Sunday, April 30, 2006
"Don't you know you're not supposed to call an alcoholic before noon?" -F-train
Friday, April 28, 2006
Karol never mentioned that Hoist the African American flag continues. Not only that, but it continues with my favorite conservative blogger.
When the president was asked at a Rose Garden question-and-answer session whether the anthem should be sung in Spanish, he replied: "I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English."
He made his remarks on the matters during a wide-ranging briefing with reporters.
"I think people who want to be citizens of this country ought to learn English," Bush said.
It's like the pot calling the kettle's pie higher.
The judge in the sentencing trial of al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui reminded jurors Friday to avoid looking up words in the dictionary after learning a juror went on the Internet to find out what "aggravating" means.
"The word 'aggravating' essentially means to make something worse," the judge told the jurors. "Do not hesitate to ask questions if you have any. If you have a question, we are here to help."
Unless your question can be answered by a sixth grader.
"I had heard that the Golden Gate Bridge was the easiest way to die. I heard that you hit the water and you're dead," Hines said. "And I remember picking the spot. This is the good spot. I'm not too close to the pillar. I won't hit the pillar. I'm not too close to the land. I won't hit the land. I'll hit the water and I'll die."
Hines stood on the bridge for 40 minutes. No one approached him to ask what was wrong. When a tourist came up and asked whether he could take her photo, Hines said that was the final straw — clear proof that no one cared.
Horrible, Horrible Dawn.
"Can you take our picture"? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHA
Musicians hawk new Spanish version of the national anthem.
British music producer Adam Kidron says he just wanted to honor the millions of immigrants seeking a better life in the U.S. when he came up with the idea of a Spanish-language version of the national anthem.
How can the same person pick two teams in the same fantasy baseball league and one be first, while the other is last?
Cause fo sho, I ain't gonna stop calling shotgun. Ya heard?
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
"As a professional journalist, Tony Snow understands the importance of the relationship between government and those whose job it is to cover the government," Bush said.
Snow thanked Bush and said he took the position because he believes in the president and wants to work with the White House press corps.
"These are times that are going to be very challenging," Snow said. "We've got a lot of big issues ahead, and we've got a lot of important things that all of us are going to be covering together, and I'm very excited and I can't wait."
Neither Bush nor Snow took questions from reporters during the brief announcement.
Yeah, sounds about right.
I'll believe it when I see it. Or don't see it.
The new chick ADA did quit though...
Michael Jackson goes gangsta.
UPDATE: NO HE'S NOT
Michael Jackson recording with 50 Cent? No, but some news outlets fell for a hoax e-mail on Sunday from "Two Seas Records" that claimed such a thing and more.
The clever author used a Sony Los Angeles fax number for a phone number, and threw around lots of info already available.
What's that like? My favorite is that Michelle chose jail over community service.
F-ck the homeless!
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
If the curse of the Royals' outfielders of 2000 holds true, then the Mets should win the World Series this year. You see, in 2000, the Royals' starting outfielders were Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye and Carlos Beltran. Shortly thereafter, they all left because the Royals' could no longer afford them. Since then, Damon won a World Series in 2004 and Dye won one in 2005 (and was the Series MVP). So, to completely make Royals' fans upset, Beltran's team should win the title this year.
White Republicans and independents would rather vote for a Democrat than a black guy.
W]hite Republicans nationally are 25 percentage points more likely on average to vote for the Democratic senatorial candidate when the GOP hopeful is black, says economist Ebonya Washington of Yale University in a forthcoming article in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. White independents are similarly inclined to vote for the white Democrat when there's a black Republican running, according to her study of congressional and gubernatorial voting patterns
between 1982 and 2000, including five Senate races in which the Republican nominee was black.
Her analysis suggests that GOP "white flight" in the Maryland Senate race could mean at least an additional 1 or 2 percent of the vote goes to the Democrat, and perhaps more -- but only if the candidate is white. Together, independents who would otherwise vote for a white Republican plus GOP deserters may easily swamp any increase in black Democratic crossover to Steele.
via Robert George
Imagine that: a Fox anchor telling America what Bush wants us to hear.
Ok, so say you made an offer to someone when you were very tired. And you were emphatic about it. Like, and this is just an example here, they said things were very hard and they couldn't meet their expenses and their kids were gonna get kicked out of school and their spouse was riding them and the house was in trouble, so you offered to give them $10,000. And they were all like "really, $10,000? That'd be great, Dawn. Awesome. Very helpful." And you were all "no problem." And they were all "$10,000. I can't believe it. Thank you." And again you were all "Yup. I will give you $10,000."
However, upon getting 12 hours of sleep, you wake up the next day and are like "uhh...did I say I'd give someone $10,000?"
You run and check your IM chatter and that is indeed what happened.
What's the protocol on retracting your offer?
Monday, April 24, 2006
My cousins came over to set up my electronic equipment stuff and the test DVD I put in was the Simpsons Season Four Vol. 1.
As we sat around watching the episode where the Simpsons get a pool and Bart breaks his leg, we were all reciting the lines right before the characters said them.
Then it became a race to see who could say the lines first, so we ended up speed talking through the whole episode before the first scene was finished.
Now, since I have never been drunk in my life, I can't say for sure what a hangover is -- however, as I sit here slumped in my chair, my head pounding, my whole body aching, as I squint through my eyes and type as lightly as possible -- I can only guess that this must be what it's like.
It seems like an eternity has passed since I left the office on Friday afternoon to pick my mom up from work.
We went to dinner and then I drove back to Manhattan to pick Karol up before going to our only regular poker game together.
The FDR, the main artery from my house to Karol's, was closed in key sections, so I decided to take street roads up to Whiteyville.
It took forever. I got not less than four "Guy, where are you calls," before finally picking her up in front of her house.
Of course, once I got there -- she needed to stop for dinner. Why it didn't occur to her to get some food in the seventeen hours that it took me to get to her house, I will never know.
She hopped out to grab a slice. We tried to take the FDR southbound, but it was also closed and we had to take the street roads again.
We pass by her house again and see her boyfriend, Peter, crossing the street.
"Hey there Schmeter."
He looks over to the car, checks that the light is still red and there was no oncoming traffic and walks over to my car.
He and Karol chitchat for a bit -- but the whole while he has he eyes on the traffic lights.
As the east/west light turns yellow, he scurries away from the car back to the curb.
"HA! If he really cared about you, he'd stay and talk to you -- traffic be damned." HAHAHHAHAHAAHA
We got to the tournament in short order, even resisting the overwhelming peer pressure to veer left at 59th and head to Queens. The game finished up around 3, and we headed back to Brooklyn to meet up with her former LSAT tutor turned Poker Hero, Fisch.
As a general rule, I don't really like people and I really don't like new people.
But luckily Fisch has turned out to be one of the exceptions and quickly moved from strange, new person to comfortably verbally abusing me. (Although, he almost ruined it all by besmirching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. "How can we believe that this girl, who is a vampire, just happens to have a genius Professor who walks around with wooden stakes in his bag." To which I reply "So, what you're saying is you've never seen the show and have no idea what the hell you're talking about?" I leave the "jackass" implied.
He showed up to the diner wearing a hooded sweatshirt and work boots with no laces in them.
"Dude...what's with the shoes? I'm going to have to get you laces for your birthday."
"Ooohh...rich corporate lawyer and she's going to get me laces!"
"Hey, you're lucky if I remember your birthday." Know what I'm saying? I know he does.
Karol was free rolling for the night. (A poker term which here means "one who has six dollars in her pocket and runs around saying "Dawn, you're paying because I don't have any money." See also freeloader.)
Fisch offered to pay for his coke.
"Uh...I think I can handle that."
"Oh, ok, I wasn't sure cause I figured you needed to start saving up to get me those laces."
"Hmm...true. I guess now you're only getting one."
We went back to his place to play poker.
He lives in the basement of a two story house. The walls are covered with wood paneling and as we sat around the very table my mom had in our kitchen when I was a kid - it was a very strange feeling of de ja vu.
"This whole place just reminds me of my childhood!"
My mom's friend lived in a similar house in the ECB and her basement was also wood paneled. During grownup parties we’d be banished down there and amuse ourselves with hours and hours of tag and Mother May I.
I noticed that Fisch's stove didn't have any knobs on them.
He explained that after almost blowing up his landlord's house when he accidentally brushed a knob on --leaving gas escaping for the whole day -- he took them off as a precaution.
I laughed, but made an internal note to see if I could take the knobs off my own stove. That is just something I could so see myself doing.
We played poker until like 7 a.m. I took Fisch and Karol's money and then Fisch took mine and Karol's money.
"You have a huge tell Dawn," he said after watching me unsuccessfully try to get Karol to pay me off on a full house.
"What! You calling me fat?" I replied with my joke glare.
Of course, he refused to tell me what it was before he took my money.
Karol and I left there in the early morning light and I fell asleep around 8.
I woke up again at ten. Only heaven knows why.
I watched a couple of Netflixes -- this was the weekend of Jake Gyllenhaal. I started with Brokeback (which I couldn't watch in a theater with anyone else because I didn't want to have the "No, I'm not homophobic, I'm just an immature baby" conversation.) It was actually really good. Much better than Crash.
I then put in Jarhead.
I woke up again at six. I was still tired, but Ugarte was having a housewarming in a couple of hours and since it was my very favorite kind of housewarming (a poker tournament), I didn't wanna miss it.
Ugarte and his fiancée, Zinester, have basically moved into the ECB. In fact, the SRO that my mom and I would stay in, during Winter nights when we had no heat, is located right across the street from them and the apartment where my Godmother used to live is just a few buildings down.
However, in all my years spent in and out of buildings on that block, I have never seen a house as beautiful as the so-called "Gentrification Manor."
The outside is fairly nondescript -- and blends easily into the buildings which surround it -- but when you get inside, it's like something out of a movie or the olden days --or probably most accurately --- the olden days as depicted in movies.
There's a long staircase leading from the foyer, a parlor room with high ceilings off to the left. There's another room after that ("umm...I don't know the name of this room...it's the room between the rooms," Ugarte said.)
After the between room, there's another huge dining area with bay windows and a chandelier in the ceiling. Everyone was making fun of the yellow carnation flower wall paper left by the previous owners -- but I actually really liked it. The whole place just had a classic warmth to it. Upstairs was equally amazing, with huge rooms and lots of windows and closet space. Of course, I was then horrified to discover that there was only one TV in the whole ginormous house.
I did the sign of the cross and kept my eyes peeled for signs of demonic activity...especially since the walls were varnished "with the blood of Christian babies."
ONE TV! Oy.
I was surprised when F-train showed up because he has on more than one occasion ranted about how he doesn't play poker on Friday or Saturday nights. "Losers," is I think how he referred to those who do.
Our merry band was complete, when Brother of Ugarte showed up. He handed Ugarte a case of beer, and when foamy goodness splashed on the floor, we thought one of the bottles had broken inside. But no. Ugarte had merely turned his open beer sideways when taking the beer from his brother.
Zinester came out with paper towels and they started to clean up the mess.
"Eh, I don't think the spill requires both you," Brother of Ugarte observed.
They ordered pizza from my favorite place in the ECB and we started to play.
The pizza arrived shortly after the second hand was dealt.
Zinester put the pizza boxes in the kitchen and called out to see if anyone wanted any water.
"If by water, you mean beer," F-train said.
"Anyone else want anything?"
"Yeah, I'll take F-train's water," Ugarte said.
Zinester brought the beers out and one of the bottles immediately toppled over and spilled.
"What? It wasn't me! you put the bottle down on the only uneven spot on the table....but I do like that your first reaction is to blame me."
I think that is what lawyers call "pattern and practice" evidence.
We took a full on dinner break to clean up Ugarte's beer spilling mess and eat the ZA.
Karol was having a birthday party in the Bowery on the same night and so I said I'd probably have to leave early.
"Can I ask you a question," F-train says.
"Did Karol really invite me to her party?"
I shrug my shoulders.
"Did she invite you?" I ask Ugarte.
He says yes.
"Well, I assume she just invited everyone in her address book."
"See, now I have no respect for that."
"Yeah, I think the standard should be, you don't invite people that you'd be disappointed to see," Ugarte adds.
I laugh and laugh.
I have volunteered to give Fisch a lift to the party, so I leave the ECB around ten to pick him up.
Karol had mentioned that "like me, he never really listened to music before she started sending him songs," so I wasn't sure what to play on the ipod.
I opted for my top rated songs -- a medley of the best 80s,90s,00s and today.
When asked he said he like Ace of Base, ABBA, Billy Joel and 60s music. Excellent. We'll get along fine.
I asked him if he would know anyone at the party except for Karol and he said not really.
Though he had met some of her friends before.
"They really like to spend time with her. If I don't see my friends for a while, I'm cool."
"Yeah, me too. Especially Karol. Less Karol time the better."
He gave me poker tips until we reached the club.
Predictably, we couldn't find parking for like ever.
"Can we fit in there?"
Ok...so, I'll just sit quietly and drive until you find a spot, Sir.
I was singing along to NSYNC's Pop when Fisch suddenly says "you are exactly what I was talking about to my family the other day."
I shoot him a look.
"I know. You're like what the fuck? But we were talking about the decreasing intelligence of the generations."
He then goes on to explain that, evidently, Jewish people believe that since getting the Torah, man has been getting stupider. However, he thinks that if we are getting stupider, its because of all the useless information in our brains from advertising, TV, music and pop culture in general. Though, I fail to see why my singing NSYNC songs would make him think of this.
We are driving around for twenty minutes.
"Uh oh. I was supposed to be there by 11:30 or else Karol says I'm dead."
"We'll just tell her we were looking for parking."
"You don't know Karol very well, she's not gonna believe that."
"Well, I don't know about you, but Karol trusts me."
"Oh, fo sho she doesn't trust me."
I see a couple standing in the rain, trying to catch a taxicab.
"I wish we could help them," I say.
"Ouch. Dude, we're already late. We couldn't be later if we tried."
"No, we can be later and we will be later."
We finally find a meter spot about a block away. It's at the end of the block and all I have to do is pull in to it.
"Are you ok to park it?"
We run into Karol standing outside the bar.
She is wasted.
She then starts introducing Fisch to everyone. Apparently, she had gone to dinner before the party, with her real friends, and she had gotten to her own party late.
I saw my opportunity!
“Well, we were here at 9:30, but there was no one here, so we went back to Brooklyn and then came back.”
“Ok, well now I understand why she doesn’t trust you,” Fisch said.
Karol drags us inside. More introductions and then she disappears. And Fisch disappears. Left alone with people, in a social setting, I retreat to the bar.
I am waiting to get the bartender's attention -- but when I place my order for two glasses of water with ice -- she too disappears.
I linger at the bar just a moment too long.
John was a year behind me in high school. We rode the school bus together. (hmmm...I don't have to add a "to school" to that sentence, right?)
He is about the same height as me, which is to say short, and really short for a guy. He was dressed in khakis and a button shirt and he wore round framed glasses. I'm talking your average looking white guy here. Mr. Rogers, just shorter and younger.
He is a psychologist by training and is finishing up his degree at Yale. He is extremely soft spoken.
We are having a very pleasant chat about old classmates and my new apartment and his newly received fellowship. And then it all goes terribly, terribly wrong.
I wave to one of Karol's blogger friends across the room.
"Oh, is that your boyfriend?"
"No, we've played poker a few times."
"Ah, is your boyfriend somewhere else?"
Danger, danger Will Robinson.
"No, I'm not dating anyone."
He leans in.
"Me either. I kind of like living life on the fringe, you know?"
I lean back.
"Really? What's out there on the fringe?"
WARNING WARNING RETREAT.
"Well, kinky experimental sex mostly."
Oh God. (Oh, and by the way, his tone does not change at all as he says this. He may as well have been saying, 'I had dinner with my grandparents for Easter')
Ok, fingers in the ears are not an option, I'm certainly not going to have him think I am the freak.
"Oh. Well good for you."
"Yeah, I've been with lots of women. But since I was a student and moving around a lot, I can just pick up and leave when it's over." Again, his voice is still steady and calm, almost soothing.
"Umm...oh, look Karol is talking to another black girl. That just can't be. I've gotta go see who that is," I get up, "umm...I'll be back."
I made a beeline for Peter, who promptly asks if I would be willing to house sit while he and Karol has the apartment fumigated. You know, to make sure the poison was really killing all the pests.
Hate him and everything he stands for.
Around 1, I decided to head back to Brooklyn. I had to pick my mom up for an 11 a.m. appointment, so I would have to be up in 9 hours.
I was already pretty tired from my two hours of sleep the night before.
I went outside to tell Karol and Fisch that I was leaving. He had said that he had to work on Sunday and also needed to leave early, so I said I would drive him back home.
Instead, I get dragged back inside by an even more drunk Karol (how is that possible?)
Fisch and I agree to leave at 1:30.
At 1:27, I say goodbye to Karol again.
"NO!...what would you say if I said poker."
No, bad Dawn. Must get up early.
"Nah, I can't Fisch has to work tomorrow, so we gotta go."
Karol looks at Fisch who cracks like frozen glass that has had hot water poured on it.
"No, it's ok. I have to be there by two, so I can play."
She then spends the next hour saying goodbye before we drive up to the UES to play. (As she is saying goodbye to John, and I am avoiding all eye contact with him, he says to her "I think I freaked Dawn out," drunk ass Karol then starts to ask "why? what happened?" Hate her and everything she stands for.)
Fisch and I don't leave her house till like 5.
It is pouring buckets of water outside and I cannot see an inch in front of my face.
"You're in between two lanes," Fisch says time and again.
Oh, we are so going to die, I think, but do not say.
"Can you imagine if my mom knew where I was right now?" I say to Fisch, as I am speeding down the Gowanus at 5:15 a.m. on Sunday morning during the torrential downpour.
"She would kick my ass."
"Why? You're . You can make your own decisions."
"Uh, no dude. I think the fact that I am driving through a monsoon at 5 a.m. ---when I have to pick my mom up for a medical appointment in five hours--- because I was out playing poker, is ample evidence that I am unable to make my own decisions."
We see a disabled car on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic.
"How does that even happen???"
"I'm guessing they spun out, but stopped before hitting the wall."
"We should call someone," I say.
"Everybody has cell phones now. There were at least four people in that car, one of them has a phone. Besides, at this hour, I'm guessing they were out drinking."
Yup. Death. We are going to die and no one is going to call for help because they'll think we're drunk drivers.
Thankfully, we get to Fisch's in one piece.
I then turn around and head for my apartment, hoping my luck will continue.
I make it back by 5:30ish.
I set the alarm for 10:30.
Thoroughly hating life when it goes off, I put on my sweater (backwards), pants and sneakers (no socks) and go pick up my mom.
I figure she'll be done with her stuff by one and I can go home and sleep.
Turns out she and my aunt have hired a decorator and we are going "to fix up your apartment! Surprise!"
Instead of sleeping, at one, I was moving my couches, assembling the refrigerator and helping to clean the balcony.
My mom wants to drive to Home Depot for plants.
"Uhh...I don't have any gas."
Dude. Dawn, you gotta think through your excuses before you say them out loud.
As an aside, you remember how I had car fever? Well, after spending FORTY FIVE dollars to fill-up my HONDA, I am hella not driving it again.
See y'all after the Attorney General makes them bring gas prices down.
My mom and her staff of people with way too much energy didn't leave till 9 or so--and not before my kitchen sink, my brand new kitchen sink, sprung a leak.
Hate the contractor and everything he stands for.
I watched the Sopranos, blogged and then went to sleep.
"Maybe we can call in sick tomorrow."
Exhaustion is an illness, right?
Saturday, April 22, 2006
A man enters a bar and orders a drink. The bar has a robot bartender. The robot serves him a perfectly prepared cocktail, and then asks him, "What's your IQ?" The man replies "150" and the robot proceeds to make conversation about global warming factors, quantum physics and spirituality, biomimicry,environmental interconnectedness, string theory. The customer is veryimpressed and thinks, "This is really cool." He decides to test the robot.
He walks out of the bar, turns around, and comes back in for anotherdrink. Again, the robot serves him the perfectly prepared drink and asks him, "What's your IQ?" The man responds, "about a 100." Immediately the robot starts talking, but this time, about football, NASCAR, baseball, supermodels, favorite fast foods, guns, etc.
Really impressed, the man leaves the bar and decides to give the robot one more test. He heads out and returns, the robot serves him and asks, "What's yourIQ?"
The man replies, "Er, 50, I think."
And the robot says... reallllllly sloooooooooooowly... "Sooooooooooo ya gonna vote for Bush again?
via Karol via Ark.
Friday, April 21, 2006
You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. But this one is five years old. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car.You do not need a new car. And she has scratches. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car.You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. And paint transfer. You do not need a new car.You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car.You do not need a new car. We can just go for a few test drives. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car. A zero interest loan might make it worthwhile. You do not need a new car. You do not need a new car.You do not need a new car.You do not need a new car.You do not need a new car.You do not need a new car.You do not need a new car.You do not need a new car.You do not need a new car.You do not need a new car.You do not need a new car.You do not need a new car.
That is all.
A defense lawyer was arguing a drunken driving case when he fell on the courtroom floor and died of an apparent heart attack, officials and friends said.
May God strike me dead.
President Bush has finally found something he should apologize for!
Snakes on a plane?
Why has it got such a cult following?
Look, I'm happy to continue smiling and nodding whenever F-train excitedly mentions the upcoming Samuel L. Jackson flick, but if someone could explain the fascination, that'd be awesome.
And of course, since Dawn will still have a doorman, she promptly purchased $350 worth of merchandise online.
It's almost "see people blow shit up" season at the movies!!
In the coming weeks, we'll see "Mission Impossible III" (May 5),
Thursday, April 20, 2006
I am dancing around my office barefoot and listening to Wham.
Those documents better get here soon. (I almost wrote the short form "docs," but then I worried some might mistake that for the abbreviation of doctor...and considering the sentence which preceded it...well, I just didn't want there to be any mistake. I am of good, sound mental health.)
On one hand, the 27-year-old woman, a student at North Carolina Central University, told police she and another woman were hired to strip dance at a team party. The woman told police that three men at the party dragged her into a bathroom and raped her March 13.
On the other hand, the accused claim to have evidence showing their clients had left the party by the time the attack is alleged to have happened.
And everybody has got an opinion.
Gee, I just, you know, wish there was a place where all this...umm...evidence could be, you know, presented and maybe we can have like someone look at all of it and hear both sides and then decide whether something bad happened.
BUSH THE DECIDER: A Continuing Series
Moments after President Bush urged the Chinese President to allow his citizens to speak freely:
A single woman on the camera stand interrupted the welcoming ceremony, shouting in English, "President Bush, stop him from persecuting the Falun Gong!" She also shouted in Chinese, "President Hu, your days are numbered," according to a translation by reporters on the scene. She was forcibly removed from the South Lawn by uniformed Secret Service personnel.'
She was charged with disorderly conduct and could face additional federal charges, Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren said.
The Secret Service said Wang was arrested not for speaking her opinion, but for "causing a ruckus."
Speak Freely, but bring bail money.
Bush has decided.
Tom Cruise vows to eat his newborn baby ('s placenta.)
Consider these high school graduation statistics. Assume that students can be divided into groups. These groups can reflect gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, or some other characteristic that we’re dividing into categories (I realize this is problematic in itself, but let’s go with it). Now when we evaluate the whole pool of students for one of these characteristics, 72 percent of group A graduates; 65 percent of group B graduates. When we evaluate the same pool of students for a different characteristic, we see that 78 percent of one group graduates, while only 55 percent of the other group does.
What should make news? The 72/65 split, or the 78/55 one?
"That is, they were using Social Security numbers of people that were dead, of children or just different individuals that did not work at IFCO," ICE chief Julie Myers told CNN.
"The Social Security Administration had written IFCO over 13 times and told them, 'Listen, You have a problem. You have over a thousand employees that have faulty Social Security numbers. And we consider that to be a big problem,'" said Myers. "And IFCO did not do anything about it."
A yearlong investigation revealed that IFCO managers had induced illegal aliens to work there, telling some to doctor W-2 tax forms and others that no documentation was needed at all, Myers said.
See? That's the kind of immigration reform I'm talking about!
You know, if I talked about immigration reform.
Onwards to Walmart.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
If you're going to be a cold-call telemarketer, a rudimentary grasp of the English language is a MUST. Also, some semblance of diction would be good.
Andrew Kissel, 46, was found bound and stabbed to death just a few days before he was scheduled to plead guilty in federal court to fraud. Police have said there was no sign of forced entry but have refused to discuss a possible motive or suspects.
Police have said that Hayley Kissel, who had been seeking a divorce, was among those interviewed and was cooperative.
The e-mail exchange between Hayley Kissel and her husband's sister, dated May 2005, was obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press. It was also sent to police.
"Do you know last night in bed I could actually see myself pummeling him to death and just enjoying the sensation of each and every shot and then this morning as I pulled out of the garage ... all I wanted to do was crash into his two Ferraris," Hayley Kissel wrote in the e-mail to Jane Clayton.
William Kissel, Andrew's father, has rejected speculation that his son -- facing possible prison time -- hired someone to kill him so his children could collect millions in insurance.
He said Tuesday that the e-mail concerned him. "People don't verbalize things like this," he said. "The e-mail speaks for itself."
Andrew Kissel was the brother of Robert Kissel, who died three years ago in Hong Kong when his wife, Nancy, fed him a strawberry milkshake laced with poison and bludgeoned him to death with a statue.
Umm...I would also like to take this opportunity to point out that any and all verbal, written, illustrated death threats made by me at any time was not intended as an actual or implied promise to kill, but mere venting or puffery.
Man, it soo sucks that "home alone watching TV" is just not the airtight alibi I need it to be.
Scott McClellan out as press secretary.
Next up? Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
"That's exactly right," said Glenn Reynolds, author of An Army of Davids, which explores the explosion in web punditry. "Bloggers and blog-readers are 'influentials' - the minority that pays attention to events outside of political and news cycles. They also tend on average to be better off, better educated and, more importantly, employed."
I love the "more importantly, employed" part. Duh.
No one blogs on their own time.
But I think my employers have a chip in my head.
I was up late last night (watching Murder She Wrote episodes that I've recorded on the DVR, but that's a whole other story) and so around two, I decided I would call it a day at 3:30.
You know, go home, nap, start fresh tomorrow.
Well, at 3:12, I get put on a new case. After meeting with the relevant parties, I am told to read the material and be ready for a nine a.m. conference call tomorrow.
Crap. NINE???? Ok...no TV tonight. Well, no TV beyond House and Scrubs anyway.
At 5, the legal assistant says that the materials won't be ready for me until late tonight.
Fine. I'll leave at 5:30 and come in really early tomorrow.
At 5:22, I get a call about my old case. I am now point person for an expedited filing tomorrow.
So, I get everything ready for that and at 8:10 pick up the phone to call for a car home.
THE OTHER LINE STARTS RINGING.
"Dawn, can you come by my office? We have some last minute research to do on this motion."
In short, I will be here till heaven only knows when tonight and then still have to come in to read materials for a NINE A.M. conference call on an entirely different matter.
So why am I blogging you ask?
Anyone who ever doubted Edie Falco's acting prowess, need only watch last week's scene where she and Tony are in the kitchen listening to Meadow rant on the Bush administration.
"Well, I voted for him," Carm says dismissing her daughter's concern with a shrug.
Not a trace of a smirk or wink anywhere on Falco's face.
I wonder if JD at Bloggerale does memes.
WHAT HE DREW
Laquanya Agnew and Victoria Duncan share a desk, a love of reading and a passion for learning. But because of a loophole in the No Child Left Behind Act, one second-grader's score in Tennessee counts more than the other's. That is because Laquanya is black, and Victoria is white.
An Associated Press computer analysis has found Laquanya is among nearly 2 million children whose scores aren't counted when it comes to meeting the law's requirement that schools track how students of different races perform on standardized tests.
So, just to recap, the Bush administration is against using race if it means minority students get into college over similarly situated white kids; but they are for using race to exclude minority scores that make their linchpin education program look bad.
The Decider has decided.
"I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation. But I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense."
-President George W. Bush, hearing voices since 2000.
"Decider" he cracks me up.
1 out of 50 D.C. residents have A.I.D.S.
By all accounts it's an epidemic, and the statistics rival a number of African countries. To make matters worse, the problem is growing even though the city has spent $500 million over the past eight years on medical care, HIV testing, counseling and other services.
I wonder if the Red Cross is going to start prohibiting people who lived in D.C. from being blood donors.
I'm always of two minds about posting about Mets wins. On the one hand, YAY! Mets are 10-2 and just seem to be on a roll. On the other hand, no need to call attention to their winning ways lest the Suck Gods remember that the Mets are supposed to Suck.
But might as well be happy now, because when they finish the season in the cellar, I'll be sad.
Pedro Martinez notched career win No. 200 and the Mets continued to make history by beating nemesis Atlanta, 4-3, last night at Shea in the first of nine meetings between the rivals during a three-week stretch.
The Mets, off to the best start in franchise history at 10-2, opened a five-game lead in the NL East standings - the largest lead in a division in major-league history after 12 games.
My little Karol is all grown up.
What is she today? 29? 39? 61?
Who can keep track.
Heck, I remember when she turned 12 like four years in a row. Ahhh, those were the days when I always insisted that she was perenially a little kid. That little annoying kid who is always trying to talk to you and hang out with you and be your friend.
And then when I'd get home, there she'd be on the phone.
"It's for you, Dawn," my mother would say.
"Naw, I'm not home."
And then after a conversation that I figure went something like this:
My mom: Wait. You're real? You're not a boy? And you want to talk to Dawn?
My mom would say "get your ass over here and take the phone. You need some girl friends."
But mooo--oom I've almost reached level six on Zelda.
Happily, "talking to Karol on the phone" never really involved much talking...sometimes, she wouldn't even be on the phone. She'd call, I'd answer and she'd say "I'm going to get some spaghetti."
Two hours later, I'd hear giggling in the background and remember that the lines were still open.
"Ooops, I totally forgot you were there!"
My first memory of Karol was riding back from a Model U.N. trip at Horace Mann with her and the rest of the debate team. We found out that we both watched Days of Our Lives and spent the whole two hour trip reliving the best couples/best come back from the dead/worst letting my brother marry my girlfriend because he was dying only to try to kill him after he raped her storyline.
(Seriously, if there is a stronger bond than television shows -- I've yet to find it. Although...how she managed to watch Days of Our Lives without watching TV, as she would claim again and again later in our friendship, I can't figure. )
In those days she was really nice.
When I jokingly said that after paying the registration fee for our Model U.N. trip to Yale, that I wouldn't be able to afford anything but candy bars for dinner, she brought enough money for both of us to have lunch and dinner for the whole weekend.
Karol was the only one of my prep school friends who would come see me in the ECB, consequently, she was the only person I ever hung out with outside of school.
In fact, there's a horrifying picture of us at Coney Island that is still on my list of things that must be destroyed.
However, lest you think Karol is so great...
I also remember the hours and hours of my life (that I will never get back) spent watching her write Bas (in honor of Gilmore Girls' Sebastian Bach) over and over again in different styles searching for just the right one.
Curvy letters, straight letters, bubble letters, grafitti letters.
Or being forced to take Sassy quizzes with horrible names like "Are you a good kisser?" (The range 1-5 did not contemplate my improbable score of 0.)
From a payphone in Bensonhurst, Karol, wearing rollerskates and braces, would call to give me hourly updates on the shortest relationship the world had ever known (before Paris Hilton, of course).
And every conversation would start with strange a pop.
“I opened my Snapple.”
I think she waited to open the Snapple till I answered the phone on purpose.
She always had a million friends and even more stories about them.
"Your life is so exciting," I'd say about her stories of her friend who had an abortion or her friend who was a transvestite or her friend who went to jail or her friend who ran away or her friend who was a drug dealer or her transvestite drug dealing friend who had an abortion ran away and then went to jail.
It was all impossible to keep straight. (That's how I learned the invaluable skill of picking a name that I heard often enough and referring to all her friends by that name. In the 90s, it was David. A single "How's David?" was good for like twenty minutes of conversation on my part. Followed by a "Nooo way," I was set for the night.)
And that was only the first year that I knew her! To this day, I have a standing cash money offer to be allowed to follow her around one day.
When Karol left my high school to go to another school in the area, she completely became the voice on the phone.
I would beep her and instead of my phone number, I would leave all the cool beeper tricks I knew, like 411 (I just need some information) or 911 (it's an emergency) or 43110 (hello in numbers).
For her sweet sixteen, she rented a party limo and I spent an hour driving around Brooklyn with her and her seven next closest friends. It would be another 10 years before I ended up at another Karol birthday bash in April. However, I often threw her surprise parties in January at the Limelight which she never remembered come Spring.
When I left for college, Karol cried and cried. She even sent me a care package with candy and snacks during my freshman year.
And horrified by my musical tastes (defined as whatevery was playing on Z-100), she made me mixtapes with songs by bands that had names like Five Man Electrical Band or Faster Pussycat. Then she'd call to quiz me and make sure I had listened to it.
"Uhh...yeah...third song. Wow. Blew my mind."
"Why? What'd you like about it?"
"Ummm...it was catchy?"
"Listen to it before I beat you."
Over the years the phone calls turned into e-mails, though every now and then she would inexplicably wait until the middle of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to call me from Boston.
"DUDE. What day is it?"
"What time is it?"
"Ok then," I would say hanging up.
Karol was my very own personal google.
“Dude, who is Kirk Cobain?”
“KURT. He was lead singer of Nirvana. He killed himself today.”
“What the hell is BDSM?”
“Uhh…you don’t wanna know.”
In keeping with the theme, I would first meet all of her boyfriends over the phone.
"Dawn, Tommy/Warren/Peter thinks you're imaginary, so say hi."
Of course, when they took the phone I wouldn't say a word. Then I'd laugh.
With all the poker craziness, I see Karol much more than I ever used to – but even when that ends and she moves away to D.C. I know that I can always count on Karol to be the familiar voice and/or silence on the phone.
Because even though she is a mean, Republican, racist, card carrying member of the NRA and worst of all, a Yankees fan, my mom was right that at 15 I needed a girl friend and now, at 25, I am glad it was Karol.
Which is why, I’m sure, that if I find myself in France on Saturday and unable to come to her birthday party, she’ll be just as happy to hear my voice on the phone.
Happy Birthday, Red.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Former Gov. George Ryan, who drew international praise when he commuted the sentences of everyone on Illinois' death row, was convicted of racketeering and fraud Monday in a corruption scandal that ended his political career in 2003.
In 2000, the Republican governor declared a moratorium on executions in Illinois after 13 death row inmates were found to have been wrongly convicted.
Then, days before he left office in 2003, he cleared death row, commuting the sentences of all 167 inmates to life in prison. He declared that the state's criminal justice system was "haunted by the demon of error."
Ryan faces at least 20 years in prison.
I’m convinced god keeps me alive for the comedic entertainment my existence alone provides. I mean let’s be honest, I’m not curing AIDs or cancer anytime soon. I’m not likely to be found in Calcutta coddling infirmed orphans AND I’m not a fan of the elderly. I give some but not much to charity and I’ve never read to a blind person. Yeah, I’m around for the funny and quite little else.
Read the whole much funnier than I've got going on post and wish Ari a speedy recovery.
As for me, now I have to find my life's purpose and finish this damn project.
About two weeks before her death, Julie C. Jensen went to a neighbor, shaking and crying, and handed over a sealed envelope. If anything happened to her, she said, he should give it to police.
In addition to the letter she gave to the neighbor, Julie Jensen allegedly told her son's teacher that she had found a suspicious list of drugs and syringes her husband wanted to buy and feared her husband planned to poison her.
She told the teacher she thought "he might try to kill her with a drug overdose and make it look like a suicide," a criminal complaint said. She also left voice mails for police and told them in person of the lists, and warned them if she died, her husband was responsible, court records said.
Ok, no, really this time.
Back to work.
I can publicly relate the following story with impunity.
Yesterday I had brunch with a friend of mine from law school. We were once so close that we were nicknamed "Macaroni 'N Cheese." I dunno why, but she was the macaroni.
Anyway, Macaroni asked me if I still hung out with anyone from law school, I mentioned F-Train.
She said "F-train...did I know him?"
"I don't know. He's a skinny white guy with blue eyes."
"Oh yeah, he's really nice."
"Uhhh...no. [In a BIG way no. -Ed.] You're thinking of Rick Blaine."
"Oh yeah. That's right."
Upon sharing this story with the two of them, F-train sent me an email addressed "Dear Token Black Friend," informing me that I was fired.
Crap...ok...back to work.
Notice how Maureen Dowd has disappeared since they put her behind a protective wall of $50.
-Jake over on Alarming News
I don't know why, but lately my attention span has been shorter than ... wait was I talking about?
Me: "Are you going to Ugarte's* tournament on Saturday?"
Karol (who is having her 14th birthday party on Saturday): "No dude, and neither are you."
*Don't worry Ugarte. I'll be there...just, if anyone asks, I wasn't.
New Bush Chief of Staff to old timers: hit da bricks.
Signaling a possible shake-up among President Bush's senior advisers, the new White House chief of staff told top presidential aides Monday to expect changes that "refresh and re-energize the team." He invited anyone who is thinking of leaving before year's end to do so now.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
That F-train blogged or that it's not about poker?
Friday, April 14, 2006
Cause really "honey, I'm just really fat now," isn't the kind of thing you wanna say to your husband.
A woman who lied about having sextuplets allegedly to cash in on neighbors' generous donations of money and gifts said her husband believed for months that she was pregnant.
But a day after the couple tearfully confessed to the hoax, Sarah Everson refused to say how she kept Kris Everson from finding out.
"He had no clue I wasn't pregnant until a couple of weeks ago," Everson said Thursday in a brief cell phone interview with The Associated Press.
They are vegetarian and gentle and more afraid you than blah blah blah. Kid dead.
Or is that deer?
Thursday, April 13, 2006
A frequent "South Park" critic, William Donohue of the anti-defamation group Catholic League, called on Parker and Stone to resign out of principle for being censored.
"The ultimate hypocrite is not Comedy Central -- that's their decision not to show the image of Mohammed or not -- it's Parker and Stone," he said. "Like little whores, they'll sit there and grab the bucks.
Last night's South Park suuuuucked so much...although the commentary about Family Guy was pretty spot on.
How many times do I have to say "call me when it's done," before I stop getting calls every hour saying "ummm...I'm almost done, but I just have to do these four things"?
Last year, ABC's "20/20" talked to women who stripped to pay for school and found it was not all that uncommon.
"This is, for better or for worse, probably the best-paying job I'll ever have," Stephanie, one of the strippers featured, told "20/20."
If that's true, there's no reason to stay in college.
Now I don't have bathrooms either.
Well, I have them, but I shouldn't "really use them until you have a plumber in here to look at those pipes."
You remember that scene from Buffy Season 5? The one right after Glory takes Dawn away and Buffy snaps?
Yup, that's me.
The guy that my mom brought in to look at the toilets was yammering on to her about this that or the other and I just took a seat in my rocking chair and tried to figure out what seven letter word I could make with U U U U O O G.
It was in this fairly paralytic state that I decided what I really needed was some good old fashioned comedy.
What luck! Charles was having a comedy show in Williamsburg.
I left a little after ten for a show that started at ten, but I figured, I was just taking one avenue all the way down, I could make it in time.
Years ago, when my baby was brand spanking new out of the dealership, I never parked on the street. Never never never. Not only was the car brand new, but my parking skills were...uhh...let's say...weak.
Obviously, as time went on, my "all garage all the time" strategy became less practical and too costly.
So it was, after pulling in and pulling out of a spot because I didn't want my bumpers hitting the other cars', my friend Pi exasperatedly exclaimed: "That's what bumpers are for!"
Hmmm...really? I am supposed to hit the other cars?
And boy do I.
On Monday Rick Blaine emailed to say that he was in town and would be going to Charles Star's 10 p.m. comedy show in Williamsburg. I managed to get to the club by quarter after-ish, but then had to find parking.
Apparently, every single block in this neighborhood is ninety percent "24 hours active driveway. No Parking allowed." Around and around I drove till I finally found a spot between a SUV and a VW Bug.
About halfway through parallel parking, I wondered why my ipod was squeaking so much, I hit pause and figured I'd check it out later.
Imagine my surprise when the squeaking continued. And seemed to be coming from outside.
Uh oh...the beetle does look a little close.
Sure enough, the squeaking was being caused by my front bumper scraping the side of the beetles back bumper.
I can never figure out what's the best thing to do in this situation.
Do I keep going back? Or do I pull out -- scraping the bumpers the other way-- and try again.
I choose the latter and when the parking was finally done, I assessed the damage.
It is dark, but things don't look too bad. My bumper shows some signs of paint transference and dirt, but no dents.
I didn't check on the VW.
I walk to the club and before I get too far inside, I see Rick and Charles.
"Good! Now that there's two of you, I can go prepare," Charles says ushering us to seats in the back.
"What does he mean two?"
"Oh, since I got here so early, he had to baby-sit me. I think he would rather be practicing."
"So, how's the show going?"
Rick gave me the pained face look.
Yikes. In fact, there was a guy on stage tanking in the biggest way.
"Just so you all know. I have done this before and with an audience that's not brain-dead, I get laughs."
"I am funny."
"Ok. Good night."
Rick observed that maybe corporate lawyering was the easier course.
"Nah, this is like five minutes, we've got like 3000 billable hours."
"Yes, but it's five minutes of death."
The MC was a Randy Jackson look alike. I was so waiting for him to be all "give it up DAWG." But no.
He told a funny joke about how the guy that invented the word nigger couldn't have possibly realized what a hit he had on his hands. "300 years later people are still using it, man. I mean, we go to other countries and we're looking for a derogatory name for them, nigger is where we start. Damn Arabs...can't stand these...these...yo, what the Arabs got? Sand! Yeah, I can't stand these sand niggers. Chinese? Rice Niggers. Jews? Bagel niggers."
(Later Charles suggested that he go with "Cash niggers" instead.)
The next comedian started off with a good..."I feel like you guys are that scared puppy in an apartment near the subway tracks. I have to reassure you that you are going to have fun, I will be funny and everything will be alllllright." He went on a tad too long with it though.
Comedy IS hard.
He had a brilliant ending which makes me laugh just thinking about it. It's hard to translate into written form, but it ends with him drowning to death and the Lunesta butterfly causing truck drivers to fall asleep on the road.
HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Ok, you had to be there.
Next up was our hero.
Now, I will warn you that the following material, until I say otherwise, is the creative intellectual property of Charles Star. Attempt to steal it at your own peril. This black guy told a joke on stage about calling a homeless guy with A.I.D.S. a hack. Charles said he used to tell that joke before he was even a comedian and then he split the guy's head open with a bar stool.
So watch it.
Charles started with a riff about the Republicans wanting to crack down on illegal immigration, yet missing their chance to round up the illegals at Monday's rally.
"People are also getting upset about the changes in the abortion laws. You know South Dakota has made abortion illegal. That's right no abortions are allowed except in cases where the Governor's daughter gets pregnant."
"Now some people are all concerned about the Supreme Court getting too conservative. "They're gonna overturn Roe v. Wade" "We're gonna lose Roe v. Wade"... truth be told though, I'm not all that upset about it. I'm 35, my fiancée is like 35 and we're probably going to need to adopt a kid and well I just don't have that kind of money. I can't be flying to Belarus to get a kid. If they overturn Roe v. Wade,we are going to be swimming in white babies."
And then, in the only call and response segment of the evening, Charles started talking about having just bought a house in the ECB.
"My fiancée and I just moved to a neighborhood that can only charitably be described as..."dangerous."
"What neighborhood is it?" yells out someone from the audience.
"Well, the white people moving in now call it Prospect Lefferts Gardens."
(I laughed and laughed and laughed. I laugh still)
"Yeah, so we've moved in and we actually have a tenant now. It's crazy. I've got a tenant. So, I've decided to go totally old school. I'm going to make him start growing crops out back and make him take my name."
Rick laughs and laughs and laughs. I mean seriously. He still hasn't stopped.
"You just don't hear good feudalism jokes anymore," he explained later.
(Ahhh...feudalism...see I totally heard a slave joke, which, you know, less funny.)
"Living in my new neighborhood has also made me way more callous. See, there are two jerk chicken places in the area. Pepe's and Andre's. Last night I went out to get take out from Pepe's and the place was all roped off with police tape because someone got shot out front. So there I am staring at the police cars and the bloody sidewalk and the covered body and I'm totally thinking...oh well, guess I gotta go to Andre's."
I laugh and laugh and laugh.
"The other day I came home and my fiancée was bleeding from her nose. I say 'honey, what happened?' She says 'oh, I walked into a door.' She walked into a door. Yep. But of course, she can't tell people that right? Everyone knows that "I walked into a door" is the number one code for domestic violence. Which pretty much means that now... I have to start hitting her."
Rick laughs and laughs.
Analysis: If someone dies in the joke, Dawn will enjoy it; if you're beating a woman or exploiting the poor: Rick's your target audience.
After the last comedian, Charles had drinks with Rick and I.
We got into a debate about how much Colin Quinn sucks.
Dawn: A lot; Rick/Charles: Not at all.
"You've got to be patient with him; he's not obviously funny."
"Dude. I don't watch TV to be patient. When I want patience I go....umm....go to the opera."
"I don't even buy the premise that you want patience, much less that you'd know where to go to get it," Charles "funnyman" Star replied.
We hung out at the bar for a couple of hours during which I decided that 1) I must break into Charles' email box to see what he and F-train are really saying about me and 2) since Rick only reads my blog when he knows he is going to see me, I must send weekly emails telling him I will be in San Francisco.
At the end of the night, Charles offered to guide me out of Williamsburg.
"I'm parked around the corner, so you can just follow me."
Uh oh...around the corner?
Please don't be driving a VW Bug. Please don't be driving a VW Bug.Please don't be driving a VW Bug.Please don't be driving a VW Bug.
I got to my car -- did my habitual "oh crap did I leave the lights on?" panic button pressing and breathed a sigh of relief as Charles kept walking past the VW to his car.
I totally outsourced my draft with a brilliantly executed duck and cover defensive manuever which meant not checking my email for two weeks.
Here's the result:
J. Varitek (Bos - C)
1B D. Lee (ChC - 1B)
2B J. Cantú (TB - 2B,3B)
3B Mi. Cabrera (Fla - 3B,OF)
SS J. Reyes (NYM - SS)
OF A. Jones (Atl - OF)
OF R. Winn (SF - OF)
OF T. Hunter (Min - OF)
Util G. Jenkins (Mil - OF)
BN C. Tracy (Ari - 1B,3B,OF)
BN K. Greene (SD - SS)
BN C. Crisp (Bos - OF) DL
SP C. Zambrano (ChC - SP)
SP M. Mulder (StL - SP)
RP Fr. Rodríguez (LAA - RP)
RP E. Guardado (Sea - RP)
P B. Myers (Phi - SP)
P C. Ray (Bal - RP)
P D. Davis (Mil - SP)
BN L. Hernández (Was - SP)
It's my first year without Jeter or A-Rod...or come to think of it any Yankees, so I've got no frame of reference on which to judge my chances of sucking completely.
Dawn owner of the only 2-14 fantasy football team in history.
Some New Yorkers don't want doormen because they don't want to say hello to an extra person twice a day.
I've actually managed to establish "chit chat" rules for my doormen. If they actually get up from the front desk and open the door, I say thanks and good evening/good morning.
If they've got a package for me and put it on the wheelcart -- then they get a thanks and a how's it going.
If, however, they don't get up to open the door -- then I don't even make eye contact as I head straight for the elevators.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
(or, So's Your Face Slowpokes!)
A relatively young couple with four children stood in front of me in the security line at National Airport this morning taking for-ev-er to clear the TSA security checkpoint. Each kid had two carryons, the parents had two carryons each, and the father also carried two cats in two separate small pet containers. The family clearly hadn't navigated a TSA checkpoint before. First they forgot to take off their shoes, then the kids forgot to take off their coats, then the mother left her ID at the ticket and ID checker lady, then they forgot the "pet tickets" to allow their kids on the flight,...etc.
About the time I start fuming about pet carriers as blatant violations of the "one carryon, one personal item policy" the TSA screener asked the father to take the cats out of the carrier to pass through the metal detector. "Oh no, this one is an outdoor cat" the man said, pointing to the case marked "Fluffy." Nobody other than the father understood what that meant, because the TSA employee and rest of us schmoes in line behind the family all muttered "huh?" at the same time. Apparently, as an "outdoor cat," Fluffy doesn't much like her carrier and can be a bit feisty when set free. The discussion continued for what seemed like an eternity. We schmoes grew more antsy by the second. One of the schmoes even asked aloud if cats qualify as "luggage" or "personal items." Fourteen pairs of eyes rolled at that one.
Just when we schmoes were about to erupt in open mutiny, TSA supervisor lady came to the rescue. She allowed the father to take Fluffy into the supplemental screening cage -- a small area used to wand down people who refuse to take off their shoes or have pacemakers, separated from the rest of the security checkpoint by six-feet tall opaque walls. But, he would still have to remove Fluffy so TSA could screen the pet carrier. At this point, father said "I don't know if that's such a good idea," but, presented with no alternative, he acquiesced. The family proceeded through screening, the father entered the glass walled cage with Fluffy's carrier.
Problem solved, right? The line finally started moving, but we schmoes wanted revenge for the nine extra minutes of our life wasted by a family of six with twelve bags and two cats. Little did we know revenge was just around the corner, separated from us by six-feet tall walls. Moments later we hear tremendous hissing and shouts of "uh oh, oh no, oh no, oh no!" (Not exactly what you want to hear in an airport.) All of the schmoes still in line turn at once. Fluffy is out of her carrier, hissing and scratching, and running all over the sequestration area as the father and the TSA rep try in vain to catch her.
I don't see 'blogger' anywhere!
I hate when TV shows get the poker wrong.
Especially stupid easy things that any intern with a thumb and an internet connection can figure out.
Veronica Mars did it last season where the Latino motorcycle gang member goes over to the rich kids house to play poker with them because he is going to take "those rich idiots money."
Totally plausible, right?
Until you watch the Latino motorcycle gang member call an all-in holding A2 with only one card to come and no aces or deuces anywhere in the deck.
The asshole rich kid that is supposedly an "idiot," is holding AJ and the Latino is drawing to three possible outs in the whole deck.
He hits it. But I am unable to think of him as anything other than a donkey for the rest of the series.
So I can only assume that 'House' is going to suffer the same fate.
Last night started off so promisingly, House, Wilson and Cuddy seated around a poker table in formalwear (I totally wanna throw a black tie poker tournament at my house...you know, someday when I have a kitchen and/or bathrooms.)
But then in one round of betting, Cuddy calls, then House raises, then Cuddy calls and then Cuddy goes all-in?
House says something like "you'll call anything," suggesting that she has called his raise already, so he wouldn't be allowed to raise again. She certainly can't both call and go all-in. That's a string bet of the tallest order.
I'm not even gonna talk about Wilson playing a 68.
Cross posted on my poker blog.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
"You know Smithers, 'I told you so' has a brother; his name is 'Shut the hell up!'" -Mr. Burns
Of things you don't wanna hear about your new neighborhood, "I used to buy pot on that block," would definitely crack the top ten.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Look, I love 24 as much as the next guy, but I don't think there's three years left in this show.
I have my doubts about finishing out this season without suffering a serious "eye rolling" injury.
When F-train and I get to the casino, I drive up the ramps looking for a spot. Finally, I see an opening and pull the car in to a spot.
I put the car in park. Unhook my ipod. Look for my player's card, ID and cash.
I stuff these things into my purse and get out.
I open the back door to pull out my coat.
I put it on and am ready to head to the casino.
"Umm...you planning on turning the car off at some point?" F-train says from the passenger seat.
See, Gib, that "vroom noise" ain't as obvious a sign as you seem to think it is.
F-train turns the car off and grabs the keys.
He tosses them to me and I hit the alarm.
"See, I would have remembered. I never leave the car without hitting the alarm, so I would have gone to hit the alarm and realized I didn't have my keys!"
Yep. No problem.
As we walk away I say "hey...where are we parked. We have to remember."
No more losing the car in AC parking lots for Dawn.
We are at 2i.
"Great, that's easy. We have two eyes! Two eyes. Two eyes."
Smart ass decides to be a smart ass.
"There are two of us, so we have four eyes!"
"Dude. I am so going to kick your ass when we are walking around 4i for two hours looking for the car."
Don't laugh. It's happened before. More than once.
Bubkis. Zilch. Zero.Nada.Squat.Whatever German for nothing is. Ditto for the Russian and French words.
Pearatty is right, blogging on your own time...hard.
Take vacation, the weekend and the fact that it's been very, very slow at work and well, you get this Seinfeldian post.
I went to AC with F-train on Saturday.
I tried to write a post about how every time I end up driving through New Jersey with him, he ends up telling me how he almost had sex with a rock star’s girlfriend, but ended up watching her strip instead.
I think it's his clumsy attempt to ruin “Meet for Virginia” for me, by continuing to associate it with the story. But I've got news for him.
Or he's just totally obsessed with girls.
"Did you see the naked women on the walls at Showboat?"
And I can assure you, dear reader, if there were naked women on the walls of a casino that I have been to three or four times, I would have noticed...and brought a roll of tape for the appropriate decency redactions.
"Aw man," he would lament later, "of course, as soon as I get up from the table a cute girl sits down at the seat next to mine."
Oh, by the way, if you see F-train make sure to remind him that one is not allowed to date one's own 7-year-old niece. Hmmm...or anyone's 7-year-old niece for that matter.
Laws are laws.
But really, aside from the fact that F-train tricked me into going around a slow moving disabled vehicle, with lying lies about not having to switch lanes again, the trip down was fairly unexciting.
"Yeah, we take this road to the Outerbridge and then we'll argue about whether to get on the turnpike. I'll be right and we'll get on the Garden State to AC," pretty much summed it up.
The trip back was even less exciting.
He had a bad run at the tables and evidently wasn't in the mood to talk about it -- so he played the most boring string of songs ever known to man until I fell asleep.
"But do you think if you had raised there, it would have made a difference?" I would say.
He would shrug his shoulder and then put on some Tori Amos dealy.
"You are getting sleeeeeepy, Dawn. Very sleeepy."
"But I wanna learn how to play.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz."
Or it was chloroform. One or the other.
I woke up just in time to take over the wheel and drive myself home from his house.
I resumed my napping and woke up when my mom called around noon to ask if I could bring her some groceries.
"You don't have to drive. Just take the bus."
Bah. Have car will travel. Guess she hasn't read about my car fever.
Of course, I get to the ECB, can't find a spot, so I park in front of a hydrant.
Hey, I'm just going to run upstairs and drop off these bags and then I'm off!
And really, it wouldn't have been such a problem if, in my rush to stop the elevator door from closing, my car keys hadn't slipped off my pinky and straight down the elevator shaft.
Terrif, I thought as I watched the silver key disappear into the darkness.
I went upstairs and asked my mom to call the super.
Ugh. I tell her.
"Didn't I tell you not to drive?"
But can we hurry this 'I told you so' part along. Hydrant + neighborhood that is under constant surveillance from the Po po = ticket and/or towing.
After about ten minutes, we finally locate the super. He answers the door in...ewwwwwwwwwww....his boxers and nothing else.
I avert my gaze and explain the situation. Emphasis on the gaze averting.
He scratches his stomach.
He goes back inside and emerges, a few minutes later, wearing an untied bathrobe.
Guy. At least fasten those strings.
I run outside to check the car.
Super takes forever down in the basement, but when he comes back he says he doesn't have access to the shaft.
Nothing he can do till Monday.
My house keys, money and ipod are locked in the car.
Finally, I remember I have a spare set of car keys back at my apartment. I get my mom’s set of keys to my new place and borrow $20 to take a cab home.
Luckily, I get back to the ECB before the ticket and/or towing.
I drive home, get some lunch and crawl back into bed.
Bed is better.
But I don’t know, I better start doing things or else I’ll never have anything to blog about.
An elderly woman with a walker on wheels was ahead of me in line to get our cars.
The valet disappeared into the back to get her keys and keys for the two cars parked in front her hers.
After about seven minutes he finally emerged driving her car.
The woman pushed her walker over to the side of the car, telling him that she was driving up to ger grand daughter's place in Long Island.
Indeed, she had all the classic tell tale signs of the Long Island grandmother. The hair, the nails, the accent.
Then, and I suppose this must have been a continuation of a conversation they have had before, she says that she's going to "get back into Spanish."
"Maybe I'll take a class or get a tutor."
The valet, definitely a English as a second language guy, kind of nods at her.
"You know what the regents are?"
He takes a few shots at pronouncing it, while she corrected him in a louder and louder tone
"REGENT. IT'S A TEST IN SCHOOL."
"Ah, ok. test."
"Yeah, It's a test. When I was in high school I got a 98 on the Regents in Spanish. But if you don't use it you lose it," she finishes with a common expression that I'm not quite sure the Mexican valet understands.
"Ok. " He says blankly as he puts her walker in the trunk and guides her into the driver's seat.
After she pulls out, he goes into the office to get my car keys.
As he walks to the back to get my car, he says to me:
"School? I don't go to school for English. I just learn. I read and write," he says using his hands to make the shape of a book and making a scribbling motion with his hands as he says the last few words of the sentence.
Just in case I don't know what those words mean, I suppose. After all, the people who live on this building are so dumb they need someone to teach them another language.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
We're hiding from Alceste until the Fantasy Baseball draft is over.
Well, since Princess Anonymous abandoned the world of blogging and a number of other links on my blogroll have gone...umm...fisching, yes, I'm looking at you, slacker. I've sent out a request for new blogs out there that I should be linking to.
Keep emailing me your suggestions (even and especially if it's your own blog, I'm all about the reciprolinking), in the meantime, here's our first new addition:
Bloggerale, by a consortium of bloggers that seem to like making baby Jesus cry almost as much as Ken Wheaton did.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Jury finds woman who severed her baby's arms, insane.
Dawn adds: and ugly.
Congratulations, Dan. The Court believed you wrote that crappy book all by yourself.
Couric moves to CBS nightly news, Viera moves to the Today Show and only heaven knows which C-list reality TV star will replace Viera on The View -- which is all to say, now there's three shows I never need to watch again!
SOMEWHERE IN THEIR YOUTH OR CHILDHOOD...
Andy Card resigns
Libby finger Bush as leaker
Tom Delay quits Congress
John McCain gets in bed with Jerry Falwell
The Democrats must have done something goooooooooooooooooooooooood.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Oooh ooh look at me, I'm JJ Abrams. I've dug myself a real deep hole and can't see my way out...oh, wait...you know what? That Buffy the Vampire Slayer was real successful and well done...I best go get the DVD set and see if I can steal anything from there.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Evidently the phrase “my wife is in Las Vegas,” will make a man compulsively check any blog which may contain details about said wife’s trip.
From a purely marketing standpoint, such a blog should just write one thing a day ---ooh or even half things and make liberal use of the “to be continued” feature of all the best hour long dramas.
“And then, as we were longing by the pool, wearing nothing but --- stay tuned tomorrow for the continuation of "Viva Las Vegas" starring the lovely Helena, who eschewed the role of runaway bride for that of on-second-thought fiancée, the tantalizing Liza who by day is an erotic fiction writer, but by day is a mild mannered…erotic fiction reader, the charming Emerald, our very own Sadie, Sadie Married Lady (to Clareified’s newest compulsive reader, of course) – she also doubles as group doctor and events coordinator and finally, yours truly the mysterious Dawn Summers, blogger, poker player and Mah Jong Champion of the world.
But no, if this blog has any kind of standards, which it doesn’t, we strive to ever be better than Joe Millionaire.
I flew into Las Vegas a day earlier than my non poker playing partners in crime, so that I could…um…read books to blind children.
We got a sick deal on a room at the Imperial Palace.
The hotel was much nicer than I’d been led to believe. (In fact, based on F-train’s descriptions I figured I’d need to slip the check-in clerk and extra twenty to get the room without holes in the ceiling.)
My roomies didn’t get in until like after 12 --- the hotel’s blind children reading book room was right by the entrance to the hotel, so I read to children and watched the door for the girls’ arrival.
When they got to the hotel at about 1 or so, the check-in line was still out the door.
“Hey, when y’all are done, come get me. I’m over in [the blind children’s reading room].”
When I didn’t see them after an hour, I went back to the line. Very little progress had been made.
“Alright, I’m still over there. Come get me.”
“[Reading to blind children?] Dude, you should be getting us drinks!”
Ah, that Emerald, what a lush.
Twelve hours later, when we finally made it back to our rooms, we decided to hit Margaritaville for drinks.
I can’t decide which captures the essence of Margaritaville more: the fact that the floors were so sticky that each footstep required the strength of a thousand men to pry my sneaker soles up or the overwhelming stench of dried vomit. Ahhh, good times.
We had daiquiris and margaritas while Liza tried to pry “but what happened?” details out of Helena. Of course, with the throngs of gyrating spring breakers and bad Prince covers, she could have told us the meaning of life and we wouldn’t have heard a thing.
I was about to say as much, when a slurp of daiquiri went down the wrong pipe.
I started coughing violently and flailing my arms about.
Emerald, henceforth to be known as Dr. Death, coolly sipped her Margarita unmoved.
“Helloooo.[HACK] I am [HACK, COUGH, SPUTTER] choking here [HACK, HACK, SPUTTER]. Let’s go with the Heimlich.”
“Eh. If you can say Heimlich, you’re fine.”
Someday you are going to find yourself in need of someone able to respond to a 45 request subpoena in three hours and I am going to say: “if you can spell subpoena, you can do it yourself, bub.”
As Liza would say the next day: “we closed out Margaritaville” and headed back to the hotel.
I went back down to read to the kids some more and probably went to sleep around four or five. Inexplicably, I was rearing to go by nine.
Liza was already awake—but certainly not speaking English.
“Beep blah mmunssutt ehjkej iioon euis wwilll scool.”
“Beep blah m mmumist stghh jag roone weeill SCOOL.”
“Dude. Me speak ENGLISH.”
The banter woke up Helena who was sleeping on a cot in between the two beds.
“She said: “The boys making noise down by the pool woke her up.”
“mmm hmmm,” Liza said nodding her head.
Dude. How’d the hell did you do that?
“Me mere moomates.”
“We were roommates.”
I went to knock on Dr. Death’s door. She was in town for a medical conference and didn’t want to share a room for fear of losing her eligibility for reimbursement from her hospital.
“But how will they know?”
“We’re on the honor system,” said the woman who once helped devise the perfect non-life threatening injury that could get us a Dean’s note out of Finals.
Man, getting old must suck; I’m gonna be 25 forever.
Saturday was “Go Day,” as I would be told every time I suggested a “nap.”
“NO! It’s Go Day.”
We Go-ed our way to brunch at Harrah’s, where I got into a verbal altercation with a floor person.
“Would you like a total rewards card?” she asked the four of us standing in line.
The others ignored her, but I remembered that the card gets you free parking in AC –where I also read to blind children.
“Yes, How do I apply for one?”
Now she ignores me.
“Miss, do you have a total rewards card? New members can get discounts on the brunch, free beads and coupon booklet,” she says to Liza
Now Liza-of-the-saves-every-receipt-and-ever-in-search-of-bargain-Lizas, was interested.
She filled out the paperwork and the floor woman was moving on.
“HEEELLLLOOO. I too would like a total rewards card, free beads, a discount on brunch and a coupon booklet.”
“You said you already had one.”
“No, I didn’t. I said I wanted to apply for one.”
“No, I asked you if you had one and you said yes.”
“No, you asked if I wanted one and I said yes.”
It is taking everything from uttering the old D-12 line designed for this very occasion.
“Fine. I’ll go check.”
She sheepishly comes back some minutes later.
“Ok, you don’t have a card.”
“Yah, dude. Remember ten minutes ago when I told you I wanted one? It’s cause I didn’t have one. See how that works?”
I fill out the form and she hands me three coupons.
“Uhh…take these…cause I…uh…doubted you.”
Brunch was pretty good. The last two times I was in Vegas, I had been on some sort of diet. Not so this time. Oh, whoever said gluttony is its own punishment must have been curled up in a ball after a Vegas brunch buffet.
I had breakfast, lunch, dinner and pallet cleansing shrimp in between. My hand couldn’t even lift the spoon as I tried to eat my mini-m&m covered caramel fudge sundae.
Bile rises in my throat, even now, thinking of the moment.
In between the fourteen courses and non-stop cokes, Helena final quenched Liza’s incessant “but what happened?” queries.
We were happy to hear that it all ended fairly amicably and not at all like the putting the engagement ring in its box, leaving it on his doorstep, ringing the bell and running off that I had imagined.
Nor did she do the old, “okay, everyone who is getting married in June take a step forward --- uhm, not so fast, you,” that Emerald suggested.
After brunch I was ready to nap. Or die. One or the other.
But, NO! This was GO DAY.
So, we went.
We hit the mall at Caesar’s where certain parties were determined to go to the Playboy store.
I decided to tag along for the journalistic opportunity --- much like Pauly going to the Playboy mansion.
The store, ironically, is across the ummm…aisle? From the Victoria’s Secret store and looked quite tame in comparison. They have widescreen TVs with “bunny confessionals” going on in the background. Apparently, Hef is quite strict and requires the bunnies be home by curfew.
And they fly coach.
Dr. Death purchased something or the other. I laughed at the “XL” offering that was certainly no bigger than a size 8.
There were some pictures of topless chicks, but it was Vegas, topless chicks adorn the back of cabs all over the city.
“Hey, whatever happened to that girl from our class that posed for Playboy?”
“Oh yeah, Amy what’sherbucket. I think she married some guy and had two kids.”
Hmm…hope her son’s friends never come across her old photos.
We wandered through the Caesar's gallery for hours, we saw some fire show thing, the Aquarium, and walked through the casino.
When it was time to leave though…no …er…dice.
Every sign just pointed to another attraction in Caesar’s.
There was no way out. We’d ask for help, but to no avail.
“Hey, I see sunlight!”
“But is it real sunlight,” I asked. After all, we were standing under the clear blue sky, but the smell of rancid cigarette smoke told me we weren’t outside.
“Yeah, I think so.”
We pushed the exit door and indeed, we had found real sunlight.
But. We weren’t outside.
We had stumbled out to the Caesar’s pool area and after ten minutes of circumnavigating the pool and dead-ending at the towel counter, we pulled up four lounge chairs and stretched out.
Of course, since we were dressed from head to toe --- as opposed to the half-nekkid sunbathers all around---we kinda stood out.
“Well, at least if we get thrown out, we’ll be outside.”
We lay there for twenty minutes or so. No one approached us.
Liza started to get worried. (She went gray freshman year.)
“What if we never get out of here?”
I noticed a pair of old women down by the poolside.
“Hmmm…I bet they stumbled out here when they were in their late twenties too,” I offered, you know, not helping.
We had 5 o’clock reservations for dinner because we had tickets to the 7 o’clock Danny Gans show.
Liza took this opportunity to remind us.
I groaned, still immobilized by brunch.
But it was GO Day and so we decided to give getting out, one last shot.
Turns out, it was a lot easier than before and we were in the chilly Las Vegas afternoon in no time.
“Wow. That sucked. If we knew it’d be that easy, we could have lounged some more!”
I was reprimanded once again with the day’s motto.
Next stop was the Aladdin shops.
I mostly sat on the benches outside waiting for my will to live to return, while the other girls went shopping.
I saw an acrobat girl lift her leg up behind her ear, while standing on a step stool.
Impressive. And creepy.
We went back to the hotel to change, when Emerald’s husband called to say that he’d gotten a message saying that night’s Danny Gans show was cancelled and that her credit card would be reimbursed.
Whew, good thing it was an un-bachelorette party, or else that would have been coming from the folks over at Thunder Down Under.
Emerald was immediately convinced that 1)her husband was playing an April Fool’s Day joke on us or b) that the Danny Gans show was playing an April Fool’s Day joke.
When we got upstairs, she called the box office. This is what we could hear:
“Is the show canceled tonight?”
“So, this is not a joke?”
“So there’s no show tonight?”
But noooooooooo, she wasn’t done.
Since our dinner reservations were at the same hotel, we saw a huge sign in a shop window with Danny Gans’ Entertainer of the Year, MY ASS’ face and a tape across saying “Tonight’s Show cancelled.”
“See? Emerald. It’s really cancelled.”
“I don’t know. It just says “tonight” which night is that?”
All through dinner, which I am ashamed to say was an all you can eat Brazilian steak place.
(Again…just thinking about it…ill…)
Our server totally laughed at us even as we ordered it.
Or he was laughing at me for chanting non-stop for a pitcher of Sangria…or at Emerald still wondering if “we should stop by the Danny Gans theater just to see if there’s a show.”
We ended up eating quite a bit of the Brazilian fest, although, why, as Emerald observed “rich people don’t cook their meat,” I don’t understand.
Instead of Danny Gans, we ended up seeing Blue Man Group at the Venetian.
When they opened the doors, Helena hadn’t returned from the bathroom yet. I insisted that we wait for her, but was overpowered by Dr. Death and the Chinese Dr. Ruth in their matching Turquoise outfits.
“No. We must wait for Helena. It’s the right thing to do. That’s what friends are for!” I pleaded.
“No. We must go to our seats and sit down. She will figure it out,” they cruelly said in unison.
Hmm…so did anyone believe that? Was it the Dionne Warwick lyrics that betrayed me? Or do you just assume that Dawn would never be the considerate one? Eh, jerks. Who needs ya?
So...Blue Man Group. Have you ever been?
I guess I’d recommend it, however, don’t sit five rows from the back in the balcony. There were many times that the orchestra seat people were laughing their little la-di-da-we-have-better-seats-than-you-butts-off and I was totally like: “what? What’d he say?”
I shook my fist at balcony seats. Never again.
After the show, the Turquoise Twins went to take their picture with a Blue Man. Or make out with him, I wasn’t clear which…although I didn’t see any blue paint on their lips, so maybe it was just a picture.
There was still two hours left in Go Day. So, on we went to the Freemont Street experience.
“Hold on to your wallet,” Emerald advised, as I did the stupid tourist neck crane to check out the sites of old Las Vegas.
Lately, I’ve been reading about Vegas legends, like Stu Ungar and Benny and Ted Binion. So, I was very excited to go and see where they pla—read to blind children.
But, before I could rush off to the
It was terrible.
The graphics were basically rudimentary drawings of a prop plane and dancing lines. The music was dumb and it was an all around let down.
At its end, the four of us looked at each other puzzled.
How on earth had this been a “to do list” item?
“Well, maybe, it’s better after we get a few half yards in us.”
We went to Mermaids to start “Operation make the light show better.”
Since we had another hour, we walked through Binion’s. I told them the story about Benny Binion and how cool his casino was before he died and his stupid fuck up daughter, fucked it up.
I am surprisingly passionate about the subject.
Baltimoreans have their thing about the Colts, Bostonians have Bill Buckner, and poker players have Becky Binion.
I went to look at the Wall of Champions and practiced how many WSOP winners in a row I could get right. The first four (really three) were easy…I pick it up again in the l976-77 (again easy); 1980-81 (super duper easy considering my Stu Ungar obsession) and then I can go from 1995-2006 without missing.
My roommates suggest that I play.
I am concerned that they’ll be bored because, hey, poker ---reading to blind children can take hours.
They say not to worry, they are going to go play penny slots.
I put my name on the list. I get a seat about fifteen minutes later.
Turns out, I didn’t need to worry about my roommates waiting for me for hours. Or an hour. Or half an hour.
Nope. Less than ten minutes later I was searching through the smoky rows of penny slots looking for them.
Sad, sad day for Dawn.
I found them just seconds before the midnight light show.
Whoa. “Umm...I don’t know if it’s the two and a half yards of daiquiri in me, but are those women “fire fighters” riding a hose?”
The midnight showing was significantly more…um…rated PG-13.
We left Freemont Street – after one cab refused to take us for violating some unspoken code of taxi cab –about 12:30.
Go day was over.
And Liza and Helena took that very seriously. They were both sound asleep within minutes. Dr. Death on the other hand went to her room TO STUDY. I repeat: TO STUDY.
Man, turn 31 and your life is over.
Left alone, in Vegas, I umm…well…went looking for some more blind children.
I was mid-book when the stupid daylight savings time kicked, meaning it was now already 3 a.m. Crap…well, at least it was No Go day.
Again, I inexplicably woke up ridiculously early to not Go.
We switched hotels on No Go day. Leaving behind the work-a-day world of the Imperial Palace for the Venetian. Talk about the difference between night and Mars.
We had split level suites, views of the Nevada mountains, TWO TVs, THREE queen sized beds, a humongous bathroom with shower AND tub.
Seriously, that place is nicer than my apartment. After we moved in to our new digs, we went to buffet it up.
This time at the Mirage.
This place is the Holy Grail of brunch buffets.
The champagne never stopped flowing, they had all kinds of stations – though adventurous eater that I am, I was pancakes and shrimp all the time.
Toward the end of our meal, again, the will to live having left a plate and a half ago, a woman kinda faints a few feet away from our table. The staff puts her in a chair and rushes off to get her a glass of water.
Dr. Death puts on her shades and says “If anyone asks if there’s a doctor in the room, no one look at me.”
And you people thought lawyers were evil.
After brunch, Liza decided she needed to shop for lingerie and Helena wanted to buy a bathing suit for No Go day lounging. Obviously, they do not read my blog, lest they would know my policy about underwear shopping as it relates to people who are not me.
I begged off and decided to read to blind kids at the Mirage.
We all met back up at poolside three hours later.
Helena apparently couldn’t find a bathing suit that fit.
“Shopping for bikinis after an all-you-can-eat brunch is a mistake.”
Instead, she showed up at the pool in micro shorts, a tank top and high heels.
“Umm….dude. Are you charging by the hour while you’re out here?”
“Shut up! I don’t have any sandals.”
“Suuurreee. Look, save it for Vegas vice, missy. You don’t have to lie to me.”
No Go day was remarkably cold. I was wrapped up in two towels and still felt cold.
“It’s mind over matter, man,” Dr. Death said lounging away sans any covering.
Liza offered her own brand of heat.
“You can borrow my book if you want. It’s erotic short stories.”
No dude in a BIG way.
So, I took off to find shelter of the indoors.
The Venetian blind children’s reading room was opening that night. There was going to be a celebrity reading tournament that night to celebrate.
I figured I might catch a glimpse of some pokeratti or celebrity players.
But no. The bouncer at the door moved us along pretty handily as we tried to sneak closer to the entrance.
“Quick, Helena, go get your poolside outfit from earlier!”
We went to a latish dinner at an Italian place, where my roommates, apparently having decided that they don’t have enough dirt on me, tried to pry the details.
Unless you wanna know how much my apartment renovations are costing and/or how many episodes of Murder She Wrote I’ve got backlogged on my Tivo, I’ve got a whole lot of nothing going on.
Suspicious, this is the girl that managed to find time to swing by the Danny Gans theater that morning to verify just one more time that the Saturday show was canceled, Emerald moved on to “child bearing for the new millennia,” as she and Helena decided they were going to freeze their eggs.
“Yeah, we’ve all missed the boat. Eggs peak at about 27, so it’s just been all downhill since then.”
Speak for yourself, biatch. I am 25.
(Upon telling this to my mother yesterday, she replied, “do they know they have to pay rent for the clinic to keep those things for them?”)
Liza and Helena ordered some wine with their meal, while Emerald, ordered a Sea Breeze.
“I like my drinks like I like my men: Fruity.”
Alrighty then, I said, jotting down invisible notes in my imaginary blog notebook.
Like I said: whole lot of nothing going on.
After dinner we picked up pastries, alcohol and mixers and headed back to the room for a marathon mah jong session.
Helena taught Emerald the game, while I got the refresher lesson. Liza, who used to play with her dad, quickly went into competitive mode.
“Nah, one open hand is enough. Let’s play closed.”
I won the first closed hand.
“Hey, why don’t we keep score? I have poker chips,” I said.
I see your competitiveness and raise.
Helena did these fancy tricks with the tiles, like lifting whole columns and putting them on top of another to build the wall. By night’s end, everyone else was doing it, too.
I, on the other hand, alternated between stacking the tiles one at a time or doing half a column at a time.
“HA HA. Dawn is short stack.” Hmmm…have they been talking to Peter? Note to self: Activate chip in R2D2 robot that will kill Peter.
But I made up for my shortcomings with victories!
By night’s end I had most of the chips.
“Oh…I don’t think we need to count…I mean my pile is sooo big, I can barely hold it in my two hands.”
Short stack your face.
Helena was leaving at seven thirty the next morning.
So, we all said goodbye to her then…cause if anyone wakes me up at seven-thirty on my vacation, I will have to kill them.
Down one, we went to brunch at the Bellagio the next morning.
Somehow we managed to turn a fifteen minute walk into a two and a half hour Monorail
(which must be Navaho for “train full of stupid suckers”) ride through Bally’s and Paris casinos. And after all that, we had the crappiest meal of the trip. Although, we did note that no human should have a buffet a day. There should be a law.
We decided to head over to the Wynn to see what all the fuss was about.
The word under whelmed comes to mind. We walked around the Ferrari exhibit store --- since we weren’t paying the ten dollars to get in (see, pearatty? No way Mr. pearatty is gonna pay ten bucks to see other people’s used cars!).
We laughed heartily at the 36 dollar Ferrari mug.
“It’s not even heavy!”
The girls went off to the Fashion mall, while I read to the blind kids for a few hours before my flight.
It did not go well.
I made it back to the Venetian and to the airport in a record 30 minutes.
Which was good, cause the security line was as long as the great wall of China.
As I neared the front, a security guard asked my whole row to come with him.
We were diverted to a security checkpoint at the far end of the Terminal.
One by one, we were shuffled through this huge biometric ion spectrometer thing. It was like ten feet tall and solid steel.
I stepped into it, the guard said:
“You’ll feel a few puffs of air,” as he stepped away to the machine and pulld down the helmet on his radiation suit.
As the thing whirred to life, blowing air, scanning and beeping away, I couldn’t help but wonder if I should have frozen my eggs before stepping into this sterility cage.
I quickly found a seat at my gate.
Moments later the agent announced that First Class seating was available for an additional $100.
I had gotten such a good deal on my roundtrip flight out – I figured this was my chance to finally fly first class.
I signed up.
For the first time in my life, since I was seven and accompanied my a flight attendant, I was the first passenger on the plane.
No fighting with anyone for overhead space!
I had the whole second row to myself and had a blast thinking of drinks that I wanted to order.
No, they do not have daiquiris.
I’m still a bad flier and hate planes, but first class traveling does make everything seem a wee less death-trapy.
So, the next time I find myself going to an un-bachelorette party in Las Vegas. I’m definitely going first class.