Saturday, May 3, 2008

Our Pool Game

Originally posted Sep 18, 2005

We all, all of us (Mama, Papa, Diane, Omar, Dennis, the kids, and myself), headed off to the "8 Waves" resort that has at least 5 kinds of swimming pools (as far as I have seen). This "morning" at 2:30 am I woke up and did not go back to sleep. So I headed out with my bokken to terrify the night shift and practice some kenjutsu. I did both with flying colours (the lady at the front desk appeared thoroughly confused: "Should I run away screaming at the top of my lungs, or should I answer this terrorist's question of 'what time is it?'" -- must remember to stow the sword first before approaching someone from now on).

Was told twice, once just now, that internet wasn't working. This last time I didn't buy it: "But I was on this morning..." Oh, no problem then, sir, right this way. Harrumph!

Isabel and Diane found me at the keyboard this morning, so the li'l tyke and I shared breakfast at the "Pancake House" while Diane watched over Elena Marie, who is in the habit of sleeping past 9:30 in the morning. That's my girl!

I caused quite a stir at breakfast, as I kept up an uninterrupted flow of Tagalog with Isabel and the wait staff, who tried, and failed, to be surruptitious in their amazement: "He's speaking Tagalog!" They whispered in Tagalog. That earned a look from me. The other early morning guests at breakfast were equally nonplussed. I guess it's hard to imaging Joe White-Guy sprachen da vernacular (that's French).

Breakfast was soon over because of Isabel's impatience: "Ou-hoo!" ["Swimming Pool!"] So I guess it was time for a swim. Diane and I did the switcheroo, and she took li'l Iz out with the rest of the family while I lay in bed, next to Elena Marie, trying half-heartedly to return to sleep, but really I just basked in the joy of watching my little Elena breathe evenly in her sleep. After an hour or so, she turned, sat up, looked at me and pronounced: "Papa, it's morning." That's correct, it was indeed morning, being just past 9:30 am. So we all dressed in our swimming suits and headed toward the ou-hoo, um, I mean, pool. Isabel, Elena Marie, Diane and I all played in the kiddie pool for a while, but then, around noon, Isabel froze and began to wail, signalling it was time for her nap. Which she stumbled, rather than dove, right into.

So, that left me to look after Elena Marie. She stomped off to our shack to obtain the beach ball, and we played beach volleyball until lunch time -- we reached the high-water mark of 4 consecutive hits each before the ball landed in the water. Way to go, kiddo! Another little girl, a bit older than Elena Marie, crouched in the pool near us, watching us play. She zipped off to capture a wayward ball, handing it back to the imperious, shocked, and enraged Elena Marie ("Elena Marou, I love you!" I sang to her this morning. "I'm NOT Elena MarOU!" was the response. Good thing I knew this game. "Then who are you?" I asked expectantly. "I'm Elena MarIE!" Ah, so).

Her shock and anger eventually subsided. She experienced quite a turn-around, in fact. As she eventually handed the ball to the girl to hit to me, and then would direct me to throw the ball for the girl to hit instead of herself. Elena Marie actually took turns being hurt ("It's MY ball!" grabbing it away) and helpful, but the girl was compliant throughout. I never did get her name. But her parents being nowhere in sight, I felt it too forward to query for details.

So, today was some special, special time with Elena Marie: a "good morning" and some fun pool games.

Lunch delivered to our shack from the Pancake House.

That being over, Dennis and I repaired to the pool hall/karaoke bar (ummm, should I start on a rant about there not being one single good singer at the karaoke bar, and that singing louder off key doesn't mean it sounds better?) And we spent the next two hours there in a seven game shoot out.

  • Game one: I won. A double combo (Dennis: "Hustler!") to leave the eight ball, then a banked shot across the green to sink it, winning the game (The attendant: "good shot!"). This was the last game I won.

  • Game two: Dennis won. Easily.

  • Game three: Ditto game two.

  • Game four: Dennis handed me the game on the break when he scratched. "Salamat po!" I crowed. Dennis looked confused until I explained the rule to him. Then he looked sheepish.

  • Game five: I won. Dennis sunk 5 balls, I sunk one. My "strategy" worked perfectly: he scratched on an eight ball try because of all my landmines blocking his shot.

  • Game six: I returned the favour -- but I had a clear advantage going into the endgame, as he had three balls still left on the table -- I lost my patience and the game.

  • Game seven: It was early in the game with the eight ball covering a corner pocket. I was going to sneak a striped ball around it for a sinker. My cue ball missed my ball, hit the eight ball perfectly for a quick wrap-up for Dennis.

Now, we're off to Church and Dennis is buying rounds at the bar from his huge stash of earnings that we didn't bet on the games. Before the games Dennis whispered to me: "I stink!" I responded right away: "So these will be easy wins for you: you've played enough to know that -- I haven't even played that much"

Played in the pool with the little kids, and Dennis played pool with the big kid. So, off we go. More news as life unfolds.

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