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Lovely Vegas, Part Two
Oct 22nd, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Saturday started off with me trying to count the drinks I had the night before – I had an initial count that was low, and would actually remember them as the day went on, like they were lousy quarterbacks that skulked about the history of the New Orleans Saints. (“Oh, yes, someone poured a Miller Light for me! I never drink that! … Billy Joe Tolliver!”) Funnily enough, I think I hissed at the memory of some of the drinks more. There is the spirtual pain of seeing John Fourcade start the season under center, and then the very real pain of several drinks that were stronger than anyone currently on the Saints, except for Jeremy Shockey (I didn’t try any absinthe).

Here’s how bin Laden has ruined America: I assume I can’t bring anything on the plane with me that has to do with personal grooming – in fact, my hair gel was found by Homeland Security and discarded. On the other hand, some of the DHS agents this week look pretty hot, so nobody question my patriotism any time soon. I therefore didn’t try to bring any ibuprofen, because it was going to be in a container that was greater than three ounces. In retrospect, I should have just downed 40 of them before flying and try to cover myself for the whole weekend, but that’s another story. So yeah – I was unable to take some painkillers before going to bed, and had my first hangover since I was in my late 20s. I could have received some from the hotel front desk if it was “that” kind of a hotel, but, well… yeah. You might think that I needed a hangover like I needed a hole in my head, but as discussed yesterday with the strip being shut down directly outside, I could have had both.

(It all actually only went away when I had a vodka/cranberry thing late Saturday night, so trying the hair of the dog that bit me really did work. Amazing. What other wisdom is there in clichéd sayings?? Also, I know that Alt-130 is the messed-up “e” now, so expect that to be a recurring character, so to speak, in future blog entries.) 

 

 

The best idea I could personally come up with to cure a mild hangover is naturally getting onto a roller coaster, and luckily, New York New York provides for just that. Across the street was a mess of arcade games, and after lunch, I was able to play some Centipede with my buddy Fodge, and his wife. The Gameworks is on the card reader setup, so while he was trying to get it to go, he accidentally put nine credits into the Centipede. We also did some virtual bowling. I love that a $15,000 bowling lane with simulated results was developed. This should be the next market taken by the people who did Rock Band: after having delivered the experience of playing in a band at home, plastic bowling would also be great. The side benefit is that everyone’s french fries would be better, as nobody has ever had bad fries at a bowling alley.

By this time, Fodge had to get ready for the wedding. My friend Greg called while I was walking the two (I think?) (I actually just looked it up, it’s 1.9 miles) miles back to the hotel. Greg was a few drinks ahead of me, thanks to being in opposite time zones, but he demanded that I fly out to Atlanta during what would be this weekend. Greg, I will, shortly! I need to see Gerrit anyway and shoot a movie next year! Greg, I am asking you to act in a movie in front of all these people to embarrass you into accepting. 

I got back to the hotel and took another nap – apparently I have the stamina of an 80-year old, but I’m not going to lie here, lying about Vegas comes way afterwards. The wedding was going to be at seven, and I was determined to get a cab. 

I was also determined not to dress nicer than the groom. The wedding was at their hotel room (which was amazingly nice) and I was led to believe that Matt was going to be wearing shorts and a baseball cap – I grabbed my favorite pair of jeans and a button-down, black shirt. I was prepared for anything: being lied to about the expected dress, not being able to find a cab and having to huff it, finally giving into the endless stream of guys who give cards for callgirls, being thrown into a room with an angry pitboss on account for general smugness.

I arrived at the wedding just in the nick of time. It was great. Fodge did a wonderful job as the best man, and there was a lot of food and other pleasantries. Fodge, Luddy, Keith and I sat down to play some euchre afterwards, and it was just like old times, just like being a freshman in college. Euchre really never gets old. When I play cards, or eat, I don’t like to have anything in my pockets, so I put my phone and glasses on the table. 

My phone is a flip phone, and was free with a year’s extension through T-mobile. It is also purple, because I run caltrops.com. This did not go over well! It really got out of hand within a couple minutes, and I was being aggressively mocked for owning a purple phone, all by people I did not really know! But it was very funny (and fun) and I think my argument was essentially that it would be gray to the colorblind. 

I don’t remember anything else that happened that night. 

***

The next day was spent at the sports book, where I put money on the New Orleans Saints. Guess how that went? Reggie Bush blew out his knee and the game was never in doubt after the first few drives. The Saints have disappointed me in every single way, in the last 30 years, but I had never actually lost money on them. They were getting three points, and lost 30-7. I would not have had it any other way, har har har. 

That’s essentially it, except for successfully avoiding the lizard men at Denver International Airport on the way back. I’d say, “I can’t wait to return to Las Vegas,” but it has a way of making me intend to be back, regardless of my intentions. Right on. 

Lovely Vegas
Oct 21st, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Lovely Vegas

“Vegas is the city of Las Vegas. No one is quite sure how the Soviet missiles managed to miss the city, but most folks figure it was because the “house” was betting against a missile landing — and no one wins against the house.”the Wasteland manual, 1986, Interplay

Ha ha, yeah. Goddamn, am I psyched for Fallout 3, you know? Fallout, the spiritual successor for Wasteland, was great, I did enjoy Fallout 2 and in between #2 and the upcoming third game, we all were entertained by the batshit-vomiting crazies that make up the Internet’s community of Fallout fans. Every last one of them is convinced that only they should make Fallout 3, none of them have so much as picked up any kind of SDK. I am intentionally trying to not learn anything about FO3, only that I think there’s a nuke in it, but I did read somewhere that it takes place not in the American southwest… but in Maryland or something? Ha, ha, what’s this now? A Fallout game is gonna finally have the graphics engine to do Vegas justice and they set it in near Baltimore, which could be successfully depicted on the original Gameboy? I could make a better game than these idiots at Bethesda! I am now going to delete my install directory for the Hugo programming language.

I was in Lovely Vegas over the weekend for a wedding. You may remember the character of Brian Pang from Necrotic Drift – the actor (Matt) was the dude getting married. Pang was originally a character in Chicks Dig Jerks, and I’d like to say he was “based” on my friend Matt, but even that isn’t being fair. I tried to make him an almost exact, written, duplicate-replica. He is a good guy that is oftentimes out of his goddamn mind.

Almost nobody gets married in the same city they live in – or, I should say, nobody gets married in the same city I live in. I’ve flown for almost every wedding I’ve ever been to. This was my first time traveling completely alone in over five years. I had never actually done the thing where you enter an airport… and there is nobody there to pick you up & you don’t have a rental. I was vaguely aware that there might be a good spot to catch a cab, so I got to do that for the first time. I took it over to the strip, where I was staying. Oh… yeah. That.

I was staying at the Casino Royale, because I guess I make bad decisions. 

Well, yes and no – I didn’t expect to do much in my room except sleep, so in theory, it shouldn’t have made much difference where I stayed, right? Well, yes and no – my friends were staying at the Luxor, Mandelay Bay and the Monte Carlo. Those are all somewhat close to each other, but since I didn’t exactly have a date and I wasn’t getting married, I didn’t see the big deal in trying to impress anyone with an expensive room. I wanted to look for something like the Wikipedia List of Cheap-Ass Hotel Rooms, but somehow, I don’t think Wikipedians get to Vegas much. (I was going to link to my favorite page on the Internet, which was the “List of Wikipedians with Asperger Syndrome,” but in heroic Wiki fashion, they seem to have deleted it.) 

Anyway, I got to the hotel room and unpacked… and none of my friends were in Vegas yet. I think for the first time, it really struck me that I was traveling… “alone.” I don’t know how to best describe it – for some reason, being in a hotel room with paper-thin walls, sort of waiting for my buddies to get into town was almost… crippling. I immediately dialed a few numbers to get some prostitutes over.

Kidding! Long-time readers of my website will have no difficulty in believing me when I instead state that I took a nap until my friend Luddy and his wife called. I can never sleep the night before I fly, so this was all right. Luddy, his wife and I made plans to have dinner at the ESPNZone. 

It had been about a day since I had any food at that point, and I ended up walking from the Casino Royale to ESPNZone – it took about 30 minutes with all the people around. This ended up being a somewhat common theme for me, although I did relent and take a cab home Saturday night, which was (spoiler) for the best. It’s great to walk the strip anyway, isn’t it?

After dinner, the three of us went over to the Pinball Hall of Fame. I was able to catch it for the first time last year, during the Classic Gaming Expo, and the place was packed. (The CGE was running a shuttle back and forth, and there was definitely an effort made to get CGE people over there.) There were only a handful of people at the HoF this time, and I was able to play The Pinball Circus, which was a prototype that I didn’t get a chance to see last year. Like an idiot, I confused “Cirqus Voltaire,” currently rated the #4 best pinball game of all-time at the Internet Pinball Machine Database, with “The Pinball Circus,” which is not. Whatever, fuck the list! TPC was amazing to play, and I was cognizant that I was playing — since it was a prototype — one of two such machines in the world.

And then, since I am not a Wikipedian with Asperger Syndrome, we all met up with the rest of our friends and had drinks for the rest of the night. 

***

I woke up Saturday to a mass of people jumping in and out of the Casino Royale. Well, actually, I woke up to housekeeping SCREAMING THEIR FUCKING HEADS OFF to get into my fucking room. I didn’t set the “do not disturb” mechanism correctly, so it’s my fault, but goddamn – if the door is locked, give up, housekeepers! It’s gonna be fine! Nobody shot themselves! Actually – well, back to the first bit of this paragraph:

People from the strip were entering the Casino Royale, I discerned, because the strip itself was taped off. What I heard, but was not able to confirm through Google News, was that someone got shot overnight. (So yeah, when people asked if the Casino Royale was at all like the movies, I was able to say sure: there was a similar number of gunshots, har har.) Maybe that’s just how rumors spread, I don’t know. 

All right, let’s hit up part two tomorrow. Either that, or maybe my brother will write something horrible about Barack Obama.

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