Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wow That Escalated Quickly

Wendy Has No Time For Your Shit

If You Love Something, Let It Go

Home Firearm Safety

I don't know about you, but that guy in the background might want to get out of there now.

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 145

The Time Mookie Got A Cool Gold Medallion At Caesar's Palace

Since it is now March, that usually means one thing for the kids out there: Spring Break Vacation. To celebrate Spring Break, all of the Monday Morning Stories with Mookie episodes in March will be about something that happened during one of my visits to my favorite vacation destination: LAS VEGAS. Enjoy.

Every time I have been to Vegas, I have always made sure to pick up a souvenir or something for the kids from the trip.  Something that says "Las Vegas" on it or something similar.  On one particular trip with Rick* I was coming up empty on finding anything good.  That's when Rick suggested the best thing ever. He says: "We have to go to Caesar's.  If you sign up for their Players Club, they give you this gold medallion that comes on a chain you can wear around your neck.  It's bad ass."  I look at him questionably and ask if he is serious, and he states that on a previous trip he and one of his friends got them and wore them all over the place like pimps. My son at the time had a huge fixation on gold medals due to the Olympics, so I had to look into it.

Sure enough, the casino Player's Club came through for me.  After I gave them all of my pertinent information I was given the most gaudy and awesome necklace one could get for free.

When I went home and my son asked me if I had gotten him anything on my trip, I showed him the gold medal and he just stood there in total amazement.  In his eyes it was just as awesome as an Olympic gold medal, and in many ways it probably was.  He wore that thing for awhile after that, and until recently it hung on the wall with all of his other medals he won at school for the various events he participated in.

I should get it back and wear it to work.  People will step aside for that kind of bling.

* - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 144

The Time Mookie Played Blackjack and It Helped Pay For The Wedding

Since it is now March, that usually means one thing for the kids out there: Spring Break Vacation. To celebrate Spring Break, all of the Monday Morning Stories with Mookie episodes in March will be about something that happened during one of my visits to my favorite vacation destination: LAS VEGAS. Enjoy.

I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned it here before, but my wife and I actually got married in Las Vegas.  The actual marriage story will probably show up here in a future episode, but today I am going to share how we helped pay for this shindig.  It is absolutely my favorite batch of gambling stories, and was a sure sign that things in life were going in the right direction.

We planned the wedding several months in advance, and told anyone and everyone we were doing it. If they wanted to come and share the day with us, great.  If not, it was understandable and no hard feelings.  Much to our surprise, we had quite a crowd of friends and family make the trip and it was awesome.  When Megan* and I left Colorado Springs for Vegas, I took out maybe $125 bucks at the ATM.  At that point in time I hadn't gotten paid at work yet, so the funds in my account were rather tight.  My thinking was that if I needed more money in a day or so, my paycheck should be deposited by then and I could make an ATM withdrawal in Las Vegas. However as it turns out, I never had to visit the ATM again.

Once we got to town, we met up with everyone and randomly gambled and walked around the first day. Megan had looked into everything we needed to do to get married there, so the first most important thing we needed to do was get a marriage license.  We had to get it downtown, and they cost like $50 or $75 (I forget).  My response was "Well, we better head down to the casino."  We went down to what used to be Barbary Coast (which became Bill's Gambling Hall and Saloon - which is now closed pending renovation into something else) and hit the $5 blackjack tables.  I sat down with $20 and in less than an hour I somehow turned it into just over $200. Hell. Yes.  Megan also was winning so we were NOT complaining.

With this money we were able to go downtown (the bus - which is a story all in itself), get our marriage license at the Clark County Recorder's office, gamble a bit, and then head back.

That night we ended up down at the Monte Carlo as we had friends staying down there, and I happened upon a blackjack table that I had to sit down at.  It was in the style of a baccarat table where the table was not elevated and you sat in regular chairs (as opposed to elevated bar stools). I sat down and immediately went on another run.  While it was similar to the one I had at Barbary Coast, I had to be patient and work for my chips.  Eventually when I got up from the table I was up another $100.00. This was definitely a banner day.
Barbary Coast - Host to our big run of luck at the tables

The next day while we had breakfast, Megan mentioned we had to pay the minister at the wedding as that wasn't included in our package.  I asked how much, and again it was like $50 or $75 (I forget).  "Well, we better head down to the casino."  We went back to Barbary Coast, and in what was almost a repeat of the previous day - I was quickly went up over $200 again.  Hell. Yes.  It was like Vegas wanted us to get married AND wanted to foot the bill for it.  I was not going to say no.  While our luck did not follow to every casino we went to on that trip, it seemed like in the end we couldn't lose.  If we we lost at one place, the next place made up for it and then some.  If we lost at the Flamingo, we rolled at O'Sheas.  If we lost at Mirage, we won at Bally's.  To this day I have never had a streak of luck quite like this.  So by this point we had paid for all of our food, minister fees, marriage license, and were still clearing over $600.

The wedding ceremony and dinner with everyone went off without a hitch later that afternoon (a story for another day), and after all of the festivities were over and Megan and I went back to the room and changed out of our wedding attire.  What did we do?  Immediately consummate our wedding nuptials?  Nope.

We headed back down to Barbary Coast and won over $200 again.  Hell. Yes.

Then we consummated our marriage. Well.

* - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent

Friday, March 13, 2015

Another Las Vegas Landmark Is Closing

I just read in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the storied Riviera Hotel and Casino will be closing for good on May 4, 2015 at noon.  As the Riv has been on the downward slide for more than two decades, it is sad to see more of the "old school" Vegas going away.  It sounds like it will be demolished to make room for more convention center space.  R.I.P. old gal.
The Riviera hotel-casino officially announced Wednesday it will close May 4 at noon, according to a news release.
The announcement comes shortly after the historic Las Vegas landmark was sold to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for up to $191 million in February.
An estimated 1,000 jobs will be eliminated.
“We greatly appreciate the expressions of fondness and loyalty for ‘The Riv’ from our guests since ground first broke in 1954 and through the years. More importantly we want to acknowledge and applaud our associates who have worked to create enduring memories for all of our guests,” the release said.
“This is what will be remembered long after the walls have come down. We look forward to making the coming weeks fun, exciting and memorable.”
The Riviera will celebrate its 60th anniversary on April 20.


Monday, March 09, 2015

Wanna Meet Jesus?

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 143

The Time Mookie Got One Of The Big Drinks In Las Vegas

Since it is now March, that usually means one thing for the kids out there: Spring Break Vacation. To celebrate Spring Break, all of the Monday Morning Stories with Mookie episodes in March will be about something that happened during one of my visits to my favorite vacation destination: LAS VEGAS. Enjoy.

The first time I went to Vegas, it was with my then-fiancee/now-wife Megan.*  As I have discussed in previous stories, we stayed at the God-awful Circus Circus hotel at the northern end of The Strip.  Even though it was hell-and-gone from all the things we wanted to see in Las Vegas, blistered feet-be-damned we walked all over the place to see it.

During our journeys up and down The Strip, we kept seeing people with these abnormally large drink containers and could not figure out what they were or where they got them.  They were approximately two feet tall, and had a large container at the bottom that tapered up a long neck to a funneled mouth at the top.  This container also had a large straw that went from the bottom of the drink and stuck out the top.  Finally after a few days, we found out the source of these drinks: Slots O' Fun.  If you have never been to Slots O' Fun, brother you are missing out.  This place is home to not only some of the worst and most degenerate gamblers the town has ever seen, but also has some of the worst and most degenerate dealers in town as well - so you almost HAVE to see it.  Just make sure your tetanus shots are up to date.  Luckily this place is right next to the Circus Circus property, so we made plans to stop by on our way out on the town one particular night.
An example of the big drink.

We found the bar in Slots O' Fun that was selling the big drink, and we told the bartender that was what we wanted.  If I remember correctly, there were maybe three flavors you could get: Long Island Iced Tea, Sex On The Beach, and then some other fruity thing.  I chose the Long Island and Megan chose the Sex On The Beach.  The bartender basically filled the containers with ice before pouring the concoction into them, so we were probably getting cheated a ton by all the ice, but for as long as it took to drink them it probably worked out because the ice kept the drink cool.

We walked clear down The Strip and wandered in and out of casinos, all the while drinking our big drinks.  They started out tasting okay, but as the evening wore on they were getting kind of nasty.  Eventually, the alcohol in the big drinks finally snuck up on us and before we knew it we had gotten a little tipsy over them.  As we headed back to the hotel, I think we stopped drinking the big drinks because by that time they tasted like watered down battery acid.  What I do remember though is Megan and I cutting through this weird parking garage behind Circus Circus, randomly blurting things out and just laughing and laughing in our big drink-fueled stupor.  Finally we reached our room and collapsed on the beds in heap.  The big drink served us well that night and was well worth the six or seven bucks a piece we paid for them.

Nowadays you can get the big drinks EVERYWHERE on The Strip - except for ironically Slots O' Fun. For whatever reason, they don't even have them anymore.  Maybe they weren't putting enough alcohol in them to nullify the staph germs in the building.  You can find the big drink containers at all the Mexican food places where they fill them with your favorite margarita, and the Paris resort even has their own version of the big drink in the shape of the Eiffel Tower.  I had a big drink at a different casino years later after the Slots O' Fun one, but it definitely wasn't as good and it didn't have as much alcohol in it either.

They always say "good things never last," and that definitely holds true with the big drink on the Vegas Strip.  I'll just have to make my own big drink at home.

* - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent

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