Thursday, February 28, 2008
BTW, the pic above is just how easy it is, one for one thus far.
As of late, after experiencing a really nice 3 week run in tournaments, I would have to say I have seen a bit of overconfidence creep into my game. And I also have to say, it has hurt my tournament play.
I am playing my hands just like I was playing them during the good run, when I re-popped somebody from late position with J-J and they laid their hand down. I was no doubt running good and playing solid, confident poker during that run, but my timing was also very good. That led to alot of uncontested pots and very few showdowns.
Continuing to play like that for the past week has led to horrid results for me. My Jacks have been running into Queens and my Tens have been running into Jacks over and over and over again. It is really just typical variance, I understand this, but it has also affected my play.
As I am wont to do, I have crept back into my non-aggresive nit-style shell and am not playing very solid nor very confident poker. It shows in my results and it shows in my overall attitude right now. I suck and the bad thing about it is that recognizing it and doing something about it are two entirely different things.
I still feel like I am playing well for the most part, regardless of results, I just need to find a way to get my swagger back. Winning a few pots or maybe getting it all in with the best of it might help. My typical percentage is probably 3 out of every 4 times the money goes in, I have the best of it. Right now, I would guess that number is under 50%. Piss poor play and piss poor results makes me an unhappy camper.
I will be trying to get back in that groove in the coming days and weeks and will be attempting to play my way into contention during the BBT3. Regardless of others' opinions, I feel like I can be competitive in this thing. With a little luck and a little timing, I think there are a number of players out there that are flying under the radar and have just as good a chance at winning a seat as anybody else. Perhaps they won't be as competitive as some for the duration of the tournament, but on any given night, I think there are probably at least 50 players capable of dominating one tournament.
Al has once again proven that he is the man with all his hard work and everything that he has accomplished for the blogging community. I am with Lucko on this, he needs to be freerolled into the TOC or possibly even one of the 2K seats, just for the work he has put into this little world of ours. Without his knowledge and hard work, none of this would be possible and he has continually made it bigger and better over the last few years. Thanks Al, Soco is on me in July.
So, it has come to pass, I have slipped out of 4th gear and appear to be idling in neutral for the time being, but it is still just one big game, right? I have lots of time to get it together and get back to playing my game.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:25 PM, ,
LeCheese and Mookie
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
posted by GaryC @ 2:49 PM, ,
MATH and other crap
Monday, February 25, 2008
posted by GaryC @ 3:04 PM, ,
Trying To Focus
Thursday, February 21, 2008
My last year or so at the virtual tables has been a constant battle of trying to stay "in a groove" or trying to get "on a roll." The good runs have been great, the bad runs horrible and the overall up and down blah on a nightly basis has been, well, the norm.
"I guess you're either runnin' bad or runnin' good, but do any of you run in the middle?"
Trust me, Peaker, running in the middle is the most boring, least fulfilling spot to be. My good runs have all seemed too short and the bad runs too long in comparison to the good runs, but running in the middle has caused me to become extremely apathetic to this game. That will lead to poor decisions, mindless button-mashing and overall, losing poker, at least for me.
I'm one of those guys that really needs to focus on what I'm doing to be succesful. Oh, I can multi-task my way around the block, but making it around the block and making it to, say, the top of a mountain are two entirely different things. It's so simple for me to sit here and tell you the things I do that are succesful in this game. Simple, really. However, saying and doing are two different things altogether. Time for another of my Dad's favorite sayings:
"Do as I say, not as I do."
If he said that to me once while I was growing up, I heard it a thousand times. It was usually something trivial that I was trying to call him out on and was usually followed up with this line:
"Because I said so, that's why."
My strategies used to be so simple that they were second nature.
-Log into one SNG or MTT at a time and give that game your full attention.
-Turn off the distractions, whether it be music, the TV or your family and pay strict attention to the action at your table. Take notes on the players and determine your best course of action from those notes.
-Sit back and be patient. Wait for those cards, because they will come eventually and when they do, somebody will pay you off every.single.time.
Those are the basic strategies I used when I first started playing and they have served me well over the last 3+ years.................when I follow them. Doh!
Of late my focus and attention span could be compared to that of a gnat. I'm constantly buzzing around Bodog, Tilt and Stars looking at this tournament, sitting down at this cash table and generally, not paying much attention to anything at all going on around me. I have the TV on in the background, BuddyDankRadio blaring over the speakers and the constant in and out of my wife and daughter throughout the night. That's a recipe for trouble, right there.
Thankfully, my old nemesis, the tilt-monster, has been nowhere to be found of late. Oh, I still take a ridiculous beat every now and then and let out a huge FUCK YOU, ala MiamiDon, but, at least lately, I haven't let it affect my play. I've also been able to log off and stop playing lately when I felt like it might affect my play and that's a good thing too.
I've been playing alot lately, generally from 6-11 pm Monday - Thursday. We've been out of town nearly every weekend, but I also play on Fridays at least one week a month, whenever I have to work on Saturday. The playing alot is not a problem, it's the amount of playing while I'm playing alot that is leading to the lack of focus.
I seem to be trying to do too much every night when I get home to play. Too many cash tables, too many MTT's and SNG's running at the same time and too many distractions around me to play optimal poker for me. Now, I realize optimal poker for me and optimal poker for the rest of you that stop by here on a regular basis are two entirely different things. Most of you have some sort of tracking software running, telling you what your ROI is at all times and try to maximize that return. While I am concerned with maximum return on investment as well, playing more and more tables in an effort to maximize that return leads to poor decision making in most cases, for me. That, again, is losing poker, at least as far as I'm concerned.
I, like everybody else out there, have sat down and listed some specific poker "goals" that I wanted to accomplish at some point. Most of them had to do with being profitable, but I've always, deep down inside, wanted to take a shot at the WSOP. Maybe not the Main Event, unless I was able to somehow win a seat through an on-line qualifier, but maybe a $1500 or $2000 buy-in event. I even came damn close one time a few years back, unfortunately bubbling in 3rd when 2 buy-ins were guaranteed. It might have been the most heartbroken I've ever been after an on-line tournament.
Lately my goals have changed, much as my life has changed and my ideals have changed, as well.
As most of you know and, although I haven't updated it in a while, I started off the new year on a diet. Fatty McLardass started off 2008 in the 245 pound range and I am pleased to report, I am down to around 225, having lost 20 pounds thus far. I feel better and I look better, at least from the neck down, because of the weight loss. After gaining 25 pounds back after the last time around on the diet, I needed to lose the weight again for me, to feel better about me and to physically feel better, as well.
In September, I embarked on a new challenge, as well. I started hunting with a good friend of mine that has a trailer down by our lake place. Bill has become one of my best friends in the last 6 months and my new found passion has taken over a bit of my every day life, as well as a good percentage of my disposable income. Hunting isn't cheap, by any means and if I am going to do it right,(and I do plan on doing it right) I need to come up with some ways to fund the habit. One of those ways is going to be poker income if I have my way.
My dreams and aspirations of playing in a WSOP Event may one day come to fruition, but for now, I am going to be concentrating on grinding out profit, night after night, at the Limit tables. I'll still be playing the blogger events with my friends and I will still be playing to win, regardless of what 2 cards I flip up when I get called, but, the majority of my time is going to be spent trying to increase that bankroll and fund my other habits.
I have alot of "goals" and "dreams" for the rest of my life, some poker-related, but most, non-poker-related and I am going to concentrate on the non-poker-related goals for a while. It's funny that I plan on using poker to help me reach those goals, but, that's how I roll. I'm funny like that.
So, Peaker, to really answer your question - running in the middle is certainly better than running bad, but I think there are certain things that you (or I, in this case) can do to avoid running in the middle and I plan on trying to regain that focus that I have let slip away of late. There is absolutely no reason that we don't win buy-in after buy-in from these ass-clowns on a nightly basis. It just takes a little personal restraint and sticking to the guidelines that made us succesful in the first place.
The agenda will be loose and the weather will be hot, that I can promise you. I have lots of tentatives and lots of definites so far and I am looking forward to our biggest showing yet here in the heartland.
The lovely MrsGCox25 will again be my co-host and, although I haven't heard from her yet, I'm hoping Miss Maudie will again help me show off that Oklahoma hospitality.
Tentatively we will spend Friday, the 11th, down at my lake place again and the tournament will be at my house in the city on Saturday, the 12th. I think we will probably play poker in one of the casinos on Thursday afternoon/evening and then drive on down to the lake place on Thursday night/Friday morning. That will give us a full day down there to ride jet-ski's, drink lots of booze and play some mind-numbing poker with the locals. Yes, she did call your raise with 10-7 off-suit, I promise.
If anybody has any questions, feel free to drop me an email or a comment here and I will be glad to try to answer them for you.
posted by GaryC @ 3:22 PM, ,
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
How about some actual pokery content here for a change of pace? I mean, this is a poker blog, right?
As I presumed, announcing yourself to be on a "heater" at the poker table is a bad idea. Not that I didn't already know that, but lately, any success/slightly positive ROI in the Limit tournaments I was having, has come to a screeching halt. As in, I couldn't cash or make a final table if all the other button-mashing lemurs disconnected.
So, I've slowed down on the lotteries that are multi-table tournaments.
Being a risk-averse weak-tight knit and seeing at least some limited success at the Limit tables, I've taken to playing $1/$2 Limit Hold Em as a way to pass the time and also in hopes of building up the bankroll. I've been buying in short for $40 and playing the 6-max tables on both Full Tilt and Stars.
It continues to amaze me the lack of respect other players give to people who bet or raise in this game. Here's an example:
I post my $1 and am dealt A-7o the first hand. Call, call, I check, call, call and check. All 6 of us see this flop:
A-8-7 with two diamonds.
It checks to me and I bet my two pair and am snap-called by every player at the table.
The turn is the King of hearts.
Same song, second verse. Call, call, call. At this point, I am praying for the 7 of diamonds to hit the river, which, it dutifully does, leaving us this board:
I have a full house, but it is bet and raised before it gets to me. I re-raise and end up capping it with two fellows, one of whom has garnered ironman status. (as well as a nifty little personal note that I have tagged him with)
They show down 7-3 off-suit and 10-6 of diamonds and I rake a rather large pot for $1/$2 Limit. After folding my next hand and tagging both of these "new friends" I quickly move off of the table, sticking with a hit and run strategy that has worked pretty well for me of late.
I tend to hang around too long, get involved in too many pots and play too many speculative hands from out of position in these instances, so I have started switching sites/tables whenever I have a nice run. It's a small thing, I know, but at least that weakness or tendency to do things I shouldn't do at the tables is tempered a bit by moving around pretty regularly.
These near-same donkeys are at all of the 6-max tables all night long and on every site. Oh, you are going to run into a solid player here and there, but I constantly see these guys jumping up to $1/$2, buying in for $10 and flaming out with the first hand dealt to them. It takes alot of patience to catch some of them sometimes, but as long as they are playing and raising any two cards, you will catch them sooner or later.
I've also been playing a bit of $25 PLO. You read that right, Pot Limit and Omaha HI.
I have been playing the CAP variety of these games, because I'm weak and I'm tight, but the same types of players mentioned above inhabit these games on a nightly basis. It's a nut-peddler's paradise, so long as you make the nutz on occasion.
That's basically my game in a nutshell right there. Sit back, play good starting hands, make the mortal nutz and hope to get paid off big when you do. It doesn't always work out that way, because there are times when you can't make a hand for what seems like hours, but, just as sure as you do, there's going to be a mouth-breather around at the end to pay you off. It's almost guaranteed.
I can fold for sometimes 3 or 4 orbits, bring one hand in for a raise and all 5 of my buddies are coming along for the ride, every.single.time. It doesn't matter if it's Holdem, Omaha, Razz, HORSE or some other variation of poker, nobody seems to be able to lay down a hand.
For that reason, I tend to not raise very much on these tables. Sit back, wait for the nutz and then try to get paid off.
Of course, this is nothing brilliant or ground-breaking, it's basically the way I've played from day one of this internet poker experience and it typically works over the long term. While I'm not a hugely succesful tournament player and have certainly not made a ton of money over the last three+ years, I have steadily made money and the way I do that is detailed above.
Sit back - I don't play very many hands, but when I do, it is typically a big hand. I do play suited connectors in the right spot at these tables, as well, but big pairs or big s00ted Aces are more typical hands for me to play. I also try to watch my position carefully.
Play good starting hands - as outlined above, my starting hand requirements are much, much more stringent than most people out there, but that is just what works for me, so I have stuck with it. So far, it has served me pretty well.
Make the mortal nutz - Regardless of the variant you are playing, we all know what the mortal nutz is no matter what combination of cards is on the board. When you are in the enviable position of holding a hand that you know cannot be beat, it's time to pounce. It doesn't matter if you've seen one flop in the last 79, somebody is still going to pay you off most of the time.
Try to get paid off - this is really not that hard to do, especially at the levels that I play, because the play is generally horrendous and one of the people in the hand with you is going to pay you off, more times than not.
What I have talked about today is certainly not a strategy that will work for everybody out there. In fact, I would guess that it won't work for most people out there. I am not a very patient man in general, but there are at least two exceptions to that:
Poker and Hunting.
I can sit in the field with my gun loaded all day long waiting for the opportunity to pull the trigger and when it comes to poker, I look at it the same way. I'm hunting wascally wabbits and sitting back, folding away, just waiting on my chance to pull the trigger.
Tonight is the Mookie and I will almost surely be there, after missing just my 3rd Mookie in the last two years last week. I got home from work, sick as a dog and fell asleep last Wednesday at around 7 pm. When I awoke to go puke my guts out, I realized that it was too late to join. Bah.
I played in the Bodog and the Skillz series last night with no success. I had a nice stack in the Bodog tourney, but couldn't seem to win a race when it got down to nut-cuttin' time. That's what we call down here in Oklahoma, nut-cuttin' time. I think I went out in 17th place or so, right around the points bubble. Doh!
The plethora of blogger tournaments available on a nightly basis is a good thing for our little community, in my opinion. I enjoy playing cards with people I know on a regular basis and, regardless of the irritating software at Bodog, I am enjoying that little tournament as well. Having met a ton of great people through this little blog thing and this huge poker thing, I can say that most of those folks sitting across from you, night after night on the virtual felt, are good peebles!
Have a good one and until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:07 PM, ,
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
............to some donkey that you know's Mother's basement!
Stay tuned for more details or head over here for all the details!!!
posted by GaryC @ 5:05 PM, ,
Monday, February 18, 2008
Tonight is the MATH on Full Tilt, for any of you gluttons for 6-max punishment. There is a possiblity I will make it out tonight for this one, but it is still up in the air.
My personal mood right now is blech!
-Stomach virus last week.
-Last weekend of hunting rained/iced out.
-Wifey out of town for two days this week.
-Work is whipping my ass!
Until next time, I puke.
P.S. Thanks to everybody that dropped by and left me a comment on my last post. Much appreciated folks, especially for those of you that commented twice. ;)
posted by GaryC @ 2:59 PM, ,
Who Am I?
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
.........or better yet, where am I?
"Gary Cox is a writer and poker player from Oklahoma." - Dr. Pauly
Am I really a semi-pro poker player that works all day to make a living, support a family and then play all night on the virtual felt, looking for that elusive "big win?" I know I'm not that guy.
Sure, I'm playing and looking for that elusive "big win" just like everybody else, but that is not what drives me to continue to play this game. The fact that this "hobby" allows us to actually make some money for time spent, in some cases, is icing on the cake for me. Were it all still play money, like in the beginning, I would likely still play this game, at least for a little while.
I've never been caught up in my dollars and cents. Yes, I kept a daily log/spreadsheet tracking wins and losses for a time, when I first started getting serious about the game, but I've never kept running totals from the beginning to the present time. I can tell you the basic xx's and oo's and have a general, overall sense of where I'm at, with no actual, factual data to support my claims.
I am a winning poker player........overall......for the long haul. Most of my winnings have come from SNG tournaments and MTT tournaments over the "long haul." I am not and have never claimed to be a cash game player. I play it, like most people, to clear bonuses and when I don't have the personal time to devote to a tournament, but, to say I was any good at the cash tables would be, at best, semi-honest.
When I originally started playing for real money on Ultimate Bet, I made 3 $50 deposits. I went busto with the first two and then finally hit a hot streak and rode it for nearly 3 years. Then the great famine, depression, recession of 2007 hit and I learned what it was like to try to redeposit into online poker accounts without Neteller. Thanks to a bunch of good friends, it was still relatively painless and I kept chugging along, often times when I shouldn't have been chugging along to begin with.
There was about a 3-month span during early 2007 when I should have taken a break. Not a two-night break or a two-week break, but a month long break. It was warranted, but I was too stubborn to listen. In my mind, I was still playing good, solid poker and just seeing the bad side of variance during that time period. Looking back on it now, I was playing poor, losing poker and was too stubborn to realize it at the time. I was a losing poker player for the entirety of 2007.
There, I said it. I lost money for the year during 2007.
Luckily, I had made enough money during 2005 and 2006 that my confidence, while shaken a great deal, was never broken. I put my head down and continued on, through bad beat after suck out after poor play and finally, toward the end of 2007, I started to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I was coming out of it, finally.
There were times toward the end of that year when I felt like it didn't matter what I did, how I played or what cards I held, I was going to lose the hand, tournament, SNG, etc. That is no way to play and, in fact, it is losing poker. That was me, circa 3 or 4 months ago.
I'd like to say that Vegas helped me out of my rut a bit, but that wouldn't be true. Anybody that was at my table at the Venetian knows I was card dead, folded too much and generally, played weak/tight, pansy poker. I was out shortly after the first break, shoving A-Q off the short stack. I'd also like to point out that I was cold-decked during the entirety of that tournament, but what does that matter? It doesn't change things for the most part. Good, aggressive players make moves, steal pots and generally, learn to make things happen when they are cold-decked, in order to stay alive and still accumulate chips along the way. Me? Heh, I fold.
What really turned it around for me was a conversation from last July with Surflexus. Of course, being the results-oriented monkey that I am, you could ask, but G, your losing streak didn't turn around last July, right? Right, but my mindset regarding the losing streak and my overall mindset as a poker player did turn around after that conversation. You see, Surf, who I consider to be a very strong, well-educated poker player, as well as a damn good friend, showed a little confidence in me and that right there turned around how I was approaching the game.
Surf said that he would be glad to spend a little time with me, on-line, railing, talking about hands, etc. in an effort to help me get over this funk that I was in at the time. He said he felt like I was a better player than I was showing and that I could improve, perhaps with a little nudge in the right direction. That made all the difference in the world to me and to my mindset. You see, I was becoming conditioned to the beats and, as I said before, that is losing poker and brother, I was playing me some losing poker back then.
After Okie-Vegas, not much was said about a time or a place or anything of that nature, but, not too long after that, I found myself in an MTT and starting to make a push with a decent stack fairly late. All of the sudden, PING, I get a chat IM from Surf, who WAS railing me and watching me and told me I was playing great, keep up the good work. I can't explain the feeling of confidence that came over me when he sent that IM. I final tabled that tournament that night and with a bit of luck, could have gone to final 3, but I hope you get my drift.
Good results didn't come in bunches back then, more like once in a great while, but something inside me changed for the better that night. Suddenly, I didn't feel like I was going to get sucked out on every had any more, I felt like, I have the best hand, let's make this donkey make a decision for all his chips. More often than not, my feelings were right and, regardless of the results, that is winning poker and that is what got me out of my funk and back on the right track in this game that we all play every night.
Sure, I still take the bad beats with more regularity than I would like, we all do, but now, if I made the right decision before the suck out, I'm still playing winning poker, regardless of the outcome of that one hand. I have my buddy Surf to thank for helping me out of that funk and getting my mind wrapped around making correct decisions and putting other players to the test. Thanks bro, I really appreciate it.
So, does that make me a winning player all of the sudden? Well, I'd like to say yes and I am well ahead for this year, although it's extremely early to start tracking results. I've had some nice MTT finishes this year and I have recently started dabbling in the lower stakes PLO games on Full Tilt. WIth that little bonus in the background and me being a sucker for bonii, I am trying to clear it. The results are mixed at this point, but the competition is not very good and I don't see why I can't make a little profit on top of the bonus from FT.
Am I semi-professional? Hell no and I don't think I ever want to be. I have a job that requires 50+ hours a week and for that time, allows me to take care of my family. That is what is of utmost importance to me. I'm not even making a nice side income from this game and may never make a nice side income from this game, so I will keep things in perspective and continue on, just as I have in the past.
I love the game, no doubt, and may never stop playing it altogether, unless our government sees fit to make that happen, but 3 or 4 hours a night will suffice for me. As I've gotten older, it takes more and more out of me, staying up that late and then getting up early to go to work every day. I can't play at work, hell, I can't even blog at work, so that will never be an option. I enjoy playing with my friends in the bloggaments, as well, so, bankroll permitting, I will probably be at as many of those per week as I can make.
As far as the blog goes, I feel like I'm languishing here. I don't want to quit, but I find it harder and harder to come up with anything I feel is worth reading. I've typed out numerous posts here and emailed them home just to re-read them and delete them before they ever see the light of day. I'm no writer, to answer a recent question out there in the blogosphere, never claimed to be, although one pretty famous writer among us called me that once. That was a very special moment for me and I really appreciate that Pauly. Whether I will ever write anything else that you deem worthy of Truckin' will have to remain to be seen. I don't see it happening any time soon, unfortunately.
In conclusion here today, if you've read this far, thank you. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting when I have something to say. I don't get to comment on nearly as many blogs as I used to because, well, basically I'm a lazy ass. I read everybody through Google Reader at work, but I have to comment when I get home and well, you know, that cuts into poker time. For that, I apologize and will just say this, I will try to do better in the future. No promises.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 2:52 PM, ,
Monday, February 11, 2008
Truckin' - February 2008, Vol. 7, Issue 21.
Benson and Hedges by Paul McGuireI looked at her arms and wrists. She didn't appear to be a cutter, but she listened to a lot of angry indie chick rock and idolized Ani DiFranco. Her sullenness always bothered me. I wanted to try to talk to her, but it was not easy. She used to sit in her room and drink alone... More
2. Declaration of Independence and Love by Betty UndergroundIt felt like I had stopped breathing for minutes as he brushed his lips across mine, without touching them. Dusting them like feathers. My head grew light as he teased me. I was frozen. Suffocated by desire... More
3. The Big Empty by Johnny HughesEver time I see Dowd, he gets shorter. Used to be taller than me. They say he puts a drop of honey on everything he eats, and he gets Chinese herbs from a chiropractor... More
4. Squirrel Hunting with Pudddin' Tooth by Clay ChamplinI was merely a hunter trying to kill him before he made it home. Without a word I pointed at the little grey dot bounding across the forest floor. Puddin' Tooth sprung to his feet, and we were off tracking the beast... More
5. Dragon Slayers and the Angry Villagers by Mini WafflesJ and A heard about a war and it was about the angry villagers and the Charlyaters but the angry villagers had to fight to keep their lands. Then they signed up... More
What a Long Strange Trip It's Been...
From the Editor's Laptop:
Another new issue of Truckin' featuring several of your favorite writers and one special addition. Betty Underground returns with a sultry tale. Johnny Hughes is back with another gem. Clay Champlin, a Truckin' veteran, also contributed to this issue. I added something about my old days living in Seattle with suicidal roommates. And then we have Mini Waffles. His debut in Truckin' marks an epic moment. Mini Waffles becomes the youngest ever writer to be published at Truckin' at nine-years old.
Please tell your friends and family about your favorite stories. It takes only a few seconds to pass along Truckin'. The writers certainly appreciate your support.Also, feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you know anyone who is interested in being added to the mailing list.
Thanks again to everyone for wasting your precious time month after month with Truckin'. And many thanks to the writers who exposed their souls to the world and spilled blood to make art. And, they did it for free. Thanks for inspiring me and taking that leap of faith with me.
"Obstinacy is the result of the will forcing itself into the place of the intellect." - Arthur Schopenhauer
posted by GaryC @ 7:33 PM, ,
Rest In Peace
Friday, February 08, 2008
Tomorrow marks the 5th anniversary of my Dad's death. It only seems like yesterday with every memory. All the memories, good and bad, are so incredibly vivid for me now.
I've said it before and I will say it again now, if your Dad is still alive, stop, today, stop what you are doing and call him or go see him. One day you will regret how busy you've been in your adult life.
In Loving Memory.
Donald Ray "Don" Cox
May 28, 1936 - February 9th, 2003.
I miss you a little bit more every day.
posted by GaryC @ 4:50 PM, ,
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
posted by GaryC @ 3:05 PM, ,
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
posted by GaryC @ 3:41 PM, ,
Monday, February 04, 2008
posted by GaryC @ 3:40 PM, ,
Friday, February 01, 2008
I've written numerous times about my Dad on this blog and numerous other times about my wife and kids and even my Grandpas. Well, today is the day I write about my Mama. (That's right, I called her Mama.)
You see, today is my Mom's birthday and I want to send out a special Happy Birthday that the whole world could see, if they were to happen on to my blog today.
My Mom and I have always been very close. The last few years, since my Dad passed away, we have grown even closer I think, especially emotionally. I live a couple of hours away from my Mom and I don't get over to see her as often as I should. I know this already, so no need to point that out.
It's just that with our busy lives and kids wanting to run around here and there and hunting and karaoke......okay, those are all just lame-o excuses. I need to make plans and take the time necessary to get over and see my Mom and the rest of my family on a more regular basis. Just another blip on the already-too-long To-Do list.
I grew up an only child in, what looking back now were fairly easy times, at least for me. My Dad had a good job and my Mom had a good job and we were comfortable. Life was simpler and there was a ton of time spent with family. We ate dinner at my Grandma and Grandpa's house a lot during the week. We went to my Nanny's house nearly every Sunday after church. (that's right, I still call her Nanny) I had a ton of cousins, aunts and uncles around nearly all the time.
Speaking of simpler times, when I was 2 or 3 years old, I would ride in the car with my Mama on the way to Tulsa. There were no seat belts or car seats back then, so I stood right in the middle of the front seat with my arm around my Mama's neck. I know of at least one story where she had to hit the brakes and threw me into the floor board of the car, but I was a tough little bugger. Of course, I was also about three times the size of all the other kids my age, so that helped.
My Mom was the second oldest child of Violet and Burl, my Nanny and the Grandpa that I never got to meet. She had 5 sisters and 1 brother and, while all of us cousins were growing up and still to this day, they all live within about a 25 minute drive of each other. My Nanny still lives by herself, in the same little house, in the same little town and her kids are still all right around there in the same area. I've spent 40 of my 42 Christmas Eves at the same little house in Bixby and would never dream of wanting to spend it anywhere else. The two that I missed while living on the west coast just didn't even feel like Christmas to me.
Growing up, my Mom was my protector, my confidant and my best friend. She was my go-between when Dad was tough, although she could dish out her own style of discipline, as well. While I was growing up, especially as I got older, I sometimes felt like Mom was in my business just a tad too much. Knowing what I know now, with two girls of my own, she was simply trying her best to keep me on the straight and narrow and out of trouble. It worked too, for the most part. I've had my share of dissappointing moments, but I think I've turned out alright.
My sense of family comes almost equally from my Mom and my Dad. They both came from extremely close families and I am sure I learned the respect that I have for my Mom by watching my Dad interact with my Grandma. I've mentioned here before that I am a Mama's boy and that is certainly the case, as it was with my Dad and his Mom. To this day, with all the women in my life, I would say I am the exact same way.
I still have my Mama, my Nanny, my wife, my two daughters and my mother-in-law around on a very regular basis, so I am constantly surrounded by women. To tell the truth, I kind of like it that way. I have a rather gruff exterior when it comes to the real world, but when I get sick, I want my Mama or my wife to take care of me. That originates back to when I was young and got sick, my Mama was always right there with anything that I might need and it carries over to today. I don't get sick enough to miss work very often, but when I do, I am always looking for somebody to baby me and take care of me.
Here's a little story from my past that was kind of funny. When I was a senior in college, my orthodontist determined that the migraine headaches I was experiencing was more than likely coming from the fact that my top jaw was too narrow. Surgery was scheduled and they detached my top jaw, widened it and then screwed it all back together. I think I was under for a couple of hours, but I can tell you this, I was never as scared in my entire life than those few seconds before I went under, counting backwards from 100.
When I awoke in recovery, there was a big ol nurse standing nearby. She immediately came over to my side and asked how I felt. "I want my Mama" was all I managed to get through gritted teeth and a jaw that was completely wired shut. She got my drift and set out to find my Mama for me. I certainly felt better when she got to recovery.
Since my Dad passed away, I have certainly not gotten to spend as much time as I would like with my Mom. Our busy lives and the two hour difference in our locations has hampered me from seeing her whenever I get the urge. She drives over to our house several times a year and we try to get over there as often as possible, but it never seems like it is enough. I am trying to work on that and perhaps, a few years down the road when the kids are grown, that will change and I will be able to spend more time with her. I hope that changes, because there are alot of times when I miss my Mama.
My Mama stays busy around her house, remodelling, redecorating, as well as working part-time (sometimes full time) at the local Funeral Home. She goes to church nearly every Sunday and stays active during the week running my Nanny all around town to different events and to the grocery store. She recently has lost about 30 pounds and I know she feels so much better physically since dropping the weight. I know how that extra weight affects me and I am sure it is the same with women. I am proud of her for losing the weight because I know how hard it is to do.
I figure my Mama and my Nanny will outlive me. They have a long line of relatives that all lived very long lives and I fully expect that to be the case with them, as well. I need to close this because work beckons, but let me say before I quit that I LOVE YOU MOM, more than you'll ever know, more than I'll ever say and a little more every day.
Have a great birthday Mama, I love you.
posted by GaryC @ 8:12 AM, ,