Sunday, March 15, 2009

Where Did My Weekend Go?

I think I have fully embraced the graveyard-shift lifestyle, as my system is now in the habit of staying up all night and sleeping during the day, even though I went six days between shifts. Normally, after a few days away from work, I start to drift back to 'normal' hours, going to bed around midnight, waking up early, etc. But not now--I've been a nightcrawler all week.

Since I haven't been working, I've felt the pressure to try and earn a bit of extra cash, so I've just been going out and playing poker against the drunks every night this past week. And every night I've made almost as much playing as I would've made had I been working. I wouldn't say I'm on a heater, I've not been playing no-limit and I haven't had any big scores at the table (except of course that Jackpot share from the other night), but I've been grinding it out at the kiddie table playing 4/8, and I've managed to pocket around $150-$200 profit each night. Not too shabby, especially in a room that has a reputation as being as tough as the one I work in.

I honestly don't remember too much from Friday night, except that I played for about six hours and pulled about $160 off the game. I wanted to stay longer, but I *had* to get some sleep. I had to get up early on Saturday morning and go to the St. Paddy's Day parade with Linda Lou.

I remember cashing out and feeling really hungry since another 24 hours had passed since I'd had anything to eat (nope, I didn't order room service that night, just wasn't feelin' it), so I stopped at the 7-11 on the way home and grabbed a chicken salad sandwich and an iced tea. I've always been afraid of those sandies they have in there that I always see the construction workers getting, but I was hungry, and it was either that or junk food, unless I wanted to drive to a bar or something. I thought I was tired, so I just wanted quick and cheap, I guess.

So, I came home, but damn, I just couldn't sleep. I ate my sandie, got on the computer, watched some TV, and tried to go to sleep, but it just wasn't happening. I knew I had to get up in a couple of hours, but as soon as I got home, I was wide awake. I decided to give Mamasan a call back in Tennessee, as I knew she'd be up, and we ended up talking for about an hour--the whole gang back there is all kinds of excited for this coming weekend, so we had lots to talk about.

Eventually, my alarm went off, so with no sleep, I showered, shaved, and got myself dressed. I headed over to pick up Linda Lou, and we drove over to old Henderson to watch the parade. We parked in the garage at the El Dorado casino, a place I'd never been in, and walking through, it reminded me of one of them truck-stop casinos that dot I-40 as you drive through New Mexico. Meh.... No reason to stick around.

But we arrived just about the time the parade was kicking off, and I was amazed at the size of the crowd. Water Street was just a sea of jade-colored humanity, but we managed to find a spot in the crowd, sitting on the edge of a planter.

The parade, as you can imagine, was exactly like I thought it would be--a small-town affair that won't cause the folks at the Tournament of Roses any sleepless nights. But it was a lot of fun. Lots of firetrucks, marching bands, classic cars, and pretty much every elected official from the Henderson City gub-mint riding in convertibles. I think our city council is about the same size as the U.N.

The highlight for me, while we were sitting there enjoying the sunshine and people watching, was seeing Darth Vader come wandering down the street leading a squad of Imperial Stormtroopers from the Neon City Garrison of the 501st Legion ("Vader's Fist"). Holy shiat--cracked me up. I didn't take many pictures, but I had to get a couple of shots of that! Because really, nothing says St. Patrick's Day like a bunch of Stormtroopers on the march.

After that, I was pretty much done--nothing was gonna top seeing Lord Vader and the basement dwellers wandering down Water Street. Even the random Irish strippers (hey, it's Vegas) weren't nearly as fun to watch.

The parade lasted about two hours, and we really had a good time--it was a lot more fun than I expected, and yeah, it's on the calendar for next year. We're gonna do it right and make it a full-on tailgating event. The weather was so nice that I even had to bust out the sunscreen, but still, I managed to get a little color on this pasty-white countenance of mine.

Once that party ended, we wanted to go get some breakfast. The original plan was to go to the Omelet House, but since Marcie has turned into a raving psychopath, we decided against it. Instead, we drove over to Green Valley Ranch and had breakfast at The Cracked Egg. (A more aptly-named restaurant for the two of us, I cannot imagine).

Neither one of us had ever been there before, but we immediately liked it as soon as we sat down--big place, extensive menu, cheap prices. They lose points however, for being a Pepsi place. (As much of a dive as the O-House is, at least a brotha can get a Coke in there). Linda ordered the raspberry stuffed French Toast, and I knew what I was having as soon as I saw it on the menu--the Monte Cristo sandie with hash browns.

Our waiter seemed a little harried, but that didn't detract too much from the experience. Linda's breakfast was quite good, but I don't think I'll get their Monte Cristo ever again. It doesn't stack up nearly as well to the ones I've had at Bennigan's in years past. Good, but not great. I found myself wishing that I'd ordered something else. I think it might have been a little overcooked, too.

Even though my meal was kind of a miss, we'll definitely be going back--everything else looked great, and I need to find a new breakfast spot anyways.

Once we finished our meal and our conversation, it was time to call it a day. I was hitting the wall finally, so I dropped Linda off back at her place, and then I made a quick stop at Walgreen's to pick up a ten-dollar coffeemaker so Mamasan and Crazy Jane can get their Java on in their hotel room next weekend.

As soon as I got home, it was bed-time. I lasted about five minutes before I was a drooling heap, passed out and snoozing. I got a good six or seven hours of sleep in, which was just what I needed.

I woke up again around 9:30, and decided to head back down and take another shot at earning a few bucks in the poker room. This time, instead of shorts and a t-shirt, I wore nice clothes--a twill shirt, slacks, and a pair of tassel loafers, and grabbed a work shirt out of the closet and took it with me, just in case.

The poker room was pretty busy when I got there, but again, I only brought $180 with me, so I took a seat at the kiddie table again. There was a very juicy and action-packed no-limit game going on, and I thought at first that I should get in it (in fact, it was so crazy that people were requesting table changes--the bad players wanted off the game, the good players wanted in!). But I got a seat at a decent 4/8 game, and one of the fish from the other night was there on my right, and he brought his brother with him, who was an absolute dream player you wish you could always have at your table--he was absolutely a horrible player, but he had a pocket full of hundred-dollar bills!

I took a couple of bad beats early on, and reached into the wallet for another $40, but after that, it was off to the races. I sat there for several hours, being patient, waiting for cards, and then unleashing the fury when I had the opportunity. By 3:00 am, I had almost $400 stacked in front of me, and I was able to build a model of the Bellagio out of my chips while I was sitting there.

The problem was, the bad players with the seemingly unlimited bankrolls kept buying in, and once people realized it, nobody else would leave, either, so the games went deep into the night, and at 4:00 am, they needed me to work.

I *really* didn't want to get up from that table--I told one of my buddies there, and the floorman, that as long as they guy in the ten-seat had chips in front of him, I wasn't leaving that table. But I'd made my money, and they needed me to sit in, so I colored up and cashed out, ran out to my truck to get my shirt, changed, clocked in, and five minutes later I was back at the exact same table, except this time I was dealing the game!

It was kinda funny, as soon as I sat down, I was like Well, hello everyone, how's everybody doing tonight? like I'd just walked in. It was a fun group, and I thought it'd be tough to pull any tokes because I'd taken $300 off of 'em and walked, but as soon as I started pushing pots, it was just like a normal night. Kind of surreal, when you think about it. Even the two guys who I was hammering on the most, if they'd win, they'd still tip a couple or three bucks each time. Nice!

I only worked for an hour and a half, as the last no-limit game finally broke up, but in addition to my winnings, I earned about $75 in tips, too. Not a bad night at all! As soon as I was done, I ran in back to hit the time clock, put my street-shirt back on, hustled back to the room, grabbed a rack of chips, and sat back down in the game.

Unfortunately, by then, the two fish at the table were about to go broke. I got three hands in before they did, none of them playable. When it was my turn for the blind, they were gone, so there was no reason to stay--I put that hundred chips back in the rack and cashed right back out again. One of my other buddies decided to do the same thing--he'd bought in for forty bucks and cashed out $325, so it was a good night for everyone. Well, everyone except two players.

The game pretty much broke up after that, so everyone headed for the exits. Hungry again, I headed over to Sierra Gold for their $5.99 graveyard special. I had a huge ham steak, eggs, hashies, and toast, and washed it all down with a draft beer. Gotta love breakfast in Vegas!

The sun was up by the time I got out of there, so it was a long night. Once I got home, I made a few phone calls and puttered around the house for a few hours, finally going to bed around 11. I got my six hours of sleep in, and now I'm up and killing time before I go into work tonight. I'm actually scheduled for the first time in six days, so I'm hoping I work more than a couple of hours before the game breaks. But soon, very soon, I'll be on vacation and enjoying the Madness.

I cannot wait!


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