Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Remembering Charlie (One Year Later)

Being a poker blogger of such extremes, it is often that the positive things I write get overlooked, and the negatives get blown way out of proportion. I think that is probably human, and normal, for what that is worth.

I, myself, have a tendency to do this. I'll go to a blog which posts hand histories all the time, and over time, slowly, my mind will start to convince me that the blog is a "hand history" blog, and nothing more, even if that is far from the truth.

So sometimes it seems to others that my site is a ranting, raving, negative site. Oh, that part is true. Okay, let me change that. People assume that I never say anything positive. Never meaning 'not one time.' Which is obviously not true.

Some of the comments which stuck out in my mind that I received in the past week from e-mail, IM, and LJ, as well as on other poker blogs, are as follows:

"Is she the Queen of Blogging and decides what is worthy and by whom it should be

Um, no. I was mostly reprimanding myself for the stupid thoughts I was having regarding blogging things that I would suck at. And it also bites that people who blog live tourneys get paid so little, for so much work. I tried that shtick back in 2004 and it was not a great experience. The best of the best are treated like utter shite (no, I wasn't the best. I am thinking of Andy Glaser and Pauly here). TV uses and discards the other forms of media at a festival, without even so much as a reach around.

"Equating honesty with name calling is simply not correct. Being rude doesn't earn anyone a badge of "most honest," it just makes them rude."

The person I call the most names is myself. Yeah, maybe I have MPD, but I think I'm allowed to call myself a moron if I want. I am almost never as hard on anyone else as I am on myself.

Now, before I start sounding all Kumbaya and hugging trees, no, I am not a nice person. I am not trying to say, "Hey, I'm not nice, and you know what, admitting that makes it okay!" No, it doesn't make it okay. No, that doesn't excuse my behavior. I am out of line many times, and not just towards myself, but towards others. It doesn't make it okay that I admit it, it doesn't make it okay that I continue it, it doesn't make it okay that I don't get a lobotomy and shock therapy, it in no way makes me a better person (that I don't try to hide it, that I admit it). I am not proud that I am unable to get along socially and be nicey-nice. It is not a badge of honor to be a hermit and an outcast. I am not proud of my inability not to go ape whenever I shop for a new car and have to face these slick, lying, snake-oil salesmen.

I may attempt to explain my behavior, to over-explain what I said on my blog, and why I said it, but in no way do I feel that earns me a free pass. I am just as guilty as anyone else who refuses to shut their big, fat mouth. We gets lots of heats, we deserves what we gets.

"Felicia hasn't said anything nice about anything or anyone since I started blogging!"

This guy almost got me. I was actually considering for a nano-second to go back through my 400 posts and point out all of the times I was complimentary. What a jokester. Then I realized that he just reads what he wants to read. Absolutes are dangerous. Words like always and never usually indicate that a person simply makes up something to see in between the lines, or that the part of their brain that could absorb something good simply refuses to see it. And then they start up with the "always" and "never" type absolutes (YES, I do this, too! I freely admit it).

But in honor of this new friend of mine (haha), I will go back full circle to the start of this post. Which is that to read what one wants to read, instead of what is actually being said, is human, and probably pretty darned normal.

While I am constantly praising certain sites (Two Plus Two), blogs, players, writers or posts, it tends to get overshadowed by my rants. Which is really too bad, because there are some people out there who deserve to be the center of attention on my site, instead of relegated to the back pages, since readers who want to find hate tend to find ONLY hate.

So this is a post dedicated to them, and I will point out some of them for you, so that you can see what utter awesomeness I am talking about.
Drizz and I like to poke fun at each other. It's weird, because if people are born with handicaps, or develop them later, society at large tends to think the PC thing is to just ignore it. Don't speak about it, don't ask about it, and certainly don't make fun of it. Then, some of those same people have a gimp-fest in their own homes, making fun of the handicapped in private, where they won't get burned at the stake.

I tend to be pretty public about my deformities. Some are on the inside (no stomach, no right kidney, etc) and the obvious one on the outside (no boobs). Drizz is also candid, and likes the teasing if the person is for real, and not secretly trying to put him down. That dude is as screwed up as I am, and we both like to laugh about it, so please make fun of us in public, or do some parodies on your blog, because we both tend to laugh at handicaps. See his most recent, hilarious post.I love you, Dave, you're the best!
A newbie on the scene, she tends to come off a lot like me. I dearly hope to God she is just developing her style, and not really as screwed up as I am.

Today she had a great post about the mind trick we all must learn when gambling..."chips" aren't money. They are ammunition, bullets for our trade.
Mason is my friend. Mason and I are a lot alike in some respects. The things I love about him, also drive me batty. He is a lot like Glenn in the math-is-anal department. But I love Glenn and wouldn't change him for the world. Ditto with Mason.

Actually, Mason, David, Ray and Dr. Al have all be hugely supportive of me for years. I love all of them. I also love hundreds of posters on Two Plus Two. Yeah, LOVE is a big word for me. I don't throw it around often, but today I'm feeling generous. There are many psychologists and psychiatrists on Two Plus Two who genuinely go around trying to help people on the forum. They give, give, give and never stop.

Like any other thing in life, you have to take the bad with the good (oh, jeez, here we go again with "you." By "you" I mean me and/or we. Please don't write me hate mail accusing me of telling you how you have to read Two Plus Two, lol).

Two Plus Two is like family to me. Sure, just like in real life and in the blogosphere, most people hate me there. It is natural, I think. Very few people like a ball's-out person.
Some of the original poker bloggers are my friends, heroes and human beings I aspire to be. Eva is fantastic. She truly remembers the good as well as the bad. She is the only person who is still thanking me years later for giving her some tips on Stud games (Stud, Stud 8, Razz) and O8. Jeez, all I said was that a pair of nines are no good in O8 ;)
My best friends in poker are the top tourney players. You may not have seen them all on TV, most of them couldn't care less if they made the TV table, they just want to win. For them, poker is a job, and naturally the more times you hit the final table, the more successful you are, in general.

As if I needed to explain myself further, why these guys are my heroes, on top of everything else, they are wonderful, giving human beings.

New readers may not understand the link I have with them, so I'll provide a little hint to something that happened last year.

What they did for the life of an unknown, low-limit player during his last two weeks was something I have never experienced before. Many people who are around natural (or non-natural) disasters have gone through this type of heroism. I hadn't gone through anything like this until last summer. The extremes that these players went through for a man named Charlie were extraordinary, given the pressures of the World Series of Poker and playing 12-20 hours of straight poker per day, just to get by.

The top players aren't my friends because they are "on TV" or "famous." I couldn't care less about that type of celebrity. They are my friends because they treat me as a peer and went to huge efforts last year in order to comfort someone they didn't even know.

I love you, guys.
Glenn is obviously my biggest hero. He puts up with my obtuseness every, single day. He barely ever complains. Of course, growing up with a nazi mother probably prepared him for the hell which is Felicia, but still, he is a kind, generous, loving man.

Felicia :)