Haley's Poker Blog

No bad beats, but still a poker blog... hence the anguish.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tagged, Eh?

Thanks a lot, Falstaff. ;-) I don't mind too much, and though I'm personally private by nature I'll share a few random memories and thoughts.

1) My grandparents came from opposite sides of the tracks, literally. (I loved all of them.) My paternal grandfather was a railroad engineer who held a reasonably well-paying and steady job throughout the Depression --- his own first railroad work involved the building of the original railroad lines through Montana two decades earlier. My maternal grandparents always struggled, stuck on the other side of the Great Depression coin. But rich or poor, both sides shared. I remember my maternal grandmother saving up the pennies she'd find on the street on her walks, and putting them into a rubber-banded, reused envelope for my sister and I to split. We'd snag 15 or 23 cents each that way every month or six weeks. My maternal grandmother and I also played a lot of cards when I was very young, mostly rummy with a little bit of gin rummy mixed in. Once I was old enough to shuffle, I had to do the shuffling for both of us. Her hands were thoroughly crippled for the last two decades of her life with rheumatoid arthritis, and she could barely hold the cards, much less shuffle them.

2) The first time I played poker in a casino for real money was at the Indian casino in Keshena, WI, not even in the same building their rather larger operation resides in today. The only game spread was seven-card stud, and that only at two tables. I played at the cheaper one, and went on a huge rush despite a husband/wife team working from opposite sides of the table. My worst suckout was catching a ten on seventh street to make quad tens, to top an opponent who I had put on a full boat, nines over sumpin', but actually had quad nines. That Keshena operation only lasted for a few months before the state made them shut it down.

3) I love fishing, particularly floating in a small boat snagging bluegills, crappies, and the occasional bass from Northwoods Wisconsin lakes. I've done quite a bit of trout fishing, too, and have caught most everything catchable in a fresh-water, non-Great Lakes sense.

4) When I was very young, I was a freak for... pickled beets. Both of my grandmothers and my mom put them up with stunningly delicious skill. Amazingly, I loved them so much I guess I finally got sick of them, for I've barely had a pickled beet in twenty years.

5) I know exactly how much Brett Favre's first MVP trophy weighs, from personal lugging experience. 56 damn pounds. It came to me and another worker one day, while working with that small Fox Valley sports-consulting firm, to make the emergency drive to Green Bay and pick the trophy up from Deanna, Brett's wife, then help package the thing off to Charlotte for the NFL's Super Bowl MVP show. (We insured it as 'photographic equipment' to get $25,000 of coverage, the most that was available.) Working with Brett a few times I had the chance to have him personalize a football for my dad, which my dad still treasures, even if the ink in the sig has since faded. I gave a signed ball to my sister and her husband on their wedding day, too. (They're both rabid Packer fans, so it was cool.) We joke to this day about the 'leather toaster' gift.

6) I came to writing for my bread money rather late in life after dabbling with it for years. My mother is an unpublished authoress who wrote several novels, which I imagine she has tucked away somewhere to this day. She did have one accepted after unknowingly submitting it to one of those 'vanity press' printers, and we all had a riotous laugh over the $7,000-plus the place wanted to do the first print run. In this day and age she'd be published, in web form at least, but that was a different era. She also become longtime friends with famed British romance authoress Catherine Cookson, who was moved by my mother's fan letter, and even travelled there with my older sister once for an afternoon lunch. My dad hated the long-distance phone bills to Britain; we were never richer than small-town middle class. Catherine was very happy for both me and my mom when I started snagging a few paid writing credits, some twenty years ago. Were that I had more than just idle novelist ambitions. I just don't have the patience for it.

7) I was once very, very good at math. I was on our high school's traveling team which competed in advanced math-problem competitions, and my junior year I took third in my division which was worth the royal sum of $10, IIRC... in the form of a savings bond, of course. I also played on our school's 'High Quiz Bowl' team, being on six shows over three years. So I had this weird competitive edge; if I were a truly mundane, ordinary person, would I be a poker writer?

I'm not going do to any chain-tagging, however. It's a cute idea, but most of the ones I'd pick are probably already in the process of being tagged by others. At the least, y'all got an offbeat post out of me.


Blogger Falstaff said...

Thanks for playing along. I too, was on my high school's math and quiz teams. Lotta geeks in our poker world, methinks.

6:58 AM  

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