Tuesday, August 26, 2008


It’s funny, the writing process. How ideas develop. Mold. Change and transform into something else. I’ve been tinkering with the first chapter of my Chapel of the Chimes novel, knowing a few things that the main character could do in there. What I didn’t realize is my main character is actually going to be a detective of sorts. That was a surprise, and yet the details I’m setting up in chapter one make it so. Julia Milan is a detective for the dead. Interesting, seeing as she’s only 14. She has the rarest of gifts. She can talk to the dead and interact in the spirit world. Very few people can. Only a handful on the planet. They have life energy. There is an opposing force, a death energy which is intent on eliminating these seers. I see a larger storyline here. A rich and wonderful ghost series. My particular contribution to the world of story.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I had one of the more profitable low limit sessions online yesterday, winning around 70% of my hands that went to showdown. What a treat that was. Out of 680 hands I was dealt pocket kings 9 times. What’s even more amazing is the kings held up 6 times. I have such bad luck with kings.

I’ve been playing a lot of heads up sngs on PokerStars lately. I like heads up. It’s a lot like learning a language. I’m playing small stakes sngs, but still it’s good training. Tonight I’m playing an hour of limit and an hour of heads up. I wish I had more time to play tonight, but I have so many other things to take care of.

I met with Ziegler this morning and that went very well. Talked about my upcoming China trip, stuff with Becky, and Jeff & Laura.

I’m still thinking about the incredible 100m run of Bolt on Saturday night. That was incredible. Breaks the world record and slows down before the finish line.

I begin a new three-week diet through the cholesterol research institute. I’m glad I’m back on a healthy diet. I was eating way too much junk food these past two weeks.
Writing: Hitting Chapel hard and getting Retro off the ground. The days fly by

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Poker Thoughts

I wrote again today. I’m devising ways to make the process more enjoyable. The best I’ve come up with is kicking the critic out of the room. I read the first 40 pages of Jim’s new romcom script. It’s not working for me, though it’s very well written with some great description. The dialogue, however, feels stiff. Tonight is poker night. I’ve cashed the last three weeks running. I love it. I’m ahead in my head-to-head against Craig and close to the lead in total points for the season. I’m looking to mix things up again tonight. I have a much tighter image than I deserve. People don’t like playing pots against me. I spoke with Chris on the phone last night and we talked for two hours about family, women, etc. He’s such a great person to talk with. He reminds me that Becky is not Linda. I plan to remember that. I was thinking of giving Becky a call tonight and setting up something new. I enjoy talking with her. I read a couple of poker articles this afternoon and one of them talked about playing in the here and now, not thinking too much about the past or the future. Bad beats should be eliminated from one’s memory. Play each hand separately while using the information I have of each player to make the best decision. If I can master this one concept I will be a deadly force at the table. I’m committed to working on it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Just Another Tuesday

I finally purchased a Yamaha silent violin. I bought the SV 150 model which has a few neat features, sort of like an electric organ. The violin has 25 sound settings. They're great! Another great feature is I can play MP3s with the violin. This will make practicing so much fun!

I'm re-reading two limit poker books: Small Stakes Hold'em and Winning in Tough Hold'em Games. Both books are fantastic. If I can incorporate the ideas and strategies of these books and play thousands of hands, I should be a very strong player.

Only one month before I leave for China. I'm beginning to get very excited about this trip.

I received an odd email from Becky last night. She apologized for not having written sooner, but said things were very busy for her. She hadn't read what I had sent but said she would get to it. It made me feel I was quite low on her priority list. I should probably take her email for what it is and move on. OK, I'm moving on now.

I studied some of my poker games over the weekend and need to stay in heads-up matches even when I've been dealt all kinds of bad luck. In this one heads-up match I had AA with 2600 chips against my opponents 400 and all the chips got in with his K9. Of course, he turned a full-house. Then we got all the chips in with my KQ against his KT and he flopped two pair. I was done with the game and pushed all in every hand after that, running into his AA which of course held. Frustrating.

If I can remove emotion from games like and still play my best, as if I were a machine, I'd be an effective and dangerous poker player.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tough Weekend in Poker

Showed my first Eerie St. Theatre last night. Ronda & Biff, Richard, Neil and Rosanna were here. Watched "Planet Terror" and "Fido," two quality zombie movies. "Planet Terror" is so brilliant in so many ways. Great details and quality lines. Best line: "It's a no brainer."

This weekend was a bit tough in the poker department. The only bright spot was making winning a satellite seat to next week's VIP freeroll for Platinum members on Poker Stars. Other than that, I lost across the board with bad cards and even worse beats. Brutal.

My apartment's clean, and I'm hoping to keep it that way for a while.

I look forward to getting a lot done this week.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Collage of Stuff

My lucky ways continue at Craig's, my Wed. night poker game. I had 88 against John's TT and hit an 8 on the river to knock him out. I also knocked Craig out with my 33 against his A7. I got all the money in against Stanley heads-up with 77 against his A3 but the flop came AAJ and I was pretty much done. I've been in the money the last three weeks, and up $350 for the season. My side bets against Craig and the field also look good as I'm the point leader so far. Nice.

I'm working on "Chapel" and it's coming along. Getting the ideas on paper. Hard work.

For the next three weeks I can eat whatever I want, then I go back on a special diet for the cholesterol research study I'm participating in. I've been a bit crazy on the junk food, but I guess that's understandable, seeing as I haven't had any chocolate in over 3 weeks.

Tonight I meet up with Becky. This should be fun. I enjoy her company. It's really great that we've reconnected.

This weekend I'm putting on my first Erie St. Theatre in years. I'm showing two films, "Planet Terror" and "Fido." Can't wait! I'm also planning to play several poker tournaments this weekend. I also hope to watch a lot of PokerXFactor videos as well. I've fallen behind in my poker apprenticeship.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cleaning Laptops

I'm in a research study on the effects of cholesterol when eating a high-protein diet. The study is 12 weeks long. I'm given food and $1,400 to participate (that pays for my ticket to China in September). Today was one of three days in which I had to spend at the research facility for over 8 hours. They extracted some fat cells from my side and took about 12 tubes of blood from my arm. I wasn't able to get online and that was a real drag. Had I been able to play poker all day the time would have flown by. Instead, I organized the files in my laptop. They better have the wireless thing figured out the next time I'm there or else.

I did take a look at some old tournaments I had played. I reviewed the Party Poker tourney in which I won a WSOP Main Event seat. I sure was lucky in that one. 3,500 poker players were competing for 14 spots. My favorite luck-out hand was my KQ against AK on the J379T board. I still remember that ten hitting on the river, doubling me up to 640K. Sweet. The tourney took 505 hands to play. I've played very few tournaments in which I've played more than 500 hands. I usually last only around 150 hands or so.

My cash game results at Stars have really improved since reading "How To Beat Tough Hold'em Games." The book is simply fantastic. I'm much more aggressive stealing blinds and defending from steals. This has made a big difference in my ROI for the month. Last weekend I won a seat in this week's Supernova VIP freeroll, so that makes me happy. What a great tourney for free!
On Thursday I'm going out with Becky, a woman I haven't seen in over a year. I reconnected with her a few weeks ago. Of all the women I'd met dating, we had more in common. It's just fun hanging out with her and hearing her take on things. I'm looking forward to Thursday. Should be fun.

I talked with Kevin last night for about 2 hours. Lots going on in my group. Aside from Jeff and Laura's marriage crumbling, Kevin has acknowledged he has feelings for Will, a former student who has the same wry sense of humor. I couldn't be happier. They make a great couple. I really like Will. He's going off to Cornell in the fall, so he and Kevin will be long distancing for a while. That might not be so bad, actually.

While in the research center today, I looked over some old pictures of me and Linda. Our train trip will be 7 years ago this December. That was such a good trip. I miss Linda sometimes. She had her wonderful qualities.

I also read half of the latest screenplay Jim recently finished, his first romantic comedy. It's well written, but I haven't laughed out loud yet. That's a problem I think.

Erie St. Theatre this Sat. night. Showing will be "Planet Terror" and "Fido" two zombie flicks that sound sure to place the Erie St. regulars.

Monday, August 4, 2008

More Stuff

I'm reading "Silent Sons," a book for and about men who have come from dysfunctional families and had difficult fathers. That's me, all right. Reading the book puts into perspective why I have the problems I have. When I think about all the great memories I have with Dad, I come up pretty empty. No wonder I have spent my entire life not wanting to be like him. Unfortunately, I do have some "Dad" attributes, like getting really pissed off when I lose. I've really been trying to work on this. It's difficult. I also beat myself up relentlessly. I've actually made a great deal of progress on this horrible bit of bad behavior, thanks to Ziegler and his technique for controlling the voice in my head. I'm also reading a couple of ACA books that have been helpful. Being aware of why I am the way I am has been very positive. I feel I'm doing some excellent work on myself. I like how I'm making more sense to myself. I also like how I'm willing to take more chances.

Jeff and Laura are splitting up. Jeff called me a few days ago. I offered to help anyway I can, but when I talked to Laura I sort of opening up a big can of worms, namely Jeff's bigtime drinking. Actually, both Jeff and Laura are heavy drinkers. Of course, they think I don't know what I'm talking about, and have declined any further help from me. Oh well. I don't see them working through their problems. I think the problems went on way too long, and now Laura is at a point where she just doesn't care anymore. She's done with Jeff and has found a new "fix" to fulfill her. Jeff and Laura are so much like my parents. They'll never resolve what happened to them and will be bitter toward each other for the rest of their lives. I hope that's not true, but that's what human nature suggests.

China is only six weeks away. I'm growing more nervous about this trip. Gwen and Mom will have issues they need to sort out. I don't want to get in the middle of them. I'm sure there will be conflicts, however, perhaps revolving around food, dinner times, what to do, etc. Getting a quick sense of the area is important.

I'm holding my own in my poker playing, landing in the money in some tournaments and doing well in my cash games. I ended up about even for the month in July. I get lucky and unlucky. That's poker. Still waiting to hit a bit payday in the online tourney world. It hasn't happened yet, though I've been down to the final three tables recently.