Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday is Kids In The Hall Day

True story: I was in line to be the Detroit Kid, but it turns out that Detroit was just a nightmare the upper peninsula had after a bad pasty.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Meet The November Nine 005: Steven Begleiter

OK, it's safe for me to post about the real story of the November Nine again. I finally found a WiFi connection in this submarine. I'm not sure where it is right now, or how deep, but I did just see a marine dinosaur the size of the Sears Tower swim by my porthole. I'm pretty sure it only eats plankton, but down here in the Mariana Trench, the plankton are the size of german shepherds.

Oh great. I've given away my location. Now I'll need to find a blimp that flies above any known radar.


Name: Steven Begleiter

Age: 8

Occupation: Elementary Student

Nickname: Skeeter

Poker Style: Passive. He wets his pants when he has a boat or better. Dead giveaway, and a bummer of a tell.

Alignment: Chaotic Evil, like all children.

Card Capper: The piece of gum he's chewing.

Favorite Country Song: Billy Broke My Heart at Walgreens and I Cried All the Way to Sears, by Peter Drake

Brief Bio: This kid goes to my kids' school, two grades up. You won't hear about it from the mainstream media sources, but Li'l Stevie Begleiter is causing no small amount of consternation at Harrah's because of his age. It's not that he's a few months too young to be allowed to enter the Main Event -- it's that he's over a decade too young. He's eight. He's a third grader. He's practically a baby.

So yeah, a lot of people are sweating right now, from the cashiers at the cage to the tournament director himself, who stands to lose his job if Steven (who has chips) wins this thing. There are uncomfortable questions being asked, like "where are your brains?" and "what's the matter, don't you have any brains?" and "why is your head full of a non-brain like substance where your brains should be, Mr. Hasn't-Got-Any-Brains?"

The answer is simple. Steven may be (and in fact is) eight, but he's got that Robin Williams disease. No, not the one where he appears in funny movies but then starts to get really played out, until he annoys you so much with his "gay guy" voice and his "funky jive-talkin' black dude" voice and his . . . well, those are actually his only voices . . . that you would like to saw off his legs with razor wire every time he makes another disposable, pointless mawkish . . . where was I? Oh right. It's the other disease. The "Jack" disease. You remember the one, where the kid is only in grade school but he looks like Robin Williams.

That's Li'l Stevie. He's as hairy as an orangutan, and he has to shave twice daily if he wants to avoid having a beard. Since he's a little boy unworried about impressing girls, he in no way wants to avoid having an awesome mountain man beard, which is usually crusted over with the food he eats. I mean, think about it. He's a kid. He eats like a kid. His beard is so full of Bit O Honey he looks like he's sporting chin dreads. Frankly, the tournament organizers who took his buy in (which he got by suing the producers of "Jack") thought he must be a homeless midget.

But now they are stuck, and they know it. There's been so much publicity that they have to seat him and hope that he busts out. Meanwhile, Stevie has become a kind of quasi-celebrity at his school, though as the official "stinky kid" most of his classmates still keep a pretty wide berth. On the other hand, there is a rumor that he'll use part of his winnings to buy everybody an X Box, so things may be looking up for him.

Fun Fact: Stevie likes potato chips. Hey look, some facts are more fun than others. Lay off.

Previous Entries

Darvin Moon
James Akenhead
Phil Ivey
Kevin Schaffel

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday FilmChaw Roundup

Last week, I issued an open invitation to anybody interested in contributing to my long-dead movie blog. I was pleasantly surprised to get a lot of takers, which means that the Chaw is back in business. It's a zombie website! Hide the kids!

Anyway, the invitation is still open and remains open. See here for details. In the meantime, here's some linkage to last week's reviews and a handful of notable essays:

Batman (1990), by Duey Crim

Tyler Perry is a Douchebag, by The Real Dawn Summers
Spaghetti Westerns, by Riggstad
At the Quinte Hotel, by Astin
The Hustler, by Julius_Goat
Friday the Thirteenth V: A New Beginning, by Duey Crim
Seventeen Again, by The Real Dawn Summers
Pontypool, by Astin
Two Lovers and I Love You, Man, by The Real Dawn Summers
L'Homme Sans Tete, by Astin
Barbie: Mermaidia and Barbie: 12 Dancing Princesses, by jjok
Time Bandits, by Astin
Brain Donors, by Sean D

What I really like about this is that a huge range of tastes and perspectives are now represented. I think we're getting to the point that there will be something for everybody to be found at the site, which is truly encouraging . . . and we haven't even heard from everybody yet.

Thanks to everybody who contributed!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Is Kids In The Hall Day

Hope you like dealing with Steve "Two Phones" Macabee.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hellmuth's Advice To Golf Pro Nicklaus: "It Puts The Lotion On Itself"

- REUTERS - Phil Hellmuth, the famed professional Ultimate Bet Poker clothing model and event coordinator, has a few words of advice for golf pro Jack Nicklaus. Moisturize.

"It puts the lotion on itself or it gets the hose again!" Hellmuth (who is pictured to the right and is clearly not crazy) shouts down to the golf hall-of-famer, cowering in Hellmuth's self-dug basement pit. "It puts the lotion on and puts the lotion in the basket!"

For some, this would be an unusual way to make a living. But for Hellmuth, it's just another day in the office. Hellmuth, who, in addition to his career modeling clothes for the Ultimate Bet site, also plays poker and models bracelets, has become known for making a big entrance at the World Series of Poker (WSOP), a tournament series that serves as the jewel in the crown of that sometime sport, sometime game of chance. Now, he's frustrated. "PUT THE [expletive deleted] LOTION IN THE [expletive deleted] BASKET RIGHT NOW!" he shouts, before coming upstairs and putting on some underpants with a wry chuckle. "That Jack," he says. "If he doesn't get with the program we'll never be ready in June."

"I always excel at everything I do," Hellmuth tells this reporter later, over a breakfast of orange juice and eggs following his morning meditations. "That's why I'm the world champion and so many others are not. I go big or I don't go at all. I've come to the WSOP late every year, and as General Patton, and with eleven of the most classy escorts in Vegas, and as Julius Caesar himself. But you know, these things don't just come together. You have to plan all year when you're the biggest star in poker, just to top yourself!"

The world of poker stardom is, in fact, getting crowded; indeed, Hellmuth has to worry about more than simply losing his reputation as the most famous star in poker. If he doesn't struggle to stay ahead, he may not even be the most famous Phil. Phil Ivey, another poker player and Full Tilt clothing model, has stolen Hellmuth's thunder this year with a deep run in the WSOP's main event.

"Ivey's the one who made me starting thinking about digging the pit," says Hellmuth with an easygoing, seven-minute long laugh, which veers into a sobbing jag briefly before easing back into another three minutes of chuckles. "I mean, it's outrageous! I play perfect poker, but these donkeys just keep coming at me. Next thing you know, Ivey's sitting at the final table, and they're all talking about him! They all call him the 'Tiger Woods of poker.' That's when I knew I needed to do something next year that reminds everybody that I am the greatest no limit hold'em player in the history of the game."

Hellmuth becomes philosophical as he strokes his toy poodle, Princess. "Tiger has won fourteen majors. Well, you know how many Jack has won? Eighteen! When I show up at the main event in my suit and mask made of Jack Nicklaus skin, everybody will stop talking about the Tiger Woods of poker! Here comes the golden bear, baby! If Ivey's the Tiger, I am the Jack of poker!"

Sadly, not everything is ease and light for Hellmuth, who is fighting off rumors that the famed golf pro has become less enthusiastic about the project in recent weeks, refusing critical moisturizing in the early stage prior to harvest. When asked about this, Hellmuth becomes pensive. "Well, Jack's Jack, you know?" he says after a while. "Jack's Jack. He's a champion. He's a fighter. And because he's so competitive, you know, he hates to lose anything, whether it's a skins game or his actual skin. And you know, sometimes we have our differences of agreement, like two champions inevitably will. But at the end of the day, it'll put the [expletive deleted] lotion on itself or it will get the [obscene gerund deleted] hose again."

Nicklaus declined to be interviewed for this story.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Let's All Go To The Lobby

Here we are. The website that literally nobody was clamoring for! I started the FilmChaw in 2003, and I have a fond place in my heart for it as it was my first ever slice of the Internet. I kind of drifted away from it, but brought it back again after The_Goat_Speaks got me in love with blogging. Then I started trying to write my novel again while still posting to TGS. And now I'm doing some co-plotting on a novela about a great Elvis impersonator. Oh, and I want to make more videos.

Clearly this is a fine time to try to get my film blog going again, but that's what my big brain keeps insisting it wants to do, and who am I to argue with my big brain? It got me a Bachelor's in Liberal Arts, after all. Thanks, big brain!

But then it occurred to me that it really doesn't have to be MY film blog. I mean, look: almost everybody watches movies. If there is a communal art form, it's this one. On the other hand, there are such an endless variety of movie appreciation, of perspective on both specific subject materials, as well as of the historical and technical understanding of the medium itself, that it is pretty obviously our most diverse -- and diversely appreciated -- art form.

In other words, there are millions of movie lovers. But there are thousands of different kinds of movie lovers. That was the whole point of the events I used to have called "FilmChaws," now that I think of it. The idea was a "blind" DVD marathon, in which each participant would come with a secret movie. These movies would be drawn at random from the pool and watched with no pre-expectations. There were no limits to what you could bring. 1940s Hungarian art film? Fine. The latest multiplex Will Ferrell vehicle? No problem. Your favorite film ever? Sure. Your least favorite was jake with me, too. Anything. No limitation. The idea, you see, was to expand your perspective. To put yourself at the mercy of the artistic tastes or curiosities of another.

So why not have a blog that does the same? A communal place to write about film, to broaden perspective, to write about whatever the hell you want. Let's make this our place for writing about movies.

Contact me via comment to this post, or by IM, Twitter, or email (not hard to find if you ask enough poker bloggers) if you want to join up. Send me a letter if you have my address. Call my cell if you know the answer. If you are psychic, then . . . . [sending sending sending]

Here are the qualifications to contribute to FilmChaw.

You have to like movies in some way, and think that you might someday, maybe, want to write a couple sentences about them. And that's it.

You don't have to write about a specific type of movie. You won't be given an assignment. You don't have to write every week, or every month, or even ever. I mean it. I'll keep you on as a contributor if you haven't once posted in five years (assuming that blogs still exist in 2014 and we aren't just fluttering fleets directly to one another's inner eyelids using our new iHeads from Apple. What? You don't have a Flutter account? What are you doing? You're not still on Twitter), are you!?).

Hmm, what else can I do to un-limit this thing. Oh, here we go. You don't have to write movie reviews. Good, right? You have a scene you want to write about or just show? Do it. You want to write about an actor? You have my blessing, which you don't need. Or just write about a genre, or a director, or . . . I don't care. Television, books, comics, theater. OK, you get the idea.

So far it is me and (soon I think) Riggstad and Astin, as well as my buddy Hambone. This time tomorrow, it can be you!

And to be clear, this is not MY project, it's OUR project. If you post often and regularly, I'll make you co-administrator. Keys to the kingdom, baby. By ourselves any one of us could make a sad and neglected blog that nobody knows about or reads. Together we could make something wonderful and fun. I'll take door number 2.

Oh, and I think I will probably have a couple requests for how you situate your post tags once I figure out how that works, so that the reviews are easily indexed. But even if you don't I won't fuss.

Got it?

Cool. Pass the popcorn.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Is Kids In The Hall Day

Wow guys, has it been a whole week since I posted? I guess so since the Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeradicator! is still up on top. What can I tell you? I've been busy as a cat in a rocking chair factory.

Oh yeah. Cats work in rocking chair factories. You didn't know?

Anyway, here's a long-time favorite of mine. I hope you can ascertain its greatness.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Meet The November Nine 004: Kevin Schaffel

Once again I surface to bring you what I know about the November Nine, all of whom I have known for years. You have no idea what I've been through since posting the truth about Phil Ivey. It's been awful. I don't have all my toes anymore, though I do have somebody else's toes. My HMO is telling me that since the number of the toes in my possession is the same, it's a push. I can't argue with that logic, but it's unnerving. Whose toes are they? Whose?


Name: Kevin Schaffel

Age: 98

Occupation: Plunderer, Overlord

Nickname: Master, The Father Of Us All, Throngor the Merciless

Poker Style: Violently Aggressive

Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Card Capper: His first wife's femur.

Favorite Country Song: I Haven't Gone To Bed With Ugly Women, But I've Sure Woke Up With a Few, by Hank Boone Warbuttons

Brief Bio: There is no doubt about it, Kevin Schaffel is the most terrifying individual to ever make the final table of the Main Event. He keeps a castle out on the frozen tundra of the Mongolian Gobi, the highest point of elevation for hundreds of miles, and he rules all that he sees with a hand of thorned steel. Old and wizened by age, he nevertheless remains unnaturally strong; able to tear an ox in two with his bare hands or kill a man with his shoulder-blades, which he decorates with the sharpened teeth of his victims. The details surrounding his birth are shrouded in myth, but it is whispered that he was not born, but hatched.

He demands hefty fees from his vassals, who bring to him his bounty of three-quarters of all grains, cheeses, livestock, gold, and women. Three-quarters of a woman isn't great, but he doesn't seem to mind. His seraglio is the size of Cobo Hall, and houses over 2,000 women, 300 eunuchs, and, oddly, since 2006, Mike Tyson. If any dare to stand against his might, he rides against them in force, burns their entire village to the ground, salts their field, steals their goods, and pirates their WiFi. He wears a necklace made out of thumb-bones.

Naturally, this evil extends to the felt. He slow-rolls. He shoots angles. He shoots the guy in the one-seat. In fact, the reason he has chips is not because of any inherent skill, but because he immediately beheads anybody who gets all-in with him. It's an obscure rule but one that Harrah's Entertainment still enforces; if your head falls off at any point during a hand, your hand is killed with you. (This is where we get the poker term "dead money", as well as the phrase "I was a head in the hand.")

I "met" Kevin on a 1994 trip through rural Northern China, when one of his bands of marauders razed my caravan. I was able to keep myself alive by claiming to be magic, and told them that I could help their king understand the plot of Twin Peaks. Unfortunately, he found my conclusions to be "entertaining but unconvincing," and he sentenced me to death for 5 to 10 years in his dungeon. Bill Clinton got me out, of course, by promising him that he would allow him to disguise himself as a Hawaiian citizen and run for president in 2008 in a rigged election that would allow him to . . .

Oh my God. I've said too much. Never mind. I was kidding, I was kidding! IT WAS A JOKE HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Fun Fact: None of the facts about Kevin Schaffel are fun.

Previous Entries

Darvin Moon
James Akenhead
Phil Ivey

Tuesday, August 4, 2009