Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Take a Walk In My Booze Splashed Shoes

I am a gambler. I've said it before, but if ever a vice lands me under an overpass with only cardboard and magic marker as my writing tools it will be that that adrenaline rush of excitement I get anytime I risk a part of myself. I am not alone in my addiction. The shiny lights of the Vegas strip are powered by the millions of dollars spent gambling here. Some know when to say enough and push away from the table or slot, some do not. don't worry I am still on the right side of that equation.

I like rum. Free rum is even better. Except like in life, nothing is ever really free in Vegas. You generally have to be partaking in vice number one from above to be afforded much in the way of "free" rum.

I like Vegas. Duh given what Ive already told y'all. But guess what? I haven't mentioned the thing about the city I like best. In truth I could play poker, and do often enough right in Amarilllo, even while at my trusty keyboard. I could and have bet on sports away from Nevada. (okay not legally, but the opportunity still abounds) I can afford to buy my own rum so what is about Vegas that suckers me in? Glad you asked.

It's the mob. No, I'm not talking about Italian guys in expensive suits. I talking mob in the purest sense. The many varied, crazy, whacked out, friendly, naive, hustling, awestruck, jaded, friendly, angry, people that live work, visit and meander through Vegas.

The people from all over the world that congregate and blend together to outshine every marquee on the strip. As a writer, they are brain food for me.

A recap of my day here at the American Postal Worker National Conference and out and about in Vegas.

9 AM -- Noon- I listened to speeches from 4 different Union presidents, 2 US congressmen, and half a dozen other high ranking labor officials. Sure they all said much of the same thing, (the American worker is under attack and only Obama can protect us) but listening to these vivacious speakers and seeing the reaction they illicit from a people who span the country is a eye-opening regardless of your political beliefs. Barack Obama is schedule to directly address the assembly himself via video on Wednesday.

Noon- 230 PM- Took part in the state caucus for delegates from Texas to decide which way the state body leaned on certain issues regarding our national labor contract. Debate is another one of my favorite things and it is always interesting to see what spars emotion in others.

4ish- Took a taxi ride with what I can only describe as a Greek philosopher. For nearly twenty minutes the man spoke in his heavy Greek accent about his theory on life , gambling, drugs, sex, doctors, lawyers, and people who drive fancy cars. I say theory because he only had one that applies to all things in this world. His theory -- We are shaped by our very first experience of something.

A gambler who wins his first bet will always be a gambler regardless if he never wins again and winds up living in under the above mentioned overpass. Drugs or booze he said you basically became an addict if you enjoyed your first drunk or high. He said everyone likes sex because you can't really have bad sex unless you are forced and in his words those people will always be screwed up and never really find out what they are missing. According to Jimmy the Greek doctors and lawyers are all educated assholes whose joy in seeing human suffering stems from being left in their cribs alone as infants. His words not mine, so don't sue me. And guys with fancy cars are those who got told no by the girls they asked out in high school. Girls int eh same cars are just whores as best I could figure but by the time he got to that point he seemed quite agitated and the accent harder to understand. Interesting and somewhat expensive ride, but you can bet some of his diatribe will wind up in my fiction down the line.

8 PM until Midnight - I played in a poker tournament. I finished fifth, but could have done better had I not screwed up a few hands there at the end. But along the way I sat by a very good player from France who finished third, an obnoxious blowhard from Miami who cursed my good name upon his exit, a lovely lady from Canton, Ohio though I must confess she seemed to have trouble keeping her girls under wraps. maybe she was trying to distract my play I don't know. I outlasted her so I guess it didn't work. there were others as well from Atlanta, Baton Rouge, England, and of course the homer from Vegas who boldly calls himself a professional and tosses poker lingo around like a fat man does crab shells at he many all you can eat buffets. These guys never seem to be as good as they think but they are part of the scene that makes Vegas my kind of town ... to visit that is. Living here would not be good for my mind, body, or soul.

And how was your Monday?

26 comments:

Joshua said...

wow, I think your Monday whopped the crap out of my Monday. I slept, and am still at work.

Good times. Poker is fun but man do I love Blackjack.....good time :)

Hilary said...

I've never been to Vegas and though it's never been near the top of my must-see list, I wouldn't turn down a free trip. Fun post. I could almost smell the smoke-filled room, hear clinking of glasses and see the eyes hiding behind their poker faces.

DrillerAA said...

I love the shows, especially Cirque Du Soleil. I also love the fantasy architecture in that town. I do like visiting but would never live there. The best exhaust systems in the world can't eliminate the smoke.

spyscribbler said...

That is so cool! I am so NOT a gambler. However, I love poker. This means I can only play in tournaments, because once I spend the entry fee, I don't feel like it's real money.

But boy, I love playing it.

Btw, DH and I met online, and for the first year of our relationship, we always met in Vegas.

Katrina said...

I wonder why postal workers gather in Vegas for meetings. ?? Evidently its because all you "high paid" postal people have more money to gamble than the rest of us.

Beth said...

I've never been to Vegas...but my 13 yr. old son would love to go! ;)

March to the Sea said...

i might as well be in the convent (and I am a guy) comparing your monday to mine! hahaha

Charles Gramlich said...

I had a good monday myself. some early work, then sushi and beer, then chess with a friend and more beer, then hanging out on a deck in the rain, then talk of writing with good friends, then seeing Lana in the evening and snuggling off to bed. Pretty damn good, I'd say.

Glad you had a good one too.

SUV Mama said...

LOL- yes, your Monday also whopped the crap out of my Monday.

Isn't it capital "H" Himself that is addressing the assembly on Wednesday?

Vegas rocks. I'm not sure that it rocks in August, but I'm glad the A/C and rum are keeping you cool.

angel, jr. said...

There is something both magical and haunting about Vegas. It's a place that I don't ever mind visiting.

Clare2e said...

I LOVE Vegas, and my favorite things are not even the ones you named. Just shows the multi-faceted perfection of the oasis.

Janna Qualman said...

So glad you've found a place you like to visit to much! We all need a place like that.

Hubs and I went to Vegas for our 5th wedding anniversary, and I'd definitely like to go again someday.

Packsaddle said...

Meanwhile, my mail hasn't been delivered in three days....

But, that's okay because it's always just bills anyway.

Lana Gramlich said...

Wow...weren't WE the busy beaver!
My Monday was significantly more...mundane. It only just dawned on me how close those words sound...Monday/mundane. Surely there's a connection. It would explain WAYYY too much!
Anyway, I read some blogs, finished a painting for a friend, prepared another painting for a show this weekend & picked up 2 more from a contest I didn't win a few towns over. I also had lunch at Wendy's, got my 2009 Farmer's Almanac in the mail (& with it, prepared the skeleton of my 2009 personal journal.) I also fed birds & raccoons (which I prefer to any "mob," but then again, I'm no writer. ;)

yellowdog granny said...

it rained...so it was terific here...
one of the best times i ever had was in las vegas..one of the stick guys asked me where i was from and i said west, texas ..he said where in west texas and i said.....west, texas...
he said yeah, but where in west texas..and i finally got pissed and said..
west, by god, texas..and he thought that was sooo funny and when he got relieved from the table he hauled me around the casino to all his friends saying'ask her where she's from..no really just ask her.'...that was fun..i won $100, which was good, since i started out with a $5 bet..

Lana Gramlich said...

Correction; Things were mundane EXCEPT for Charles, of course! He makes everything rock. :)

Melissa Marsh said...

I got married in Vegas. We took two cab rides - one to the marriage license office and one back to the hotel. Otherwise, we walked (couldn't afford any more rides!). I must say that Vegas looks awesome in the dark, but in the harsh light of day, it looks desolate. I hated that.

I love all the fodder you're gathering for your novels, though. Some of this stuff you really can't make up.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Wow, Travis, your Monday rocked! I can't even remember what I did yesterday, except spend a lot of time online.

Vegas is not my kind of place since I'm so not a gambler. Too cheap, plus I'm the world's worst card player and putting money in slot machines is sooo boring. Glad you're having fun.

The DH and I went to Vegas in Feb. so I could speak to a group and we stayed at the La Qinta Inn. My brother, who lives there, couldn't understand why we didn't want to stay at a casino. Duh, we don't gamble but we sure like that free high speed internet. Last time we stayed at a casino hotel, it was an extra $10 a day to get hooked up. Sheesh. Don't they make enough off the gambling, lol?

Linda

deborah said...

Wow, so the company is endorsing one candidate...and expecting you all to do the same? Is that a job security thing?

preTzel said...

See, if I were in Vegas I'd never gamble because I'm such a people watcher. LOLOL!

Stacy said...

You definitely need to write about your Greek philosopher.

Robyn said...

Come and read all about PART II of mystery trip! And there will be a PART III as well (our eating pleasure)! LOL! Thanks for stopping by! It was lovely to see you there!
Hugs,
Robyn

Reb said...

I used to deal Blackjack up here. I usually won for the house. If I sit on the other side of the table though....not good!

Aaron said...

So that's why my Netflix deliveries have been delayed!!

Bina said...

Good Lord! Greek guy is just a LITTLE bitter, doesn't he? I wonder who stole HIS dream.

Bubblewench said...

Wow! What a Monday! But I have to agree with the Greek somewhat.. and yeah, a week in vegas is too long.