Insanely good day

Today I conquered a major source of anxiety, fulfilled a wish of mine and Natasha’s since we purchased the house, and followed up on a dream I’ve had for many years now. It was quite productive.

First, the major source of anxiety: I’m back in college now, and one of the classes I’m taking is a math class. I’ve had a terrible anxiety toward math since my freshman year of high school. It was the first thing I ever failed, and it was at the hands of one of those old, bitter teachers you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy’s kids. Anyway, since that time I’ve had some very limited, small successes with math, but haven’t ever felt confident about it. I think I’ll be coming out of that soon. I took my first major math exam today, and I went in determined not only to do well on the test, but to squash any fears toward the test itself. I knew that to do well in this course, I was going to have to do well on the first test. I aced it — 100%, and I’m hitting the books just as hard for the next one. The fear has been replaced with a knowledge that I have to study hard to do well in math.

When I came home after my exam, Natasha and I decided that we’d take advantage of this extra day off (President’s Day) to try and square away the plans for the flooring on the first floor. We want tile in the fuoyer, and new carpet to replaced some badly (and permanently, irreparably) damaged carpet in the family room. We looked at the tile, and decided to punt on that for now until we feel like we’re closer to being in agreement I guess, and we ordered carpet. The same carpet we could’ve just as easily ordered months ago. Not sure why we didn’t, but anyway the ball is rolling now!

Lastly, a dream of mine has come true: this evening, after looking at flooring, we went to look at pool tables, and we finally ordered one. A 9′ Olhausen table. For those who know something about pool and pool tables, know that I looked at Brunswick, Connelly, some off brands, some used tables, and all that jazz. I’ve worked in pool halls in my youth, and I’ve played pool for money in most states east of the Mississippi, and a couple to the west as well. I’m not going to tell you that the Olhausen is God’s gift to billiards. However, I’m quite sure that I can make a good argument that I got the most bang for my buck, and got the features a good pool player must have, while not spending exorbitant amounts of money on “hype”.

At the end of the day, the Olhausen is a respected brand name, used on the tour, built of all solid wood, with a 1″ slate, a K66 profile, 100% bonded cushion, and the entire table meets or exceeds BCA standards. The playability of the table is as good as any of the old Gandy’s and Brunswicks I’ve played, and is far, far superior to any AMF-class table I’ve ever seen. It is *not* a Connelly. Nothing is a Connelly. However, to my mind and my hands, I couldn’t justify an extra $4000 just for an extra inch of slate (though I tried to convince myself). If you have the money and don’t mind spending it, get the Connelly. I think any reasonable player would be as happy with an Olhausen as any other quality table.

Technicalities aside, I’ve wanted a pool table for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I had friends who had them, and in one or two of them, the table seemed to hold the family together. At the very least, it gave us kids a reason to be indoors somewhere instead of hanging out in front of a quick-check or something, which I’m sure made their parents feel better. In addition, with a pool table in the house, I’ll be able to stay on top of my game without going out until all hours of the night, and I can maybe play some tournaments on the weekends instead of playing for money “as it comes” in the halls. I never liked playing pool for money, but I do like to be competitive, so the small local tournaments will be a blast!