Health, Wealth, Love – and Time

Happy New Year! There’s a Spanish toast I really like: Health, Wealth, Love – and Time to enjoy them. Lovely.

We held our annual penny-ante poker game last night, which is why I’m late at getting this blog entry out. It was a smaller-than-average group, but a selection of my favorite people present at the table: Don, Elizabeth, Ann, Henry. Susan and Ellen retired to her office to watch collections of scenes from old movies and some anime. My Gabapentin was working full time: I haven’t laughed that much in a long time.  That side effect of that medicine has become my favorite. Elizabeth was new to poker and in teaching her the rudiments I was reminded that while it’s not a complicated game to describe, it’s complicated to play. Lots of little rules, such as you don’t fold until it’s your turn, and more complex ones, such as the higher the rank of your hand, the more cards it takes to form it. A pair is just two cards, while a flush or a straight takes all five. I’ve been playing for so long, it just didn’t occur to me that four diamonds or a run of six, seven, eight and nine are no good at all.

The temperature dropped quickly and far down last night. I’d put the soft drinks and bubbly out on the balcony to keep them cold, but around eleven I got a complaint that someone’s ginger ale had turned to slush, so we hustled them indoors.

We took a break from the cards to play a simplified version of a new game I’d bought: Name 5. It comes with a little hour glass, which measures three minutes. So around the table, and quickly now: Name five states that start with M. After a minute we all join in. Name five heroes in horror movies. Or five orange foods. Or five television dads. It’s funny how a person can come up with three or four quickly, but that fifth one is elusive. But it’s a fun game.

Read an interesting article about weight loss. Exercise makes you healthier, but doesn’t help significantly to lose pounds. Only eating fewer calories does. Apparently your metabolism adjusts to your activity level. It’s like a miser: once it gets hold of a pound of fat, by gum, it’s a prisoner.

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