Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lazarus of Vegas

PSA picture to remind you to always bet the bonus and have more fun than the craps table

Post #1,300.

A sign of futility at life or a self-proclaimed benchmark that shouldn't be ignored while denying that blogging can be pretty cool in a you-live-in-your-mother's-basement sort of way. Yes, the pictures of my cat and occassional worn-out bad beat story-type lazy post will graze across the screen but for the most part you'll get some fresh content from the eyes of a lanky Minnesotan who is trying to nail down the responsible degenerate moniker while cheering rabidly for the Vikings.

Most people who read here are currently updating their Vegas travel bags, unless of course you're currently just getting home from Costa Rica after shooting rifles with ex-Marine snipers or enjoying the night time paradise sky while covering the LAPT event. In 16 days the WPBT will invade Vegas, their poker rooms, their hooker bars, and sportsbooks once again for a gathering of minds in attempts to catch up with friends that seem to live right next door yet are behind a barrier of state lines, cubical walls (not a peep out of you Al), and family life. To some its escape, four days of zero responsiblity to relive a time of college-like collage of degenerancy and not having to worry about deadlines, frantic dashes with toddlers to the bathroom at 2am, or whether or not that TPS report was filed correctly.

Its about being you around like-minded people who express their opinions on Twitter, Facebook, and even their blogs once in a great while. If you are a blogger or enjoy reading them, grab a chair at the MGM Friday night and chat football with anyone at the table while triple flop Omaha is being spread or pull up a seat at the Pai Gow Table and ALWAYS bet the bonus, we don't bite. Each person there is as genuine as the words you read. You'll find my aloofness both parts annoying and funny at the same time, if there's a desire to slap me at some point because I can actually hear you now but still have trouble getting the snark out of my mouth by all means go for it.

The WPBT represented both a high and low in my life on the same day. After hitting rock bottom being passed out after I decided to ignore every warning my body was giving me on the infamous Wheelchair Ride three years ago, I took a long look at my life after that. Granted the poker tournament was an after-thought when people started filling me in on the details that left me facedown on a bed with my wife shooting daggers across the room through her black belt sudoku book and the tournament beginning in three hours. To say we were married at that point would have been a fallacy. There was no connection besides the bouncing toddler at home, just days that strung together while we retreated to our corners except to face each other for another round of trading verbal barbs that left us both on the brink of exhaustion.

It was friends who dug me out of the hole. Friends that carried that lifeless body with a BAC that should have gotten me into some Clark County hospital. That body was lifeless for other reasons beside the concoction of Patron, Captain Morgan Rum, and Absolut running thru those veins. There was no fight left, no standing up after the eight count, by all means if I'd been flushed into the Imperial Palace sewer systems it would have been a fitting end. Instead, because of those friends I got a ride back to the hotel, I played in the tournament the next day (busting on a bad beat with two tables left), and from that point on to typing these words today things have gotten nothing but better.

Slowly for the past three years we put back the building blocks of our marriage and ourselves in the process. First was admitting the problem which consist of yelling Jerry Springer style at each other until the donkey-like stubborness finally wore off and changes were made. Two years ago another burden was dropped as seizures from the head injury vanished and she no longer had to double as a caretaker to an oversized kid with a gambling problem and be a mother of two. Last year we both finally admitted to long standing gray areas that prevented us from being friends instead of two signatures on a marriage license. She got help for depression, but this time stuck with the program and medication. Whereas I finally took the leap and got hearing aids (with a big dose of help once again from those who still read these pages) which opened up a world of sound and easy conversations. Along with gym memberships to stay active, the want to improve ourselves instead of slinking behind a Facebook page came back into the picture.

To say I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the people I'll see huddled around inked-up bottom barrel ladies of the night and a shot of SoCo at the Geisha bar in 16 days is literal, not figurative. My soul was restored that night, and now armed with a true friend for a wife three years after that night I'll be returning to Vegas a more complete person ready to write another chapter of this tragedy turned comedy. And yes, I'll have a Captain and Coke in my hand waiting to buy you one.

See you there folks.

No comments: