Monday, July 20, 2009

Final 9 are Set!

Here are the final 9 top dogs for the November 2009 final table at the WSOP. Good to see Phil Ivey make it and looking forward to it.

Seat 1: Darvin Moon – 58,930,000
Seat 2: James Akenhead – 6,800,000
Seat 3: Phil Ivey – 9,765,000
Seat 4: Kevin Schaffel – 12,390,000
Seat 5: Steven Begleiter – 29,885,000
Seat 6: Eric Buchman – 34,800,000
Seat 7: Joe Cada – 13,215,000
Seat 8: Antoine Saout – 9,500,000
Seat 9: Jeff Shulman – 19,580,000

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A letter...

Been out of the loop on my Blog.

Hello all. Sorry for the lack of updates, but there's been a ton going on in my realm and trying to figure out how to add more hours in a day to keep up. Unless I move to another planet, my options are limited. *smiles*

I'm a pretty private person overall, but I do want to share with you the most amazing letter that I have ever come across.

I am going to leave names out, where I found this letter, and why it was written. This is something I want to leave to the world forever.

Small and slim, always in black. Short, dark, perfectly coiffed hair. Quick and efficient. Broken English, but always wiling to repeat and repeat until those of us with a less than great listening skills could understand.

Loyal, lonely and private.

NAME was so loyal to her customers, that after the store changed policies on mailing products to Canada, she spent her own money and own time to mail products to a favorite lady in British Columbia.

NAME was called, After NAME's illness, to get updated on NAME's recovery. Even though they had never met, the customer felt very close to her "Charles of the Ritz" supplier.

Lonely, but she never let us know what a solitary life she led or how her heart hurt for those she had left behind. Private. After her stroke, NAME came to realize she was was so private because she felt ashamed. We would all speak of our families, but NAME never mentioned hers because she was show sure we would think less of her.

There was a special connection to NAME...more than the usual supervisor to a valued employee. Again, only after her stroke did NAME begin to understand our commonalities.

One of my first impressions of NAME:

A local TV show made an appearance in our store and interviewed NAME in "her" cosmetic's department. They were trying to make a joke of the money spent on cosmetics and NAME wouldn't have any of that. When she realized what was happening, she simply walked away, and left the gentleman standing with a blank look and no one to interview. Don't mess with her very honorable profession.

I watched this from my home, and I knew then I wanted to learn more about this woman. After all, how many of us would have the courage to walk away with live TV camera's present?

We never knew her age. Even when we celebrated her birthday after her stroke, she told us she was turning fifty, but she was actually several years past. I think that too related to her profession. Not remembering our conversation at the time, I do remember her reaction. She pointed to her face and said, "You don't think I look like this without my make up, do you?" No one saw her without make up until after her illness, and then she was still a beautiful woman that did not look near fifty.

When NAME need clothes, I went to her apartment and upon enter her living area, saw a picture of a younger NAME and it made me gasp when I was her beauty in her youth.

NAME's guilt: NAME acted rattled, confused, a bit lost one day when she came into work. I knew she was concerned about the changes at X Company, so we all thought that was the problem and let her go home to relax and calm herself. She didn't come to work after her time off was over and no call. So unlike her. We soon learned NAME was in the hospital and suffered a severe stroke. She called 911 from her home for her badly needed help. Why didn't I see the signs? Insist she go see a doctor or check on her when she went home?

In the hospital, she couldn't hide the fact that she had given birth because of her C-scars and I overhead a nurse speaking to her about her children.

NAME cried for a very long time when NAME told her that I knew she had given birth. She cried for her lost children, she cried because she thought I would not be her friend, and she cried because she thought others would think she was a bad person. NAME held her as she cried and tried to ease her pain by explaining that NAME's mother had left too as a young child, but as an adult, I just wanted to know her. NAME felt so strongly that it would be unfair to her children, to have to see her in ill health. She was so frightened and afraid that would wouldn't be forgiven. NAME feels sorry that she was unable to talk her into giving the opportunity to know this very lovely lady.

She mentioned a brother, possibly in STATE, a father in COUNTRY and her children, in STATE. At no time would she let me try to contact anyone. I had to respect her wishes, but I did always try to tell her about how much NAME appreciated the fact that NAME got to meet her mother. If NAME has a very strong will and very much pride, I can tell you where these traits came from.

Many from her work family visited her in the adult family home and she really enjoyed the company, but she did not like living in that home. After a year, we no longer heard from NAME when we sent cards. The day I feared came, ironically on Mother's day, when NAME called work to tell NAME of NAME's passing.

Random thoughts of NAME:

1. She was good, kind, hard working. I never heard her say an unkind word about another person, customer, or coworker.

2. She didn't like chocolate, so when I purchased treats for the department, I would find something non-chocolate for her. But it took over a year of receiving chocolates before she let me know she didn't love chocolate like NAME did.

3. She had such an eye for display in her department ans she would wait until she was pretty sure I wouldn't be in the area before she would fix the displays that I may have not set to her satisfaction. NEVER would she want anyone to think that she was trying to correct them or their work.

4. I wished I had asked her about her tastes in music. She always had headphones on when she came to work and left.

5. Her lunch was usually Ivar's, fish and chips, or clams/prawns and chips. That is what she always wanted when she won a department contest that awarded lunch from me.

6. I laughed when this prim and proper woman told me she work nothing but underwear under her black smock that was part of the dress code in the department.

7. Her department was always "perfect", so I was surprised to see her home anything less than perfect.

I took her home after inventory one year. She lived in a basement apartment in CITY, not far from the hospital that she had her first stroke.

Smoking was probably a factor in having the stroke. She was one of the few smokers I have known that you could not tell by her skin or the smell of spoke on her.

CITY's weather suited her because it was similar to ANOTHER CITY. She didn't like the occasional hot day.

I have never seen so many cosmetics, lipsticks and fragrances outside of a cosmetic department as I saw in her bathroom. No wonder she could do such dramatic things when a customer came into the store for a makeover.

She understood that smoking was a part of the reason for her stroke and would ask me to speak to one of the ladies in the store that she knew still smoked. She was so pleased when NAME finally quit smoking.

When I first became the department supervisor, I had the opportunity to go to a workshop for Chanel with NAME. She patiently explained every detail she cold to me. She was so knowledgeable, but never gave me the impression she recognized the fact that I knew nothing more than the name, Chanel. She just shared and taught me about her craft. Then later in life, after the stroke, she taught me so much about people and life.

My job has kept me challenged, fed and clothed, but it has given me the the opportunity to enjoy the diversity of many people. Some of those people have been very special to me, but NAME is the one that really touched my heart and soul.

Rest in peace, dear friend.