Monday, October 31, 2005

Monday Morning Quarterback

In tribute to the great Peter King of Sports Illustrated fame, I’ve decided to do my own version of his Monday Morning Quarterback column. The only difference, (besides the fact that he’s a professional and I’m just paying tribute/ripping him off), is that I won’t be injecting any liberal political views into the column. You could say that I’m searching for inspiration, as my freshman comp professor once told me—if you need inspiration, just start writing about anything, inspiration will eventually come. So this is me trying to get over a temporary bout of writer’s block.

I love the NFL, and think that Chris Berman of ESPN has the greatest job in the world. Well, ok, maybe that guy who takes all the pictures for the Victoria’s Secret catalog might have a good one, too, but since I know very little about lingerie models and even less about photography, Berman’s job at least sounds attainable. But to get paid to watch football and then talk about it for hours, I can see how the man found happiness in his chosen career. We should all be so lucky. But since I’m not that lucky, I’m just writing this column for the love of the game. On to the rankings--

Fine Fifteen

1) Indianapolis Colts. They’ve got two weeks to prepare, so this might be the year that they finally slay the New England dragon. If not, then Peyton Manning will supplant Jim Kelley and Dan Marino in the pantheon of Great Quarterbacks Who Could Never Win The Big One.

2) Pittsburgh Steelers. I love watching these guys play. And Bill Cowher is probably my favorite coach in the NFL

3) New York Giants. I think they showed who the 800-pound gorilla is in the NFC.

4) Denver Broncos. They beat the stuffing out of a supposedly decent Eagle team. And they played smart, too.

5) Carolina Panthers. Under the radar, but people are starting to notice.

6) New England Patriots. Still the champs, at least until February. Or January if they lose any more players.

7) Atlanta Falcons. I’m afraid that if they were in the AFC, their record would be much worse.

8) Cincinnati Bengals. The Boise State of the NFL. Nice record, but they haven’t beaten too many ranked opponents.

9) Seattle Seahawks. Honestly I haven’t paid much attention to them. But being in the NFC, they should probably be ranked lower.

10) Dallas Cowboys. They could be ranked higher, but beating the Arizona Cardinals is kind of like the NFL equivalent of a homecoming game against Troy State. And nobody has forgotten about that last-minute interception Bledsoe tossed last week against the Seahawks, either.

11) Jacksonville Jaguars. I think they’re better than this. But I’ve been on their bandwagon for years, so maybe it’s just wishful thinking.

12) San Diego Chargers. With better coaching, they’d be a top-five team with a near undefeated record

13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Losing to the Niners? WTF?

14) Kansas City Chiefs. Too many good teams in the AFC. I have to put them somewhere.

15) Chicago Bears. But only their defense.

Awards Section

Offensive Player of the Week—Ricky Williams of the Miami Dolphins. You can just tell by looking at him that the guy smells like a combination of Forman’s basement and a duffle bag full of dirty laundry after a three-month expedition up the tributaries of the Amazon. Oh, you meant ‘offensive’ as in the guys in the ‘skill positions’. Ok, actually the award goes to Jake Plummer of the Denver Broncos for putting up such gaudy numbers in the blowout win over the Eagles—309 yards passing, four touchdowns, no interceptions.

Defensive Player of the Week—San Diego rookie outside linebacker Shawne Merriman with two sacks and a forced fumble against Trent Green.

Coach of the Week—Tim Lewis, Defensive Coordinator for the NY Football Giants. 36-0 over the Redskins. Maybe they were playing on pure emotion, but the G-Men completely foiled any Redskin attempt to move the ball.

Goat of the Week—Pacman Jones of the Tennessee Titans for his lame girly-man tackle attempt on Jerry Porter of the Raiders. Porter saw pay dirt ahead of him, and Pacman was the only Titan in the neighborhood. Instead of an open field lower-body tackle that every coach from Pop Warner on up preaches in every practice, Pacman threw an elbow that any self-respecting NBA rebounder would’ve laughed at, and Porter ran right through it for the touchdown. If this were training camp, Pacman would be getting a blanket party from his teammates tonight.

Homer Simpson Quote of the Week

“It doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a nonsense word they put into songs--like Rama Lama Ding Dong or Give Peace A Chance…”

Factoid That May Only Interest Me

I just found out that Kim Basinger is 51 years old. Holy Shit. GILF! She’s definitely one of my favorites on the Senior Tour, though.

Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week.

Ok, maybe not ‘travel’ per se, but more along the lines of commuting. Why can’t the city engineers program stoplights to turn green when cars are waiting? I swear, it never fails that cars are backed up in three directions at major intersections, yet the direction with no traffic stays green an extra ten to fifteen seconds longer than it needs to be. I’m just one car idling away getting irritated at the situation. If some math major can extrapolate that wasted time onto all of the cars at all of the intersections in a city the size of Las Vegas, I’d imagine the gas savings would be substantial if it could be fixed. Not to mention emissions and all that global warming stuff people seem to concern themselves with. In the meantime, I’m going to do my part for the environment and just run the light if nobody is coming.

Stat Of The Week

Cato June of the Indianapolis Colts leads the league with five interceptions. You can make some money at the bar with knowledge like this, because nobody else has ever heard of him. And courtesy of SportsCenter, the NY Jets quarterbacks have had over 200 pass attempts so far this season, with just three touchdowns. LaDanian Thomlinson of the Chargers has had three pass attempts so far this season. All three were for touchdowns.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1) Only two years left of the DirectTV monopoly on showing all of the NFL games. That’s a real bitch to those of us non-homeowners out here in flyover country that aren’t allowed to mount a satellite dish. Hopefully Cox Cable will get a piece of that pie next time around. When I first got to Vegas, I thought it would be cool to have all these sports books available so that I could watch every game. But after working till four or five a.m. every Sunday morning, I just don’t feel like getting up and driving down to the Strip and fighting for a seat. There is something to be said for lying around in your boxers watching football in bed and eating leftover pizza.

2) I think Howie Long picked the wrong weekend to do the video segment about ‘Washington’s Surprising Offense’.

3) I think that when San Diego wins games, it’s in spite of Marty Schottenheimer, not because of him.

3a) And I think LaDanian Thomlinson is the best player in the NFL today.

3b) And/ as much as I hate to admit it, I think Eli Manning is making great progress to becoming the best quarterback in the league. Of course he’s got to surpass his big brother to get to that mountaintop.

4) I think that maybe Jake Plummer has finally Figured It Out. I remember earlier in the season one of the analysts on ESPN giving him high praise as a great quarterback to have when you’ve got a big lead. I don’t know if that’s really praiseworthy, because I think a great come-from-behind quarterback would be much more valuable. I also remember that one of the best-ever talent evaluators, Bill Walsh, said that Plummer reminded him of a young Joe Montana. That window of opportunity for greatness has likely passed, but it’s nice to see a Sun Devil doing well.

5) I think I’m glad that the Texans are finally off the schnide. Troy Aikman went 1-15 back in 1989 and three years later won the Super Bowl. I’m not so sure David Carr can repeat that feat with Dom Capers on the sidelines.

5a) Speaking of coaches on the NFL Death Watch, I hope Jeff Fisher doesn’t lose his job in Tennessee. With Dave Wannstedt gone back to college, that would leave a dearth of good porn ‘staches in the NFL.

6) I don’t think there is anything more enjoyable than seeing the Philadelphia Eagles getting the crap kicked out of them. And they have a lot more problems than Donovan McNabb’s hernia or T.O.’s real estate ventures. Ok, maybe more enjoyable than seeing the Iggles get smacked is watching Shannon Sharpe do halftime highlights. It’s almost as fun as that season that NBC paired up Magic Johnson and Marv Albert to call NBA games.

7) I think Michael Irvin has finally surpassed both Stuart Scott and Deion Sanders as The Most Annoying Black Man Talking About Football. The only thing that will make me reach for the remote faster than him speaking is one of those commercials that feature a crying baby.

8) Although you never want to see somebody go down with a heart ailment, I can assure you that nobody is happier than I am about Mike Martz getting the boot in St. Louis. Now they might start winning the close games again. And they might start using their running backs, too.

9) College Football Thoughts—

9a) I should’ve bet the entire paycheck on Georgia losing to Florida. They can never beat them--yeah, I know they did last year, but that was a fluke. Nothing is more of a sure bet than the Bulldogs losing to the Gators every year--especially if it’s more important for the Dawgs to win. As a huge Georgia fan, nothing about college football pisses me off more than this. And one of these days, I’m finally going to make it to The World’s Largest Cocktail Party and break the trend. So if sometime in the future you see a drunk fat guy getting hauled off the field in handcuffs after setting the Florida quarterback on fire, please send bail money to Hurricane Mikey, Care Of the Jacksonville police department

9b) UCLA looks amazing. There is no better fourth-quarter team in the NCAA right now. The looming showdown in December against the Men of Troy is shaping up to become one of the all-time great matchups.

9c) I think the weak Big XII is going to hurt Texas and it’s chances of going to Pasadena this year, especially if Virginia Tech remains unbeaten. Looks like another black eye for the BCS, which is actually a good thing. Can we finally junk this ridiculous system and give the fans what we want—a playoff system?

9d) Fisher DeBerry said nothing offensive or untrue. Yet the vocal minority of the Perpetually Offended has to gather the pitchforks and torches and go on the march to correct this ‘injustice’.

9e) Charlie Weiss got his contract extended to 2015 at Notre Dame. I’ve never been much of a fan of the Golden Domers, but the work he’s done there this year with none of his own recruits is nothing short of amazing. College football is always more interesting when Notre Dame is doing well. Almost makes me want to jump on their bandwagon. Almost.

9f) Steve Spurrier beat Tennessee again. That’s almost as shocking as a WNBA player announcing that she is a lesbian. But I’m sure the Ol’ Ball Coach enjoyed that victory almost as much as I did.

10) Here are my non-football thoughts for the week

10a) I wish the fluid in Zippo lighters didn’t evaporate so fast

10b) Is there any better smell on an autumn afternoon than a wood fire? Well, ok the smell of an Eagles defeat is pretty good too, but burning wood has a more universal appeal.

10c) I think those guys that make antifreeze have a pretty good marketing department. Taking half of their product out of the gallon jug, filling it up with water, calling it ‘pre-mixed’, and then charging just as much as before. Pretty clever.

10d) How much do you think the makers of Viagra/Cialis/Levitra would pay for Hugh Hefner to be their celebrity spokesman? Hef could name any price and get it.

10e) I think Anheuser Busch should start marketing Amber Bock as ‘The Only Dark Beer That Doesn’t Give You Nasty Farts’

10f) I know that baseball season is finally over, but I think that if I were a major-league closer, a la Trevor Hoffman, my ‘walking in from the bullpen’ music would be The Final Countdown by Europe.

10g) Sometimes I stay awake at night trying to decide between the Chrysler 300 or the new Dodge Charger. Of course, I can afford neither, but I’ve probably spent more brainpower on that debate than I have on the flat tax/Fair Tax issue.

10h) Soccer will never catch on here in the USA, no matter how bad the soccer geeks wish it would. Apparently, we are in the middle of the MLS playoffs. Did you know that? And when the average American sports fan can name more WNBA players than MLS players, I think the league is in serious trouble.

10i) I have to say that I’m deeply in favor of the current trend of chick’s Halloween costumes that lean toward the slutty nurse, slutty vampire, slutty anything side of the holiday spectrum. Last night at work a gal walked through the casino wearing nothing but bunny ears, a tight pink tank top, lace panties, and high-heeled boots. That’s it. Like she totally forgot to wear pants. Made my whole night. Of course when people ask what costume I’m going to wear tonight, I have to tell them that I’m dressing up as a blackjack dealer.


Don Francisco’s Hawaiian Hazelnut, with a splash of hazelnut creamer, served in my favorite GRITS cup (Girls Raised In The South), is a great way to start a Sunday morning. And it comes with none of that pretentious ‘Venti’ bullshit, either.

Who I Like Tonight, And I Don’t Mean That Cocktail Waitress With the Nice Rack, Great Smile, and Sultry Blue Eyes

Pittsburgh. Take the money line. Of course it doesn’t pay that much, but a sure thing never does. And it’s less work than collecting aluminum cans or donating plasma.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The End of the Longest Month Ever

Finally...we've reached the end of October. Ok, I know it's not over until Monday night, but still--close enough. This has been the longest month I've endured for a very long time. It all stems from the end of last month when it was so slow out here in Vegas that I only had one day of work per week for a stretch. And travelling to Tennessee also took a big bite out of my wallet, so I was flat-ass broke for the last three weeks. I'm talking so broke I took all of the random dollar chips I had laying around back to the casinos for gas money. I emptied my change jar into the Coinstar machine to buy groceries--and what fine groceries I did buy! Basically I lived on PB&J or tunafish sandwiches for the past three weeks. (Well, I still have some goodies from Omaha Steaks left in the freezer, so don't feel too sorry for me. Of course I didn't have any A1, though...)

Luckily, the past two weeks were very busy at work and we made some excellent tokes, so when the direct deposit hit just after midnight with one of my largest casino checks ever, I was off to fill up the gas tank and get some tastier food. First of all--I found gas for $2.52 a gallon, which has been unheard of in this town since I first moved here. Score! I squeezed in all that would fit. Then I hit Del Taco for some south-of-the-border goodness. Man--I'd almost forgotten how great jalapenos tasted. I scarfed down my Macho Nachos and Big Fat Steak Burrito in record time, then laid down contented, enjoying the last watery remains of my fountain Coke. It was pure bliss to someone who'd been living on Peter Pan and strawberry jam.

After sleeping till around noon today, I had to get up and go do some errands. First stop, the bank--had to get more cash to pay the rent, since the ATM limits me to $300, and also make sure they got my new address up to date. Suprise! Bank was closed. Apparently, today is a holiday. Can you guess which one? Me neither. But it was one I hadn't heard of before. It seems that all of the Washington Mutual employees were off celebrating Nevada Day with their loved ones. Of course I don't know the proper protocol for commemorating such an event, but when they open back up on Monday I'm gonna make sure I find out and start stocking up on the party favors for next year's festivities.

Anyhow, I ran a few errands and ended up at Walmart--the last place I ever want to go under any circumstances. Obviously, in this town, wire strippers are more rare than black pearls with embossed pictures of the Pope. Sure, here in Vegas you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a regular stripper. But wire strippers, forget about it. Not found at the hardware store. Home Depot was out. Forget the electrical aisle at the auto parts store. Harbor Freight tools? Nope. So I bit the bullet and went to Wally World. Made in China (naturally...), but they had them. I also bought a great heavy-duty nonstick thick-as-an-engine-block saute pan which looks like a great thing to throw during a domestic disturbance, but in the meantime allows me to flip eggs without a spatula. Bam!

One humbling lesson that I relearned today was that I sure am glad I have a few marketable skills, because I think one of the all-time shittiest jobs in the world has be working as a Cart Wrangler at WalMart. Especially when said Walmart is built on a hill that slopes down about 200 yards to Tropicana Boulevard and it's six lanes of shopping-cart Frogger. Hey, I might have wasted seven years in college (Yeah, they're called 'doctors'...), but at least I'm working indoors.

But the best thing about today, besides the sunny 75-degrees and the fact that it's Las Vegas, is a new discovery that I made. My local Von's grocery store sells the Greatest Invention Ever (at least in the food category). Lime-flavored ice cubes! Oh hell yeah. So I got me a bottle of Parrot Bay, a two-liter of Atlanta spring water (Coca-Cola to you yankees out there), and poured myself a glass of Instant Caribbean.

Yeah mon--it's good to be back in the Islands!


Wednesday, October 26, 2005


So...the reigning MVP of the WNBA announced today that she was a lesbian. Well, knock me over with a feather! Wow...I bet nobody saw that one coming. Kind of weird when that is the main story on's front page, not like there is a history-making World Series going on right now or anything.

In other news, Siegfried & Roy announced today that they sometimes listen to show tunes together.

I tell you, I haven't been this surprised since Randy Moss said he 'occasionally' used marijuana...


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Another Good Day

I slept in till around noon today--before you roll your eyes, remember that I had to work until 4am. So while I am usually guilty of the charge of slothfulness, it's not the case in this particular instance.

Anyhow, I got a call from a fellow Travel2Vegas member, Nick, who was in town and wanted to buy me a drink, saying something about how he enjoys all the goofy shiat that I write. Since no booze tastes better than free booze, I gladly accepted the invitation. We met downtown at the LV Club casino bar early this afternoon and had a wonderful time. I'll be honest, when I woke up, I didn't feel like driving down there, but I sure am glad that I did. Nick has got to be one of the most fascinating people I've ever met. The guy is like 80 years old, still going strong, and has more stories than just about anyone I've ever met. First of all, the man was a fighter pilot in WWII and Korea--he flew Hellcats and Corsairs in combat. I always have a great deal of respect for anyone from The Greatest Generation, but spending time with a real live fighter pilot who flew combat missions from carriers in the Pacific was a rare treat.

He is also quite the craftsman. He told me that he liked working with wood, and really loved the Indian art from the American Southwest, so some years back he started making wooden 'pottery'. He had pictures of some of his pieces with him, and they are so amazingly intricate that they fetch upwards of $2000 on the open market. Unfortunately, with age comes health problems, and his eyesight is starting to fail on him, so he no longer works with power tools as it's too dangerous for him.

He told me of his twenty years in the Navy, and his 58 years with his bride, who just passed on last year. We talked for a couple of hours about lots of topics, and I was humbled by the depth of his experiences and the life he's led. Little did I know when I woke up today that I'd spend such quality time with such an interesting human being, and a real-life American Hero. And he insisted on buying my drinks, where I should've been buying his.

So tonight I raise my glass to George "Nick" Nichols, one of the coolest people I've ever met. Just goes to show that you never know how your day is gonna turn out once you get out of bed.

After we parted ways, I made my way down to Binions to hit the snackbar for lunch/dinner. But first, I wanted to test out a theory. Last week when my friend Angy was in town we were playing blackjack and noticed an interesting phenomenon. We would buy into a game with a hundred bucks, and it always seemed that we were digging for another hundred within just a few minutes, but whenever some doofus came up with a wrinkled up ten-dollar bill and slaps it down saying Money plays! they always seem to last for awhile and turn that ten bucks into fifty or sixty. As a dealer I see this happen all the time. Somebody will come to my table and buy in for a grand, and less than a half hour later they're broke, but any random schmo with two red chips will walk up and make a 500% profit in ten minutes.

So I walked up to a double deck game, put out a ten-spot, announced Money plays! and managed to turn it into $75 in just about twenty minutes. I then took my three green chips (plus the original sawbuck) and headed for the cage. Then I treated myself to a great lunch at the snackbar--A bowl of chili with cheese and onions, a hot dog, and a tall root beer. I was so hungry and the food was so good that I even ordered a second dog after the first one was dispatched. After all was said and done, I even had a piece of pecan pie. Not a bad lunch for twelve bucks, and since it was house money, it tasted even better!

Now as good as that lunch was, yesterday's was better--I had a fine meal at Commander's Palace at the Aladdin. I even tried some new stuff--Turtle soup and Alligator chili. I told my sister about it and her response was Turtles and alligators? What, they couldn't find a rat or a Guinea pig to feed you? Yeah, this is the same sister that lived for over a year in the Phillipines chopping up lizards or whatever else strayed into her yard with a machete and turning them into stew... Dirty hippies. They have no appreciation for the finer things. Them swamp critters sure were tasty though. And high-class too. I had to wear a shirt with buttons on it just to get a seat.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Sneaking Around

We'll return to our normal posting schedule shortly--I've had the craziest two weeks ever. Lots of Vegas buffoonery with friends, I had to move, and then I snuck out to Tennessee for five days to party with all the degenerates that share the same gene pool as me. My niece up and got herself hitched, so I had to be there for the nuptuals. I made it back around 11pm last night and went straight to bed. Today I had some running around to do, and I have to work tonight. However, I've got some quality writing on the horizon, along with some pictures for your viewing pleasure. In the meantime, have a great evening. I'll be dealing blackjack and ogling cocktail waitresses.


Interview with a Crack Whore

So I was driving back home from a wonderful lunch at Commander's Palace today, and I happened to not make the light at Paradise and Tropicana. Since the Ghetto Sled has no air conditioning, I make it a habit of riding with the windows down.

Well, as luck would have it, there was a high-mileage Mexican gal standing on the same corner, trying to hitch a ride. Since I was right next to the sidewalk with my windows down, she thought it would be a good idea to come over and ask me for a lift.

So I'm sitting there, staring straight ahead, pretending to be oblivious, and she sticks her head in the window. Hey, can I get a ride? Making sure the door was still locked, I asked Where ya going? She replied with I need to get down to the Travel Inn on Fremont Street.

That is clear on the other side of town, and it's not like I was gonna give this chick a ride anyways, but I asked, What's at the Travel Inn?

I gotta pick up something.

This is about the time I noticed the huge scab on the side of her face and the missing teeth.

What do you have to pick up?


What is it?

Something important! Please--can you take me? If you give me a ride, I'll give you a ride later...

That's when I busted out laughing, the light turned green, and I floored it. My car may be ghetto and all, but I have my standards. I ain't ridin' that! No toothless crack ho is gonna be pollutin' my fine Corinthian leather with her nappy ass. Besides, any chick that wants to ride in my car probably isn't someone I should be associating with, anyways.

Last I saw of her, she was shrinking off into the distance in my rear view mirror, displaying her middle finger.

I sure hope she found a ride.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

The FOURTH time this year!!!

Just put another load of laundry in the dryer. Yep, there was my wallet at the bottom of the washing machine, again. At least it's clean and smells like Downy, considering how much time it spends next to my ass.

On the plus side, I haven't managed to launder my cell phone. Yet.


Settling In to the New Abode

Well, I finally got all my stuffed moved from the old house to the "new" one. It's tough to consider the house new when it's actually older than me, but it's much nicer than the last place. Just imagine the house on Malcolm In The Middle, and that's the place I've just moved from. Definitely the house you don't want on your block, especially if you're trying to sell.

Anyhow, I'll get back to posting on a regular basis very soon. I spent the last week living like a tourist, staying at Golden Nugget, Mirage, and even the Venetian, eating at nice restaurants and clubbing like an Orange County Wannabe. It was quite the adventure, and I'll write all about it over the next couple of days.

In the meantime, I'll get some sleep and grouse about the fact that there is a HUGE Hurricane family party going on this weekend back in Tennessee that I won't be attending. On the plus side, work called tonight and I picked up two extra days, so I got that going for me, which is nice. The oil prices have hit Vegas hard, and it's been sloooooooow around here lately. I could use the work--I just moved all this shit, and I'd love to be able to keep it indoors next month.