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Monday, August 15, 2005

Hammertime in Vegas

My apologies for the lack of pictures-- there seems to be a bit of an issue with Blogger this evening. It's the best I can do for right now.

8/12/05 7:15 am EST

Woke up an hour ago. Didn’t sleep too well—it reminded me of how Christmas Eve used to be when I was little.

I’m at the Marta Station Now—K just dropped me off. While there isn’t any comparison, really, it’s nice to be back in a subway in the morning. But without the stench.

7:55 am EST

Approaching the Airport on Marta. The woman sitting next to me fell asleep and, on a sharp turn, proceeded to start falling into me. If it weren’t for my bag, her head would have ended up in my crotch. Fortunately my bag saved us both some unneeded embarrassment.

8:20 am EST

Made it through security in less than four minutes—a record for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

8:50 am EST
There’s a smoking lounge right next to my gate: not fair to my lungs or the unfortunate soul sitting next to me on the plane.

9:20 am EST
On the plane and will be taking off shortly. It’s a 3 ½ hour flight, but I came prepared with an arsenal of entertainment:

-my iPod

-today’s AJC

-two fantasy football mags

-several articles on playing roulette, craps and blackjack

-a pack o’ gum

9:20 am CST (over Alabama)

We took off about 20 minutes ago. It’s interesting to see the type of people on the way to Vegas. A strange dichotomy… there are two groups, really—the older, ragged, tired folk with seemingly bankrupt souls and purses full of quarters. The other: young twenty-somethings in tank tops and tight jeans. Both groups are heading to Vegas with hopes of a cheap buzz, untold fortunes and carnal pleasures. I’m finding myself strangely out of place, both identifying yet intolerant of both groups (I’m betting it’s the lack of constant nicotine flowing through my veins). But I’m definitely with them on the whole “cheap buzz, untold fortunes” thing.

9:40 am CST (over Mississippi)
The inflight movie is “Monster in Law”. Like passing a car crash, I’m horrified but drawn to watch. I feel dirty.

9:25 am (what fucking time zone is Vegas in??? Mountain? Pacific? Okay, PST)
That was torture. I can’t believe I watched that entire movie. I don’t know if it’s the plane or the movie, but I feel sick.

10:40 am PST
We just landed in Vegas. Rough landing, but we’re down. That’s all that matters.

When they say “prepare arrival for cross check”, what the fuck does that mean? Exactly what are they cross-checking against? I’ll have to check with the people at the office.

10:55 am PST

Holy shit. There are slots TWO STEPS from the gate.

And even better, slots in the smoking lounge. ATL airport’s got nuthin’ on Vegas.

11:20 am PST

On the shuttle to New York-New York casino. This airport is insane. Too much confusion here for my taste.

12:15 pm PST

Checked into the New York New York hotel. Requested a smoking room and Rusty and I were settled.

Nice room, hung up my clothes, having a smoke, and will be meeting the boys downstairs for lunch.

We can hear the screams of the people on the roller coaster. I hope that doesn’t go on all night.

12:55 pm PST

Just finished lunch with the guys. Unfortunately, one of the guys is missing. Hossein (Hose) was last heard from around 5:30 am after he won $350.

Theories running rampant on his whereabouts… hoping he’s not in jail.

1:56 pm PST

We just found Hose still at the table, $300 down AND WASTED. Met up with my boy Sommers, and we’re sitting here drinking, about to head over to the Excalibur for poker.

2:25 pm PST

After much protest, Hose finally agreed to go to bed. Met up with Josh and we’re on our way to play poker.

3:45 pm PST

I just won $60 at Texas Hold ‘Em. Kicked ass when I was down to my last three chips, went all-in and won all of my money back.

5:00 pm PST

My watch stopped in Excalibur. Luckily, I was able to get it working again…

Played two rounds of roulette—bet on black (always bet on black, they say) and broke even on the two bets. Now, sitting in the room with Travis and Rusty, drinking beer and watching the Braves.

5:25 pm PST

Got a really tasty beer buzz and Rusty and I are going to ride the roller coaster here. Gotta piss.

6:25 pm PST

Took a slight detour back to the room and stopped off at Nathan’s Hot Dogs… I haven’t had a NY dog in months—it was good.

Time to shower before Hammertime’s fancy bachelor party steak dinner.

6:40 pm PST

So fresh and so clean (clean)!

7:55 pm PST

At diner at BOA in Caesar’s Palace. Absolutely a huge place—it’s like a mall here.

Debauchery has begun to ensue.

We just saw Pete Rose here in Vegas… fitting.

8:45 pm PST

We just received our appetizers… I tried calamari for the first time and really enjoyed it. Squid bothers me, but fry it up and I’m happy, I guess.

9:35 pm PST

Saw my first Vegas hookers [sitting at a table a few yards away from us]. Definitely a liberating experience. [They kept going to the bathroom in pairs, we assumed to “coke up”.]

9:45 pm PST

As per Jonathan Sommers:

[Written by Jonathan] When I’m eating it, Hose can’t have any…

I’m not sure what he’s referring to…

11:40 pm PST

A brilliant two hours. Money is flying out of my wallet before I can think of spending it.

Recapping the events:

-We walked forever to find the taxi stand to take us to Jaguar (soon to be known as “Scores—Las Vegas”). 11 of us ended up cramming into a stretch limo and I, being the last person (besides Hose who demanded a window seat due to motion sickness/the thought of dropping a thousand to NYNY casino) had to sit crouched in an “in the woods, taking a shit” position while we made the 20 minute venture.

-We get out, pay the $30 cover, and walk in. I, the continual beer drinker, order a Miller Lite, and end up paying $7.00 for a beer. But definitely worth every cent to be hanging with Hammer on his bachelor party night. Although, it feels like New York City all over again.

-Hammertime is doing fine—a gentleman to his friends and to the ladies there. We sit down at the large table area reserved for us and I chain smoke while I watch people around me enjoying the “carnal pleasures” of Vegas.

[“Senator Center” and I left the Jaguar shortly after arriving, tired and wanting to conserve as much money as possible.]

8/13/05 12:12 am PST

I received a call from Travis, saying the boys are coming back from Jaguar. We’re headed to the tables, I’m sure.

Drinking MUST CEASE if I am to make my flight tomorrow.

1:47 am PST

I CLEANED UP DOWNSTAIRS. I hit blackjack on a couple of tables, doubled on roulette, and easily made back the money I spent earlier tonight.

Travis, who is coming over to hang out and smoke, convinced me to quit while I was ahead. God bless ‘em.

A good day in Vegas.

10:30 am PST

Been up for the last two hours. I’m terribly hungover.

I had packed everything the night before and gotten to sleep by about 3:00 am. Rusty came in around 3:45 I think, and we supposedly had a brief conversation.

I awoke with my lungs feeling like they’d had gone through a good “once over” with steel wool. I was to meet the shuttle out in front of NYNY at 9:30, so I crossed over Tropicana Blvd and walked into “Fatburger” for breakfast.

[End Journal--my pen runs out of ink]
Long story short, the flight back home wasn’t as nice as I had hoped. Weather in Atlanta delayed my arrival, and I was so hungover I couldn’t really even sleep. But I made it back in one piece, and I had a blast with my boys out there.

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