I’m sure you can assume that a large amount has happened since February of 2012. There is a bit of me that feels rather absurd for returning to this medium of sharing. So if you haven’t been following me on Facebook or Twitter, where I try not to over share, here is a brief update of the last year.

In the middle of the night in May of 2012 we quickly left Panama City, Panama. Why, because it just wasn’t our jam. However, we did have an awesome trip to the islands of Bocas Del Toro with our good friends. I recommend a visit to the islands but don’t do a bat cave tour like we did. I’m pretty certain I used up a good amount of luck by coming out of the cave alive.

By the end of July we wrapped up a summer in Vegas. We then stopped off in Chicago to switch out our summer clothes for our winter items because Prague, Czech Republic is much colder than Panama. By September I was enrolled at CERGE-EI to complete my Master’s in Applied Economics. I learned some stuff and will graduate officially on Thursday July 25. WOOT. Since getting here, as in Praha,  in August of 2012 we have visited; Berlin, Stockholm, Vienna, Paris, and Barcelona. PHEW. Now that I’ve listed off those things I can share some photos and then get back to blogging about other stuff. One more thing, Mr. Hoes and I got engaged in Paris in May. This has meant that I’ve stumbled across things like this….

Why is she doing laundry in her wedding dress?

Why is she doing laundry in her wedding dress?

From a Pinterest board titled “horsey wedding ideas”. Yes, horse wreaths are a true concern of the modern bride.

With that I give you photos from over the year. I plan on getting back into blogging every ten days or so since I have a lot more time on my hands after finishing up school. You can trust that in the past year my annoyance for the US government has only grown- I hope the NSA is enjoying the horsey wreath as much as I am.

Photo Over Load:

Panama

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This was a nice spot in Panama. The only nice spot.

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Fleeing. Packed and ready.

Vegas 2012

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WSOP 2012… Rio decorations are always so nice.

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Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley Fight … Pacquiao was totally in our elevator when we were leaving.

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Rio Wine Cellar…. only place you won’t fine poker players in June at the Rio

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The rest of the floor was obviously lava.

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Undisclosed sushi location. I’m not sure most of the items we ate were legal to consumer in the United States

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The other side of poker most don’t see. Heavy drinking and busto face.

Prague

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Always perfect. Here Jesus turned beer into wine.

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Onion, pickled everything, and cured meat- You always smell just right!

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Summer, opposite of winter.

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Voting internationally in the 2012 election. I was a one issue voter: Make Online Poker Legal. Obviously.

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It was a bar in someones basement and those women were the hotties.

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Metro art and ladies.

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An obvious purchase.

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Prague Christmas. The tree needed a few more lights.

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Fruity.

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Only in Eastern Europe are they like, “ya, totally cool to wield hot steal in a crowded public space”.

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I’m not sure US burbs can compete with these lighting experts.

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Spring time in Prague!

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Train ride between Berlin and Prague during the EPT. No, I don’t photograph for National Geographics.

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View from my window. Poker exile living isn’t a bad life :)

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Czech country side.

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Fierce.

Travels

*For whatever reason I don’t seem to have any photos from Vienna. We traveled with a few people, I assume I was just like “whatever they will phototag all of this”.

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Stockholm. Not sure how this was the only picture from the trip… I think I was drinking to stay warm the entire time.

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Berlin EPT. Obligatory poker photo.

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Berlin. It looks rather Euro.

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Germany doesn’t like to show off or anything.

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PARIS. Just some rando park but it was Paris so it looked way better than any park anywhere.

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Cheese in Paris. I love cheese in Paris.

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Insert Les Mis quote.

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I don’t know, its Paris so its pretty to photograph.

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I remember the mustard we purchased more than this fountain- there is some economic theory behind that. I should really know what that is.

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Napoleon’s Tomb. He was kinda the fucking man.

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We’s be betrothed.

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Versailles Gardens: mind=blown.

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Versailles Garden: Marie Antoinette’s side house. Pretty sweet deal.

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Versailles Gardens’ designer didn’t shy away from marble touches.

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Ralph Lauren Restaurant Patio.

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Ralph Lauren makes everything look like a magazine cover.

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Spain! That Senior had a wide variety of things to offer.

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Seashells by the seaside.

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Holy.

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Crazy park fountain in Barcelona.

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Putting Paris parks to shame… almost.

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Lots of stone.

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A nice spot in Barcelona.

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On the crazy fountain in Barcelona.

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Gaudi was in the woods too.

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BEST TAPAS of the trip.

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WSOP 2013. Railing from Prague. Mr. Hoes forgot his lucky hat, I was required to wear it while I constantly refreshing the WSOP poker feed. Pretty sweet.

Next we head to Chicago for a wedding, can’t wait to take photos of Jersey Mike sandwiches I will devour.

Now that you are all caught up I can get back to ranting about issues related to global events and what not.

When I last posted on our lives in Panama we had just moved into our apartment, I had yet to finish my masters, and the holiday season wasn’t even on the calendar yet. Since my last post I have made three trips back to the United States in order to wrap up my degree and visit friends  and family for the holidays. A month back and I’m starting to feel like we are really settling into our lives here.  When I scan through photos to post our camera is almost entirely comprised of photos of the meals I’ve cooked up (choices can be limited here which has meant me venturing into bread making) and the malls.  While I wish to believe the remainder of our time has been spent doing more interesting things, I would be lying.

I'm not sure we can go back from homemade pizza.

We have spent nearly six months working on opening bank accounts and getting mail to a country without a postal service and watching the Daily Show. Panama runs slowly and on an insurmountable number of staples. If you watch early Law and Order episodes, I mean like Lennie and Mike Logan early, that’s basically what Panama looks like when you go around. New York circa 1995. There is construction everywhere; it is like the rescission never even happened here. However, that also means you book your flight with a travel agent, you never send anything electronically, and they require original copies of everything stapled to a notarized copy of your passport signed by the president of HSBC bank.

This has been the most frustrating part of our experience, learning how to operate like we aren’t part of the Millennial Generation just off the plane with our digital genius phones wanting everything in a matter of moments – including a bank account. I have come to realize more and more since moving to Panama how much I took for granted the luxury of living in the United States as a privileged  white girl. Don’t get me wrong; VIP movies with lounge chairs and waitress service is awesome. So is the weather when its not the rainy season (which we have finally pulled out of, this means its a sunny 95 everyday with a breeze off the jungle) and the cheap cost of living. But I still want the convenience of sidewalks, decent roads, and educational standards.  You wouldn’t think that educational standards would be something an unmarried childless woman would be concerned about but when you start dealing on a daily basis with a population with an average education level of 7th grade it changes your perspective.

I was all in a hot tizzy before I left the United States about the state of our union but now that I am faced daily with the challenges of a developing country, you can’t imagine how worked up I get now.  I’m a white girl who can’t just go pick up her hummus from the grocery store.

Here is some photos and video of life in Panama

Click below to check out the video!

The walk to the Meat House. This is one of the few sidewalks in Panama City.

The RAIN! Couldn’t be happier that we are out of the rainy season. You kinda get trapped when it starts to rain like this.

Normal to see people exiting and entering the bus from the back. HEY OH!

The nearest grocery store. Most times they only carry turkey bacon. Life is tough.

P.S. We can’t stop watching Battle Star Galactica. Somehow we both missed the boat on that one. I recommend watching it if you haven’t already. HOLY CRAP ITS AWESOME.

P.S.S. We should know by the end of February if the Department of Justice is going to bother paying US players back. End of the month deadlines keep being promised and then they slip by with slivers of information being sent out. We are also hoping that a Congressional bill is passed in the United States before the end of this session. It wouldn’t be the best option if States handled online poker regulation themselves. Having States handle online poker within their boarders themselves means it wouldn’t be as lucrative for everyone and while I was born in Iowa I’m not up for moving there.

I will humbly admit it has been an extraordinary amount of time since I had last posted and I’ve got a lot to catch you up on. However, its become daunting to even think about how much has happened since Scott (Mr. Hoes if you forgot) and I put 95% of our belongings into storage and packed the remaining into a couple of suitcases.  Since we were dropped off at hotel near O’Hare in August, we have had a couple of kinks, and I may have aged a couple of years in the process, but it has been well worth it.

All I need in the world (I'm allowing myself this one moment, or any moment when Peaches is mentioned, to being sentimental)

3 Week Tour before even arriving in Panama City Panama 

Stop 1 for less than 24 hrs: 500 lbs of luggage= Dresses, shirts, Cardrunners gear, a HUGE computer monitor, and a computer tower dropped off in Pittsburgh.

After a lovely dinner at Bravo! with the Augustines’ of Pittsburgh we headed back to bed for an early night because we were suppose to catch a MegaBus the next morning to D.C. to visit Scott’s ADORABLE niece.

Stop 2: Down to 2 carry on bags so not to be stopped by TSA....again. Bus missed due to rain and we find ourselves searching for a rental place in Pittsburgh at around 7 a.m.

Once we successfully arrived in D.C. (by car instead of by bus and only by the skin of our teeth thankfully because Mr. Hoes drank enough Coke Zero to fuel a machine) we settled into what we thought would be a carefree weekend – Hurricane Irene arrived shortly after. We had spent the day at Busch Gardens (AMAZING except for the pasta in the cafeteria) and, after drifting into some semblance of sleep, we heard (and felt) a tree crash through all three stories of his brother’s house. Resulting in this:

Suddenly moving to Panama seemed like the safer choice

I was happily selected to watch Baby Augustine instead of being on clean-up duty. After jumping between hotels for a couple of days we headed west!

Lucky for us my Dad, Step Mom, and their four children are entertaining because otherwise its a long ways to go for a pretty view and a collection of interesting folks.

Northern Idaho. You can see Canada in this photo for those looking to flee. "God's Country" -Dad

We stayed with my Dad for a week to enjoy the festivities of my cousin’s wedding. My father’s cousin and life-long best friend from Iowa also arrived with his wife.  There are few people, including myself, that could ever keep up with my family when it comes to finishing off the booze:

In his own words "TOUCHDOWN IOWA"!

After enjoying the sights of Northern Idaho we ventured back to Pittsburgh to spend some time with Scott’s parents, attend a Pirates game, and figure out how to get ourselves down to four pieces of luggage and four carry-ons. We needed to go this far:

My spanish isn't good enough to explain how far that is.

Amazingly we got that far and so did our luggage (including the monitor and tower with no damage). We arrived at night and were escorted to our temporary three week apartment by a private driver hired by the real estate broker. He was a perfectly nice driver who insisted that taking a taxi in Panama is equal to playing Russian roulette and humbly recommended that he provide us with all our transportation needs. Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t a ponzi scheme either.

Over the next few days as we were trying to get a notion of how Panama City is laid out, we avoided taking cabs despite the heat and jungle rains (I never knew it could lighting when its totally sunny and not raining!). Lucky for us the online poker community, like the american juggalos, helped us connect with a pair of aces (sorry…had too). Martin and Brenda, he an online poker player and she a national singing treasure, have welcomed us into their home, showed us around town, and have been our go-to for information since as early as June for things like learning how to properly take a cab (it is an art form here) or how to find your way around a city that doesn’t name its streets. Thank goodness for friendly people; this transition would have been much more difficult without this top pair (shameless).

You should for sure check out Brenda’s youtube clips of her singing in Spanish, Chinese and English. I can’t even sing in gibberish.

Finally, here are some general photos of us in Panama and a poster put up in our new neighborhood to give you a feeling of the flair around town.

I'll trust any figure floating along the express way in Panama.

Our first apartment was in an area of town that wasn’t very good for folks who don’t have a car, although it did have an ocean view. We ended up moving to an amazing apartment in the El Cangrejo that has a view of the rainforest which isn’t to shabby. Our building is brand new, which sounds like that wouldn’t be an issue, but in a city that literally has no addresses it gets interesting explaining to the cable guys where to find the new white apartment building just off to the right of the statue of the Einstein head near the Meat House.

Mr. Hoes in his new hat. Thats "old town" behind him. We had just come from the public fish market-not recommended if you have a weak stomach. We purchased green peppers which I still can't bring myself to cook.

the Pocket Queen in her new hat. Thats the newer Panama City behind me.

P.S. The local cable company isn’t playing reruns of Brothers & Sisters, so I blog while making homemade hummus without a blender. I realized that prior to blenders all human food must have looked like cat food.

P.S.S. Normally I mention more of online poker news but lately the roller coster has driven me to the point of hysteria and I am happy to continue singing French Revolutionary songs to myself. I’ve posted news articles for updates under the Laymen Online Poker News page and very much relate to this twoplustwo post…

A good quality of things have happened since my previous post which was way too long ago. Since Mr. Hoes’ triumphant return from the WSOP we successfully begun to co-habitat and have finalized plans for the big move to Panama. In little less than a week we venture out on our first big move; there are a couple of boxes packed. We have been to busy watching Star Track: The Next Generation and I’ve become more and more comfortable with this philosophy:

Besides exploring deep space with Number One, we have spent our time attending dinners with friends and family, enjoyed to many vodka waters, went to the National Air Guitar Championship, entertained a small dog for a bit longer, waded through rain and mud at Lollapaloozza, and scrolled through more tweets about the Bucs than anyone should ever have to bear- I’m talking to you Mikey. I would say that the highlight may well have been the National Air Guitar Championship. I can happily report that the winner is a co-worker of mine who received many rounds of applause on the elevator following this performance:

I highly recommend attending a National Air Guitar Championship if it rolls into your neighborhood or country. The World Championship is scheduled to be hosted in Finland (a bit of competition for the sauna championship games).  For any of you who decided against moving to Panama or Canada and settled on relocating to Finland, I recommend you put this right into the calendar.

While the National Air Guitar Championship was a highlight moment at the end of July, we luckily had the July 26th AGCC Full Tilt moment to cherish together…..

All the warm and fuzzes you could want from government agency

After a few hours of quality time watching twitter feeds, the government agency in England that decides on the status of Full Tilt’s licenses quickly cl0sed the doors to the debacle that seemed to be taking place in the room. After just a few short hours very little emerged and even less information of value was being sputtered into the information super highway.  The AGCC announced basically nothing more or less than we had known when they started the event; outside of we’ll know a bit more (possibly) before or at least by the 15th of September.  Here is the AGCC media update regarding Full Tilt.

"This couldn't be more appropriate" - Mr. Hoes

These particular events have made it much easier to embrace the idea that we have decided to take hold of our own destiny,  move out of the United States, and not stand idle while random government entities play games with people’s futures and politic about. This may seem contrary but one of the greatest things we hold right now is that we have the chance to leave. We were lucky to be born in a country and social class that allows us to take advantage of the current circumstances and exit gracefully. As odd as it sounds I am proud to be a United States citizen because I can leave on my own accord; over the centuries governments have proven that this should be cherished.

I might have felt more uneasy and less proud of our choice if there seemed to be a reasonable chance that there was true opportunity for us here but unfortunately there is not. I am both proud of my country but also deeply disappointed that it has  been marred by poor leadership, destructive selfish behavior, and can not seem to find a new collective identity. With that two bright, creative, well educated and productive U.S. citizens take our leave to travel the world and uncover an unexpected future.

I may or may not be back to post before we settle in Panama around September 12th. We are first traveling from Chicago on August 24th to Pittsburgh (Go Steelers- if I didn’t include this Mr. Hoes would scorn me for a couple of hours) before taking a bus to Washington D.C.,  then flying to Northern Idaho (where its expected you hunt your own food and assume everyone is carrying a gun- AMERICA) and finally returning to Pittsburgh before we fly south (I really love Mrs. Augustine’s coconut cake).

P.S. I’ve moved on to watching Friday Night Lights (again). Its amazing. Trust me.

Despite the fact that since my return from Vegas a couple of weeks ago a considerable amount has happened (primarily Mr. Hoes cashed in the Main Event- yes thats absurdly attractive) there is still a looming feeling that things are on hold and I’m caught in a grocery limbo; you know you’ll be going out-of-town soon so you plan accordingly but you know you’ll still have leftovers that go bad. This pending move has meant I’m purchasing smaller amounts of olive oil but still stocking up on vats of wine. At some point we will scroll through my Gmail calendar and make the necessary leap of choosing a date of departure but with the pending Full Tilt announcement it doesn’t seem necessary yet. I never thought an online poker company would have played such an important role in my future decisions; this must be growing up.

There is also a considerable amount of comfort that can be found living in limbo and after a bit of reflection during a recent car trip to Akron, OH for my best friends bridal shower, I realized that I’m enjoying it. Living in limbo allows for the comforts of now and the luxury of making decisions without a great amount of consequence, all the while enjoying the promise of something coming tomorrow. There are many instances around the world  at both the macro and micro level that dramatically illustrate the danger of lingering around in a state of limbo (or the unknown intermediate place or condition between two extremes). I’m not sure if it is because I’m back in graduate class pondering over the state of affairs in South American countries or if it is because I’m in my 20s and I’m surrounded by people living between choices that I’ve been so struck by the existence of limbo. Either way if you are in a state of limbo because there was a supernova action involving the Department of Justice and I.P. addresses, or if you are simply in your 20s, it’s ultimately the choice of which leap you make, or possibly that you make a leap at all, that defines you. I’m ready to make the leap and enjoy the scary, the unknown, and the end of my graduate career in political science which at times feels like I’m studying a world that can be summed up with the following:

Apparently the PPA didn't get the memo.

Not only am I enrolled in my last graduate class (that sounds awesome) but Mr. Hoes went all the way to Day 5 (no thats not sexual) and made the dollars. These short term success have lead me to continue referring to us as the power couple (this is what limbo is doing to me). Being in Chicago while Mr. Hoes pushed through to day 5 of the Main Event was something of an experience. I am now more familar with PokerNews and the WSOP website then I care to fully articulate; not to mention the daily 2:05 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. PST addrennilline rushes from Mr_HOES twitter posts for roughly a week. Needless to say I struggled through work and had the continued urge to stand up in my cube and yell FUCKINGGOFORIT.

TO GLORY

Being Mr. Hoes of course he played his heart out and went for it which makes me a very proud girlfriend and he the following:

"Makin it rain on them Hoes"- Mr. Hoes.

Meanwhile, I was enjoying a bridal shower/bachelorette party in Ohio that included booze, food, 80s music and a parrot who knew how to enjoy himself.

 

A moment that would make my Father proud

Who knew a night out in Akron, OH could prepare me for Panama. FUCKINGOFORIT!

P.S. Mr. Hoes arrived Sunday and I’m not sure Alley McBeal will be making an appearance any time soon. Battle Star Galactica anyone?

(June 26- July 7) In a little over a week, the Black Friday ride accelerated towards optimism, consequently plummeted, and now is lingering just before the exit as we all wait for the fat kids to unload and load in the car ahead of us before we all find out how the photo turned out. Having been raised Catholic I’m inclined to feel two things: 1) the famous Catholic guilt but also 2) the rarely discussed eternal optimism that is always there.

(June 28) Tuesday after work I happily got my nails done knowing I had  a new dress from J.Crew to wear in Vegas (this is a reference for all you non-poker players females that MAY read my blog) before meeting up with my close friend Kate (Kate, why don’t we have any appropriate pictures I can post of us?) for dinner at The Union in Evanston. We enjoyed awesome calamari and pizza while I rambled with excitement  about the recent news that Jack Binion was rumored to be looking at investing in Full Tilt  and that I’m going to be strutting off to Panama with my über smart online poker player.  With the white wine flowing, Kate and I enjoyed ourselves (right Kate?). We concluded the night and then I lofted off to bed to sleep through the night. SIGH. Then of course Wednesday came.

What a face, what a mug, could it be true! Jack Binion!

(June 29) Wednesday morning I check twitter to see how Mr. Hoes had done in cash games only to find a tweet (given the weight of the situation that word sounds more absurd than ever) from Subject:Poker about how the AGCC had suspended Full Tilts licenses. I hadn’t even brushed my teeth and I was already disappointed with the day. The energy these events consume is astounding and I’m not even a player. Carrying a stone of anxiety in my stomach, I dragged into the office knowing I would be waiting a long while to talk to Mr. Hoes about the events of the morning, which also included a raise for me at work. I turned my attention to my duties and 2+2 hysteria (I never really knew the internet until I experienced www.twoplustwo.com).

At this point I completely assumed there was no hope because logically (yes, women have it) on a whole this didn’t benefit even those with the greatest amount of power. Dumbfounded and only certain there were back door deals happening I plugged through work and a Whole Foods buffet lunch before heading home to prepare for Vegas (yes, having new dresses to wear over the weekend helped. I am a woman after all).

(June 20) Thursday I was bound for Vegas, pockets lined with a non-profit raise, and  feeling very much like the photo below…  I was westward bound.

Between the time I loaded the Southwest flight and turned on my phone after we landed the news had positively changed! Phil Ivey dropped the suit and there were European investors! What the holy flush! This was the best possible news and  I’m about to be greeted by Mr. Hoes himself; the eternal optimism was all fired up! I could not read, tweet, retweet, post, email, or text the L.A. Times article fast enough.  As I began reading through everything and even by Friday when news broke that the French also suspended certificates (I don’t believe they really have licenses that would mean I have to take them seriously and I’m just not prepared to make that commitment) I was still optimistic.  My mood, expectations, eternal optimism, and inclination towards conspiracy has manifested into the opinion that the rice cooker in the back room is steaming up. When this is all wrapped up I think I’ll look back and be able to say:

For you.

In the mean time I’m enjoying the start of my final class in graduate school, success at work, Joe Rogan shows in Vegas followed by Eyecandy, frozen yogurt at the Palms while playing black jack, all-nighters at XS, a night of Rhianna in concert with girlfriends of other poker players/industry folk, all the sushi I could consume, and entertainment from poker players from West Virgina, Boston, to St. Louis while staying at the house of cards! All thanks to Mr. Hoes who always guarantees me  an adventure, my happiness, comfort, and exposure to the most interesting collection of people. DOJ BE DAMNED, I’m an optimist!

P.S. I’m collecting donations for a camera that is of worth so I can provide more interesting shots than the ones taken on my phone at the Rhianna concert and I’m not sure whats happening in Ally McBeal but I like it.

Brother Augie: With a football face like that (and as of today braces free) you can't help but know he will be a pro!

Here is a quick post with some updates and links.

1. I was in Boston over the weekend and will be elaborating on that before I head out to Vegas again this weekend!

2. Did you catch the latest on Rep. Barton (R-TX) and his handsome self introducing a new bill

3. Shine.Yahoo.com is where I get all the great news on the subjects of life and love- and in this case breasts.

Wednesday evening my phone gonged and it was my very own Jonna texting me  to grab dinner and a beer somewhere around town. Jonna has been one of my dearest friends since college and she happens to be Finnish. Jonna was my neighbor freshman year at DePaul. I won’t go into embarrassing stories of Jonna and myself freshman year but it included many liters of white wine with a GIANT letter V on it. To this day I have a hard time when I see the label of the bottle on the very bottom of the shelf. I’m pretty sure you can get the equivalent of two bottles for $4.25.

Jonna called just in time this week; I was heading out to see my online poker player in Vegas the following day and I had had a week-long-trek of everyone putting in their two chirps about the pending change in my future. I quickly accepted the chance to hang with my Wisco Fin and avoid my laundry. I needed a drink and I have always been able to count on Jonna to listen to my foolish woes. However my woes have been feeling a bit less foolish lately as the pressure from friends and family mounts (this occurs mostly because I’m female. More on this in a blog post that is in the works and proving just as frustrating to write as to hear).  I don’t know if its cause Jonna is a Fin, which has meant countless hours in the sauna and plenty of time to hone ones skills of wisdom, or if it is because she is such a good friend but whenever I speak to her things are put into much better perspective. Then again this youtube clip might explain some things and why if it was sunny more frequently in Finland I would move there.

 

Knowing Jonna has been wonderful and when we leave I’ll miss her dearly. Knowing that I return on Monday and will see her sometime soon to recount my trip and be reminded that my woes aren’t so bad and that I lead an absurd life is why EVERYONE needs a Fin in their life (Moomin 4ever)!

Speaking of an absurd life, VEGAS you are ridiculous. Last year was my first time out to the city in the desert and needless to say it was overwhelming. This year has proved to be a bit calmer of an experience but there have been countless moments in the past couple of days where I think to myself  “Whoa whoa whoa, you need to calm down Vegas”, “holy sh*t we are in the desert”, and “why is everyone wearing Ed Hardy inspired clothing”. I got in 3.5 hours later than planned Thursday night, thanks to storms somewhere in Washington state. So, we spent the evening watching Law & Order while I continued to curse Hermes for delaying my cross country flight. Friday we checked into the Palazzo, where of course Mr. Hoes took it upon himself to wine and dine me well into Saturday night (DOJ BE DAMNED!) We went out on Friday to Lavo (HIGHLY recommend the kobe beef rice balls), followed by drinks at the Laguna Champagne Bar (recommend as well if you want to woo a lady friend or someone who is Indian given that 80% of the crowd had to be primarily from Bali), and many hours of black jack.

Friday night roll:

"There is one too many" -Mr. Hoes (good one)

"God I wish everyone would stop recognizing me"- Mr. Hoes

Lavo's Kobe Beef Meatballs- ABSURDLY GOOD!

Hit me good

Following several hours of vodka waters and swearing at cards on Friday we went to bed to awake to a rough Saturday and to be reminded again that Vegas you are absurd.  We walked around the crowded Forum Shops once we had stuffed our faces with burgers at the recommended i love burgers in the Palazzo. Following a day of countless glasses of water we decided to have dinner at Koi (order the off the menu roll with albacore, tuna, fried onion, and cucumber. Again, this will impress a lady friend), a bottle of Sake, and then a showing of “O” (“REALLY VEGAS! A WATER SHOW! YOU ARE IN THE DESERT”, is really the only reasonable response). Then we strolled from there around town where I continued to be reminded (as evidenced by the photo roll that not only is Vegas absurd but at times America).

Saturday roll:

Bald Eagle on Liberty Bell. America.

Of course its right next to the GIANT eagle and bell. Why wouldn't it be, this is America!

Not concerned about creating treasures for generations to come

P.S. Brothers & Sisters and Alley McBeal were left in Chicago for this post; rather I was inspired by the original The Legend of Zelda being played in the background by Mr. Hoes.

Per request of Mr. Hoes

image

She looks cute as long as you can only see her from the neck up.

When the Department of Justice (and as my Republican parents would argue Mr. Obama himself) posted the FBI sign with their looming seals, my online poker player and I were in Pittsburgh. I was there on business and since Mr. Hoes is from the Steel CIty; we had been looking forward to this trip for many reasons. I personally really enjoy his parents’ company and my best friend from college was meeting us the following day after her, her fiance, and her engagement ring drove in from Akron, OH.

Bride to be and me

I can honestly say it didn’t all settle in until I was sitting in the back of a conference room during a break frantically googling for poker related news on my phone (God the internet is f*ing crazy). My heart sank and at that moment there was nothing I could do. Having grown up in an age of customer service all I wanted was a 1800 number to call and complain till I got the refund (I’ve mastered the ART of asking for the Supervisor). I’ve read the Full Tilt posts regarding their liquidity problems and I’m not sure I could even sway them. I believe Phil Ivey does have a chance but that’s based simply on my belief that he has a charming half-smile (his online avatar does not give him justice).

For the benefit of the laymen, they do exist: Poker Superfans

After being served a quick dose of salt in the eye and consuming enough booze to squash surface emotions so that we could at least bear sitting through the national anthem without interjections of french revolutionary songs,  I began researching (full disclosure: I’m a graduate student and one that LOVES researching). Since sometime in April I have researched a good amount on Costa Rica, how to set up international bank accounts, Bangkok, how to quickly establish residency as a U.S. Citizen, Panama, the cheapest way to move books, Argentina, Brazil, and  how to smuggle a dog .

I would like to take a brief moment to say, I have the most amazing online poker player boyfriend ever for dealing with my excitement, constant pressing, and over all lack of patience while he was going through something I’ll never completely comprehend. At the time the only thing I could offer in the hopes of helping (thanks non-profit salary) were home cooked dinners (selfishly I was also able to buff up my recipe Rolodex), excessive research, and futile attempts at being funny.

This was an appropriate reaction to have towards me at the time

So where has the research brought me? Currently, the only confirmation I’ve received from Mr. Hoes, in a not so direct manner, is that we are moving but when and where is yet to be determined. Because this entire situation makes me feel a bit like Sandra Bullock in The Net, Mexico is an option especially given my background there. Panama and Bangkok are currently in the running. I’m not a huge fan of Canada as a contender for many reasons. Mostly because you can’t live like a queen in Toronto for so little and  there is snow (which I’ve lived with for far to long as is evidenced by the photo below).

HOWEVER, Canada does have an enormous mall with a full amusement park that includes a Pirate Ship. Yet somehow Panama’s mall is able to compete. While Bangkok’s mall just frightens me , but I could work with it. Yes, I’m considering places to move based off mall layout and amenities. I’ve come to realize it completely reflects the culture . This of course further makes me wonder what the hell is up with Canada.

Canada Mall: Umm, thats pretty amazing

Panama Mall: Dressing in loud colors is the only way I wouldn't stand out

Bangkok Mall: There is a horror film just waiting to be made here

P.S. I’ve moved on to playing episodes of Ally McBeal in the background. Everyone should be mutually disgusted.

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