Thursday: It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint
I bolted into the start of the Winter Gathering Aught-Nine like a speed horse trying to steal the race at a mile-and-a-quarter. This can be a sometimes effective strategy, if one can earn a lonely lead and manage the pace, leaving something left for the stretch run. If, however, you are pressured on that lead, the legs go tired, quickly and suddenly, and you can find yourself stumbling about the MGM six hours later with the single-minded purpose of eating chili cheese dogs.
Driving in, I was caught between easing into The Gathering, like my brain insisted I do for the betterment of the rest of my internal organs, and putting the pedal down just because I was so damn excited. Wanna guess which one won out?
I sprinted right out of my car, onto the monorail, into the IP and ran smack into AlCantStopBuyingShots, though the SoCo he soon put in front of me could oniy be called a "shot" in an ironic way, like calling a fat guy "Tiny." It took me three or four healthy swallows to toss it back, all the while sharing beers with Derek, Pauly, Gnome and stb (and others, which means this is where I put the disclaimer that all omissions of you, person reading this, and going, "Hey Jipperbrains! I was there, too!" are purely unintentional, owing to my poor memory and the slight bleeding in my brain and not at all indicative of race, religion, creed, you sucking out on me or your poor taste in domestic beer), which is starting the weekend off drinking above my weight class.
This became abundantly clear in short order as I stared down Alice Cooper at a blackjack table.
I actually took some profit off Alice (School's out for the summer, bitch!) and ratholed with it, in the process resisting the charms of Reba, who was brought in as a twanging cooler. This was necessary as I'd already dropped a chunk at craps and I knew I was in that dangerous place where you might wake up and wonder where all your money went. I was also surprised to look down at my watch and see I'd been there six hours.
I slipped out the back door of the IP and made my way back to the MGM. I still hadn't checked into my room, which I did first, before I went in search of food for the first time...er...all day. I ended up with two chili cheese dogs, which I ate hurriedly because I needed a nap before starting Round Two.
Round Two came much later than anticipated as I a) set my alarm for 9 a.m. instead of p.m. and b) was unable to put the phone back in the cradle to receive the wake-up call anyway and that's how you wake up at 10:30 wondering where the hell you are and why do I smell like a tour bus?
I rallied up to get back to the IP to see everyone (see?!?! There, I just mentioned you!) and was drunk again after one beer, the good drunk, I thought, the easy, straight-line buzz one hopes to curate over a long period of time. I was under this mistaken impression until about 4 a.m. when I realized I couldn't hardly stand and that I had to be up soon for the golf outing, which I was damned if I was going to miss, even as I opined that signing up for something that began north of noon...outside in the frigid temperatures...requiring motor skills...was not the brightest idea I've ever had.
I got to talk to lots of folks that night, however (Falstaff, Michalski), took some grief about my hair (The Wife, maigs), had someone stand up for my hair (Maudie!), watched drizz pull quads on Let It Ride and go into an impromptu celebration that woulda drew a flag for being excessive anywhere but the IP where it merely frightened people and even got in some mildly profitable Pai Gow action (despite replacing Derek in what appeared to be the Eff You Seat) with Pauly, Otis (riding high on a straight flush and throwing stacks of green willy-nilly into the circle...and winning), Marty and...um...you.
On the cab ride home, I'm feeling less than stellar, trying to do the math on how many hours of sleep I'm going to get and calculating how much Gatorade I should pound (enough to offer some re-hydration, not so much that it makes you have to get up in the middle of the night to pee) and I start to get woozy. The bad kind of woozy.
Yes, it got a little pukey in Room 4-526, though I was proud to point out to others later that I made it all the way to the room before evacuating the remaining chili cheese dogs in my stomach, which is respectful to cabs and Pai Gow tables and casino floors, if you think about it. I instantly felt a whole lot better and when the (successful!) alarm went off at an ungodly hour, I rolled out of bed in better shape than I could have hoped for.
Then I went out in the cold to hit that stupid little ball.
Up Next, Friday: Booze, Bloggers and Golf Balls, Table 16 and Steel Panther.