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Sun, Mar. 22nd, 2009, 11:15 am
Gorgeous George.

Gorgeous George vs. Larry Moquin

Part I

Part II

This is the most ahead-of-its-time thing I have ever seen. He is an alien. And yet he's interacting with the other wrestler, the ref, the crowd. This is the equivalent of if in 1953 "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window" had been competing on the radio with "Purple Haze."

Gorgeous George is a singularity. (Here’s a link to his wikipedia article if you don’t know who he is). Today, can you imagine watching Karl van Hoerr wrestle Lou Moquin? Can you imagine wrestling as an attraction where two men - ordinary besides their training in wrestling holds - walk into the ring, are told the rules of the match, and wrestle? To us today, it just doesn’t make any sense. And vice-versa for the wrestling fan pre-Gorgeous George.

Gorgeous George invented/realized the whole attraction of modern wrestling: personality. Notice how his personality controls every part of the match. The entrance, the checking of the robes. This match is actually a Gorgeous George character piece. "The Human Orchid?" Florida air! It’s perfect. You can see everything that has happened in pro wrestling since just in this one match.

And I haven’t even mentioned that people at the time thought wrestling was real. Inserting a pretend character into the real world is so advanced that Sacha Baron Cohen, who is doing the exact same thing with Ali G and Borat, is creating a cutting edge form of entertainment today. George Wagner began blending art and reality in 1941! Ten years later, the time of this clip- can you imagine it’s 1951, and you’re a square American, and this comes on your TV? How would you even be able to understand this? The concept is so advanced, and then at the same time the execution is so simple- he’s a sissy so you want the other guy to beat him up.

But, of course, Gorgeous George wins again.

Sun, Dec. 28th, 2008, 08:47 pm
Public service message.

I notice lj put ads up on my blog. I guess that's fair, they pay for it. But they can't stop me from saying the following explicitly: do not, under any circumstances, purchase any of the products advertised on this blog. They are horrible. They are a scam or they will break or they're absurdly overpriced. In fact I want to wholeheartedly endorse the competing products for anything advertised here.

Thank you for your time.

Edit: I scared them off.

Sun, Dec. 28th, 2008, 11:00 am
Calm before the schtorm.

The Jewish equivalent of that awkward-ass cockfest from last week starts in T-now. I know these people better which could either make it slightly better or much, much worse. I'll try to live-blog it to give myself a reason to get the fuck out of there.

11:16 - Okay false alarm, it was just the kosher catering guy. The food looks pretty good, I am bearishly eying the lox platter. Quote of the day thus far is my mom being like, "Oh, okay, they only sent us twelve bagels, do you think we could cut them in thirds?" This is promising.

11:21 - Okay we're live. Smile in four, three, two...

11:26 - sigggghhhhhhhhh....... Oh well, at least I have more vicodin.

11:50 - I keep leaving, it's pretty weird. Basically there were four couples in the 80s, one of them being my parents, and they were the first ones to figure out what coupling was for. So there are a gaggle of old people and a gaggle of 17-19 year olds. And I belong in neither group, and so every time we get together, I'm the odd man out. This has been going on since I was like ten. But I default to hanging out with the denture glue crew now and god are they boring. They're not jewish jews, btw, they're like secular unitarian liberal jews. Which means at some point tonight the following conversation will 100% go down:

Them: "So what's up with you?"
Me: "Oh you know same old so what do you think of the republican platform on rape?"

And in all seriousness I have to learn not to be a junkie, so I'm on my own chemically. Anyway I don't want to be the awkward silent guy in the room, it doesn't suit me, but this is not a crowd I can work so fuck them, if they want to hear from me they can ask me a question, and if they think I'm a weirdo... well, I am live-blogging a party, so I guess they'd kind of have a point...

12:47 - "Why does Evan keep going upstairs?" Okay so I actually ate with the kids this time, and the ~four year age difference isn't as formidable as it used to be. Not that they still aren't spazzes but they're spazzes with funny college stories. The dynamics are interesting to watch, who's interesting and who isn't, which people can relate to which other people, etc. Poker has made it impossible for me to ignore that kind of stuff. I'm the oldest and I don't think there's any kind of contempt for me, which ought to give me social capital - on the other hand they're sort of a tighter-knit group that I'm not part of. So hanging out with them is weird but not entirely unpleasant. Pill count is still zero.

Also, one area where jews are clearly better is their understanding of how to salt food properly.

1:37 - Things are going okay. We all overate so everything is moving a little slower. I'm back to hanging out with Team Wrinkles, which went from me unable to get a word in edgewise to kind of having a heavy stake in the conversation as we transitioned the subject from used cars to film and religion-sucks, two things about which I'm very comfortable conversing. Meanwhile one of them has this like heavy duty expensive camera and is just unloading it in the middle of peoples' sentences like we're zoo animals, it's insanely annoying. I'm hitting the gelt pretty hard.

3:44 - Okay, well, we got wrapped up in this random gift exchange game where the rules were unclear but I ended up with a stuffed sheep. There seems to be a store somewhere in upstate NY that just sells joke gifts that are risque for 53 year olds. That went on forever as there was a lame-pun-off every time someone opened a new thing.

Okay let me say something here. I feel uncomfortable around these people (although, truth be told, today is going pretty well). I think they're pretty lame all things considered, especially when it devolves into a political echo chamber. But there's no comparison between this and those gentile moneytards, and I definitely don't think it's a religion thing. The point is, these people, on some level, actually like each other. So even though I'm anywhere not close to relaxed, some of the other people are actually having a good time, and that makes it so much better.

Anyway off the liveb and back to the log, the jewy giftoff devolved into telling embarrassing stories about which I cared little, then finally we went outside and camera guy took a photo of all of us, and then in theory people were going to leave but we split off yet again and this time I was with the kids, where I practiced my deadpan and my mock-offensive and my storytelling, which are pretty much your three stock humor wells for that situation. Now everyone's unwinding.

4:31 - DONE. I'd rate my performance in the C+/B- range, don't think I made any bad impressions, possibly made it easier on myself next time. Someone may have stolen my sheep, for whom I'm open to suggestions on a name.


Quick thought: I think jazz is probably the best possible music to listen to while playing poker. Nobody will ever commission this study, but I just wanted to say it out loud somewhere.

Sun, Dec. 28th, 2008, 05:56 am
Tomorrow eve.

Just an interesting phrase.

I had a bet with Will about Oscar nomination predictions. I remember that I used to do this so I might formalize it later, or do more categories, or something.


Slumdog Millionaire
Revolutionary Road
The Reader

This is a weird year in that there are only two locks, Milk and Slumdog. I admit to being biased by not getting the hype over Benjamin Button, and I'm honestly not sure about Revolutionary Road except that, if it has good buzz going into the nominations, it fits a lot of niches. The Reader seems like the most probable dark horse pick, if that isn't a ridiculous oxymoron. Other possibilities include The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Doubt, The Dark Knight, WALL-E, and MAYBE The Wrestler.


Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Gus Van Sant, Milk
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road
Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino

If Button gets a BP nod, Fincher will probably also get a director nod, so you can treat those two as linked. The Academy loves Clint. Full disclosure: my imagined shutout of Button has a lot to do with not wanting to type out the whole title.


Sean Penn, Milk
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Brad Pitt, The Splendiferous Zeppelin Escapades of Filliam H. Muffman
Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino

Will and I actually agree on these five, nobody else jumps out.

Best Actress

Meryl Streep, Doubt
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Kristin Scott Thomas, I've Loved You So Long
Cate Blanchett, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road

I guess? All I'll say is that Angelina Jolie will not get a fucking Oscar nomination. Unless it's Best Homewrecker. Yeah I said it. Seriously who likes Angelina Jolie anymore, come on.


I saw Slumdog, it's good. I'll review it later. My to-see list right now is basically The Wrestler.

Fri, Dec. 26th, 2008, 05:46 pm
More like assworms.

Minor argument today. Let's say 35,000 people are playing in a $10+$1 tournament that has a $500,000 guarantee. What is the overlay? $150k or $115k? I said 150 and I realized that, in the context of tournament poker, the term "overlay" has kind of a distinct meaning from the more general meaning. Namely that I see the rake as a totally independent thing.

Let's say two of us are flipping coins for $10 apiece, with a third guy throwing in a $10 overlay. But we each have to pay him $1 on top of our $10 to get it. Then the overlay is $8? What if it just costs us $1 to get in the door? What if the $1 goes to a different person than the one providing the extra $10? Or it's travel costs to get to the flip on time?

I know this seems like it doesn't matter. But it was insinuated that I was dumb, so, there it is.

Edit: I should add that basically this is just a semantics argument, but here are a list of things that were said to me for suggesting that a 150k overlay and a 35k rake is just that:

(3:08:32 PM) Milton Friedman: [facepalm]

(3:09:17 PM) Milton Friedman: dude

(3:09:20 PM) Milton Friedman: come on

(3:09:32 PM) Milton Friedman: stop leveling

(3:11:29 PM) Milton Friedman: god I hate you

(3:13:53 PM) Me: You're being a dick, we're just defining it differently.
(3:14:05 PM) Milton Friedman: yes, you're defining it incorrectly

(3:15:20 PM) Milton Friedman: LOLOLOL

(3:17:29 PM) Milton Friedman: zomgoverlay!

Fri, Dec. 26th, 2008, 01:40 pm
Ship it!

We have go for pics motherfuckerrrrrrr.

PS - Greg, if you're reading this, did I see you in a bank in Montclair today?

Edit: Cause if not, two words man: dead. ringer.

Fri, Dec. 26th, 2008, 08:40 am
Special report from 8:40 in the morning.

There don't appear to be any signs of other human life here. The air is basically breathable but the light is unusually strong and unpleasant. I also think there might be some kind of airborne toxin causing extreme irritability. More study will be required but I'm not doing it.

Okay I posted that Rahm picture, and I can see see it, but I'm not sure if other people can. As a test I'm going to post this graph I made.

If people can actually see this it would be helpful to let me know. Otoh if you can see it but don't want me to post any more pictures, this would be a spectacular time to lie.

Thu, Dec. 25th, 2008, 09:46 pm
I just noticed they give you a line for a title.

Before I start, I want to say that I changed the style to all gray in solidarity with failing newspapers, and also to be as unfestive as I could manage.

Okay, so, in order to keep this legally classified as a "blog", thus making me eligible for tarp money, I need to occasionally post about stuff I do. I'll keep it brief.[1]

Tonight I went to a Christmas party with a bunch of you people. I was at this very same annual party a few years back and almost went Santa, it was that bad.

It's not that they're bad people. It's just... I'm having trouble explaining this. Basically they're rich gentiles and I feel really out of place. Not religious or anything. And not like Cribs rich but upper middle class. All the wives get together in their fancy kitchen and cook and talk about cooking and shopping and their kids and just utter bullshit. The guys all get together in the living room and talk about hunting and fishing and finance and The Eagles. Their humor is a humor with which I am not familiar. And there's no camaraderie either, the whole dinner was a status thing. I felt so out of place. Even without the creepy-because-you-know-it's-legit offhand racism.

Anyway I learned a good relaxation exercise to deal with stressful situations. What you do is you inhale, count to five, exhale, and then take vicodin.

It turned out to be okay. I made little drops of small talk and then watched a basketball game between the LA Lakers and the Boston Celtics that was actually pretty good. So that nobody feels out of place, I've posted the rules of basketball.


The Rules of Basketball
(from breakthroughbasketball.com)

Basketball is a team sport. Two teams of five players each try to score by shooting a ball through a hoop elevated 10 feet above the ground. The game is played on a rectangular floor called the court, and there is a hoop at each end. The court is divided into two main sections by the mid-court line. If the offensive team puts the ball into play behind the mid-court line, it has ten seconds to get the ball over the mid-court line. If it doesn't, then the defense gets the ball. Once the offensive team gets the ball over the mid-court line, it can no longer have possession of the ball in the area in back of the line. If it does, the defense is awarded the ball.

The ball is moved down the court toward the basket by passing or dribbling. The team with the ball is called the offense. The team without the ball is called the defense. They try to steal the ball, contest shots, steal and deflect passes, and garner rebounds.

When a team makes a basket, they score two points and the ball goes to the other team. If a basket, or field goal, is made outside of the three-point arc, then that basket is worth three points. A free throw is worth one point. Free throws are awarded to a team according to some formats involving the number of fouls committed in a half and/or the type of foul committed. Fouling a shooter always results in two or three free throws being awarded the shooter, depending upon where he was when he shot. If he was beyond the three-point line, then he gets three shots. Other types of fouls do not result in free throws being awarded until a certain number have accumulated during a half. Once that number is reached, then the player who was fouled is awarded a '1-and-1' opportunity. If he makes his first free throw, he gets to attempt a second. If he misses the first shot, the ball is live on the rebound.

Each game is divided into sections. All levels have two halves. In college, each half is twenty minutes long. In high school and below, the halves are divided into eight (and sometimes, six) minute quarters. In the pros, quarters are twelve minutes long. There is a gap of several minutes between halves. Gaps between quarters are relatively short. If the score is tied at the end of regulation, then overtime periods of various lengths are played until a winner emerges.

Each team is assigned a basket or goal to defend. This means that the other basket is their scoring basket. At halftime, the teams switch goals. The game begins with one player from either team at center court. A referee will toss the ball up between the two. The player that gets his hands on the ball will tip it to a teammate. This is called a tip-off. In addition to stealing the ball from an opposing player, there are other ways for a team to get the ball.


The rest is a series of fouls and violations and I don't think anybody would care enough to read all that, plus it'd be all long.

Anyway, to wrap up, here are the things I learned tonight.

- It's easy to talk politics with Republicans as long as you find common ground and they're drunk and you have vicodin.
- Yuppie right wing wives make fantastic food, and we should all concede that.
- There's a very tall kind of french-sounding guy on the Lakers who's sick, Pau Gasol or something.
- Kevin Garnett's beard looks ridiculous.
- Pumpkin cheesecake is so good that I think maybe it has to be destroyed for the safety of our planet.

And, most importantly:

- If you're paying close attention to the commentary and on screen graphics, and the other guy isn't, you can sound really knowledgeable about the sport by just waiting thirty seconds and repeating something you just learned.

[1] No I won't.

Thu, Dec. 25th, 2008, 12:09 pm
On the lack of meat.

The reason I haven't mentioned poker is that even mentioning poker is exhausting. That sentence took me 45 minutes to write.

UGH, I just can't put in any kind of volume since the last time I cashed out. It feels like a chore. I'm trying very hard not to redeposit and actually grind my way back up to where I was before, but microstakes are so boring and when my head is in that place I can't play well anyway, and you know how it is. Or maybe you don't. But that is how it is.

Anyway that same mental phenomenon is what's keeping these posts pretty short and awful.


You should all listen to Dear Science if you get a chance.

Thu, Dec. 25th, 2008, 11:29 am
A second imagined correspondence between me and my dog.

Me: Hello.
Dog: Word.
M: How have things been going?
D: The same.
M: What do you think of the snow?
D: I don’t like it.
M: Do you think Obama’s recent establishment appointments to agricultural posts suggest a betrayal of the environmental agenda on which he campaigned?
D: No. First of all he did not campaign as an agricultural reformer – that image was merely a projection on the part of some of his supporters. Second of all, his agenda on energy reform and climate change still paint the picture of a basically environmentally progressive executive.
M: How old are you now?
D: I will be 12 in January.
M: Will Keynesian stimulus spending stabilize the financial markets and, if so, how long do you expect it to take?
D: Why the fuck aren’t you petting me?

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