Friday, October 05, 2007

Pokerstars Blogger Championship

Texas Holdem Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 6422114

I'm pretty sure I'll beat Speaker.

Monday, September 17, 2007

If you are in the South...

Hey y'all!

Heads up if you are anywhere near Greenville, South Carolina. My friends Susan and Dave started a new restaurant there in July called American Grocery Restaurant.

They were just named Best New Restaurant in Greenville and featured in on the cover of Link Magazine for Southern Exposure (that's pastry chef Susan - can you tell she is a former model and ballerina?)

Anyway, check out the link above and if you are close give them a try. They are wonderful chefs and amazing people.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Play Winning Bubbly Poker

If you want to play winning alcohol poker you have to watch the master: Kobe Bryant.

Kobe was with his special lady (his wife in this case) at the opening of Blush Nightclub in Las Vegas. He heard Antonio Esfandiari order two bottle of Christal, and wasn't going to let that go... he ordered five bottles.

AS is no slouch - he raised Kobe TEN bottles! Kobe re-raised FIFTEEN bottles and AE folded.

The best part? Kobe paid the $21,000 tab and left before one bottle was delivered!

via TMZ


If you play online poker you should not neglect the oppurtunity to play with a rakeback deal. This site: has been offering rakeback to online poker players since 2004 and has since established itself as one of the web's true rakeback authorities. The site is easy to navigate and you will without a doubt find a rakeback deal that suits your needs.

Monday, September 03, 2007

First Day of School!

Yep first day of school - don't they look like nice little children?

They are tricking you! Their rooms are a mess and they are up to no good!


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Who Likes to Rock the Party?

I like to rock the party!

In the post below you will find my recap of our year in Ireland - but here's what's coming up for us:

Poker goal: to stop making sucky calls. It is one donkey call that puts me out of every single tourney I enter. I take full responsibility. Also this elf that sits next to me who chants "you have him so beat!" over and over.

Parenting goal: to teach my kids how to ride bikes without training wheels. Sub-goal: buy kids bikes.

Personal goal: Go back to school - I enrolled in two archeology classes at University College Dublin. wish me luck!

Travel goal: Spain, Southern France, Italian Coast, Scotland, Sweden, whatever opportunity comes up.

Party goal: rock party (as usual)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Year Abroad

August 6 marked our first year as residents of Ireland. This has been the most amazing and wonderful journey of my life and I have learned so much. I realize I have not blogged as much as I should about all the incredible things I have been doing - but I have been out doing incredible things! (is that even an excuse?)

If you are remotely interested, here is a recap of this year:

We arrived and set about looking for a house right away. It was important to get the kids settled before school started. We found a semi-detached (we share a wall with the neighbors) in a little town called Glenageary. Glenageary means field of sheep and the towns claim to fame is being the childhood home to Sinead O'Connor. From our back windows we can see the Irish Sea, James Joyce Tower (where Ulyses begins), and a castle.

Our next big job was getting the kids into school. We had organized them places in a local school, but when we showed up the first day they looked at us like we were from another planet. Jelly picked that moment to show off the absolute worst behavior EVER. When the principal offered to shake hands with him, he actually grabbed it and licked her! AAAAAA!!! We were shown the door and I yelled at him all the way home.

To get Hellcat into a school I had to join the parish church to get the pastor to sign an entrance form. so I dutifully churched it up and actually enjoyed myself - until I shocked the entire congregation by slurping the communion wine a little too loudly. Helly got into a lovely little school with one teacher per grade. She is enjoying being a big fish in a little pond.

Jelly was another story. I wasn't able to find my boy a place in school until December! I tried homeschooling him with some books lent to me by Helly's school, but we both found that homeschoolers have a special kind of crazy we do not possess. He finally got into a wonderful boy's school with an aide who is perfect for him.

We set about seeing Ireland and the rest of Europe. We took long weekends in London, Venice and Paris, as well as exploring Dublin, Galway, Cork and even took in an American Football game in Belfast (go Rebels!) Paris was especially my favorite - we had a little apartment close to Notre Dame Cathedral that made us feel like real Parisians.

The things I miss about Los Angeles are my family and friends. At first I was wishing for a CPK Barbeque Chicken Salad, but the withdrawal symptoms soon subsided as I enjoyed Guinness after Guinness and fish and chips after fish and chips.

Poker is stabilizing - I am starting to get my concentration back for the long tourneys and my finishes are getting higher and higher. Baby steps are good right?

I will blog more - now - the kids go back to school tomorrow! ROCK!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Where have I been - what do you mean where have I been???

Hi peepley poos! OK ok I guess I haven't blogged in a while. I have an excuse. Here, read it:

Dear Peeps,

Please excuse facty from writing in her blog for the last little while. She has had a lot on her mind with all the sucking at poker and parenting she has been doing.

Facty's Mom

There. happy? yay!On to the blogging.

First: POKER

Poker is a game that sucks and should die diE DIE! Or maybe I should start playing better. I dropped down in levels and am committed to playing with more discipline - but it feels like the game has gotten tougher.


My kids are ready for summer to start and ready for a visit home with their cousins. Thus, it is the time of year for struggles to get to school.

Yesterday my son was very mad at his teacher for making him write a story, so he wrote "I saw a mouse. I used poison on it. Now its dead. The End." That's my son, the writer!

Third: What am I up to?

I am trying to get into an art history program at one of the local universities. Hanging out with a few of the poker wives, trying to keep the house clean and book travel around Europe (and home! see you in July!).

Finally, seven random things about me:

1. I sort the silverware as I put it into the dishwasher, then I can grab it by type and throw it into the silverware tray. If someone else loads the dishwasher I will re-sort the cutlery.

2. I have a keen sense of smell - I have found gas leaks in two schools with my olfactory precision!

3. I am fascinated by carnies and travellers and ren faire folk. I realize if I ever go missing the FBI will find this post and look for me there, but I am much more likely to be kidnapped by pirates that run away with the circus.

4. One time a drunk guy who loved me tried throwing rocks at my window to wake me. When that didn't work he started calling my name really really loud until my dad told him to knock it off and go home. And that drunk guys name was.... not fhwrdh!! *gasp*!

5. I'm a bit of a foodie, but wish I liked cooking more.

6. My wedding ring only cost fhwrdh one cent. (from his mother - I love my ring!)

7. My sister and I can cluck the soprano and alto parts of Halleluja Chorus from the Handel's Messiah like chickens. We are looking for two gentleman who can hold up the bass and tenor parts as a bull and goat. Astoundingly, so far no takers. Speaker?

More blogging soon my peepley poops! I promise!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Decade Mom

Seven years ago I wrote this:
Three-year-old boys are usually not very interesting people.

Perhaps you work with someone who is a parent of a three-year-old boy. Once you get past the general stats (yeah, my boy can throw a football - he's got some arm I tell ya), the requisite compliment of the photo/original artwork/unrecognizable craft project (wow. Your kid made that gluesparklethingy himself? wow.) What is there to say after that? What? There are only two major things that can possibly make a three-year-old boy interesting:

Good Luck:
Inheritance - everybody loves rich people, right?
Beauty - Macaulay Culkin will never be so loved as when he was a preschooler
Talent - I saw a 3-year-old kid who could play zydeco accordion on a talk show once
Brains - that cuddly kid over there can compute pi to the 784th place! Woo!

and Bad Luck:
Poverty - Save the Children wouldn't show those hungry kids if it made people turn the channel
Disability - did you see that poor kid with the deformity/wheelchair/freckles?
Mishap - orphans, toddlers who fall down wells, survivors of crime and accident are riveting.

I am a parent of a three-year-old boy. He is bad luck interesting. Pervasive Developmental Delay. Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Sensory Integration Disorder. Asperger Type Symptoms. He is still learning to speak. He is socially inept - he may mistake hitting or headbutting as friendly gestures. He can't stand certain textures of food, strong smells, or high pitched sounds. People find him interesting. They ask questions.

"Autistic? Are you giving him extra oxygen?" Perhaps you thought I said Asthmatic.
" What's his special talent? You think he could count cards in Vegas like Rain Man?" He can freeze water with his mind.
"Can he read your mind?" Ummmmmmmmm...

They comment:

"He doesn't look autistic." Uh, Thanks?
"I'm so very sorry - how is your family handling it?" He didn't die. This is part of his personality. He wouldn't be him without it.
"You are an inspiration." You wouldn't say that if you knew I served my child pizza for dinner 5 nights in a row.

My favorite is when people give me parenting advice. The best comes from people without kids.

"He just needs some attention." I spend 20 hours a day with him - what more can I do?
"He just needs some discipline." Oh yeah - I'll be sure to crack the whip until he understands what a napkin is.
"Don't worry - He'll grow out of it." Thank you Dr. Stupid. I feel much better now.

So what, you ask, am I supposed to say to you, mother of the little boy spinning in circles, eating rocks, humming, repeating the same phrase over and over? I'll tell you. Find a Good Luck Interesting thing about him and say it.
"What a beautiful smile!"
"That is the fastest spinning I've ever seen!"
"He knows the names of all the planets! What a smart kid!"



My boy is ten years old today! Happy Birthday Jellyface! He goes to regular school in a regular class and if you ask him how he's doing he will say "I'm great! A liiiiiiittle autistic, but great!"

He is still processing what autism means. Over the past two weeks he tried to see if he could get away with clowning in class "autism means I'm goofy!" and wiggle out of homework "I cant do all of it, I'm too autistic" but neither ploy worked. I guess he learned autism isn't an excuse - but he also knows that it isn't something he needs to fight. He has had fights with his sister over weather doctors should try to cure autism. My favorite quote from that was "I don't NEED a cure. I LIKE being autistic!" yelled at the top of his lungs.

I like him just the way he is too. I only wish I'd known when I wrote the above piece how Good Luck Interesting autism could be, and how wonderful it is to have a goofy little kid as your son.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

And in Poker Community Apology News...

So about 8PM GMT I received an email from another player that I was still signed up for the SEO freeroll on FTP and being blinded off.

I thought this was strange because the tourney didn't start until 9pm. hmmmmm

I logged in and played - about half the field was being blinded off. An hour later nearly 20 people signed in to find they were massively shortstacked (1400 chips vs 8k plus for the people who were playing).

It also came out that at least three players who had signed up with confirmation on the SEO website had not been entered into the tourney at all. Meanwhile, I, who had asked to be removed from the tourney was there.

If anyone needed confirmation of what a shady organization this SEO is, you have it right there.

Haley deserves a lot of credit for exposing this, I'm afraid with my last post I vented my frustration at her. I am sorry for lobbing a Boyd bomb at you - to each her own. I hope you understand that had I known how shady these guys were, I never would have signed up in the first place.

(PS I finished 10th - out of the $, which is probably karma's way of telling me I shoulda gone to bed)

And in Poker Community News...

Oh, poker community, you guys are like a family (granted, there are a statistically a large number of drunk handsy uncles, but whatever).

When there is a feud or an uproar over some issue, I usually watch from the sidelines and enjoy the show. In 2006 I played in the Ladies Event at the WSOP - there was a little controversy there over ladies tournaments in general - but it was the one event I could afford and was happening while I was in Las Vegas, so I felt just fine about playing.

But this morning I woke up to this:

Haley is Shocked and Appalled Y'all!

So I unregistered. It nearly killed me to unreg from a $5000 freeroll with only 38 players. Thats how much I love you ghey bloggers. Remember that, cause here comes the tough love:

Dear Poker Blogging Community,

Hi, it's me, Facty! How are you, I am fine. Hey I wanted to write a letter to you because I noticed you aren't so great about handling your problems with each other in a respectful way.

Sometimes a blogger will do something that makes another blogger so mad - and what do you do? Call that offending blogger out on your site, making sure to use your high horse, write at least 300 words about why you are right, and remove all offending links to the site that so greivously offended you.

Friends and neighbors, that is not how you respect each other. How about a nice comment on a post or even better, and email message explaining your point of view. How about dashing off a note right away instead of posting it to your blog. That way people see it in a timely mannor and can take action on your complaint.

And finally, make sure your house is in order before you get all high and mighty. Make sure you don't have any unfortunate Dutch Boyd links before you say something like, "I do not cater to thieves, nor those who would do business with them."

I don't cater to thieves either, but if they have a bankroll and play tournament poker, I will be happy to have them at my table. I don't want to support site scrapers and spammers - I want their money!

Anyway, poker community, you guys are great and I am glad to be a member.


Tough love over my friends. Back to rainbows and unicorn poop!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Happy Irish Mother's Day

Good Morning!

Well, today is Irish Mother's Day. 'Tis, I admit a little strange that they picked the day after the biggest drinking binge of the year for Mother's Day, but I am guessing a lot of people are wanting their mothers (and Ibuprofen) as they wake today.

Nothing disproves the old saying "luck of the Irish" more than the Irish mother. If you read Angela's Ashes like I have, you know that Irish mums are hard working, long suffering women who will lose at least two of her seven babies to typhoid, tuberculosis and streetcar accidents.

So Happy Mother's Day!

I also wanted to give you a little recap of what our family did yesterday for St Pat's because it was a very excellent day indeed. Originally, we were going to go the the parade in Dublin, but Greenbirdy was cough cough coughing in the morning so we decided to stay in. Roundabout 1pm, we all got so hungry and Greeny was feeling a little better so we headed off to Dalkey and the Ivory Pub to get some fine brunch.

As we walked in, there were only a few tables taken - the pretty young hostess asked "would ya like to sit up front? Or maybe a table in the back - the match is starting soon." The match! Of COURSE we would like a table int he back to watch the match!

The Match is, of course, the Six Nations Rugby game between Ireland and Italy. Ireland had won all of its games and was in contention to win the big trophy! We ordered some brunch (fh had Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict, I had a Spicy Chicken Wrap, and the kids had nuggets and chips) and settled in as the crowd grew larger and louder.

The Guinness was flowing and the air was buzzing with the excitement of the fans. The game began with the singing of the Irish National Anthem Amhrán na bhFiann (the Soldier's Song), which sounds less like an anthem and more like a drunken bar song - everyone sang along loudly and with all their hearts. Then it was time for the Italian national anthem (which may be the only national anthem in the world that thanks all the maidens for their "invitation of love"), the entire pub fell silent - no boos or catcalls, just no reactions at all. The Irish aren't considered the most sportsmanlike fans in the world for nothing!

So we watched the match and cheered Ireland to a huge victory of 51-24. This nearly gave them enough points to take the Six Nations Trophy - but Ireland lost ground in the last few seconds and Italy closed the gap. This let France score a few more in their game and take the crown. It was interesting when Italy would score, no one clapped or shouted but I heard a couple of people say things like, "they deserved that one" and "impressive run there".

A couple of cool things happened during the match. First, a guy dressed as a Leprechaun came in and met his friends to drink and cheer - and cheer he did. Anytime there was a lull in the pub, he would shout "Go Ireland!!!" and everyone cheered. I think he got a lot of rounds bought for him.

The other cool thing was when the Guinness Pub Trivia squad came in and asked if fhwrdh wanted to have a go at a game. He could choose the easy questions and get a free pint, or the hard questions and get a Guinness rugby shirt. "I'm American, I may not be able to do the hard ones - but I really want a shirt!" he exclaimed.

"That's OK, Ill give ya hints." the Guinness Girl replied. Her companion, who had a flat screen TV and battery pack strapped to his chest came over and the competition began. You can play along with fhwrdh! Answers posted at the end of this post!

1. What is the name of this stadium?

2. Who is this captain of the England team?

3. Who is this #8 player on the Ireland team?

So fhwrdh won a cool Guinness Rugby shirt! Yayyyyy! The owner of the Ivory came by later and dropped a matching shirt off for Jelly so my boys matched!

(picture coming as soon as blogger cooperates!)

Answers to Guinness Trivia:

1. Landsdowne Stadium
2. Martin Johnston
3. Paul O'Connell

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day

First, drink a Guinness. This is the best thing you could ever drink.

Then, take this test: CLICK ME, I'M IRISH!

Have another Guinness. You've earned it!

Now, go shopping - tomorrow is Mother's Day in Ireland!

Time for a Guinness with the lads.

Find a cute baby, dress it up in a proud onezie and make it smile. Take a pic!

What? no access to a cute baby you say? Here, you can borrow my friend's:

That baby is so cute, let's have a Guinness!

When you wake up tomorrow afternoon don't forget to drink plenty of water and call your mum!

Slan go foil,

PS: Three months till Bloomsday.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Tie Fighter Restrictions on Dublin Streets

Driving home from Pheonix Park night before last we spotted this street sign; evidently the city of Dublin doesn't want too many Empire fighters congregating near the canal. In all fairness, the canal area is an excellent place to practice your tie fighting skills, dodging swans, flying under and over bridges, and shooting lasers at pidgeons.

I wonder if X-Wings also get static from the Garda along this stretch of road.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Six Weird Things About Me

Here's a little meme going around the internet. If nothing else its an excuse to get writing and I was tagged by my lovely friend Gracie. So here goes:

Six Weird Things about Me

1. My epilepsy was cured by my kids! I had epileptic seizures. They lessened with my first pregnancy and disappeared all together with my second. My neurologist said it happens sometimes, but I think its weird.

2. I went to a LOT of schools! One room school house, Fort Bridger, WY - Mountain View Elementary, Mountain View, WY - Cole Elementary, Boise, ID - Eagle Elementary, Eagle, ID - Campus Elementary, Boise, ID - East Jr. High, Boise ID - Orville Wright Jr. High, Westchester, CA - Lindero Canyon Middle School, Agoura, CA - Agoura High School, Agoura, CA - Pierce College, Winnetka, CA - Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA - Pasadena City College, Pasadena, CA

3. I played Mae West in a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater production in Beverly Hills, CA. Its true. I shoved my poor torso into a crazy (and considerably padded) corset that made me about an inch taller than normal. The play was mediocre, I was horrible.

4. I crashed my car into a car pulled over on the side of the freeway - and I wasn't even drunk! This is a bad way to find out you have epilepsy.

5. Found out I had an older sister when I was 14. Yup! Just like on TV. She is just like us and yet so different. Sisters rule!

6. One of the Beatles hit on me! I was working at a little shop in The Beverly Center. George Harrison came in with his son and I waited on them. George was very flirty and asked me to dinner - I politely declined citing my upcoming wedding, but I secretly felt bad for all the fanatic girls in black and white newsreels who would have screamed and fainted have George (the quiet one!) ask them out.

Hope these are weird enough!

Tag - you are next: Debbie, Jo, Christine, Green Birdy, Princess and Miss April

Thursday, February 22, 2007


If you're like me, you have a spine. Spines are great! They hold up our skeletons, bend in many directions and even help define us as mammals. But sometimes a spine can turn into your worst NIGHTMARE!

Let's start at the beginning. My family was very excited to be jetting off to spend a long weekend in Venice, Italy for Carnivale. I had packed Hellcat and Jellyface's backpacks full of socks, undies, and Gameboys. My backpack was at the ready and we had clothes laid out - even the coffeemaker was ready to brew at the flick of a switch. Why all the super-readyness? Because we had a 6AM flight to catch. To check in on time our alarm was set for 3:30.

(cue alarm)

I sat up in bed (as you do) and a HUGE pain shot through my lower back. I thought, "If I just stand up, my back will relax and feel much better." So I stood up. For a millisecond. Then I fell to the floor in a most dramatic fashion, and made very loud moaning sounds that alarmed my husband. He ran to rescue me, but there wasn't much to be done. We managed to get me and my spine downstairs and on the couch but the pain was still as excruciating as it was when it first struck. Italy suddenly seemed very far away indeed.

"Should I call an ambulance?" fhwrdh asked worriedly. "Yes, I believe so" I replied moaningly.

The ambulance arrived twelve hours later. fhwrdh said it was only 10 minutes, but it pretty much felt like twelve hours. There were two attendants, they could have been brothers and through my vague recollection, reminded me of Wilford Brimley. Now a word from Wilford:

Disclaimer: I do not have the Beetis. Just a hurt back.

Ok so I am still writhing in pain on my couch. The Paramedic Brimley twins confer and decide that I could use some pain relief.

She doesn't look like she's feelin' grand. Should we give her some morphine?

Morphine yes, but the laughing gas too.

First, they bring me a tank of nitrous with a mouthpiece that I get to breathe. While they are doing that, they start an IV and give me some milligrams of morphine. This is very different than in the USA:

Hello Rampart, This is 51, we have a female, mid thirties, with acute back pain.

Hey Johnny, Don't forget to tell them she is pretty.

I heard that Roy. Let me get Dr. Brackett - he's just out smoking.

Thanks Dixie. This is Dr Brackett. Give that pretty lady some Morphine.

Then I get loaded into the ambulance and taken to St Vincent's Hospital - not the one in Boise, Idaho where my little sister was born, the one in Dublin where there a are whole lot of sinks but no one seems to wash their hands. (This is my ONE complaint with this hospital - otherwise the staff was friendly, caring and knowledgeable.)

Six or eight hours later, I was discharged with prescriptions to knock me out and my family came to get me. We missed our flight to Venice, and I spent four days on the couch.

The post script of all of this is, we were able to reschedule our trip to Venice for March. This turned out extra good because we have friends that will be on the same flight and staying at the same apartment so that is happy fun time!

Also I just received the bill for the ER visit: €60 - that is about $80. Thank you national health-care system!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

full tilt poker idea

sorry not a longer post - i will have plenty soon and you will discover why im typing with one hand and on valium. to tide you over i found this:

linky dinky doo



Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Guessing Game

My son is nine years old and does his own homework. Sure I look it over, but other than basic spelling and grievous grammar errors, I try to let him hand in work that is really his. Here is last night's.

Can you guess who my boy is writing about?
It lives in Africa.
It is six metres long.
It is a shiny coat with spots.
They are for neck fighting.
In order to pump blood to its head.
It eats leaves and shoots from trees.
So that it can be immortal against attack.
An immortal, blood pumping neck fighter that eats leaves and shoots from trees?
It can only be a deadly ninja giraffe!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Adventures in Housework

Yesterday was another harrowing adventure into housework, though this one had a decidedly Irish bent to it. In Los Angeles, people don't need their central heating systems very often - maybe 30 or 40 days a year or so. Here, you will turn into a bloggercicle if you don't rush from bed to heat switch in the morning and flick on the radiators.

Yes, I just typed radiators. You haven't transported back in time to 1944. Its Ireland. One of the little quirks about radiators (at least the ones I have) is bleeding them. To bleed a radiator you take a little key and twist it in a little hole at the side. air escapes and hot water fills the radiator to warm the room. Simple!


Yesterday I went to bleed the radiator upstairs. Everything was going swell: radiator key, check. air escaping, check. water filling radiator, check. Then the water got to the top. I twisted the key and nothing happened. a little water trickled out and ran down the side of the radiator. I gave the key a little more elbow. Nothing. Water began to flow a little more aggressively out of the hole and it was steaming. I jammed the key in and twisted with all my might. Nothing. Hot water began to SHOOT out of the little hole in the side of the radiator and into the rich brocade curtain tied by the window. I ran for a towel.

So I tried to stuff a piece of the towel into the hole to quell the flow of molten water. No luck. Then I thought "Why don't I try turning off the heat?" and ran down to the master control switch. I jammed the switch to the off position and jammed back upstairs. The towel I had covered the hole with was now soaked and dripping into a growing dark puddle on the carpet. I looked underneath...

it was a still Lilliputian fire hose. The window had steamed up and I was wondering if I should think about summoning the fire brigade (thats really what they call it here!) I noticed that there was a valve at the lower end of the radiator. Aha! I could shut the water off! I dove for the valve. Turn turn turn turn turn turn... NOTHING! I began to weep desperately and swear as many swears as I could think of as my desperate eyes searched for something that might tame the hydro-hell I was entangled in. (I realize my prose in this paragraph has crossed the line of good taste and writing, but at least you got a Swift reference)

My gaze settled on a little white speck on the floor (I wasn't wearing my contacts or glasses) what the heck... It was the screw that plugged the valve! I grabbed it and wrapped a towel around my hand and shoved it into the gush. It worked.

So I had a big mess to clean up. Somehow I managed it without injury to me, my children, my home or my psyche.


The other day I was reading all my news blogs when all of a sudden I came upon this story about a woman who doesn't forget things. You can read it here.

Stories like this always catch my attention because of how often anomalies like this occur with autism (if you are a new reader welcome! I have a son with autism, I play poker and hate housework!). Many people with autism also struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, bi-polar disorder and anxiety. As you may have read, there are some amazing autistic savants who can tell you what day of the week July 3, 2035 will fall on (without Google) or tell you what the Times headline was for any day for the last 100 years. Savants make up a tiny minority of the autistic population, and are usually very debilitated by their condition.

So this lady knows that Elvis died on August 16, 1977. But she also knows that the next day the stock market dipped 10 points. She can rattle off trivia that you didn't even know was trivial! The difference in this woman is that, besides a mild case of OCD, she is a well ajusted member of society. She is married with kids and has a steady job. She can drive and cook and do all the things any other mom does - except forget.


I told fhwrdh about this lady and we had an "isn't that amazing" moment, when I suddenly realized something about the article that stuck in my head. The neurologist who was stumped by her condition explained that she was "wired differently". I wondered aloud to my husband if the doctor really thought that the brain was that much like a computer. He replied that yes the brain is a lot like a computer with storage and data retrieval and electricity. So I got to wondering: do memories take up space? Do they have mass and weight and a size?

I put forth the theory that memories don't take up space - that maybe they are chemical mixtures and each subtle change changes what you remember. Fh countered that the formula would take up space. You guys are smart, what do you think?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Years Resolutions

2007! wooooooooooooo! I'm surprised none of you have christened it the Year of the Hammer (with a snowman taking a nap in the center) yet. But, with so vary many of you shutting down shop and heading over to the PokerWorks blorgy (blog + orgy = blorgy), I can understand why you may not have time to start new poker hand memes.

Today I was reading through my RSS feeds when I came across a post that has been a blogging/op ed staple since Roman times: New Years Diet tips. You know what they usually say: Drink 22 glasses of water every day, don't forget breakfast, carbs are baaaaad. This list particularly caught my eye because I hated almost every tip. Here it is, with my notes in bold:

1. Leave behind three or four bites of your meal. Research shows that people usually eat everything they're served, even if they're not hungry. This is the one tip I agree with.

2. Skin your chicken after cooking it. You'll retain moisture yet still strip away 148 calories and 13 grams of fat. Wha? Remove the BEST PART? Next you'll be telling me to discard my Oreo centers or scrape the chocolate off my Snickers.

3. Eat your sandwiches and burgers open-faced, with one slice of bread instead of two. And how, pray tell, am I supposed to HOLD my sandwiches and burgers? When the Earl of Sandwich invented the bread-around-filling thing, he did it so he could eat with one hand while riding a horse. You want me to get off my horse in the middle of a fox hunt to eat my open-face diet sandwich and possible get mayo on my Ralph Lauren Red Hunting Coat and White Pants that make my ass look awesome? I think not!

4. Trade in your chocolate bar (235 calories) for a glass of light chocolate soy milk (120 calories). Silk chocolate soy milk is yummy and its great for a post workout drink! Soy milk is for... for... damn, soy milk is so nasty I don't even KNOW who its for. And while we are discussing trading a chocolate bar for some soy milk, lets make some other great trades: how about a date with George Clooney for a date with Pauly Shore! Perhaps Ferrari for a Kia! weeeeeeeee!

5. Use butter-flavored nonstick spray, not a tablespoon of margarine or butter, to make grilled-cheese sandwiches and eggs. I personally assembled a round table of chefs and asked them if you should use butter-flavored nonstick spray, and all but one said no. The one that said you should use the butter spray had a soy milk mustache and admitted to working at a vegan raw food restaurant. The other chefs braised him in some truffle butter and served him on a bed of rocket.

6. Order a white-wine spritzer (80 calories) instead of a mixed drink (about 180 calories). Only whores drink white-wine spritzers.

7. Hold the cheese, please. A single 1-ounce slice of cheddar has 113 calories. On salad and pasta, sprinkle on one tablespoon of grated part-skim mozzarella (36 calories). Seriously? Why would you do that and add NO FLAVOR when you could add a tablespoon of Parmesan for 27 calories or Romano for 19 calories? Whoever wrote this needs to go back to eating school. Counting school too.

8. Ditch the maple syrup and top your pancakes and waffles with a dusting of confectioner's sugar and cinnamon or a tablespoon of low-sugar jam. Skip the butter entirely and cut even more calories. SCREW YOU DUDE AND GET THE HELL AWAY FROM MY SYRUP.

9. Top salads with a half cup of crunchy celery instead of a quarter cup of croutons. Same crunch effect but without the carbs! Carbs are good. They feed your brain so you can do things like think. When you think, you can come to conclusions. Conclusions like: Celery is a yucky replacement for croutons. You know what is a good replacement for croutons? Croutons! They have grain and fiber! Fiber makes you poop! Pooping keeps you healthy and happy. Eat your damn croutons.

10. Make substitutions at brunch: poached eggs instead of fried, lean Canadian bacon rather than regular bacon, or fruit salad in place of home fries. Better yet, eat brunch only once in a while. Make it a treat and eat what you want.

If you really want to eat factually (like me!), you need to eat good food and enjoy it. Adjust your attitude and have happy days - as many as possible. Don't make crazy New Years Resolutions that are just setting you up for failure. Be like Agent Cooper and give yourself a little present every day - a cup of good coffee (not frappiccino!), a slice of good pie (not fruit pie the magician!), a piece of chocolate (but not before 4PM or after 8PM - the choco-window!).

Happy Hammer ∞ Year!
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