Friday, November 18, 2005

Poker, Grandma, and Random Thoughts

Played in two small Texas Hold 'Em tournaments last night... and was knocked out rather quickly in both. I guess that's what happens when you haven't sat at a table in a year. Bad run of close hands, in no particular order:
A-K offsuit lost to J-J [all-in preflop].
A-2 diamonds win against 10-10 [flush - all-in. Flop of two diamonds and an Ace - he picked up a Ten on the turn, I got a diamond on the river].
A-3 flopped A-3-6, won.
A-Q off lost to 8-9... stupid call on flop of 4-5-8 rainbow.
Not such a bad call on 10-J suited, flop of Q-A-5. I bet, he raised, I called. Turn card - King, I made a straight. I bet, he raises, I raise back. He calls. River card - another A. I bet. He raises. He obviously has an Ace... but does he have more? I was positive he couldn't have a Q or K - he wasn't betting pre-flop, and he was obviously betting on the A flop. Maybe A-5? Nah. He probably thinks I picked up my second pair on the turn - Queens and Kings - and now thinks his trip-Aces are gold. I go all-in. He calls. I show my straight; he shows his Aces full of Fives. Ugh.
Random thoughts: When someone you are close to is forced to change their entire lifestyle, but you know it is in their best interests (and so do they), it is still somewhat difficult to accept it fully. My grandmother will be moving into a nursing home this Monday after 57 years of living in the same house in Cleveland Heights. We all know that it is in her best interests - nevertheless, it's hard to imagine. She's a feisty 92-year old whose mind is pretty sound, and though her hearing isn't so great, she's (Boruch Hashem [Thank God]) not faced with most of the ailments that usually face people of her age.

This is a woman who worked until she was 87, and was annoyed when her job finally cut her hours to zero. She drank only Coke for 80 years - plus an ounce of orange juice with her pills in the morning - and nothing else. No water, no juice save that ounce, no anything. She hates Pepsi, and would survive with RC in most restaurants. She would call up my parents every Tuesday to remind them to get her another pack of Coca-Cola bottles for her, she's "running out". Finally last year her doctor told her she can't have it anymore, and she's drinking water - and she hates it. [EDIT:] My mother informs me that Grandma is lying. She's switched from water to Ginger Ale...

Until last Pesach, she would go almost every Pesach to Israel - on her own. When I was there, she came Chanukah instead [edit:] as well one year. I went out to my aunt in Petach Tikvah and brought her to all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Yerushalayim, where they threw her a beautiful birthday party [she was born on Chanukah] - 3 grandchildren and about 25 of her great-grandchildren were there, along with her daughter-in-law whom she was incredibly close to - my aunt, a paraplegic [edit:] quadriplegic whose memory was the sharpest of anyone I know.

There are positive signs, however: Surprisingly, Ms. Independent is all for it - she recognizes that she's lonely most of the day and that she just can't do most of the things she used to anymore. She even asked - to my parents' pleasant surprise - during the interview at the home whether there are activities, and how would she know where they are and when. And of course, I'm sure she'll make sure they don't interfere with Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, or 60 Minutes.

It will be weird to lose that good-bye ritual my siblings and I always had: Kissing her cheek, waving by the door, at the bottom of the steps, from the middle of the driveway, and from the end of the driveway, as she stands at the door waving back. But I guess she'll wave us down the halls of Menorah Park instead.

Now available at: Basil, The Political Teen, Stop the ACLU, California Conservative, Don Surber, Stuck on Stupid.


  1. Too funny (sad?)! I just blew $300 on poker last night in an 8 hour marathon. Of course it was just a long string of 'bad beats' where my KK or AK two pair were blown away by some crap limper with 6-10! Oy!

  2. Bet stronger. :)

    It's both funny and sad, to me...