Green Splatter Monster Poker

Green paint was first seen splattered on the Lincoln Monument, one of the most iconic American images, and the Case of the Green Splatter Monster began.  With DC’s finest in pursuit, paint was then found splattered across the National Cathedral, also a thing of some prominence.  The Splatter Monster was identified as Jiamei Tian, a Chinese national, shortly after more paint was splattered on the statue of Martin Luther in Thomas Circle and the organ in the Luther Place Memorial Church–sort of obscure targets unless you have some sort of anti-Lutheran agenda, but whatever, still vandalism.  Finally, paint was detected on a statue of Joseph Henry, the first secretary of the federally administered group of museums.  And there you lost me, Ms. Tian.  What possibly have you against the museum secretary guy?  I understand you don’t speak English and your education of American history is probably limited, and you are most likely suffering from sort of crazy, but you went through the trouble of getting a passport, saving up money, flying from China to DC, getting a visa, and covertly vandalizing 5 highly-visible targets in our Nation’s Capital over the course of several days.  And now you are going to jail.  Maybe it’s worth doing some research on your targets?

Speaking of which, the penalty Tian faces is up to 10 years in prison, and up to a $5000 fine.  That seems an unbalanced combination.  10 years in jail is a shit load of your life to spend behind bars.  You could pay a $5000 fine by working 4 months at minimum wage.  I’m guessing that the sentence was made a long time ago when money was worth more, but 10 years was also a larger percentage of someone’s life back whenever, so it’s not just inflation making the punishment seem off kilter.  That’s like sentencing a Saudi blogger to 600 lashes and a wet willy.

So anyway, to celebrate the capture of the Green Splatter Monster, we will have poker as usual.  Come to [——–] at 8pm.  RSVP or you will be splattered with green paint.  But just paint.  Ms. Tian apparently mixed her paint with urine and feces, which is now being sent to the FBI labs for biological testing to confirm that all of the vandalism was linked and Tian is the lone culprit.  Yay SCIENCE!

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Royal Baby Food Poker

It’s a boy!  I’m so overjoyed that CNN can finally stop showing me pictures of the British royal baby bump.  Isn’t there a war going on somewhere?  I don’t really know what important things are happening because the only news spoon-fed to me involves the birth of a child who will never know the taste of Kraft dinner, and the riveting story of a dude sitting an in airport.  Breaking update–he’s still sitting there!
What does the royal baby eat?  Goose liver pate?  Mashed bangers and mashed mash?  Even if the royal chef sometime makes him a box of macaroni and cheese, it won’t be done right.  By which I mean improvised.  People who owe their lives to macaroni and cheese often do not have handy the listed additives.  Butter and milk?  Like I have other foodstuffs if I’m eating mac and cheese to survive.  How about a coffee creamer packet and a spoonful of fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt where I haven’t stirred in the fruit yet?  That will work. Orange powder don’t fail me now.
In celebration of the birth of the royal baby, let us harken back to the pokers of old, wherein I used to make kraft mac & cheese for all who were hungry.  With butter and milk this time.  RSVP and also state your anticipated hunger level.  Cards are dealt at 8pm.  Water starts boiling at 8:30.

How to Win Friends and Influence Poker

I was on the metro yesterday (on my way to a law school alumni networking happy hour) and the girl next to me had a tote bag that read “Friends are more important than money.”  While that seems like an honorable sentiment at first blush, I actually found this slogan to be extremely befuddling.  Under what circumstances do friends and money actually conflict, such that this priority has consequence?  True, you shouldn’t screw over your friends to get money, but you shouldn’t screw over anyone to get money, even strangers, because screwing people over is wrong.  So is lying and cheating and stealing, which are all ways of winning money and losing friends, but only tangentially to the fact that they are categorically wrong.
Being on my way to a law school alumni networking event, it struck me that most douchey DC people with lots of money also painstakingly maintain their friendships, because they are seen as promoting, not conflicting with, the pursuit of wealth.  Except to the extent that for most of my life, being a good student and a hardworking scientist or attorney often prevented me from going out with friends, or making friends, although it did advance my now somewhat lucrative career.  But what mother would tell her child that being a good student and responsible employee is less important than going out with friends?
I value my friends, presumably more than I value disposable income, I just don’t see the two battling heads up such that this slogan is has any more significance than “Friends are more important than pizza.”
Normally I would have just stared at my shoes and had imaginary debates in my head, but said girl looked over at me and complimented my skirt.  Needing to respond anyway, I replied, “Thanks, my mom got it from Costco.  That’s an interesting bag you have.  I find the slogan a bit confusing, though.  What does it mean to you?”  To which she replied, “Let me guess.  You’re a lawyer.”
Luckily I only had to sit there paralyzed by impotent rage for 30 seconds because it was my stop and I stormed out.  Well the joke is on her and her stupid bag and her dumb empty wallet.  Because I’m gonna invite a bunch of my FRIENDS over to play poker tonight and TAKE all their MONEY.  BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
So hey there buddy, ol’ pal!  Whatcha doin’ tonight?  Come over my house and play!  Start time is around 8pm, won’t it be fun? RSVP so I can count my friends (in $10 increments).

Horseshit Poker

This is coming at you all late because I have been speed pushing text all morning so I can get out of this office. I have to leave work early to go to a lecture on horse manure.  No, that’s not a euphemism for an appellate brief writing seminar, I am literally going to a class at a barn to learn about horse poo.  Unlike other kinds of animals, horses are not capable of throwing up, and they do not communicate internal discomfort to their caregivers.  So looking at the quantitative and qualitative properties of their poo is the only way to tell whether they are about to keel over and die.  Meaning that there is an entire profession of people–other than judicial clerks–that make a living by analyzing horseshit.  I must learn from them.
How about we aim for poker at 9pm?  I know that’s late for some of you, but I will be getting home late and will likely need to shower following this hands-on learning experience.  RSVP so we know that the time change will still command quorum.  If you’ve never been to [—–] before, you should be able to find it easily tonight.  Just follow your nose.

‘Merica Poker

I don’t know about all you clerk alums that work for soul-sucking law firms, but my office is closed tomorrow and Friday, because we love America.  Which makes today effectively Friday. Which reveals two classes of people: (1) the out-of-town-for-the-holiday-weekend-and-leaving tonight people, and (2) the whoo-it’s-pretend-Friday-let’s-drink people.  Assuming there is a quorum’s worth of the second type of people, it could turn out to be an epic poker.

To continue my rant from last week on the truly abysmal reporting of CNN, this morning CNN ran a patriotic story entitled 100 great things about America.   I’m not making this up, here were the TOP 10 [With my reactions]:

  1. Comebacks– Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, Donald Trump, Kobe Bryant, Arrested Development… Ours is a nation of second chances. [OK, good sentiment, too bad your only examples are celebrities, and it comes a few days after Texas just executed it’s 500th inmate].
  2. Wayfarer sunglasses–Immortalized by none other than James Dean, one of America’s coolest rebels. [OK, but number TWO on the list is sunglasses? Ever heard of the Bill of Rights? Freedom of speech?]
  3. Moxie– Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Kaufman, Kanye West, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Don King, the list of American originals — mavericks who have refused to entertain anything remotely close to the status quo — goes on and on. [Fair enough, though this motley crew is hardly exemplary.]
  4. Reality TV–From “This is Your Life” to “The Real World,” “The Jersey Shore,” and “Duck Dynasty,” the genre displays Americans at their most heroic, narcissistic, and human. [Go fuck yourself CNN.]
  5. Annual presidential turkey pardon [Yes, this is what makes America great…]
  6. Cracker Jack [They still make those?]
  7. Pixar [Who needs artists when you have computers?]
  8. The Rule of Law– Keeping us a nation of laws, not men. [Brilliant. Though apparently not as brilliant as the Jersey Shore and crackerjacks…?]
  9. Tupperware [All our tupperware is made in China.]
  10. Open source/free software movement [Not American. Fail.]

Yes, the country’s leading news outlet has told its millions of viewers that this Fourth of July, we identify our nationalism with sunglasses, junk food, and mindless entertainment.  Other gems from the TOP 25 include Beyoncé, Wisconsin cheese hats, Garfield, the Fast and the Furious franchise, and air conditioning.  I scanned the entire 100 trying to find something actually worth taking patriotic pride in.  What about a comprehensive free public education system?  Slipped in at number 92.  And the Peace Corps?  Barely worth mentioning at number 99.  But asshole celebrities getting away with murder?  That’s really the number one thing that makes America great.  I saw it on CNN.

Let’s make our own list tonight at 8pm at [——], as we throw around some red, white, and blue poker chips.  RSVP or England might recapture us.