Again with the Snow Poker

I hate snow.  When you live in a place like DC—that hardly gets any snow and when it finally does we have none of the basic infrastructure or physical conditioning to deal with it—who doesn’t HATE snow?  My dog is convinced that snow comprises both magic white powder and evil greenish rock salt that burns his feet.  The snow gives him superpowers of running and jumping, and the salt takes them away like kryptonite.  Extended snow time also transforms otherwise ambitious members of society into couch-bound sloths that can do nothing but watch HBO and surf reddit all evening.

Like when Imaginary Fiancé and I started to “reorganize” (i.e. completely demolish and rebuild from scratch) our closets one crisp snowy afternoon, and, despite great initial progress, left the house essentially in shambles with lots of heavy power tools strewn about.  Since that initial achievement, it has been really cold.  So cold that I think the radial arm saw that hasn’t moved from the center of our kitchen floor in a week is actually frozen there.  So cold that we haven’t been able to put all our clothes back in our new expanded closet because we prefer to sleep under the giant pile of sweaters on our bed.

One consequence of a week of sloth, however, is that you stop noticing what a wreck everything is.  This time last week, I couldn’t imagine having people over for poker, making them step over extension cords and such.  Now I’ve become accustomed to the extension cords being there, and I am more concerned with the prospect of heat generated by all the extra bodies that poker would bring in.  I am cognizant, however, of the possibility that other people are experiencing the same hibernation instinct that I am, and may not want to venture outside at all.

So RSVP becomes all the more important.  Who is brave and ambitious enough to venture out to [——–] at 8pm tonight?


Snow Poker

I love snow.  When you live in a place like DC—that hardly gets any snow and when it finally does everybody gets the day off to play—who doesn’t LOVE snow?  My dog is convinced that snow gives him superpowers that enable him to run really fast and jump a lot.  Snow days also inspire the housebound to start overly-ambitious domestic projects.

Like when Imaginary Fiancé* suggested we use our newfound free time to reorganize our closets.  I was quite impressed with the suggestion, and admittedly my closet needed some intervention, so I agreed.  Now I’m not trying to make this a claim construction issue, but I think the plain and ordinary meaning of “reorganize” in the context of a closet is to move shit around, and maybe get rid of a few things that don’t fit anymore.  Apparently, however, that word was being used as a term of art by an architect who didn’t tell me he intended to be his own lexicographer.  I was about to explain to him that under this fact pattern the plain meaning should control, but it was too late.  He had already started ripping out walls.

You see, his proposed construction of “reorganize” was to rip out the entire wall in which the closet was built, and redesign and build a new larger closet, with elaborate built-in shelves, drawers, and multiple hanging racks, and then rebuild the rest of the wall which totally didn’t need to be completely ripped out in the first place.  Ya know, just to give us something to do on a snowy afternoon.  Next time, let’s just play Settlers of Catan…

The closets are making great progress, and I’m sure when the sawdust settles it will be magnificent.  Until then the house looks like the body-strewn rubble of a drywall city in the aftermath of an epic battle between clothes and power tools.

Relatedly, poker tonight will be hosted by the lovely Chris Gregory and Sarah Craven.  They promise not to pelt you with snowballs when you arrive.  They live at [——–].  Easy walk from [——] metro and all the sidewalks are shoveled and there should even be parking available.  If you have troubles, call them at [———].  Start time 8pm.  Please RSVP (you can still just reply to this email) so I know how much hot cocoa and peppermint schnapps to bring.

*For new people, I actually have a fiancé.  He is totally not just in my imagination. Who are you going to believe, Dolin?**

**Don’t talk to Dolin.

Next Generation Poker

Sorry to dissappoint, supernerds, but “next generation” is not a Star Trek reference.  It’s a procreation reference.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let me back up.

Current and young clerks, you won’t know this, but in the olden days of clerking, back when the economy was better and the children were fewer, the clerks used to go on a semi-annual weekend retreat to a cabin in the mountains and go skiing or boating (depending on the season), and drinking and such.  Old geezer clerks, remember the summer retreat where I brought my sister who was basically a slightly taller copy of me?  Well this past weekend that sister had a baby, which is the first baby of my immediate family since herself.  The same is true for her husband, so there was much rejoicing among the two families.

Well, eventually.  Of course there was the 18 hours of screaming, after which they decided that the baby was too big and they had to cut it out like at the end of the movie Prometheus.  In fact, if you’ve never seen a caesarian birth, that scene from Prometheus is the most accurate depiction in film.  A bunch of sharp things rip open all your insides and pull out a slimy purple alien that shrieks and poops black evil.  Ah, the miracle of life.

I was doubly joyous of the arrival, hoping this bundle of joy would distract my mother from the fact that I do not have a baby—a fact that has basically dominated her interest in me since I became of child-bearing age.  But no dice.  No sooner than they put the baby (who had transformed from slimy purple alien to pink squirmy potato) in Grandma’s arms did she turn to me and say, “so when are you having a baby?”

Well, that depends.  How long will it take me to drink enough to forget everything that happened here today?

I guess I should get started on that drinking at poker tonight.  Shall we gather at [——] around 8 pm?  Bring lots of booze.  RSVP so there are no surprises.  After a 9 pound niece born two weeks early, I have had enough surprises for one month.

Ice Poker

Hello chilly willies!  I think this is the longest we have gone without poker.  But Christmas day was on a Wednesday, and thus preempted poker, and then New Year’s Day was on a Wednesday, and thus pre-empted poker, so there you have it.  And since we are on the topic of stating obvious things, how about how cold is it, huh?  The cold weather has been dominating the headlines of my favorite gossip rag, CNN, which ran the top story, “Would you wear sweaterpants?” yesterday.  Investigative journalism at its finest.

It’s so cold.

How cold is it?

It’s so cold that the icy glare Judge Moore gives Goodman every time he says “may it please the court” feels warm by comparison.

It’s so cold that my pen turned into an inksicle.

It’s so cold that Elizabeth Warren was seen huddling with Ann Coulter for warmth.

It’s so cold that a snowball’s chance in hell is a bet I would take.

It’s so cold that my dog won’t go outside.  He just stands in the doorway and pees over the welcome mat.

It’s so cold that Goodman put a space heater in the hot tub.  Really.  Don’t go in there.  It did not work like he intended.

But fear not poker hopefuls!  I live in the house of a thousand blankets.  I’m not sure how or why I have so many blankets, but I have enough that every poker player can wrap themselves in a blanket and sit on a radiator as we drink hot toddys and deal those cards in perfect comfort.  So, if you are brave enough to leave your house at 8pm tonight, come down to [——-], bring something warm to share with your fellow clerksicles.  And RSVP so I know whether we have quorum and you won’t get left in the cold.