the coin of the realm

“That’ll be 8.02”
(I hand the girl at the counter a $10 bill
and she starts to count out 1.98 in change)
“You’re not really going to give me 98 cents change are you?”

Normally I pay for everything with my debit card, but at certain places I only pay cash because I don’t necessarily want them to know who I am. I’ve had people look for me online before after seeing me somewhere…and that’s cool I do that sort of thing too, but I also write about all sorts of nutty exchanges I have with people so you just really never know who reads this stuff and how they’d react. Maintaining anonymity in certain circles(like where I eat) is important to me.

Back in the days when I was a “broke ass ” coins were a hot commodity (even mangled pennies that had been run over to the point of near-unrecognizability were highly sought after.) Anything to get me closer to the short term goal of either a single bag of microwave popcorn or a stick of processed string cheese from 7-eleven.

The only time in recent memory that I made any serious effort to scrounge around for change buried within the meager crevasses of my room was about a month ago, and I was able to muster about $35 worth… which I brought to the Coinstar machine and converted it into cash that I then took to Vegas where it swiftly evaporated into a “Money Mad Martians” slot machine and was completely vaporized within about 20 minutes.

I hate coins. They should just get rid of them altogether. When your skinny jean pockets get too filled with change, it just makes it look like you have a displaced scrotum. Not to mention it sags your pants and causes you to make constant belt notching adjustments to account for the periodic increases and decreases in coin levels throughout the day.

Years ago people saved every penny. Nowadays you find a quarter in your pocket(not a roll of quarters mind you) and it’s “how the the heck did that get in there?” just before you toss it somewhere harmlessly without even bothering to make a wish.

February 4, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Comments off.

Las Vegas is my dream town

So I went to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and let me just say that I want to move to Las Vegas. I love it so much, it has surpassed Los Angeles as my all time favorite city.  Don’t believe anyone who tells you it’s a crummy place. The truth is that it’s magical and dreamlike. 

Once my business was done at the show, I walked up and down the  Las Vegas strip over and over and over.  I went in every single casino, not to gamble but just to gaze around and explore. The first chance I got I walked really far to get to Circus Circus(a circus themed casino). I had always wanted to see it since it was in “Diamonds Are Forever,” one of my all time favorite movies. People had warned me that it’s part of the old strip, and sort of a seedy area now, but I didn’t care.  I stubbornly walked really far to get to it, and I was not disappointed one bit. Circus Circus is an awesome place. People have to learn to love the idea of something, the feeling of it.

 

Circus Circus is like a gigantic 60’s carnival with slot machines. I would say that it’s like Chuck E Cheese with slot machines, but that would not be doing the place justice.  And their slot machines are good too. I played for a really loooong  time with only 5 bucks, and I left with 10.  Oh and the game that the kid plays in “Diamonds Are Forever”(1971) where they shoot water and it blows up the balloons…it’s still there!  I’ve also started getting into the habit of writing the year of the movie next to the title, as there are so many crappy remakes of my favorite movies, I can’t even keep track anymore and I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea and start thinking I’m talking about some modern film godforbid. seriously..barf

Getting back to why Las Vegas is wonderful, it is a sort of fantasy land. Like you can live in alternate realities there and dream worlds. Say you’re in the mood to be in a pirate atmosphere, you just head on over to Treasure Island. Say you feel like going to the Circus, you tumble on down to Circus Circus.  What’s that? In the mood for some Springtime in Paris?  Just  travel a few blocks to Paris casino! Oh, you’d rather visit the old west? Well no need to bust out a delorean time machine ala “Back to the Future 3″(1990), just come on down to Bills Gamblin Saloon!  You get the idea. Las Vegas is the escapist’s paradise.  Get it? It’s really, really neat.

One thing I always remember about Los Angeles was that it’s often difficult to get into places. The vibe is one where everybody always says “no”. Whether you’re at the bank trying to cash a check, looking to go into a bar, or just asking a friend for a ride…the word “no” is something you get used to hearing. In fact, part of coming of age in Los Angeles is learning the wisdom to not ask for anything, as the moment you stop asking is when you finally start getting somewhere. While wandering though Las Vegas, I didn’t experience any of the cold shoulder you typically get in LA. I had no problem getting in anywhere. No one ever treated me as if I wasn’t supposed to be there.
There were no annoyingly pompous doormen, guest lists, etc. I could walk into the biggest hotels and restaurants, without any hassle. It was a completely friendly and totally welcoming atmosphere. Everyone is in a good mood and eager to help.

I had an amazing burger at this place called the Stripburger(strip as in Las Vegas Strip, not strip clothes) It was really juicy, even better than Johnny Rockets or the ostritch burger from Astro Burger. Also, while at the airport waiting for my plane back I won $250 in an Airport slot machine called “White Ice.” I had only put a buck in.

Las Vegas, I dig.

January 14, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Comments off.

%d bloggers like this: