Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bunker Mentality

Damn. Just when I kicked that nasty flu bug that took up residence in my chest a few weeks back, I catch a mild head cold. No, I'm not sick sick, but I've got the sniffles and a little bit of nasal congestion. Nothing that heavy doses of vitamin C and Zycam can't handle, but I'm still not feeling 100%. Hot coffee seems to help a bit, too.

Thankfully, I was still functional enough to pull a full shift at work last night. And by full shift, I mean six hours. I hardly ever work eight hours unless I get called in early. But I'll take a busy six hours anytime--I was locked down the entire time with no break. Last week I worked a total of eight hours in three days--that's how slow it was--but this week is looking absolutely stellar compared to that. With picking up a shift on Sunday and having last night's game go all night, I feel like I'm back to normal again. Still, December is a slow month for the off-Strip casinos and locals joints, and I'm guessing that it's gonna be a lean month until the day after Christmas, then it'll pick back up again.

Because of that, I'm scaling back, holing up here at the Batch Pad and reading, watching movies, and working on puzzles and such. I went pretty much the entire last weekend without spending any money, and I'm hoping to be able to do the same thing again this Thanksgiving weekend. And even though the holidays overall are a slower time for us, the casino is usually pretty busy on Thanksgiving weekend. So I guess I'm hoping to grab an extra shift or two if I can. If not, no big deal--I'll relax a bit.

The problem with not getting called in to work on a four-day weekend is that I get bored, and of course my first choice of activities is to go out and play poker. It's been a grind lately and I haven't been having much fun, so we'll see if the depth of my boredom will overcome my desire to not go out and play. I'm not afraid of losing any money, but maybe I just don't feel like taking the chance, if that makes any sense.

Here's my dilemma... Let's say I get to the end of my work-week on Friday morning, and since all the bills are paid up, maybe I've got an extra five hundred bucks burning a hole in my pocket. For a long time, whenever I had extra cash, my first thought was What can I spend this on? But now, every time I get any extra money, the little angel on one shoulder tells me to send it to E*Trade, but then the little neon devil on the other shoulder keeps whispering Then what? What are you gonna do for the rest of the weekend?

Ideally, if I had the discipline and a more hermit-like outlook, I'd send every stinkin' dime I make into the investment account and spend my days holed up here on the computer writing my manifesto like the unabomber. But then what if one of the gals calls me up on Saturday night and wants to go out--it's not like I can just go to an ATM and get money back out from that account immediately. And I hate to cry 'poor' when an opportunity for some high-quality Vegas-style buffoonery presents itself. And also, after hanging out in the house for two days straight, it begins to feel like a jail cell and then I need to get out and do something.

Maybe I just need to find a hobby besides poker. Something cheap that I can do outside the house. The only problem is, in my vast experience of 42 years, every hobby is expensive. Golf? Yep. Guitar? Oh dear god, if I only had back half the money I've spent on that over the years... Shooting? A new gun is definitely not cheap, and ever since the lefties took over, the price of ammo has gone through the roof. (I sold my .45 a few years ago during the really lean times, so now I've got nothing but an empty holster and 80 pounds of .45 ACP in a surplus ammo can sitting out in the storage closet).

I suppose I could take Eric's advice and pack up the truck with some firewood and head up to Mt. Charleston with nothing but a bottle of rum, a sleeping bag, and a good book, but winter has arrived in the mountains, and I'd freeze my ass off up there. Besides, I'm on call all weekend, so I couldn't really do that anyways. I need to stay within a half-hour of the casino, just in case.

I guess I could just take my camera and go on a little photo safari around town and post some pics here. I did that once a long time ago and people seemed to enjoy that. I dunno--we'll see how the weekend goes. If it looks like it's gonna be a busy one, then this whole discussion is a moot point. Same thing if this head cold gets worse.

In the meantime, I'm just gonna lock myself down like it's Defcon 2 outside and the Russians are massing their tanks at the Fulda Gap. I've got a DVR full of movies, a shelf full of books, and a pantry full of canned goods. If the phone doesn't ring, I can survive quite nicely in here for a good long time.


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