I had no idea how much of a time sucker poker was until I stopped playing it.
It was not a conscious decision to stop playing. I still have money in my accounts. I still watch it on TV. I played it the other night in a fun home game and didn't want to leave after several hours.
But I'll be honest: I'm tired of the game. The easy pickings seem to be gone, and even in Rush Poker, I'm stuck trying to fleece a bunch of players who are every bit as tight as me, and a good majority of them are better, even at the modest limits I play.
But this sounds like whining. That's not the point of this post.
The point is to show you what I'm doing with my time.
• Writing - I know, writing is SO 2006. No one really blogs any longer, which breaks my heart, since I loved how blogs were encouraging people to write. There are a LOT of great writers out there, especially those who never thought they would be writers at all.
I'm still determined to update this blog at least once a week. I think the writing on this space is good for me.
But I'm also doing something else. For years one of my best friends has tried to get me to do the November Novel Writing Month. Well, I had a baby, and then I had baby twins, and then all those kids sapped most of time, and I thought there was no way I could write 50,000 words (fictional, no less) in a month.
But to be honest, I also thought it was a waste of time. When you're a professional writer, as I am (can't you tell?), writing is a joy, but it's also a job, and writing should have a purpose. Why should I spend hours a night to write something that will most likely never be read by anyone?
Well, I cheated a bit. I call it the twin handicap. I had a whole weekend to myself in mid-October, which these days is something like being the silly rabbit and stumbling upon a whole barrel of Trix. So I decided to spend three hours to see if I could crank out part of a story that was haunting my brain.
Well, 5,500 words later, I knew I was in this year.
I've now got 20,000 under my belt, and yeah, it's going to be with an asterik, but I'm going to finish.
I have discovered that purpose in this as well.
• Reading - I've read many books, knocking down my stack of "to-dos" to almost nothing. I haven't read like that in years.
Here were three of my favorites in the last few months:
1. Lit - Mary Karr writes with lush yet blistering prose about her alcoholism. I give this book my greatest complement: It made me a better writer.
2. Born to Run - I know what you're saying if you've read this blog at all in the last year. Well, DUH. But this book is wonderfully written and fascinating. I dare to say you'd like it even if you think people like me - and the people he writes about in this book - are completely nuts. It might even make you buy a pair of running shoes. Or ditch them and run barefoot.
3. Lost Vegas - Pauly's best writing in one book, so you don't have to store your laptop on a shelf. What's not to like? I read this in three days, even with my kids demanding juice boxes in between pages. Don't worry, I did get them some. Eventually.
• Watching movies - I've worked through my NetFlix queue on a good pace, even pausing to watch seasons 1 and 2 of Breaking Bad (um, you can release season 3 like right now please kthxbye). I went on a little horror fix, watching five Zombie movies and a vampire flick that did not involve teenagers gazing into each other's eyes, and, oh, Saw VI. I believe it has scarred me for life, or at least until I watch those herky-jerky claymation Christmas specials.
Here's a couple highlights from my recent movie orgy.
1. Dead Snow - The best zombie flick was not made by Romero. This is a German film about Nazi zombies, a chainsaw and sex in an outhouse, and really, what else do you need? How about the best opening scene I've seen from a horror movie in a long time.
2. Jennifer's Body - One of my favorite writers, Diablo Cody, and one of my favorite hotties, Megan Fox, combine to make an underrated horror film.
These two are not terrific movies, but they are good horror movies, and since most horror movies just really suck (when "Paranormal Activity," a good flick, is seen as a masterpiece you know the genre needs some work), that's enough.
Halloween is over so I can return to my usual serious, thought-provoking dramas that most of the public rightfully hates.
Here's one, and it was my favorite film of this year. Yes, it's subtle and slow, but it's also wonderful. Just awesome.
3. Phoebe in Wonderland.
What are you doing besides play poker these days?