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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Great Weekend in Milwaukee with the Family....

What do we do after winning a bunch of money and putting an end to one of the worst runs of 'no decent cashes' in recent memory? Most poker players would likely book a flight to Atlantic City and get after the always-inflated fields at Borgata, right? And true...had this weekend not already been planned several weeks ago...that is likely what I would have been doing.

But we had made plans...and so that is what our weekend plans called for. And honestly, after all the bullshit that Delta and the idiots who work at Gulfport/Biloxi put us through (and that was on our DEPARTURE flight, no telling what awaits us tomorrow when we go home) I have almost ZERO desire to book a flight and hotel and all the other stuff that goes along with planning a poker trip...which will end up only being about a week long. But my buddies Jason Young and Christian 'Da Professional' Iacobellis are counting on me to come...and I keep thinking about last year's Main Event paying out like 1.7 million for first...and more and more I'm thinking, "Damn, I really probably need to get my ass up there."

First of all, I would like to extend my gratitude to the folks at the Beau Rivage for letting me return to their poker premises. As I had mentioned before the dealers did a magnificent job all throughout the event. I managed to get all of the Main Event dealers taken care of through my personal channels, and I appreciated all the ones who sent me thank you messages. Thanks to Johnny Grooms, Ken Lambert and Eric Comer, as well as floor guys like Troy, Amanda, Kurt Dau, and Brannen...who made the trip very pleasant. Even though I pulled a pretty ridiculous 2 for 14 in SNG's, I more than made up for it in tourneys. Obviously. :) And for two or three days I did nothing but return all the messages people sent me, not wanting for one second to be that guy who people said things about like "see, now he gets a big score and he's too cool to respond." I'm pretty paranoid about that stuff.

So here I am in Milwaukee. Squirrel and I started the journey in very annoying style. Getting to GPT 45 minutes before our flight...we get stonewalled by a bitch named Kimberely Williams and an old lady with the poise of a raccoon with a firecracker up her ass. Oh, I would have provided you her name...but when Squirrel made a move for the front desk to get her name (which is something usually only I would pull...very out of character for her...should tell you how pissed off she was) she had disappeared. This was the bitch who had accused Cheryl of not having any common sense.

This on the heels of Cheryl standing in line...being waved over to the kiosk by this bitch...then after going through all the prompts and having it say "You Are Too Late to Check Baggage at Kiosk" she goes into this speech about how we are supposed to be here 2 hours before the flight. Huh!??

"Yes maam, you have to be here 2 hours before the flight because the gate takes control from us 30 minutes before the flight."

Again. HUH????

Squirrel: "So which one is it? I have to be here 2 hours before the flight? Or 30 minutes? And by the way, I was here 45 minutes before my flight...and right now its 35 minutes before my flight...and your telling me I can't check in? And if I have to be here 2 hours before the flight...WHY? So I can sit around for an hour and a half? You make no sense lady."

This is when the common sense BS started. This is when I got involved. This is where the old bitch starts trying to cite some psycho babble bullshit about FAA regulations.

"Really lady? Here is the problem...I am not an idiot. I am not one of these people who travel once or twice a year and will buy whatever crap you are trying to feed them. See, I know that works 98% of the time for ya...but not with me. Why don't you just be honest and tell us you oversold the flight...and don't know what the hell to as a stop gap measure, you are turning away semi-late arriving passengers. Think maybe you're capable of that?"

So...what does she do? What they always do at the freaking airport when they have no clue how to respond.

Old Bitch: "Sir, I am going to get someone who can help you!"

Translation....Old Bitch is calling the cops or security, then telling them I am causing a disturbance. Oh yeah...Ive been down this path before with these ingrates. The last time was when they destroyed my luggage and I simply wanted to know who to go through to get some kind of help. That day, they called the cops, then told them I was making threats. Yeah, I was threatening the lady with calling customer service for Delta and filing a complaint about her.

I have no idea how someone hasn't walked into that airport and shot one of those assholes that works those counters. And they can just cool it with the whole 9/11, terrorism me, terrorists are not plotting to wreak havoc in Biloxi, Mississippi. Give us all a break. That is specifically reserved for hurricanes!

As I find out, these clowns aren't event airline employees, they are contracted as an outside collection of bozos to wake up every day, drive to the airport, and dedicate themselves to making us traveler's lives a living hell!

Well this little bitch Kimberly was seemingly thrilled that she was going to force us to leave for two hours...then come back, just to find out if we were going to get to travel 3 hours later, for a mere $100 change fee...or, if someone out there was stupid enough to purchase those last 5 seats on the plane for $1000+ per ticket. Well, I one-upped her. I called customer service. Spoke to a gal named Wendy Springer out in Seattle, who could not have been nicer or more helpful, and actually gave me hope for this trip. I told her what had happened. She agreed we had been bamboozled. I told her of my numerous issues with this airport. She demanded (okay, heavily encouraged) that I write a letter to Delta explaining all the crap I've endured at this airport. And then she booked us both on that flight...and in an exit row (leg room) and of course waived the $100 change fee. So when we went to check in, that little troll Kimberly could not have been snottier. Upon pulling up our names you could tell by the look on her face that she noticed I had gotten around the $100 fee and had gotten myself booked before she could.

When she handed Squirrel our boarding passes, she said nothing. Cheryl says "Your welcome! Have a nice day!" While going through security Cheryl told the TSA guy what we'd just put up with...and his comment was "Really? You wouldn't believe how many stories I hear about those people down there. I mean...every day its something." So, I guess the problem really isn't so much Delta and the other airlines as it is those misfits of society they find out on the street to check us in and take (and destroy) our baggage.

First leg of the Memphis, perfect. The flight from Memphis? Holy crap. What is a CRJ200 and how did they ever decide to make this a commercial aircraft. First of all, the windows are down around my stomach, so you can forget trying to look out of them. But the real douzy was the 7 inches of leg room, which disappeared when the person in front of me reclined on my lap. OMG OMG OMG OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!! And of course, no Xanax! I started to freak out. And then all of a sudden, the flight waitress saved me..."we have a whole row in back that is unoccupied sir, if you would like to take it."

Oh thank God!!! Granted, it was still two of the smallest seats ever! I got myself contorted into this pretzel-like ball, as though I were going for some super-bonus Twister manuever in attempt to win the game...and by the time we finally arrived in Milwaukee I was ready for a deep-tissue massage.

{as a little side note, there was only one row behind me...then the back of the plane. It was occupied by a young couple. And halfway through my terribly attempted nap, I was awoken by sounds...yeah...THOSE sounds...and after looking between the seats, I see the girl performing fellacio on her boyfriend. I didn't know whether to feel jealous or disgusted.}

Thursday...not sure what we did. Not much. Friday, we took a cool tour boat ride around Milwaukee. It was a beautiful sunny, breezy day. Had never seen Milwaukee before. Its a pretty cool town. The ballpark is gorgeous. We went and had dinner at Ryan Braun's (he plays for the Brewers) and had a decent meal. The food was good. I'm pretty sure our waitress had just finished training last week. Friday night, the projects started to prepare for the big party my sister was having at her house.

She recently adopted a 3 year old who happens to be the little brother of the 9 year old they adopted a few years ago. This kid is maybe the cutest little kid I've ever seen. Obviously I'm not going to get into the whole story of how he came to be in this situation...for fear of losing whichever ones of you still remain. But they were having what amounted to a shower/birthday party for him.

So I mowed her lawn and did most of the work disassembling her patio that had partially washed away, and then rebuilding it. While this was going on Squirrel was whirlwind-cleaning like she does...whipping her way through their whole house. We were all nervous that rain was going to ruin the day, since the forcast was calling for it. Well it did rain last night, and all morning...but then, finally around 1pm, here came the sun. And it was a perfect day. I was the Grill Master...Squirrel played cocktail waitress! Over 50 people showed up... and watching her work the crowd was amazing. I've never seen anyone like her. People she has never met before, and who...odds are, won't ever see again, she managed to immerse herself in conversation with.

She showed the same energy when we had to fly out to Montana a few years ago and get my Grandfather's house (who'd passed away) for sell. Also when we went out to Seattle to help my Mother move into her new house. Where most people in her situation would be backing off of getting involved in all of that, or at least showing the least amount of assertiveness possible...this woman I married just throws 100% of her effort into helping people and getting to know them, and making them feel special.

You know that thing that exists between you, your family, and your significant other? When they are all together, and one of them says something 'snippy' to you...and the family immediately comes to your defense? It's almost the opposite with us...that's how much my family loves my wife. If they hear me snap at her, or say something deemed 'offensive' they jump all over ME! Phewwwww....tough crowd! Kind of makes it hard to sit on the couch watching college football while the Squirrel is flying around the house doing anything and everything to help!

So yeah...I'm pretty exhausted. The party was a success. Lots of gifts were brought. And, I was presented a surprise cake...a 'Congratulations Monkey' cake...with a big dollar bill on it and a monkey in the circle. Very thoughtful. They were all very happy for me. During the Final Table, my family, as well as Squirrel's family, were all huddled around their laptops watching the minute-by-minute updates that Brian was putting up on the Beau Rivage's Facebook page.

I have to say, I am awfully proud of my sister. She is the Athletic Director at Mt. St. Mary's College...which is an all-girl's college. We got to go to her school and meet all her co-workers and see the school. It was very nice. She has done wonders with these kids. I sat here listening to them scream and yell and bang on toys...and wonder "Wow, if Squirrel and I have a kid, am I going to be able to deal with this?" It's tough. I mean... I know that I would never be the kind of father that my step dad was, alcoholic, abusive...just an asshole. I would never strike a kid. I would never allow myself to drink around them to excess. But my problem is the patience to deal with the things that drive me crazy. They say its different when they are yours. I can only hope that is true.

It was nice to see my family. My Mother is always happy to see us. And her and Squirrel have a better relationship than any girl I ever dated. She just loves Cheryl to death. I'm so glad I had the week down there I did, if I hadn't I might have been a total stressed out mess all weekend.

Great day of college football. Alabama beat the crap out of Penn State. Minnesota loses to South Dakota? A 29 pt underdog! Virginia Tech loses to James Madison!?? Very exciting Michigan-Notre Dame game. Florida State got trounced by Oklahoma. And hey, Huskies got a win...I know, Syracuse sucks...but still, its a win. And it was nice!

My football pools have a record number of entries in all four of them. Georgia Tech losing to Kansas whacked a bunch of people from the NCAA Survivor Pool. Tomorrow is Week One of the NFL and I am pretty fired up. Except that I am going to be spending all day flying home. Anxious to see how all four of my Fantasy teams do in Week 1.

In the last 5 days I have played exactly ZERO hands of poker. And I have not missed it one bit. But I know its coming. I have to figure out what I am going to do when I get home tomorrow....Squirrel really wants me to stay home. And part of me wants to. But I feel like I am on a hot streak right now...doing well in Tunica, doing well in Biloxi...and to go up to Borgata and do well there? Damn, I could really put this year of misery to rest. I really, really want to get us out of our rental house and into a house of our own. And eliminate ALL of my remaining credit debt. Those are the two goals...then we can think about trying again to have a baby. One step at a time. Last week was just the first step in this plan...and yeah, it was a great step!

I guess thats about enough. Fear this has gotten too long already. Hope you all have, or had...a great weekend!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

monkey meister...congrads on the beau bonanza....go to borgota...a lot of folks fly to philly and drive...this year from dallas while not non stop I am going on Air tran via atlanta...time wise will be the same and money wise a lot cheaper for the cab fare from philly is nearly 200 bucks each way...ride the wave and get your ass to AC...