Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Twins power activate!

Wordless Wednesday. I'm not sure exactly how to do this. But here goes:

Monday, May 28, 2007

Digging deep into the well

I ran 49 minutes in the Bolder/Boulder 10K Memorial Day race, or about a minute slower than what I wanted.
But that's OK. No one runs their best race at the Bolder/Boulder.
And my well of strength and reserve that I usually pull on to get me through the hard parts wasn't there as much as I needed today.
There were two reasons for this. One is what everyone faces: The Bolder/Boulder is a damn hard course, with hills piled upon hills, and the last two miles, a flat, downhill paradise compared to the middle three miles, ends with a steep, oh-my-God, quarter-mile hill that drains any hope you may have of finishing super strong.
After a while, facing that many hills, the well simply runs dry, no matter how hard you've trained.
The second reason is actually two reasons.
Allie, or lil' Miss Priss, as I have come to call her, decided that she would rather be awake and held from 9:30 p.m. until, oh, 1 a.m. last night. Then Andie took over for the rest of the night.
Ah, the joy of twins.
Kate, God Bless her, tried to do as much as she could, and Mom, who is here for a month, mopped up the rest, but it was still almost impossible to sleep. I slept, maybe, three hours before my biggest race of the year.
I hoped it would not affect my performance, but alas, as I charged up yet another hill, my legs felt as if they were wading in maple syrup. The hills had something to do with that. Not sleeping, I'm sure, had a lot to do with it.
A 10K is not a marathon like the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event. It is not a 5K, either, like a turbo SnG. It's a race where you have to run hard for an hour. You're not running quite as hard as you would in a 5K, so you're not close to puking. And you're not running the distance that you do in a marathon or a half marathon, so you don't really suffer from exhausation. But you do get tired. And you do breath hard the whole race. Damn hard at times, especially when you're climbing those hills.
It's the perfect combination of speed and strength, and if the strength isn't there, the speed suffers a bit.
I found myself not caring a bit, a bad sign, around mile 4, as I huffed and puffed up another climb. That's when I knew the sleep, or lack of it, to be more precise, would hurt me more than I wanted.
I was able to attack the downhills and remain steady/fast on the straightaways, but I wasn't able to charge up the hills as much as I wanted.
Yet I still had a good race. Running 49 minutes still means I ran around a 7:50-per-mile pace. At altitude and over a tough course, that's pretty good. That got me somewhere in the top 3,500 out of 48,000 people entered. And I had a great time. It was nice to decompress these last wild two weeks.
But I do wonder if these little girls, along with the continued demand of Jayden, will ever prevent me from becoming an elite runner.
Then again, in the last half-mile, knowing that the race's toughest hill awaited, I was nearly spent. I wondered where I would find the strength to finish.
And I looked down at my bib and saw Jayden's face and the mugs of the two little girls who became a part of my life last week.
Those girls cost me in today's race.
I suppose it's only fair, then, that near the end, looking at their faces gave me the strength I needed to bring it home.

Friday, May 25, 2007

This week in pokerpeaker, my column and the mandatory "aww how cute" shot

Highlights of the week:
* Listening to Allie load her shorts a third time while being burped after consuming the adult caloric equivalent of four Burger King Whoppers, three Chicken McWhoppers and a truckload of fries.
* Having AA cracked with all the money in prelop by 10,7 when he caught his second 7 on the river. I am SO tired of getting in with the best of it and getting punished for it this month. At least my QQ is a healthy pair.
* Working the 3 a.m. feedings and realizing I only have 90 to go (ideally).
* Staring with longing at "Borat" as it arrived by Netflix yesterday and realizing I have no idea when I'll get to it.
* Running well and actually feeling great four days before the Bolder/Boulder, a 10K with 40,000 and probably my biggest race of the year.
* Knowing that grandma, my mother, is on her way for a month of extra hands. Who-hoo!
* Buying the new Megadeth and Ozzy albums and approving of them.
* Knowing also that it doesn't matter what I write here, people are only here to see the cute-as-buttons photo.
It's cool. They ARE pretty damn cute.

Here's the photos of the week:

Jayden. He came home from a playdate today and said, "Babies, babies, babies." He brought his footstool over to the bassinate and peered into it. There have been a couple more meltdowns than normal, but he also seems to be enjoying his big brother status.

The girls cuddling. Andie always has to snuggle next to her sister. Allie is the one with her eyes open. They seemed to really look around yesterday. It was as if they could really see for the first time:

As you might expect, I wrote a column for the Greeley Tribune a few hours after the girls were home. I've posted these in the past, so here it goes:

By Dan England
Tribune staff writer

People ask me what it takes to climb a mountain. It's a question with many answers, and most of them aren't in your control.

It takes a clear day free of thunderstorms. It takes a little sleep (but not a lot). It usually takes partners willing to suffer alongside you.

Most of all, though, for me, it took four words.

I Will Not Fail.

I Will Not Fail, repeated sometimes as often as my heart pounding through my fleece shirt, got me through many of the miseries mountains throw at you when you're attempting to reach their tops.

I Will Not Fail got me through wind that knocked me down like a playground bully, altitude sickness so bad that I puked on many trips even before I started and a deep layer of exhaustion that coated me like caramel on an apple.

It even got me through my worst day, when I got caught in a rock avalanche in Rocky Mountain National Park and spent 16 hours walking back to the car with Dad after the boulders pounded me into a bloody mess.

Now I face a new challenge.

I wonder what I can do to find the strength to bring twin girls into a safe, happy and healthy home.

Allie and Andie England were born Thursday, and I'm a proud, exhausted and happy father.

I'm also a little terrified.

Parenthood, to do it right, is a tough task, filled with endless squalls and bottles and diapers, all of it on much less sleep than you want or even need.

It is, in many ways I've found, like mountain climbing, in the sense that you've got a completely intimidating and daunting task in front of you, and you don't have much sleep in you to help you do it.

Those who have been there before, as we have with Jayden, who will turn 2 at the end of June, know what's ahead. In this case, with twins awaiting our care, along with a demanding toddler, ignorance may indeed have been bliss.

But every year I train for the mountains, and I've found that the running and lifting and preparing the gear gets me ready mentally as well as physically. It prepares you for the tough task ahead. It prepares you to push out the pain and let in the joy.

Kate went into labor twice, once at 32 weeks, before finally having what I now call my two little wonders of the world. And I believe that those incidents, along with painting the nursery pink, getting armfuls of pink clothes and staining our new wooden fence (not pink, thank God) may have helped prepare me.

I'm terrified. But I'm also at peace. Kind of.

The next time I see them, which will be in just a few hours, the next morning after the first day of their lives, I'll stare down at the two little 6-pound bundles (dressed in pink, probably) and gather myself for their first serious talk from Daddy.

I'll be honest with them, first and foremost. I'll tell them that Daddy wasn't sure about you two at first. Daddy, to be honest, still isn't completely sure. Daddy, in fact, may be more scared than you.

Then I'll tell them that they, along with Jayden, will be the toughest climb I've ever faced.

Finally, though, I'll kiss their heads and whisper something in their ear.

"Hello, little ones," I'll say. "I'm glad you're healthy. I'm glad you're here. I love you."

And I Will Not Fail.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Out of the womb

I suppose I don't blame the twins for taking as long as they did to leave the womb. The womb, after all, is a pretty nice place.
There's food, shelter and no real danger.
Eventually, though, everyone has to leave.
And so we brought them home today.
Both of them.
(We tried to leave one for a few more days, to sort of break us back into infant parenting, but the nurses wouldn't go for it).
As any infant is forced out of the womb by push, yank or, in our case, cut, something strange happens. The parents enter a womb.
The womb is the hospital, and it, like a uterus, is a pretty nice place. There's good, cheap, healthy food via room service or a quick trip to the cafeteria. There's shelter from life, really, as an unlimited supply of diapers, wipes and formula (or breastfeeding support; we took advantage of both) is only a reach away. Help from nurses is also only a moment's notice away as well. Most of all, there's no real danger. There's no danger of a sleepless night because you can take the babies to the nursery. There's no real danger of pulling your hair out when the babies just won't stop crying because the nurses are there to take over (or the dozens of visitors are there to take the baby). There's no real danger of the baby dying, and that irrational fear alone will burn a hole in parents' stomachs. Believe me, there was many a night when I stood over Jayden's crib and relaxed only after I saw his chest rise and fall a few times.
Outside the womb, all these things lurk just behind the cute outfits, cute poops and cute cuddles. And life tends to get thrown in there too. Like, say, your job. And all the stupid little things that we have to do, like laundry (which increases with babies) and cleaning (ditto) and making dinner. Many of these things are ruled by people who don't work on infant time and could care less that you have 20 minutes to race back to the house before your wife needs your help feeding a twin. Just the other day, taking care of a sinus infection (in that wonderful timing that life enjoys throwing at you) meant spending two hours at an "urgent" (ha) care clinic, then waiting an hour while the dumbfawkers at Wal-Mart stopping mouth-breathing long enough to fill my prescription in one of the worst cases of customer service I have ever seen.
But when Wal-Mart decided to lose a prescription customer, we were in the womb of the hospital, so it didn't matter that much.
Now we're out.
We've been lucky. We've had so many people help us. Twins do have an advantage in the sense that even those who would rather be strapped to headphones and forced to listen to recordings of goats humping, fingernails on a chalkboard and Celine Dion than have children understand that twins are tough. We've had more outfits than Baby Gap's spring catalouge dumped on us. We've got enough diapers to start our own store (look out, Wal-Mart), and just the other day my neighbor mowed my lawn for me, without me asking and even though I've been there four months and already managed to splatter the side of his garage while I stained my fence during a windy day. Every Tuesday one of Kate's co-workers fixes us dinner. My co-workers are planning to ship dinners as well.
We're hardly rich, but it's a nice start.
And Allie and Andie, so far, have been easy-peasy. I know there will be nights - and Allie already screamed bloody murder for 10 minutes before Kate finished pumping and we gave her the sweet, sweet gold - but so far, so good. So very, very good. Our doctor today said they've been healthier than many singletons.
Twins power, activate!
I'm lucky to have such a superstar of a mom for a wife. She's already pumping more milk than most dairy cows and has remained in good spirits despite a painful C-section and a touch of the blues (she had her first "I don't know why I'm crying" episode tonight).
We're out of the womb now, and we feel what I"m sure Allie and Andie felt as they were taken out of the uterus: A little scared, a little unsure and a little dazed.
But they're also looking around at all the new experiences with a little bit of wonder.
So are we.
After all, the world outside the womb can be a pretty nice place too.

P.S. I got an article published at Poker Works, ironically enough the first in a series on learning how to play poker while raising babies. Linda wrote a nice article about our birth, as did CC.
And I can't thank everyone enough for all your comments. It was so nice to see all of the support. I'll need it in these next few weeks, even if I'm not around as much as I'd like to be (the Mookie, for instance, is out for now). I"ll keep up as much as I can in these next few weeks and thanks.


ANOTHER shot of the twins as they start to wake up from post-womb hibernation:

They naturally gravitate toward each other. I swear this is not a pose:

Jayden holding a sister (I'm not sure which one):

We found the house decorated when we got back. Outside the womb seems colorful and friendly. We just hope it continues!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Born, born and reborn

It's now 10:45 p.m., and Day One of my daughter's lives is only a few hours old.
My new life is as well.
The streets are nearly empty of cars, the street lights flood even the darkest parts of Greeley, and the traffic signals turn green even before I stop as I approach. Most sleep in preparation for Friday, the best day of the week, to be sure, but still another workday.
It's peaceful.
It's exactly how I feel inside.
It's also exactly the opposite of how I felt just a few hours ago.
• • •

We went into the doc's on edge and, I'm sorry to say now, ready for battle. Kate had had enough, after yet another sleepless night (I barely got a few myself). One of the twins was in her ribs, she could barely breathe, and she was tired of lugging around two babies.
But our doctor, after checking Kate and finding out that she was essentially halfway there, agreed with our pleas and checked Kate into the hospital.
It was time, she agreed.
Two hours later, after dropping off softball equipment for our team at a friend's house (priorities, of course) and posting (priorities again), we were in the hospital, and doc broke Kate's water. We hung around for another two hours after a nice little ole thing we call an epidural (I prefer to call it heaven). Suddenly Kate was ready to go, and that's when the shortest half hour of my life, coupled with the longest two minutes of my life, happened.
"She's at 10."
"Dan, put these scrubs on. We're headed to the OR."
"Uh, OK."
"Go, go go."
It was another 10 minutes when Kate was prepared to deliever and our doc suddenly sent me away.
"Baby B is deaccelerating. I have to do a C-section. Dan you have to step outside."
• • •
So I sat outside the doors, calm as can be on the outside, while my stomach did the Tango.
The clock slowed to a crawl.
All I knew was one of my daughters was having trouble and they were preparing to carve up Kate like she was the roast beast at Christmas. And so I waited.
And waited.
It was only two mintues, but when a nurse came back for me, I sprinted to the OR and found two squaling girls on the side.
"Which one is the boy?"
"No, wait, they're both girls."
Heh. I almost fainted.
• • •
So there they were, and I really thought that this time wouldn't be nearly as weird, now that I've had a baby under my belt, but seeing two of them there still dont' know how to describe it.
It didn't hit me until I carried both of them back to Kate in the recovery room. It would be the second time she would see them.
Holy shit, I thought. My arms are full.
(We've already heard "You've got your hands full" at least 15 times, and we haven't even left the damn hospital. Oh and once I looked up and saw, literally, 25 people crowded around the window staring at my babies. Yes, there are two. Now please go away).
My arms are full, my hands are full, and my life is full now. It will almost be too much.
Jayden seemed really excited about his sisters, and while I know it won't always be that way, it was really nice to see him smile at his two girls.
Kate was so relieved despite just being carved open a few hours ago. She feels good. It's her last labor. I can tell she's really happy.
As for me, I am at peace, and I'm not sure I expected that feeling. Maybe this was hanging over my head more than I realized.
Or maybe I'm ready for it. Maybe I'm ready for the chaos and the joy and the exhaustation I'll surely feel these next few months.
Maybe I'm ready for my new life.
Day one of their lives is only a few hours old.
Day two of my own starts tommorow.

Kate moments after they were born:

And say hello to Andie and Allie. Allie was 6 pds., 1 oz. Andie was 5 pds., 13 ozs. They look good, they just ate well, they are breathing even better and the doctor does not think they will need any time in the NICU.
Allie is the one on the left. I think.

P.S. They look identical, don't they? Even trained baby nurses have a hard time telling them apart. Maybe I'm being ghey, but I have to admit this excites me to no end.

Stirrings, Part II (This time it's for real)

Doc just stripped Kate's membranes and that seems to have gotten her going like a house o fire.
We are headed to the hospital as we speak. If it doesn't work, she will break Kate's water.

Long story short: We're having those babies today.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Tagged by CC (and I didn't know it until I already posted)

You get two posts on a Sunday. Don't let it go to your head.

CC over at Quest of a Closet Poker Player tagged me, so here are seven random and little-known facts about myself.

1. I'm having twin girls.
HA HA HA HA HA. Just kidding. I know as much as I've blogged about this that everyone on planet Earth, and maybe some on that new planet that seems able to hold life, knows that.

(Edit: Upon re-reading this, I just realized what an arrogant comment that is. Yeah, EVERYONE on planet Earth reads your blog, Dan. Come on. I have maybe, maybe, 35 regular readers, and that's just on bloglines, so it really could be a lot less).

OK, seriously:

1. I'm not sure if I ever wrote about this, but I played enough trombone in college to probably major in it. I was in the basketball band at the University of Kansas and played in its jazz ensembles. I was one of the better players (you have to be to make the men's basketball band, which gets to travel to the tournaments with the team), but I wasn't one of the top players. I played when I worked in Salina in the symphony and a funk band there and played for five years in a Greeley swing band before finally giving it up after Jayden was born two years ago.

2. I had braces three times, including a year in college, which was awesome. The third time I had clear braces, so at least I didn't look 15. I really hope Jayden doesn't get my jaw.

3. I was such a geek in the seventh grade that I was teased all the time. Not fighting back more is my biggest regret today, and it's probably why I can be difficult, even an asshole at times. I don't want to ever feel like I didn't fight for myself ever again. Unfortunately this affected my relationship with my little brother, resulting in me treating him like shit for many years (biggest regret number two), but we're close now.

4. I could give up alcohol, candy or any kind of dessert, really (peanut butter pie might be tough), but I don't think I could give up queso and chips. It's my favorite food and my biggest weakness.

5. I always have to keep busy. I can't just sit around and chill, unless I"m reading a book or watching a movie because then I'm "doing something." While this has helped me accomplish a great deal, it's probably prevented me from smelling the roses and just enjoying the quiet moments.

6. I am a bleeding-heart, pinko liberal because I believe in personal freedoms more than any other value I hold dear. Yet as I begin to raise children I worry about the choices they would make and almost would prefer to make them myself. Isn't that a contradiction?

7. And if you didn't get the idea that I love the mountains, I named my dog Denali after the highest peak in North America. Despite this, I've almost died three times in the mountains. In fact, me not dying in each of those situations is something like hitting a two-outer in poker. I've been lucky. This has led me to question why I continue to climb when I now have kids, and I don't have a really good answer. This is one reason why I'm embracing running as I hope it will fill the void as I continue to cut back.

Tagged (and I apologize if I tagged someone who's already been tagged; finding those who haven't was harder than I thought)

Stacie the twins queen
Iron Girl
Love Elf

Pocket Pair Problem

After being within a gnat's wig of puking, I learned not to eat a huge bowl of cereal before my first 5K.
After nursing a horrible headache and barely making the peak, I learned that drinking a lot before a big mountain was probably not a good idea.
And after dealing with a mess that I have not yet fully recovered from, even months later, I've learned not to feed a baby prunes.
Why, then, can't I learn how to play pocket pairs like a maniac?

Actually, I have learned how to play them well. I've learned to be aggressive with them but fold them when necessary. Just not all the time.
Last night I shoved with AA and not only my profit for the night but my stack along with it. The one mistake wiped out three solid hours of cash profit and left me in the red for the night.
I misplayed the hand several ways. I did not re-raise enough before the flop and got two callers. Then I raised on the flop, and two called me. The board was harmless and uncoordinated, and yet I chose to ignore the red flag that the calls should have sent up. When a K hit the turn, I shoved and a guy with a set of 8s happily called me after betting .25 into a $10 flop (which screamed "please don't go away").
It's such a horrible play - I was hoping both of them had QQ? - that I won't go into it too much.
What I'm wondering is what it is about pocket pairs that continue to be so tempting?
I do such a great job of folding them 9/10 times, but it's that one time that can wipe out all the efforts of the other 9. That's No Limit Hold 'Em, and that's why the game is so great.
I know I've made more money off others' pocket pairs than any other hand. They are why I win.
But I think I've probably lost more off them either.

Oh, and speaking of a pair, after 37 weeks, Kate has decided that she wants to remain pregnant forever.
Ha, ha, ha, just kidding honey.
I really feel sorry for her at this point. I'd be a ROYAL bitch if I was carrying around 13 pounds of girls who have decided that they would rather not come out until, say, August. Instead her spirits remain high, although they are wavering. Kate started growling at a car ahead of us because she didn't pull out screaming and tires smoking the instant the light turned green.
Yes, it's the anticipation that makes Christmas so great, but you wouldn't like it either if they brought out the Christmas trees in July and told you that new blue tricycle would be there for you in just a few days.
And, of course, if you had to GIVE BIRTH to the tricycle.

P.S. Congrats to Ryan on his little one. What a doll.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Are they here yet?

Despite the fact that we've/I:
• Played a wild afternoon cash game that saw a guy gather up 10xs the buy in and then lose half of it in one hand (I finished four buy-ins ahead)...
• Walked 500 miles and will walk 500 more...
• Played with Jayden in the sun and warm weather all day...
• Tried mind.....
• Ate some spicy burritos.....
• Begged the doctor to strip her membranes (maybe next week, she said)....
• Tried to talk the girls into coming out....
• Invested $3 into a $1 rebuy blogger tourney Friday and donked out in two hands after an hour and a half of thrills and chills....
• Asked Kate if she's had a contraction every five minutes....
• Am going nuts here.....
• Are at 37 weeks.....



Wednesday, May 09, 2007

In the greatest upset since, um, Golden State v. Dallas...

Yes, it's only third, but this is HORSE we're talking about here. I didn't even know why all the chips were being shipped my way once.

Stud was good to me, I played Razz well, sucked out in Hold Em once and survived Omaha and Stud Hi/Lo.
And I beat Drizz in a last-longer bet. Even if it WAS a turbo, and even if Drizz did suffer perhaps the worst suckout I've ever seen in hold 'em, if me beating him in HORSE in a last-longer bet isn't the upset of the century, I don't know what is. Maybe that hockey thing against the Russians.

This may be my last Mookie event for a while — and I will miss it dearly, even if it is just until the twins learn how to sleep through the night (they HAVE to be here by next week or Kate may just kill me) — so this was a nice way to say goodbye for a bit. Just as I've been suffering a long dry spell with my tournament game too.

Maybe this is a good omen.

Let's hope so.

As it pertains to poker AND babies!

P.S. Oh and I had the honor of talking to Iakaris via cell phone last night. He's in Denver and I was apologizing for not going out there to see him. I would like to keep my marriage whole and frying-pan free, so I don't dare ask, especially because I just know THAT'S when they would come.
I gave him a scouting report about our 2/5 limit poker game here in Colorado (can't wait to see THAT post) and got to visit with him a bit.
I figured he would sound like an intelligent, snooty guy, but he sounded pretty regular. Even almost young, like he was a college dude or something. I can't wait to meet him. December!

Conversations I've had in the past few days

Brotherpeaker: "Anything?"
Pokerpeaker: "No."

Pp: (Asked last night at 9:30 p.m.) "Have you had any lately?"
Kate: "Yes, I've had several in the last hour."
Pp: "Are they regular?"
Kate: "No."
(Wait two minutes)
Pp: "Have you had one?"
Kate: "You're going to drive me nuts. Is that your goal?"
Pp: (meekly) "no."

Co-workers, asked throughout the day at least 85 times: "Any babies yet?"
What I say: "I'm still here aren't I?" (fake laugh)
What I would like to say: "Please fuck off."

Kate: (POW) Punches husband in the arm.
Pp: "Ow! Jesus! What was that for?"
Kate: "Because I felt like it."

(Late last night)
Pp: "Any word?"
Kate: "They died down when I went to bed."
Pp: "Sigh."


I'm reading Sklansky's and Miller's "No Limit Hold 'em: Theory and Practice." In some ways I really love it, given that there are some ideas and practices that I wasn't considering or was considering but didn't really know it and why until now. That's rare in a poker book these days.
But I'm also struggling with all the math. Math really isn't my thing. I'm a writer. In fact, a funny, quick story. I could read and write before I entered Kindergarten. I even gave a report on Mexico that won some Best of Show award from a science fair. Anyway, school officials tested me, thinking I might be a genius, and I failed so badly at the math portion that they just said, "never mind." So I'm not a genius, I guess, it's just that all my brain cells that were supposed to go to math also went to English.
I can figure pot odds, percentages (thanks to Gordon's rule of 4 and 2) and that sort of thing, but Sklansky's math is deep, complex and, for me, difficult.
I'm doing my best to absorb the concepts, and not the math so much, of the book, and it's working pretty well.
But my question is, how much math do we really need to be a great player? Am I selling myself short? I'm happy, quite honestly, being a winning player at the $25 NL and $50 NL levels with occasional dabbling in the $100 NL. I hope to win a large MTT someday but don't expect big scores all the time. So do I need all that math?

See you at the Mookie tonight. Maybe.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Bonus Sunday Haiku

Kate is cramping now.
Is it true or false this time?
I guess I'll know soon.


No, but we're closer
Can't be more than a few days
Cause wife is frazzled

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Pokerpeaker's deep thoughts

Labor is a lot like taking a crap. No matter how much you try to make it happen, sometimes it just won't budge.
And then it decides to come at the worst possible time.

Now we're trying walking to the park and back. Kate feels them against her cervix. They are, essentially, knocking on the door.

Now we just need to let them in/out.

OH, and I got a book today about little thoughts on being a Daddy to a little girl.
Pg. 84

"Teach her how to play poker."


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bad Girls

This could pertain to my twins, given that they refuse to come out of room right now. Not that I blame them. The womb is a pretty nice place. But come on, ladies, it's time to see the world! You come out of that room RIGHT NOW!
They're ignoring Daddy.
I"m told I'd better get used to it.
On a poker note — yes, I still play poker, every night, in fact — I've never understood why QQ is called the Hiltons. Are we naming that hand after Paris Hilton and her sister?
If so, good, because I hate Paris Hilton.
And I hate QQ.
I've lost more money with QQ than any other hand. I have made five times as much with 10,10 and JJ. Easily. QQ is like Paris, who looks really, really good on the surface and is a dangerous little wench underneath. Why does it continue to beckon to me? Like the stripper I once dated long ago, before I found the wholesome power rock that is Kate, I know I should get away from it more often but I just...can't.
All small with the board pairing? The guy has the other xx. Aggression before the flop? The guy always has KK or AA (and I always call, at least, with QQ unless it's a shove). Flop a set? It turns into a flush or a straight despite me blistering my finger on the raise button. I finally got stacked last night on a 6,2,9 board when the other guy showed no aggression pre-flop to my raise. I put him on JJ and shoved. He had a set. Maybe if I listened to my don't go broke with one pair mantra, I'd be OK.
I can make great laydowns. All the time. I have no idea why QQ is different.
Maybe it's the looks. That always gets the guys.
I did play the Mookie last night. I felt all right about it after struggling with SnGs lately (0-5 on cashing this week) and wondering why I bother playing them any more at all. Cash games are going so well, if SnGs weren't fun I would just ditch them completely. Strangely enough, my MTT game is pretty good now. It used to be horrible, but generally in every Mookie I've played I've either made the final table or put myself in a good position to do so. I was a coin flip away from being in the top 10 after gasping on life support earlier that night.
By the way, Mookie is playing his ass off. He barely missed another final table. Good show. JJOK seems to be another hot player right now, but he's got the mutiple power working for him.
See, girls, JJOK did a good job with his girls. It's OK to come out. Join the world.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I forgot to read the fine print

Alterate titles for this post:
• The uterus that cried wolf.
• Oops
• Just kidding
• Top ten reasons why false labor rocks (I could only think of two so I had to discontinue that)
• Oh well, at least (maybe) I'll get to play The Mookie.

We were at the hospital until 3:45 a.m. after contractions began at 9:30 p.m. and did not stop and in fact got stronger and were 5-7 minutes apart. That seems like labor to me. How about you?

But I forgot to read the fine print:

*Contractions even 5-7 minutes apart do not necessarily mean babies are on the way. Uterus will not be held responsible for a lack of sleep, disappointment or embarassment felt if in fact babies do not come. All rights reserved. Past performance does not guarentee future success. It's a good idea to test uterus 2-3 times before water actually breaks. Do not be alarmed by babies moving around in the womb and stretching stomach out to "Alien" like proportions as they just want to know why the hell Mom has those funny 'monitor-disc' things on the belly. Pain does not mean babies are on the way. Playing Sarah McLachlan on the stereo provided by the room because your wife likes it apparently may in fact hinder delivery from happening. It doesn't matter how much you want the babies to just be here so you can move on, it happens when they are ready, not you. Future labor contractions may in fact be false as well so tough shit."

P.S. You girls are SO grounded when you get out.


I was knee-deep in Stephen King's latest book (his best in quite a while), and Kate spooked me enough to strip one of my nine mountaineering lives right off my soul.

Then she told me the news.

Contractions. Seven minutes apart. One after the other.

It's now 12:28 a.m. And I think this is it.