Out of Balance
Things I might have written about at length in the past three weeks had I any time or wherewithall to do so:
The wackiness of the NFL season has completely changed the way I fictionally wager on football. For weeks, I've been playing 'dogs on the money line. It's high variance, but if you keep the bets stable, you need only hit like 1-of-3 to have a good weekend. And you get good deals like the Saints yesterday at +245. Sure, they didn't come through, but those are the types of price plays you get.
I grew up in a sports fanatical household and the love of games naturally flowed to me. It's difficult to understand all the rules at a young age, but following the score and the action is easy enough. I'm going through the same thing with AJ right now, as he's full of inquiries about whatever contest is on the tube. He's a mirror of me when I was his age. This weekend alone, we watched basketball, hockey, Proper Football and NFL Football.
We devised a new game, part of my primary parenting strategy of tiring him out so he will go to bed early and easily. It's called "Fumble" and it consists simply of he and I on my big bed, throwing the Nerf ball off the ceiling and walls and trying to recover it. It has everything he needs: Jumping around, rough-housing (and it's cousins, grab ass and monkey business) and screaming, as each round beings by yelling "FUMBLE!"
The other day, the ball skipped off the bed. AJ declared it "out of balance," meaning "out of bounds." Funny. And it makes sense in a kid's brain sort of way. But the odd part is "out of balance" is precisely what *I* called "out of bounds" when I was a kid. Genetics are weird. And if you think I've corrected him, you don't know me very well.
Sweet Mistress Poker. Talk about weird. I guess the diagnosis is burn out. The only interest I can find in the online game is in the bigger buy-in tourneys, which I've sporadically played the last 6 weeks after satelliting in. I suppose the big numbers at the end of the rainbow add a little juice to the proceedings and I focus better ("Be the ball, Danny"). The FTOPS Event last night was my fourth such tourney and I've now cashed in two (and got my money in ahead in the others, including a KK v. 44 hand where I went bust at the hands of Steve Zolotow). The Double Stacks and longer levels most certainly aid me. Allows me to play my patient game--my best game--in the first 90 minutes, which is something I struggle with in the nightly guarantees on FT. Those have turned into -EV minefields and I have given up trying to dodge the shrapnel.
I did play some at Commerce and had a highly amusing time sitting one of the wild 4/8 tables. My Lord. I wonder how some of these people remember to breathe. When I sat down, I had an amiable, if talky and goofy, younger guy to my right. We got to talking, took a joint smoke break (not a joint smoking break) and were having fun. About an hour in, a 50-ish, rummy-looking type sits to Amiable Guy's right. He is greeted and says something along the lines of "It's all about having fun, right?!?" His stated goal is washed away on the first hand he plays where he accuses another guy of a string bet (I didn't see it; Dealer claimed player said, "Raise") and goes off on a 5 minute rant. A loud, profane rant. This being Commerce, no floor people bat an eyelash.
He keeps up an almost-continuous monlogue about his awesome poker skillz, all the while berating every play and player. I settled on whiskey as his drink of choice for though he doesn't inbibe at the table, I've heard that "whiskey makes a man mean." As with most Table Captains, his every word illustrates his own cluelessness. My favorite was when he held pocket 9s and he raised pre-flop, getting the usual 6 or 15 callers. Flop is Kxx and it's checked to him. He bets and one caller. Turn rag and his bet is check-called again. River is an ace and the other guy bets out, launching Whiskey Man into a tirade, "You called me down with shit and hit your ace on the river?!?!? You $%&*$!-ing idiot. Fine! Take it!" he said, throwing his nines face up. At the dealer. The other guy calmly tables his pocket kings. "Nice Hand, Sir!" Whikey Man bellows and before I can think there's a little sheepishness in there, he follows it up with, "Can you play those things any fucking slower?!?!"
I avoided his wrath until late, when I hemmed and hawed on a river call with top two. I was actually debating whether to raise or not, but there were two to act behind with a very real straight possibility on board. When I dragged the pot, he started in on me. "Oh, that was a tough call. Top two pair. What took you so long?" I replied that I wasn't deciding whether to call, but whether to raise. He continued like I had not even spoken. Since he was into the game for $400 at that point (in less than two hours, mind you) and had already paid me off on every street when I flopped the nut flush, I figured I'd just let him go. So I did.
I'm gonna try to satellite into the Big FTOPS Event on Sunday. Otherwise, poker will probably take a hiatus 'til Las Vegas.
A couple posts back, I used the term "personal turmoil." That's a little dramatic. More like a bunch of little and medium-sized things all coming down on me at once in both my personal and professional life. Sometimes my relentless optimism manifests itself as something like naivate. So I kinda got knocked back on my ass the last two months when my "healing process" arrested and even went backward. Recovery isn't a line moving ever upward. It's a roller coaster and I've spent a while now in a valley.
The Co-Parenting thing is difficult. Not only for me. X and I are often at odds. Not angrily, but in regard to philosophy. We think--or don't think--differently. For my part, I filter everything through the AJ prism. I'm not saying that's the best way, just that it's my way. It's what's most important to me to the extent that I will subjugate some of my own desires for his well-being, including placing myself in uncomfortable situations I'd just as soon skip. But I'm already missing out on too much of his life as far as I'm concerned and am willing to go to great lengths to be included in as much as possible.
X, purposefully or not, has excluded me from a couple of events. And the reason is she just doesn't regard me. As we all know, she's "moved on." So, because she has excised me from Her Life, it doesn't occur to her that she's keeping me from AJ with some of her decisions. Because the idea of Me, even as Co-Parent, is an afterthought.
To her credit, she is coming around on these issues. Thanks, in part, to a perfectly illustrated situation a couple weeks back, one that was incredibly hurtful to me, but also demonstrated the gulf in attitudes concerning this relationship we will ALWAYS have as AJ's parents. Because that's what it is, a relationship. As simpler as it would be for both of us to just forget about the other, it will never be possible.
At the most basic, all I've asked for was a level of cooperation commensurate with my effort. I'm not asking her for anything I, myself, am unwilling to provide. Maybe, in the past week, we've made some strides. It sounds like it. We'll see if it looks like it.