So I have a lot of free time on my hands while I'm folding, folding, folding in these two multitable tournaments. As part of my ongoing mission to make you, the reader of this drivel, want to claw your eyes out of your head, I present:
"The Last Five Books I Read", by someone who gets about four channels on his TV.
1. Selected stories, The Complete Short Stories Of Ernest Hemingway : The Finca Vigia Edition.
I wanted to read some of the Nick Adams stories, and so I did. Regrettably, I did not do so while lounging on the patio with a glass of whiskey close at hand. This only further proves that I'm an idiot.
It's kind of funny that I read a fair number of books that involve fishing. I haven't been fishing since I was about 12. One of the neighbor's kids (as opposed to neighbor kids, he was about ten years older than me) took me along to chase sunfish in a bayou.
Speaking of younger days, I think we read "Up in Michigan" in 10th grade English. Considering that this is an uberconservative small town and that story is as close to literary porn as you get, I'm starting to doubt my powers of recall.
2. Tony Horwitz, Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before
When I get around to having my inevitable midlife crisis, I hope I end up taking off to interesting places. I don't know that retracing, in part, the eighteenth century voyages of British explorer James Cook would ever cross my mind. I'm thinking a drunken month in Vegas would be much more likely.
Speaking of which, if I ever win the lottery, I'm going to front an all-expense paid trip for the entire Al Can't Hang crew to the Cooktown (Australia) Festival. Sounds like the absolute mother of all drunkfests.
We returned to the garage behind the police station to empty the rest of the sea chest. At some point it dawned on me that I'd comsumed little except beer for the better part of forty-eight hours. Even Roger looked wrecked. He leaned against a tree, staring numbly at his watch. "It's stained with vomit not my own." He wiped the face with his gut-smeared smock. "Three P.M. I've never retired from the field this early." "We started early. Beer o'clock." "That's true. I haven't completely disgraced myself."
A recommended read.
3. Nega Mezlekia, Notes From The Hyena's Belly
My recent reading list has definitely been concentrated on far away places. The way I see it, I'm a fat white guy, rapidly approaching middle age, with a mortgage, student loan payments and job that keeps me pretty well tethered to my desk. The odds that I'm ever going to see, say, Victoria Falls or Kilimanjaro are pretty long, so I may as well read about those places as a poor man's substitute.
This book wasn't quite what I expected. It's the highly personal story of someone, now an engineer in Canada, growing up in the middle of the 1980s Ethiopia-Somalia war. You read about child soldiers -- this gentleman was one. Somehow he survived, made it out and made a life for himself.
4. James Dodson, Hogan: An American Life
This is an exhaustively detailed, meticulously researched "official" biography of legendary golfer Ben Hogan. It's slow going, but I never found my attention wandering. Worth a read if you have an interest in golf-related subjects.
As an aside, I really enjoy James Dodson's writing. I have, I believe, each of his previously published works, which tend to be reflections on his personal journey through life, filtered through the lenses of golf, travel and fly fishing. I always feel uplifted when I finish one.
As a further aside, there are several obvious editorial glitches in this book -- names spelled incorrectly, glaring typos, that sort of thing. I almost expect such things in, say, John Grisham novels, but here it was kind of annoying.
5. Alexandra Fuller, Scribbling The Cat: Travels With An African Soldier
Okay, one more piece of faraway lit. The author grew up in southern Africa, primarily Zimbabwe, and had a NY Times bestseller with her memoir, Don't Let's Go To The Dogs Tonight. This is in part a followup tale, centered around an odd relationship she has with a former soldier in various African wars. Both are white, in a place far different than it was in their younger days.
I'm kind of running out of steam here, but i'll sum it up in one word: Intense. I would suggest her other book as a terrific read, and suggest this one only if you enjoy the other.
Other Recent Reads:
Sara Erdman, Nine Hills To Nambonkaha: Two Years In The Heart Of An African Village. Very well written.
John Heminway, The Imminent Rains: A Visit Among The Last Pioneers Of Africa. Dated, but engrossing.
Cook's Illustrated, Best American Side Dishes. Now I'm hungry.
MTT Update: It took until Level 3, but I have finally received my first pair (of the three initial cards) in stud! Yay! And then I get 2-3-4-5 of diamonds for my first four cards. Make a wheel on sixth street, six-high straight on seventh. Still lost. Crap.
Out of both. I suck. Getting blinded off in the NLHE event, I pushed my 4xBB stack in from the SB with 99, called by ATo and QTo. Ace on the river. Time for another $5 Omaha/8 SnG.
A quick O/8 comment: People that play the $5+1 SnGs are, for the most part, idiots.
I'm dealt AA2K, one of the aces is sooted.
Flop is A88. Top boat. Turn and river are a 7 and a 3. It's capped about five ways all the way down.
I lose the high to someone with 88 down -- the only hand I possibly lose to -- but take the *entire* low with my 8732A.
We split a 1500+ chip pot -- at the 15/30 level.