good cards, doctors, school papers, and the start of my timeline…dateline 1979-1980

Been busy for the last few days…

The Good:  Won the local NLHE (no-limit hold em’) poker tournament on Sunday.  It’s a tournament that a local downtown bar runs five days a week…no money to enter and you can walk away with a little bit of money in your pocket ($10 in cash and $10 in bar money in my case).  It was a lower turnout than usual (around 40-50 players).  I made some good plays and at one point I was on life support with only 1,400 chips left in the second blind level (200/400).

The money was useful for laundry that night and the bar money will come in handy when I want to knock back a couple of drinks later on in the spring when I get that yearly urge to drink myself into blackout states of mind.  More importantly, with this win I now qualify to play in the end-session tournament with a top prize of at least $350.  There’s a point system involved with every final table that gets played….10 points earned for first, 6 points for second, 4 points for third, 3 points for fourth, 2 points for fifth, and one point for places sixth through tenth.  I had one other final table appearance in early January when I finished in eighth place.  I think the number to make the cut is six points earned although I’m now hearing rumors that the cutoff will be raised to ten points in the future.  I will be taking an early sabbatical on Friday to play in the bracelet tournament.  Anybody who’s played in a league game is qualified to play in this tournament.  League games are different from the freeroll and it’s treated not dissimilar to a bowling league….everybody has to contribute $6.00 to play in a league game and points can be earned in the same manner which can qualify you to play in different tournaments ranging from the aforementioned bracelet to winning trips to play at Tunica Casino (in rural Memphis) to a trip to Vegas to play in a WSOP (World Series Of Poker) event.

curiosity seekers can view our league and standings here:

I would love to play in a WSOP Main Event some day, it’s safe to say that’s on my bucket list of things to do….I enjoy playing, I’ve been playing for about a year and there’s definitely some strategy involved…it’s almost like Chess in a way.

The Bad:  I have my doctor’s appointment tomorrow for my gallstone situation….it’s only a initial appointment and they’ll most likely run the usual battery of tests and x-rays to get a clearer picture of what’s going on…I’ll probably won’t get a final word on this for a few more weeks, I’m guessing.

The Ugly:  I have an annotated bibliography for my research paper due in a week or so….the main topic of the paper needs to touch on technology and how it’s affected life today….so basically, pick a topic that touches upon this and pick a side and defend that side which will be backed up with the research that you put into it….If I remember right, the final research paper is a minimum of 2,500 words (or 3,000?  can’t remember)…..I’ll need to consult with my syllabus to double check that info.  The topic I chose was tax preparation software and how it has changed the way that tax returns are done compared to the old days of doing all the calculations and leg work yourself or basically hiring an accountant to do it.  I also plan to touch upon the IRS and how new technology has helped them to rape even more taxpayers over the last few years with more efficiency…etc

I’ve reserved the second half of this post to start my timeline…..of my memories

My memory goes back to late 1979 or early 1980….can’t quite place it really

One of my very first memories was seeing President Jimmy Carter on television doing an address to the nation….if I remember right, he was wearing a red vest of some sort….the memory is there but really grainy in my head.  It was probably very late 1979 because the songs I can remember being played on the radio back then (The Doobie Brothers “what a fool believes”, Supertramp “the logical song”, etc) all date from this time period.

I can remember “Another Brick In The Wall” by Pink Floyd being very huge at the time and it being played on FM radio.  My Mom also around this time bought a brand new 1979 Pontiac Trans-Am which was gold colored and had the big-ass firebird emblem on the hood.  It ran my Mother just a smidge above $10,000….with inflation being factored in, that same car would have ran $29,635 in 2010.  Aside from it being a bad-ass car and very fast, it also had an 8-track player in it.  This provided us (me & my brother who’s four years older than me) lots of amusement when my Mom would leave us in the car to run a quick errand someplace…..I can remember my brother putting in “rock and roll all nite” by KISS into the player and cranking it up… Mom’s taste in music was very eclectic… ran from KISS to Dolly Parton to Ohio Players to Bob Marley…..this same range could also be found in her vinyl collection as well….I’ll touch more upon that subject once I get into the 1980’s a bit

I can remember when MTV first hit the airwaves on UA Cable (our local cable TV provider)…..good ol’ channel M (when classic slider cable boxes had letters instead of numbers past 10)…..those first wave of music videos were absolutely terrible to watch…..three-figure budgets and the like….but the music was brilliant……this might explain my love for new wave and early 80’s british pop music in general.

The very first song I can remember hearing on the radio was “Peg” by Steely Dan which was an odd song to me.  In my four-year old brain, I was hearing the chorus as “Hanes” instead of “Peg”….I blame Michael McDonald for this.  For a while there, I just thought it was a three-minute jingle for men’s underwear.

Nothing else leaps out at me for 1980 except that it was the year that I started elementary school.  I spent my first half-year at St. Alphonsus which was a catholic school located in a church a few blocks down the road from our house.  Our Mom put us in public school shortly thereafter…I never knew why, I’d guess now that it was a hell of a lot cheaper to do that.  Plus, Coit School was only two blocks away versus the twelve or so blocks that it took to reach the church.

1980 was a special year for Coit School as it was the 100th anniversary of the school.  I can remember having to learn a daft school song commemorating this achievement.  6th graders (with chaperones) were giving tours of places of interest in and around the neighborhood.  For me, being in kindergarten…it was all about the finger painting, man

I’ll finish out with one of the coolest memories of my childhood……Date:  October 29th, 1980….Place:  my mom’s house…….Event:  my fifth birthday…….My mom was waiting on us to come home from school (me and my brother would walk home together of course) and lo and behold, she meets us outside at the corner as she usually did and when we got into the house…there was a formula-1 style red mini car there waiting for me!…..this was the type of car/bike that you had to push on two pedals alternately to get yourself going down the sidewalk….it was so damn sweet!……until after fucking around with it for a little while, I went inside briefly and some neighborhood kid tried to steal it right in front of our house….my eagle-eyed brother saw this larceny about to go down and he ran out and grabbed a rock and calmly walked up to the corner and launched that motherfucker…..this kid was halfway down the hill with this car (Fairbanks Ave from Coit School down past our house was one long hill).  The rock hit its’ mark perfectly, right between the shoulder blades and this kid dropped the goods on the ground and kept on running to save himself from a certain asskicking.  That was the greatest throw I ever saw….Dwight Evans and Ichiro Suzuki both would have been proud.

Next post will cover 1981-1982

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After four years…

I now have high-speed internet again

Charter just installed it about a half-hour ago, it’s real nice to have it again.

It might seem silly because I only live a few blocks away from campus, but it’s quite nice to not have to lug everything up and walk over there if I want to use a decent internet connection.  I’ve been tethering my cell phone up to this point for the past three months and that started to get old after a while.

The speed also helps me out with writing my articles as it’s easier to pick off open assignments when I don’t have to worry about lagtime in trying to select an assignment.  Usually when that happens, somebody else has already taken the assignment.

I have a research paper due at the end of the semester which is also a good reason to have broadband at the homestead.

It was a nice setup and didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket and won’t have to worry about my first bill for a couple of weeks at least.

We’ll see what I can get knocked out in the next couple of hours before I have to go to work.  A friend of mine hooked me up with my weapon of choice yesterday (as pointed out in my last post) and I have my nicotine fix happily coarsing through my veins.  I do plan on trying to phase these out eventually.  I was thinking of the “dwindling” plan….I average about a half-pack a day (10 cigs) which is loads better than what I used to smoke.  In my first year, I was going through a pack a day.  Anyways, I figure I can smoke my usual pace for the first week and then the second week dial that down to around 9 a day and the third week…8….and so on.  At the end of the 10 weeks, I’ll be down to just one cigarette a day (hopefully).  I don’t know when I’m going to start implementing this, because the stress level is going to be high for a little bit longer due to my health issues and the project that’s due in April.  Maybe when that’s all done and the semester is over, I can start this plan.  We’ll see

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One Cigarette Left and other issues….


As of right now (2:33 AM – Monday Morning) I have one cigarette left and it’s about to go in my mouth.  That last sentence was written without kneepads…true story.  Anyways, I have much larger issues to deal with.  Last night I found out that the intermittent but constant pains in my right kidney over the past few days were not what I thought it was.  I was almost certain that they were signs of a kidney stone, but that was not to be.



my weapon of choice



After nearly two hours at the ER….and three tests (blood, urine, and CT scan)….I find out that my kidneys are fine and my blood is fine, except for one small thing….the CT scan showed that I have gallstones in my gall bladder.  This was something that I was a. not looking forward to hearing and b. not expecting to hear it either.


Needless to say, surgery seems like it’s an imminent proposition.  I’ll probably be going back to my hometown to get that done (if I can swing it) so that I can have family and friends around.  Although I’m probably going to be blissed out on painkillers for a couple of weeks.  Space Cadets are cool as hell on paper, it’s quite another deal to actually try and hang out with one.


As I know more about what I’m dealing with, I’ll post it here.  I didn’t even get any articles done (I ghostwrite articles for a modest second income) this weekend because of all this stuff.  Hell, I chain smoked an entire pack of cigarettes in the past twelve hours alone…not good for the lungs or the wallet.  I’m seriously looking into trying to quit, although the problem is..I like them too much.  If it can cut down on my blood pressure (it’s borderline high) than maybe it’s worth a go.


I have an annotated biblography due in the next couple of weeks sometime for my current writing class and that’s the furthest thing from my mind right now.

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A Brief Introduction…


My name’s Alex and I originally hail from Michigan and I’m currently going to school and working in east Tennessee.

Currently striving to get a bachelor’s in Accounting with an eye on a Master’s Degree in it.  If the stars align and everything parts by then…I may just go the full monty and pursue a Doctorate in it.  If that opportunity arises, then most likely I’ll try and go to Michigan State for that with Knoxville (U. of Tennessee) being a close second on that list.

This is just a place for me to ramble on about whatever’s on my mind.  Through some posts, you’ll get a peek inside who I am and what makes me tick.  I’m a Custodian by day and a freelance writer by earlier day or later night…whichever is available.

I never really read too many books or novels growing up, but I do appreciate a good book every now and then.  I’m currently still trying to wade through “Whirlwind” by James Clavell.  Clavell also famously wrote “Sho-Gun” and “Tai-Pan”, both of which were made into visual medium.  The former into a classic miniseries (Richard Chamberlain, all that needs to be said) and the latter into a mid-80′s movie which I never saw.

My Dad had the Sho-Gun novel laying around in our living room.  He wasn’t around by then (my mom divorced him in 1977) but his presence (aside from bi-weekly visitations) was certainly there.  The metal mesh table that housed the fishtank was made by him (welded it together in his workshop in the basement) and the amazing bookshelves that lined the walls of our living room was also done up by him.  So it’s only fitting that most of his books were left behind.  I never read the novel at that age though, I think I was more inclined to watch Wheelie & The Chopper Bunch or Bugs Bunny cartoons.

rum chicka-buh...indeed

I’ve been on page 10 in Whirlwind for quite some time, started reading it late last summer until my life was thrown into upheavel….perhaps that will be a blog post for later

until next time....america

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