Remember all that crap from yesterday about the cocktail waitress in Vegas? Well, a certain Mr. Diddy found a certain little video clip. Crank up your speakers, imagine you're walking down a corridor in a casino, and try not to cry.
I don't know if I've brought this up yet or not, but I've got a little trip to LAS VEGAS next week. We're going for my sister's 21st birthday. (You may ask how I can afford so many trips this summer. The answer: I can't! As long as American Express doesn't realize that too and then take away my magic cash-dispensing card, nobody gets hurt.)
I'll be staying with the family this time, and not my usual band of Vegas yahoos. Such a switch-up raises many questions in my mind. For one thing, if I'm not rooming with Paul, who's going to retire back to our room with me to watch Lionheart when we run out of money? If I'm not sharing a bed with Damon, who's going to put me in a headlock in his sleep and then stuff a racing form into my mouth? Should I ask the bellboy at the hotel to do these things with/to me, just to establish my Vegas comfort zone? How much do you tip for something like that?
All of this brings up a pretty good Vegas story that I'm going to unload on you people.
We went to Vegas for the first time a couple of years ago. Since we'd never seen any of the casinos, we were walking through them and Paul happened to be filming the thing, trying to create a travelogue of sorts. It was typical tourist stuff. As we're bumbling around like a couple of doofuses and trying to narrate all of this tacky, random crap we're seeing, when one of the cocktail waitresses runs up next to us.
She had a little message, alright: it was maybe the scariest, most bewildering/stressful thing I've ever heard. She said it quickly and quietly with a distinct, frightened edge in her voice. She told us right in the middle of the casino, where she knew they couldn't get her, and then before we could respond, she turned and ran away. I watch a lot of spy movies; I know that right after the double agent shares a secret with you, the snipers are after you. I've also seen a lot of Vegas movies; I know that when you anger the casino, they break all your bones and send your remains to the bean dip factory.
Here's roughly what she said: "The guards saw you with the camera, put it away before they come get you. Oh God, it's too late, here they come."
I just wanted to start screaming right there. I enter a casino for a little sight-seeing, and I'm almost immediately mistaken for some master criminal attempting to break the bank. I knew there'd be no way to explain the honest mistake before the guards punched my tongue off.
What happened next? Well, we never saw any guards. We stood in the casino, looking around frantically and ready to burst into tears, but nothing ever happened. I didn't want to flee the scene; I knew that'd only make them madder. Eventually though, we had to accept that somehow, we had evaded the immense crapstorm into which we accidentally waddled.
The best part of the whole thing is that Paul still has this on tape. (Paul, is there any way to upload that clip? It'd probably be better if you could edit out the sound of me pooping myself.)
Hey-o, I made it back from Chicago. We stayed in a very large hotel, up on the 27th floor. My window looked right out onto Soldier Field, which was pretty cool. Of course, it would've been much better if they'd given me the telescope and flare gun that I requested, solely so I could protect the stadium from vandals. I'm right there, people; let me do some light security work. Also, the weather was fairly turbulent up there. Being up on the 27th floor, I could see the bad stuff hitting beneath me; I felt like some sort of wizard in Lord of the Rings, calling down lightning strikes and blinding fog on my enemies. Finally, I have a reason to pack my warlock get-up when I travel!
We did go to see a Cubs game, and only because they were playing the Astros, the Cubs emerged victorious. (I'm still not sure how the Astros win any games; they have one fat boy who hits a lot of home runs, and then everyone else is a defensive specialist/pinch runner.) We rode the subway up to Wrigley Field, and a couple of locals packed in right behind us.
These guys were maybe 18 years old or so, and one of the guys went off on a 20 minute tangent on what he'd do to Ryan Dempster if the two ever met in a dark alley. It was incredible; I bet that guy used the f word every three words throughout the whole thing. The car was full of kids and old people, but this fellow didn't care; someone had to put Dempster in his place. So, there was that level of comedy, listening to someone with a thick Chicago accent just let loose at full volume in public. And then there was the second level, where I own Ryan Dempster in my fantasy league and think pretty much the exact same thing every damn morning.
Did I do the deep dish pizza thing? As any cardiologist could tell you after examining my heart, I most certainly did. Man, it was good. That thing was so thick and heavy, you could've defended yourself against the Visigoths with it. Mangia here in Austin does not do it justice. My pictures of the whole thing aren't that great, but I'll upload them soon.
Still in Chicago, but I'm coming home tomorrow. Now I don't really have the time to do a whole entry here, however I have a little statistic for you. This particular statistic relates to travel, and specfically to the price of juice inside of a typical hotel.
Glasses of Orange Juice that I Encountered which Cost Greater than or Equal to $5, before July 19: 0
Glasses of Orange Juice that I Encountered which Cost Greater than or Equal to $5, since: 2
I should note that if this trend follows me to Austin, I'm immediately entering the fruit squeezing business.
Wooohooo, I am in Chicago this week for work, thus no entries. In case you're wondering just how authentic of a trip I'm having, I drank some Old Style at Wrigley Field last night. Then I set some trash on fire in Mike Ditka's yard. Cubs win!
More when I get a chance, maybe.
Okay, I'm having a hard time coming up with a set of topics tonight, so I thought I'd write about an experience from my adolescence. I think I was in 5th grade, nearly 6th, when Nirvana's "Nevermind" broke. Like all other people from my generation who aren't complete wankers, my first impression was, "Wow, I'm a little scared," and my second was, "AYEEE, this is wonderful!" (I don't know if that says anything about Nirvana, really. You could've played the Goo Goo Dolls for us, and we probably would've revered their fat bassist as if he were Elvis v2.0; it's hard not to look good when compared to Nelson/Poison/every other terrible hair band that ended with 'son'.)
At this point, I had just gotten my first CD player. I was listening to more music, but I still wasn't sure what I liked. All I could do was to experiment some with my music purchases, mainly going off of what I heard on the radio. After "Smells Like Teen Spirit", Nirvana put out several more singles, all of which were equally rockin', and I decided that I had to buy Nevermind.
The problem was, I was a little kid without any money. The other problem was that I was a little kid who didn't know anything about musical taste. You see, there was another CD that I wanted to buy, and I knew I wanted to buy it because of this incredible song on the radio. The song was Rumpshaker, by a little band known as Wreckx-N-Effect.
Nirvana or the Rumpshaker band? I only had enough money to buy one. I knew I wouldn't get more money for a while either, so I had to make this purchase count; it had to be something that might eventually serve as the cornerstone of my music collection. It wasn't something I could regret; I wanted to look back on it fondly and say, "With that CD, I started to become the man I am today." Can everyone see where this is going? I bought Rumpshaker, of course.
I knew almost immediately it was a mistake. After the magic of the Rumpshaker song, there really was nothing on there. Meanwhile, my friend Matt had wisely ignored me entirely and chosen the other option. Later on, at school, I remember him going on and on about how great Nevermind was, and how I had to get it. Not one to ever be outdone, I made sure to tell him that he too was missing out, because the Rumpshaker CD was pretty excellent on its own. Wait, not pretty excellent, more like freaking outstanding, a seminal contribution to the field of booty shaking.
Finally, I got some money and I was able to get Nevermind on my own. As everybody knows, it was great. And that, not Rumpshaker, turned out to be the corner of my musical taste, thank God. When I went back to school, I wanted to tell Matt about it, but he got to me first.
"My dad bought me Rumpshaker," he said. "I can't believe you told me to get that!"
In retrospect, I acknowledge my pimpage of Wreckx-N-Effect.
was the wrong thing. At the time though, I couldn't stand being called out like that. (Reference my 'never one to be outdone' comment.)
I came right back at him. "Oh yeah? Well I can't believe you told me to buy Nirvana, I hate those guys!"
Nobody disses Rumpshaker when I'm around.
In the comments to yesterday's entry, a mysterious bloke/schlady named wyoming posed an intriguing question: Will I be mailing out another ACL Fest sampler CD? I'll answer this one with a few questions of my own. Is Chewbacca's favorite word "RARGHHARRRRR"? Does Delta Burke like fudgesicles? And finally, is my knowledge of the rivers of Europe extremely hazy? The answer to all of these is YES. However, don't send me any addresses yet; right now, I could only use that info for mailing you boxes of manure. I'm weeks away from mailing anything so just leave me the hell alone, you deranged lunatics. (I will make the formal announcement early next month.)
In case we have any pyromaniac bachelors out there, I thought I'd share the cooking schedule I devised while the little lady was out of town.
Sunday: Smoke a bunch of pork and chicken
Rest of week: Eat the left-overs. Mix in one of those pre-made bags of salad to prevent scurvy.
It sounds like it'd get old, but the "Mmmmm... smokey" region of my brain always triumphed. Why smoke the food? I have absolutely no data to back this up, but I think that smoked foods taste better after refrigeration. Also, they make you smell like a cowboy on a cattle drive. Why not include some beef? Again, no data, but I don't think beef is good as a left-over. Cook it, eat it, and if there's any left, fling it on your neighbor's roof.
One more thing: Laura and I went to see the second installment of Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. I liked it; in fact, I like any movie where the hero is a drunk guy in make-up with a sword. With words taken directly from a 10 year old girl's mouth, I actually told Laura the other day that, "Johnny Depp is definitely my favorite movie star." I then posted a hundred blog posts to my myspace account and french kissed my pillow for an hour.
However, despite all of that, I do not think that the second installment will stand up to repeated viewings. I can't see that I'd ever want to go back and just watch the second part of the trilogy, as I do with the Two Towers, the Empire Strikes Back, and Godfather II. It's more of a bridge between the first and third movie, like Back to the Future II, except that unlike Back to the Future II, the second Pirates installment won't make you want to set Michael J. Fox's houseboat on fire.
Ha ha haaaaaa, anyone who thought that previous near-death experiences at the Austin City Limits fest would scare me from the '06 incarnation is a fool! There's only one way to get me out of Zilker Park on that weekend, and it's if Van Morrison himself stabs me in the heart with a butter knife. I don't think Morrison's got the stones to pull that one off, not when he's one of the headliners. (On any other weekend, he'd probably do it with relish.) Anyway, I've procured my 3 day pass and, mark my words, Morrison, I will be there.
I splattered salsa on my shirt today while eating lunch. That marks five shirts over the past few weeks that are now out of the rotation due to eating mishaps. From now on, I'm only eating if I'm nude or if I'm wearing a bib. What if I'm wearing a bib while otherwise nude? I suppose then I'll eat twice as much.
This is very bad news for yours truly, since all of the splotched shirts were actually presentable. Most of my t-shirts are from the "Avoid the Noid" era; I can't afford any more of these mistakes. It occurs to me now that this is just another argument for latex clothing. That has to be the ideal material for sloppy eaters who want to look futuristic while also appealing to random perverts.
Now, a final musical note. I found a pretty good band on Rhapsody called Margot and the Nuclear So and So's. I like the name, I like the music, and I order everyone to check them out.
Re: World Cup Final. Is it possible that the pressure of getting name-checked by Goulash drove Zinedine Zidane to the brink of insanity? That's the only possible explanation. All through regulation, he played well, scoring a goal. Then at the start of overtime, he clearly thought to himself, "Alright, Cody expects some magic," and so he immediately pulled a George "The Animal" Steele on some poor Italian fellow. Will I apologize for this? No. Whether the media believes it or not, I have no control over who Zidane headbutts. If I did, the members of my fantasy baseball league would all have massive head trauma.
I was rooting for France, though, for a few reasons. First, many lunatic conservatives dislike France (see this proud moment in Congressional history); I try to oppose these people as much as possible. Second, I've always thought that if my cat were a nationality, she'd be French. I can see her on the Left Bank, hurling some merlot at a waitress and musing, "Ahh Sartre, you're the only one who gets me." I can't really think up a third reason. Anyway, they lost, and I was as crushed as I could possibly be, considering I'd only chosen my team the day before.
Re: Travel. Next week, I'll be hitting up a little place you might've heard of, the Windy City. I'm going to Architecture and Design World, aka Sexy Lady Fest '06. If anyone has any recommendations for spots to hit, please let me know. Wrigley Field and Buddy Guy's club are on the list; nothing else is so far.
Re: Save me from my own nerdiness. If you've been frantically searching for a way to quickly prototype classes and unit tests in C#, today is your lucky day. If you haven't been fratically searching for that, then today is just another disappointment. Cheer up, slugger.
First, a Fourth of July feat of strength. It's good to know that while my time on our office softball team hasn't boosted my self esteem or my standing amongst coworkers, it's really helped me in flinging around the booze.
You know what I'm enjoying right now? A little event known as the World Cup. That shouldn't come as a big surprise to anyone; I consider myself to be, first and foremost, a man of the world. I like fancy cheese, languages I don't understand, and bottles whose labels prominently feature anything with antlers. It's only fitting then that I've got a case of the futbol fever.
Why do I enjoy it so much? Well, there are lots of reasons.
1. It doesn't require lots of attention. If you want to make yourself a sandwich, go to the bathroom, and then write your Congressman, you can probably do it during a soccer match without missing anything crucial. Unless they're doing penalty kicks at which point, for the love of God, stay in the room!
2. I don't know anything about the teams. Maybe this sounds like a reason to dislike the sport, but it's actually kind of refreshing. At least in my life, I have a hard time flipping through tv channels or hitting my web hotspots without reading, "DEREK JETER SWEARS OFF OF PERT PLUS, VOWS TO TRY JOHNSON'S NO MORE TEARS!" Since I have no information about any team, I can pick my team using solely objective criteria, such as which goalie can whang the ball the farthest or which striker has the best afro.
3. I like to watch people bounce things off of their heads. If that's your cup of tea, then soccer is like manna from heaven. It truly amazes me how far those guys can head a ball.
4. The crowds appear to be completely and utterly berserk. I don't know if everybody remembers it, but there was a lot of hurly burly in the '94 Cup when a Colombian defender was murdered for accidentally scored on his own goal. Well, after watching a few games and seeing how those crowds react to pretty much everything, I'm astonished that players aren't murdered after every game. I'd think you would have to field a whole new squad every two weeks or so.
Add to this the fact that all of the players are absurdly fast and coordinated, plus everyone has a crazy name like Zinedine Zidane, and it becomes clear just why I'm in love. I won't predict a victor for the final, since it's evident I have no idea what I"m talking about. I will make one prediction, though. In 2010, when the USA and Ghana have a rematch, the guy who streaks the field at the start of the second half will bear an astonishing resemblance to me.
An exuberant fourth of July plus a long day of works means not much in the way here. Rather than something coherent, I'll give you a little slice of life. On Monday, we had a softball game. Since no one had to work the next morning, we did a little barbecue action afterwards. Lots of folks brought their kids, and one little girl shared an observation with me.
(I walk up to a picnic table with a box full of plastic silverware.)
Girl: You brought donuts to a barbecue?!
Me: No, the box just looks like a donut box. It's actually silverware.
Girl: Good, I hate donuts.
Me: You hate donuts?
Girl: I do. They annoy me.
Me: Why do they annoy you?
Girl: It's just... (she grimaces, punches me in the shoulder, and walks away.)
The rest of the day, whenever I saw her, I said, "Hey, let's cut out of here and go get some donuts." She'd ball up her fists and scream. One of the cool things about little kids is that they can get away with things that, if done by an adult, would be absolutely terrifying.
(Mexico trip pictures have been uploaded.)
Hey wet noodles, did you know that I am currently celebrating my three year anniversary with a feisty philly known as Austin, Texas? A mere 36 months ago, I was poor and unattractive, living in the slums of San Antonio. Now I'm still poor and unattractive, but I've moved 70 miles north and acquired an obese cat. That, my friends, is called personal growth. Extrapolating from that, three years from now, I'll be living in Waco, still poor and unattractive, but with a blind poodle or a diabetic raccoon; I'm very excited to contemplate the possibilities.
When I moved to Austin, I didn't just sit around, trolling the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist. No, like any rightminded individual, I got a respectable job and started an eponymous, bizarre website. Whatever happened to both of those? I still have the job, along with the window overlooking the dumpster that I received the first day. I consider it a minor victory that my office has yet to be transported out into said dumpster. Oh, they've certainly tried to move it; as long as I have my key to the backdoor, I'll keep moving it back in and covering the door in police tape, just as a warning. And as for the website, well, it's the little piece of magic that you, my confused Sri Lankan readership, are currently reading. It's yet to win me fame and fortune, but thanks to it, I receive more herbal viagra and penny stock email than anyone on the planet, which is a blessing on its own.
Three years, one city, one job, one site. What else? Zero pieces of bologna, which I don't care for. Many baby carrots. Probably the regular amount of asparagus, which I don't really go out of my way to eat but like okay. Thousands of adoring females. Dozens of vanquished foes. The same amount of shoes I had when I got here. Zero pieces of jewelry, which I also don't care for, and the same thing goes for cologne. Put into numerical form like that, I must admit it's been a pretty good run. Three more years, coming right up.