Fresh Poker of Bel-law

Now this is a story all about how
The law got flip-turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute, just shelter-in-place
I’ll tell you how the Fed. Cir. got bench-slapped in the face.

Near West Farragut is a Court of Appeals
De novo is how they kicked most of their deals
Browsin through records stacked up to their necks
And construing some tough terms outside the specs
When a couple drug dealers couldn’t stand to be dissed
Struck back against the capriciousness
The high-nine stepped in with their ultimate fix:
They said “you’ve done everything wrong since 1996.”

My hearing prep is chaos now with Teva’s switch,
My constructions are fly but the judge is a little bitch.
I wrote a thousand page report and my expert is the shit
But I thought man, forget it, keep facts out of it.

Poker at [——-]’s house is starting at eight
Hit me back and say if you’re gonna be late
Don’t expect deference if your error is clear
Buy-in is ten bucks and you better bring beer.


Dreidel Poker

I have a little claim term
I made it out of clay
It’s never dry or rigid
It always bends my way.
Oh claim term, claim term, claim term,
I made you out of clay,
And while you’re soft and supple,
Oh Markman I will play!
A little bit of Philips,
A Festo case or two,
Will justify the language
Of anything you do.
Oh claim term, claim term, claim term,
I made you out of clay,
Claim term, claim term, claim term,
I bend you every day!
Tis’ the season for Dreidels!  And where better to spend the Wednesday before the festival of lights begins than at . . . Neal and Jen’s house!  I think they own a candle.  They definitely own poker chips and cards, which pays sufficient tribute to a holiday with customs best known for promoting gambling and pyromania among children.

In fact, “No Limit Texas Dreidel,” a cross between poker and dreidel, is a thing.  And we are playing it tonight. See  So bring your lucky dreidel, a $10 buy-in, and probably some booze or snacks, to [——-], tonight at 8pm.  And RSVP so the Hannans know how much gelt to pick up.  And whether to google “gelt.”

Millenial Poker

I wanted this to be the beginning of Christmas-themed poker emails. I wanted to do a little online shopping now that the cyber-Monday hype has died down and purportedly discounted prices are back down to their normal third-world abusing levels. But I couldn’t. Because CNN ran this headline in their human-interest section:

“This dinner hack has millennials ditching delivery”

First of all, there are no hacks in life. Anything advertised as a “life hack” or “this one weird old trick” is not a hack or a trick at all. It is either (1) false, or (2) just a simple piece of common knowledge being sold to a deliberately ignorant populace that no longer freely passes knowledge down between generations because it isn’t on instagram.

Secondly, as someone who is technically a millennial by most standards (although there are no precise dates, most sources of authority define a millennial as someone born from 1982 to 2002) I find it offensive that my generation is at least perceived as life-incompetent and unwilling to learn any basic skills unless it is marketed as cheating.

Case and point: the so-called “dinner hack” featured in this article is . . . wait for it . . . cooking. I know what you fellow millenials out there are thinking—No way, isn’t cooking like neo-paleo or something? My BFF’s-roommate’s-cousin totally re-tweets about that. You see, cooking has to be marketed to millenials as a hack or re-discovered old trick, because apparently millenials won’t do anything that their parents or older siblings have heard of, even on pain of starvation.

But simply cooking doesn’t sell enough unnecessary crap to a generation already crippled by student loans and living hand-to-mouth longer into adulthood than at any other. Thus, the powers that be have made cooking into a for-profit service that tells you exactly what ingredients to buy and how to make very simple dishes. I.e., a real-time cookbook for dummies, but one that gently holds your hand while you are cooking and then everybody gets a trophy. The article explains that to millenials, “not knowing whether your meal is going to be successful until after you’ve prepared and cooked it is stressful.” That is an actual quote.

Because apparently, millennials are so coddled that they can’t cope with the possibility of a single failure of any kind, even for a few minutes. I guess it distracts them from their cyber-bullying.

If you have a millenial in your family who already has a closet full of hipster clothes and the latest electronics of every kind, you can holiday gift them a subscription to this service, along with the corresponding pre-cooked meats, pre-chopped vegetables, pre-shredded cheeses, and pre-mixed spices delivered to their door each week. Along with their trophy.

I may be a millennial, but I do not subscribe to the spoon-fed everybody-gets-a-trophy philosophy invented by our late baby-boomer and early Gen-X parents. Tonight at poker, it will be winner-take-all. That’s right, you can still buy in as many times as you want, but only one person is leaving with all the monies. And everyone else can just suck it up. And walk home in the rain. No uber. Because life. Start time 8pm, at [——–]. Bring vodka and skittles. I mean beer. Heavy beer. Yeah.

And RSVP because I get really stressed out when I’m not sure whether poker will be successful.

Thankful for Poker

So there is no poker tonight, since half of the people I know have left town, the other half are sitting in traffic right now, and I’m going to a benefit concert that somehow indirectly feeds poor people thanksgiving dinners.

Speaking of which, we have a tradition in my family where we go around the table at Thanksgiving dinner and say things that we are thankful for. I’m pretty sure my family invented this tradition and we are the only people who do this. Nonetheless, I’m going to shake it up this year. I’m going to think of things that no person in their right mind would ever give thanks for, and see how many times around the table we can go before people realize I’m being absurd. I already have some good ones on deck:

1. I’m thankful for the quality of service in DC restaurants.

2. I’m thankful that the metro is carpeted.

3. I’m thankful that the only ISP in town is Comcast.

4. I’m thankful for every aspect of the bike lanes.

5. I’m thankful that my proximity to the capitol makes my voice in congress stronger.

6. I’m thankful for the Redskins.

7. I’m thankful for the reliability of the metro escalators and scheduled track maintenance.

8. I’m thankful for the way DC drivers handle inclement weather.

9. I’m thankful for the experiences I have had at Lauriol Plaza.

10. I’m thankful for the number of casual bars downtown serving reasonably-priced beer.

11. I’m thankful for the competence of CVS employees.

12. I’m thankful that Dulles and BWI are geographically close enough to DC that all major airlines offer me tickets for those airports whenever I search for flights out of National.

13. I’m thankful that I got a parking ticket because it proves the system works and government is not broken.

Ok, I started to go off the deep end there, but I have so many more things to be thankful about! I haven’t even started talking about the inspiring protests, affordable housing costs, the longevity of the cherry blossoms, the duration of spring and fall, oh and brunch! You know how I feel about brunch… It’s all so wonderful. Feel free to add your own grattitudes, perhaps we will go around the poker table next week and do just that.

Till then, I wish a great American holiday to you and yours. Safe travels and good eats.

Assless Chaps Poker

When gift-giving season rolls around, Imaginary Husband and I try to leave hints for each other rather than outright ask for particular presents. My go-to hint-dropping technique involves displaying pictures of the things that I want. This technique usually doesn’t require too much guesswork; a picture of socks means I want socks. A picture of cheese is pretty easy to decipher. And the types of things I want are usually things like socks and cheese. Imaginary husband is much more difficult to interpret, since he would give me a picture of a turtle wearing a hat, indicating that he wants to go to a Grateful Dead tribute concert.

A flaw in my methodology was revealed this season when I showed Husband a picture of what he believed were assless leather chaps, having some sort of sexual connotation with which I am unfamiliar. In reality, they were just regular riding chaps, for riding horses, which is a thing I do. I now sympathize at least with the confusion, since they are indeed assless/crotchless. The source of confusion is actually the fetishists, however, who don’t seem to respect that ALL CHAPS ARE ASSLESS. The lack of a seat is what makes them chaps. Otherwise they would just be terrible pants. The purpose of chaps is to wear them over your britches or schooling tights to provide an augmented contact surface between your leg and the horse’s side. By consistently calling them “assless chaps,” however, fetishists have implied, reminiscent of the doctrine of claim differentiation, that the term “chaps” standing alone is broader and comprises both assed and assless embodiments. Not true.

I would also like to take a moment to note that the term “assed” is recognized by my spellcheck dictionary, but “assless” somehow is not, despite assless being commonly used to misleadingly describe chaps, and assed being I word I’m pretty sure I just made up.

I would like to continue discussing common misnomers over poker tonight. I am chock-full of equestrian ones. For instance, did you realize that “champing at the bit” is something horses do when they are raring to go, but “chomping at the bit” is not a thing? But I say “chomping at the bit” all the time, you say? You are wrong all the time. Bring your own such facts to [——] tonight at around 8pm. RSVP so we know whether a quorum’s worth of gamblers will venture out in this cold…

Modern Mommy Poker

Last week was a whirlwind of social gatherings for me, spanning three major arenas in my life.  I first had an in-laws family reunion in North Carolina Tuesday-Thursday (with no internet or phone reception, hence my inexplicated absence last Wednesday), followed by Aflakattack in D.C. on Thursday night-Friday morning, followed by my law firm offsite convention in Florida, Friday Evening-Sunday morning.

It was great seeing hundreds of people, over the course of the week, who I only get to see a couple times a year at most.  But there was one odd pattern that dominated all three engagements.  It was not who was there that resonated most with me, but who was missing, and why.  Two of Imaginary Husband’s cousins had to forgo the trip to N.C. because they had a new baby, and couldn’t bear a 7-hour car ride with him.  Then several of my former co-clerks had to decline the Court reception, again, due to new babies.  Same for several of my favorite colleagues at branch offices of my law firm, all new mommies.

At first, I was confused.  Isn’t having a new baby exactly when you would most want to get away for a few days?  Dump that shit on the grandparents and let’s get wasted!  And then have the best night’s sleep you will ever have again!  But, as a childless ignoramus, I forgot the defining feature of modern baby-mommas.  Nursing.  You can’t ditch the kid and get wasted with me when your boobs are totally monopolized.

So I was forced to hang out with the early 20-somethings who are single, or the aging Gen-X crowd whose kids are older.  Both fun demographics, but when the beach club started blasting Meghan Trainor on Saturday night, I no longer saw a bunch of overworked lawyers reliving their glory days.  All I could envision in the crowd were post-millennial infants, in their eco-friendly memory-foam diapers, twerking and shouting…

You know I’m all about that boob,
‘Bout that boob,
no bottle.
I’m all about that boob
‘Bout that boob,
no bottle.
I’m all about that boob
‘Bout that boob,
no bottle.
I’m all about that boob,
‘Bout that boob.

OBs are preaching hard, the science must be true.
Breastfeeding’s all the rage
It’s what you have to do.
Get used to ya nipples in front of strangers’ faces
Cuz I always get hungry in public places.

See Grandma nuking something, inside a plastic cup?
We know that shit ain’t real
She gotta give it up
I shun preservatives, go google that
’Cause every inch of me is natural
From the booties to the hat.

Yeah, my mama she read every book in the Kindle store
Now all I touch is sterile, organic, free-range, and pure.
You know I won’t drink no synthetic powdered formula now
I got my own personal 24-hour human dairy cow.

Because you know I’m
All about that boob
’Bout that boob,
no bottle.
I’m all about that boob
’Bout that boob,
no bottle.
I’m all about that boob
’Bout that boob,
no bottle
I’m all about that boob
’Bout that boob

Poker will be at [————–], starting at 8pm, $10 buy-in cash game, RSVP.  Bring beer, wine, liquor, I don’t care.  Just don’t bring cans.  Cuz you know I’M all about that bottle.

Wet Squirrel Poker

OK, this is absolutely the worst poker theme I have ever come up with.  I deeply apologize.  But I just can’t think about anything else right now.  I am in a state of panic.  The weather outside right now is crazy.  I actually ran down the hall to my coworker and asked if Chinatown was being attacked by the black smoke monster from “Lost.”  I believe the meteorological term is that it is Armageddoning.  Since mini-me took my old office, I moved into an office with a big window, and now I am just staring at rain and being very concerned for squirrels.  I know this is not a rational response to serious downpours and a tornado warning.  There could be cars on the road getting in accidents, or my house could be is definitely leaking, but my main concern is for the squirrel population.  Where do they go when it rains like this?  Are they just in trees?  That is not going to cut it.  There is a little black squirrel that eats my tomato plants and barks at the next-door neighbor’s cat, how do I find out if he is safe?  There is a pair of cardinals that lives in my mulberry tree, what happens to their family when their nest floods?

I have to go on a wildlife rescue mission.  I have a towel and a hair dryer plugged into a portable car battery.  I can do this.  Neal and Jen will host poker in my absence.  They live at [———-].  Start time 8pm.  Bring beer and hip waders.  RSVP.

UPDATE– since posting this, I discovered that xkcd actually ran a comic strip on this same day, with essentially the same theme, focused on where birds go when it rains.  According to Randall Munroe, the question “where do birds go when it rains” is the most frequently asked question in Google (or or something, I didn’t read the research that closely).  Not only it is the question most commonly asked in English, but it is the most commonly asked question in all languages.  So there is this pervasive sentiment across all humanity, uniting us in our concern for birds when it rains.

So I Googled “where do squirrels go when it rains?”  Unlike the question “where do birds go when it rains” that returns hundreds of hits with fabulous in-depth articles about bird roosts and such, my question just takes you to an otherwise blank page that says “you’re an idiot.”  So it seems to me that not only has Google become sentient, but it is an asshole who doesn’t care about squirrels.