Deadwood and a crush

I’ve got two things today,

First, something that has been mentioned before a million times, including on SD Watch’s “Not the Deadwood Pioneer”: Deadwood is a great show. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t already been formulated by critics and fans for the past two years, I know, but I really enjoy this show.

Along with a few friends, Kerrie and I traveled to Deadwood (the city) this past summer on our way to Idaho. I became enamored, for a little while at least, with the rugged history of Deadwood. I found the legend of a mining town that doubled as a sin-filled hole of gambling, prostitution, and general drunkenness to be a quite fascinating story.

Needless to say, the Deadwood I visited was no where near the same as the one on the television show. Today’s Deadwood is a bright, glitzy tourist trap, packed to the edges with degenerate gamblers and overweight travelers. There were parts that I enjoyed, I’ll admit. I liked the idea that beer was free for those at the poker tables, and that there were enough places to go that you could easily get by just watching hundreds older couples push quarters into a slot machine or you could shop and drink and gamble on your own.

What I did not like, though, was the idea of playing live poker. I sat down expecting to have fun, but I found myself trying to concentrate on not losing my money. You can’t do anything at a live poker table unless you have $30-40 in chips (minimum) and you’ve got to be a top notch player in order to stay around long enough to have anything that could be classified as “fun.”

I guess I don’t care much for gambling types. When I play cards, I do it to have fun. I’ll throw in $5 with my friends, but I sure as hell don’t want to throw in $40 and only stick around for 15 minutes.

It was my own fault, though. I know this now. I felt the allure of gambling in a live setting, and I continued to try my hand, so to speak. I kept trying to take on Deadwood, and kept failing.

The people who play poker professionally, or at least do it to make money instead of as a game, are a different breed. I gaze upon these guys in absolute wonder when I see them on television – they are taking the game so seriously that it’s any wonder that they find themselves enjoying it at all. I think anyone that takes poker seriously has something wrong with them, and I’d just as soon not play with them at all.

That’s an aside, however. Deadwood, the television show, is great. Never have I been so happy to watch a show that features violence, sex, and heavy drinking. The good guys are hardly good, and the bad guys are nearly devils. I never imagined getting into it as much as I have, and I especially never imagined Kerrie becoming enamored with the show; she’s ahead of me by about four episodes, and I’ve found myself desperately trying to catch up.

So, with a nod to Jim for letting us borrow it and another to Todd for calling me Con Stapleton, I suggest Deadwood to anyone and everyone.



Thanks to Millions: A Blog about Books (one of my favorite new blog finds,) I found this story at “My First Literary Crush – The books famous people loved in college.”

I thought about it for a long time, and there are a few authors that I would lump into the category of my own first literary crush.

First of all, going back to high school, I found that I was reading a lot of Stephen King – an author that is so well known and so predictable that I’d feel embarrassed about it if I wasn’t secure in my own “well-read”-ness. The books? Primarily The Stand, though I was a fan of some of his newer stuff, including Insomniac.

During high school I also latched onto a group of “the future looks bleak if we continue down this road” authors; Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 all adorned my shelves and were read and re-read during my four years at Lincoln High School.

In college I went through a brief “beat” period, though it was mostly just a Charles Bukowski period, and so I guess Bukowski was my first college literary crush. My first post college crushes belong to Bill Bryson and Paul Theroux.

My current literary crush is John Steinbeck. How I never discovered this guy until now is a mystery.

This was lovingly handwritten on November 21st, 2005