Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

Poker Sites

Cardschat Poker Forum
Barstool Sports
Card Player
Internet Texas Hold-Em
Poker Pages


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    Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    Keeping My Eye on the Ball

    Depending on who you talk to, I usually have my head either in the clouds or up my ass. I daydream, I'm easily distracted, I'm not a methodical and regimented person. It takes all sorts to make a world, and this is just what I'm like. It's not to the point where I have imaginary friends and engage in conversation with squirrels, but I'll admit I'm a bit spacy.

    That said, I'm a wee bit concerned about my mental state after the last week or so. Oh, there's nothing serious to report--I haven't discovered a newfound pleasure in cutting myself, nor have I found myself staring at Heinz Field and wondering what it would look like on fire. No, it's more a number of small fumbles and stumbles that has me wondering if there are some sparking wires inside my skull.

    Like most working stiffs I have an alarm clock. I set my alarm every night before I go to bed. Last Thursday I forgot to set it for the first time in 10 years. OK, no biggie, we all make mistakes. My own internal clock went off 30 minutes after my Timex one should've sounded, so I wasn't even late for work. No biggie.

    Thing is, I forgot to set my alarm Sunday night. I set it every night for 10 years, and then on consecutive nights I forget to set it. And I woke up at exactly the same time on Monday as I did on Friday. Odd.

    So Monday I race around, get dressed, grab my coat and bag, set down my bag to throw my fermenting gym clothes out of the back seat, hop in the car, and I'm off. Leaving my bag sitting there in the garage. Terrific. My lunch and, more importantly, my ID badge were in the bag. I can't even set the damn thing on the ground five seconds without forgetting it.

    But I forgave myself. I was probably distracted by the stench rising from my kneepads, which is putrid enough to drop an elk. OK. The next day I wake up (to the chiming of my alarm clock, thank you), get dressed, grab my bag, and head to town.

    Forgetting my coat. On a day when it's about 50 degrees with temperatures due to plummet. I walk every day from our shuttle lot to my building, and in the morning the 25-minute walk was no problem. It was calm and crisp. The walk back, on the other hand, was like something out of March of the Penguins. It rained sideways all afternoon and while the precip ended the wind howled on. And being bullheaded I walked back to the lot, freezing my ass off and getting quite a few stares from bundled-up commuters wondering why the hell I was leaning into the wind with nothing but a pale-blue Polo oxford to shield my tender skin from the slashing wind. I should've worn a sandwich board that read, "Because I'm an IDIOT". It might've shielded me from a bit of the wind, at least. I thought I heard a tick-tick-tick sound as my core body temperature slid into the low nineties.

    So I haven't been running on all cylinders. For the most part I've been able to function quite well, it's just these little glitches that are making me wonder if a true mental catastrophe looms. And then comes Monday night, we played volleyball, lost our playoff game, and went out for consoling drinks afterwards. Too many delicious beers later I got home, drank a quart of water, gobbled down a few Advil, and hit the hay. I woke up feeling fantastic, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I dressd, grabbed something for lunch, grabbed coat AND bag and I'm in my car 10 minutes ahead of my usual departure time. I'm halfway there when I catch a glimpse of myself in the rear-view mirror. I have written extensively on these pages about the Troubles I have with my hair. It's straight, it's all over the place, it's a pelt. Well, after I got out of the shower and blew it dry (if I don't it'll still be wet at 3PM) I didn't comb it. Or brush it. I looked like I'd just rolled out of bed and then, for kicks, stuck my finger in a light socket. The air is so cold and dry that my hair had picked up a charge strong enough for me to feel in my fingertips. I looked ri-goddam-diculous.

    How the hell do I keep missing these steps in my daily routine? I brushed my teeth--why didn't I go through my progressions and brush my hair? I haven't dropped these many balls in such a short space of time in I don't know how long. OK, I have stuff on my mind, but no more than usual. I haven't driven off a bridge or eaten a carboard pizza box yet, but I'm afraid the situation may escalate. So far it's the banal minutiae of life that's giving me problems. Am I going to snap out of it, or am I gonna start having problems with the dishwasher?

    Today, so far, has been a good day. All systems are go. I'm on the case. Eye of the Tiger, Geno. Eye of the Tiger. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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