Monday, March 25, 2013

88 days

Current mood:  The Gambler

Despite my two dozens trips to Vegas, being 38 years old, and bringing my kids and parents and in-laws on this trip...  I couldn't sleep.  Despite working two tournaments yesterday including watching Team PokerStars Pro Max Lykov rip through the last two and an half hours of the Sunday Warm-Up for a $110K victory...  I couldn't sleep.  For better.  For worse.  It's Vegas and I still love it.

Yes, it's Super Mario day!  Played at the wrong time or the history books of hockey would be focused on number 88 and I would likely have a bunch of jerseys with double infinity instead of upside down sixes.

So, two quick salutes.

A body that big isn't supposed to move like that

And of course, my tradition since the start of the WPBT.

Take it away Carnie, Wendy, and Chynna Phillips:

Future performance at The Quad?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

92 days

Current mood:  Wide awake and ready to dance

Quick hit and run today because finals and a busy weekend approach along with working ahead for vacation next week.

One thing came in the mail last week and I stare at it everytime while walking through the kitchen into the porch.  Not wanting to open it and just marvel in its perfection.  15 year old me probably became numb unable to walk without strategically placing rising body parts.

I'll be in my room, never mind the peppermint smell (photo cred)

 It's TOPANGA!!!  Now that life is complete, I'll go do that nose dive off the top of the Imperial Pal... sigh again.  Yes, I have a subscription to Maxim.  No, I do not actively pay for it as due to some magazines folding they awarded me a 12 year subscription to it.  And now I have some reading material for Vegas since I abhor pools but tolerate them to spend time with the family and pay $12 for a watered down girly drink.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

94 days

Current mood:  Neither here or there

Three days left in the hardest quarter of this whole return to academia thing and the last piece should be a cakewalk.

This is short on purpose due to herding cats inside my mind and wrapping up the four classes along with planning out my 20th+ journey to Vegas next week.  Not a usual Pai Gow at 5 in the morning at the Gold Coast with a row of leftover vultures in La Perla (or more likely the three for three bucks bundled panty pack from Wal-Mart) looking to pick my bones clean but instead giving my money to the curvy pit boss who always seems to wear red like she works at Target.

No, this trip with feature the kids and paying back my parents for being the awesome bedrocks of support after we decided to become birthers nine years ago.  Yes, there will be (hopefully) some Moscow Mules with a couple hot local ladies if their schedules workout.  Yes, I have demanded my father sit at a Pai Gow table with me which may scar him for life.  Yes, I will have fun but just not the usual lets drink for 24 hours straight and end up dancing naked with the dealertainers of the Imperial Pal...  oh fuck THAT. 

I will report from our favorite spot on the strip becoming "modernized" with fake bartenders, fake dealers, and "clean" floors with working front doors.  I liked the surly dealers and the ones who actually put an effort into looking like they were have fun too. The broken front doors with caution tape draped across it since 2003 were a symbol of awesomeness, probably like regular gamblers looking back on places like The Dunes or Frontier.

We'll see if they did right. 

3 days to quarter end
7 days to Vegas
95 days so I can weep like a child getting his first Atari 2600 game.  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

96 days

Current mood:  Appetite for Destruction

After finishing up the latest wrap for the MicroMillions 4series there was a decision that most people make at around 5 o’clock on a Saturday night.  Go out or watch a Matlock AARP-a-thon.  As a wise-ass once said “No good stories come from sitting on the couch with your dick in your hand and Andy Griffith on the TV”.

Despite knowing only a good buzz would help through the time, sitting on the beige sectional did not appeal after hanging there for a good portion of the previous three days doing poker work and putting the final APA-formatted touches on my final research papers.  Thanks to some early mornings fueled by grit and Lipton green tea, the responsible side of self allowed the degen side of self to earn a window for fun.  Corned beef and cabbage with teriyaki wings from Buffalo Wild Wings mixed with 12 year old Jameson on the rocks?   However someone gets their Erin-go-bragh on is up to them, especially if it involves cheesy mutated and stuffed tater tots with sour cream (I just gained five pounds thinking about those again). 

Today brings the usual night time with the high rollers in the Sunday Warm-Up but trying something that even this lifetime Minnesotan has not done…  snow golf

Yes, it’s 5 degrees currently.  Yes, winter is still in full effect here.  But, it’s a new experience and aside from questionable hypothermia possibilities my only question is if they are putting the beer cart on a snowmobile.

Minnesota Cooler (image cred)

5 days to the end of the quarter.
9 days to Vegas and some goddamn sun for once.  
96 days to the finish line.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

99 days

Current mood:  Grant Fuhr's used jockstrap

Strategic day off worked.

Ahead of the curve, all thanks to planning, and...

The Great One.

Yeah, I tried tucking in half my jersey in the back growing up on the ponds around Maple Grove and during games people would try to knock my shit through Hennepin county.  But, I was fast, not very good, but fast, mainly the reason I'm alive and typing these words today.  Skinny as a rail just like him and thinking one day I'll have Janet Jones in my living room re-enacting that hot gymnastic in American Anthem routine that likely passed for porn back in the 80s.

That didn't happen.

Instead I'm 38 and drooling on myself while holding down two jobs, a family, and 99 days away from college graduation.  Cheers to the double digit days as Vegas degeneracy approaches in two weeks, as I will attempt to lose my dignity again that has been slowly rebuilding by holding down too much responsibility lately.

Cheers to 99 as we get closer to that "Let's not speak of what happened last night graduation bash".  Seriously, there should be wheelchair parking, Project X without the teenage cliches, and free passes from spouses and sig others to have one night with zero consequences except for a raging hangover and Waffle House breakfast.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

100 days

Current mood: Brick Tamland’s less intelligent brother

About all I hear anymore (credit)

Since my schedule and the weather does not leave much room to enjoy this hobby of running, yesterday was a bit of a treat. At 8:30am, emailed the wife to let her know that a 5K run was in the works after work. At noon, it was the only thing I looked forward to as people continued to enjoy the fact that my mailbox was allowed to receive electronic messages and spat out replies like a good little corporate drone. Highway 169 on the way home looked like someone mistook the Minnesota sheet of asphalt for Kabul as cars swayed to miss the craters left by this state’s wonderful winter.

Stretchy pant, stretchy shirt, adjust dick to comfortable position, another stretchy shirt, track pants, and a light jacket top with a hat and Freddie Mercury screaming to ride his bicycle. READY FOR SERIOUS RUNNING!

Then the wind hit. It was cold. It is always cold. So cold. My jaw froze into a state like I just saw a naked Kate Upton trampoline video. Blowing a hot breath into my jacket gave temporary relief but I was too out of it to bother grabbing even more layers. After rounding the block’s corner my body said to turn back. After reaching the 5K with most of it through a nasty headwind it said thank you in a winded voice.

God bless the hand bra (credit)

The conscious thought tank has been empty for a while but something has this lanky form separating the sheets each morning instead of looking at the black numbers starting with a four against the grayish glow and burying my face back into the one warm spot in the house. Thus begins the double digit countdown tomorrow and only a week and half before some required degeneracy in Vegas will strip away this tired shell for the final push.

Monday, March 11, 2013

102 days

Current mood:  Smells like mid-age spirit

Finals week.

Technicially its next week, but this all of the semi-lengthy research papers are due as a rough draft which the professors are actually saying "don't make me fuckin work next week and get your shit together this week". 

Roger that.

Soon I will be allowed to join proper society again and not make pop references three years too late.  Have you heard of this series called "Deadwood" or "Game of Thrones" (which I caught up on in 9 days)  they are pretty awesome.  Unlocking HBO for the first time since I was a freeloader at my parent's home and remember acting sick during Wimbledon so I could watch the early round matches on HBO because there was that, or waiting until the weekend to watch some tape-delayed "feature" match on NBC featuring Bud Collins on mic with Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, or that kid Boris Becker tearing it up. Now, I push a magical button and any HBO series worth its weight is displayed on my iPad in any room with a better picture than my TV which has Gumball, Spongebob, or these annoying and expensive cartoonerized tops called Bakugan playing at all hours.

Cathouse?  Meow.  Odd.  And strangely educational.  $2,500-$3,500 for a "party"?  I can see why broke dicks in Vegas chance with the law on the strip versus shelling out enough for a 1998 Ford Explorer "fixer upper".

1097 days of school down.
102 days to graduation.
14 days to Vegas (Wilson Phillips anyone?)
11 days to end of quarter
3 days to the start of MicroMillions IV

Get there.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

103 days

Current mood:  Satisfied

Once the weight of having kids is lifted off your shoulders, you can truly begin being a parent.

Despite my final papers coming due this week and the impending MicroMillions IV I wanted to spend every moment possible with the kids this weekend since the wife was enjoying some time with girlfriends that somehow did not result in naked pillow fighting.

Princess Yahtzee
Getting ass kick playing Call of Duty
Making dinner together
More Sledding
Facetime (not the Apple iEverything kind)
Falling asleep while watching Planet Earth
Walking around in PJs all day
Going out for ice cream with M&Ms, skittles, Nerds, chocolate chips, sprinkles, walnuts, and Hershey's syrup on top
Crash hard a second night after sugar rush

This will become much easier once research papers are a thing of the past and the CPA exam (leaning more towards doing this) is the only thing between me and total victory.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

106 days

Current mood:  Beer-thirty

Assume you deserve nothing, and you will gain everything.

Not sure which famous philosopher or Big Brother housemate came up with that saying but it has been one of many self-improvement thoughts that actually works.  This applies more towards feelings than receiving things like compensation for labor (Pauly knocks it out of the park again yesterday with "Pay the Fucking Writer").  I got lucky in respect to poker writing as I put 100% confedence towards my employer, who I see more as a friend than someone handing out work assignments and he puts his confedence towards someone who does not count writing or journalism as his talent.  I love poker, I love writing about poker, but no matter how many comments come across, I won't ever feel like a poker writer unless I dug into the pits of a WSOP or EPT event.

Pauly and Brad are two of the few reasons why I'm sitting at this chair feeling like I just partied for a week straight on Duval street while I put the finishing strokes on academic quarter number 13 of 14. Friends like them are the reason why I got off my self-pitied ass, rode a mechanical bull in Key West, and sit at night learning about the Federal Reserve's monetary policy and Supply Chain Management which will arm me with something more powerful than a drunken right hook at a Boxer machine, the college degree.  I realize the school "name" is not there, but my choices were limited due to the life that was built for the past 10 years and since I've been with my company for over 15 years, the degree name means shit at this point for what I want to do with it.  "Making the most of it" would be a running theme for my sitcom life and right now it feels pretty good.

My conscious mind at this point is a bowl frosted shredded wheat that's been sitting in milk for three days. And that day off next week will get me freshened up for the MicroMillions IV which the PokerStarsBlog crew is gearing up again for full coverage.  So, if you are a non-American please drop a line if you're playing and good luck!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

107 days

Current Mood: In between the Matrix and Castle Wolfenstein

One moment I was happily banging away at spreadsheets and pleasing customers with timely returns on their emails. The next, while walking to grab some documents from another department while weaving through the cube jungle everything turned into an 8-bit first person shooter game for a moment. The sort of mind screw that comes with being completely spent as it’s not sleep deprivation (still going to bed at 8:30pm-9pm ROCK STAR!) but rather listening to my brain cells popping from over simulation to textbooks versus the usual acidic death from rum.

It feels much like covering the WCOOP where a tournament can take anywhere from 10-24 hours depending on the degens ability to remember they are playing for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Just a constant flow of action with a little time for guilty pleasures of a quick episode of House of Cards or not-so-quiet game of Go Fish with the little ones who are at the point where if they up a card that someone previously ask for they just say “HAND IT OVER I KNOW YOU HAVE THE SEVEN!”.

Here I am chronicling the boring daily life of a married accountant where most who would read here see me in a different light. And should the time come that a novel burst out of my handle of Captain, the more exciting stories would hit the pages. But, this is ordinary time. People call it the grind, and if one were to look through the archives here the word grind shows up more in describing lifestyle versus the poker reference from which it spawned.

If Hemmingway were able to hop on Blogger daily, would his life seem more exciting than reading his classic novels? Likely, no but any fan of his work would probably enjoy his drunken musings born from a laptop sitting at Sloppy Joe’s. But, the world needs those creative types like Dr. Pauly to live for life versus worrying about future health and 401(k) plans. Personally it goes in spurts as my choice to be a father and husband come with a responsibility which I give my life to. But, there’s a side, a fun side which wants nothing more to hop a plane to rage alone in Vegas or join a traveling troupe of poker writers to live out a hedonic weekend free of all societal barriers and bust out of daddy mode for a few hours so that responsible person feels good about what he does.

An inter-conflict that I welcome because it means my body has not given up and will continue to push limits and wants to experience the new. Whether its achieving a CPA certification, blowing quarters at the Gold Coast Pai Gow dealer after a fourth straight tilt-inducing lose-lose while hooker row besides the sportsbook sizes up the wad of cash in my pocket, or coming home to a big hug from my son and daughter after work, all things made possible because I haven’t given up on wanting more.

And won’t. Even if it means feeling unconsciously alive in the short term due to overwork, the long term benefits are there. And much like the good doctor’s recent post about not being sure about hitting 30, or 40 years old and making it there with no desire of sitting in a diaper pool of fermented creamed corn and chipped beef at the age of 80, I can relate. Why not build memories instead of a double wide in Scottsdale that you may never see. My 401(k) is not for that double-wide but rather to bankroll whatever time on this earth I may have when people say my earning days are over from writing and pushing ledger entries.

That’s what your retirement should be for.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

108 days

Current mood:  Frozen

Fuck you Punxsutawney Phil

March is supposed to bring 40 degrees and shorts weather, not another round of "LETS GO SHOVEL SNOW AT 4:45AM!".

Seriously, eat ass Phil.

Monday, March 04, 2013

109 days

Current mood:  Walking dead

Eight weeks down for the quarter, three toughest weeks left.

Much like the half marathon in G-Vegas, the first part of the race seemed to go too fast, and then the hills around mile eight.  Not inclines. But hills.  The professors are nice enough to pack large research papers all in the last three weeks of every course, however those weeks do not open up on the online course until the Friday before that particular week.  For example:  Week 10 with the research papers due the assignment will not open until this Friday.

But, being a person of mild intelligence, I took a strategic day off between now and the final day of the quarter to attack any and all academic hills regardless of difficulty or blandness.

Or I might just wander around the house naked watch HBO to Go on my iPad with a 128oz. tumbler of Captain and Coke.  It's a toss-up.

For those who can and have the means to, PokerStars is put on their fourth edition of the MicroMillions next week.  While it hurts to sit on the sidelines and report on tournaments that I would love to jump in and maybe hit a lucky string for some coin, they do an awesome job for the low rollers like myself plus they get the Sunday Majors/EPT coverage treatment with the reporting crew.  While reporting is great and I will be on the reporting team for this one, I miss being able to play.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

110 days

Current feeling: Rock Me Amadeus with a side of panic

I just banged out 1,899 words on the globalization of money markets.  Please. Keep it your pants, as I know you want some but I’m a happily confuzzled married man that should be taking some drugs right now that would allow me to shut down all feelings until day 91 when I finish my last final for this monstrous quarter.  Robot accounting works since those million dollar checks are nothing but numbers in a ledger but applying the same conceptualization to a six and nine year old while trying to remain part of their lives is borderline abuse.

No more robot coasting to the next assignment or class or achievement.  They continue to flourish with simple queries about their day, and I feed off of their energy despite running these days with that low fuel light on. “In a few weeks when daddy is done” becomes put the laptop down for 30 minutes and put together that Halo Lego set with 750 pieces and can assembled within that half hour.  Not really.  That fucking box lies worse than the Imp after being cornered by Lady Stark (yes, I'm hooked on Game of Thrones now bear with me please as its been awhile since I've attempted to watch something that came out in the current decade).  And the pieces?!?! I’ve seen larger attaching parts on a baby mosquito.  Carpal tunnel surgery will come from helping out with these monstrosities versus banging out 4,000 words today (Sunday Warm-Up tonight at PokerStarsBlog, a prelude to the 7th Anniversary Sunday Million which an hour and half before game time already has over 18,000 runners and a cool million guaranteed to the winner). 

See you on the other side.