Broken, But Unbowed
January has always been my least favorite month. As a kid, it seemed to drag on forever, likely because it marked a return to school after two glorious weeks of Christmas gluttony. The days are short and dark, the re-birth of spring--and baseball--seems hopelessly distant and the inclement weather--yes, even in Southern California--precludes any meaningful outdoor activities.
I find myself fighting off a malaise whose origin is unknown. I must've sat down to write five or six times in the past week and, with one exception, have struggled mightily, the first time that's happened in a long while. It's frustrating as hell, because I haven't been short of topics, just execution.
And then my brother-in-law--the cop--took a bad beat on the job the other night, getting hit by another squad car, breaking--nay, shattering--his leg in four places. He's had one surgery already, complete with titanium rod, and will undergo at least one more in the coming months. It's difficult to say he got off easy, but when the Police Chief calls and says there's been an accident, my sister and the rest of us were pretty relieved it was just this. He's a helluva cop, my brother-in-law. I've seen him in action: calm, compassionate and authoritative, but without that power-tripping mentality one too often sees in our men in blue. Now he's gonna be laid up for about a year, which causes all sorts of logistical headaches for the family. Naturally, we'll all help out wherever we can.
But this is not a pity post. For once, I actually have a couple events to look forward to this desultory month. First up, I'll be heading to St. Louis in two weeks for my grandparents' 65th wedding anniversary. That's a big number. Jebus. It's always great to hang out with my midwestern cousins, all of whom are hilarious in a number of ways. My California-based cousins and I are always treated like bad influences on the locals when we go back for these reunion deals, when the reality couldn't possibly be further from the truth, despite the fact I once got thrown in the brig at Busch Stadium for buying an under-age cousin a Bud.
I remember one time, my cousin Paul and I (we're the same age) saw the sun come up in a roadhouse bar across the Mississippi from The Lou, after an 8-hour binge that included titanic foosball struggles with gap-toothed trailer girls. Guess who got in trouble when we showed up at Grandma and Grandpa's at 7 a.m.? It wasn't Paul, who was more than happy to stay silent and play the local rube, which he most certainly is not. But I was livin' the white trash dream, baby. I, nor any of my family, make any apologies for our humble beginnings in the farmhouses of Iowa or the clapboard houses of Cahokia, Ill. While my generation is worldlier, with more vices, we are still closely tied to the ones before us, all of them God-fearing people with simple beliefs and pleasures. We'll share those that weekend, with a big party planned for Saturday and another celebration at the church on Sunday. Both will be dry. Then we'll try and find ourselves a roadhouse bar.
The other event is the LA Poker Classic, beginning on the 19th. I've decided to play the NLHE Event on the 26th and will likely enter at least one Super Sat to the main event. I was (am) fully prepared to fund my buy-in to the $540 event, but it was brought to my attention that some people might actually LIKE to purchase a piece of my action. I can't imagine why, but I'll offer anyway. If you'd like to stake some of your hard-won money on an Internet Tournament Donkey, send me an e-mail or a comment. I'll accept $27 (for 2.5% of the winnings) or $54 (5%), since that makes the math easy. You can just transfer your preferred amount into my Poker Stars or Full Tilt accounts. Please alert me when you do it though, so I don't over-sell as you know, I know and the American people know this offer is WAY too good to pass up.
So, January, starting off with the same ol' crap, but it has possibilities. Oh yes.
Quick Update at 5 p.m. (PST)
I have already gotten a pleasantly surprising response on this and just wanted to note where we stand. Not too much action left.
In for full shares ($54):
In, but for an unknown amount
Tentatively in, based on previous conversations
Princess (for $54)
Thanks to all.