28 September 2005

Opportunity knocks

As you may have noticed, I've been out of circulation recently. And work has been, well, hell.

There's a common misconception that library work is all quiet, sublime cataloguing and guiding readers to the right shelves. Not so. Somewhere about halfway up the library hierarchy, the gentle rewards of helping the public get left behind for the frustrations of politics, power plays, and policy disputes. Lately, I've been working more hours than a poor non-profit employee should, fretting about work when I'm not there, and kicking inanimate objects.

But I did manage to fit in a trip to the Mountaineer on Sunday. And there I am, looking over the 3rd race, when I find myself coming back again and again to a horse named New Opportunity. I'm wanting to play him in a perfecta with Dare He Goes. I'm wanting to play him to win. I'm wanting to play him, even though I'm pretty sure he has no chance. I'm sitting there wondering what I'm finding so appealing about this horse. And, of course, it was the horse's darn name. Apparently, some sad part of my subconscious is saying, "Play it."

All of this to say that since Sunday, I've been polishing off the resume, tossing off some cover letters, and submitting them hither and yon with a sort of wild abandon and desperation.

Of course, my madcap job search might also be attributed to reading Betting on Myself by Steve Crist, the one-time literature major turned Daily Racing Form publisher. Like Andrew Beyer and Steven Davidowitz (and probably countless others), Crist first visited the track while in college ... and it changed his life. In Crist's case, that first track involved greyhounds, not Thoroughbreds, but by the end of Chapter 1, he's betting on Alydar at Belmont. I'm only on page 57, so most of his journey through the racing world still lies ahead, but one thing is clear even at this early point of the book: the guy knows how to combine his passion with a paycheck.

So I've missed a lot of racing news and e-mails this week, but I've been busy ... betting on myself.


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