Monday, December 31, 2007
1) Check personal email more often
2) Eat more fruit
3) Exercise at least 3 times a month
4) Spend more time thinking of others vs. herself
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Traveling with a small child is always an adventure of its own. So between air travel, time differences, and getting a kid to sleep in a strange place with scary dog monsters, the Christmas trip to California was filled with....entertainment. Entertainment for those hearing about it after the fact, that is.
Let's start with the flight on the way over. It seemed promising. Pulled out from the gate exactly at departure time (Poker Chick speaks the truth!). Took off exactly 5 minutes later (are we still in America?) and the mini was shockingly well-behaved the entire flight.
Until we began our descent. About 5 seconds after they announced everyone had to stay in their seats for landing, the mini announces to the entire 25th row: "I have to make a poopy!" But she wanted to behave and understood she needed to wait until we landed. She was a trooper. She did the dance, wiggled like a worm, reminded me often, but she waited. And then...finally....we landed.
And then....we sat on the runway. And sat. And sat some more.
You see, the state of affairs in the American air-travel system has deteriorated so much we are no longer equipped to handle flights that actually land on time. So the captain announced we needed to wait until they found an open jetway for us. It would only be 5 minutes.
Until it was 10 minutes. And 15. And 20. By this point, the mini was frustrated and yelling her head off, the DVD batteries had long died, all the coloring book pages were filled and I had run out of stalling tactics. I also could not figure out how you could do a time-out when you were already strapped into your seat. There was no way around it. The kid had to poop, and she couldn't wait anymore. After staying in one seat for 6 straight hours my kid was entitled to her business.
So I made a run for it.
I undid our seat belts, and ran us both to the bathroom and slammed the door, pretending not to hear the flight attendant "Miss, you need to return back to your seat, the captain cannot move the plane until...". Yeah, right lady! You guys have held hostage on this plane. My 2-year old isn't buying it. Why don't you make yourself useful and you go poop it up with my kid so I can keep my seat belt on?! Yeah. That's what I thought.
I'm trying to hurry and after covering the seat with a half-roll of TP (neurotic mother here), I pulled down the pull-ups and plopped the kid on the seat. She dawdled and made faces and finally smiled and said "I don't have to make a poopy anymore". Arghhhh!!!!! Let's pause to share Poker Chick's frustration. Or at least imagine it.
Ok let's continue. We could've just gone right back but of course she just had to put her hands inside the toilet. So then we still had to wash our hands. And my kid hates washing her hands. Then I had to coerce her to pull her pants back up. Take a wild guess how much she loves doing that too?
10 minutes later we returned from our wasted trip. I get our seat belts back on and the plane begins taxiing to the gate. What does the mini say? Yep, you guessed it: "Mommy, I have to make a poopy now."
This is the part of the story when you slap your hand on your forehead and shake your head no, peeps. Noooo, make it stop....
For those of you interested in following this theme of "adventures in poop" all the way through, you'll be please to know that the mini went 4 times on the trip back. Sadly they were, as the mini correctly pointed out, the "messy" "stinky" kind.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Business contacts with personal favors. Check.
Pediatrician's office. Check.
Kid allergist's office. Check.
Hair stylist. Check.
Anonymous kid who wrote letter to "Santa". Check.
Mini's teachers. Check.
Family and friends. Check.
Filing for "holiday spirit" induced bankruptcy: Priceless.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Britney Spears’ mother Lynne Spears is writing a book on parenting for Christian publisher Thomas Nelson, Usmagazine.com has confirmed.
“We’ve signed her to a deal,” a spokesman for Thomas Nelson tells Us. The book, which will be coming out next Mother’s Day is titled Pop Culture Mom: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World.
“It’s a parenting book that’s going to have faith elements to it. I don’t think it’s totally been written yet,” says the publisher’s rep, who expects the manuscript by December.
Lynne, 52, recently reconciled with her daughter after months of estrangement (though Us reports in its new issue that the singer has recently cooled things off again). Britney, 25, cut her mother out of her life and refused to allow her to see her grandchildren after Lynne entered the singer into rehab last February against her will.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Today Poker Chick is posting something written by a friend because it was amusing and she liked the style it was written it. Perhaps it will amuse you as well.
"I am substitute teaching in two school districts near me. I'd rather be working full time and have my own classroom but I love subbing and I love the schools I'm in. Having gone from seven years teaching in the xx city schools to the suburbs is like someone who was forced to eat moldy cheese, overripe fruit, and maybe an occaisional rice cake for 7 years. Sure it's food and you're glad you can eat and not be hungry and sometimes the overripe fruit tastes really good, or the moldy cheese is something like blue cheese so it seems to make sense, and every now and then you get a caramel flavored rice cake, but overall the food makes you sick and angry because you know that there is other really good food out there that no one will give you. And then one day you get to start eating french fries, and perfectly ripe peaches and oranges, and instead of rice cakes you can pick from oreos, and chocolate cake and even pizza! And you're wondering how you survived 7 years with moldy cheese. And you know you can never go back."
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
1) After wanting only "Daddy" for a week the mini didn't want Mommy to drop her off at school, and cried for the babysitter to pick her up instead.
2) On her way to work, Poker Chick found that despite having spent hours on the weekend working, the boss ignored it all and did it the way they wanted anyway. Nice.
3) Feeling miserable all before 9am, Poker Chick figured she could use the old standby: calling Big Boy to wish him a chag sameach. The response: "Can't talk, I'm in the middle of an important call." Of course. She tried her brother. No response. A friend. You can guess where this is going.
Bam! Every time Poker Chick tried to pick herself up, the knockouts got worse. She made it into the office feeling defeated and angry. The rest of the day unfortunately did not pick up. A couple of highlights:
Poker Chick was late to her dentist appointment. Why? After all, she tried. She left work on time. Left enough time for the bus. But she did not leave time for stupidity. So after five minutes standing in front of a building that should have been right but wasn't, she walked another block only to do the same thing. She kept scratching her head until she realized she was on 59th street and was supposed to be on 58th. What made this especially amusing was the fact that 20 minutes prior she had told a colleague that the dentist was on 58th street. Genius.
Next, our girl managed to ruin the one and only Chanukah gift she got this year. The husband had gotten a digital photo frame and spent hours loading photos and video he thought she would like. Thoughtful, right? So what happens? Five minutes trying to use it in her office and it's gone. Deleted. All photos bye bye. Ungratefulness or just plain idiocy? Who knows. It ain't good either way.
Sadly, we could go on. We could talk about the emails she got from the school moms, talking about decisions made at meetings Poker Chick could not go to. We could talk about the one nice thing PC tried to do (made a hard to get appointment for a friend) only to find out they didn't need it after all. Or we could talk about how Poker Chick was just bumped from the list for her favorite holiday party this year.
Forget instant fire or the power to fly. Poker Chick has the power of catastrophic uselessness.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Answer: no one. But that's okay, Poker Chick is happy to indulge in her handbag fetish alone. We're updating this entry to add another picture. Fashion consultant (a.k.a. husband) likes this bottom bag better.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Hers is happy because after an unbelievably difficult uphill battle with the gym people, she made some noise, she did some screaming, and she persevered until the full balance was waived and then some. Victory is sweet!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
She wakes up at 1am crying. I rub her back for a few minutes. She calms down. Just as I think she's asleep she says loudly "Go away now."
Now she may have broken my nose. OK, she didn't mean it (she said "I didn't mean to hurt you, Mommy!") but still, she whacked me good.
She does not talk like this to anyone else, not her father, babysitter or teachers. So here I sit with ice on my face, wondering where I went wrong. I have constant guilt as more-than-full time working mother, so of course this is another one of those times when I wonder if this is what I get for not being home. So seriously, I'm asking - is it me?
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
The most recent insanity: a 1.5 plane ride that was delayed 2.5 hours, followed by a 1 hour wait in line for a taxi home to go just a few miles. Someone has got to do something about LaGuardia delays!
Travel issues aside, Poker Chick needs your advice! She seems to be a magnet for people with no concept of personal space and she can't stand it anymore. She's asking readers to help her with an appropriate yet clear comment to get these people to stop. The default "get out of my ass!" she's dying to scream is probably not her best bet in reality.
Anyone out there with a little more tact?
*Can't read the comic? Click here for a clearer read.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Do you think the Mini is more like you or her dad? In what ways?
This is an excellent question. Since birth, the mini has exhibited a pretty strong personality, so she's more like the mini than anyone else. But what did she inherit and from whom?
First things first. It goes without saying that her classic good looks, svelte physique and enviable flexibility come from her mother. That's just a given. Next, we'll tackle her intellectual curiosity and mental brilliance. That's a toughie. Both her parents went to the same college, so clearly there's shared smarts all around. But the rest could come from either. Some specific things, like how easily she picks up language and how she likes to take things apart and see how they work come clearly from one parent (i.e. mother and father, in that order) but general measures like unbelievable mathematical and logical reasoning skills are probably just a combination of some good genes. Speaking of good genes, the mini's fate is a toss up between the tall genes and the short genes. Looks like tall will win out. That would be her father. So yay, tall genes! Sadly, she shares allergic genes with her mother. So boo, allergies!
Let's move on to personality. Stubborness. Defiance. These are traits that the mini undoubtedly inherited from her mother. Now, imagine a scenario where both the mini and her mother must win. Not pretty. Hence many conversations that go like this:
"But mini said yes!"
"Mommy said no."
"But mini said yes!"
"Well, I'm the mommy."
"But, I'm the mini."
"But you have to listen to your mommy."
See how Poker Chick wins there? It's a beautiful thing. What's not beautiful: the amount of frustration Poker Chick and the mini both have when the two of them are alone for long periods of time. Now, let's talk about a specific kind of stubborness that the mini clearly inherited from her mother. Food stubborness. The concept is simple: first, you assert you are not hungry when in fact you are. You then proceed to act cranky, pick fights, and throw tantrums due to subsequent plummeting blood sugar and serious headaches. Finally, you calm down after being force fed and admit (it's key to show surprise) that, hey (big shock), you were hungry after all!
Back to good things. The mini is sociable and relatively outgoing, definitely traits from her mother. However she is also kind, thoughtful and altruistic, no doubt from her father. And she's very affectionate which she also does not get from Poker Chick. She's also very much a girlie girl. We'll let readers figure out who that comes from.
Overall, however, a recent poll of Poker Chick and her husband reveal that the mini's personality is very much her mother's.
In all seriousness, the one question Poker Chick often wonders is how would the answers above be different if the mini were a boy? She thinks many of her qualities would be re-attributed to her father, for sheer possession of that y chromosome. So by default, the one thing that makes the mini the most like her mother is the sex. Sad, but true.
What are the three best things about living in New York?
- Living in a diverse, multicultural metropolis. Diversity = excellent takeout. Excellent takeout = not having to cook.
- Jews. Loads of 'em. And goyim who don't think Yom Kipper is a day for fish sandwiches.
- New Yorkers are just plain cooler than everyone else.
- Living here pushes you to be much more fashionable than you would otherwise be. (Translation: if you believe you are are at risk of falling into frumpytown one day, do not fear the frump! Just move to New York.)
The three worst?
- Cold winters
Tell a story about a time you were wrong. What did you do?
Please. Poker Chick is never wrong.
Kidding! Thought she was going to take the easy way out, didn't you? The truth is not only is Poker Chick often wrong, she will admit to it on ocassion. For example, she's often declared to others that Big Boy weights 300 pounds. Not true. Old boy is a trim 250. Another examle: one day at work she asserted that Harry Potter always wore a hat. Now, other than the sorting hat (shown right) or the Gryffindor hat (rarely shown), he obviously did not wear a hat. The clearly wrong and somewhat ridiculous hat reference somehow spilled its way out of Poker Chick's mouth. But she is never wrong. So she had to assert her correctness and try to persuade others that this bogus hat is actually genuine.Another example: she went over a year believing her pin stripe pants were navy blue. A colleague pointed out that they were actually black, but because Poker Chick already stated that they were blue she had to stick with her story. Still, she knows in her heart she was mistaken all this time.
Poker Chick is not a newcomer to being wrong. In fact, she's wrong so often she's compensated for it with a strategy that will consistently hide it: find a little-known fact that no one can contest. If you say anything with enough confidence you can make it sound true. Now you beginners out there might want to pay attention to this because it will serve you very well if you actually do want to play poker. For example, say Poker Chick wants to intimidate someone with her vast poker knowledge. Easy unless there's a real player at the table and the plan backfires. But you mustn't admit defeat, peeps! You will never be wrong if you follow this strategy. Here's a brilliant example at work. If you think someone's about to snuff out your true hand, throw 'em for a loop with random Poker facts! Make 'em up if you have to. Strange names for unusual pairs. Stories of tournaments you saw someone else play in. Throw around real names for veracity. It's all in how you spin it.
Now, is Poker Chick ever wrong when it really matters? Like shutting people out, laying blame on everyone but herself, not sharing information she should, not keeping in touch, the list goes on. Sure she is! And that's the last confirmation you'll get of that.
What frightens you the most?
Losing anyone else that I love. Also, not being liked and rats, mice and cockroaches.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Still, Halloween does have its strong points. Candy. Mmmm, candy. Cute kids at your door. Entertaining teenagers. And the best part? Getting to add to the pet peeve list.
*A hint to the mini's costume: repeat the second half of "bizarrrrre"
Saturday, October 27, 2007
"Year After Year, 95-100% of Dr. Hernandez's Students Receive Acceptance Letters to their Top Choice Colleges!"
Of course they do. It's much easier to have a good rate when you tell kids what their top choice is in advance. These are middle school kids having their future personalities handed to them on silver platters. What happens when they get into the "perfect school", perhaps even graduate and realize they're ill-prepared to handle life without someone telling them what to do and how to feel about it all? What happened to the freedom to explore who you are on your own? Does nobody else have a problem with this?
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Guess we know what his news was, huh? Congrats, squirt.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
She picked up the phone. Called several numbers. Was finally told she had to cancel in person. She went to a club near work. Was told she had to cancel at the club she signed up at. She went on a Saturday, about 5:15. She was told the manager worked 9-5 and she had just missed him; she'd have to come back another time. Poker Chick was starting to get angry, but tried to work the system. OK, when was the manager coming in? Sunday until 3 or next Saturday? Great.
Only she tried next Sunday. Just her luck: the manager had called out sick that day. Yeah, right.
So she came back the following Saturday when she knew someone would be there. Here's how the conversation went: "Hi, I'm looking for someone to help me with membership?" (Poker Chick had learned thus far that the word 'cancellation' caused bizarre explanations to begin right away.) "Sure, miss, the manager's on duty - go in the back and to your left!" "Great, thanks!" Poker Chick walks up to the man behind the counter. "Hi, I'm a member, and I was hoping you could help me resolve an issue?" "Sure, what can I do?" "I'd like to cancel." His expression changed. "Oh, I'm sorry. Only a manager can do that." "But I thought you were the manager?" "No, I don't know who told you that. The manager only works until 3 on Saturdays." It was 3:10. How f*cking convenient. Except Poker Chick had already learned the "manager" works until 5 on Saturdays.
Poker Chick decided enough was enough. They were making it physically impossible to quit, and she wasn't having any of it. She said her piece and said she wasn't leaving until someone either canceled for her or promised it would be done Monday. Finally a "manager" miraculously appeared. And it was canceled. But guess what? There's a 30-day notice cancellation period so Poker Chick would be charged for another month.
Excuse me? We've been trying to cancel this freakin' thing for over a month! I don't think so. The battle's just begun. This bony-ass chick is gonna make some noise.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
*Special thanks to the Saba for not only purchasing said bear but for making sure he is allergy-friendly
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
We start with concern over Big Boy. He had some unnerving test results, and Poker Chick happened to have a personal friend that specializes in the kind of medical advice he desperately needed. Nothing major, just the usual "do I have cancer?" (probably not) and "do I need surgery?" (probably yes) kind of stuff. The medical establishment in his country did not exactly instill confidence with their wishy-washy recommendations and "inconclusive" results. So what did Poker Chick do? That's right peeps, she tried to help.
She had him send copies of the test results. Showed them to her friend. The friend took them to his office. Reviewed (and interpreted) them with his partner. Discussed options. Discussed costs. Made a recommendation. And offered to see Big Boy. Big Boy agreed to get this second opinion but only had one day free before leaving the country to go back home. Though they were booked for weeks, her friend pulled a hail-mary: An appointment. Hospital rounds were re-arranged, the office was going to open at 7, and Big Boy would be seen by the team that books up for months in advance. All the time he needed. Laying out his options in English. Only one problem.
The appointment was for 8am, and that didn't work for Big Boy. He had a 10am appointment he was worried about missing. Could it be 3? Um, no. This isn't a freakin' McDonalds! When Poker Chick's friend had her c-section, did she say "oh gee, 7am doesn't really work for me. How's 5? Could I get the Operating Room at 5?" No, she di'int. That would be absurd. But that's exactly what was happening here.
Poker Chick persevered, suppressed her immediate urge to scold, wanting to do the right thing. She offered a solution: she would order a car. Order it herself, give them directions. She was willing to pay for it if that was the issue. All Big Boy would have to do is get into the car at 7am and they'd take him there, he'd see the doctor, and they'd take him directly from there to his appointment. Great, right?
Yeah, right. He didn't want to wake up that early. Couldn't wake up that early. See, at his age, he needs his sleep. Too bad her friend couldn't sleep in either now that he had to go into the office at 7am anyway, but it's cool. Poker Chick is sure he doesn't need sleep and his wife and two small kids with ear infections didn't need his help at home anyway. Poker Chick was annoyed but prepared to call her friend with her tail between her legs.
OK, we get it. He's ungrateful. But no, it gets better!
Big Boy yelled at her. No, screamed. Five minutes of justification why he can't do it and she should have known and can't she change it and she doesn't understand blah blah blah. He couldn't believe she did it for 8am, doesn't she know how important his later appointment is? How could she expect him to do that? She sighed and curtly said goodnight which was of course somehow offensive to him as well.
Yes, we know we can't believe it either. Silly Poker Chick. Don't you know better than to get involved?
Friday, October 12, 2007
"What did you have for snack?" "Nothing". Her eyes are serious and her expression intense.
"Challah?" "No". "Graham crackers?" "No. I didn't eat anything."
"What songs did you sing today?" "No songs."
"Did you read a story?" "No."
"I saw you sitting with your teacher, what did you do?" "I wasn't with my teacher."
Exasperated, PC pulled out the only weapon she had left:
"Did you go to the playground today?" "Yes." Aha! Success! Let's go with it!
"What did you do on the playground?" "Nothing." Uh oh.
"Why not?" "Because...because...I wanted you." And then she stares me down for a full minute to see how I react. I'm speechless. Finally she smiles and screams "But now you're home and I so happy and I'm going to give you a BIG hug!" and throws herself on top of me.
Yikes, and ouch. When did this kid learn to articulate feelings? And is she doomed for a lifetime of therapy before even making it out of toddlerhood? If somebody could help talk Poker Chick off a ledge, that'd be cool.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Poker Chick's father likes to sing. Not professionally, he's not even that good, but he used to go around the house singing silly old songs during her childhood. Most of these were forgotten, but now he is singing these songs to the mini. During last week's visit, he taught her a favorite. "Tumbelina, Tumbelina, tiny little thing. Tumbelina dance. Tumbelina sing." (yes, Big Boy's a Danny Kaye fan). Poker Chick got nostalgic and smiled; she'd known this song all her life and now the mini was shouting it with gusto and giggles.
Imagine the embarrassment when she shared what was supposed to be a cute story with her friends and discovered it's supposed to be "Thumbelina". Gasp! She'd been living a lie her whole life. (On a side note, she did some digging into the origins of this song and actually found an explanation for her father's lifelong obsession with the name "Cornelius").
Now, here's the best part: when she told this to Big Boy he began to try and sing it correctly: "Sumbelina, Sumbelina, tiny little thing...."
Sigh. Silly foreigners.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Poker Chick has booked a train home from a business trip in Boston. She smiles inside at the brilliant decision she has made not to fly. No security. No hideous threats to toss her Chanel eye glosses. No smelly feet to endure. And she can work, rest or eat the whole time. Everyone should train instead of fly! She smiles as her colleagues head off to deal with an airport on a Friday afternoon. They are clearly not as experienced travelers as she.
Shit. Cab driver showed a half hour late and is stuck in traffic. It shouldn't be this close.
Phew. Made it to the train station. Giant train schedule hanging from the ceiling is showing the 6:45 train on time. Poker Chick relaxes and grabs a book and some hot cocoa.
Poker Chick hears "delays" on the loudspeaker and the schedule is still not showing a track for the 6:45. Must be just a little late. She calmly sips her drink and waits.
Poker Chick realizes that the giant "T" on the sign is not the logo for Amtrak. She looks around and sees what must be the Amtrak board covered with a big banner on it that reads "Acela". That is not helpful. She panics when she puts it all together and realizes what must have happened. Still, this is Poker Chick, she tells herself. Superheroine. She must be calm in a crisis. She must think. So think she does. Behind the "Acela" banner is a yellow light flashing for track #7. OK, so we can't see what train it's for, but if it's boarding now, chances are it's her train. She runs. Cocoa spills all over her right arm (and white sleeve) but at this point she doesn't care. She sees people running and then sees the train and giddily tosses her cup in the trash. "Is it the 6:45"? she hears someone ask. "Yes", they reply. Sweet. Poker Chick is still brilliant after all. She makes it to the rear car and sees a big giant "T" on the train. Uh-oh. Well it was a 6:45 train. Just not hers. Still, she had hope. She coolly asked the conductor just to make sure, and surely enough her train was late too and on the next track!
She gets a few yards within her train, close enough to see it pull out. ARGHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Poker Chick continues to try and remain calm. Her cab driver had given her a verbal tour of Boston's trains, so she knew there were two more local stops before the train went south at full speed ahead. She ran to get a cab to try and outrun it.
She's still waiting for a cab and suddenly thinks this is not such a good idea.
Cab shows up. Score! But once inside she learns the driver doesn't know how to get to the other two stops. He's new. She gets out and looks at her watch. This plan has clearly failed.
She turns back to the train station and is finally able to stop running. She walks dejectedly to the Amtrak information booth. They tell her that the board had been out of service for a week!!! Of course. Duh. That's what that "Acela" sign must have meant. So turned out that lots of people missed the train, and that the next one was at 9:30. Nine-fucking-thirty!!!! She won't get home until forever. This sucks. Still, they tell her, she'll get home. All she has to do is wait on this long line right here and switch her ticket.
She gets in line as she's told. Online she hears other tales of woe: there was a fire on one of the subway lines, causing many to miss this particular train (mostly college students on their way home for the holiday). Also, a few were just plain stupid like her. In her defense, it was nearly impossible to decipher what they were saying on the loudspeakers. Really. You had to be there.
She finally gets to the front counter only to learn the 9:30 train is sold out and no one on this line is getting on. She can come back tomorrow morning. Also, since this was a travel agency ticket, they cannot refund her money. Let's scream, all together now: WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She wipes her tears that came on suddenly, stops yelling and lets the two panic minutes go while she tries to calm down. She's Poker Chick, she tells herself again. She can do this. Don't give up and go to the hotel. She's got to get home to the mini. She rallies a few students and recent grads in line (no "adult" missed that train) and thinks of alternatives. Drive? The others are not yet 25, but Poker Chick is. Still, 5 hours or more in holiday weekend traffic? They decide they're all too tired to take the risk, even if they would take turns.
Epiphany. The bus stop!!! A couple minutes away!!! Poker Chick leads the charge of five, all ignoring the weight of the bags they've been carrying on their shoulders while running over the past hour.
The bus station. A crowded zoo is a wide open space compared to what this looked like. She'd never seen such a line for tickets. Two people give up and head back to their dorm rooms. Poker Chick is committed. She is not a loser. She will get home.
Do they wain in the line for a person or ticket machine? They split up for the best odds.
Three have come out successfully with tickets. They run off together to the line for the 8pm express bus to NY. Peter Pan or Fung Wah bus lines?? Please. Poker Chick hopes she doesn't have to tell you what that decision was.
They stop, out of breath, at the end of the longest bus line any of them had ever seen. Excellent people watching, but all were too upset at the moment to care. Poker Chick leaves the other two gentlemen in charge of "stuff" while she does some line recon up front.
The situation is more dire than she feared. Not only is the line as long as they suspected, it's one of those amusement park-style lines, where it wraps back and forth several time. Oh shit. They're totally fucked.
One guy gives up and goes home. Poker Chick and her new traveling companion, Orlando, decide they will not have gone through all of this for nothing. Dammit!
The line begins to move. The 8pm bus is here. And goes. Sigh.
Another bus! The bus company decided to add another route given the volume. Still, Poker Chick and Orlando are two buses away or more on line when it leaves. And the next bus is not until 10:30. Crap.
A miracle! They added another bus! The duo are overjoyed as they board, realizing the irony of their joy at boarding a rather disgusting bus late at night for a long long ride ahead. They wonder aloud whether it would be worth it to detour to Foxwoods.
Next day: 2:00am
One bad movie, one smoke break, and one fabulous dinner later (McDonald's fries and a snickers bar; hey, when in Rome....) and they finally arrive at Port Authority. Poker Chick is wondering how in the hell she was able to hold her pee for that long and whether she's just tired or is actually hallucinating. She thanks her traveling fellow for the company and somehow makes it home.
Poker Chick is thinking that perhaps she is not that brilliant after all.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Yes, folks, it's true. If you don't believe Poker Chick then read all about this famous Facebook group that's been all over the web. They certainly have an interesting theory, it's copied and pasted below for your reading pleasure. It does explain that prison monkey she's always hanging around with....*
Ok, so here's the deal... If you need the explanations they're all around you...
1) She speaks spanish... she speaks spanish perfectly... what is she like...5? Her backpack even speaks spanish perfectly!
2) That backpack of hers has EVERYTHING in it! And we're talking everything! Life support, water/food, clothing for any weather, ropes, grappling hooks, shoes.... i mean c'mon!
3) She's carrying a freaking ZOO with her! I mean, she has a monkey, an band of insects, a bajillion other animals! Really! What kind of legal immigrant has that many pets!?
4) She's always on an "adventure" to transport a "package" to some destination and is always being stalked by a person trying to take that package... i mean... really, Swiper is so obviously some sort of border patrol person trying to collect evidence of Dora's entire narcotics trafficking buisness
The evidence is so obvious and around you guys!
*before you get that "OMG! How can I be laughing at such an inappropriate comment" look on your face, RELAX!!! It's a spoof. A joke. Not to be taken seriously.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
- OK. So if this piece of chicken in between my teeth loosens right now and I swallow it, have I broken the fast?
- Who's that lady speaking to me and how do I wish her a good year without having to admit not knowing her name?
- If I haven't had anything to drink, why am I still going to the bathroom all the time?
- What page are we on? (repeat this question several times)
- If this is supposed to be an alphabetical list of sins, what happened to the letter 'h'?
- If "melech" means "king", how is the English translation suddenly calling it "sovereign"?
- How do I discreetly pass my donation to the ushers without letting anyone else see the amount?
- How many years will it be until I can make it through a Yizkor service without crying?
- Are they going to delay blowing the Shofar again to trick people into staying for Havdalah?
How many minutes left???
*In addition to thoughts of introspection, spiritual reckoning and moral resolve to do better, of course!
Friday, September 21, 2007
Now anyone who knows Poker Chick would not call her an "activist" for anything, but the man's just plain wrong here and Poker Chick's kinda fed up with all these people making a big deal over something that really shouldn't be an issue. Discretion is great but also not always realistic unless a woman wants to be holed up in a room the way they made women hide in the old days when they were menstruating and therefore "dirty". Maher? Bush? OJ Simpson? Let's talk about some real boobs.
I have never been pro-nursing. I don’t see myself as what I’d always assumed was hippie, crunchy, liberal or anything close. Cynical and vain, that’s me. Nursing didn’t seem to fit. Yet, like a good girl, I tried it because everyone begged me ‘just try it for the first few weeks.’ So I did. And after the mini was born I spent every day in those first few weeks cursing my breasts and vowing it was just one more day until the bottle.
My, how ‘never say never’ is true. At the end, I cried the first time I replaced a feed with a bottle (around six months). I cried when I made the decision to quit entirely (around 9 months). I became one of those ‘exhibitionists’ who nursed in the middle of the day while dining al fresco on Second Avenue. I was eating lunch, why couldn’t my kid? Not to mention, Poker Chick is cheep cheep. And nursing is FREE!!! But mostly, I was shocked by how much my daughter loved it. Man, did that kid want the boob often.It’s not for everyone and it’s not easy so I never look down on those who choose not to. It’s such a personal choice and there are so many pros and cons to doing it. But damn, baby, don’t go knocking other people’s boobies if they’re successful! They’re doing an amazing thing!!!”
*Fast forward past the 9/11 footage to around 7:30 where the commentary begins.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Today, she was playing her classic game of "I have nothing in my closet". The rules are simple: put something on, then take it off. Put something else on, then take that off too. Mix the two together, take off something while hopping on one foot, try something else on, pull a random scarf or belt out with your free hand, grab a shoe with your mouth, and repeat several times. The game ends when you find fashion kismet or the buzzer rings. Why even play? You've got to be in it to win it, baby.*
The buzzer came first today. Poker Chick realized as soon as she stepped out of her building that the skirt she had decided to leave on required completely different panties than the ones she was wearing. She was committing a crime commonly known as "VPL". The horror! Those whispers and giggles you thought you heard all day? They were real. Yep, the joke was on her. The stress was enough to deepen her "laugh lines". But wait, there's a cream for that....
Let's all take a minute to pity our poor Superhero. Or, at the very least, have a nice laugh.
*One of the "benefits" of living in New York is trying to play this game each day with success. Put PC next to your Aunt Ida from Topeka in her knit pumpkin sweater, and PC's a champ! On the runway (er, street) that is NYC? Not so much. At the runway (er, office) that is an Ad Agency in NYC? Still, not so much.
**Anyone get the title yet?
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
This September, however, Poker Chick embarks on the journey that is parenting a school-age child. She's one of those last-minute people (big surprise, right?) so naturally she didn't bother looking at any of her calendars until yesterday. This is when the major freakout began. Suddenly she had an epiphany. Of course parents are on edge in September!!! The start of school for a working parent is insane! You'd be mad not to be mad.
What's the big deal, you ask? The big deal is that nursery school in NYC is too-often treated like a Harvard prep class. First, there's the 10,000 pages of lists with all the purchases and visits required just to prepare for school. (Backpacks and doctors and crayons, oh my!) Next, the "fall semester" schedule. The problem with the schedule is that most of them are built around the 1950s housewife. You know, the one baking her own challah, giving school tours, actually brushing her kid's hair before school. Flip to 2007 and you have a working parent who needs to maintain some involvement at the school without losing her job. Now, in fairness the school Poker Chick chose for the mini is the lowest key in the neighborhood. So she thought she'd be able to manage.
Surely, everyone understands when you need time off work for the first day of school and parent-teacher conferences. But now there's a mandatory "phasing-in process". 10 of 20 working days scattered throughout a month. Ahem. Excuse me? You try it, go ahead: "Um, boss, I'll need to come in at noon about every other day during our busiest month. That won't be a problem, will it?". HA! Good luck with that one! The school is understanding of this and accepts other "caregivers". But unfortunately society has not quite kept up with the times. You could do it, but then you're that mom; the only one who's not doing it; the mom who's labeled as an unfeeling slacker and castigated accordingly.
Think Poker Chick's wrong? Raise your hand if you know any dads who receive the same level of disdain for not being as involved in school as they like, even though many of them work less hours than Poker Chick. Right. That's what we thought.
Now, to address those bright-eyed optimists out there. You think you can do this? Great! You've somehow got the boss (and the Client's) buy-in on all this time off. Now add the expectation that you'll be joining at least one school "committee". How could you not? Excellent! So let's see, 8 out of 10 involve 9-5 meetings/activities. No problemo. If she gets fired, the money genie will appear and grant Poker Chick the tuition money for this Utopian education. Ha ha. Let's take a moment to laugh at that visual.
OK, so no daytime committees. Still, there are things Poker Chick can do. In her spare time after cleaning up and eating and paying bills and finishing up work after the mini goes to sleep. After all, Poker Chick is a Superhero. She doesn't need sleep herself.
But let's look on the bright side. It's September. Not tax time, not Thanksgiving. At least it's just this one thing going on. But wait - there's THOSE PESKY HOLIDAYS that roll around every September. More days off! And the expectation that Poker Chick will reprise a rare domestic role as hostess. Sadly, she will likely go along with it because she's a firm believer that everyone should have a place to go on the high holidays. D@mn values.
Think we're done? Nope. While she won't be sending cards (one thing she's never done), she does have an obligation to call the ones she loves to wish them a happy new year. This includes someone who recently sent her a curiously nasty email telling her she should be ashamed of herself* (and you wonder where she gets her guilt).
So, let's review. Work/school conflicts. Maternal judgement and subsequent guilt. The stereotype that posession of a uterus brings with it domestic obligations.**
Anyone still wondering why someone might be a bit emotional in September?
*If you know what PC may have done to elicit this, please do tell! All polled are still clueless. **If anyone would like to loan Poker Chick a p@nis (aka the "get out of jail free card") for the month of September, she'd be much obliged.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
"C'mon, kiddo, let's go potty before we go to the park!"
"Don't worry, Mommy. I'll just make a pee pee in my pull-up."
And then you see that familiar scrunched-up face.....
Thursday, August 23, 2007
NYC - Chicago
8am Monday. At the airport by 6:15 am, only to find out that both the 7am and the 8am flights have been cancelled. The airport is in a state of chaos. Poker Chick has two options: leave at 4pm (waaay too late), or get on the hour-long line to try and get another ticket, or standy on another flight. Poker Chick calls her travel agent three separate times while online and Blackberries 3 different colleagues. Finally, she finds out a better option than five standby flights on United she stands no chance of getting on (100+people waiting): a couple of American flights. She puts a seat on hold and finally makes it to the United counter. They need to "endorse" the ticket to another airline so she doesn't have to pay an additional full fare (yikes!!). Success!! Oh wait, it's not a ticket, just a voucher. She needs to wait on the American line (2+ hours) for an American ticket.
9:30am. Poker chick has been standing on some sort of line for 3 hours. She's hungry, tired, dizzy, and needs to pee. The situation sucks!! Finally she makes it to the American counter. Her travel agent just reserved a seat for ther on the 10:15. No, they say. She's only on standby.
10:00am. Poker Chick checks her voicemail at work. Message at 8:01am from an automated voice ("This is United with an important message. Your flight itinerary has changed due to a [cancellation] ....)
Chicago - Philadelphia
The flight is delayed for 2 hours. Fortunately, Poker Chick gets a heads'-up this time. The flight actually does take off 2 hours late. 30 minutes past landing time, everyone aboard is wondering why we've been circling Philadelphia for the past 45 minutes at the same altitude.....
Philadelphia - Phoenix
United flight with no information otherwise. Check in at the United counter at 6:45 am, only to get the message that it's a US Air codeshare, and the US Air terminal is outside and a little walk away. Perhaps that information might have been helpful a bit sooner. Also, a special shoutout to the three burly men that spent 10 minutes watching Poker Chick struggle with an overhead bin mid-flight. Not only was her laptop not in that bin after all, but it was one of their suitcases that didn't really fit and gave her such a hard time closing it again. A little help here, a$$holes?!
On a pleasant note, the flight arrived only 6 minutes late. Another pleasant note, this facility is currently ordering dinner for us from the Cheesecake Factory. Mmm.....
Phoenix - New Jersey
Well here's the nail-biting finale. Poker Chick's flight was scheduled to leave for Newark at 4pm Phoenix time. However a glance at the "arrival" screen showed that the plane due to land at her gate at 3:15 was delayed until 5:30. Therefore her flight must be delayed at least 2 hours, even though they weren't saying so. Poker Chick proved to be right when she interrogated a gate agent who was forced to admit the truth. How did this help? Well, it allowed Poker Chick to leave her teeny tiny airport terminal and get a halfway decent dinner in the meantime. (Chili's. Decent burger. But positively gourmet compared to the two-day old sandwiches she left behind). Though she had to go back to security to make her flight, there was no line at that time. How did she know this would happen? A little chit-chat with the security guy on her way out taught her that there were no late night flights, so everyone would have already gone through security by 5pm. (They were right, by the way. She's never gotten through those x-ray things so fast). Finally at the gate, she noticed it was 5:20 and the plane still hadn't arrived. So she opened her computer and updated this here blog (another tip from security guy: wireless signal best at gate 6). She looked around her and saw hundreds of frustrated passengers. They had been waiting for hours only to keep getting more delayed. Finally, the plane arrived and everyone boarded at 6pm. Poker Chick boarded the plane feeling like a champ. Everyone else was hungry and cranky, but not her! Her brilliant travel skills got her a hot meal, inside information, priority baggage handling, and a window seat with no one next to her. She enjoyed a comfortable flight filled with arm space, naps, and toblerone. But then she got brought down to earth. After landing she watched passenger after passenger headed home with relief. It was past 2am. Everyone was exhausted. And this is when Poker Chick learned that her car wasn't showing up.
So, the moral of the story? You could be a superhero for all they care. At the end of the day, the airlines always get the last laugh. There's no winning at this game, people. Don't even try.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Britney Spears, Angela Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Posh Spice, and - oh yeah, and Suri Cruise.
What happened to Hollywood? Broadway? Those "celebrities" that actually needed to exhibit some sort of talent to merit any attention from the press? If anyone has information on the whereabouts of any of these people that have seemingly vanished, please let Poker Chick know.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Why is this? After years of life, why is it that we only remember people on the day they died? Can someone please explain this to Poker Chick?
*This was the term the doctors and nurses used. You think Poker Chick'd make that sh*t up?
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
The first fascinating fact about Toronto is that the same flight that took an hour several years prior now takes two, if there are no delays. Is Canada moving farther away or something? It must be, because it took one of our gracious hosts over 10 hours to return to Canada from Florida (you didn't think we'd let that one slide, did you?). We could go on, but then this is about Canada, let's save airline-bashing for another day.
(Loyal readers will be pleased to hear Poker Chick intentionally spent a few extra $$ to fly out of Newark so she could keep up her elite flyer status.)
Also rather annoying about Canada is that one has to go through customs and immigration to get in. As if it's another country or something. Sheesh.
Fast forward past baggage claim to the ground transportation area. We were greeted by a cheerful mother and son. Now, if you're an American whose only foreign travel experiences were for work or tourism, you will not understand this reunion, so let me try to explain the phenomenon:
Imagine your family lives in a land far, far away (couldn't resist the drama). Visits are infrequent due to the cost and time involved, and therefore when they do happen they are long and anticipated for months at a time. If you're a child, you watch with confusion as your parents make such a big occasion of it. Tickets are bought. Everyone is called. Teachers are alerted you will need to miss some school. Everyone spends a seemingly unnecessary amount of time fussing in anticipation. Suitcases are packed weeks before the event. Odd items are purchased because you can "only get them in America". In many homes this means Levis and bagels; in mine it was Oil of Olay and Brillo Pads. Don't ask. (Incidentally, the visit to Canada was no exception. Except, of course, Poker Chick forgot the Kix. She sucks.) Across the seas, or in this case - a great Lake, preparations are also being made for your arrival. Food is purchased, beds are made, and finally...finally... there are arrangements for the all-important airport pickup. An American would naturally ask which person was designated for the airport pickup? No, no, friends. It doesn't work that way. Everyone comes for the airport pickup. Parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins. You're nobody, I mean nobody, if you get off that plane and have less than 5-10 people waiting for you in a small, yet loud mob.
Think Poker Chick is kidding? Spend some time in JFK. Watch the planes arrive from India, from Israel, from Seoul. Watch their families hubbing and fussing about. Watch the extra suitcases, filled only with "presents". Wholly embarrassing if you're in it, thoroughly hilarious as a spectator.
What's this got to do with Canada? Well, one must understand that our gracious hosts hail from international borders as well. So put together two friends who have known a lifetime of "airport pickups" and....well, you get the idea. It was quite lovely. The mini recognized her betrothed immediately, and Poker Chick was nearly in tears watching them happily reunite and laugh with each other. Easy, people. I said nearly.
For those of you considering a Toronto adventure of your own, here are a few, well, "observations".
The house itself is quite lovely. In fact, Poker Chick commented that she could use a wife so she could have such a lovely home herself. It was a nice place to be in. Also, there's something to be said for a house, yard and space for kids to run around in. Not to mention a kitchen large enough to actually cook in. Feel free to re-read these words, because it's not something you'll hear Poker Chick admit to often. Still, it's true. It's got it's good points.
The neighborhood is difficult to describe. Suffice it to say that "Frum" would be an understatement. "Hard-core fundamentalist" is more like it. We're not talking just skirts and sheitls. We're talking black hats with fur in July, because you're just not a good enough Jew if you're not sweating twice your body weight on your walk to shul. Still, there is a benefit to living in this neighborhood...delicious Israeli food. Mmmmmm, Burekas. Also on a positive note, the "Frumela" department store has clothes for girls too, so we're now set with the mini's back-to-school wardrobe!!
As for life in Canada, Poker Chick was indeed impressed. Our hosts spent a great deal of time convincing us that Canadians are "just like us". For the most part, they're right! They speak English. OK, they all speak French too, but they also speak English. They use dollars. They even have museums and Italian restaurants, just like here! They have Starbucks and Home Depot and Club Monaco too!! Amazing!! It's not just a bunch of crunchy people sitting around eating Moose meat after all. At least, not in the summer.
Speaking of crunchy, Toronto wins a Poker Chick medal for its social conscience. All citizens have three garbage piles they must make: recycling, compost, and regular trash. Furthermore, they're limited to a certain number of bags of trash and it's only picked up every two weeks. Now, perhaps this law was just passed to prevent raging parties. Canada's not exactly known for its raves. But still, while it's a huge pain in the @ss for its residents, other cities should look to this example. If everyone followed suit, the world would, well....you know were this is going.
Now, there are only two small complaints Poker Chick has of this town:
1) Nobody knows its history. Read up, people! How can you not know where "Toronto" comes from?
2) They may tell you it's the same weather here, but they lie. We spent a weekend shivering in high-60s (F) whilst other New Yorkers were sunning themselves in 80-degree weather. Nice try, friends.
So, long story short? Go for the great town. Go for the nice people. Go for the fabulous hosts. Go for the chance to make Canada jokes all weekend long. But go in the summer. And bring a furry hat.*
Toronto's linguistic origins hail from the Mohawk phrase tkaronto, later modified by French explorers and mapmakers. Tkaronto means "where there are trees standing in the water," according to several Mohawk speakers and aboriginal language expert John Steckley. Mohawks used the phrase to describe The Narrows, where Hurons and other natives drove stakes into the water to create fish weirs.
Fish weirs. Those Canadians. Exciting stuff.
*No Poker Chick review would be complete without a mention of fashion. For those contemplating a Canada visit, please check with PC first for her order from "Roots". She'd ask her friends for it but they're still bitter about the Kix.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
- Fat, shirtless old men smoking cigars on the beach. 'Nuff said.
- Crocs. They're good for kids, good for water, not so good for grown men on the town. Especially egregious in construction-orange.
- 1980's-clad men (black hat, earring, etc.) grabbing their crotch while in line at the bagel store. Dude, not appropriate over or under the pants, and we definitely didn't need to see both. Now you can have all the "Mr. Confident" 'tude you want, but Poker Chick guarantees that everyone around you was still grossed out.
- Being called "Mom", "Mama", "Mummy", by a first name, or anything else other than "Mommy". This one's obviously not for everyone but we know PC is not alone in this one!
- Speedos. Anyone wearing speedos in public. Put it away, pal.
- People with no sense of personal space. Stop touching me!!
- Old ladies in drugstores. Poker Chick clearly missed the law of physics that doesn't allow a woman over 65 to spend anything less than 15 minutes at the checkout counter.
- Dogs in purses. Even worse when it's a fancy purse.
- Parents also in costumes when trick or treating with their kids. OK, you want to put on a tiara or nose to get in the spirit, that's cool. Full fledged witch or Star Trek character, now you've crossed the line to big loser.
- People with NO CONCEPT of personal space. What's wrong with you?
- Tourists in New York over "the holidays".
- People who use oppressive terms like "holiday spirit" and think it makes them sound liberal, inclusive and PC.