Today's Spades: A very strange set of hands today, most of which would have made great Bridge bidding material. But we did have a few good hands in spades... I had one hand with five spades to the Q-J and about 6 points. Then there was another hand where I had seven spades to the A-K-Q, no clubs, and three each of the red suits with the queen of diamonds. That was a seven opener, and partner went nil. We could have made ten, but making 7-nil wasn't too bad. Then there was a hand where we went 3 and left them open for a 10, but they blew it by failing to draw the last spade from partner's hand. Partner bid 8 on another hand, and I was sitting with the 3-2 of spades and 8 points. Right went nil, and left had already bid 3... I really wanted to go nil, and I could have made it, but I went to ten, and we made that. 200 points is better than 20 any day. That hand, obviously, was all partner... we could have made an overtrick by taking two spade finesses against left's king, because we knew he had it, but partner didn't lead to my king of diamonds, so we made our bid exactly. Good thing, too, because we ended up with 9 overtricks. Got set on the last hand, but we busted their nil at the same time, so I felt justified. Final score was 639 to 145 or so.
EDIT: I just remembered why partner didn't lead to my king of diamonds... because he didn't have any diamonds. Left kept leading them, and he kept ruffing them. Had right trumped an early trick and sacrificed his nil, then partner probably would have let a diamond run to my king so we could run another spade finesse. Hopefully. It was my only entry, and he had no other way to use it. In the end, I still had that king when partner was trump-tight.
I finally got the comments from my code walkthrough, and made all the changes. Now I just have to extensively test them and make sure everything still works. Most of the changes I made were nonfunctional, and none of them should have changed anything, which is exactly why I have to be wary and test it carefully. "Should" is a dangerous word.
I picked up Alien 9 the anime today, and special ordered Sugar volume 1. I think Partner's daughter will enjoy the series, especially after Card Captor Sakura... but then again, I don't want to inundate her with cuteness. That, and I've only watched 8 of the 16 episodes I have. I also bought my youngest brother's Christmas gift while I was out... I'd misguessed the purpose he wanted this item for, but Mom's convinced it will still work for him. I hope so.
Writing-wise, I got through a rather tricky part, and actually wrote another paragraph just so I'd have something worth posting here.
"There is more to victory than strength," Serenity reminded her. "Cell relies entirely on his power to fight, and that is his weakness. You must defeat him with your intelligence, your courage, and your love. Those are your greatest weapons."
"My love?" repeated Sailor Moon. But the jewel's glow had faded, and her mother's voice was silent. Sailor Moon raised her eyes to her opponent, who was preparing to finish her off with a final Twin Crescent Beam. She had no love for that monster. But what other love could Serenity have meant? No matter. There was always intelligence and courage to fall back on, and what she lacked in the former, she more than made up for in the latter. Summoning all the courage she had, she raised the Moon Crescent Wand to block the incoming attack, positioning it carefully so that the beams would pass to either side of the Imperium Silver Crystal.
Cell smiled in anticipation as the beams hit the invisible shield and curved as they passed through. However, instead of turning outward as they had before, the beams turned inward and struck the crystal, which shone brilliantly as it absorbed them. Fueled by the energy of her opponent's own attack, Sailor Moon pushed herself to her feet, favoring her left leg, and aimed the wand at Cell with her only functioning arm. "MOON CRESCENT BEAM ANNIHILATION!" she shouted, returning the energy in a beam that tore a gaping hole in Cell's chest.
Exciting, no? No, I suppose not. But the quickly dismissed punchline in the middle paragraph is what makes it all work for me. When the whole chapter comes together, I'm sure people will miss little touches like that. But those of you who are reading the excerpts are hopefully getting to enjoy the pieces as I do... a little bit at a time, as the story slowly comes together into a coherent whole. Those little bits, though... those are what writing is all about for me.
Did anyone else notice that the translation of the Sailor Moon Live Action theme song changes with each episode? Starlight Players becomes Starlight Prayers, Moonlight Miracles becomes Moonlight Real Girls, and I'm still waiting for someone to finally make the C'est La Vie/Sailor V connection. That's katakana mixed with singing for you. And you thought hip-hop was incomprehensible. Well, it is... but at least they're pretending to sing in their own language. Then again, "sheezy" and "dizzle" and all those other words that were added to the dictionary just to accomodate hip-hop artists make me wonder...