a ribbon of black


thanks a lot

Some social media thing going ’round has people posting one thing they are thankful for each day in November. Okay, fine. Let’s see if I can actually finish this bit of foofaraw.

16. Life
The alternative seems a little boring.
17. This blog
It’s a good outlet.
18. YOU, gentle reader!
Otherwise, it’d just be my mom reading this stuff and shaking her head in disappointment. (Hi Mom!) More below.
19. My tiny apartment
Less space = more money for competition.



that is all

Blah blah blah another year. This blog is still alive, if barely kicking regarding billiards these days. My thanks to all you readers.

happy birthday, blog

I am thankful for those who — whether or not they agree with what I say or do (and let’s face it: most of the sh#t I do is not socially acceptable) — let me ramble on and go about living my life the way I want to live it.

I am thankful for those who do agree because it’s nice to celebrate/commiserate with others every now and then.

I am thankful for people who realize I am smart enough to ask for advice if I want.

I am thankful for people who offer advice, unasked, but then are mature enough not to be all butt-hurt when I don’t take it.

I am thankful for those who catch the occasional musical/literary/pop culture reference.

I am thankful for anyone who learned anything from this blog. I toss in the occasional educational bit now and then in the name of public service.

I am really, really thankful for those who donate, buy my crafty items, and/or participate in my raffles so that I can go out there and compete like the psychotic nutcase that I am.

Last, I am thankful for those who hate-read this blog — y’all keep me warm and fuzzy inside.


I don’t market this blog to find more readership since my attitude regarding billiards also applies to this blog: you don’t need to tell the world how great you are — if you’re good enough, people will hear about you. So, thank you to those who thought my ramblings insightful or entertaining enough to recommend it to others. I hope I did ya proud.

I feel like I’m talking into an empty wind tunnel with my writing, so it is very nice to hear from readers every now and then, whether it’s because they’re strangers offering to gamble with me at a game I can’t win for a sum I don’t have at a location that they won’t disclose until I accept, or because they’ve acquired new perspective or knowledge regarding Our Noble Game, or because we share the same feelings of frustration and triumph, or because they’re bored at work and glad I’m around to make it 15 minutes less boring at a time, or just because they hate me and thought I should know.

In parting

T H A N K . Y O U . A L L

and I hope to entertain, enlighten, and/or annoy the everloving sh#t out of you for another year.



best pyramid scheme ever


I’ve been busy with this new concept called Life Outside of Billiards, and boy is it a doozy. I haven’t had a chance to write about some of the smaller events I’ve played in, so we’ll be playing a bit of catch-up this week.

I did not do so well in my last women’s tournament. Even going into the tournament, I just felt — off. In my first match, I fell behind and had to play catch up. I won, but everything about my movements, my decisions, even the air I was breathing felt heavy and slow. It didn’t help that temperatures in the pool room were around the high 80s and the air conditioning was not turned on. I’m usually pretty good about heat but sh#t, I never expected to play in a goddam rainforest.

I trudged through the rest of the tournament to an unremarkable finish. And things didn’t get better on the second day (I don’t even know how I made it to the second day). The two losses I suffered were very bad. Just f#cking horrible.

This tournament was one of those times when I questioned my decision to continue playing pool. F#ck, everything sucked. I played like sh#t in sh#t conditions and really, it wasn’t even that I was frustrated about things — the overwhelming feeling I suffered from was one of extreme tiredness. Just the feeling of having to slog through a tournament, having to fade my own sh#tty play, the insane humidity, the sweat running into my eyes on a crucial shot, the neverending bullsh#t chatter of railbirds, and the people who deserved a boot-heel to the jaw prancing around and not getting that boot-heel to the jaw.

Good grief.

You said it best, Charlie Brown.


In this fun maelstrom of despair and general grouchiness, my primitive lizard brain kicked into gear and began to repair things by doing what many of us do: remembering the good times.

I had one redeeming match in this entire craptacular tournament. In this one match, my opponent got the vast majority of the rolls and it did not bother me. I had to outplay the rolls and — for possibly the first time in my life — I did. The final score was very close although the ratio of effort that went into the games I won versus the games my opponent won were disproportionate. Unless someone knowledgeable had seen the match, they would never know the true “value” of play that had gone down, and that gave me a little twinge of grrr. We all want a little recognition. We like people to know how well we played even though what is important is only that we knew how well we played.

And that, my friends, is the crux of the matter with me.

Most of the time, I’m pretty hard on myself. I’m a realist and I take the paper value of wins and losses quite seriously. A win is a win, a loss is a loss. 9-0 and 9-8 are the same to me. In this tournament, I played like a drunk donkey in every match except one. How much is one miniscule blip of good play in the endless void of inconsistency worth?

Everyone has a name for that one blip: hope, improvement, a step down the path of dreams — whatever. You know what it really is? The tip of the greatest pyramid scheme, ever. One well-played match forgives a massive number of drunk-donkey losses. You know what I mean, and I know that you know. It is why we keep playing.


here we go again