Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Emerald Dreams

For the last couple weeks, I've felt the body-wracking anticipation of moving. It's felt like the night before going to Disneyland. On Christmas. To lose my virginity.

It's not just the moving, either. It's the breath of fresh air in my new digs, unpolluted by memory. It's the big, fat check I'm gonna get from the sale of the house, money I'm going to use to both spend like a sailor on shore leave and sock away to help secure my future (stocks, property, Main Event buy-ins). But the one thing to which I was MOST looking forward, in the short-term, was a trip across The Pond.

My friend Shot is getting married in Ireland the first week of June. When he told me in October, after I thanked him for making it so easy on everybody to attend, I said, "I'm a couple big poker scores from making the trip." Within two months, I'd won two MTTs on Full Tilt and made a Final Table at the MGM during the WPBT. I was good to go.

Of course, then everything crashed on me and getting up in the morning became my main goal for the day, let alone planning a trans-Atlantic voyage. I even forgot about it for a time--I forgot about a lot of things--as I tried to figure out first how to save my life and then how to leave it behind. The idea of bailing, even for a week, seemed preposterous. I could barely hold myself together in familiar surroundings. I can't spend that time away from AJ right now, not close on the heels of his agonizing absence when he and X were in Sweden.

But the last six weeks have been better. Much better. When we got the offer on the house last month, the idea of making the pilgrimmage immediately sprang to mind. I wrote to see if I was still invited. I destroyed workplace productivity searching for itineraries and hotels. I contacted Div, my third-favorite among Scottish people I've never met (1. Kenny Dalglish 2. Ewan MacGregor), as I mulled turning a quick five-day trek to Ireland into a 10-day multi-Isle pub crawl with stops in Glasgow and Edinburgh. I was pumped.

Then the deal fell through. And now, I don't have two nickels to rub together.


I am notoriously careful with money. I don't carry credit card balances. I have contributed the max to my 401k since the day I was able. AJ has a college fund that would make Paris Hilton's nipples stand on end. My car is nine years old and I paid it off before the term expired. I don't splurge. Based on recent econmic indicators such as personal spending and savings rate, I'm an anomaly and it's mainly because I spent my early 20s carelessly fucking up my finances and credit score.

It is this trait, I've recently discovered, that was a cornerstone of X's Pyramid of I Don't Love You Anymore. Ironically, since it's a trip that is at stake here more than anything else, my wife's biggest gripe was that we didn't travel enough, something that, to her, signalled We Don't Have Anything in Common. She's full of shit, but let us not get distracted from our point.

The point is, I was over-willing to splurge. Bursting at the seams, in fact, to throw some cash around on pure pleasure, without a hint of guilt or meticulous spreadsheet accounting. And the best part was I was going to get to hang out with my friends in Ireland for a week. Now, it looks like it's not gonna be viable and I feel shitty about that. Shot has been to both my weddings and if he laughed his way through the first one and had a (now) hilarious panic attack at the second, well, at least he showed.

I call my Mom--The Inland Empire's Top Real Estate Agent for like 100 years running--every day hoping for good news. Hoping a solid gold offer comes in. Even if it won't close until late May, it'll hit the wire in time. Starting Monday, I'll be paying rent on my new apartment AND my mortgage. If I check (re-check and triple-check) Quicken, I extrapolate I can afford to do that for...well...May. So I wait for an offer and nervously log on to Expedia every day to make sure my favored iteneraries are still available.

All of the above may seem a little counter-intuitive, since I do have a healthy dose of gamble in me. Just a month ago, I dropped a few hundreds on an ice cold craps table without a second thought. But gamblin' money is different from living money. Yet, worlds are colliding. Poker money is paying my mortgage this month.

I dreamt about my friends last night. I miss them terribly. I need a miracle.

Update: Oh gawd. I realized this could come out like I'm trawling for donations. I'm SO not, even as I appreciate if anyone felt like throwing me a couple bucks. If you did, hold that thought and go spend it here instead. Memo to self: Don't blog when sleepy and irritated.


At 3:01 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Sounds like you need to earn some extra dough. Let's see...empty house...no furniture...wife out of the picture...

Speaker, you've gotta throw yourself a Frat Party!

Old School style, man! Old School!

At 3:27 PM, Blogger sellthekids said...

just an idea...

sounds like you need to offer a piece of yourself in a yet-to-be-determined large tourney, such as the FTP $200K or PS $1M. sell 40 spaces at $100/pop. payout? 1% of the future win, should it arrive.

just using those #s you have an extra $4K. you can satellite into the FTP for $26. you win, it's at least $45K, or $450 for each $100 investment and you still get $27K payday. and that is just FTP's little tourney.

now, why would 40 of your readers pony up $100 for the chance at a future 1% payday? one, we like you. two, we all know you are going to hit one of these big tourneys, prolly sooner than later. three, i can almost assure you that in 36 years of life i have spent more than $100 on our state lottery and have won less than $450, so it's gotta be a better shot than that. four, did i mention that we like you and you are gonna win a big tourney sometime soon?

just putting the idea out there. good faith is like karma....

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Huge Junk said...

Very kind of you, good sir, to pimp my cause.

I am many things, one of which happens to be an amazing justifier. All you need to do is call me and I can walk you through how to justify this trip.

It's as easy as pie. Hmmm, pie...

At 5:47 AM, Blogger C.L. Russo said...

Empty house? Here are some suggestions:

1. Start an underground poker club.
2. Film pornography and sell it on the internet.
3. Open a crack house.

At 6:19 AM, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

Speaker, best of luck rounding up the money againt the fish...play...play...play...you can do it...best of luck and enjoy some of that Black Gold they have over there and don't forget to give the little man a call while you hoist.


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