Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Devil Has Come to Tsavo!

I may not be long on this world, folks... There is a killer loose in my neighborhood and I know they've been getting into my house. How do I know this? Body parts. Lot's of 'em. Headless torsos, feet, etc--I find something new every week. It's pretty gross. And it's hell on the carpet. Of course the body parts belong to birds and lizards and such, but that doesn't matter. There is a predator out there, and sometimes she sleeps in my bed.

I fear I may be next on the list. She's tried to kill me four times now...

Here is the Number One Suspect:
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She's pretty smart--she crawls up and acts all happy to see me, rubs her wet nose on me like a puppy, starts purring, and as soon as I fall asleep, she bares those fangs of hers and tries to take a bite out of my face. The first time was on the round part of my cheek. The second time was my chin. Last week she went for the tip of my nose. Last night, as I lay sleeping, she bit me right in the frickin' eyebrow!

Not only can Kitty stalk, hunt, and kill, but flying is now on her resume...

That's it--Kitty sleeps outside with the dog from now on. Either that or I hire Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer to stand vigil with a pellet gun in my front yard every night.


Chillin' in Vegas...

Well, the good news is that the toilet is now gone from the front yard (I believe it's under a pile of junk at the curb waiting for the garbage man. I'm sure he's gonna love it). The bad news is that the batteries on my digital camera died again, so I was unable to get a picture of me posing like Rodin's Thinker...

As far as the rest of the household is concerned, the new AC unit is in and working like a champ--The laundry room looks like the set for The Day After Tomorrow, with all of the frost on everything and a glacier creeping down the wall from the vent. To say that it works well would be an understatement. We also got the pool finished, filled, and the backyard cleaned up, too, so I think I'm gonna buy some tiki torches this afternoon to celebrate. Yep, BBQ time!

Anyhow, it's been a busy week. I started poker-dealing school this past Monday, and hopefully it'll lead to an even more lucrative job. But I've got a lot to learn before I can start thinking about that. Hell, I have to learn the other games--I've been playing Texas Hold-Em almost exclusively for about the past three years, so I'm working on Omaha Hi-Lo and even Seven Card Stud again. Although Omaha Hi-Lo is about the hardest game on the planet to deal, it's seriously one of the most fun to play. If you haven't tried it, I highly suggest hitting the ATM and giving it a shot. But be prepared to lose big the first few times you play.

The one thing I'm starting to hear is that dealing poker, while a good job, doesn't pay as much as I'd been led to believe. Word is that I'll top out at 60K per year--not bad since I'm single with no kids, but I was hoping for bigger dollars. Apparently, being a pit dealer at a high-end resort/casino like Bellagio, Venetian, Palms, Hard Rock, etc pays much better. Makes me glad to know that I can deal all those other games. I'll find my niche, I'm sure. I just have to get some experience under my belt and build my list of contacts. I remember when I first got here thinking--Man, I can't wait to see where I'm at three or four months down the road... Now I'm wondering what the next year will bring.

I can tell you this much, even though it's a lot harder work, I enjoy it a whole helluva lot more than watching little red and green numbers flash on a computer screen, explaining what a Stop Order is a dozen times a day, and pretending I'm interested every time somebody wants to tell me about their hottest new stock tip...


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

White Trash, Vegas Style

My roommate has a five-year-old daughter. She doesn't live with us here in the house, she lives over at her mother's place. But she has a room here, and visits quite often. She's a smart kid, and actually well behaved, so even though I'm not "down with kids" I don't mind her being around at all. However, kids will be kids and they have to be reminded not to do things occasionally, like for instance play in my bathroom.

So yesterday afternoon when she was here and I went to the bathroom to get ready for work and the floor was soaking wet with tiny footprints all over the rugs, I figured I knew who the culprit was. So I asked my roommate Jonathan to remind the young-un to stay out of there.

Well, I came home at 4 in the morning and there was a note on the door saying a water pipe under the house had ruptured and that's why the floor was wet (it's an older house, and we've done several repairs in the brief time I've been here). No problemo--the plumber was coming first thing in the morning.

I woke up around noon, as I normally do after working all night, and had to use the facilities. Pretty badly, too. Well, I went to the bathroom and there was no toilet. Just a hole in the floor--Third World Style. I pondered for a minute as to what I should do...there was a sink, a tub, or my roommate's bathroom. I took the high road and tried to use the roommie's facilities. No dice. His door was locked and he wasn't home. Just then the plumber wandered in carrying my new throne, saying that the toilet was causing the leak and had to be replaced. No problem, but that didn't solve my immediate crisis. He set about installing it, so I just went out in the back yard and peed by the shed. Of course the dog joined me, and we had a bonding moment.

I went back in the house and just holed up in my bedroom all afternoon--I surfed the web, did a bit of laundry, watch some tv, just killing a bit of time before going back to work again.

By the time I need to take a shower, the bathroom was back in full working order with a dry floor. Nice. So I took my shower, shaved, and got dressed.

I left the house at 7:15, like I normally do, and as soon as I walked outside I was a bit shocked at what was sitting there in the front yard, next to the porch. Yep, the old dirty toilet. Just left there on the lawn, like a planter with no flowers. I stood there for a minute in disbelief, wondering why they didn't put it in the backyard, or the garage, or at least on the side of the house. Nope, they just carried it outside and dropped it, apparently. Very nice. Of course while I'm standing there, my brand new neighbors drove up and pulled in. I'm sure they were pleased.

It doesn't help that my dirty old ghetto sled car with Tennessee plates sits in the driveway, doing it's part to beautify the neighborhood, or the fact that my roommate has left plastic lawn furniture and a large multi-colored plastic play fort out in the front yard for the past couple of weeks, either. So yeah, we're the ones bringing down the property values on our street...

If the landlord doesn't take the thing away tomorrow, I swear I'm going to the nursery and getting a small palm tree to plant in the bowl, and I'm gonna set it up right by the sidewalk. And if it weren't so much work, I'd take the tires off my car and leave it up on blocks every night, too...


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Still Alive--Just Busy

Ok, Ok, Ok...I know I said I'd be updating regularly now that I'm back online and in a better living situation, but damn, I'm am one *busy* MoFo.

I finally quit the job at the Golden Gate last week--I thought I would be sad to go, but I'm so glad I'm out of there. Working sixteen-hour days was killing me, and the money there at the Gate was horrible. Why bust my ass for no money? Not gonna happen. It was a good experience, but I'm glad it's over.

I thought I'd get some time to relax now that I'm only working one job, but since last Tuesday, I've had numerous folks from out of town coming to visit and wanting to hook up for drinks, dinner, or general Vegas buffoonery just about every day. It's been fun, but it's been taking it's toll. And even tomorrow and Thursday I'm meeting folks for lunch, so my days off are not truly my own anymore...

I'm not complaining--it's a lot of fun getting together with 'my people' and telling stories and having laughs. I think I'm just feeling sorry for myself because now I actually have to work hard for a living, whereas before I was just stealing money for a few years as a broker...Yep, sitting at a desk goofing off with my buddies, surfing the internet, and placing the occasional trade. Decent work if you can get it, but it had it's share of headaches, too. All I know is that I'm working about ten times harder now as a casino dealer than I ever did as an equities trader.

Wanting to make myself more valuable, I'm also going back to school very soon. Dealing blackjack is fun, but can be tedious, and dice is always interesting, but dealing to the same old non-tipping assholes day after day gets really tiring. So I'm going back to school to deal poker.

Poker dealers keep their own tips, and pushing 25-30 pots per hour works out to over $150 per day in tokes--and that's the low end! And working at a Strip resort keeps the faces fresher than standing post at third base on a five-dollar craps table at a locals casino--Yes, the ultimate goal is to be dealing poker full-time at a top-tier Strip resort. But I think I'd like to start out my poker dealing career at the Luxor. It's a fun room, and not a rock garden full of grumpy old retirees.

We'll see how it goes.