I came across his blog by accident back in 2002. On the internet that’s a pretty long time. I was browsing pages in a depressed mood when I stumbled upon the Tao. I wrote him this mail:
I just wanted you to know that I too detest the cloning-business, and I will
oppose on your behalf the cloning of h-beings. Some of the keywords on
your page are really interesting, by the way; tao, dostojevsky, cloning…
I think you’re intelligent. Prove me wrong.
Sigg3.net and Tao of Pauly were closely linked together ever since that mail. He’s always been really supportive about my writing, especially back then when I needed someone externally, although I was a shitty writer. Was. I’m not that unconfident any longer. But all writers have bad periods, because "lay men" seldom recognize the hard work and dedication you put to it, and you’re too insecure about your shit to let anyone else read it. That’s because you’re all alone. Or you think you are. Pauly also had some bad times. I remember when he was thrown out by his uncle (was it?) and he’d asked us to write letters to his defence. I was enraged. I know how hard writing can be, but what’s really hard is when people close to you sneer at your dreams.
I’m glad I could help and inspire.
In March 2003 we started up Good News, a blog that would essentially cover good news. I had no idea at the time that it’s a conventional name of the New Testament. We didn’t run it for very long, but the few posts we had were good.
Pauly urged me to join in on his Truckin’ zine, but it wasn’t until December 2003 I gave him an OK to print my updates from Cuba, especially the one about my first baseball match and the one about getting mugged. Since then I’ve always tried to find something I could submit.
He once sent me a postcard from sin city, wishing me a merry x-mas. Pauly’s one of the people I’ve met on the web that I’d really like to meet in RL. Most people are temporary aquintances, busy with their own shit, well, who isn’t? Temporary. That doesn’t sound right. Indifferent is more like it. Most people are indifferent to the way things turn and what’s valuable. Pauly’s not one of those.
Thanks to the Tao my Female of the Year contests were annual hits. Lifting the competition and insight (of busty blonds) to an international level, and dragging it down to a dirty bull fight when the deadline came closer and closer. Katie Holmes never won, but I bet she would be touched by Pauly’s heroic efforts.
I closed down the contest because it was too much work. And the amount of emotional emails I received. People took it personally, which mainly was Pauly’s doing.
Today, he’s one of the most well-known, and not fairly but extremely well-connected bloggers. I don’t read poker blogs, because I’m one of those twats that can enjoy playing it but that’s where I draw the line. I get restless knee syndrome and chain smoke till I’m all tears. And I lose. So I was always one of those Tao readers who asked him to not write too much about poker, but other stuff too. We want more Pauly. So he split up his blog and started the Tao of Poker. That proved to be a brilliant move, both for him professionally, and for us non-pokerians. Today I guess most people read both (or all, considering he has several other projects). I must confess that Pauly’s poker coverage is among the more entertaining I’ve read so far. You should check it out.
Now he turns 34 years old, still going strong, many thousands of gonzo posts and don’t know how many novels since the Tao opened in May 2002. I bet he’ll still be blogging at 68, but then as a poker author millionaire, a trade that’ll finance his literary works. Pauly is living proof that blogging is a lifestyle. And who knows? Maybe Sigg3.net will be around to link it.
I still owe you a postcard, Pauly. Happy birthday!