Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hello... Is There Anybody Out There?

Good lord--now that Reverend Dave, Mamasan, and Cyndi are out of the country, my comments section appears to have dried up.

I guess I now know where all my hits come from...


I'm Dressed as a Baggage Handler...

Imagine my embarrassment when I got to the party and saw somebody else wearing the exact same costume!

Happy Halloween, kiddies! I hope you all get lots of good treats, and don't have to turn too many tricks to get 'em...

Unfortunately, I won't be dressing up or partying tonight, although there is a big costume party on tap at my favorite watering hole. Nope, I'll be dressed as a casino dealer, as part of my double-switch deal with my friend Jen, so she can have the night off with her kid. I'm hoping there are some interesting costumes that make an appearance tonight at work, and if past performance is any indication, I'm sure there will be.

Believe me, I've got buyer's remorse now that I made that deal. I'd *much* rather have the night off and spend the evening getting stupid. I miss going to good Halloween parties--back in the day when I lived in Phoenix, my old roommate Tammie and her uncle used to host the best costume parties ever--huge affairs with dozens and dozens of people in attendance. We had some great times, and I turned out some pretty good costumes myself.

My favorite, which people still talk about, was 'The Ghost of Elvis'. I wore a plain white sheet and cut holes in it for eyes, put an Elvis wig on top, wore the gold sunglasses, put a few big fake rings on my fingers, angel wings in back, a halo above my head, and finished off the ensemble with a pair of blue suede shoes.

That was a good costume.

One year I mailed it in by being a Rastafarian, which basically a green, yellow, and red hat with a dreadlock wig, and one time I went as Uncle Fester, which was cool, except I didn't realize what a pain it was to get all of that paint off of my head. Somewhere out there, there are pictures of me sitting behind the wheel of a Plymouth Prowler in that get-up, with a well-endowed Morticia riding along next to me.

As Eddie Murphy used to say, It's been a long time since dem days...

I think one of the funnier costumes I ever wore, at least as far as being a big hit with the ladies is concerned, was one year I went as that Joy of Painting guy, Bob Ross. All it took was a 70's era shirt, an afro wig, a fake gold chain, a few paintbrushes, and an easel. That was the same year that Eddie B showed up dressed as a toilet, wearing a Cubs bucket hat. I don't know why, but the hat just *made* the costume and I giggled about it all night long.

Of course, the best part of Halloween parties is the fact that chicks use it as an excuse to dress all slutty and nobody can say shiat about it. I think I speak for all dudes when I say that I love me some slutty vampires/nurses/princesses. I remember one year (the Bob Ross year), getting high out in the toolshed with a chick who used to work in my office, but had since moved on. Anyhow, she was dressed as a Slutty Viking Chick, and refused to have her picture taken unless I was standing behind her, reaching around and holding onto her ample bosom, which was highlighted by a metal, plastic, and leather bikini top.

Good times!

Somehow I think tonight's activities will pale in comparison.


Blessed Slumber

Well, I got my new bed, and since I brought it home about, oh, seventeen hour ago, I think I've had about ten hours of sleep in it.


The Craigslist ad, as usual, wasn't quite on the up-and-up, as when I arrived at this house, I was amazed to see that these people had a three-car garage set up as an impromptu mattress warehouse, with a couple of other people shopping there, too. Apparently, they buy overstocks and such at auctions, and even sell a bunch of used ones too, as I noticed that they'd hired a couple of Mexican dudes with a steam cleaner who were standing outside working on older ones. The chick I talked to on the phone was nowhere to be found, of course, but I did a little browsing. They had just about any kind of mattress you could imagine, but you could tell they were selling factory seconds and used hotel beds.

Anyhow, I found a decent set--the thickest one I could find, and had them load it in my truck. I paid them a few bucks, and then drove all the way home at 55 mph on 215, certainly pissing off everyone who was too chicken to get out of the right lane and pass me.

Rob was kind enough to help me unload the thing, and I Fabreezed it just to make sure it didn't smell like a garage--or even worse--a litter box. Once my sheets were out of the dryer, I made up the bed and hit it hard, not moving for almost seven hours.

Once I got up, I was amazed at how good I felt. These last few months, the only sleep I got was because of exhaustion, while rest and rejuvenation took a back seat. It was great--my back or shoulders didn't hurt, I wasn't all stiff, and I had plenty of energy. It's almost like I took a small sip from the fountain of youth...

So I got up, made my French toast since I hadn't eaten anything all day, and settled in to watch the WSOP Horse tournament of ESPN for a couple of hours that I'd recorded. There was nothing else good on TV (except my favorite show The Unit), so I went back to my room and experienced what I had forgotten was one of my favorite activities--lying in bed reading a book! Yep, when you have just a pile of foam pads and a sleeping bag on the floor, you don't really use it for much. But damn, how I love stretching out on a big firm queen-sized bed with a good book and no interruptions. I read for four hours straight before falling asleep again, this time for only about three hours.

I've been up ever since. And I feel much better than I have in months.

Best money I've spent since I moved in.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A New Nest

I'm pretty excited this morning--I had my alarm set to get up early, and then the plan was to make myself a nice breakfast of French toast, sausage links, orange juice, and coffee before showering up and heading down to poker school for a few hours practicing my (hopefully someday) craft.

But I've had to put the brakes on that plan. First of all, I was wide awake much earlier than my alarm, having only gotten about two hours worth of sleep last night this morning. So I got up, watched a little Mike & Mike, and futzed around on the computer like I normally do.

Lately, I've been surfing the Craigslist ads for furniture, because I need a new bed. Yes, as of right now, I'm sleeping on the floor, using my foam camping pads as a bed. I know, I know, my sisters all kicked in and bought me a new bed two years ago for Christmas, because I left my totally awesome queen-sized luxurious pillowtop bed behind in Nashville, which Mamasan immediately claimed for herself. (And I'm somewhat wary of Craigslist anyways--that's how I found the stripper house when I first moved here, but there's no harm in looking, I figured...)

Apparently, my sisters got ripped off by the clowns at JC Penney when they ordered the bed. They ordered a nice and somewhat expensive bed for me back there in Nashville. But what was delivered to Vegas was the cheapest entry-level crappy motel bed ever designed. It was comfy at first, but I could tell it was a cheapy. It was thin, and I could feel every spring, and it didn't weigh very much. (Because the rule with furniture is, the heavier it is, the better it is...)

And with my fat ass sleeping on it, along with the occasional overnight guest, it started to sag noticeably after just a couple of months. Then, I moved from the 'greenhouse room' at my old place to the other end of the Estate, to the 'Brady Bunch' wood-paneled room. As I was pushing the box spring down the front hallway, on it's side (the hallwway had marble tile, so it slid along pretty easily), I accidentally ran it into the wall going around a corner. And I'll be damned if the cheap-ass pine frame they built it out of didn't snap in half! Yep, it's bad enough when a mattress will fold in half, but even worse when the box spring does the same.

Oh well, it's all I had, so I got rid of the then-useless metal bed frame and just set the box spring and mattress on the floor in my new room. It now had a ridiculous sag in the middle, and Sticky said it looked more like a bird's nest than a bed. I put up with it for almost a year, but it wasn't comfy at all.

So when I left, and moved into these fancy new digs with Rob, I left it behind for my old piece of shiat roommate to deal with (getting even with him instead of beating his ass, like I wanted to do, but that's another story...)

And ever since then, money has been too tight to get a new bed. And since I absolutely refuse to buy anything else on credit until my truck is paid down and my student loans are more manageable, I resigned myself to the fact that it might be awhile before I get a real bed. (Or entertain the ladies, dammit all...)

But no longer. Just this morning, while surfing the net, I found an ad from some folks that have a queen sized bed for sale at a bargain price. Apparently, it's a couple that bought it for their guest room less than a year ago, and it's been sitting in their garage ever since, still in the wrapper, and never made it upstairs.

So I called, told her to hold it, and I'll be heading over to pick it up in about an hour.

School can wait. I'm gonna take a nap this afternoon!


Monday, October 29, 2007

Dice Dice Baby

Ok, so I've owned this same coffeemaker for about seven years now, and have made hundreds of pots of coffee with it. Yes, it needs a little TLC and a healthy vinegar bath for it's innards, but it just keeps brewin' along, making pot after pot of delicious hazelnut java every week.

And just about an hour ago, I discovered--for the very first time--that if I remove the decanter pot from the heating surface, the coffee does not drip out of the filter basket. It's a miracle! Seriously, I had no idea that it was designed to keep idiots like me from draining coffee all over the counter. I thought only uppity European coffeemakers did that, not a $25 Mr. Coffee machine. Who knew?

The pot was only half full, but I didn't want to wait for it to finish because I was wanting to go sit down in front of the TV before the commercials ended. I wanted my coffee at that very moment. So I did the old Indiana Jones move, and instead of removing a golden idol from the pedestal and immediately replacing it with a bag of sand, I pulled out the glass pot and put my coffee cup under the drip thingy.

Suddenly, the stream stopped.

I was so puzzled by that ability that I stood there trying to 'trick' it several times before I realized it was a design feature and gave up. I swear, if anybody would've been watching me, they would've thought I was a chimpanzee seeing his reflection for the first time.

I guess this is just further evidence of what a huge dork I am. And even though I felt like a total dipshiat after I realized how it worked, it was still nice to get a cool surprise like that. It was a lot like the time I realized the stereo in my truck had 12 presets instead of just six. It only took me about five months to discover that one, however.


It's Monday morning, and after I came home from work I spent an hour or so downloading music and cleaning up my mp3 library, getting ready for my big iPod project where I organize and re-load all of my playlists once and for all. And I was missing a few songs by greats like Milli Vanilli, MC Hammer, and Vanilla Ice. Additionally, I didn't feel like hitting the hot-tub again, mostly because I was thirsty for coffee instead of rum & coke, and it was too chilly outside for an icy drink. So I dorked out at my computer for awhile. Kinda like I'm doing now.

And because I've been slowly working my way through an entire pot of coffee, I'm fairly certain that I'll be awake for a couple more hours, so why not update the ol' website?


Life in the casino, this past weekend, was a combination of both good and bad. First of all, we had two nights where tokes were back up where they belonged, so we obviously had some decent players in this weekend to offset our regular fleas. But no matter what, the worst ones keep coming back.

Every dealer in Vegas has a mental checklist of regular players who he or she just despises, and I'm no different. For instance, one of our regular Pai Gow players is a complete crack-smoking tweaker--and to make it worse, he never shuts up, never stops banging his chips around, and always insists on telling everyone else at the table how to set their hands, whether they want his assistance or not. Not to mention his pleasing aroma...

Well, he was in again last night, and when I saw him sitting at the 'kiddie table' (the $5 Pai Gow game) I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that he'd already smoked all of his money for the month and wouldn't be getting any until next week, so he wouldn't bother me at my $10 game.

I was wrong.

I was dealing a hand and out of the corner of my eye I saw his stupid ass trotting towards my table. I offered a quick silent prayer to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, O Great Holy Noodleness, please don't let him sit down here...

But my plea went unanswered, and his dumb ass sat down. Ugh.

To make matters worse, I couldn't bust the guy. Before he got there, I was wiping everyone out and was down to just two remaining players. As soon as he showed up, I couldn't make a hand. And I had to listen to his running crackhead commentary for forty minutes until my relief showed up.

Apparently he was due for some good Karma at the same time I was due for some bad, because on the very last hand I dealt before going on break, I gave that f*cker a Straight Flush. And he had $11 on the bonus, earning a cool $550.

Anybody but this jerkoff! was the only thought I could muster.

I called out Five-fifty out on a straight flush!, and when I turned to look at the floorperson, the look on her face said it all--You asshat! Now this dipshiat has bullets--he'll never leave...

Yep, she hates the guy too.

All I could do was shrug my shoulders and walk away, my only solace being the fact that I knew I wasn't coming back to his table twenty minutes later.

But five hundred bucks buys a lot of meth, so we're pretty confident that once he finally left, he won't be back for a few days.

In addition to that crackhead, there's another old lady that comes in who I just can't stand. Not only is she a stiff, but she drives up from California *every* weekend, and wears the exact same clothes for two or three days in a row.

And she just... won't... leave...

The problem is, I have my 'work' persona where I smile and I'm friendly to everyone (well, almost...) and she thinks I like her. To make matters worse, she tells me that I'm her favorite dealer. But the truth is, I can't f*cking stand the sight of her, and when I see her walking up to my table with a big stupid grin on her face, it's all I can do swallow my pride and act like I'm happy to see her, while I'm secretly wishing she'd fall over and break a hip or something.

Yeah, I'm a bit of a misanthrope. I admit it. We all have our dirty little secrets.

To make matters worse, I *cannot* bust her when she plays at my table. She's just one of those people who's gambling chi is too strong for me. I wish I could lay the smack down on her, but she always frickin' wins against me. Not big jackpots, but just enough to keep her going all night long, outlasting me. Maybe that's the reason why I'm her favorite.

But there have been several times in the past few months where I've actually taken an hour Early Out rather than have to deal to her. She's one of those people who just rubs me the wrong way, and the only thing I have to look forward to is the fact that some day, the law of averages is gonna catch up to her and I'm gonna take every dime she has. I just wish it would hurry up and get here.

And here you thought the dealers always wanted the players to win. Mostly, I do, but there are a handful of f*cktards that I wish would never win another bet at my table as long as they live.

But all is not bad in the casino world. Why, just the other night, I got to spend my entire break with one of the hottest cocktail waitresses in the joint, and we sat outside at a picnic table where she told me all about her adventure in getting her bikini area waxed and laser'd.

Of course I thanked her profusely for putting that thought into my head, and for the rest of the night, whenever she came to my table to serve drinks, I somehow got distracted, and it was mis-deal city.

But I've got to bring my A-game tonight. I'm scheduled to deal dice again. Funny, how after a year of not being scheduled to deal craps, I've gotten five nights in the past three weeks.

It's a nice change of pace from Pai Gow, and it's much better than dealing blackjack. But I prefer to mentally prepare myself for a night at the dice table, only because it's so much work. On Friday night, I was taking a little mini-vacation on the $20 Pai Gow table, chillin' out, flirting with the well-groomed waitress, watching the baseball game on one of the big screens in the bar, when one of the dealers tapped me out after just 40 minutes on the game.

I was like, What the...? and was told to go to Dice #4, and be part of a five man crew.

Motherf*cking c*cks*cking sonofa bizatch....!!!!!

There is nothing more frustrating, in my book, then getting taken off of a perfectly good string of easy tables and getting sent to a five man dice game. That's the WORST. Because then the night just drags by as you do 20 minutes on stick, take a break, come back and deal 40 minutes on base, take another break, and then do it all over again and again. Ugh, I *hate* it. Also, it kinda sucks to come to work thinking you're dealing Pai Gow all night, and then get tossed into a crazy-assed dice game instead.

I asked the floorman why I was going to a five-man crew at 8 pm and was told "Sorry, we just have too many dealers here tonight..."

Man, I was livid! They refused to send any of the Extra Board dealers home, which is complete bullshiat, because when I spent nine months toiling on the Extra Board, and there were too many dealers in the house--tough shiat--I got sent home immediately. What makes it even worse is that our tokes have been so bad lately, and to keep part-timers around instead of booting them out the door keeps the toke rate lower than it should be. Hey, nobody cared if I was broke when I was a part-timer, so it really irks me that they do now.

I was so damn mad at that point, I was ready to snap.

But I kept my mouth shut and sucked it up like a good little drone. But don't think that I'm not gonna remember asinine shiat like this once decision time rolls around and I need to choose between getting bent over again and again by old reliable or taking a chance with a new opportunity.

But I brought it up in our Saturday night pre-shift meeting, and the assistant shift boss agreed with my point of view, so I'm hoping to get a little feedback from the people in the suits. We'll see if anything changes.

But that was two days ago, and I've cooled off a bit since then. Last night was a nice, easy, relaxing night, although it seemed to drag on forever. I had enough players that I *felt* busy, but not enough so that the time went by fast. I got seriously bummed out on my break when I thought it was midnight and it was only 10:20. On the other hand, when I came back to my table, my gal Stephanie was out there waiting to see me. She had come in for dinner with the parents and took a little time to come visit, since we haven't been able to hang out in about three or four months. So that was a nice little bonus on my otherwise dull evening.

Anyhow, that's about all the news from Vegas-land on this Monday morning. My coffee cup is empty, the sun is up, and I need to get a few hours of sleep before going in tonight and earning an honest dollar behind the dice table.

Y'all have a great day.


PS. Congrats to the Red Sox. Damn those guys are good!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Well, here it is, 8:00 am on a Sunday morning, and I should be deep into my REM cycle right about now, but as tired as I am, I just can't seem to fall asleep.

I came home from work about 2:30, passed Rob as he was heading in, and decided that instead of the usual hot tub/rum drink/cigar ritual, I'd just take a shower and head to bed. Good plan, but sleep never happened for me. I don't know why, but my mind has been racing ever since I got home, and I have no explanation why. It's just one of those days, I suppose.

And I *really* want to sleep, too. There's no good NFL games on--the NFL, in it's infinite wisdom, has seen fit to make sure that if you're not one of the people fortunate enough to have the DirecTV Sunday Ticket package, you're stuck with one shitty game in the morning--Giants and Dolphins from London.

Oh, and while I'm at it, let me just call a spade a spade and say what a bunch of f*cking HYPOCRITES they are. The NFL wouldn't allow Vegas commercials on during the Super Bowl broadcasts these past few years--they reason they gave--because we have sports betting out here.

Well I got news for you, dumbasses--There are bookie parlors ALL OVER London. For f*ck sakes--they even have a betting window INSIDE the stadium where today's game is being played. Granted, they've asked that it be closed today, but that doesn't count the half dozen of the other shops within a couple of blocks of Wembley Stadium that are still open and taking action on the game! Morons.

I could go on a huge Pulitzer-winning rant about this, but it just makes me so damn mad that I wanna cock-punch whoever is making the decisions in that Ivory Tower they call NFL Headquarters. But what do I know? They're running a multi-billion dollar enterprise and my personal net worth is still expressed in red numbers.

Anyhow, I'm boycotting the NFL this morning and avoiding that piece-of-shiat game completely. My TV won't come on until 1:00 pm at the earliest. I'll get my scores and updates on the internet--that's right bitches--I made BETS on a few of today's contests. And if I win big, I'm gonna send a check for TEN whole American dollars each to Randy Moss and Tom Brady, C/O the New England Patriots, and kindly ask them to start shaving points for me. Because, you know, we gamblers like to influence the outcome of games. The rest of it, I'm just gonna piss away on hookers and blow.

Actually, my guess is that I'll probably finally fall asleep about the time the first game kicks off, and sleep my way all the way through the afternoon, waking up just in time to go back to work. Not to worry, though, it should be another easy night--I'm scheduled on two Pai Gow Games and Deuces Wild, so it'll be almost like a vacation day. That is, if they don't jack with the roadmap and fark up all the strings, like last night.

For instance, on Saturday night, I dealt all of the following games at some point in my shift:

1. Blackjack
2. Pai Gow
3. Dice
4. Deuces Wild
5. Bonus Holdem

I guess I'm a jack-of-all-trades as far as the casino is concerned. If this were the big leagues, they'd call me a five-tool player. A valuable guy to have on your team! Unfortunately, as far as my poker-playing goes, I've only got warning track power, so I'll probably just toil in the minors for several years, dragging the odd pot off of unsuspecting tourists and drunken T2Vers.

I think I'm going to try and sleep again before I start rambling like a complete doofus.


Friday, October 26, 2007

It Tastes Like Burning!

So, there I was, lying with my head back on the edge in the hot tub, staring at the almost-full moon, trying to blow smoke rings with my cigar and taking an occasional sip of my Captain & Seven. I was so relaxed that I just kinda floated there with my cigar in my mouth, almost dozing off, looking a whole lot like Eddie Murphy's landlord in Coming To America right about the time James Earl Jones showed up.

I guess I sat there puffing too long, because eventually the glowing hot ash-tip of my cigar decided to fall off and it landed directly on my chest.

Holy shiat that hurt!

So, what was my first reaction? Why, it was to put out the fire with a couple of handfuls of 110-degree water! It helped, for a second. But now I've got a huge welt in the middle of my chest that looks kinda like I'm growing a third nipple. Kind of cool, but it's not nearly as sexy as that chick in Total Recall.


Happy Friday!

Good morning everyone--I hope your day goes smoothly and you all have a great weekend. I was reading yesterday's post, and the comments that came with it, and I really must apologize. I didn't mean to come off as such a downer. It's just one of 'those' weeks where shiat ain't going the way it's supposed to. Couple that with job frustration and my irritation with a friend, and it sounds like a recipe for a blues song.

Sorry--didn't mean to make it sound like life was so bad. Besides, if you want to hear some real griping, just come sit in the employee dining room with me during my break time and listen to some of my co-workers. I'm happier than a kid amped up on sugar with a pocket full of Chuck-E-Cheeze tokens compared to most of them. Hell, even I got sick of it and sat outside with the smokers so I didn't have to listen to all the bitching and whining.

And speaking of work, it was just about as good as I could've hoped for last night. My favorite cocktail waitresses were working my section, I was on my favorite string of tables that stayed busy all night, and I had a bunch of fun and generous players that were winning. And they were even serving some of my favorite Mongolian beef and rice for dinner in the break room. To top it all off, I got out 40 minutes early yet still got full tokes for the entire shift. Not too shabby. Or as I've heard it put, it was just an inflatable doll short of a perfect day...

Today, here in America's Playground, is Nevada Day, which I've never quite figured out what exactly we're supposed to be celebrating. But that hooch Andrea has the day off as all banks, schools, and gub-mint offices are closed. (I'm not jealous at all...) Of course, it means that I've got a whole lot less errands to run today, so I guess the bills will get paid and sent on Monday instead.

I hope there are parades, speeches, and fireworks, but I'm guessing it'll be more like Columbus Day instead the Fourth of July, just without all the Indians protesting and such. Whatever the celebration is, I'm sure I'll be missing out as I hang around my apartment folding laundry and watching SportsCenter (oh, and filling out job applications online).

In the meantime, I want to give a shout out to the family back in Nashville, as they're all doing their pre-cruise spa day, getting manicures and pedicures and such, and doing last minute packing before they head down to America's Wang--Florida--tomorrow to embark on 10 days worth of tropical buffoonery. I wish more than anything I could be there with them!

Oh well, maybe it'll inspire me to write up some stories about cruises past if I have any spare time next week. I just wish I had a scanner--I started going on cruises back before digital cameras were cheap and abundant, and the pictures I have of the water down in the Bahamas must be seen to be believed. It's was so blue that it looked fake.

Anyhow, I just got home from work, so I've got to put on some swim trunks, pour myself a rum drink, grab a cigar, and head out to the hot tub for some quality relaxation time before getting a few hours of sleep.

Y'all have a great day, and don't worry about me none. Like the long-haired freaky person once said, I'm alive and doin' fine!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Waiting For the Weekend

I don't know exactly why, but this week has seemed extremely frustrating to me. I just can't get a handle on it. I dunno--you ever have one of those weeks where everything breaks your way? You hit all the green lights on the way to work, you check the mail and instead of bills there is a nice surprise waiting for you, work goes better than usual, your teams win, somebody compliments you on your shirt, stuff like that?

Well, this week has been kind of the opposite of that. Nothing major, but just one little thing after another is conspiring to keep me pissed off at the world. Making a list might seem therapeutic, but I think it would just raise my blood pressure to have to think about it.

Oh, and to make matters worse, this is 'Cruise Week' with most of the rest of the family--they're taking off on Saturday for 10 days of fun in the Caribbean. Me? I'm here dealing low-limit blackjack to stiffs and degenerates instead of sitting on deck watching the ocean go by with an umbrella drink in my hand. Grrrr....

Some might say I need a vacation again. Certainly need to clear my head and re-evaluate a few things. Like if I really want to keep my current job. There were open auditions yesterday for tournament poker dealers with a certain casino, but the hours didn't jive with my schedule, so I had to pass on it. But early this morning while I was sitting out in the hot-tub thinking about stuff, I had to ask myself if I should feel any loyalty to my current employer. According to them, I'm worth only about 7 bucks an hour, and they expect me to just put up with all the stupid shiat they've been doing for the past couple of months that has done nothing but cost me money. I think, at this point, that if *any* opportunity came my way, I'm going to just say "f*ck it" and jump in with both feet. What do I have to lose? Clearly, I'm not happy where I am.

But regardless of my feelings, I'd really like to last until next May and get another couple of weeks of paid vacation out of them, and it would facilitate the whole Catalina sailing trip and March Madness much easier than stepping out and finding a new full-time job where I'm low man on the totem pole.

Ideally, I'd like to find a full-time poker gig somewhere else and drop back to the extra-board, only working part time, at my current casino. At this point, it just seems impossible to pull that off. Everybody seems to want to hire me part-time, on call, but be available 24/7. And I just can't do that with my current level of financial obligations.

Oh well. Catalina isn't going anywhere--March is cold and October would be better weather anyways. And as far as March Madness goes, the only things I *really* want to be involved in are the Friday night party at the IP, and the Saturday poker tournament. A few days of drinking and gambling aren't much fun when you wake up in Vegas and have to go back to work. So maybe I'll curtail my activities and limit myself to just Friday night-Saturday morning.

Hell, this is all just speculation at this point. Who knows what could happen tomorrow. Or next month.

Is it too early in the day to start drinking?


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I've Been Writing...

You just can't see it yet, that's all.

Yes, I wrote up a quick recap of my weekend with the T2V buffoons, but unless you were there, you can't read it yet. At some point, it will be released to the general population on the main page of T2V, but by then, some of the material will be censored to protect the by-standers.

It was a great weekend, but I won't tease you about it.

I'm still moving extremely slow, however, and it took me all day to recover. I couldn't eat, sit up, drink, or move. I got up at 10:00, after sleeping right through my alarm. Took a quick shower and got dressed, fully intending to go to school. But I was doing the head-bob in the shower, and as soon as I sat down to put my shoes on, I realized how exhausted I was. So I laid back to 'rest my eyes' for five minutes, and I didn't wake up again until 4 pm, losing pretty much an entire day.

But I feel much better now, almost back to normal.

I'll be back to my 'regular' posting schedule tomorrow night.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Alive & Well

Hey gang. I survived the weekend, and had a pretty good time, as you can imagine. However, I'm not as young as I used to be and it'll take a couple days to recover. I don't think I'll write up a trip-report style of post, however. Maybe over at T2V, maybe not. Right now, I just don't feel like writing much at all--I'm tired, my back hurts, and work is looming on the horizon just a couple hours away. I'll probably just post a few pics over here with a few catchy captions--but it'll be a couple of days.

It's my Friday night, and as such, it usually means that I'd get out early. But I was running the numbers earlier today, and our tokes have been so bad for the past three or four months that I've figured out that I've basically taken a 20% pay cut since June. So as bad as I want to scoot out early at the end of my workweek, I just can't do it. Or as one of my co-workers said last night, I can't afford to take off early, and the money's so bad that it's not worth staying for, either...

It may be time to move on. I was hoping to stay there until next May, but we'll see if I last that long. Tomorrow is a full day of poker school, and tomorrow night I'm going to spend the evening doing applications and searching for new job opportunities. I can't afford to live on what I'm making nowadays. Our casino seems to be circling the bowl.

Mikey out.

PS. If you have any spare change, please hit the tip jar. Thanks.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

House of Pain

That's me today...

After two all-nighters with the T2V buffoons, I am in no shape to do anything but lay here and nibble on aspirin tablets like they are sweet-tarts.

I crawled home around 7:00 am this morning, took a quick shower, and collapsed in a heap. I woke up about an hour ago, but even though I can see, hear, and feel, I can't do much else.

I think I drank my weight in rum these past two nights.

Maybe I'll post tomorrow. Even my fingers hurt right now.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Free Lunch

Good Morning to all my readers who haven't made it to Vegas yet for the long weekend... (Yeah, it seems like lots of people are gonna be in town for the Not-SoberFest activities). This year won't be nearly as much fun for me, if only because last year was when Sticky and I became a "we" and had a blast together for three days straight. And even though we're not a couple anymore, it sure would be fun to have her around for a weekend of Vegas buffoonery with the gang. Also, I only have one night free from work--Friday night--to hang out with everyone and get silly. But you can rest assured that I'm going to make the most of my limited time.

The big plan on Friday night is to head over to Angy's Tower Suite at the Mirage for a happy hour party. Then, after a couple hours of drinkin' and such, we'll shuffle off to the Carnaval Court at Harrah's and dance, drink, and act stupid until they toss us out of there. After that, it may be a late-night/early-morning breakfast at the Peppermill before I make my way home to sleep it off all day before going back to work on Saturday night.

Angy wants to provide food for the party, and decided that room service was just too damn expensive for a group of thirty people, so she's getting pizzas delivered instead. Since I'm the 'man on the scene', I'm the point-man for that little project. Of course we're going with NY Pizza & Pasta. But I had to go down and do a little politickin' with the owners of the place because they don't deliver to the Strip.

So, yesterday morning, I got up and went to school, and was introduced to the mind-boggling concept of Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low. Good lord, what a pain in the ass to deal! Just try doing all the other stuff that goes with dealing, and then add keeping track of the entire pot all the way to showdown into the mix. That's a tough gig, and I'll admit that currently, I'm not up to the task of dealing any pot-limit game. I ended up dealing 2-5 No Limit Holdem during my stay in the box, and it went pretty well. The instructors there tell me I'm better than a lot of dealers who already have jobs, so getting one shouldn't be too tough. The only problem is that there are NO poker jobs available in the city right now.

Well, let me re-phrase that--I know of two. One is at the Flea-esta Henderson, but it's on-call only. I cannot take that job because it's working for the same company that owns the casino where I currently work. I'd like to keep my current job, at least until next May, and I can't get two paychecks from the same company. So that one is out.

There is also an opening at the Excalibur, which would be pretty cool. However, they're asking for one year poker dealing experience, which I don't 'officially' have. Of course, I've dealt a few private parties and tournaments over the course of the past two years, but it's not what you'd call verifiable experience. So I doubt I'd make the first cut.

I'm told by people in 'the biz' that everyone will start ramping up and hiring dealers like crazy in January, but I really don't want to wait that long. I'm cash-poor now! So I'll keep looking.

Anyhow, once I got out of class, I had to go run my Angy-errand and take care of getting pizzas delivered to the Mirage on Friday night. So I drove out to my new second-favorite pizza joint, NY Pizza & Pasta, to embark on a two-fold mission--get some lunch, and talk them into providing the grub for our party.

So I sat down and ordered a couple of slices of pepperoni & sausage, along with a root beer. Once the food came, I mentioned to my waitress that I was the guy who called last week looking for a big delivery order. She summoned the owner, a nice lady who's name has since slipped my mind (great politician, that Mikey), who came over and sat down with me.

We had a little impromptu conference-call with Angy, and decided that we'd play it safe and order eight large pies, and as long as we took care of the driver and met him downstairs at the front door, they'd deliver eight pizzas and enough plates and napkins for our group at a time of our choosing on Friday night. We chose 6:45 pm.

So, the deal was made, and I set out choosing which pies to order, basically getting a few plain cheese pizzas, and the rest a variety of two-topping combos. Once all the business was taken care of, we shook hands and I finished my lunch. As I went to pay, I got word that lunch was on them, as I was now their new favorite customer.

Oh hell yeah!

A comped lunch in Vegas--and I didn't have to lose my ass at the tables to get it, either! So instead of paying my tab, I left a nice tip for my server and headed back towards home, talking to Angy most of the way back, letting her know the details of the deal we made.

I puttered around the house for a bit once I got home, and then took a nice 2-hour nap before heading into work. When I got there, something was amiss. Chinatown was gone... I know I was scheduled to deal Pai Gow, but there were no Pai Gow tables to be found. It turns out that the casino was replacing all of the carpet in the pit, so half of the tables were either taken out or moved. I eventually found my tables on the other side of the bar, over where the old rapid roulette setup used to be.

I did my first hour, went on break, grabbed some chicken and rice for dinner, then headed back. Once I got back to my next table, the eight-o'clock crew came on, and after just twenty minutes, I was getting tapped out again to go on break.

I was like WTF?--This kinda stuff only happens at *late* at night when we have too many dealers and not enough open games. So I went to the boss to find out what the deal was, and he told me to go on break, but I told him I'd only been back for 20 minutes.

He then told me that because of the carpet mess, he had twice as many dealers as he had tables, so we were gonna be doing short pushes all night long.

Great. Not only did I trade my more lucrative Friday night for a much-slower Wednesday, but we were going to make even less money than usual as everyone was spending just as much time on break as they were dealing. So I said I'd take one for the team and I left after just two hours. Good lord, what a clusterf*ck. Seriously, the pit was all torn up and under construction, so none of the players were staying around long at all. I haven't seen the tokes yet for Wednesday night, but they're gonna be bad. Rob worked earlier in the day and said his shift didn't drop much money at all, either.

So I guess it's a good thing that I didn't have to pay for lunch. It looks to be another lean month.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Life Takes CASH

... At least here in Vegas. I can't speak for the rest of the country. But some would disagree:

My only thought, once I saw this commercial last weekend, was Bitch, don't look at me like my money ain't no good. You work in a f*cking donut shop!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Perfect 16

Is very strange. I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it's over, I don't know what to do with the rest of my life.

I now know how Inigo Montoya felt at the end of The Princess Bride. His life-long quest to find the six-fingered man and avenge his father's death had ended successfully, and suddenly he had nothing to look forward to every day to give his life purpose. I'm guessing that he may have felt that way for at least a few minutes, until that job offer to become the new Dread Pirate Roberts came through.

But for a moment there, he was lost.

I'm feeling that way tonight. My life-long quest for the Best Pizza In The World has come to an end. I know--it's a bold statement, but my friends, I have had the Best. The rest is all a distant second. My quest is over.

Lemme esplain. No, not enough time for that. Let me sum up.

You've all heard my heaping praise on New York Pizza & Pasta for the past year. It's damn good, and as far as I was concerned, the best in all of Vegas. And I've also railed on Metro Pizza for it's inconsistency. Yet it's the favorite of the masses, winning all kinds of 'Best of Vegas' awards. It's pretty good, just not all the time.

Well my friends, there is a place that blows them both away. The other day, I was driving down Eastern, heading for the 215, and noticed a new storefront on the left that said "Grimaldi's Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria". I thought to myself "Holy shiat! I wonder if that's the same famous Grimaldi's from under the Brooklyn Bridge back in New York..." So I filed it away in my mental 'to-do' list, vowing to come back and check it out on my day off.

Well, today was my day off, and when I got up in the morning to check my email, there was a message from Dave P (one of my favorite dining companions when he comes to town) with a link to the new Grimaldi's, asking if I'd heard of it. So I wrote him back telling him that not only had I heard of it, I was planning on having dinner there later in the evening.

So I spent my day off back at poker school, dealing and playing Omaha Hi-Low all day before heading back down to the South Side. When I got home, Falcon Rob was in his room "geeking out" on his computer (his words) and I asked him if he'd be up for trying out a new pizza place. His response was something along the lines of Hell yeah, I haven't eaten anything all day!

A few minutes later we were pulling into the parking lot, impressed with the look of the restaurant. It was an absolutely gorgeous night here in Vegas--nice and cool, clear, with just a slight hint of a breeze--And that's when I fell in love with the place. It had a nice covered patio for outdoor dining, and a half-and-half indoor/outdoor bar. And since it was so nice out, with the Indians/Red Sox game was on, we opted to sit at the outdoor portion of the bar and watch the game while we ate. Talk about a great setting--sitting outside at the bar and watching the game with a Samuel Adams Octoberfest draft was nice enough, but the best was yet to come.

Falcon Rob anticipating dinner while watching the game.

Normally, whenever we go to NY P&P, we always order two pizzas so that we can have leftovers to bring home. We had the same plan this evening, too. Grimaldi's has three sizes of pizzas -- Individual 9", Small 16", and Large 18". We marveled at the fact that a small was sixteen inches--the same size as everyone else's large--for a few minutes before finally deciding on our toppings and placing our order. Rob went with a mushroom pie, and I splurged and got pepperoni and mushroom.

During the commercial breaks in the game, we enjoyed the show from the display kitchen as the pizzaiolo worked the dough, spinning it and tossing it in the air. We didn't have to wait long for the pies to arrive, either. With the coal oven baking at 1200 degrees-plus, those thin crust pies only have to sit for a few minutes before coming out piping hot and perfectly cooked.

Mine actually arrived first, and after my first bite, I told Rob, in all seriousness, Oh my f*cking god, this is the best pizza I've ever had... It was absolutely fantastic. The crust had the perfect mix of crunchy and chewy, with a nice char, very little grease, and there was no 'tip sag' when folded in half. But the sauce--I could rave about it for days. And there was fresh basil sprinkled about on top too, which was a nice surprise. But the best was the homemade buffalo mozzarella they used. Not that shredded stuff from a food-service bag, this was the real thing. This stuff was made on-site and it was easily the best cheese I've ever tasted on a pizza--smooth, creamy, and ever-so-slightly smokey. No pizza I've ever tasted has had better cheese. It was almost a religious experience.

The Virgin Slice. Notice that they timed it perfectly and my pie had arrived by the time I finished my first beer. Not to worry, there was plenty more available at the tap.

The upskirt shot of a perfect pizza crust. Even the picture doesn't do it justice.

I snapped those pictures with my digital camera, having planned on posting a review. Apparently it 'freaked out' another guy at the bar who thought it was the strangest thing he'd ever seen, somebody photographing food. But we soon realized that he was one of those people you sometimes meet at a bar who can't sit there without talking to strangers. We chatted with him a bit and found out that he had driven up from Bullhead City, over a hundred miles away, to pick up a couple of pies to take home. I thought that spoke volumes about how good the place was. And they've only been open a month.

We noticed another group of guys across the bar from us committing a classic blunder. No, they didn't get involved in a land war in Asia, or go up against a Sicilian when death was on the line--they made the tragic mistake of ordering ONE pizza for three people. That pan was picked clean inside of five minutes, like a school of piranhas swarming a goat carcass. There was just nothing left. I'm fairly certain that the next time around, they'll order at least one more.

And as far as our individual 16" pizzas were concerned? There were NO leftovers. We both scarfed them up completely. Had there been a couple more slices, we would've eat them too. It was just that damn tasty. It didn't matter that we were full. We would've eaten every bit of whatever they put in front of us.

I think that once the word gets out on Grimaldi's, there will be a line every night to get a table. It's that good.

The particulars:


9595 S Eastern Ave Ste 100
Las Vegas, NV 89123
Now Open daily 4:30-midnight M-S and starting September 24th open for Lunch 11:00 am- Midnight M-S

No Slices
No Wings
No Ranch Dressing at all (the only appetizers are salads, and they come with Italian-style vinaigrette only). And we realized almost immediately that we didn't *need* ranch dressing. The crust was good enough all by itself.

I don't know what Rob's tab came to, but my 16" two-topping pie, with nine bucks worth of beer, came to $29 and change. Yep, it's a bit pricier than NY P&P, but it's a much nicer place and it is oh so worth it!

So, for those of you that come to town and offer to take me to lunch--This is where we'll be going. Prepare yourselves.


PS -- Clicky on the pics for full-sized goodness.

I Must've Been Pretty Tired Yesterday

...Because I turned down free lunch at the Grand Luxe Cafe! What the hell was I thinking? I *love* that place! That's ok, though. Word around the campfire is that I'll get another chance in three weeks or so, so it's all good.

The problem was, I was dealing dice again on Sunday, and it's a workout. But then they finally started rotating us into the 'reserved' game later that evening, and it was making the night just drag by, so when they offered Early Out once the other live game went dead and the table closed, I snapped it up. (Who the hell am I kidding? "Offered" is a pretty loose term. If I hadn't taken it, it would've been a five-man crew, and I'd be taking a break every 20 minutes, making the night drag by even worse, so I opted to just go home instead).

Anyhow, as I was heading back to my locker and such, I passed my gal Jovanka in the hallway and told her I was taking off early. It was the last night of her workweek, so it took her a split-second to say "Hey, I'll go ask if I can get out too--let's go out!". I was all for that, and two minutes later we were headed for the door and off to our favorite watering hole.

We sat at the bar for a bit, visiting with some other friends that had stopped by, and even ordered a basket of taquitos, wings, cheese sticks, and onion rings to munch on since the offerings in the employee dining room were so shiatty that night (the only thing I had during my shift was a banana and a cup of coffee). Once we finished our food, we ordered another round (Heineken for her, Michelob Light for me) and headed out to the side patio to sit by the fire. It was an awesome night out--nice and quiet, chilly but not too cold, and sitting by the fire was just about perfect.

We ended up sitting out there until almost 6:00 am, getting to the point where bottled water was tasting better than beer and I was doing more yawning than talking. We paid our tab, said our goodbyes and headed for home. I took a quick shower and hit the bed like a ton of freshly-scrubbed bricks, not waking up till sometime around 11:00 when my phone was ringing. It was Drew, wanting to meet up for lunch.

I was completely out of it, and I think our conversation reflected it, so he let me off the hook. But he'll be back in a few weeks and we'll get together then. As soon as I was awake, somewhat coherent, and alert enough to move, my phone was ringing again. This time it was Angy, excited about her upcoming trip. We haven't talked in over a week, so we had to touch base make our plans. As much as I'd like to, I won't be able to hang out with the crowd except for Friday night. But oh what a night that will be!

I've got a bad feeling that there will be a lot of photos taken that can't be shared with the general population, which is always a sign of a good time.

Anyhow, I've got to get some sleep--I need to get up early in the morning, fix breakfast, run a few errands, and head back down to school. It's gonna be a great day, Tater!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Cup of Awesome to Kick Off Your Week

I'm sure some of you have seen this already, because it's been floating around the internet as a 'hit' these past few days. But in case you haven't, here is the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performing the theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

A little known fact about your host is that I too was part of a ukulele orchestra several years ago. I was in the 6th grade and our biggest hit was Go Tell Aunt Rhodie. And I'm hoping there is no YouTube evidence of this.


What's That Smell?

Pasadena, anyone?

Friday, October 12, 2007

12 Years In A Cask, 8 Hours On A Treadmill

Ok kiddies, Professor Mikey has got a good buzz going, so today's class is going to cover a myriad of subjects. First of all, I want to thank Jack/Eric for sending along a little pre-NotSoberFest gift of 12-year old Nicaraguan rum. It's called Flor de Cana or something like that, and damn if it isn't the tastiest thing I've had all week. I swear I wanna mix it with peanut butter and make a samminch out of it.

But after getting out of work last night, I stopped at the convenience store and got me another fountain Coke. When I got home I mixed in a generous portion of rum, changed clothes, grabbed a cigar, and headed down to the hot tub for some much-needed relaxation therapy. Talk about living the good life--it was a little slice of heaven.

Anyhow, since I drank a healthy portion of the rum, and I'm pretty damn worn out anyways, today's lecture will consist of four sections in no particular or coherent order, before I shuffle off to bed:

  • A Nightmare on Fourth Street
  • Master of the Double Switch
  • Dice Dice Baby
  • Cue the P0rn Music

First of all, I spend most of my day yesterday at school, dealing single-table sit-n-go's. They're a lot of fun, and you really get a good taste of what working as a tournament dealer is all about. Anyhow, at school, they structure the tournaments so that there aren't more than seven players per table, and one dealer deals the entire tournament. The blinds move fast, so people make a lot of moves, but it's usually over in less than 45 minutes.

Anyhow, I was dealing a hand, with seven people still in, and the blinds were at 100/200. The gal sitting Under the Gun went all in for her last $300, and all six people called. Great. Here comes the turn--I don't remember the card, but the first player to act went all in.

And then here is where it gets stupid--EVERYONE else went all-in! Good lord, there was a mountain of chips on the table! Since the entire table was all in, I was hoping the big stack would win so that I didn't have to run down everyone else's chips after the showdown.

So, all the cards were turned up, and it was the most amazing hand of poker I'd seen yet. Three people had 3-of-a-kinds, two were on straight draws, and one was on a straight flush draw. Luckily, somebody made a flush on the river, and knocked out all but one person, but damn, as a dealer, for a few moments, it put the fear of God into me. Holy hell--I was thinking as I turned over the river card How the hell am I ever gonna figure out this pot??? But it was actually much easier than I imagined. The winner took the main pot, and $1600 from everyone else. Only one other person had him covered, so it worked out fairly easily. But for a minute there, I had that dealer-in-the-headlights look about me.

But I figured it out without too much problem, and now I'm much more confident in my mad poker skillz.

Another good thing about poker school is that I met a pretty nice gal there last week, and we've hit it off. And she's not a psycho crackhead like that Lara chick I met when I first moved here. Anyhow, it makes class go much easier, and I tend to stay longer because we have a good time hanging out all day. She works at another casino, in the marketing department, and decided to take a stab at dealing. And as luck would have it, we have the same days off.

Anyhow, after today, I was thinking that I'd obviously like to take her out and do something other than going to a poker tournament, and I thought Hey, I could take her to the monthly wine tasting at the Mirage--that's always on Wednesday night. And then I got home to check my e-mailbox for my latest invitation--the wine tasting is next Wednesday, not possible for me to go.


And why can't I go?

Well, being one of the few people at work with no kids and Halloween falling on my day off, I'm in high demand. My friend Jen got to me first, asking me if I'd trade days off with her at the end of the month so she could have Halloween off. No problemo, but trading a Friday for a Wednesday sucks ass as far as tokes go. But then I thought about it. I need next Friday off for Angy's happy-hour get-together during Not SoberFest. So just like any good National League manager needing a pinch-hitter in the pitcher's spot after the sixth inning, I went for the old double-switch. I told her I'd work Halloween for her, if she'd work next Friday for me. And then of course, we had to clear it with the shift boss.

But, since I'm pretty much teacher's pet at work, it was no problemo. The downside is, I lose out on two different Friday's worth of tokes, trading them for sucky Wednesday tokes ($103 versus $158 last week, just to give you an idea...), and now I have two weeks this month where I have split days off. And I can't take my new hottie friend out for a sophisticated night of wine tasting at the Mirage. Oh, the plus side? I don't burn up a vacation day to hang out with Angy and the buffoons next week. And I get the happy satisfaction that goes with doing a favor for a friend.

Yay me!


So last night I was actually scheduled on dice for the first time in about a year. In fact, around midnight or so, we got a new boxman chick, and the first thing she said was "Damn Mikey, I didn't know you dealt dice!"

I was beginning to think I didn't either.

It was such a novelty having me over there, that the assistant shift boss came over to give me a ration of shiat while I was on stick, just hoping I'd mess up. But I didn't. It's just like riding a unicycle. Yep, you get beat up for several months trying to get good at it, and finally it just clicks. I was doing just fine. And my table was nice and steady all night, making the shift fly by. And to top it all off, I only had one asshat the entire time (He bought in for a thousand bucks, and then proceeded to put $10 on the Pass Line, and $10 on the Don't Pass Line for every roll. Moron. He then wised up and put $100 on the Don't Come, but whatever number came up, invariably a six or an eight, he'd put up a $96 place bet on the opposite side and a $4 hardway bet on the same number. We rated him with an average bet of $0. Dipshit.)

Balancing out the cosmic scales, at one point, long-time reader and sometime commenter 'Drew' showed up, directly from the airport. He stood at my end and we had a few laughs for about an hour or so, and he was setting a fine example with his two-way hardway bets that never hit. Heh. He ended up making about fifty bucks or so before he left, and we made plans to get together for lunch later on this weekend.

But I haven't dealt dice in so long that it was like having an eight-hour workout, regardless of who was at the table. Seriously, I kept a towel handy to keep the sweat out of my eyes, and around 1:00 am, I got really busy--we had a hot shooter and I had four people at my end pressing and changing their bets like Craps was gonna be outlawed in the morning. I was bending over, stretching to do the payouts, and then standing back up so much that it felt like I was doing crunches for an hour straight. The worst was at 1:30, with just an hour and a half left to go in my shift, when I suddenly got a Charlie-horse in my abs!

Who the hell gets a Charlie-horse in their frickin abs??? I mean, calfs, or in the bottom of your foot, I can understand. But in the abdominal muscles? You gotta be kidding me!

Oh holy mother of god did that ever suck!

All I could do was try to lean back and stretch out, but the table was hopping and I had a ton of payouts to do, so I just had to gut up and take it like a bitch. I swear, I thought I was gonna just pass out right there, but as soon as I went on break I hobbled back to the dining room and ate a banana to get some potassium into my system, and I felt much better.

While sitting in there, I was talking to one of my recently-single again girl friends, and mentioned that as soon as I got home, I was heading to the hot tub. That kicked off an interesting discussion, where the bottom line is that now the tentative plan for Saturday night after work is that we're gonna pick up a 12-pack, head over to her place, and sit in her hot tub till the sun comes up.

Bow Chicka Bow Bow!

If that comes to pass, I'll be a gentleman and spare y'all the details, but needless to say, I'm looking forward to Saturday night!

In the meantime, the effects of a 44-ouncer with about 8 ounces of premium rum are starting to take their toll.

My body is worn out, I'm beat after doing craps-crunches for eight hours straight, and I want to get some sleep before the sun makes an appearance.

Y'all have a great day, and I'll hold the fort down out here in America's Playground.



Thursday, October 11, 2007

And Good Looking Too!

How smart are you? - Intelligence Test

I don't suffer from lack of ego, either...


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

All Messed Up

My sleep schedule is completely whacked right now. After getting up at 8:00 am yesterday, going to school, and then watching TV for a bit last evening, I was so worn out that I went to bed at 8:00 pm. And of course I woke up around 1 o'clock in the morning, made that road trip post, went back to bed, and woke up again around 4:30, the time I'm normally going to bed every morning.

And I've been up ever since. So instead of fighting it and staying in bed, I embraced the morning, put on a cup of coffee, and settled in the big comfy chair to watch a little SportsCenter. And I'll be damned if they didn't start the first farking eight-minute segment about Joe Torre and the f*cking Yankees.

Jeebus Farking Christo on a popsicle stick!

The rest of the world doesn't give two shits about what the Yankees are gonna do next year! And there is still the LCS and the World Series left to be played! I wish they would just shut the hell up about the goddammed Yankees. But just out of sheer curiosity, I waited to see how long it would be until they actually mentioned the two American League teams still, you know, alive in the playoffs, and it wasn't until 16 minutes past the hour. Holy shiat, I swear, if ESPN were a blue dress, Steinbrenner's DNA would be all over it!


While that was going on, I decided to drown out the Yankees chatter by banging some pots around in the kitchen and fixed myself some breakfast--grits, eggs, and toast, along with my morning coffee and juice. It was really good, but I didn't quite finish it all. Now I have a sink full of dishes to contend with at some point.

I may lay down and try to catch a catnap for a couple of hours before heading back to school, and hopefully I won't be too tired to catch all of the Travel Channel programming tonight--it's all about cruises, followed by the usual World Poker Tour. I hope I'm awake for it.

But even as bad as my sleep schedule is messed up, it'll be back to normal in 48 hours. I'm scheduled to deal dice on Thursday night, and I know that eight hours at the craps tables just wears my ass out, so I'm sure I won't do anything but crash as soon as I get home, and all will be right with the world.


Road Trip?

I think it's getting to be about that time again--Time to get out of Vegas for a few days of old-school buffoonery with my buddies.

It seems that Ed W. and I had been playing phone tag for the last several weeks, and this past weekend we finally got it together. I hadn't heard from him in a couple of months, so it was nice to catch up.

Anyhow, the big topic of discussion was the March Madness sailing trip that we've got in the works, and now that I've finally gotten in touch with him, he's onboard, so to speak. We also talked about taking a refresher day in February, since neither of us has set foot on a sailboat in over three or four years now, and it might be prudent to re-familiarize ourselves with it before the rest of the buffoons put their lives in our hands on the open sea for a few days. So that's the plan--a trip to L.A. in February for a some practice big-boat handling and learning the systems on the vessel we want to use in March.

Other than that, we talked about me coming down to Phoenix for another road trip. I haven't been back in over a year (last August), and of course I'm always up for a few days away. George and Marlisha have mentioned that I should come down the last few times we talked, and I still haven't seen Eddie B's new house he moved into a year ago. So we're talking sometime in November (which, holy shiat, is *next* month!) or maybe even early December, since I can't get away for the holidays.

Ooooh.. And speaking of the holidays, we're less than a month-and-a-half until Thanksgiving. You know what that means? The naughty Santa's helper outfits on our cocktail waitresses!!! Oh hell yeah--the most wonderful time of the year, indeed!

Anyhow, I'm always up for escaping the hectic Vegas scene for a couple of days, and late fall/early winter is a fine time to visit Phoenix. And anytime is a good time to go hang out with friends. So I should have some firm plans within the next few weeks.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Full Day of Poker

Since it's Tuesday, it was back to school for me (I don't usually go on Mondays, just because it's usually such a clusterf*ck with tons of new blackjack students lurking about). After enjoying a cup of coffee or two, and making a homemade McMuffin, I drove my tired butt down to the north end of the Strip for a long day of poker dealing.

I got there around 10:45 and was surprised to find out that I was only the fourth one there--a slow day in class, I guess. Usually there are about eight or nine go-getters already there by the time I roll in. Anyhow, between the four students and the instructor, we spent our time working on structured game 'Kill' pots. And I was amazed at how much stuff I'd forgotten over the past few months--so it was good to get back. I also got some extra time 'in the box' working on my game, so it was a fairly productive day. I'm glad I went, because it would've been much easier to just sleep in and bag it. But I've made my commitment, so I'm sticking to it.

I *really* want to get a job dealing poker.

Eventually, more people showed up and it got busy. We had our usual daily meeting/class, and today's topic was missed blinds and moving the button. Surprisingly, there is a lot to know, and I guess I just chalk it up to playing poker at tables where the dealers are really good, because it was an avalanche of information, yet I never really noticed all the little 'housekeeping' things that go on at the table when I've been sitting at the Mirage or MGM Grand, drinking Captain and Coke, running smack, watching the other players' tendencies, and trying to peek at Sticky's hole cards. (Yes, it's true, I haven't played live poker since March Madness...)

But I soaked it all in, asked some good questions, made some good observations, and got a lot out of it. It was also good practice for my game, as a player, because in school, playing with fake money, you can't bluff or make moves, so I told myself I would work on my 'tight' game. I stuck to my plan, did a lot of folding and watching players, and got a little personal satisfaction from the huge mound of chips I amassed when I wasn't dealing. It would be nice to be able to be that patient and observant in real life, at a real game. Of course, it would help if I avoided the real alcohol when doing so...

Anyhow, after my last turn in the box, I spent the balance of the afternoon talking to the shift manager down at the Flamingo--he's always got a few nuggets of interesting info to share and also the latest gossip in the poker world, so it makes the afternoon go by faster when all you're doing is providing a warm body for somebody else to practice dealing to.

Finally, around 2:45, I called it a day, wanting to get on the freeway before traffic got too insanely bad.

Once I got back to the apartment, I made myself a nice salad with a bag of mixed greens, chopped turkey, sun-dried tomatoes, shredded cheese, bacon bits, wasabi wonton strips, and ranch dressing. It was pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. And I'm thinking about one of those fat green Granny Smith apples I bought the other day, so I think I'm gonna go grab one of those and settle down in front of the TV.

The final table of the 2007 WSOP Main Event is being broadcast tonight, starting in about 15 minutes, and I don't want to miss a bit of it. I could, however, use a new crop of Milwaukee's Best Light commercials. The old ones are getting pretty tired.


But The Trains Were Always On Time!

Wow. I slept like a rock for five hours straight, and the only reason I woke up was because my nose was stuffed up. As soon as I sat up, however, I was fine.

Now, while waiting for my coffee to brew, I find myself hoping that my 'weekend' goes as slowly as my last night of work did. Yes, it was pretty dull in the casino last night, and what made it even worse was that most of my friends have Monday night off, so even while I was on break, I didn't really have anyone to talk to. So I was subjected to listening to the random freaks from other departments while I was sitting in the breakroom. Not fun at all.

But my name was high on the Early Out list, and when I came back from break at 11:00, they immediately closed two of the tables on my string, so I was home on the couch listening to Rob's weekend adventures by 11:45. Yep, he got home last night, and when I showed up, he was still up watching TV. We caught up, and then stayed up till almost 2:00 watching the last installment of 'The War' by Ken Burns. Good stuff for the most part, I'm glad I watched it, but damn, I wouldn't sit through it again. And the fact that they devoted maybe 25 minutes of programming to the concentration camps and probably three times that amount of coverage to the Japanese internment camps in California and the segregation in Mobile during the first three episodes kind of put a sour taste in my mouth towards the whole thing.

The thinly-veiled message seemed to be, Well, the nazis and imperial Japanese were bad, but America is *really* what's always been wrong with the world--I mean, heaven forbid--a black man in Mobile had to remove his hat before talking to a cop even after the war--HAVE WE LEARNED NOTHING?!?!?!?... As soon as the credits rolled, we deleted every episode from the DVR.


At that point I went straight to bed and crashed, hard.

But now I've got a little time to enjoy my coffee, catch up on my websurfing, and read the news before I make my way back down to school in a couple of hours. I've got my ear to the ground, looking out for any kind of poker dealing job that may come up.

Beyond that, I have no plans for the day, except to enjoy all of the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth that's going on back east, as everyone at ESPN laments the demise of the Yankees, and the injustice of it all--losing to a team from, ugh, Cleveland. Clearly, it must be Joe Torre's fault.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Tired Feet, Sore Knees, and Heavy Eyelids

Good morning everyone! I'm bloggin' to you wireless, from the comfort of my living room floor while the highlights of all the weekend's games provide the background noise.

I swear, I've never been so thankful to be done with a shift at work as I was earlier this morning. First of all, we started off on the wrong foot--I found out that as busy as we were on Saturday night, we made only $120 in tokes. That's just sickening. F*cking fleas. Thursday and Friday were good, the rest of the weekend is making a giant sucking sound.

After seeing that, I peeked at the roadmap to confirm that I was scheduled to deal my favorite string of tables--2 Pai Gow games and Deuces Wild. Well, when I left work on Saturday, I was, but yesterday when I got in, there were a few changes. Of most importance was the note on there that said "Mikey to dice".

Hmmm... Mixed emotions, there.

I haven't been scheduled on dice in almost a year, so eight hours at the craps table would be good for me. But dealing Pai Gow is like an eight-hour vacation compared to working in the dice pit.

It turns out that I was scheduled on the 'Reserved' game. It seems that we have an asshat player who thinks he's a big swinging richard and deserves his own table ON CALL whenever he's in town. He may show up, he may not, but we have to keep a table open, with no other players allowed to buy in, and of course staff it with a crew who do nothing but stand around waiting for this jerkoff to show up, all the while killing our tokes.

Of course, he never showed up. He'd been in earlier in the day and made a small fortune, leaving 1% of his winnings behind for the crew. That's another reason the dealers hate the guy--if he loses, we get nothing. If he wins, we get a 1% taste. So if he ties up a dice table for eight hours and makes five grand, he'll leave fifty bucks behind for the entire crew. If he plays all day and breaks even, not a dime.

But the cool thing the bosses did to make the night a little easier was to rotate our three-man reserve crew in with a four-man open table. So basically my night went like this:

40 minutes on a dead game

20 minute break

60 minutes on a live game

20 minute break

Lather, rinse, repeat for the entire night for all seven dealers.

That wasn't so bad, except that we had another one of our regular asshats at the live game thinking *he* was the Big Cheese, throwing money around and ignoring the fact that there were other players at the table. Dealing to him is always a workout, in addition to it being a Zen exercise in patience, because every dealer in the place just wants to tell him to shut the hell up. Luckily, he lost his entire ass this week, and I know we took at least eight grand off of him last night.

The last Five Large was especially tasty, as I was on stick at one point and in the middle of the game he reached into his pocket and pulled out a pimp-wad wrapped in a rubber band and tossed it into the middle of the table, demanding chips. So we had to stop the game and count it all and lay it all out across the layout for the Eye, before shipping four different colored stacks to him.

Of course it was obvious to us that this dipshit was just getting his jollies by showing everyone that he just happened to carry five grand around in his pocket wrapped with a rubber band. Seriously, everyone could tell that he just wanted to draw attention to himself, and there was much eye-rolling amongst the other players. He succeeded in getting his attention deficit temporarily filled, but we took him down to the felt in less than three hours. Heh.

Anyhow, once I got out of there, I was one worn-out little trooper. Any dice dealer will admit that standing on a dead game is tougher on you than dealing a steady game, and at the other end of the spectrum, a busy game with a couple of strokers just wears your ass out. So we had the worst of both worlds going all night long.

Oh, and the shift boss came over and told me that she scheduled me for two more nights of dice next week. I checked the book before I left, and it looks like I'll be earning an honest dollar on Thursday and Sunday night, instead of sitting on my ass in the rice paddy watching the TVs in the bar while I zone out every few minutes during that dead time when the players are setting their hands.

I shuffled out of there, thankful that the workday was over. I made a quick stop on the way home for a tall fountain Coke, and as soon as I got home and the shoes and pants were kicked off, I added a generous portion of Malibu rum to the cup. I put on some swim trunks, slid my tired feet into my old worn-out Nike flip-flops, and grabbed a Black Label from the humidor.

I ambled on down to the hot-tub, and finally relaxed in the soothing heat of the of the water. I lit up that cigar, put my head back, and damn near fell asleep staring at the stars. It was chilly out (mid 50's), so the steam and the blue smoke of my cigar mixed together and climbed high into the nighttime sky before disappearing in the breeze. It was a moment of perfect bliss, reminding me of the last time I thought I wonder what the poor people are doing right now...

Of course, I was humbled a half hour later when I accidentally knocked my cup over, spilling half my drink on the concrete. That's about the time I decided that I'd had enough, and climbed out, toweled off, and made my way back to the apartment.

Now it's time for a well-deserved rest.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Three Daze Gone

Hey gang--sorry about taking a little mini-vacation from the keyboard, but sometimes I just don't hear the muse. Well that, and a lot of times I'm too lazy or tired to crank out the literary nonsense.

It's been an extremely busy week here in Mikey-land, and I am moving at half speed today. Normally a pot of coffee is the answer, but damn, even that was too much effort. So I'm just sittin' here with a tall icy-cold Coke, as there was no scooping, stirring, or pushing of buttons involved in it's preparation.

Part of the reason that I'm moving at half-speed today is that last night after work, I went out with a couple of my girlies. We stayed out way too late goofing it off, and since it was Jen's birthday, a few shots of various dangerous liqueurs were consumed. I finally made it home around 6:00 am, placed my weekly call to Mamasan, and fell asleep in front of the TV, waiting for football to start.

Falcon Rob has been gone since Wednesday, back to the mid-western fountain from whence he sprung, spending his time visiting with family and drinking heavily at the Ohio State/Purdue game. So I've had the place to myself for a few days.

Since our work schedules are almost opposite, it didn't feel much different, although on Wednesday night I pulled a couple of foam pads, a sleeping bag, and some blankets and pillows out to the living room and camped out in front of all three TVs for most of the weekend, immersing myself in Sports Nirvana and catching up on all the shiat I've recorded on the Tivo in the past month.

Seriously--I can't remember a better sports weekend. We've had college football and the Major League baseball playoffs every night since Wednesday, and today was all about the NFL, the ALDS, and the NASCAR race from Talladega. And only once was I stuck with commercials on all three TVs at the same time.

When I wasn't nesting on the living room floor gazing at the high-def goodness of the sports world, I've been working. And we've been busier than hell these past few nights. One of the bosses said that Friday night was our biggest night in the last six months, which I believe absolutely. Not only have we had a bunch of bass-boat towing hillbillies in town for a fishing tournament, but we also hosted a huge golf tournament this week, too. But this one was different--it was called the Playboy Golf Club, and it was a bunch of high-rolling golfers and a shiatload of perfectly-built bimbettes hired to keep them company.

Whoever it was in the marketing department that pulled this one off should get a raise. Not only was the casino just packed with outrageously hot women all weekend, they instituted the GREATEST POLICY EVER at several of the blackjack tables.

Check this out.

During this party, they raised all of the limits in the main pit--no $10 games at all. And then on several of the 'premium' blackjack tables they had the following minimums:

$5 a hand for chicks

$100 a hand for dudes

Oh hell yeah! It was awesome. All they did was sprinkle a few 'bunnies' around the casino and give 'em a few bucks to play with, and if the guys wanted to play at their table, it was black-chip action only. Every table was full.

Man, what a brilliant idea! And the best part was since all the clothes they were wearing were so skimpy, every time a chick got a blackjack she'd start jumping around to celebrate, so we had more than our fair share of 'accidental' nudity. Good times all around!

So even though we still had our normal stiffs and losers in on the weekend, there were still a few highlights, and the money wasn't bad either.

Offsetting the good times at work was the fact that I got absolutely crushed in my college football picks again on Saturday. I either lost four out of six or maybe even five out of six. I got so disgusted that I quit keeping track. I mean, I got screwed by ASU, Miami, Kansas State, Georgia... It was awful. The sole bright spot on Saturday was seeing Mizzou just beat the snot out of Nebraska. Of course, my Rams lost again on Sunday morning, so I'm in full-on get-the-first-draft-pick mode now. But as bitter as it is to see them getting beaten at home by the Arizona Cardinals, nothing was quite as sweet as seeing the Seahawks get bent over by the Steelers like a scrawny hairless guy named Eugene in a maximum-security prison shower. That was the best NFL beat-down I've seen in a long time, and my only regret is that I didn't Tivo the thing so I could watch it over and over again.

Almost forgot--there's still the NFL Replay during the week on the NFL Network, so I could watch it on Wednesday. Oh wait, check that--they only show the 'competitive' games on Replay. My bad...

Anyhow, it's time to go top off the ice and Coke in my drink. We got a new icemaker installed on Wednesday, and now I'm up to my ears in cubes, so I've been doing my damndest to see if I can keep up with it. I got a feeling I'm gonna run out of rum before I run out of ice, however.

In the meantime-- Peace Out, Y'all!


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Best Conference Ever

I love me some football, and SEC college ball is probably the best product available in an infinite array of football choices. I'm actually starting to become one of those people who like college football better than the NFL. Yeah, I still love me some Sunday football, but the NFL rules on broadcasting (that stupid DirecTV monopoly) and all of the commercial breaks make it tough to remain a crazy fanatic.

Anyhow, as great as the South Eastern Conference is every year, who would've thought that a marquee matchup this season would feature Kentucky vs. South Carolina?

My only wish is that this game were on Saturday afternoon instead of tonight, just so I could watch the whole thing in it's entirety. Unless I'm stuck on a dead Pai-Gow game at 7 pm tonight, I'm probably gonna miss the fourth quarter.

Also, because I haven't been down to work in the past two days, I'm unable to bet on the game. South Carolina is favored by 4.5, and I think I'd lay the points and take the Gamecocks in this one. The Ol' Ball Coach is undefeated against Kentucky, and playing at home, I think they win by a touchdown.

But man, what a great game it's gonna be!


Tossing My Cookies

Yesterday morning, I was surfing around the net and saw that Angy was online over at T2V. Knowing that she sometimes has her Yahoo Messenger turned on during the day, I switched mine on to see if she was there. She was, and we 'chatted' for almost a half hour. Surprisingly, our conversation centered on cookies. She'd had a craving, and was going to be bringing some frosted mail-order cookies out to the Not-Soberfest activities in a couple of weeks (the brand name escapes me, else I'd put up a link).

Anyhow, after that, suddenly I was craving cookies all afternoon. I hadn't had any in several weeks, except for a handful of Double-Stuf Oreos in Mamasan's kitchen a couple weeks ago while we were sitting and playing Sequence all afternoon. Other than that, it's been months, and once Angy planted the seed, I thought about cookies all afternoon.

I had a couple of errands to run anyways, like going down to the rental office and getting my gate key reprogrammed and filling up the gas tank, so I finally put on some shoes and headed out. Instead of driving all the way down to my favorite Walmart Neighborhood Market, I opted for the much-closer Albertson's.

Good lord, what a mistake. Not only was it packed to the gills with rush-hour shoppers, but I'd forgotten how overpriced everything was there. Part of it is obviously the overhead, as the Albertson's is located in a nicer neighborhood, instead of the Walmart which is located on a busy 'industrial' road. I wandered for a good ten minutes, mouth agape at the ridiculous prices. My coconut creamer, $2.79 at Wallyworld, was $4.14 there. A pack of Hebrew Nationals? $5.79. The Red Baron frozen thin crust pizza I discovered last months? $3.75 everyday at WalMart, but $5.79 at Albertson's. Seriously--I stumbled around with an empty cart not buying anything until I could collect my thoughts and let the reality of the prices sink in.

Cookies were definitely out, although they had an Oreo special--2 packs for $5. Instead, I wandered over to the produce section and picked up a few things--salad mix, dressing, wonton strips, apples, grapes, sun-dried tomatoes, and croutons. I'm really enjoying the apples, they had some HUGE green Granny Smiths, so I loaded up a bag, and the grapes, which I haven't tried yet are the 'black' seedless variety. I usually buy red grapes, so this should be an interesting change. I wanted to get some cantaloupe and honeydew melons, but again, their prices were just ridiculous.

My last stop was for a couple of two-liter bottles of Coke--can't drink that rum straight up. My one pet-peeve about WalMart is that they are *always* sold out of Coke. Every time I go there, there are NO 2-liters available. And $3.75 for a 12-pack of cans is still a little too high for me to bite. Well, by the time I got to the soda pop aisle, there were only twelve bottles of Coke left, so I snagged three of them. It made me wonder--why does there seem to be a Vegas-wide shortage of Coca Cola lately? I mean, it's only the most popular beverage in the world--you'd think a place like WalMart would have the foresight to keep a few bottles on hand at all times, and Albertson's was going to run out before 5 pm on a weeknight.

Whoever their distributor is in Vegas, they really need to get on the ball.

Anyhow, after not getting any cookies, and doing the right thing by purchasing mostly fruits and veggies, I got out of there to the tune of 48 bucks and change. And I won't be going back to Albertson's anytime soon.

Dinner was a turkey and cheese sandy on whole wheat, an apple, and a tall glass of icy-cold Coke.