I have been Challenged (TY babes, I think *grin). And since I really don't feel much like working, here we go...

Top Five Americans:
  • Henry Rollins - buff. angry. funny. The triumvirate of hotness.
  • Tim Burton - deliciously dark; the visuals in his movies match my dreamscapes.
  • Janeane Garofalo - something about a smart, sarcastic smartass that appeals to me.
  • Al Gore - I admire people who stand up and say what they have to say, no matter how unpopular the opinion.
  • Bettie Page - the enigmatic "bad girl next door" has always intrigued me.
Top Five American Bloggers:
OK this one is tough; how to decide?
  • TenMile - I'll admit I get excited when I see that he's posted, and save his for the last blog clicked on bloglines. The style is sparse and elegant, but still lyrical. Much is said, without saying much. We share the same interests in books, and he is an Invisible Internet Friend I truly hope to meet someday.
  • Gracie and Maudie - since that day in Okie-Vegas, they've had a very special place in my heart. We don't talk often, but we don't have to.
  • AlCantHang - At the heart of every community, there's usually one guy that seems to be the common thread, that to holds it all together. To my eyes, Al is that guy.
  • Surflexus - there's a reason why Georgia is my second most called long distance area (after Calgary).
  • GCox25 - two words: Okie Vegas. Friendly, open and generous.
  • CK - articulate, insightful, funny - a real live wire as my dad would say. Whether it's live or virtual, she brightens up any gathering.
  • Iggy and Pauly - a girl always remembers and treasures the first blogger ass she grabbed.
  • the rest of the PA crew - degenerate blogger pokery goodness, only a day's drive away!
Yeah I know it's more than 5. So, sue me.

This post is for TenMile.

Truly, you can not solve any problems with just potatoes.

You need to take the potatoes and work some fermenting magic on them through the distillation process until you get vodka.

And then you take the lovely, lovely vodka and do marvelous things with it. You can make cocktails with exotic names like Harvey Wallbanger or Hot Throbbing Banana. You can make a wild assortment of martinis using infused and plain vodkas; my personal favourite is the Nectar of the Gods Martini concocted by the Martini Goddess herself.

And you can infuse your own vodka in ways that make your friends think you've gone off your head.

Yes. This is about the bacon vodka. Unfortunately, it's almost all gone - I've used it for cocktails rather than martinis. I could not bring myself to make a Bacontini.

Let me tell you, it makes a pretty wicked Bloody Mary! The bacon added a nice aftertaste; it was like a bacon and tomato sandwich but without the bacon fibers stuck between your teeth to be pried out later. The Bloody Caesar was not quite as successful though; after the first few sips the bacon fought with the clams, and trust me when I say that neither was victorious.

I've done some more bacon-infused vodka, as well as some other flavours, thinking to bring them to the Martini Goddess's house for a tasting sometime in the summer, when we can sit on her back deck and sip delicious concoctions while figuring out how to create a lasting peace for the Middle East.

See? You CAN solve life's problems with potatoes!

(I think I'll make it a week of Douglas Adams quotes, just because.)

That quote pretty much summed up my efforts in the Big Game. I squandered a lot of chips in attempts that went foul, and the busted in 49th when I was out-kickered by one.

Sometimes that's just how poker rolls.

Tomorrow is the MATH and the last kick at the BBT3 can for March; I'm sure I'll be seeing y'all there.

Just as an FYI, the role of drunken donkey donator will be played by yours truly. I'm planning on being three sheets to the wind, and invite and encourage all dial-a-shots, text-a-shots and IM-a-shots in order to get to that point.

And if you're so inclined, join me in the Martini Game Redux. To celebrate a full year of Donkaments, there will be bounties for the first out, most buyins, and to whoever knocks me out.

So bring your singles, and toss them with wild abandon and shouts of ALL IN! Think of it like being at a strip club, but without the eye candy.

Q. What's the first sign that there's a Big Game on Sunday?
A. There's like 12 bloggers signed up for the $75 token frenzy the night before.

I have not been all that successful in acquiring my token for the Big Game, but truth be told I'm not doing a full court press for it yet. Hopefully I can grab one tomorrow after a good night's sleep.

So very tired.

I've come to the conclusion that yes, I am in fact too old now for too many late nights backed up in a row. Wednesday was heartburn from too much Indian food (so good but so deadly); Thursday night was due to WAY too much fun in the girlie chat until the wee hours (and I mean fun bay-bee!); and last night was chaperoning a Grade 5 sleep-over at the school.

Don't get me wrong, I adore the grade 5's - they're still fearless and fun, and haven't yet begun to believe marketers and media. If you look closely, you can see the people they're about to become. But they're still young enough that the late night monsters can be very real, and I found myself awake at 2:00, 3:00, 3:15, 4:20 and 5:45 soothing fears and drying tears.

Took me all bloody day today to recover. Being soothing and calming is a stretch for me at the best of times...it's a herculean feat while dead tired.

****

I did disappear for a while and fire up Full Tilt, and played the Donkament while the other teacher watched a movie with the kids. It was a perfect Donkament ... fun and wild and maddening all rolled into one. I think I bought about 32 rebuys, and was laughing so hard at the screen a few times that the oh-so-curious 11-year-olds had to know what was going on (sidenote: nothing drives a 11-year-old girl crazier than an adult telling them that something is none of their business). Julius Goat is a very funny guy...I wish I could remember more of the table chat than the Pizza Hut cheese coffin ad and the visual of Waffle's death by kitten.

Oh now I remember...it all started with comments about his bloggers are like pizza post. And went deliciously downhill from there.

I guess maybe you had to be there *grin.

A year ago

The first Friday Night Donkament/Martini Game was a year ago, and to celebrate there will be a special game on Monday night. All involved parties have given the thumbs up, so here we go:


There will be a little sumpin' sumpin' for the first out, the most buy-ins, and to whoever knocks me out.

These are the moments I live for...

I'm in a class right now, sitting back as I'm watching 12 grade 8 girls totally geek out on robotics. A few weeks ago I mentioned in passing that we could do a Sumo Robot Wrestling competition, and they showed the kind of enthusiasm that I thought they only reserved for seeing the latest teen heart throb on the street.

"OMG OMG!" "YES, we should TOTALLY do that!"

I've been really hands-off, providing direction only. The two grade 8 classes have researched and formalized the rules, created the competition area, scheduled the competition day and worked out the 9 teams. Right now, they're talking about gear ratios, power levels, light sensor capabilities, conditional loops and how to beat the other teams.

This is one of those moments where I know that I am where I'm supposed to be, doing what I'm supposed to be doing. And that's more rewarding that any poker win.

Thats not to say I won't feel happy about a win in the Riverchasers tonight *grin.

Razzalicious?? I think not

So what do you do when your spouse comes home and says, that despite plans being made, has taken work on your birthday and will be leaving you alone, and now without plans.

If you're me, you fire up Buddy Dank Radio, get a group together in the girlie chat and donk off a BBT3 buyin in Razz. 75th of 83.

At least I made it past the break *grin.

even Amazon knows....

Math challenged in other ways

Busted in *koff* fifty-eighth *koff* place in the MATH when Hoyazo masterfully played his flopped set against my TPTK. Man, did he reel me in.

I start work tomorrow, but thankfully, it's a short day which means that I'll be able to go to the doctor's to have this fish hook removed.....



One day left

One day left in a 2 week break. I know I get no sympathy from you lot, but I've gotten very used to sleeping in to the crack of 10, stumbling around in my robe until noon (or later), and playing drunken blogger poker until 2-3 every morning.

I haven't actually looked at my To-Do list in the last two weeks, much less completed anything on it. Sigh. It might be a busy day.

****************

I've been playing a lot of online poker the last week, and in a way I'm glad I'm going back to work and so will be forced to play less. In the last few days of playing, the Internet Equation (Anonymity + Normal person = Asshole) has been proven over and over. I've been called a whore, a kunt, a slut, a bitch, and a fat skank by stupid little boys I've taken pots off of. Mostly I try to laugh it off, or remind them that *I* am not the one calling an all in with middle pair, so STFU. But those sexist epithets are bullshit, and I'm getting tired of it.

And yeah, I KNOW there's sweet fuck all I can do about it; there will always be idiots, alas.

****************
You should learn something new day everyday. If you're not prepared to do that, you should just stay in bed.
~ a man to his daughter
While you family people were Eastering, I headed up to Rama for some $1/$2 distraction. They opened a new table withing minutes of me arriving, and it turned out to be a most weird and challenging table of both solid players and utter donks. At one point, I'd asked for a table change thinking to find a softer and less wild table (first 4 hands had threeway all-ins!), but decided to stay and challenge myself, practicing some math and honing my powers of observation.

I only made a grand total of $7 profit for the day but I still left feeling like I was up more. It was both educational and amusing to watch the LAG to my left amass over $700 in less than an hour, then spew it and two more buyins all back to the table over following two hours. Two lessons there: 1) give a LAG enough rope and they'll eventually hang themselves, and 2) the river giveth, and the river sure as hell taketh away.

I made a few missteps; the most expensive one was a result of betting too little. No it wasn't a MIN BET, but it was low enough compared to pot size that I made it attractive for Mr. Quiet Tight Weak in seat 2 to catch his flush on the river, making my flopped 2 pair obsolete. The lesson here: Math is everywhere - get better at it.

Sigh. Let the spanking commence.

****************

Thank you to a few friends who talked me off a ledge this weekend. I can't tell you how much I hate being an emotional trainwreck (I despise the loss of control, doncha know), but when circumstances occur to make it inevitable, I'm glad I have pals like you to kick me out of it.

****************

Due to an incredibly freaky 5th place win in the Riverchasers on Thursday (no, I don't really know how to play PLO8 and yes, I was tipsy), I'm now at 23rd place on the BBT3 leaderboard. Except for a brief foray to 36th place (I missed a few games), I've been in the top 25 since it started. Hey, I guess I know how to play some poker after all *grin.

See you tonight for the MATH, where I try to both maintain my leaderboard standings and ensure that tomorrow's alarm at 6:30 am is going to be even more painful than it would normally be after 2 weeks of sleeping in.

Fuck, I do not want to go to work tomorrow.

****************

Thank you to everyone who has played the Donkament since its inception a year ago. I started it as a one-off to hang with friends for my birthday, and a year later it's still going strong.

So, there will be bounties and prizes this Friday to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Donkament (aka Therapy, as Hoy calls it); hope to see you there.

Oh and pre-birthday dial-a-shots will of course be welcomed *grin.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming

Most times I love being an estrogen-based life form. Last night was not one of them. I can handle the hormone rollercoaster tilt, wireless tilt, snarky strangers tilt, husband tilt, I-am-a-donkey tilt, stubbed-toe tilt, stepped in the cat puke tilt, and whatever other tilt you wanna throw at me either singly or in a small group of two or three. All of them, and my evil twin takes hold.

Enough said.

****

Had a great day driving out to a nice lunch in the country, chit chatting with my guy and listening to good music. The serene life-is-good moment was much needed after a few weeks of what feels like frenetic mental activity.

On the way home, i though about live-blogging the donkament tonight, but realized it's just going to look like this:

9:01 - crappy cards. all in anyway! rebuy.
9:02 - ooooo an ACE! all in! rebuy.
9:03 - QQ!!!! all in! fuck. rebuy.
9:04 - crappy cards. all in anyway! rebuy.

You get the idea.

So no, I won't be live blogging, but I'll be live playing with my bright shiny happy winnings from last night. Pray you're at my table for the donations *grin.

Thursday


Yep, placed 5th in the PLO8 Riverchasers tonight. But at the moment I can't feel all that happy about it - maybe tomorrow. Right now I am discouraged and disheartened, and I think I've had enough of people hinting that I don't know what I'm doing. You're absolutely right. I don't. For now, you win.

It is a rare thing that an evening goes sour quite that quickly and absolutely.

Eat me

How many cannibals could your body feed?
Created by OnePlusYou

Calling Eh-Vegas bloggers

Does anyone feel like getting together for some live poker before Tuesday? I know that this weekend is Easter and people will likely have some family stuff, but if you're amenable I'd love to meet up with some like-minded degenerates. Home game, casino, afternoon, evening, I'm easy.

What the dealer told me at Rama, and ROR!!!!

I played the Mookie hot on the heels of going deep in the 16k, and busted out when I slowplayed a flopped set of aces and allowed PresDLee to catch his straight on the turn. I'll admit, I caught some good cards in the Mookie, and even when Al got a lot of my stack when he called my draw raise with his JJ, I was able to chip back up again.

I felt solid, aggressive, kicking ass! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!

And then the pocket aces came, and I went.

I looked at my screen and remembered what the dealer at Casino Rama said when I scored a few major pots in a row: Don't play the rush.

And by all that's holy, don't slowplay aces!

****

Played the Dookie after an aborted attempt to do something else with my evening ... I think I could get addicted to PLO, which would be a bad thing as I play like shit. I bonked out somewhere in the middle of the Dookie and then jumped in on a cash PLO table with Riggstad, MillerD33, PokerEnthusiast, CK, and Joanada. I proceeded to drink a martini, thinking that might help the game if only for the numbing effect (it did). Somehow I ended up about where I started, but I wouldn't have cared if I busted as the chat was worth it's weight in rubies. Or maybe sirverr or gord, ROR!

OK, maybe you had to be there.

I played a few pushfests which I personally think are fun as hell if only for the chance to infuriate the non-blogger players who think it's quite rude to go all-in every hand. I call it payback and therapy, personally. Miracle of miracles, I won the first one which added a nice boost to the bankroll, and Donkette won the second.

Holy crap it's 2:30 am and the party has just wound down. If this madness keeps on (and I hope and pray that it will), Thursdays are going to be very ugly when I get back to work. Methinks there will be lots of work periods.

Tomorrow should be a fun day. I have to run around to the Ministry of Transportation offices as it appears that the motorcycle portion of my drivers license expired in 2003. How could I not know that, you ask? Because the government didn't know it, and sent no renewals. And yes, I had renewed my regular drivers license in that period and the system missed it. Fucking graduated licensing system. So now I have to start from the beginning....written test, and two road tests. Yay.

The 16k Guarantee


I dedicate this to Sensei CK and JObi Wan Kenobi who sat me down and made me do math this afternoon. Also, thanks to Surf, Donkette, NuttzCarson and PokerEnthusiast for the cheering :-)

Excuse me, I have 9 minutes for a bio break before the Mookie!

Tag, I'm it

PokerPeaker has tagged me (and yes, you're right, I love memes) so here is another seven random facts about me:
  1. I have a scar on my left knee that has been there since I was 5. I got it when I fell in the playground at school. A boy had tried to kiss me at recess and I was chasing him with the intention of punching him when another girl who "liked" him tripped me. I have never really trusted girlie girls ever since.
  2. I still have the dress I wore on my first day of school, made of pink gingham and lace. I found it when I was cleaning out my mothers things after she died, and it still surprises me a bit that she kept it as I didn't think she was that sentimental.
  3. I unconsciously sucked my thumb in my sleep until I was about 8 or 9. My parents got me a retainer to wear at night. It broke me of the habit and got rid of the protruding front teeth (no more being called Bugs bunny!), but left me with a gap-toothed grin.
  4. I lost my virginity at 18, but didn't have my first real orgasm until many, many years later.
  5. I can pee standing up, a skill that has served me well both when partying in punk clubs and while traveling by bike.
  6. I once played a game of Monopoly with my younger brother that lasted a week. It started on a rainy day, and we played on and off at night until my mother got fed up with us bickering and put it away.
  7. I don't have a lot of emotional attachment to stuff, but would brave a burning building to save my parents wedding picture, my great-grandmothers gold pocket watch and my leather jacket from my wild days.
I know the 7 facts meme has gone around the blogosphere a few times so I'm going to be kind and not tag anyone.

Home

Home, at last.

What a blur. Got home from Philly at 8-ish on Sunday night and played the Jen Harman charity game where I did well, but not nearly as well as MiniDonk - congrats, girl!

Next morning I was awoken far too early, and we headed 4.5 hours North to visit family for a bit, driving back late Tuesday.

I think I'm done with driving for a bit.

****

But now I'm home, it's time to catch up on a few things, but first things first.

When I was younger, my mom made me write out thank-you letters for everything from a birthday gift to a sleepover at a friends house. And alas, since I've been in the Land of Dial-Up for the last two days, I'm a bit behind in my thank-you's so here we go:

Dear AlCantHang and Riggstad;
Wow. From the Al-sized shots of tequila to bogeying on the dance floor, I had a most excellent time. And a huge thank you to whichever one of you picked up my tab from Friday night; I'd like to compensate you in some way if you'll allow. I had a blast (and then some), and vented off some much needed steam - my warning label is no longer Contents Under Pressure. As with the last Bash, it was worth every second of the long drive to be able to hang out with you. You rock!
Yours truly;
Katitude

Dear Donkette, ANIguy and MiniDonk;
I cannot thank you enough for opening up your home to me in such a warm and friendly way. You didn't know me from a hole in ground, and yet you invited me to stay and hang out. This proves once again, that bloggers are pretty fucking amazing. Thank you for so much- for driving my car back on Friday night, for dinner and the poker on Saturday, and for everything in-between. And MiniDonk, thanks for taking some photos on Saturday - some great shots there!
Yours truly;
Katitude



Dear CK;
No words...just a huge purrrrrrr. I wish I was 10 years younger so I could keep up with you! As in Eh-Vegas, it was a great pleasure to par-tay with you for a bit!
Yours truly;
Katitude

Dear F-Train;
I am so glad that you were able to make it - no blogger gathering is complete without 130 pounds of fury! It was great seeing you again, made even better by it being unexpected.
Yours truly;
Katitude

Dear Millerd33;
Holy crap, are you funny! Thank you so much for making me laugh my way out of my tilt on Saturday night! Get cracking on that blog, babes...you need to share that sense of humour with the blogosphere.
Yours truly;
Katitude

Dear Perticelli;
It was great to meet you, and thank you so much for making sure that a) I was not the only one tilting on Saturday night, and b) my tilt looked mild by comparison *grin!
Yours truly;
Katitude

Dear Perry, Evy, Robin, Carlos, and anybody else I missed;
Even though it was brief, I really enjoyed our conversations/dances/poker hands. I can only hope and pray they were coherent on my part, but I have a funny feeling they weren't ;-). Until next time;
Yours truly;
Katitude

Dear Irish Jim;
You have no idea how much I regret not being able to connect with you while you were in Atlantic City. I always enjoy our conversations, and think that you are pretty damn fabulous to hang out with. Alas, too much fun the night before means waking up rather late in the day, and with the plans Donkette had made there was just not enough time to get to AC. I hope to see you in Vegas in December - first round is on me!
Cheers, babes!
Katitude

Dear Hunny Bunny;
Thank you for so many things, not the least of which is taking me as I am and not trying to change me into something else. I am continually blown away by your understanding, your love and your humour. You know where I've been in life, what has shaped me into this, and are helping me get to where I want to be. I would do anything for you. But no, I don't know as I'm ever going to introduce you to CK *grin.
Your Kat

Philly

Me: Am I not supposed to grow up sometime soon??
Jo: God, I hope not!

1,754 kms later, and I'm safely back home. That's all I'm capable of saying right now as I am as tired as only a weekend of poker degeneracy followed by an 8 hour drive can make one.

I listened to a lot of music on the way home; Tom Waits, PJ Harvey and Nick Cave are very good companions for a weary girl on a long, thoughtful journey. This one seems oddly appropriate:

Notes from friday night


Al-sized shots are not the same as regular sized shots. And that's I am at liberty to say about Friday night.

Well, that and the fact that CK is a good kisser.

I swear, there's something in the air down here in Philly.

What goes down must come up

This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Douglas Adams
Indeed.

It's 10-ish, and I really need to get a move on and get some things accomplished today. Laundry, alas, will not do itself. Enough experiments along those lines have failed, so that I now know this to be true.

But I am decidedly sluggish, and while I know there's a long To-Do list in my head, laundry is the only thing springing to mind. So I think I'll have more coffee and blather on about poker and see if anything else surfaces.

****

Yesterday's trip to Casino Rama was a success on a few levels.

Poker:
It didn't start out so good. I made some very small gains in the first hour at the $1/$2 table, and then in the course of one orbit I went from about $215 to $21.

I lost about $50 on one hand when I slow played my set of 9's against The Old Guy, allowing him to catch his flush on the river. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Then I tilted a little bit, and spent $30 on the next hand until I realized that calling raises with JKd on a raggy black board is the height of idiocy.

But then came KK UTG. I bet out 10, knowing that all the chasers would bail. I had one raiser who brought it to 20, someone who had only been playing premium hands. Rockets? Flop comes rag, rag, King rainbow. Giddy over my set, I bet out 50, he insta-pushed all-in for his remaining hundred-ish chips. I insta-call. Yes he dos have aces, and yes, he does hit an ace on the river.

Funnily enough, that did not tilt me as much as it could have. I got up and went for a walk outside around the building to clear my head and came back to the table. I had more cash but I decided not to buy more chips until this was gone.
I put the 'tude back in Katitude, and a few well-timed all-ins and steals later I was back up to about 130.

After dinner with some of the Tuckfards, I came back to the table and proceeded to completely tilt this one poor guy. When we both had top pair, his kicker was a J, mine was a Q. When he had a pair of 8's, I had 9's. When he had two pair, I made the straight. He kept buying in short, and I kept stacking him. When I cashed out at 9:30 I had $270 in my hand.

I know for you high rollers a profit of $70 doesn't sound so shit hot, but frankly I'm pretty proud of the comeback.

Non-poker:
At around 6 o'clock, I look up and see a face grinning at me: BamBam and Pebbles are here! I bounced out of the room and got my hello hugs, then when NuttzCarson and SuziQ showed up we went to the sports bar for a beer and a bite. Talk about making my day! Thanks guys for coming up even though we really didn't get much of a chance to chat, but with bloggers, even a small hit is better than nothing at all *grin.






Gin and tonic

First of all a thought on last night's PLO Skillz game:

While it is fun to bluff (i.e. showing Hammer Presto after getting someone to lay down a hand) PLO is really not a good game to bluff in.

I'll be slipping down a few notches on the leaderboard after last night's retarded push against JeciiMD's set of Queens.

****

In other poker news, since I decided to put the 'tude back in Katitude, I've not been sucking nearly so much. Have gone very deep in some low buy-in MTT's, deep enough to pay for some the madness that is the BBT3.

The exception was Saturday night, but hey, drunken blogger poker has never been +EV for anything but fun.

****

Heading off to Casino Rama soon, hoping to get in a few hours of profitable poker before meeting BamBam, Pebbles, NuttzCarson and SuziQ for drinks and silliness. No Mookie = slipping a bit further down in the standings, but I think it will be well worth it *grin.

****

Non-poker:

Yesterday was like a step back in time. Hunny Bunny and I went to visit my favourite cousin, to hang out and lend some moral support. In the past few months he has lost his mother (my aunt Eleanor), had his workshed burn to the ground taking about 60k worth of tools with it, and the final blow was this weekend when his brother Michael passed away from cancer.

Alas, no one is really shedding a lot of tears for Michael. At heart, he was a nice guy, but he always came across as a bit arrogant and more than a little annoying; always playing the part of how fabulous and wonderful he is even as his life became even more fucked up. Made my skin crawl, truth be told. But he was family, so what can you do?

I adore Richard as much as I disliked Michael. Richard is the black sheep in a family of some very dark grey sheep - his antics make mine pale in comparison. I could go on for hours about the parties he had where he and I drank gin and tonics out of quart mason jars, the river raft races (thank god there are pictures, I don't remember a damn thing), or the times I've just showed up on their doorstep in deep trouble, and he and his wife have taken me in with no questions.

Everyone needs people like this in their life, and I'm making plans to go back out there to their house in the country soon even as I'm kicking myself for drifting away in the first place.

****

Speaking of plans, I'm off to Philly on Friday morning. I know there are plans afoot and was wondering what the plans are, but have decided to go with Riggstads' advice instead: just close my eyes and enjoy the ride.

Works for me.

For foodies

Today was a day inside due to 24 hours of snow. We knew it was coming, and when I was out shopping for something else, I stocked up on comestibles.

My grocery list of stewing beef, field mushrooms, 2 year old cheddar, carrots, celery, a 4-pack of Guinness and puff pastry was transformed into a steak and Guinness pie that was perfection itself, followed by Hunny Bunny's specialty caramelized bananas over ice cream.

There are no pictures, as I was too busy eating.

I am full. Sated. Replete.

Poker pales in comparison. I didn't even mind bombing Saturdays with Dr. Pauly.

Labels: ,

I get by with a little help my friends.

God I hate people who start things out with song titles, don't you? Especially Beatles songs. So trite.

And yet... it fits.

Astin has a great post up called the Blame Game where he discusses how some of us divvy up the blame for how we play this game that has connected us. Go read it, it's good.

In his post, Astin uses yours truly as an example of someone who is examining her game to find the holes. One thing he said jumped out at me - I am my own worst critic. If I win, it's because there's some weird cosmic misalignment or the RNG is broken, not because I played well. This is nothing new, I've been guilty of this since I started playing with bloggers. But my degree of self-deprecation has reached a whole new level and by looking inside, I can see just how badly my confidence is broken. I can do a good facade of a chick who's got her shit together, but I've been rejected a few too many times in the past few years to be anything but full of self doubt. Even rejections done with love and kindness can still leave you a bit messed up in an it must be me after all kind of way.

My next tattoo should be: I doubt, therefore I might be.

In an effort to regain ONE thing I'm good at and can claim as my own, I'm re-focussing on poker. I have to correct Astin on one thing though, as I'm not so much examining my game (I can no longer see the forest for the trees), as asking friends what they think. And I have some killer friends who get me, and know just how to communicate best with me.

The new credo, NO MIN RAISES comes directly from Riggstad and CK. Both were blunt and straight to the point; one even threatened to spank me if I min raised in the Big Game. And no, it's not really much of a deterrent...quite the opposite, really. But it did the get the point across.

But the real smack upside the head came from Joanada last night with this exchange while I was deeeep in the last stages of the Donkament (which I placed fourth in and making ITM):

[00:07] jo: you are fucking killing the tourney
[00:08] jo: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM
[00:08] badkatitude: I KNOW...go figger
[00:08] jo: ok - I am going to say this once and once only
[00:09] badkatitude: i'm going to get thwapped aren't I
[00:09] jo: bring your fucking biker bitch, ass kicking, leather tank top-wearing confidence to the table now or I am going to have to bitch slap you in ways that wont be pretty
[00:09] jo: and might not even feel good
Yes, that got my attention. Especially the last line.

So like when I'm in a group of new people, mingling and talking, I'm going to wear the confident-chick-in-charge facade at the poker table and hope like hell someday it'll be less of a facade.

BBT #4

Like last night at the club, I am kicking myself for my play. Stopped thinking just before the break, and chased idiotically. The piece de resistance was this hand with Poker Bully. He had just been moved to my table, and said:

Poker_Bully1: hi katitude, you took all my chips and left the table
Poker_Bully1: now I'm back

then the hand (it was HU so everything else has been taken out):

Full Tilt Poker Game #5531317605: Riverchasers Online Tour (35814845), Table 3 - 80/160 - Pot Limit Omaha Hi - 22:21:28 ET - 2008/03/06
Poker_Bully1 is feeling angry
Seat 5: Poker_Bully1 (6,372)
Seat 7: katitude (3,179)
SBposts the small blind of 80
Poker_Bully1 posts the big blind of 160
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to katitude [7d Ac As Qs]
katitude: yay you :-)
katitude has 15 seconds left to act
katitude raises to 360
katitude: and it's not like i had a choice about leaving the table
Poker_Bully1: i know it was just weird
katitude: i would have rather stayed to finish you off *grin
Poker_Bully1 calls 200
*** FLOP *** [Kd Jc Qc]
ck31: BOOOOOOOOOOOOM
Poker_Bully1 has 15 seconds left to act
Poker_Bully1 checks
katitude bets 800
Poker_Bully1 raises to 3,200
katitude has 15 seconds left to act
katitude: i see
katitude: nows as good a time as any
katitude calls 2,019, and is all in
Poker_Bully1 shows [4s 6c Kh Kc]
Poker_Bully1: u started it
katitude shows [7d Ac As Qs]
Uncalled bet of 381 returned to Poker_Bully1
*** TURN *** [Kd Jc Qc] [9s]
*** RIVER *** [Kd Jc Qc 9s] [7c]
Poker_Bully1 shows a flush, King high
katitude shows two pair, Queens and Sevens
Poker_Bully1 wins the pot (6,438) with a flush, King high
katitude stands up

I've commented before on how I have to curb a rather unnatural tendency towards optimism when I play NLHE; the two cards hold such possibilities when you're math-challenged.

Give me four cards and I'm dangerous. Chasing hands like it's the only exercise I get.

Oh wait. It is.

****

Dear Poker Bully, I do apologise if I came across as overly snarky (not intended as such), but I'm sure the addition of my chips to your stack made up for it *grin.

But wait, there's more!

Irish Jim is in Atlantic City on the 15th!!!!!!

Now here's a guy we just don't get enough of as a) he lives in Ireland and b) he blogs about cricket or some such drivel *grin.

Looking forward to seeing you again!

OK, it's settled

It looks like I will be in the Philly area for the weekend of the 15th. I'll be driving out Friday morning, and coming back on Sunday - for the intervening time I will be completely at the tender mercies of the PA bloggers. Other than a desire to see Atlantic City, buy Al a SoCo and grab Riggstad's ass, I am open to any suggestions - do with me what you will *grin.

The fabulous Donkette has graciously offered me a place to crash for the two nights even though she doesn't know me from a hole in the ground, again proving that bloggers are the most generous and friendly folks. However, it could be part of her nefarious plan to take my money at the poker table rather than see it go to a hotel chain. It's a plan I can work with...I'd much rather donate to friends than give to corporate entities any day.

But there is a lesson to this; if there's poker and/or fun involved, I can afford it and have the time, I will take the most casual suggestion and make it happen.

So be careful what you say....you could find me at your doorstep one day.

****

Thanks again to Riggs, Jo, CK and Astin for the poker tips over the last week or so. I'm trying to stop playing optimistic and/or reactionary poker, and play smarter, more thoughtfully. At the club last night, I channeled CK when looking at my hole cards, Astin and Jo when deciding if they playable or not, and Riggstad when betting.

NO MIN RAISES!

It was all good, and had pretty much doubled up during the first orbit when my JJ became a jacks over kings full house. It was a beautiful thing. And it reminded me why I love being the only chick at the table...men will yap away to each other, completely ignoring and underestimating you. I've decided that I no longer mind them talking about me as if I wasn't there or making false assumptions. I will smile inside as they say things like "Oh, she must have read a book" while I neatly stack their chips into my piles.

I had won a few pots and was feeling pretty confident of going deep, but my focus lapsed. I could feel that tickle in my throat that meant one of the kids, aka "germ factories", had passed on a cold to me. Once the tickle starts, it always seems to move fast and that light-headed and wobbly-feeling wasn't far behind. Just before the break I was thinking how much it's going to SUCK if I'm sick for my 2 weeks off, rather than thinking about the game. Maybe if I was thinking about the game, I'd have seen that the new guy was in the hand (in my defense the cards were paritially obscured by dealer and his arm), and that it wasn't HU with me and another guy who raises with nothing and hopes he hits, but has a wicked tell when he doesn't hit. I'll admit to an "oh, shit" moment of surprise when the new guy called my post-flop raise, but forged on. Long story short, I tried an allin push with my three jacks hoping to scare him off with the flush on the board only to find that he had the nut flush.

As with many things, one moment of distraction and the effort of an hour is lost. Other than the flaw of wavering focus (oooo...shiny thing!), I discovered another part of my game that I need to work on.

I teach kids all day to take responsibility for their actions, but did not practice what I preach last night. As I left, I made excuses to Astin and Kevin - it's cold in the room, the table was distracting, the psychic ("I knew that was going to happen!") beside me was annoying, I'm getting sick, blah, blah, blah.

No. I fucked up. Done and done.

****

I was not in a good mood last night when I hit the girlie chat for a number of reasons, not all poker related. Life tilt + poker tilt+ health tilt. Sorry if I was pissy.

I swear, it feels like Friday

I am already deeply in March break mode, and am deeply resentful of all efforts to make me actually teach. The next two days are going to be ugly.

File this in the How evil am I? folder: two days before March Break and I'm giving tests to every class. There's a good reason (they will utterly forget everything in the next two weeks so I need to test it while it's still there or have to teach it again *shudder), and a selfish reason (they will be utterly quiet for the class).

Guess which reason is highest on the list?

****

I'm resorting to cruising through my statcounter results for entertainment this morning, and can only laugh at the fact that of the 14 people who have found my site because of searches, 9 of the people found it because of the keyword ass.

****

Reason why I'm going to hell, #4, 284, 637 - I forgot my niece's third birthday on Monday. How quickly can I get something shipped to Calgary?

****

On a day when you are already antsy and fidgety and easily distracted, it is a REALLY BAD IDEA to eat a handful of chocolate-covered espresso beans.

Winter road trip

A road trip to Philly during my March Break has gone from a throwaway comment last night in the girlie chat, to something that's about 75% certain.

A vehicle is arranged, Hunny Bunny has said "Go. Have fun", Donkette has been kind enough to offer me a place to crash (have I mentioned *just* how amazing bloggers are?), and I have a two week window of sfa going on.

All that remains are two things: who wants to play, and when would be a good time for me to head there? I'm off from the 8th to the 24th.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

That ass kicking thing will start tomorrow...

... because it sure didn't happen today.

I spent my afternoon off lounging around; there is something deliciously decadent about being in nothing other than glasses and a silk robe, propped up in bed playing poker while everyone else works.

Played the 24k - out middle of the pack, no cards worth working. Played three tokens and made it for two of them. ITM'ed a $6+.50 turbo SnG.

Sleep deprivation caught up with me , so the cat and I napped for a bit. Thankfully the phone woke me up in time to play a HORSE SnG with Gcox and Surflexus where it was 1-2-3 baybee! I was #3 of course.

Have I mentioned how the whole high-low concept in stud and omaha continue to elude me?

On to the Skillz game. Eighty-six runners - good grief. I've played Stud about 6-8 times before, so had no delusions about going deep. It was only thanks to the last-minute tips from Riggstad, Joanne and Astin that I made it to 44th when I was busted by a poorly timed bluff that I fell too deeply into. I went into the game with 3 stages of goals - last past the first break (check), outlast two people (check), and then make the points (denied).

Competitive Grrl is grumbling in my ear about not making it further. If I'd been focussed like Sunday night, and gotten rid of the distractions of BDR, Hotmail and multiple chat windows, I'd have done better.

Noted for next time.

****

Tomorrow, I am heading the club with Astin to play live poker, and I'm hoping that I will do well enough that I won't be home in time for the Mookie. And while I want to make it and love playing with y'all, I'm hoping I don't see you as I can use the cash for some March break fun.

****

Speaking of Mookie...all my congratulations and best wishes on your new arrival tomorrow :-)

Thoughts about some guys

Last night was amazing ... Henry Rollins is one of the best storytellers I've heard since me mum read me the Beatrix Potter stories when I was 3.

We sat down in the theater expecting him to talk for an hour and a half or so; three hours later he was still going strong. Topics ranged from social commentary mixed with travelogues and music stories, and all were told with passion, intelligence and humour.

But holy hell, is he intense. Not a bad thing really...I think he woke up Angry Grrl a bit. I am inspired to kick my complacent ass into gear.

****

There's been some interesting commentary in the blogoshere about Scott Fischman playing the BBT3.

I'll freely admit that I was disconcerted when I saw him on the registered player list, and even more so when I was seated at his table. A bit freaked out actually. One of the last lingering pieces of crap from my childhood that rattles around in my head is a huuuuge fear of looking like an idiot in front of people I don't know in a field where I am having some pretty serious doubts about my ability to succeed.

But I'm glad he was there. The desire not to look like a goober gave way to a desire to kick some ass; and I'll be honest it's been a while since that competitive urge really kicked in that hard.

So thank you Scott, for waking up Competitive Grrl. I am inspired to kick my complacent ass into gear.

Lets do the Time Warp again

The following is an e-mail from the past, composed on Saturday, March 3, 2007, and sent via FutureMe.org
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dear FutureMe,

It's saturday night, and I'm on the lazyboy, laptop keeping my legs warm. I'm chatting with Hoyazo, Garth and Zeem while playing poker.
Keith is sleeping, having gone to bed early. again.
So how are you doing?

Apparently I sent an email to myself through FutureMe.org a year ago. I honestly don't remember doing so, but today this little gem landed in my Inbox making my day a little bit more surreal.

Change the names, and it's my last Saturday night. And while not the one before that (Eh-Vegas), it's been a LOT of them before that. It kinda depressed me for a bit... it's all such SSDD.

Then it occurs to me, that I've been needlessly searching for a (social) life... I have one. It just doesn't require me getting putting on makeup or leaving the house. Or even getting out of my comfy clothes if I don't wanna.

Purrrfect! Thank you, IIF'S!

Happy Monday

Me: Hey fellow teacher! How goes? Have a good weekend?
Fellow Teacher: God, you're in a good mood. How much did you win?
Transparent like glass, I am.

I am ridiculously happy today; report cards done, inspection done for another 2 years, March Break starts Friday, and of course, the grand-pappy of mood elevators, a final table cash in the Big Game last night.

If I could only add a good night's sleep to that list, I'd be so happy there'd be no living with me. Kee-rist I'm tired. 2 am Friday night, 4 am Saturday night, and 3:30 am last night - these bedtimes do not work well in conjunction with early wake-ups. Gone are the days of the 5 day all-nighters; middle age does not allow you to do those kinds of silly (yet fun) things anymore without dire consequences.

But the weekend was FUN as hell, so I'm good - just going to be mainlining caffeine for the day. In a not unrelated sidenote, I think this may be my next tattoo:


A caffeine molecule seems the most appropriate thing for me these days.

And I'll be needing a lot today; it's going to be a long one. I won't be at the MATH tonight as Hunny Bunny is picking me up after school to go out of town and see this guy.

He's that oh so dangerous combination of smart, funny, and angry. AND he's not hard on the eyes either, all buff and tattooed. I shiver just thinking about it.

So GL to all in the MATH. I plan on being either comatose or a silky puddle of goo when I get home, so doubt I'll even be coherent enough to rail.

Big Game in pictures

My first hand with Scott Fischmann....Dems Quads Bitches!
Nothing like an early double up to make a girl feel all happy about poker.


And my last hand with Scott Fischmann, and i do mean last hand:


Where I ended up after this last hand:


And my game stats if you're at all interested:



Many thanks to AlCantHang for the chance to improve my meager bankroll, and thanks to Jo, Riggs, CK, Ski, Surf, and everyone else who cheered and railed.

So this is what winning feels like? I quite like it.

****

And a HUGE thanks to BamBam and the Tuckfard crew for the Dial-A-Purr. My phone has been acting odd since Eh-Vegas, and the message got to me last night in the Big Game just when I needed it. You all RAWK!

Motorcycles and Photography

I am ready for spring. Planning for this summer's destination and conversations about riding have made me ache to get on the bike.

Ache. Yearn. Desire.

I say in the girlie chat that I LOVE my bike, and people type in a polite "lol", but it's true, I do. Or rather I love what the bike brings to the table. Challenge. Adventure. Spontaneity. The excuse to wear black leather even in the middle of summer. The return of my former self, fierce and fearless, even if only for an hour or two.

Everything else falls away when I ride. I have no room in my head for the everyday mundane bullshit of life when the pavement is blurring past at 100 km/h, only inches from my foot.

So I let it go. And it's always an eye opener to see what's left.

And I love the bike for where it takes me. Riding is rarely about the destination, but is always about the journey; just going out for lunch can take all day. The shortest distance between two points on a map is shunned; it's the squiggly, curvy lines that invite the two wheels to play. More often than not, maps are used less as a guide to where I am going and more of a tool to find out where the hell I am once I've gotten myself lost misplaced. I know some people that ride with very specific routes already mapped out. I am not one of them. I'm more of a "hmm, where does this road go" kind of traveler.

While I'm not a camera geek with major equipment when traveling, I do try and take thoughtful photographs. I look at photographs as a memory trigger, but not in an I-was-here way. You will rarely find a shot of me in the "this is me/us in front of the _______" style of travel photography. Rather, the conversation around each picture is more along the lines of "this is where I/we _______".

I've set up a Flickr account to share some of my photos, but really more as online storage - nothing like the near-failure of a back-up hard drive to make one look at redundant redundancies for that which can't be replaced. And while going through what I think are some of the better ones, I am constantly distracted by the memories.

This is my favourite photo, taken at the end of a too-long and too-hot day. We were heading into the setting sun, and both were suffering from headaches and dehydration while we pressed on to try and make Kayenta by nightfall. I saw this framed in my rear view mirror and stopped to take this. I can still remember how the red dust tasted in my mouth and how silent it was. After the photo and a brief conversation ("This sucks." "Aye."), we decided that enough was enough, and headed back to Mexican Hat. While we stayed in the worst motel in America, we had one of the best steak dinners ever.

This is a dark and dismal photo of Cornerbrook, to be sure. But I always get a feeling of relief when see this. It had been my first day on the Rock, where I found that water-resistant is not the same as water-proof when it comes to bike gear. It pissed rain - all I wanted was to be dry and warm again. I also remember how exultant I was when I took that photo, as that was the day where I learned that I can, if necessary, ride in the rain, through the gravel of road work, for 150 kms, with a broken clutch cable.

This is my favourite picture of myself. We were on an overnight shakedown trip, testing out some new camping gear before our big trip to the Gaspe Peninsula. We had stopped in a little town on the shores of Lake Huron on a perfect, sunny day for gas and ice cream. Ice cream is important on a perfect, sunny day. Hunny Bunny had gone in to a bank, and I was sitting on the curb in the shade waiting for him when I caught sight of my distorted reflections in the chrome of engine parts. It's always struck me as a good analogy for all the me's that live in this body: the me I am to my husband, to friends, to family, to students, to co-workers; all different and none reflecting what I think is the true me.

You know what they say, every picture tells a story. Some make me laugh, some sad and nostalgic, some make me feel very grateful for being in the right place at the right time with the right people. I've given myself a writing challenge/exercise for my March break, to pick a photo each day and write about it. For those who have looked at my pictures, I'm open to suggestions on which photos to use. Who knows, I might even bore you by posting some of them here.

Migraine

A few days ago, I typed to the suffering Al that a sure cure for a migraine is a massage, a coffee, and an orgasm. Works every time, I said.

I was wrong.

Had to cancel a girlie night with Tawny tonight thanks to a migraine; no martinis or champagne cocktails, no playing with different colours of OPI, no girl talk.

Nothing helped... not an hour massage by a quite cute new guy named Steve, not the fresh roasted Sulawesi coffee, not even ...well you get the idea.

I did indulge in some retail therapy while out for my massage, and picked up four new Scrabble letters to go with with ones I already have on my necklace. I now have A F F F K T W, giving me KAT, FFF, or WTF depending on my mood.

I think the W, T, and F tiles could get worn out.

****

Of course, as usual, I feel better once it's too late to join the party. Woke up from a nap about 10-ish and the headache was at a livable level, so went looking for an online party. Lo and behold, there was a blogger SnG going, which led to a few more SnG's and a deliciously naughty girlie chat.

Welcome back Jo...missed you :-)


    Katitude



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