Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kickin' It Old Skool

Howdy gang!

I hope that your Tuesday is somewhat normal. I really hope mine is--it's been a real roller coaster these past few days, and I think I'm ready to get off of it.

First of all--a little housekeeping. My gripe with Amazon was fixed, finally, on Saturday--they finally figured out what was wrong with my account, got my CD out of limbo, and gave me free overnight shipping "since I've been such a good customer for over seven years". Yeah, that's right. Besides my CD, the UPS man also delivered a replacement pair of prescription sunglasses yesterday. Oh hell yeah--I can see again!

On the work front, well, it's been a challenge lately--as in full-on biblical style famine. I worked ten hours total last week, and then on Sunday night I went into work, dealt five hands of no-limit holdem, and the game broke. I made a whopping nine bucks for my shift, on the clock for a half hour total. But the floorman felt bad for me and gave me a five-spot out of his toke bucket and asked me to join him for a beer after work.

No problemo there--I had nothing else going on. So we hot footed it over to Sierra Gold and took advantage of their awesome graveyard breakfast special--a huge ham steak, 2 eggs, toast, and home fries for $5.99. And this ham steak is huge--about a quarter inch thick, but the diameter of a Frisbee. And they grill it like a steak, not fried on a griddle. Oh yes, it was damn good. But I couldn't linger and hang out--I had to get home and get to bed--my alarm was set for 8:00 am, as I had to meet Marcie early in the morning to get a head start on apartment hunting.

I covered that already, and I finally got home around 3:00 in the afternoon. I was totally cool with dozing off for a couple of hours before work, but I got an email from one of my longtime readers, Mike in K.C., reminding me that he was in town and that we were supposed to have a beer together.

We planned on it a couple of weeks ago, and I told him to send me a reminder just before he got here, which he did on Friday. But then all the drama of the weekend took it's toll and I completely spaced it. So once I got the email, I called him up and told him that I'd meet him at Benny's Bullpen an hour later.

So I picked my carcass up out of bed, put my shoes on, grabbed some cigars, and headed for downtown. When I gave my truck to the valet at Binion's, I made sure I was holding my new sunglasses so that they wouldn't get crushed in the door again. A few minutes later, I stumbled into the Bullpen, and Mike immediately recognized me.

He waved, and the first thing he did was hand me a couple of folded up twenties and tell me "This is for the Marcie Fund!"

Wow--that was nice. But apparently, even though he's been in Vegas all weekend, he was checking my site on his new iPhone, so that's how he knew about it. So I promised that I'd make sure she got the money when I saw her today.

He also introduced me to his girlfriend Leanne, and we sat down to have a round or two. A few minutes after we got our first drink, I managed to kick our cocktail table hard enough to douse Leanne with her own margarita. Big laughs all around! I kinda felt bad, and had the waitress bring another one, but the bartender was cool enough to give it to us for free.

We sat there for about an hour or so, maybe longer, just telling stories and catching up on things, but we were getting hungry. We saw other patrons having food delivered, and it looked damn good. But we couldn't decide if we wanted to eat there, or head over to the Golden Gate and re-live the early tradition of a French Dip and a shrimp cocktail.

Although the menu at Benny's looked good, tradition won the battle, and a few minutes later were were wandering down Fremont Street, heading to the Gate. Of course the line was long and slow moving, but oh, it was worth it! See for yourself--

Even though I had doused Leanne with a margarita, she was a good sport and insisted on buying my dinner. So not only did we get to re-live a great Vegas tradition, I got it on the cheap, too! Woot!

While we were eating our dinner, we were talking about all the old times that we'd been there at the downtown, and I honestly could not remember the last time I had a shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate. It's been at least a year, probably longer. And I mean, that was always our first Vegas meal whenever I'd come up with my boys. It was a tradition! But I hadn't been there in so long that I had no clue when the last time I was there--it had been far too long. But the dinner was excellent--the cocktail sauce was nice and spicy, the French Dip was as good as it's ever been, and of course the clowns behind the counter moved like molasses running uphill. No reason to break their tradition of slowness, I suppose.

After dinner, we wandered the street a bit and did some people watching, but I *knew* I'd probably get called in to work early, and I wanted to get a catnap before heading back to the poker room. So I said goodbye to Mike and Leanne there at the Binion's tournament area, and thanked them for inviting me to join them on their vacation.

I headed back home, and I wasn't even in the door before my phone was ringing, asking me to come in to work at 9:30. That was nice, given my lack of making any money the night before, but damn, I really wanted a catnap. I had about an hour before I needed to be there, so I called Marcie and she gave me the low-down on the apartment she looked at earlier in the evening. It sounds promising, so I've got my fingers crossed.

After the call, I made a quick post, got dressed and headed out. By the time I got to the poker room, they were down to just two tables. That didn't look good at all, but somehow I managed to stretch it into a seven hour shift.

That brings us to now--I'm all kinds of tired right now, but I've got a full day ahead of me. Once I get some sleep, I'll go down and have lunch with Marcie, and then later tonight, I'm meeting all of my blogger gals for dinner. Oh yes, there will be pics.


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