Posts Tagged ‘gambling’

List: things i didn’t tell my mom

Posted: April 23, 2015 in poker
Tags: ,

Things I Should’ve Said To My Mom
1. I went to Russia & to Paris.   I’d been wanting to go for 20 years, and when I received a partial grant & scholarship I knew it was my one chance.  I didn’t tell her before I left because she would’ve been really worried.  I didn’t tell her when I came back because she would’ve disapproved that I spent the money.  I kept it a secret from her for six years, and then she died.  It was so beautiful.  I never talked to her about it.

2.  You were my Rosie-the-Riveter.  She square danced, built a cabin with my dad, raised sons, played piano, read books.  Really, all my friends loved her.  I should’ve told her more often.  When I was in my  twenties I barely called her.  When I had kids of my own I realized all she’d gone through with me and my brothers, and my dad who had gone senile.  We got a lot closer, but how lonely she must’ve been. Your strength became my strength.

3.  Your stories were excellent. One of my biggest regrets was saying to her “do you have to talk so much?”  My mom talked all the time.  Sometimes it was annoying.  It was selfish of me, as often she had no one to talk to.  Her stories were full of life, funny, interesting, detailed. When she grew up there wasn’t electricity. She could sort of morph one story into the next.  She was an expert at transitions.

4.  You were right.  She was right about the boy I lost my virginity to.  She guessed it.  She said she “didn’t trust him.”  I lied. She probably knew that. She was right about most things.

5. I took some beers from the fridge.  For a slumber party we had in high school. It was gross, we drank them warm. Part B. I later drank too much in college. I don’t think the two are related. Everyone drank.  I suppose that’s how you learn your limits.  You would’ve been embarrassed for me.  Sorry about that.

6.  Thank you for teaching me to play poker.  I should’ve thanked her for letting me stay up late at the cabin with my brothers playing Michigan poker, teaching me to fish, letting me watch The Twilight Zone & Star Trek when I was little, rocking me to sleep when I was sick with asthma and there was no medicine.  Thanks for sticking it out with my dad who was the sweetest man I’ve known.  Thank you for not squashing my creativity and allowing me to be a kid.  Thanks for the worry, I know you loved me.

7.  Goodbye.  I never had the chance to really say goodbye.  Even at the funeral, I was in shock to such an extent, I don’t remember touching your hand, though I know I did. I didn’t want to cry, which was a kind of tribute I made to you.  I counted roses to keep from crying and got through it with your British stiff upper lip.  Goodbye mom.

My mom unexpectedly died in 2007.  For a lot of very complicated reasons, mostly to do with my ex, my divorce, a lack of money and vacation time, I didn’t see her for almost six years before she died, though we Skyped regularly.


My (ever changing) Bucket list

WSOP ($1000 buy in) in Vegas
Kentucky derby
Kids  to Yellowstone & Mt. Rushmore.
Different trip:  Colorado, the Alfred Packer site. Lake City, CO.  Rock formations there
Hieroglyphs of hands.
Red Rocks concerts – all
Back to St Petersburg to Dostoevsky’s grave
Jim Morrison’s grave/Hunter S Thompsons grave
Oaxaca, day of the dead
Cherry blossoms on the D.C. Mall / the Lincoln monument
River rafting again.
Meet Bob Dylan  – favorite song “buckets of rain”
Do something for charity
Get one of my manuscripts published
Piano lessons
Purchasing power, or If-I-had-the-money list
buy cabin
buy cello for kiddo
send poker player Jack to the bluebird café in Nashville because we’ve written a great song together.
create college fund for kids
Looks like the model for the Rosie-the-Riveter poster died today.

Our lives are intertwined. Coincidence?

In Response to: “The Satisfaction of a List.”



Posted: April 22, 2015 in poker
Tags: , , , , ,

He said,  The top card of the deck is burned at the beginning of each betting round, so that if the card was marked, the players would not be able to cheat.

She said, I need more orange juice.  The man lit a cigarette.  She listened to Balalaika music in her head. He glanced at the copy of Doctor Zhivago on her desk.


She read a passage to him.  “They loved each other because everything around them willed it, the trees and the clouds and the sky over their heads and the earth under their feet.  Pasternak, Zhivago”

She picked up her empty Star Trek mug.  Leonard Nimoy seemed to be watching them.  The man ran his fingers across his temple and pressed his forehead.

She told him to leave. He went back to designing his board game.  She put lotion on her hands.  It smelled like gardenia.

She said, “Yesterday’s gone on down the river and you can’t get it back. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry”

The man said, Yesterday is the burn card.

She read silently. “All that’s left is the bare, shivering human soul, stripped to the last shred, the naked force of the human psyche for which nothing has changed because it was always cold and shivering and reaching out to its nearest neighbor, as cold and lonely as itself.” Pasternak, Zhivago. 


Write 500 words on any topic you like. Now remove 250 of them without changing the essence of your post.
 “Slash and Burn.”

sunrise, sunset

Posted: April 21, 2015 in poker
Tags: , ,

Never, ever have I been an early bird.  I’ve seen a few sunrises, but probably almost as many from staying up all night as from rising early in the morning.   I worked the graveyard shift for two years, so in retrospect, I may have seen more sunrises than many.

Poker is a game that is lovely to play outside on a sunny porch with little wind and a cold beer, or in a smoky room, late at night in the presence of cowboys.


In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Early Bird.”  Since I don’t make sunrises, here’s a sunset.  Not photoshopped.


The mentor’s I’ve had haven’t known they were my mentors.  They never said, “I’m mentoring you.” In fact, to their faces, I stubbornly refused to take any advise.

“Do not ever tell me how to play.”

When I was in grad school and writing full time, I always wanted a mentor.  I was really disappointed that no one ever took me under their wing.  I had potential.  The world is a busy, cruel place, and time is hard to come by.

But poker, however is a game, and in order for it to be a good game, you need good players to play against.   Poker as metaphor.
Ten years younger than me, my friend Classic taught me not to bother to come to the table if I’m not willing to lose what I bring.  Bad Larry told me to play position.  He said “If you are the last to act you have some power.”  Jules taught me how to play one-on-one. She showed me not to be afraid to shove all your chips in when you’re the last two at the table.

I’m not a mentor….instead about all I know to do is play a good game, and try to mentor by good play.  The  thing I try to pass on:  never lose your cool.   It’s embarrassing to see someone enraged by losing.  Isn’t it better when someone gets knocked out and they offer up a toast to the poker goddess?   Or, instead of tipping over a chair, they say “Buy me a drink, you donkey.”

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mentor Me.”


Posted: April 14, 2015 in poker
Tags: , ,

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Blur.”


The blurry guy is Mike Sexton, announcer for the WPT.   It kind of makes sense, since the whole Aria WPT was a blur to me last year.  My first time.  I sort of blurrily knew who he was, but not really.

It’s always seemed like blur should have two ‘rr’ s.  Like blurry.  Or slurry.

Staying Afloat

Posted: April 14, 2015 in poker
Tags: , , ,

It’s all about passion.  Staying afloat and not losing all your chips.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Afloat.”

Bad Cards

Posted: April 14, 2015 in poker
Tags: , ,


It’s not the cards, it’s how you handle the cards. The chips I bet are put on the table to defend the best hand, whether it is the best or not. The next split second decision involves trying to detect if you are going to have to show those cards.  The next decision, whether you want a caller.  Your demeanor at that point needs to support your decision.  Sometimes the best cards are bad cards.  Maddening.

If hand after hand you are running cold, well it might be time to take a walk, get a soda, stand up, miss a few.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mad as a Hatter.”