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Friday, June 01, 2007


Last night, after an anniversary dinner with my wife (I really need to see the rest of the lobster that had a one pound tail), I took a walk through the downtown arts district of G-Vegas. Despite the underhanded and often dirty way the area developed, it's quite nice and the perfect place for a walk on a warm Thursday night.

My wife held my arm as we walked. I let my hands hang to my sides. After about a a half hour of walking, I felt the familiar tingle in my hands. It's a combination of swelling and repetitive motion issues that make my hands feel like arthritic sausages.

It was a quick reminder that The Sickness is about to begin.

I realized that my marathon Vegas summer is about to begin and I will be sausage hands for the next two months. I usually begin these trips with a long lament about leaving my family, the romantic dread about spending a summer in Sin City, and an anecdote or two about one of my past trips.

Instead, I'm just going to clear my head of a few niggling little things and try to go into the summer fresh. I've made a decision to treat this summer like a test of will, ability, talent, and discipline. That likely means I'll be a shivering mass of flesh, writing nothing, and sodden with booze by mid-June. But I hope not.

So, let's go into this one clean, eh?

* I'm a bad judge of depth. Evidence of this can be found in most areas of my life. This week, I bought a new washer and dryer. I judged the width and height of my utility closet very well. Not accounting for depth, I'm now waiting for the delivery guy to bring something new that can fit in the space. I have only moderate faith that--even with the use of a tape measure--I got it right this time. I think there is probably a greater life metaphor somewhere in here.

* I bought a new cell phone that was probably more than I need. The Blackberry Pearl is a fabulous little device. However, I think I bought it to compensate for other depth issues I have.

* I have had a small halo of concern hovering over my head for the past couple months regarding a professional issue. While not entirely to my satisfaction, the issue has been resolved and I'm glad it's over.

* I wanted to go to Bonnaroo this year. I couldn't pull the trigger on it because I wasn't sure if I was going to be working. Now, I'm sure I'm going to be working and I'm disappointed I can't go to the 'Roo.

* Last Friday night, I almost had myself convinced to drop out, sell my house, buy an RV, and travel the country writing a book based on a silly but intriguing premise. My wife, noting my relative insobriety, remarked, "We'll see what you think about this idea in the morning." Remarkably, I still think she would've been up for it.

* Until last Friday, I had never played Washers. Thirty-three years is too long to live without having played this game.

* To anyone thinking of visiting my wife while I'm gone: The house is fully alarmed, I have a dog with sharp teeth, and my wife is skilled in various martial arts and the use of a handgun. Oh, and she has a scorching case of herpes. Oh, sure, maybe I'm kidding about that last part, but do you really want to find out?

* I think it's pretentious to consider myself the J.J. Cale of my chosen line of work, but sometimes I do.

* I also think it's pretentious that I've been drinking premium vodkas on a regular basis. Given a taste test, I could probably tell you the difference between premium and crap. However, it would take a lot of work to work up a palate that could distinguishing between the good stuff. And working up that palate is probably not the best idea.

* An old guy spilled an entire cup of hot coffee on me last week and I didn't get mad.

(Note: As I type, the real test of my tape measure skills is taking place. A muttering, gangly delivery man is shoulder deep in my utility closet. In just a few minutes, he will either say nothing and all will be well. Or he'll poke his head out, call me mister, and say, "I don't think this is gonna fit." At which point, I will likely use the words "mother fucker."

* I so suck at home repair, woodworking, and anything that requires physical skill that I sometimes wonder if I'm just an exceptionally gifted monkey. Then again, a monkey could use tools better than me. Probably play pingpong better, too. My brother recently installed...well, everything in his new house. As he gave me a tour, he was talking about remodeling his master bath. "I just need to cut out half of this wall," he began. I stopped listening to measure my penis and realize that I have more than depth problems.

* Fill in the blank: "I never thought there would be a day--like today--when someone would hand me ___________ and I would be disappointed."

* I forgot to write Skip back.

(I couldn't resist and peeked in on the delivery guy. I'm worried I may have to use, as my Grandma Ruby used to say, curses and bad words.)

* My dog is a real bitch when she comes home from the doggie country club (aka kennel). Her breath stinks, she refuses to eat any of her own food or treats, and she can't stop nervously moving around. I, like the sap I am, have been feeding her chicken breasts. My wife gave me the stinkeye for that.

* I just finished Carl Hiassen's "Sick Puppy." Those books make me smile.

(Okay, we may be alright on the delivery front. Just a couple more steps and I can claim second-try-success).

* I don't care what anybody says. The final season of the "Sopranos" is the best since the first season.

* I can't dance.

(Motherfucker. Wait, that's a good motherfucker. All systems go.)

And that's it. My next dispatch will be from the road. And if it's not, then you know I'm not coming back.

When the road I travel starts to unravel
Every which way it goes
The beat starts to press on my bullet proof vest
And my high turns out to be low
Give me my guitar I'm going to go far
Let me see it let me hold it in my hand
I'm the devil in disguise I tell you no lies
I'm playing in a rock 'n roll band

--J.J. Cale

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Blogger Daddy said...

Along with a slightly bent (to the left) penile shaft you can go ahead and add an anniversary date to things we share in common.

I am curious as to the premise of that book. If it involves having sex in various bean/corn fields across our vast country it is already being done. I'm working very closely with Ken Burns on the documentary which should hit elementary school library shelves in 2008.

I wish you the best in Vegas.

12:13 PM  
Blogger StB said...

Once you start playing Washers, you are hooked. Great game. My friend even added a twist by extending a bolt in the cup. If you can somehow ring the bolt, you get humongo points.

1:37 PM  
Blogger April said...

I hope Vegas treats you well this summer. Much love to you and the Mrs.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell NO it isn't a bit arrogant to compare your blog about internet poker to the works of one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century.

That's SPOT ON!

I like to think of this as the Beethoven of comments.

- Ludwig

8:13 PM  
Blogger Otis said...


I think I might have left a little unsaid about my Cale comparison. It had little to do with talent and more to do with a dedication and life philosophy. But fuck it.

Oh, and I'm really looking forward to your Fifth Comment. I think it will be a classic.

9:22 PM  
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