26 December, 2007

A Night with Codepoke

Work until the last possible minute.

It's been so boring at work for so long, it's hard to leave with an interesting project finally in my lap. Stay another 15 minutes writing up the bug list for tomorrow and accidentally fixing one.

Decide I can't leave without checking the blogs. I don't get to read deeply and certainly don't/can't comment, but my bloglines are cleared before I power down.

Home in 20 at 5:55.

I know there's no email waiting on me, thanks to the Blackberry. It's hard to check the email that way, and very annoying to answer it, but I'm hoping to hear I have an extra match in the tournament starting tonight so I've checked it four times today. No such luck, so when I get home I resist the urge to check it again.

My neighbor gave me some raviolis, so I start water boiling in case I decide to eat before the night starts.

I plan to look in on the tourney tonight and see how well the young bucks hit. Some day I'll be ready to play them, probably, but for now it's the 35's that I'm trying. The 35's don't start until Saturday, but one guy is playing in the open event tonight also, so I hope to scout him out.

Ah! That's an excuse to get on the computer. I'll see when my possible opponent is playing. That let's me cure that addictive desire to check email even though I know there's nothing there at the same time. A beautiful coincidence.

He plays at 7:00. It's 6:05 now, so do I eat dinner or just snack? The water's already boiling, so I'll go for it. I have some sausage spaghetti sauce from last week, a little quiche from Christmas breakfast, and I can throw together a quick salad.

Eat to The Week magazine. It seems there are still a couple untouched spots on this planet, and the new Daniel Day-Lewis movie gets 4 stars. He plays such an evil bad guy these days, and the Christians in the movie seem to be portrayed like mindless fanatics, so I'm still leaning toward skipping it.

Clear my dishes. Leave the boy's in the sink. He's out all night so I'll probably wash them when I get back.

Receive a call from the ex. She has a migraine. We seem to have that in common, but mine are slowing down and getting weaker. Maybe my new plan is working, or maybe the weather is just steadying out. A couple minutes of logistics with her, and back to the dishes. She's able to tell me where the boy child is. That's nice.

Change into tennis clothes and load 130 pounds of gear into the trunk. 6:50 was my goal, but it's only 6:45. I audibly cheer. It is at this moment that I think it might be funny to blog the whole night. How many people do I know who cheer because they've freed 5 extra minutes on a work night?

The car starts. I'm driving the boy's car because he says it's not starting for him. He's had to jump it twice now. The first time, it was his dome light and I drove it for a day and verified everything was good. The second time, the ex's boyfriend jumped him. I explain the domelight issue to him again. He's in a hurry, because Mr. Boyfriend is waiting on him, and he gets flustered. I quickly figure out that he's hearing "park lights" when I say "dome light.". Anyway, the car starts for me, but I don't cheer that - I knew it would.

Arrive at the tennis club and introduce myself to the tourney director. Maybe I'll have a better chance of being subbed in for doubles or something if he knows my face. I asked him via email why I could not play two events like the guy I'll be scouting. Simple. He knows that guy, and knows he won't flake out on him. Maybe next year, now that he knows me. Fair enough.

Find my scouting mark. His opponent is beating him with big angles. I don't know if I'll be able to hit as hard as this kid, though. The kid hits 2 hands on both sides, and is blasting lasers to both corners. He'd be hard to beat any time by anyone, and it's a close match at 4-3. My guy is only down one break. This guy is the #2 seed in the 35's, and on the other side of the draw. I have to beat a no-name like me and the #1 seed to get to him. The odds are less than 50/50, but it's still fun to be scouting. It's the first time I've ever done it.

If I play him, I need to pressure his backhand to draw the short ball, then play wide and hard to his forehand. I should be able to handle his serve, and if I hit soft balls to him to gain time, he won't be able to hurt me much with them. He hits soft enough he would have killed me three months ago. With any luck, I've learned enough not to fall apart against his no-power game any more, but he's a good player and I don't know how things will end up.

The tourney is not crawling with people. One wants to chat up future opponents, but the crowd is thin.

My scouting target has pulled up even again. We have the classic big hitter verses steady plodder dynamic going on. The big hitter jumped in front with bold winners, but you just can't keep being that bold. Eventually you start missing, and your nerves get rattled. That's why I said earlier I didn't know if I could do it. Guess what? Neither could he. My guy just won the first set. This could be over quick now. Tennis happens that way.

My guy's serve is getting nastier. Yep. I told someone in the stands he'd get better as the night wore on. He is. There's a reason he's a high seed in the 35's draw.

Well, I'll check the final score later. It's 7:50 now, and I need to get to the courts. 12 more minutes of idle chatter, and my guy is serving for 4-1 if I'm interpretting the cussing correctly.

I figured there must be a shortcut to the courts from the club. I was right. I think I shaved 3 minutes.

I work a good drill. Moonball, drive, approach shot, half-volley, putaway. I do alright. My serve is going alright too. Then the machine quits working. I fiddle around for a while before I finally figure out it may be because the battery's dead. How did it get to be 9:42? I wore the machine out again. Wimp.

I shut down the lights at the court, but one doesn't go out. I look a little closer, and the full moon is directly behind that light. I'm seeing it's halo through the clouds without seeing it. It's really a beautiful night, and that's a cool picture to go home on.

When I get home, my little rock statues are still standing. A little over a year ago, I heard about rock stacking. It just so happens I had a rock garden in my front yard based on the whole zen sandtray idea, so I was set. I stack those 7 rocks in in odd little formations that challenge me and seem interesting. It's fun to wake up every morning and come home every night and see whether they're still standing. I stood these two stacks up on Christmas Eve. One is three rocks high, and the other is four. Literally, I could hit them with quarter, and they'd fall. It's so precarious when you do it right, but they'll stand for days if no one throws any quarters at them. I even took some rocks, pea gravel, and a basket in with me to work. Those stacks will stand for a week or two sometimes. Then my neighbor will close his drawer too hard, and I get to do it again.

Whenever someone asks whether I used glue, I always take the tiniest little piece of pea gravel and throw it at the stack. It always falls, and the person who doubted me cringes. It's a great chuckle for me, and I assure them I'd been meaning to rebuild it anyway.

By 10:25, I'm unpacked, freed of ankle and knee braces, had my protein shake to make sure my muscles remember anything good they learned tonight, and typed up to here. I've also been thoroughly mocked by my son for being completely inadequate at his new shareware game (Jardinains, if you're into that.) I scored 200,000 after an hour. He just ripped of 740,000. We won't talk about how long it took him. Whatever. The dishes are done, and he's copasetic with trying his car again tomorrow.

Anyway, we have a fun chat and he heads off to exercise bike for a while at 11:05. (When I can no longer play tennis, I'll bike. My favorite family exercise was when we had the 4-seater bike. It was a true joy until it was stolen. Pretty cheaply manufactured, but I'd spend the money again if the seats would be filled.)

I have three posts in mind right now, but I don't think I can do any of them justice tonight (no, this one doesn't count.) I always want to start getting ready for bed before 11:00. I always end up starting around 11:40. From the moment I start, it's an hour before I'm there unless I rush, and rushing has the opposite effect of what one wants when preparing for bed. Anyway. Tonight will probably be a 12:30 night. Tomorrow I'll think about those 3 posts about this same time, and make the same decision. And Friday, I'll be able to stay up a little bit later and I'll put one of them up. By then, I'll have had 2 more ideas and one or two of tonight's posts will be gone forever.

And since nobody blogs from Friday night to Sunday morning, I'll have put up another post out of synch with the rest of the world, and any comments it gets will be late in coming. I noticed almost a year ago that if you want comments, post Monday through Thursday. Friday and Saturday it's almost like everyone has a life, and only some of the crowd catches up on Sunday. Most people do their catch up on work days.

Ah well.

So, I figure if you've read this, you should be ready for bed, if not asleep already. Sleep well. :-)

UPDATE: I received a callout from work at 12:25 - not very usual for me. Not a bad one, though. I had it resolved in 15 minutes, and I'll go in an hour late tomorrow. I wasn't even asleep yet, so it was pretty smooth.


karen said...

I found this quite fascinating! Thanks! :-D

codepoke said...

You're a kind lady, Karen. :-)