough, should be enough' attitude, when I do some work that engages me (i.e. writing) I stick my balls to the wall and do it properly. I've been worrying about the 6000 word count of the case study for so long, but in the last couple of days from writing at work or taking notes (in my case study diary), posting on the course forum to writing these damn blogs I must have written thousands of words. For years I've thought about being a writer, and until being forced to do it I've been scared to do it.

I'm getting the feeling that this may have started to get a bit repetitive, so I'll move on. And vent my bad beat story from the work game so that doesn't keep me awake all night.

£5 buy in, 'turbo' (or at least that's how it started). 6 players. Starting stack 2000

I'd managed to hit a few hands early on which put me up 4/500. This let me see a few flops that I normally wouldn't. What with being a tight player. Up until the last 3 I'd been floating around the 2000 mark, give or take the odd 100 or so. This is where the fun begins. I get a pocket pair and decide it's Shit or Bust time. Coin toss situation? Yeah, I think I'll take those odds. So I double up. It's all a bit equal - around 3-4000 each. I then take down a couple more hands and I have a decent chip lead. Cheung's down to 1500 with 300/600 blinds. I'm dealt A-4 on the button, I put Cheung (on the SB) all in, he calls, Dave folds. He turns over A-Ks, an A on the flop and no help. Bugger. Never mind, these things happen. I get the big blind and with it a shit hand. Someone raises, I fold. The next time I get the button I've got A-7. Not wanting to play, and lose to the same trick twice, I call (hoping to show strength, looking for a flop to trap on). Dave raises all-in, because of his short stack I'm pretty pot committed (I dunno, say two more BB's). I call, thinking if he's got a pair we've got a coin toss. He flips A-K. An ace and a King hit the felt.

This joke's wearing thin. It happens again. Pretty much exact situation. I raise (or call a raise, believing to be strong) and when the cards turn over I'm dominated by their kicker, which hits just to rub it in. By now I'm screwed. With the blinds up to 600/1200 I've got 1250 in chips and dealt Q-7 under the gun. I'm all in. I actually win the hand, and a following one. I'm up to about 2000. It's still gambling time though, because of the blinds. I'm dealt, strangely, Qd-7h, utg, again. 'I'm all in again' I announce, 'Call' says Dave and we flip the cards. He's got Qc-10s. 'For fuck's sake!', by now I've lost it. Verging the tipping point of the tilt. The board comes down 4c-Qh-7h. Shit I'm ahead, I think, trying not to jinx myself. The turn is another heart. Come on! I'm buzzing. The only two cards Dave can hit are the two 10s that aren't the 10h. Wallop! The donkey raping, piss guzzling, Ten of FUCKING Hearts hits on the river and I'm beyond devastated. I was literally in shock. I know it's a two outter (and I've been stung by them before, and I will again), but I've never been so gutted in my playing life. It didn't matter to me that it was a five pound game, it didn't matter that I was on the bubble. It didn't matter that tere was probably a hell of a lot more play left in the game, should I have stayed in. It just destroyed me that time after time, the same thing kept happening. To get to that point, despite the curse of the kickers, I felt I played alright. But no. The kickers kept kicking and this time I couldn't get back up.

Last night I spent an hour churning out a thousand words or so. And now I can't paste it into the bloody text editor. Damn you blogspot! I'll put it on my facebook.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

And so it was, they brought forth the beer festival and the hoardes did come. What a genius idea and one that I couldn't allow myself to miss. I mean I know it's on until Saturday night (The Ealing Beer Festival - ), but I had to check it out a.s.a.p. However, the a.s.a.p. turned into late yesterday evening, we didn't get there until 9pm and as it was closing at 11 I decided to get my money's worth.

Somehow, after caining a dozen or so half pints (I know, I'm ashamed) I found my head spinning (might have something to do with what I smoked on the way there) and my stomach purging. I got into work half an hour late and smelling of beer (no time for a shower, I'm digusting). Fortunately, my meeting was put off until after lunch, so I had time to wake up and get some food in me. At lunch we had a £1 crap shoot (or turbo as they're otherwise known). Wanting to get a quick start I reraised all in with A-Ko, my first premium hand in what feels like weeks. Needless to say I was called by the Iceman's pocket tens and I lost the race. Big stakes, big losses.

I was then given a proper workie's job. In the style of Sir Alan, Dave sent me on an errand to get some trackie bottoms. Walking down Oxford St with a mission I almost felt like a tit off tv. Minus the cameras I can only assume that that means that I'm just a tit. Mission accomplished, I got on with my real work tasks, and less hungover managed to have a decent chat with the publisher. Job's a good-un.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Just kidding, I've got too much stuff in my head to just post a dozen words or so. I'd like to say for my dozen readers, but that would just be kidding myself. If this post seems in any way disjointed, it'll be because I'm working on other projects (i.e. work) and I need to skip quickly between tabs. I don't believe in A.D.D., if I did, I wouldn't begin to think that I had it. But I have noticed how erratic my behaviour has been in the office. I can't keep still for more than 15 minutes at a time. I'm constantly getting up to get some water, or relieve myself of water, or going for a cigarette. Worst thing is: no one here seems to smoke. (I'll get around to explaining where here is in a bit) I'd better get on with some other work.

Yes, the evil W word. To cut a long and not very interesting story short: I'm doing an internship at a poker magazine in London. This is part of my journalism degree. I have to do remedial work and at the same time write a case study on an aspect of the business. The case study is a research project where I ask stupid questions and hope to not get stupid answers. Failing that I'll come up with some decent questions, which I expect will be thwarted by stupid answers. I've been at the mag for about two weeks, it is now time to get on with some real work.

But first, lunch. A turkey sub, white choc chip cookie and a coke, if anyone acres. I've noticed a bit of food talk on these blogs.

I've just been informed of the smoking patio in the building. Two weeks here, stood out in the street, watching courier vans and mopeds go past and now they tell me. I thought there was some weird anti smoking olicy going on or something.

I'm going to speak with the publisher in a bit to get some info that I need to write up my case study. So I'd better stop blogging and do some work.

Questions revised, blood stream full of nicotene, I walked into the publisher's office and fired round after round of hard hitting, corporate busting questions. Well, not quite. The first question I asked and then developed wrote off some of my other questions. I'm getting used to thiis from interviewing people. I just have to look like I expected it next time.

The interview went well though and I got more than I expected. Shit, I might actually have decent piece of work to put together. I got back to my desk to find that my news story I wrote yesterday has been posted on the website. Things are looking good.

So good infact, I don't mind doing remedial jobs for the rest of the day.
I'd like to say this is going to be a quick update. But then I know how annoying it is to hop on to someone's blog only to find two lines of excuses, so I won't.

Yes I will.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Forgetting about a blog for a weeks, well that's child's play. Taking it back up after three years, well I couldn't be asked to open a new account or come up with another witty title.

So, when I can be asked to do a full length update, this blog will be back in action. Like Roger Clemens after a long break. But without the payday. It won't take another three years.