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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Great Weekend in Tuscaloosa!!!

When you draw up your idea of a perfect weekend, it resembles something like the one I just experienced. But before I go into detail, I have to back up a little because some interesting things happened before that.

All week I told myself I was going to go work out 3 or 4 times, since I have this Over-40 baseball tourney coming up in Phoenix next week. How many times did I go? Zero. I rule!!!

But I did do an awfully nice job of bringing Christmas to Sept/Oct for Squirrel and I. Got a new laptop with as much memory and processor speed as is humanly possible. Gave Squirrel my current computer...which is still in great shape. Got her a new digital camera, got myself a new video camera. Got her a Canon picture printer. Replaced our office chair with a newer, more comfortable one. Got us new pillows and comforter. Bought her a bunch of new clothes. Bought myself a bunch of new clothes. Basically went nuts. And I found out something incredible...when you suddenly introduce a nice chunk of money back into your life, and then go treat yourself to a bunch of 'stuff' you have been wanting, your mood has this amazing habit of improving. Weird huh?

Squirrel being Squirrel, she didn't think it was a good idea for me to dole out $275 a ticket to take her to see her favorite football team play Florida. She is very good about not squandering money. But I refused to hear her out. We don't have enough 'good times' together anymore...and we WERE going.

On the day before we left, I got online and bought into the first $36/180 I've ever played, and low and behold, got heads up with a guy for a $1780 win. I lost...but the $1200 2nd place money, coupled with a few cashes in SNG's...meant our trip to Tuscaloosa was more than paid for.

I went to the Mall to return some things...and had an odd experience. Our mall in Biloxi is pretty depressing. The stores inside of it are bizarre. It says a lot about the people who live in our community. And those kiosks that sit in the middle of the mall? The people who work in those things just made me really, really like my own life. You could just tell they were miserable. Looking into the stores and sensing the mood of those people...same deal. They get up everyday, get there by 9 or 10....to make probably $8-$10 an hour...get NO business, have to stand around...which...I don't know about you people...but to me there is nothing worse than standing still in one spot for long periods of time. OMG...makes me wanna die.

Then...as I am sitting in the food court eating my Panda Express...I spot a group of young black boys. Four of them. One acting 'normal', one acting like a 'bad ass', one wearing a shirt that says "I WEEL KEEL YOU" that I found interesting, and one who thought he was the next great thing in rap. Then...to the left of me, are 4 while girls. 2 of them VERY over weight. The other two slightly over weight. One of them was almost attractive...and she was the one who was talking as if she were from the Bronx. Arms flailing, 'Ya know wat ai mean?' 'I'm just sayin, no no no....whatevvvvva.' On and on...to the point I was just scratching my head. She finally got the attention of the boys. And now it became like a bad version of The Dating Game.

Please tell me the inital stages of flirtation weren't this painful and awkward and socially reprehensible when I was that age. Well, it did get funnier. The boys finally 'skated' and left the girls there alone...and suddenly, this same girl transformed back into a white girl from a suburban upbringing. Hmmm. Fascinating.

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Gabe and Claudia decided to join us in Tuscaloosa for the ball game. I found them two tickets...with us. We were staying with BJ McBrayer...and he has a good buddy who is also a ticket broker, so we were definitely hooked up. I offered to let them drive if they wanted to...Gabe just bought an H3...and I figured it would have a lot more room than my 4 runner. I was wrong. Very wrong. And Gabe is the slowest driver in the history of the combustible engine. And he refused to let anyone else drive. Gabe is going to make a great old person. Hell, he is already half way there.

We did finally make it there around 3pm. Hung out at BJ's new house for awhile...which is really nice. He has a huge backyard, with a pool. I was really wishing we had brought the 'kids' with us...they would have loved it! We grilled some steaks...which were awesome...and then left for the game.

Wow, I hadn't been to Tuscaloosa since 1992, when I went with my girlfriend from NYC...who incidentally ended up marrying my good buddy and ex-bar owner partner. (good memories there!) It has changed a LOT. We wandered into the Quad...a large area where people set up their tailgating functions. Holy Cow. I mean...it was just the total college football experience. So much electricity. Of course, I was also made to feel 'my age' as there were kids running around...who were actually college students, and was struggling to convince myself that these kids were old enough to vote and some of them drink.

Then there was the challenge not to get busted checking out the college hotties that were inevitable. And they were everywhere. One or several would walk by and Gabe would nudge me, or shoot me a glance...'yeah yeah...I saw her.' Damnnnnnnnnn. Yeah, it got pretty annoying. But...I have NO REGRETS about who I was with. These girls...these little girls, half of them are snots I'm sure, half of them will balloon into fatties, NONE of them could sit down and have a conversation with me that makes ONE OUNCE of sense, or contains anything interesting (to me, anyway)...then I look over at my Squirrel in her Bama sweatshirt...and at 36 realize, I landed me a '10!' Nope, no regrets at all!!! My wife is a total hottie!

Pictured here are me and Squirrel with her brother Scott and his wife Bridget before the game. They live up the road near Huntsville.






Then we enter the stadium. Wow! I just figured out how to use my video camera...and I took a pretty cool movie of the three of them walking through the tunnel and into the stadium, and should post it on here...but I'm in a hurry, we are going to get me some glasses...so maybe I will add it later. (okay, I have installed the software, and am now reading the manual...expect to see a video here shortly!!!)







Long story short on the game. We had awesome seats. Lower level, 12 rows up from the field, on the 20 yard line. And the game was perfect. Alabama just played out of their minds. When they needed a big play, they got it. Their defense is so athletic. The stadium is just incredible. My one beef is that there is NO space at all in between seats. You are forced to turn your body at an angle when standing. But I suppose that is how they manage to get 100,000 fans into that place. Man, you think Mal Moore is loving their decision to go after Nick Saban and pay him what they paid him? Bama is back to being a football dynasty.

After the game we went to a place called Brown's Corner. We met Squirrel's brother and wife...and a bunch of their friends there. It was nice. I ended up buying everyone's drinks when I found out how incredibly cheap they were. For 14 drinks the bartender tells me $34. What???? Wow! Hey, might as well pick this one up! BJ joined us later...and we ended up closing the joint...drinking lots of shots, dancing a bit...and mixing and mingling with fans from both schools. We actually met some really nice people from Florida, who were taking the loss with a lot of class. Of course I had to introduce them to the Red Snapper! And since the bartender, Ann...was only on her 3rd week of bartending, I had to teach her how to make the perfect Red Snapper! It was a really fun night!

When we were leaving the stadium after the game...we walked down a street with tents lined up one after the other full of Bama stuff for sale. I saw a jersey, the good kind...authentic...that was Mark Ingram's #22....and was autographed by him. $200! Wow! The jersey alone is worth about $120. And how much will that jersey be worth? Heismann Trophy winner last year? Certain NFL player! Well, Cheryl thought it was too much, and as we were walking away the guy says "I'll sell it to ya for $150." Pfffft, you kidding?!!! SOLD! And it fits me! But I might end up giving it to our Bama-loving nephew...her brother Scott's kid, for Christmas. I don't know though...I might get attached to it!!! It is pretty sweet!

Well, a game experience couldn't get much better, and I would love to get back up there, maybe for the Nov 26th Auburn season finale. That is sure to be a huge game too.

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While Bama was beating the crap out of Florida...my Washington Huskies were putting the finishing touches on a 2nd consecutive upset of the USC Trojans, this time in Los Angeles! I was ecstatic! What a perfect day of football. And after we got thrashed by Nebraska, and taken all the wind out of the Jake Locker is God talkers....I was pretty much resigned to another losing season. But now this gives us some momentum...but still, our schedule is so brutal. I would be so happy with a 6-win season and a bowl berth somewhere. Something to build on.

I was really hoping that my Seahawks could keep it going on Sunday...by knocking off the Rams...who we had beaten 8 times in a row, and open up a big gap in the NFC West. But I never felt very good about the game...just had a feeling we were going to suck it up. And we did. We never scored a TD. Rams 20-3. Gross. And we just looked awful. BJ has the Sunday Ticket package on Direct TV so I got to watch all the early games. Then I swam 7 laps in his pool...which nearly made me pass out. Him and I threw the baseball around for about 15 minutes til both of our shoulders ached....then it was time to hit the road.

Yeah...another painstaking journey of watching Gabe play with his phone while driving 55-65 the entire way home. I've never loved the idea of a roadtrip in my own car with the wife as much as I did this weekend! Next time...gas prices be damned...we are taking TWO cars!!!!

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My taxes are FINALLY done! And I owe more than I thought I would. Dammit. But at least its done.

Went to the doctor yesterday for my checkups related to my cholesterol medication and my Celexa meds. Gave them some blood and find out today I guess if I'm okay.

Today I go to get some glasses. My eyes have gotten awful.

At 2pm I go to the dentist to get some work done that I've been putting off for a few years.

Oh wow...its the 5th and just realized I haven't paid my monthly bills yet.

On Saturday, I fly outa here. Off to Phoenix for a week to play baseball and hang out with a bunch of guys I played with 20 years ago in NYC. It should be a really fun week.

After that I shoot over to Chicago. For the WSOP event in Hammond, which YEAH...is in Indiana...but the state line runs through East Chicago...so, its more or less Chicago. It just so happens that the Bears take on my Seahawks the day after I get there...so the plan is to try and go to that game. And Squirrel is wanting to come up to see Chicago, and go to the game with me. Seems like a pretty reasonable request.

Kai Landry is checking in on a two-week rental of a house up there...which would be a great experience. I can think of 5 or 6 people I would like to offer a room to if that happens, and 4 of them have already said they are in if we make it happen. That would be sweet!

I checked out the structures for the Chicago event last night...and I have to say, they look phenomenal. I just hope nothing changes by the time we get there. Because right now...with those structures, I really like my chances to make at least one final table while I'm there.

I really just want to make it my goal to go into each remaining trip this year and come home with a profit...whether it be $1,000 or $100,000. I just want to avoid going backwards. I won't be doing anything different in the way I manage my bankroll. Like buying into larger events than we aren't accustomed to buying into. They have a $1500 Main Event up there...followed by a $10,000 'regional' Main Event....and while I would buy into the $1500...I will NOT buy into the 10k directly. I will only play it if I satellite in, or perhaps get staked by someone for a decent share. My backer and I have both agreed we aren't going to deviate from our fairly successful plan of 3 years now. And frankly, I've done pretty well at satelliting into Main Events the last two years...so I haven't had to sit out a lot of them.

Okay....I fear this is dragging on a little too much. And it is time to go run some errands. I plan on grinding a lot of online poker this week...for no other reason than I just feel like going for a decent score before heading to Arizona.

MONKEY

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