The Luck of My Favorite Daughter.
When I was much younger, I used to play cards. A LOT! With my mom and my grandma. Both loved spending time with me teaching me all the card games. At the same time, they hated playing cards with me. I had an uncanny luck. I’d get the perfect card for my hand in Rummy and BAM!
Grandma: Are you uncomfortable?
Me: No? Why?
Grandma: I thought you might be uncomfortable with that horseshoe up your ass.
It wasn’t just games of chance. I was also rather good at chess. My dad taught me to play chess when my brother and I moved out to live with him. He showed me how all the pieces moved and some basic strategy. After I won my first game, I honestly thought he let me win. He assured me that I’d won fair and square.
Then we started keeping track of the games we played. And we played a lot of chess. Nearly every night. I won 99 games in a row against him with an unorthodox style of play. One game I’d be overly aggressive, the next, I’d hold back, play defense, and set traps. Now, I don’t know why I played the way I did and I doubt I’d ever hold my own against a professional player, but I had a blast playing against my dad.
When my dad won that 100th game, he declared it was over. He was never going to play chess with me ever again so he could end with a win under his belt. We had a good laugh about it, but over the years, I found out he was serious. I had some weird crazy luck combined with great teaching to learn the fundamentals.
But this isn’t a story about my luck. This is a story about My Favorite Daughter and her current luck. We joke from time-to-time that we need her in the car when going somewhere in a hurry because with her in the car, we seem to hit far more green lights, less traffic, better routes. It’s a running joke, but it happens so often that it’s funny.
Case in point, this evening, she needed my help going and picking up a weight bench with weights. We took the truck and got the bench, no trouble at all. After picking up the bench, she said she wanted to stop at a nearby thrift store to look for a jean jacket for a project she’s working on.
This was in Hillcrest. A rather busy part of town and parking it miserable! I mean a complete challenge to park within a block of your destination. That’s on a good day. This was in the afternoon with heavy traffic heading up and down the street where the thrift store waited. As we turned the corner, she said.
“I hope we can find…”
That’s all she got out of her mouth as we’re looking at the endless row of cars parked along the street and what happens? A car starts to back out. not near the store. Not somewhere on the same block. No. The spot directly positioned so once we were in it, there was the front door. Right there! We couldn’t have gotten closer without driving up onto the sidewalk.
It doesn’t end there. Oh, no. She didn’t find the jacket, but I found a couple of purchases and away we went on down the road. She’d already put in directions home to get out of the area and we’re coming up to a red light.
“Is that another thrift store? Oh, I think they’re open. Can we stop?”
“Well, I don’t see…”
We’re coming up to the red light and the car parked directly in front of the store has its blinker on waiting to pull out.
Seriously. Again! The perfect spot at the perfect time. Both times there was still time on the meters so we didn’t even need to worry about that. This is her luck. I’m not kidding.
The second store she finds the perfect jacket, I find a couple of hard back books for $2 each (Armada by Ernest Cline and My World by Pavarotti). We leave happy with our purchases and start to head home again.
We discuss her luck in finding the bench at such a great price and her superior luck finding parking. Luck that should not be believed even though this happens so many times.
During the bench discussion, I mention that I was looking for a basic bench so I could start going some weights during my workouts with my dumbbells. I didn’t want to spend a lot and didn’t need barbells like what she’d gotten.
Out comes her phone. “I’m going to give myself a challenge to find a bench before we get home.”
In 30 seconds, we hadn’t even gone a quarter mile, she found out. It wasn’t quite what I was looking for. She scrolls down. There! That’s what I was looking for. $25? Great price.
She sends a message. The person responds. She asks if we can go right then. They say ‘sure’. She asks if they have change. They say no, but if we were interested, they also had an over-the-door pull-up bar. I’ve also been looking for one of those but had held off on both of these purchases due to price and not really having a place to set them up just yet. Soon, I’ll have room. They wanted $15 for the pull-up bar as well. $40 for both? Done deal, we were on our way.
Oh, and it was on our way home! We needed a couple of miles out of our way to pick them up. They were moving so gave us a couple of other workout gear they had. Everyone left happy.
Got home, unloaded, and regaled our tale to the Mrs of another typical day of My Favorite Daughter’s Luck. Go Figure.
I’m off to make words happen.
Until Next Time!
I will no longer contribute to the noise!
About a year and a half ago I started playing a game called Mafia Wars. It was a simple concept of a game that grew and became more complex. You could either play it alone or it you wanted to you could play with your friends. Playing with your friends ‘enhanced’ game play and allowed you to do certain things faster. But it wasn’t a requirement that you play with friends.
Shortly after I discovered Mafia Wars, I discovered Farmville. At the time it was a new game to facebook. I played with vigor. I loved the game. It was far different than Mafia Wars with its interface, but it was similar in concept in that you could play the game alone, but you got a better experience playing with friends.
Slowly over time both games morphed into something I grew to dislike, but that didn’t stop me from playing. Both games nearly required you to post absolutely everything you did to your facebook profile in order to accomplish anything. No longer was it a game you could play in your own time. It seemed that for ever other mouse click you were reward with a pop-up to “share with your friends”. Most of my friends who played the game would have a flood of posts that were nothing more than “Help Me!” or “Please Send Me…” and to be honest, I’ve finally reached the point that I’m annoyed with the games.
It is good that I’ve become annoyed with these games though. I’ve always wanted to be a published author. In order to be published, a writer must write. Unfortunately these games were taking up two, three, sometimes even four hours of my day and I would lament that I had no time to write. It took an almost literal slap in the face to realize the weight of that comment. I did have the time, I was just filling if with games instead of writing, or self-promotion.
So I will be visiting my facebook page in the near future and removing all posts that relate to any of the games I am no longer going to play. They were fun for the duration that I played them, but Zynga (creator of both games) does not need my help or support. This billion dollar behemoth will not miss me I’m sure. I am confident that my facebook friends that have played the games with me will miss me, but alas, choices must be made. I apologize to all my facebook friends who have counted on me over the past year and a half.
So to Zynga and all its games I say, “I will no longer contribute to the noise!” It’s freeing to say this and a blessing to realize that I will once again be spending more time producing and less time consuming.
If you are a writer, a reader, a podcaster, I encourage you to do the same. Look at your busy schedule, see what you’ve been putting off in lieu of facebook games (or any game for that matter) and decide how your time can be better spent. I won’t lie, it wasn’t an easy choice for me. I still find myself saying “I’ll just play for a little bit.” I know that’s not true. If I log on to one of those games, I’ll be there for a long time and not doing something I would rather be doing.
Look for a lot more from me in the coming months. If not for games, I could have been a lot farther along than I am.