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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Low Expectations Exceeded

Karen, her parents, her brother and his wife, and I went to the Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse in Rock Island, IL, to see "White Christmas." I admit two things about the idea before I set foot in the place:
  1. I had zero desire to go to any dinner theater
  2. I had never seen the movie "White Christmas".
Despite being told "White Christmas" is a classic Christmas movie / story, I really didn't have the urge to see it. I consider "Home Alone" or the National Lampoon's Christmas movie with Chevy Chase to be "classic" Christmas movies. It is the day after seeing the play and, frankly, I get it. I get why "White Christmas" is considered a classic Christmas movie. It has all the elements of what I classify as "holiday spirit" in that its theme is to put others in front of yourself. I could draw parallels to that theme in "Home Alone" and "Christmas Vacation" as I watched it.

After the play was over, the six of us went to the Jumer's casino. Normally, I will spend ~$40 at the blackjack table. I have a "code" that I don't join a game of blackjack in the middle of a game because the cards I get throw off the flow for the other players. I circled around the casino more than once, watching a few hands at each of the tables and had selected a specific table. The dealer wasn't going super fast and was engaging in conversation with the seated players. I liked that in a dealer because the dealer is not there just to do "a job" but are at least putting on the illusion that they want the people at the table to have a good time.

When I returned to watch what looked to be the last few hands, I saw a sequence that deterred me from waiting any longer to sit down. Instead, I watched the seated players "stay" at 18 and 20, which is what I would have done, only to have the dealer turn up a 3, then a 2, then an Ace, then a 2, and then a 3 to get 21. Holy crap, the dealer was getting good cards. That's the specific hand I remember watching and from that I learned if I sat down, I would likely lose my money.

I stepped away, wasted away $7 in slot machines and, from that, walked out with $.49. That was good for me. I sat in a chair and watched a replay of the Iowa Hawkeyes v. Iowa State Cyclone men's basketball game - ISU won - and surfed Craitslist for a desk or an ad for a drummer or drums. Then it was 11:30 PM, which was our agreed upon time to leave. We loaded back into the vehicle and rode home to Blue Grass. On the way home, I began winding down so that by the time I got out of the vehicle, it was like a wave had overtaken me. I plugged in the two air mattresses, said good night to the others and fell asleep within (probably) 10 minutes of my head landing on the pillow. I slept soundly but am anxious to sleep tonight in the bed in our bedroom.

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