Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Veteran Suicide Awareness - it's not always the quick way...




September is suicide awareness month and I've been thinking about my cousin Ronnie Presley who served in both Korea and Vietnam as a Captain in the Green Beret. This song always reminds me of him. I was a little girl when he was in Vietnam and he was married to this beautiful blonde girl named Judi. Judi was a Playboy bunny at the Playboy club in Atlanta. One time she was featured in Playboy with some other bunnies, wearing their bunny costume not nude. I'd go stay with her sometimes while Ronnie was in Vietnam. They would make tapes (reel to reel back then) and send them to each other. Once when I was at her apartment she got one from him and we listened to it and then she made one with me on it to send back to him. She was from Texas and she was the love of his life. 

When he got back from Vietnam he was a mess, like so many other Vietnam veterans, and their marriage eventually broke up.  Ronnie never married again and between the wars, losing Judi and what we now know was PTSD his life just fell apart. He eventually drank himself to death, thus the title of this blog. He didn't come home and put a gun to his head an pull the trigger but the booze did the same thing, just much more slowly. 

I heard tonight during the Clinton/Trump "forum" (WTF is that shit?) that 20 to 22 veterans a day kill themselves. I'm sure that's the ones who commit suicide the fast way. No telling how many there are if you count the ones who eventually die from drug or alcohol abuse. I can't imagine what it's like for them. Iraq vets like Vietnam vets came home and hear how they risked their lives, lost their friends, left their families for a war that was a mistake. They come home and can get little or no help with PTSD or mental health or drug or alcohol abuse problems. They can't even get help for physical health problems. It's just disgraceful!

Our country spends over 50% of the discretionary budget on military spending and only about 7 or 8% on Veteran's benefits and Trump sat there talking about building up our depleted military. Come on people how can our military be depleted when all that money is spent on it, give me a break. Let's take half that military spending and spend it on our veterans. That's how we lower suicides and take care of the people who risked their lives for this country.
 

For everyone who spent time in the military this for you! May our government cease ignoring you once you've risked your lives in their wars. May they start putting more money into getting you all the care you need. May you know you are loved and appreciated, even by us liberals. May you find the strength you need to keep surviving. Thank you for all you've done for our country and may our country properly repay you for it. You all are the best of the best! 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Everyone Farts...





I just read the most hilarious female fart story I've ever heard. I couldn't stop laughing. As a matter of fact I have to admit I laughed so hard I let a little fartlet of my own slip out. You know... a fartlet, too big to be called a poot or toot but just not quite big enough to be a full blown fart, thus a fartlet. :-)

Well this story reminded me of my own embarrassing fart story so I figured I'd share it here for everyone to read...

When I was pregnant with my daughter Anna my husband and I took the standard, and then very popular, lamaze classes. It was sometime around my 7th month, maybe 8th, so I was good and pregnant. It was at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta where all the uppity Buckhead Moms-to-be go. The instructor had all the women sitting between their baby daddy's legs and we were practicing pushing, well.... I raised up a bit and did my practice push and out comes this loudass fart, this was no poot, toot or even a fartlet, it was a full blown fart which was made even stronger by that forceful push. They probably heard it 2 floors up.

Well, I'd barely gotten the fart out, much less had time to even turn as pink as spring peony, when my oh so sweet husband says, loudly I might add, "Well I guess you pushed hard enough". Well I started laughing and that brought on a loud and persistent case of rolling farts which just made us both laugh even harder. I swear I laughed and farted for a full 2 minutes, if not 3. The harder I laughed the more farts escaped. The entire class was laughing, even the instructor.

Well part two of that story came later... when we lived in Douglasville, I got invited to join THE Junior League (the one in Douglasville was part of the Association of Junior Leagues International or AJLI for short, yeah whoopy shit and all that). Well, just in case you don't know, Junior League is generally made up of women who in earlier times would have been called housewives, later called stay home Moms. Of course there are some women who worked those (these) days but there are still plenty of them who don't. It's an organization devoted to volunteerism and charitable works. While they do charitable work, in reality it's a sorority for grown women, with the same snobbery, superiority and pretension.



That little lapse of better judgement is now filed in the 'what the hell was I thinking' category of dumbass shit I did before I got old enough and mature enough to just be who I am instead of who someone else wants me to be or who I thought I should be. Other things in that category include our joining Coosa Country Club (the 2nd oldest country club in Georgia and the height of pretension), moving back to Rome (home of Coosa Country Club) to send Anna to good ol' preppy, pretentious Darlington private School (where my husband graduated from) and several other things I did before I said to hell with all that shit and went back to and accepted that I am who I am and that is not any of that crap. Those places are not made for people who have no internal regulator and don't give a flying fart what others think of them, which is who I really am.

Well... during the provisional training class, which equates to a pledge year and pledge training in a sorority (see I told you Jr. League was a sorority for grown ass women) our provisional mentor (or whatever she was called) asked what our most embarrassing moment was. There were several women who went before me and of course they properly told some silly superficial story which was Jr. League, pretentious, snob acceptable. Well, then it was my turn... As I mentioned before, I have no internal regulator and whatever pops in my head at the moment seems to just pop right out of my mouth. In this case what popped out of my mouth was my lamaze fart story, yep told it right there to about 15 of the most uppity, pretentious women in Douglasville, GA.

I'll tell you what, if you ever need to assess the sense of humor, level of pretension and level of how full of shit people in a group are just tell an honest embarrassing moment story like mine. Hell, it doesn't matter if it's honest or not as long as it's fairly inappropriate to tell to the group in question. By the end of my story about 1/2 the class was laughing, a few with a little look of "that's funny as hell but I can't believe she told it" look on their faces. Of the other half, about one fourth looked like they wanted to laugh but didn't dare and the other fourth looked like I'd just gotten up and slap the living shit out them. I however, was laughing my ass off and enjoying the moment and the different looks immensely.

May all your funniest farts happen at opportune moments or not :D

Saturday, November 21, 2015

For Anna On Her Quest to Become...



Most of these blogs are for and about poker and poker players but this one isn't. It's a special blog for the most special person in the world, my daughter, and only child, Anna who's leaving home in a couple of months and moving six hours away to get one or two more BS degrees, this time in science, after realizing Sociology wasn't for her. I was lucky to have her home while she got her first degree and for the last year while she tried out her first job and then went to a community college to get her science prerequisites. If you have kids enjoy every moment you have with them, they'll be grown and gone before you know it. The rest of this blog is for Anna, anyone who wants to is welcome to read it but it's for her. For the times when she's homesick or thinking about her life growing up. It's just the things I may have never said and I want to be sure she always has this when she's trying to stand on her own two feet and trying to figure out where tuition or rent is coming from this time. It's for the times when she wonders why she choose to go back to school and when Physics, Calculus or Geology classes feel like torture.

For you Anna...

The first time I laid eyes on you, after and horrendous labor and even worse delivery, I fell in love. I never imagined there was that much love in the entire world. I love your Dad and he loves me but I know neither of us ever knew how much we could love someone until we saw you. It had taken me four years to get pregnant and I never even tried too hard. It just wasn't a huge deal to either of us. If we could have a baby great, if not we could accept it and had decided not to go to any big medical means to get pregnant. One of the first things I remember thinking or maybe even saying, after you were born was if I'd had any idea how amazing it was to have a child I would have done any and everything possible to conceive.

You have been and will always be the light of my life. Even though so much of the time, life has preoccupied so much of our time and I may have been wrapped up in a job or poker or whatever and I couldn't, or just wasn't, always there for you, you were always the most important thing in my life.

You are so special, so beautiful inside and out, you are so smart and best of all so unique. Even though there were times I complained about that uniqueness I was always proud of how you were who and that you didn't let anything or anyone change that. Never lose that specialness about yourself. Never care what others think of you. You live for you and you do what makes your life full and happy.

I know how much it drives you nuts when we're in the car and I'm listening to country music but so many country songs say what's in the heart, and I promise there are only a couple below. Here are the songs I've always listened to when I was thinking of you and how much I love you and how full you've made my life. When you need a timeout because you're stressed or homesick you can come back to this blog and read it and listen to the songs and know that you're making the right choices and that you can do anything you set your mind to. "You is kind. You is smart. You is important", sorry I just couldn't resist adding that one!

A Mother's Prayer...



I love you more than life! I hope you dance...


Sometimes it honestly felt like it's been you and me against the world...




When you were a baby I used to sing this to you, badly I'm sure...





"Go on take on this ol' world but you know you'll always be.... my little girl"




Because you loved me...



Where did that time go???


...and a very special shared love, If you want to sing out, sing out - Harold and Maude. Don't go freeing canaries, that's an idea before it's time...





  • Fly as far and as fast as you can and never look back.
  • If you think you can do something then know that you can.
  • Never doubt yourself and never let other's doubt derail you from what you want to do. 
  • Stay positive!!!
  • Be careful.
  • Most importantly, ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND YOUR DREAMS! 


I LOVE YOU AND I'M ALWAYS HERE FOR YOU!

For Anna On Her Quest to Become...



Most of these blogs are for and about poker and poker players but this one isn't. It's a special blog for the most special person in the world, my daughter, and only child, Anna who's leaving home in a couple of months and moving six hours away to get one or two more BS degrees, this time in science, after realizing Sociology wasn't for her. I was lucky to have her home while she got her first degree and for the last year while she tried out her first job and then went to a community college to get her science prerequisites. If you have kids enjoy every moment you have with them, they'll be grown and gone before you know it. The rest of this blog is for Anna, anyone who wants to is welcome to read it but it's for her. For the times when she's homesick or thinking about her life growing up. It's just the things I may have never said and I want to be sure she always has this when she's trying to stand on her own two feet and trying to figure out where tuition or rent is coming from this time. It's for the times when she wonders why she choose to go back to school and when Physics, Calculus or Geology classes feel like torture.

For you Anna...

The first time I laid eyes on you, after and horrendous labor and even worse delivery, I fell in love. I never imagined there was that much love in the entire world. I love your Dad and he loves me but I know neither of us ever knew how much we could love someone until we saw you. It had taken me four years to get pregnant and I never even tried too hard. It just wasn't a huge deal to either of us. If we could have a baby great, if not we could accept it and had decided not to go to any big medical means to get pregnant. One of the first things I remember thinking or maybe even saying, after you were born was if I'd had any idea how amazing it was to have a child I would have done any and everything possible to conceive.

You have been and will always be the light of my life. Even though so much of the time, life has preoccupied so much of our time and I may have been wrapped up in a job or poker or whatever and I couldn't, or just wasn't, always there for you, you were always the most important thing in my life.

You are so special, so beautiful inside and out, you are so smart and best of all so unique. Even though there were times I complained about that uniqueness I was always proud of how you were who and that you didn't let anything or anyone change that. Never lose that specialness about yourself. Never care what others think of you. You live for you and you do what makes your life full and happy.

I know how much it drives you nuts when we're in the car and I'm listening to country music but so many country songs say what's in the heart, and I promise there are only a couple below. Here are the songs I've always listened to when I was thinking of you and how much I love you and how full you've made my life. When you need a timeout because you're stressed or homesick you can come back to this blog and read it and listen to the songs and know that you're making the right choices and that you can do anything you set your mind to. "You is kind. You is smart. You is important", sorry I just couldn't resist adding that one!

A Mother's Prayer...



I love you more than life! I hope you dance...


Sometimes it honestly felt like it's been you and me against the world...




When you were a baby I used to sing this to you, badly I'm sure...





"Go on take on this ol' world but you know you'll always be.... my little girl"




Because you loved me...



Where did that time go???


...and a very special shared love, If you want to sing out, sing out - Harold and Maude. Don't go freeing canaries, that's an idea before it's time...





  • Fly as far and as fast as you can and never look back.
  • If you think you can do something then know that you can.
  • Never doubt yourself and never let other's doubt derail you from what you want to do. 
  • Stay positive!!!
  • Be careful.
  • Most importantly, ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND YOUR DREAMS! 


I LOVE YOU AND I'M ALWAYS HERE FOR YOU!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Concert and The Hike

video


My daughter, Anna, and I made a last minute trip up to Cherokee this past weekend to see Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. The concert was great, Joan Jett is still rocking as hard as ever and we had a great time there on Friday night.

The next day we drove over to Bryson City and had breakfast with my great friend Kelly, then drove up to Deek Creek for a hike. This was my first attempt at any long hike since my quest to become, well much thinner and much healthier. We did the Deep Creek, Loop, Indian Creek 4 mile trek. Of course, not doing enough prior research, we took the hardest of the two options for our route. The Deep Creek route to Loop trail was the steepest climb up the mountain but hey it was also the best work out. Three and half miles of the hike were great and actually pretty easy but the half mile straight up loop trail was pretty rough. It was winding and narrow and pretty darn steep. I had to make a few breath catching stops along the way (felt kind of like interval training) but overall we made it in reasonable time. It took us two and half hours total, so basically a little over 35 minutes per mile. Not my usual 10 minute mile on the Advanced Motion Trainer at the gym but these were real mountain peeks and lots of nice photo ops to get in the way.

The best part is the feeling of accomplishment. I spent so many years totally and completely out of shape, now being able to make a semi hard 4 mile hike just plain makes me pretty proud of myself. If you're sitting around on your ass complaining about how everything hurts, then get up, get on a good work out schedule, get those pounds off and stop that pain. My back and knees used to kill me. I honestly couldn't walk 2 city blocks at a medium pace without my hip hurting something awful. I had to walk down steps one at time because my left knee hurt so bad. After and during that 4 mile hike I had zero back, hip or knee pain. My lower back and hip almost never hurt at all and neither do my knees. Six months ago I could have never made that hike but with some hard work on strength, cardio and ab training all that has completely changed.

Last weekend we also did a short but damn hard hike up Grandfather Mountain near Boone, NC. That one was almost 100% a rock climb, not the wall type but it was climbing rocks not up and over dirt and roots. It was rated a hard climb for experienced hikers and it definitely was but it was so much fun. What a view from a mile high, no we didn't climb up that far, probably only about a quarter mile straight up but great nonetheless.

Wonder what we'll come up with for this weekend....

For all of you missing out on life because you hurt, you can't exercise saying you can't is nothing but an excuse, even if you truly believe you can't you can. Get off the pain meds and hit the gym and then the mountains and hills. There is so much beauty you are missing.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Let yourself live, NOW




"My Mom used to say there's a sunrise and a sunset every day and you can choose to be there for it, or you can put yourself in the way of beauty." Wild - Cheryl Strayed.

Never put yourself, your emotional hurt or physical pain in the way of finding the beautiful things in life. Don't use pills, alcohol or excuses to keep yourself from living. Stop waiting to live, stop finding excuses, find yourself and start living now. Remember how precious life is. Remember every one makes mistakes, everyone has regrets. Find your beauty, find your inspiration and get out there and live the life you're meant to live.  

At some point in my life, someone said to me that I was the only person in this world who could make me happy, it was no one else's responsibility to make me happy. Unless I could find my own happiness within myself then I would never find it through someone else. I wish I could remember who said that to me. The best possibility was my Psychology 101 teacher but I'm just not sure. It's the truest thing I've ever heard and it's helped me through many rough times. 

We never know how long we have in this life so stop wasting the time you have. If you're in a bad relationship, either fix it if you can or get out of it if you can't. If you're in a bad job, get out of it. Everything has a fix you just have to want to find it and sometimes make the scarifies to make it happen. 

Sometimes there comes a time we realize that the time has come for us to live for us. Especially women, we raise our kids and take care of our families. Just about the time our kids grow up our parents start needing our help more and more. So take every minute you can to live for you. You worked for it and you earned it, so stop masking your misery and pain with drugs, alcohol or excuses and live every minute you can. Just make time for you and take time to find yourself. 

I was kind of lost for a long time and only over the last few years started finding ME again.  There is another line from the movie Wild that really struck home with me "I was a daughter, then a wife and then a Mom but I was never just me." ( loosely quoted) that's how I've felt most of my life. That feeling was never stronger than early in my marriage, when I couldn't even figure out where I went, much less who I was. I voted for Reagan for his second term for God's sake and didn't vote for Bill Clinton either time, I mean WTF? I would have never done either before marrying a Republican, or now, and losing who I was and what I believed in. Holy shit, I even joined Junior League in Douglasville and played the private school, country club Mom for way too many years. None of that was me, it was me trying be what someone else wanted me to be and what who I had convinced myself I was supposed to be.

I thank God daily that there was obviously a part of the real me still there and that my daughter saw and learned from that part and not the part I was showing to the world. Now I hope she gets out there and lives the life I missed. 


If you're still young and unattached, then get out there and live and be who you are meant to be. Don't wake up 10 or 20 years from now wondering who you are and where YOU went. Don't have to spend 5 or 6 years trying to find yourself again 30 years later. Make your changes now, even if others my get hurt. If you don't you'll either regret it later and find yourself having to really work hard to make those changes or feel so stuck you don't know which way to go. 

Most importantly, be who you are not who someone thinks you should be. If you aren't sure who you are figure it out before getting stuck in a bad relationship and wasting years before you figure it out. If who your are with is constantly criticizing you and trying to change you, they are not the one for you. The one for you will love for exactly who you are. 

I'm lucky so far in that I've been able to return to the real me without wrecking my whole life but who knows what lies ahead. 

Just to clarify the change in blog focus, I'm not playing much poker right now. This time I truly have lost that lovin' feeling so this blog will likely be taking another direction for awhile. Poker was a catalyst for finding me again and I'll always be thankful for finding it at a time I needed something most. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Evolution of a poker player...



I've been playing poker for about 6 years now. The last 3 1/2 years were the more serious years. I never cease to be amazed at the difference in my play and thinking from one year to the next. I might even say just 6 months to the next 6 months I see many changes. 

I've occasionally looked over hand histories from the first few years I played and I couldn't believe I played some hands like I did, not to mention the limping. I've always watched videos and read poker books and even had some coaching from time to time. What's really telling is how I learn from those things now versus how I learned from them in the beginning. In the beginning I tried more to emulate what I was seeing in the videos or reading in the books. At that time if I learned something I took it as an absolute, as in never raise/fold with a 10 to 15bb stack, never limp the small blind with those stacks, don't defend your BB with those stacks etc.

As time went on and I became more experienced and more confident in my play, I learned not to emulate but to take certain parts from what I was learning and mesh that into my own style of play. I learned there were absolutely NO nevers in poker. There is a time and spot for all sorts of unorthodox play. That to do the unexpected will daze and confuse our opponents causing them to make misreads and mistakes. 

Another thing is mental game, people will tell a player who's only been playing for a year or two to read books like The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2 (Jared Tendler) or The Poker Mindset (Matthew Hilger, Ian Taylor) and tell them how much things like tilt, unrealistic expectations, etc. will improve, even tell them those books will rid them of these things. While I'm sure a novice player will get plenty of useful information from those books, until they've played tens of thousands of hands and been through numerous downswings will they really see a drastic change in their mental game. Newer players tilt, rant, mishandle a downswing, are result oriented and don't understand what long term really means. They play more in the here and now so how can anyone expect them not to be results oriented, after all aren't results how society measures success? 

I've been beaten every way imaginable and at every "worse" moment. It's after experiencing these beats over and over and over that we start to become immune to them. Each downswing I've had I've been able to better handle because I know eventually it will end. I remember my first real downswing swing back in 2010 on PokerStars. Of course it happened to hit at the worst possible moment, don't they always? I had been playing in the PokerStars Women's League and at that time I was in the top ten and had a great shot at the number one spot. That spot paid a ladies package to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, including expenses. I think it may have also paid out some bonus money. Well the last month comes and so does my first really bad, and what I thought at the time, prolonged downswing. I still managed a 7th on the leaderboard, out of over 800 women who participated, and earned a decent bonus but had that downswing not hit I had a great shot at the number one spot but as every poker player always says "that's poker". 

I handled that downswing awful, I did everything you shouldn't and thought it would never end. It ended and between the first of March until Black Friday hit I had won over $6K. That was a lot for me back then and was so welcome after what I perceived at the time to be a horrible downswing. Boy was I wrong, I'd give anything if some of my other downswings were that short lived with that little money lost. 

So, the next time your responding to a forum post or talking to a novice player and you want to tell them not to be results oriented or not to post bad beats or to stop whining about those beats, realized they really can't help it. It's all part of their evolution and until they have the experience to understand how negative, and annoying, whining about bad beats or being result oriented is it will really do little good to scold them for being that way. Chances are a very large percentage of now experienced poker players were exactly the same when they were new to the game. 

I've been thinking recently how many players, who showed a good amount of talent, aren't around anymore. My first Skype chat group is pretty much down to two or three people when at one time there were probably at least 15 or more active players in that group. Poker is a tough game and only a very small percentage of players are winning players over the long term. Another small percent can manage to be around break even but the vast majority of players just don't last that long because they can't handle it or get tired of all the losing. It's tough to lose money, it's tough to stick with it through a downswing that lasts for months, so many people just give up. I've wanted to many times. If you search this blog you'll find the evidence of that. 

This blog is actually a testament to my own evolution. Sometimes I go back and read early post and have a big laugh over how dumb my thinking was at the time. In a year or two I'll probably be reading my latest blogs thinking the same thing. 

As a player you learn and you evolve or you'll won't make it for long. Play and play some more, study and study some more. Stick it out and find your leaks and figure out how to fix them. I think the difference in a decent player and a great player is commitment and study, and no playing doesn't take the place of reviewing and studying. You should be reviewing, reading and studying at least 20% of the time you play. If you play 5 hours a day then you should be studying at least an hour. I have to admit this and bankroll management are my greatest nemisis. I just plain don't review and study enough and I suck at taking shots and not practicing proper bankroll management. It's not easy but it's a must. 

Good luck and here's to evolution....

As usual this got way too long, hope you all made it this far. 

Disclaimer: I'm writing this late at night, after playing and super tired so please excuse any errors. 

As a reward for reading all this, here's a video of something that reminds me of many poker players I know... 

Drunk monkeys.