Monday, May 10, 2004

Rules to Live By: My Life Is Cream Cheese

There are three rules that I live by...

1. Never get less than twelve hours sleep.
2. Never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city... and...
3. Never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body.

Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese.

- Coach Finstock, Teen Wolf
Now for some reason I thought the last rule was slightly different. When I looked up Coach Finstock's rules up on the net, the above quote was what I found. But for years I had been quoting the Coach from Teen Wolf and using this as Rule #3: Never go to bed with someone who has more problems than you.

For those of you that know me... y'all understand that I am riddled with a slew full of problems (alas, from conflict the artist finds his voice and strength). You would think it'll be easy for me to bed women who had less emotional problems than yours truly. But it just doesn't happen like that. It seems that the only ones who will sleep with me are women so royally fucked in the head, that even after a few weeks (and usually after hiring an attorney) I'm saying, "Man, you're got some issues. Maybe you need some help."

Yes, it's a known fact: Pauly likes bad girls. I once dated a girl with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. It was Seattle in the late 1990s. I was living on the fringe of society and hanging out with a slew of runaway street kids/part time junkies who thought Seattle was the coolest place on earth. Poor idiots. She had painted her fingernails purple. Her hair was green. She chain smoked Pall Malls, drank malt liquor out of paper bags, and hated puppies. I was smitten. And yeah, she had a tattoo of a snake wrapped around said dagger, which was about to pierce a small red heart. Ironic, huh? Too bad she never got to see it since it was tattooed on her ass. Oh and just in case you were wondering, she's now married to a dentist, living in the posh Seattle burbs, has three adorable children, a regularly shops at fashion boutiques like Betsy Johnson. Times they are a changin'.

Alas, Rule #3 kills me every time. I'm an insomniac, so I am unable to apply Rule #1 to my life. And so far... I've only been able to hold up to Rule #2. I have easily avoided games with guys named Oklahoma Johnny or Amarillo Slim or Newark Vinny or Boston Pete. (And I've yet to sit at a poker table with anyone named Paris.)

If you are visiting my blog to get relationship advice, then you're in trouble. So I'll stick to poker... and use three rules from Coach Finstock to help you improve your game.

1. Never get less than twelve hours of sleep.

Coach Finstock's words should not be taken literally. But rest is key. A well rested poker player is a dangerous one. There are times when we all hit the wall. I've done it a few times since I started playing seriously in the last year. Iggy has taken breaks. So has HDouble and Felicia. Breaks work. Rest keeps you sane. Make sure you have another life outside of poker. Otherwise, when you're running on a cold streak... you have no place to find solace and comfort. Luckily, I have a very diverse life and I have many different interests which keep me busy. I enjoy traveling and driving long distances. That helps me sort things out in my life. I think you should never dedicate more than 50% of your waking life to poker. If you do, then you have a problem with gambling and you probably need help. Oh and never, ever play poker when you are tired. Your decision making ability rapidly declines with lack of sleep, so go to bed instead playing one more orbit.

2. Never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city.

Coach Finstock wants you to understand who you are... first, before you sit at a table with the big boys. In order to be a world class poker player, you have to know and understand what type of person you are. That takes some serious inner soul searching. Do some yoga. Go hike in the woods. Drop some acid. Go to church. Read a book. Do what you need to do to become in touch with your spiritual self before you decide you want to play poker with the big dogs (aka Doyle, Cloutier, and Lederer). If you are bullshitting yourself, then don't sit down at the table. Stick to selling penny stocks to dentists and widows. You can't bullshit good poker players. They'll see right through you and take your entire bankroll. If you have your head on straight, and taking a note out of Shakespeare's words... "Know thyself," then and only then will you be a dangerous player.

3. Never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body.

Bad girls are great in bed, but they'll bleed you dry... financially, spiritually, and physically. Coach Finstock would encourage you to muck Q9s in LP or A3o in MP or even KQo in EP. He wants you to muck your middle pair when there are overcards on the flop. Those hands that look great from a far will kill you in the long run. Sure, stacking up a pile of chips with a shitty hand is just like really insane, loud, the neighbors-are-gonna-call-the-cops because they think I'm killing some biker chick... sex. It's like getting shot out of a cannon. However, if you play with bad girls too many times... you will get burned, find your dog shot, your clothes, laptop, and CDs will be quickly sold for drug money, and you'll discover an embarrassing, colorful, and irritating rash that will never go away despite popping all the pills the doctor at the free clinic gave you.

OK, that's enough poker humor for the day.

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