Sunday, June 04, 2006

Go DJ - Lil Wayne


In a bet there is a fool and a thief. ~Proverb




Starting from the left of the dealer button, each person is dealt two cards face down, which are sometimes referred to "pocket" or "hole" cards. After receiving your cards, players (in succession) are given the opportunity to "call" (equal a bet with one of your own), "fold" (to discard your hand) or "raise" (to make a bet that is at least double of the initial bet)
the initial bet called "the big blind" (Note: "the small blind" [which is half of the big blind] and "the big blind" are two forced bets to the left of the dealer button that help induce action). This time here is called the "Pre-Flop".

Now, after all bets are called pre-flop, the dealer "burns" one card (this is done by taking the top card of the deck and discarding it) and turns over the next three cards onto the table. These are community cards that all players use to make a five-card poker hand. This is called "The Flop". Now, once again starting from the left of the dealer, players given the opportunity to "check" (which is to pass the opportunity to bet) or "bet" their hand. If a bet has been made, you are then able to raise that bet. If you cannot call said bet, you may fold.

Once all bets are called on the flop, the dealer burns one card and flips over one card. This is called "The Turn". Players are once again to check or bet. If a bet has been made, you may fold or raise.

Once all bets are called on the turn, the dealer burns one card and flips over one card. This is called "The River". Now, this is the last card to be shown. Players are once again to check or bet. If a bet has been made, you may fold or raise.

Once all bets are called on the river, all players show their hands starting with the player who bet first. Based upon their two hole cards and the five community cards, the winner is the person who has the highest ranked five-card poker hand out of the remaining player.

Those are the rules of how to play. Yet, here's how poker players play this game.

Pending on what "position" (where you are situated based upon the position of the dealer button) and what "tells" (gestures that some players do that can show the strength or weakness of their hand) you're getting, you can see what you're up against and plan what you want to do. You can isolate yourself with fewer players by raising, therefore making other player fold their less than average hands. On the other hand, you can choose to "limp in" (another term for calling) with the others and try and get a lot of money in the pot by having a lot of people on the flop, which usually means more money involved. But, be warned. If you have a pocket pair of aces and are beat by 5-2 "offsuit" (when your cards do not match suits i.e. 5 of hearts and 2 of clubs is an offsuit hand), that's your own fault.

Now, when the community cards are being shown, you have to see where you are in the hand. Now, betting is done to show the "strength" of a hand. With betting, always take into consideration the size of the bet and the size of the pot. If a small bet is made in comparison to the pot, that usually indicates that they want you to call and stay in the pot because they have a big hand. If a large bet is made in comparison to the pot, that usually indicates that they're "protecting their hand" (if a flop shows up 7-8-9 with two of them being hearts, and you have 8-9 of spades, you want to bet to protect from a flush [a five card hand of the same suit] and a straight [a five-card hand of cards in sequential order]). Mind you, this is not always the case!

You sometimes find people making various bets because of them "switching gears". Now, this is a long tern action where a player indicates to the other players at the table of their playing style. Like, if a player is folding a lot of hands and betting strongly, that show's the table that the player is very conservative. Or, if a player is playing a lot of hands and just calling, that show's the table the player is very loose. Moreover, if a player making big bets and raising a lot, that shows aggressiveness. Now, by a player indicating this, they can use that to their advatage. If a conservative switches gears and becomes aggressive, players will usually fold to them because of previous hands. Or, if an aggressive player switches gears and become conservative, players will usually call because they believe that said player plays with any two cards.

As well, there's the infamous "bluff". Stated previously, betting is done to show the strength of a hand. Sometimes, players make bets not based on their hand, but based upon your hand. If a player is "reading" that you have top pair on a board with 7-8-9 and all three are of the same suit, he can just as easily start betting at you to make you believe that he has something better, strictly based upon what's on the board and not what his/her cards are.

That's why there's such an appeal to this game. Sometimes it's not about the hand at all. Betting money even becomes trivial. If you can get into a player's head and create the image that you want them to see of you, you don't even need your cards because the game becomes something else. It becomes cerberal. It's not about having a Queen high... it's about making your opponent believe you have a royal flush.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Untitled #4 (aka Njosnavelin/The Nothing Song) - Sigor Ros


"Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your own wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But man, there's no boundary line to art." - Charlie "Yardbird" Parker, musician





I've been to so many concerts in my life. Punk. Hip-hop. Rock. Festivals. Clubs. Concerts in people's backyards. I've seen a lot of things. Yet nothing really prepared me for what I was going to see at Massey Hall on May 13th. To the point I still think about it; and to the point that it's haunting me.

I've never been to a concert where you could hear a pin drop and still be enthralled by the silence. I've never been to a concert where the band placed themselves second to what they want you to see on the screen. I've never been to a concert where I've actually complimented
the lighting. Ive never been to a concert where the music made everything seem so personal from sitting a thousand chairs away at the upper messanine level. I've never been to a concert where being teary-eyed and poignantly moved makes more sense than screaming at the top of your lungs in excitement and pumping your fist.

I've never been to a concert like this before.

Not a chair is empty and people are standing towards the back to see this band play. You're just in awe to see 8 people on stage make a sound that only can really be described as "God-like". Not in a blasphemous way. But, if God were to have an elevator, he'd have them playing... on heavy rotation.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

We Are - hisgirlfriday



"A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence." - Leopold Stokowski, conductor





I was sitting backstage watching how people interact with each other. How the subtleness of body language and the tones of speech can speak much larger volumes than what they're actually talking about. Like, there's such a difference from a simple wave of the hand to the shake of the fist. That's how I feel about being a musician. Like, anyone can play a Nirvana song, but if you're in the moment, you can actually feel Kurt Cobain in your picking hand as your jumping up and down, feeling every inch of rock coming out of those monitors...

Now I'm behind the venue having a cigarette with 10 mins to spare for myself cause I need to be alone. Not cause I'm introverted. It's cause I'm making myself ready to leave every last ounce of myself on that stage. I'm going exude every emotion that I have and blast it through one concentrated moment. This maybe a 20 min set, but I'm going to make it a brief lifetime. Those poor audience members don't have any idea what they're in for...

Now I'm behind the stage and ready. I feel the intensity in the air and the electricity of the crowd has never made me feel so alive. I say an eulogy to my old self that will die when I step on stage cause a new life will start for me then. I tune my guitar, check my pedals and amp, and I drink the last of my beer. I hug my friends as we cross the border from mediocrity to living in a moment that none of us will ever forget.

Now I'm in front of the venue putting all the equipment into the van, getting ready to go home. We hang out with friends as we reminisce about the show. Some passers-by congradulate us on a show well done, as some ask us for any change. I can't help but feel that we're almost there; almost on the brink of world stardom and record contracts. But, I cherish these moments cause we're not doing it for the world stardom or the record contracts. These moments are for us and our own.

Now, I'm driving home thinking of grabbing something to eat.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Float On - Ben Lee (Modest Mouse cover)


"Time is the coin of life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you." - Carl Sandburg, writer


I'm writing this for the public to read, but I'm reaching out to one person essentially.

We are all on this planet to make use of what time we have here to create something special. Time then becomes a constant variable with everything we do. In some cases, we use this time to become many things... successful, rich, intellectual, and (most notably) happy. Sure, some people (like myself) believe in the notion that making people happy, in turn, makes you happy. Yet, like the exhausted cliche goes, you can't make everyone happy. So, my revised verison is...

You can't make everyone happy... so you should at least be happy first and foremost.

It may be a tad selfish to think like that, but how can you make other people happy when you aren't happy yourself? Therefore, you can't make decisions on what's going on in your life based on what people are saying. You know what good for you because, in the long run, only you (and you alone) knows what's right for your life to become happy. Sure, what people say can make the most logical sense, but how come it usually doesn't make sense in your heart?

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Context of the quote:

In the Sandburg quote, the metaphor of time "being" money is so true. It may be intangible, but time is the most precious, valuable thing that we have. We need to use it to it's maximum potential cause wasted time is no good for us. You can't get back time. With that, you have to make sure you know what you're in for cause there's no turning back time. You have to believe that you can handle the world that you are leading yourself into with all of it's possible horrors.
Life's to precious for you to second guess yourself about a mistake that you made. Believe in what you do is the right thing for you and never forget that.

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To That One Person

There's a million things I can say in this blog about this made-vagued subject because there's a million things that you have to hear. But, I don't have the right to tell you what I think, or to tell you what to do. That's your choice. With that, I can say this...

I miss you...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Lower you Eyelids to Die With The Sun - M83



"In old theaters, two projectors are used, so someone has to change projectors at the exact second when one reel ends and another reel begins... It's called a "changeover." The movie goes on, and nobody in the audience has any idea." - Jack, Fight Club



We are all dying...

Not physically speaking, but in a very modernized, social-economic Sylvia Plath sort of way. Like, for example, how can the pursuit of happiness now become the pursuit of the newest fashion trend? Or, the fact that how can the ailments of life can also be the need of something with a price tag? Simply, it all comes down to the fact that who we are is based on our bank statement.

Happiness = (The ability to purchase whatever you want) x (previous state of happiness)

This has been a thought that's been in my head for a long time... and I hate the idea of money being a focal point of how we feel. I haven't really considered it to be true, but it's hard not to see it around you.

I woke up this morning with the rude awakening that I need to find a new way of living. That what I do defines me, but it hasn't created anything out of me. That I became a product out of my environment, and I'm stuck in it with so much more potential that's gone wasted. I'll support and respect it, but I need to move on.

Mistakes have been made and truths have to be revised.

Happiness = (economic stability) - (the desperate need to make the quick dollar)

I guess it's time to swallow your pride, admit your humility, learn from past regrets and just get the f**k up. Goodbye yesterday, hello tomorrow and let me bask in the sun of the present.

Sure, the idea that every day can be mundane and bland can be true. But, the idea that one day can change the rest of your life has never sounded more real.