Lord Miros and other animals

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Annus morosus

I am living in capricious times. Events this year have moved like quicksilver; it's funny how you can sit on your arse for so long expecting nothing much to happen, and then pretty much everything seems to happen at once. Whichever divine shit-stirrer is pulling my strings is certainly having some shits and giggles with me this year.

January was off to a fine start; Alice got the ball rolling early by hacking up in a Stars tournament for $10,000. Which was nice. Vague thoughts played in my head that maybe she should become a poker pro and I could follow my inevitable career in burger-flipping or telesales. Then came superbowl night, and I got one over on the jammy tart by winning the Sunday Warm-Up for $109,000. Which was nicer.

Just as it seemed life couldn't get much sweeter, a mere 4 days later Alice discovered she was pregnant and, despite my skepticism, she insisted that I was the father. This was especially impressive as we had only just started trying, yet somehow one of my booze-addled tadpoles had hit the bullseye at the first attempt. There then followed several days of me strutting around referring to myself as The Inseminator, along with offering to impregnate Alice's sister (for a small fee), and earnestly warning other females not to stray within 3 feet of me, lest I inadvertently knock them up too. I'm sure Alice and pretty much everyone else soon tired of my incessant lewdness, but the important thing is that I never did.

Anyway, the next few weeks were all very exciting. There were blood tests, visits to the midwife, peculiar e-mails from websites telling us that the baby was now the size of an olive / grape / avocado or basically any other bite-sized fruit or veg you can think of. I predicted a girl; a name was decided. We discussed designs for the nursery. After a while I told most of my friends, who seemed surprisingly pleased for me. I felt like a big man.

Well, then of course it happened; the world caved in around us. We were delighted to get to the 12-week stage as after that there is very little chance of miscarriage, so we thought the hard bit was out of the way. We were wrong. Alice had been skittish leading up to the 12-week scan, but I wrote it off as hormonal and told her not to worry. As it turned out, maybe her body was trying to tell her something. The 12-week scan revealed what the doctor described as 'major problems'. I won't bore you with the details. What's worse, even though we were in tears and essentially given no hope, the doctor wanted to wait another 2 weeks, just to make sure. That wasn't much fun. The next fortnight was the most agonising of our lives, especially as we knew that there wasn't really any light at the end of the tunnel. It was especially horrifying for Alice, which was in turn especially upsetting for me, knowing that I was powerless to help. I didn't play much poker in that time; probably for the best. My supernova status on Stars can go fuck itself.

When the fortnight finally passed, we were told what we expected; the poor little mite had zero chance of survival. Further horror awaited, as we then had to spend an entire day in hospital with Alice undergoing a very traumatising procedure, and me missing a great deal of the snooker. Eventually, just before madness set in, we were home. It felt like a much emptier place.

That was in April; time has passed, and we are recovering. Our friends found out in dribs and drabs, and have been wonderful. We inadvertently staggered telling them, which happily meant a near-constant supply of flowers arriving at the door. Frustratingly we were told we may have to wait up to 3 months to find out the results of the blood tests and post-mortem to determine whether it was a genetic problem or a developmental one-off. Just a few days ago the initial results came back, and we were informed that it was, in all likelihood, a one-off. There is a renewed sense of hope creeping back in to our lives.

In fact, June seems to be progressing on a nice upward curve all-round. I fluked my way to winning a step 6 for my seat in Vegas, and on Saturday Alice followed up in a $650 satellite. For the first time we will both be playing the World Series Main Event. I don't fancy my chances in a last-longer. Now all I need is for us both to make the final, and that when we return in November Alice is once again heavy with child, preferably mine. Is that too much to ask?

I think I'd better start going to church.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cometh the hour, cometh the man

Ok, so admittedly it's been a while. I'm sure you've all missed me. While I'd love to say that I've been travelling the world, or climbing mountains, or even, most laughably, working really hard, I'm sure most of you would clock this as the outrageous lie that it is. Then again I also haven't been in a coma, or prison, or some sort of drug-induced stupor for the last 13 months. Let's just say I've been busy and leave it at that.

One exciting bit of news is that for some reason the psychos who run my local boozer have made me captain of the Aunt Sally team. Mentalist! Clearly they didn't realise that no bugger in history has ever been reckless enough to burden me with any meaningful responsibility, but to be fair I'm coping extremely well. Admittedly my suggestion of no sex or alcohol in the 24 hours before a game was not well met, but other than that I've discovered the whole captaincy experience to be quite a thrill. The only low ebb so far was when 4 mysterious lads signed up for an away match at the Jolly Farmer, assured me half an hour before the match that they would be there, and promptly failed to show, leaving us with half a team. Perhaps the fact that they were regulars at the Jolly Farmer should have aroused my suspicions of a stitch-up. Ah well, you live and learn.

Obviously the high point involved a large measure of personal glory for yours truly. In last week's match at the Elephant & Castle most of the team put up a dismal performance, the first seven of us scoring a miserly 6 from 42 sticks. This left The Great Man needing to score an unlikely 3 from 6 sticks to win the leg. I nailed it in five, to the delight of shrewd in-running punters, followed by my trademark 'fuck you' dance in the faces of the opposition. We lost 2-1.

Still, it feels good to be in charge of something. I've never been captain of anything in my life. At school I had the dubious honour of being the only boy in my house not to be made a prefect (possibly owing to a small getting-drunk-and-smashing-up-my-study incident). If only they could see me now!

Anyway, bugger off now, I can't doss about on here all day. Some of us have teamsheets to write.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Horny, sad beauty (or Another busy day)

Some amusing anagrams for other people's blogs:

Internet Poker Pro - Porker or penitent
Milkybarkid's Poker Blog - Book perky, grim, bad skill
Negative Capability - Pitiably ace vintage
Sleepless in Fulham - Is lameness helpful?
Get it quietly - Quit, leg it yet

All of which seemed to have some sort of ring of truth, until I came to Lord Miros and other animals, which turns into Horrid, moralless damnation. That can't be right.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Gold Cup memories

Well, it's a week of celebration in the Mirosian household (not that we need much of an excuse). Last Sunday's 9th in the $200 comp on Stars was a boner in many ways but I couldn't avoid the hand I busted out on (QQ v KK) and at least 9th was $4500 better than 10th. Now if only I could forget that it was also $156000 worse than 1st. Bugger. I keep trying to tell myself 'what difference', but that doesn't really help as actually there's a rather considerable difference. Did I already say bugger?

Quite apart from that, this week is also a celebration due to the much-needed return of the flat season. This jumping lark is for the birds. It's bad enough watching the Inadequate Irishmen and their Cloven-hoofed friends simply running, let alone falling, unseating, refusing and even taking the wrong course, which these clowns seem to manage with frightening regularity. Nuts to it all. The only reason I ever go to Cheltenham is for the Guinness. Seemingly the only reason I ever bet on the Gold Cup is because I hate money. Obviously this year I laid that unproven, overhyped Irish dodgepot War of Attrition, and it pissed up. Same old, same old.

Back in the early days of my career in idleness, my father took me to Cheltenham for Gold Cup day, along with a posse of fellow lawyerly types, who were all merrily lagering themselves up in their hospitality tent and throwing money at me to take to the bookies. As you can imagine, very little of this wedge actually made it within ten paces of a bookie's satchel. By the time the Gold Cup came around I had trousered myself a nice little roll and had, so far, yet to suffer a reverse. Easy game!

Now, that year I had a strong fancy for an unproven, overhyped Irish dodgepot called Florida Pearl, and so much of my new-found wealth did find a home with the layers, along with any other bets that the lawyers had given me for the same horse. One of my dad's friends, who clearly knew considerably less about the Sport of Kings than he did about corporate tax havens, had entrusted me with a few quid on a couple of no-hopers, See More Business and Go Ballistic, both each-way. Obviously it went straight in the back pocket and I thought no more about it, instead readying myself to cheer home Florida Pearl and idly wondering what I should press it up on in the Foxhunter's.

Well, you know what's coming next. Jumping the last it was down to a two-horse race between Go Ballistic and See More Business. I prayed to the gods to bring them both down (Florida was 17 lengths adrift in 3rd), but the gods are tossers and ignored me, as ever. Now I didn't even know which one to funk for. See More was the shorter odds (16-1) but was the bigger bet, while Go Ballistic was a chunky 66-1 shot. See More struggled up the hill in front, which was at least the right result for me. Unfortunately it was a moot point, as I was skint.

My dad's friend was very excited. He kept asking me how much he'd won. For a moment I considered saying "ooh, at least 25 quid" and hoping he would fall for it, but it was a desperate hope. I just had to keep schtum and find some money from somewhere. Happily my father, once he'd stopped laughing, proved amenable to a gentle nipping. I hope he never told the other fella the truth, but I'll take 5-1 on that he did.

As a postscript, the horse that I'd fingered for my Foxhunter's press-up pissed up, and I didn't have a red cent on it. Oh happy day.

Next time I think I'll stay in the Guinness tent and pretend I'm at a conference for recidivist alcoholics. At least it'll be cheaper.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Don't bother thinking about any of the following stuff... (Part 1)

1. Death. Seriously, just ignore it, it's not that fun. If you pretend it isn't there then it might just go away. Apparently there's overwhelming evidence to suggest that it will inevitably happen to pretty much all of us (except vampires, and Duncan MacLeod, and possibly that Jesus fella). Frankly, I'm cynical, but since I can't figure out where else my grandparents and Buddy Holly and a few other lads went I admit there could be some truth in it. I must also admit I'm really struggling to accept the terrifying concept of my own non-existence, or Alice's for that matter. Nuts to that. I haven't spent several hard years mastering the place markets in sprint handicaps just to have it all disappear into pointless oblivion. So as I say, don't think about it, you'll only get in a gloom about how we're all screwed, or at best drawing pretty fucking slim.

Still, I'm an optimist. Perhaps if I think about this niggly death thing long enough, I can engineer some sort of alternative. Ok, granted, it's a tall order perhaps, but I'm fucked if I'm going to let myself just wink out of existence without some sort of fight. I guess at the moment I'm banking on medical science to get a shimmy on and discover a cure for just about everything, and pretty damn sharpish, because right now there ain't many buyers of the Lord Miros life expectancy spread. So far it's not looking hopeful. Still, as a rule I never stand up from the table while I still have an out, and with any luck the course of my life has only just made it to the flop, so perhaps I'll pick up some hope on the turn. If I'm really lucky the button in my personal game of life has jokingly plumped for seven-card stud, though knowing my luck he's had a sudden whimsy for Irish, in which case I'm truly fucked. Doubtless I'll have blundered away my chance of eternal bliss by discarding that useless-looking God fella, which is ironic as my personal idea of damnation actually involves me playing a neverending game of Irish, in which I obviously never win a pot. But enough of this analogy now, my psychiatrist told me never to mention 'the 3-card game', I can feel the voices coming back and they're saying bad things.

Incidentally, if any of you lot come up with any bright ideas about this whole mortality dilemma, feel free to share. Any handy and not too laborious death-avoidance solutions would be gratefully received.

In other news, I've been to several different countries in my global quest to ingloriously bust nowhere near the money in a succession of meaningless and rather boring poker tournaments. While in many ways disheartened - not to mention completely knackered - this unhappy adventure has only cemented my ambition to actually win one of these sodding crapshoots, primarily so I can then say fuck you to the world and give up poker for life. And if I have any left at the end of it all I can always go for that whole cryogenics spiel, and trust it's all not just an elaborate wind-up. Although I don't really fancy the prospect of my last earthly thoughts being: "I bet these fuckers never bother to thaw me out. Marvellous."

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Back to the blog, I suppose

Well, what a couple of weeks it's been. I've learnt a lot of important lessons in the last fortnight or so:

1. Although a bottle of Harvey's Bristol Cream may only be £5.50 in my local liquor store, that in itself is inadequate justification for downing the lot and playing 10-20 pot limit omaha with my entire Pokerstars bankroll.

2. Dedication is what you need. After struggling for weeks and weeks to cadge myself a free holiday in the Bahamas, I then manage to win Lady M her very own invite at practically the first time of asking. Lucky slut...

3. The NFL is very very easy, and everyone else is very very stupid, and if only the sodding Packers had scraped their way another 10 yards to the endzone in the dying seconds I would've been another monkey richer. It's not fair that I should be poorer even though I was so damn right.

4. We've got our blender working, and it's fucking marvellous. Now all I need is some really mental stuff to blend up. I suggested the guinea pigs but for some reason Alice is against the idea. Food is boring because then you're meant to eat it, and frankly I don't want to, I just want to blend stuff. In my darker moments I toy with the idea of putting my foot in there, just to see if I can, and what will happen, and whether it would really hurt as much as I think it would. Fortunately I know from previous experience that if I dare myself to do something, then I can damn well do it, so the foot is safe for now, at least. But just so you know, I COULD put my foot in a blender, if I really had to. It's only a foot, after all. I've got a spare one, and to be honest I don't find much use for that. Anyway, I digress...

I know these lessons themselves probably aren't a sound grounding for a stable and mature human being, but I'm definitely getting a sense of progress. I get the feeling there are a lot more lessons to be learnt, although whether I want to learn them is debatable and whether I will succeed in learning them is improbable. I think I'm getting somewhere anyway, at least for now.

If anyone can think of any interesting lessons they've learned recently, feel free to join the debate. Bear in mind that if I don't like what you say I will almost certainly delete your comment and tell everyone I know that you're an almighty cunt. *

*Which, let's face it, you probably are.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Back to the island

Finally, after oh sooooo much trying, the Great Man has fluked his way into the WPT event in the Bahamas again. It may have cost me a lot of time, a lot of effort and ultimately rather an embarrassing amount of money, but the $1million 1st prize should make up for that to some extent. And at least if I get knocked out early again I can go and watch some public executions. Posted by Picasa