Sunday, September 30, 2007

Move over John . . . make room for Edward

Every weekend, it happens . . . the Dr. is not here, so I stay up late and watch romantic movies. Tonight, I watched "The Painted Veil" with Edward Norton and Naomi Watts. Slow-moving, but good, and, of course, sad.

I won't spoil the ending, but Edward is estranged from his wife (but living under the same roof). Most of the movie, I found him a good actor, but not particularly attractive (and purposely so, I think, if you watch the movie).

One night, a little alcohol and discussion come into play to make the two of them see each other in a different light. They go home and as they stand undressing in their separate bedrooms, they lock eyes. She unbuttons her dress and drops it . . . overwhelmed with passion, he rushes towards her and kisses her passionately . . . yada, yada, yada . . . I'm left chewing my sleeve and thinking . . . "Damn, he's hot."

Off to bed . . . hmmmmm . . . John Cusack . . . Edward Norton . . . DrChako . . . so many good choices for dreamland!

Respectfully (?) submitted,

The Wife

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Poker Bravado

As mentioned in a previous post, I'm an amateur player with a tendency to pinch pennies, so unless we're making a special trip to Vegas or something, and given the recent and ridiculous ban on online poker (yes, I'm adhering to it), I don't spend a lot of money on it. But I like to continue to keep up my skills. My Party Poker account is still open, so I play the free money games. I'be been practicing the 15 minute HellKats.

A few rules apply when playing the free HellKat tourneys, if you want to actually practice any skills.

  1. Never play the first hand, even with pocket aces. There are always multiple morons going all-in with whatever is in their hand on the first hand; no matter how many people they take out, you can eventually get their chips in the remaining 14 minutes, 35 seconds.
  2. Never play the second hand heads up against the moron who just went in with 9-3 offsuit and won. Chances are, by dumb luck, he'll win again. Save your money.
  3. Never play the second hand heads up against the person who just won if what they went in with was a monster pocket pair. They are likely only playing monster hands AGAIN.
  4. Someone will always claim they will be the big winner - your goal is to bust them out.

So I was taking a break and playing a free HellKat. Sure enough, we're not even started and some guy, I'll call him DorkBoy1, announces "Big winner. Last game. First place." Now DrChako can attest - I don't generally claim to be the best at anything, but small comments like that bring out the competitor in me. I was already prepared to follow rules 1-3 . . . but after that comment, rule number 4 kicked in hard, and DorkBoy1 was in my sights.

He played out a couple hands . . . actually won a few without any ridiculous play. I sat and waited. Some of the chaff has been knocked off by the time I'm in the blinds again, and I look down at pocket 9s. But by this point, 80% of the table has called the blinds. I gotta make a stand. So I raise to 10x the blind. Ridiculous. But I get two callers, including DorkBoy1. Flop comes 6-9-7, rainbow. Don't like the straight possibility, but trips aren't a bad start. I bet the same amount as my original raise . . . and DorkBoy1 calls. Turn is a 4 - I bet the same amount as my original raise . . . and DorkBoy1 calls. Final card is a J . . . no flush possibility . . . I go all in. DorkBoy1 has me outchipped and calls. And turns over his pocket 4s. "You're going down, Chako Taco," he types.

As a woman, I'm always amused that grown men still use that kind of grade-school naming scheme to try to insult each other. Its either that, or "Homo" . . . either way, total leftovers from when they were 12. And after all, its not like I sucked out with my 9s . . . I played them strong all the way from the start. So I kept plugging and eventually amassed over 70% of the chips at the table. DorkBoy1 busted out before the "money" . . . and I won the round.

I love when a plan comes together.

Thanks for reading . . . and keeping tabs on my far away Doc.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Full Moon Fever

So yesterday was a full moon, according to the Farmer's Almanac. Of course, as I drove home from work, bathed in that wash of eerie blue, I didn't need a stupid book to tell me it was a full moon. Besides, the days events were enough of an indication.

People have attributed all sorts of things to the full moon - interference with radio waves, animals behaving crazy, suicide, . . . and of course werewolves. If the moon creates tides than can move infinite volumes of water all around the globe, there is no doubt in my mind that the phases of the moon in its orbit might affect us somehow.

Yesterday, I felt the effects, but surprisingly, they were all good. I preface that by saying this whole week has been cast in a little cloud of doom. I'm an auditor, and this week, we were subject to . . . well, effectively, an audit. Nothing an auditor hates more than another auditor looking at their audits. So I took yesterday morning off to take our au pair for her driving test. She's a nervous driver, but we hired her to help me with kid drop off and pick up, so she's got to get licensed here. Practicing has been harrowing, at best. Apparently in Brazil, left turns don't yield on green . . . who knew.

So I send her off to drive . . . I get to watch as she parallel parks, and does it in one passable execution . . . whew! But then she's off and I start to get nervous, thinking of her running through stop signs and taking out pedestrians. She came back 30 minutes later - THUMBS UP!!!!! So I'm now officially punting preschool pick up and drop off to her. Then later that afternoon, we get some encouraging news about the status of our audit-audit. I get home that night from work late, but find the kids are bathed, fed, and ready for bed. And the au pair's social security card came in the mail! I wasn't sure I was in the right house at first.

So we're at a new stage . . . one where we miss the Dr. terribly, but day to day, we'll operate at a whole new level.

Come home soon, baby, before the next full moon tips this all over on its end!

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Seriously . . .

I had a clever little post all planned out. About how sometimes, when the moon is full, things converge and it all comes together.

Then I read my husband's blog - all my good offset by evil embodied in a 10-year old who's intent was to see troops just like the good Dr. dead. Makes my day seem petty. I don't even have the heart to post pictures of Hugh Jackman today.

Go read DrChako today and wish him well.

Come back another day to hear about my good coincidences.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Monday, September 24, 2007

Actual Poker Content?

I'm an amateur poker player. I'd like to think I have the brains to figure out the probability theory, the EV, the pot odds . . . after all, I scored a perfect 36 on the math part of the ACT before going to college. And given my earlier stints at acting in college, I think I could master the physical discipline of bluffing, keeping my tells to a minimum, changing up my play, and reading people, if I chose to apply myself.

So why not? Bankroll, people. Not that I couldn't have a bankroll - I have a great job and am married to a man with an even better job who loves to spend money. It's that I couldn't bear to part with my bankroll. And at the end of the day, even the good players have to part with their bankroll now and then. It's the nature of the game. That being said, I can't bear to watch my money go across the table to bad players who get lucky. I harbor grudges - I find myself thinking "I just busted my ass for 50+ hours a week in my office, commuting 2 hours a day, 5 days per week, just to come in here and let your punk-ass, drunk-ass 9-3 offsuit call my raise with my OBVIOUSLY HUGE pockets and go runner-runner for trip 3's to take my hard earned money?" Can't play good poker when you're emotionally attached to the pot.

Why do I play then? Competition. With myself and others (namely, DrChako). Nothing makes me happier than a really good slow play, or a great read on a bluffer. I even love when I have the discipline to lay down a big one and someone else doesn't. And it's pretty cool to have that big stack of chips pushed across the table to you, dribbling little stray chips here and there as it slides closer.

How d0 I balance that love with the bankroll phobia? The occasional trip to Vegas and Party Poker - free money games. It's filled with donkeys and morons night after night, trying to intimidate you for play money. So I switch from the HellKats (15 minute tourneys - good for strategy and time management) to the Omaha Hi-Lo tourneys (I hate the river in Omaha), to the 7 Stud Hi-Lo ring games (where the bulk of my wins have come from). But it's teaching me discipline, and teaching me to switch between games. And my 5,000 play chips are now over 50,000. If only that were real money . . . but then every time I was about to plunk down 250 chips on a Stud game, the accountant in me would say "you know, that's 10 sweaters on sale . . . or nearly 5 massages . . . "

So until they lift the ban on internet poker and I can once again manage my purposely tiny bankroll on PP playing freerolls and $5 1-table Hold 'Em tourneys, you can find me in the free money games, waiting out the first few "all-in" hands and ready to pounce. Come join me when your bankroll needs a rest.

Thanks for being a new reader, Waffles - I'll try to vary my content so it's not too heavy on the "hot men I'm not married to" theme. Hugh Jackman. Say no more.

A shout out to my soldier-hero-husband - hang in there DrChako and come home to me soon. Until then, dreaming only of you. And Hugh. But you already knew that.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Sunday, September 23, 2007

John Cusack can eat crackers in my bed . . .

Now that the Dr. isn't around, I don't sleep as well at night. Empty bed is not so much fun. So I tend to be a TV movie hound . . . staying up and watching whatever is on TNT or whatever channels play those movies that were out 3-7 years ago.

Tonight I watched Serendipity with John Cusack, Jeremy Pivens, and others. As usual, John Cusack plays that average-Joe kinda guy who eventually gets the girl, but not without a lot of pain and agony in between. Total chick-flick, but I liked the movie. He has clearly found his romantic niche - just at the end, when you think all hope is lost, and the girl shows up . . . it was the same feeling I got when I watched him standing on the girl's lawn in "Say Anything" holding that boombox above his head. I just wanted to shout "If you don't take him right now, I will!" There's just something about that man that I find attractive. He's captured the "slightly-vulnerable, cute in a puppy-dog kinda way, but photographs well, want to take him home and take care of him" thing. Its hot.

Him and Edward Norton. Seems like every time I see one of those guys in a movie, I think, "You know, he's kind of hot in an unexpected way." Edward Norton kinda cinched it somewhere between American History X (the dude was smoking hot in a bad-boy way) and that movie with Ben Stiller where he's a priest and falls for Jenna Elfman (Keeping the Faith).

Neither of them has made the "list" yet (topic for another day), but I'll watch them and sigh, any day . . .

'Night all!

The Wife

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Why Mrs. Chako?

So now that my new blog-friend Sean has been kind enough to add me to his list of preferred bloggers, along with my dear hubby and his esteemed poker blogger pals/readers like Falstaff, Alcanthang, and Iggy, among others, I'm going to take one of his suggestions and explain to you why I married the goofball.

Many of you have only known him at the poker table and you know - his poker persona can be alternately annoying, amusing, and perplexing. In fact, he and I have often played poker together, and to be honest, I'd rather not. Somedays, he is downright embarrassing. I'm not sure if his "I'm a badass" routine is worse than his "I'm just your typical nice guy taking a break from it all" routine - why can't he just have a quiet, introverted Barry Greenstein kind of personality at the table?

But I married him before the poker player surfaced - and underneath all that bravado, he's still there . . . so here's the answer to "Why Mrs. Chako?"

  1. It took him four months to ask me out. At first I thought it was because he wasn't interested - when I figured out it was because he was shy, I found it cute.
  2. I managed to embarrass him on our first date (a story for another day), and he still asked me out for a second, even after I accidentally pulled my hand away on his attempt to hold my hand that night.
  3. He has a smile that lights up his whole face - and uses it often. Even when he's trying to take your money or losing his.
  4. He's a true gentleman - always paid for our dates, loves to say "sir" and "ma'am", and opens doors for women. He made my mother and grandmother swoon when he jumped out of the car to open their doors.
  5. He loves watching movies as much as I do.
  6. He wrote me a song for our first Valentine's Day. He recorded it more than three years later and played it as our first dance at our wedding.
  7. He's got brains - he can't turn down a good game of trivia with me, and still loves to try to outsmart me.
  8. He's got magic fingers and a great voice - you should hear him play and sing.
  9. After dating for only six months, he met HALF of my family - 6 aunts and uncles and their spouses, 17 of 21 cousins, and a host of other great aunts and uncles - and STILL asked me to marry him.
  10. He asked my parents' permission to marry me first.
  11. He has yummy chocolate brown eyes - I have blue eyes, and always wanted to marry a dark-haired, dark-eyed man.
  12. I got to introduce him to his first football game - Broncos vs. the 49ers. He got to introduce me to sushi.
  13. With a few Sunday afternoon snuggles on the couch, I convinced him to love the Packers as much as I did.
  14. While the rest of my friends were struggling with their biological clocks and men who were turned off by their interest in having children, the good Dr. called me at work to announce he was ready to be a father. I got him to wait until AFTER we'd gotten engaged and married. He's now given me two beautiful boys - with brown eyes!

Its not an exhaustive list - its only the beginning. It gets longer every year - and well outpaces the list of things that drive me crazy. I'll share that list some other day.

Wish my love well.

I love you, Dr.

The Wife

Friday, September 21, 2007

Super Mom? Or Stupid Mom?

September 18, 2007

So the Dr.’s absence has brought all sort of new and interesting challenges to my life. Some you’d expect (like who do I turn to when I can’t get the lid off a jar of spaghetti sauce?), and others I hadn’t planned on. Like the business trip. This used to be an easy conversation. “Dr.? What’s your schedule like next Thursday? I need to be in San Fran overnight – you have kid duty until Friday evening.”

We have an au pair right now, but work rules keep her from working more than 10 hours per day; hence, no overnights. So when the important business meeting comes up? EVERYONE GOES. Yes folks, last weekend I packed up two kids, an au pair who’s been in country less than 30 days, and we all headed out for a long weekend with friends and family, followed by two days of business while she dragged DrChako’s offspring around.

As I am drafting this post, I look like the Working Mother poster child. I’m on a flight from Denver, still wearing my suit from a business meeting, one child sleeping on my lap while I work on my laptop, the other child in the row ahead of me chatting animatedly with Maureen, the pediatric nurse, while our au pair catches up on sleep. Everything under control, right?

Except I’m exhausted. Between translating English, begging my children to be good, trying to entertain our au pair and sight-see with her, and trying to get all my work done, book-ended by 7-8 hours in airports or airplanes, I’m beginning to think I was crazy to attempt this. In fact I’m pretty sure I’m crazy. I think I could have done this better with the Dr.’s help – or I could have just gone by myself and let him deal with the kid things.

On the bright side, the Dr. provided me an Excel spreadsheet that calculates his remaining tour of duty – he’s completed 10% of his expected time! Whoever created this thing must have been married to an accountant – he knew I’d appreciate something like that.

Now, I’m pretty sure there is something I need to account for.

Keep sending comments and good wishes – the Dr. is still in good spirits and we’d like to keep him that way.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Rewind, please . . .

So for those of you who might be reading for the first time, I'm guessing that first post might have left you going "Huh? Who the heck is this chick and why is she writing?"

I find blogging to be a very interesting form of writing. It's random strings of thought put down for all the world to see. Some of us are very good at stringing this randomness into something entertaining and captivating . . . some of us are not. It's a format my father-in-law is not the biggest fan of. He's a traditional writer: make an outline, sketch out the plot, fill in the story, edit the hell out of it. So blogging isn't really his thing, as even the best blogging tends to lead to a little "huh?" sometimes.

So for those of you who don't know the history, here is the condensed version. The future Mrs. Chako (that's me, by the way, except I don't know it yet) meets Dr. Chako . . . Dr. Chako takes a long time to ask her out . . . they eventually get married . . . have two kids . . . he starts a blog about poker and life . . . she spends her time taking pokes at him in the blog comment section (their life and love is a constant friendly competition). Almost one month ago, Dr. Chako hugged and kissed everyone at the airport, picked up two rucksacks, and headed off to the big sandbox across the ocean.

Temporarily husbandless, I started posting on his blog, keeping his loyal readers up to date. He's on the ground in Iraq now and up and posting at his own blog again, so I figured I'd turn the reins back over to him. But I've gotten attached to this forum - keeps my mind off raising two kids by myself while trying to manage a career and household. Now you can join my random musings . . . see how well I hold it together while he serves our country well.

So maybe I'll acquire a few readers, a few friends, and a few ideas for how to keep from going crazy without my other half. Feel free to share your thoughts in my comments anytime.

A special plug to all those other military spouses who are sharing this deployment experience with me - the deployment is a hard gig, but this keeping the home fires burning gig isn't exactly a piece of cake - may your loved ones be safe and come home to you soon.

As my 10-year old says . . . . "Peace out."

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Losing My Blogger Virginity

Ok, the title of this post is a little misleading, given that I've co-opted DrChako's blog for a few weeks now. But technically, this is my FIRST official blog of my own. I figured since the good Dr. was now posting regularly, I didn't want to fight for space with him.

Besides, I don't have nearly as many poker stories as he does (or at least that involve raising from middle position with 5-6 suited . . . and yes, dear, I know that's probably not the EXACT hand you'd play like that with), and while some of his readers have diligently read AND commented on my posts (thank you Sean), I figure at some point they just want stories of the desert or donkeys he plays poker with.

Why "The Wife"? I'm a summa cum laude graduate with a Masters degree and a 15-year career and have out-earned my husband in more years than the reverse. Certainly I could have something more auspicious and independent as my blog identity. But what started out as my semi-anonymous moniker in response to my husbands variety of blog posts . . . well, it's just started to fit. Especially in this phase of my life. I have to play a hundred roles each day, but at the end of the day, while DrChako is serving our country as requested, the role that's important to him is "The Wife." She's the one who's making sure that the kids are fed and off to school; that the dogs get fed and bathed; that the bills get paid and the house gets taken care of; that gets Dad his medicine; that the Dr. has access to Safeguard soap and dental floss; that makes sure life here in Federal Way continues to tick while he's half a world away. That's me. I'm lots of things, but at the end of our lives, regardless of what else I do, I'll still be "The Wife."

So join me in my new blog adventure. Maybe you're a wife too. Or you want one, and want to figure out why we think the way we think. Or you'd like to pick a fight with one, just not your own, because you like your bed too much. Maybe you just want a little dirt on DrChako. Or maybe you're just here to give a little support to me while I figure out how to do it all without his help. Either way, tune in to find out what's rolling around in this wife's head . . .

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife