Don't say that (Sponsor's Name Here)'s life is all that glamorous. Here's how my day shook out this past Saturday.
7:15 AM - I got up. (Side note; Why is this important? Because MyCommunitiesNOW.com and Heaven do not have a reciprocity agreement. Duh).
8:00 AM - Standing in line at Stone Creek in Wauwatosa. The line is longer than I would expect at that time; I would have rather slept in. On one hand, I know I am keeping my ride waiting, but on the other hand I need a jolt. Upon reaching the front of the line, I order a medium, three shot, vanilla bean latte. That request plus $5 gets me a cup of coffee.
8:20 AM - On my way to Madison. As a thank you from a supplier, I will be attending the Badger game. The media tells me that it's a big game, which I don't understand. Aren't all games (especially for teams with a short schedule) important? Skipping ahead here, if the Badgers had beaten Iowa and ran the table but didn't make it to the Rose Bowl because of the loss to Ohio State, wouldn't last week's game have been a bigger game? The Brewers finished 11 games behind the Cardinals, but they lost nine times to the Cardinals in 2009. Had the Brewers just won six of those nine games, the Brewers would have had 86 wins, which would have vaulted them over the Cubs and Cardinals to the Central Division Championship. Weren't those nine games the biggest games of the season? But I digress.
8:21 AM thru 9:59 AM - My host invited another customer and his dad to the game as well. And this guy spent most of the ride to Madison discussing the wonders of his iPhone to his dad. This wouldn't have been so bad, except that dad was too excited to hear about the music that was saved, the photos, etc.
10:00 AM - We have pulled onto a frat house lawn on some neighborhood about two blocks from the stadium. Apparently college students don't approach car parking as scientifically as I do for State Fair. We are an hour before kickoff, and there is only one other car in the driveway. As we pull up, there is a party in the backyard. Our guy gets out of the car and asks if he can park on the yard, the kid answers "Let me ask my girlfriend", to which she replied that it would be cool to get more beer money. They had no idea what to charge, so we offered $15 and they jumped on it like gold. Of course, the people next door have huge signs stating $25. Now would you think that this is a good deal, or that something fishy is going on? I went for fishy. My guess was that the people we gave $15 to don't own or rent the house, and that the car will be towed by the real owners or lessee before the game ends. Our host mentions that it is a company car, so he isn't quite as concerned.
10:15 AM - The weather guys said it was going to get sunny and warmer, but it was pretty darned cold and windy. We tried to combat this by drinking bloody marys (which we had brought along in a cooler in the trunk). Drinking them quickly (a) to warm up before heading into the stadium and (b) because the cold drinks in our hands were causing frostbite, we were repacking the car when four neighborhood students crash our party. We also had beer in the car so we bought them off with a Spotted Cow for each and we headed towards the stadium.
10:30 AM - Walking past an Open Pantry towards the stadium, we saw a booth set up with former Badger Ron Dayne signing autographs and posing for pictures for any drunk hobbling past. One of the guys in our group stood in line for an autograph, and I was able to snap this pic.
10:35 AM - So we've gotten our photos and autographs and are on our way into the stadium. I have finished my drink and a bicycle cop comes up to me and says that I need to dump my drink out. I show him that I am finished and there is a garbage can right there and I throw it away. The guy in our group (the one with the phone) then takes a drink right in front of the cop. In that "I can't believe you just did that right in front of me" tone of voice, the cop says to him "I can't believe you just did that right in front of me". He starts hassling the guy and really looks like he is going to cite him for some sort of open container or public drinking violation when the same cop sees a younger kid drinking from a 40 oz bottle. The cop (who musta really been on the lookout for underage drinking) quickly says, "Consider this a warning" and races over to hassle the kid.
11:00 AM - We reach our seats just before kickoff... we couldn't have timed it better if we had tried. We just had one problem. There wasn't enough room in the middle of the row for four gentlemen to sit in their four seats. But that didn't stop the guy and his dad. They pulled out their seat backs WITH ARM RESTS and attach them to the bleachers, leaving my host and I (of excessive carriage) about eight inches to squeeze. I am sitting with my upper body tilted 60 degrees away from the field just to fit, and my free hand is grabbing my jeans just to keep me balanced. This, I tell myself, ain't gonna work.
11:20 AM - It is great to have my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, looking over me. He manages to get 15 minutes of football completed in about 20 real minutes. I look behind us, and there is almost an entire empty row a couple of rows behind us. I move up there.
11:21 AM - The entire row of drunks show up, and there are four empty seats a couple of rows behind that. I make my move and sit next to a nice old man who had been watching the whole thing. He said that he couldn't believe how "those guys could bring their armchairs to a damn crowded stadium". We share a laugh and a handshake before I get kicked out of this spot, too. Can't these people get to the game on time?
11:25 AM - I am standing in the concourse tunnel between two sections of stands. If the security guards don't move much, I can see the field pretty well. I wonder how long I can stand here before they kick me out? Wisconsin fields a punt on the 8-yard line (right in front of me). In the span of just a few minutes, they make it down field for a touchdown. I saw most of it, but the security guards were "assisting" some drunk and I didn't actually see the touchdown. Sigh.
11:40 AM - I decide that since it is nearly halftime, I can make my way to the seats and deal with being scrunched for a few minutes before being able to stand through halftime. I get to my row, and nobody is sitting in Seats 1 and 2. I plop my butt down and relax. During halftime my group sees me, and waves as they walk out to get a sandwich and a soda. They ask if I want to come along, but I have a plan. Practically the entire row leaves during halftime, so I slide down those armchairs a couple of spots, and I sit my ample frame ON MY SEAT NUMBER! Victory!
12:00 Noon - Other than my host being glad that I am back with the group, nobody seems to even notice the rearrangement of the seats. No matter. The Badgers are up 10-3 (and I layed the 2-1/2 point lumber) on their way to an easy victory and the easy cover. Life is good.
2:00 PM - Final score, Iowa 20 and Wisconsin 10. Life sucks.
2:30 PM - Back to the car (and a sigh of relief to see it still there). The renters didn't bother to sell one other spot. I guess $15 is a good day's pay for a college student. We open up the bloody mary mix for one last one before we hit the road. The renters of this house get home and shuffle off inside without saying a word. Meanwhile, the house next door is full of commotion. Some guy wearing coveralls that are about 12 sizes too big is pounding on the door. Apparently, he paid for some of the beer, but isn't being allowed to have any. He is quite annoying. Finally, as we are packing up the car to head out, they finally open the door and allow this guy his Ambrosia.
3:00 PM - We are on Hwy 151, heading towards Hwy 30 to get back to I-94 and this other customer now is using the GPS on his iPhone to impress his dad with the map feature. As we make a turn, the blue dot doesn't stay on the road and dad giggles about the phone thinking that the car drove through the side of the building. Speaking of dad, he apparently doesn't get out much as he marveled at how big of a city that Madison is.
3:30 PM - I am in the front seat, kind of dozing off. I can't really fall asleep, though, as dad and son are playing with the iPhone app flipping a coin. First they start with US coins, and then they try pesos, rupees, etc. The sound of the "ping" as the coin flips is getting annoying (as is "you won again, this time we will use a Loonie and go Best 11 out of 21") and I suggest they flip a $5 bill. In a cruel twist of fate, I was being serious, but they thought I was really being funny.
4:30 PM - Finally back to the Park n Ride, my host asks me if I want to join him for dinner at Alexander's in The Wisconsin Club. I tell him that I have a poker game with some buddies at 7:00, but that I will run home, kiss the wife, change clothes and will meet him down there.
4:35 PM thru 4:37 PM - I run inside the house, change my shirt, grab my lucky $1 chip from the Circus Circus in Reno (that I forgot to cash out last time I was there) kiss the wife and head out for dinner. My-Sugar-Na seems a little too happy for me to leave. She won't tell me, however, if Enrico is on his way over.
5:00 PM thru 7:00 PM - Nothing to eventful to report at dinner, but certainly the most relaxing time of my day. We sit at the bar, have a couple of Stoli Raz and Cranberry juice cocktails, laugh about the other customer and his dad's fascination with the iPhone, and watch a lot of exciting endings to college football games. The games are so good that we decide to eat at the bar (Oysters Rockefeller, a 20 oz bone-in Rib eye slathered in bleu cheese, and Creme Brulee for dessert) and I am really not looking forward to playing poker. Now, don't get me wrong, I've become pretty darned good at it in the two years or so since I joined this card club. Three of the poker buddies are going to Vegas with me in two weeks to play poker, and for the most part everyone gets along great and six or seven hour games seem to fly by. But between getting up early, the fun of the game, a couple of long car rides and a gut busting dinner, it has occurred to me that I've tried to pack too much into one day. The good angel on my shoulder, however, says that I have to play poker, so I can win money so I have more to take to Vegas with me. Because it was the good angel, I submit to him and leave to drive from downtown to the game in Bay View.
7:25 PM - I get to the game, buy in and being late I try to figure out who is winning so far. The guy sitting across from me looks like I am "food high". I tell him how perceptive he is and explain my dinner. But mostly, I can't get over how much I LOVE that term. "Food high". That could be a good meal, that could be from garbaging down on one too many chicken wings or slices of pizza, or it could be watching Guy Fieri make his Vinegar-Brined Baby Back Ribs w/ Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce and goat cheese stuffed corned bread (Side note; That would be a day in the life Sunday, but I'm already 2200 words into this and I haven't described the highs and lows contained in three hands that I need to talk about. No way I can add Sunday to this entry and still have enough time to get SOME work done today.)
9:45 PM - (Side note; our group plays two games per night, each about 3 hours long. We cash out and re-draw for positions. We do this in case some players are way up, they can't "bully" the table with obscene bets. Another reason is because where you are seated in relation to other players can drastically change strategies.) At this point, we call for halftime at 10:00 PM and I am maybe about $20 ahead. Not great for a cash game with $30 buy-ins, but I ain't losing, either. Sitting in the big blind, I get dealt 8-10. Protecting my 50-cent blind, I call the $2 bet and the flop comes 10-8-Q (suits are not important to this story). I have bottom two pair, and even if someone has A-A, I am leading. The only three hands that could hurt is Q-Q as that would make three-of-a-kind, J-9 would give him a straight or Q-10 because of the higher two pair. I decide that the hand is mine and I bet $4. Most everyone folds except for one player... one who is normally very conservative. He goes "all-in", which makes it $23 for me to call. As I described, only three possible hands can beat me. But I am already $6 invested in the hand, and if I make it a total of $30 and lose, I would be down for the session. I think a long time about this, but I make the call. He flips over K-K and gives me a commanding lead. He would need either another K or a Q to win. I survive the turn and river and end the first session $64 up.
10:15 PM - The re-seating. I am between one guy who is successful in life and has money dripping out of his ears (Moneybags) and another guy who plays loose... and he has been drinking and making him looser (The Drunk). I am in the worst position in the table and it is going to raise my cost of poker. If I survive Moneybags on the right not over betting pre-flop, I risk The Drunk raising because he, well, he plays very loose.
11:30 PM - I am hemorrhaging money. Flops are now costing almost $5 to see, and if you pay it and don't hit it, post-flop bets are almost $8. Not only am I not hitting any flops, the guys on either side of me are getting all of the hands and they keep moving the same $75 back and forth. In the small blind, I finally get a suited Q-J and decide to play it. Sure enough, it costs me $6 to get to the flop. But I am chasing money, and way, way too tired to think straight, so I do it. The flop is 8-Q-J and the action is on me. I bet $5, which is pretty large considering my $64 winnings from the first half is long gone and we still have about two hours to play. Moneybags raises me to $10, which I call. Top two pair with a chance of runner-runner flush is a good hand. The hand plays out with me investing $35, but I get a J on the river for a full boat. Moneybags only had Q-8 and admitted to trying to take advantage of my losing session. That comment really hosed me off. We all try to play a respectable game, and this moke admits to pushing me around. Pushing around is one thing. Admitting to doing it because you are sore for losing a hand is another. I file this in my memory.
11:40 PM - The very next hand - I kid you not - I am in the big blind and get dealt 2-2. A pair of twos is almost nothing in Hold 'Em, and I don't know why I am in the hand. I think I am still in the hand as it only cost $3 to get to the flop. The flop is 2-5-8. Moneybags checks (really? He never does that. Am I an idiot or what?) I decide the hand is mine. A set of twos is decent but not great, but I decide to bet it like I have something big, so I bet $10. The guy next to The Drunk goes "all-in" for five bucks (if he is all in, he must think that I have nothing and he must have pocket face cards. By the way, he has A-A but it doesn't matter). Then Moneybags says, "I want that money back that you won last hand" and bets $50 (which puts me all in). I am more annoyed than anything, and I know I am too tired to actually analyze the situation properly. "I know I had a weak opening hand, and I am only $13 invested. I won more than that the last hand. He was protecting his small blind and saw a chance at a cheap flop. He might have hit it. Run away, while you have the chance. Live to fight again" is what I should have said to myself. Instead, I am still not happy about the previous hand where he admitted to trying to push me around, and I completely forget that he was in the small blind and I called him. He had 5-5. I actually had to walk away and collect myself. I was getting killed, and instead of playing my game, he planted a seed to throw me off, and I didn't make it one stinkin' hand before it came back to haunt me. I didn't get anything to save me on the turn and river, and I was out.
See, if the day would have actually ended at midnight, this story would have a natural ending. The fact is, however, that I am an idiot and played until about 3:00 AM. Luckily, I made a few bucks back, but the night hurt.
Next time I see that good angel, remind me to slap him.