Thursday, July 17, 2008


So I had every intention of writing a recap of Okie Vegas tonight, but something kept stopping me. I had to dig really deep (and I am really not that deep) only to realize that no matter what I say, no matter which words I choose to describe it - you aren't going to get the true essence of what it is like to actually be there.

How can I describe what it is like to finally meet Surflexus? He is genuinely one of the nicest people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. He and I go back years and years, and I know his game better than almost anyone's. I was taken aback by his skill at the final table of the tournament, and felt privileged just to be among the top four standing.

Then there is 23Skidoo, who I have known for almost as long yet never met live either. We have had many moments - but there is nothing quite like finally looking your friend in the eye, putting a face to the name, and finally getting that hug that has been coming for way too long.

Maudie deserves her own special section. She was the very first blogger I ever met, way back in 2005, and I love her to death. People are wrong when they say that Ozzie's is Oklahoma's best kept secret - it is this woman.

I am not a vain person, but there is something to be said about waking up on the couch (with no hair done, no makeup, in your PJ's) feeling very insecure, yet surrounded by bloggers who really couldn't give a shit what you looked like, just happy that you were there.

There are those who show up not wanting to leave anyone behind. They have presents or bounties for anyone who happened to make it, regardless of how well they knew that person.

There is also something to be said about someone who has been your wingman (woman) for the past 3 years and forgives all that you may do, causes shit of her own, and carries on without the blink of an eye or the handicap of a very sore ankle.

There are very few people who can take the kind of abuse I deal out at the poker table gracefully, catching exactly what I needed to at the right time, regardless of how donkey my play was...and still give me a hug and not hate me for it afterwards.

There are even less people who can be so humble to not even realize that their little corner of the world is something not only to embrace, but to emulate, and the fact that they are willing to share it with the world (our world) is a true gift to the rest of us.

I don't know many people who can listen to months and months of me spewing on and on about my skill at Guitar Hero, then not only Pwning me at the game, but letting me believe that I really wasn't that far behind. Further to that, I know even less who will sit there and keep me company for hours as I debate about taking a cat named Yoda across International borders, just because I quite simply can't let her go.

Even more rare are the people that you just simply love on sight. He told me to call him Beer Bitch, and though hesitant at first, I quickly warmed up to the title as I realized I didn't have to lift an un-manicured nail to get Any. Damn. Thing. I. Wanted. You had my back, Turd Chaser, and I will forever have yours.

How is it possible to let the rest of the world know that when Double-D sings, there is an angel in heaven who wipes her brow and says "Whew - I have the day off - my work here is done"

How do you describe reading the absolute insanity that is someone's day to day life, knowing there is no possible way to relate, and just hope that you can have a somewhat intelligent conversation with this person, only to find out that he is just as cool and awesome as anyone else in the room?

I am humbled.

I am grateful.

I am in awe.

I am appreciative.

I never knew that I had friends like you, and I am thankful, more than I can express on here, and more than you will ever know. You all rock.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Okie Caviar Is Pure Gold

It was nothing more than a passing comment, but the single most profound statement I heard all weekend was "I'm here to meet my friends." Amidst all the hilarity, the debauchery, and the activity, for a few short moments I sank into a shell of thought and contemplated those words.

There was a time not long ago when we were all imaginary to each other. Nothing more than an avatar on a screen and an assumed personality based solely on what we decided to type into a little chat box that day. Somehow from there we gained familiarity with each other, and camaraderie followed in turn. Friendships developed and relationships formed. Still though, it was all on paper - or more accurately, all on screen.

In what still strikes me as an almost inconceivable notion, as a group we began traveling to meet up with each other across various parts of the continent. Meeting in casinos and hotels, staying in each others homes. Sometimes making upwards of three or four trips a year to see each other. Following each other's lives by what we write in our blogs, sometimes knowing more intimate details about each other than we do our own families or neighbors.

This past weekend I found myself lazing in the sun on the bank of a river in the middle of a country other than my own, surrounded by people who, through any other circumstance or possible reality, I never could have known. There is no conceivable scenario that should have brought a Western Canadian to the middle of Oklahoma State to meet up with twenty or so people from all corners of the continent in the middle of July, but through a fortunate twist of fate it really did happen and I couldn't be more thankful.

It's true what they say - you had to be there, and rather than try to recapture everything that was said and done or places we went and the food we ate, I'm simply going to limit my summary to a few quick words about our host for now, and follow up in a few days with some highlighted moments that have stuck out in my mind. I assure each and every one of you though that I have hundreds more memories of you all (y'all) that I will be carrying around with me for a very long time.

On that note - Gary Darlin - what can I say that hasn't already been said about you? Thank you so much for not only letting us into your home but also into your life and allowing us to share it with you. Everything about your home, your lake, your kids, your wife, your friends, and even your pets is pure gold - just like you. (And please tell Mrs. GCox that I already have a batch of Okie Caviar made in my fridge!)

Monday, July 07, 2008

All I have to say is....

This now belongs to me.

Okie Vegas, here I come. I land in 40 hours!!!!!

Just try and keep me outta your country bitches!