Friday, August 29, 2008

Excuse Me, Did You Just Pour Salt On Your Fudge?

And the answer to that is yes. Yes, Poker Chick did. How did this happen? Well, it goes back to the mini having food allergies.

A trip to all local fudgeries resulted in only two flavors without nuts. Chocolate and Vanilla. Very exciting, huh? Notice the sarcasm. Unfortunately, the most delicious-looking flavor was the peanut butter but sadly it was not to be.

So we improvised. Once the kids were asleep Poker Chick had the idea to take a spoonful of Soy Nut Butter and put it on her chocolate fudge. Only this stuff isn't as salty as peanut butter so it usually needs some to taste like it. One bite and she realized it had potential, just needed salt. But the idea of pouring salt on fudge? Gross!

She was dared to do it and it was good! And that is how she found herself, pouring salt over a fudge/soy nut butter "schmear" that she made up.

Damn, it was goooood. Don't knock it until you try it, peeps.

Ouch, my head hurts!

Vacation is eerily reminiscent of summer camp days. First you put sheets on the mattress, which is not much more than a box spring anyway. Then, there's the moldy smell of the wood in humidity. The chill in the air. The bugs.

Perhaps she is alone, but Poker Chick always remembers being miserable the first few days of summer camp. The bugs kept her awake at night. The bathroom smelled funny. And everything seemed dirty. But by the third day she was always over it and everything felt normal.

So those memories came flooding back while she winced putting her lacey underwear in old (and possibly rotting) wooden drawers. And every creak of the "bed" brought the same nostalgia with it.

That aside, the real problem in this house has been herself. Two days ago, she was foraging for snacks in the refrigerator (she's not used to one that big) and jumped up without realizing her head was still slightly in. This resulted in a fast and hard bump on the head. She saw stars. She got immediately dizzy. Tears just started flowing. This was a serious bump on the head.

After a day of ice and some tequila (to "constrict the blood vessels", that was the reason, uh yea....) it felt mildly better. But Poker Chick couldn't leave it at that. No sooner had the throbbing subsided, that she jumped up after kissing the mini goodnight in her bunk bed (who's done bunk beds since summer camp?!) and whacked her head on the top bunk. A major whack. In the same spot.

Ow. Ow, ow ow. Ow, ow. OMG, ow.

Well, maybe she can console herself with the weather report giving her some good news. The group has to leave by 10am tomorrow. The sun was supposed to show today but it's still cloudy outside. Guess when the weatherman says the sun is coming out again? And will stay for the full ten day forecast? Did you guess 10:30 am tomorrow?

It was kind of obvious she was going there, huh?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Channeling the Domestic Goddess Within

Apparently a week in a house with two kids to feed will bring out the domestic side of anyone, no matter how latent. Last week we posted about feats of Jell-O and pancakes. Lest anyone think these are exaggerated, there's more; proof that anything is possible.

  1. Shucking corn. There's a word that sounds funnier the more times you say it.
  2. Homemade Guacamole. So good, it was requested the next night in larger quantities. She even did the throw the ginzu knife in the avocado pit thing to twist and take it out. Impressive, yes. Smart, not so much. At least not if you're as klutzy as this girl.
  3. A giant pot of rice. We didn't want you to think it was all glamorous. She can do the basics too. And it didn't even burn.
We know you don't believe us, so there are photos. Y'all will just have to wait two more days until she's back in civilization and can get that little cord thing that uploads them to the computer.

Monday, August 25, 2008

F*cked by the F-Girl, Again!

Her name was Florence. She was hot and heavy. But also dark and stormy. So stormy, in fact, she shut down and airport and left 120 people (Poker Chick included) stranded in Bermuda. Not that it's a bad place to be stranded. But if you're going to spend the money to go to Bermuda (and it is a lot), you want to be able to see that pink sand. So a hurricane kinda puts a damper on that. But Poker Chick figured Florence was a once-in-a-lifetime kinda thing.

Fast forward two years later. (It can't be one year, because the F-name is male the year in between). Turns out Faye's got it in for Poker Chick, too. We figured we were safe because Faye was done and far west of the Atlantic. But of course then Poker Chick tried to plan a beach vacation. So against all odds, Faye gathered all "remnants" and moved herself back east to visit. And thus another beach vacation is rained out. To illustrate, behold the OBX weather patterns below:

Weather for most of the week
The "nice" day this week
Weather other people get here

Poker Chick is thinking perhaps she should only plan beach vacations in odd-numbered years.

Thanks a lot, bitches.

Corolla is not just a Toyota

Corolla is also a remote place on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. So remote, in fact, that it does not get blackberry service. In case you were wondering, Corolla is here:
<-That's Corolla. Waaay out in the middle of nowhere.
To give you some scale, the bridge to OBX is in Kitty Hawk, so we had to go another 20-30 miles to get away from civilization. The closest "big" town to us is to the south, called Duck. There are several advantages to this:

1) It's easy to remember if you get lost. "The one above the duck!"
2) Everything sounds funnier when added to "duck". "Duck donuts". "Duck fudge". "Duck Smoothies". It's hilarious! Especially when "duck donuts" are "made to order".

Now, some of you must be wondering how our city girl is faring in these parts. Well, the snob within is truly slumming it, peeps. Let her paint you a picture:
  • She's living in a house. Not the Four Seasons, not a resort house with maid service and a restaurant, but a regular not-so-fancy teal-green house.
  • For the most part, it feels like a cross between the Jersey shore and the Hamptons. So far, the only big advantage she's been able to identify is warmer water. Just like the NY/NJ beaches, there's kitchsy stores and farmers markets and fudge and mini-golf. And the plethora of bbq (pigs in pits) is...hmmm...maybe a little
  • Speaking of country, there's wild horses running around these parts.
  • And beer "drive-thrus". That's right, beer. Drive-through. They're called "Brew-Thrus".
Now, lest you think she's complaining, she must add that the house has a pool and hot tub. And having a stocked fridge is.. (gasp)...not so bad. She didn't cook or anything but she did make a turkey sandwich. With sides of grapes and carrot sticks. It may be more fruit and veggies than she's eaten in weeks. Also, the beach and sun are gorgeous. As a result, after just one day, she is brown and luscious. And the kids had fun too. This is good because apparently Hurricane Faye left behind some remnants that are headed back east and will ruin the rest of the stay with rain and clouds all the time. Lovely.

Tomorrow we'll post about amusing signs way. There are some you peeps will not believe. Meanwhile, good trip or not good trip? We'll leave readers to their own opinions for now. Feel free to share.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Help a Girl Eat, Will Ya?

To follow up on yesterday's post, this morning's breakfast involved Poker Chick making blueberry pancakes for the California family. Now, Poker Chick knows how to cook. She just does it so rarely it's a major event when she does. The repeated "PC cooked!?" reactions had her thinking: she's leaving CA tonight for a week in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Never mind the fact she's never been there and rented a house sight unseen (is she really doing this?). But she's realizing that "remote" and "beach" mean cooking every night. And let's face it, cooking every night is not much of a vacation.

And there's the rub. Remember the mini has food allergies? So, if anyone knows any restaurants in OBX that are allergy-friendly please help a Chick out. There's a special souvenir in it for you!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hidden Talents

We all have them. Things we didn't know we could do. "They"* say that it's important to put yourself in different environments once in a while. It challenges your brain and helps you achieve personal growth.

Some people don't listen to this, some take it to the extreme (we're talking about you Mt. Fuji-climbing type peeps here). But most of us aren't climbing mountains. We're just living our daily lives and doing ordinary things. Occasionally, we try a "new" ordinary thing and those days become extraordinary to us. Even though they're far from exciting to most people.

So, allow Poker Chick to demonstrate her not-so-hidden talent for dramaticizing would-be boring moments:

The Scenario: our die-hard New Yorker finds herself in sunny California. What new skills has she discovered in two days? The natural ability to hit a golf ball (who knew?). And unsurpassed Jell-O making talent. We're talking the whole thing gone in minutes. People swooning, exclaiming "wow! I've never had Jell-O like this before! So delicious!"
Ok, ok so there was no swooning. But exclamations were made. And all agreed that if there were an international culinary medal for Jell-O making, she'd be sporting it right now. (Ha! "Sporting"! See what we did there? We worked in the golf reference. That's so awesome).

Makes one wonder what new and exciting events will be uncovered tomorrow, doesn't it?

*Who are "they"? Good question. If you know, please tell Poker Chick as she's been looking for them forever. "They" are the same people that tell you too many sweets are bad for you, that you should exercise and eat your vegetables, that smoking is bad, and basically that anything else fun you do should be making you feel guilty. "They" have been hiding for years. If people actually found out who "they" are, all the mystery and power of their decrees would be gone.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy Hour, Indeed

For the time being, Delta is back in favor with Poker Chick. First, they restored her elite status for another year. Next, she was able to use miles for a last minute transcontinental flight and even get an upgrade. No, she’s not here to gloat. It’s just that the extra miles were SO worth it she thought she should share for future reference.

First of all, you cannot underestimate basic perks such as a clean bathroom, quiet place to sit and basic food/drink. Now add to that shorter lines in a redonculously crowded terminal and you have the nirvana that is luxury travel.

Skip two hours from leaving home and we find Poker Chick eating deviled eggs with caviar, drinking a surprisingly good Bloody Mary, and typing on her computer (which is charging along with her cell phone and blackberry). Did we mention the comfortable chair?

Repeat after Poker Chick: “’Tis good to be a snob. ‘Tis good to be a snob.”

Now you must excuse Poker Chick. She’s up and running to the nearest table faster than you can say “dessert bar.”

Saturday, August 16, 2008

And the Gold for "Best Olympic Flub" goes to.....

There ere are so many laughable things coming out of this year's games it's almost no fun because it's too easy. Nevertheless, here you are, selects of Olympic ridicule. These can also be filed under the headline, "oh no they di'int!"

American runner, Tyson Gay. This may be old news to some but it's still relevant and Poker Chick had to make peeps aware of this one. OneNewsNow, a division of the American Family Association apparently took offense to the name of Tyson Gay, the fastest man on the US track team. See if you can spot the flub below:Did you catch the headline? Horror of horrors, there seems to be a homosexual ruining the games! Oh wait, that is Tyson Gay. Confused yet? Apparently they have software that does a mass find and replace on the word "gay". Somehow "homosexual" is a less offensive term to these peeps. (We can't quite figure that one out. Maybe they're appalled that the word "gay" is also associated with hapiness, and g-d forbid "gay" people should be happy? Who knows). Regardless, the software obviously caused a highly embarrassing boo-boo for them. But at the same time, Poker Chick would like to thank them, as they have contributed much-needed belly laughs for us all.

Poker Chick's going to assume all you peeps have already read about the lip-synching debacle during the opening ceremonies in Beijing. This article is a great summary. The whole situation left Poker Chick struggling with two questions:
  1. Did they really think no one was going to notice?
  2. What could possibly be considered wrong with a 7 year old who has crooked or missing teeth. Isn't that an inherent part of being 7? The only way to describe the reaction here is: W-T-F Chinese Olympic Production peeps?!
Chinese gymnastics team member He Kexin is really 13. Oh wait, China corrected that. She's 16! (yes, He is a she. Get over it). Obviously no one knows how old she (rather, He) really is, but we're ready and excited for the news to come because Poker Chick is convinced this one's not over until the fat lady sings. Oh, wait........ fat ladies probably can't sing in China either.

In the meantime, allow Poker Chick to suggest a new Olympic activity for spectators. It's called "guess the age of the Chinese gymnasts".

Poker Chick will start posting more often later this week, she swears. She's been caught up in new business. Much to her disappointment, the product was not "best Olympic respiratory mask".

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Thrill Of A Good Call

First things, first. Poker is not gambling. It's a game of skill, and while there is some element of chance (isn't there in any game? weather in baseball, for example) people who play well will win more consistently than people who play poorly. Practice makes you play better. And intelligence and people skills help. So, no, it's not gambling. It's an intellectual sport.

Now that we've got that cleared up......

It's about time the "Poker Chick" blog had some Poker around here. For you skeptics, we swear this happened much more often before the mini came around. But fortunately, we saw some action this weekend. And anyone who plays poker knows that playing well can be even more thrilling than winning. So allow us a little anectode. We'll call it "you know you're good when..." And apologies to newbies in advance. There's some technical terms here.

The hand started with lousy hole cards. So Poker Chick folded but of course she was using the opportunity to take in information about her fellow players. The flop was boring as hell. Jack, three, seven; a rainbow. No one raised pre-flop so we can only assume no one had a pocket pair of Queens, Kings, or Aces. So with this flop the highest likely hand was a pair of Jacks. Someone probably had a Jack. But still, not great. Not one to stake your stack on. So Poker Chick expected a quick series of checks and limp calls so we could move on to more interesting cards.

But then the old lady who doesn't bet often bet when she could have checked. A guy quickly called her - but no raise. He was clearly hoping for a free ride but had something or he would have folded. He was probably as puzzled as I was. Turn comes and she checks. But now this guy comes out swinging. And she raises him. And he calls her before her chips fall into the pot.

What do these people have? That's what Poker Chick was thinking. Before we tell you, you should know the turn and river cards were blanks. So no straight draw, no flush, no pairs on the board, nothing higher than the Jack. It was all about the hole cards. So Poker Chick thought on it a while and figured it out before the showdown. This was her thought process....

The guy must have had two pair. Jack, seven probably. It made sense. Otherwise he would have folded after the flop. But he didn't so he must have hoped it was the best hand. And when the lady checked after the turn he probably assumed he did so bet it. But he wasn't bullying, because Jacks and sevens, even a two pair isn't anything to write home about. Especially this one. OK. So let's assume this crazy theory is right. What does the lady have?

Poker Chick put her on pocket threes. She bet after the flop (where there was a three) and she wouldn't have bet like that if she just had a pair. And if she had pocket Jacks or pocket sevens, she would have been raising earlier. But she didn't. But after a lousy turn her threes were looking better. So she bet more aggressively.

Anyway this is what Poker Chick is thinking but there were many possibilities that were just as likely.

Showdown comes. Guy flips over Jack seven. And the lady has pocket threes.

Imagine, if you will, the smugness she was feeling when she heard the reactions all around the table "What a hand! I would never have put her on pocket threes! wow! Nice one!"

Damn, we're good.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Digital Intelligence

She's back and she's got goodies!! The first reader to correctly identify the # of buzzwords used in this blog gets to pick the next post topic. Don't all run at once, now.

Much like she did with "peeps", Poker Chick has been tossing around a new catchy term called "Digital Intelligence". Sounds cool, doesn't it? She's never heard anyone using the term the way she does, so of course we're posting in the hopes this catches on as a fad and then she can take credit for it. It's catching on at work and amongst friends, so why not the web? But using it near-daily as if it were already in the dictionary did made her curious. What is "digital intelligence"? A quick online search yielded the following results:
  • "Digital Intelligence" seems to be the name of a digital forensics company. Cool, and so CSI, might we add.
  • The peeps (see? she did it again!) over at 24/7 realmedia talk about "digital intelligence" as the "science of digital marketing".
  • Other results talk about all sorts of neat yet incomphrehensible things like electrons and platforms and modules. Oh my.
This is all the subject of great cocktail-party conversation. Yawn. What were we saying?
Science, schmience. What about the rest of us? Poker Chick, lover of all things contrary, uses "digital intelligence" as a new tool for societal judgement and assessing self-worth. And really, what's more interesting than that? It lends itself not just to the intellectual world but to pop culture: Rank your friends on Facebook, features in US Weekly (we can see it now: Headline: "which celeb is more 'digitally intelligent'"? Pictured below: Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lauren Conrad, Poker Chick), heck even American Idol could call itself a "digitally intelligent" show for its incorporation of text messaging and cross-promotion with iTunes.

The ability to interpret this chart on online ad spending is a sign of digital intelligence

You see, all it means is "how much better do I understand this Web 2.0 crap than my peers"? That's all it is, really. When someone at works talks about interactive media, do you know what they mean? Do you know the difference between Web 2.0 and Health 2.0? Can you define social networking? Do you know the difference between a widget and a gadget? Do you really know what SEM means, or do you just pretend to, like 91%* of all people do in casual conversations?
The more answers you know to these questions, the higher you rank in "digital intelligence".

So Poker Chick, you ask, tell us? Are we digitally intelligent? You'll be pleased to know that the answer is a resounding yes. Well, according to the Poker Chick definition anyway. Syndicated research shows that people who read blogs regularly are already much more digitally sophisticated than the rest of us. This confirms that all you peeps reading this can pat yourselves on the back and call yourselves "digitally intelligent". If you blog yourself, that ranking goes higher. If you subscribe to this or any other blog via RSS feed, your score goes up even more. (Bonus points if you know what an RSS feed is). If you contribute to wikis, can define "open source code" or even pretend to know some HTML, then you're in the upper echelon of early adopters.

Go any further than that and you're back to the previous term used for this type of knowledge, which Poker Chick believes is officially "computer geek".

So go forth and use it with glee. Use it at work, at dinner, on dates. Feel the smugness that comes along with knowing fancy terms that make you sound smarter than you are. Be a part of the cool club. And don't forget: you heard it here first.

*Source: Poker Chick proprietary quantitative research

Mad About MadMen

Suuuuch an original headline, we know. Anyway.

If you're not already watching MadMen, you should be. Thanks to shameless self-promotion this season's viewers actually include people outside the ad biz too. Though a dark satire, it's still the closest comparison on film Poker Chick's ever seen to reality in this industry. And it's just an unbelievably well-written program, an artifact these days thanks to reality TV. But Poker Chick's not here to review a show.

She's here to bitch about the wives. Sitting at home, cooking and cleaning. Wearing pearls and lace bras and mixing drinks before their husbands get home. Seriously? Who the hell vacuums in pearls and full makeup? Isn't it a g-d given right as a mother to let yourself go if you're going to spend your day cleaning spit up? Can any woman reading this please just take a moment and thank g-d we do not live in 1960?

Now that she's off her soapbox, note that Poker Chick is not the only one that takes offense to this.* Gray Matter, in this post, has already casted the appropriate outrage at our industry, and it's much funnier than we could have written. So enjoy. And don't blame the show. They're just telling it like it was. With a great deal of hyperbole for dramatic effect.

Could Poker Chick Be Doing Something Right?

Bug Bites. She was covered in mosquito bites. She was putting gel on them, desperate for relief, and the mini noticed them and said "oh mommy!" in horror. She immediately jumped off the couch, leaving Dora and Swiper for a rare moment, and ran. "I'll make your boo boo better!" she shouted. Her sweet plan was foiled when the husband put mosquito allergen and mini's mouth together in his head and decided it was not the best idea to have the two meet.

So he thanked the mini for her sentiment and told her she couldn't kiss it on top of the lotion. She shrugged and said "ok" and ran back to the tv. But then she stopped and said excitedly "I have an idea!" And without saying a word she ran to Poker Chick, opened her arms, gave her a huge hug and a kiss on the cheek, smiled, and ran back to her snack on tv as if nothing happened.

Damn, that's one sweet kid. Where the heck did she learn that?