Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 - A Blogger Retrospective

I haven't blogged long enough to really publish a "best of" post. Although I'd like to get a little credit for introducing the Samba panty discussion. Particularly when the whole point of this blog started off to be a way for me to encapsulate life after my husband's deployment. Imagine my husband's look of horror when he found that my panties had become a public discussion forum.

So instead of a best of me, I'd like to tell you why I read some of the blogs that I read in 2007. There are too many to mention, and many with absolutely engaging writing. There are a few that touch me in one way or another:

I read Otis because his writing has this intense impact on my intellect, my empathy, and my emotions. I re-read some of his "best of" posts. He has a way with images on paper - its almost sensual. I now have this fantasy that he takes me to a hotel room, blindfolds me, and reads his RapidEyeReality posts to me out loud. Gives me shivers. (Did I just say that out loud?)

I read Bam Bam because this man has the biggest heart in North America. He has reached out to me and the Dr. through all of this and I got the greatest pleasure meeting him and his lovely Pebbles in Vegas. You write from the heart and touch all those who know you.

I read Instant Tragedy because he alternately makes me laugh, makes me sad, and makes me want to hug him. He's the guy you want to know when you have a true tragedy; he will put his own tragedy aside to share a hug with you.

I read Drizz, just to see if he can find a new way to slip in a snide Green Bay or Wisconsin comment, with all of his Viking/Purple Jesus/Purple Love shtick. The Wisconsin Survivor thing did make me chuckle.

I read CC to ground myself in reality - he is honest, thoughtful, and has a heart of gold. He's kind of like our own personal spiritual guide in the blogosphere. And he's just a darn, nice guy. Look at that smile - how can you not love him?

I read Waffles just because I laugh every time I try to reconcile the pleasant, affable man I met in Vegas with this raving, cursing lunatic who fantasizes about random, hot women performing oral sex for him on his commute. Makes me wonder what he was really thinking . . .

I read Betty Underground more and more . . . as an old married woman, I'm long past the angst of relationships . . . but somehow, her voice sounds vaguely reminiscent of the 20-something year old inside of me, so many years ago . . . And she has a sex blog that is EXACTLY how I would write about sex. If I wrote about sex. Publicly. If it wouldn't give my husband a heart attack. Which it would.

I read Mrs. Otis. . . . and not just because I feel obligated to because I have random, intellectual fantasies about her husband. She just captures life, and mom-ness, and wife-ness in a very practical manner. And she's cute as a button.

And I read DrChako. Not just because I am married to him. Because he posts about things like he talks about them. And if he were here with me, these would be stories we share over dinner, before they become blog posts. So in this way, its kind of like he's here.

I read more . . . and one of my new year's resolution is to add to my blog roll for those of you I enjoy coming back to.

May tomorrow be the start of a great new year for you all.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Some fortunate men are born with gorgeous heads of hair (yes, Joe Speaker, you know who you are), that last eternally. Maybe graying, but never fading. The kind of men that make other men green with envy, and spawn Rogaine, Hair Club for Men, and that whole nonsense with the comb-over (FYI, we are not fooled).

Then there are other men. Nature steals those first few locks from them early, pushing back their hairline, sometimes gradually, sometimes quickly. Sometimes they fight Nature, but she's an unforgiving bitch. She keeps taking, testing them, challenging them.

A few of them strip of the gloves and take Her head on (pun intended). They get out the clippers, and take what little Nature grants them, defying Her to make them less of a man. And they emerge beautiful. Well-shaped, touchable heads . . . that fine layer of delicate fuzz at the back that tickles your hand as you run it in the opposite direction that the hair grows. The way it de-emphasizes everything but their eyes, makes you focus, get lost in their depths. For these few, the effect is breath-taking. More than hair can ever be. And sometimes, they don't even realize it, until someone tells them.

Ok, I'll confess . . . I just got out of a movie where I saw a trailer for Jason Statham (Transporter fame) in a lead role . . . it was science fiction, a genre I like, . . . he's in it . . . I could watch his shaved head all night and hope he rips off he shirt at some point. His chest is about the only thing nicer than his shaved head.

And the only thing nicer than his chest? Hugh Jackman's chest. I rest my case.

I think it started somewhere with Jean Luc Picard . . . nothing sexier than a mature, bald man commanding a star ship. Compounded when my sister-in-law and I saw La Reve, in Las Vegas. I could have eaten those beautiful men alive. Now? Show me a nicely shaved head and a pair of intense, beautiful eyes . . . I'm helpless. Truly.
Honey, if you ever start to lose your hair, you know what you have to do.

Respectfully submitted,
The Wife

Monday, December 24, 2007

Conversations with a 10 Year Old

While there are many days I could kill him, there are numerous days of comic relief and significant insight from Son #1:

Conversation 1:

  • Son#1: "Mom, if you had to be locked in a cage with someone, who would it be?"
  • Wife: (Thinking this might be a trick question and keeping the "Hugh Jackman" answer to myself . . . ) "Uh . . . your Dad?" (Good answer, Wife) "Who would you be locked in a cage with, son?"
  • Son #1: (Smirking) "Uh, she's a little older than me." (More smirking)
  • Wife: "Would she, by chance, be dating Tito Ortiz?"
  • Son #1: (Big smirk) "Uh, technically, they are engaged."
  • Wife: (High fives son and laughs, but secretly thinks "Great. 10 year old son wants to date the "Queen of Porn")
Conversation 2:
  • Son #1: "Mom, you ever notice how all our teams start with "S"? You know, Sonics, Seahawks . . ."
  • Wife: "Well, the Mariners start with "M", son."
  • Son #1: "Well, I meant football and basketball."
  • Wife: "You weren't specific."
  • Son #1: "You're right. I just don't like to be wrong. No one likes to be wrong."
I'm trying to decide whether he sounds more like me or his father at this point.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

In An Effort To Reinstate Holiday Cheer

Ok, maybe I'm gonna go with this one (yes, I'm still playing with it).

Smart. Beautiful. Michelle.

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Or this one.

You Like Michelle. Michelle Likes You.

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Or these days, maybe this is more the truth.

Because Michelle is Complicated Enough.

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Hope the rest of you have a good Christmas eve!

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday (Lack of) Cheer

Ever find yourself riding so high in life, it seems you'll never come down? And then one, or two, or seven things all seem to compound at once to change your outlook? I'm generally a positive person, and I've been riding a wave of contentment for several weeks now. Playing the stoic, tough wife, tough mom, tough business woman. I've been doing a pretty bang up job of my roles, for the most part.

I just got back from a short business trip. From start to finish, things could not have gone much better than if I'd planned it down to the minute, myself. Two flights took off on time and got in early. Weather cooperated - cold, but the sun shone each day. No stress. Got time to see some of the sights. Hotel was great. Had great meals. The company I kept was exactly the kind of company I like to keep. Kids were cheerful when I talked to them on the phone. "You're the best mom in the world." Even talked to the husband.

The sun set. And my plane landed. Seattle was cold, rainy, and dark. I arrived home to an empty house. The dogs seemed excited to see me, but really just needed a quick run out back. Then they proceeded to track wet, muddy pawprints all over my recently cleaned house.

The kids arrived home - I got one hug, then the fighting began. "He hit me." "He kicked me in the privates." "I don't want to eat there." "How come he always gets to pick."

The au pair arrived home. Son #1 had been beastly over the weekend, countering her "No, you can't stay at your friend's house" with "I hate you. You're the worst nanny in the world." Plus a bunch of screaming, door slamming, and other unpopular behavior. I understand where he gets his emotions and passions; I don't think I raised him to take it out on others. So now she's had it up to here with my family.

The holiday is not a saving grace either. We are only casual observers for this one, with Hanukkah having finished over a week ago. Normally, we are an introspective but happy little family unit, operating with little to no stress in our non-observant household, keeping each other company and enjoying the sheer lack of any responsibilities. But that is when the good Dr. is physically present. And I don't have a 5-year-old asking me why we don't have a Christmas tree every two days.

I even thought a bath would be a good mood enhancer. Except I didn't fill the tub high enough, so that after I turned on the jets, and was into my relaxation phase, the water level dipped below the front jet, creating this weird water turbulence, which caused the jets to spray me directly in the face. Relaxation is no longer possible at this point.

So what is a girl, in this state of mind, supposed to do? You turn to someone you love, and share with them, and they make it all better. Except someone I love is not here with me. Circumstance keeps me from that someone, and that someone from me. Tonight, after so many nights of being just fine, I am lonely.

I don't want my self-pity to overshadow people with real issues. After all, my husband sleeps alone in a trailer in the desert and goes to breakfast armed. Our good friend's baby just spent his first week of life in the NICU. Other people I love are struggling with big life choices that are of far more consequence that my dirty pets or irritating children. And I know I'm not the only person in the world who is lonely, or without the person they love.

I just wish bad nights came with a survival kit.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

More Mindless, but Funny, Drivel

From Waffles, via Kat . . . I can't decide which slogan I like better. I'm taking votes.

Choice #1

Come See the Softer Side of The Wife.

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Choice #2

Stop! This The Wife is not Ready Yet!

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Choice #3

Pure The Wife.

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Choice #4

Just for the Taste of The Wife.

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Choice #5

The Wife - It Looks Good on You.

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Choice #6

Cuts The Wife Time in Half.

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Choice #7

I Liked The The Wife So Much, I Bought The Company!

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Have fun playing with it - I did

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mindless, Senseless Drivel

This is courtesy of BettyUnderground. I'm envious of her bangle bracelets for 3 Euro (I love when they clink on the desk, too). Today I was into a lot of her more recent serious posts. But the kid in me, who loves these dorky tests (who has the time to think this shit up?), happened upon this one, and I had to take the test.


So, how many could you take? Don't give me the "its a kid, for god's sake" nonsense. I am a mom. I have a 5 year old. Sometimes I want to beat him up. I don't. But sometimes I want to.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What Was I Thinking?

Today, I had a day off from work. I have some use or lose vacation. My au pair thought this would be a good day to take me to the gym and make me work out.

I did kickboxing class for an hour. I use the term "did" loosely - I was participating in some general movement that may or may not have resembled kickboxing. I have a friend that I've worked with who was an actual boxing champion in his country as a young man. I am sure he would agree that what I was doing probably didn't resemble any kind of "boxing" at all.

Then she made me do some strength training on the machines. I am certain I will be sore tomorrow. If not today. If not by the time I get out of the shower.

It would be easier, I think, if I was still 23. But I'm 39. What was I thinking?

PS - as if it wasn't enough to get my ass kicked in the gym today, I busted out of a MTT last night with pocket kings . . . I raised, got re-raised, got a caller behind the re-raiser . . . I went all in, and got called by both. The two monkeys had me outchipped and continued to bet into the pot - turns out the caller behind the re-raiser had 10-8 offsuit . . . and had paired his tens - but took the pot when the river brought another 10. WTF? Raise and re-raise, and your 10-8 OS is a keeper? Whatever. Guess that is no sillier than a 39 year old woman attending kickboxing class with her 23 year old au pair who is a personal trainer in her home country.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Move Over Dan . . . Make Room For a Real Man

That's right people - Brett Favre just passed the passing record. And I got to see it. It was nail-biting to watch him get one yard away. Of course, he had a whole half to get those extra yards.

And a win, on top of it all (interceptions aside), made it a great game day to be in the sports bar with a bunch of family in Texas (all Packer's fans).

Speaking of my beloved "home" team, I want to give one more shout out to the man who bravely bet me, backing his home team, and lost. Drizz, you are the best sport and wear your loss better than anyone.

As promised, the evidence . . .

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Saturday, December 15, 2007

WPBT Recollections - Who Are The People in Your Neighborhood?

I play my poker hands like I play golf. Each hole is its own entity. While I’m on the hole, I’m focused. Long after I’m off the course, I might remember my total score. I might remember a few memorable holes; a few memorable shots – the putt that circles the hole completely before sinking, the fairway shot that hits the pin. But unlike my husband, and some of the rest of you, I don’t remember every poker hand blow by blow, hour by hour. And I don’t write them down. DrChako is the opposite – when he comes home from golf, he can recite every shot on every hole; he can repeat his entire hand history if I asked. Funny that if I give him a grocery list with more than 3 things on it, it has to be written, or he’ll forget.

But I digress. I remember a few hands . . . like telling our dealer I was going to regret folding my KJ to the Q-10-X on the flop. It was the right move – I had no pairs, only a couple over cards, a nine had been exposed, leaving me only 7 cards to make my straight, and Astin had put in a big bet, and got an all-in behind him before I had a chance to act. Astin took the pot with his Q-10, but the nine that fell on the river had me shaking my head. I remember thinking that DrChako would have been proud of me a few times for my appropriate aggression (used selectively, of course) – my big re-raise with only bottom pair, ace kicker, when I figured the original bet was only a continuation bet (Bayne laid down), or my big bet with only pocket fives into an ugly flop, which took it down. Or my AJ racing against Blinders KQ, and seeing him hit. I remember a few hands.

So if I don’t remember all the hands, what do I remember? The people. I remember meeting people I’d met before, people I’d chatted with over e-mail, online, on the phone. I remember meeting people I’ve never met. I remember meeting people my husband has met and told stories about. I remember meeting people who remembered him and just wanted to say “Hi” and let me know they were thinking of him. I remember the buzz in the air of shared stories of tournaments past, recent on-line tournaments, and the debauchery that has become legend. I remember putting faces and real names to these blog identities and finding out whether they looked like I imagined them to look. I remember being greeted like I was part of this big, slightly dysfunctional but happy family, just by association. I remember being greeted warmly by my newest friends, and already looking forward to our next meeting. I remember being touched by the thoughtfulness of people who took time to let me know they want my husband to return safely.

I didn’t get to meet everyone, or take pictures with everyone, but here is a pictorial of some of the people I remember (if you’re not in here, I either didn’t get time for a picture with you, or I have determined I was not so photogenic in the picture and refuse to have it published. Which could be all of them, technically . . . oh well. Next time, I owe you a hug. If you want one. I live with a Brazilian now – my capacity for hugging has increased exponentially, and it was already pretty high.).

So now, in no particular order . . . (and while the pictures are all mine, I would like to thank the camera man behind more than half of them . . . you know who you are and how you can always find my good side) . . .

Me, Al and Pauly (eat your heart out love - its me and the legends)

Me, and another legend (could he be any more adorable?)

Two of the sweetest people in Bedrock

And how could I not love a Packer fan from Bedrock

Bam Bam and Otis

A guitar in the making with Poker Peaker

The sweetheart behind the guitar (not me, sillies . . . Tragedy!)

Who knew you could find this kind, gentle soul at a poker table?

Getting a hug from the Rooster - who knew?

Voted most likely to have best hair (and I didn't think the scarf looked gay, but that's just me.)

Legendary Amy C

The man behind the kilt

Waffles (smiling, and not looking at my samba panties) - say no more

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Friday, December 14, 2007


I have always been very critical of my looks. I was a cute little girl. Until I was about 5. Then I got awkward. I was always tall and thin. And I looked like my father. As a man, a strong nose, a strong jaw, thick eyebrows . . . these are all handsome, manly features. On a young woman, I just felt like they looked awkward. And I developed late. And since boobs tend to be the primary focus of teenage boys, it was not helpful to my self-image to be lacking in them. And I knew I didn’t have the delicate, fine-boned features that models and beauty-pageant contestants had, and never would.

Fortunately, as men grow up, some of them actually come to realize they like boobs and brains. Or boobs and confidence. Or boobs and a good sense of humor. So when I finally got boobs, all of the other qualities were pretty well-developed and I had no problem getting dates with funny, smart, attractive men. But I still always struggled with the self-image.

Now I’m 39. The good Dr. and I have been married long enough that we’ve become accustomed to each other, so the 10 pounds I’d acquired after almost 13 years of marriage and 2 kids never seemed to bother him. Especially since we married for all the other right reasons. And I’m 5’8” – you can spread 10 pounds like peanut butter on a 5’8” frame without a hugely noticeable difference, particularly when fully dressed. But it bothered me. It wasn’t until I had those pounds that I realized how much I didn’t appreciate my body in college. I was in the best shape of my life, with not an ounce of unnecessary fat, a flat belly, and boobs that defied gravity.

Right before I came to Vegas, I had lost some weight. Partly from stress, partly from being sick, and partly from paying a little more attention to what I was eating. Certainly not exercise – I always have the best intentions, but haven’t done a darn thing in months. Well, years actually. Many years. Stepping on the scale before I went told me I was only 2 pounds away from my wedding weight. When I was very thin. And I could notice. I had hipbones again. I can feel a rib here and there. I have shoulder blades and collarbones. My clothes fit better. Looser. More comfortably. I felt like they looked better. And I found myself walking around with a different attitude. A little more confidence. I put on my jeans the day of the tournament, and I didn’t have to suck in my stomach. Yesterday, I wore a pencil thin black skirt suit and the waistband didn't cut into me at the end of the day. Today, my jeans are loose, and my stomach flat. And even dragging two kids in tow through the airport this morning, I’ve gotten a look or two.

It’s amazing how fragile a self-image can be. Or how little it takes to restore it.

It’s about time – DrChako’s been working out for over 3 months now and just sent me his most recent “after” picture. He’s looking pretty buff – he needs a hot wife to come home to.

Maybe tonight I’ll do a few extra sit ups.

I Might Be Insane

Its almost 2:30 a.m. I am packing for the 3rd flight in 7 days. This one with 2 children and an au pair. And I am expected to coordinate travel plans for three other relatives coming to meet us from two other cities. And drive the 7 of us in a van tomorrow. And my flight leaves at 9:30 a.m. I may need to start drinking heavily. Like now.

I might be totally insane.

If I don't get a chance to post for a few days, bear with me. The family burden looms large. If I don't post by mid-next week, you'll know I'm in the asylum.

Pictures still to come from Vegas . . .

Have I told you all how much fun I had? And how I didn't feel insane last week?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Why Poker Bloggers Rock

Quick post (for those of you who know how much I can talk, or write, nothing is every really quick).

First, another shout out to Drizz. Irish Jim was kind enough to let me know that Drizz was an even better sport that I thought - he wore the Packer shirt well into Sunday night. I'm not sure what his BAC was at that point (he's apparently still got bees buzzing in his head), but I appreciate that this true-blue Vikings fan can accept his lost bet with grace, humor, and style. What a honey. Although, come to think of it, he did get a free shirt.

Second, I just wanted to post the first picture of the event, which really isn't of the event at all. It's a representation of why this community of poker bloggers and their friends, raggedy as we all are from our multiple corners of the continent (or beyond) is really great. Whether you support the war or not, you read my husband's blog, support the fact that he's over there doing the job he was asked to do, whether that would be his preference or not, and welcomed me into your little fold like an old friend. I don't think I'll ever let DrChako come alone again!

So to Tragedy, for buying it and organizing it and getting it to Vegas, and to everyone else who put pen to this baby, I want to say . . .

Thanks. He and I will treasure this personal gift for a long time to come. You're a great group of people and maybe next time, we'll get him to play and sing a little something. Until then, I'll keep it safe for his return.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Monday, December 10, 2007

More Winter Blogger Classic Observations

Still suffering from a little post-Vegas letdown. I mean where else does it not matter where you are, what you are doing, when you are eating or drinking, whether your are eating or drinking at all, and where, while the object is to try to win money, when you don't, and blow it on a thousand other things that are expensive out there, it is not unusual? Only Vegas.

So other observations I had about the trip:
  • Bam Bam and Pebbles are the sweetest folks on earth. 'Cept when Pebbles is leading the betting and someone raises her and makes her fold. I didn't see the cards, my gut told me she made the right decision by laying down (who knows). But it didn't stop the F-bomb from coming out of her mouth. They went through hell (and Cleveland) to get here, but it was great to meet you both. You are both are dolls in my book, and no one looks hotter than Bam Bam in a vintage Packer jersey! Ok, the fact that the first words out of his mouth when he saw me was "You're beautiful" didn't hurt the relationship either.
  • Waffles was the big surprise. He didn't request a view of the samba panties (DrChako's first fear), I got multiple hugs, and I even got him to smile for a picture. And he said I was hot. (Ok, you notice a theme going here. I'm a 39-year old mother of two. Time is not on my side. Who doesn't like to hear that stuff? And who cares if he pretty much says that about every woman he's met?). And although I didn't get to play at his table any of the tournament, I never once heard him utter those horrible (but funny) phrases IT had on the Waffles commemorative coaster set. I personally think his bloggerly F-bombs are just to cover up the teddy bear inside. But don't tell him I said so.
  • Can I re-emphasize how adorable Otis is? He won my heart when he sent my hubby that guitar. He had great recommendations coming from the rest of the crew. I love his writing style - its manly, and pokerly, yet thoughtful and insightful and personal. His hugs are warm and genuine. And I got a few. And pictures too. And I didn't see him fall down once. Once the table was down to 10, I had predicted the Rooster would win. He had been playing his A-game at my table, and still seemed to have it going on. When it got down to the final two, and they were pretty evenly matched, I have to be honest and say I wish Otis had won the race. If I decide to have a crush on anyone, he's a contender.
  • CC is a great guy - he made a point to come find me, has checked my blog and the DrChako's since he left for Iraq, and made it a point to come say "hi" and give me a hug, numerous times. And I think he's got a couple old posts that explore the psychological side of poker and relationships and stuff that are pretty insightful. Good, genuine soul - pleased to meet you, friend.
  • Falstaff needs to be given a medal for his patience in coordinating this stuff. Talk about trying to herd cats. More like herding dyslexic, autistic cats with multiple-personality disorders and drinking problems. Hats off to you, and you are more the man for proudly wearing a skirt. Gives great hugs, too - nice to know you.
  • And to the best sport in the whole world - Drizz. You know, I was biased against you because your choice in football teams leaves something to be desired. Maybe Minnesota does that to you. But he is a genuinely nice guy, and wore the Packers t-shirt I got him not only for a picture (to be posted later), but also wore it in the IP sports book (at least as long as I was there). Glad to see you made the final table. Don't tell me if you burned the t-shirt later - Packer memorabilia is sacred in Wisconsin and can only be destroyed, like an American flag, with proper ceremony.

I'm sure I'll think of other things later, and pictures will come - but wanted to post some more thoughts on those I met.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

PS: For the samba panties, I went with pink. The black ones and the red ones were cute, but they have all this lacy stuff all over them that would have probably irritated me for the 4 hours I played. I was thinking long-term and had to go with the comfort fabric. Like in poker, sometimes you bluff, and lie about your cards. But I appreciated Waffles and Buddy's guess at the "double zero".

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Welcome Back, MrsC!

I'm tired, happy, and a little sad that tomorrow is back to the grind. And I don't mean the poker grind. I mean the commuting, child-raising, bill-paying reality. No more late nights, turn-down service, sleeping in, running around casinos in a pair of tight jeans and a low cut shirt.

Tomorrow it's suits, and accounting, and homework, and family weddings . . .

Pauly did the first post, but for being the first gathering that I was a part of (and not just the accompaniment to the husband), I have to share my few highlights:
  • Meeting invisible friends face to face and hugging them all.
  • Seeing how a massive collective of loosely related people can all come together into something so organized that lasts SOOOOO long.
  • Lasting 4 hours in this crazy thing when I don't play nearly as much poker as the rest of you. When it got time to do some pushing, Rooster took about half of my chip stack when he called my 5x raise (ok, I admit, it was a blind steal with a little suited paint), and then the flop gave him the nut straight. He was nice enough to show me. He checked it, but so did I, so the next bet had me mucking and the dealer sliding him my chips. At least he put the chips to good use. Congratulations are in order, dear. Oh, yeah, he kissed me too.
  • Blinders took the last of my chips from me in a race - he'd built a nice stack and decided to push me with his KQ offsuit. I had AJ offsuit. King hit him, and I waved goodbye. But can't complain. At least he moneyed. If you have to lose, it somehow feels better to lose to someone who can make it to the money, than to just any random donkey.
  • Tragedy made an excellent chaperone. Next time, hon, just remember if I have a chance to sleep late, I will ALWAYS take it. So if I'm not answering the phone, chances are I have a date with my pillow.
  • I got to hug Otis. Who took second to the Rooster. Its funny to read Rooster's blog from a few days ago or so - its makes it sound like they'd be at the final table together. But best part was hugging this sweet soul who was so thoughtful to my hubby. Bless you, sweet man. And you're WAY cuter than your blog picture.
  • Thanks to all for DrChako's guitar - he will love all my pictures, love all the stories, read your blogs voraciously, and wish he could have been there a hundred times, but he'll always have this guitar to commemorate.

Will post pictures another day.

To those still out there, enjoy. To the rest of you arriving back in reality, it was good to be part of it all.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Almost There!

Hard to believe its almost there. I have SOOOO much to do before I go to Vegas. But I've left the office late two out of three nights so far, tomorrow doesn't look that promising, and I'm only writing this blog now as I take a quick break from preparing for a short presentation tomorrow.

So far, I haven't done much besides:

- Think (note, think, not schedule) about what spa treatments I deserve
- Think (note, think, because I don't have time to do much play) about the tournament
- Start packing (so far, one pair of heels, a chemise ('cause I have to look cute sleeping by myself in that king size bed), and a pair of sunglasses. I think I probably need more clothes. But then, DrChako tried to go to Vegas with no pants before, so I'm sure I could manage.
- Launder all samba panties
- Finish wrapping Hanukkah presents
- Think about paying the bills
- Work
- Work
- Be a mom
- Work

I SOOOOOOO need this break. I apologize in advance if I seem like a woman who has not been out of the house in a long time. Feel like I'm in a perpetual insane asylum these days.

Watch out, crazy Wife, coming through!

See you in a few.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Is Your Money on Black or Red?

Enough of the heavy posts . . . the important question of the day is . . .

Is your money on black or red?

I'll spin the samba panty roulette wheel the day of the tournament . . . place your bets now.

Completely disrespectfully submitted,

The Wife

PS: I realize my husband and father in law are reading this, I'm just doing it to get a psychological edge, guys . . . cool your jets.

Gods and Rainbows

I woke up today early. Couldn't go back to sleep. I'm starting to feel like a little kid going to Disneyland. It might be the excitement of seeing all of you. Or it could just be that there is no time in recent history where I have needed a 48 hour escape from reality more than I do right now. From the kids, from the work, from being a spouse without my spouse here, from the rain, from the grief, . . .

As I drove to work, the Disneyland version of excitement turned into something a little more profound.

Stories of mudslides, and flooding, and road closures and hurricane force winds in Washington filled the news; at home, our bubble of life is a little damp, with some standing water in the yard, but the kids, the au pair and the dogs are all safe and protected. I am reminded that someone, somewhere is protecting the Chako family - natural disasters occur around us, but only seem to peripherally affect us. I'd love to keep it that way. For this, I am fortunate.

I spoke with my husband's grieving family. They are tired; they are sad. But they were all together, save for DrChako. And Uncle D is no longer in pain. For this, we are fortunate.

This morning, I had an e-mail from my good Dr., so while I am currently without spouse, today is another day where this is, thankfully, only a temporary situation. For this, I am fortunate.

As I drove closer to downtown Seattle, to prepare to start another day in corporate America, a giant rainbow spread over the city, with the sun shining behind me. A rainbow so big that rather than a traditional arc, the ends of the rainbow actually started to curve back under as is touched down in Elliot Bay. Now I may not be the most religious of people, but I am well-versed in the story of Noah in Genesis. The rainbow was God's covenant to never flood the earth again, as the story goes.

Maybe this was my little reminder that I'm pretty lucky, that someone or something is working overtime to take care of what matters to me, no matter how far across the globe they are spread, and that the only Tragedy in my life is one of my IIF's that I intend to make just a friend in a few days.

And if that wasn't enough, in my play money 3 table sit and go, I got pocket aces, got three people all in with me with pocket kings, pocket 3s, and some other random crap - and I won the hand with quads. Went on to win the tourney. I have some skills; may that luck follow me to Sin City.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Monday, December 3, 2007

Life is Fleeting

I pause today for a somber reflection on life. Yesterday, DrChako's uncle slipped away from us, quietly, quickly, and thanks to the hospice, as comfortably as he could.

Each of you have been so thoughtful of my husband in these past few months; think of him today, as he grieves, an ocean and more away, unable to be with family at this time through anything other than a sporadic call or e-mail.

I'm an accountant. Never claimed to be a writer. But I composed a poem for the family, a bit tongue in cheek ('cause that's how Uncle D would have liked it), but maybe a message we can all share. So for that old stockbroker we all knew and loved, or for those of you who need reminding about how precious life and love are, an excerpt from "Life's an Investment" . . .

Life’s an investment, its dividends, love;
Its total returns infinite, like the stars above.
But its trend line is crooked, it rises and it falls,
Unpredictable at best, the volatility appalls.
Sometimes the dip seems impossibly low,
And even the uptick can be impossibly slow.
But investing is long term, its goal far away;
You maximize your return, the longer you stay.
You rebalance your portfolio of loving and care,
You tend to your loved ones, through the bull and the bear.
But even a good investor has an exit strategy;
But unlike the stock market, life’s better you see -
For when it’s time for the investment to end,
It continues to pay dividends, in the memory of
A husband,
A father,
A brother,
A friend.

Don't forget to tell someone you love them today.

Respectfully, and sadly, submitted,

The Wife

Saturday, December 1, 2007

As a Boy Becomes a Man

I am startled sometimes at how my son is maturing before my eyes.

Yes, this same child who forgets his homework enough that we have to tape a blue list to the front door so he doesn't forget on his way to school. The same son who walks in the door, removes his shoes and coat, and later can't find them, even though the rest of us have been stepping on or over them for hours. The same son who can be moody and insolent and 10 minutes later ask if he can have "My Sims" for his DS game.

Yesterday, I received a voice mail. "Hey Mom. This is your son. I am just calling to let you know that the massage place called to confirm your one hour appointment. Thanks."

This morning, I came down to find him snuggled on the couch with his brother, reading out loud from his Spiderwick series of books, using different voices for better effect.

Last week when I had excruciating headaches and neck pain, he heated up the heat pad for me.

And then, two days ago, when I was explaining that a dear relative who lives far, far away was sick and did not have much time and that we might have to prepare ourselves for this, he said, in his innocent and genuine 10-year old way, "Mom, if we have to go see him, its ok that it ruins my perfect attendance record. That's not important."

In his own ways, he's becoming the man I don't have in my house right now.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thursday, November 29, 2007

All Good Things

In 7 days I will be packing. Fortunately, samba panties don't take up much room, so I'll be able to carry on.

In addition to that goodness, I am touched by other good things in life:
  • Played a couple play money tourneys last night on PokerStars - 45 person tables - they seem more realistic than the 1 tables which tend to be a crazy all in fest. Took 3rd and 4th. And 4th wasn't bad - I just pushed with a pair of kings heads up and the guy caught his ace.
  • Heard from an old dear acquaintance - and got him reconnected with the Dr., too. Nice to have those little surprises come into your life.
  • Getting flowers from my mom for my birthday.
  • The sun is out in Seattle - when the sun is out, this is one of the most beautiful places around.
  • My team is 10-1. Hopefully tonight they make it 11-1. Either way, I'm sure someone will have something to say about it. Glad Bam Bam is on my side. I'm hoping that even Drizz will be on our side. My personal rule has always been (a) Green Bay should win; (b) If Green Bay is not playing, then I cheer for any other NFC-North team; or (c) I cheer for any team opposing the Cowboys, especially if its and NFC-North team.
  • Got a great price on tickets to Florida for the kids and au pair in February. School break, but busy season for me. They can enjoy the beach with the grandparents; I can work 15 hours days guilt free and come home to a silent house with no responsibilities.

Hope you all have something good to think about today, as well.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Stolen Moments

In my drowsy state, I barely felt the bed shift as he slipped in next to me. He was still warm from sleep, and I shifted to make room. Still, with the space a queen size bed has to offer, he chose to occupy my side and my pillow. His hair tickled my cheek, his breath, warm on my neck. He snuggled in closer, and threw an arm across me.

"I love you," he whispered.

I lay there, not wanting to wake up. I let my fingers trace the smooth curve of his shoulder.

"Stop it Mommy! You're tickling me," he giggled.

Yes people, I stole a moment this morning, as my 5-year old came in for a quick snuggle and hug.

Hope you have a great day!

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Does Life Come with a Remote and Does it Have a Pause Button?

I struggle with time management these days. I work full time (senior management, read more than 50 hours per week, minimum). I commute 1-2 hours per day to do this work. I raise two children. I have no spouse right now to help with shopping and homework and changing air filters and taillights in cars and parent teacher conferences.

There is no chicken or fruit or toaster waffles or dishwasher soap in the house right now.

The last "date" I had was dinner. One month ago. With my au pair.

Poker? I haven't played poker in 4 days.

I should not complain. With two incomes, I pay someone to clean my toilets. I pay someone to tend my yard. I pay a young woman to live in my house so that my 10-year old does not come home to an empty house and so that my two children have someone to eat breakfast with so that I can start my wicked commute. I pay a preschool to help my youngest son learn to read and write.

Today, while I dried my hair, my littlest man came into my bedroom with pen and paper. "How do you spell 'house'?" he asked. As he lay on his stomach on the floor in his SpongeBob briefs, I stopped to help him remember what an "H" looks like, congratulated him on how nice his "S" looked, and helped him spell new words. Then I realized I was going to be late for a 9:00 meeting and started rushing around. And today was the deadline for benefits registration. And I had to have the audit committee materials ready by noon.

I'd like to take more time to help him explore this new world of writing, go to a movie by myself, shop for apples and dishsoap and a new book without it being a sprint. I'd like to have 30 minutes to sit with my oldest son and have him tell me about the latest Spiderwick book he just read. I'd like to skip the audit committee meeting to take time to help my new staff understand what she's doing so she doesn't feel so lost when I'm busy. I'd like to take time to write my awesome administrative assistant a performance review, then take her to lunch to talk about it. I'd like to call my friends and relatives from the comfort of my couch to catch up, rather than on my hands-free device while I drive home.

If one of you finds the remote, can you just hit the "pause" button for me?

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Monday, November 26, 2007

So many things . . . so little time

12 days? Lot to do in 12 days:
  • Complete initial application for promotion. Take all accomplishments, ignore the team part of the effort, make them all sound like my idea, and amplify them all another 20%.
  • Do all the work I should have done this weekend when I was sick.
  • Finish reviewing all my staff's work. There is a reason that on most of our clients, we have managers AND senior managers (me). Fate has intervened to leave me manager-less on all right now - I pity the poor thing who's work is coming directly to me.
  • Finish shopping for Hanukkah presents. We light candles for the first night the evening of December 4th. That is right around the corner. I have the big gift (can you say "Wii"?). But they like small individual presents too.
  • Send DrChako the next care package. He needs Hanukkah presents too.
  • Coordinate the babysitting.
  • Keep practicing on line NLHE. So tired of slogging through 9,000 of the 10,000 entrants, only to have one suck out take me out.
  • Buy more clothes. Have been convinced my my au pair that the corporate nun thing isn't going to fly in Vegas.
  • Buy cute Packer tank top. If' I'm going to make Drizz wear Packer gear on Sunday and get photographed with me, he at least deserves to see the green displayed a little nicer than across the average Packer fan beer belly.
  • Call Mom.
  • Do nails.
  • Cut hair? Or just pay Jeff $30 to take 3 mm off the ends, 'cause I can work with this length.
  • Shave. Maybe wax. No shave. Wax?

I'm sure I've forgotten something.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Difference Between Brazilians and Me

So last night and this morning, I had a house full of Brazilian women. Yesterday was my au pair's birthday, for which I was unable to cobble together any reasonable sort of celebration. I was under the influence of a combination of Valium, oxycodone, ibuprofen and a host of other inhalants and pills - I looked and felt like a junkie. So they spent the night with her, the shrill chatter of Portuguese filling my woozy head as I drifted off to a drug-induced sleep.

Today they ate breakfast with us - I felt good enough to cook. I showered before breakfast and stepped on the scale to find that I was now a mere 2 pounds from my wedding weight. 13 years and two children ago. Not to bad, although I wouldn't recommend the near-death, don't eat anything diet as a first line of getting there.

I was teasing the au pair that I was now thin enough to wear her clothes - to which she and her friends promptly began dressing me in. And taking pictures. Which no one but the Dr. will ever see. It was very flattering to have a bunch of 20 somethings oohing and aahhing over the fact that I could be a 39 year old mother of two and wear these things. If you're not quite sure how they dress in Brazil (where is it very warm, most of the year), think Carnival. We once commented to one of our friends from Rio that at Carnival, everyone was naked. She casually replied "not EVERYONE." 'Nuff said.

But then my au pair went on to say to the girls "But for work, she never shows her beautiful body. She has nice clothes, but they are all serious. Never she shows how she looks."

I work in corporate America. I spend my day with partners and audit committees and CEOs and CFOs in board rooms, and supervising up and coming business men and women. I wear suits and sweaters and blouses. When I'm feeling sassy, I wear my knee-length black leather boots with my skirt and sweater. Not that I don't want to look pretty, but I didn't think the point was for the whole world to know every curve of my body, regardless of how it looks. This is not TV land where your suits are made of spandex and your sweaters as tight and low cut as can be. I don't think I'm overly conservative - its not like I don't unbutton a button or two. But apparently in Brazil, my dress would effectively be equivalent to a nun. A well-dressed corporate nun, that is.

Maybe in Vegas, I'll change that. Who knows if I can hang on to this body for another 10 years? Watch out.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Other Top Five

I've been sick in bed for the last few days. I missed Thanksgiving with friends (and that happens to be my favorite holiday and holiday meal of all time). I've been taking more prescription narcotics than you can count on your hands . . . Valium, oxycodone, . . . you name it, I could make a fortune selling it if I didn't need it.

I've been reading blogs and e-mails to pass the time in bed. For as much as I love the stories of poker donkery, the rants, and the excitement of the upcoming trips, I'm a girl, so I'm always touched when one of you manly men have the courage to show feelings. Like the roller coaster Instant Tragedy can be on with his kids. Or the fact that Drizz can take a moment to stop talking about poker or that collection of purple-suited meatheads he cheers for every Sunday to worry about what he and the little one are going to get his wife for the holidays.

Today BamBam made me cry. If you want to know how a man should love his wife, you should read. So in honor of his open expression of his love for Pebbles, I would like to give you my other top five - the top five things that my previous top five probably couldn't bring to the table for the last 13 years like DrChako has:
  1. He has made me try everything and anything, and made me experience things I would have never done on the farm. Like raw oysters, sushi, skiing, golf, snorkeling, and living in Europe. Thank you for the experiences.
  2. He saw my in my wedding dress and his eyes lit up, like I was the prettiest woman in the world. It's the only day I've ever looked at photographs of myself and thought I was beautiful. Thank you for making me your princess.
  3. He is the only man who is comfortable competing with me for everything (and probably one of the few smart enough to compete with me) . . . poker, Jeopardy, Scrabble, Boggle, Trivial Pursuit . . . one of these days he will learn to stop pimping me with 80's music trivia. Thank you for being my intellectual equal.
  4. He is one of the most generous individuals I know, almost to a fault. He will share any thing for anyone in need and makes me understand what it is to be truly charitable with no restrictions. Thank you for the $150 for my CPA exam in 1992; hopefully I have paid it back multi-fold.
  5. He is one of the last of the true gentlemen. Always a smile for everyone, always holds the door for women (my mother and grandmother fell in love instantly), always treats those deserving of respect with their due respect. Our au pair holds her future love to his standard of chivalry; may she be as lucky as I am.

Some day, I'll give you the top 5 things about him that tick me off; but until he comes home to annoy me, this is all you get.

Come home love.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Top Five

So I've been blog-spammed and now tagged for a list by Mr. Instant Tragedy himself. I feel like a part of the Kuh-myoo-ni-tee, as Bam Bam puts it.

By the way, I made Bam-Bam blush. If one little e-mail is going to do it, I don't know how he's going to survive me in Vegas. At least IT is getting a little taste of the randomness that can come out of an accountant's mind and mouth when their whole day is spent being business-like and professional.

So here is the Top Five. Not the movies and crap. I'm high on oxycodone for some killer neck and headache pain, and don't have the patience or wits to think that hard. But in our 12+ years of marriage, the Dr. and I have been very forthcoming about our "List". I've met couples who are not and pretend they would never create such a thing because their love is so strong there can be no other. Whatever. Truthfully, if DrChako was propositioned by Angelina and turned it down, I'd think something was wrong with him. And if he took her up on it, I'd be a little proud that my husband was hot enough to warrant her attention.

So in order of how long they have been on the list:
  1. Hugh Jackman. Wolverine hair is a little much, but aside from that . . . hot, hot, HOT.
  2. Antonio Banderas. Preferably with the long, dark "Desperados" hair.
  3. Johnny Depp.
  4. Jason Statham. The Transporter. Doesn't talk a lot, looks hot with shaved hair, and I love when he has to change shirts in the movie.
  5. Murilo Benicio. Brazilian actor in "Woman on Top". He could be on top for all I care.

And I'm not sure open solicitation is actually part of this deal, but if Hugh Jackman is reading and happens to be in Vegas December 7 - 9 . . . your shoes may occupy any space under my bed.

No tag backs.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Blog Spam?

Since when did comments become a place for the random Brazilian internet spammer? I'm hoping I can figure out how to moderate this crap . . .

This is America, land of the free, home of the brave, free speech, yada, yada yada. But this is MY freakin' blog for me to dump MY random thoughts and to have MY friends, acquaintances and readers leave me THEIR thoughts and wishes. Not for you to advertise your cheap-ass internet services (yes, I can read enough Portuguese to know you were just advertising).

You didn't even have the courtesy to tell me I was "linda" or "maravilhosa" . . . good luck selling that stuff, buddy. Next time, "sprechen sie Englische", "por favor" and confine your comment to something I actually care about.

For those of you who did not have the pleasure of reading, its gone now.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Good Day

A huge thank you to Bam Bam, for being so kind to think of me on my birthday. Without my love, but certainly, I did not feel alone and all of your comments make me feel more connected to you and to my husband through this invisible net we've cast around each other.

Thanks to Sean, for being the last person to wish me a happy birthday before it was over.

Thanks to all of my other friends (real live ones!) too, who found time to call, e-mail and send their wishes. Makes me feel lucky.

I have hugs saved for all who want them - less than 3 weeks to go.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Poker is a Bitch

So for those of you who haven't already realized that for all the poker skills in the world, there is still a lot of luck involved, I just want to share a hand with you all.

Last week my in-laws were in town. Nana Judy was playing me head's up. She never raised with her big pairs, always called me with random cards when I raised, and caught more straights on the river than any river rat I've met. She loves playing, and its fun to play with her, but frustrating to always get your money in with the best hand and have her suck out.

While we're playing, Son #2 wants to play. So we divide up the chips, and deal a hand. I'm dealt pocket 4s. I raise 4x the blind. Son #2 is to my left and calls (he's 5 - he doesn't know what he's doing). Nana Judy has something random (AGAIN) like K9 offsuit and calls. Flop comes out 10 - 3 - 2, or something like that. I go all in. Son #2 calls (he's 5 -he doesn't know what he's doing). Nana Judy calls. We all turn over. Son #2 has 10-7 offsuit and wins with his pair of 10s and takes us both out.

Strategy is worthless when the opponent can't do addition, much less pot odds.

Last night, he reminded me that he won poker.

He's competitive - he's my son.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

Tomorrow is the big 39. Today, since it was the last day my in-laws were here, they elected to celebrate my birthday a day early.

Their gift was a fabulous gift card to one of our favorite restaurants - to be shared when my love returns. Salty's awaits us, baby!

Nana Judy (who kicked my ass in heads-up poker last night when she ignored my monster raises with my pocket kings, thought her pair of 3s with her 3-2 offsuit might be good, and went all in with me, only to watch the board go runner runner to give her a straight, 6-2) took the kids shopping and bought me a beautiful freshwater pearl arm cuff.

And my sweetheart had enlisted the help of a secret shopper to buy me a beautiful new coat. I know this might not seem romantic, but I have been looking for one for the past year. I keep putting it off because they are expensive. He keeps chiding me and telling me to spend the money. So now I own this beautiful black angora blend winter jacket that looks so elegant and I can hear his voice telling me to just get it. I broke down in tears. Still crying.

I had a beautiful birthday with family - just one person was missing.

Come home, Dr.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Another One!

Watching the clock tick down to a fabulouse 9-1 record. You're beautiful Favre!

Good win to the Vikes . . . but won't be enough to catch us - you'll be looking at our beautiful green behinds for the rest of the season!

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sucker for These Things

Thanks, IT. I thought I would be someone more romantic than the Godfather. Who are the rest of you?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Its Been 5 Days . . .

I apologize. I feel like I'm doggy-paddling in the big pool of life, lately. I haven't made much progress across the pool, and my arms are getting tired.
  • Work is piling up all around me. Combination of my busy schedule and some client delays which all seem to be resolving themselves NOW.
  • I contracted a massive cold. So not only did I have sniffles over my business trip the last two days, but by the time I got on the flight last night to come home, my sinus were packed and I thought my head would pop off on descent.
  • Said flight was delayed last night, so the decongestant I took started to kick in too early and I was in a coma on the plane. As such, I slept in the same position for over 2 hours without moving - my muscles locked up and I was stiff and sore on landing.
  • I sat next to some hot guy on the flight. I'm married to a hot guy, but not above talking to other hot guys when given the chance. However, as a result of said decongestant-induced coma, I did not have an opportunity to speak with said hot guy.
On the positive side, the kids are having a great time with the grandparents, who flew in to help. And my training was beneficial in terms of what I learned and the individuals that I met who are experts in this area of accounting, so I have a whole new resource group to go to. And today I did get my partnership application in my e-mail, so on to step two in this long, long promotion process.

I can't wait to unwind in Vegas for 48 hours!

See you there.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

It Could Be Worse . . .

34-0. Shut out on the Frozen Tundra.

It could be worse Drizz . . . I could have insisted the loser of the bet wear the appropriate headgear as well.

So will it be a classic green and gold T-shirt? I could bring my commemorative Packer's Superbowl shirt to share. Don't forget to look pretty Sunday morning for the picture.

Thanks for being a good sport and acknowledging a good game on your blog.

Respectfully submitted (ok, I did the endzone dance, before hitting "publish"),

The Wife

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I Hate The Bubble

So Pokerstars gave me a free $5 to entice me to play some money games and make a deposit. I've been milking that $5 for a few weeks now.

Last night I played a $1.00 + $.20 NLHE multitable tourney - 45 players. Top 7 get paid. I was being pretty conservative and was able to keep myself in the top 9 for most of the game, often hovering around the 5 or 6 mark.

We got down to one table of 9 players. 2 were substantially below me - I was about 5 or 7 at this point. One guy (not on the bubble) goes all in - both of the low stacks call. I am out of that pot so fast, you could see those little dust trails like Speedy Gonzales used to make. I'm thinking I couldn't have asked for a better strategy to help me win.

All the cards flop over - all in guy has A5 suited - other guys have junk. Flop comes 245 - giving all in top pair. I think we're all going home with some money now. Turn is a 3 - now he has a straight! River . . . is a 6. They all split the pot.

Needless to say, as the blinds go up to $1,200 and your stack is only $4,000 - just a couple spins around the board and dead cards - I chose K9 suited to play with and ran up against pocket Qs.

Just call me "Bubble" girl.

I hate this game.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Now Comes the Waiting

For those interested, the interview went well. But unlike most other interviews, the lag time between the start of this process and the end result is ENORMOUS.

Hopefully, by the time DrChako returns, I'll know. Now I have more things to wait for.

But given that its a long-term goal, I'm trying to convince myself that this is ok.

Until then, I focus on short-term goals, like:
  • Getting through this week
  • Watching the Packers whomp some purple behind on Sunday
  • Seeing my in-laws (yes, I actually like them) next week
  • Thanksgiving (I love turkey - and days off) with my friend Jen
  • VEGAS!
  • Seeing my family in December (4 days is the perfect amount of time to love them without tiring of them)
  • Having the last two weeks of December off
  • DrChako reaching the 50% mark on his tour

Share your favorite short term goals with me and we'll toast them in December, bloggers.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Wish Me Luck . . .

So my suit is laid out. My boarding passes printed. My driver arranged at the airport. Phone is charging. I'm about to shave my legs and head to bed.

4:00 a.m. will come early, but that's the time I need to be up to catch my flight to San Fran for my interview. Interviewing to be, as my au pair puts it, "The Man". Or in this case, The Woman.

Reminds me of that phone commercial with the executive saying he's "sticking it to 'The Man'" and his lackey says "Uh, sir, you are The Man. So you're sticking it to yourself?"

It might be good to be "The Man". It will take a long time to find out, but this is step one.

Wish me luck. My husband wants a Ferrari. I want to retire early. Becoming "The Man" might make those two goals NOT mutually exclusive.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Monday, November 5, 2007

People are Weird

Sunday was the au pair's day off. She left to go shopping with a new friend. Came back 30 minutes later. Son #1 comes into my room.

"Mom, T is crying in her room."

I'm touched that my kids care enough to be observant. I go to her room. Apparently the friend, a Brazilian woman who has lived here for 10 years, accused T of trying to still her boyfriend by talking to him while the woman was still getting ready. According to the au pair, the conversation was limited to her impressions of Seattle, theater, and daylight savings time. In the kitchen of the woman's house.

She had told me before this friend had asked T not to wear her exercise clothes to her house to tempt her boyfriend. The woman told T that you don't talk to American women's boyfriends or husbands. T did not understand and told her that she has talked to DrChako many times and was even in the house alone with him before. Her "friend" said that was unacceptable.

Now, she's a beautiful 22 year old girl. If you're a man and can't see that to some extent, you are dead. And she does wear exercise clothes (tank tops and leggings) a lot. I guess I've never seen it as provocative, although they are very figure revealing, naturally. It looks out of place, in a way - I've never said anything as I figure she'll one day figure out that the rest of the Seattle area schleps around in jeans and polar fleece rather than spandex.

Her comment about the boyfriend? "He's old." Which probably means he's over 40. So I'm pretty sure she had no designs on him, as 40 is about as close to death as she knows. Anyway, she cried and cried and said she doesn't understand jealousy.

Oh well. Good thing I stuck my husband in the desert where he'll be safe from the sneaky wiles of a spandex-covered Brazilian.


The positive side of this story? My oldest son, who can kind of test her now and then, was extra kind, gave her hugs to make her feel better, and stayed out of her way. Oh, and last nigh, when we were deciding on dinner, he suggested Thai (which we like and she hates), but he said "We can promise her that if she doesn't find something she likes, we'll make her a sandwich when she comes home." From a 10-year old, that's thoughtful.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Venetian, Here I Come

Yes, folks, its official. Booked at the Venetian, in the style to which my husband would like me to become accustomed. Be there Friday evening for dinner, and pulling out Sunday in the late afternoon, so I will expect to revel in slightly less than 48 hours of bloggerly love and good times.

For those interested (or not), my beloved Pack chalked up another win today. The only downside (well, besides a few of those interceptions?) was that it wasn't televised in our market so I had to watch the VIKINGS game to get score updates. On a day where they actually pulled one out. Talk about blasphemy.

Oh well. Go Green Bay!

Looking forward to making or extending new friendships - and carrying on DrChako's legacy (except the losing money part).

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Poker and Other Randomness

So in preparation for playing with bloggers in Vegas, I decide to do a few massive freerolls - the 15 minute SNG doesn't replicate what I'll be up against.

I played strong when I had it, waited patiently when I didn't, and only had one lucky break where I pushed with my pocket 7s and got two callers with A-rag and K-rag . . . one who had me outchipped. The king hit the flop, but my third seven hit the river. I ended up out of the money, but 104 out of 12,000 ain't bad. Top 1%, baby!

Still have to make my reservations - the hubby has convinced me to splurge and get a nice room. But a special thanks to Princess Maigrey for the offer of a roommate and others who have given their good advice. I might splurge and try to get close to the Venetian.


Had parent-teacher conference yesterday. Son #1 is doing fine - although has a tendency to make funny comments and outbursts at inappropriate times. Might be a good comedian or actor someday. He thinks in "TV" thoughts anyway. His teacher shared a very funny work of fiction the kids had to write - a dream sequence. His dream was about waking up next to a river and finding he was a beaver. Then it goes on to discuss meeting up with his beaver friends, the conversations they have (such as, "You got any Red Bull?"), and the things they do. At one point, his beaver friend takes him to see "his lady" who is a "hot beaver in a hot spring."

Once I got past my Beavis and Butthead urge to snicker, I said "how did you know the lady beaver was hot?" Reply? "Well, she had long hair, and she came up out of the water and kind of threw her hair back and the water went flying everywhere . . . " Reminiscent of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and the scene with Phoebe Cates, apparently, which he's never seen. That made me laugh even harder.

Funny aside, I made him get his hair cut and now he is totally mad at me for "ruining" his style. Told me he won't be able to concentrate in school because he'll be thinking about all the people laughing at him. Oh, to be 10.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Suck and Resuck . . .

Work has kept me busy, so I haven't had the chance to play poker - free time is family time, etc.

Tonight I got back to it and played a few SNGs. I'm in one of those Beta HellKats on PP - 15 minutes of play, he (or she) who has the most chips wins.

I wait out the stupids, play decently, slow play a couple good ones, and am up to second place. We get heads up and the chip leader has arrived in his current station through some BIG suckouts.

However, we're down to the last two minutes - heads up, at this point, anything plays.

I am dealt A10 in the BB - my opponent raises 5x. Now A10 isn't awesome, but heads up (and given how loose he was playing), I decide to test him. His raise still leaves him in the chip lead - so I re-raise enough so that if he commits and loses, he loses his lead.

He goes over the top again - and this time I call, all-in (I'm pot committed with only 1 minute 30 seconds and 2 BB left).

He turns over K8 unsuited - I'm in the lead, but two live cards in his favor.

Flop comes KKA, giving him 3 kings and me a pair . . . turn is 9 . . . river an A. My full house beats your full house . . . I take the lead, and never give it up.

His comment? "Unreal."

I agree. Unreal that he raised 5x with K8 unsuited when its that close to the end of the tourney - and two decent cards are going to call at that point - you can't check-call your way to a win at this point if you're the short stack. You can, however, if you are the leader.

Unreal that after I re-raised, and put his lead in danger, he decided to go over the top with his crap. You have to know I'm going to call if I can barely make two more blinds.

Unreal that he didn't respect a re-raise from me - the QUEEN of conservative plays.

I typed in "Hmmm. My crap beats your crap."

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Almost Halloween

After that poke at Drizz and the other fans of the NFC North who are not lucky enough to have chosen to cast their lot with the clearly dominant team, I thought I'd return to a nicer time of family postings.

As DrChako mentioned, Son #1 is not interested in trick or treating - he just wants to scare the crap out of some kids. I made him promise that princesses under the age of six are off limits.

Son #2 is ready with his Spiderman costume, complete with muscles.

Tonight we carved pumpkins - Son #1 had to make the vomiting pumpkin. Not too bad.

Wish the Doc was here to share it.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Go Cheeseheads, Volume II

Green Bay. Brett Farve. OT. 82 yards.

'Nuff said. Or . . . not.

How'd the Vikings do last week, Drizz?

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

PS - I had to leave the sports bar early and missed the big OT play - and I had a seat RIGHT in front of the big screen. Does that bite, or what?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Vegas, Baby!

I'm 3/4 of the way there. Here's the checklist so far:
  1. Get convinced. Check. Thanks to the warm welcome of the fine blogger community (IT, Waffles, Astin, TripJax, and the rest of you who all chimed in).
  2. Convince myself. Check. Never taken a trip by myself before, but if I don't do this now, I'm without a break from work and the kids for another 6 months or more.
  3. Get the Dr.'s OK. Check. I knew this one was pretty much a no brainer. He goes to Vegas by himself at least once a year. And he never says "No" to me. Well, except when I considered getting a male au pair. That was a BIG GIANT "NO" in his book. But it is family money funding the trip, so its important that we agree.
  4. Get a babysitter. Check. This was probably the biggest hurdle.
  5. Decide on a bankroll. Check. Small bonus at work (unexpected, the best kind) will pay for the poker.
  6. Practice no limit tourney. Must do more. Been doing the time limited ones, but that's not slogging it out for hours. Must stop playing Omaha, Stud, and all the other variations I've been practicing.
  7. Get tourney details. NEED HELP ON THIS ONE. Where and when would be good. Last time we were there it was at the Imperial Palace . . . same stint? Time on Saturday?
  8. Pick hotel. Again, suggestions would be helpful. Don't want to blow it all on the Wynn (no fun staying in a swanky hotel when you're sleeping alone), but don't want to stay in the No-Tell Motel either . . . thinking Luxor? Paris? Bally's? Something on the strip.
  9. Book the trip. Pending the hotel decision, its nearly done. Getting in sometime around 11 pm. on Friday . . . leaving Sunday afternoon.
  10. Arrange to have someone to meet up with Friday night. Offer yourself up - I can trade some juicy DrChako dirt in exchange companionship. Willing to play low limits, go dancing, or just hang out and watch everyone else donk off their money.
  11. Convince Instant Tragedy to GO. After being the one who helped motivate the groundswell to help convince me, he's waffling.
  12. Pack. To Do. I know you guys are comfortable in the same jeans and underwear for 48 hours - but I'm not. Ladies, do I need to plan for anything other than sitting in the poker room for 2 days? I spend most of my days dressing for either a corporate boardroom or mom errands . . . neither of which is Vegas worthy.

I expect the advice to come POURING in.

Oh, and visit Tragedy's blog and convince him to go!

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Issue Me a New Best Friend

Yesterday, I got some great news at work. Really great - the kind you work a whole career for. The kind you immediately call your best friend about.

Except mine is half a world away without a phone next to his bed.

Stupid war.

They should issue me a new best friend when they deploy my old one.

The Wife

Friday, October 26, 2007

All In . . . All Off!

Poker humor, courtesy of Nana Judy.

Please tell I'm not going to get a call from your condo association some day for inappropriate use of the community center . . .

Completely disrespectfully submitted,

The Wife

A New Day Dawns . . .

In stark contrast to yesterday, the sun was shining bright today.

Son #2 greeted me with a pleasant smile this morning as he slipped into the still warm spot in my bed that I had vacated while he watched me pick out jewelry to wear to work.

Son #1 was dressed and ready for breakfast by the time I walked out of the house and was pleasant. He found his shoes. I asked him to look for his lost jacket in lost and found. He cheerfully agreed.

My housekeeper was there - she makes everything cleaner and better.

The kids ate breakfast peacefully - my little guy thanked the au pair for cleaning up after him. When he was frustrated that she asked him to brush his teeth, he didn't scream and yell - he came over to whisper to me that "she does it 'wrong'" . . . meaning that I'm a stickler for brushing teeth at night, but in the mornings, since the kids usually had breakfast at daycare, I didn't make them brush again. He didn't even protest when I said it was probably a good idea.

Traffic was reasonable - I was at work in less than 45 minutes.

I'm waiting for the bomb to drop.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mean Mom

The last thing I did as I walked out of the house today was yell at my kids.

I hate starting my day like that. I'm a hugs and kisses mom. But today, the littlest one was whining at the au pair (he's in the "Stop! I can do it." mode for EVERYTHING). And the oldest one:
  1. Couldn't find his jacket. Swore he wore it home. After much cajoling, realized he took it off at recess and left it on the playground - 2 days ago. This is about the 20th jacket I've purchased for him in the three years we've lived here. I told him he owes me $20 to go buy a new one.
  2. Couldn't find his shoes and asked me where they were. By the time I got home from work last night, he was the shoeless wonder. And he has a habit of taking them off in completely random places all over the house (its a big house). But he still thinks my magic mom radar can locate them.
  3. Couldn't find his library book. I reminded him he laid it down in the dining room. He fought with me and told me he didn't. I found it in the dining room.
  4. Walked away from me when I asked him to come. Swears it was just to look for his stuff, but he's starting to get defiant.

And this morning was a continuation of last night where he was razzing his little brother unmercifully, and caused him to hang up on the good Dr., who was calling in for his nightly call. I mean, the man is calling from halfway around the world and this kid doesn't have the sense to know that the last thing he wants to do is listing to Son #1 making Son #2 cry.

I lost it. I told him his lack of responsibility was really starting to make me angry and that if he didn't improve his "first response" time when I asked him to do something, there would be consequences.

All of which made me cranky, late to the office, and feeling like a mean mom.

So there you have it - comment only if you have sympathy or advice - I already know I was a bitch.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mrs. Chako Meets DrChako - The First Date

So my friend Sean suggested I share some of my favorite moments with my husband. As our relationship has been filled with numerous comical moments, I thought I would share our first date story.

I'll skip the lead up - it involves him taking 4 months to even ask me out, me having to force his hand, then not knowing if it was really a date (we went with two other people who weren't dating and were mutual friends), having a long protracted conversation with my roommate about who she was interested in (DrChako or the friend) and how we would discern who was interested in each of us (if either one of them was interested that way, at all) . . . I know for a fact the conversation with the men was probably more along the lines of "I think the blonde is hot - you good with the brunette?" End of discussion.

So we decide to see a movie and the good Dr. is wise enough to force our hands - he jumps in the back seat of the car (his friend is driving), leaving the choice of seating arrangements up to us. I climb in the back with him (making my choice clear, but still not sure if that's the direction he was heading), and we head to the movies. The men were gentlemen and bought our movie tickets. However, I'm still not sure if its a date or not, and I want to be gracious and give him an opening to just be friends, if that is his preference.

So we get to the concession stand and order food. Its loud and crowded and we're having to talk loud to be heard. The cashier smiles and says "that will be $X." DrChako starts to pull out money and I say "No, no. You got the tickets - I'll get the snacks." He smiles and says, "Put your money away - I've got it." I smile back and say "No, really - my treat." The crowd is now piling up behind us, waiting for us to finish this transaction. The chatter is making it hard for us to hear each other.

"You know," he says loudly, to overcome the noise in the lobby, "if you pay for that . . . "

(At this point, for whatever reason, there is a moment of silence in the lobby. Kind of like that old EF Hutton commercial ("when EF Hutton talks, people listen"))

. . . "I'll feel obligated to go to bed with you."

I managed to contain my surprise. I'm no prude, but this was a FIRST date. The lobby is stunned into silence, as they look from my face to his and back again, like it's the final match at Wimbledon. Over his should, I see his buddy, Dr. S., and his eyes are wide with shock. I look back at DrChako, and I see the red creeping up his neck and over his ears. For those of you who have the privilege of knowing my husband, you will know that when he is tremendously embarrassed (which can happen easily), his ears turn a beautiful shade of crimson.

I slid my money across the counter to the cashier.

The lobby cheered.

Editors postscript:

Since some of my readers are poker players, would that story be funnier if I ended it by saying "I pushed all-in. He called." ?