Since I last wrote, I got my poker mojo back, also. I've played four times, and batted a thousand--all four were winning sessions. On Sunday night, I could've really made a small fortune on one particular hand, but I got skeered and folded my 10-6 of Diamonds to a $16 pre-flop raise while I was on the button. Turns out that the big stack at the table had pocket Jacks, and he got a couple of callers. There were two Tens on the flop, and the case ten came on the turn. He went all-in and won a decent pot, but I was sitting there kicking myself for not making the damn broken-connectors call from the button. I had about $500 in front of me at the time, and he had me covered. Had I been in the hand, I would've doubled up. Grrrr...
Yeah, it was a missed opportunity, but I still did very well that night.
Anyhow--what else is new? Well, other than grinding out a few bucks at the local poker rooms, I've been spending a lot of my time working on my jigsaw puzzle. (Mostly during the interminable delays of the Daytona 500 on Sunday). It's coming along nicely now--I'd say I'm about 40% done, but that was the easy part. Most of the rest of it is large swaths of tedious water and sky pieces. But that palm tree damn near drove me nuts a few times, too.
Hey, at least it keeps me home and out of trouble. All those Benjamins I
Once I finish this puzzle (all 1500 pieces of it), I've got two more in the hopper. One of 'em is 2000 pieces, and another one is 3000 pieces. That one is so big that I don't know if it will even fit on the dining room table. I may have to go get a sheet of plywood and have it cut down a bit so I can use it as a base. But I'm a long way from having to worry about that.
While I was out running errands on Monday afternoon, I got to sit out in the direct sunlight for a good ten minutes or so while waiting to pump my gas at Costco--probably the first time I've done that in three months. It felt good to be warm again. Seriously--it's been too damn cold here for far too long. I got another dose of natural vitamin D a few minutes later as I was walking across the parking lot at the local Office Depot.
I live directly under the approach path for McCarran airport, and I hear and see dozens of jets coming in every day. After awhile, all the 737s and MD-11s start to sound the same, but every now and again I hear something new that causes me to look up and gawk. It happened again yesterday--as I was getting out of my truck, I heard a much deeper rumbling noise in the sky and I looked up to see a Virgin Atlantic 747 coming in on final approach. Holy crap that is a huge plane--especially when you're used to seeing nothing but a bunch of punk-ass Southwest 737s flying in every day. It is so big that not only does it dwarf everything else in the sky, but it seems to just hang up there, barely moving at all. It's amazing to watch, and I wasn't the only one standing there in the parking lot staring up at it like a slack-jawed yokel.
Seriously--for a moment there, it looked like a scene from a movie, where everyone just stops what they're doing and stares up in the sky. I guess a 747 coming in for a landing is still a big deal--it's a beautiful plane and one can't help but stand in awe when one flies overhead at low altitude.
Eventually I finished my errands, and on Monday night I attended another gathering of the Henderson Writers Group, but this time I got to read some of my own work. Instead of the Reggie Miller stripper story (which is way too long), I offered up an edited version of my old Slippery Slope to Old Age essay--the one about Asteroids and roller skating. Everyone seemed to love it, but man, once we got to the critiquing part, it was like I was being pummeled by a room full of Linda Lou's, everyone telling me how to tweak it so it can be a magazine article. (She's always nagging at me to submit stuff for publication).
I didn't write it to be one--I wrote it to be a blog post, so it needs a lot of work if I want to turn it into a magazine article, but that seemed to be everyone's frame of reference. It was kind of frustrating, but then again, I still got some really good feedback.
Also, it was a very enjoyable evening because I didn't have to sit through one single story that involved wizards, dragons, demons, vampires, or magic spells. Everyone that read seemed to have really enjoyable material--adventures and short stories and such--and one guy had some really well-done scientific stuff that was dumbed-down to layman's terms. I had such a good time that it inspired me to write some new material for the next meeting, instead of rehashing leftovers from the archives. But as of right this moment, my slate is still blank...
As far as my Tuesday goes, it's Operation Home Improvement Day here at the Batch Pad. I've got a to-do list longer than John Holmes', uh, list of film credits, and as much as I wish it would, the trash ain't gonna take itself out. Once the chores are done, I'm gonna spend the balance of the afternoon separating about a thousand jigsaw pieces of sea and sky into their respective color-coordinated piles, while CNBC drones on in the background, filling up my head with subliminal market knowledge.