Illusions of someday, casting a golden light; no dress rehearsal - this is our life
Fair warning would probably include something like: limited (if any) poker content ahead
And also: moments of existential wistfulness included
And then: subtleties creating important distinctions between narcissistic self-pity and considered introspection transpire
Then lastly: unseemly long read ahead with no links first time through since I’m writing with limited time from work. I will fix that tonight, since I happen to think links look kewl.
So I bit off more than I could chew there last time around, but what else is new about my foray into this particular ‘sphere. I could have been a little more honest from the onset though. Long before that monstrosity concluded, I knew I wouldn’t be coming back for another serious go at things until this weekend. There’s been too much pressurized weather churning across the landscape of the other life, and this week it looked to break with rain. A smarter man would have read the signs and held back from playing a game designed to prey on the unfocused and the temporarily unloved by Chance. I qualified on both accounts this week, but bull-headedly pushed on, overvaluing limited successes and dismissing that pesky little voice some call insight. It turns out some of us are not well designed to play through.
Work has been grinding to a close with an attendant, almost gossamer ambivalence I have never before known in my life as a physician. It’s a strange thing to walk away from a place where you are well known and well liked. I spent eight years learning how to be a doctor here at Metro, and as a result have ended up on first name basis with myriad nurses, clinical assistants, cleaners who treat me like someone they’ve had a part in shaping. Which, of course they have. This is an unusual hospital, with a team concept that goes all the way through from the Chairman of Medicine to the night staff on the telemetry services. Having been an intern, medicine resident, cardiology fellow, electrophysiology fellow and lastly a staff physician at Metro has been an entirely contained and complete experience. No, I never got to see how others do things. But I did get to learn how we do things from the nuts and bolts beginnings to our overall strategic arc. And, although incredibly stressful and frustrating at times, it was a more of an accomplishment than an ordeal.
So why am I leaving? Well, you guys have heard me rattle on about that one. Time to get closer to my most beloved home, T.O. Once a Canadian lad, exiled from hearth and home… well maybe that crossed the line into narcissistic self-pity, so I’ll retreat somewhat upon the shores of Lake Ontario as it were. [Any of you other canucks recognize that tune? I heard it once in grade 3 and the melody has stayed with me ever since.]
But that’s pretty much it. I walk away from a job in academic medicine; a job that was the whole point of my efforts for years, in order to give the kids their grandparents, and me a chance to spend more time with my family and the friends I have abandoned for far too long under the self-righteous banner: I Am in Training. I missed weddings, births, a funeral, and every kind of get together that nourishes friendship over the long haul. And I did so with the complete confidence I was right to do so, since the training came first. But the more time I spent with better adjusted colleagues in the last few years, the more I came to see the point I had missed for many years: that training was not an end unto itself, it was not a thing at all – it was merely a process. When a process completes itself and is done, you had better have actual realities to look to for both meaning and purpose.
And thankfully, I did get one thing right in that time. I met a good girl in medical school in the Caribbean (long story), married her, and we had three kids while living the lives of young doctors very much in love. That is not to say we didn’t blow doors down screaming at each other over the years, when the individual stressors we’ve had to wrestle overwhelmed us instead. Indeed we have done so recently, as I have been trying to sort my muddled head out, and she dealt with bringing to close a job she loves for no reason other than, I asked her to. Since the kids, the aural violences we do to each other have become fewer and farther between, but remain a part of the dynamic equilibrium our shared space maintains. It is to be expected, I suppose, when you marry a woman who knows what she wants and what she is worth, and when you yourself are a Type A pain-in-the-ass with a highly inflated sense of self-worth. I truthfully wouldn’t have it any other way.
Hmmm. Perhaps I should have posted this in the other blog. I meant this exposition to lead into my play this week, but looking at it now, I see how much the world has been with me these days. Well. What can you do?
Poker is for faggots, anyway.
Now at the same time all of that is running through my head, I am playing unevenly (contain your shock) and experiencing the undulations of variance. I believe this is the first time I am actually aware of getting the business end of the probability matrix we’re all caught in. Kat, my dear, I feel your pain, for whatever that’s worth.
Since I need to go and start rounds soon, let me sum the Week in Poker:
Monday: AA cracked by QQ on the rivah… meh… I was a small stack anyway.
Tuesday: Donkery Central… bluffing with no pressure to… chasing for no reason…
Wednesday: Decent game but AK lost a race to QQ… no joy, no joy…
Thursday: DADI (thanks Trip, Gary and Jordan, that was fun). Standard 3BB with KK and UTG. Folds to my boy D, who makes it like 250 or so to go from the button. I’m down below a thousand, close to last place…feels like a steal, and only one hand hurts me…sure enough AA makes it a very short tournament for me. Sorry Eric and Fuel – I knew he could have aces there (in fact, he did), but it seemed probable I was ahead. Not so much. Congrats to Scott. And to D, Chris and JJ. Nice work. My team will settle up soon.
Er....MTT not looking so good.
Cash game developing slowly. Had a blast with Waffles (yeah, yeah…he stacked me quick and good - had me pretty confused with that Maniac on Wheels routine), Don and most of our regular crew, as documented elsewhere better than I can now. I got to play with Scott and Iggy for the first time, which was cool. My only regret from that first game is that Waffles left before I got insanely lucky and delivered Mookie one of the two hellacious beats he took like a man that night. Mookie, I remain convinced that hand is why StB’s QQ were God-ordained to outrun those bullets at MATH. Anyway, finished positive by more than two buy-ins so I was liking cash plenty, with appropriate kudos to the D.
Wednesday I tried a cash game by myself – should have stuck to 25NL, but got confused and ended up with a $50 buy-in .25/.50. About an hour into it got stacked with set over set on a guy who never raised, and hadn’t come off as Ivey’s next coming – trying to figure out what I could have done better there, but clarity even in retrospect is tricky business.
So that really wasn’t much fun, anyway you look at it.
Then yesterday, after D killed my cowboys early, I just took a deep breath and tried to drain the red from my face. Tried to mellow out and step back a little. The sun was going down, it was pleasantly chilled in the night air. We just picked up a new outdoor table to have dinner in the backyard when summer allows, so my girl and I grabbed a bottle of wine and just drank to the contentments simply before us. We laughed and joked about the kids the way all you of do; wondering how square we’d look to them 15 years from now. We laughed at what 8 years of training looked like, felt like, lived like. It was good stuff, the kind of stuff that convinces you as long as you’re capable of loving another person this much you must be okay inside.
Then, after she went up and to bed, I realized I was actually quite happy, and hoping D was doing well in DADI (we’re such lightweights…it felt late but I don’t think it was even midnight yet!). So I checked in, only to find the Waffle hanging tough and taking names. D hit me up on the chitchat line (oblique Sopranos refrence) and before I knew it I was sitting down again for paid lessons at the ring with a rotation of Wes, Iggy, D, JJ, Jesto, Mookie, PJ, Garth, ski, smokkee and surf. Lightly buzzed and thoroughly entertained by the challenge of not going broke to these guys, I took part in haranging the obstinate bots at our table, in an effort to drive them out and make more room for the brethren. Jesto has a pic of all of us in action that pretty much sums it up. Beerstud was the last bot to be bounced...
Those games may be –EV, but fuck they are fun. Rookie's luck held strong: the good cards that had eluded me and the bullshit breaks that I didn’t deserve came my way and I was up past $80 when D took me to school with 83o and quad 3’s to my 3s full of 4s. Just not good enough to lay it down yet, when its only $7 to call despite knowing, knowing I’m beat. Ah well, the game and I are still works in progress, which today feels like a good thing. Had to leave much sooner than I wanted when my son awoke with leg pains that required my expert medical care. Yeah right, he was alseep by the time I had shut the computer down!
Well that's it. Hope you all have a great and safe holiday weekend. We’ll see ya out there, and then in Vegas soon (my first time Evah). As of tomorrow, the Summer of George begins. Good times...good times...