Thursday, May 31, 2007
It started to lose it's appeal for me after about the fourth incarnation, and I don't think I saw a single episode since the "All Star" show where everyone got to vote for Rupert to win a million bucks. They embraced the Road Rules/Real World mantra of making sure there was at least one complete jerkoff in every cast, because apparently people want to watch controversy. Nah. (If I were stranded on a desert island for real, the complete asshole of the group might die in an 'accident'...) So I gave up on Survivor--too many people seeking their 15 minutes of fame, and it became unwatchable.
But now, I'm getting suckered back in. I've got the DVR set to record tonight's episode of Pirate Master on CBS. A cross between Survivor and Pirates of the Caribbean? Oh hell yeah!
I'll watch it after I get home in the morning, and hopefully post my thoughts.
But here is the email and appropriate link:
Hello everyone. First of all let me say this IS NOT a chain letter. I'm writing you all today on behalf of a good friend of mine, Sarah, and her 8-year-old nephew Myles. In 2002, Myles was diagnosed with the most common form of childhood cancer, neuroblastoma. After a long battle, and a short remission, Myles' cancer returned this past year. Last week, after a bone scan, Myles' parents were given the news that the cancer had spread rapidly, and he was given a two week prognosis.
TWO WEEKS! Some of you may already know Myles' story, especially if you live in the Decatur/Mount Zion area.
A few years ago his story was featured in the the area papers. A family friend working with the New York City fire department had shared his story and the department gathered toys to send to Myles for Christmas. Myles had seen a story on TV of needy children in the area who would be without toys so he decided, at the ripe age of 6, to donate all of the toys, along with his own Christmas gifts, to these needy children.
I'm asking for anyone who can, to return Myles'
generosity. If you visit Myles' website, www.savemyles.org, you will see a fundraiser link. As you can imagine, years of medical bills, travel, and missed work can be very costly, and I know at this time, money is the last thing on their minds. If any of you are able, can you please help, even if you can only offer prayers, they are deeply appreciated.
Thanks for your time and take care!
Unfortunately, the website doesn't offer PayPal or any other way of electronic donations, but if you've got the means, the time, and a stamp, please help out.
I've not related to this family, nor have I ever met them--All of the money goes directly to them--I'm just passing on the link. Please help if you can.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
That being said, I absolutely love watching Deadliest Catch on Discovery every Tuesday night, and of course I like the re-runs they show all during the week, too. I don't know why I'm so fascinated by it--maybe it appeals to my youthful wanderlust that steered me to Alaska so many years ago seeking my own fortune, but any adventure story that involves going to sea is certain to raise my interest.
I think the characters are very compelling, and for the most part likable, unlike most 'reality' shows with their token annoying asshole getting all the camera time. There are no real villains here, just the off chance that somebody will get washed overboard and die every week. It doesn't get any more real than that.
I also like that Mike Rowe is the narrator. I dig his show Dirty Jobs, and it seems that he's got the hot voice in advertising these days--he's blowing up and his voice is everywhere. But he does a good job staying in the background, unlike most of the Food Network and Travel Channel hosts who seem to think that they are the content viewers are coming to watch (Mark Di Carlo, please call your office...)
Anyhow, I set my Tivo up to record it every Tuesday night, but I always end up watching it during it's proper time slot. And if they made one in my size, I'd be the first one in line to buy a Cornelia Marie t-shirt. Gotta love Captain Phil--He's like a thinking man's bed-headed Paul Sr., without the ridiculous facial hair and a more judicious use of his bad temper.
Another show I really like, and also record every week, is The Unit. It's on at the same time Deadliest Catch is, but luckily the DVR can multi-task. It's a great action show, made by people who don't seem to have a political agenda. Oh, and the chick who plays Tiffy--good solid milfy talent, and she and her crew would totally kick the asses of all those bitches who live over on Wysteria Lane.
Not that it would happen, but if that matchup ever made it to Pay-Per-View, that Cornelia Marie t-shirt might have to wait a couple weeks.
And not a moment too soon--I was beginning to lose all hope for the future of the Republic.
He's got my vote. And any spare change I can scrape together. Finally, there is a real conservative in this race. And *real* conservatives who stick to their principles win elections and win big (Anyone remember the ass-handing Reagan gave Mondale in 1984?).
If only GWB would've done the same thing, the dude would be sitting on 70% approval ratings, and that fool Harry Reid would still be the Senate Minority Leader. Sadly, as President, he's only gotten One Thing right, and pretty much everything else very very wrong. Ok, two things right--the tax cuts were good, and brought us out of the recession. And even though I voted for him twice, he sickens me now.
I can't wait for the first debate between Fred and that pantsuit-wearing socialist heifer from
It's time to bust out the Storm Trooper outfit and do the happy dance!
Edited to add: Not so fast, my friend... Damn.
PS. Lefty trolls in the comments section will be deleted with extreme prejudice, and IP addresses will be banned. My house, my rules--Goonie goo goo Gus!
Monday, May 28, 2007
Seriously-- I had no idea how much I depended on it now that I've gone without for almost two weeks. Nothing to put on crackers, toast, English muffins, or graham crackers. And no PB&J sandies, either. Hell, I even put peanut butter on pancakes, waffles, and French toast.
I keep telling myself that I'll stop at the store on the way home from work, but I'm always too tired, and of course not in the mood for peanut butter at 4:00 am, so I've been skipping it and coming straight home. But when I wake up at noon and want something to munch on, the cabinet is bare, again. Well, bare as far as the tasty goodness of Peter Pan Creamy is concerned. And to make matters worse, they stopped keeping a basket of individual peanut butter packets available in the employee dining room at work, too. Sometimes late at night, if the dinner food wasn't worth eating, I'd make toast and have a bowl of cereal. But no peanut butter equals no toast.
When I did my major grocery shopping last week, I totally forgot about getting some, and I haven't needed to go to the store for anything else. But I'm getting to the point where I'm about to make a special trip just to pick up a jar of peanut butter. And maybe some milk. And strawberry preserves. Oh, and a fresh loaf of whole-wheat bread. And maybe some Lay's sour cream & onion chips to go with it. But that's all.
Except Wednesday is looming on the horizon, and I need to get stuff to make hamburgers for the weekly grillfest (I think we're about bratted out).
Perhaps another full-on shopping trip is on the agenda for tomorrow. I'll get a jar of peanut butter and life will be good once again.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
A certain handsome dealer pulling a 9-card 21 on a table full of hapless gamblers. It came out 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 3 - Ace - Ace - 3 - 5. Easily the most amazing hand of blackjack I've ever dealt. I made the floor person come over and verify before I swiped any bets, just to re-add it and make sure.
A Janice Soprano look-alike playing Let It Ride. A dead ringer in every way, right down to the big sloppy boobs and a Rolling Stones tattoo. I couldn't decide if she was the inspiration for the character, or just a very sad human being who gets a kick out of people telling her she looks like the worst piece of white trash ever to grace an HBO series.
A guy losing several thousand dollars in one sitting, and then telling the dealer that Because of you, I won't be able to buy groceries for my kids now!
An old lady sitting at a $5 blackjack game with $50 worth of red chips in front of her, but insisting that somebody give her a comp for a cab ride home "because she doesn't have any money left".
Underage girls carrying huge purses full of canned beer for their underage boyfriends.
Dozens of sests of fake boobs on display every night. Some are truly works of art. Some, sadly, don't have much canvas for the artist to work with.
A dealer hitting 27 four times in a row on the roulette wheel, yet only one person betting it, even after the third hit.
A guy losing about $5000 on 3-Card Poker, getting more and more pissed off with each lost hand. After going all in, he then picking up a handful of silver dollar chips (the only thing he had left) and instead of pocketing them or tipping the cocktail waitress, he chucked them into a bank of slot machines about 20 feet away, swore, and stomped off. Of course, one of the kids from the extra board happened to walk by about a minute later, so I made him go fetch all the silver and we dropped it in the toke box.
Two disco-dancin', Oscar-Wilde readin', Streisand ticket holdin' friends of Dorothy sitting at a blackjack table, playing one hand between the two of them, and then kissing each other whenever the dealer busted.
A guy punching the table so hard after he lost that he hurt his hand. Like a dislocated knuckle or something. Karma, baby.
A drunk lady knocking over a full glass of red wine into the rack with all of the chips. Talk about bringing a game to a screeching halt.
A lesbian stalker. Never saw one of those before, but it's pretty good entertainment.
A guy dancing by himself up in the bar. Not a big deal until you realize that he was doing The Robot. Highlight of the night.
Eight security guys dragging two guys out of the casino, zip-tied and everything. It would've been better had they carried them out hanging from a log, like Javanese headhunters.
A gal in 5-inch f-me heels trying to walk down the ramp out of the bar, falling flat on her face and out of her top. Good times!
A new dealer with a completely full blackjack table, and asking for insurance when she's showing a Ten as her upcard. Sometimes, all you can do is shake your head...
Friday, May 25, 2007
First of all, I was awakened by the sound of my phone ringing. I keep it on my desk, not the nightstand, so I had get up and crawl over to get it. Of course it was a missed call by the time I got there, but it was Rob, and after a couple minutes of phone tag, I found out that he was wanting to know what time we were having pizza.
I had no idea, Sin never called me.
So he said he'd call her and then call me back. It was almost 11:30 by this time, but just a few minutes later he said that they'd be at the restaurant at 12:15. Holy shiat--I live almost forty minutes away, if there is any kind of traffic, which here in Vegas is like living in Antarctica and saying "if there's any kind of snow on the ground"...
So I jumped in the shower, quickly got dressed, grabbed my iPod, and was on my way. As I was driving down my street, I realized that something was amiss with my iPod. It would start playing a song, and then about 30 seconds later, just shut itself off!
Oh man... I do not want or need this kind of headache. Now that I've become dependent on the thing, to have it malfunction would be the ultimate bummer. I kept going back to the Menu, then Playlists, then Mikey's Party Mix, and it would do the same thing every time. YMCA? Forget it. Dancing Queen? Nope, no more than 30 seconds. Shake Shake Shake? No no no. Not even one full verse. It was like my entire music library suddenly was populated by nothing but Amazon samples. Mind you this is all going on while I'm sitting in traffic, so I'm getting more upset and pissed off each time it happens. I finally got it to work, it seemed, just as I got to the restaurant, but as soon as it played one song in it's entirety, it crapped out on the next song.
I gave up, unhooked it from the charger and input cord, put it in my pocket and went inside.
NY Pizza & Pasta probably has the best pizza in all of Vegas, even better than Metro Pizza. (Sorry haters, but it's true!). Unfortunately, it was just after noon on a Friday, and everyone else in the area knows this too, so when I got there, it was standing room only. I finally found a table, telling the waitress that there would be three people for lunch, maybe four (I didn't know if Sin was bringing her friend Bliss). Rob showed up a few minutes later and we ordered a couple of Dr. Peppers.
Sin showed up about ten minutes later, but she had an entourage with her--Besides herself, she'd brought her husband Carl, who I'd never met before, Bliss's sister Trish (kind of a cutie!), and Bliss's daughter, whose name I can't remember now. So there were six of us, and we had to go find another table. We found one in the far dining room, after putting two tables together.
About that time I noticed that Sin was sporting the hockey-player busted-grill look, which made us all crack up. I'll leave it to her and her trip report over on T2V to fill in all the gaps (heh), but it's a pretty good story--the kind of stuff that usually happens to my friends when they get to Vegas.
We took full advantage of their 2-large for $21 special, and ordered four pies--2 pepperoni, 1 cheese, and 1 ham & onion. Lunchtime conversation was good, food was great, and luckily Sin didn't choke on anything like she normally does. (Guess we shoulda brought in Marty to finish her off!)
Since we had four large pies, there were enough leftovers for everyone to take a box home with a couple of slices, and I'm thinking that mine aren't going to make it past 6:30 tonight. I'll eat them before I go to work, thereby not subjecting myself to the usual garbage in the Employee Dining Room.
Everyone kicked in a few bucks, the bill was paid with a generous tip, and we said our goodbyes. I got back in my truck, ready to do battle with the iPod once again. This time, instead of the Party Mix, I went to the Brother Jimmy playlist.
The thing worked perfectly.
Clearly my iPod preferred to play Boats Beaches Bars & Ballads instead of Greatest Disco Hits of the 70's (like they needed to attach a decade on the title...)
With the nice weather and the trip planning this week, I've really been in the mood to get back on the ocean and go sailing. Apparently my electronic components are feeling the same way.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Again I must begin another post with apologies for not posting in so long. But then I think about other websites, blogs, what have you, and none of them ever apologize for taking days, weeks, or months off, and then just post again like it ain't nuthin'. I wish I could do that, but I feel almost obligated to make sure everyone knows what I'm up to.
Yes, I can be lazy, but at least I sometimes feel badly about it.
But I've been very busy this week, and aside from sleeping, I just haven't really had time to relax and do stuff that I want to do--like just sit in the shade, sip a rum and Coke, and read a book about sailing around the world. Seriously, that was on my agenda this week, and it never materialized. And I'm especially bummed because the weather cooled off and it was downright nice outside on my days off.
I think the dominoes started to fall against me on Saturday night/Sunday morning. I was rope-a-doping my way through the casino late Saturday night when I saw my gal Anna on the dice table giving me the internationally-recognized signal for "Do you wanna go out and have a beer after work?" Of course I gave her a nod.
We were pretty busy all weekend, so work was extremely tiring. But I got my second wind when I arrived at our watering hole and saw a bunch of my friends there. Anna ended up getting stupid drunk, getting sick, and passing out once one of our other friends was kind enough to haul her carcass home.
I ended up staying up and sitting out by the fire until 8:00 in the morning, having the most fascinating conversation with my friend Jovanka. She told me all about her escape from Serbia during the Balkan war, being a refugee, and all the absolute hellish shit she had to go through before finally making her way to the United States. It was the most fascinating conversation I've had in a very long time, and quite humbling. It also served to let me know that no matter how bad a day I may be having, and how tough life can sometimes be, I should consider myself to be one of the luckiest guys on earth compared to some who have suffered true misery.
It's a history lesson everyone should sit through.
Anyhow, before I wax too philosophical, I'll move on. But due to the fact that we stayed up all night, by the time I got home and got to bed, it was almost 10:00. So I spent the entire day on Sunday sleeping, and was still exhausted when I went in to work that night.
Again, I was pretty busy, and was stuck there until the bitter end.
On Monday night, as usual I couldn't wait to get out of work, and signed up for two hours of Early Out time. Unfortunately, they were short of dice dealers, and I had to stay. Being tired, grouchy, and at the end of my work week, I was pretty happy to finally get out.
But I couldn't get to bed right after work--I was up working on a 'project' for several hours. I was doing the preliminary planning for the first annual voyage of The Brethren of the Coast, as we pillage and plunder our way from Marina Del Rey to Catalina Island and back, just before unleashing our particular brand of buffoonery in Vegas for March Madness. So far we have five drunken Rogues, two undecided Cabin Boys, and perhaps one Galley Wench press-ganged into our adventure.
To say that I'm looking forward to this trip would be the understatement of the century. I cannot wait to get out on the ocean again.
So once I got the preliminary details ironed out and emailed out to the crew, I finally got some sleep.
Tuesday night, Jack21 was in town, so Rob and I met up with him down at Treasure Island for dinner at Isla.
Isla has been on my list of restaurants to try for some time, so I was looking forward to it. We had drinks in the bar first--house margaritas (feh--well booze, not the good stuff...), but once we got a table, I was much more impressed with the food. The chips and salsa were excellent, but the 'spicy' guacamole we ordered was anything but. Eric kept the top-shelf margaritas coming, and we hand a great conversation while nibbling on chips and three varieties of salsa.
For dinner, I had a carne asada burrito made with filet mignon, which was amazingly good. Rob had some sort of tamales, and Eric got a steak. The meals came with the usual rice and beans, but better than the typical Sonoran offerings. We really enjoyed the food, although the service was a bit slow. A minor quibble at best. The food, booze, and company more than made up for the shortcomings of the wait staff.
We even had some dessert, sharing dulce de leche cupcakes and Mexican dessert crepes, while a nice cup of cappuccino put an exclamation point on the meal. I have no idea what the total bill was, as Eric had some comp dollars and just signed it to his room account, and Rob picked up the tip since I popped for the margaritas.
We made our way over to the Breeze Bar for beers, cigars, and a round of Spot the Hooker, and we spotted Contestant Number One right away. She seemed to have a monopoly at the bar, and closed her first transaction within 15 minutes or so. Good entertainment.
I was still pretty tired, and after one round and about two-thirds of a cigar, I called it a night. Rob and Eric went to the dice tables, while I headed to the valet. Having been to Treasure Island about 20 times in the past year, I was hit with a tinge of sadness while sitting there waiting for my truck when I realized that it was the first time I was there without Sticky. Treasure Island was "our place" and it felt decidedly different to be there without her.
I drove home, and even though I was exhausted, I stayed up channel surfing until almost 3:00 am before falling asleep.
I got a bit of sleep, not waking up until almost noon on Wednesday. Of course, the house was a mess, I had a pile of laundry to do, and I needed to go grocery shopping. Rob and Andrea were coming over for the weekly grillfest and campfire, so I spent the day preparing for their visit.
Rob showed up around 6:00, and we set out drinking beer and preparing for dinner--he made a batch of his homemade guacamole, while I prepared the grill, the firepit, and set the table. Andrea showed up and soon thereafter the kitchen was bathed in the heavenly smell of brats simmering in onions and beer.
Dinner was excellent, as usual, and we followed it up by an enjoyable couple of hours sitting by the campfire, telling stories, roasting marshmallows, and eating smores for dessert.
Andrea had to work this morning, but Rob and I are creatures of the night, so after she left, we cleaned up the mess and then stayed up late watching Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest in preparation for the next installment that comes out this weekend. I think the plan is to go catch it at a matinée early next week.
That leads us to today.
I didn't have the motivation to do much today--I slept in, did a little websurfing, flipped through some old magazines, and watched a bit of tv. I've got to go back to work tonight, and as enjoyable as my weekend was, it just doesn't feel like I've had two days off.
Oh well. Nobody's weekends are ever long enough.
Tomorrow is 'run the errands' day, and Sin is in town, so I think the plan is to have some lunch over at NY Pizza & Pasta while I'm out and about.
I think I like eating there even more than having brats by the campfire--because going out for pizza doesn't require me to spend the afternoon shopping, housecleaning, and gathering firewood.
It'll be nice to relax.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
And the same goes for today, too. Gotta clean the house and do all the shopping and whatnot for tonight's grillfest/campfire. Andrea's coming over to join us, so I have to attend to the details, like making sure there are clean towels in the bathroom and that the toilet paper is actually on the spindle instead of just sitting there on top of the tank.
Will try to post stories and such later today. If not, it'll be tomorrow.
Friday, May 18, 2007
It doesn't leave a lot of sporting events to choose from for somebody who keeps their TV tuned to ESPN about 12 hours a day.
However, I've really gotten into the Louis Vuitton Cup lately--it's the 'playoffs' leading up to the America's Cup. Normally, I don't give a rat's ass about yacht racing. I love sailing, but racers are a different breed than 'cruisers'. Racers obviously want to go fast and get somewhere. Cruisers are already there, as they say.
Normally, when I have a few extra bucks in my pocket and a day off, one of my favorite activities is to head down to Barnes & Noble and grab a copy of every sailing magazine on the rack, then head out somewhere for a nice lunch and linger over the pretty pictures of boat porn and enjoy a couple of cold beers. But I always skip right past the parts where they talk about racing. It doesn't interest me in the least.
I consider myself one of the world's most experienced armchair sailors, as I haven't gotten behind the helm and felt the sea breeze on my face in over four years, but I spend several hours per week visiting various sailing websites and reading everything I can get my hands on. However, nothing makes my eyes glaze over faster than reading about yacht racing. I'm sure it's a lot of fun for those involved, and I *know* it makes one a better sailor, but the tone of the journalists writing about it is so off-putting that they drive people away from the sport. It seems like yacht races are populated by the polo-and-khaki wearing crowd, sipping wine, wearing blue blazers, white captain's hats, and calling each other Commodore more often than old southern gents addressing each other as Colonel down at the Kentucky Derby.
But from a casual fan's perspective, any kind of racing where the first person across the line doesn't win the race is pretty damn stupid and pointless. When you have to wait for everyone else to cross, and then wait for your 'corrected' time based on all kinds of outside factors, it just drains all of the fun out of the activity. Maybe I feel that way because I'm hyper-competitive, and never got into sports where a 'handicap' was given. I don't like to play golf, first of all because I'm no good at it, and second of all, even if I played against my buddy Eddie B every day for a year, he'd kick my ass by 20 strokes every time.
So then he "gives" me 20 strokes one day to make it more competitive? Whatever. Unless I beat him by 21, we both know that he still beat my ass fair and square.
I guess that's why Nascar it'll-always-be-Winston-to-me Nextell Cup racing is enjoyable to watch. The cars are all pretty much even, and the outcome depends on the driver, the crew, strategy, and luck. Not corrected time based on PHRF ratings or waterline length or whatever. Could you imagine Jimmy Johnson crossing the finish line first at Daytona after 200 laps and then waiting 20 minutes to find out where he placed?
Nope, neither can I. That's why sailboat racing appeals to only a small segment of the population, and not even a majority of the sailing population, either, I suspect.
Don't even get me started on the constant 'protests' either.
Anyhow. Now that I've alerted everyone to my disdain for sailboat racing, here I am saying how much I am enjoying watching the Louis Vuitton Cup every morning. The semi-finals are taking place in the Mediterranean, off the southern coast of Spain, and unfortunately, the Good Guys (BMW Oracle) are getting their asses handed to them by the Italian Luna Rossa team, down 3-1 in the best-of-nine series. Of course, in these races, the first one across the line actually wins...
Also, the Kiwis are beating down the Spaniards by the same margin. The winners square off with each other after this round, and the winner of that round gets to face defending champion Switzerland in the America's Cup.
Wait a minute. Does Switzerland even have a coastline, a harbor, or an ocean fer cryin' out loud? No?
So how did they win the America's Cup??? Oh yeah, the whole crew is from New Zealand...
I think I'll leave that rant for another time, but if you get a chance to watch any of the races this weekend, they are quite entertaining, especially with the accented play-by-play announcers reminiscent of the early days of ESPN when all they showed was Australian Rules Football.
The races are being shown on the VS. channel, formerly the Outdoor Channel, more commonly known as The Channel Where Hockey Went to Die.
I'll be watching, and even though I don't own a blue blazer, I might be found sipping on a glass of wine at 8:30 in the morning.
Because, as my favorite sailor once said, it's five o'clock somewhere.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Lets see... What's been going on since my last update?
I was going to write about Sunday night at work, but got distracted on Monday and never got around to it. But we were slow as hell that night, at least to the casual observer, but I was busier than shiat. It seems that I got put on a string of three $5 blackjack 6-deck shoe games, which is generally a cakewalk, but extremely dull, and of course those tables are always populated with the *best* players.
I was joking with the assistant shift manager that she put me on those games because I told her that I wasn't taking any more Early Outs for the rest of the month (except on Monday nights before my 'weekends')--I needed the money too much to take any time off, and she was just testing my resolve because dealing nothing but five-dollar blackjack will drive even the most steadfast worker to the early-out list. It's like an eight-hour jail sentence.
I shouldn't have worried, though, because a couple sat down at my table asking if I minded them joining me. Not at all, I said, because at the I was just doing my mental masturbation of trying to total up all of the progressive jackpots within view of my otherwise dead table, and figuring out how I'd spend the money.
Anyhow, it turns out that the fellow was a regular reader of this here site, and not only that, he'd purchased a Hurricane Mikey t-shirt (I vaguely remember sending one to Amsterdam). He was also kind enough to bring along a Partagas #1 cigar with him as a gift.
We had an enjoyable time together, and Tom and Yolanda did a helluva job setting the example of how to tip the dealers, making sure they each had a buck up for me on every hand. Pretty soon the entire table had gotten into the spirit of it, and I was dropping some good cash in the toke box. That was very nice.
Unfortunately, the other two tables on my string were just completely dead. Mine was full, you couldn't get a seat if you wanted, so while my coworkers were standing around shifting from one foot to the other for an hour, I was sweating my ass off, trying to crank out 400+ hands per hour, and making up for their non-contributions to the toke pool. Luckily, I get a break every hour, and it was much needed. When I went back, my next table was dead--for a minute, and then everyone from my previous table picked up and moved over and sat with me again. This pattern repeated itself until sometime after midnight.
I figured I dropped something around $400 that night, so I was pretty happy. But even better than that was spending time laughing it up with Tom and Yolanda. Not like I needed much encouragement, but they've got me convinced to put Amsterdam on my Must Visit list. It was great to meet them.
Later that night, I was sitting in the dining room, talking to my friend Jennifer, and she told me that she'd dropped almost $500 that night dealing on a couple of $25 double-deck games. Nice. I figured we were in for a good night.
The hard part however, was standing around on dead tables the rest of the night. The bosses came around asking over and over again who wanted to go home. I was dead tired after working like a rented mule for the first half of the shift, and the second half of the shift I was standing on dead tables watching the clock move backwards, so it was tempting.
I finally gave into temptation at 2:30 and said the hell with it, I can afford to take an hour off. As soon as I got home, I saw that I had received two text messages from Falcon Rob. The first one said "DUDE WHATEVER YOU DO, DO -NOT- TAKE EARLY OUT TONIGHT, DROPPED 5K THIS MORNING!"
Doh! So I was kicking myself, thinking we were in for a HUGE night and that I'd just cost myself 13% of it. As tired as I was, it was tough to sleep after that.
Oh? The second message?
"I JUST DRANK AN ENTIRE FOOTBALL WORTH OF BEER! LEEEEROOOOOY JEEENNNNKINNNNS!"
Apparently, Rob was out enjoying the some of the many diversions this fine city has to offer. And the diversions seemed to be getting the best of him.
Anyhow, the next night I got to work and found out that we made a whopping $123 each on Sunday night.
My share was $107.
So I sent Rob the following text message: FIVE THOUSAND MY ASS. $123 LAST NIGHT.
I haven't heard from him since...
Monday night was another eight-hour jail sentence, but several of us got paroled for good behavior a couple of hours early, since there were SIX dead games in Chinatown at the same time. So the boss came by and said "Bring 'em up!" (meaning the lids to the chip-bank), which is casino-speak for 'Close the table, you're going home early!', and six very happy dealers headed for the time clock.
I can easily afford three or four hours a paycheck of early-out time, and since it was my Friday, I had absolutely no problem at all with getting the hell outta Dodge extra early. As I was driving home, I got a drunk-dial from another friend of mine. She was in a cab heading back to Henderson from the Wynn and wanted me to meet her at Green Valley Ranch. As much as I wanted to, I was tired, needed a shower, and just wanted to go to bed.
The reason she was calling me, it turns out, was because she wanted to borrow $300. The funny thing is, compared to my meager earnings, she is *extremely* wealthy. But she'd lost about $1500 that night and the ATM had reached it's payout limit. I don't mind loaning her the cash, she's totally good for it (and I have done so in the past, and got it back within 24 hours), and although I had the money, I just didn't feel like going to GVR and staying up all night, like I'm sure *would've* happened.
So I decided to mess with her. She kept asking me to go meet her, and said If you do, I'll even pay you some interest and take you to breakfast.
My response was "So by interest, do you mean a night of wild monkey-sex?"
I told her that she needed sleep more than money, and it was probably just a little too late to go out that night. She finally agreed and said she was heading home.
Of course, the next morning when I woke up, ALONE, and while eating a bowl of mushy raisin bran instead of the tasty offerings at the Original Pancake House, I had time to re-evaluate the choices I'd made the night before.
So basically I gave up a night of wild monkey-sex, breakfast at the Pancake House, and probably an extra $50. Why, again, did I say 'No' to this offer?
Clearly, I am an idiot.
So, instead of proudly doing the walk of shame on Tuesday morning, I spend the day lounging in bed watching all the stuff I Tivo'd over the weekend.
Sopranos? Holy Shit!
24? Are we there yet?
The bowl of raisin bran didn't do it for me, so later that afternoon I was feeling hungry. The endless commercials about that new Doublestack Steakhouse Melt at Wendy's were doing their trick on me, so I put on some pants and headed out in search of melty-juicy hamburger goodness and a tall cold Frosty to take the edge off of the heat of the day.
Bottom line--Most Overrated Burger Ever. Just plain shitty. Save your money. Peppercorns don't belong on a burger. At least not on this burger. Anyhow, while I was sitting in there, I got a call from Scotty, aka GottaVegasJones. He'd just arrived in town and wanted to get together for breakfast the next day (Wednesday).
I agreed, and we made plans to meet up at the Peppermill at 10:00 am.
Those of you who don't know Scotty, well, you're missing out. He's one of the finest people I know, and somebody more opposite of myself I doubt I'll ever find. He's an Episcopalian minister from Deep in South Texas, and has devoted his entire life to serving other people. I met him and his wonderful bride, Alice Lee, a couple years back and we became fast friends.
I guess we're really not *that* much different--he smokes, drinks, gambles, and has an eye for the ladies, (truly a Man of God!), but he is the nicest and most selfless person I've ever met. I told him that if I ever get married, and Elvis isn't available, I'd have him perform the service.
Anyhow, he's just a great friend and I always look forward to seeing him when he comes to town--we always have a lot of laughs.
So, I found myself at the Peppermill yesterday morning, and he introduced me to his friend Chuck, who's also a priest, but his church is in San Antonio--they're out in Vegas having a Guy's Week without the wives, and were kind enough to
Not in the mood to try and tackle the Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs, I briefly considered the Eggs Benedict, if only to piss off my boy Ken2V, who *hates* the Bennies at the Peppermill like the cat hates the squirtgun. I went with the pancake combo.
No, I couldn't finish that, either.
My plan for yesterday was to eat and run, get back to the house, and do about ten loads of laundry. But Scotty had other plans, and brought a travel humidor full of premium cigars with him. After breakfast was over, they insisted that I join them for some Pai Gow and smoking. I told them that I don't have the budget to gamble this month, but Scotty said "Screw that--you sit next to me and play the hand on my bankroll, so I don't have to double up to play two, and anything you win I get half of"
It's hard to argue with logic like that, although I tried.
So what happens if I lose?
Nothing--this is HOUSE MONEY, baby!
I don't know if that was all the Bloody Marys talking, but I found myself walking over to the Riviera with Chuck and Scott, looking for a Pai Gow table. Well, we didn't quite make it all the way to the Riviera, as they spied the half-price ticket booth in the parking lot, and we got sucked into that vortex when they suddenly decided that they wanted to see a show that night.
I noticed that they had plenty of Mama Mia tickets available for $55, even a day in advance, which is almost unheard of, so I called Angy and told her the news (I think we're gonna try and see it when she comes out in July).
Of course, the Rat Pack Tribute tickets were on sale, and although I'd seen it three times already, Chuck and Scotty both wanted to check it out (and you can't beat the price at only $31 per seat). We kicked around the idea of seeing the Fab Four show, one I've never seen but have always wanted to, but since Chuck insisted on buying the tix, I didn't want to push any one show. They both wanted to see the Rat Pack, and of course I love the show anyways, so I agreed to see it again.
Vouchers in hand, we headed over to the Riv.
Sadly, there was only one Pai Gow table open, and it was full. What to do?
They had checked out of the Imperial Palace that morning, and were moving on to Red Rock for the rest of their stay, and needed to get out there and check in at some point. So we decided to go back and move my truck from the Peppermill parking lot over to the Greek Isles, and then we'd just drive their rented Magnum station wagon over and spend the afternoon kicking around Red Rock.
I've never been in the 'hotel' part of Red Rock, and I have to admit that it's pretty nice. I like the fact that they have free bottled water and apples in the lobby to cool you off while waiting to check in, but I hate the fact that the elevators are only at one end of the hotel tower. So unless you're in a low-numbered room on your particular floor, it's a hike, brother.
Scotty and Chuck got checked in, and of course were representin' T2V nation by opening all the luggage right there in the middle of the lobby searching for Scott's cellphone. We got a few looks but unless you've lost your cellphone in Vegas, you don't know how unsettling it can be.
The phone was never found, officially declared Missing in Action, and we headed up to the room to drop the luggage.
Several minutes later we were back down in the casino searching for a Pai Gow table. We found one, but it was fairly cold. I think Scotty lost about $50 while I was still treading water at even. But the Newcastles were free, and especially tasty, and Scotty was doing his level best to drink them out of Makers Mark.
We ended up on a continuous-shuffle $5 blackjack game, dealt by the Hottest Woman I've Ever Seen Dealing in Vegas. Her name was Lena. She's from Moscow, and has been here in the States for three years. Still single. But so damn attractive it makes you hurt to think about it--Long dark hair, a killer body, and pouty lips that you can't help but stare at. And even though it was a crummy continuous shuffle table, we'd found our home for the afternoon.
Scotty took out a marker, we got two stacks of red chips, and we proceeded to drink the afternoon away, pretending that two old fat bald guys had any kind of shot whatsoever with this smoking-hot Bond girl dealing the cards to us.
Of course we were overtipping. And over drinking. And getting the shit kicked out of us, gambling-wise.
I wanted to put the brakes on and go to another table, or just go sit in a lounge and smoke, but Scotty would have none of that--"I don't care if I lose every dime of this marker--it's play money!"
So we stayed. And had a few more rounds. And lost our asses. When Lena went on break, we tried craps. We got up for a few minutes, but stayed too long and gave it all back.
Lena came back and we went back to the blackjack table. Chuck had won about $70 or so playing video poker and joined us, so we spent the next few hours camped at Lena's table, drooling, due to the combination of her hotness and too much alcohol.
I remember one hand in particular that pretty much sums up the day in a nutshell:
I had a $25 bet on the circle, and got two 7's against her 4. So I split, and got another 7, split again, got a fourth 7. Now I had $100 in play. My next card is a four, so I double that 11, getting a deuce for 13. Next card is a six, so my second hand is a 13 also. Next two cards are faces, so I have $125 in action, and my highest hand is a 17. Our gorgeous dealer, who we could never be angry with, turns over a ten to make a 14, so the whole table is pumped, thinking she'd bust.
Her next card is a four. She has 18 and sweeps up the table.
Talk about a kick to the balls.
I gave Scotty a look that said "I told you this was a bad idea..." But he just blew it off and said he didn't care, as long as we were having a good time.
I switched to bottled water, knowing that I'd probably be babysitting later.
The rest of the afternoon pretty much went the same way--we got crushed. I sat out for a long time, refusing to double Scott's losses. He finally gave up when we told the waitress to bring him no more Makers Mark, handed me all of his chips (about $70 worth) and announced that he was going to the room to change clothes and get ready for the show. We said we'd meet him up there in about half an hour.
Well, the luck instantly changed, and suddenly Chuck and I couldn't lose. Of course, playing with somebody else's bankroll, I didn't want to press it, so I couldn't take full advantage. I ended up making back a bit of cash and getting a black chip back for Scotty, while keeping a couple of red chips handy for the valet/maitre' d/waitresses we were sure to encounter over the course of the next few hours. Chuck actually got back to even and a few dollars to the positive and we decided to color up.
We headed to the cage, and then back towards the room. Chuck gave me his room key so I could use the elevator (must have a key inserted to push a button), while he went off to the sports book to get a last-minute bet in on San Antonio for game 5.
I got up to the room and Scott was not there. He was Missing in Action worse than Chuck Norris. Not only that, he didn't have a cellphone, either. And I didn't have Chuck's number. Luckily Chuck showed up a few minutes later and we were stumped as to what could've happened to Scotty.
He was pretty drunk, but nothing like some of the other T2Vers I've seen in action. But he was definitely missing, and we couldn't call him either. We tried to have him paged in the casino, but they won't do that. Security put out their version of an APB on him, and Chuck and I wandered all over the place looking for him for about half an hour. I have some friends who are pitbosses there at Red Rock, and had them looking to see if he took out other markers or if his card was in play somewhere. No luck there.
We were getting exasperated, figured that we were going to miss the show, so we decided that the best course of action would be to just hang out in the room and wait for him to show up. Just as we were heading to the hotel elevators, we saw his drunk ass stumbling out of Starbucks with a tall coffee in hand.
What's up fellas!?!?!
Scotty was definitely getting the most of his Vegas experience, and we laughed our way all the way over to the Greek Isles, once we finally found the valet ticket. I did my best Dale Jr impersonation, putting a few people into the wall on Charleston Blvd, and we pulled in 15 minutes before showtime.
I slipped the maitre' D a ten-spot and he gave us a table down front, sitting with a bunch of women. Before you think I got a bargain for my ten bucks, you should realize that these chicks were all old enough to have tossed their knickers onstage back when Benny Goodman was tearing up the charts. But they were nice, and we had a nice conversation waiting for the show to start.
It was another excellent show, and the cast was excellent, except in this version the weak link was the guy playing Dino. He didn't look like Dino at all, and only sounded like him about half the time. But Sandy Hackett was Joey Bishop, and just brought the house down time after time. And of course the guy playing Frank just *nailed* it. And Marylin Monroe--all I can say is Good Lord! Almost made us forget about Lena for a few minutes. Almost.
The show ended at 10 pm, and we were exhausted. Scotty was nodding off a bit, and I was just dead on my feet--it'd been a very long day. They had to get up early for golf, and I said goodbye and headed for home.
I was starving, so I hit the Taco Bell drive-thru for a burrito and a quesadilla on the way home.
I wanted to start writing an update, but was just too damn tired, so as soon as I finished my Taco Bell, I had a couple of Tums for dessert and went to bed.
Damn it was hard for me to get up this morning, but probably not nearly as hard as it was for Scotty. That dude's out on the golf course sweating out a fifth of Makers Mark today, drinking water by the gallon and wishing the cart girl was a hot Russian chick named Lena.
It was a damn good weekend, and I'm glad I survived it.
Next weekend Jack21 is in town and wants to hit the Tequila Bar at Isla. I'm gonna have to pace myself.
Monday, May 14, 2007
"It's hard to play a fugue on something so out of tune."
No, it's hard to play a fugue period, you pretentious f*ck.
Heh. I wish I would've had that line in my arsenal back in the day when I had three classes in one semester with an annoying music major who's favorite subject was the pipe organ.
And all this time, all I could come up with was "A good craftsman doesn't blame his tools..."
The riff about the bagpipes also cracks me up, reminding me of the time the question was asked "Why is the skirted man torturing a cat in his armpit?"
Hie thee hence, and read.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
Last night, I got a break from my usual tables and was dealing carnival games all night--Deuces Wild, Let It Ride, and Crazy 4 Poker. That particular 'string' of tables is a dealers' favorite, as the games are casual, you don't have the whiners and strokers like on blackjack and dice, and you get to sit on your ass and deal them. So I felt particularly lucky last night. That was, until about 2:00 am when they moved me over to the only open Pai Gow table that we had going.
Normally I really enjoy dealing Pai Gow, but not so much when I saw where they were sending me. You see, as much as I like dealing and working in my particular casino, there are about 20 people I can think of off the top of my head who I just absolutely hate dealing to, and if I could have one work-related wish, it would be that nobody on that list would ever win another bet in my casino. I *love* seeing them go broke.
Well, there's this gal who tops the list for me, and she tops almost every other dealer's list also. She looks like a cross between Star Jones and Rosie O'Donnell, yet she struts around like she's Vanessa Williams or something. She's always broke, she never tips, but she's always trying to buddy up to players and then get them to finance her gambling. Usually, it's some older lonely drunk guy who falls for this, and when she suggests "pooling" their bankrolls to play, they fall for it. Unfortunately, she usually has about a hundred bucks to their thousand, gets them to bankroll her, and then pockets whatever she wins.
And she's been doing this so much that she's been warned if she ever hustles players at the tables again, she's banned permanently. I've busted her a couple of times and backed her off my table, and called her out in front of everyone to quit bumming money off of my players, so of course she gave me the I'll never tip another dealer here ever again because of you! speech, which, of course, she's given to about a dozen of us. So every time she sits down, the dealers are gunning for her. And since she can't hustle people at the tables, her new M.O. is to lurk around the bar and flirt with guys playing video poker, and then get them to come down to the tables and play, bankrolling her of course, with the it-pains-me-to-think-about-it offer of maybe a roll in the hay later...
Ugh. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little...
Anyhow, while I was dealing my games last night, I saw her move in on a drunk redneck fool up in the bar who'd won a bundle playing video poker. She talked him into playing Pai Gow, pooling their bankroll of course, and since he was out of it, she could easily take chips off the table and put them in her pocket without him noticing. Quite the scam going on there, but the dealers and floorpeople are on to her. At least those of us with a clue.
Well, late last night, all of my tables went dead, so they sent me over to Pai Gow. Great.
She's managed to squirrel away $500 worth of chips off the table, while her drunk redneck friend who was more interested in pawing her than playing Pai Gow, went broke.
She *knows* I can't frickin' stand her, and also knows that I love seeing her go broke. So she loves to bet big when I sit down at her table, hoping to catch a monster, and she gives me a smug look every time she wins a hand. About a month ago, I sat down at the table she was playing on and the very first hand I dealt her was four-of-a-kind for a $125 bonus. It made me absolutely sick. The only redeeming factor was the fact that the guy who was bankrolling her that night wasn't quite drunk enough and insisted that she pay him half, so that was nice. I know she hated to do that... And of course she stiffed me--she never tips.
So I sat down, and where she was playing $10 per hand, she immediately dug into her pockets and took out the $500 worth of chips she'd squirreled away. She played two hands at a hundred apiece, with her last two red chips on the bonus.
I dealt myself a flush with a pair of fives on top.
Heh. That knocked her down, and I swept $210 of her money into the rack. She banked the next hand, got a worthless King-high Pai Gow, and I took another hundred off of her.
Third hand, she played two spots for a hundred apiece again, and dug the last $20 out of her wallet to put on the bonus spots.
This time I had a straight with an Ace-King on top, beating her again, for $220. She got pissed and said she'd be back. We watched her go to the cage, trying to get a cash advance or something, no go, so she hit the ATM. All she got out was a twenty.
She came back to the table, did a $20 'money plays', and used her last three silver dollar tokens as her bonus (Now she was no longer eligible for the envy bonus, as she was two dollars short).
She had a weak hand, a pair of fives with a queen-ten up top, and my two pair beat her. She got all pissy about it and stomped off, but the bottom line was that I smoked her for $540 in less than fifteen minutes, and she left flat-ass broke. The icing on the cake was that there was another girl at the table, and on that last hand, I dealt her a straight-flush for a $250 payoff. Had the loser chick had an extra two bucks, she would've gotten the envy bonus for another $20, and probably would've won all her money back, because right after that I proceeded to deal myself a damn-near endless string of pai-gows and weak hands until I got tapped out.
Of course the floorman, who can't stand her either, could barely control his amusement at the fact that she went broke, and there was a not-subtle-at-all high-five, which I'm sure she saw, as I walked away and took my last break.
And just to prove there is a God, and His rewards are just, as soon as I got back to the employee dining room, they'd just set out a huge breakfast buffet. So I fixed myself a plate of biscuits and gravy, hashbrowns, scrambled eggs, and bacon. I also got me a tall glass of ice cold milk and a cup of orange juice.
It was almost like a victory meal, as I related the story to my fellow dealers and basked in their admiration.
Since it was my 'Monday', I had to stay and deal to the bitter end, no half-hour Early Out or twenty-minute push to do tokes for me. I finally clocked out sometime after 4:00 am, drove home, took a shower, drank two quick beers, and collapsed on the bed without ever turning on the TV. The silence did me good, and as a bonus, there were no roommates outside doing construction or mechanical projects. So instead of waking up at 10:00 am, I slept all the way until 1:20 this afternoon, waking up surprisingly refreshed.
I got dressed, found that my new Bad Mother F*cker wallet had arrived, so I transferred all the essentials over (cash, bank cards, that condom I've had since college...) and headed out to do my usual Friday afternoon errands.
Turns out that my wallet was a huge hit with the bank teller, the gal selling stamps at the drugstore, and the checkout girl at Target. When they each asked where I'd gotten it, I lied, and told them I'd won it in a poker tournament.
And each time, I got that same look of flirtatious approval.
That's right--40 years old, still acting like I'm in college. I bet I could've talked any one of them playing Pai Gow with me...
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Tuesday night was the grill/campfire night, with Dave P in attendance. Normally when he comes to town, we knock a restaurant or two off of my to-do list, but our schedules this time wouldn't allow it. So he came by the house and hung out with Rob and I for the evening. It was the usual menu--meat on the grill, beer, smores for dessert. We did brats again, and again they turned out great.
Dave didn't show up empty-handed, either, as he brought along a nice bottle of Argyle Pinot Noir (from Oregon--my fave). Of course, Pinot doesn't really go with brats, so it went into my germinating wine collection (I have four bottles now!). While I was out grocery shopping that day, I picked up a twelve pack of Michelob Light, but cruising down the snack/pop aisle, I picked up a couple of six-packs of IBC Root Beer, too. I haven't had any in years, but it was an impulse buy and sounded especially tasty that afternoon.
Once I got home and unloaded all the groceries, I put a few bottles of IBC in the freezer to super-cool them. We got a late start, so it was well after dark before the guys arrived. I went ahead and started the charcoal long before they got here, and lit up the fire pit a bit later. Anyhow, sitting out there by the fire, I remembered the root beer in the freezer. I got them out just in time--they hadn't gone solid quite yet, but they were getting awfully close.
Damn they tasted good. I downed two of them while waiting for Rob and Dave to show up.
Once we sat down to dinner, I told the guys about the IBC, in addition to having the Michelob on hand. Well, everyone went for the root beer--it was a surprise hit, and that's what we ended up drinking all night.
And the root beer went with the smores just a little bit better than the Michelob. Plus we were using dark chocolate, of which I'm now a huge fan.
Anyhow, that was my Tuesday night. Yesterday was court day, and as much as I wanted to spend the evening outside by the firepit smoking a good cigar, I fell asleep at 8:00 pm in front of the TV, woke up for a bit around 3:30, but then fell asleep again until almost 9:00 am this morning. I can't believe how tired I was. These last few weeks have worn me out--I got very little sleep when Eddie was here, and I think I'm just catching up on it now. Plus the weather is getting hotter, too. Running around out in the sun all day doing errands and projects saps the energy out of me, too.
But summer is on the way, and the daily battle over the thermostat setting with my old-ass roommate, who is always cold, is certain to begin soon. But I have a pool and a fridge full of cold beer.
Somehow, I think I'll manage.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, but I'm glad it's over.
My hearing was scheduled for 2:00 pm today, down in the basement courtroom at the County Gubmint Center. After my last visit, I learned that I shouldn't wear a belt, because everyone has to take them off and go through a metal detector, just like at the airport, only not nearly as organized. Imagine thirty people trying to get through one metal detector, in various stages of undress, and then getting spit out on the other side, standing in the lobby hopping on one foot trying to get their shoes back on.
So I figured that I'd avoid the hassle altogether by wearing easy slip-on loafers and skipping the belt. If my pants were gonna fall down, so be it. I'd wow 'em with my nifty (and lucky) Elvis boxers. When in Rome and all that...
I parked a couple blocks away and hiked to the courthouse, and luckily my pants stayed up. I went through the metal detector a couple of times and it kept beeping, so I got a private wanding. Oh yeah, that's pleasant. Turns out that my loafers have steel shanks in the heel. Whoops.
I gathered my belongings and headed downstairs to the courtroom. On my summons, it said in big letters "PLEASE ARRIVE TEN MINUTES BEFORE YOUR SCHEDULED HEARING TIME". No problemo, I was fifteen minutes early.
I took a seat outside in the corridor among the rest of the miscreants and lawbreakers, and waited. At ten till, I walked up to the door, but there was a sign posted that said not to open the door until my scheduled hearing time.
So I sat back down and commenced to people-watch. Of course there was the requisite Reverend Jim-from-Taxi guy sitting there who smelled a lot like the alley next to the Golden Gate, a couple of hip-hop wannabes, and as luck would have it, three smokin' hot blonde gals from Sweden. Or Norway. Maybe they were Dutch... Hell, I don't know, but they weren't speaking English--it was obviously some northern European jibber-jabber.
Once 2:00 pm finally rolled over on the display on my now-silenced cellphone, I went over to the courtroom doors and tried to get in. They were locked, but of course made a loud enough "BANG" when I pulled on them to make everyone, both inside and outside of the courtroom, look up to see who the jackass was trying to open the door.
About ten seconds later a Bailiff with just a little too much authority came out and chastised everyone in the corridor in an exasperated tone to Quit pulling on the door! We'll call you when it's time to come in!!!
Not exactly wanting to be treated like a child there, I asked So how were we supposed to know that?
And he turned around and shot back, Because the door is locked! like I was some kind of moron or something.
Speaking for the group, I said, No, genius, how are we supposed to know the door is locked without pulling on it first?
He ignored the logic of that question and just went back inside.
So we sat and cooled our heels for a bit, and about 15 minutes later he came back out with proper instructions. We were to present him with the top page of our summons' and a photo ID. And then he started telling people that had sandals on that they weren't allowed in the courtroom. That caused quite a stir with a few people, because there are signs all over the courthouse that said "No Shorts. Shoes and Shirts Required"
Well, according to everyone else on the planet, sandals are shoes, but according to this little Napoleon, they were not. Having already insulted everyone else with his unfriendly attitude, this set everyone off that were wearing flip-flops and sandals. He almost had a riot on his hands, but he insisted that he wouldn't let anyone into his courtroom with sandals on.
So what was his solution? He told everyone to go back upstairs to the Clerk's office, take a number, wait in line, and reschedule their court dates.
Talk about a jackass with just a little too much power...
Well, that caused a couple of guys in line to just lose their minds and rain expletives down on the cop--it was getting good, and I was expecting the pepper spray and zip-ties to make an appearance, but everyone in sandals finally headed back up to the clerks office, while the rest of us properly-attired pilgrims gained admittance to the Holiest of Holies.
About two minutes later, the sandal-wearing crowd made another appearance, having been sent back down from the clerk's office, much to the delight of everyone present. I just sat there quietly with a grin on my face while three rows of John Q. Citizen started heckling the bailiff.
I guess you don't make the rules after all, do you?
Apparently, sandals really *are* shoes!
They said it's ok for the Judge to see my toes!
Of course, this wasn't the loud, sitting-in-the-bleachers-at-Wrigley heckling, it was the quiet high-school assembly when the gym-teacher-who-everyone-knows-is-a-molester gets up to speak heckling--just loud enough to cause a few giggles amongst the accused, and definitely loud enough to piss off the bailiff, but not so loud that he had to bring the hammer down.
Once all the paperwork was settled and the instructions were given, they called out seven names to go sit off to the side of the bench, while the rest of us waited in the back. I was in the second group, and we were instructed to sit in the order in which we were called. Of course my lucky Elvis boxers failed me, and instead of getting to sit next to the Swedish Bikini Team, I landed next to Reverend Jim.
But I didn't have to wait long. The judge was a kind and efficient soul, and I spent a grand total of thirty seconds in front of him. He offered me traffic school for $35, and if I finished it within 90 days, my ticket would be reduced to a parking violation and the fine would be $140.
Originally, the information I had told me that it was going to cost me $360, so that was a *huge* win in my book!
And I can do the traffic school online--no sitting around in a conference room at a local Best Western for eight hours with a room full of jerkoffs who keep asking questions making the day drag by. (Like I had to do in Phoenix a few years back).
I was pretty pleased with the outcome, and toasted my small victory with a celebratory bottle of Michelob Light as soon as I got home.
In fact, I think it's time for another...
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Right now I'm giving the Toshiba laptop it's first real workout since I brought it home less than two months ago. If you could even begin to imagine how archaic my old computer was, doing everything I'm doing right now is nothing short of a miracle.
Currently, I'm doing all of the following, simultaneously, without a hiccup:
1) Checking email
2) Downloading six songs on Limewire
3) Monitoring the chat room at T2V
4) Writing this post on my Blogger dashboard
5) Searching for four other songs on Limewire
6) Listening to my mp3 library--currently it's George Michael's Freedom '90 (a great song and in my opinion the best video ever made for MTV).
7) Bouncing between four different tabs on Mozilla.
When you consider that on my old Compaq, if I opened the T2V chat room, everything else came to a complete halt and the computer needed a reboot each time, well, I'm just tickled to death because this machine doesn't break a sweat.
My next project is to download TubeSucker and start getting all my favorite funny videos onto my iPod.
Since I've been living on the cheap lately, the highlight of my social life has been the regular grillfest/campfires with Eddie and Rob. And speaking of which, we're on for the same thing again tonight--the brats were so good last week that Rob and I decided to do it again this week. No steaks this time, and since Eddie B has returned home to Phoenix, Dave P is taking his place at the weekly sausagefest. (Hey, I had to say it before one of you jokers lit me up in my comments section). Even Travis the Stoner has returned from touring the Caribbean with a reggae band (Steel Pulse) and will be joining us. It should be a good time, and as soon as I'm done posting this update, I'm off to the grocery store.
Anyhow, while surfing the web today, I ran across a website that offered the latest 'must have' in the Mikey collection. Long-time readers know of my uncanny ability to run my wallet through the washing machine, and those that know me also know that I'm a fan of Pulp Fiction. Well, combine those two things, and what do you get?
For the bargain price of $24.99, I can be almost as cool as Jules Winfield, minus the Jeri-curl and the 9 mm. A real man carries a .45, anyways.
So it's on the way, and the worn out tri-fold that Angy sent me last year will soon be retired. I'm thinking that I may order another one before next March, and offer it up as part of the prize for the winner of the T2V poker tournament.
But then, what would I do with two of the exact same wallets? Heh.
I guess it'll be nice to have a spare once I run the first one through the washing machine.
PS. Yes, I know I'm only 13 years late on catching this trend, but what can I say? I didn't start liking Pearl Jam until like 2002 or so.
Friday, May 04, 2007
I'm kind of in that too-tired to be coherent phase right now, as I've only gotten a couple hours of sleep. I was the Last Man Standing on my shift last night, not hitting the time clock until well after 4:00 am. Since Eddie's alarm goes off at five, I tried to take my time in getting home and making noise. So I stopped at the store on the way home and got a few small things--coffee creamer, milk, eggs, and a tube of ready-to-bake cinnamon rolls.
Once I got back to the house, instead of diving across Eddie and his inflata-bed to get to my nest, I took a shower, setup the coffeemaker, and put the rolls in the oven, timing it so everything would be done about ten minutes after he got up. I then just hung out at the kitchen table reading the pile of junk mail while waiting for everything to get ready. Last night was Eddie's last night at Casa de Mikey, so I wanted to make sure he got plenty of uninterrupted sleep before spending half a day at his office and then having to drive back to Phoenix later this afternoon.
Yep, his three weeks in Vegas is coming to an end this afternoon, and he's heading back home. It's been fun, but I'm sure he feels that his wife makes a better roommate.
Anyhow, the coffee and cinnamon rolls were a good way to start the day for him, but of course it kept me up for a bit. Now that it's all bright and daylighty out, it's tough to sleep, especially since two of my roommates are outside doing projects that involve a powerwasher and a compressed air tank. I'm sure I'll doze again for a bit later this afternoon before heading back to work, but right now I'm just feeling a bit groggy.
And I'll need my sleep. This weekend is Cinco de Mayo, the Holyfield-Mayweather fight, and the Kentucky Derby. The casino is going to be hopping.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Also another quick thanks to those anonymous souls who have been kind enough to drop some spare change in the tip jar recently. Every little bit helps, especially this month.
Oh, and I almost forgot. A bottle of Mt. Gay rum also found it's way to my booze shelf, thanks to Falcon Rob.
Thanks again, everyone.
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE ?
Rueben 'Hurricane' Carter.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
The other night at work. Some old foga busted a rank-ass air biscuit at the dice table that made my eyes water.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Depends on the method of delivery. I'm pretty good with a ballpoint pen, a little worse with a roller-ball gel pen, and completely outside the lines with a spray can. But a Sharpie marker is my true medium, and my work on Angy's ass has been compared to the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH?
Toss up: Either Asian Nachos at the Grand Luxe Cafe, or a pepperoni and mushroom pie at New York Pizza & Pasta. Yellowtail sushi served on a naked model is also a nice treat, but it's not exactly on the menu down at Tokyo 2 Go.
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
None that I'm aware of. Although I could be wrong, due to that one visit to the donation center back in college when I was a little short of tuition money...
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Absolutely. Everybody wants to party with Hurricane Mikey.
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM ALOT?
I keep it under glass, which only gets broken in an emergency.
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
I'm not sure. After I met that hot Asian gal at Tao that night and woke up in a tub of ice water the next morning, I don't know exactly which parts I may be missing.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Are you effin' kiddin'? The last time I got shackled by the ankles it didn't work out so good for me.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Probably Golden Grahams. But I usually keep Raisin Bran on hand.
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
It depends on who's hotel room I'm staying in. You never know when you'll need to make a hasty exit...
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
Strong like Bull!
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Either Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip or the hippie's Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Cleavage. I don't notice dudes.
15. RED OR PINK?
What kind of question is this? Isn't the question supposed to be Red or White? And the answer depends on whether I'm having the surf or the turf.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
My uncanny ability to remain in debt.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU?
No. I'm a misanthrope and don't care about any of you people.
9. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
I'm currently sporting a pair of black Elvis boxers and no shoes. You feel like you know me now?
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
Blueberry pancakes, maple sausage links, and orange juice.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
R. Lee Ermey on the History Channel interviewing Marines over in Jihadistan
22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Campfire smoke, fresh-brewed coffee, bacon frying, walking in the front door at Treasure Island, stripper perfume.
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
George the Big Stogie
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?
I'd like 'em a lot better if they'd quit sending me this stuff... Heh.
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
NFL. SEC Football. Cardinals baseball
27. HAIR COLOR?
Bald. And the carpet does *not* match the drapes.
28. EYE COLOR?
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
Nope. But I sport the Beer Goggles on occasion.
30. FAVORITE FOOD?
NY Style pizza, hazelnut coffee, grilled meat, breakfast.
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Why, everyone loves a good happy ending, right? I'm no different.
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
The Great Escape
34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
35. HUGS OR KISSES?
Whichever one leads to a Happy Ending.
36. FAVORITE DESSERT?
Either tiramisu or pistachio gelato
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
Dave P or Hoya
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND
That Chris guy
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
An Embarrassment of Mangoes
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
Dust and crumbs
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT?
The Unit (on the dvr)
42. FAVORITE SOUND?
Seven out! Line away...
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
The Stones, baby. Paul McCartney is the Devil.
44. WHAT IS THE FURTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Standing on a glacier in the Yukon Territory.
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
I can stick cans and bottles to my head. Everybody loves that trick.
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
I was created in a lab. Obviously, the experiment was a success.
PS Don't even THINK of copying/pasting/answering all of the questions in my comments section! I've got an itchy delete-button finger... I told you I was a misanthrope.
Anyhow, I finally found a basic template that I liked, bit the bullet and upgraded, and then spent a couple of hours recoding all of my customizations. It really wasn't that hard, and I like the way it turned out. I may fine-tune the colors and a couple of other minor things, but otherwise, this is my new look. I hope you like it.
Right now, it's late on Wednesday night, and Eddie is snoring away in front of the SportsCenter highlights while I diligently pound away at the keyboard, kind of like a dean's list college student having to share a dorm room with the campus slacker. Of course, Eddie is the honor student and I'm halfway to becoming Senator Blutarsky, but the irony is dying a slow death; drowning in a puddle of drool on the pillow.
Anyhow, the wine tasting was a blast--much more fun and interesting than I thought it would be, and I learned that the next time I attend one, I should bring a pad and pen to take notes. There was no way I could remember all of the details of everything I drank, except that everything tasted good except the Cabernet.
We were the first arrivals, checking in with the hostess at Onda at 5:58 for the 6:00 pm event. Since nobody else was there, we just took seats at the bar, Eddie ordering a Stoli Rasberry and Soda, while I had a glass of Loius Latour Chardonnay. Once a few other people showed up, we met the host and took seats at a table.
This wine tasting was quite the casual affair, just taking place in the bar. The host, Jeremy Wilkinson of Great Wines International did a fine job of introducing us to a selection of better South African wines. We started out with a Savignon Blanc, that was actually quite good, and when we got back to our seats, the waiter had brought us each a meat and cheese tray with a basket of assorted breads. A nice older couple sat down with us, and immediately started pimping a Vegas-themed website that they run. Unfortunately, they were giving us the hard sell, and kind of turning us off a bit. I mentioned my old days moderating at T2V and how we had thousands of members and hits per day and whatnot, and I could see the wheels clicking, trying to figure out a way to exploit that knowledge.
About that time Howzie showed up and asked if I was indeed Hurricane Mikey (we'd met once a couple years back, but that was it), and then proceeded to blow them out of the water by telling them what a famous blogger/Vegas insider/Web Master I was. Heh.
I would've given them a plug, a link, and some 'access' to the market over at T2V, but like I said, they were a bit pushy and off-putting. My suspicions were later confirmed that they were pieces of shit when they walked off and stiffed our waiter and the end of the tasting.
Anyhow, Howzie and his wife (who by the way is from South Africa) were a real hoot and we had an enjoyable conversation with them about wine, Vegas, and life in general.
We kept getting new glasses of different kinds of wine, and I was totally surprised by one of them. Anyone that knows me well knows that I absolutely hate Shiraz. The only kind I've had is that Australian Yellowtail which dominates the market but slides around in the glass like unrefrigerated Jello, and tastes like a combination of rubbing alcohol, grapes, and ass. But Shiraz was one of the featured wines, and I had promised myself to keep an open mind.
Once we got the little spiel about the history of it, we took our glasses and went back to the table. And I'll be damned if we weren't all blown away by that 'Landskroon' Shiraz. It was amazingly good--a big hit with everyone--and went so well with the Spanish Manchego cheese and a sliced baguette that I could've sat there all night happily munching away while slowly getting plowed. It
There were also some offerings of a very good Pinotage and a less-than-stellar Cabernet, but my empty glass kept finding the Shiraz bottle. In the two hours we spent there, I think I managed to drink eight glasses of fine wine. I know, I know, it's just a tasting, not a frat party, but damn--it tasted GOOD. And they were not shy in the least about refilling the glasses. When the host saw how much I enjoyed that Shiraz, he made sure I never went thirsty.
Anyhow, the party wound down about 8:00 pm or so, and we'd switched to drinking glasses of water instead of the very happy grape juice. We said our goodbyes to all of our new friends and headed out to the casino, hoping to re-live that $1000 win on the Wheel of Fortune dollar machine that happened to us back during the Original March Madness. Unfortunately, Pat and Vanna weren't in a giving mood, and we left $40 lighter.
Once we left the Mirage, we briefly discussed a visit to the Palamino Club for some further high culture, but Eddie got stuck on a long phone call from home and we ended up just coming back to the house. We were both pretty tired, and my weekend is winding down anyways. I need to get some rest and recharge the batteries before heading back in to the office and working my ass off for the next five days.
A wine hangover is probably a great way to start.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
I've spent the better part of the past two days downloading and testing different programs, and I even downloaded the latest version of iTunes. Yesterday, I could get nothing to work. Today, I had a panic attack at one point because one program "helpfully" synced it's default playlist titles onto my iPod, wiping out my existing ones, while at the same time scanning my computer for any sort of sound file and uploading it to my iPod. Yes, suddenly I had no playlists of my own, just 700 random songs and about 300 random wav files--all of the blurbs, beeps, and clicks that are loaded into the operating system of any computer. So earlier today I was in a murderous rage and thought my iPod was ruined. Or at least severely compromised.
But alas, all is not lost. The first thing I did was delete both iTunes and that complete shitbag program, MediaMonkey, off of my machine. Good lord--I thought iTunes was bad. I then reloaded Anapod, somehow got it to work, and spent a couple of hours deleting all of the useless wav files from my iPod, rebuilt and customized my playlists, and then reloaded the music in it's proper folders.
It was a long and ridiculous process, but not nearly as stupid as downloading one song at a time to an iTunes library just so I could 'sync' the damn thing every time I wanted to add a new song. (yeah, they don't want you moving songs into their library--who knows where it could have come from!). Oh, and Anapod also has the capability to move songs FROM the iPod TO the computer, so I can share it, burn it, or do whatever the hell I want to do with the file, unlike iTunes, which is a one-way street. You can only move files from the computer to the library to the iPod, but not from the iPod to the computer.
I think I'm ok now...
And Hoya, I know you like to sound smugly sophisticated with your "14 reasons you'll never own an iPod", but honestly--it's you're loss. As far as inventions go, it's damn near revolutionary. Not only is it the coolest gadget I've ever laid my hands on, it is the standard for all mp3 players on the market--everyone else is playing catch-up. The problem is not with the iPod itself, it has to do with Apple getting in bed with the RIAA and trying to keep people from "owning" their digital music--they are perfectly cool with you having the ability to listen to the music on the iPod after you pay for it, but how dare you think that you own it and wish to burn a cd. It's the record companies--not the hardware--that cause all these headaches. Even more of a reason to stick it to them at every opportunity, as far as I'm concerned, and I fully support the 'better mice' that keep thwarting the record companies' attempts at building better mousetraps. True, Apple had to make a deal with the Devil to bring the iPod to the market, but if literature and pop culture is any indication, there's always a way out before he comes to collect your soul.
Surprisingly, most of the music on my iPod is actually ripped from CDs that I bought and paid for through legitimate means. But if I want a copy of 'We Ride Tonight' by The Sherbs, and it's unavailable through any retail outlet, you're damn right that I'm going to use Napster to try to get my hands on it. And if they shut that down, I'll use Grockster. And once that goes away, I'll use Gnutella. And once they destroy that, I'll use Limewire. It doesn't matter what they do--they're fighting a losing battle. There will *always* be a way download music on the internet. iTunes is making great strides in tightening up the pirating--99 cents a song is a pretty good deal. But to charge me for it and then tell me that I don't *really* own it and I'm not allowed to download it to my PC is the pinnacle of arrogance.
I love the iPod. But I'll *never* use iTunes.
I'm sorry, but it must be said--this season started with so much promise, and even though it's had it's bright spots, it's seems that the conclusion will arrive not with a bang, but with a whimper. Seriously--Nobody in the 24-watching universe is rooting for Audrey Raines to recover her mental abilities and for her and Jack to ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after. Of course we're all hoping for him to hop on the hot ex-girlfriend/sister-in-law from earlier in the day. If I were a badass on the same order of magnitude as Jack Bauer, that's what I'd do. Audrey Raines would only be fetching my coffee and ordering my office supplies, and that'd be about the extent of our 'relationship'.
Clearly this past episode was directed by a woman who's not getting enough love or chocolate, because I about gagged during that whole I love you with all my heart bullshiat scene. John Wayne would've never said that. And Chloe and Morris having their "breakup" in the back hallway? Whatever. Do they really need to make such a lame effort at chick-flickedness to maintain ratings? It makes me sick.
Anyhow... That kind of put me in a foul mood after watching such a crappy episode.
Once my tv-watching and the rest of my chores were done for the day, I got a little grocery shopping done for last night's festivities. We didn't need much, just meat, buns, and beer--I pretty much had everything else on hand.
I got back to the house a few minutes after Eddie did, and we spent the balance of the afternoon watching ESPN, drinking a beer or two, and going on another wood-gathering safari in the underbrush of the 'frontier' that surrounds the property.
Once the sun headed for shelter behind the western mountains, we fired up the charcoal grill again and built a teepee out of firewood. I made some sour cream/onion soup dip, then set out preparing the brats.
Of course, you can just throw brats on the grill right out of the package, but that wouldn't be proper. I sliced up a couple of onions and added them to three bottles of Corona in a stew pot. I added the brats, and let the whole mixture simmer for about a half an hour. Good lord the kitchen smelled good!
Rob showed up about the time the coals were good and ready, so we threw the brats and a few hamburgers on the grill, and also prepared a can of bbq baked beans.
The beer/onion mixture didn't go to waste, as Eddie salvaged all of the onions while I was tending the grill. A few minutes later we were sitting at the table chowing on the best tasting brats we'd ever had.
I know that's a bold statement, but it's true. We couldn't stop raving about how good they turned out. Grilled beer brats on super-fresh soft buns, topped with spicy mustard and beer-boiled onions--Oh hell yeah--it just didn't get any better than that! You can only imagine how good it tasted.
I even tossed out the offhand remark You know fellas, it may be blasphemy (there's that word again!) to say so, but I think I enjoy these brats more than the steaks last week! The amazing thing was that both of them agreed. Don't get me wrong, the steaks were fine, but they weren't prime ribeyes or anything like that. But the brats were just so damn good, that we couldn't find enough superlatives to describe them. So we pretty much decided at that moment that we'd be grilling brats again next time.
After dinner we lit up the fire pit, got fresh beers, and fired up a couple of cigars, as is our usual ritual. We hung out for a couple of hours, until the stack of firewood had turned into a pile of embers. Eddie announced that it was his bedtime and started to wrestle The Blob back into the bedroom, while Rob and I headed back inside to do the dishes and clean up and such. Eventually, we made a pot of coffee and roasted a plate of smores in the microwave, and stayed up chatting till sometime after 1:00 am.
I guess you could say that Tuesday night at the fire pit was a success.
I slept like a rock until that 5:00 alarm this morning that got Eddie up, and of course I've been up ever since. The agenda for today is to do a shitload of laundry, go to the post office, and maybe scarf down a leftover brat for breakfast. I've got to get a nap in at some point, because tonight we're off to The Mirage for the wine tasting.