I, I am falling/If I let go I'm the only one to blame

So apparently I have "Whist Player" written all over me. I wasn't entirely sure if that was a good thing, but then I actually learned how to play and enjoyed myself thoroughly. I also surprised myself thoroughly by kicking ass. Turns out I'm a reckless whist player, which is a bit surprising because at euchre and poker I'm rather conservative. I'm also not used to playing with a partner, seeing as how the only game I've ever played that required a partner was euchre and I haven't played that in...oh, gosh. Must be since freshman year of college, so that'd be six years now. I was reassured that I did just fine, however ("just fine" being a final score of 13 to 2, and since 13 is the point score you're aiming for...yeah. In five hands.); but I do feel that once I get the hang of it I'll get better at it. It did help that the other 3, Andrew, Jon (John?) and La Nette, are all rather competitive and I am too, which made it that much more fun. Jesse doesn't believe that I can even play the damn game, so I'm looking forward to schooling him a bit. Granted, with my luck I'll end up as his partner and be so freaking nervous about showing off my newly acquired whist-playing skillz (note the ghetto spelling there) that I'll end up biffing the whole mess royally.
I'm going down to Iowa tomorrow. Not that that in itself is a huge deal, but...Andrew's taking me to meet his best friend from high school, and said best friend's wife. I'm....really, really nervous. I mean, yeah, sure, I met R. for about 20 or 30 minutes the other night and it went fine, I think I hope I pray, but still...a whole weekend with people I don't know. Granted, Andrew will be there and considering that he got me through over four hours of being surrounded by lots of strangers (I think the final count was somewhere over 400) who all stared at me a bit, or if they didn't it felt like it, and I didn't panic even once. I gave myself a headache because of the stress and tension I put myself through, stupid me, but still, I'm rather proud of myself. I'm still working on the whole strangers thing, but I'm getting there. Granted, if Andrew hadn't been there I would have taken one look and bolted out the door, cancer benefit or no cancer benefit. (Yeah, I volunteered to help with a benefit breakfast for a woman with stage 3 colon cancer.)
On the book side, I've got a bit to fill you in on. I recently purchased a book called Rose Labyrinth by somebody whose name I cannot currently remember and I'm too lazy to get up and look at the book sitting in a bag 3 feet behind me. It's rather intriguing-looking, because it comes in a box that is held shut by a rubber-bandy type thing, rather along the lines of the Moleskine line of journals and notebooks. Plus it comes with hard copies of the "mysterious letters" the main character finds at one point in the book, which is even niftier. And yes, it's a Quest novel, but cut me some slack--I like Quest novels. The Eight was absolutely brilliant, for example. *makes face*
Moving on to more books. I received for my birthday this wonderful little book (yes, it's little, I read it in about 30 minutes) called 1001 Things You Didn't Know You Wanted to Know. The only qualm I have with it is that I knew about half the stuff in there already. But the introduction has this marvelous little line, that goes something like this: "We were required to make a distinction between four things: stuff you wanted to know and knew you wanted to know, things that you didn't know but knew you didn't know and didn't want to know, things you didn't know but didn't know you didn't know and wouldn't want to know if you did, and, most elusive of all, things you didn't know you even wanted to know but would soon discover that you wanted to." I found that section alone worth the purchase price of the book. And since I paid nothing for it, technically, I win either way.
I also finished the fourth book in the Sevenwaters Trilogy, which will now have to be relabeled a tetralogy or just a series; it was dark, along the lines of the third book, but it was quite good and it got back more into the whole mythological world of ancient Ireland. And I just started a book called The Book of Air and Shadows, which seems to be another Quest novel, but the title alone intrigued me and it came up as a suggested read after I read a couple of reviews on Amazon (or maybe B&N.com) for Interred With Their Bones, which I bought solely for the title and absolutely loved.
Also, the fourth and final book in one of my favourite series ever is being published in I think it's January, I can't remember the exact date except that it's within the next few months and I'm terribly excited about it. It's called The Last Watch and I'm so terribly excited. Now if only George R R Martin would get his act together and finish Dancing With Dragons I'd almost be happy. Oh, and Kim Harrison has a new one coming out in February.
Good heavens I'm such a book nerd. But cut me some slack, people; I haven't gone off about books for awhile now and...yeah. Just think of it as an excess of spleen that had to be vented before it ruptured something internally.
Wish me luck for this weekend. Light candles or pray or whatever that I don't freak out and ask to be taken home early, because I know this means a lot to Andrew and I really don't want to screw it up. Not any of it.

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