I went to the track this weekend (not to run, no). To bet on horses. I love gambling, but not the kind you do online. I need to be there, in person. I’m not one to bet on sporting events, unless I’m at the actual game (and even then, eh.) I understand the idea that if you’ve got a little something riding on a game, it makes it all the more reason to get into it while watching it on TV, but I’d just as soon go cook or watch some chick flick in another room than partake in the festivities. I know it’s kinda Sports Grinch of me, but I can’t help it. The only reason I look forward to some "big game" is for an excuse to eat unhealthy food. Wings. Fries. I guess some people do chili (not me, but some people). Even now, when I go somewhere, as I did this weekend (at Azul in East Austin), and I get a great unexpected sandwich, I add between bites, "This would make a great appetizer when we have people over." I am forever inventing menus for parties I’ll never throw. A pork sandwich with cheve and crisp apples, bibb lettuce and a mustard vinegarette. "You know, pressed and served as triangles when you’re watching some sport thing."
"Nah, too messy," Phil concludes.
"You’re wrong, actually," I say. And he rolls his eyes, and I roll mine back, and that is how we do things. "Everyone loves mini-sandwiches. Everyone. Especially with cheese." There’s really no arguing with me. I wonder what food they’ll have at the track.
My whole theory on gambling is you have to expect to lose. That is, when gambling, I view it as a form of entertainment. So, I’ll cap myself at $300 if I’m at a casino, seeing it as my entrance fee for the evening. Once it’s gone, I’m done, but it’s the price of admission. Roulette is my thing. I get feelings about numbers. I won’t bet, however, unless I’m "feelin’ it." If I gamble with a few people, they’re usually down half their money before I even begin. I like to take my time, people watch, and get a feel for things before I commit to a table. I want to learn to play craps.
This weekend, it was all about the horse racing, and I’d refuse to place a bet until I saw each horse and accompanying jockey. Of course I’d study the odds on paper, but mostly, I went with gut instinct. I chose one horse to win because the jockey was the spitting image of Steve Buscemi as Crazy Eyes. We bet on four races, and I won three of them. Phil on the other hand…
Let’s just say, he was confident in his bet. Surveyed the horses, took his time. Then placed his bet on horse number 4. "That jockey looks good to go," he said as he gripped his curled stats papers. Yes sir! He and Scott watched from the stands. I got a spot up close to the action, leaning against a fence. I won money on that race. Two of the horses I’d predicted to claim first and second place (or Win and Place) came in. But I didn’t know it yet. At the time, I couldn’t stop looking up to Phil up in the stands. It seems his jockey was indeed good to go. On the floor. The jockey had fallen off his mare, so number 4 was the only horse to race the track without a jockey. "Figures," he mouthed to me. And I punched my fists up in the air. "Don’t worry baby. I won enough for us both." Enough being all of seventeen dollars on a two dollar bet.
I love doing weird things like that, new things. I learned this weekend there’s a rollerskating rink quite close to our house. I’m going to have to brave it on Eighties Night. And… drum roll please… I plan on doing a drunken BINGO night soon and hope those of you in Austin will join us. Come alone, bring friends. Whatever. We’ll be going to an actual BINGO hall! I don’t know about you, but it’s time to do my part in keeping Austin weird.
Speaking of… I’ve combined our latest photos… of the horses (Phil took those) and of the babies (I took those). Thanks to Jaimee for the darling monogrammed club chairs from Pottery Barn. Just too cute!