Thursday, July 30, 2009

Embedded With Hippies

I woke up from a mid-flight nap just as we were about to touch down in Denver. After two straight years of heavy international travel, I forgot how easy a two-hour flight could be. Wake up in L.A. at 6:30, touch down in another time zone by noon.

When it came to boozing it up and partying down in Las Vegas this summer... I couldn't participate in very much of it. My schedule was punishing and when I did find myself with a few moments of downtime, they were largely used to suck down a bowl of Sour Diesel or to catch up on articles for other outlets. I returned home on July 18th positively exhausted and spent the ten days since attempting to recharge. I got back in the gym. I stocked the fridge with my favorite organic foods. I picked up my knives and cooked a few nice meals. I pulled bong hits and caught up on shows like Weeds and Entourage. It was refreshing to live a normal, domesticated American life again.

All that downtime served as preparation for what is to unfold over the next two weeks: my first Phish Summer Tour.

First tour, you say? Shamefully, yes. Though I caught about half a dozen Phish shows in my late teens and early twenties in locales like Tinley Park, IL and Irvine, CA, those were my workaholic years, defined by a cult-like devotion to producing musical theater on my college campus (late teens) and an equally cult-like devotion to working eighty hour weeks for peanuts on the lowest rung of the Hollywood ladder (early twenties). By the time I'd earned my executive stripes and found myself with more flexibility of time, thousands of heads were already washing Coventry mud off their boots and I'd have a long five-year wait before seeing Phish again.

So here I am in Colorado. We've loaded our bellies with brekfast burritos and a few hours from now, we'll be on a party bus headed up to Red Rocks for the first night of Phish's four-show run. Next week I'll be on the road again, on a 1,200 mile journey from Los Angeles, to the Bay Area to Central Washington where I'll camp for the first time in my 32 years. Pauly has painstakingly educated me in some of the finer aspects of camping, like pitching a tent and assembling a sun shelter. If you would like to wager on whether or not I'll end up sleeping in the car at least one night for fear of wild animals and little bugs crawling into my sleeping bag, feel free. I'd put that at about 4-1 right now.

As a special added bonus, I got a phone call confirming that I'll be taking part in what I think will be an exciting new project in the poker world. I can't divulge much yet, but I'm very happy that someone I respect immensely has put his trust in me and invited me aboard. For the first time in over three years, I kind of have a regular job and it is one that can easily fit into my nomadic lifestyle. Color me stoked.

To follow along with all our antics this weekend, check in with the Coventry Music Blog, where Pauly and the joker will be updating regularly.

You can also follow all of us on Twitter:


Now, as the joker would say... "it's time to WAKE UP and RAGE!"

Monday, July 06, 2009

Suze Orman Meets Dead Money Joe

Suze Orman: OK, next caller. Welcome to "Can I Afford It?" What would you like to buy?

Dead Money Joe: Hi, Suze. I'm Joe from Rockville, MD and I'd like to play the Main Event at the World Series of Poker.

Suze Orman: And what does that cost?

Dead Money Joe: Ten thousand dollars.

Suze Orman: OK, Joe. Tell me a little bit more about your finances.

Dead Money Joe: I'm 34 years old and I take home about $4,500 a month. My mortgage payment is $1,200 and I have two kids. I have about $9,000 in credit card debt and I lease a Honda Accord for $269 a month.

Suze Orman: 401(k)? Savings?

Dead Money Joe: I have a 401(k) but it's lost like 40% this year. I had a savings of about $6,000 but had to use it to pay some medical bills.

Suze Orman: Hold on a minute. You take home $54,000 a year, you're in credit card debt, have no savings and what little investments you had tanked? Where are you going to get the $10,000?

Dead Money Joe: Well I won an $11 satellite on Poker Stars, which got me into a $160 double shootout and then I won two sit 'n goes and got my buy-in.

Suze Orman: What?

Dead Money Joe: Let's just say I won the $10,000 on an $11 investment.

Suze Orman: And you're asking me if you should go gamble that money?

Dead Money Joe: Poker isn't gambling. It's a skill game.

Suze Orman: I don't care what skills you have. YOU CAN'T AFFORD THIS, JOE!

Dead Money Joe: But there's an $8 million first place prize. And it's my lifelong dream. And there is so much dead money in that field.

Suze Orman: No, Joe. You're the dead money. Take that $10,000, wipe out that credit card debt, and you'll almost have enough money to make next month's mortgage payment. Next caller!