Elevator. Safari.

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So, I get in an elevator and go to my desk 5 days a week.  Every morning, stepping into the elevator, I brace myself for the mind numbing-ness of it.  And so, the blog is my safari. I never know what sort of wild beasts I’m going to encounter at work… you know rhinos, poachers, mosquitos, vultures, petty minded, small minded wrens.  But the elevator can take me anywhere.  A few days ago it took me deep into the mind of Brian Wilson of the Beach boys…a few days before I read all about JFK’s mistresses….and today I looked for my dad’s first car from the 20’s an R & V Knight.

I’ll probably never get to Africa…even if I my bank account wasn’t verging daily on overdrawn, I would probably opt out for Europe over Africa….I’m sort of caught up in history.  A safari would be an adventure.  Hemingway did it.  It sounds so beautiful….as in “Out of Africa” or “The Hills of Kilimanjaro.”  Romantic, wild, the last place where herds of animals & predators run free….you can be honestly afraid in Africa. What did Hemingway’s characters drinking on safari?  Rum or whisky?  Whisky I think.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All About Me.  Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you.”



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So, at the WSOP 2015 Colossus event at the Rio in Vegas, only 6.3% of the 22,374 (14,000 unique entries – not counting the rebuys) were women.  I wonder how many women did the rebuy?   I am not headed to Vegas until July.  One of the regulars in our poker group made it to Day 2 of the Colossus.  She is a great player!

I’m not sure how this relates to the writing prompt “Off Season” at all, but maybe for women poker players it always seems like the off-season.  Or maybe it’s because I’m having a bad run of cards.   AJ beaten by AK,  QQ beaten a flush….    It’s made me sensitive to phrases like “throws like a girl” and “has the balls.”  Honestly, I can’t be too upset, I beat men all the time.  Every time I make final table I’m beating a lot of guys to get there.  And any stereotypes about women poker players that go with it.  Most poker players seem more open minded than to even notice gender, but I don’t know if that’s true of all of them.  Sometimes I get the feeling that some men just don’t like being beaten at cards by anyone, let alone a girl.   I know I’ve been called all kinds of horrible names on online poker, but I can ignore that, as it’s not the real world.

I guess they’re going to put a woman on the $10 bill. Maybe they should put a woman on the $100 to make up for lost time.

One of my co-workers gave me the the poster “the many emotions of Mister Spock.”  So, I’ve created “the many emotions of Phil Laak.”

Hope you like it.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Off-Season.”


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I was reading Esperanto on the good ship Esperanza with Eric Estrada who exited drinking espresso, and excitedly I kicked off my espadrilles, opened my expedited letter containing tickets from expedia.com which would take me on an expedition to Estonia where I’d eventually live in exile.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fearful Symmetry.”



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“If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.”
 Sun Tzu

Forget the moon; forget the dead, tombstone, ashes.
Think of the high sun at noon. Think of asphalt on barefeet,
Bumble bees in linden trees, clean water from the tap.
We long to put words on the sky; to name: to understand.
Speak the language of the living. Hold candles in the night.
Sweet moon, so overdone you are a bane, a parking ticket,
A bill in the mail, a dog that barks all night, sweetest

Light, do you know, every lover loves you?
We watch you from the suburbs; sing your songs,
As you venture close to cities once a decade, you’re a cliché,
Bright cicada buzzing by the back porch light. We listen
Removed, as a two-hundred year old spruce forest burns
Quickly, as the wind gusts through a forest town.
Moon that pulls the tides over beaches,
Shining now on granite wing of angels, shoot no stars
From the heavens.

Look at you moon! So obvious & sacred.
You rise unknowable & scary, like a cathedral ceiling
To a peasant, painted with the hands of mortals.
The beggars & bums gawk at you from the alleys,
The lunatics, lonely & longing, delay their fate
As your brilliance rises in the few moments quiet,
Before the birds settle,
While sunlight disappears, a small torch
On the horizon as night begins to fall.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Full Moon.”