Saturday, April 24, 2010

One Mo' Time!

Hey gang!

Well, I'm having such a good time in Tennessee that I've decided to stay another week. It's not like I've got anything going on back in Hendertucky right now, so why not stick around and enjoy another week out here with the family?

It only cost me $250 to change my ticket, so it was well worth it to get another week of vacation in.

Anyhow, as you can imagine, I'm having an absolute blast. Unfortunately, the camera has stayed in the backpack all week, so I don't have any photo evidence. Also, internet access has been kind of hit-and-miss at times, so I haven't been able to tickle the keys on the laptop as much as I'd normally like.

On the job front, I had a very productive interview a couple of days ago, and I'm waiting to hear back from them for round two. But it sounds promising--if it happens, my days in Vegas are over--I'll have to start the new gig in mid-June (if I get the job). Fingers crossed.

Today I'm spending the day chilling out with Reverend Dave, Amy, Scottie, Cyndi, Tim, and the puglets down here in rainy Columbia TN. We're gonna hang out here at the house playing cards, smoking cigars, having a beer or two, and sitting out on the porch watching the rain. We need a relaxing day after all the running around we've been doing. I'll have a full run-down later, but right now, I just wanna kick back and do nothing.



Monday, April 19, 2010

Word Around the Campfire...

Hey Gang!

Happy Monday to everyone! I'm makin' this update from a 'borrowed' wifi signal, and I don't know how long it's gonna last, so it'll be a quickie.

Anyhow, I'm here in the lovely tree-covered hills of south-central Tennessee, a good half-hour outside of Nashville, just enjoying my time away from the neon city. I had an absolutely fantastic weekend with the family, and as soon as I get some coffee in me, I'll get started on the week's activities.

Saturday was a blast--my flights were smooth and easy and on-time, and the best part of it was that there wasn't a single child on my flight from Vegas to Denver. Not one person under the age of 18 anywhere on the plane--that *never* happens. Talk about a nice flight! Somebody outta come up with an 'adults only' airline, and I'd bet they'd make a nice living, charging a premium from those of us willing to pay a little extra to be able to travel without having to listen to screaming brats on the plane. The flight from Denver to Nashville--well, it made up for it. It was full of little people.

But the 'Redneck Reunion' party on Saturday night was a success--almost the entire family made it out for the festivities, and we stayed up till the wee hours laughing it up around the bonfire. I don't have many pictures right now, but everyone else does, so I'll post some later this week. But from what you see at the top of this post, you don't want to be the first one to pass out at this gathering.

Yesterday was pretty mellow. Once everyone crawled out of bed, we just kind of hung out here at Cyndi and Tim's place, playing cards, munchin' on leftovers, and playing with the kids all day. Once I get a hold of some of the pics from Sunday, y'all will definitely get a laugh. We got silly with the magic markers and I drew a goatee on my six-year-old great nephew Jackson that he wore around all day long. Funniest. Shiat. Evar.

Reverend Dave got into the act and put a tramp-stamp on Jackson's four-year-old sister Brynn. Of course she spent the rest of the day showing it to everyone. We thought Alli (our niece, the kids' mom) was gonna kill us when she saw it, but she's been part of this family her whole life, so she wasn't surprised at all...

Anyhow, today my employed siblings go back to work and such, but Reverend Dave and I are hanging out getting a few things done. (He starts his new job next week, so he's free to goof off with me, as is Amy). Later this afternoon we're road-tripping down to Alabama, I've got an interview tomorrow, and then tomorrow night we're celebrating Amy's b-day with dinner for about 20 people or so at the Cheesecake Factory. After that, the rest of the week is unplanned.

But it's still early in the morning, so I'm gonna get some coffee and then take a shower and such and get the day started. I'll post another update on Wednesday or Thursday or so, and maybe share some pics, too.

Peace out, y'all!


Friday, April 16, 2010

Gettin' Back to My Roots!

Hey gang! The 24-hour countdown is on until I leave Vegas. It'll be so nice to have a vacation away from here--I really haven't had one at all in the past five years. In fact, I've only been away longer than three days one time since I got here. But I've got a whole week back east ahead of me, and I can't wait to get on that plane first thing tomorrow morning.

Almost all my chores are done. I think I have one more load of laundry to do, and this afternoon I'm gonna head to the bank. But then, all I have to do is pack my suitcase and set my alarm clock.

Once I arrive on Saturday afternoon, I'm gonna motor on down to Cyndi and Tim's place, and the rest of the family and a few friends are gathering for a bonfire and BBQ. That'll carry through to the wee hours, and after that, I'm in full-on relaxation mode for the rest of the week, except for one stretch where I'll be doing a job interview. But then it's back to the nest for the balance of the trip. I don't think that there are any formal plans made except one night is Amy's birthday, so we're doing dinner, and then one other night my siblings have a long night of drinking and buffoonery planned.

Speaking of the family, on Wednesday I got to spend the day with my cousin Danny who I hadn't seen since 1978. I drove down to Harrah's and met him and his wife KJ, and then we headed off to the Peppermill for breakfast. Oh yeah, they liked it a lot. After breakfast, we headed back to the fireside lounge and just sat and visited for almost three hours, catching up on thirty years worth of family stories. And we had an absolute blast! I was nervous at first, but we clicked like we'd been friends our entire life, and it was just a fantastic visit.

Eventually, he had to go to a meeting, so KJ and I took off for the Paris and took a ride up to the top of the Eiffel tower. We stayed up there for almost an hour taking pictures, and while we were up there we got to see a couple of fountain shows at the Bellagio. Very nice. I'd steal some of her photos from her Facebook page and show them off here, but she hasn't posted them yet...

After we left the Paris, we just headed back up to their room and met up with Danny, and we sat around for another couple of hours having a glass of wine and looking at pictures. By then, I was exhausted, so we said our goodbyes, promising to get together again very soon (I think they might be coming on the family cruise this fall, if everything works out). I came back to the house and was passed out in bed by 10:00 pm.

Thursday was kind of a wasted day for me--since I'd gotten hardly any sleep in the previous two days, all I did was snooze and clear stuff off of my DVR, and then snooze some more. I think I'm finally all caught up, but I know I'm gonna lose a few hours once I get to Tennessee and start goofing off with all the siblings.

Anyhow, that's all the news from here--I'm gonna take a few days away from posting. I *hope* to put something up on Monday afternoon, but I'm not sure what my travel plans are mid-week, so it's all up in the air. But until then, y'all have a great weekend!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Poker Night at Mikey's

Hey gang!

It's so nice to be able to write a 'normal' post again--no job huntin', no juggling of the travel plans, no stress at all... I had a very good night after a very long day.

Tuesday was crazy-busy for me. I tried to force myself to sleep on Monday night, but my system is so used to the graveyard hours that it was a total losing battle for most of the night. Somehow I managed to get a few hours of rest, but I still woke up an hour before my alarm went off.

Since I've been running ragged for the past several days, I hadn't had a chance to do housework, and my apartment was in desperate need of a good scrubbin'. So after I finished my pot of coffee, I set to work. I mopped and disinfected the bathroom. I did about six loads of laundry. I vacuumed. I took out the trash. I cleaned out the fridge. etc. etc. etc.

Finally, around 11:30 or so, I busted out the ironing board and a squirt bottle full of distilled water and spent about twenty minutes or so working on my nicest cotton shirt. It's a beautiful shirt, with an embroidered paisley pattern on the chest and down one side. The only problem is, it's a bitch to keep from getting wrinkled. Seriously--I spent more time ironing that one shirt than I would when I iron six other ones. But it looks really nice when it's all fresh and crisp.

After I took my shower and shaved and such, I put on that shirt and my least-shiny pair of those god-awful black polyester work pants that are more common than fake tits in this town, and then sat down to practice reading Omaha Hi-Low Split hands for a few minutes before heading on down towards The Strip.

I got there just in time (traffic sucked, as usual), and found myself tucked away in the corner of a very busy poker room with five other guys dressed like waiters.

I was the second person to do the audition, and although it wasn't perfect, I was a damn sight better than my competition. Seriously, two guys had absolutely no business even being there at all--they were quite inexperienced. Another guy seemed a little too hyper for my tastes, and the one other guy with lots of experience completely forgot to take a rake on any of the hands he dealt. So I feel like I did pretty well--I don't think I misread any Omaha hands, and I made sure I was crisp with my procedures, but we'll see. They said that we'll hear something in a couple of weeks after they do the background check on the ones they want to keep.

Anyhow, once I finally got out of there (an hour and a half later), I lead-footed it back to the Batch Pad, stopping only to pick up a couple of six packs from the Kwik-E-Mart on the corner. I got home about 15 minutes before my buddy James showed up, and then Holly and AC were just a few minutes behind him.

Our plan was to spend the evening playing Chinese Poker, drinking beer, and running smack.

What is Chinese Poker, you say? Well, it's a four-handed game where everyone gets 13 cards, and then you make three poker hands (two five card hands, one three card hand, kinda sorta like Pai Gow). Bottom hand is strongest, middle hand must be second strongest, three card hand on top is the third strongest. After all the hands are set, there is a showdown, and whoever makes the best of each of the three hands gets a point for each one they win.

There are endless varieties of ways to change it up, like 'no pair on top' or 'deuce-to-seven lowball on the middle hand' or even a $20 bounty from every player if you're dealt a natural 13 card straight. Anyhow, we played it pretty basic, it being our first time doing it, and I gotta tell you, it was fun as hell.

I broke out the old poker chip set and we played for $5 a point. We each started out with $200 apiece, and at the end of the night, I had $385, James had $380, Holly was down about half, and AC was flat-ass broke! It's a great game because there can be some monster hands that just get crushed. We played for eight hours and I got quads three times. And one time my quad eights lost to James' straight flush. And you have no idea how frustrating it is to have a full-house for your biggest hand and still come in fourth place, paying off your opponents five bucks apiece! Grrr.... At one point Holly made a Royal Flush and she chirped about it for several minutes--there was no forgetting that she crushed us all.

That's Holly guarding my liquor cabinet. Not the wisest move I've ever made--it would be like putting Tiger Woods in charge of guarding the dressing room down at the Spearmint Rhino...

It was a great night all-around, though. We laughed our asses off, put a hurtin' on my liquor cabinet, and munched on some great food from Villa Pizza and Chicken Bonez (two different establishments who were competing for our catering dollar!). And yeah, there was the usual poker-room smack talk, too. I wish I would've filmed it--we were much more entertaining than those guys on Poker After Dark. But after eight hours, we'd had enough. We folded up the game and sat out on the patio sipping the last of the beer and having a smoke or two in the until almost two o'clock this morning, enjoying the nice weather before calling it a night.

I've got to get a few hours of sleep before heading out again for another long day. My cousin Danny, who I haven't seen in 32 years, is in town with his wife and we're getting together for breakfast/lunch, and then hanging out and reconnecting for a bit. I can't wait to see them. They're here for a couple of days, and once they head back home to California, it's my turn to pack my bags and hit the road. I'm heading to the airport on Saturday, making my way to Nashville.

We've got a big party planned for the weekend, and then later in the week I've got another job interview in another city that shall remain top secret for now. I'll finish the week in Nashville, but I should be back in Vegas by the following weekend, although I may only be here long enough to do a load of laundry before heading back on the road again. We'll see--nothing has been determined yet. I'm just happy to be heading back to Tennessee to goof off with all my rowdy cousins siblings.

That's the news from here. Now I'm off to bed for a few hours.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Still Here, Just Busy

Hey gang, sorry for the lack of updates, but it's been a very hectic couple of days. I had a great weekend, but yesterday was kind of a biatch--the biggest pain in the ass was finding out that my debit card was compromised, so I was dealing with that for a good portion of the day. Luckily my bank caught it before I did, so the damage was minimal.

On the other hand, I'm in the middle of a very busy day. I've spent the morning housecleaning because later this evening I'm having some friends over to play some Chinese poker--I'll talk more about that tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm doing a bit of practicing my craft for the next hour or so, as I have an audition at a very nice top-tier poker room this afternoon.

Also, I have some family coming to town late this evening, so I'll be hanging out with them for the next couple of days, and then I'm heading out of town this weekend and I'll be gone for a bit--I've got job interviews in two different cities in the next several days, and I'm also going back to Nashville, too.

More details and updates when I get some time, but right now, I still have a bunch of things left on the to-do list.



Friday, April 09, 2010

They Call Me 'Even Steven'

It's funny--while I was trying to escape the Tiger Woods love-fest on ESPN yesterday (seriously, the guys on SportsCenter are gonna have to take their blue dress to the dry cleaners after this weekend is up...), I channel-surfed my way over to one of the 'rerun stations' and my favorite episode of Seinfeld was playing--no, not 'Master of My Domain' (everyone else's favorite episode), but 'The Opposite'.

That's a classic episode that I can watch over and over again and never get tired of. But the funny thing is, while everyone probably thinks that I'm more like George (Hi! My name is George. I'm unemployed and live with my parents!), actually, yesterday I was more like Jerry, who was Even Steven.

Remember the other day when I said that I'd keep $165 aside to play cards with this week, after putting all the rest of my money in the bank? Well, yeah, I lost that the other night. But on Thursday, as I was puttering around the house, I opened up the coffee can on my desk and found another $165 in there that I'd put aside for the cable bill. I put it in there over a week ago when the bill first arrived in the mail, and was going to wait until just a couple of days before it was due before I deposited the cash in the bank. Well, I completely forgot about it after hitting the four flushes last week and also having that big night where I won another $350 (and all that money went in the bank, too). So I completely spaced it.

But, as I was cleaning and organizing my desk, I discovered it, and it was like found money! My $165 had come back to me! Gotta love that--it's even better than finding a twenty spot in the dryer after you do your laundry.

So I said the hell with it, and went out to play some cards last night around 9:30 or so. It wasn't much fun, actually. The room was dead and I was at the geriatric table--everyone there had at least twenty years on me, so there wasn't much fun conversation or silliness going on. On the other hand, they were all a bunch of calling stations, so they paid me off several times. But then again, it was River City because nobody would fold, either.

The highlight of the evening, for me, was when I popped this one douchebag on two big hands in a row. I was gunning for him, because when I worked there, the guy was always a total stiff--never tipped a single pot in two years. So taking his money is especially tasty. And I got him twice. One time, it was set-over-set--I turned a set of nines against his sixes, and then on the next hand, I had Ace-King over his Ace-Ten, and we both had two pair at the showdown. And oh-by-the-way--his name is Steven, too. Heh.

Anyhow, after three hours or so, and some wild swings (I went from being down $60 to up $50, and then back down again), the game broke around 1:00 o'clock this morning. As I racked up, I saw that I was exactly even for the night. I'd bought in for $100, tipped the cocktail waitress two bucks, and when the game died, I had $102 stacked in front of me.

Even Steven.

So anyhow... I considered, briefly, going over to the 'M' and playing, but I didn't want to drive all the way over there and find out that there wasn't a decent game. So I just came on back to the apartment.

I still got my $165, so I'll probably do it all over again tonight.


Thursday, April 08, 2010

I'm Willing to Sell!

Now if I could just find a buyer...

According to the folks at, this website, as of today, is worth $83,521.60. I don't know how they figured that out, but hey, who am I to argue? So if anyone has any extra cash lying around and wants to buy me out, I'm willing to negotiate.

Hell, I'd knock off the change and go an even eighty grand. And I'd be willing to write three times a week for another year, too, telling all the dirty little secrets of the casino business... Oh, and I'd throw in all the trolls for free, too!


Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Well, that certainly didn't take very long. Since I booked my trip to Nashville--I'll be honest--I've kinda been half-assin' my job search, just because I don't really need to get a new job immediately. And I'd kinda like to take it easy until I get back from Tennessee.

But as much as I'm trying to be lazy, I've already got a couple of very good opportunities in places outside of Vegas, and one of them is looking pretty solid so far--if it comes through, then yeah, my Vegas days are over. But in the meantime, I've gotten a few calls for positions here in town, too. In addition to the first application I put in, and that gal who gave me the hook-up the other day, I got another call-back yesterday from one of the top-tier rooms in town--they want me to come down and audition for them next week, too. So with all of that going on, I'm actually going to be somewhat busy over the next couple of weeks. One of my buddies has dealt the World Series for the past few years, too, and I'm spending a few hours under his tutelage this week also. I haven't applied there yet, but I'm sure I will very soon.

If I don't have an offer by the time I get back in town in three weeks, then yeah, I'll hit it hard and treat my job search like a full-time job. In the meantime, I've got to brush up on dealing stuff like Deuce-Seven Triple Draw, Pot-Limit Omaha, Razz, and even Stud, which I haven't dealt but maybe three times in the past couple of years. While I was at Sunset, it was pretty much 100% all Hold 'Em, all the time, with the occasional mixed game tossed in late at night when we got down to the last four or five die-hard drunks. But there are a lot of HORSE games at the Series (Holdem, Omaha, Razz, Stud, Eight-or-Better), and pot-limit Omaha is a beast of an entirely different nature. I need lots of practice on calculating the pot if I'm gonna deal that one and not look like too much of a jackass.

So that's what's going on as far as the job search goes. Like I said, I'm looking, but not too hard just yet.

I've also been playing a bit. I took all my winnings from the past week--almost $900--and put 'em in the bank yesterday to pay the bills. I kept my original $165 in the wallet to goof off with, and promptly lost it all last night. Grrr.... Well, technically not all of it--I filled up the gas tank first and then had dinner with A.C. over at Macaroni Grill. But then I gave the rest of it to the donks at the kiddie table who took turns running me down. So I'll probably take the rest of the week off, just because I don't want to admit defeat and hit the vault.

The other night, though, I played a bit of 4-8 Omaha for about three hours and won $170 while I was at it. I'm not that good at that game, but there were two guys at the table who were absolutely terrible at it, and one guy who tried to just run over the rest of us. I played pretty tightly and picked my spots and ended up doing pretty well. On the other hand, it wasn't a full table, and playing that game against nine opponents is an adventure in statistical variance if there ever was one. I know my limitations, and I won't be bringing my meager bankroll down to the jackals and maniacs at Boulder Station anytime soon (some of the craziest Omaha action in town is found out there in the ghetto). On the other hand, I had a really good time and it was a nice change-up from the tedium of Hold 'Em.

Besides that, there's nothing new to report. I'm going to spend the next couple of days chillin' out here at the Batch Pad, doing all my little chores and getting a bit of reading done. If the sun ever comes out, I may actually go outside and see if my sunglasses still work. It's been awhile...


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Are You Feelin' It, Evel???

I certainly felt it!

So here I was, sitting at my desk at the Batch Pad in lovely Henderson Nevada, thinking I was having a bout of sudden-onset vertigo. I was surfin' the net and all of the sudden I felt like I was swaying--kind of like the one time in my life I got seasick.

Eddie W and I were on our way back from Avalon aboard a 42-foot sailboat with about six or seven other folks, having spent a long weekend out at Catalina earning our bareboat certifications. Anyhow, there was a long gentle rolling swell coming out of the west, and our course put us directly perpendicular to the waves, and after about a half-hour of trying to read while rocking side-to-side, I started to feel a little queasy. Never before or since have I ever gotten seasick, even while plowing through the edge of Hurricane Ivan on a cruise ship or fighting 25-foot seas off the coast of Alaska.

But here I was sitting on my ass at my desk and suddenly I felt like I was swaying and couldn't control it--and it lasted for more than just a couple seconds! At first I panicked a bit, thinking there was something seriously wrong with me. But then I thought that maybe I just need to grab a bite to eat and close the blinds. I hadn't had anything to munch on since 3:30 in the morning, and the wind was blowing outside and the trees were moving back and forth in my peripheral vision. I thought I might've just been dizzy or something. So I got up, grabbed a Coke from the fridge, ate a granola bar, and headed to the couch to put my feet up. I immediately felt better, but for a second there I thought I was losing my mind.

I vegged out watching an hour of Gene Simmons Family Jewels before heading back to the computer. As soon as I sat back down, I saw that my cousin had posted on Facebook about a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit in Baja. I thought there was no way I'd feel that here, but then clicking over to the news, they said it was felt as far away as Scottsdale Arizona. Well, I'm here to tell you that I felt it here in southern Nevada, too!

I've been in earthquakes before (lived in San Diego twenty-odd years ago and we had two of them while I was there), but this didn't feel like a 'normal' earthquake. There where no dishes clattering or stuff on the shelves falling over, and no dust rained down from the top of the ceiling fan blades, either. Then again, I was hundreds of miles away from the epicenter, so it was mild. On the other hand, it seemed to go on a lot longer than a regular earthquake.

So I guess that was the excitement for the day around here...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter, able to spend some time with family and friends. Easter, for me, isn't really a holiday I celebrate. When I was a kid forced to attend a Mormon church on Easter Sunday, it seemed more like the Kentucky Derby than a religious holiday. All the women wore ridiculous hats with lots of flowers and such, and I never made the connection between that and a hippie coming back from the dead to save us all. Pardon my boorishness--and I apologize to those I may be offending--but the truth is, I have no problem with religion and such, but I just don't get it. It's not something I can wrap my head around...

So enough of that...

Aside from getting shitcanned from my job on Monday, I've actually had a great week. Not only did I win a nice $400 jackpot while playing poker the other night, but I've actually had a very lucrative run. I budgeted $165 to play with this week, promising myself that if I lost that, I'd be done with cards until every obligation is met for the entire month of April. That didn't leave my enough wiggle room to play any no-limit, so I've had to sit at the kiddie table and play 4-8 all week. But I've played four nights in a row and all four have been winning sessions. (Ok, one was actually more of a break-even session--I was up five bucks at the end of the night, but I'd spent five bucks out of my wallet tipping the cocktail waitress...).

Last night was especially juicy, as I won my first three hands in a row as soon as I sat down at the table. Five minutes after I walked thru the front door, I was up $84. And then about ten minutes after that, I got pocket Kings, and won a huge pot when I beat a guy who had Tens full of Queens with my Kings full. That was a nice change of pace from Thursday night when I got pocket Aces three times and all three times the same guy flopped a set against me... Grrrrr.... (I was lucky to go home up $85 for the night, as that guy beat me like a drum the entire time--He raised every draw like a maniac and hit every time. But I got even with him last night. On Thursday, he cashed out with $600+ at the end of the night, but last night, I sent him home broke).

Anyhow, I played for just three and a half hours last night, but came home with a $350 profit--all from playing 4-8 limit. I didn't win any high hand payouts or hit any jackpots, it was all 'earnings' from pots I dragged. And it all goes in the bank on Monday morning. Like I said before, even though I've got no job right now, I've got enough on hand to maintain my current lifestyle for maybe three or four months before I start to sweat. But whatever I win goes right to the bank...

Speaking of the job search, I'm kind of in a holding pattern on the Vegas search right now. I'm heading back east in two weeks and I'm going to be there for eight days, so I don't really want to get auditions scheduled before then and have to explain to any potential employer that I'm going on a 'vacation'. Besides that, I'm also heading to Phoenix and maybe San Diego/L.A. between now and then, too. So even though I'm not giving it my full-on hard-core effort, I'm still getting a few opportunities. I've put in a couple of applications and I've got interviews and auditions scheduled very soon, but now that the word is out that I'm unemployed (his folks are overjoyed...), I'm amazed at some of the things coming my way.

I've got a pretty big network of contacts out here now, and several people have offered to put a word in for me around town. And then, last night, out of the clear blue, I ran into a friend of mine I haven't seen in a couple of months. She deals at one of the nicer rooms in town, and she came over to talk to me. She had no idea that I was out of a job, but she took me aside and asked if maybe I'd be interested in working at her joint on a temporary basis. It seems that her room is doing some expanding, unannounced, and her boss asked her if she knew any good dealers around town who may be interested. Well, she came down to Sunset looking for me, and of course I said I was interested. So she's giving my name and number to her boss, and I was instructed to go online and submit a general application as soon as I got home last night. So I did.

We'll see how that works out. It's not a permanent job, but it's a foot in the door... At the very least it'll be a month or two of income.

Speaking of that, yeah, I'm fully aware of the unemployment that's available. Hell, the lady in the HR department who actually gave me my official walking papers gave me all the unemployment forms to submit. I'm eligible for it--I didn't do anything out of line or anything like that--hell they even told me I can re-apply to be re-hired in 30 days. But based on my part-time minimum-wage 'reported' income over the past two years, the weekly unemployment benefit would barely be a hundred bucks. And the 'stimulus' money that was put into the system last year runs out this week, so new claims don't get any of that, either.

But that's the least of my worries. If shiat goes downhill and stays downhill, we'll explore those options. Right now, I'm all about taking it easy for the next couple of weeks and choosing my spots. I'm only applying for jobs that I want right now. If, by the time I get back from Tennessee, I don't have a decent offer in hand, then I'll start applying for acceptable jobs. If I can't find one of those, then I'll look at last-resort jobs. If nothing comes of that, I'll go back to donating plasma and collecting aluminum cans. After that, I'll just sell all my shiat and move back to my parents basement, blogging about all the people in the drive-thru who piss me off.

Let's hope it doesn't get to that point.

Oh, before I forget, there's a bit of housekeeping I forgot to mention. Everyone who has emailed me over the past few months and never got a response, I have an excuse. It's not that I was being lazy or ignoring you, but awhile back I upped the security settings on my system, and any email that had a hyperlink in it got spam-canned. Well, all except those from 'trusted' sources--like Amazon and some other companies that I do business with. Basically anything from Yahoo mail or Hotmail or anything like that where they put a hyperlink in the footer got knocked out. I just figured this out last week when I heard from some of my friends that I never responded to some of their emails. So I've since fixed it and the inbox isn't so sensitive anymore. My apologies to everyone who went unanswered.

Also, while I'm apologizing, I want to thank the folks who hit the tip jar this weekend. That was very nice of you and I appreciate it. It'll get used on gas and groceries and such. Picture frames, probably not...

As far as the rest of my Sunday goes, it's been a pretty damn lazy one. I did, however, put in that one application from my contact last night, but after that, I haven't done a damn thing all day. I spent my afternoon watching 14 episodes of Entourage back-to-back-to-back, and right now I'm watching the Yankees-Sox game on ESPN2. As far as I'm concerned, and I know I'm in the minority here, but the American League is Pepsi compared to the superior goodness of the National League Coca-Cola. I'm setting my alarm to get up at 10:00 am tomorrow to watch the *real* opening day--Cardinals versus Reds.

After the game tonight, I'll watch the latest episode of Pacific, and then I plan to head out to my 'part time job' and try to earn a few more bucks in the poker room. But I've got no plans for tomorrow. I guess that's the blessing of having no job to go to--Mondays don't bum me out.

I hope yours is good, though!


Friday, April 02, 2010

Rollin' Down Highway 41...

I swear, this time I have a great excuse for not making any updates this week. Long story short, I am no longer the casino's bitch, dealing poker at Sunset Station.

Like brother Martin once said, I'm free at last, free at last!

Anyhow, once I get some extra time and gather my thoughts in a coherent manner, I'll give a full rundown on my experience of working there and my departure. Believe it or not, I've actually been very busy since it happened. My last day of work was a week ago Wednesday, although I didn't know it until this past Monday. On the other hand, I was pretty sure on Friday that the axe was gonna fall.

Of course, there were several other times over the past few months that I was certain I'd be gone, but the pink slip never came. But one can't delay the inevitable forever, and well, here I am, on the free agent market.

That being said, I am not the least bit disappointed. When I walked out of there for the last time on Monday afternoon, after signing all my final documents and collecting my last check, I was not bummed or depressed or anything. Truly, I felt liberated, like the weight of the world was off my shoulders. I'd been hanging by a thread for a better part of a year, and that's quite a burden to carry around. I didn't really notice it, having carried it around for so long, but once it was lifted I felt like a new person--it was an amazing difference. No longer do I have to worry about the feast or famine aspect of being the guy on the very bottom of the totem pole, and no longer do I have to sweat out an inflexible schedule. And the best part is I no longer work for an indifferent boss who I never really got along with, anyways.

On the other hand, instead of being underemployed, yes, I'm unemployed once again, but I've been there before and this time I'm much more prepared. As unpredictable as life was these past few years, I've managed to clear out basically all my debt except for my truck payment, and in the meantime I saved up a few bucks to live on for a couple of months without breaking a sweat. Maintaining the status quo would've been easier, but I'm ready to move on. I am not nearly as worried about the future as I was back in 2001, even though the economy here in Vegas seems much worse than the economy in Phoenix was ten years ago. I'll be ok.

Part of being more prepared is that I've got plenty of irons in the fire. My friends here are pushing me to deal in the World Series this year, which is decent money. I'm not gonna get rich, but the tokes run about $1100 a week for six weeks, with all the overtime I can handle. So I'll probably do that. Plus there are a few other options here in this town that I'm exploring. Also, now that I've got all this free time on my hands, I've expanded my search. There are plenty of card rooms in southern California and also in Phoenix. And as you may have guessed, the family wants me to come back to Tennessee.

I'm not sure exactly what I'm gonna do just yet, but there are a few alternatives that seem to be jumping out to an early lead. In the meantime, I'm not sitting around and waiting. I've already got a few interviews and an audition or two in the hopper, but starting next week I'm going to be doing some traveling and expanding my horizons a bit. I'm pretty sure I'll be in Phoenix and/or California at some point very soon, and I've already got a ticket for a week-long trip to Nashville and points south.

So that's what's new in the life of Mikey. As soon as I know more, y'all will know more. But in the meantime, I've got to share a fun story.

Even though the M Resort is my favorite poker room in all of Vegas, a lot of times on my days off I'd play at Sunset Station, just because it was close. Well, that, and the company-wide Bad Beat Jackpot makes it worth playing there, too. Now, each poker room in the Stations universe also does their own in-house promotions, and one of the ones they had at Sunset was the High Hand of the Day. Basically, each day at noon, they'd pick a random card out of the deck and if was a five or higher, that straight flush would pay out. For instance, if they picked out a Nine, if you made a straight flush with the five-thru-nine, you'd get the jackpot money. They started the payout at $100, and it would roll over a few bucks each day until the hand was hit.

Well, when they first started that promotion, I hit one for about $400 or so, as I recall. Then, it started over and rolled up to about $320 or so about ten days later, and I hit it again! So I won two of them in a row.

After that, my boss got pissed and sent out a memo that employees were no longer eligible to win the high hands of the day, or any other in-house daily promotion. Yeah, I thought it was bullshiat, as did most of the players, since my money was still going down the drop-hole just like everyone else's, but what can you do? As they say, you can't fight city hall. I even asked her about it and she straight up lied to my face and said "Oh, it has nothing to do with you winning two of them". But we all knew that was a farce because everyone in the room secretly referred to it as 'The Mikey Rule' as it was implemented less than 48 hours after I won the second jackpot.

In fact, I had quite the reputation for winning the promotions. Back in October, when I flopped the four Fours for $4,444, the promotion ended the very next day, and all of the players were like "Damn--Mikey won another one and they took it away!" (Of course, I'm sure the boss was livid when I hit that one--she didn't say a word to me for two weeks--not 'congratulations', not 'nice going', not a single thing. She hates it when employees win anything).

Anyhow, I told ya that to tell ya this... So I'm no longer an employee, and on Wednesday night, a couple of my buddies were working, so I went down to play for a couple of hours and to shoot the shiat and let everyone know why I was no longer on the schedule. Starting at 1:00 am on Thursday, they have a promotion where you get paid $400 if you get all four flushes (Spades, Hearts, Clubs, and Diamonds) in a five-hour period. It's actually harder to do than it sounds, and most of the time, nobody ever cashes in on it.

But there I was, playing on graveyard shift that night, and by 2:00 am, I'd already made two flushes--Diamonds and Spades. Around 3:00 am, I caught a Club flush, so I had three hours to make one single Heart flush. Of course, I went card dead after that and didn't catch anything. Around 4:30 or so, everyone at the table was rooting for me, and I announced that from that point on I'm only gonna get into a pot if I have two hearts in the hole and if I limped in, make sure to call at least one bet so that there is at least $10 in the pot (gotta have a least ten bucks in the pot to win any jackpot). Everyone agreed, and finally around 5:15 or so, I got two hearts in the hole, something like Jack-Three.

Luckily I flopped two more hearts, and somebody else was on the straight draw, so we got the money into the pot. I made the flush on the turn and then just checked it down with my opponent--she'd missed her draw and I made my fourth flush. $400 winner, baby! Woot!

It was so awesome to win that just because of all those other times I played on my time off, supporting the room and helping to keep the games going, and I was never allowed to collect on any of the promotions. But now that I'm just a private citizen random player, well, it was sweet that they had to pay me off--Even sweeter because I knew it would irritate the right people. Heh.

Anyhow, that's the news from here. Like the song says, I'm alive and doing fine. But I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling and road-tripping over the next few weeks, and I will have my laptop with me most of the time. If any of you have any couch change that you wanna donate to the gas fund or the Keep Mikey Living Indoors Foundation, feel free to hit the ol' tip jar. Thanks!