April 8th, 2012

Clay. Bill...Clay.

Poker poker poker poker

Still hangover-less in this life! I'm gonna keep this up.

I had two PBRs last night -- does that double the amount of Pabst I've had? Maybe -- to get into the spirit of the Geek in the City/ Funemployment Radio poker tournament that I watched. For several reasons, mental and financial, I did not feel ready to try my hand at poker, but I watched smartasses handle the cards and chips while sassing each other. The game was in the basement bar called the Jack London, down below the Rialto, a place I'd never been to because it's an off-track betting place and you know that "off-track betting" isn't me at all. But the Jack London has been hosting events Relevant To My Interests, so I finally got over that block and went down there.

Oh, there is plenty of time to socialize during these games. I haven't watched enough (televised poker bores me) to really get that, but the players did plenty of that. And plenty of other people I like were there just to watch, too. And more of them were watching as players fell out of the game, so talking happened. Also eating (I had calamari on one plate, onion rings on another). I bought one Pabst; the second came to me because people were plying the Geek In The City hosts (Aaron Duran -- who fell out of the game early -- Scott Dally, Kielen "Pwn Toney" King and Dan Clark) with drinks, and of course adding more drinks to a poker player can add variables to that player's play. Strategy, you see. So someone bought Scott a Pabst. Aaron yelled from across the bar "You have to drink that!" I walked over, put my hands on Scott's shoulders, and asked him "Can you pass the drink along to someone?" Scott said "Sure!" and, smiling his big-mouthed grin, handed me that Pabst. I drank it showily.

Was that Pabst that he didn't drink a factor in Scott winning the whole thing later? Probably not, there was plenty of other stronger drink in him too, but I had no problem being part of the show.

There. Another thing I may be brave enough to do sometime. Scott and Aaron both let me know via Twitter before the game that often poker newbies do surprisingly well. OF COURSE THAT IS WHAT THEY'D SAY. *hides his money*

Also, I like that the Jack London's decorations included a lot of handmade art, with such discards as cardboard, six-pack rings (so those won't wind up in the trash, yay!), collage-d paper and even a cut-up parking ticket. I like handmade decoration. Maybe even I could do that...

I wobbled home (via my feet, a bus, and my feet again -- I knew not to drive!) in the 7 o'clock hour, and got back in time to watch much of the Timbers game against Chivas USA. From soon after the Timbers' first -- and it turned out only -- goal to the dispiriting end (Chivas won, 2-1). Ah, the ever-increasing ability of this game and this team to make me nuts. I knew the risk when I started following the Timbers.

(Oh, and before all of this poker and Timbers stuff, I was outside in the sun. FINALLY SUN. I wandered downtown and the Waterfront with a book, reading while also people-watching, and there was plenty of time for that. Light and warmth are REALLY needed, as most of Portland -- heck. most of the country -- knows...)
Sally Salt Disgusted

Politics and Arguments

I don't know enough about politics.

I'm daunted by it. There's so much to know, so much thinking about how one's getting that knowledge -- how to filter out bias? how to be reasonably consistent in one's beliefs? how to act on them? how to not be a jerk about one's beliefs? -- that it threatens me with headaches.

Partly, and honestly, I do not enjoy arguing. Plenty of people thrive on it; I don't. It can easily wear me down. I keep wanting to avoid that feeling; that turns into a why bother? attitude. But when I see that attitude in others, I'm annoyed, too. One time I posted something about -- way to be vague, Chris, but I don't have to be specific to make the point -- someone's efforts to improve a political situation. A friend responded; that friend's response almost literally was I don't believe that would work, so: that won't work. I resisted posting in response

Note to self: never post about politics in your own journal ever again.

Yeah, I was a little frustrated. That friend thinking it can't be done would mean that it can't be done, ignoring that the very thing I'd posted was about someone trying to do it. There's the saying "The person who says it cannot be done should not get in the way of the person doing it," but that seemed condescending and rude of me to do so, so I didn't. OK; we're not going to agree. But I let that get in the way of arguing for what I think is right.

Also, frustratingly, often it seems I know enough politically to -- how's this for self-defeating? -- shoot down my own arguments. I find myself mentally arguing a point, but then see how someone can say Wait, you believe THAT, but you do THIS; so you're a hypocrite, and I no longer have to listen to you. And not be able to come up with a strong enough counter-argument -- no, a counter-counter-argument to that you're a hypocrite counter-argument. I know me better than anyone, so I can spot those weak spots in my logic really easily. I can argue with me very, very easily. *grins wryly*

And even the best arguments can be ignored. I also worry about that. How do you react to "I don't care about your argument, I'm going to keep believing what I believe?" That's something else that can shut me down. That I can let shut me down. I don't want to hit that wall of "I don't care."

It's very easy for me to go to "want to ragingly scream" mode when thinking about or listening to political arguments, which is almost certainly my frustration and emotion of thinking about politics getting expressed. I don't want to be too emotional about it; I want to be logical and thoughtful about it; but the desire just to scream "YOU'RE WRONG" gets strong. Or, to be more specific, "I BELIEVE YOU'RE WRONG." To not get too emotional; to not want to scream or be a jerk (and oh, I am fully capable of jerkiness when annoyed); I need to learn that.

Because ignoring politics, in all its messes and complications, is a copout. I don't enjoy them, at least not so far, but I'm too young to be set in my ways like that and say "F*** it, arguing's pointless."

Just be warned: if I'm arguing with you, I'm doing something I fundamentally don't like to do. So I'd be doing it for a reason. Please listen.