Merry New Year!

We’re a couple of days into 2010 already, but hey, I didn’t resolve to stop procrastinating.

We had a lovely time at a New Year’s Eve party at our neighbors’ house. They graciously invited the four of us to join them and some of their longtime friends in an evening of revelry. By my count 11 kids were there in addition to parents, 10 stayed up until midnight, and, unexpectedly, things did *not* get out of hand.

I had the opportunity to join in at a game of Scrabble going on in one room. My word-nerd self normally would salivate at this prospect, but as I had observed an empty table in another room and folks standing about with beers in hand and no particular occupation, another idea popped into mind.

Poker. Texas Hold ’em.

I’ve had a run of good luck at Hold ’em over the last week, culminating in over $110,000 in winnings.

This is on my phone, mind. It’s all completely fake. But I was feeling confident, and more than that, curious. Would the techniques I used to dominate computer-generated poker players work on real ones?

There’s a vital difference between players on a computer and players around a table: those around the table can see me. As it turns out, that is a big difference where I’m concerned. To put it plainly, Keanu Reeves will probably win a Best Actor Oscar before I can bluff worth a damn. I may as well lay my cards on the table.

However, I only lost $2, and I had a great time doing it. All told, it was probably a net financial gain for me, as my neighbor fed us dinner. I’m taking that as an omen of good luck for 2010.

Resolutions for the new year:

1) Be more grateful. Let someone else know at least weekly that I am grateful for what they do. Preferably in writing. Preferably someone different every week.

2) Write at least 15 minutes a day. Besides in e-mail. Or on Internet bulletin boards. Preferably fiction.

That’s it. And now, for some classic Eddie Murphy:

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