**Warning this gets rambling and make no sense, much like Paris Hilton's existance or my daughter's tantrum at dance class last night which was trigger by UV40 rays and lack of gummi bears in the school's vending machines**
Returning to normalcy.
Or what I once thought as normal, the shower, breakfast, 9 to 5 job, the cube, commute, dinner, ball game, kids, bed. Many stick themselves on this wheel and don't stop to break it enough until the wheel spins too fast and their lives become a really boring reality show that would get worse ratings than a Tiger Woods talk show on fidelity. Every September for the past three years, I have been invited to enjoy sleep deprivation, breakfast at two in the afternoon, and a break in my "normal" routine while playing the part of online chronicler for the PokerStarsBlog along side some of the best in the business (Otis, Dr. Pauly, Change100, Shamus, Jen Newell, F-Train, and a computer program called Kevmath who will take over the world by 2014 or at least break the record for most posts at 2+2 and Twitter).
On most nights/mornings last week I sat on my couch drafting about the latest tournament and trying to find a little something interesting about its players. One was quite easy when Team PokerStars pro Jason Mercier used full-on aggression plus a little run-good at a final table to take down his first WCOOP bracelet. It gave a little something extra to root for going into the wee-hours of the morning. Unlike Otis and Change100 who had to battle labor disputes and roaming dogs on the way to work in Buenos Aires, I just had to pack up the kids, replenish my supply of Wheat Thins or Triscuits, and battle dozing off before the six a.m.final tables hit.
But it wasn't about the poker, it wasn't about the millions being thrown around during the WCOOP or the extra paycheck that will be redistributed in Las Vegas over at Cheetah's, Gold Coast's Pai Gow pit, and most likely the Geisha Bar at Imperial Palace during the WPBT in December (you have signed up for the Up For Poker last longer challenge correct??? Free money people, and you can laugh at G-Rob after busting him!!). No, working the WCOOP is about friendship, its about stepping outside the comfort zone, it's about being called upon to do something that isn't drafted in some dusty 15 volume tome of corporate suck. Here's the story, go write it. That's it (and of course there is some structure but mostly to get the maximum amount of readership and so the good writers of the blog have future work). Unlike every job I've ever held from planting trees at parks, to frying frozen tacos at Jack-in-the-Box, to sitting in a secluded mail room with millions of invoices everything had structure with no sense of creativity. No injecting sour cream in the tacos to make them taste better, or finding a new filing system for the invoice, just do your job like a robot and move on. Granted my career and schooling choice of becoming an Accountant frowns upon "creativity" as seen when Accountants *ahem* use there skill to "find" and "report" debits and credits in ways GAAP does not intend. Nonetheless, I enjoy finding the numbers and putting the in the right places, much like a final table story at the PokerStarsBlog, I have been proud to be a part of the team for the past three years.
The artist formally known as Poker Shrink, now just "The Shrink" talked about "normal" in a blog post that smacked me a bit as I overwork myself to retain my little world of normal, but instead of the upper-middle income family he speaks about in the post "Dis-ease", my world of going back to school full-time while holding down a full-time job, two kids with multiple activities, a wife, and a part-time job that keeps me glued together, I work hard just to survive. There are no real "extras" except the occasional jaunt to meet up with my dearest friends and authors across the nation. Whether it be in Las Vegas, G-Vegas, Chicago, or a $100 cab ride to Philly's airport while still trying to figure out why I craved a TastyKake and a WaWa sandwich, these things keep me "normal". A little hip check to the routine keeps everyone fresh, and without the above, I would sink into the same abyss my co-workers at my "normal" job suffer. They are set in their ways, counting the days to retirement, some even with a little clock that has five years, 345 days, 21 hours and 15 mintues on it.
Sure they're older but why live to die? Despite the shit hitting the fan yesterday during 24 hours of nothing going right including flushing half of my online bankroll in the toilet, paying for a $48 slab of lasagna then blowing up with the wife as she picked it up when I explained I ordered the single serving and she got the wrong order, then having both kids decide to mimic daddy's deaf ears and filter only for sentences containing: "treat", "play", "movie". My mind went spinning for most of Sunday afternoon into Monday, but I finished up the final write up around 8:30am Monday morning, calmly put together a skillet (no, THAT kind of skillet) and let the crazy wash off before returning to "normal" today.
Hugs were given, invoice for the work sent in, and Excel spreadsheets about to filled by the college student who is now done with 2/11 quarters from fulfilling a hole that I never wanted to admit was there. The degree won't make me "normal" but it will push me to continue being weird by trying something new and giving a reason to not settle for my present cube.