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August 2004

Hard Rock took my money and other news

August 30, 2004: So, as we endeavor to end this oh-so-long month of August, I feel obligated to let you know how my week has been since it has been a while since I've updated the actual journal portion. WELL, the good times at work didn't exactly last long. People got bitchy, I got bitchy right back, and that caused problems. Shocker. But things are better now, but geesh, it is tres annoying. So that's work. Well, almost. Today was quite a busy day as Sgt Jenny and I were getting a new area at work connected to the network and boy oh boy did we hit some hurdles, mostly all of my own making. Figures. I would love to blame someone else for the majority of the problems encountered, but not this time. Realizing I had shot myself in the foot by ordering the wrong parts, I kinda stressed out. Luckily Sgt Jenny kept a cool head. But that's what we're there for, as when she gets stressed, I hope that I provide that kind of stability. But anyways, things worked out, and nobody at the Comm Squadron had to meet a grisly demise, although some people over there still deserve something heinous.

This weekend was busy as I had predicted. First, on Thursday evening, Wendy came over and we went to the movies and saw what could be one of the most aimless but oh-so-funny movies this year: Napoleon Dynamite. What a freaking crazy movie. I'll put up a review shortly so that you can decide what to do. It definitely needs to be seen, but if you aren't up for getting a little buzzed before seeing it in a theatre, then I'd recommend waiting to see it at home while drunk. Yes, it's one of those movies. On Friday, I had to work crazy hard on some homework for my database class, and I learned quite a bit while also being quite annoyed that I was doing homework on a Friday night. I did make it out to dinner with Mom and Harv, who were up on one of their gambling trips. My mom had chickened out of playing real live table poker, but she provided a compromise: video poker. So we played video poker and while I initially started out doing okay, in the end, all the money got sucked up. Mom did pretty good, getting a four-of-a-kind and immediately afterwards a straight flush (9-10-J-Q-K - oh so close to that damned Royal!).

Saturday was spent getting ready for that evening and playing computer games. The first event of the night was attending the wedding of my friends DC & Berta. I used to work with DC, if you remember that. I've hung out with both of them plenty of times and they are such great people and it is awesome that they finally got hitched. The wedding was extremely short, which I was completely unprepared for, as I have been getting used to Catholic weddings where they're bound and determined to make you a Catholic through hours-long masses before the actual ceremony. Oy. This one, not so long. In fact, it was a short welcome speech by the minister and then Bam, Berta, do you take DC, and DC, do you take Berta? Excellent. I stayed at the reception for a little bit, but not too long as besides some people from work, I didn't really know anyone, and I wanted to spend some time that night with Jason and Wendy. So, I headed up to the Monte Carlo after the reception and found Wendy completely passed out already as she had been to her friend's wedding and they had quite the open bar. Jason was somewhat sloshed, as were some other friends of theirs. So I had some ground to make up, which I never did, but I did try. We ended up taking a cab to the Hard Rock Casino, which is the place where you had better be young and beautiful if you want to meet people. So I of course was surrounded by a throng of people.....ah, I almost had you, didn't I? Sike! But it's still an awesome place to people watch, as seriously, these are the beautiful people. Or at least most of them. Well, most of the gang was playing my favorite game, Blackjack, so I decided to partake as well. Bad idea. The shoes at the Hard Rock are like 10 or 12 decks, which provides mucho opportunity for you to get el crappo cards, which I did. And no sooner did I realize that when I lost $200. Ouch. The double shot of Jagermeister that Jason got a few of us helped ease that pain, but certainly made me yearn for something a tad less strong. A double shot of Jagermeister is seriously nasty. Not as bad as Goldschlager, but dayum. It was fun to hang out with drunk Jason (what other kind is there? ;-) Just kidding), and eventually that morning at 3:30 I saw Wendy, but by that time, I needed to go home and get a little sleep because I promised to meet up with the folks at 10am for breakfast. And amazingly, I made it. 10 minutes late, of course, but I am always late when I drive to the strip. They had gone to see We Will Rock You at the Paris, which is the new show that does for Queen songs what Mamma Mia did for ABBA songs. They said it was amazing, and with the list of songs that is in the show, I'm definitely curious and interested in seeing it for myself. I gambled away the remnants of my money from the night before, and while I type this now, I realize that it was just foolish of me to play with such huge decks. That's just begging for you to lose your money. So in a few weeks......maybe I'll be back. But I won't have too much time for gambling in the upcoming month and a half, as I'm going to.......SQUADRON OFFICER SCHOOL! Yep, I was selected as an Alternate and made it this round, so I get to partake in the wonderful world of Montgomery, Alabama official Air Force instruction. I CAN'T WAIT. Can't you tell? It figures I'd leave when I have some projects at work I've been working on for nearly a year that are poised to finish during that time. Ah well. Flickerball calls, and I must answer. I don't know what Flickerball is, so don't ask me.

In my VERY near future, I'm heading off to San Antonio for some much needed rest and relaxation with great friends. I leave Wednesday and come back Sunday. I just found out that I have Monday off too, which I had forgotten was Labor Day. So that will be nice to have as a recuperation period and a time for me to play video games!!!!!!!! Don't worry, I'll have a send-off message tomorrow before leaving for San Antonio. I hope to get some great pictures during my vacation, which I'll post when I get back.
171 - What's New? It's kinda hard to lose weight when you have company in town. So I didn't lose any. But I'm still drinking a crapload of water, which is a LOT.

Good times at work?

August 24, 2004: This week hasn't completely sucked. At least for me. Sgt Jenny had to deal with the shim at the DRMO facility, and this shim is a freakin' idiot. But you need to hear Sgt Jenny tell that story. Seriously.

Anyways, I'm stoked that I'm going on vacation next week. I definitely need it and can't wait to get out of the Vegas area. But I would like to win some more money before going. That's where this weekend comes into play. This is going to be such a busy weekend, and I found out that Jason is making it up as well. It was originally just me and Wendy, but now it had to be ruined with her husband coming up too. Whatever. (Just kidding!)
169 - What's New? I finally put up my next DVD review. Only 344 to go. Ha ha ha!

A sick peek at the underbelly of Vegas

August 22, 2004: So it's Sunday morning and what an eventful weekend it's been already. I had trouble sleeping last night because I was mostly disturbed by what I witnessed on the night before. Now don't go crazy and think I saw a murder or something, it was much more along the lines of "I can't believe how low human nature can become." But let's start on Friday night, because even then there were hints of things to come.

So on Friday evening, I went to the Cannery to play poker with Marian. It was a good night for me again, as I immediately won my first hand with a flush, and it was a decent size pot. From there I was able to increase my winnings okay, and ended up walking away with $60 more than I started with. Not too shabby. But during the game, there was a guy who Marian and I were sitting next to that was someone we had recognized from before. He was somewhat sober at that point, but every time the cocktail waitress came around, he would get a drink that was even stronger than the one before it, and let me tell you, these drinks in conjunction like he was drinking would have made me hurl , so the man must have a cast-iron digestive system. But anyways, he became quite belligerent and rude, swearing up a storm and verbally attacking other players. It was just sad, and annoying. A funny story from that night of poker playing: So I had two cards that I thought were two clubs, and after the river card had turned, it ended up I had a flush. Or so I thought. But because I thought that, I raised at the end, fortunately only once, because while turning my cards over to show the table my flush, it turned out I had jack shit. A diamond and a spade. I was the most surprised of all, let me tell you. The dealer was gaping at me, the players were confused, I was shocked.....it was unreal. This diet has made me stupid apparently. I think I require more food in order to be smart. As it is, I think it's time to let my hair color go naturally blonde. I could not believe that I did that. Unreal. Another hand that night, I won the hand but I thought I was only going to split it, because I only saw that I had a straight, which is what the other guy had too, but it turned out my two hearts got me a flush. And I didn't even notice. I think it's critical that I not play this game too late in the evening, as this mostly all occurred after midnight. Geez.

So Saturday arrives, and I took care of some little stuff like buying me presents. I LOVE Saturdays. I went to Target and picked up stuff, including the computer game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Let me tell you, that game is freaking addictive. It's awesome and the graphics rock. I need to finish it before mid-September rolls around though. Too many other good games are coming out, like the Sims 2 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. That is going to kick ass. Well, after a marathon game session, I figure I'll get out and go watch the late showing of Collateral at Boulder Station and then gamble afterwards (apparently I didn't learn that I shouldn't gamble that late at night). So I see the movie, which you can read the review of here, and by this time it's 12:20am. I think this is when the bell rings for all the freaks to come out. So I go and find a blackjack table that isn't too crowded. I do amazingly well at the table, make fun smalltalk with the other players, and all around, it's a good time. But come 1:30am, things take a turn. The fun dealer leaves, the other fun players had all left by then, and up comes Mr. Crazy. Let me tell you about Mr. Crazy. Mr. Crazy is probably in his mid 60s, a big guy but not fat, and has one of those heavy smoker's voices. Trailing behind him is Mr. Crazy's 'boy toy', although that's being real nice. This boy toy is probably in his 50s, but if he isn't, he sure looked like it. Anyways, Mr. Crazy is a high roller as he drops $500 on the table and keeps talking about how he just lost $4K at the other table. Alright, already, you have money. Shut up. But whatever, rich people are crazy like that and love to talk about the money they have to those of us who rarely bet higher than $30 on blackjack. No big whoop. The boy toy sits behind Mr. Crazy and for the most part remains quiet. Until the point when he apparently should have stayed quiet. Mr. Crazy gets a 4 - 2 as his hand, and boy toy mumbles some advice to him. Mr. Crazy looks at him, yells "Who the FUCK do you think you are, telling me what to do?" No sooner had he finished that thought, Mr. Crazy reaches back and backhands the boy toy across the face and head. Like I said, Mr. Crazy was not a frail 60-year-old, so this backhand was seriously out-of-control, and NOT a friendly pat on the head. The pit boss who had been watching Mr. Crazy bet hundreds of dollars at a time on the $5 blackjack table immediately tells Mr. Crazy that he is done at this table and casino, and that Mr. Crazy needs to leave. He summons security. Meanwhile, Mr. Crazy and boy toy are saying everything's alright, he was just tapping him on the head. No big deal. Boy toy is saying it's just his poppy, his daddy, his grandpoppy, his buddy (seriously, he kept changing the title each time), and my nausea was rising and my revulsion intensifying. This was some seriously fucked up people. You know, it wasn't the gay thing, and it wasn't even the sugar daddy thing. It was the way the boy toy was okay with getting hit. And how ferocious Mr. Crazy turned. I'm in shock this entire time, and I have absolutely nothing to say. I literally couldn't talk. Speechless. I was waiting for them to be escorted out, when another pit boss comes over to see what has happened. He notices the humongous stack of chips in front of Mr. Crazy, hears the explanation, and says it's okay. Mr. Crazy can stay. My jaw drops to the floor. I'm still speechless. Security comes and goes, and Mr. Crazy is told that he can not do that anymore. Mr. Crazy says, of course, of course, it was just a tap on the head, that's all, that's all. The pit bosses leave the table, security does too. When they're all gone, Mr. Crazy growls menacingly into boy toy's ear, loud enough for anyone to hear, that if boy toy ever talks like that again, who the fuck does he think is, he will knock him flat out on the floor, and don't you fucking talk like that again. That was enough for me. My revulsion factor was at max. I don't say anything again because this guy genuinely freaks me out and I'm literally scared of what he's capable of. Perhaps I'm a wuss, but I also know I don't fuck with crazy people. I cash out and the rest of the walk from the table to the cage to my car, everything is just surreal. I felt like in a movie where you see the character walking and the camera is swaying back and forth and up and down to exaggerate the surrealism of the surroundings. I began to notice just how creepy and nasty some of the people were around me, and I didn't like. No likey. It was just unreal. I got home and tried to sleep, but couldn't. I couldn't get that growling out of my head, and the fact that with money, you can do anything. The problem was about to be solved by the first pit boss, but Mr. Crazy had money, and no matter how unsafe he is to the people around him, the bottom line is all that matters. So we'll just wait till Mr. Crazy hits the dealer or another player, then maybe we'll do something. That's not what they said, but that's exactly how it is, and it's nauseating to suddenly realize that and see it first hand.

So that's my story for the day. I finally win a pretty good amount at gambling and get that rush completely erased by sheer twistedness. So now it's Sunday afternoon, I got a bit of sleep, and I think I'll stay in today. Or at least, I'll just make sure to wrap up my gambling excursions before the craziness sets in. Because folks, it was cranked up to full volume yesterday.
What's New? I did have a good first half of the evening, as I saw Collateral and won $120 at blackjack before leaving. Here's the movie review.

This week may just end on a good note!

August 19, 2004: So Monday blew, and Tuesday was even worse with a stupid beyotch trying to play email war on me in front of the entire squadron. That was fun. Not. But yesterday and today for the most part have been good and things have been turning around. Booyah. The project that I've been working on that has had everything gone wrong actually has gone right. Amazing. And tomorrow is Friday. How cool is that?

As for the diet, it's been working and I haven't been going crazy wanting to eat. I've made some small losses on the pound count, but working out also counteracts pure weight loss, so I don't know what to think. I'm curious to see where I'm at after the 6 weeks are over.

Other than that, this weekend will be slow, but next weekend is another story completely. Not only are my folks going to be in town, but so is my friend Wendy, and then also my friends DC and Berta are getting married. So that's a busy time. But this weekend, just more studying and time to get my car washed. Seriously.

I was right, but who cares

August 16, 2004: I honestly didn't want to be right about the week sucking, but damn if I wasn't right on. And it actually started pretty decently, with me eating right and making a sandwich for lunch! Then I got the phone call, and it began to get shitty. But I had to put things in perspective and realize it isn't my fault for this shit, it's just that everything that could go wrong with this project HAS gone wrong. This is all just one wonderful experience, this is all just one wonderful experience, this is all just one wonderful experience. And so it shall be.

Anyways, Las Vegas is having thunderstorms, but only on the central and west side, which means just bits o' rain on the Nellis/East side. Leaving my car even more filthy. And those communist car washes don't open at all during times like this because they all have that 'rain check' in which they'll rewash your car for free if it rains within 48 hours of your wash. Hence not a car wash in town is open lately. BASTARDS!!!! So my poor car is almost gray now. Ech. So that's that. Tomorrow's another day, and I bet it's going to be Wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
174 - What's New? Nothing really. I just had to show the picture I took today. It makes me laugh. Performance art is funny.

Another week, Another migraine

August 15, 2004: I'm so optimistic, aren't I? Okay, I'll be more positive. But it'll be hard to be positive, especially since I'm putting myself on a diet. I expect to be a little cranky. I went and spent an hour at the grocery store just now because I spent most of my time looking for stuff I'd never looked for: healthy food. It definitely likes to hide and I was wondering if I was ever going to get out of there. Fortunately I'd eaten first before going, or else I wouldn't have had the patience for grocery shopping. Especially the time it took me today. But we'll see how it goes. I'm going to go for six weeks, as recommended by the fitness plan, to see what my results will be. To motivate me, or to humiliate me, I'm going to put a number somewhere on this site (I haven't totally decided yet), but that will be my current weight. Here's hoping it decreases over the next month and a half.

Well, tomorrow's another day. I may not like the job, but the money pays the bills, and it's sometimes easy to forget that. I forget who said that....actually, I remember now. Of all people, it was Ski. But he had a point. It's easy to whine and complain, but if the money is paying the bills and you're not on the street, then that's something. It may not be everything, but I'd rather have the money than be homeless. And this job has given me loads of experience in computers, human nature, handling bullshit, and patience. So I've got that going for me.

Anyways, that's what is the latest. In addition to the diet, I've been 'superhydrating', which means drinking a bajillion gallons of water. I've been peeing nonstop lately. It sucks.
What's New? I reviewed a couple new movies, The Manchurian Candidate and the Bourne Supremacy. Enjoy.

Friday the 13th - Feeling Lucky?

August 13, 2004: Knock on wood, I had an uneventful Friday the 13th. Sweet. I went back to work today after taking yesterday off to await delivery of my newest toy, the Bowflex. It is so freaking cool. It really can do almost any exercise I would ever want to do, which suits me just fine. Quite a bit of money, but I don't mind the investment.

Las Vegas has entered its monsoon season so that we don't feel left out from all the Hurricane Hoopla happening out East. I swear, if Florida isn't in the news for a while, they just go and make something up so they're the focus of the country again. The hanging chad, now this. Please, people, it's just sad.

So right now, I'm procrastinating in doing my homework, but once I do, I am free to go play at the casino. And I REALLY really want to do that. So I need to get my act together and just get the work done. So I'll talk later.
What's New? Nothing. Leave me alone.

Kill Bill 2 out today and I couldn't be happier

August 10, 2004: Because I'm not thinking about work. Instead, I'm just happy about finally having both volumes of Kill Bill on DVD. And Vol 2 is just as fine as I remember it.....especially on my bigscreen TV. Highly recommended to any of you to pick up both volumes and get yourself educated on Kill Bill. You'll thank me later.

So I woke up this morning with a bloody nose. I felt like telling everyone about this, so that includes you too. It was surprising, as I really thought it was just my morning runny and congested nose. Not this time, my friends, not this time. In fact, I immediately tasted that coppery smell and was like, ah damn. As I discovered when I finally got up that morning, my hand was sort of covered in dried blood. I guess that's what living in this hell hole known as Vegas can do to you. So today it got to about 112 officially, but Nellis is always hotter, so I'm sure it was closer to 115 or higher. Do you know how hot that is? Really....do you fathom that temperature? Don't give me the whole humidity or dry heat thing either. At this point, when your shoes are melting and even the wind is hot, at this point is when I lived in Iceland. Ah, to live in an igloo and think about the unending view of ground covered in snow.

My new boss is in town. He showed up at work and so far, he seems cool. But I think he realizes, already, that this is not a happy home he has entered. It'll be interesting to see if he can guide us in a different direction or if he will just let it crash and burn. There's quite a bit of personnel change in the near future, and we'll have to see how that affect things too.

And that's that. I got my Best Buy fix today by picking up Kill Bill, Vol 2, so I won't be going there again this weekend. I'm sure you're relieved.
What's New? The DVD section has been updated with my latest purchase.

Couldn't think of a catchy phrase this fine morning

August 8, 2004: It's probably because I'm somewhat hungover. C'est la vie. Last night I went to Carras' going away at Buca di Beppo over in Summerlin (you have to say Summerlin in a very snobby voice, otherwise you're not saying it right) and I partook in the red wine, during the dinner, and then Jack and Coke, at the casino afterwards. Oy. And now I'm not pukey Hobie, but I'm definitely tired and eh Hobie. So now that you know where I'm coming from, I'll recap the week's events:

El Crap-o. You're caught up now! But the party was fun last night, even if I was/am hungover now. Who cares. So have you been noticing my new pic of the day (literally) section? It's been fun to find things to take pictures of. At first it's weird to take my camera everywhere, but it's a small camera, so it's easy to bring along.

I bought some DVDs yesterday, including a few blind buys, one of them being 13 Going on 30. Have I said how cute Jennifer Garner is? The movie is very cute and is completely chick-ified but honestly, it's a great watch. One of the highlights is when Jennifer Garner gets everyone out on the dance floor doing the dance from Thriller. Yes, unrealistic, but it's so fun to watch.

Well, I'm done typing. I think I need to lie down.
What's New? Some more DVDs, some more pics of the day.

August is not shaping up all that well...

August 3, 2004: But what else is new, right? Par for the course. So I shake it off and go drink a shot of Single Barrel Jack and feel the noise. Let's not talk about work then, shall we? I think I want to talk about......

....the fact that I actually did pretty good at Hold'Em last Friday night. I went with Marian again and while she didn't do well at all (I know that feeling), this time I couldn't get bad cards. Literally. I won quite a few hands in a row, and I earned quite a bit of glaring from the other end of the table. Even from Marian. Heh heh. But the hand of the night, which wasn't all that great, but got me my greatest ire from an opponent, was when I was dealt an 8 and 3 of Clubs. Suited, obviously. I stayed in because it was 2 cards towards a flush, and it might even make a straight if the flop was good. So I think anybody would have stayed in, especially since there was no crazy raising before the flop. So the flop comes: 8 - 2 - 2, and I don't remember the suit, but it wasn't a flush. 2 pairs for me! Yay! Of course, anyone else with an 8 will have the same thing. Boo. The turn card: a 3! Now I have two pairs, but I beat anybody with just an 8 now. Heh heh. So I'm still in for sure. Then the river: an 8! So now it's a full house for anybody with an 8 or a 2 in their hands.....and anyone who also has a 3 in their hand. So guess what - it comes down to me and a guy who has an 8. He flips his, thinking we're definitely going to split the pot, and I flip my 8-3, giving me 8s over 3s, which beats his 8s over 2s. He's pissed because according to him, why did I stay on an 8-3? Too bad for you dude. I win it all, with my suited cards!!! By the end of the night, I was up to $220 from my $100 buy-in. Not too shabby. I just need to win a few more of those hands and I'm even!

I have a new mission in everyday fun: I was reading from my 100 digital photography hacks book, and it had a great idea - take a picture every day, whether it be of something innocuous or something interesting, but take that picture. It will eventually form a digital diary, and since I've already got that going for me, now I can actually have some different pictures up that will lend a narrative thread to things. And I don't need to wait for some social event to take pictures at, because those rarely happen anyways. For some reason, I got all excited about doing this stupid project. The only thing is I want to bring my camera with me to base, but I'll have to leave it in the 'safe' area as it can't be in with me, nor will I leave it in the oven, aka my black Jetta.

I talked to Byron last night while I was cooking my Italian Sausage stuffing. It's always good to hear from him and hear how he's doing. I love when he gets spun up on things - it will be interesting to see if he kills the new guy coming into ENE. heh heh heh. I hope that I will make it out to San Antonio this September. I won't be driving like I thought, because that's just too far to drive by myself and then have to do it again a few days later. My Grand Canyon trip will just have to be another random weekend. I also just talked to Ilyne about her wedding plans in Monterey during the Columbus Day weekend in October. That will be some fun stuff. I can't wait to go to Monterey, as I've never really visited the place. So there's some stuff to look forward to.

Well, that's really it for now, I think. I got a cool new chair at work, which is nice. It's really nice when you've just had a shot of booze and you recline in it. Ahhh....... That's maybe the one thing that's kinda cool about an operational squadron - having a shot every now and then isn't looked at too badly, especially on Fridays. Hell, it's almost encouraged.

So who has seen the original Manchurian Candidate? I hadn't seen it, but I bought it blind because of all the praise heaped upon it by critics. And boy oh boy, this movie is a freakin' mind trip. I am curious to see the new one, but the original is amazing and must have been quite a thing to see when it first came out. What is especially satisfying is to see Angela Lansbury (you know, Murder She Wrote, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Teapot in Beauty in the Beast) be a raving psychotic power-mad beyotch. Who knew she had it in her?
What's New? Here are some movie reviews for you: The Village, Anchorman. Also, add Showgirls to the DVD list. Oh, and if you ever wondered what moods I'm capable of, here's a clue. Finally put up the Beetlejuice DVD review.

Shoot me an email if you want to. I may respond. (okay, you know I will - what else have I got to do?)