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Photos from Old Town, Vilnius

Here are some photos that I took before my battery wore out. I am enamoured with Vlinius, and I haven't even seen the half of her. I'm going to cross my fingers that John brings me again the next time he has to come, because with how much work I'm doing, I know I won't be able to see as much as I want to. Still, here's a start on some pics.

These photos were taken mid-afternoon today while I was walking home the long way after working in a 24/hr cafe. I walked through the university district, bought my first souvenir, a red coffee mug, and two handfuls of postcards. I walked into a gorgeous bakery but was more in the mood for gelato, which they didn't have. I also walked into a few antique shops, but the silver candelabras were going for several hundred lita. More tomorrow....Thanks again, for following along.

Traditional Lithuanian Food

I have so much work to do online that I barely got out yesterday. Practically a sin for travelers, and I know a few people who'd read me the riot act, but I'm more interested in relishing that I get to work here at all.

I left the room in the afternoon for lunch, and went to a local pub around the corner. I recognized an American couple from breakfast at the Conti. (Our hotel provides a free breakfast every day, buffet style, but not with the amounts or caliber of entrees that you've come to expect from buffets in Vegas) So, breakfast couple was also eating at the pub for lunch. They didn't have an English menu, but the waitress could speak a little English, and I asked for their famous beet soup, bread, and beer.

The soup was fantastic! Warm magenta colored soup with beets and potatoes at the bottom and a dollop of sour cream on top. That, the bread, and the beer came to 5lita - $1.70.

For dinner we went to a traditional restaurant that John's co-worker had suggested. After entering the building we hunched over and made our way down uneven stairs that anyone over 5'11 would have trouble with. At the foot of the stairs were cavernous rooms with cozy inlets, some rooms leading to even smaller rooms. We took a cushioned seat at a wooden table in a large bright room, after the cozy library room seemed too full to enjoy our conversation. The black and white pictures on the wall with women in various states of undress, and a man with a surprised look on his face suggested that this restaurant had once been a whorehouse. I don't think we'd even gotten our beers when who should walk in but the Conti couple.

"Breakfast, lunch, and dinner?" I asked. John was perplexed. Ok, breakfast and lunch made sense, but how'd they make it over to this restaurant for dinner with all the other restaurants around? It's not like our conceirge suggested this one. I assured him that there was no reason that any CIA or FBI would be following me to Lithuania. Bad credit yes, checkered past, no.

Anyway, I had stuffed pork with potato pancake, mushrooms, tomatoes and brussel sprouts. John had a traditional Cepelinai, grated potatoes mashed together and boiled, usually with ground meat inside, but also curd, mushrooms, or even herring. We agreed my dinner was better, so he finished it up. That and three beers and a mineral water came to 51.20 Litas = $17.93

I loved the restaurant. Other diners had their food come in on stand up skewars, while other tables had candelabras on their table. Cellar dining is pretty darn cool, so I've been reading up on other traditional restaurants we can go to. This might be my favorite part of the day. That means that there's no way I'll be getting down to my TV weight on this trip.

I think there are so many reasons to like Vilnius, it's hard for me to understand why John hates being here. But we might've figured it out. He's working in a 400 yr old building and comes home with serious headaches every night that make him pass out. This morning he connected the way he feels to the building and thinks there might be some ancient Lithuaninan mold doing him in. This morning we woke up to a light falling snow out our window. The Conti couple was not at breakfast, and I will check in again with you later. Huge work day today, but hopefully I can do some of it offline and out in a cafe.

Thanks for following along.


Proof We're in Lithuania

We got in fine yesterday after three flights. It's great here, so much better than I had anticipated. John was here in October, and had been concerned I wouldn't have any cafes to hang out in. No worries, a bunch have popped up. Lithuania is now a part of the EU and transferring to the EURO soon, so cool shops and cafes are popping up all over the old down town where we are. And I'm excited to write up a travel article on Vilnius.

We're staying at the Conti in old town. It's exceptionally comfortable and functional. Much better than the accommodations I'm used to staying in.

We mostly slept after getting in, and John set up the most important travel gadget ever. Read all about the NETGEAR Travel Router on Written Road.

After a nap we went out for a food shop, and also for dinner. We had meat dumplings covered in a cheese gravy, and a think crust pizza with beer. It is one of John's fave places. Nothing fancy, kind of the Lithuanian version of a pizza place/soda fountain. Oh yeah, I had a yummy chocolate filled turnover with vanilla ice cream for dessert. The place is very western. We'll try a more authentic place tonight after he gets off work.

I'm working now, too. Must make up for the time lost over the weekend and day before I left. So, stay tuned for more pics. This is just a quick one so you know we're here. It's John all bundled up in front of a cathedral.I'll get better pics up tomorrow. I think I'm going to go on a tour tomorrow. There's plenty to see and I'm also going to contact the tourist board since I want to write a travel piece about Vilnius.

Re the weather, it's fine. Cold, but not enough to prevent me from getting out. John, however, plans to stay indoors more.

Current: Vilnius, Lithuania until Feb 6
Next: Amsterdam for night of Feb 6
After that: Deauville, France Feb 7-12


One More Day til Europe

I'm slammed. But excited. I've made hay with the guidebook, but there's still a chunk to do and hopefully I can really get on top of that today. I can't wait to get to Europe, I really can't. I've been corresponding with my friend Stephen from Gutshot Poker, and I can't wait to see him. The other day I talked to my friend Sean who'd actually been to Deauville for a film festival and said it's great there. And he wasn't even there in summer. Apparently there's a good sea food restaurant I need to try. But we'll see. John says the player's buffet is pretty good, and we have most everything taken care of.

I have to do laundry, unpack my car from when I moved from Vegas, and drop it in Pasadena where my grandparents will be picking it up. That's right, when I get back to LA I won't have a car. We'll see how that works. I'm not that concerned. I don't go far away, and the friends I see aren't far. They could easily pick me up, or I could even start riding my new bike. We're also close to a Metro link it turns out. And I'm walking distance to a WiFi library, so I'm not fussed.

Poker last night was fun. I went out early,and then lost another guy's chips as well. So, not on my A game. But damn fun. It's really one of the high lights of my week. And I can still say that with them harshing all my gigs. They didn't like my poker book idea, and now don't think I should go after a TV gig either. But John stood to my defense and said I'd be able to take the grind, and enjoy all that comes with it.

Oh, hey, I forgot to tell you, John took first last night. That never happens to him. We're concerned he used his luck on our homegame when he needs it for Deauville, but maybe it's just a sign that his good run continues. We'll see.

Ok, laundry, unpacking, packing, more guidebook. Would love to get my nails done. See what a girl I've turned into?

Burbank, Ca
Next: Vilnius, Lithuania (Jan 28-Feb 6)
After that: Amsterdam Feb 6
After that: Deauville, France Feb 7-12
And finally: Amsterdam Feb 12-15.


Lots to Do

I'm here, I'm in Burbank, and I've got a million things to do before we leave on Sat. The guidebook is still the bain of my existence, and to top it off, I'm having all sorts of email errors. People are replying to my emails, or sending me new ones, but not all of them are getting in. As an example, my publicists emails are not getting to me. I just spent this morning writing a guest column for Westside Woman a special edition of a Santa Monica newspaper. The deadline was today. I turned it in at 10am, and they're telling me it's late and maybe they can get it in next month. I don't understand that, but I have to let it go and move on. Jockstrap also has to be finished by the end of this month. And And And...a million things.

I heard that some people are making a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, or something like that. It's supposed to be inspiring. I bet I could fill it in two months. But hey, no need to be ugly, life is good, and I'm going to Europe this weekend. We're even staying at a nice hotel in Amsterdam between getting from Vilnius to France, to test it and see if it's good enough for the Valentine's Day weekend.

Amsterdam American Hotel
Check it out! WOW.

Aren't I spoiled? Don't say it, I already know it's true.


Going to the European Poker Tour French Open!

Not long after John was airing his bad run of poker, and thus the absence of updates on his blog, the luck mistress of poker noticed him over here in the depths of Burbank. He had an absolutely great poker weekend winning a high level SNG on Party, getting into a qualifier for the EPT to Deauville on Sunday, taking 2nd in a $100 tourney on Ultimate Bet, and then WINNING A SEAT INTO THE FRENCH OPEN!

As you know, we were already headed over to Lithuania, but John had high hopes of combining this with a return trip to Deauville, France. (He played there in last year's French Open and bubbled). He hasn't had much time to play, and when he has, luck was nowhere to be found. But for whatever reasons, everything rolled his way this weekend. I was out working yesterday and he sent me some two outer story, so I thought he was out. But not the time I was coming home he was adding to my to-do list—book Eurorail tickets to Deauville!

So, my fabulous poker scenester life continues, and this will add some legitimized flavor to my Girlfriend's Guide to Dating a Poker Player, which I will be working on in Vilnius. Ok, now, that's enough for now. I have to rush this news off to my fave boys over at Gutshot Poker to let them know I'm headed their way!

We will be staying at the Hôtel Normandy Feb 7-11. If he busts out early we'll get to do some side traveling, maybe spend a night in Paris, and then head back over to Amsterdam for V-Day. Last night we went out to dinner for a little celebrations Mexican style, and John said I seemed somewhere else. I guess you could say I was still in shock, like when he landed the trip to London. Or maybe, I was already there.

Current: Burbank, CA
Next: Vilnius, Lithuania (Jan 28- Feb 6)
Pitstop: Amsterdam (Feb 6)
After that: Deauville, France (Feb 7-11)
After that: ?? Amsterdam (Feb 13-15)


Writer and Editor find FREE WiFi in the Valley

Amy Scott and I are in town at the same time and finding great WiFi coffee houses to work in. I'm writing (still the Vegas guidebook), and she's editing (other travel guidebooks). We met back in San Francisco a few years ago, I think through a BootsnAll connection, but it's been so long I don't even remember. Neither of us know how long we're here for, in LA that is, but it's nice to work together while we are. Both of us are pretty good at actually doing the work while we're out because sometimes you go out to a cafe with friends, and it's too hard to resist a long gab session.

Today, we hit two coffee houses. One in Glendale, another in Atwater Village.

Urartu Coffee: 119 N Maryland Ave., Glendale, CA 91206 | 818.242.9666
(clean, parking garage with validation, sofas and tables and chairs, good tea, friendly staff, and lunch options)
Kaldi Coffee and Tea: 3147 Glendale Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90039 (323) 660-6005
(outdoor seating under umbrellas, good indie rock, excellent variety of freezes, retro living room furniture, and a friendly staff)

I've also been frequenting:
Romancing the Bean:
4109 W. Olive Ave. Burbank, CA | (818)955-7616
(comfortable pillow backed benches, tables, 2 outdoor tables)

Here's a GREAT list of coffee houses (some with WiFi) from the crew.

Current: Burbank, CA
Next: Vilnius Lithuania (Jan 28-Feb 15)


Visitors, Atwater Village, Backing Poker Players,

Susan and Jeff came to visit us in Burbank as part of their So Cal - Mexico vacation. I felt bad that they had to stay at Extended Stay, but that's just how it is right now. No room.

That said, I found a neighborhood *near* Burbank that I really like. Atwater Village which is about ten to fifteen minutes from here is in the middle of its revitalization period. There is a funky side on Glendale Road that has few WiFi coffee houses and an Osteria that I'd like to try. I was driving around there with Leigh the other day and we turned on a side street so I could finish a phone conversation. That's when we saw them. Cute Spanish style houses that were built in the 1920s and 1930s. Exactly the style that John and I like. I called him excitedly to say we didn't have to move as far as Long Beach. Some streets are manicured and the houses have been prettied up, and other streets, or even just other houses are clearly still owned by the same owner it's had for decades.

So....we might start looking at places after the Lithuania trip. If we're going to be here the rest of the year, then we might as well get into a bigger place. And then we can have guests, and lets get back to that.

We had a nice dinner at Kate Mantilini. John thought it'd be a very "LA" place with a bit of a scene. But, no. Not much. Chad Lowe was there, though. And Michael Jackson's old lawyer.
Still, the food was good, and the conversation even better. And now I'm waiting for them to call so we can have some breakky before they head down to the port to get on their cruise.

What else was I going to talk about? OH YES, THE POKER!!!
When we woke up this morning we heard Gavin was 2nd in chips at the World Poker Open in Tunica. Get it, Gav! And our friend from the WSOP Jay Greenspan had played, but unfortunately he's out. There is also a circuit event over there at the same time and I just can't keep track. I think Amy Calistri is still there so I better check in with her blog. I am particularly invested this weekend because CJ, one of the writers on Up for Poker, is playing in a $1000 NL tourney in Tunica. And I bought a piece of him!!! This is the first time I've backed a poker player, even just on a little 5% of 50% level. But CJ is good and he's been on a winning streak lately, and I got sucked into it because he's calling himself the LuckBox. And I love that. I want that name. But he's really doing it. So, go CJ!!!! And lets see if my $53 gets me anything...

Ok, that's all for now. Must work. Must finish guidebook.


Vilnius is Going to Be Cold

John told me Vilnius was so cold this morning that the thermometer broke. (He hates the cold). I think he meant the thermometer in their office.

I'm not worried about it yet, figuring that if I spent a winter in Belgium, I can handle a few weeks in Vilnius. But I did reply to him that I'll be shopping for some new pants and socks before we go. I think I've got shoes, down vests, and jackets covered. Might need a wool sweater or two, no big deal. I'm going to have a great time, and I'm sure the hotel room is heated. In fact, I'll get all the heat because their occupancy right now is only at 10%.

So, here's the weather for Vilnius, Lithuania this week.






0 ° | -11 °
1 ° | -7 °
3 ° | -5 °
1 ° | -7 °
1 ° | -7 °
Overcast Clear Partly Cloudy Overcast Partly Cloudy
via Wunderground

Current: Burbank, CA
Next: Vilnius, Lithuania (Jan. 28 - Feb 15)


Flying Cloud Heaven

I just got off the phone with Leigh and Brian who have restored a '63 Airstream and are driving around the country playing poker. It is a fascinating story from several different angles, and I encouraged them to write about it. I would love to see them get a regular column about their travels and casino adventures (Ahem, Amy and John). Leigh's enthusiasm for playing poker in Deadwood, SD is worthy of a full feature.

What's cool about our connections is that I was introduced by a Burbank librarian who found me online and asked me to do an author event at one of her libraries on a travel night. I guess she read that I was interested in the poker and turned me on to Flying Cloud blog, which is titled after the name of their airstream.

They are living my dream.

I look forward to meeting them, hanging out during the World Series this summer, and maybe even playing in their home game when they get back to LA. I'm pretty sure they're much better poker players than me, but who cares. It's all fun to me. And they sound too cool.

Check out their blog, their dog Curtis is the best.

Current: Burbank, CA
Next: Lithuania (Jan 28- Feb 15)


Lebowski Fest!

I have been wanting to go to this for SOOOOOO long. If you are fan of the movie, The Big Lebowski, you might want to come to the best party ever. Lebowski Fest! (March 3rd and 4th, 2006)

My friend Jenn reminded me of it and is coming down to LA for this year's big bash. One night of partying, screening of the film, celebrity appearances and what-have-you.

The next day we're going bowling!

The 2006 posters aren't out yet as far as I can tell. I need to collect all of them, but here's one of my faves, dude.

And yes, Tea, the BBE is still being too good to me. He got me the tickets to both days of fest this weekend. I'm overlooking the fact that he hasn't seen the movie, and I know I can't break up with him if he doesn't like it, but I'd be tempted. He tried to watch the movie last night after buying the tickets. And I said, oh no you don't, not with out Big Lebowskis. If you want to go out and get some vodka and kahlua, then we can watch it.

YAY! Can't wait!!


I Have a New Phone Number

But I haven't told anyone because I'm still working on the guidebook that never ends. What else is up with me? Well, I tried some fake Chanel Chance perfume and got a rash all over my neck. Yep, that's about it.

Current: Burbank, CA
Next: Probably Lithuania, thought I'm thinking about an over night in San Diego before hand.


Craig Miles

I spent two hours this morning on my blog post for Written Road called, "Happy Birthday Moleskinerie." All of that time was spent remembering an online friend that gave me my first Moleskine journal.

I have to get back to the guidebook, but it is crucial to take heart that life is better enjoyed while being positive. And in Craig's words,
Life is rich and full, challenging and up-lifting.
Anyway, be well, keep a strong heart and travel with peace and grace!
Current: Burbank, CA
Next: Vilnius, Lithuania and Amsterdam (Jan 28 - Feb 15)


Bar Napkin Bliss

I finished my pre-dinner workload for the day and was having a glass of wine in downtown Burbank at a Thai restaurant. I was sitting in a booth by the bar long enough for two men to walk in and sit in front of me on barstools. I sipped my wine and took notes on a yellow legal pad while I waited for John. When he got there and sat in the booth next to me, I playfully scribbled on my bar napkin.

That guy kept turning around and looking at me. He's so sad that you're here.

John took the napkin and began to write a msg back. He covered his hand over what he was writing so I couldn't see until he was done. Before he let me read it he said, "Okay now, this is going to be the best thing that I could write to you, are you sure you're ready?"

Sure, I thought. The thing about the guy was just a joke, what kind of retort could he have thought of? And then I read it:

LAX - AMS - Booked
AMS - VNU - Booked

That means I'll be Amsterdam for VALENTINE'S DAY!!!! For those of you who haven't known me a long time, I always have the worst Valentine's Day, never have a boyfriend, and when I do they never care about this day and fight to the death that it's just a Hallmark holiday with no respect that love is the most important thing to me and besides that I enjoy celebrating. So, this year, boyfriend, check, kiss, check, Valentine's Day in EUROPE, CHECK!!!!

We had sort of been talking about Paris for Valentine's Day because the European Poker Tour is in Deauville, France right around then. John won his way there in '05 (bubbled), and was trying to get there again this year. He also has to go to Vilnius, Lithuania for work, so he bundled it all together and we'll be over there just in case he qualifies for Deauville in the next few weeks.

We leave on January 28 and will be in Vilnius for a week, if he makes it into the EPT French Open, then we'll head down there, otherwise we'll stay in Vilnius and have a side trip somewhere. Then it's back to Amsterdam where we fly out on the 15th. So, we'll at least have Valentine's Day in Amsterdam (I love it there), and maybe an extra day or so, too.

I'll do my email, blogging thing by morning, write the Girlfriend Guide in the afternoon, and play poker in Lithuania by night. Two weeks and change in Europe. He says this is the happiest he's seen me in a month, but I assure you, that doesn't mean I haven't been happy the rest of the time.

Current: Burbank, CA
Next: Amsterdam and Vilnius (Jan. 28 - Feb 15)


Lure of the Cards

I wrote a story called, "Lure of the Cards," that's out in a new eZine called Perceptive Travel. Be warned, it's not a humor piece. It was nice of Tim to ask me to write it and an honor to be included in the premiere issue of a web mag authored only by published travel writers. I blogged about it's launch on Written Road.

Back to Vegas guidebook work...I have to get it done so I can get some mullah and also so I can start working on my book proposal for the Girlfriend's Guide to Dating a Poker Player. I can't wait to see what a book like this will go for. Hopefully enough to get my student loans sorted, and a little something extra for furniture.

Current: Burbank


Hard Work Week

In case I haven't mentioned the words "Best Boyfriend Ever" lately, he still is. I'm having one hell of a time with the Vegas guidebook and this morning John asked me to smile for him. I obliged, with something more like a sneer. Then I left for an excercise thing I'm doing that I don't want to talk about right now because it might take six months to lose the 30 lbs I've gained. But, the thing I do want to talk about is that when I returned, I bumped into him downtairs, and he sent me up without him. I asked if he moved my desk into the bedroom as some kind of jail until I finish this guidebook—but no. Sitting on my desk was a dozen red roses. Just beacause I'm having a tough day.

Roses are not the kind of flower I'd buy for myself, but guess what, they're gorgeous. And thinking about it now, I can't remember the last time I've received them. Maybe when I left TT to go to Australia, and those were on the table, and not from a boy.

It has really made a difference. I'm happy at my desk and I'm grinding away like a good little worker bee.

Current: Burbank, CA
Next: No plans yet


Moving and Shaking

It's been a busy and exciting morning over here in SoCal.

I woke up to an email from the agent that I want saying she's interested in my next book, The Girlfriend's Guide to Dating a Poker Player. It's a stepping stone, but still good progress. I wanted to nail this down by end of Feb, so this makes me on track, if not ahead of sched.

In other work related news, I signed up to participate in the Amazon Connect program. This will allow me to communicate with those that are buying my books on Amazon. I can chit chat with them, post new news about the books, and especially let them know about upcoming author events.

This afternoon I'll be interviewing Mark Seif for my Men of Poker article in Women Poker Player Magazine. And I turn in my gossip column for BLUFF on Wednesday.

And, of course, I'm trying desperately to wrap up this Vegas guidebook. But I did take a long break yesterday.

Current: Burbank
Next: No plans as of yet.


Working in Burbank, that's all

Hi everybody, I'm in Burbank and very busy. I cleaned my desk last night and that made me happy. I'm struggling with the Vegas guidebook, but that's guidebook work. We had dinner with our friends Leigh and Seth and their 14 month-old daughter Riley last night. I love eating on patios.

Good and bad things are happening to my friends and I think about them more than I have time to write about them, or write to them about their struggles and gains.

I've added some Google ads to this site, lets see if anything comes of it. It makes money for other people I know. More importantly, I hope the search engine will work for you since I've yet to figure out how to code categories for Blogger.

I'm doing a pretty good job about not mentioning travel during this first week of January, but we are talking about a trip to Japan in March. The National Tourist Org for Japan wants to send me there, but we're still working out the details. If it works out, John will come with as he's always wanted to visit Japan. And TT seems to be working on 30 Days in Japan, so that would work out nicely.

Life is good in this corner of the world. I'm eating a tuna fish sandwich.

Burbank, CA
Next: No immediate plans


Written Road via Blog This

I'm testing out a new Blogger element called "Blog This!" Lets see what it did for Written Road.

Oh my gosh this just made blogging so much easier! Except that I need it for WR and Moveable Type more than I do for JenLeoLive. And now, thanks to Chris the exper MT guy, I now can do this on Moveable Type for Written Road.

I feel like I've been living in the stone ages!

No 3-Pete for My Trojans

I'm in shock over the results of the game last night and can't bare to call my dad. We had a great party at Mark's where we usually play poker on Thursdays. It was excellent to watch the game in HDTV, and I was thrilled to get to do my thing of providing the guys with grub. We started with chips and dip, chips and salsa, veggies and dip, whipped cream cheese with a berry chipotle sauce and crackers, then snags and mac and cheese, a bit of thin crust cheese pizza, and finally some taquitos and home made guac. Oh yeah, and homemade brownies. What was even nicer than getting to play food gal was that the guys were actually genuinely appreciative. But I couldn't muster the grace to accept their thanks because I was so overcome by the last few minutes of the game and the final score.

I wonder what the Boi from Troy has to say about all of this.

Yep, the Boi has grace. Read his report, "Thursday Morning Quarterback."

I want to learn from his example—Congratulations to the Texas Longhorns.


2006 is off to a great start!

We're back safe in Burbank and nose is to the grindstone. I'm madly trying to finish Night + Day Las Vegas for At the same time I'm finsihing up radio promotion for The Thong Also Rises.

2006 is indeed off to a great start. I put a post up yesterday seeking volunteer contributors for Written Road and have already received four applications. One of which is for a paid position to blog for my Vegas travel site, VivaLasVegasBlog. Up until now I've had a lot of help from Kelly Amabile, but she's off on her own wild travel adventures now, and that is really inspiring.

And if it weren't great enough that my Trojans are in the Rose Bowl tonight and charging towards their 3Pete, or third National Championship, I got the added bonus of having the agent I want email me yesterday. She had picked up The Thong Also Rises over Christmas and was checking in with me to see how my TV show pitches and next book projects were coming along.

In other news I'm really looking forward to getting an office and an assistant. I like having my hand in several projects, and instead of trying to do it all myself, I'm just going to create a network or partnerships and assitants that can keep everything running smoothly. I posted on Written Road about the megalopolis (my friends are now calling the Jenopolis) that I'd like to create this year. Basically it just means that I want to push projects to fruition instead of leaving them as ideas. It didn't necessarily mean just for WR, it was meant for all that I'm doing.

Here's my year thus mapped so far:
January—finish the Night + Day Las Vegas for
February—write The Girlfriend's Guide to Dating a Poker Player, get agent, start selling it
March—push hard for a travel/gambling TV gig (Trip to Japan)
April—What Color is Your Jockstrap? releases
May—promotion for Jockstrap
July + August—World Series of Poker in Las Vegas
September—Written Road Travel Writing Class in Las Vegas (TBA)

On the poker front, this is a big poker month. Some are headed off to the Caribbean, while others are headed off to Australia. Still more friends are going to Tunica. Gavin Smith has made an open invite to Daniel Negreanu, to use 2006 to see who the best player in Canada really is and I wish him all the best luck. (Gavin is who I openly stole the name of this website from as his site is As for me playing poker, I've been spending time playing SNGs on Daniel Negreanu's FullContactPoker.

Ok, back to work. I hope 2006 is great for all of you and I appreciate you following along here since I don't have time to call everyone all the time. And, it goes without saying, FIGHT ON TROJANS! BEAT THE LONGHORNS!!!!

Current: Burbank, CA
Next: Would you believe, there is no next!!


Last Day in Charleston

Here's the deal with Charleston—it's a new option. John has always wanted to live here, and now I love it, so, we have another option outside of Long Beach. I've received one freak out email about moving from the West Coast, and I wouldn't be surprised to receive more. But everyone can rest assured that it won't be happening before this year's World Series of Poker in Las Vegas (July - Aug).

That said, I am melting for the palmettos, fans on the porches and verandah's, downtown culinary scene, the large houses, and John's truly nice, down-to-earth friends. In an imperfect world where Australia is too far away and difficult to get permanent residency, where Milwaukee is too cold half the year, and where LA is just too damn big , trafficy, and vain—Charleston is an excellent alternative. I can't begin to tell you what a better quality of life it would be, especially where building a family is concerned.

We walked around quite a bit yesterday, looked at more houses, and I can see myself being happy here. I can see myself being happy *working* here. Who wouldn't be happy working in a brick and timber building in the middle of a charming 200+ yr old downtown next to the ocean? Friends greet each other on the street, and it's ok to pop over to your friends' houses while they're still in their pjs.

Here are some pics of the houses.

A $799k house we'd looked at several times.

(Below - right) The blue house is one that we could rent right now, and it's in a GREAT neighborhood.

(Below - left) This is a typical Charleston single house. If we moved downtown, our price range would get us one of these in a various state of needing repair. These houses were made in the 1870s-1890s.

I absolutely can't get enough of the porches.

More nice porches.
I didn't take pictures of downtown because I waited till the very last minute for our picture tour. But Discover Charleston is a great resource with photos of the town and what it has to offer.

Another option were we to choose this town to build a future in is to live on one of the islands and commute 20 minutes into downtown for work. That scenario would be pretty nice, too.

Houses out on the islands are still in their 200ks and you could spend all day downtown in a great old building for an office.

Anyways, like I said, I highly doubt a move would happen any time soon. Soon being this month or next, I just wanted to show you the houses so you could see why I liked it so much. I'm forever dreaming about my first real office. And if you're up on Written Road, you know about the megalopolis I want to build. :-)

Happy New Year everyone!

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