Sunday, January 02, 2005

First '05 Home Game

I had my New Year celebration last night, a day later than the rest of the world, and I think I like it that way. Never mind the fact that I didn’t intend to celebrate so rabidly, it just happened.

I informed everyone that poker would begin promptly at 6 PM, and spent the latter part of the afternoon making some fruit and vegetable trays, along with the newest incarnation (at least in my house) of tiny sandwiches. For this evening they would be made up of the following:

  • 1 hard baguette (cut into ¼” slices)
  • Peppered Pastrami
  • Various Cheeses
  • Some good quality mustard (take your pick)

Build up all of your little sandwiches. Don’t put too much mustard on the bread as it can make it soggy. Also, add some fresh ground pepper to the cheese you put on. Use olive oil liberally (jeez, that sounded like bad Popeye-based porn) on both sides of each sandwich, and bake (300 or so) until everything is melted and crusty. Mmmmm.

So, as seems to be the norm lately, everyone starts arriving once ‘fashionably late’ has given up for the evening, and left cursing under her figurative breath. This is kind of annoying but not as much as would normally be the case, as I was already through about 1 ½ vodka tonics. This, I think, is a prime spot for a mini-rant. What kind of blogger could I call myself if I didn’t stay true to the very thing that my VERY limited readership has come to expect? Maybe a better one. Who knows, I’m still too new at this.

I HATE, despise, detest, loathe, abhor, cannot bear, and am repulsed by lateness or tardiness in any form. If you want to further my descent into ranting madness, be late with no phone call letting me know beforehand (extenuating circumstances not included). GRRRRRR. Perhaps someone can please let me know when it became acceptable to be unapologetically late for EVERYTHING. Nearly everyone does it these days, and it’s now so bad that people expect things to be held up for them. I know, everyone is late at times, but for the love of all that is holy, use the phone and let someone know beforehand you’re not on schedule and/or not coming. My own parents are the worst people I know when it comes to this (which probably goes a long way in explaining this particular neurosis of mine). I honestly cannot tell you the last time they showed up on time for ANYTHING. If I offered them $1000 to be somewhere at a designated time, they would show up late and be pissed that I didn’t give them the money anyway. They are the embodiment of many of society’s problems. If only there were stiff penalties for lateness. At the very least, penalties for lateness where no social graces are observed should include, but should not be limited to, prison time, caning, or simply a nice punch in the stomach. Fuck the War on Drugs. Let’s have a War on Tardiness.

On with the show. After half the people don’t show, and the other VERY late half do, we realize we are 4 handed. We have one more coming later who, by the way, called prior to let us know. We decide to proceed with the NL ring game anyway. It’s pretty fun as we are all good friends, but for an action packed ring game I would like to see at least 7 people. Our fifth finally shows up, and action improves a bit. I was up about $5 at one point, but then lost half my stack to my friend Laura who has some kind of wicked read on me that no one else has and continues to bust my balls repeatedly. I would love to know what the hell kind of tell she picks up that no one else sees. Maybe there isn’t one, and she’s just an evil ball buster :) After a few hours, everyone took pity on the house and toked a bit for food and whatnot (it was not expected, but Thank You, everyone) we decide to end the night with a $5 winner take all tourney. It is here that my wife calls my attention to the highball sitting next to me that is ¾ full of Courvoisier, and is completely incredulous. I don’t usually drink very much at all, but it seems that this was “one of those nights”. Oops it appears that I killed half a bottle of the stuff all by my lonesome, along with a few vodka tonics and a smoke whose ‘spiciness’ was unparalleled. It is these conditions that may account for the lost chips. That, or Laura and her evil ball busting. My vote is for the former.

I ended up winning the tourney, which put my wife and I up $4 after expenses, and even without that, it was a great evening for all involved. After all, the home game with friends should be more about a good time, and slightly less about the money. I wish I could say specifically when, but due to the copious amounts of cognac I can only tell you that I played The Hammer twice during the evening, winning one and losing the other. I suspect the one that I lost with was during the later stages of the cash game. It was the first time I have played the magical hand, and I can already feel Hammer sickness creeping into my brain, telling me something to the effect of—“The reason you lost with the Hammer was you didn’t show enough courage and you didn’t bet it hard enough” Never mind the fact the other folks actually had hands.

As always, I’m Thinking Big, but have a strange inverse shrunken-head type hangover going on, so I’m not really sure if my head is Much Bigger at the moment.