“Here I Go Again ” by Whitesnake
hold music… again…
cream of wheat
a non-confrontational type of food
cleaning my room
still haven’t done it
 : Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Today, I burned one calorie by cutting the canvas for the lid and main design of the box.
 : Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I started stitching one corner of the design. The thread I am using is a pearl color. (Sorry, I forgot to take photos of my progress.) It’s actually not a thread, it’s more of a braid. Because it is flat like a ribbon, I have to be careful how I stitch to ensure it lies flat and doesn’t bunch up.
I also had to realize that working with shorter lengths of this particular kind of thread/braid is better than longer lengths because repeated passes through the canvas starts to fuzz up the braid and causes tangles.
When I was younger, I was one of those kids that thought, “Well, if one is good… then TWO is better!” My cousin Lena (hi Lena!) used to tell me to use shorter lengths of thread for my needlepoint and cross-stitch. They would be easier to handle, and the finished product would look better. I didn’t listen and used thread that was twice as long as what she recommended. As a result, most of my projects turned out looking like giant fuzzballs.
I also found out: baking cookies at 550 degrees for 10 minutes is not the same as baking them for 275 degrees for 20 minutes.
But this time, I promise — no burnt cookies and no fuzzball needlepoint.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
My all-girls team made it to our division playoffs — no small feat as we were in the toughest division within the league.
We were to play at a bar on the less-than-spectacular side of town. I had played there only a few times, and I hadn’t played there in over a year. It was billed as a Mexican “cigar and wine bar”. Okay. Sounded interesting.
When I got there with Alice, Cinderella, Pooh Bear, and Lucille were already at a table and the first match was underway. The round cocktail tables were very small, so we had to do a bit of a balancing act to fit all our cues and purses and coats on the one table. Everyone was dressed quite nicely, having just come from work. There weren’t enough stools, so I stood between Pooh Bear and Alice.
A guy we shall name Dumbass #1 (I KNOW you guys just LOVE it when I have to resort to numbers for my characters) came over and put an arm around Alice and I, and tried to hug us close. I looked up at his semi-drunk, rather ugly face and said, “Excuse me.” I shrugged my shoulder in an exaggerated manner to indicate that Dumbass should remove his arm. He did not remove it. Instead, he tightened his grip.
“Daaamn,” Dumbass #1 said. “Why you gotta be like that?”
“I dunno. Like that!”
“Excuse me. I do not know you, and I would appreciate it if you would remove your arm.”
“Oh, so it’s like that!”
“Yeah, f—er. It’s LIKE THAT. Do not touch me.”
I physically removed his hand and walked away to the other side of Pooh Bear. Dumbass #1 turned his attentions to Alice.
“You know, I just come from Vaaaay-gessss.”
“Huh?” Alice looked perplexed.
“Okay… Well, I’m from Ellll-Aaaay.”
Please note, it is NEVER a good idea to feed the trolls. Upon receiving a response that didn’t involve profanity or a threat of bodily harm, Dumbass #1 proceeded to excitedly scoot closer to the table, almost knocking Pooh Bear off her stool in the process. He tried to get closer to Alice, but Alice would have none of his shenanigans and moved off.
Thus rebuffed, Dumbass #1 tried to insert himself between Pooh Bear and I. Round two! Fight!
“So, why you gotta be like that?” Are you serious? Do we have to go through this again?
“Dude, get the f— away from me.”
“Why? I just come from Vaaaay-gaaaas.” This drawing out of the word “Vegas” is supposed to do what? Anyone know? Am I missing a cultural thing here?
“Yeah? Well, you can go back to f—ing yourself, okay?”
Dumbass #1 tried putting his arm around me again and I had to engage in evasive maneuvers. Pooh Bear, ever a direct person, had enough. She put up a hand in front of Dumbass’s #1 face and said, “Look, we’re here for the league match, okay? We’re here to shoot pool. We’re not here for men. She doesn’t like people touching her so don’t touch her, got it?”
Dumbass #1 said, “Oh, hahaha. I see, I see.” He kept laughing, while throwing in a few winks. Odd. Well, I was glad for Pooh Bear’s directness. She took a much less violent approach than I would have.
“Oh? How much? How much it take?” asked Dumbass.
“Oh it’ll take A LOT of beers,” said Pooh Bear, laughing politely. “But, really, we’re here for the pool, okay? Okay.”
Pooh Bear turned to face the match, and ignored Dumbass. Thus rebuffed by me, Alice, and Pooh Bear, what was Dumbass to do? Oh, of course, there were two more girls on our team. “Hola…” he said, while moving towards Cinderella and Lucille.
He got a “NO” and a “NO”. So far, Dumbass was batting a thousand for rejection. Finally, one of his friends came and guided him back to their table. Whew. We all relaxed a little bit, and turned back to the match.
About two minutes later, Dumbass #2 came over and started trying to chat up Cinderella. “Come on, you dance?”
“No, I’m here to play pool.”
“Oh, haha. Play pool.” Dumbass #2 moved down the line to Pooh Bear. “Let’s dance. How much?”
“Uh, no. I’m here to play league.”
Dumbass #2 came up to me and I looked him right in the eye. He considered for a few seconds, thought about saying something, then moved on to Lucille. Haha, that’s right, f—er. Just move along there. Dumbass #2 tried everyone on the team, and was confused as to why we all said no. Except for me. I didn’t have to say anything. I think the “I’ll f—ing kill you!” vibe was sufficient information.
As the first match progressed, our team was constantly bombarded with the (sometimes inappropriate) attentions of Dumbasses throughout the room. We were, at first, polite. Then direct. Then very direct. Then scathingly direct (“Look, if you want to tell me I’m ugly, just tell me I’m ugly. Don’t tell me I’m ugly by letting me know you think you have a chance with me.”). I spent a lot of oxygen telling guys to keep their hands to themselves.
Well, after a good long time of this unusual attention, we were told of something interesting about the bar. Apparently, it was normal for prostitutes to come by and charge for a feel — or more. In fact, that was why a lot of men went to that bar.
Even with our cue cases, our scoresheet, and our business attire, and the fact that our team has never been to that bar before, the regular patrons of that bar thought we were prostitutes.
Because women don’t play pool.
In a perfect world, we would have won that match and shoved some f—ing humilty down the throats of the bastards in that bar, but we didn’t. And I dogged my match. Let me tell you what pressure is to me. I will say that I generally deal with pressure fairly well, but I learned what pressure really is tonight.
I had ball-in-hand on a tough out with clusters. My opponent was on the hill. The eight-ball was tied up with the cluster I needed to break out, and I would have to break it out very carefully with the cue ball. The object ball I was going to make had half a pocket, because the pocket was blocked by my opponent’s object ball. I got down on the shot and lined up the object ball carefully with the pocket.
I notice something shining in my eyes and a jangling noise. I get up. I look forward, and it’s my opponent’s teammate shaking a GIANT ring of keys with a reflective keychain in the light. I motion to him to cool it. I get back down and line it up my shot again.
He shakes the keys.
I get up, look him in the eye and say, “Please don’t do that.” He nods. I get down again. I know I can squeeze the object ball into the pocket, but I will have to hit the cue ball a certain way to ensure a successful breakout. I stroke carefully. I pause on the backswing, and I deliver the stroke right as there is a flash.
I can’t tell at first if I’ve made the ball, because Key-Shaking F—er shook his keys again, and I was temporarily blinded. I already know the results can’t be good because I had stopped short on the stroke when the light had blinded me.
I look into the smug smile of Key-Shaking F—er and say nothing. What can I say? I already shot the shot. I look at the table layout and I am hooked. I didn’t shoot correctly, and now I am stuck behind the eight-ball with one object ball to go.
Sigh again. I consider the options. As I get down on a possible kicks, Key-Shaking F—er starts up with his keys again. Really? Unbelievable. I look up at him. He smiles. I ask our league operator to kindly tell him to desist. Key-Shaking F—er growls and looks like he wants to throw the keys at me, but he puts them down.
I get down on the kick, again. And I get up. I look slowly around the room.
I will tell you that I haven’t felt that much hatred in many, many years. In this dark, smoky room, I see the faces of these men who I don’t even know, and yet hate with a passion. These f—ers who assumed a group of clean-cut lady pool players could only be prostitutes because, hell, women don’t play pool. These f—ers who think it’s okay to grope a woman simply because she is a woman, and what the hell are you going to do about it. These f—ers who, for all their f—ing macho nature, are so f—ing scared to be beat by a girl playing pool that they have to resort to sharking in order to win.
F—. Them. All.
I would have traded everything I owned for a flamethrower and no witnesses.
I know the only way to get any sort of proper retribution is to make a three-rail kick and run the f— out.
I hate being a girl that plays pool. I wish all you men could experience the ridiculousness it is to be a girl that plays pool. Every one of you should know what it is like to go to a league match like this and be harassed by a bunch of f—ing idiots like these. All this for a goddam game that pays next to nothing. I had an overwhelming urge to break down my cue and walk out and be done with pool forever. It’s not worth the stress and it’s certainly not worth having to deal with this kind of bulls—.
But, I didn’t.
I missed the kick, and I sold out.
After the match, Dumbass #3 (a dirty old man who had just paid $20 to feel up one of the working girls) came up and said, “Why don’t you play me a game?”
“How much you want to play for?”
Dumbass #3 looked to Dumbass #4 (ANOTHER dirty old man — there’s tons of them there) and said, “Oh gosh! She wants to play for money!”
“That’s not very friendly!”
“Well, how much you got?”
“I don’t want to be your friend and the question is, how much YOU got.”
“Oh, so, what — you think you’re a good player?”
“Better than you. And if you don’t think so, BET.”
“Well, I was thinking we could play for fun, and talk a little.”
“Yeah, you know, get to know each other. Come on, we’re nice guys. You’ll like us. We treat you right.”
“Don’t waste my time, assholes. Bet, or shut the f— up.”
These fine gentlemen declined to bet.
With my loss, the total match score became 2-2 and the last match would determine the winner. In the last match, it came down to the very last eight-ball, and our girl missed last.
And so, on this lovely night, the miraculous run of the only all-girls team in our league comes to an end. I think we are all tired of league, and pool, and the denizens and occasional bulls— of both. We are disbanding, but keep an eye out for our reunion tour.
As for me, I will continue to play pool. I have accepted that, at this time in history, enduring s— from freakish idiots and dumbasses is part of the game for me. I love pool, and that’s the way pool goes. Hell, that’s the way life goes. For all of us. 🙂
A new league season starts now, but we can continue with the stats from the previous three weeks. As of right now, I am 0–3, with three consecutive losses.
On a happier note, I had an excellent dinner of Vietnamese noodle soup (pho) that night. My dinnermates ordered some fried fish that we all swore had to be a piranha. Hey Brendan, go get yourself some pho, now, okay? 😉
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Have I told you all I’m a masochist? I’m sure I have. Let me prove it.
I was (and still am) sick right now. With what, I’m not sure, but it involves much sneezing, much coughing, and not much regular breathing. It sucks. I also had followup dental work today which was incredibly painful.
But, today was also the first day of another league. That’s right folks, I’m such a glutton for punishment, I play in two leagues. So, in spite of all the pain and discomfort, I went to league.
I had taken some maximum strength Tylenol (and by some I mean four at a time, twice), and it wasn’t doing much. I figured it might kick in after a while and I waited for some sort of relief as I looked with apprehension at the sixteen games of eight-ball that had yet to be played.
This league’s format is a non-handicapped, round-robin, alternate-break format of play (did I get enough hyphens in there?). Typical BCA format, and typical BCA rules.
At about halfway through the matches, I was fading fast. I told my captain I had to get out of there ASAP because I was feeling like absolute s—. The pain in my teeth was going into my head and it was bad enough that I was beginning to see stars. My eyes couldn’t focus.
My captain asked the other team if it would be all right to play on two tables in the bar to speed things up. Normally, you have to play on table at a time, but with the agreement of both teams, two tables may be used. I stumbled through some games on the back table. I had only one more game to go, and thank heaven for that, because I could no longer see straight and I felt like passing out.
My last match would be against a Lady I knew and considered a friend. However, she refused to play on the back table. She wanted to play on the front table, she said. My captain said he wanted to get me home as soon as possible because I was obviously very sick. She said she didn’t care. She wanted to play on the front table, and the front table, only.
So, I waited.
And the pain increased to massive proportions.
Finally, I played Lady and I could just get myself to the table. I tried my best to play well but I could barely stand at this point. The whole time, Lady kept telling me, “Oh, you don’t look well.” and “You really shouldn’t have come to play today.”
I finally managed to lose, and the Lady gleefully hugged me. “Oh dear,” she said. “Why didn’t you go home earlier?”
I said, “Why didn’t you let me? We could have played on the back table and I could have gone home.”
“Oh,” she said. “I wanted to win.”
Well, folks, I learned something today. I learned that even though you may know someone for years, and occasionally drink with them, they can still be assholes in the name of victory.
This incident with Lady reminded me of a funny conversation that happened a few years ago.
Lady wanted to be known as the top woman player in this league. I had heard a people discussing her rivalry with two other women in the league regarding this title. Oddly enough I wasn’t included on her hitlist, even though I had the title at that point. Curious, I asked the speakers, “What about me?”
“Lady doesn’t consider you in the running for that title.”
“She says you play too good so she doesn’t consider you a woman.”
Lady, it was a race to one tonight, and you won it. If it will bring you that much happiness, I will gladly concede (for this first week — we have 26 to go), the title of Top Female Shooter. For whatever the f— it’s worth.
I have bigger fish to fry.
One tracked traditional happiness data by asking people how satisfied they are with their lives. It found that women, who in the early 1970s reported being slightly happier than men, are now slightly less happy.