T-Minus Seven Weeks
I'm officially starting The Countdown. You can start your own. You can jump on my bandwagon (which is, in truth, awfully roomy). Or you can completely ignore the fact that the Vegas Blogger Conclave is starting to peek over the horizon as a defense mechanism against 48 days of slow-moving drudgery. Me? I'm going to embrace the wait, stoke its embers and slowly, but methodically, build it into a raging blaze.
I've lost my bleeping mind.
I almost always drive to Vegas. From door to ostentatious casino entrance, it takes about three-and-a-half hours and a single tank of gas. If I were to fly, the trip would take roughly the same amount of time from door to airport parking lot to security check-point to flight to taxi waiting line to ostentatious casino entrance. And I don't really like to fly anyway. If I'm within 8 hours driving distance of anywhere, I'll road trip it. The romance of the open road, wind whipping about my head and shoulders, me singing along to the music in full voice. Even now that I don't enjoy certain fermented and chemical accutrements that used to accompany such events, it's still my idea of a good time.
I bring this up because the wait for Vegas is an excellent metaphor for the drive to Vegas. Flat periods of inhabitable terrain, seemingly endless stretches of monotony, anticipation straining the seams of sanity. All for that promise of neon at the end of the tunnel that hurls me ever forward.
Cibola is a mythical land whose seven cities' golden treasures drew the Conquistadors northward through the Jornada del Muerto (Journey of the Dead Man) Desert. In Stephen King's "The Stand," the character of Trash Can Man in drawn to Vegas, which he calls "Cibola." I've called it so ever since.
So, I figure it's time to start the preparation in earnest. I'm metaphorically starting the car for the desert slog. First up is music. I have a dozen CDs burned especially for Vegas trips, all with stupid punny names. I'll be making several more. The key to these is to chart the songs to coincide with the moods and spirit of the journey. From Barstow to Baker, that hour-long stretch of desolation, it has to jump. From Baker to Primm, up the mountain, down the mountain, it has to build, urgently and inexorably, to bone-rattling crescendo. Once I inch closer to that final bend in the road, when Cibola reveals itself in the valley below, it needs to mellow out, regulate the breathing.
Yes, I spend way too much time thinking about these things.
Which brings me to another issue I've been spending a lot of time on lately. Another item on the preparation agenda: My place in this poker blogger community.
I don't mean as a way to measure myself against others regarding popularity, ability, what have you. No, this is only an exhibition, not a competition. Please no wagering.
What I really mean is, "Am I doing my part?"
So many of you out there have been supportive of this humble little diary, a fact for which I am most grateful. Am I responding in kind?
See, I have a little problem. I'm a bad commenter. Much of it has to do with my retarded sense of humor. I often feel like the comment I want to leave will miss the mark. Or worse yet, be mis-interpreted and perceived as something less than a compliment.
Furthermore, my blogroll (is that a copyrighted word? Ruling?) is fairly emaciated compared to much of the community. I could validly claim time constraints, the hugeness of the community, etc. But that'd be weak.
So I'm taking steps. Part of the Vegas preparation will be to link, read and get familiar with all the blogs/bloggers listed as attending the Aladdin Classic. At the very least, when I make your acquaintance, I can say I read your blog. And if you don't read mine, all the better. I can drop a guilt trip on you.
There's that retarded sense of humor again.
I'll see you all soon.
You'll know when I arrive. I'll be the one in the Conquistador's helmet.