Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Little Poker Content

I think that this may be one of the poorest times of my life, financially speaking. Although I am rich in many other ways, actual cash isn't among them. I'm cool though. I'm eating and the lights are on and the rent is paid and of course I still have the Internet. I just don't have any doing anything else money, which I'm not used to. That means as far as poker action goes, I'm low rolling online. I mean LOW rolling. Yes, the dreaded Pokerstars Freeroll tournaments. Full Tilt also. OK, OK, even Ultimate Bet. What can I say, I need some action.

Last night I made a big score on Pokerstars. They are having a freeroll Summer Games kinda thingy. USA vs. Canada. I'm not sure of all the details. The top 250 in the tournament win $5.00. That's right, you heard it here first, Five Dollars in cold hard cash! Well, Internet cash anyway. The top 50 move on to the next round of the qualifying on the 31st. It was limit hold 'em which is my game. I ended up cashing in 53rd. Three from the next round, but I got me my five dollars! That's literally days of poker playing goodness if I work it right. I've already bumped it up to OVER $6!!!!!!!!

Truthfully, if I can be satisfied just playing micro stakes and work myself up the ladder it could last me for awhile. It's definitely better than putting my own hard earned cash in. I think we'll keep track of what happens with this five dollars. Just to keep me accountable. Let's see. After playing some $ .02/.04 limit poker this morning I am up to $6.06. As my friend Daphne would say, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout baby!!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Letty and I are sitting at Journey on Sunday. I've been thinking about getting baptized for oh, I don't know, about a year now. Being the great procrastinator that I am, I might be thinking about it for another couple of years before I do anything about it. Baptism sounds remarkably about commitment and a public display of commitment to boot.

It's been easy for me to sit in the very back of the church for the last year and a half and watch everything going on around me. I'm really good at observing. I've been becoming more friendlier the more that God has been working in me. I recognize people and am recognized. We eat breakfast after the service in the church cafe and talk to whoever we are sitting next to that day. I follow and leave comments on Ed's, Rod's and other Journey related blogs. Baby steps to commitment.

It's amazing how God works. A chance encounter online with a cool person. You start a relationship with that person. That person takes you to church. You find something in this church that you have been searching for all of your life. On a random Sunday morning over a year ago, you find yourself open to letting God in. You ask Jesus Christ to come into your life. He turns your world upside down. You have to change jobs, become accountable, give up some deeply ingrained habits and addictions that are killing you one day at a time. Fall a couple of times before you finally surrender the thoughts and actions that are so ingrained from a lifetime of sin that the only way to rid yourself of them is to give them to God. Grudgingly. But given nonetheless.

There you are. Stripped of all the defenses that you have used to protect yourself, what's left is what you came into this world with. Nothing. Born again. It sure takes on a new meaning when you actually experience it. Two years ago those two words would have made me cringe. Now they offer me hope and redemption. A chance to help others like me find the kindness of a Savior. He IS mighty to save.

Which isn't to say that I'm not always stubbing my toes as I take this Journey. I'm constantly asking God to keep me humble and teachable. If I don't say something stupid or hurtful at least a couple of times a day I must be in a coma. There's a whole life of habits that I'm trying to overcome here. Thankfully, I have Christ to walk it with me. To carry me a lot of the time.

About the person I started that relationship with a couple of years ago. Leticia. Now Leticia Stevens. Somehow I ended up talking her in to marrying me back in November. When I say God works miracles in my life this one just might take the cake. On September 7th, we are going to be baptized together in front of our community of Christ Followers. God is good. He is so good.

The next thing I have to write out is a testimony. I think that I have to read it before they dunk me. That should be interesting. I'll try to keep it clean. How about I just keep it honest. I'm ready for commitment. In more ways than one.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Steve Rapata

Who is Steve Rapata? Well, me originally. That was the name I was given when I was born. However, as the people that gave me that name quickly put me up for adoption, it wasn't destined to stick. I wonder what they called me the first 11 months of my life? Steve, Little Steven, Stevie, Baby #145, Shitbucket? Who knows? While I'm sure that it's pretty common not to remember your 1st year of life, I wonder how common it is (at least in America) not to know anyone else who does.

I was always under the assumption that when I was born they took me immediately away from my mother and put me in a, a, umm, I have no idea what you would call it. Orphanage? Geez. That wasn't what happened at all. That was what my Mom told me. She probably didn't want my feelings to get hurt.

I found out the truth after my Dad passed last November. It seems as if my birth parents were actually married and had taken me home with them. I don't know what happened exactly but about a month and a half later they brought me to the catholic social service agency that took me in and put me up for adoption.

It really doesn't matter and yet it totally matters. I'm up at 4 in the morning writing about it. Not that it's abnormal for me to be up this late since I work nights but it's my night off. I just noticed the date also. August 6th. The date when my parents finally got to take me home from the adoption agency. 1966. Just looking at that number makes me feel oooold.

What could I have possibly done as a newborn infant to make my birth parents give me up for adoption? Did I snore too loudly? Those that know me intimately know that I snore like a fiend, that could have been it. What, was changing my diaper inconvenient? Did I cry too much? My Mom said I was a very quiet kid, maybe I learned my lesson. Did I get in the way of their extravagant swinger lifestyle? I don't know if they had one, but knowing me and the way I am it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Enough of this then. Early morning introspection about why I'm so fucked up in the head and seemingly emotionally stunted are all made moot by the fact that I have a loving Father that has been watching over me the whole time. Through Him I've been made whole again. Because of His sacrifice I've been given Grace. Not just my baby girl Gracie but the true uncut 100% S-H-I-T. I'm sure that is pretty sacrilegious, but if you are a dope fiend you understand what I'm talking about. Maybe even if your aren't.

Mom and Dad Rapata, thank you. I'm sure that you did what you did for my welfare. Paul and Suzanne Stevens, thank you. Out of all the people in this world that God could have chosen to raise me, he chose you. He chose well. I miss you. Happy adoption day.