Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yep, another year older. I'm about to head off to the bar with Saunter and All-Star to drink waaaaaaay too much and watch football; hopefully I can cash in Pauly's Pick'em Pool. Dial-a-shots welcome!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Vegas Report Part 2: Tilting Dutch Boyd

I woke up Friday morning after 6 or so hours of sleep, and realised that my first foray into Vegas had left its mark upon me. Perhaps the non-eating since noon wasn't such a good way to get things started, as it felt as if someone had placed my brain into a vice and was intent on seeing how tightly they could wind it.

After I uncurled myself from the foetal position, I decided upon a course of action. First it was time for a shath, and then it was time for some grease and some coffee. Saunter and I eventually completed step one, and I hit upon the idea of trying to find a Denny's that I knew was around somewhere. This was somewhat dangerous, as it is generally acknowledged that I have the direction sense of a stunned trout, but in non-Garthmeister J. fashion we actually managed to walked straight to the Denny's with a minimum of hassle. Amazed with our good fortune, Saunter and myself ordered and launched into our plates of food. After finishing up I congratulated myself on how the day had gone so far. I could already feel the healing powers of the grease and caffeine working their magic on my battered system.

Walking out of the Denny's I noticed it was just after noon. It might be a bit early for some of the blogger contingent to be up and mobile (depending on when they finally crashed... if they crashed at all, that is), so we returned to our hotel room and I made some calls. I left various voicemails around the place, and thought about maybe catching a nap.

Eventually Gracie gave me a call, and we decided to meet at the Mirage poker room. Maudie, Pablo, Gracie and I joined the waiting list for 1/2, though not as we imagined. Gracie has a great picture, which gave us all instant nicknames (well, except for Pablo). I guess you should call me Girthmeister J.

The Mirage opened a new table for us, and we sat down to do battle at cards, along with a few random Vegas-ians. Saunter bid us adieu, and headed off to wander down the strip (Saunter is not that gambly, but I later discovered that during our NL session at the Mirage she ended up playing roulette at the Wynn... where the lowest limit she could find was $50. Not a typo - fifty dollars! That's my girl!).

With Maudie on my left and a grizzled military veteran on my right, it was action time. My first hand? Quads. DQB, bitches! In fact, in my two hour session at the Mirage I didn't pre-flop raise once, but flopped three sets, cracked Aces once with KQ (he folded on the turn), and also felted Pablo. I was almost (almost) disappointed to discover at the end of my time that I was only up half a buy-in.

During the time at the Mirage 1, a pleasant enough guy in the 10 seat discovered that some of the Mirage chips had an unsettling advertisement of Danny Gans on them. Thus began the battling over any pot containing a Danny Gans chip, causing Mr 10 Seat to exclaim: "So, I brought up one stupid thing, and now you're going to beat it into the ground?!" Why, yes, actually. Pablo also perfected what he referred to as "the most intimidating raise of all time", slinging out multiple Danny Gans chips to psyche out an opponent. Very effective.

Done with the Mirage for the meantime, Saunter and I headed back to the IP. Saunter decided it was high time for a nap, while I caught up with a few new arrivals, such as Joe Speaker, Derek, and BG. After realising that I had just purchased a beer, and wasn't gambling, I solved both problems by taking a seat at a Pai Gow table. This is when I first noted Speaker's world-class card squeezing during Pai Gow, which floored me. Absolutely amazing, and something I immediately took up. Try it sometime, it's magic.

Once Saunter had returned from her nap, we decided it was high time to head to the MGM for dinner before going to the Sports Book for talkies and mixed games. We dined at the MGM's Studio Cafe (one of my fave options), before dropping into the Rainforest Cafe to look at the fish. Back in July we had gone there and been captivated by one of the bigger fish, spotted but displaying some chameleonic ability, who showed off his size by hiding from everything and anything. This may be the biggest pansy of a fish on the planet. Quickly dubbed Hyperfish, Saunter and I decided we had to go and pay it a visit before we started drinking and donking in earnest.


After paying our respects to Hyperfish, I cruised around the MGM poker room saying hello to various blogger people playing mixed games, before parking myself at the sports book bar and attempting to buy most of it. Betty Underground was there, and we had a good chat, before more and more people started gathering at the bar. There was a definitely high number of Englishmen in the vicinity, due tot he Hatton/Mayweather bout, and I had a couple of chats with various poms who made their way through.

At one point I was idly looking at the far end of the bar, when a dude sporting a bandana bellied up to the bar. "He looks familiar," I thought to myself, but I was unable to place him. At that moment he moved aside, and I saw that Karol accompanied the bandana-wearing one.

"Ah," I thought to myself. "Hey Karol, hey Dutch," I said nonchalantly, finally placing the face.

At that moment, Uncle Bracelet made his appearance.

"Mate!" I exclaimed by way of greetings. "Hey, ever wanted to meet Dutch Boyd?"

"Not really," the Bracelet snorted loudly, before realising that the reason I might have brought it up was because Dutch was in the near vicinity. Nice.

At about midnight Saunter headed off, and while chatting to Iggy I was grabbed to go and and sit in a suddenly vacated seat at a mixed games table. I was seated to the direct right of CK and F-Train. I hadn't meant CK before, but we immediately got on like a house on fire. Looking up from my chips I noticed someone familiar in the one seat. One Dutch Boyd. Excellent.

The game? Razz. I like me a bit of razz action, and contented myself with throwing chips around with gay abandon. In one hand I started with 23/4. Nice. (note: I was hammered by this stage, so all hand recollections may not be 100% accurate) Fourth street brought me an 8, fifth a Jack, and Dutch and I were raising and re-raising like there was no tomorrow. At this stage I was pretty sure I was behind, but am I going to back down to Dutch Boyd? Hells no! 6th was a 6 (nice), and Dutch checked to me. "Sweet!" I thought, and bet out. Dutch called. I was a little uncertain, but thought I might be good. 7th street came out, and I snuck a peek as Dutch checked to me. Ace. Yahtzee! I bet out again, and Dutch looked disgusted.

"You didn't just catch me on 7th, did you?" Dutch spat, throwing in his chips for the call. I flipped over my hidden cards, and may have done a little jig before I raked in the chips. This put Dutch Boyd on official Garthmeister J. Tilt, and also ensured that any time he completed, I was coming into the pot.

"I was hoping you would be coming into this one, Garth," he said on one occasion.

"Wouldn't miss it for the world," I replied.

I took a little bit of a battering at O8 (which I called), but when the game returned to Razz I made a bit of a comeback. Dutch eventually gave up, muttering that he was never going to play with bloggers again (or maybe it was read poker blogs again, or something - who knows, I was drunk). Victory!

With that complete, I lost my mixed game momentum, and felt that it was time for some more -EV tomfoolery. There was movement afoot, and eventually I settled in with a cab full of compatriots for a run at the IP.

At the IP Uncle Bracelet and I settled into a Pai Gow table, where I suffered the worst run I can ever recall. I think we were at the table for about two hours, and in that time I can recall one (ONE!) dealer Pai Gow... and I might have even lost that one. Eventually Uncle Bracelet and I beat a retreat to the nearest blackjack table, but after a quick junk kicking we decided that the blackjack table was too close to the Pai Gow Table of Doom, so we fled to the Champagne Pit, where Uncle Bracelet immediately began making friends with douchebags.

Once Mr Douchebag had left, we settled in, beginning an epic blackjack run, which would involve Maigrey, BG, Derek, Uncle Bracelet busting his bankroll, me making $200 bets (only after I made it $300 too late), and a roller coaster run that lasted until 7:30am. At that point I decided I should get some shuteye to get myself in some kind of condition for the blogger tournament, and so with some regret I slowly made my way back to my room, drunkenly aware that Saunter might be waking up at any moment.

Coming Up: Which way to the Venetian and Sweating Joe Speaker

Friday, December 14, 2007

Vegas Report Part 1: What Do You Mean You Can't Give Us Our Tickets?

Ah, Vegas. Vegas, Vegas, Vegas. As my dad said via email, I'm lucky to be able to travel to the city of hedonistic pleasures so easily. The semi-regular trips to Sin City are definitely one of my personal highlights from living in the US of A.

Travelling from DC I get to choose to fly out from one of three airlines: DCA (aka Reagan aka National), BWI, and Dulles. DCA is insanely close, while the other two are more annoying to get to, BWI in particular. With this in mind I managed to snag some nice flights from DCA connecting through Chicago. Done and done.

Except that I was contacted by Expedia a little later to tell me: "Whups! ATA no longer flies that leg, so now you are on Southwest. Someone will contact you soon to sort that out." Uh, OK. As long as I still get to go, right? A couple of days later I was contacted by a Southwest person, we hashed out potential flights, and the best were flying out of BWI. Oh well, not as handy as DCA, but at least they were direct.

A week or so later I realised I hadn't received an email confirmation and itinerary from Southwest. No worries, I'll give them a call. Which lead to the following type conversation:

"Yes, Garthmeister J., your booking is in the system and good to go."

"Great. Can you send me my itinerary etc. by email?"

"Sure!" "Oh, I can't do that."

"Huh? Why?"

"You'll have to get your tickets from BWI. Either go beforehand..."

"That'll suck."

"Or just get to the airport that day a little earlier and do it then."

OK, weird, whatever. I'll do that. On the Thursday in question Saunter picked me and my bags up from my work, and we set off for BWI. We got there nice and early, which was cool. My plan was to get our tickets and check-in, go through security, find our gate, and then have a couple of beers and some food. Simple and solid.

The non-e-ticket line was pretty small, nice, so we slid on through and spoke with Shanita, our Southwest ticketer-person-whatever. We had about 80 minutes to go before the flight, so I was pretty chilled out. That feeling lasted right up until Shanita informed us that she couldn't give us our tickets. Apparently our flights were booked, but not paid for. I explained the airline switcharoo, and Shanita told me that Expedia just hadn't transferred the money to Southwest, so I should get on the phone with them and sort it out.

Great. Thankfully I had brought along my old itinerary, which included Expedia's phone number (1-800-EXPEDIA, those cunning bastards). I pulled out my cell phone, sighed a little bit, and gave them a call. After navigating the wonder which is automated phone messaging, I finally got a real person on the line. It took a little bit of explaining to get to the point, but finally the agent understood what I was talking about. So she put me on hold for "a few minutes". Which turned into about half an hour. And then she tried something else. And then she finally asked to speak to Shanita(?!).

And then suddenly we had tickets.

I have no idea what went down there, but frankly I didn't care. As the waiting on hold went on interminably the thought had definitely occurred to me to just tell Shanita to put the outstanding money on my card, and I would sort it out later. But whatever, we had tickets, we were off. No time for food or beers though. But hey! Vegas!

The flight to Vegas wasn't too bad. I had intended on picking up a new book to read at the airport (I am allowed to buy myself books if I am travelling), but no dice. Instead I started plowing through the puzzles contained in the airline magazine, chortling to myself as I saw the poor sap across the aisle on my left struggling with the same sudoku I had just crushed.

Finally, finally, we touched down, screamed through the cab line, and made it to the IP.

The winner for "first blogger I ran into" was F-Train, who arrived just after Saunter and myself. We exchanged pleasantries and back-handed compliments while we waited to be checked into the hotel. As per my previous encounter, it was a little strange.

IP dude: "Ah yes, Mr Elliott. 5 people in your room, correct?"

Me: "Uh, what?"

IP dude: "5. 5 people."

Me : "No man, just two."

IP dude: "Oh. OK."

Me : "Fuck. I should have said 'sure'."

Finally we got a key to our room, and left the desk. That naturally took us past the Geisha Bar, where we were waylaid by Betty Underground, GCox, Gracie, Pablo, Iggy, Pauly, and many many others. I waved and helloed and introduced Saunter, before saying that we were going to run up to our room and grab a shower before coming back down.

I was a little worried about actually getting into the room. Last year I actually had to get a locksmith in to deal with things. Bad times. Fortunately no such problems, and we're in like Flynn! I start throwing things about (as is my wont), and Saunter jumps into the shower. Upon which I hear this:

Saunter: "Aiee!"

Me: "What? What's the matter?"

Saunter: "The bath is filling up as well!"

Ah yes, the Imperial Palace. I told Saunter that the IP had installed "shaths" or "bowers" to enable the true "bath-shower" experience, and that I had paid top price for a room that had it. She told me I was full of shit. She knows me pretty well.

After a delightful shath we headed back downstairs. I grabbed a Corona, Saunter had a (never before encountered by me) "Red Bull and Whiskey" (I call it a "Saunter Left Hook"), and I got to chatting. Iggy immediately whistled me up a Soco that was as big as my head, and I made it a point of pride to knock it back in one gulp.

After chatting for a while I started to get itchy to check out the floor. Bloggers abounded at the various tables, including BuddyDank, Instant Tragedy, Otis... bloggers everywhere. I finally jumped on a table, allowing me to stop purchasing drinks (or in this case: having other people purchase them for me). Eventually Saunter announced she needed to crash, and headed up to the room. I continued on, before deciding that it was time for some Craps Action.

Flanked by Betty and Maigrey, I approached the craps table with confidence. A while later I staggered from the table, drunk, and with my dreams crushed by the dice. The kicks to the junk were mighty, and the punches to the liver were furious (aided and abetted by my non-consumption of food since lunchtime). I decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and that -EV games and I would battle another day. But for now: unconsciousness.

Coming Up: Tilting Dutch Boyd, and Busting with Uncle Bracelet.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mitchell Report Gambling

Yeah, I know, trip report. We'll get to that. But in the meantime, today is the day the Mitchell Report on steroids in baseball is released. DonkeyPuncher and myself are going head-to-head in a bet on who can name the most players. The rules: come up with a complete lineup (including on starting pitcher and one relief pitcher), the person who has the most players named in the report wins! Only active players allowed, and they can't be people who have been under the pump before (i.e. no Bonds, Sosa, Sheffield, Giambi ) etc.

Here is my lineup:

C: Pudge Rodriguez
1B: Kevin Millar
2B: Jeff Kent
SS: Miguel Tejada
3B: Scott Rolen
LF: Hideki Matsui
CF: Carl Crawford
RF: Magglio Ordonez
P: Kenny Rogers
RP: Kyle Farnsworth

Update: JJOK is in too. Bring it on!

Update II: JJOK dipped out (stupid work). It looks like DP's and my lineups only featured one person apiece with new stuff on them: Tejada (for me) and Gange (for him). Somewhat disappointing all round, really. I was fascinated by Lo Duca, Knoblauch, David Justice, Mo Vaughn, Brian Roberts. Clemens and Pettite were leaked before the report came out. Don't expect to see Fernando Vina on ESPN as an analyst in the near future, either.It will be interesting to see what the fallout is, that's for sure.

I should also point out that most of the new information came from two dudes who sang. Only two. How many more people like them are out there?

Talkin' WSOP

Hat tip to the player of the Asian Jew: the WSOP schedule is out! I've just had a quick glance at it, but I've already ticked the first box that I would like to play.

Wed, Jun 25th
5:00:00 PM
3-Day Event
2-7 Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) (Event 45)
No Rebuy/Add-ons


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Little Tourney to Recover from Vegas?

All weekend my voice has been a bit dodgy, and all of a sudden it has suddenly gotten worse: it may turn out that I lose my voice after returning to normality. All of you guys who I chatted to over the last four days may regret the timing, a lot of pain could have been avoided if I lost my voice on Thursday night.

As part of my returning to my normal routine, I may look at trying something new, something poker-related. It's the Bodog poker blogger tournament that runs Tuesday nights, where they toss on a bunch of tournament credits to the top 5 finishers, and also to the 5 bubblers. That, I like. Here are the details, courtesy of Smokkee:

Tournament Details

Date: December 11, 2007
Day of week: Tuesday Nights
Start time: 8:35pm ET
Tournament Name: “Online Poker Blogger Tournament” at Bodog
Entry Password: bodogblogger
Buy-in + fee: $10 + $1
Starting Chips: 3000 (Double Stack)
Payout: Standard Bodog payout structure

T$109 bonus paid to the top 5 finishers.
T$11 bonus paid to the 5 players that are eliminated prior to payouts.

These bonuses will be awarded within 24hrs of the tournament completion.
T$ = Tournament Credits. These can be used as a buy in to all scheduled tournaments at Bodog and have a ratio to cash of 1:1.
T$ can also be combined with cash to buy in to tournaments.

Home Again, Home Again

I am alive, and back from Vegas. Details to follow.

Ooooooh, my liver...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Pros and Cons Indeed

I don't normally do these, but this time I could not resist. My favourite all-time keyword used to find this here blog has finally arrived, and I must embrace it:

the pros and cons of waking up naked in a dumpster

I have had some gems recently, but I'm not sure any come close to that one.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Stobes and the Big Apple

Living in Washington DC has many benefits. I like to refer to DC as a "small big city" or a "big small city"; being the Nation's capital means we enjoy many of the perks and fringe benefits of being a major metropolitan centre, without having to deal with a bazillion people living on top of one another.

DC also happens to be in relatively close proximity (relatively speaking) to urban centres that you may want to visit, such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Boston, Atlantic City, and Baltimore. (OK, strike Baltimore from the list.) But the top "close" destination has to be New York City.

I have lost count of the times I have gone up to NYC: I've gone up as a tourist (which really only counts my first trip up almost exactly four years ago), I've gone up to play Aussie Rules footy, I've gone up to help a friend's boyfriend move out of his apartment, I've gone up to attend Thanksgiving with a friend's family. And once in a blue moon I go up to NYC to meet a friend who happens to be in town.

If you asked a random Australian which city in the world they would most like to visit, I am sure that London, Paris, and Rome would feature high on the list. But New York City may be number 1. As a nation heavily influenced by the US, the Big Apple looms large in our consciousness. I still remember the first time I clambered out of Penn Station onto the streets of Midtown Manhattan, feeling a visceral thrill that I have only encountered when coming face to face with icons such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Eiffel tower, and Big Ben for the first time.

This means that when most Australians come to visit the United States, New York is a definite entry on the itinerary. This also means that when one of my old friends from home decides to embark on an American Adventure, the odds are very good that they will be visiting a city which is only a few hours from my front door.

This past weekend was such an occasion, when my mate Stobes flew into NYC on the final leg of his American odyssey. I've known Craig for over 15 years, but hadn't seen him in 4 or 5, so it sounded like a great excuse for me to trundle up for some booze and some laughs. He was due to fly in on Saturday afternoon, and be in town for a week; with Vegas already booked I decided that the optimal plan of attack would be for me to grab a Greyhound (the bus, not the drink) and pay a flying visit for Saturday night only.

Stobes assured me that he had sorted out some accommodation that would allow me to crash on his floor, so it looked pretty solid. Bus it up Saturday afternoon, get Stobes checked in, get fucked up in bars around Manhattan, pass out some time in the AM, pour myself back into a Greyhound for the homeward journey. Gold.

As luck would have it, my bus up on Saturday arrived in Manhattan a little early, while Stobes' flight from LA was a little late. I walked out of the Port Authority bus terminal at 4pm, while Stobes was not due in until 5:30. And it was bitterly cold. What was I to do?

If you know me well, and perhaps even if you don't, there was only one answer: head to a bar for a couple of lazy pints as I waited. I was under the (incorrect) assumption that Stobes' accommodation was just off Times Square on 48th St, so I headed up that way, turning a block or so off the main drag to find a bar that looked promising. Busy, but not overly so, the bar I chose had three large flat screen TVs displaying college football. It looked good to me, so I bellied up to the bar, next to two girls who were busy cheering for Boston College as their game with Virginia Tech wound to a close finish.

As is my wont I began inhaling my Newcastle while exchanging commentary and banter with the two ladies to my left. Alexis and Sue turned out to be good sorts, and we had a fine time making fun of BC as they imploded in spectacular fashion. As the game came to a predictably grisly close, Sue announced that they needed to purchase shots to get over the pain, and also announced that I was included. Three jager bombs, coming right up!

At this point it was 4:30pm. All I had consumed up to that point of the day was four of Saunter's delicious cinnamon rolls, and a cup of tea. It was going to be a long night.

After the jager bombs were consumed, and the TV switched to USC/UCLA, we continued to chat. At one point Alexis asked me for some relationship advice, as she had found herself in a tricky situation with two close male friends. As part of my advice, I labelled guy no. 1 "Michael", and guy no. 2 "Darren" (or "Dazza", as I explained he would most likely be called in Australia). Alexis and Sue seemed to agree with my diagnosis and prescription, and as 5:30pm rolled around I wished them well in their romantic adventures, and floated off to meet Stobes at his hotel.

As it turned out, Stobes' lodgings were actually not on 48th St, but in fact on the same block as the Port Authority! I decided that this would probably be helpful when I attempted to get myself home the next day.

I arrived at the hotel with perfect timing, as Stobes was just checking in. Or should I say "attempting to check in". Apparently there was some mix-up with the contact we were meant to meet. Stobes was a little disoriented; apparently he had booked the hotel through some hostel broker, but the building we were in clearly seemed to be an upscale condo building, so he wasn't sure exactly what the go was. The concierge eventually sent us up to a specific room, telling us to just knock on the door. OK.... Strangely enough this plan did not work, so Stobes went back down to inform the concierge he was full of shit. A few minutes later, back came Stobes with the concierge, who explained that we needed to get hold of our contact to sort the situation out.

Things were getting painful.

Stobes tried calling various numbers, to no avail. As we were trying to think of an alternative conversation, up popped the concierge again. Problem solved, we now had to go to this different apartment. Okey doke. This time the information provided was solid, as we entered a lovely looking apartment, presided over by a hard-bargaining Asian fellow who insisted on calling me "Jim". As in: "Oh, so you live in Washington DC, Jim? That's nice of you to come up and visit your friend." No worries, mate.

The broker fellow seemed to be running some sort of operation where he leased various apartments out on a short-term basis. He insisted on getting the cash (a not insignificant sum) up front, which Stobes and I went out onto the street to procure from an ATM. As luck would have it, Stobes' limit did not suffice, but I chipped in and awarded him a short term loan to tide him over.

Back in the apartment we handed over the cash, the Asian broker-dude was happy, and we were happy. For a very reasonable amount of dough we had a lovely apartment in Midtown Manhattan, with a glorious view.

This done, we immediately went out to hit some bars (and grab some food). We decided to head back to the bar I had come from: it was decent, it was close, and I was assured by Sue and Alexis that the french fries were fantastic. The bar had become a little busier during my absence, but Stobes and I managed to slide into a couple of stools at the bar when an elderly couple left. We both ordered beers and burgers, and sat back to catch up on life and such.

Before too long, however, the portly gentleman to my left proceeded to butt in. You know the guy: in sales, late forties, fat, and does not shut up. Being a hardcore republican (self-described as "being to the right of Attila the Hun"), he wanted to engage us on our opinions of the US, and wondered how things worked back in Oz. At one point he mentioned in passing that he was from Nebraska, and always carried a gun on him. Stobes was a little startled by this news, and I have to admit it wasn't exactly what I was hoping to hear from the man.

After enduring a round of "Who Would You Select as Person of the 20th Century", Stobes and I decided to make our escape, fleeing around the corner for a couple of Brooklyn Lagers. After knocking back those, Stobes professed his desire to have a beverage or two in the Greenwich Village. Why? I have no idea, but we jumped into a cab and set sail for the Village. Once again the cold inspired us to jump into the first place we saw once we abandoned the taxi on Bleecker Street. The bar itself was nothing to write home about, except for the stupendous rack on one of the bartenders which forced Stobes and I to play an extended round of "Fake or Not Fake?".

Around 11pm I received a text message from my friend Jets Girl, who worked as a wine manager in a restaurant in Manhattan. She had just gotten off of work, and implored us to head up to a dive bar near her place of employment. We didn't need much convincing, quickly knocking back our current beverages and cabbing it back uptown. There we found Jets Girl and friends (some of which I had met before), and joined them in seeing how much we all could drink.

Given that I had been drinking since 4pm, it was inevitable that I would lose track of time. Thus it was with some degree of surprise (albeit drunken surprise) that it was almost 4am when Stobes and I stumbled out of the bar and into a cab back to the apartment. Before we crashed we grabbed a couple of hot dogs from a street vendor, to put the proper New York stamp on the evening (a slice of pizza would have been better, but our intoxication plus the cold dampened our search efforts).

Arriving at the apartment, I stripped the two Ikea seats that formed the bulk of the living room furniture to construct something resembling a bed, and crashed. Hard. I came to for the first time around 11:30am the next morning, and was immediately dismayed that I had. To say that I was hungover does not adequately convey my misery. My brain felt like someone had put it in a vice, and was trying to see how tightly he could wind it. My guts kept flip-flopping between "fine" and "intense nausea". Fantastic. Stobes arose around noon, and was able to supply me with some painkillers, thank God. Stobes discovered that while we had been sleeping, New York had been blanketed in snow. Stobes marvelled at the view as I curled into the foetal position and prayed for death.

Eventually I got ready for the day, as we watched some of the NFL pre-game shows. As the Seattle/Philadelphia game got started, we decided we should head off and find some eating establishment at which we could properly infuse out bodies with caffeine, sugar, and grease. That way I could catch my bus back home to DC in proper condition, and Stobes could return to his apartment for further passing out.

Wandering in the down town direction, Stobes and I came across the Tick Tock Diner, directly adjacent to the New Yorker Hotel, itself yards from Madison Square Garden. Stobes and I proceeded to order half of the menu. It was the clear course of action.

The food totally hit the spot, and the table favourite was probably the fantastic sausages. I didn't get around to posting an "after" picture, but let's just say that the only survivor of the carnage that ensued was the wheat toast. I was a little upset when the waiter didn't pass comment on the wanton culinary destruction that had just taken place, but then again, this was New York. I'd have to aim higher in the future to ensure that I made an impression.

Our appetites sated, Stobes and I returned to the apartment. I grabbed my bag, shook Stobes' hand, and wished him well for the remainder of his journey. I then walked down the block and into the Port Authority, right on time for my bus and able to snag a seat with no one next to me. Bonus. I rolled into DC just before 8pm, and was able to spend a laid back evening before passing out. Good times.

Before I go, I wanted to share a photo taken around 3am on Saturday night. This is what happens when you go outside a bar and get talking to random people. Even then, I can't explain the random English dude on my left. Enjoy!