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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Shameless navel-gazing

The beers were taller than some of the waitresses. The mugs sweated like the kitchen help. The underground bar doubled as a Mexican eatery and was the perfect place for a couple of incognito pseudo-celebs to hide out. There was a bartender we called "The Vortex." She had long blonde hair and tats in all the right places. In spite of our chastity, such as it was, once we were sucked into The Vortex, we couldn't look away. Even our gay friends admitted The Vortex was an energy-sucking force that couldn't be battled.

It was in this place that I often fell into a hops-fueled lament. It usually began with the same line.

"What are we doing with our lives?" I would ask. It wasn't rhetorical. I really wanted to know. Back in those days, my navel-gazing become the subject of many a joke. I was an introspective, extrapolating drunk fool.

In those days, I was patently not satisfied with my life. I was wrapped up in professional concerns and wrapped up in the idea that I should be accomplishing something--anything--with my life.

Funny thing about the passage of time. I haven't asked that "what are we doing" question in a long, long time. Oddly enough, as much as I disliked that old Otis, I'm actually worried that I'm not paying enough attention to my goals anymore. I'm actually quite content with most things in my life right now. I feel, in a word, complacent.

My babies, I think, have a lot to do with that. These days, I think more about the well-being of my wife, kid, and dog than I do where I'm going with my life. That said, I'm absolutely horrible at showing how much I care about them. I know my wife could use a little more adult time with me. I know my kid would benefit from a little more daddy time. I know my dog could use a few more walks.

Thing is, my sense of complacency with my own life trickles down to my belief that if I'm content, well, everybody else should be, too. I get the sense that I'm wrong about that.

There is a lot that goes into making people happy. Take tonight, for instance. Tonight, a couple of buddies would like to have a few beers and invited me along. Of course, I like my buddies and would like to have a few beers. What's more, despite my relative dislike for myself, I like to think I'm good company and they would enjoy having me there. However, if I go, I know I'd be leaving the wife, kid, and dog behind. Moreover, I spent four nights last week doing things with my buddies and generally stroking my own needs.

So, the formula that goes into meta-happiness is one of balance. Just like my wife wouldn't expect me to stay home every night (or, me, her), I should understand that I shouldn't even bother considering going out for beers or poker this week.

That's easy to say, of course, but harder to employ. As a husband, I suppose I often take my perfect little life for granted. It's hard for any husband to explain that the desire to do husband-fun stuff doesn't translate to wanting to avoid home. That is, I would like to go have beers tonight, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to be at home.

In truth, parenthood has contributed a lot to this issue. Back in the pre-L'il Otis days, Mrs. Otis was a welcome, if not preferred, member of the Otis bar and party circuit. Now, if one of us wants to go out, it usually requires one of us stay home. I'll be the first to admit, I get a majority of the fun around here.

Fortunately, the Mrs. and I are learning to discuss these things in a rational manner. Where, in the past, we had concerts, parties, and work in common, now we have a kid, a home, and a business in common. We're seeking out new things that we enjoy. For instance, we've started up an occasional SCRABBLE match that mixes up my need for competition with her inhuman grasp of the English language. Note: while I took the last two games, I'm still smarting from her hitting "azure" on a triple-word score and double letter score on the "z."

It's all just a new chaper of growing up, I guess. I'm trying to think back to my parents when they were my age. I'm trying to remember how they had fun. I remember my dad played on a softball team and we went to a lot of games as a family. I remember my parents and their friends had a goodly amount of get-togethers. There were also a lot of camping trips.

Looking back at this post, I realize I've just subjected everyone to a brain dump as opposed to a nice story or anecdote. Not sure how that happened. Not sure I should even hit publish. But, I will. Because, as I've said for the past five years on this thing, all I'm doing here is publishing my diary for the world. This is not my money blog. This is is just...well, what it is.

Oh, and what it is today is also a shameless photo album of the two little love-bombs in the house.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Pictures from the road

I am not a professional photographer. While I have had some formal education in shot composition, I know next to nothing about photography. What's more, I don't have any illusions about my ability. In short, I think I have an eye, but it would take a lot of study and experience to make me any good. Regardless, I enjoy it.

I thought, for lack of something better to write today, I'd post a few pictures I've taken on the road over the past few months. If this is at all interesting to you, let me know and I'll do it again.

Sundown at Atlantis--a January sunset at the Bahamas' Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. I was there for a poker tournament and on a walk with my wife when I noticed we weren't making it to the beach before dark. She endulged me while took a few shots. This resort is a massive place, as the archway indicates. We went to the beach, anyway, where we were accosted by a dirty man with dirty coconuts who conned me into buying two dirty drinks. We poured them out after Dr. Feelgood was out of sight.

This was at the same resort a little earlier. The sun was a little higher in the sky. The yachts in the harbor were too big to fit into a single frame. The place where they tied up was more in my price range.

Sleeper--What you can't see in this picture is that about four hundred people are playing poker around this guy. I never asked if he was sick or hungover. He seemed too happy on the floor

Probably my favorite picture of 2006 so far. I was sitting in my temporary office in the Bahamas when a colleague ran into the room screaming that I needed to get my camera. Just outside the door was this. If you aren't a poker person, the banner in the background is the 2004 World Champion, Greg Raymer

Palm security--This guy's blue uniform struck me as eye-catching. His face was stern and he seemed to take his high-dollar security job very seriously. I wanted to get a portrait of him, head-on, but he kept dodging me. Finally, as I was about to give up, he turned around. Frankly, I like this picture better than the one I wanted.

In American poker tournaments, the drinks are usually Red Bull, coffee, and beer. In Monte Carlo, it's high-dollar Evian and Pellegrino

This guy just had one of those faces that made me think 21st Century poker

Marketing is all about branding. It's all about getting your logo on TV or in print. This guy is a Nordic poker pro who was having a rough day. He just happened to be sitting in the same area as a key branding banner. I played poker against the guy a couple of nights later. His luck didn't improve.

I actually enjoy taking pictures of people having a bad day more than I enjoy taking pictures of people having a good day. The girl in this picture is one of my favorite people in the poker world. She was having a bad day here.

And here...

Funny thing about this picture that I just noticed. The blonde girl at the top of the frame was a highly-emotional Nordic girl with a great little body and ready smile. On my penultimate night in Monte Carlo, she raced into the poker room as it was about close down. She was nearly in tears. As a marketing girl for some Nordic website, she was responsible for a silver case full of company credit cards. She lost it in what I think was a bit of a drunken moment. I never heard if she found the cards.

Moon over Monaco--On these world tours, I see a lot of flags and try to find interesting ways to shoot them. This was the best I could do in Monte Carlo.

Goliath--I'm actually friends with Jen, the girl in soft focus on the right. She's a writer and one of the more interesting people I've met over the past year or so. She's recently started playing some big poker events. Her diminutive frame makes big guys look even bigger

Jeff--This kid won a million bucks. He's 19. Even better, he's a nice kid with a good family.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Experiments in sanity

"So how long have you been working from home?"

The dude had a weatherman's voice and a sales pitch that even a jaded former-journalist could buy. He was telling me how a few thousands Washingtons could move my home from nearly-condemnable to only-on-the-verge-of-collapse.

"About a year," I said, without thinking about it too much.

Shortly after the guy left me with three estimates, I turned to my wife and said, "Lock it up," which is yet another poker phrase I've worked into my real life. The dude wasn't even his truck before I found myself thinking, "About a year?"

Jesus. It's been 13 and a half months since I removed myself from the all-too-real world and dove headlong into a world so...specific...that I have a hard time thinking in general terms anymore. I see everything through a lens of expected value, drawing odds, and hourly rates. The world stage for me is usually nine-people wide and filled with discourse so inane that it might actually fit in today's cable news programming.

I don't know many real people anymore. Oddly, the people I know generally fall into two categories. There are the Poker People and the Other People. The poker people, to be sure, are part of a cast so motley that I could spend years writing about them. To wit: I played in a game Monday night in a loft-ish leather-appointed private game room. Big screen TVs, leather couches, wet bar, pool table, expensive chips, custom table. I was playing against three developers, an unknown, an erratic dentist, and a guy they called CW. The guy walked into the room with a flourish, the sure life of any party he ever attended. Probably 45, graying, a bit of a paunch, and the polo shirt and khaki pants favored by after-hours businessmen.

A hour or so into the game, CW's cell phone started to buzz on the table.

"I got it!" he shouted, as if anyone else was going to answer his phone. But when he tried to answer the phone, it continued to buzz. And buzz. And buzz. Something was broken. Ten minutes later, after one of the developers started smelling the phone, CW admitted he'd dropped the phone into his Jack-and-Coke, which explained why his Verizon smelled like bourbon. It did little to explain why the guy pissed on the wall in the bathroom twenty minutes later.

Regardless, I said nothing. I took a few hundred bucks off CW alone. He is the guy I've come to WANT to see on any given night. In the past, I would've wanted to hang out with him because I was a big drinker. Now, I want to hang out with him because he stands a good chance of making the roll in my back pocket thicker.

Still, the Other People are in my life. I, of course, have my family. All of them are usually patient with the extent to which I have emmersed myself in this new world. They hope, as I do, that this new life will lead to some grander understanding of my writing ability. They hope, if only for my sense of self-worth, I can manage some modicom of success in a game that a lot of people play, but few love and understand.

There are also Other People who are also Poker People. Several of my long-time friends have become Poker People over the past few years. What's more, I've made some real friendships with people I met in the poker world. For a guy who thought he was done making friends, I've managed to meet a number of kindred spirits in the poker world with whom I'd be just as happy going on a road trip with as playing cards.

Still, despite my frightening level of contentment, I fear I may have let a few of the Other People slip away over the past few years or so. With a focus and work schedule so firmly rooted in poker pursuits and a family that I try to keep happy, I rarely have time for other stuff any more.

Longtime readers here will remember my tales of old. Drinking binges, road trips, concerts, festivals, and back-porch jam sessions filled the etheral pages of this blog. There was a two-year period during which I spent two or three days a week playing frisbee golf. There was a time when I spent weeks planning for parties on Mt. Willis.

To be fair, while other people might, I can't wholly blame poker or my job. The people with whom I shared a lot of those experiences have changed, too. I have either moved (geographically) away from some of my closest friends or they have moved away from me. In other cases, people's personal lives have gotten in the way and either dragged them into their own world or away from mine. Plus, we're all getting old and drinking binges, spontaneous road trips, and the like just aren't nearly as kosher as they once were.

I woke up yesterday with what felt like a sprained ankle. The pain has stuck around for the past 36 hours.

"It feels like I slid into second-base too hard," I told my wife. She nodded, which my ever-softening ego took to mean, "the last time you slid into second base, your age didn't begin with a three."

"I could understand it," I said, "if I had been really drunk recently." Again, the wife nodded, and continued to bob her head as I admitted, "I haven't been really drunk in a long time." Not that my relative sobriety is a bad thing, but it was still a reminder of how much times have changed. Now, I have aches and pains (I neglected to mention the pinched nerve in my neck) that are in no way associated with physical exertion or youthful indiscrestion.

As I limped back to my computer, it was agreed: I'm just getting old.

This weekend, a good Other People buddy of mine turns 40. He's not getting old. In fact, in the seven years I've known him, he seems to have gotten younger. When we met, he was about the age I am now and he has not only survived, but thrived.

Saturday, I'm going to get in Emilio (longtime readers will remember this is what I named my vehicle on a spontaneous and drunken roadtrip to a two-day concert) and go see my buddy. I'm going to take my guitar. I'm going to meet two other buddies there. They are going to bring their guitars, as well.

Somewhere, maybe along I-85, I hope there is an intersection where my real life and poker life meet. If I find it, I plan to build a log cabin and live there for as long as I can.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Stuck in Monte Carlo

"Alright, MacGyver, what are you going to do now?"

I actually said it--out loud--to myself. To my right was a comfortable sofa coverered in thick pillows. To my right was a cushy chaise and ottoman. Behind me--oh, lord, behind me--was the Mediterranean Sea. Someone would say later, "If they tried to recreate the color of this water in Las Vegas, people would say it looks fake."

It was actually the sea that I had stepped out on the balcony to see. I'd only been on the ground in Monte Carlo for a few hours. The moment I crashed into my room at the brand new Monte Carlo Bay Resort, I'd fallen into the most comfortable bed in the world. It not only rivaled, but kicked the soft ass of the Westin's Heavenly Bed. Monte Carlo Bay had only been open for a short time, but it was clear that it was among the best properties in all of Monaco. The designers had also designed the luxury Wynn resort in Las Vegas. 'Nuff said.

So, with only a few hours to sleep before an evening appointment, I missed out on the giant flat panel TV on the wall, the high-tech bathrooms, and the other amenities in the room. I only wanted the bed. So, I'd slept for three hours, took a shower under the biggest shower head in the world, and gotten dressed. With ten minutes until my appointment (a cocktail party where I knew I would be introduced at 7:30), I decided to take a look at the Mediterranean.

The door was thick triple-pane glass and had the oddest latching system I'd ever seen. Turn the lever 45 degrees and the top of the door leans into the room like a giant window. Complete the turn to 90 degrees and the bottom of the door pops out and one can slide it open like any other balcony door.

Closing doors behind me has become sort of a habit since I became a father. Open doors lead to lost kids and I'm too tired to organize a search party or explain to the neighbors that we don't frown on nudity at Mt. Willis. And so, as I stepped out onto the balcony, I pulled the door closed behind me.

The sun was going down and the Mediterranean shimmered. Absolutely gorge--


I remember thinking, "That was a funny sound. Almost as if the door...locked."

I looked at the high cliffs, listened to the waves crashing on the shore, and thought, there's no way that door locked. Think of the liablity issues. People would get locked out on the balcony all the time. The higher-strung castaways might jump from this third story ledge.

When I turned around, I didn't really expect to find the door locked. It seemed an impossibility. And yet, well, yeah. It was locked in mid-position.

Over the next 30 minutes, I did the following things:

* Took off my jacket and tried to slide my forearm in between the door and the frame
* Nearly cut off my arm trying to extricate it from the door
* Kicked the door like a cop trying to bust into a drug house
* Wondered if the scuff marks from my shoe would show up on my VISA when I checked out
* Stood on the ottoman and tried to take the door rails apart (this came immediately after I called myself MacGyver)
* Wondered if the maid would notice my footprints on the ottoman
* Yelled "Hellllooooo!" over the balcony like Jerry Seinfeld talking in the belly button voice
* Threw an empty can of Diet Coke off the balcony in the hopes somebody would call security about the asshole who was throwing stuff off the balcony
* Wondered if I would survive if I jumped
* Realized I would die if I jumped
* Wondered if I could call my wife and explain to her how to call the hotel and get me out of the jam
* Spotted my cell phone on the bed inside the room and wondered, if I had it, why I wouldn't just call the hotel myself?
* Tried to rip a light fixture off the wall because I thought there might be a phone inside a the box (there was a phone in the bathroom!)
* Kicked the door three more times and hoped someone wouuld call security about the asshole kicking his door
* Said out loud, "Well, I'll have to spend the whole night out here if I don't think of something"

And that's when it all became crystal clear. None of the people I was there to meet knew I was in town, nor did they know when I was suppose to arrive. What's more, the wife knew I had landed safely and wasn't expecting to hear from me for another 24 hours.

That's when I freaked out a little.

And that's when I got a running start at the door, put my shoulder into it, and knocked it off its rails. Apparently, 170 pounds of stupid is enough to break even the toughest Monte Carlo entryway.

Funny thing I found when I got back inside: the door now wouldn't close. All I could think was, "Well, at least I won't get stuck out there again."


Two hours later, I went up to my room to change into a different shirt. A guy in the hallway said, "Bon soir, Monsieur." I gave him a howdy and found room 316.

The door to my room was standing wide open.

As I stepped inside, a girl looked from the door, to me, and back to the door. She said something french into a walkie talkie. I realized, the dude from the hallway was now standing in the room as well.

"We seem to have a problem with your door, sir," the girl said.

"Funny," I said, "I had a problem with it, too."

I tipped the guy who took my bags to a new room ten euros and vowed to never look at the Mediterranean again.

Which is a vow I broke as many times as I could, but with the door always open.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A night at Jimmyz

Jimmyz. It sounds like the bad-idea-name for a bar on Rutherford Road. The bar that sits between the half million dollar townhomes and the $15,000 crack houses. The bar that used to be called 13 other things and was most famous for one of those Uzi drive-bys.

But it's not. There's no rock cocaine here. The drug in this Jimmyz is most definitely X. No doubt there's coke, too, but no one is smoking it. And there is booze. Four Roses. Dom. A bunch of high end liquors that I've never heard of. "Top shelf" doesn't begin to describe the drinks.

The Lambros and Ferraris are pulling up out front while we walk in through a back door, down a stairway so dark, I know I'm going to fall and hurt myself, or worse yet, one of the fragile women in front of me. The guy beside me, the guy with more money than I have self-deprecating stories, asks, "Is this the VIP entrance? It looks like Goodfellas."

He's right. I wouldn't be surprised to see Ray Liotta walking through the kitchen. But Ray doesn't come and DeNiro and Pesci aren't around either. The people here aren't from any particular country. The only place they are from...is money.

To wit: She's brunette and is wearing designer jeans that hug her hips like latex denim. Her midriff is showing and so is the crack of her ass. Her eyes are somewhere else. Even though she's looking in my direction, it's clear her head is riding on the back beat, on the uncensored "Gold Digger" track playing on speakers so loud. I'm on a catwalk above her, but her flailing hands brush my arm. She looks at me in a way that says, "I want you," but I know means, "I want money." I have no more than 700 euros in my pocket. Not even $800.

The girl, maybe 25 years old, is actually with a man who is no more than 5'1". He is likely just as wide around. He's probably 65 and he's grooving. His hips are moving in time with the bass and I know he's popped three Viagra tabs tonight in anticipation of the time his driver takes him and the nubile glassy-eyed girl back to the yacht. In terms of money, I can't begin to imagine how much the old dude has. Phizer would be both jealous and grateful.

On the bench beside them, another glassy-eyed girl is almost laying on a guy who was likely reproduced from a Vanity Fair ad. His hair is fashionably long and toussled. His sports jacket, more an affectation than anything, hangs open. He's looking at me. And so is she as she slowly unbuttons the guy's shirt and rubs his chest. I watch for a minute or so before getting uncomfortable.

The key to staying sane in this club, the kind of place that's so dark that even the ugly people look okay, is drinking. The strobe lights, neon lights, music lights...it's too much. Too much for anything. The line at the bar is four people deep and I've heard horror stories about the prices. I've heard we're getting comped, but despite a sectioned off area for us, there is no booze and I'm not staying unless I get a drink. Finally, a friend says, "If you go to the bar, I will go with you."

And, so my need for sanity carries me to the bar where Isabelle says she will buy, despite my protestations. She orders two glasses of champagne for her and her mother and a beer for me. She's holding a 50 euro bill and when the tab comes she turns to me and says, "I don't have enough money." It's only funny because, as Homer says, it's true.

True. For the three drinks, our tab is more than $70. Staying sane in this place is not going to happen. Five minutes later, I've learned the leader of our group has offered to buy a round of beer, which he does. It costs more than I have in my pocket.

I could transplant the bar, the lights, the music, all of it to Las Vegas, to Spingfield, to Columbia, to Greenville. It's just a club, with cigarette burns on the floor, drunk girls on the slick dance area, and guys looking to get laid.

But I'm not in Vegas or any other American town. I'm in Monte Carlo, where I don't order Diet Coke, but instead, Coca Light. I don't order a ham and cheese, but jambon et fromage. It's a city that's like a car wreck. You don't want to stare, because most of what you see is sick. Sick, because it's so insanely extravagant that no person in his right mind would pay $800 for a round of beers, and yet people are doing it. Instead of Ford, Mercuy, Honda and the like, the Miracle Mile is Bently, Rolls, and Ferrari. Sick, because the boats in the harbor are bigger than two suburban homes. Sick, because nothing but money talks in the little town.

I'm back at the bar, because no one is leaving and I'm slowly going insane. One beer hasn't made me like dance music any more than I normally do. I've told msyelf that 22 euros (I could buy two cases of beer in the States for that much) is cheap enough to ensure I go home with my noodle still intact. I realize as I pull a 50 euro bill from my pocket that I'm just as sick as the rest of them now. And yet, there I am, buying a green-bottled beer. One of the rich guys at the bar has pulled up a glass bar top and is stealing a handful of fake diamonds from the lighted underbelly. He laughs as he does it and I give him a friendly, "Um, yeah, stick it to the man," smile.

While I'm waiting for my beer, a lady orders a glass of Dom Perignon. The bartender pulls the familiar bottle from the ice and begins to pour. As the lady turns her back, the guy pulls out another bottle, surely cheaper, and tops off the glass.

Serves these people right, I think as I suck on my $25 beer. You come to a place like this, you derserve to get screwed. And yet, there I am. I ain't sayin' she's a gold digger, indeed.

It's late when I finally escape up the same dark staircase. I'm by myself and in search of somewhere else. Anywhere else. That somewhere else ends up being watching two girls play Go Fish for five euros a piece. Later, it's a hotel bar where I'm handed a guitar and introduce the Europeans to the Bottle Rockets and Delbert McClinton. We sing Don McClean and the harmony is the benediction. Bye, bye Miss American Pie.

We're going back to the States, where the beer is cheaper and we'd never walk into a place called Jimmyz.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

File this under...

the supidest thing I have considered in the past 48 hours. Only 24 hours ago, the stupidest thing I had considered was how to free myself from an 8x8 outdoor prison. I tried to be all McGyver and jimmy my way to freedom. In the end, I used brute force and did several hundred euros worth of damage to a hotel balcony door. That's a story for another day.

No, here in Monte Carlo, the question of the night is...have I just had an encounter with a guy made pseudo famous by American Idol?

Without going into it too much, the guy in the picture below denies being the guy on American Idol auditions and Hollywood shows who said, "Everybody is my friend" and winked at the camera. You know, the charming guy who eventually got cut and cried as he walked out of Hollywood. I would be willing to wager decent money that this is, in fact, the guy.

Now, don't get me wrong. This isn't a brush with celebrity or anything. Still, over the past 24 hours, his identity has become sort of an obsession for me. The picture isn't that great, but it will have to do.

So, you tell me: Is this THAT guy? Also, if you can find any pictures online of said dude, send me a link.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Becoming an Evil-Doer: Step 2

See Becoming an Evil-Doer: Step 1 for some context.

So, there's this guy. I'll call him Prick-Cocksucker (PC for short). An old college buddy of mine used that name quite a bit. I never knew its etymology, but it sort of stuck in my head over these fine years and, quite frankly, it comes to mind every time I see the dude who lives on the corner of Black Knob (and, yeah, that's a real street name).

Mr. PC is the type of guy who wears a turtleneck shirt under a sweatshirt. The sweatshirt is the type of shirt that lets us know where the dude went to college. I never can get a close look at it, but I'm sure it is some Ivy League school or, at the very least, the most prestigous school in whatver state he went to college.

So, PC's lawn is the type of lawn that looks like a barber comes out every morning annd evens up the blades of grass so they are just so. The edging looks like a protractor was invovled. The picket fence is straight, the flowers are in bloom year-round, and the trees always have a perfect symetry to them. From the outside, it looks as if PC has the perfect lawn, and perhaps by extension, the perfect life.

For the past two years I've been vowing to buy some diesel fuel and spray it on the guy's grass. It may have had something to do with the fact that my grass always browns prematurely, my trees are untrimmmed, and the edging...well, it rarely exists. Nonetheless, I have had it in for PC. The only thing that has held me back from my grass-killing mission is the reality that perfect lawns don't always translate to perfect lives. I mean, Nicole Simpson had a pretty nice lawn, right?

So, I let it go. Until yesterday.

Usually, PC is out in his driveway in his turtleneck, sweeping the concrete with a broom or sanding down the rough edges of the asphalt. I frequently refrain from flipping him the bird, if only out of common decency. You know, for the kids. Yesterday, though, PC was nowhere to be seen.

His wife was in the driveway.

I will admit, there was a part of me that believed--or at least hoped--that the dude had a fat, ugly wife. I was sure the guy never had sex, and if he did, it was a grudging, plodding, mechanical, missionary experience that left him wanting for something resembling a human experience. I was sure he was more of a masturbate in the shower kind of guy. The kind of guy, you know, who spends a half hour a day hiding all the fattening food in the house in the futile hope that his wife will lose three pounds and look like a less weighty version of the manatee he married.

So, PC's wife was in the driveway and fuck me if she wasn't hot.

My wife, who is fully aware of my disdain for the guy, was in the car with me when we drove past. When my cursing fit stopped, she looked at me with a smile I've come to know. It's a smug little grin that says, "Yeah, the dude has the perfect little life? Kind of sticks in your junk, doesn't it?"

I fell back into an apopleptic rage, vowing to buy the diesel fuel that night and get to work. And then my wife said, "His daughter plays violin on their deck, too."

That did it. The dielsel fuel be damned. I had come up with Step 2 of Becoming an Evil Doer.

I don't know what I did to deserve it, but I get a lot of Erectile Dysfunction spam. Every day, it's Viagra or something else to keep my boy smart. Of all the self-improvement medications I need, ED meds ain't one of them. So, I always delete the spam. Now, I'm not going to. No, I have another plan.

Now, I'm going to buy as much of it as I can. I am going to empty all the boxes (maybe sell the meds on the geriatric Black Market--or is it a Gray Market) and then leave the empty pill containers in the guy's trash every Thursday night. First, I'll just leave one box in the trash can so the trash men can see it. You know, get a buzz going.

Then, once the trash guys have started talking, I'm going to leave two empty boxes on top of the guy's recycling container. Now, the neighborhood wives will start chattering. "Did you hear PC takes Viagra? With a wife as pretty as his, he must have a real medical problem if he can't get it up." Buzz, buzz.

Once that gets going, I'm going to implement the final stage of the plan. I'm going to wait until the trash guys have come. Then, I'm going to drop an empty box beside the empty trash can so Mrs. Sexy Britches will see it when she comes home from Perfect Life Mother's Day Out at Violin Recital Day.

Ah, yes. What will go through her mind? Will it be that her husband doesn't find her sexy enough to stimulate his marching band? Will it be that PC is having so much sex with a mistress that he needs a little extra help when he gets back to his house on Perfect Lane? Will it be, oh please let it be, that she sees some online literature that suggests there is a fad among the alternative lifestyle set that includes recreational use of ED medications?

Oh, yes. Step 2 on the road to becoming an Evil Doer is in place. Now, I just have to wait for the order to come in.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Meme Otis

Pauly is on the road in LaLa Land. He's been kicking out the jams and providing what is surely amphetamine-driven prose for the past few weeks.

Today, I got the L.A. photo of the day in my inbox.

I like it that the Doctor is thinking of me when he's out there. Makes me feel like the Otis meme is bi-coastal.

In all honesty, I get a kick out of Otis-related pictures. So, if you ever see any others, please send them along. I'd like a collection. You can e-mail me by clicking "Send me a reality check" at the bottom of any post.

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Rapid Eye Reality is the personal blog of writer Brad Willis, aka Otis.
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