I went to a party Saturday night. Somehow I ended up in conversation with two younger men, one of whom was a former major-league ball player (third base). They were friends of the host, in town for a weekend of sports and gambling.
They were staying at one of the downtown casino hotels, and the night before they, along with the father of one of them, had won more than $40,000 between the three of them. Baccarat.
“Like James Bond,” I said.
He got the reference, always a good sign in an age when James Bond now plays Texas Hold’em.
“So, what are you going to do with your winnings?” I asked. Both said they intended to go back to the casino that very night and keep playing, and that if they lost it all, they wouldn’t consider it a bad day at all.
“It’s entertainment,” one said.
I honestly don’t get it. If I were fortunate enough to win more than $20,000 in one sitting, the last thing the pit boss would see are the soles of my feet, leaving in a hurry. I know this is how casinos work. I know this is why they’re one business you almost have to work to fail at (ahem, POTUS), but it’s still baffling. The conversation moved on. It took a few unusual turns, but ended with my plus-one, a girlfriend, offering common-sense therapeutic relationship advice to the third baseman, which he received gratefully.
“I never thought of that,” he said.
Truth be told, he reminded me of Tim Robbins’ character in “Bull Durham.” But that’s a pro athlete for you.
What a weekend, all around. Fall arrived after a day of strong winds. Friday started hot and humid and ended chilly and overcast. Saturday, however, was perfect sweater weather. I bought apples at the market, and considered the last peaches, but passed. I bought some last week, and they took a while to soften, but they were fine and delicious. There’s always a day when I buy the last peaches of the summer and they’re terrible. Better to end on a high note, like any love affair.
So now it’s well and truly fall. The windows are closed, although today was lovely. I hit the gym, like an idiot. Should’ve been out on the bike, but at least I rode there and back. But leg strength needs a certain focused attention, and today was leg day. Google “Bulgarian split squats” and pity me, because I sure pity myself.
On to the bloggage!
So much of this stuff seems old, because most was gathered last week, before Thursday/Friday slipped out of my grasp. But what the hell, here you go:
Provocative headline: Everything you know about obesity is wrong, and totally worth the read.
You may have seen this already, but I found it so, so infuriating. It’s choir-preaching for sure, but to those of you who might wonder why women don’t report sexual assault, a sobering report about one young woman who did. Conclusion: Texas sucks, but so does everyplace else.
One of those cool NYT data presentations, about the links between counties via number of Facebook friendships. You’ll be mousing over this one all day.
Finally, because we need some good writing, Hank looks at
twofour terrible TV shows, one of them a rebooted “Magnum P.I.”
So, “Magnum P.I.,” what am I to make of you? What is there to say about a show nobody asked for that oozed up anyhow from pop-culture’s toxic nostalgia barrel and now premieres Monday on CBS? Revived from your 30-year rest in the rerun crypt, you have achieved a new existence, Magnum — dipped in heavy gloss and buffed to a shine. Tires squeal, things explode, Dobermans bark. Still we feel nothing.
… You are not good at the thing you’re trying to be, New Magnum, and instead of resurrecting a feeling, you’ve run right over it with that bright red Ferrari. Instead of declaring a creative or timely purpose (like your network friend and fellow exhumee, “Murphy Brown”), you are merely a piece of content placed between commercials. Your existence is cold and cynical, Magnum, predicated on the previous success of reboots such as “Hawaii Five-O” and “MacGyver.”
On to Monday, folks. Hope the week goes well.