Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Proposition Wager

If you've attended one of my home games, you are aware of one of its growing traditions: The Classic Rock Chanel Prop Bet

The rules are quite simple and the game is so unobtrusive that running this game during a poker night can only add to the fun.

In a nutshell, while we listen to the digital cable classic rock channel, each player that wants to play picks a classic rock song and artist. Whoever's artist plays first wins the prop bet from the other players. If you get the song correct too (a rarity, but it does happen), you get paid the bonus bet. In many cases, we'll either play $2/$5 or $1/$3 for the artist/song.

The rules also stipulate that you can only change your pick once someone wins. We generally keep a white board tally of people's choices. Last weekend in Asheville, at Lee Jones' homegame, I got crushed. I was playing my choices and as Otis' surrogate and neither of us hit all night. So for each prop bet, I was paying double. The only thing I managed to win was a side bet with Lee that either The James Gang or Joe Walsh would play before The Eagles. I should've got some odds, but I was so confident I'd win, I took a 1:1 payoff.

Last night, nearing the end of a Gucci Rick homegame, Otis opened the door for some prop betting, something we don't normally do there. Pretty much the same game, but instead of an artist/song structure, it was artist only. But the stakes were $20. Otis, Broc, and TheMark each opted in with Meatloaf, Credence, and Led Zeppelin respectively. At nearly the last minute, I picked Steve Miller Band since that's almost a gimme.

Very next song: The Joker. Ship it. $60 win.

TheMark, disillusioned with the game, opted to discontinue playing. I told him that he should take a risk and pick Edgar Winter. Next song, Free Ride. TheMark just hung his head and played with his iPhone. Well, the obvious choice for me there, after Broc and Otis held strong with their original picks, was to leverage the Led Zeppelin pick from TheMark.

A few songs later - Dazed and Confused. Ship it. $40 more.

Broc then bailed and now it was only me and Otis. Well, you know what happened. Otis switched to Boston, and that opened the door for me to make the tilt pick of Meatloaf myself.

Unfortunately, the game broke at about 2:15 and we went home. I left before Otis, but apparently not before Meatloaf hit the TV. A few more hands and I'd have pulled off the trifecta.

Word on the street is that Falstaff is running hot at this game too. There's a showdown coming, I can feel it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hello, It's Me

Well then.

I've not posted in quite some time. Being too lazy to look at my archives, this may be the longest post drought of my blogging "career." Things have changed for me in the past few weeks. We'll get into that in a moment.

First off, Mastadon weekend was everything it should have been. You may have seen me parading around in videos or pics; it was obvious I had a good time. To everyone that managed to be a part of it, no matter how small, thanks for making it as fun as it was. I'd do it again in a split second.

Not soon after that weekend, in fact the very next week, I received some less than flattering feedback concerning my performance at my job. It was rather harsh. The worst in about 15 years since I was but a young buck out of school. Was it fair? Well, that's not for me to say. Other co-workers who know the reality of it say it wasn't, but that is immaterial after the fact. Life isn't fair, I think we all know that.

If anything good was going to come of it, then it would have to be me to make it that way. I really took an honest look at myself and realized a very important fact about myself. I get frustrated at the drop of a hat and wear my frustration on my sleeve. It's as if I expect those around me to register my frustration and change their ways. That's downright stupid. In fact, it's a bit arrogant. And that's not the adjective I want associated with me, for when I see it in others, it's disgraceful.

There's no doubt I was frustrated at work. Several decisions made by others around me seemed obviously incorrect to me and my reaction was far from ideal. It's just not a good idea to show your "support" by reacting in a negative way. All that was brought home to me during my review, the severity of which really took me by surprise. It made me think real hard about myself and I came to a few conclusions that even have effected my home life.

Let me give you a little example.

MrsBlood and I were leaving for my son's gymnastics meet, an overnight stay down in Columbia. As it so happens quite frequently, just as we're pulling out of the driveway, MrsBlood asks me to stop the car because she's forgotten the directions. I obliged and she quickly returned to the car, saying "Thanks for not getting mad at me." I told her that my getting mad at her the previous ten times didn't prevent her from forgetting this time.

And that's really what it comes down to. Getting mad, getting frustrated - it doesn't help matters at all. It's counterproductive. But unfortunately for me, it's been my gut, initial reaction to so many things at work and at home that it's made me a worse person.

So for the past three weeks, I've tried to improve. It's amazing how many times per day I catch myself about to think or say something negative about something. I have no reason on this Earth to be negative. None whatsoever. Otis blogs about being a lucky guy to have the life he has and it's the same way for me. I love my wife (and she's getting hotter by the day), I love my kids (they're perfect to me), but it's been apparent that for a while I didn't feel the same about myself.

I can tie all this into poker somehow, because the above was basically a long description of me being on an ever-increasing amount of life-tilt for no real reason. It's taking effort to look at things constructively rather than destructively, but I believe I'm getting better at it. There's no doubt my poker results are correlating well with the change I've made. My only hopes is that I can continue to improve and make it a more permanent part of my behavior.

I may be beating myself up over something small and insignificant, but I really don't think I have anything to lose by trying to be a better person as a result, even if the impetus was unjust.

And with that, I'll be back to blogging.