Maintenant moi m'amuse juste

I'm back from my foray to Quebec City with a group of high school girls - here's a small selection from my journal:

  • Note to self: make a pitch to someone, anyone about a new action/horror movie. I see Samuel L. Jackson as a lead. The premise - something malevolent and evil is on a train, something that cannot be controlled and operates outside all known laws and behaviours.
    The title: Teens on a Train.
  • The kids are right. Guys in Quebec are hotter. A LOT hotter.
  • It takes 4 days for memories of high school French to bubble to the surface. Just in time to come home and forget it all again.
  • Quebec City is my favourite place in North America. I feel like I'm in Europe, but they take the same currency and don't get overly snotty when I have to resort to speaking English.
  • Teenagers aren't the only ones who go "neener neener" - after the English won the battle and took over Quebec City, their church was built so the steeple was 3' taller than the highest point on the French Roman Catholic cathedral.
  • Hearing history as a teenager and hearing it as an adult is vastly different. I wish I could have appreciated it more when I was younger, but am glad I have the opportunity to revisit it now.
  • The worst places to go for anything of real interest are the places closest to where the cruise ships dock. All you'll find there are crappy stores and mediocre restaurants looking to lighten the wallets of overweight American tourists.
  • Art is a very personal experience. And I greatly dislike people telling me what I should like and why. I'll make up my own mind, thank you very fucking much.
  • Note to self: look on the internet if there are any summer rentals on Ile D'Orleans. I'd like to spend a week just sitting on the shore watching the lake freighters slip past. And I'd bring a bicycle - the island is only 32 kms long.
Overall it was a good trip..the kids are fun, and as good as their age will let them be. And the teachers I went with are like-minded pals. So it was a nice break from work, even though it was work. If you know what I mean.

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Calling all punk aficionados:

Go here. Download the sampler. Enjoy the best punk that the Fat Wreck Chords label has to offer. I love the name of the first track by Against Me!...makes me wonder if Iggy wrote it.

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Because I love to jump into things that I am nowhere near prepared for, I have signed up for the NaNoWriMo, joining such august bloggers as Gracie, Pauly and JoeSpeaker. I feel inadequate already, but what the hell. My nick on there is Katitude, if anyone wants to check my progress... or lack thereof *grin.

The increasingly appropriate working title is "Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time".

Elvis Costello and the Big Game

( post with song lyrics ahead. I know how some of you hate that. TFB. And what follows is also some of the most blatantly self-indulgent navel-gazing crap I have ever published. Again, TFB.)

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I have always been a fan of Elvis Costello, from back in the days of Stiff Records (who had the best tag line in the world "If it ain't stiff, it ain't worth a fuck!") to his flirtation with jazz and ballads (yeah I like some jazz. Get over it). One of the reasons why I like him is that he's a very clever lyricist - no matter the time period his words have always struck a chord.

For example this one from Red Shoes, off the My Aim Is True album:
Oh i used to be disgusted
And now i try to be amused.
Which kind of sums up how I feel about how I placed last night. While I'm still striving for amusement, I'm less disgusted with myself *grin.

I have a bad habit, which most of you know by now - I am my own worst critic and tend to beat myself up a lot (and not in a fun way either). I feel like an imposter pretty much most of the time at the tables, and play just about every blogger game feeling out of my depth skill-wise, but donating anyway because, well, it's fun.

But there have been more and more games where things click, where the game flows, where I GET IT.

And last week was a good week. To review, I started out with $11 on Full Tilt. That's right eleven bucks. I played a 8+70 token peep, then a Tier Two, and getting my entry into the Big Game. I took the remaining and played some low buyin SnG's and placed ITM enough to play another 2 token peeps. One I took to Tier Two then a 75 SnG with Joanne, where I bubbled (it should be against the law for BB to get AA just when someone pushes!). The other token peep I used to play another Tier Two but aimed for 6th which supplemented my account by $57.

What clicked? A number of things that Joanne said (ty for the tips, you rock!), and Iak's post where he says he plays for 5th. Talk about a lightbulb moment! Why rush around trying to amass a huge chip stack when 1st and 5th play the same thing? Just sit back, play the premiums hands, be Tight-Aggressive, and let the others donk each other out.

I was so ready for the Big Game. I was running around like a mad woman all day with laundry, work and lesson plans, and reading Pressure Poker as a break.

Then the game started....I was comfortably ensconced in bed sans the distractions of Hunny Bunny watching TV and bugging the cat. I was READY.

My wireless wasn't however, and dropped me 8 times in the first half hour. I know that some really good hands got folded because my connection timed out. I was...unhappy. We've all been on poker tilt...let me tell you, technology tilt is pretty damn close. Thank god/goddess for the cabled desktop!

Wow. You know what I said about playing bloggers is fun? Winning against bloggers is WAY more fun! I played well, probably better than I have ever played poker. I have proof *grin:

I had some killer hands, but unlike other games, some of my hands I pushed with were downright awful - QKo when the flop comes low rainbow... wheee! I could become addicted to the successful bluff. But I won't.

I can't really talk about the final table. I played it differently than I might have normally, because I really, really wanted to place ITM. Being card dead really helped me to retrospect there were a couple of hands I might/should have pushed with before my stack became meaningless. But then again, Lucko loved to buy the pots with his huge stack, and hey, Blinders was supposed to get blinded out before me *grin.

I had 1500+ chips left when I saw KK...of course I went all...what else could I do? Cracknaces called me (who wouldn't), and as soon as he did, I had a flash, a premonition that I was going to get fucked on the river (And not in a good way either). And sure enough he made his straight on the river and I was out in 6th.

I'd like to say that I shook it off...but there was something about the way the final table played that really got under my skin. It was the first (and hopefully last) time that poker made me cry...I was so goddamn angry! I'm still not 100% sure at what exactly.

I'm not really proud of my reaction. I was so gobsmacked and upset I had to walk away without even a gg.

But it was a good game. A fucking killer good game. I'll be honest when it was first announced I was perturbed by the buy-in, thinking that it was a way of excluding the donk players like me.

Au was a way to step out of my comfort zone (such as it is), to make an effort to elevate my play. I became more serious when something big is on the line. Don, kudos and thank you...I can't wait until the next one!

And a huge thank you to everyone and their words of encouragement - you know who you are *grin. And big apology to Joe Speaker who took the side bet on my looked so good there for a while....

Oh, and when I thought about it today, even though I bubbled, I almost doubled my initial peep buyin of 8.70 with side bets *HUGE grin.

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So that's it for poker and blogging for me until Sunday. I'm heading to my favourite city, Quebec City, for an all-expense-paid 6 day excursion. Mmmmm...exploring the old walled city, taking in Ile D'Orleans and Chute - Montmorency.

The down side? I'm going as a chaperone for twenty grade 9 and 10 students.

Pray for me.

This is what happens...

...when I put down the knitting:

Many thanks again to Mookie for hosting and live blogging - this has to be one of my favourite "home" games!

Recently I wrote an article on gender, technology and education. Dry stuff, but pretty important in terms of what I do for a living (well, until the poker thing starts to pay off anyway. I'll pause here to let the laughter die down).

There has been a whole forest of trees that have been turned into research reports discussing how each gender learns best. At least another hectare or two of trees have been sacrificed to other reports trying to figure out why girls aren't as drawn to technology.

(I swear to god there's a point here.)

I could talk about these findings for hours, but will boil it down for you (remember these are generalizations....and yes I am aware there are exceptions):
  1. Girls learn better in a collaborative environment rather than a competitive one, and fare better with relationship-based learning.
  2. Girls are only drawn to technology if it's fun and relevant. Studies have shown that girls are drawn more to the design, and prefer to work with an GUI. Hand-coding html isn't nearly as interesting to them as playing with the design elements in FrontPage.
Knowing these two facts helps me make better decisions on what to teach the kids and how to reach them. Having the kids work out a robotics program in a problem-solving group with an icon-based software program develops much better understanding of logic and language than asking them to do the same thing individually using a text editor.

The article I wrote touched on these things, but what I really wanted to stress was how web technologies such as blogs, wikis, and instant messaging were ideally suited to become components of an educators toolbox when working with single-gender classes.

(The point is fast approaching...)

In order to fully illustrate this, I used my own experiences with these technologies

Over the last year, I have used all of these technologies to become part of a collaborative group that spans the globe.

I started a blog as a strictly personal online discussion for a hobby, one that I am passionate about. I gradually found blogs of people with the same interests, and linked to them and added comments to posts/entries on their sites. We shared information with each other, each of us taking on the roles of both teacher and student. A wiki was created and online conferencing tools were used to have realtime conversations. While from very disparate backgrounds and locations we have become a close group of over 100 individuals (and growing) who now meet IRL (In Real Life) two or three times a year.

The information I now have at my disposal in this social network is far more than I ever could have gleaned by reading a book or trying to find information on my own on the Internet.

The World Wide Web has grown at an incredible pace and has become so vast that it’s sometimes daunting to find relevant information quickly. There are approximately 10 billion+ web pages out there, and a Google search gives them to you 10 at a time. It’s becoming less about knowing the information, and more about knowing where to find the information. By using a knowledge network, we have a wider selection of trusted resources at our disposal.

As Will Richardson writes in his book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and other Powerful Web Tools for the Classrooms, “…information is evolving at the hands of people just like us with the concept that everyone together is smarter than anyone alone.” It’s all about collaboration, on a global scale.

(The point emerges...)

So it got me to thinking, dear blogosphere, that I owe you all a great debt. Not just for the snazzy example so parents can realize that the Internet is not the Big Bad Wolf waiting to devour their kids.

And it's more than the poker edumacation; it's the acceptance, the assistance, the friendships, the Dial-A-Shots, the girlie chat thing, the parties, and the are beacons in an increasingly boring life.

And so I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

three out of four isn't bad ... or...I *really* have nothing to complain about

Mondays are long. 8 until 5, working through lunch. 6 classes in a row, then a club to organize and supervise. Add a monthly Monday staff meeting and it makes Kat a tired and grumpy kitty to be sure. By the time I got out of the meeting and home it was far too late to even begin to speculate about the merest notion of heading to Taylor and Tawny's to even cross my mind (props to the inimitable Douglas Adams).

So I pull on the comfy lounging clothes, fire up the laptop, put my feet up and prepare to donk off some cash on Tilt.

But the Pantheon of Poker Deities were still smiling on me apparently... within ten minutes of sitting down at 5+.50 MTT and a 8+.70 token peep, I saw this on the the MTT:

And very shortly afterwards, was looking at these sweet bitches on the token peep:

And yes, I did win the token AND place ITM (barely) in the MTT.

Wow. What a rush.

Feeling invincible, powerful, adept, good, OK, somewhat adequate to the task, I then used my token to play a Tier Two token. Which I won. Not spectacularly or with any rare hands; but just folding like a maniac rather than playing like a maniac.

Well, cool, ok, I'm ready for the MATH on Stars.

The long day caught up with me about the same time as the Pantheon of Poker Deities turned their attention (and the good cards) elsewhere. I held on to finish 11th of 24 somehow, busting when Astin's pocket Jacks proved far mightier than my pocket sevens. Which, if memory serves, is the same pocket pair that I have been busted out of blogger games at least 4 times before.

So from now on......

a damn good day

You know, I really don't mind bad days, like Thursday, because they make me appreciate days like yesterday even more.

Part One:
My beloved not only lets me sleep in, but then brings me coffee in bed when he hears me stirring followed by breakfast in bed. We sat and ate pancakes (he makes killer pancakes) with berries and the good maple syrup that we bought in Quebec while on vacation), and talked about where we're going for the holidays (Calgary to see family and the mountains in winter. And to bug Joanada grin.)

Part Two:
Hunny Bunny had a gig at the Fallsview Casino Sunday night/Monday, so he decided to leave early, and take me with him so we could spend at least part of the day together hanging out. It was gorgeous - sunny but cool enough to keep most of the tourists inside. We wandered around with hot chocolates in hand, generally goofing off.

Time came for him to check in, so we headed back to the hotel, only to find his reservation was for Monday night, not Sunday. Yep, due some communication problems he'd gone a day earlier. Which left us the rest of the day to keep goofing off.

We headed down the Niagara Parkway, and hiked down into the Gorge by the Whirlpool, and just followed the path along the Niagara River.

Words fail me. It was an utterly perfect afternoon.

Part Three:

Tenth. Holy cats! Everything clicked. I played the best I have in a while, and only sucked out someone once when I hit JJ in the SB. After everyone folded, I pushed all in at Change100 in the BB ... however she pushed back with her QQ. Even as I was typing "GG, buh-bye" a Jack hit on the river.

I can't tell you how badly I wanted to see the final table. But when you're short stacked and see AK s00ted and everyone folds around to you, well, it looks like blind steal time. Alas, BB called me and his pocket fours held.

Merci beaucoup to Bloody P who sweated me through most of it and kept me from freaking out (of course, I'm blaming the loss on him *grin - he signed off 5 minutes before I busted out). Muchos gracias also to Joanne, Astin, Fastpitch, and everyone else who sweated and wished well :-)

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In case anyone is wondering where my entry is to Pauly's essay contest, I decided to pass, for two reasons.

Firstly (and more importantly), I've read the other entries. And frankly, they are far, far cleverer than anything I could come up with.

Secondly, after doing some research on the Spice Girls (ie watching Spice World - OMFG does that ever suck in a not-even-as-a-cult-movie kind of way), I've decided to tell you what I want, what I really, really want.....

Is to be the brains behind the operation. To hell with being one of those rent-a-singers with their rent-a-boobies and rent-a-papparazzi. I want to be where the cash is *grin.

Friday the 13th

Friday the Thirteenth is a pretty awesome day if you're a biker in Ontario. Coz that's the day you saddle up and head to Port Dover, a normally sleepy little fishing village on the north shore of Lake Erie.

This biker non-event been going on for over two decades; starting out with a few dozen guys sitting in the Zoo over beers. Last year saw over 75,000 bikers and spectators. What a blast! Black leather and tattoos as far as the eye could see *grin. ---->

Now this happens every Friday the Thirtheenth, regardless of weather. Hunny Bunny went to the December one a few years ago...the frostiest one I've been to was in November.

I so want to be there today. It could very well be the last riding day of the season up here as it's getting a tad too frosty for my tastes. (Note to self: next bike has heated hand grips. Yes I am a weenie.)

Hunny Bunny and I sat in bed this morning, sipping coffee and debating doing the ride. But we both have commitments today, and that responsible adult gene kicked in (dammit!). So instead of being "knees to the breeze" singing loudly within the confines of my helmet, I'm sitting quietly in the school looking wistfully at the blue, blue skies. Sigh.

Now there's a writing prompt for ya

Weary of writing?

Bored and Blocked when Blogging?

Then the ever fabulous Dr. Pauly has your prescription.

Click on over and enter his Tao of Poker Essay Contest: If you could be a Spice Girl, which one would you be and why?

I know diddley squat about the Spice Girls, much less what each represents. I may be too busy taking all the "Which Spice Girl Are You" quizzes to actually write about it.

Note: early indicators are mostly Ginger with a dash of Scary. Is anyone surprised by this?

it's a day :-|

There are days, and there are days.

From the moment I got out of bed and immediately stepped in cold cat puke, I knew it was going to be one of *those* days. This was immediately followed by:
  • ran out of hot water in the shower, with a full head of shampoo lather
  • turned on the wrong burner so the water didn't boil for my coffee
  • dropped my toothbrush in the toilet
  • forgot my lunch on the counter
  • tripped over Hunny Bunny's roadcase that he left in the hall. My big toe still throbs.
  • missed my bus by this --> <-- much
  • got on the next bus to realize I also forgot my bus tickets on the counter beside my lunch (thank you to the kind man who gave me his extra ticket)
  • actually found a seat, settled in, put in the earbuds and prepared to fire up the Social Distortion mp3's (that always improves my mood) only to discover the mp3 player is dead. Forced to listen to like the like totally like loud teenage ummmm girls in the like umm seat ahead of me, like ok?
  • got to school LATE and couldn't sneak in as BOTH principals were at the door
  • fired up my laptop to print off my newly finished article on gender biases in technology education (dry as a Triscuit cracker, and promised for today) only to discover that the file transfer from desktop to laptop didn't happen
And this was all by 9 am. It's going to be a looooong day.

Hope yours is better ....

i am not wpt bound, alas

I ended up getting in late to the club last night for the WPT satellites they're running. Nothing makes me more frazzled than bike problems (dead battery), traffic downtown, unclear directions and being late.

Combine the four and, well, it's not pretty.

So I walk in and start taking off the leathers while listening to one player make a semi-dig about how they're all waiting for a woman, and how typical is that. I don't even dignify that with a comment.

We pull seating assignments, and I find I'm at seat seven (schweet lucky seven) and to the right of the funny guy with the sexist comment, who is very busy being a yappy pretentious jerkoff (henceforth referred to as YPJ). Perfect.

I'm quiet, I'm waiting, I'm observing. First hand is dealt, KK. 3 people call, I bet 4x BB to the accompaniment of YPJ saying aggressive (wtf?). He waffles, he ponders, he talks about me like I'm not there. "Oh I don't know, this seems aggressive for the first hand, but she's an unknown player, blah blah blah". He finally calls, and everyone else folds. Flop is a crappy low rainbow and I KNOW he hasn't hit anything. I check, he bets 500, I raise all in.

Wow. Such pretty fireworks...and indoors too. First hand not even over yet and he's tilting. He mutters and grumbles about having the better hand, and then folds. He keeps bitching about the fold; all I can think of is how great it is that I get to play with someone channelling Phil Helmuth. Luckily, he didn't last long and was out first. Unluckily, he waited around for the cash game so we were blessed by his commentary.

I made one really bad read, and lost a lot of my chips to a nut flush. After that, I was hit with an attack of the passives combined with card death and got blinded out by the 7th blind level.

And even though I only came in 6th of 10, I think I played a good game. I worked on identifying the holes in my game, and watching the players. It was worth the buyin for the experience and to watch YPJ tilt and bust out.

Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

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Don't forget it's the Mookie tonight!

Hunny Bunny's flight gets in tonight at the worst possible time: 10:30 pm. I don't really have the time to commit to going to the club and playing well, AND it makes the Mookie unplayable as well. But I need to see him, and am picking him up at the airport. Poker has to wait a night :-)

A cold, a day in, and the MATH...aka a day in the life...aka general chit chat

Due to a head cold (pronounced hed code) I was unable to go and hang out with my poker/knitting pal Tawny and her husband Taylor yesterday as planned. I was looking forward to spending a lazy Thanksgiving hanging out with them in the sunshine finishing the Sweater From Hell, but since she just had jaw surgery I didn't think she'd love me anymore if I made her sneeze and cough. Tawny, so glad that all went well! :-)

Hunny Bunny made a lightening raid home, getting in Monday at 1am and back to the airport for 11am. I'm looking forward to Wednesday when he gets back, so I can actully spend more than 2 waking hours with him.

After he left, I goofed off for a while on Stars, and found that if I can knit something simple (ie. no thought required) while playing an online tournament I actually do better...hands are busy (no surfing off to hotmail, bloglines, or channel surfing) but the mind is free to observe and analyze. I wonder how lame it would look to pull out my knitting at a live table *grin.

As I had my big Thanksgiving dinner with relatives (read: no leftovers), I made some bread (french with dried cranberries) and I cooked up a turkey breast in the slow cooker with orange juice, dried cranberries, leeks and thyme. No gravy and stuffing, but it was pretty damn tasty! I have enough for sandwiches for a week.

My afternoon was rounded out with a little bit of work (packaging concepts for a client's new business, lesson plans for the week), a hot bubble bath, and a bit of reading (Pressure Poker by DoubleA and Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman which is nowhere near as good as American Gods), and then Hoy's MATH.

And I didn't too badly. Again, I picked up my needles to finish my brother's Christmas present while playing...I do believe it helped me fold. I kept the cursor over the Fold button, and it's amazing how many hands that I usually play were suddenly not good enough for me to put down the WIP (work in progress) and move the damn cursor over a half inch.

My new mantra: Fold, you idiot. Duh.

I'm pretty happy with my play. I didn't make the money as Surflexus knocked me out in 6th, but I did outlast Iakaris, Joanne and Jules. Like I've said before, I take my victories where I can these days. Note to self: get a last longer bet going next time.

I'll be missing the WWdN tonight as I'm going to the club to play a satellite for a seat at the WPT North American Championship which will be at the Fallsview Casino in a few weeks. The coolest part about this is Hunny Bunny is paying for the satellite, and any $ won is to go to my bankroll. How freaking awesome is he??? (and yes, I'm perfectly aware of just how slim my chances are of winning any coin. So is he, but his faith in me is heartening.)

Bad Beat on Cancer Tournament, Oct. 15th

I read this over on Phil Gordon's MySpace a while back, registered and kind of forgot about it. I've just checked and there are only 45 people registered!

This is a cause that's very near and dear to my heart - I beseech you, I implore you, I challenge you, I'll Dial-A-Shot you (I'll even drink SoCo!), I'll put a bounty on my head, whatever it takes to get you to register for this.

So sign up - it's only ten bucks for the chance to take out Phil and Rafe Furst.

And I made this snazzy banner - steal it, post it and pass the word on. Please. Pretty please. Pretty please with tequila on top *grin

Edit: It looks like this is a deep stacks - let's fire up the party, coz we'll be there a while *grin.

A hand history of sorts

Have you ever seen one of those couples? Where they are a perfect match, like they were made for each other?

The couple that hit my table at Casino Rama today were like that. They were about the same height and colouring, both having the same regal bearing, pale skin and dark hair. In fact their hair colour was so similar, I suspect they'd had it dyed to match.

I don 't know why I was so drawn to them; it must have been their perfect symmetry. Lord knows it wasn't because of their personality. Imperious and unsmiling, the pair of them.

The action hadn't even begun when she started in on him. "Darling, I want it, buy it for me". "But sweetness," he replied, "we don't even know what it is yet!"

All it took was for her to furrow her brow at him slightly and he capitulated. "Whatever my beloved wants, she shall have!" he announced as he reached into his pocket and withdrew all of his money and threw it onto the table with a casual grace.

One by one the others quailed beneath the combination of her baleful stare and his money on the table. One by one they all left, except one couple.

When this pair turned it was obvious they were not a couple, but twin sisters. They had the same shade of Irish red hair and they were identical except for small differences in the designs on their shirts. They were at that obnoxious age where they're are not really welcome amongst the adults but definitely too old to hang with the younger kids.

The girls giggled and whispered to each other as they fished through their pockets and purses, counting and recounting their combined total. One picked up the collection of coins with both hands and threw it onto the table, exclaiming "There! We have just enough to beat you! We want it too!"

The woman's expression never changed, but she leaned in closer to the man and whispered harshly "Don't you have anything more? Is there someone you can borrow from??".

The words had no sooner left her mouth when three new participants in our drama arrived. Two were insignificant and were promptly ignored, but the third was obviously known to the man.

"There ! Just in the nick of time! Over here!" exclaimed the man. The new arrival turned, and smiled when he saw who had called him. It was apparent that he was a comrade of the man's, definitely an equal. When the situation was explained to the newcomer, he gave his assurances of assistance and turned to regard the twins.

"Aren't you two a bit low on the totem pole to be so sure of yourselves?" he asked. The twins were now silent and wide-eyed, realizing they had overstepped their bounds. At this point another observer arrived, but was deemed too unimportant to even acknowledge.

"Shit, shit, shit, SHIT", said one to the other, "Do you think he'll show?" "The odds aren't looking good at this point" the sister replied.

The woman raised one delicately arched eyebrow at the twins, "Whoever are you referring to?"

As the girls replied "Our brother", a male voice cried out "ME!"

We all turned in the direction of the voice - a young man was standing there. Where the twins were redheaded, he was dark; but that's where any difference ended. Good lord, there were three of them!

The couple, now realizing they've been twarted from winning the prize, attempt a gracious retreat. Smiling wanly, the woman congratulated them on their win as she departed; murmuring that is quite fortuitous that their brother happened to be so close by.

The triplets, being at that obnoxious age, merely stuck out their tongues at her as they collect their prize.

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That's pretty much my last hand at Rama today (OK, with a lot of literary license. A LOT). I was card dead for most of the game, and if I did get margianlly good cards, Mr. Chip Bully to my immediate right was quick to make sure I reconsidered their worth. I did grap a couple of hands with pocket pairs and a flopped full house in BB (how purdy!), but I think I spent most of my time sitting and observing others play.

My denouement occured when I was dealt King + Queen of clubs (the couple) in late position. I'm frustrated at being blocked every damn time, and go all in after it gets around to me. Three of the remaining players fold, except for BB, who has me outchipped only slightly. He calls my all in, we flip over and he has Pocket 9's, both red (the twins).

Flop comes 63K rainbow (the insignificant others and the comrade). Turn is a 7 (insignificant again). River is another 9 (the brother), BB makes his set, and I am out.

On the plus side, it was still daylight when I left, and got to see a killer sunset over Lake Simcoe on my way home.

Happy Thankgsiving! (very little poker content)

Yes, that's right folks, it's turkey time up here in the Great White North. And yes, that's right I get yet *another* long weekend. (wooooooo!). Hunny Bunny is still in Freeport, Bahamas (damn him!) so other than a family dinner on Sunday I am footloose and fancy free as the saying goes.

So I'm off tomorrow for another day at Rama for some live pokah. Jules, you can expect a second-anniversary-of poker-degeneracy Dial-A-Shot. It's going to be a sunny day, and I'm looking forward to the drive up through the country to see the fall colours. It will also be a good time for me to stop and get my annual "I must have a one, even though I live in an apartment and will do nothing with until until it goes all squishy and must be composted" pumpkin.

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I mentioned Canadian Thanksgiving to someone in the girlie chat thing who asked me "What do Canadians have to be thankful for?"......

So, sooooooooo much. I can only speak on a personal note but really it comes down to the fact that I feel very, very fortunate to have won the birth lottery and was born where/when I was. I'm healthy and even if I wasn't, I have access to health care and enough social systems that if anything critical ever happened, I'd still be warm, dry, healthy and fed (mostly...the system isn't perfect, but at least there's a system). I can walk downdown in the fifth largest city in North America and feel safe, even late at night and in some dodgey neighbourhoods (I just stay away from Scarborough *grin). I am educated, a state that is denied most of the world's population, and there are enough resources available to me that I can continue educating myself until the day I die.

As a Canadian woman, I have the right to be a "person" with property and voting priviledges, not a "thing" or some man's property. I have control over myself and my body. I have the freedom to decide who I want to be with and marry, even if that person is of the same gender - it's not my thing, but frankly as long as no one tries to convert me, I don't much care what other people do. It's none of my business. And I don't think it's any of the government's business either...Pierre Trudeau said it best - "The State has no place in the bedroom of the nation". Amen, brothah!

I'm thankful each and every day that I work where I do. The mission of the school reflects all my core beliefs, and not only do I get paid to play with and talk about computers all day (yippeeee!), I'm able to work with the most amazing and supportive group of people I have ever met. Unlike a lot of jobs I've held before (ok, ALL the jobs I've had before), every day there is filled with more laughter than aggravation, and I am accected for exactly who I am.

Ditto Hunny Bunny - man, talk about getting lucky in the husband lottery. He loves me, warts and all. He knows where I've been in life, and where I'm coming from, and he's been to many of the same places. He "gets" me.

And family? Lucky again. My family is, well, a little quirky (quel surprise), but we love and understand each other, and have fun when we get together.

My friends are freaking amazing. Every. Single. One. The one thing that brought me out of a period of crushing self-doubt was the realization that if these intelligent, creative, funny people want me to be their friend, then I must not be as bad I think after all.

The older I get, the more I appreciate all this, and the less I take it for granted. May you all be so blessed by whatever deity you may believe in :-)

Happy Thanksgiving!

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We now resume our regularly scheduled poker-related whinging.

Furniture for Poker bloggers

From ReadyMade's 24th issue:

Dear Al, Mookie and Wolfie:

It's nowhere near your high scores, but after a half hour this is where I stop. This is almost as addicting as the YETI games...that poor, poor penuin....

!! Tilty venting ahead, beware !!

I just wrote a whole long whiney post which I then promptly deleted one letter at a time (quite cathartic). I'm tired, tilting, and tired of tilting.

I need help.

And no, I don't mean in the sardonic "I need psychological help as I continue to play this effing game even though it clearly is not my forte" help.

I need poker help. I've read the books and the blog posts, but I learn better when I'm shown something, rather than when I read something.

Any takers? I'll knit you something nice :-)

WWdN Live Bloggin

Time to get some poker content back into this here blog, liberally mixed with music and alcohol.


Here we go. I'm ready. I think. Maybe.

Hacker scares me off my pocket 8's. Next hand is pocket J's but no one bites, alas.

The 80's retro station I'm listening to has tossed Opportunities by the Pet Shop Boys my way. Let's make lots of money indeed!

God, this beer is tasty. Sipping as I fold happily away.

oh dear... My QA off hits an A, but the turn creates a possible flush on the board. I go all in when Iggy checks to me...he thinks about it long enough that my palms start to sweat but finally folds. Phew.

I'm singing quite loud to Belouis Some's Imagination while I fold 82 off...."so seldom witnessed but never obscene". Thank God Hunny Bunny's not home.

Everybody Wang Chung tonight...a lovely set of J'S! Budo's KQ doesn't hold and he's out.

New tble, and pocket 8's again. Board has AAK..I fold.

Grace Jones covering Love is the Drug..whatever happened to her anyway? I fold and dance around a bit. Argh, why do disco songs go on so damn long? my cardio can't take it and I sit back down again.

Hammer! Everyone folds, wheeeeeeee.

I think I'll sit here and fold this crap while Hall and Oates mellows me out a tad too much. Suited connectors look playable until Smokkee goes all in. Folding resumes.

Biggus Slickus. 4X BB, G-Rob calls. Flop is shit, he goes all in. Back to folding. Sigh. The 80's retro has turned sucky with Genesis and Grapes of Wrath. Time for some chilling lounge beats.

Break and I'm currently 26 of 43. Time to mix up some martinis...they go far nicer with the music. Bananatini's are the flavour of the day: banana liquer, vanilla stoli and cream.

A few blind steals and I'm up to 22nd. I do get a good hand KQ hearts, but my position sucks and VTepes's all in makes them lose their luster right quick. Guin pops into the table chat to askif Astin or I want any live action on Wednesday. Shadowtwin IM's me with "I think Guin is hitting on you. And Astin". I LOL IRL.

The Boards of Canada do some pretty slick tunes. I think I'll have to pick up a cd next time I'm in HMV. My wireless has started to act wonky...peachy keen. On a poker note, I do believe I'm slightly card dead.

The best cards in a few orbits go unplayed...AQ s00ted in BB, but no takers.

Blinding away...down to 26 of 26. Joined in the Second Chance, so lets see how badly I can multi-table on bananatinis.

AA! Let's watch 'em get cracked shall we? NO? Wow! Of course that's only because aebooth folded.

My set of 9's falls to XKM1245's flopped str8 in the second much for that plan! Still experiencing le morte des cartes on the wwdn.

I flopped 2 pair and I think it's all that and a bag of chips until pennerii shows his str8. And I'm out in 23rd out of 75. Which is bettere than I've been doing lately, frankly. Time to focus on not sucking in the Second Chance.

Flop a set of 10,s and Phoebus calls me all in post flop. And wonder of all wonders, it holds.
Next hand is A9 s00ted and I have a temporary lapse in judgement and call phoebus' and penner's all ins. Board comes 95Q56, and my 9 holds against penners TA and my A outkick's phoebus's K9. And once more I love this game.

Pocket tens beats pocket nines and a hammer. They just do.

Is there any feeling quite like that when a marginal hand (K6) trips out on the flop and holds? I don't think so.

Once more I let the sight of 2 pair blind me to a possible straight, which Guin makes on the flop. He slow plays me beautifully, and I double him up as thanks. Because that's what polite Canadians do. I slip from 4th to 7th of the 13 left.

I'm currently 6th out of 11 left, and the bananatinis have kicked in quite nicely. Focussing on the game and not the chat is becoming problematic.

Nut flushes are so pretty. 'Nuff said.

Break. I'm down to 7 of 10, mostly because I was distracted by a friend's blog and donked off some chips. Time for a bio-break, get some water, change the music (the techno has gotten a bit dull) and get a snack. Mmmm..Girl Guide cookies!

Oh bother...wireless is acting up again jsut when I get AA. I win it when everyone folds but I hate not being able to follow the action.

Newinov's AA gets cracked by xkm's set of 8's, and we're at the final table.

7 of 8 right now. Am at half the average...sigh. And the observer chat has gotten do you turn that off again??

Back to the retro 80's station and my fav song by Blondie, One Way or Another. Life is good.

11:27 and a half
FUCK!!!! Slick on the SB, decided to push. Definitely the wrong moment as SeedyV catches a 7 on the turn for a pair and I have....nothing. And I'm out.


And that in a nutshell is how I spend my Tuesdays.

Take heart dear friends

The blogosphere has been a busy place the last few days. I was chatting with someone who indicated that I was ok, that new bill didn't impact me at all.


It's already impacted me. People I've grown to like a lot, people I look forward to chatting and playing with at the MATH, WWdN and Mookie every week are cashing out and closing up blog shop. Without these people across the table from me, how will I be challenged to play better? And more importantly, how am I going to get back all the dosh they've all won off me? *grin.

All joking aside, I don't get it, the early pull out. My mind is officially boggled. Of course I have no idea of the amounts of money involved with these player's accounts. And I completely understand that not everyone has the inclination to fight this particular fight (although I don't know why not).

But, well, the dust hasn't even settled yet. This seems like an unwieldy law to implement - I can't see financial institutions mildly aquiescing. And there are always workarounds - a plan of transfers and withdrawals with someone you trust is something that springs instantly to mind.

IMHO, every hand you play right now is like every drink that was consumed during Prohibition - a big ole' extended middle digit F-YOU to the ones who think they know better than you how you should live your life.

And I know that bloggers like to give that middle-digit salute...I've seen the pictures.

All I keep thinking of is what someone once told me - if you don't fight, even a little bit, then they really win. Be vigilant. Be defiant. Question. Things do not get better through inaction.

And no, I'm not just talking about poker anymore.

1st, 2nd, and 125th anniversaries

Firstly, my comment on the internet gambling bill:

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Yesterday was this humble blog's first anniversary. I only started it so I could get in on the PokerStars freeroll. And here it is, a year later, with 250 blithering posts in 365 days. Good lord.

I've found that in the last year my other blogs (sans one) have languished and my focus has been aimed primarily here. Why? I'm an attention whore. And apparently, I need an audience to be creative.

Please, refrain (if you can) from the making the obvious comments.....

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The second anniversary of my first time playing poker is coming up. I decided to celebrate by going back up to the scene of the crime and hanging out for a few hours.

Rama has recently deviated from an all-Limit format and added some NL tables. I sat at the only 1/2 $200 max table running. I got myself organized, looked around the table and realized that 1) I'm the oldest there and 2) I'm the only woman. All the 20-somethings were oh-so-serious about the game, and all my efforts at conversation and flirting fell flat. Luckily, Steeve (aka Hawt Dealer) came on shift so things picked up a bit *grin.

I'd like to say it was profitable (-50), fun (not even close), but I'd definitely say I got my money's worth. I used it as an exercise in note-taking (one of the lamer 20-somethings tried to tell me I couldn't do that at the table...he ended up calling a floor director over who told him not to be such a whiner). It was also a good exercise in being patient through bad cards. And there were bad cards - for about a 2 hour stretch I had only 3 hands that were playable, and none of them even came close to hitting on the flop.

I took a break and walked outside where I said fuck the charges and hit the Loud speed dial number on the Razr. It was worth it just to catch her off guard *grin.

J. it just isn't the same without you. And the drive home isn't nearly as entertaining ;-)

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The rest of the weekend was a walk through my past. The small country public school that I attended to grade 8 celebrated it's 125th anniversary (the original one room schoolhouse is at left - there's been 2 wings put on it since).

I met up with Kathy and April, people that I have known since I was 5. We haven't gotten together for over 3 years, but it was like no time had passed - the remember-when's got a little silly.

Which made me realize that no matter what, these two women will always be my friends. We've grown into very different people: April got married at 17 and quit school after Grade 12 to raise her family and be a mom; Kathy still lives in the country not far from where we grew up, is still into sports and is quite happily childless; and me, well, you've all met and/or heard about me.

We know the factors that made each of us what we are and how we got to this point in time; we hold each other's pasts and there is nothing that really needs to be explained or justified. And I can't tell you how much comfort there is in that acceptance.

After that I met up with another old friend for dinner, drinks and a movie. I've known Jeany since my punk days, and we share a lot of experiences. I love seeing Jeany - she totally gets me railing against the middle-aged numbness brought on by work, kids, tv, and a lack of cool clothes for pear-shapes, because she's in the same damn place. We have long bitchy conversations over luxurious dinners and martinis where we bemoan political correctness in the workplace ("Why the fuck can't I just tell someone they're being a fucking idiot when they ARE a fucking idiot?"), teen fashions ("Wow. That style was butt ugly when we wore it 30 years ago") and annoying waitresses with perky boobs ("P.P.M.D." "The only consolation is that gravity will be unkind to her too eventually.").

I finished the weekend feeling pretty damn good. I've got some insights into my game and myself, and I feel calmed and refreshed by my friends.

What more can you ask?


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