Sunday, February 16, 2003

Ah, Valentine’s day. A day of love, and romance, and all that stuff. In my case, however, it had been agreed upon that this V-Day was going to be a chick road trip to Kansas City for some serious casino action. Seeing that my sister, MaryAnn’s birthday is on Feb 13th, it became her birthday party on wheels. I was even more excited because the trip meant that I got to take Friday off from work, after a stressful week. Hooray!

My plan was to get up at 7am so that I would be ready to leave at 7:30. Well, Tallulah decided that I should get up at 6 instead, so that’s what happened. I spent a bit too much time online, and ended up having to get dressed really quickly so that we could leave on time. The rain was coming down in a thick mist, which was at least better than heavy rain or snow, but far from being optimal driving conditions.

In Springfield, we met up with my sister MaryAnn and her friend Sherry, who I had never met before, at the Super Wal-Mart parking lot, so that we could all pile into my car and leave MaryAnn’s behind. Perhaps I should say squeeze into my car, or sardine ourselves into my car, because it seems that the back seats of Mustangs are not made with the intention of actual human use. They’re fantastic for holding all of the junk I keep back there, but actual people? No. We ended up with me driving, MaryAnn shotgun, and mom and Sherry, who were the two smallest, squeezed into the back seat. Given the fact that I have legs that are something like ten feet long, I searced for some sort of compromise with seat position that gave mom some kind of leg room without killing my legs either.

I ended up driving most of the way to Kansas City while we sang along with the various mix cd’s I had brought and cheering at all of the Adult Stores we passed. We were fascinated by the town with a population of 176 that didn’t even have a grocery store, but did have a XXX porn shop. You have to love rural Missouri.

About 30 miles out of KC, I switched with MaryAnn so that she could drive the rest of the way. This was partially because I was really sick of driving, having been at it for around four hours, and also because I refuse to drive in big cities. We made it to the casino around 12:30 or 1:00. I got very excited over signs outside saying that they had $3 blackjack, and absolutely giddy over the ads for the Penny Slots, which I immediately nicknamed the Penny Sluts. “We get to play cheap sluts!” became our mantra. Once inside, I got to giggle over my sister getting carded at the entrance (our trip was mostly to celebrate her 32nd b-day). The place was absolutely huge, so we made plans to meet up back at the cashier’s cage we were at around 4pm, and set off. I got $10 in quarter tokens and $10 in nickels so that I could hit the slots for a while. The quarters went way too quickly, and there were hardly any nickel slots to be found on the first floor. I was seated next to a guy who was winning 100 almost every couple of minutes. Sure, that’s only like $5, but I was envious. Damn you, nickel slots.

I finally shoved my last roll of nickels in my jacket and ventured upstairs, where there were rumors of blackjack tables with $3 minimums. Well, there they were! However, there were only like 5 tables, so I had to wait over half an hour to get a seat. This, um, would be the part where I lost $60 playing blackjack. Damn on not quitting while I was ahead! I’m used to playing with 2 decks, and they were playing with 8, which made me sad (less decks give you an advantage). I blame it all on MaryAnn not letting us listen to Sinatra sing Luck be a Lady on the drive up. I had a great time, however. I kind of missed the chattiness of my beloved Hoyle Casino computer blackjack players, because everyone at my table was very dull. I had blackjack twice, and had one amusing hand where I had aces that I split, which resulted in another pair of aces, which I also split, finally resulting in pushing two hands and winning one. If only that could have been 3 blackjacks!

There is something in the casino air, I found, that made my brain go dead while I was playing. Suddenly, I could not add the numbers on the cards. I would stare at my seven and eight, on more than one occasion, baffled as to what that could possibly add up to. I hit on 16 when the dealer had a 4 showing. Generally, I did not play my best. But again, it was fun. And come on, we all know I looked so damn cool.

Around 4, my once rather tall stack of pretty little chips was down to almost nothing, so I cashed out and went downstairs in search of the girls. The problem was, I knew we’d said we would meet by the cashier’s cage, but I couldn’t remember which one, and there were at least ten of them downstairs. I wandered around the first floor for around fifteen minutes before I finally found the one I was almost positive we had decided on, and waited on mom there. After a few minutes of waiting, she decided that she could wait just as easily while playing slots, so she found a dollar slot machine and decided to play $10. Well, during that, she won $100! I was trying to convince her to cash out, but she decided to play down to $90 while we waited on the others. At $90, she decided to play down to $50. That dork.

Eventually MaryAnn showed up, and Sherry a few minutes later, with tales of a hot guy she had met. She drug me off to show me Casino Worker Guy with an Unpronouncable Name, who got her number while we were there.

Back at the good ol’ $1 Double Diamond Deluxe slot, we grabbed mom and drug her away kicking and screaming, back to the car for the much loathed drive home. I made MaryAnn drive, because all I wanted was a nap. The drive home was pretty much like the drive up, with a few fewer XXX shops on the way (we took a major highway instead of the country back roads this time. It wasn’t as amusing, but was about an hour quicker).

When we got to Springfield, MaryAnn’s car had a very flat tire. Being the girls that we were, we decided to send Sherry inside to find someone to help change it. She came back with a good looking wal-mart employee guy, who got right to work on changing it while the unmarried half of our group flirted shamelessly with him. Well, ok, Sherry flirted shamelessly, I flirted moderately. At some point in the tire-changing process, a random guy walked up and asked Tire Changing Wal-Mart Guy “Do you want a 4-way?” We all exchanged an amused glance and giggled when we figured out he meant some sort of tire-changing tool. Anyway, Parking Lot 4-Way Guy and Tire Changing Wal-Mart guy did a smashing job of changing the tire, and Wal-Mart Guy told my sister to pull around to the auto department and he would air up her spare for her, since it didn’t have the right pressure. So, MaryAnn and Sherry went off in that direction, while Mom and I set off for home. It wasn’t long before I got a call to tell me that Unpronouncable Casino Guy had called Sherry while Wal-Mart guy was fixing the tire, so while she missed out on getting Wal-Mart guy’s number, she did set up plans to go see Casino guy on Sunday. Sherry is my new idol.

I fell into bed pretty promptly after getting home, and was quite delighted to find Welcome Back Kotter on TV Land. I haven’t seen that show in years! Afterwards, I turned out the lights and fell asleep to the cast commentary of the 2nd half of Fellowship. I was so tired that I started it at the arrival in Lothlorien, and fell asleep right after Sam got his rope, if that tells you much.

Speaking of which, I just came across something at the New Line shop that simply rocks my world:

“Get yourself ready for battle every morning with these Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers coffee mugs that reveal the Elvish One Ring inscription when you pour in a hot beverage.”

I would probably consider getting them, except that a) they are $18 for the two, and b) the Rohan warriors are on one, and the Uruk-hai on the other. I could dig the Rohan one, but I really don’t want uruk-hai staring back at me first thing in the morning. But the whole elvish script that is heat sensitive? Brilliant! Also, its about time someone made a cheap knockoff of the Arwen necklace so that poor people like myself can get in on the love without paying $75.

Fantastic Quote of the day:

My father, on my bottles of frappuccino in the fridge: “Don’t you have to heat it?”

I am so jealous of Evany and her dog show party. Why can’t I have friends like that? If I invited people over for drinks and dog show, they would laugh politely and then run away.

I admit that I’ve had a great weekend. I slept in late, went grocery shopping (I looove grocery shopping), watched Harriet the Spy (I cried), watched The Music Man (I cried), watched the Osbournes renew their vows (I nearly wet my pants laughing at Ozzy singing “No more pubic hair!”). I spent lots of time combing through magazines for collage materials to make some more postcards to send out for Postcard X. Speaking of which, I’ve gotten several more recipes in the mail, as well as a lovely postcard from NYC and one from Berkley this week. And a handmade one decorated with stars. I love you all, Postcard X’ers.

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