Another awesome weekend. It's funny that life seems to taste better when you're being couple-y. :-)
Friday night was the H.O.R.S.E. tourney at Wall Street Poker. In attendance were Alceste, Dawn Summers, J. Mord, Paulie, W, The Slayer, KJ and myself. The tournament went swimmingly (if long) and it was J. Mord and Paulie heads up for the big cash money which they eventually split, but not before they had made a deal to pay out the top four players, which included Dawn and KJ. I went out in an awful 6th place finish. I committed a whole bunch of chips on draw where I was 60% or more and couldn't complete them. The worst hand, the absolute worst was where the Slayer was the bring-in in Razz with the Ks showing as his door card. He decided, sit down for this, to COMPLETE the bet! I have 7 as my door card and 24 underneath so I raise to a whole bunch of high cards showing, figuring I'm going to go heads up with a guy with a freaking KING SHOWING!!! I'll make a long story short. I bet or raised every street and lost. He ended up with an 85 low to my 86 low. Wow. Oh, and I finally busted out after making a 76 low on 5th street but couldn't shake Paulie's wheel draw, which he finally made ON THE RIVER! I can't say I played poorly, but the cards just weren't with me that night.
The game ended late and I got up at 10AM so I could have lunch with my, what do you call her, um....special ladyfriend. I'm not quite sure when the title change to girlfriend occurs so I'll go with that for now. We were set to have brunch at 11AM but I was running late and we eventually met up at her place at around noon. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and we walked to Josephine's near the park for a great meal and then a walk through Central Park on a spectacular day. We walked east through the park and ended up at the Neue Gallery for their exhibition on Gustav Klimt, which was wonderful. They have a tryptich of Klimt's that was featured in the famous 14th Vienna Secessionist exhibition in the early 1900's. The paintings are called, collectively, the Beethoven Frieze and were meant to be accompanied by a special arrangement of Beethoven's 9th symphony which was arranged and conducted by Gustav Mahler specifically for this purpose. The gallery has thoughtfully piped in the appropriate music and it's really a wonder to behold. Highly recommended if you like Klimt's work.
After the gallery, we walked 3 blocks north to the Guggenheim, which Ali has never been to before. It's a pleasure taking city newbies around because it revisit places you might not have gotten back to in a while. We picked a great time to go, actually. The Guggenheim is having a special exhibition of a Chinese artist who likes to blow shit up. Seriously. Nothing blows up in the Guggenheim itself, but there are video presentations of his outdoor pyrotechnics that he did in other cities and it's pretty damned cool. Plus, the interior of the museum is filled with the coolest thing I've ever seen done with that space. It's a car (8 cars to be more precise), arranged in mid-air to emulate a car bomb explosion. The theme is recognizing violence to achieve peace or some other such artistic nonsense. Trust me when I tell you it's AWESOME to look at. And you don't have to pay to see it. Just walk in the lobby and look up. Way cool.
We did some more walking in the park after that but then I had to go. That night was a private party I was dealing poker at and I didn't want to be late. Every six months or so, a guy I know has a private party in a SOHO loft for an ever-growing group of guests. This time, it was over 130 people, 105 of which signed up for the poker tourney. The guest list is filled with rich, if not famous people, including 2002 WSOP Main Event winner Robert Varkonyi! There is a sushi bar with chefs and an open liquor bar with professional bartenders and 3 of the hottest drink waitresses you've seen attending to the boys every need. Cigars are free (and indulged in quite a bit) and a DJ was spinning tunes all night. A real bacchanalia. Two women went around giving neck massages too. But that wasn't the best part. Every year, the host and his friends think of something else to make the party bigger and better and more memorable than the year before. Two years ago, he had the idea of announcing the blind changes by having the hot young waitresses come out in different costumes and performing little sketches, which was awesome. He still does that, but this year he turned up the heat. He hired three of the hottest models you've ever seen, dressed them in NOTHING but thongs and high heels (no tops) and had them body-painted to look like playing cards (Three Kings of different suits). They walked around like that ALL NIGHT, serving drinks, being flirtatious and generally distratcting everybody, inluding yours truly. Seriously, The Hef himself couldn't have done it better.
I came home stinking of cigar smoke, but entirely happy working the party, as usual. I got up Sunday morning very late and when I got up I crawled to the couch and fell back asleep. I needed to catch up and I did. I was woken up by Ali at 1:30pm because we had made Sunday brunch plans, this time downtown. We met up at Dos Caminos in SOHO at 3:45PM and had an absolutely delicious brunch (yummy yummy breakfast tacos) and then walked through SOHO hitting some of the art galleries. We ended up at CFM Gallery, which is where I bought 4 of my lithographs in August. The woman running the gallery actually remembered my name, which was incredibly flattering and very show-offy (not what I intended, but hey!), even though her name completely escaped me. We closed down the galleries and then I had to leave Ali again to go to band practice.
By the way, the band is playing at the R Bar in July. Details will be forthcoming when we get closer to the date. We have a few new originals and two new covers we'll debuting and it promises to be an amazing time. After the practice, my drummer dropped me off in Union Square and I was still hopped up with energy so I dragged my guitar to the Union Square theater and caught the 10PM showing of Iron Man. There was a funny incident before the show. It was 9:45 when I got upstairs and they weren't letting people into the theater yet. Even though it was Sunday at 10PM, the line ran down the hall, down another hall to a dead end and then wrapped around for 40 more feet. I got to the end of the line and waited patiently while we all chatted and commented on how amazing it was for this showing to be sold out. Then, some big goofy white guy with a bald head and thick glasses (hereafter known as the BIG DICK) comes up next to me and shouts to his girlfriend at the dead end, "Lisa! Come forward. No way is everyone going to follow this line!". Ok, you have to picture this. There's at least 100 people on line and this guy is SHOUTING to his girl to CUT THE LINE! Are you kidding me? 50 people gave him dirty looks but said nothing until I stepped up to the plate.
Me: "Dude, did you just ask your girl to cut this line?"
BIG DICK: "What, you think everyone is going to wrap around without converging?" (an exact quote)
(15 people, simultaneously): "Yes!"
He shrugged and then went to join his girl. I had now been officially annointed as the 'line officer' and let me tell you, not a single person got out of line. It was a beautiful moment in the history of civility.
The movie, by the way, pretty much kicked ass. And there's a cool little scene at the end of the credits which I'm not going to ruin but is great if you're a reformed comics geek, like I am. I didn't know about the scene but I figured things out when I saw everyone just staying when the credits rolled. It was totally worth the extra 5 minutes.
Just a great weekend all around.
Ali and I, and Abbie +1, and a large group from Adventure Society are going to the Adirondacks this coming weekend for a spectacular adventure. Whitewater rafting, Kayaking and Smore's making by the fire are all on the agenda. I am VERY much looking forward to it.