Las Vegas 2008: A Recap In Two Parts
The Mental Health Benefits Of Travelling Armed
I Went To Kirksville, MO, And All I Got Was Three Family Photos And An Awkward Phone Call
and the triumphant return of
Vegas report coming shortly. Delayed because I went to a college graduation this weekend. Useful tip for those: You can make lots of people — not all — laugh a lot by quoting Bart and Moe over, and in similar tones to, the guy calling names:
Also the speaker, a relative of Harry Truman, gave the same speech he no doubt gives Truman-loving audiences everywhere, but finished with “Congratulations graduates!”. It was just like Bill Maher’s part in the roast episode of Larry Sanders except with one or two fewer references to fucking anyone in the ass.
I have spoken before about my affection for Dan Le Batard’s bizarre sports talk radio show, but he has wounded me this time. They have been playing, for the last few months, an audio clip, from a movie I didn’t see, that goes like this:
“I…drink…your…MILKSHAKE! I DRINK IT UP!”
(If you don’t know it either, the tone is roughly “I killed your brother! I made sure it hurt!”)
I don’t know what it means or why. They don’t use it to the same fabulous comedic effect they used the “Lee-ROOOOOOOOOOOOOY JENKINS!” audio clip a couple of years ago, they just throw it in here and there, to be weird.
I love non sequitur comedy. I love pointless behavior. But: Someone who lives in my house has picked up the phrase.
“I…pat…the…KITTY! I PAT HIM UP!” (giggles)
“I…ate…some…CHICKEN! I ATE IT UP.” (giggles)
“I…took…a…SHOWER! I CLEANED ALL UP!” (giggles)
“I…charged…my…iPOD! I CHARGED IT UP!” (giggles)
“I…packed…my…SUITCASE! I PACKED IT UP!” (giggles)
So, needless to say, I am now looking 30% less forward to going to Las Vegas.
Some time ago, I got an account on something called Facebook, which my younger younger brother assured me was perhaps the coolest thing in the history of cool and would never go away no matter what. (I believe it took that title from Friendster, which was the fourth largest standing army on Earth for ninety minutes, and also a huge nookie farm.) I mostly did it to be polite to him, played with it for fifteen minutes, had the same amount of fun and acquired the same facial expression as my father when he tries to play Halo 2, and forgot about Facebook.
Until about three weeks ago.
That is roughly when Facebook hit critical mass. I know this because suddenly I am awash in friends on an account I had forgotten I had on a website I had forgotten existed. I’m not ungrateful, understand — turns out I have seventeen friends, a higher number than I might have guessed if you asked me — but it’s a very odd feeling, having people that I did not anticipate would be either a) on Facebook or b) looking for me befriend me. I don’t know how to search for people on Facebook, so it’s a fairly random sampling, plus I don’t know about Facebook protocols, plus, as with all things Internet, there is a mild level of desire to disguise use of the thing. I feel like a resident of a small town in Nebraska who finally screws up the courage to drive an hour to the county gay bar and slink in and upon doing so is welcomed warmly by his neighbor, his barber, the mayor, two fellow Little League coaches and his closest friend from fourth grade: Fancy running into you here! I’m delighted to see you! Uh…now what do we do?
Ladies and gentlemen…Luna.
Good day, loyal B-and-T readers.
If you have had a bad day recently, prepare to feel a lot better.
Yesterday, I cleared my work schedule and trooped downtown for an 11am dentist appt. Three hours later I had two new crowns, a bagful of 800mg Motrins, a bank account that was $1200 lighter and an inability to move the right side of my face. Plus another appointment in a month to finish the process and pay another $2300.
Now, you might think to yourself “That there is a crappy day.”
You are WRONG.
So, B&T picked me up downtown and took me home. I rested for a few hours, and eventually, around 6:30pm, we went out for our regular three-times-a-week-run.
We’ve just moved up from running 2 miles to running 2.5 miles, and I’m pretty proud of this accomplishment. All was well with me and my 800mg of Motrin as we turned the corner which marked the last half mile.
Then I got an eye twitch. Thinking this was a possible afteraffect of my dental work (it was on the same side of my face), I said “I think I need to stop, I have an eye twitch. That’s kinda weird.”
Then, it became apparent that my right eye didn’t really feel like being open anymore. B&T commented that I looked a bit like I was doing an impression of the great Bill the Cat. This did not please me, and then–oh good–my left eye started to shut, too.
At this point, I was becoming seriously alarmed and then my throat started to hurt. Now, I’m familiar enough with serious allergic reactions to know that this was moving into the realm of VERY BAD. So, I turned to him, and for the first time in our fifteen or so years together said those magic words every guy longs to hear: “Honey, I think you need to take me to the hospital right now.”
We had, I was later told, a very exciting ride to the hospital that included some major league speeding and a left turn at a red light.
Upon arrival at the emergency room, I was full-on blind. I told the woman at the front desk of the emergency room my name, that I’m allergic to penicillin and that I thought I was handling this situation extremely well. I don’t know if she nodded agreement or what, but I was suddenly surrounded by people (I guessed–I couldn’t, you know SEE them) declaring that they were going to pump me full of Benedryl and prendisone and that I had correctly assessed the situation and was indeed having a massive allergic reaction to. . .something.
After about half an hour, I could partly open my left eye. The ER resident, Dr. Rosenrosen (I am only HALF kidding), said that I was improving, but it was highly likely that we were not going to figure out to what I was allergic as I had no apparent bee sting marks or bug bites.
After four and a half hours and a lesson in how to stab an Epi-Pen into my thigh should this ever happen again, I got sent home with prescriptions for more antihistamines and steroids and a discharge form that says “Allergic reaction, cause unknown.”
This morning, I looked like I had gone a full 12 rounds with Apollo Creed, who had managed to leave me disgustingly swollen, but not bruised, which is a very weird look.
It is currently 2:30pm, and I now just look like I had a bad eye lift. A REALLY BAD eye lift.
I share this story with you, so that you can think of it the next time you are having a bad day.
In the past six weeks, I have experienced the exact same strange feeling about two completely unrelated books. While reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s “The Black Swan”, and then again (many books later) while reading “TRU”, the cookbook mostly by Rick Tramonto, I had the same two thoughts in my head, often simultaneously:
1. “This book is brilliant and useful.”
2. “This guy is a tedious preening douchebag.”
I wanted to put the smug blowhards’ books down. But I could not. Anybody else ever read anything that made them feel that way?
(Besides this blog.)
Before we opened a family business and stopped having extra money and free time, Luna and I used to go to Vegas twice a year. Once with the whole-ass mob, and once in December, just us. A couple of times, our just-us trip coincided with the last two days of the National Finals Rodeo. Which also coincided with the annual clearance sale at the Western Wear shop across from the Las Vegas Hilton. Now, two of Luna’s favorite things in the world are clearance sales and cowboy boots, so we spent an hour or two there on Sunday afternoon. And I went outside for a cigarette, and wound up hanging out on the storefront with a slim black guy in full out rodeo garb, also smoking.
Maybe 100,000 people go to Vegas for the NFR, I heard, so a normal-sized guy in a dark brown shirt with pearl buttons and a handsome matched Stetson wasn’t even anything you’d’ve noticed that week. We’re standing out front, smoking and talking about Vegas and football and whatever, in the aimless way you do when you’re sharing the cameraderie of being a tobacco pariah while your wife shops. And we’re having a nice time, when a guy who looks a little bit like Wilford Brimley did when he was maybe fifty walks by us, does a Daffy Duck double-take, shouts “OH MY GOD!” and starts all but salaaming in front of my new buddy. Got an autograph, got his picture taken, shook hands four times in joyous disbelief, and ran off to his car, giddy. I asked my new buddy if it happened a lot. He allowed that it did sometimes. Then we continued talking about nothing.
I looked up the NFR website when I got home. Don’t remember his name, but it turns out I was passing the time smoking and bullshitting with the rodeo equivalent of Phil Mickelson or Derek Jeter or Russell Crowe or somebody like that — not the top guy in his game, but certainly top five.
I love Vegas.
I am not a person given to fussiness, nor am I given to berating tradespeople. With nearly all falsely-advertised items, let alone food, the maddest I get is maybe an eye roll. But something about trying to find one ripe avocado from a crate of avocados, all of them plastered with “RIPE” stickers and all of them unyielding as golf balls, leaves me possessed with the desire to start lobbing the things at the service desk and shouting “THERE OUGHTA BE A LAW!”
One more day. Two things:
First: I have realized that the story below appeared here on April 1. The article is a couple of months old. Not a joke.
Second: The principessa just turned three. We bought her a toy car. Trouble is, she can’t read, and the instructions are cooler than the car.
I would, literally, have had an easier time putting the thing together if the instructions had been in regular untranslated Mandarin.