Winey Poker

Despite truly abhorring it quality of its news reporting, for some reason I still read the CNN headlines every morning.  This morning seemed pretty normal.  People are still angry (and somehow surprised?) that a new government website doesn’t work very well.  Other countries are still angry (and somehow surprised?) that our government spies on their emails.  There was a terrorist attack in China, that’s actually real news, good job CNN, but wait—what is this?  THERE IS A GLOBAL WINE SHORTAGE?  To the extent the quality of CNN’s journalism is at all influenced by the frequency with which people click on links I wholeheartedly admit my contribution to the problem on that one.

It’s true.  Apparently China’s recent and growing fondness for European wine has caused an “undersupply of nearly 300 million cases” of wine this year.  Global production is at its lowest since the 1960s because of bad weather in France and Argentina.  And U.S. demand is growing much faster than its own production levels.  Morgan Stanley (whom CNN believes is a source for this kind of information) says the problem is only going to get worse.  Since Morgan Stanley could barely recognize the imminent collapse of its own industry, I think if they say there is a problem, then there is a catastrophe.

Now is not the time for sustainability and conservation all you science-nerd Washington liberals.  Now is the time for frantic indulgence!  Bring a bottle of wine to poker!  Everyone drinks at least one bottle of wine single-handedly.  No sipping, hell—no glasses.  Uncork (or unscrew, I don’t judge) and guzzle your way to [——-] at 8pm.  RSVP on behalf of your wine.

And note that I didn’t tell anyone to come in costume or make this a Halloween-themed poker in any way.  You can thank the journalistic integrity of CNN and all those lushes in China for eclipsing that whole concept.


Absolute Value Poker

Since my impending nuptials, I have become increasingly aware of all things wedding and marriage-related.  This includes a newfound interest in observing people who are happily and unhappily married and formerly married.  My observations so far have confirmed that the connection between spouses is by nature one of atypically large absolute value, rather than one that is particularly positive.  Though the passion of people who marry each other probably has a positive sign at the time they are married, it could just as readily change over to having a negative sign while still retaining all other attributes.  There is a special hatred out there so large in magnitude, it is only ever seen occurring between people who have been married.

Make no mistake, this does not dissuade me in any way from my own planning.  There is no one I love more than imaginary fiancé.  And no one else I could realistically see myself murdering.  That sounds about right.  He’s the one.

The absolute value phenomenon also manifests itself in planning the logistics of a wedding.  Case study: procuring the Court as my ceremony venue.  Due to some disconnect within the Court administration, and I was initially told that the Chief denied my request to use the Court for my ceremony, thus dashing my dreams and awaking a bridezillan rage that prompted me to draft a classic punctuation-less rant that in my head read:

dear chief:

you clearly understand what my dream wedding is.  all about you are generous, kind, and thoughtful judges who are not like you.  admit to being useless and inferior.  you have ruined me. for other venues, i am eternally grateful.  i will never speak of you again.

without great admiration,


Resolution was quickly reached and after promising to be on my best behavior and pledging to the Chief my first-born daughter my request was approved and the venue secured, and the rant in my head magically transformed punctuation.  The absolute value was the same, just the minus sign got reversed:

dear chief:

you clearly understand what my dream wedding is all about.  you are generous, kind, and thoughtful.  judges who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior.  you have ruined me for other venues.  i am eternally grateful.  i will never speak of you again without great admiration.


Funny how that works.  So anyway, Thursday is AFLAC ATTACK, and we have all sorts of poker veterans in from out of town.  I have questions from out of town people about poker tonight, and questions about poker after the after-party tomorrow, which was news to me but apparently on people’s radars.

So to those out-of-town clerks that want to know if poker still happens on Wednesdays: yes.  I don’t just send these emails out to spam people’s inboxes.  There is poker tonight.  [———-].  It starts at 8 pm, which means people arrive around 8:30 no matter how much I stress that it starts at 8 sharp.  You bring beer or a snack or something to share with the class.  You RSVP so I know whether this will be normal poker, or giant poker, or what and I will love you forever.  Don’t RSVP and I will hate you like a divorcee.

Also, since it appears that people who aren’t in town yet want to play poker tomorrow, RSVP about your interest in that.  I don’t know if this would be in addition to or instead of poker tonight, and when it would start (after the after-party is like midnight(?), are we too old for that shit?) let me see how the votes come in.

Rainy Vacation Poker

I am writing this email from the Outer Banks North Carolina, where I am riding out the government shutdown on “vacation”.  Now before you start getting all jealous,  understand that it has been torrentially raining since we arrived, and I have not been able to venture out of our rental condo to see the beach a single time.

Instead, my soon-to-be imaginary in-laws and I are honing our skills at being annoyed with each other for no good reason.  Being trapped for a week in a tiny rental condo with internet access for only two devices at a time, and sufficient bandwidth for only one of those devices, and very poor basic cable reception, is like a boot camp for passive-aggressive marital combat.  I think I’m winning.  I do have a nasty cold right now, which admittedly gives me tremendous advantage in several family battle tactics, such as being too frail to do anything that is asked of me, loudly trumpeting my nose during moments of quiet but important movie dialogue, and taking up the three-seater couch all to myself.

We do have a deck of cards, but doing anything with those cards would require a level of personal interaction for which I do not think we are civilly equipped at this time.  Besides, playing cards would just remind me of missing poker back home…

So poker!  For those of you still in DC, I imagine that there is a poker game going on somewhere.  I will have to refer you to [———–] for RSVPs and other details because I won’t be around.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to the kitchenette to clink dishes very loudly and cough on all the silverware.

Shutdown Poker

Normally I would use the government shutdown as an opportunity to really get wild with poker email, but I’m pretty sure the NSA agent responsible for monitoring this communication was deemed “essential” and is still on the job.  Hey Ron.

Let’s celebrate the government shutdown by driving to poker and parking in a permit zone for free!  We can place prank calls to Joe Biden, who is currently manning the Whitehouse switchboard in the absence of any secretaries.  He’s so happy that they are letting him talk to people, he probably won’t even mind.

Another perk of government shutdown poker is that we can be sure Dolin will not show up.  He is too busy trolling the republican staffer bars trying to pick up binge drinking conservative women.  “Hey, baby, I can see you’ve opted out of Obamacare, because you got FINE written all over you.  No, I’m not furloughed, the only thing nonessential about me are these pants.”

One caveat, though, is that Goodman has been home all day with nothing to do, and I cannot guarantee that the house will be anything other than a war zone of empty Miller Lite cans and Cheetos residue by 8pm tonight.  If that does not deter you from wanting to blow off some frustration for our dysfunctional democracy for as little as $10, please RSVP.  Bonus points for including your own shutdown-inspired pickup lines.  Who knows, you might get a chance to screw a couple federal employees out of even more cash.