Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dwan gets props on birthday

Tom "Durrrr" Dwan has been named the "Most Interesting Poker Player to Watch on TV" by the Snooze Button Generation today, which coincides with Dwan's 25th birthday.

"To anyone who watches poker, this is not much of a surprise," Snooze Button CEO and founder Joe Stevens said. "But I felt it was necessary to give Durrrr some props. His play can be out of the ordinary and, as he might say, sick."

Arguably, the worst aspect of the United States is its decision in April to outlaw online poker for real money. While that decision allowed Stevens, and many other Americans, the chance to have a better quality of life, it left many jonesing for poker action. Some even watched more poker on TV.

"High Stakes Poker" on the Game Show Network is the most interesting poker show, not counting rare poker shows that have games other than no-limit Texas hold 'em. This past year, "High Stakes Poker" replaced Gabe Kaplan as its host with Norm MacDonald. Although Norm may be one of the top five living comedians, Kaplan explains poker way better.Another problem with the most recent season of "High Stakes Poker" was that its participants weren't too interesting with only Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Laak and Johnny Chan as the only elite TV pros on the show. Durrrr didn't even play.

Not too long ago on "High Stakes Poker," one table featured Durrrr, Negreanu, Esfandiari, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey and Gus Hansen. Holy mackerel, man, those are probably the six most intriguing poker stars alive. Add Laak and Mike Matusow to the table, and it would be the top eight TV poker players of all-time, according to the SBG.

Anyway, yeah, Durrrr (which is/was his Internet poker name) makes so many unconventional moves that he is the SBG's "Most Interesting Poker Player to Watch on TV," although in the poker world he may be overexposed. He rose to stardom through online games, but when he hit TV, he became an even bigger star because of his personality and wild plays.

Funny, to many people, Durrrr is like Kobe Bryant or Alex Rodriguez or Peyton Manning. People aspire to be this guy, but, good luck, there may be better odds being an NFL (there are approximately 100 of them each year) than a poker player that is a household name.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Green flash stirs debate

If anyone ever talks about something I've never heard of, I find it best to nod in agreement and pretend to fully understand the conversation. After this compliance, and inner bafflement, I utter a vague phrase such as, "Well, we shall see what the future holds!" or "Wow, that's some interesting stuff!"

One obvious time this happened was on a vacation in Hawaii when numerous tourists yammered about seeing a green flash at the end of a sunset. I stared at the sun, watched it go down, and then all of these people said, "Ooh, there it is!" and "It's so beautiful!"

I saw nothing, but played along by saying, "My Lord, that was soooo green."

As I thought more about the green flash, the more I realized I might have been right. It may not exist, and if it does, it happens so fast, that it hardly exists. Or maybe the green flash is like some theories about God or Santa Claus. It exists, but only if you believe it exists.

Ultimately, the green flash is tantamount to the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot and G-Spot. The debate will go on for centuries about if they actually exist.A handful of various products take their names from the mysterious green flash. There's a Green Flash Brewing Company in San Diego, and in 2008, a movie titled "Green Flash" came out.

Based on its box-office draw, it also is debatable whether the movie "Green Flash" actually existed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sophisticated man questions identity

Who am I?

Perhaps we've all struggled with those three simple words.

I argue that we are all chameleons. We change, moment to moment, based on the situation. We are customers, drivers, brothers, friends, Chewbacca collectors, gentlemen or bartenders -- depending on the situation.

Questions about identity have been bouncing around the United States because one of the closest people to me recently questioned his own identity. He said, "Listen. I am not the World's Most Sophisticated Man. I'm not even that sophisticated!"

During my cousin Steve's 12-day stay in California that concluded yesterday, we enjoyed life through various ways, including art shows, cocktail parties and galavanting around Southern California. The only disagreement we had came up when a friend properly introduced him to someone as the World's Most Sophisticated Man.

The person who just met Steve said, "Wow. You're the World's Most Sophisticated Man. Really? What is your favorite wine?"

Steve replied, "I don't drink wine. Actually, I don't really drink, except for an occasional beer. I like to have a clear head in the morning. You know, I'm not really that sophisticated!"This is where Steve and I differ. While he stayed in Southern California, Steve coordinated art shows, helped maintain public gardens and entertained my daughters. He also promoted constant fun and was an all-around breath of fresh.

At one point, after much discussion, he made me realize that he, in fact, may be the World's Most Reliable Man. Now, I don't exactly have a thesaurus handy, but to me, that makes him the World's Most Sophisticated Man.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Carmageddon causes reflection

Even though I haven't had to use my generator, crack into one of my 8,000 canned goods or fire off any ammunition, I somehow survived Carmageddon.

I was pretty sure the closure of part of the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles this weekend - universally known as Carmageddon - would not only mean death to the Southland, but the end of the continental United States, Mexico and Canada. With so many people surviving, I guess I'll have to take all of my Y2K supplies back outside to my Unabomber shed. Oh well.

But, seriously, I was sort of hoping people might reflect on modern-day living and our ridiculous dependence on the automobile. Yeah, that didn't really happen, but at least I reflected - mostly on the word "Armageddon" and rock band Def Leppard.

Def Leppard has a rock anthem titled "Armageddon It," and in the song, these lyrics exist: "Are you gettin' it? Armageddon It. Really getting it? Armageddon it."

Even though the song came out in 1987, I still chuckle at its ridiculousness. The lyrics are so cryptic, there is an outside chance the song was ahead of its time and actually is about this weekend's Carmageddon.Another brilliant aspect of Def Leppard is that its drummer, Rick Allen, has only one arm. Through extensive Internet research, I have discovered that he joined Def Leppard when he was 15 and lost his arm in a car accident on New Year's Eve 1984, when he was 21.

I imagine Rick Allen is an inspiration for many drummers with disabilities. He somehow should be the poster boy for Carmageddon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Dewtini: Far from facetious

In my ongoing quest to be a bon vivant, Renaissance man and avant-garde mixologist, I have discovered a cocktail that refreshes and oozes class. It's the Dewtini (TM).

Inspired by the XMan, who often imbibed Mountain Dew with vodka, the Dewtini combines Mountain Dew and vodka in a martini glass with a fancy cocktail umbrella. It must be shaken, not stirred.

At a recent party featuring many Long Beach, Calif., elite, a handful of individuals recognized the Dewtini as a tasty treat. For me, the Dewtini has become my summer drink of choice, replacing sangria (2010) and siete tres (2009).

The Dewtini is a bit like a mullet or tuxedo T-shirt. Because it is served in a martini glass, it is classy. That is the case with the business-like mullet in the front and the formality of a tuxedo T-shirt. But because the Dewtini also features a popular soft drink, it says "I like to party," just like the mullet or tuxedo T-shirt.Some might wonder if the Dewtini truly is a magnificent cocktail or merely a fad. Well, Mountain Dew is high in caffeine, and vodka is high in liquor content. Therefore, it is sort of like the popular Red Bull/vodka, which has been around about as long as the Old Fashioned, which was referenced in the May 6, 1806, issue of The Balance and Columbia Repository in Hudson, New York.

Another impressive component of the Dewtini is that its signature ingredient, Mountain Dew, uses all the vowels just once, such as the actress Julia Roberts, hockey goalie Martin Brodeur and earth-friendly sequoias. It's a far cry from the word "facetious," though, which has all the vowels in order.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chloe Stevens has a ball

Today is a momentous day in the Stevens family because of the symbolic exchanging of softballs.

Chloe Stevens also turns 4 today, and I am welcoming her to the time when, according to my Internet research, memories can stay with you forever. I now am making important points to Chloe by staring at her eyes and slowly saying, "Believe me. You will remember this for the rest of your life."

In the Stevens family, we welcome someone to age 4 with the giving of softballs and the terse message: "To ________, happy fourth birthday. Love, _______." I received a similar ball from my grandfather, Edward "Coach" Stevens, and on Sophie Stevens' fourth birthday, the XMan gave her a softball.As most Stevenses do, Chloe reacted to her softball gift with indifference followed by strained politeness. She preferred a package from Grandma that contained books, coloring books, temporary tattoos, four My Little Ponies, a dress, princess hair set, golf glove, symbolic golf ball, cash, airplane tickets to Sweden and a four-carat diamond necklace (only the final two items were exaggerated).

It will likely take Chloe 13 more years to truly appreciate her symbolic softball. But one day, she will.