Wednesday, July 12, 2006

That's the Way I Like It

Hey Gang!

Tuesday was a great day, but again I begin my post with an apology for my extended absence. But like Joliet Jake said... Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!

Actually, I've just been really busy, and secondly I've been 'injured'. Back in 2001, at the end of my week-long sailing class out in California, just before I finished up, I twisted my lower back something awful. It was so painful that I could barely stand, and then I got in the truck in Marina Del Rey and drove down to San Diego. When I arrived two hours later, I could barely walk. It hurt so bad that I had to have help putting my shoes on. Anyhow, since that time, about every 18 months or so, I twist it again or sleep 'wrong' and spend a few days hobbling around and wincing. These past few days have been like that--this morning was the worst, as I could barely get out of bed, and when I bent over to pick up a dirty sock, I thought I was gonna go down like one of those old broads on the LifeAlert commercials. Sitting at the computer only made it worse, so I've spent most of the past few days lying in bed. I still managed to go to work--standing at the dice and blackjack tables was ok, and walking around actually made it feel better, but sitting at the Chinatown tables made it tighten up so bad that I could barely stand back up and get around.

Anyhow, once I coaxed my decrepit carcass out of bed, I decided that enough was enough. I showered, got dressed (flip flops for shoes), and headed out. After stopping at the ATM to replenish the cash flow, I stopped at the drugstore to pick up some Aleve. Three pills and a diet Coke later, I felt much better.

I had errands to do anyways, and the drug store I went to was Old Skool and had a post office inside of it, so I bought some stamps and mailed off my first truck payment. Of course I threw in a few extra bucks against the principal, committed to mailing in something fewer than 60 payments over the course of the next few years. (Truth be told, I've already decided that when my fortunes improve even more, I'm going to upgrade to the V-8 SLT model with all the electronic luxuries that I bypassed this time around. Next time I will be negotiating from a position of strength. Not that I don't absolutely love this truck--I do--but I want even more power, plus electric windows and mirrors).

Anyhow, after all of the important stuff was done, I drove on over to Buffalo Wild Wings for some lunch and electronic bar trivia. The southwestern chicken wrap was just ok, but the beer was good, and I kicked ass at trivia, due to my brain being a repository of useless knowledge unmatched anywhere except for maybe the Trivia Wing at the Library of Congress. Everyone raves about the food at Buffalo Wild Wings, but I've been there a few times now, and I'm not very impressed. Native New Yorker back in Tempe/Gilbert/Chandler was much better.

After lunch, I drove to xxxxxx. I know, it's against my code to be within five miles of the place on my day off, but I had business to take care of. That being, seeing Pirates of the Caribbean at the movie theatre. Besides that Flight 93 movie, this was the only other film I've been looking forward to seeing all year.

The problem I ran into, however, is that I can no longer attend movies at the xxxxxx multiplex. Oh, I'm still allowed to go there, it's just a big pain in the ass to do so because all of those degenerates I see at the table every night also go there during the day to play video poker, eat at the restaurants, or go see movies, too. So a bunch of them recognized me, making it a little difficult to just hang out by myself enjoying some quiet time. I got to the theatre about 20 minutes before the show started, so people coming in were yelling "HEY MIKEY!" and such. One guy even yelled "HEY MIKEY-- PAI GOW!!!" while his wife kept saying "Tell him about your straight flush--tell him about your straight flush!!!" across four or five rows of other movie watchers. Nice people, but it was a little embarassing. I couldn't crawl low enough into my seat...

So now I'm going to have to drive out to Boulder Station or maybe even Red Rock next time I want to see a movie.

As far as Dead Man's Chest goes, it was enjoyable, but not nearly as good as the first one. Lots of cool special effects, but it seemed to me that they came up with them first, and then built a (sub-par) script around all of their new toys. After seeing this film, I kind of felt the same way I did after seeing Ocean's 12--just a little let down. It was still an excellent movie, and you'll enjoy it. Unfortunately, it has to live up to the success of it's predecessor, and it doesn't quite hit the mark. I probably just expected too much. On the plus side, at the very end of the movie they set up the premise for the third installment in a surprising way which caused the entire audience to cheer. Of course I can't wait to see that one...

After the movie ended, it was about 5:15 or so (looooong movie!). My friend Candy was dealing the nightly No Limit tournament up at the Poker Palace in North Vegas, so I decided to head out there. I sat in traffic for a good portion of the commute, but paid my entry fee just as the gate was closing.

I had a 1-in-3 chance of getting a seat at her table, but the odds weren't with me. A bad omen I should've recognized. When they broke us down to two tables, I had a 50-50 shot of being at her table. Again, I was drawing dead on the seat selection.

One could say that it just wasn't my night at the poker table.

I could tell you three or four bad beat stories with colorful phrases like cracked Aces, drowning in the river, or flopping an expensive but worthless boat, but I won't. Lets just say that I lasted just long enough for them to get that $20 add-on out of me, and that I did better than most of the other players in attendance. Yep, that makes me feel better...

Anyhow, Candy lasted about 20 minutes longer than I did, dealing until the first break on the final table. Once she finished up her paperwork and such, we were off to one of our favorite classy dives, Jerry's Nugget. Of course I can't get within a mile of that place without a sly smile and a fond memory about the night Doc Al and I laid waste to their dice table, and then later sharing the wealth with all the single moms across the street at the Palomino Club. (No UNLV coeds there, dear readers).

But bone-rolling and Milf-diving were not on the agenda this evening. We just wanted to grab a bite to eat. The folks at Jerry's Nug have done some extensive remodelling since my last visit, and have reopened the coffee shop. It's much nicer now, decorated with a hip retro look and a better menu.

Candy dines like Meg Ryan from When Harry Met Sally, so her patty melt came sans onions and with American instead of Swiss. I opted for the CFS with eggs. It was passable, and a generous portion which I couldn't quite finish. They also get bonus points for being a 'Coke' restaurant. They also have a full bakery now, and their dessert list is quite extensive, but with the display cases out front, they pretty much had us at hello. Candy got the chocolate cream pie, which she said was average, but I had a slice of Jerry's Frost cake which was excellent--two layers of white cake, cream filling, and covered with a chocolate shell. Similar to Boston Creme but a little better.

The food was good, but the conversation was much better. We sat in the restaurant talking and laughing from 9pm until 1am. Mostly about music--we found out that we share pretty much the exact same tastes, and we were rehashing all of the best tunes from the mid-to-late eighties. Good times! After finally relinquishing our table, we went outside to the parking lot and sat in my truck for a few minutes so she could hear 'Understanding Jane' and 'A Few Hours After This', as she said she was a big fan of both the Icicle Works and The Cure, but had never heard of either of the songs.

It was my duty to enlighten her.

Now I've got to get into the closet and dig out all of the old cd's we were talking about so we can have a 'listening party' here in the next few weeks and hear all the old stuff like Echo & the Bunnymen, Love & Rockets, Gene Loves Jezebel, and even Erasure.

Anyhow, after all of the music talk, we finally rolled out of there and headed our different directions--she lives out on the edge of civilization near Santa Fe Station, and I live down at the opposite end of town on the edge of Green Valley.

In the meantime, she just forwarded me the info for the KC & the Sunshine Band show at the Hard Rock next month.

It ain't Jimmy Buffet, but there ain't nothin wrong with shakin' your booty, either.


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