|Dead Presidents and Dictators.
||[Dec. 30th, 2006|08:34 am]
And by dawn on the eastern shores of the United States, Saddam Hussein was dead.
I returned home at 4 AM from celebration of my friend Jim's 30th birthday. We went out to Gilbert's Lodge, a place where Marshall Mathers worked during the mid-1990s. The place was packed at 7 PM, so packed that all the spots were filled in the parking lot, and people were parking along the adjacent street. Jim's party of eight finally sat down after about an hour. The wait was worth it.
The service was courteous and attentive, despite one mix-up. Heidi doesn't care for tomatoes in form of bits, slices, or whole. She is fine with tomato sauce. The waitress had assured Heidi that there were no tomatoes in the calzone she ordered, but when she cut into it, there were tomatoes. Heidi let the waitress know, and she apologized and sent in an order for a hamburger as a replacement. The hamburger came back in reasonable time, and she enjoyed it.
The food at Gilbert's is reasonably priced, just under the going rates for dishes served at your local corporate flair establishments, and the quality of the food was the same. We drank Cokes and coffees and smoked and chatted and had much fun.
I talked with Brad about a retarded voice mail I sent him a few weeks ago in which I tried to describe a dream to him in an attempt to help him come up with a story idea. When I called him, I was still half asleep, so most of the call was probably gibberish. This time, I gave better detail.
In this dream, I wasn't in it. It was more like a scene to a movie. At night, I viewed a front of a house in a neighborhood, from the street. Police tape outlined the house property, and people and trees reflected off the rotating police car lights. In this dream, there was a minimalist set of notes . . . a drawn-out doo-doo-doo-doo in some high, low, lower-high, lower-low minor key that played over and over, and when I woke up, I remember the first thought that occurred to me . . . most of the memorable horror films (Halloween, The Exorcist, Jaws, et cetera) had a minimalist theme song. I tend to never remember my dreams, and the theme song begged me to share with him.
Since Brad's writing some interesting horror-genre screenplays, every little bit of inspiration could help, and I always want to help when I can. Brad has already finished two feature-lengths, and from his conversation, I understand that his group desires a first effort that is as straightforward as possible. His first two feature-lengths sounded freaking excellent, but they're too genre-bending for that first effort. I look forward to getting his screenplays to read.
Jim's current screenplay is in the comedy-genre, and it partly stems from the wheelhouse of folks he knows in real life. From what I've read, the initial draft of first and second acts hold jokes that hit high-brow and low-brow at the same time. His jokes bite pretty swell to someone reading cold. I feel great power from his pages. Jim's work initially happened for a class grade, and now Jim's writing it into a feature-length screenplay. We spent the previous evening from 2 AM to 10 AM in spitballing mode, throwing out the ideas for his third act. Brad's going to read Jim's work, and I'm sure he'll come up with some sweet ideas.
I feel really blessed to be surrounded by such creative friends.
After dinner, we traveled to play some poker at the new house of Brad's brother and his brother's wife.
The house featured an amazing blend of modern and classic. I really liked the hardwood floors. Brad's brother, Brian, had redone the basement, and it featured a finished ceiling with white tiles and cornice. Most basements in homes in Wayne County were never finished with a ceiling, and Brian did a really sweet job.
We played cards in his basement while Blue Crush played on the widescreen HDTV. I didn't pay too much attention to the film because I was playing cards, but the film looked like it actually had a story. It's girls laying pipe, or something like that, and Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth), a blonde surfer, falls for an american football player with a truck. There was a lame fight scene in which I'd have enjoyed someone pulling a gun, but that's my Detroit reaction. Obviously, that's too serious for the beaches of Hawaii. Kate Bosworth looked like she needed a sandwich.
I didn't do poorly for someone who hasn't really played Hold 'Em in months. I put in ten bucks, 5 for me, and 5 for Heidi. I ended up finishing second in the tournament to Brad and got back the ten bucks. Heidi grew tired, and I went with her back to the house to pick up my car to return to the game.
When I returned, it was past midnight, and we found out that Saddam Hussein had been executed. The former dictator of Iraq was hung, something that surprised most of the remaining crowd. I was surprised at the swift process of his execution, with regard to time. He was sentenced to death for crimes against humanity in early November of this year. When Saddam Hussein's appeal failed this week, it triggered an order to execute within thirty days, according to the law under the Iraqi High Tribunal. The country wasted absolutely no time.
Saddam's end wasn't completely justified by the means. If the coalition that spearheaded from the United States had not entered into war with Iraq, then Saddam and his sons, Uday and Qusay, could be currently going about their usual tyrannical business. Almost 3,000 US troops have perished in the 2003-to-present conflict, and a far greater number of Iraqis in the countless tens to hundreds of thousands have died. The circumstance surrounding the coalition effort, in sum, is questionable for merit to invade. However questionable of circumstance, Saddam Hussein was captured, defended himself in a trial by his own people, was found guilty, and paid for his crimes. Iraqis did not forget that Saddam directly contributed to countless murders of Iraqis by his hands and orders. Celebrations broke after his death.
We started a cash game, and I put in another 5 bucks. Over this night, I switched loose and conservative play. Sometimes I just wanted to buy the pot. Other times, I had something spectacular, and I also wanted to buy the pot. I did a check raise in which I gave Brad the willies, and I had Brian guessing at one other point, and both of them play often, so that felt nice to have their attention. I was taken on a shrewd series of checks by Brian in which I got caught getting greedy after the river in a ludicrous less-than-dollar pot buy for 1 dollar. He suddenly responded with a raise of a couple bucks. I saw it, and I was floored by pocket aces. We traded each others' dead presidents through the early morning with poker chips as representation. At one point, I reminded Brad of a poker night many years ago in which I referred to myself as "Deus," to which the table often responded to me, "Hey, Davis."
I received 6 bucks in return on the cash game at the end of the evening, bringing my total to plus-one George Washington for a night's play.
While Saddam Hussein paid for his crimes, I enjoyed my evening.