Archive for September, 2005

If my poker game ever takes a permanent nosedive, I suppose I can do this for some extra cash.


I wonder if these guys know that if anyone (including hostesses and waitresses) takes money from the house outside of the winnings of the tournament, it’s considered a rake and therefore illegal.

Hey, that’s cute!

My feelings about the movie, Serenity, are on par with how I felt about Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace and The Matrix Reloaded: I’m glad I didn’t wait in line, and I’m glad I didn’t pay.*

Sure, the movie had its high points: pretty cool special effects, buff leading male actors, and a few funny one-liners. But those were overshadowed by some extremely TERRIBLE acting, a few poorly executed “futuristic” concepts, and a broken storyline where the characters’ motivations changed for no reason to make way for more misplaced dramatic fodder.

Spoiler details follow, so stop reading if you still want to see the movie.

There’s this part toward the end where the lead, Malcolm, and his arch-nemisis, the leader of the Alliance, are engaged in hand-to-hand combat in the central nervous system of the world’s communication trasmitter. Malcolm is trying to make public some information the Alliance wants to keep secret. So they’re fighting to the death. After getting the living shit beaten out of him, Malcolm manages to break this guy’s back and lock him against the guard rail. Malcolm gets the info out to the world and goes back down to help his crew fend off their other enemies, some nasty little blood-thirsty creatures called Reevers.

Anyway, River, the psychic brainchild the Alliance is trying to capture, runs out to put some killer knife-dancing moves on the rest of the Reevers. When she finally gets rid of them, the Alliance soldiers are right behind them ready to kill the whole gang. But since they’re soldiers, they need orders to kill, so they ask the leader, via headset, who is pinned to a railing with a broken back, whose life’s work has been destroyed by Malcolm, and he says something like, “Hold your fire. It’s over.”

What the fuck!? Any normal person would have wanted to kill them. Or he would have at least said nothing. Or committed suicide from the excruciating pain of getting into a long fist fight and having his back broken in 20 different places.

But no, in the next scene he’s fine. And he and Malcolm stand before each other, speaking their parting words in an excruciatingly awful exchange.

“If I see you again, I’ll kill you.”

No! No, you won’t!! You’ve been seeing him throughout the whole damn movie! If you were serious at all, one of you would have killed the other one when you had the chance.

I understand that there are certain realities you must accept when you watch a movie, particularly a sci-fi. There are no such things as Reevers. If a ship had as many electrical fires as Serenity, the jalopy for which the movie is named, the entire crew would have died before the movie started. You can even touch upon the more abstract (but vaguely explained) concepts like planetary colonization followed by sweeping genocide and we the audience will generally accept them as a part of that reality.

But human nature is the control group. That’s what the viewer can relate to and appreciate: people being real when facing unreal situations.

This movie failed in that area, causing a decent story idea to unravel into a messy string of events peppered with uninteresting B plots and pointless twists. The lackluster acting by at least half of the major roles didn’t help either.

Although it wasn’t as horrible as it could have been (has anyone seen Bats? there’s a reason to claw your own eyes out with your bare hands), it could have been a whole lot better. So once again, I’m glad I didn’t wait in line, and I’m glad I didn’t pay.

*That’s right, Kat doesn’t like to pay for movies. For Star Wars, a friend who worked at the local theater helped me jump the line and the ticket booth. And I saw The Matrix as part of a company outing to the Alamo Drafthouse. The only thing that made that movie tolerable was downing an entire bottle of wine thanks to half of Gus’s group passing me their drink tickets.

All this negative poker action had led me to believe I need to spend a night out of the house, so I’m going to see a screening of the movie, Serenity. I love free stuff and sci-fi, so this is perfect. And so that I may enjoy those two things tonight, I have to include this passage in my post:

Joss Whedon, the Oscar – and Emmy – nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, ANGEL and FIREFLY, now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity. The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family – squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal.

Obviously a glutton for punishment, I signed up for the same freeroll again. Just as I was winning a decent pot, the screen froze. I wasn’t terribly concerned since I didn’t have any money invested, but I consulted seasoned (yet approachable) poker player April to see how much this happens. We made fun of people for awhile and I gave up on the idea of getting anything back.

Later on, I received this e-mail:

Dear platkat,

Due to unforeseen circumstances we were forced to cancel tournament “$250 Players Club Freeroll”.

At the time of cancellation, players were awarded prize money corresponding to the rank to be awarded to the next eliminated player. Following this 50% of the remaining prize pool has been divided equally and 50% has been divided based on the chip count of each remaining player.

$0.14 have been added into your account as per the following statement.

The distribution seems fair (the freeze happened early in the tournament), but it’s 14 cents. Why bother? They should have just given a dollar to the leading 250 chip stacks and called it a day.

As for the $25 I won the other night, I should have just gone to 7-Eleven and bought candy like my sensible 11-year-old self would have done. Instead, I played 6-handed $1/2 limit while I waited for the tournament to start. I won some, then lost more.

I wish someone would jump out of the ceiling and shoot me in the fuckin’ head. Just kidding!!

Since I’ve been on tilt for the last 6400 years, I decided to play a freeroll tournament last night. The thing about freerolls, at least on Party Poker, is that they attract a shit-ton of people and the payout is tiny. But that’s my punishment for being on tilt.

I still wanted to get some good practice, and since I wasn’t completely “together” yesterday, it had to be some good cheap practice. I figured I’d bust out in the top 25% like I do in most large tournaments when I don’t place in the money.

But in this particular tournament, to make a long story short:

2200 players + 5 hours = 2nd place = $25

I can attribute part of the win to some people playing like jackasses because it was a freeroll, but those players are usually eliminated within the first hour unless they’re extremely lucky. Everyone I ran into in the second half of the tournament was surely making a decent effort. I can attribute another part of the win to actually paying attention to my opponents’ betting habits and judging my own hands better.

But who the hell cares? I only won $25. It almost makes me wish I had busted out early.

I said “almost.” I’m still going to use my “winnings” to enter a $20 multitable… which will probably rip me a new asshole when I bust out prematurely.

I hate poker, but I love Robot Chicken! Lack of proper influence has kept Adult Swim on the sidelines for me lately. I shall not want for quality tv if this continues to be true.

So, while I love my sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll (and junk food), my absolute favorite deadly sin is wrath. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve taken great pleasure in undercutting the punks who crossed me. I had a hit list and everything.

I don’t know how long it took me to figure it out, but as I matured, I found that the real asshats who seemed bent on hurting me had destructive personalities in general. These types of people are so blinded by their lack of compassion for everyone else that they end up causing their own misfortune. I don’t need to spend any of my precious time plotting revenge on these losers–I can just wait and they’ll do it for me!

Introducing my ex-boyfriend, Hurricane Katrina, and crystal meth.

My ex and I were together for eight excruciating months before I fled to the coolness and sanctity of Austin, Texas. In the last two or three of those months, I had pretty much given up and decided it would be easier to play out the rest of this trainwreck than deal with the drama of dumping him.

And there would be drama. This guy always had to freak out about something, even when everything was going fine. I couldn’t stand it. Everything was an argument, even really unimportant stuff like when to eat dinner or the meaning of a movie. I’m not the type to shy from an interesting two-sided discussion about something, but this was a lot of screaming and yelling. No actual points were argued. He also used the most long-winded speech I’ve ever heard and had this obnoxious Peruvian accent that I thought I’d get used to but never did.

He always tried to convince me that I was the problem. If I just obeyed him, everything would have been fine. Someone close to him confided that he doesn’t want a girl like that though, he wants someone “firey.” I don’t think I’m that outspoken, but I will speak up when someone:

-Tells me what to wear. Whether we were headed to The Great Wall Chinese Buffet (one of the tastiest places in Baton Rouge, but not the height of fine dining) or hanging out at home with his friends, I had to look stunning. Demanding AND superficial! Two great tastes that taste great togeth–wait, no.

-Points out and tells me to get rid of a zit on my face. This is especially comical because we were on a train to Machu Picchu. I had been staying in his humid, smoggy shithole of a country for several weeks and my skin was taking a beating. But apparently, looks are really important when you’re in the mountains visiting an ancient city. Also, acne is something that everyone can control and people only have it through some fault of their own, right?

-Forces me to have sex when I don’t feel like it. Enough said.

-Does mean things to his maids for no reason. I’m not a big fan of maids, but his parents had them. My tall ex had no problem with blocking these stumpy little mountain women in doorways and tight spaces, just because he could. He threw a brick at one when he was younger, which sent her to the hospital. Studly!

-Brings his parents into our disagreements. What a moron! Want to make a bad thing worse? Involve parents! His were of old money and didn’t work the entire time I knew him, so they had lots of free time to meddle in our affairs.

So that’s my ex, a jerk who constantly pointed out my faults (some of which were nonexistent) without paying any attention to his own. I blame myself for staying with him for so long; I was a self-destructive idiot at 19. I think many people were. So, I deserve most of the burden for my bad judgment, but he deserves his comeuppance for being a jerk.

Surely, you’ve read about the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in the news, so you know how bad it was. When it hit, I pinged my friends in Louisiana to make sure everyone was accounted for. I had forgotten that my ex even lived there until he pinged me once he had electricity again. He’s at SLU in Hammond working on his MBA. Although he’s pushing 30, he’s been in college on Dad’s dime since he graduated high school and has yet to enter the work force.

Obviously, if Mom and Dad will pay for 11+ years of college, our little darling hasn’t spent much time without modern conveniences. Pobrecito. What hardship!

Even better than the devastating effects of the hurricane, he also told me about his current girlfriend. They were planning to move in together, until he found her doing crystal meth (scariest drug EVAR!) with some of her friends. Apparently, she’d been doing it a lot and he’d had enough. He made some over-the-top exit and sped away in his car. So, she, fucked up on meth, got in her car and started chasing him. How she was going to “catch” him is still to be determined. This isn’t Mario Kart. The weather was rainy and disgusting (typical of Louisiana), and they ended up getting in some kind of accident.

You want drama? There’s your drama, buddy! Have fun!

At last, laziness kept him in the path of a hurricane, craziness gave him a meth-head girlfriend, and schadenfreude is mine to enjoy. In addition, Hurricane Rita might hit Houston, current home of his meddling parents and another location I wouldn’t mind seeing wiped off the map. Thank you, God, fate, Mother Earth, and whoever else controls shit! I owe you one!

Ladies and gentlemen, we gather today to mourn the death of one of the most highly regarded conveniences of the modern day, specifically, Kat’s hair dryer.

Although Kat’s hair dryer survived a series of moves, countless vacations, and at least several careless mishandlings over its six-year lifespan, it was still a shock to us all when it bit the dust this fateful morning. As with any finite part of your life, you know the end will come and that you must accept it, but there’s still nothing that can prepare you for the pain and sorrow that follows the loss of a loved one.

Purchased in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1999, this hair dryer proved to be far superior to any consumer hair care product on the market. With 1875 Watts of drying power, this marvelous tool could suck the moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. In its glory days, it also may have been a great asset to the massive Hurricane Katrina clean-up effort in New Orleans. Ah, but speculation is useless; I must simply remember the good times.

No matter how wet, curly, and frizzy my hair was, this hair dryer could turn it around in as little as 15 minutes. Throughout college, when I got home late and had less than an hour to prepare for a date, this hair dryer made stunning good looks possible. Then, when I needed to straighten my disgusting, matted, nappy curls to look half-way put-together and trustworthy for an important job interview, this hair dryer never let me down. And ever since I added a couple hours at the gym every morning to my daily contribution to the workforce, this hair dryer made sure that I didn’t catch a head cold from the ridiculously arctic temperatures of large tech company buildings.

Yes, we sure had some good times. Even when the durability of its retractable cord expired shortly after my move to Austin in early 2001, I knew it could still pull its weight.

Oddly enough, whatever caused the cord to cease its retractability is likely to be the cause of this faithful appliance’s untimely end. Whatever had lodged itself into the hair dryer’s mysterious interworkings had come loose four years later. Thus, when I powered the device for its final use, it produced a sound like rocks in a fan or a car with a dead battery. Before I had a chance to react, it began to emit smoke and then quickly exploded in a firey blast that nearly shorted the electricity of the entire neighborhood.

Beyond not having the sleek, straight hair I expected, this strange turn of events should have left me with a hairstyle more akin to that of Albert Eistein. Thankfully, I was spared and left only to battle an impending head cold that will surely result from the refrigerator where I carry out my professional duties.

Well, dear hair dryer, at least you went out with a bang. Your memory of speedy, reliable service will live in our hearts forever.

ARRRRRR! It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day! I was planning to rob and pillage all the land lubbers, and round up ye wenches to come aboard me ship, but I kind of have the sniffles right now. I’ll just have to sail the Seven Seas another day! In the meantime, how’d you like to scrape the barnacles off of me rudder? (It makes no sense when I say it, but it’s the best pickup line ever… even if it’s not Talk Like a Pirate Day.)

This post has nothing to do with Rice Krispies, other than to note that I rediscovered just how loud that cereal can be. Like sizzling bacon, it sounded!

I made it my mission to get rid of my annoying runny nose. Well, I wanted to keep the nose, but curtail all the crap oozing out of it. So I stayed home Friday night, drank some tea, and got plenty of rest. When that didn’t work, I tried going out and drinking for 10 hours. That sort of worked, maybe…

The outing was not made in vain, however. I met fellow blogger Brian and we went to Zeitgeist and a few other Mission dives. He’s going to Austin soon, so I made him a list of places he should go. It’s not comprehensive, but more than enough for someone who will only be in town three days. Making that list reminded me of all the cool stuff to do in Austin and the cool people I used to do it with. I miss you fuckers!

Around 10, Brian said, “I need to be back in Oakland. Where should I dump your ass?” And I cheerfully replied, “Rx Gallery on Eddy Street!” So Brian gunned it through downtown and slowed down to about 10 mph at which point I sprang from the vehicle in a neat tuck-n-roll.

I observed my surroundings and found a lot of North Beachesque choads waiting in line for entrance into mega-clubs. They were at the height of fashion and pit of demeanor. I really hoped Damon and Fiona weren’t expecting me to join them in one of these lines.

We met up quickly and entered the small club. Everyone there was normal, and the music was the Best Techno I’ve Ever Heard in a Club EVAR! Five hundred dancefloor-cramming club-goers agree, Justin Martin and Isolee played some awesome tracks.

The night ended with Nizzario’s Pizza, one of the great San Francisco treats unparalleled by Austin. I can already hear Gus yelling, “Hoeks!” No, better than Hoeks. Really.

Now I’m all excited about the Love Parade next weekend. Seems like everyone and their secret lover has been to the one in Germany, but this is as close as I can get for awhile.