26 May 2006

Memorial Day

Had a small up day today. Sweetie was really tired and hit the sack at 8:00, so I played some NLHE losing $65 or so with JJ twice (vs. KK once and something good enough to run me off of the rag flop the other time). Didn't get paid off with my quads as I was exiting the NLHE table. On the 5/10 table, I missed a couple value bets (flopped nut straight with two diamonds on the board, the third diamond got there but villain had a set of jacks instead). Had two sets that hit after I bailed on overcard, suited flops). Didn't get anything the last 72 hands of my 5/10 table, no cards and fended off getting involved. I could definitely feel my slide behavior. I kept itching to raise with A7s, KJo, etc, and that's definitely part of the slide. I look at my Excel spreadsheet, look at the $3k that is long gone. I miss it, not because I had the money spent but because it measures my performance. I don't like being rotten, so it's nice to scratch and claw.

More on eustress next week.

No poker this weekend for me, and I don't expect to post here Monday. My father-in-law banned poker at the end of last summer, which pretty much is a big disappointment for me. It was one of the social things that I could do with folks. They have their ritual of lounging around the lake, drinking in the afternoon, eating late, then doing their own socializing. Poker was a platform for me to connect with some folks and have a good time but not this summer.

Memorial Day is a day off, the beginning of summer, a day of cooking out. I don't know if you could find anyone as vehemently opposed to our invasion of Iraq as I have been. Since I've traveled a great deal around the world, I probably have a bit of a different perspective on some of these things. I remember sitting in Hartsfield Airport at the last gate in Terminal D, traveling on America West to Vegas a year or two ago. At the gate over sat about 75-100 soldiers heading to Iraq. Some were literally kids, others were my age. I've seen folks applaud when soldiers have walked through the airport. Regardless of one's opinions of politics or individual elected officials, we cannot help but admire members of our Armed Forces, Reserves, and National Guard. Yet our gratitude is given passively by most of us, or at least let me say by me. I don't sacrifice anything in my life even though we have thousands of troops in harm's way.

My grandfather, JT (this is his name, the initials didn't stand for anything) was a baseball prospect out of school. He was the first person in the small northwestern Alabama town to be drafted, and he and his fellow Marines headed off to the Pacific. He never spoke of any of it, although I'm pretty sure he was a POW held by the Japanese. His life was never an easy life after this, marrying my grandmother, having four children (my mother being the eldest), making a living as a welder all over the US. His was an existence of drinking and gambling away paychecks while his family struggled. They divorced in the early 60's, something that really wasn't done. While he bounced around in Florida working on the Apollo program, his former wife raised four kids under the same roof as my great-grandmother. Until the truck that a friend was driving was hit by a train, killing this valiant matriarch.

These were different times. My mother was of age, so she dealt with the remaining children. She signed approval for one of her brothers to enter the Army at 16, an older brother went to live with a friend, the younger sister was sent to a cousin who would later abuse her before she lived with us to finish high school. And my grandfather lived his life away from these children. He would marry four more times, including waking up in Vegas married to a woman he barely knew. Once a wife nursed him on his deathbed, her children holding his hand as he approached death. He recovered then left her. He rehabilitated his life, became part of the family again, made up for lost time not with things but of giving of himself, what little he had to give. He buried the younger son, buried him after the older son, a successful home builder, watched his brother die as an eighteeen-wheeler plowed into his truck. They both worked for the older brother who had become something, but they couldn't escape tragedy.

Memorial Day is about Papa, whose life changed forever when he shipped out in '42. It's about those who gave their lives in death and in life. It's about those changing their lives forever today. I hope I can take some of the time I will be wishing I was playing poker and remember why we won't be working Monday. I won't promise, but I hope I do.

Have a safe, special weekend. No recipe today, just toss the burgers and dogs on the grill and get to eating. Take care.


Blogger TenMile said...

That'll do it. Nice write up.

1:36 AM  
Blogger Felicia :) said...


You are really missing out on the 2+2 foodie forum. I cannot even begin to describe the excellent topics that have been discussed there. It's amazing how many poker players are foodies and gardners (even just inside, herb, container gardening).

Check it out if you ever get a minute in between globe trotting.

12:59 PM  
Blogger pokerpeaker said...

Given your grandfather's propsensity for gambling, do you ever worry you might have "the gene" for addiction? I'm not accusing you of anything, don't worry, but you're one to really dig into things (the best, actually) like this and I wonder if you'd ever address it in a blog.

I agree with you on Prince. Awesome musician and nice to see him back.
I put him above many of my favorites and just below Stevie Wonder.

3:51 PM  
Blogger surflexus said...

CC, If you don't already know what June 17th is, e-mail me at surflexus@comcast.net... cheers

12:37 AM  
Blogger Slimeface said...

Well said! Memorial day is a great holiday but like Thanksgiving and Independence day really should be observed daily.

6:39 PM  

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