Thursday, March 29, 2007

Vegas Trip Report, part 1

So four months ago (before our last Vegas trip) Scott decides that his impending wedding is cause for a Vegas bachelor weekend. What did we do for my bachelor party you ask? Scott, Alex, Matt, and Baldo rented a hotel suite downtown and we played poker and ate pizza and drank MD 20/20. No naked ladies were present. Of course, I said I didn’t want naked ladies, but…you know. At least the pizza was from Giordano’s.

Actually I was the only one drinking the MD 20/20. Scott brought it as a joke and I took it as a personal challenge to finish the bottle:

Anyway, back to Scott’s bachelor party, because unlike mine, that one was worthy of going to Vegas. I was charged with finding the best hotel deal. I must say I did awesome, finding rooms at Bally’s for $136 (pre-tax) a night for the weekend of 3-23 to 3-25. The listed rate on their site was $199. I rule. Of course, the fact that I rule didn’t stop some people from complaining:

Me: “You owe $150 for Vegas.”
Baldo: “Why? Where are we staying? How much is it?”
Me: “We’re staying at Bally’s right in the middle of the strip. It’s $150 a night after the taxes and fees.”
Baldo: “That’s expensive, dude.”
Me: “You do realize you live in Rockford, right? I’m sorry that hotels in Vegas aren’t $27.50 a night like they are in Rockford. ”

This was four months ago.

The official trip was from Friday, March 23 through Sunday March 25. Scott and I decided to leave Thursday night and play poker all night and not get a hotel. Then four other dudes (friend Alex, Scott’s brother Dave, friend Matt, Scott’s friend Nate; Sam, Jon and Ubaldo would get there Friday) decided that was a good idea, too. Dammit, now we would hotel rooms. I saw that Gold Coast was only $55 that night so I booked two rooms. Scott and I had been there before and knew it would be serviceable, especially for the cheapasses that we are.

So last Thursday I brought my bags to work with me. When work ended I took the train to the airport to meet the rest of the group. I left at 6PM for our 9PM flight because the train is all jacked right now and figured it might take two hours to get to the airport. Nope. One hour. Plus our flight was delayed until 10PM. Awesome. Three hours to kill in a crowded airport. I called Alex to tell him to tell the group to not hurry because I’m a nice guy.

Luckily I brought my laptop and some DVDs of “The Wire.” I was halfway through season 2. I parked myself next to an outlet on the wall so I could plug in my computer. The outlet was right near a bank of pay phones. Is it really necessary to still have “banks” of pay phones? I was sitting there for two hours and the airport was crowded and not one damn person used the phone. I think one pay phone for the whole airport would be plenty, if not too much.

I fired up the computer, plugged in my headphones and started up episode 8 of season 2 of “The Wire.” For those who haven’t seen the show, the main character is an alcoholic cop named McNulty. Episode 8 starts with him picking up some waitress from a diner and banging her:

McNulty: “Can I get some eggs?”
Waitress: “You can get anything you want.”

(cut to a full shot of her riding him and moaning loudly)

I quickly pulled the computer close to me so the people sitting near me couldn’t see as well. I was slightly embarrassed. I took off my headphones to see if the audio could be heard. Except when I took them off the volume didn’t change. That’s because I had plugged my headphones into the “mic” socket and the sound was coming out of the speakers. Awesome. I’m glad I could treat my neighbors to some loud moaning.

I watched episode 8 (yes, I plugged the headphones in correctly first) and an hour after that my friends arrived. Scott brought poker chips. I can’t believe he brought poker chips. He decided a gay $1 buy-in, six-person sit n go would be a good idea to teach Nate poker. The flight boarded before we were able to finish. I was the only one eliminated when I sucked out on Scott’s set with a straight and he proceeded to suck out on my straight with quads.

We all boarded the plane. Scott and I had seats next to each other. He pulled out my copy of SSHE to study. That’s right: my copy. He borrowed it from me. I’m glad I could be here to provide free poker books. I’m the only one in the group who has actually spent money on poker books. Scott turns to me:

Him: “I’m liking this book. That part about cold-calling really spoke to me.”
Me: “How?”
Him: “You know, to not cold-call. Like, if I had something like K-10 off and someone raised, you know, I would call that.”
Me: “Why don’t you just stab me through the heart? Have I taught you nothing? Also going forward please sit your cold-calling ass to my left.”

K-10 off. Lol.

We were also seated in front of the D-Bag Express. The conversation we were treated to went something like this:

D-bag #1: “blah blah blah…I’m awesome…blah blah blah…condo in Vegas….blah blah…my watch cost $397.50…blah blah…golf…blah”
D-bag #2: “blah blah blah…I am also awesome…blah blah…I decided to go with the Volvo…blah…these pants are from Italy…blah blah…I like golf too. Blah.”

So that was fun. I had to restrain myself from laughing out load when we finally got a look at these dudes. I was tempted to whip out my camera to take a picture. I whipped out the camera but I wussed out on the picture taking. One of the guys was sporting the blazer/t-shirt combo.

One thing I actually heard one them say was:

“So yeah, tomorrow golf is probably going to cost $200, it will probably be $50 for beers, I’ve $100 to gamble with…”

Wait, hold on…$100? Wtf did you plan on doing with $100? Were you going to shortstack it at the $10 blackjack table and hope you run good? Silly d-bag.

So we got to Vegas and met Dave at Gold Coast. We checked in at about 2AM. Picture of Matt chilling in one of the pimp-holla-balla suites they gave us:

The desk lady must have recognized me from the last time I was here. I imagine her thought process went something like this:

“Holy shit! It’s Brick! I remember him tearing up the 4-8 table the last time he was here! I better upgrade his group to the pimp-holla-balla suites!”

Or maybe something like this:

“Since it’s 2AM we are out of regular rooms. Looks like I have to give them pimp-holla-balla suites.”

Either way we got pimp-holla-balla suites.

She also gave us a ton of coupon books, each of which contained two free drink coupons. We dropped off our crap in the rooms, grabbed some free drinks at the bar, and went to get some bacon and eggs at their restaurant: two eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast: $1.95. Throw in some 2-for-1 coupons from the books the desk lady gave us and the tab added up to $8.40 for six people (Matt got a Diet Coke, the rich bastard). Then we did what most people do when they get to Vegas: go bowling. I’m not going to write about that. I was disappointed in my performance. I did good enough to win $10 each off Scott and Alex, though.

At 4AM we were finished on the lanes and it was time for some poker. They only had one 4-8 table going. Dave and I got seats and everyone else went up to sleep.

I sat in the six seat and Dave was in the two seat. I sat from 4AM to 6AM. There was an Asian dude wearing a black hat who looked like he was on permanent tilt. It seemed he played every single hand through the river. He kept running out of money and rebuying. Awesome. At first it was $100 each time. Then his rebuys were $50. Right before I left he rebought for $25. At a 4-8 table. That’s just sad. I didn’t even know that was allowed. I thought it had to be $40.

Unfortunately, I didn’t pick up any hands and couldn’t take advantage. Also I suck at poker. I left after two hours down $80.

End part 1.

Summary: My bachelor party wasn’t in Vegas. I found a good hotel deal for Scott’s bachelor party in Vegas. Watched “The Wire” at the airport. Ate $1 egg breakfasts. Went bowling. Couldn’t capitalize on sucky players and lost $80 playing 4-8.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


It turns out that, in addition to being black, my cubemate Juanita doesn't know much about food. I was under the impression that she worked out a lot and ate healthy. Based on her slender physique, I would still say she works out a lot, but apparently she's not as smart in regards to eating as I thought she was.

I was going to get a sandwich the other day, and I asked her if she wanted anything:

Me: "I'm going to get a sandwich, do you want anything?"
Her: "No, I don't want anything heavy right now."
Me: "Okay bye."
Her: "Wait, do they have soup?"
Me: "Yeah."
Her: "Can you get me some soup?"
Me: "Sure."
Her: "What kind do they have?"
Me: "I don't know. I can call you when I get there.
Her: "Can you get me a cookie and a bag a chips, too?"

(You see, this is why I never ask "Does anyone want anything?" when I go get lunch. I don't know what the hell caused me to ask on this particular day, but I can assure you, it will never happen again.)

Me: "Uhh...okay."

I walked across the street to the sandwich place and called her on my cell phone:

Me: "They have vegetable and cream of potato."
Her: "Okay, get me the potato."
Me: "Cup or bowl? Cup is 2.99 and bowl is 4.29."
Her: "Cup."
Me: "And you want a bag of regular potato chips and chocolate chip cookie?"
Her: "Yeah."
Me: "Okay, bye."

So let's review...

Juanita didn't want anything "heavy," so she ordered:

-potato chips
-chocolate chip cookie
-cream of potato soup

Which can be translated to:

-deep-fried oil flakes
-sugar-butter-egg patty
-starchy lard sauce

But she didn't want anything "heavy."

I ordered my standard: turkey on wheat, no cheese. I seriously felt weighed down for the rest of the day. I should have gotten a cookie and chips.

The saddest part of the story is I ended up paying for her. She handed me a twenty. I had no cash. I couldn't pay with with her twenty because then I wouldn't have enough change to give her. So I paid with a debit card and had no change to give her. I guess I could have asked them to ring up the two orders separately, but I'm bad at planning.

Sugar-butter-egg patty.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


"How come you never write I like it when you write it makes me sad that you never write."
"Because it takes, like, a whole day to write a post."

So here we are. You get a post everytime the wife complains.

I started playing poker again.

This was unplanned development. Although quitting was an unplanned development as well. I had an okay poker bankroll going a few months ago, but got stupid, lost it, and that was that.

Oh well, it was a good run. I made enough to buy a new laptop, a new monitor set-up (a 20" and a 17"; I should have gotten two 20's) for the online pokering, and some new file cabinets. I never withdrew for that new desk chair I was going to get, so I never got a new desk chair. My desk chair money was returned from whence it came.

So I just stopped didn't think much about it.

Then we went to Vegas, I realized I don't completely suck at the low-limit hold 'em and sort of liked playing.

Then a week later I was in the middle of arranging hotel accomodations for Scott's bachelor Vegas excursion in March and I got a call:

Scott: "We're going to Industry City to play poker."
Me: "I can't go because I'm married."

I couldn't take it anymore. I decided to deposit $200 and if I lost it, that would be it and the wife didn't need to know anything.

I instacashed (those were the days, huh?) $200 into Pokerstars, made about $300, and cashed out my $200 (those were the days, huh?).

I then lost the $300, redeposited the $200, made about $300, cashed out the $200, then lost the $300.

At least I'm still even, right?

For a third time, I deposited $200, made about $300, and cashed out the $200.

And I'm still going on that $300. It's been about 4 weeks and I have about $1000.

And for the readers that live in the same house as me, please be assured that all accounts are completely unaffected by this poker rebirth. All initial deposits were returned to their original location.

Also, for the readers that live in the same house as me, if this urge to return to poker happened after Neteller blew up, the urge probably would have gone unfulfilled and quietly passed. Alas, I acquired adequate poker funds before Neteller blew up, so I'm all set until I go broke. I've got $1,060 at Stars. I have no easy way to get it out of Stars, but that's fine with me.

I've also earned enough frequent player point to get a Panasonic portable DVD player. I don't really need a portable DVD player, but I want one for some reason. Maybe I'll save up enough to get the 8GB iPod nano and offer it to the wife as a "I'm sorry I play poker" gift. Although that gift would be wasted on her because there is no way she would ever fill up 8GB with tunes. Too bad the Stars store doesn't offer the iPod shuffle.

I only need 2,800 points until I reach Platinum status at Stars, and I need to do it by Jan. 31. That means I need to play for three hours a day until then. I also have a deposit bonus I need to clear on Full Tilt by Jan. 31, so that means I need to play an another hour at Full Tilt in addition to the three hours at Pokerstars. That's just how it is, honey, I don't make the rules, you need to be understanding. It's not my fault I only have until Jan. 31st and won't get to talk to you until February.

In other poker news, I am the biggest jerk on planet earth for not hanging out with my wife on Friday and instead going to play poker with my friends "for the third weekend in a row!"

Me going to play poker somehow resulted in me having to clean out our storage unit the next day.

Being married is fun.

I won $11 at poker.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Vegas happened.

Unbeknownst to each other, my two colleagues Scotty Win and Mrs. Brick both requested a blog post yesterday.

Scott suggested I post his Vegas trip report as a guest post. I previously announced that I probably would not write about Vegas because I am lazy, and Scott probably felt he should fill that void.

He left it in a comment in the last post, but I will post it here to fill some space:

Latest Vegas Trip Report:

The Bricks and the Wins went to Las Vegas for 2 days. They stayed at The Leaves.

Poker highlights:
-At Genie's, Scotty Win hitting a straight flush at 3-6 for a $390 jackpot
-At Pyramid, Brick playing better 2-4 than Scotty had ever witnessed

Non-poker highlights:
-Scotty achieving priority guestlist status for the group at Spookbar faster than a much-hyped "hook-up" who knew the owners was able to do
-the whole group sharing 2 awesome steaks, 2 salads, 2 sides, and a bottle of wine at EI8HT for the low cost of $250 with minimal complaints
-an incredible Mysteri circus show at Treasure Cove that left Scotty questioning his heterosexuality
-many discounts provided by Brick and his coupon book, such as $50 off for a $104 Mexican dinner at Darguno's that should've been $60 in the first place
-Mrs. Win & Mrs. Brick finding their way into Hugh Hefner's bed at the wax museum
-an Out-n-In Burger lunch paid for by The Leaves $10 free match-play coupon that Scotty & Brick expertly turned into $20 at the blackjack table
-Scotty winning his & Brick's fantasy football match by 7, after Meyton Panning scored 60 points Monday night
-Mrs. Win playing her first game of blackjack and only losing $5 after 30 minutes of play
-Mrs. Win & Mrs. Brick letting their partners play a sufficient amount of poker
-Scotty asking Mrs. Win to walk 30 minutes along the strip when she had sore feet and only a spring jacket on a 30 degree night (Fahrenheit)
-Brick & Mrs. Brick going to "Jamboree!", a show featuring small-boobed topless dancers

-Brick & Mrs. Brick not getting into a fight until the car ride home Tuesday night

First of all, I appreciate Scott's attempt to write in the Brick spirit and give dumb code names to everything, but in this situation, I feel it just confuses things and serves no purpose. I initially started doing it to thinly disguise where I live and work, and I continued doing it to be dumb. Also, I mainly talk about situations where location is insignificant to the story, but in this case, location is very significant. Everyone knows Las Vegas and the names of the casinos and whatnot, so anyone reading will be like "The Leaves? Huh? Oh, he means Palms."

Scott is now mad at me and thinks I'm a dick.

Anyway, to fill more space, I present Scott's trip report without dumb code names, with numbers added to correspond with my commentary that will follow:

Poker highlights:
1. At Aladdin, Scotty Win hitting a straight flush at 3-6 for a $390 jackpot
2. At Luxor, Brick playing better 2-4 than Scotty had ever witnessed

Non-poker highlights:
3. Scotty achieving priority guestlist status for the group at Ghostbar faster than a much-hyped "hook-up" who knew the owners was able to do
4. the whole group sharing 2 awesome steaks, 2 salads, 2 sides, and a bottle of wine at n9ne for the low cost of $250 with minimal complaints
5. an incredible Mystere show at Treasure Island that left Scotty questioning his heterosexuality
6. many discounts provided by Brick and his coupon book, such as $50 off for a $104 Mexican dinner at Garduno's that should've been $60 in the first place
7. Mrs. Win & Mrs. Brick finding their way into Hugh Hefner's bed at the wax museum
8. an In-n-Out Burger lunch paid for by The Palms $10 free match-play coupon that Scotty & Brick expertly turned into $20 at the blackjack table
9. Scotty winning his & Brick's fantasy football match by 7, after Peyton Manning scored 60 points Monday night
10. Mrs. Win playing her first game of blackjack and only losing $5 after 30 minutes of play
11. Mrs. Win & Mrs. Brick letting their partners play a sufficient amount of poker
12. Scotty asking Mrs. Win to walk 30 minutes along the strip when she had sore feet and only a spring jacket on a 30 degree night (Fahrenheit)
13. Brick & Mrs. Brick going to "Jubilee!", a show featuring small-boobed topless dancers
14. Brick & Mrs. Brick not getting into a fight until the car ride home Tuesday night

We did, in fact, play poker. I was a bit worried about this, given that females were accompanying us. I exchanged the following words with Scott prior to the trip:

Him: "I'm not worried about getting poker time."
Me: "I am."
Him: (pause)
Him: "Yeah."

I told my wife I needed 14.7 hours of poker time. I ended up getting 13.

"No, you got way more than that," said my wife.
"Amount of time away from you does not equate to poker time. You know how long it takes to walk between casinos. We were going to play at Caesar's but they only had no-limit games going so we walked to Aladdin. It was a good 45 minutes before we actually got to play," I said.

Yeah, so I got 13 hours.

It was actually my best trip to date, pokerwise. I made $350 at the 2-4, 3-6, and 4-8 games, and lost $50 at non-poker gambling.

Mrs. Brick actually played poker too. While we were waiting for our rooms at Palms we walked across the street to Gold Coast. I was pleasantly surprised with their poker room. And by "poker room" I mean "roped off poker area." They had autoshufflers, there were plenty of games going, and the players all sucked.

She, Scott, and I sat down at a 2-4 table. The only poker Mrs. Brick has played is our .25-.50 NL home game. (The last time she played she actually complained the stakes were too high. It used to be a .10-.25 NL home game)

I quickly went over the betting rules with her. "You can only bet and raise in increments of $2 on the first two rounds, and $4 on the last two."

We only played for about an hour, and she lost $35. She got caught in the unfortunate situation of catching a straight against a higher straight. She got a free look in the big blind holding 8-3, and it came 6-7-9 on the flop. A 10 hit the turn. Unfortunately the button had J-8. Oh well.

The most interesting part of that hand was an exchange I had with a local 80-year-old nit. He was sitting across from me. When the turn hit I sensed Mrs. Brick hit her straight. She bet out and was raised. She hesitated and I said "you know you can reraise if you want." I realized she probably didn't know about the five bet cap, and she might have thought she could only call the raise. The second I said that the nit across from me barks out:

"One player to a hand, son!"

Me: "Excuse me?"

Him: "You can't talk during the hand."

Me: "I wasn't telling her what TO do. I was telling her what she CAN do."

Him: "One player to a hand."

I wanted to punch him in the balls. I wasn't trying to influence her decision in any way. I was just trying to inform her of her options, much like the dealer does when the action get to someone: "It's on you, sir." "Huh?" "You can call, raise, or fold, sir."

That's all I was trying to do. I'm fully aware of the "one player to a hand" rule. I wasn't violating it.

I won $27 while we were there.

Let's move on...

1. Scott and I played at Aladdin. They have a high hand jackpot we were unaware of. The session was pretty uneventful until Scott hit his straight flush. Scott was getting all depressed because he was losing and I really wasn't doing anything. I was up $100 at one point but a cold deck and me sucking at poker knocked me down to +$9 for the session.

I was really glad when Scott hit that jackpot because I know he needed a confidence boost.

He hit the straight flush on the turn. Luckily his straight flush card gave someone else a full house. It wasn't a high full house so the other guy slowed down when Scott reraised him.

Scott turned his hand over to many "OOOHs" and "AAAHs." The floor confirmed the jackpot and gave Scott his $390 in chips (oohh, black chips, we've never seen those before).

Scott asked me about tipping. He had already tipped the dealer. Scott asked me if he should tip the other guy, the guy who lost the hand with his full house. "No fuckin' way," I said. "The only time you do that is if the other player called your bets instead of folding so the pot reached the minimum required amount for a jackpot."

Scott is a big silly goose.

2. We went to Luxor for their dumb high hand promotion from 5AM to 9AM. According to Scott, I destroyed the competition with unparalleled poker skill. What can I say? I was just in the zone. The other players were playing their cards, and I was playing them. Actually, I was playing my cards, and the other players were playing worse cards. The chip fountain installed in the 7 seat didn't exactly hurt my cause, either. Let's review one hand involving Chip Fountain:

-Margarita King straddles UTG (for the benefit of those readers happening to be my wife, a straddle is when the person first to act after the big blind puts in a raise before the cards are dealt, essentially doubling the big blind)
-I call the straddle with K-Jo (this was dumb, I should have reraised to isolate the straddler, although in this game a reraise probably wouldn't have done jack shit)
-Chip Fountain calls with J-7o
-flop comes 6-7-K, Margarita King bets, I raise, Chip Fountain calls, Margarita King folds.
-turn is not a 7, I bet, Chip Fountain calls.
-river is not a 7, I bet, Chip Fountain laments his situation: "Man, I hate throwing away a pair, and I gotta keep you honest," and calls.

Thanks Chip Fountain. You know you could have avoided that situation by not being retarded. I appreciate you contributing that $16 that had no business being in the pot. He said "I gotta keep you honest" about 37 times that morning. Please continue to keep me honest. Thanks.

As 9AM approached, Chip Fountain announced he had lost $350. I can't believe how unlucky he was.

We had a good time. Most of the players were locals. It's pretty comforting to know how awful most of the locals play. There were two guys I remember from last time (I was actually expecting to see both of them) who held their own, but were nothing special. They just knew it was actually okay to fold sometimes and that you should probably reraise with the nuts instead of just calling to "disguise your hand's strength."

By now you're probably wondering who Margarita King is. At about 8AM some guy came and sat down. It was obvious he was just killing time before a flight home. He looked to be of middle-eastern descent (no clue about this. Let's just say he had dark skin and he wasn't black, hispanic, asian, or Indian.) He wore a black suit jacket over a black t-shirt. The t-shirt had a goofy pattern and he wore a lapel pin with the same goofy pattern.

Sucky local player: "Hey man who are you? What's that pin you're wearing, are you the carpet king or something?"
Margarita King: "No man, I'm the Margarita King."
Sucky local player: "Oh okay, the Margarita King."

It turns out he really was the Margarita King. He had fancy business cards with his picture that said "Margarita King." He was some bigshot restaurant owner from San Francisco. The banter between him and the sucky local player was pretty entertaining. They also both made an effort to suck at poker so that was good, too.

I came out ahead $150 for the session. I guess that's pretty good for a 2-4 game with a $4 rake and $1 jackpot drop.

But enough about poker.

We arrived in Vegas late Sunday morning for a cute little couples vacation. We were staying at the Palms, which is a good distance from the strip, so I figured a car rental was necessary. Scott and I went to the rental desk. I handed the lady the proper items:

Her: "So did you want to get the full fancy coverage or just regular coverage? You should probably just get the regular coverage."
Me: "I don't want any extra stuff."

She then harrassed me about insurance for about five minutes and basically said that I was going to die and be cast into the fiery pits of hell if I didn't buy their dumb insurance. I then signed my name in about 37 places to declare that, yes, I was, in fact, not buying their dumb insurance.

We managed to get the hell out of there without buying insurance. Our "large" car, which was supposed to be a "Dodge Charger or similar" ended up being a Jeep Liberty. Yeah, I can see how those two cars are almost the same, seeing as they are

5. Later in the day we went to see Mystere at Treasure Island. That was somewhat amazing. Totally gay, but amazing. I didn't know it was possible to climb up a pole using your neck.

The one thing I didn't get though was the fat guy dressed like a baby. Was there some point to that? Did the crazy acrobatic acts need to be interspersed with scenes of some fat guy acting like a baby? For those that haven't seen the show, it involves a fat guy dressed like a baby.

Did the show producers have a meeting prior to opening where one of them said:

"You know what this show needs? A fat guy dressed like a baby."

And then someone else chimed in:


And then the other guy says:

"And what do guys think about bringing out a giant snail at the end that bobs its head?"


For those that haven't seen the show, it involves a giant snail that bobs its head. I didn't get that at all. It contributed nothing to the show and made no sense. It was onstage for about ten seconds bobbing its head (otherwise not moving at all) and then the show ended. WTF?

I guess maybe the show was supposed to be like a dream or something and wasn't supposed to make sense:

"Yeah man I had this wacky dream. I was having sex with Chelsea Clinton in a parking garage and then a giant snail came out bobbing its head and then I woke up."

It's not like the rest of the show had a cohesive storyline. But it didn't need the baby or the snail. They should also update the wacky, new-age soundtrack. It's completely obvious it was composed in 1993.

It was an awesome show, though. Also, Scott is now gay.

We headed back to the Palms in our Jeep Liberty for:

4. Dinner at n9ne. I showered and put on my gay clubbing clothes. This place was pretty gay. You get there and are greeting by two hot chicks. One of them directs you to a table and then a douchebag in a white blazer starts sucking your dick. I've never really been in a "fancy" restaurant before. Growing up I thought Olive Garden was a fancy restaurant. Is dick sucking standard? I guess maybe when dinner costs $100 a plate.

Like Scott said, each couple split a salad, steak, and side. This was actually a perfect meal size. We both got the porterhouse. I can honestly say it was the greatest steak I have ever tasted, although I'm not anywhere close to being an expert. I even enjoyed the fat chunks around the edge.

We also got the lobster mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. These were good, but not as good as all the reviews say they are, so they were a disappointment.

Dinner was exceptional. I'm glad we went. Mrs. Brick didn't think we should go:

Her: "Remember that time I took you to that fancy restaurant for your birthday?"
Me: "Yeah."
Her: "And you were acting all weird and complaining about how expensive everything was?"
Me: "Yeah, well everything was really expensive."
Her: "Well, you made it really uncomfortable and unenjoyable and this Nine place is going to be more expensive."
Me: "I'll be good."

I am cheap and I do have problem with spending $46 on a steak, but the evening was enjoyable and I can see how that might be a fun thing to do once a year or so.

I was good.

After dinner, we went to:

3. Ghostbar. This place was unexciting and the waitresses wear platform moonboots and the Miller Lites cost $6. There were no famous people there. The clear floor you hear about was a one square foot section of the balcony. Maybe we just went at a bad time. There weren't too many people there. Also the Miller Lites cost $6. Luckily just about none of the tables that cost $300 to reserve were reserved and they were cool about letting us sit down and not charging us $300. They also had Miller Lites available for purchase. They were $6.

I can honestly say I don't get what the big deal with this place is.

I have Miller Lites at home.

That's all I have to comment on except:

14. I don't remember what this fight was about. I remember we had a fight, though, and it was fun.

It was a really good trip and it was entirely too short. I hope Mrs. Brick enjoyed her second trip to Vegas and I hope Mrs. Win enjoyed her first.

I would also like to thank my wife for not getting mad at me for that time I left to play poker right after we had sex.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Harps and choirs.

There was a full blown choir belting out Christmas tunes in the lobby when I went to get my lunch today. They were blocking one of the entrances. It was the entrance I wanted to use. Maybe I'm just a grumpy asshole but I wasn't heartwarmed or touched. I just wanted to get my sandwich and there was a choir in the way.

Yesterday there was a harp player down there, which was nice. She was plucking away and providing some pleasant background music and not blocking any entrances. I really don't have the capacity to enjoy someone playing a harp, though, because I am always preoccupied with the fact that someone chose to play the harp. First of all, you need a truck to move the damn thing, and a halfway decent harp is going to set you back many thousands.

It was butt-cold outside yesterday and I'm standing there thinking: "How the hell did you get that thing here in the freezing col, how much did you pay for it, and where were all your friends to discourage you when you decided to start playing the harp?"

Also, who the hell at Hyperglobalmegacorp is approving these harps and choirs? They cut out Christmas parties, but we get harps and choirs in the lobby?

When I first started here we got a department Christmas party with awesome free liquor and a company Christmas party with awesome free liquor. Now...not. Two years ago we got:

A. Company Christmas party with me getting drunk.
B. Department Christmas party with me getting buzzed.
C. Free lunch provided by building management.

Last year we got:

A. Free lunch provided by building management that Hyperglobalmegacorp passed off as the company party.

This year we get:

A. Choirs and harps in the lobby.

I'm in the old building now, though, so maybe the people in the new building still get their free crappy Christmas lunch. Mrs. Brick is in the new building and has told me she has heard nothing any potential Christmas parties. I will check back with her later regarding the presence of choirs and harps in the lobby.

Also, I remember when I first started here everyone had their own printer. Now there are about four printers on every floor and I have to walk 50 feet to it and since the printer is so far away everyone just leaves their shit on it (or takes my shit when they grab their shit) so I have to dig my stuff out from a big pile of shit.

It now takes 5 minutes to print something when before it would take 0 minutes because after clicking "Print" I could keep working and just reach over to the printer when it was done.

But I guess it's worth it, seeing as Hyperglobalmegacorp is saving a few dimes on ink, printer maintenance, and boosting employee morale around the holidays.

At this point it should be obvious to everyone that I hate writing trip reports and the idea that I am obligated to write about a certain event is keeping me from writing. All last week I was thinking "gotta write about Thanksgiving, gotta write about Thanksgiving" and I put it off and didn't write about it. I also didn't write about anything else because I felt I had to write about Thanksgiving first so I ended up not writing about anything.

This week I decided I was past the point of writing about Thanksgiving but that I had to write about how I worked over Baldo and Scott and with my mad basketball skillz on Saturday, followed by a poker game later on Saturday where I won $4, Scott lost $60, Baldo lost $20, Mrs. Brick lost $20 and Alex won about $75.

Today I decided: "Fuck it. Harps and choirs."

That said, we have a Vegas trip coming up in ten days that I probably won't write about and another Vegas trip in March that I probably won't write about.

That's right, honey. Your husband is already planning another Vegas trip.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Work update.

They moved me at work again. They moved us to the other side of the floor and I no longer sit next to douchenozzle. As Scott said, this guy seemed like good fodder for blog posts. Alas, he is now fodder for someone else. I will share my final douchenozzle story.

The guy is slightly chubby. He has mentioned several times that he is trying to be healthier. A few weeks ago he shared this revelation:

"Dude, I read that if you drink one less soda per day, in a year you lose 15 pounds, so I'm gonna cut back on soda."

Wow, thanks for sharing, professor. First of all, it's not that simple, but you had to actually read something to tell you that soda is bad for you? Using the art of basic arithmetic, let's look at the following:

(150 calories per soda)*(365 days) = (54,750 calories)
(54,750 calories)/(3,500 calories per pound) =

15.6 pounds.

It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. That's why everyone I know switched to the zero-calorie, diet version of soda a long time ago.

Want to know what he's drinking instead of soda?

120 calories, 33g carbs. Pepsi has 150 calories and 40g carbs. So at least he's saving 30 calories and 7 grams of carbs. Also, it's fat free.

The other day he ate lunch at his desk. He had a "salad." His salad consisted of a pile of iceberg lettuce covered in ranch dressing, shredded cheddar cheese, and croutons. It's salad, though, so it's healthy. I guess the water leaves cancel out the lard sauce.

Alas, he is no longer here to entertain me. Now I sit next to Juanita, the slender black woman. We kind of share a double cubicle. She's cool. She likes talking, though. That's good because I hate talking, but it's also bad because I hate talking. Also, she is under the impression that if one of us leaves to get food it is that person's responsibility to say: "Hey, I'm going to get food, do you want anything?" Sorry, that's not the way I roll. I have learned to never ask such a question because seven people always end up handing me their grocery list. I'm not a damn food courier.

In one area she has impressed me is she doesn't talk about herself. I have figured out that she eats really healthy and works out all the time and she doesn't drink pop. I toss back at least five Diet Pepsis a day and she hasn't said anything about it. Cool. Although it will only take her about 5 seconds to undo my impression. If she ever says anything like: "That pop is giving you cancer," she's goin' down.

She also doesn't know how to play internet. Yesterday she says: "I feel like seeing a movie tonight."

Me: "You feel like seeing a movie on a Monday?"
Her: "Yeah. Is that new Denzel movie out?"
Me: "Who's Denzel?"

(slight pause; for a half second she thinks I might
possibly be actually serious)

Me: "What's it called?"
Her: "I don't know."

(I proceed to play internet for 1.3 seconds)

Me: "It's called Deja Vu. It's not out yet."
Her: "Damn. What about that movie with Will Smith and his

(internet...1.3 seconds)

Me: "It's called Pursuit of Happyness. Comes out Dec. 15. They probably spelled 'happiness' wrong because black people are bad spellers.*"
Her: "Darn. What's playing then?"

(At this point she is staring over my shoulder. I go to

Her: "Fandang-what? What's that?"
Me: "You those commercials they play before every single movie with the talking bags that say 'fandango' repeatedly?"
Her: "Yeah."
Me: "Ummmm, okay. "
Her: "?"
Me: "So you've seen those commercials with the talking bags that say 'fandango'?"
Her: "Yeah."
Me: "It's a website. They sell movie tickets. I'm using it to look at movie schedules."
Her: "Oh. Dang. There's nothing I want to see."
Me: "That new Bond movie just came out. That looks good."
Her: "I don't really like James Bond type movies."
Me: "Oh really? I hear Omar Epps is playing James Bond. Also every computer at this company has the same internet. My computer isn't special."

*Okay, so I didn't say that part about black people being bad spellers or Omar Epps playing James Bond.

However, if George-fucking-Clooney had gotten the lead role in Deja Vu instead of Denzel Washington, and they used the exact same script, exact same supporting cast, exact same crew, exact same sets and exact same locations, I'm pretty sure she wouldn't be asking me about it. Funny how that works. I'm white so I wouldn't know.

Friday, November 17, 2006


I didn't get a PS3. No one I know did. Six years ago I missed out on the profit potential of the PS2 and last year I missed out on the Xbox 360.

Last year I went to Best Buy the night before Xbox 360 was released and there was no line outside. It was about 8PM. I asked someone about it:

Me: "Are you selling Xbox's tomorrow?"
Best Buy Dude: "Uh, yeah, I guess."

I shrugged my shoulders, decided it wasn't that big of deal and probably wouldn't sell for that much more than retail on eBay. It had been five years since the PS2 madness. If you recall, PS2 were impossible to get for a while and they sold for over $1,000 on eBay. I decided that was the exception, not the rule, and I wasn't going to waste my time trying to get an Xbox 360, so I left Best Buy, went home and slept.

This year I had determined I was getting a PS3 and was going to make some damn money on eBay. I saw pre-sale systems going for over $1,500.

On Monday, I called Alex. He had already thought of it. Mrs. Brick said she was in, too:

Her: "Sure, I'll wait outside for ten hours for $1,000"

We were planning on getting there at about 9PM the night before (last night) and set up some chairs and bring food and blankets and games. I had scheduled to take a day off today. We had no idea.

Alex popped in on Wednesday (Alex loves the pop-in, you have no idea how annoying that is). He sat on our couch. We talked about the plan. I called Scott and he thought we were crazy.

Him: "When are they coming out?"
Me: "Best Buy is going to have twenty of them. They are passing out tickets Friday at 7AM and will sell the systems at 8AM."
Him: "When are you getting there?"
Me: "Thursday at around 9PM."
Him: "You guys are nuts. You all are going to buy one? You are going to freeze. How are you going to sleep and poop and stuff?"
Me: "We'll dress warm and bring chairs and blankets. We'll just have to make arrangements with the other people in line to make bathroom runs. It will be a fun party."

I explained to Scott the profit potential of this situation and he was quickly onboard.

Alex and I decided to scope out the Best Buy. Our plans were soon jettisoned. We were there approximately 24 hours before we planned on starting our line wait and there was already a line of tents outside Best Buy.

Me: "We're fucked."
Him: "Yup."

Oh well, we thought. The Target next door also had six people in line. I went and talked to them.

Me: "You guys in line?"
Them: "Yeah, man, they are only getting six systems and there's already six people here. Fucking crazy."
Me: "Dang."

Alex was actually considering it. "Man, 36 hours for $1,000? That's more than I made per hour at my job. That might be worth it." Except the lines looked pretty full already. After seeing the conditions, I wasn't about to pursue it any further.

I'm glad I didn't, although I'm not glad I didn't get a system. There were even even less available than the expected 400,000. A lot of those people that waited didn't even get one. I bet it was mayhem this morning. One guy got shot. He didn't even have his PS3 yet. A line waiting outside a Wal-mart in Kentucky was hit by BB fire.

On eBay, systems are now selling for over $3,000.

People are stupid. I just wish I could have capitalized on that stupidity.