The Hack/Professional, Pill/Game Paradigm

Inner Town Pub. This palce is literally a stone’s throw away from Justin’s apartment. Three or four doors down the street.

Things ended between Justin and Emma. So we all talked a long while about women, about relationships. Alex and I talked with Justin when he needed to get things off his chest, and we helped distract him off-topic when he no longer wanted to talk.

One of the off-topic remarks was Alex’s theory on happiness. Or, what I’m going to call the Hack/Professional, Game/Pill Paradigm. Most of us in our jobs are, typically, on the professional end – the opposite of that being hackish. Professional signifies quality, delivery, deadlines; hack signifies haste, inaccuracy, inattention. We debated the finer gradations (professionals can’t know everything, but know when to ask for help, etc etc).

Everyone has their hackish moments. No one is a consumate professional all the time, as every action has its own ranking on the hack/professional scale. The most important rule is to not be a hack. The second most important rule is to never work with hacks.

We then shifted to a social definition, which Alex described as game vs. pill (I never really heard this term used before). Someone who is game is always ready to try something new. Every activity is rife with possibility, and simply waiting to be discovered. Conversely, a pill is someone who projects negativity toward any event. They assume the worst, and talk themselves out of any fun prior to (and often dampen the event for others). Like hacks, it’s best to avoid people who are "pills."

Interestingly – there are people who are professional pills. There are also gamey hacks.

We talked about this a long time. :)

The drinks had a pretty potent effect on both me and Justin. Today, the two of us both worked through lunch and ended up not actually eating a meal. Rey brought in some bagels this morning, and so we were snacking off and on. But no actual break for food. Today wasn’t seriously busy for me – but just a constant workmode sort of day. You know?

Needless to say, two drinks and ka-BLAMMO.

Everyone: meet the Muffin Lady. In addition to her local legend status, she’s quite the pool player. We talked briefly and, the moment she introduced herself as "The Muffin Lady," I knew who she was. Interesting side note: she’s had people tell her that they’ve dressed as her for Halloween. :)

Oddly, I started the night by just playing a round on my own. Alex had racked up the balls when I arrived, but no one played for a good hour plus. I decided I was going to just practice, and started playing against myself.

Let me add this really quickly: I was on a roll! I had some really good shots going, and felt like I was in that consistent zone that I sometimes fall into. The cue ball left my stick straight, and felt like an extension of my hand. When I shoot, it’s hot or cold. And this varies each game. But for now – I was doing pretty well against myself.

The Muffin Lady (I’ve forgotten her real name) walked up, pointed to the table, and asked who I was playing. When I told her I was just shooting against myself, she started racking up the balls in the middle of my shot! Ah well. I didn’t complain out loud, and the idea of a game sounded fun.

Well, it sounded like fun until I saw this.

Here’s a tip for the kids. When someone challenges you to a game of pool, and then they unzip their CUSTOM-MADE BAG FOR THEIR POOL CUE, you might want to get ready for an ass-kicking.

The pool cue was a gift from her daughter. I asked to look at it, and the thing was soft as a cherub’s ass. Silk I tell ya!

Of course, I got trounced. I think I gave her a decent fight, but that’s just me trying to revise the past and save face. I sank a few, and played decently in comparison.

She told me that she organizes a tournament every Monday night. $8, anyone can join. A little later in the evening, she came by and said "Why isn’t your name up on the board? You leaving soon?"

She was a very enthusiastic pool player.

This was in a small room, behind where we were sitting. No real commentary here – just something I wanted to take a picture of.

Surprise visit from the Chicago Fire Department. Seems like they were checking to make sure all the exits were accessible, and whatnot. After the past 9 months, the city’s gotten pretty sensitive about this.

In case you’re ever here, here’s the door.

And the board to the right is where you sign up for games. Pool table is free, winner stays.

Once, when leaving, Alex got nailed by a piece of metal on the gate by the door. Pretty nasty gash, as I recall.

:shakes fist:

Alex, giving the gate a good what for.

Quick cab ride, and we’re over at Hollywood Grill. Without a meal in us, Justin and I were both pretty ravenous at this time.

There’s something indulgent and immensely satisfying having breakfast food near midnight. I don’t know what that is, but that feeling is just tops.

Alex, relaxing after the meal. We tried calling Jim and Sally, but no luck. We were hoping to visit them tomorrow… but we never were able to get a hold of them.

Instead, we kicked around the idea of just driving around. A day spent wandering. The direction "West" was mentioned, and several people nodded in agrement. No agenda. No set destination. Our plan was to just go and see what we would find. This was discussed, and everyone said yes.

We were all game.

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