I've now played my last hand of online poker for what I hope is a very long time, and it feels pretty good. I've been wondering what the big draw card, so to speak, of online poker was in the first place. I can't say I got a thrill from it. It was mentally stimulating however, it felt "safe" because the rules never changed and made sense, and I never had to deal with real people. Plus it was a means of escape. But I've finally had enough of staring at a screen. I'm just about to cash out all my money, but how will I spend it? I've got enough for a pretty decent holiday, so I'm thinking I might go somewhere in May or June. Vegas?! Watch this space.
Last Wednesday we had the fortnightly depression group, which was made harder for me when one of my work colleagues turned up. Even in Wellington, which can be almost villagey at times, you'd get fairly long odds on that. Even though her desk is within twenty feet of mine, I don't know her that well. She's a large lady (about my height and considerably broader); she broke her arm at that work event (I'm guessing alcohol was a factor) and hasn't been in the office since. She was talked about yesterday - her ears would have been burning. Anyway, it almost defeats the object of a group when feel you can't talk openly.
On Wednesday we had all the Hobbit hysteria in Wellington (seeing that Hobbitised 777 flying over town at low altitude was impressive I must say), on Thursday I had lunch with Tracy, then on Friday I saw Skyfall, the latest Bond movie, with people from work. I don't find socialising with work people easy, but seeing a movie with them I can just about handle. We saw it in the Gold Lounge where we could lay back on Lazyboy-style chairs. The film was pretty decent I thought, a huge improvement on Quantum of Solace.
On Saturday I played my final hands of online poker, then on Sunday met up with three members of the depression group in Petone to try Laser Strike (i.e. a version of paintball that still allows you to walk afterwards), but that was all booked out so we did bowling instead. We played two games. My very first ball landed in the gutter but I recovered to post a solid 125 in the first game. Then, at the half-way stage of the second game my scorecard looked like this: 9/ X X X 9/. Sheesh. Breaking 200 was a serious possibility. But I basically crashed and burned in the second half to shoot a 159. I've always had reasonable accuracy without any style, technique or speed to speak of. And I haven't played that much, except for a spell in Peterborough when I played weekly; my highest score was 191 and I once broke 500 for three games. I don't think it's a game I could really get into seriously - it's all a bit brash and American.