Saturday, June 30, 2007

I Was Going for Triple-X

But according to these folks, I fell just a bit short:

Online Dating

Must have something to do with the fact that the word 'ass' is mentioned thirteen times on the front page, and 'hurt' is mentioned three times. I wonder what would've happened if I featured more bunnies and rainbows.

But since I've already got the NC-17 rating, I may as well provide some content. Enjoy!


Thursday, June 28, 2007


As if the Indiana Jones trilogy on widescreen DVD wasn't enough, another package arrived yesterday from another generous benefactor. It seems that somebody was aware of the fact that the only glassware I have is a nice set of wine glasses I got from Hoya last Christmas, while the rest of my drinkware consists of sportsbottles and plastic tumblers from the sale rack at Target. But even so, I was quite surprised to see the UPS man standing on my porch yesterday afternoon delivering a package addressed to 'Oscar & Felix'.

I tore into it with the only cutting tool I had handy at the time--my car keys--and happily discovered a set of four beer glasses. But no, these weren't just any beer glasses, these were official Imperial Pint glasses, with the bulge for stacking, and the official British Government Seal. There was also a copy of Draft Magazine included, a surprisingly readable publication dedicated to the 'beer lifestyle'. It now resides in a place of honor on the back of my toilet.

And word around the campfire is that there is yet another small package enroute, too. Woot! Of course, Rob dampened my spirits by reminding me that I should've included LV Terry in the Hey gang--Here's my new address email, as we'd likely have a freezer full of Omaha Steaks by now, too. Doh! Oh well, somehow we'll manage, especially since we're not allowed to grill here. I guess the next batch of smores we do will be in the microwave...

Anyhow. Now that I made it to my weekend somewhat intact, and we got the HDTV all hooked up, of course nothing else has been accomplished in the past 48 hours except running the dishwasher. I stayed up late on Tuesday night watching a show on PBS HD about Yak ranchers in Wyoming and watermelon farmers in New Mexico. Seriously. I could not. turn. it. off. Just when I thought western civilization had peaked with the invention of the iPod, they come and unleash High-Definition TV on me.

It's truly the coolest thing I've seen in awhile.

I finally tore myself away from the digital crack pipe long enough last night to make another run to the old house. I got a bunch of very heavy stuff moved--mostly books, and I got pretty much everything else stacked up and ready to go. I think one more trip to get the small stuff, and a return trip to get my office tower/desk thingy for the computer, and I'll be completely out of there. Of course, I'm missing a big Rubbermaid tote full of books that my roommate moved and can't remember where he put it, so that's on my agenda tomorrow afternoon--finding the missing books. Then I get to unpack everything that's currently stacked in our dining room.

As well as everything is going right now, life is not without it's frustrations. I managed to get the new router set up properly and the whole wireless network is secure, so I can sit anywhere around the house using the laptop to surf and nobody can steal my wifi. I also got the old Compaq hooked up wirelessly, so Rob can hit the internet without having to run a blue ethernet cable down the hallway from my bedroom to his. The only problem is moving my old files (mostly digital pics and downloaded music, along with handful of Word documents) from the Compaq to the laptop. I've tried everything, and NOTHING works. For whatever reason, none of the 'easy transfer' options are compatible with Windows Millennium, which the old computer runs on. I can't even transfer files over a wired network--it looks like I'll just have to save everything to disk and move it manually. Settings and bookmarks? Forget it. Millennium and Vista are so far apart, they don't even recognize that they're both bastard children from the same father. (Although Vista clearly got the brains and the looks in the family, while Millennium eats from a dog dish and lives under the stairs).

But the entire network, both computers, keyboards, mice, router, modem, and about 15 miles of cable, are all sitting on my bedroom floor at this moment, taking up valuable real estate. Once I get all of my private files taken off of the old computer, it's going in Rob's room until the day we take it out to the vacant lot next door and give it the Office Space treatment with a couple of Louisville Sluggers.

Recycle? Forget that. That old Compaq is going to Rest in Pieces at the landfill, hopefully slowly decomposing over the next thousand years under a hundred tons of smelly rotting garbage, because I can't think of a more appropriate send-off for all of the headaches it's caused me over the years.

Anyhow, that's the news from here. We're almost 100% moved in, ahead of schedule, and everything at the new house works. Especially the AC. Did I mention that I'm freezing my ass off right now?

I am, but I don't care. I could die from hypothermia tonight and be happy. Because I know that I won't wake up in two hours drenched in sweat and cursing my stupid-ass roommate for being such a cheap bastard. I don't care if I have to live on Ramen noodles and peanut butter for the rest of the summer--we're GONNA keep this house cool!

More later.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Can See Clearly Now

After this morning's epic post about the previous week's activities, I finally went to bed (feeling much better, thank you) around 5:00 am. All that hurling, coupled with a half-hour in the hot tub, conspired to sap all the energy from my body and I completely collapsed into an unconscious heap as soon as I hit the Blob.

It seemed like ten minutes passed, and Rob was knocking on my bedroom door telling me the cable guy was already here. But it was 8:01 am--we were the first stop on his route for the day. He spent a few minutes testing outlets and whatnot, and finally jury-rigged a solution that didn't cost us $50 for a service call. The downside is that I now have a tangle of co-axial cable coming out of two outlets in my bedroom, along with a splitter leading to the modem/computer setup. He offered to staple everything down along the baseboard, but I declined, figuring I'd just hide it all with my desk once I finally get it over here.

Once he left, it took about ten minutes before the HD receiver finally cycled through all of the updates and we got cable access. It took another twenty minutes or so of messing around in the spaghetti behind the entertainment center before we figured out how to get sound and pictures at the same time and which inputs the tv/receiver/dvd had to be set on for everything to work properly.

But once we figured it out, it was like the heavens parted and sweet high-definition goodness was poured out upon us, and we drank heavily from the digital cup. We spent an hour in wide-eyed wonder watching SportsCenter in HD, marveling that we could read the numbers on the empty outfield seats whenever a deep fly ball was hit. As a bonus, we discovered that HBO HD is included in the package, so I still get to watch Entourage every week (we opted not to get the HBO/Cinemax channels in order to save some cash), and we even have a Cinemax HD channel too. You know what that means--soft porn in High Def! Woot! I guess we'll be treated to the "Gene Simmons view" of Shannon Tweed's nekkid ass late at night. But the really cool one is the Discovery HD Theatre channel--and a show about underwater volcanoes is coming on in an hour and we'll be found sitting in the living room ooohing and aaaahing like a couple of retards at a fireworks show.

Seriously, I had no idea that HDTV was so cool. Only because I'd never seen it before. But the only thing I can liken it to was the fact that I have a relatively weak eyeglass prescription, and seeing HDTV compared to standard was like putting glasses on for the first time. It's amazing how sharp, clear, and brilliant everything looked. We found ourselves staring at the PBS HD channel for a half hour, watching a show about Mormon handcart pioneers caught in a snowstorm in Nebraska. Not exactly must-see TV, but like I told Rob at the time, I don't really want to watch this, but it's just so cool that I can't look away!

But only having about three hours of sleep last night started to catch up to me, and I needed a nap. So I kept the door to my bedroom open and crashed, while Rob turned off the TV and just put some Pink Floyd on the surround system. Talk about getting mellow in a hurry--Rob fell asleep in the chair in the living room, and I was around the corner passed out in my bed. I slept well, but dreamt about flying pigs and cartoon hammers and whatnot.

I'm awake now, and delaying the inevitable trip back over to the old house to get more stuff. I'm going to wait until after dark so that I can put stuff in the bed of the truck without having it melt. But since Rob is in the living room watching Star Trek, I figured now was a good time to make another update.


Finally... Some Free Time!

Hey Gang... Thanks for hangin' in there and checkin' in on me. But here it is 3:20 on Tuesday morning and I've finally got a few free moments to hit the keyboard. It's been a helluva week. First of all, I left work early, but not by choice. I was sitting there at a $10 Pai Gow table when I suddenly got sick. Not just feeling tired or worn out--I'm talking Get-the-floorman-over-here-right-now so-I-can-go-puke-in-the-garbage-can sick. And it happened twice. After the second time they told me to hit the bricks. I was a trooper and tried to tough it out after the first episode, but I lasted about 15 more minutes before I grabbed the floorperson, Denise, and had her watch my rack (It only had about $40,000 in it) while I went and hurled.

Good times.

That's about the time they told me to get out of there. But at least I didn't get any on my shirt. The true bummer of it all was that last night was 1) My 'Friday' and 2) Stephanie's birthday, so we were likely to go have a drink together (although she was partying at Jet at the Mirage and I didn't figure to hear from her until it was too late--but the opportunity was there). Even worse, another gal I know, a very attractive cocktail waitress from the Luxor came by tonight and was following me from table to table and we'd made plans to go out for a drink or two after work, provided I could get an hour of Early Out. Well, I got out, but having her see me do my best Doc Al impersonation *twice* by giving the thumbs up as I yacked into a garbage can, well, it kind of put a damper on the evening. She was kind enough to fetch me a bottle of water and give me some Altoids, and had I had any hair, I'm sure she would've been Johnny-on-the-spot and held it back for me.

She's a great gal, but I'm sure that's not how she envisioned her evening going. But that's me, always impressing the ladies...

Of course, once I got out of there, I puked once more in the parking garage, again on the way home--pulled over under a streetlight on Arroyo Grande--then in the parking lot here at home. I made it to the bathroom before it happened again, so I decided I probably could use a shower and about thirty seconds with the Listerine. Once I got out, I made it down to the jacuzzi, where I only puked once more in the bushes before relaxing in the whirlpool for a half and hour and feeling much better once I emerged.

Now I'm back at the house, with a towel laid out on the floor, lying on my tummy typing this and taking the occasional sip of a watery fountain Coke. So far, it's staying down.

I don't know what the hell got into me tonight at work, because I felt fine for the first five hours or so, then suddenly I couldn't even keep bottled water down.

But like I said, it's been a helluva week. Last Tuesday I spent the day sweating my ass off and loading junk over here to the new house. Wednesday was a blast though--it was my day off and I spent it with Hoyaheel and Dane down at the Planet Alladinwood.

When I got to their room, I was given a cocktail for one hand and a pair of binoculars for the other hand. It seems that they had a Resort Vista room on the 17th floor, overlooking the pool, and thus all of the bikinis, too. One in particular stood out--a gal in a light-blue Brazilian-style Wicked Weasel bikini that became see-through as soon as it got wet. Oh hell yeah!

Once we finally put the binoculars down, we had a great visit, catching up on all the latest news and gossip while munching on a few trays of Mexican goodies that Hoya had brought up from La Salsa Cantina. Once lunch was over, there was more gawking at the window and drinking of more cocktails. I saw an outrageously hot girl in a black bikini, and at that point we decided to head on down to the pool and get a closer look, as it's not nearly as perverted as sitting up in the hotel room looking down with binoculars.

It was hotter than hell that day, close to 110 degrees, but luckily I'd put some sunscreen on my ol' bald head. The water was nice, there were no kids, and a few minutes after I got there, the hot chick in the black bikini bumped into me and we started a pleasant conversation that lasted almost two hours. And upon closer inspection, I realized that her bikini was purple, not black. Unfortunately, even with about a fifth of coconut rum in me and bringing my 'A' game, it was not to be, as not only was she married, but she was heading back home to Colorado later that same evening.

Two ships, as they say...

Once we got tired of the sun, we headed back up to the room for more cocktails. I called Scottie (GottaVegasJones) and he came over and joined us. We had a lot of laughs and finalized our plans for the evening. Dane and Hoya were going to see 'O' at Bellagio, but Scottie, his wife Alice Lee, Reverend Dave, Falcon Rob, and I were going to a wine tasting at the Mirage. I took a quick shower there in Hoya's luxurious digs, got dressed, and a bit later Reverend Dave showed up. We stayed and visited for a bit, but before we realized it, it was 5:30 and we had to be at the Mirage a half hour later.

We got there just under the wire and snagged a primo table for the wine tasting. Everyone eventually showed up and we got down to business, sampling wines from Central Washington. I wasn't very impressed, although there was a very good Riesling offered. But unlike the South African tasting last month, I wasn't scrambling to write down all my favorites. These were all good, but nothing really stood out.

I think the highlight of the wine tasting was the cheese tray, as there was some sort of high-powered Gorgonzola cheese that while tasty in it's own sort of way, it gave me the kind of jolt that drinking balsamic vinegar straight from the teat would do to you. As Reverend Dave put it "I've never had cheese that cleared my sinuses before...."

Anyhow, once a couple of hours had passed and we all had a good wine buzz going, we decided to have dinner downtown at Binion's Ranch Steakhouse. It's always been a favorite, and this time didn't disappoint, either. I had some more of their fantastic French Onion Soup (best I've found in Vegas), and the table shared a couple of orders of crab-stuffed mushroom caps. For dinner I had a Ribeye with garlic-mashed potatoes and green beans. And we can't forget the wonderful warm bread and butter they keep you loaded up with, either. It was a great meal, made even better at the conclusion when Scottie insisted on paying the tab for the entire party.

Wow. Talk about a generous offer. Thanks again, Scottie!

After dinner we were all struggling with food comas, but we made our way up and down Fremont Street seeing the sights--Reverend Dave hadn't been to Vegas since 1993, so he had some catching up to do. We made him take a trip on the Grain Train, also, and since he wasn't driving, he was cool with it. The worst part was enduring the smell at La Bayou while waiting in line, but we survived.

Once all of the sights were seen, we headed over to the Plaza for a little bit of gambling.

All I can say is that it was so ugly that it was comical. The moment we shifted to the Dark Side on the dice table, granny with the dice couldn't miss--she hit everything and wiped us out. Scottie and Rob played a bit more, while Reverend Dave and I took seats in the Omaha Lounge while smoking and people-watching.

Eventually, we started to hit the wall, and decided to call it a night. We said goodbye to everyone, and we hit the road for that long drive out to Lake Las Vegas. I made it home about five minutes before Rob did, and he had gone back up to his old place in North Vegas, loaded up his car with more stuff, and then drove back to our new house in Henderson. Suffice it to say, Lake Las Vegas is a geographical oddity--45 minutes from everywhere.

Thursday was a sleep-in day, but once we got up, Rob and I decided to go shopping. Living in such a nice place has motivated us to get better stuff ASAP and Rob wanted to step up first and get a new TV. A wide-screen LCD HD TV. I graciously offered the use of my truck and we spent a few hours browsing around at Best Buy, Circuit City, and the like. After a pretty good lunch at the Macaroni Grill, we decided to go with a 32-incher we saw at Best Buy. So back we went, bought it, along with a entertainment center and some networking gear so Rob can get online with my old Compaq, and we came back to the house with a truckload of new electronic gear. I took a quick nap while he wrestled with the entertainment center, as I had to work that night.

The next day, I moved another load over in the morning, ran my errands, and then spent the balance of the afternoon hooking up the new tv, the surround sound, dvd player, and cable box. Of course at that point we realized that we didn't have an HD cable box, so I got to spend a couple of hours in line down at the Cox office changing it out. After we got it all hooked up we found that 1) We still need some sort of digital audio cable to connect the cable box to the receiver and 2) the cable outlet in the living room doesn't work--no signal whatsoever. So we've been without TV for the entire week, but the Cable Guy is coming by sometime after 8:00 this morning to fix our outlets. So hopefully by tonight we can be watching Deadliest Catch in High Def and 6.1 surround sound (Do they even offer it??).

Also, a generous benefactor and regular reader of this site stepped up to send me my first housewarming gift, which also happened to be my first piece of mail--The Indiana Jones Trilogy on widescreen DVD. Hell yeah--can't wait to watch that again.

But the plan for today is to get a little sleep, get the cable and surround sound system all hooked up properly, and maybe move the rest of the big stuff over from the old house. I should be completely out of there by Wednesday night, and next Tuesday will be my first *true* day off where I haven't had to be anywhere or do anything in a month. I can't wait!

Mikey out.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Still Alive, Just Tired

Hey Gang...

Sorry I haven't posted anything since like Tuesday or so, but I have been one busy mofo this week and have had absolutely no time to just sit and pound the keys. I finally had a bit of a slowdown yesterday, but I spent the entire day sleeping. Yep, like 13 hours in bed on Saturday. I woke up about 45 minutes before I had to get ready for work.

But it's been a great week--I had a lot of fun, visited with a bunch of my favorite people, and got about 90% of my move finished up. I'll have it all written up in excruciating detail either later today or first thing tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have to get some sleep. I managed to skate out of work about a half hour early this morning, so I took off and headed over to the old house to get some more stuff. Not exactly a full truckload, but I got all the food out of the cabinets and fridge before the scavengers got to it. I'm home now, and hopefully I'll get about six hours of sleep before I have to get up and start on my list of projects for the day.

More updates soon.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Four Things About Mikey

Four Jobs I've Had:

1) Casino Dealer
2) Options Trader
3) White Water Rafting Guide
4) Line Cook

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over:

1) Dazed and Confused
2) Ocean's 11
3) Forrest Gump
4) Swiss Family Robinson

Four Places I've Lived

1) Las Vegas
2) San Diego
3) Atlanta
4) Phoenix

Four TV Shows I Love:

1) Entourage
2) The Unit
3) Deadliest Catch
4) Pardon The Interruption

Four Places I've Vacationed:

1) Center Hill Lake, Tennessee
2) Mogollon Rim, Arizona
3) Mystic, Connecticut
4) Several cruises all over the Caribbean

Four of My Favorite Dishes:

1) Asian Nachos, Grand Luxe Cafe
2) A Bennigan's Monte Cristo. Haven't had one in years.
3) Broiled Scallops with Mushroom Risotto
4) Veal Marsala

Four Sites I Visit Daily:

1) The Other Side of Kim
2) Rachel Lucas
3) National Review Online
4) Ace of Spades HQ

Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now:

1) Two Harbors, Catalina
2) On a cruise ship
3) Cozumel
4) On a sailboat in the Caribbean

Four Things on My Immediate Shopping List:

1) A bookshelf
2) Black polyester work pants
3) A new printer
4) A digital camera

Four Songs That Always Put Me In a Good Mood:

1) Sweet Child O' Mine
2) Sweet Caroline
3) The Weather is Here, I Wish You Were Beautiful
4) Dancin' Queen

Four Things I Refuse to Eat:

1) Beets
2) Salmon
3) The 'Fish of the Day' in the Employee Dining Room
4) Oysters. I've tried, and failed, on several occasions, to enjoy them. Yuck.

Four Things I Can't Live Without

1) iPod
2) Hazelnut Coffee
3) Cigars
4) Rum

Four Places I Will Visit Before I Die:

1) French Polynesia
2) New Zealand
3) Romania
4) Thailand

Four Cars I Have Owned:

1) 2006 Dodge Dakota
2) 2001 Nissan Frontier
3) 1980 Nissan 280-ZX
4) 1995 Nissan Frontier

Four Concerts I Have Seen:

1) U2 - Zoo TV at Sun Devil Stadium
2) Duran Duran - Seven & The Ragged Tiger
3) Rush - Moving Pictures
4) Jimmy Buffett - Lots!

Four Favorite Candies:

1) M&M's
2) Junior Mints
3) Reese's Sticks
4) Kit Kat

Four Pet's Names:

1) Rebel
2) Baron
3) Benson
4) Oscar

Four Skeletons In My Closet:

1) Even though I went to the 'Gifted' classes in High School, I could never solve the Rubiks Cube.
2) I own just about every Erasure CD ever released.
3) Seven years, 150 credits, $40,000 in debt. No college degree.
4) When I was young, I always believed it was cheaper to spend the night in jail rather than paying traffic tickets.

Four People I'd Like to Have Over for a Dinner Party:

1) Fred Thompson
2) Charlie Steiner
3) Samuel L. Jackson
4) Jay Leno

Four People Who I Wish Would Do a Vanity Search on Google and Then Email Me:

1) Kimberly Kelley
2) Christine Maupin
3) Mark Seitz
4) Maria Slingerland

Four Girls I Wish I Could Hook Up With One More Time:

1) Jennifer, the outrageous redhead who liked Echo & The Bunnymen, Berry Wine Coolers, and riding on my motorcycle.
2) Michelle, the girl from the U2 concert.
3) Lorraine from Mesa--losing my security deposit because of all the wax melted into the carpet was very well worth it.
4) Danielle the cocktail waitress. All my buddies were impressed when she showed up with me at the hockey game that night. And I impressed myself later that night when I finally got that Roenick jersey off of her...

Four Books I've Read More Than Once:

1) Maiden Voyage
2) Red Storm Rising
3) Flirting With Mermaids
4) Two Years Before the Mast

Four Favorite Cocktails:

1) Captain & Coke
2) Stoli Vanilla & Coke
3) Bombay Sapphire Martini
4) Mt. Gay Pina Colada

Four Favorite Pizza Toppings:

1) Pepperoni
2) Sausage
3) Onion
4) Mushrooms

Four Halloween Costumes:

1) Ghost of Elvis
2) Uncle Fester
3) Rastafarian
4) Bob Ross

Four Pet Peeves:

1) People who can't talk about anything but work, their kids, or their pets.
2) Whistlers. Seriously--just shut the f*ck up.
3) Small talk. Sometimes I just want my quiet time, especially when I first get to work.
4) The fourth one is a toss-up between Bluetooth earpieces and sideways baseball caps. I don't know which is more annoying, but both make me want to kick people in the head.


Well, That Was Fast...

So, there I was, sweating my ass off at the old house, packing some boxes, doing more laundry, and loading my truck. I even packed up the ol' laptop, not wanting to tempt my former loser roommates with unauthorized access to pr0n. (I caught them using the old Compaq on a couple of occasions when I wasn't around, but the new laptop is password protected even if you just want to play solitaire, much less surf the net).

Once I got too damn hot and sweaty to load any more stuff, I hit the road and came back over here to the new apartment. And as soon as I walked up, I saw that there was a pile of coax cable on the porch, and a FedEx sticker on the door, telling me I had a package at the rental office. That could only mean one thing--We now had cable!

I brought in a few things, got a huge glass of ice water, and chilled out for a minute or two. I then got down on the floor in my room (haven't moved the desk yet) and hooked up the modem and laptop. A quick call to the Cox Suckers to give them the MAC ID on my modem and I was good to go--back online in record time!

My original plan was to spend the day making several trips between the two houses. But once was enough because it's 108 degrees outside right now and I'm afraid it'll melt all the Rubbermaid tote boxes if they're in direct sunlight for more than a couple of minutes, not to mention cook whatever is inside of them. Besides that, I've still got ten days left to move the rest of my shiat, and honestly, I'm about 80% done. I'll do it late at night instead of during the heat of the day. I don't know what I was thinking, but I swear I've sweated off about 10 lbs. today.

I was also going to bring my TV over today, but I think I'm going to wait. I don't want to hook it all up just yet because Rob is considering getting a widescreen HDTV this weekend, and if he does, I'm definitely *not* going to go through the hell of hooking up the cable box/dvd/receiver/surround sound twice. And I don't want to make another trip back to the old house today, either. So I'll be surfing the net tonight instead of watching Deadliest Catch.

But it's good to be back. It's almost like I never left.


Shuttin' It Down

This will be my last update for a couple of days, as I'm packing up the computer today. It's my day off, and I'm back here at the old house getting another truckload of stuff, and the computer is part of this next trip. But I got back here after sleeping (and showering--yay!) at my new apartment, and once the rest of my clothes and all of my electronic gear is over there, I will feel 'officially' moved in. Oh, I still have boxes of stuff to move, and tons of books and whatnot, but once this truckload is unpacked, I won't need to come back over to this place again except to get the rest of my stuff. Our gas and electricity are fully functional, and the cable and internet will be available either late tomorrow night or sometime during the day on Thursday.

Luckily, it's going smoothly, and the only obstacle is the fact that my truck gets horrendous mileage already, and all these trips back and forth are costing me a fortune in gas. I just stopped at the gas station for the third time this week, just putting another $20 in, and that didn't even get me to half a tank. Ugh. But on the plus side, I saw a local gas station has regular at just $2.99 a gallon now.

Sad huh? Two years ago we bitched at two-dollar-a-gallon gasoline, and now we're happy to pay anything less than three... Oh well. There's a rant in there somewhere, but I'll save it for another day.

Last night at work was a lot of fun--Scotty and Alice Lee and Reverend Dave showed up and for a few hours, and they all played at my table. Of course I was on all the sucker games for most of the night--Crazy 4 Poker, Let It Ride, and Deuces Wild, but later on I was on a blackjack game for a bit, too. Since it was my Friday, I signed up to get out an hour and a half early, but we were much too busy, so I got stuck. Glad I was, too, as Rob text messaged me a little while ago and told me that tokes were over $150 last night--not bad for a Monday.

Anyhow, Reverend Dave stuck around and I told him I'd drive him back to his hotel so he didn't have to spend $40 on a cab. Just before we were leaving, though, my gal Stephanie showed up, looking as hot as ever in her ponytail and too-small tank top. She wanted to go out, have a drink, and get some breakfast... But I had to take Reverend Dave out to Lake Las Vegas, about a 40-minute round trip, so as much as I wanted to, I had to decline the offer. (And he had to get some sleep, as he had an early meeting this morning, so he couldn't go out with us, either)

Damn you, Reverend Dave--costing me quality time with a young hottie--There's a special corner of hell reserved for the likes of you!

But we can do it again anytime, so it's not that big a deal. And it was good to see everyone--it certainly made my night go by much faster.

Besides Scotty, Alice Lee, and Reverend Dave being in town this week, Hoya and Dane are also here. We have plans to get together tomorrow over at Planet Aladdinwood for lunch, drinks, and poolside buffoonery. Later that night they're going to see 'O' over at Bellagio, while Dave, Rob, Scotty, Alice Lee, and I will be attending another wine tasting at the Mirage. It should be a great time.

That's about it. We're entering the Dark Side of the Moon phase now--I'll be incommunicado for the next day or two.

Y'all have a good one!


Monday, June 18, 2007

Return of the Blob!

As I start typing this, I realize that it's 3:40 in the morning. I got one hour of E.O. from work, and as much as I *really* wanted to just go straight over to the new house and sleep in cool comfort, I had to come over to the old shiatty hotbox and get a few things done.

First of all, I didn't have my checkbook and any toiletries, and at some point today I'll need to groom myself and pay some bills. I also wanted to do some laundry, as I'm all paid up through the end of the month, utilities included, so I'm washing all of my clothes, towels, blankets--basically anything I can get my hands on--over the course of the next couple of days. Brothaman won't turn on the AC (by the way, it's 89 degrees in this house as I type this--I'm sitting here at my desk with the fan blasting on me but still sweating my arse off), so I'm gonna make up for it by doing about 20 loads of laundry this week.

I also had to do a couple of 'online' things, this post included, so I had to use the computer while waiting for the laundry. I'm also going to take a shower before heading back to the new place. But the gas will be turned on sometime later this afternoon, so hopefully this will be my last shower in this mismatched shiathole.

Anyhow, I hope you all appreciate the sacrifice I'm making by sitting here typing this up. I was absolutely *dead* tired last night at work--I could barely keep my eyes open, and just walking back and forth from the break room was an exercise in mental endurance.

You see, Saturday night after work, a bunch of us went out to a new bar that had just opened up, and I ended up staying until almost 7:00 am. I was beat from moving stuff the day before, but everyone wanted me to go out, so I did. Anyhow, I crawled back to the new house, and got about three and a half hours of sleep before Rob called, saying he was out of work. We had furniture to move from his place up in North Las Vegas, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna spend my days off this week fighting traffic, so I offered my truck and my back, but only if we did the moving on Sunday, when there was relatively light traffic on the roads.

He agreed, and by about 12:45 I was up at his place and we had some loading to do. But we figured that we should probably get some rope and tie it all down before getting back on the freeway. So over to Walmart we went. We found the rope, but ended up browsing at a couple of other items.

Since my mattress/boxspring combo is about the most poorly built model ever released on the buying public, I've decided to get a new bed--yes, even the foam pads on the floor these past couple of nights were more comfy than my bed. But a good queen-sized bed it gonna cost me something north of $500, which I just don't have right now. So I remembered the airbed that Eddie B was using when he came to visit in April.

Walmart had a nice selection, and I picked up a Coleman queen-sized airbed for just $50. Not a permanent solution by any means, but it works for now. Once we got back to the new place, I inflated it and realized that it sits up pretty damn high--higher than my 'real' bed, even. And it was oh-so-comfy... And Eddie was right--it's a big damn blob. So I'm going to use that for a bit until the financial picture changes enough that I have some more disposable income.

Anyhow, the project for the day was moving furniture, and we made two trips between N. Las Vegas and our new pad in Henderson, loading up my truck with overstuffed leather furniture and other assorted doo-dads. It took most of the day to load/drive/unload/drive back/load/drive/unload/etc., and by about 5 pm, I could see that Rob was hitting the wall, having come straight from work that morning. I had gotten a bit of sleep, but was yawning, and the combo of hot sun and sore muscles really took it's toll. It was all I could do to function at work last night. Seriously, I was on a dead table a couple of times and caught myself nodding off.

Once I got out of work, I seriously wanted to go straight to bed, but here I am typing like a zombie and waiting for a load of laundry to get done. I got a few more things organized and packed here at the house, but there is no way on God's Green Earth that I'm going to load up the truck again this morning and unload it again over there. I am dead man walkin'. I'm going to finish this post, put the clothes in the dryer, take a shower, and then head over to the new house to sleep for a few hours with my phone turned off, cradled in the warm embrace of my new blob.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

F*ck This...

I got home from work a few minutes ago, and it's NINETY F*CKING DEGREES in this house. And all these old jerkoffs are sleeping like drunken babies.

Enough of this. But I'm not going to move the bed yet. I'm too damn tired and it's a pain in the ass. I'm just gonna grab a couple of foam bads and all of the bedding, then head over to the apartment so I can get some sleep without sweating.

Good grief. I have no earthly idea how these morons do it. A couple of them don't even work, so they just sit around under the carport all day smoking cigarettes. I guess after sitting outside in 105 degree temperatures all day, coming in and sleeping in a 90 degree house must seem like the lap of luxury.

No more updates until probably Saturday evening at the earliest. Also, depending on how much I get done between now and Tuesday, it'll be Dark Side of the Moon time for a few days as I'll be offline here at the old house, and in limbo until the Cox Suckers come out and hook up the digital cable and internet access in the new place. Y'all will have to find something else to read while wasting time at work. I'm *hoping* that we'll have cable access by Tuesday or Wednesday, but we'll see.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Cool Breeze

I've been back to the new apartment twice today, but having moved a bunch of stuff already, it looks like I haven't moved a damn thing from the old house. It's kind of a depressing site to get back here, realize that it's almost 90 degrees in the house, and there's a shiatload of junk all over the place that needs my attention.

Ugh. The heat just saps my motivation. What I think I'm going to do is wait until I get home from work in the morning, take a shower, and then load up another truckload at 5:00 am while it's still (relatively) cool out.

If I'm feeling particularly motivated, I'll come back and get my bed, then take it back to the apartment, and sleep over there during the heat of the day. This house is just *miserably* hot right now, and I absolutely hate being here.

Once I got over to the apartment for the second time to meet Rob this afternoon, we had the A/C set on 80 degrees and it felt really nice. We couldn't believe that it was 80, but compared to the 108 outside, it was great. So once we finished bringing in all the stuff, we both just crashed on the living room floor for a bit, enjoying the cool air. He took off and went home around 3:00, but I stuck around. I had a sleeping bag for a pillow, and it was most relaxing, even for being on the floor. But I was also curious about just how the afternoon sun was going to heat the place up and how much of an advantage it would be by having the unit on the northeast corner of the building. Well, I shouldn't have worried--with no lights on, just a ceiling fan, and the thermostat at 80, it was downright comfy in there.

Once we get moved in completely and have all of the electronics running in addition to two bodies kickin' around in there, I'm sure we'll crank it down even more. But it sure was nice compared to this hotbox I'm at now. In fact, while lying there relaxing, I was getting so irritated by the fact that this house is so hot all the time that I decided to go ahead and bring my bed over tomorrow. I can sleep at the apartment for the next couple of days, and then run back to the old house to shower and get ready for work. I don't care if it costs me $20 in gasoline, it's worth every penny. Plus, not having to interact with the doofuses that I currently live with is also a bonus.

Of course, Rob suggested that I just go completely redneck this weekend and grab a loofa and a towel and head down to the clubhouse to use the outdoor showers by the pool.

I'm sure that would make a better impression than even the thong did...


Walk Through

I'm in, baby! Just got back for the new apartment--I had to go pick up the keys and do the walk-through with the leasing agent at 9:00 this morning, so I took a small load of stuff over in the truck first thing this morning.

The first big happy surprise was the fact that we have a *huge* storage closet that wasn't part of the model we looked at. When I first walked in, I noticed a door off the side of the dining room. I opened it up, and it revealed another walk-in closet, but it was about 10 feet wide, tapering down underneath the stairs for the unit above us.

I told the leasing agent that I didn't notice that in the model, and she said that they don't tell people about it until they move in so that they're happily surprised (which I was) and also they'd have a harder time leasing the upstairs units--apparently the downstairs units are in higher demand.

Anyhow, we did our walk-through and inspection, and everything was fully functional except the hot water (no gas until Monday). And I don't need to buy a shower curtain, either--my bathroom is one of those 3/4 baths--it has a big glass shower stall like the pyramid rooms at the Luxor. But the absolute best thing was that the air conditioner just cranked out the cold air, and the ceiling fan had three settings--Low, Medium, and Barnstormer.

The first thing I brought in was my big blue cooler loaded up with all the bottles of rum, liquor, and wine that I had on hand, and I already set them up on top of the fridge. No more room for anything else up there now. And while the leasing agent was filling out the inspection paperwork at the breakfast bar, I ran out and grabbed a huge pile of clothes I'd taken from the closet back here at the old house. As I was walking back to my room, one item fell out on the floor in the living room--the pink thong Angy gave me back during March Madness of 2005 when I first met her.

You dropped something there, Mikey.

Oh.. that's not mine. Well, I guess it sorta *is* mine, but you know...

I'm sure I made a great impression with the gal from the office.

Anyhow, Rob just called--he's out of work, grabbing a bite to eat, and I'm going to meet him over there in about a half an hour. I'm going to grab a couple of other small things, not a full truckload (it's just too damn hot outside to do that), and head back over there so he can get his keys and sign a couple other things. I might grab a pair of swimming trunks and give that pool a try, too.

But I'm outta here really soon. I think I'll be sleeping at the new place by Tuesday night at the absolute latest.


Thursday, June 14, 2007


Yep, I should be packing at this very moment, but I keep telling myself that I have two weeks to get it done. So while I've started loading up all the booze and organizing all the stackables and hangables in my bedroom closet, I'm taking a break, drinking a bottle of ice-cold water, and doing a little websurfing.

And in the course of my digital travels today, I came across a very intriguing list--The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All-Time. All non-fiction of course. Talk about a list that's right up my alley--it's like a whole new Amazon wish list for me! (Although browsing through there, I've seen about eight or ten titles that already reside on my bookshelf. Longtime readers will easily be able to guess which ones).

But two weeks to pack and get moved? Probably not. I could easily move outta here in two days if I felt really motivated. But I won't have internet for a week if I do that. So I guess a little surfin' in the afternoon is justified.


What The Holy F*ck???

You have *got* to be kidding me. Now I have truly seen it all.

Holy shiat.


Another Long Day

My weekend is over, and it was a good one. I already posted the rundown of my Tuesday with Sticky, and after I dropped her off, I came straight home, made the update, and promptly fell asleep for about 10 hours straight.

I really needed it, too.

Yesterday began with me spending the morning doing chores and housework, and then watching all the Tivo'd Deadliest Catch episodes I slept through the previous night. I don't know why I'm so addicted to that show, but I really enjoy it.

Rob showed up around noon, and we made our way down to our new place. It was lease-signing day, and we finished up all the paperwork and such. I pick up the keys tomorrow morning at 9:00 and will hopefully drop off the first truckload of stuff at that time. Rob will be working until noon, but we're going to try and get a few loads of stuff moved in before it gets just too damn hot.

We also did our 'drawing' for the rooms. The master suite is much nicer and bigger than the second bedroom, so we had to come up with an equitable way of deciding who got which room. Of course both of us wanted it, so we figured that the best solution was that we'd still split the rent half-and-half, but that the person who got the master bedroom would be responsible for paying the water/garbage bill every month ($24 extra) and that whoever had the second bedroom would get the covered and assigned parking spot (there is only one--the rest is uncovered guest parking). We both thought that was the best solution, with neither person getting an advantage, so we let the cards decide. High card got the master and the extra expense, low card got the second bedroom and the covered parking.

So we shuffled up a deck of poker cards, then spread them around the kitchen table. I drew the Eight of Diamonds, and then Rob put and exclamation point on the exercise by pulling the Ace of Spades. The gambling gods have spoken, and I get the covered parking. I'm cool with that. When I leave for work, it's hotter than shiat outside, so I need it more. Rob leaves for work at 3:30 in the morning, so covered parking is not an issue for him. Besides, I don't have enough nice bedroom furniture and bathroom accessories to really enjoy that master suite without coughing up all kinds of cash for new stuff.

Anyhow, the deposits were paid, papers were signed, and afterwards we did a little exploring of the complex. The pool and the clubhouse were very nice, and we found out something that made my whole day--the pool and jacuzzi are open 24 hours! I cannot *wait* to come home at 4:00 am after a long night at the tables and be able to enjoy the cool pre-dawn weather while soaking in the hot tub. Seriously, you have no idea how much I'm looking forward to that. There is nothing more rewarding to the tired feet and sore shoulders caused by eight hours behind the tables.

We also realized that it was after noon on a weekday, school was out, and there was not a single kid running around the complex or playing in the pool (and there is no playground there, either, thank god). That's always a good sign. And we also chose an apartment as far away as we could get from the four buildings where the pet owners live--no yapping dogs like at Rob's current apartment. It was very cool, quiet, and serene. But the coolest thing was the fact that our unit faces northeast and has a couple of huge shade trees right outside the windows--no afternoon sun blazing down on us and heating the place up.

We are pretty satisfied with our choice, and both are looking forward to getting in there ASAP. Luckily the electricity gets hooked up tomorrow, and we'll have gas on Monday afternoon. We won't have cable or internet for another ten days or so, but I can live without that until the last minute. That's it for the utilities--we're not hooking up a landline telephone--both of us are sticking with the cell phones. If it's just hotter than hell this weekend and my roommate isn't down at the lake, but instead sitting around here at the house guarding the thermostat, I'll move my bed over there on Saturday and start sleeping there under the cool breeze of an air conditioner I can actually use.

Anyhow, once we finished up our walk around the complex, we hopped back in the truck and did the home-to-work drive just to see what kind of commute we'd have. It's only five and a half miles from parking spot to parking garage, and even a few stoplights less than I'm hitting now. Once that measurement was taken, we headed back over to Green Valley Ranch with the plan of seeing Oceans 13. We got employee discounted tickets at the gift shop, but had a few minutes to kill before showtime. So of course we had to hit my favorite dollar machine again.

I'm sad to say that the streak is over. I put $20 in and got nothing. Not even a single cherry for two bucks. I got up, but then Rob put a twenty in, and made a quick ten bucks and immediately cashed out--movie tickets paid for!

Ocean's 13 was actually very enjoyable--and so much better than that horrid Ocean's 12 sequel. This one is much more Vegasy--even more so than the 2001 'original'. And there are quite a few great laugh-out-loud lines, too. We both really enjoyed it, and it's definitely going to get a place in my collection once it's released on DVD.

After the movie ended, we considered sneaking into seeing Pirates of the Caribbean, but the thought of sitting for another three hours was just too much to contemplate. Besides, all I'd eaten since my lunch with Sticky the day before at the Elephant bar was the popcorn and Coke I got at the concession stand--I was really hungry! So we drove over to Metro Pizza for dinner, ordering a large Gotham (the pizza with everything!) and a couple of never-empty Cokes.

As good as it was, it's still not quite as good as New York Pizza & Pasta as far as I'm concerned. Hell, I even let Rob have all the leftovers, instead of getting two boxes to go. I mean, that's serious business. Usually there aren't leftovers unless we order extra, and I *always* want to take a couple slices home after the fact. I just wasn't feeling it yesterday. I think it's because I realized that I might be a pizza 'minimalist'. I prefer thin crust with just two toppings. The one we ate yesterday was basically a 'garbage pizza' and weighed a ton. Still good though--I'm certainly not complaining.

Anyhow, we were both pretty tired--Rob had worked all night before our adventure, and spending the day running around out in the sun had pretty much sapped our energy, even before hitting that big meal at Metro. We got back to the house, firmed up the plans for Friday and Rob took his pizza and headed home. I spent a bit of time chatting with Sticky, Doc, Dougie, and Marty on T2V for awhile, then finally hit the bed, hard.

But I'm awake now, and once I get some coffee and breakfast in me, it's time to start packing.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Better to Have Loved and Lost...

After March Madness ended, I was pretty saddened when Sticky left. I was hurtin' pretty bad at the time and needed some sort of outlet to keep me from going absolutely bat-shiat crazy. So I started putting together a bunch of pictures that I had with the idea I'd make a video. After about a day or two it just seemed pretty stupid, and I abandoned the project, opting to lie around drinking coffee and losing sleep. Had I been a smoker, I probably would've been up to four packs a day.

But now everything has been talked out, life is better, and all is well. And I guess I can give you a peek into how I was feeling at the time.

I'd be less-than-honest if I said it still doesn't hurt a tiny bit, but the pain is pretty much all gone and the scar is fairly small, but just big enough--like most scars--to remind me that it was quite an adventure.

So here's my first attempt at video. Please be kind--I was in a different frame of mind at the time. But I'm not ashamed of the way I felt. She's one in a million, and it really sucks to lose such a great gal.

I'd do it all over again in a second.


More Sailing Stuff

Due to the present financial strains, moving, and lack of time off during the holiday season, I really don't have much fun to look forward to these days except for the planned pre-Madness trip out to Catalina with the boys.

So I was digging through all of my picture files, enjoying some old sailing photos, perhaps looking for some inspiration, and I found this interesting pic, taken from atop the mast, of my buddy Ed lounging at the foredeck with not a care in the world.

I, for one, can't wait to get back out on the ocean and see nature at it's finest...


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

An Absolutely Wonderful Day

Hey gang. I just got home from dropping Sticky off at the airport, and I have to say, I haven't felt this good in months. It was a great day, and we had a wonderful visit.

First of all, I couldn't sleep at all last night--I just had that gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach that everything I feared about her, and all the rumor and innuendo that all of our adolescent friends casually toss about, might just be true. I must be a bad person, because I was prepared for the worst--that she was gonna tell me any number of unsavory reasons why she and I are no longer as close as we used to be.

But it wasn't like that at all. When I picked her up outside the Luxor first thing this morning, it was a bit uncomfortable as we were driving down LV Blvd. Finally, I said Sticky, I really have to ask you a few things...

It was a most interesting conversation for the next half hour or so as we drove around Henderson (I showed her where my new home was) and made our way over to Green Valley Ranch. Both of us got mildly upset a few times, but basically it just boiled down to lack of communication. We talked things out, and once the air was cleared, it was like old times. We were laughing, talking like rednecks, and trying to make the most of the short time we had together.

We stopped for lunch at the Elephant Bar in The District--service was so-so, but my club sandy was excellent while her steak sandwich was rather disappointing. We finished up our conversation about 'us' while we ate, and honestly, it felt like the weight of the world was off my shoulders, again. Relief was the emotion I was most overcome with--she's a great gal and is doing the right things, even if they no longer involve me. And now I know the whole story, too, so I don't feel like I was abandoned. I've probably said too much already, but typing this out is very therapeutic, and just reinforces my good feelings.

I'm very happy for Sticky, and she'll always be special to me. I hope we remain friends for many years to come...

But enough of that--lemme tell you about our day. I had no idea what she wanted to do with the rest of the afternoon after we got things ironed out. As we finished our meal and paid the tab, I asked her what she'd like to do next. She gave the head bob towards the casino, so we skipped out of there and headed across the street.

I told her that I'm bleeding cash like a no-bid defense contractor this month, and gambling really wasn't on my agenda. But I figured my budget could allow $20 for a slot machine.

We made a beeline to my favorite dollar slot there at GVR--the one I've *never* lost on--sat down, and each put $20 in it. In no time at all, we had it up to $100 and cashed out. Woot! The streak remains intact! I went to give her $50, but she insisted that I keep it, as she was heading back to OCanada today and had no more use for our silly American gringo-dollars. That, and she said she invested the twenty bucks into our 'good time' fund and I was obligated to gamble with that new hundred dollar bill.

So where did we end up next? Why, at the Pai Gow table, of course. We played for a couple of hours, and it was great fun. I told her that it felt like January all over again--we were hitting the cocktails and winning money at the tables, trying to make each other laugh with each hand. We caught a few bonuses here and there, and twice I missed a Royal Flush by only one card. After a couple of hours we finally colored up--me with a $35 profit and Sticky only losing ten bucks.

Once we hit the cage, we bounced around the casino, eyeballing the poker room, but mostly looking for attractive penny slots. We found a few, and played that damn Money Storm for about 45 minutes before finally hitting a bonus round. Sticky ended up making $20 on that one. Before we left, I insisted on hitting my favorite dollar machine again, and within a minute I had doubled up, so I cashed out, having spent a fairly profitable day at GVR.

After our casino adventures were over, we headed over to Target to do some shopping, and then to a smoke shop to load her up on cheap American cigarettes. From there we went to Starbucks and sat in the cool comfy chairs sipping on ice-cold Frappuccinos. We still had a couple of hours to kill, so we drove down to a local bar and sat out on the shady patio sipping a couple of beers and talking like old friends are supposed to. She told me all about her poker weekend, having spent the previous four days living like a poker pro at the World Series. She had dozens of fascinating stories, and her face lit up for an hour straight while retelling them. I could see that she had found her niche, her happy place, and I was grateful that she was sharing it with me.

Much too soon it was time to head to the airport. When I dropped her off this time, it wasn't with a sense of overwhelming sadness like back in March. It's like I dropped off my best friend. I don't know when, or even if she'll be coming back to Vegas anytime soon, but at least now I know where I stand. I'm sure she'll be back at some point, and when she does, we'll get together again. The only difference is that we'll just be good friends.

She'll always be someone special to me and I'll never forget what we had. I hugged her goodbye on the sidewalk and wished her the best.

Her smile made my day.

We'll both be alright.


Tear Down This Wall!

Yes, it was 20 years ago today, in case you don't remember.

I was living in San Diego at the time, spending my days driving all up and down the coast delivering tires and listening to 91-X, thinking that I should probably learn how to surf before I left for college.

Two years later, the wall came down. I remember where I was when I heard the news--I was on a charter bus coming back to Rexburg Idaho from Pocatello with my girlfriend/fiance Brenda--we'd spent the day getting the hard sell from Idaho State University where I was offered two years full-ride scholarship. (I turned it down. And never got married, either...) It was pretty interesting--they changed the sound system from music to the news and we listened to the reports coming in from Europe for over an hour on the drive back.

Once we got back that night, everyone was glued to the TV watching the celebration.

And in a wonderful twist of historical irony, a huge chunk of the Berlin wall now resides here in Vegas, doing duty as a backsplash for the urinals in the mens' room at Main Street Station.

I've never been to Germany, but I *have* pissed on the Berlin Wall. And I bet The Gipper approves.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Chinese Proverb

May you live in interesting times...


Can't Get No Satisfaction

And speaking of closure, I am denied once again!

I swear, the final episode of The Sopranos was the absolute LAMEST series finale I've ever wasted my time on. No payoff whatsoever. What a friggin' joke.

Were they trying to be all artsy and hip by going blank at the end? Are we supposed to think that the whole damn family got whacked?

Seriously--I was so pissed at the end of it, and since the whole series went in the shitter about a year ago, it's pretty much dead to me. You won't catch me renting old episodes on Netflix, or buying the box sets. Luckily the series is over--because after foisting that crap on us, I'd never watch it again anyways.

The beauty of a show that has characters we've grown to love or hate over the years is that we find out what happens to them. Just like the X-Files, which became exasperating and unwatchable in the later seasons because no questions were ever answered, the series finale of The Sopranos did nothing to make me want to re-watch it ever again. I used to be a huge fan of the show--same with the X-Files. But if nothing ever gets solved and you have no idea whatever became of the main characters, it's like it never happened. It was just a time waster.

Maybe that's why after all these years I still watch MASH reruns. We got closure. The same goes with Friends, Cheers, and to a lesser degree, Seinfeld. We know what happened to all of our favorite characters. Sure, the shows were entertaining by themselves, and stood on their own as far as watchability is concerned. But The Sopranos episodes were all tied together. That ending was a mailed-in joke, sort of like reading a 500-page novel and then finding out that the author purposely left out the last two pages.

Maybe the idea was to get people talking about it--kind of like the "What's in the briefcase?" discussion after we saw Pulp Fiction. But the only talking I'm hearing from people is utter disappointment in how a show with so much creativity and entertainment value, a virtual pop-culture icon of the past decade, could land with such a resounding thud, like a bag of wet garbage, instead of ending with a bang like everyone hoped.

How long did it take to hack out this last episode? An hour in the can with a laptop? I invested seven years of my time, making sure I was home every Sunday night at 9 pm, and this is my reward?

Screw you, David Chase. Enjoy your legacy. I should've stopped watching that crap months ago.


A Sticky Situation

So, after yesterdays post about my inconsiderate 'friend', my email box filled up with people want to know who it was or just making wild-ass guesses. The truth is, most of you folks reading this don't know this person. So please stop assuming you know who it is.

Anyhow, writing that post was somewhat therapeutic, and even though I'd been having a bit of inner turmoil lately, I felt much better after hitting the 'Enter' key.

So just as I worked my way through the highs and lows in my mind pertaining to this person, I promptly stopped thinking about it, having had it with the mental exhaustion that comes with the baggage they carry. I went to work thinking that nothing could bother me.

But then I came back from my first break at 9:00 and low and behold, who is sitting in seat 2 at my Pai Gow table, but my old friend Sticky, who I'd basically not heard a peep from since March. Wow. Talk about catching me off guard! Just as one problem is solved, another one pops up.

I'm glad she came to see me, but basically everything was just left hanging when we said goodbye at the airport that night in March. I figured I was persona non grata after that, as I tried to make contact a time or two and talk, but I was met with one-word answers and brief, close-ended sentences. So seeing her again was a definite shock to the system. I knew she was here in town this weekend for the World Series of Poker ladies tournament, but we've had no contact, and even though I sent her a text message wishing her luck, I didn't figure to hear from her.

But there she was. I will admit that it was a bit, I don't know, "unsettling" maybe? I figured I was good and over it two weeks after she left, but as soon as I saw her last night, that old familiar pain that Dan Fogelberg sang about came calling. And I didn't like it very much.

It was a slightly uncomfortable hour for me. To her, it was like no big deal. I would like to write more about it, but we'll wait until Wednesday before do any more narrative therapy.

But we made plans to have lunch and spend the afternoon together on Tuesday, and hopefully then we'll have some closure and I can get back to ignoring the problems I have with some of the other people in my life.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

The High Road

I must be getting old. Yeah yeah, I know I recently hit forty, but my outlook on life seems to be changing, also. I think I'm getting more mature, even though I keep having to re-learn a lot of life's lessons.

Those of you that know me best know that when I'm irritated, my first reaction is to usually retaliate by going 'Over the top' and heaping my displeasure on those who've done me wrong by dogpiling my scorn and derision on them. If somebody messes with me, I usually mess with them right back, except that I 'go for the kill' and lose all sense of proportion with my reaction.

I think I was unduly influenced by Sean Connery's 'Chicago Way' speech to Kevin Costner in The Untouchables--

He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of your guys to the hospital, you send one of his guys to the morgue...

If somebody insults me, I usually cut them to mincemeat. If somebody does me wrong, I tend to never forget it, and I've always gotten more-than-even.

At some point, I started to realize that that approach might work with the mob, but a little nuance is needed when it comes to interpersonal relationships.

The thing is, people that I would consider friends don't usually treat me badly or do me wrong. But I have an acquaintance, and everyone who knows both of us thinks we're pretty good friends, and maybe we could've been at some point, but the honest truth is, when it comes right down to it, we are not close friends. For whatever reason, I got sucked into the vortex of their fucked up life, and pretty much all advice has gone unheeded or ignored. And the weird thing is that we really don't have much in common, and their outlook on life is the antithesis of mine. I truly have no idea how I landed in this orbit.

Unfortunately, I know this person better than most, and by default, and the fact that I'm actually a nice guy on the inside, I find myself having to 'care' about what happens to them, even though I'm fairly certain they don't give two shits about what I think. Not knowing any better, the only thing I can compare it to is maybe a parent having a rebellious teenager or something, except on a *much* smaller scale. Maybe it's more like being a step-parent who is genuinely concerned for the little shit in the next bedroom--I don't know--analogies fail in this case. I'm just finding myself being concerned about someone who's not concerned about me. But then again, why would they be? Compared to them, I'm downright normal. (And no, it's not a case of unrequited love or anything sappy like that, so you armchair psychologists out there can just put a sock in it right now...)

Anyhow, the problem I'm running into is that this person seems to enjoy driving me nuts with passive/aggressive behavior, and due to proximity issues and the information age, it's almost impossible to avoid contact/gossip/the latest Did-you-hear?.

Part of me wants to just unload both barrels on this person, cut them adrift, and just move on and never think about it again--hurt feelings be damned. But the new and improved 'mature' Mikey has to just swallow it and acknowledge the fact that the world is full of inconsiderate people and this is just another one on the roster. That, and the fact knowing what I know about them, I'm sure "what Mikey thinks" doesn't even crack the top 100 when it comes to their priorities.

For me, the taking the High Road means doing nothing and hoping they fade off into obscurity before I lose my patience and then letting them know what I *really* think.

I just hope I can stay on the High Road because patience was never a strong suit with me. But I am World-Class when it comes to doing nothing.


Movin' On Up!

... to the South side!

Good news! I got the 'official' word this morning that we got the apartment we wanted, and we can start moving in this coming Friday! The bad news is that we didn't get to waive the security deposit, but it's only $350, instead of the thousand dollars that every condo we looked at wanted us to cough up. On the plus side, they said they'd waive the $13 water bill for us.


Anyhow, I tried to call Rob and let him know, but I couldn't get hold of him yet. I think he's working this morning--although I didn't see him before I left the casino, and I was 'Last Man Standing' on my shift last night.

But the absolute best part of the whole situation, besides moving into a nice pad, is that I can finally tell these old losers I currently live with that I am outta here!

Finally--running water that always works--both hot *and* cold! Internet access that stays on for longer than a week at a time! Blessed air conditioning! A fully functional stove and oven! A roommate who doesn't constantly steal my groceries! No more cheesy wood paneling! No more red shag carpet! A dishwasher! An icemaker! No more yellow and pink tile! No more damp carpets from the shower leaking under the wall! Wall outlets where the plugs actually stay plugged in! A washing machine that has all four legs! Ceiling fans in every room! Enough cabinet space to hold both groceries *and* dishes! A white toilet--not 60's yellow! Tile that isn't chipped! Windows that open! New-fangled paint instead of 'mural' wallpaper! And we can't forget that exclusive Henderson ZIP code!

Oh, and it's closer to work, too--by about a half a mile. Not that I had that long of a commute anyways--I'm currently six miles from work. In fact, my truck is a year old and it still hasn't hit 7000 miles on the odometer yet.

I guess I know what I'll be doing with my days off this week--Packing and stacking.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Good News!

I was doing laundry late this afternoon, and as I was transferring the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer, my missing car keys fell out on the floor. Woot! Apparently, they were in the pocket of some shorts that had been sitting in the laundry basket for the past week and a half. And the cool thing was that even after being washed, the little flashlight thingy still worked!

I've been waiting by the phone today, but still got no word yet if we've been accepted into the loving embrace of our new apartment community, but then, they said they'd let us know on Saturday.

I just wish I knew for sure that it was happening (and I'm hoping we can dodge that whole security deposit thing, too), so that I can start packing for real. I've started a few piles, but my heart isn't into it yet. It'll feel official once I start calling the utility companies for the hook-ups.

Did I mention that we have a gas stove? Oh hell yeah! Man, I can't wait. I've had a gas stove in exactly ONE place I've lived in my entire life. That was with the strippers when I first moved here, and of course out of the five weeks I was in that house, the gas was cut off for the last two. So I'm looking forward to cooking omelets faster than that Mexican guy at the Main Street Station brunch buffet.

But not only is it a gas stove/oven, but it actually works--unlike the antiquated equipment here at the current pad. We have a double oven , the exact same model featured in the house in the movie Blast From the Past, but only one side, the small side, works. And our countertop range kinda works, but only two burners at a time. And all the heating elements are warped and won't stay level, no matter how much I bang and twist them. And the refrigerator has a filter and an ice maker, too. So to me, the new kitchen is like a quantum leap forward in technology. I'll probably be cooking every day!

Seriously--the reason I grill outside so often, besides the fact that it tastes damn good, is that our stove sucks and there is no exhaust fan, either.

I am, however, going to miss one thing. You know how the smell kind of lingers all day when you cook bacon? I love doing that--cooking up a pound of bacon and not opening any windows, just because it drives the crazy vegan guy nuts.

Oh well. It's a sacrifice I'm more than willing to make.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ran Into A Chum With A Bottle of Rum...

And we wound up drinkin' all night.

Hey gang! I'm just rollin' in from the patio, with a half-empty bottle of booze in my hand and wearing a grin a mile wide.

Man, this weekend just flew by for me. Of course, I spent the last two days driving all over Las Vegas, mostly criss-crossing the Henderson/Silverado Ranch/Horizon Ridge neighborhoods, looking for a new place to keep my stuff.

And I think we have a winner!

Luckily Rob and I found a place we can both agree on--it was a little pricier than we'd planned, but still less per month than I'm paying for rent now. The difference is, here at Reuben's Swingin' 60's Pad, the utilities are included (hence the air conditioner that is never turned on), whereas with the new place, we now have to contend with gas, electric, and cable. No problemo--I figure the money I save in coffee creamer, eggs, condiments, and ice cubes that will no longer be stolen by dirtbag roommates will almost cover the cost. Oh, and the thermostat will finally be set at a comfortable temperature, too, which is always a bonus.

But we looked all over the place and I must've made about a hundred different phone calls this week. Tuesday we looked at a nice condo down on Horizon Ridge that Rob really liked, but me, not so much. The parking situation was a little tight, one of the bedroom walls was dark purple, and the washer/dryer was one of those mini-combo units that only washes three towels at a time. Otherwise, it was *very* nice. We put it on the short list.

We had lots of interesting experiences the past couple of days, but one in particular stands out--we went to look at a place in Silverado Ranch, but the leasing agent was one of the strangest cats we've ever met, and was highly disorganized. Then the unit he was showing us seemed ok at first look but then upon closer inspection, we kept finding dead roaches everywhere.

Oh, well, every house in this part of town has a roach problem--it's part of living in the desert.

The f*ck you say... No other place we looked at had a roach problem, and even when I lived down the road with the strippers there was no roach problem. (There was a filthy litterbox problem, but that's a story for another time).

Anyhow we weren't too impressed with the property, and even less impressed with the agent, so we blew him off. Of course he called me today to make sure I got that application in ASAP...

Yeah, we'll get right on that.

Anyhow, after all of our looking on Tuesday, we decided that the purple-wall place was the best, and did all the paperwork and applications, called the agent back and said we'd be down in the morning to pay the fees and get the ball rolling.

But later that night, I just had a gnawing feeling that something wasn't right. I kept going over my budget and telling myself I couldn't really afford it. I had buyer's remorse and I hadn't bought anything yet. I couldn't sleep very well that night, and the next morning I woke up almost sick about the situation. So I called Rob and just told him that I was just going to stay put--I'm *almost* out from under the most onerous part of my old debt, and the expense of moving was just going to be too much to bear until later this summer.

Well, I didn't really think the situation through, because he gave his 30 day notice already at his current apartment, and if I backed out, I'd screw him over. I couldn't do that with a good conscience, so we decided to keep looking until something felt 'right'. So he came back over yesterday morning, and we started looking again.

He sent me an email link to some very nice apartments down the road from the place we almost took, and they looked pretty nice--even better than the condo. They were just a tad pricey, but when I called the leasing agent, she was easily the most helpful person I'd talked to all week. We set up an appointment for noon on Wednesday.

I had three other places on the list to look at after that one, but both of us had a pretty good feeling about the neighborhood right off the bat. In fact, Rob even knows a gal from back home in Ohio who lived in those very apartments, and got hold of her. She sent us a very long and detailed email telling us of her experiences there and how much she liked it. It seemed like it was working out.

We drove down there and arrived promptly at noon, and we were quite impressed. Nice neighborhood, gated community, surrounded by houses we could never afford. They took us on a tour of their models and we were even more impressed. But the deal clincher was that since early summer is the 'low' season for rentals out here in this hot-ass climate, they had some specials to offer us. First of all, if we wanted to move in on June 15th, they'd waive the rent for two weeks. Second of all, if we signed a 12-month lease, they'd knock $400 off of our rent for July. And third of all, since we both worked for one of the largest employers in Henderson, we *may* be able to have our security deposit waived. (We'll find out on Saturday if that happens, but they seem to think it will--we've got our fingers crossed).

We didn't sign anything right then, but both of us figured, without saying it outloud, that we'd found our new home. We finally left that property after about an hour and headed to our last scheduled appointment, after a quick stop at the local Panda Express for some authentic Chinese cuisine.

Our last stop was at another condo in Silverado Ranch, one that I thought would be ideal. It was really nice, although not *quite* as impressive as the place we'd just left. Nothing at all wrong with it, except that it was a second floor unit, and both of us preferred the first floor for the simple fact that 1) Utilities would be cheaper, and 2) The idea of moving all the furniture and crates of books we owned up a flight of stairs was absolutely repugnant to us. Also, schlepping groceries up and garbage down every other day is no fun, either.

We both liked the place a lot, and figured we couldn't go wrong with either choice. Being on the second floor was a minor inconvenience at worst, but due to our work schedules, we figured it would probably be quieter and easier to sleep, anyways. And the condo was $160 less per month than the apartment.

So it was a tossup between the apartment we'd seen earlier that day, or the condo. The leasing agent was professional enough to leave us alone out on the patio while we discussed our options, and when it came down to it, we both agreed that we liked apartment better, even if it cost a little more.

Once we made our decision, we headed out and called the leasing agent at the apartment and told her. She said she'd be in until 5:00 pm--so we made a mad dash up to North Las Vegas to Rob's place (I now know why he's so anxious to get out of there... heh...) to pick up his paycheck stubs and get some info for the application. Then we lead-footed it back to my house to get the same stuff, then made it back to the leasing office, sliding in under the wire. We got all the paperwork filled out, coughed up the $360 for fees and whatnot, and walked out of there feeling like the weight of the world was off our shoulders.

If they accept our application (which we're fairly certain they will), *and* we can get the deposit waived, our move-in costs on June 15th will be a grand total of ... get ready for it ... THIRTEEN DOLLARS!

Oh hell yeah.

And then on July 1st, we'll have to cough up a grand total of $327 each for the month's rent.

It's almost unbelievable, but with Rob's damn-near perfect credit score, my full-time income, and the fact we are gainfully employed where we are, they are offering so many incentives that it's hard to say no.

So we said yes.

Not only is it extremely affordable (this month and next month were tight ones for me, and not having to come up with an extra thousand dollars for a deposit on a condo, plus getting a cut in the rent, it's actually cheaper for me to move than to stay here), but the fact that we can move in on June 15th is just icing on the cake--no need to rent a truck and get everything moved in one day. We can take our time over two weeks, moving stuff over at our leisure. My rent is paid through July 1st, so if I have the keys to a new place two weeks before that, not only will I spend my days taking loads of stuff to the new place and having plenty of time to organize it, but I will be able to sleep in cool air-conditioned comfort once again.


Anyhow, after all the heavy decisions were made, the paperwork was submitted, and the money changed hands, we decided to celebrate. We stopped at the grocery store for some provisions, and then once we got back to the house, we poured a couple of celebratory rum & Cokes with some of Barbados' finest. Once the sun went down, we fired up the grill, lit the campfire, and cooked some cheeseburgers.

It was a fine meal, and we sat out by the fire discussing all of our plans, contented to know that the hard part was behind us. Now it's just a matter of rounding up all of our shiat and herding it down to Henderson over the course of the next few weeks.

However, as excited as we are, nothing is official until Saturday--maybe even Monday. But after that, we should be good to go.

I can't wait to tell these old farts that I live with that they'll have to start buying their own groceries next month.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Busy Signal

Hey everybody--I finally made it to my weekend. I was thinking of hopping on the keyboard early this morning and letting loose with a fire and brimstone expletive-riddled rant about the most annoying mofo ever to toss the dice in my casino, but I held back. I just went to bed instead, and decided not to waste electrons on the loser.


Today is my day off, I've gotten a few things done this morning, not quite all I wanted to accomplish, but my afternoon/evening will be spent out condo-hunting with Falcon Rob. We both have the next couple of days off, his lease is up next month, and I'm on month-to-month here, so we're going to try and find something fairly quickly.

The one thing I'm starting to notice as I begin this endeavor is that most property management companies don't seem to really want to lease these places. I couldn't begin to tell you all the messages I've left with different services, only to never get called back. Or the numbers that are listed aren't valid. Or I get a damn busy signal. Seriously... I haven't heard a busy signal in decades...

And one place in particular that I'm extremely interested in, whenever I call, it immediately rings to a voicemail message saying the inbox is full, and I need to try again later. It's been like that for several days. I emailed them, and got an auto-generated response, so I guess I'm going to have to square myself with the fact that this particular property isn't for me.

We've got an appointment at 1 pm for a place down in Henderson that sounds nice, but just doesn't rev my engine, if you know what I mean. There's another spot down in Silverado Ranch that I'm *really* interested in, but even though I've been in contact with the property management office and they've made it sound like it's perfect for what I'm looking for, I haven't heard back from the 'field' agent yet to set up an appointment. If I haven't heard from them by noon, it's back on the phone again.

Anyhow, my next few days will be spent looking for a new place. If we don't find anything this week, my days off next week will be booked up too. And once we *do* find a place, I'm going to spend all my free time packing up and getting ready for the move--it's gonna happen quick. June is shaping up to be a very busy month for me. Oh, and on top of all the moving expenses and deposits and whatnot, the DMV wants another $450 or so for the privilege of driving on Nevada roads for another year. So those of you coming out to visit in June and July, my finances and free time are stretched to the limit. I will be spending very little, if any, money on recreation until August. (Except, of course, going to see a double feature next week at the movie theatre--there's just enough cash in the budget to spring for movie tickets and Junior Mints).

Damn, some days it feels like I just can't get ahead.

But I think I'm more than ready to move on and get out of this place. I have one roommate who is a complete loser, and every time I see him he just annoys the hell out of me with his mere presence. And the other day, I woke up just drenched in sweat, and my room was hotter than hell. I went out to check the AC, and the old f*cking turd had the thermostat set at 88 degrees! I kid you not. Well, I immediately cranked that shiat down to a more comfortable level, and two hours later, he had it turned back up again. Of course, it was only 102 degrees outside, so 88 must feel like the F*CKING ARCTIC!

Rob and I have already discussed our thermostat preferences--'OFF' when nobody's home, and nice and ice cold when sleeping. I'll pay the damn electric bill to be comfortable--there is nothing worse than laying in bed sweating. Except maybe waking up and finding your unemployed loser roommate rummaging through your refrigerator.

Yep, it's time to go.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Brethren of the Coast

Aye, tis an ill-wind that blows for the able crew of the good ship Buffoonery, as ten moons must yet pass before we cast our lines and sail upon the briney deep, laying waste upon distant shores...

Tis a most distressing thought, indeed.

Jeebus it's hard to write like that...

For those that don't know, I've recruited four other hearty souls to join me on a nautical adventure next spring, as some gullible folks in Marina Del Rey have decided that it'd be a wise business decision to hand the keys to a $250,000 yacht to me and my merry band. Clearly they have no idea who they're dealing with.

Ever since we've signed on for this adventure, the pirate-speak and nautical jargon, however misguided, has flowed like stolen rum. We're but humble pirates, and not much of a raiding party at all, content to basically hang out, listen to Buffett music, drink beer, smoke cigars, grill some meat, and maybe play a little bit of poker. Pillage and plunder would be cool too, but that's an awful lot of work.

However, just the planning stage of this enterprise has created so much anticipation that the mere mention of March Madness, the usual highlight of the yearly social calendar, has been met with an indifferent, collective Huh?.... What?

As the captain of this ship of fools, I must bear a heavier share of the burden, as I am responsible for the safety and well-being of not only the crew, but the ship itself. So my planning and organizing gene has gone into hyper-drive, and I've been trying to prepare for any scenario and familiarize myself with the most minute of details.

Since I haven't been at the helm of a sailing vessel for almost five years, I really feel like I've got my work cut out for me. As much as I'd like to do a nice relaxing cruise this fall, I have to save my vacation time and go back out and spend some time taking refresher courses. Hell, I even broke out the old textbooks from when I got my original ASA certifications back in June of 2001 and started re-reading them. It's amazing, the stuff you forget, if you don't use it.

But it's not exactly hard work. Yes, there is much to do in the meantime, and many expenses to meet, but when it is something you enjoy, it's worth every sacrifice. As much as I'd love to spend ten days cruising around the Caribbean on a big damn ship, drinking duty-free rum and laughing it up with my family, I'd rather be slightly uncomfortable on a choppy day in Santa Monica Bay, creating a new set of blisters while I practice tacking, jibing, reefing, and heaving-to aboard a small boat. And as much as I'd like to be wandering Fremont Street with a tall slushy drink in my hand and referring to all of my friends as "Bitches" as we get tossed out of one casino after another this October, I'm pretty sure I'd rather be working on my navigation skills, man-overboard drills, and basic seamanship while experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells of the ocean.

Vegas is cool and all, but the feeling of standing under the Fremont Street Canopy, with a drink in my hand, a pocketful of house money, and a group of degenerates at my side doesn't even come close to the thrill I get at the helm of a sailboat on a breezy day--the sun, the wind, and the waves combine to make an intoxicating cocktail that no bartender in Sin City could ever hope to pour.

As you may have guessed by now, I'm really looking forward to it.

So are my boys, the Brethren of the Coast--

  • Tortuga Al -- Cabin Boy, Scourge of the North Country, and Ship's Doctor. We tried to trade him for a cask of rum once, but nobody was buyin'. Odds-on favorite to return from this adventure sporting a either a pegleg, hook, or eye patch. Maybe all three.
  • The Dread Pirate Dougie -- Longboat Pilot and Quartermaster, who's ill-gotten treasures, taken from those who have challenged him in games of chance, are legendary. That skill may yet come in handy. If not, we may change his name to just plain old 'Chum'.
  • Gypsy Rob -- Bosun, Deckhand, Able Seaman. His thirst for adventure remains unquenched, having traded the flatlands of the midwest for the rolling seas. His Indian name means 'Calm Before the Storm'. Either that, or 'Drinks Like a Fish'. No one knows for sure. As long as it doesn't mean 'Pukes to Windward', I think we're cool.
  • Graybeard George -- Procurer of Fine Tobacco and Grog, Mighty Hunter, Ship's Bartender. George is always the most popular crewmember, and he knows 'some guys' at the East India Trading Company that can get stuff for us, you know, like off the back of a truck...
  • Captain Hurricane Mikey -- Skipper, Chief Navigator, Ship's Cook, HNIC, Master and Commander of this motley rabble. He's the only captain to sail the Seven Seas without a funny hat. When not at the helm, his duties as Ship's Cook require him to somehow feature bacon and rum with every meal...

Anyhow, there is much to do over the next several months and I even started a shopping list of stuff I'm gonna "need", in addition to coughing up some scratch for a few refresher courses:

Sailing Gloves
A new knife
A mariner's handheld GPS
Southern California Charts
Navigation tools
Some of those jeans with fleece lining
A turtleneck
A windbreaker
A big damn wool sweater
A hand-bearing compass
A funny hat
Wool socks
T-shirts for the crew
A talking parrot?

Essentials, all. In the meantime, I'm also going to busy myself by memorizing all of Captain Quint's lines from the movie Jaws. I'm sure nobody will be tired of that after three days at sea.


Has Anybody Seen My Car Keys?

Seriously--I can't find my damn keys. They've been missing since Wednesday. I've checked every pair of pants/shorts/slacks I've worn since then, and they are truly Missing In Action. I know that they're somewhere around the house, and most likely somewhere here in my room. But for the life of me, I can't find them anywhere. Luckily I keep a spare in my change jar, so I've been using that for the past two days--and I had an extra nifty keychain/flashlight that LV Dawn gave me this past March, just like the one I'd been using for the past two years that she gave me three March Madnesses ago. But I really would like to find my 'original' keychain--it's got a very handy bottle opener and cigar punch on it. If I don't find it, all I can do is wander around in the dark, unable to drink and smoke.

At least I can still drive.

Let's see... What's new in the world of Mikey? Well, the big news is that I will most likely be moving out of 'Reubens House' very soon--probably much sooner than I expected. It seems that Falcon Rob's lease is up in July, and he hates where he lives (coupled with a very long commute to work every day), and I've got a new roommate here at this place who I just cannot *stand*--he's a textbook example of a complete loser. He's the guy that replaced the flashback-havin' stoner, but given my experiences with this guy, I wish the stoner was back.

Anyhow, Rob and I have been talking and his current roommate and some of his roommate's friends were considering getting a house together, but they all want to live way the hell over on the west side of town. Since Rob and I work on the southeast side, and get along well, we figured we'd let them do their thing, and we'd get a place on our own over here closer to work. I'm mostly content with where I live--it's quiet, affordable, and for the most part a decent spot, but it's old, something is always in need of repair, and coupled with the fact that I really don't like one of the guys that lives here, I'm up for a change of scenery.

So we've been looking at some rental properties, and found a few worth investigating further. There's a condo down in Silverado Ranch (the great neighborhood I lived in when I first moved here--with the strippers) that seems to be very nice, affordable, and pretty much what we're looking for that I really like a lot, and hope we can get into it. We shall see. If it happens, it's likely to happen very fast, and I'll be spending my days off for the next couple of weeks packing and getting ready for the move.

I'd like to live in a nicer place, and I really like that area of town. Wish us luck.

Work has been crazy busy, at least for me lately. On Thursday night, I was stuck there until well past the bitter end, having been 'volunteered' to deal dice by my gal Denise who was sitting box on the last remaining open dice game at 2:00 am. So there I was, ripped from being perfectly content to deal $20 Pai Gow and scheduled to get the twenty-minute early out at 3:40 am. Then after just 40 minutes on the table, I was told to take a break at 2:00 am, and when I got back, I was to go take the Stick at the dice game.

Of course when I got there, it was the game from hell. Not a lot of players, but everyone of them was a Table Captain, prop-betting themselves into oblivion and seeing who could make the most annoying and complicated bets. And of course the game was crewed by a new girl who transferred over from Barbary Coast, and two of our worst dealers--a couple of Asian guys who don't speak or understand English very well, and then get flustered on a busy game. I truly had walked into the Dice Game from Hell. It was easily the longest two hours of my life, at least in recent memory.

And of course when I took my last break at 3:20, there was no breakfast available in the employee dining room--just the same leftover congealed shit that had been on the buffet line all night. To make matters worse and add to my already foul mood, when I got back, the previous stickman had been singing like Streisand, and every one of those moron players had a rack full of bullets, so the last twenty minutes of the night was like standing under a waterfall of chips, with all of the prop bets flying in. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Oh yeah, and Denise, who told me I should 'thank her for getting me out of Chinatown', got to go home at 3:30, leaving me there with basically no boxman for the last half hour while I've got about 15 prop bets going on every roll and two other dealers who can't speak English.

Good times. Good times all around.

But it wasn't all bad--I dropped a lot of tokes that night, and while dealing Pai Gow early on, there was a guy sitting there who I swear looked pretty familiar to me. He said the same thing to me, but he said he was from Minnesota, just out visiting. Well, we kept talking, and he said he used to live in Phoenix back in the day. We finally realized that we both used to work together for back when it was just a startup company and only had about 40 employees. That was five years ago, just before I moved to Nashville. Once we realized that, we spent the hour catching up and he filled me in on the various activities of all the geeks we used to work with. That made the hour go by much faster.

Last night (Friday) was a little better--Rapid Roulette closed down early, so I only had to do a two-hour shift on that table. It was actually pretty slow in the casino all night, compared to what it has been, but I was busy--I never seem to get the pleasure of a dead table when I'm dealing blackjack. And I swear every 'Wigger' in Henderson has to play at my table and annoy the hell out of me. Seriously kids, being white as Wonderbread but talking like you're a down home G straight outta Compton doesn't do anything but make you look like a complete dork and total asshat.

Of course I'd be lying if I didn't say that the highlight of my night was taking every last dime from them. Heh.

Homey got skillz.

After mowing down Malibu's Most Wanted, I got moved over to Crazy 4 Poker, and got to sit on my ass watching SportsCenter in the bar and flirting with the cocktail waitress because it was a dead game for the balance of my shift. At 3:00 am, they told me to close the table, and by 3:10 I was patiently waiting by the timeclock, with a half-hour E.O. and a full eight hours worth of tokes--Woot! I like to think it was payback for putting up with the crappy dice game the night before, and a bit of a reward for busting all the wannabe thugs on the $5 shoe.

Either way, it was nice to be one of the first ones out the door this morning.

But I'm home now, and I've got nothing on the agenda for the day except bacon, eggs, toast (with peanut butter!), and a pot of coffee. Oh, and maybe a trip to the alteration shop to pick up a pair of black pants that fell victim to the sharp edges of the Shufflemaster machine on the Let It Ride table last week. Luckily I was wearing my Elvis boxers at the time, and they protected me from getting a nasty cut--sparing me the humiliation of getting stitches in a place I'd rather not have them.

On second thought, at least I'd have an excuse for scratching down there...

With that visual fresh in your heads, I think I'll wrap it up. So that's all for now, kiddies. Y'all have a great weekend!