Thursday, December 25, 2008

She'd Been Drinking Too Much Eggnog...

And we begged her not to go...

First of all--I want to thank everyone who sent along cards, gifts, messages, and kind thoughts my way this Christmas. It meant a lot and made my stuck-in-Vegas Christmas that much easier. Actually, it hasn't been too bad at all. But more about that later.

'Tis the season for miracles, and I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the greatest Christmas miracle I've experienced in a very long time. I went the entire month without once hearing that god-awful 'Wonderful Christmastime' crapfest song by Paul McCartney. Good lord how I hate that song. And somehow I managed to dodge it this year. Along the same lines, I also didn't hear Barbra Streisand's horrible version of 'Jingle Bells', either. I'll take that Oh-for-two every year and be satisfied.

Christmas, this year, also provided a bit of entertainment on the family front. I opened up the (wrapped) presents this morning, and one of them was my traditional beaches-and-palm trees calendar from Mamasan. Yep, she gets me one every year, but this one was a bit different. It was entitled 'Las Playas' (The Beaches), but when I took the plastic wrapper off to look at all the pictures, the whole thing was in Spanish. All the dates, the holidays, and the picture captions--all Spanish.

At least the pictures are nice, and the numbers are the same, but everything else--not a clue.

So I called Mamasan to ask her where she got it, and she said she couldn't remember, but she said she bought herself one, too. So far, the only holiday I recognize is Cinco de Mayo. The rest are a mystery.

But that's not the best of her absent-mindedness. On Christmas Eve, the whole clan gathered over at my sister Sherry's house for dinner, drinks, music, snacks, and the gift exchanges between everyone who would be at different places on Christmas morning. That's when I called, and while all of those festivities were going on, they passed the phone around and I got to participate somewhat with my own glass of spiked eggnog and a handful of peanut butter balls, laughing all the way.

Anyhow, once the party wound down and broke up, everyone went back to their own homes, but Mamasan was going to spend the night at Amy and Scottie's house, so they could do Christmas morning together. The plan was for her to follow them back to the other side of town, and once they got on the freeway, she called me up to give the after-action report while she drove over to Amy's place.

While we were talking, she somehow managed to lose Amy & Scott, but started following another car that looked just like theirs. So while we're talking, she started saying stuff like What the hell? Why are they taking the scenic route home? Oooooh, look, I think they just want to drive through the nicer neighborhoods to look at the lights... I have no idea where we are... I've never been to this area before... Maybe they have to make a delivery to their friends or something, because we're not exactly heading straight to their neighborhood... etc.

So we're just having a conversation about the evening's events, but she keeps interjecting random stuff about getting frustrated because she just wants to get over to the house, drink some more spiked eggnog, listen to some mellow Christmas music, and go to bed, but Amy and Scott are driving her all over creation. Then she said--Hold on for a second, they just pulled up into somebody's driveway--I think they're delivering gifts. Oh wait... That's not Scott! Oh shit! I've been following the wrong car for the last half hour! They probably think I'm some kind of stalker!

It was even more embarrassing for her, because she pulled up right behind this guy in his driveway, so he came over to the car, not knowing what to expect, and she had to fess up and then ask for directions on how to get back to Hillsboro Road. Heh. When I heard that, I got a chuckle. Eventually she made it over to Amy's, and they all got a laugh.

I guess it's not as bad as me running into the ladies room at Green Valley Ranch to take care of business, but it's right up there...

Anyhow, it sounded like the gang had a wonderful gathering on Christmas Eve, and it was nice to talk to everyone.

After that, I went to bed--I needed to get a little sleep before heading into work, so off went the lights, and I lit a scented candle and hit the Christmas playlist on my iPod, playing through the speaker system, turned down low.

I was asleep for about an hour, and I woke up to some god-awful shrieking. The smoke alarm in my bedroom was going off, as was the smoke alarm in the game room, plus the ones down in the living room and entryway.

Holy shit! I panicked, thinking my candle was gonna burn the house down, so I blew it out--but my room was kinda smokey. So I opened the door, and the gameroom was all smokey, too. I turned on every ceiling fan on the second floor along with the exhaust fan in my bathroom, but that's when I realized my candle had nothing to do with it. My roommate's girlfriend was baking something down in the kitchen, and they stepped outside for a few minutes, and whatever she was cooking, burned. So she came running in to tend to the emergency, apologizing for waking me up, while the rest of us just laughed. My roommate opened up the house for a few minutes to clear the smoke, and I went back to bed, but the smoke alarms went off a couple more times before the smoke cleared.

Eventually, I was able to go to sleep, and then I woke up one minute before my alarm. I showered, shaved, and got dressed, then took a load of big empty cardboard boxes downstairs with me to ditch in the nearest dumpster on my way to work. My roommate, his brother, and his girlfriend were still up listening to music, drinking some wine, and just getting their Christmas on, so I wished them all a Merry Christmas. My roommate said Holy shit Mikey, you must've been a good boy this year--you made out on the presents! And I agreed... And that's when I saw another box addressed to me, sitting there on the entry-way table. T-Rev had sent an assortment of smokey treats from Thompson Cigar (Thanks bro!).

It was cold and rainy out, but I got rid of the empty boxes and headed off to the casino. Just as I was getting out of my truck, I turned to see my favorite gal in the world, Kimmy, walking towards me. She had just gotten off of work, and was heading home. I was just lucky enough to be in her path right then, and well, I'll just say that my Christmas got off to a great start.


Hadn't even walked in the building, and I was already sweatin'...

I got down to the poker room, and there were two really strong 4-8 games going. Not bad--I figured that I'd make some decent money. And also, my friend Randi was working the room as the cocktail waitress. I've never mentioned her before, but she's a little cutie and we hang out sometimes, but our shifts almost never overlap. But I got a lot of envious WTF? looks from the players and the floorman when I got a kiss from another cocktail waitress, right there in front of everybody. This time, there were witnesses... Heh.

That's me, the walking mistletoe...

Anyhow, both games were especially juicy--lots and lots of action, so the money was very good. I was locked down the entire shift, only getting up a couple of times to empty out my toke pocket whenever I started to spill chips on the table. Luckily the last game broke just after 4:00 am, so my night was pretty much over. I stayed until five to help the floorman count down all the tables and do paperwork, then hit the poker office to look over the munchies that the boss had provided. But I just grabbed a cookie, said goodnight to everyone, and headed out.

I couldn't ignore tradition, so I hit the local watering hole where I met my gal Stephanie three years ago. When I got there, the place was relatively empty, but the bartender told me that everyone had been there but the party ended about a half-hour before I got there. No problemo. I had a coffee and Kahlua, ordered a breakfast burrito, and put twenty bucks into the video blackjack machine. I sent Stephanie a text saying "Three years ago, baby! Merry Christmas, I miss ya!"

I didn't hear back from her, but I usually don't too much--she's in California with a boy, and I only hear from her a couple times a year now.

Anyhow, I ate my breakfast, lost my twenty, paid my tab, and headed home. It was almost 6:00 by then, so I made some hot cocoa with schnapps and opened my presents. I got me a new comforter, another DVD, a CD, my calendaro-en-Espaniol-o, a book or two, and some new 600-thread count sheets. All very cool stuff!

I made a couple more phone calls back to the family to get the morning updates, and everyone was having fun and enjoying all of their gifts, and Christmas sounded like it was a success all across the Hurricane Mikey family.

I was getting kind of tired, so I took a shower and went to bed. I woke up a little while later, though--Stephanie was texting me, causing my phone to beep. We went back and forth for a bit, catching up, but then I went back to sleep. An hour later, I was awakened to the sound of Journey's cheezeball Hopelessly In Love tune, which I hadn't heard in months. That's Kimmy's ringtone, and she hasn't called me since last May! It wasn't actually a call though, she was just sending me a text message wishing me a very merry Christmas.

Just like Charlie Brown, all I could do was *sigh*. It must've been the mistletoe.

Anyhow, after that, sleep was impossible. But I was cool with that--my phone started ringing a bit. All of my fellow buffoons started sending text messages, and a couple of my gals here in town called too, so yeah, it was a pretty good day. But I killed all of my minutes on my phone--I had to bust out the MasterCard and add more minutes or else...

I talked to Reverend Dave later in the morning, too. He was frustrated by the difficulty of the movie-lines timewaster I posted yesterday, so I gave him all the answers. He said he wouldn't have gotten five of 'em. Perhaps I made it a little too hard... Oh well.

I also talked to Amy again--she sent me another one of her famous 'mix tape' CDs that just crack me up. She always puts funny songs on there, and lots of songs where the lyrics have come up in our colorful conversations over the past year. Songs that when I hear them, they make me chuckle and think of her. And you may ask yourself, Where is that large automobile?

But that's been my Christmas here in Vegas. I spent the day sort-of alone, but I got to talk to pretty much everyone who is close to me. I could do a lot worse. Anyhow, it's after six now, and I've got to try and get some sleep before I head back to the casino. I have a sneakin' suspicion that tonight is gonna be much busier than last night, so I'll need my rest.

So as Christmas winds down for another year, again, I wish you all the best and hope that Santa was good to everyone.


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