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2013 Oscar Predictions

Posted by on Feb 24, 2013 in Blog, Movie Reviews | 2 comments



I’ve watched every Academy Awards presentation since 1972.

And without any doubt, I can say this is the very worst year for movies in more than four decades.¬† Nonetheless, I’m still going to be watching and cheering come Sunday night.

Here are my picks and preferences for each of the major categories:

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How to Avoid a Shitty Restaurant

Posted by on Feb 22, 2013 in Blog, Rants and Raves, Restaurant Reviews | 13 comments



Nolan during happier times, at Cannes France in 2012


I just got fucked again.

Third time this week.

I made another bad restaurant choice.

You’ve got to understand.¬† Eating is the incomparable highlight of my day.¬† When I’m out on the road working, I get to carve out one peaceful hour of perfection when everything is right with my universe.¬† I temporarily forget all my troubles and devour whatever I want to eat and drink.¬† I anticipate dinner the same way a sex-starved sailor waits for shore leave.

Tonight started out with such promise.¬† I received an enthusiastic restaurant recommendation from a trusted source on a rotisserie chicken place — not that I’m into that kind of thing.¬† But the way the food and preparation was described sounded too good to pass up.¬† You get an entire marinated chicken, with two fresh sides, and a drink for $13.95.¬† I spent the last 20 hours dreaming about that chicken place like it was a hot piece of ass.

Then, I managed to get lost.

Of course, I forgot to write down either (1) the NAME of the place, or (2) the ADDRESS.¬† I don’t know why those two insignificant details would be important when visiting a strange city, and all.¬† Anyway, already buckled in the car and starving I decided to “wing it” and ended up screaming at crawling traffic while I must have done 35 U-turns looking for what turned out to be the lost restaurant of Atlantis.

Fuck this!

Unable to find the chicken shack, I contemplated three options.¬† Now, you have to understand what exactly I’ve eaten these last eight nights here in South Florida.¬† Four meals were at “Stresa,” a marvelous little Italian restaurant where (at age 51) I’m the youngest patron in the dining room by twenty years.¬† Then, there was Da Vinci’s down in Boca Raton (another outstanding favorite) — which means five dinners out of eight were authentic Italian.¬† One night I skipped dinner altogether.¬† The two others were Thai and Mexican.

So, Italian was out — at least for tonight.

While looping around lost and it now in the dark of night, I passed by another Thai restaurant that looked mighty tempting from the street.¬† The good thing about Thai places are — (1) the service is always excellent, (2) the restaurants are always clean, (3) the food is always at least decent, (4) it’s not expensive.

Why I didn’t listen to my inner voice and opt for the “sure thing” of Thai is something I now deeply regret.¬† Then again, I wouldn’t be sitting here some 90 minutes later fuming at what I just experienced, which would leave you now reading some tiresome political essay of mine.

My other option was a high-dollar steakhouse or another place called “Park Avenue Barbeque.”¬† I quickly crossed off the fancy steakhouse, figuring I didn’t want to blow $75 eating all by myself.

Barbeque it was.

Naturally, I didn’t listen to any of my gut instincts.¬† From the moment I wheeled into the parking lot, everything about this place screamed “RUN AWAY!”

Listen up.¬† I’m going to share a little secret with you that will serve you well for the rest of your life.¬† The topic:¬† Good Restaurants.¬† You want to know the first thing to look for when entering a strange restaurant?¬† No, it’s not the food.¬† You look at the people.

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A Phil Ivey Story

Posted by on Feb 16, 2013 in Blog, General Poker, Las Vegas | 4 comments



The first thing I heard was the roar of the engine.

It was Phil Ivey’s silver Mercedes SLR McLaren and¬†the beast¬†was barreling straight towards me.

If I ever get flattened by a motor vehicle, I hope to hell it’s a $285,000 luxury car. ¬†What a way to go out with a bang. ¬†Far more chivalrous getting mowed down by Ivey who’s late for his golf match than being mashed by some late-night boozer wheeling a Dodge Neon.

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A Personal Message to My Readers

Posted by on Feb 15, 2013 in Blog, Personal | 7 comments



The greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

Those of you who visit my website each day give the most precious of gifts, which is your time.

That’s something I take seriously.

My goal each day to is honor that sense of devotion and curiosity by providing an article or essay which might be humorous, enlightening, shocking, inquisitive, and — on my very best days — perhaps even beneficial.

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How a Simple Poker Invention Can Solve Maximum Pain at Baggage Claim

Posted by on Feb 13, 2013 in Blog, Rants and Raves, Travel | 2 comments


Airport Baggage Claim


Common sense is in short supply — especially at airports.

I realize everyone’s in a hurry.¬†¬†Airlines make flying about as glamorous as boarding a filthy greyhound bus headed to Detroit.¬†¬†Traveling takes nearly twice as long as it should because passengers have to go through the equivalent of a rectal exam.

Flying is stressful.  And at the end of your long flight, the thing we desire most is a lifeline, which is our baggage.

Hopefully, our bags arrive — signed, sealed, delivered — which is followed by a smooth trip either home or to the hotel.

Too bad, it’s not that easy.

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