International Wear a Turtleneck Day

by admin on September 26, 2010

I made quick post on Facebook tonight mentioning that I was enjoying this week’s transmission of of Hearts of Space in honor of Cosmos’ 30th anniversary. A friend joked around that (I’m paraphrasing here) it was also the 30th anniversary of sketch comedy’s initial investment in turtleneck shirts.

I laughed. And then I had an idea.

Carl Sagan's Turtleneck
International Wear a Turtleneck Day

It made me want to declare the date of Carl Sagan’s birth, November 9th, International Wear a Turtleneck Day. It’s well into autumn for us northern hemisphere folk and seasonally appropriate for turtlenecks (even if not fashionably appropriate anymore). Then I thought of an earlier conversation I had today about making donations to charitable organizations and figured it could be a perfect occasion to to set up URL with information and links to already established and (transparent) well-researched websites that take donations for myelodysplasia.

If I move forward, you’ll be the first to know.


Separated at birth?

by admin on May 2, 2010

I’ve been watching a lot of Science channel lately and I can’t help but notice an eerie resemblance between my favorite theoretical physicist and . . . well, you know. Please to enjoy this graphic I just made from internet photos.

Michio Kaku looks just like Jimmy Page!

BBT5 (5? Yes, 5!)

by admin on April 17, 2010

In March of 2006 I played in a blogger tournament where the prize was a seat to the $1,500 NLHE event at that year’s World Series of Poker. I was fluish, jacked up Nyquil, and only logged in to play as a donation to the community (and until the medication kicked in). After a few orbits, however, the cards were live, I was hitting the sickest hands (and an epic suckout against StB), and son of a bitch if I didn’t win the damned thing.

I’m not certain this tournament could be considered the early origins of the Battle of the Blogger Tournament series (BBT), but it was the first of many WPBT tournaments that saw poker bloggers sending other poker bloggers to the Rio during the hottest months of the year.

The tradition has evolved into an insane number of free dollars and crazy opportunities. Thanks to AlCantHang and his cohorts at FullTilt, #5 is the best BBT yet. Three Main Event seats, accommodations at the Rio, three 2K event seats, as well as over 12K in free rolls and prize padding.

(Exclamation of astonishment!)

There will be invitationals over the next six Sundays and I’ve been lucky enough to win a golden ticket (FullTilt, FTW!). My mom is in town for her birthday weekend (78, FTW!) and it won’t be easy to squeeze in a tournament tomorrow, but I’m thinking a heavy meal and strategically timed Sandra Bullock film ought to do the trick.

Since I won the seat in 2006, the talent and skill of poker playing among the bloggers has increased by orders of magnitude. I am quite aware I am not of their caliber. May my overplayed crappy pairs hold up and my weak-tight play be rewarded once again! (It could happen.)

And now, here is a picture of Theo. You might remember him from such hits as Genetically Inferior Pup and CSI Gainesville: Paw of Destruction.

Happy Thee


BBT5! Thanks, Al!


What was once before you . . .

by admin on December 27, 2009

What was once before you - an exciting, mysterious future - is now behind you. Lived; understood; disappointing. You realize you are not special. You have struggled into existence, and are now slipping silently out of it. This is everyone’s experience. Every single one. The specifics hardly matter. Everyone’s everyone . . . All her meager sadnesses are yours; all her loneliness; the gray, straw-like hair; her red raw hands. It’s yours. It is time for you to understand this.

As the people who adore you stop adoring you; as they die; as they move on; as you shed them; as you shed your beauty; your youth; as the world forgets you; as you recognize your transience; as you begin to lose your characteristics one by one; as you learn there is no-one watching you, and there never was, you think only about driving - not coming from any place; not arriving any place. Just driving, counting off time. Now you are here, at 7:43. Now you are here, at 7:44. Now you are…


–Charlie Kaufman
Synecdoche, New York

Key West via my iPhone

by admin on September 29, 2009

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Hey clouds, quit being so majestic. I’m trying to be annoyed by Miami traffic over here.

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

We finally reach the Keys when a nearby star nearly destroys my left retina.

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Here is a picture of the sun setting over Big Pine Key. Note the modern dancers posing as fisherman along the bridge.

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Some say the 19th century guest house we stayed in is haunted by the ghost of Cuban cigar heiress Enriquetta Marrero. I submit that the eerie moaning that awoke me at 5am was nothing more than a poorly hydrated Philadephian.

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Cowboy Bill’s welcomes back Al Can’t Hang!

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Settling in after a long drive.

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Jason says the band is from Nashville. I believe him because their sunglasses are non-ironic.

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Jason and Rachel: OMG 2 CUTE

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Cock fighting is illegal in the Continental US, but fluffy puppy fighting prevails on Duval St.

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Poker on the front porch: Rachel is not buying what Pablo is selling.

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Poker on the front porch: Jason assures Rachel she made a good laydown. Pablo probably had quads.

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Okay! Birds!

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Sunday brunch. Do not ask Rachel about the ladies room.



Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Southernmost point of the United States. Right behind my khaki-clad ass.

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Hammock store!

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Coq au vin!

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

I would like to live here, please and thank you.

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Sunset fun, take one.

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Change iPhone photographers. Sunset fun, take two.

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

Al snaps a picture as the sun sets on the eve of his birthday.

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

That one cloud is really screwing up this shot. God.

Key West, Happy Birthday AlCantHang!, Poker!

People we don’t know on a boat, probably having more fun than you.

u n t i t l e d

by admin on September 19, 2009

i wish

Clay Pets

by admin on September 13, 2009

With my hands, I made clay pets. Malleable and obedient, they did what I wanted. But then I baked them to a hard and fragile state. Ears, tails and beaks now break off at any moment if not handled with care.

New Beginnings



by admin on August 30, 2009

Saturday night at midnight on Paynes Prairie. The moon sets while Discovery launches 150 miles away. The night was so beautiful, I could not breathe. (Okay, fine. Shut up. You’re right. The not breathing part was due to anxiety.)

STS-128 Discovery from Paynes Prairie

Plan 9 from Outer Space

by admin on August 2, 2009

Organizing and cataloging meteorites on a Saturday night.

meteorite collection


Ten years ago . . .

by admin on June 14, 2009

One Year ago this weekend . . .
We lost Tim Russert, pundit reactions would irritate my dad.

Two years ago this weekend . . .
I was mad at Ira Glass about the show “Duty Calls”, I witness a woman toss a baby, and I patiently await photos from the Boys of Summer.

Three years ago this weekend . . .
One of my most embarrassing moments and some photos from the Keys.

Four years ago this weekend . . .
Dreamed about Lindsey Lohan and posted photos of poker bloggers at the Plaza.

Five years ago this weekend . . .
I became obsessed with Poker, Hula moved out.

Six years ago this weekend . . .
Posted a random list and a headless shot of Hula, the only photo of him ever posted.

Seven years ago this weekend
My father died.

Eight years ago this weekend . . .
I had an echocardiogram.

Nine years ago this weekend . . .
I re-watched “Twin Peaks”.

Ten Years ago this weekend . . .
I started an online journal.

To begin the next decade, I stayed inside all weekend while friends, internet-invisible and real met in Chicago, Bonnaroo, the Alcove downtown and at the movies. I justified bailing on all of these events with actual honest-to-god valid reasons, but after looking through entries tonight that I’ve posted (and not posted) over the last decade, I’m pretty sure a new battle with the ever-shrinking prison that is my agoraphobia is the culprit. Going to a store or the movies should not feel as daunting as jumping out of a plane.

But it does.

In fact, I find I’m increasingly uncomfortable even reading books or watching television about people who get on planes or stray too far from civilization. (Took me two days to watch “Into the Wild”. Two days!)

I’ve fought this particular demon and emerged triumphant before. I have a plan (that includes professional assistance) that I may or may not chronicle here.

Something that sustains me in the darkest hours of anxiety and fear is reading (and watching television) about people who successfully escape. I’m torn, because after ten years (and my foolish appearance on facebook and twitter), this “online journal” isn’t so secret anymore. There’s a good deal more personal shame and professional worry about revealing too much in 2009 than there was in 1999.

I am conflicted. Recording this particular journey here might help someone going through a similar crisis. Recording this particular journey here might also cost me my job.

That being said, it’s not all bad. Despite missing friends around the continent this weekend, I was truly happy at the dome. Florida storms and uninterrupted hours of quiet reading and contemplation, surrounded by the woods and wandering possums, armadillos and deer, accompanied by a chorus of night-bugs and frogs helped yank me out of the clouds of “me, me, me”.

I feel grounded.

Melancholy, but strong and hopeful.

As proof, here I am, strong and hopeful and not visiting a shower since Friday (not due to depression or laziness mind you, but in solidarity for my unwashed brethren at Bonnaroo), looking at the Kindle where much of this weekend’s reading has been done.

Kindle DX!