August 13, 2009

So… you’re saying there’s a pointy stick, and I put it WHERE?

Posted in 8-ball - pool not narcotics, Nerdiness, The Process at 8:36 am by Dagny Taggart

Um.  It’s been a little while since I last played pool.  Probably a little too long, really.  And I do feel guilty about that, I really do.

I imagine that it will be another few months, at least, before I get to the point where I’m really ready to put the time in.  And here’s the basis for that theory.

The Oboe:

Yep, I was that freak in the center of the second row of the orchestra, behind either a flautist or clarinet player, trying to balance a shot glass of water on my music stand or keep it from getting kicked by placing it under my chair, carefully inspecting my double reed for knicks and sticking EZ-Wider cigarette paper* under the keypads from time to time.  It took me roughly four years to stop sounding like a duck.

Let me elaborate.  It took me roughly four years to stop sounding like a duck that was being horribly wronged by some kind of avian proctologist.  I hated practicing, because it sounded AWFUL.  And barely practicing probably wasn’t doing me any favors.

One day, it just clicked.  The rubber glove was removed, the mallard smoothed its feathers, and I came in third statewide, which qualified me to sit first chair in the Youth Symphonic Band (first and second were in the Orchestra).

So, it’s been about two years since I first picked up a pool cue and lost my first match.  I’ve made some significant improvements since then, but I still loathe practicing.  I hate watching myself miss over and over again, not being able to perceive any improvement. 

Thankfully, much like orchestra, I’ve got some good people who keep it fun, during league nights.  And I have some hope that so long as I don’t give up completely, so long as I actually TRY when I do play, that it will “click”, and I’ll get to the point where practice is fun because I know I’m making progress.  And then I’ll actually make some progress.

Until then, I’ll probably continue to play in a stance that looks like I’ve completely misunderstood where it is I’m supposed to put the cue.

*Note:  The crowd I started hanging out with my junior year found it HILARIOUS that the most straightlaced person in the entire school had several packages of these on her person at all times, and was never once questioned about why.


  1. Brian said,

    I think that practice is the reason most people quit things like music and sports. If you have people that you enjoy playing with, then just play. “Practice” is overrated.

    If you need a billiards-related ego boost, give me a call. I will make you look like Allison Fisher. Promise.

  2. Lisa said,

    You, my oboe-playing friend, are adorable. Always.

  3. Oddly, I am reading this whilst killing time at my pool hall. I just got bumped from a ring game and turned to my blog reader on my phone to distract me from my losing ways as I haven’t practiced in far too long and my game is, as expected, for shit.

    I really think some time at the practice tables (as much as it can bore me to tears) ought to be in my very near future, lest my game devolve even further.

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