HATS AND EYEGLASSES | Glass Eye

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Hats & Eyeglasses: A Memoir

$14.95
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  • TAG : Glasses, Frames & Designer Eyewear | LensCrafters
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  • A soft-pedaling memoir by journalist Frankel fondly recalls growing up in the Bronx and Queens, N.Y., learning to play poker from her dad and uncles, which would later become her obsession. As a kid Frankel absorbed the numbers-canny ways of her relatives, who doled out gambling advice such as the reference in the title to a ship's sinking, leaving only hats and eyeglasses floating on the surface. With the death of her beloved father, known as the Pencil because he was a CPA, Frankel's big dreams deflated and she largely drifted through school, a first marriage and drug use, before meeting woodworker Steve. She moved to Woodstock, N.Y., and, through friends, began writing celebrity interviews for magazines like . An idea for writing a screenplay about a poker player brought her into close contact with her ex-con cousin Keith, who had taught her how to play. From regular Wednesday night poker games with her friend Sal's group of hard-pickled males, where she learned how not to play "like a girl," to an all-poker cruise to casinos in Atlantic City, N.J., and L.A., she gravitated to playing online, which enthralled her-and emptied her bank account. As she explains in this frank and unaffected memoir, shame brought her back to her family and closer to her mother.

    In the tradition of by Helene Stapinski and by Augusten Burroughs, traces Frankel's love affair with poker. It was a passion that bit her in her mid-forties and remained harmless enough when she stuck to real cards. But everything changed one evening in 1998 in Atlantic City, when Frankel overheard one dealer bemoan the fact that his tips that evening were going to be small what with the meager crowd assembled. Another dealer mentioned that everyone must be playing online-"Why leave the house when you can play in your pajamas?" the dealer said. thought Frankel, who couldn't wait to get back to her computer. The next morning she took a deep breath, typed in her credit card number, and entered the world of online gambling. It was the beginning of what one of her uncles called "hats and eyeglasses," a term used to describe those times when you're losing so bad you're drowning (so all one can see is the poker player's hat and eyeglasses floating on the surface of the water). By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Hats & Eyeglasses is a tale of passion, addiction-and those times in life when we almost lose our shirt.

  • In the tradition of Five-Finger Discount by Helene Stapinski and Dry by Augusten Burroughs, Hats & Eyeglasses traces Frankel's love affair with poker. It was a passion that bit her in her mid-forties and remained harmless enough when she stuck to real cards. But everything changed one evening in 1998 in Atlantic City, when Frankel overheard one dealer bemoan the fact that his tips that evening were going to be small what with the meager crowd assembled. Another dealer mentioned that everyone must be playing online-"Why leave the house when you can play in your pajamas?" the dealer said. Why indeed? thought Frankel, who couldn't wait to get back to her computer. The next morning she took a deep breath, typed in her credit card number, and entered the world of online gambling. It was the beginning of what one of her uncles called "hats and eyeglasses," a term used to describe those times when you're losing so bad you're drowning (so all one can see is the poker player's hat and eyeglasses floating on the surface of the water). By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Hats & Eyeglasses is a tale of passion, addiction-and those times in life when we almost lose our shirt.

    "It happens when the ship goes down, and everything sinks," he explains. "What floats to the surface is hats and eyeglasses. It means I have crapola."

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