Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Judicious gambling

I feel -- I don't know what the word is. I'm out of words right now, having used them all in reviews I just finished. I wrote over fifty reviews last year and that doesn't even include the books I read for my own enjoyment. I'm doing two reviews a week now and I think it's time to take a breath, even though I feel good about the work I've done. There were so many good ones from this last shipment of books I'm going to have to read them again and find somewhere to put them. The floor is getting full and the bookshelves are bowed beneath the weight of what I already have on hand, and 95% of those are mine for research, for giggles, for -- well, just because. The last two included a book on a love affair with gambling and a Brain Bomber targeting the elite at universities across the country, another Unabomber targeting people with brains. If he'd been born earlier, he would have targeted Einstein and what a loss that would've been.

Probably the most interesting part of both books is the cultural difference. The autobiography reminded me of my childhood when my mother always wore dresses and jewelry and went out on the weekends with my suit-clad father to play bingo or have friends over for drinks and Canasta or Michigan Rummy. I miss those times when I didn't really know they had such a short shelf life and we would all end up spread out across the country and living lives completely separate and alone. Card parties and dancing and drinking and bingo and Sunday morning hangovers at the beach or behind drawn shades seem like a different century instead of a few decades ago, and it's hard to look back and not miss the simplicity and closeness we shared with our family and close friends. Such is life of a military brat no longer associated with the military. Things were different when Dad retired. There were still parties and cards, but no more drinking or hung over Sundays to get through before work on Monday.

It's seems strange to be nostalgic for the old days when my parents drank, especially since it wasn't really an issue and never a part of my life even though I was of legal age at 18. When I married and followed my husband from base to base, we had the card parties and drinking, but neither my husband nor I suffered the Sunday hangovers. We didn't drink that much. The sense of family and camaraderie is something I left behind when I divorced the Air Force, and I sometimes miss it. I have friends and we get together and go to gallery showings and spend holidays together drinking wine and swapping stories, but none of them have children and mine are grown and gone, so it's just us old folks sitting around, and no one plays cards. I miss that the most, like Screw Your Neighbor which was sanitized and became Uno. I liked it better when it was a little bit naughty, at least in the name of the game. I even miss the weekly bingo games, even when I lost. I didn't lose much because I'm not that much of a gambler; I'm what people call a judicious gambler. I don't feel like I have to play and I never take more than I can afford to lose. My ex-husband said that made me no fun to be around, especially when I'd get up from the table while I was still winning. Do you know a better time to leave?

Anyway, it's time for me to get back to bed and get a few hours of sleep before the sun comes up and stirs me into facing another day of work and responsibilities. It was fun while it lasted.

That is all. Disperse.

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