Leaving Las Vegas
Well, not forever. I'm heading to Michigan for a little over a week to do some gigs.
I'll be at the12 Oaks Mall in Novi, MI on March 1 between 9 AM and 7 PM. I'll be the one spinning plates.
on march 8th I will go to the Great Lakes Crossing Mall in Auburn Hills, MI to spin plates again from 10 AM to 7 PM.
In between I plan on visiting my younger brother and crashing at his place in the Ann Arbor area.
Good gig with a decent paycheck, something I can really use right now. March could be a good month for me. I'm still waiting to hear if I have a gig at the Mirage Events center on the 13th. I have a booking in Ham Lake, Minnesota on the 15th (another GOOD paycheck!) and I just got a call for a local event on the 22nd. Keeping all the fingers crossed so I can not only get all these gigs, but get some cash into the bank...pay some bills...buy some food...
In other news, I'm about 99% certain I saw Garrison Keillor and wife on the Strip tonight. I say 99% because not that many people look EXACTLY like the guy, but I can never picture Keillor actually IN a place like Vegas. But for the sake of saying I saw him...I saw him.
I didn't bother him nor did I break out my "Lake Please Be Gone" parody I occasionally spout out among friends. Everyone has a right to be alone and on vacation in Vegas so far as I can tell.
I apologize for the lack of posts of late. Just not a lot of motivation to bring on the writing or the funny I guess. Perhaps I'll have more to tell you when I'm freezing in the damn Midwestern snow.
Things that Make Me Laugh
Too Damn Cool!
I know it is silly but every time we walk into the living room and see that wet bar we start giggling with happiness.
Here's hoping we get lots of good use out of it!
A Married Couple Walks Into a Bar
Last time I posted a photo of a wet bar. This is a rather special piece of furniture. Not only is this wet bar a brand new resident of the Martello home, but its previous home was also a place where April and I spent a lot of time and money...The gone but not forgotten Las Vegas icon known as...
Yes indeed, this once stood in one of the suites at the Stardust Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. We recently purchased it at The Antique Mall on Flamingo and we've been giddy about it ever since.
The seller had purchased six suites of furniture from the hotel auction prior to implosion. This bar was the last of the six purchased and certainly the last of the ones available from this gal.
April and I tend to go to antique stores and other places that are fun to look at and enjoy when we have no money to spend. We discovered the bar a few months back when we were still rather new to the area and considerably more broke than we are now (we're still broke, but you get the idea).
April and I have been extremely good about the lack of silly and unnecessary purchases since moving out here. April is still looking for a better job and I'm not exactly tearing up the entertainment scene so there's not a lot of "fun money" to be found. In our fantasies about getting settled, established, and well...our fantasies of being able to stay in this house longer than the year we'd been contemplating how much our large living room could use a bar of some sort. We don't do a lot of entertaining but we do a lot of drinking and the room is more than big enough for such a thing. Ahh, the dreams of silly people.
As I have mentioned here before, we both have a lot of sentimental attachment to the Stardust. April owns a section of carpet from the casino floor (complete with cigarette burn!) as well as a commemorative chip and some other goodies. We were already enjoying the look of this wet bar when we saw it at the store. Finding out that it was a long-time resident in a luxurious suite at one of our favorite Vegas properties made this a pipe dream purchase and foolish wish immediately. What better piece of memorabilia could we find?
The cost on the piece, complete with certificate of authenticity was about $400.00. CLEARLY worth it to us, but FAR out of our price range. Truthfully I had MAYBE $400.00 to my name at the time and April wasn't much better off. We'd both agreed that if it were in the $150.00 price range we'd put a little cash down and scrape up the money later somehow. Since it was not going down in price we sighed and walked away.
After a few months, this most recent trip to the store found that bar with a big old "SOLD" sticker on it and we took one last look at it, thinking about what could have been.
After helping us find the price of another piece of Stardust memorabilia we'd been interested in, the salesperson asked if we'd seen the wet bar. Heartbroken, we told him we had. He then mentioned that the gal who'd purchased the six suites of furniture had one wet bar left. We assumed it would be at the same price.
As it happened this gal had recently moved to Florida and had given the OK to sell of whatever merchandise she had left at the store at all costs. She'd even told them to put the last wet bar in The Antique Mall's upcoming monthly auction (which was 4 days away). We'd asked if it would be possible to purchase it prior to the auction and if so, at what price.
The man went away to find out if it would be OK to sell early. We didn't really get our hopes up since things like that do sell pretty well in auction situations. He came back and told us they could sell it early and the best price they could take for it would be...wait for it...
A quick trip to the bank, where I had recently deposited some bonus money from work and where April had squirreled away some savings of her own, and BOOM! Our dream bar had become more than just a dream.
Currently it is not a fully-functioning wet bar. We don't own the house so we're not going to be doing any major plumbing as of yet. However we are looking into some temporary solutions to make the sink and faucet operational. The fridge that came with it still works like a champ and it is cooling some beer for us right now.
We're not sure how old the furniture is or how long it lived at the Stardust, but we're pretty certain that the piece itself is original with some after-market upgrades made to it, such as a glass shelf, new plumbing, and newer fridge which opens when the cabinet door opens.
We've already decorated it a bit with some Stardust playing cards and a matchbook. I've got a cool idea for some coasters as well. My personal favorite thing about THIS bar (as opposed to the other one we first saw) is that this one has a gold foil sticker on the mirror in the upper left corner which reads, "Property of the Stardust hotel & Casino". NICE!
There's lots of storage space for bottles and bar ware. We may replace the fridge with a pony keg fridge and run a tap. There's a convenient place in the corner that probably housed a lamp at one time and that spot would make much more sense with a beer tap running through it. Of course, if it is possible we may just have beer running though the faucet itself. Homer Simpson's dream would be our reality!
I'll get around to regular updates one day soon.
Until then check out this photo and ask me about it later.
Because They Are STILL Relevant & Accurate
(click to enlarge and read in full)
My Column, "The Folly of Valentine's Day"
(Reprinted Below for Your Enjoyment)
I won’t lie to you. I am not the best husband in the world. I am not the greatest guy around. I am extremely selfish and flawed.
I try very hard to be a better man both for myself and for my wife. Some days are better than others, but for the most part I am an alright person.
When February rolls around I am reminded of how good I have it when it comes to my wife, April. Don’t get me wrong, she is not perfect either, but she makes a few things extremely more comfortable for me. These things tend make me the envy of many a man.
Long before we were married I was informed that if I EVER wanted to flat-out lose my lady love, all I had to do was acknowledge the most awful of fake holidays, Valentine’s Day.
I am simply not allowed to buy a present for her on that day. No velvet boxes, no pretty jewelry, not a single piece of chocolate, not one cuddly stuffed animal, not even a card imprinted with some corporation’s verbalization of how I love my wife is allowed to be brought into our home. THIS, is one cool lady and one easy to follow policy!
I know what the men are thinking. Those not hoping I’m getting a divorce or wondering if April has a single sister are convinced this is part of some “woman trick”.
Men have fallen victims to these sorts of ploys before. We get TOLD that we’re not expected to “do anything special” for Valentine’s Day. When we do NOTHING we end up sleeping alone in the garage for a week. Sometimes we do SOMETHING, just not “something special,” and we get the mildly hurt expression and the, “That’s OK. I love it…really,” response. We all know that response means we failed the test. Believe me, guys, I have been there. I feel your pain.
I thought I was being set up for failure the first time April and I approached a Valentine’s Day. I was pretty sure she meant what she said, but a big part of me was panicking inside. I humored thoughts of having a go-to safety gift waiting in the wings, JUST IN CASE! If it was indeed true that Valentine’s Day meant nothing to her I could save the gift for a birthday, an anniversary, or better yet, the “no particular occasion gift”. Those gifts always score big points! If the no Valentine’s gift concept was all a clever plot to trap me I’d have a great, “A-HA!” moment and save the day with a pretty package. Instead, I did nothing. I had no present-parachute to save my life. As luck would have it, I survived the day.
April truly hates Valentine’s Day and all it represents. This is a girl that otherwise LOVES presents, chocolates, and gifts of all kinds. Associate any of those things with Valentine’s Day and she will have nothing to do with them.
All men hate Valentine’s Day and the unnecessary pressure put upon us to perform properly. If you are neither dating nor married, you hate it because of the awful implied loser image associated with being “alone.”
Being with April has been a real eye-opening experience for me.
She first put this concept into my head and in the years since we’ve been together a genuinely nice theory has emerged.
Why not love your significant other every day of the year?
Why put so much importance on one single day? We already have Christmas, Hanukkah, birthdays & anniversaries to show affection and appreciation and buy gifts. There are special days for mothers, fathers, and grandparents. Even secretaries & bosses get singled out for extra love on certain days. If the greeting card people could market a “Best Friends Day” or a “Wonderful Pets Day” I’m sure they’d do it.
Excluding religious holidays, any of these non-holidays could be removed from our calendars and replaced with 364 more days of general appreciation.
While my wife and I may not always LIKE each other, we LOVE each other every day of the year. We don’t need a cold day in February filled with pink cards and roses to remind us of that. There are plenty of times we surprise each other with little gifts or go to dinner just to be together.
Why trouble ourselves with impossible dinner reservations on February 14th when we can eat the same meal on May 14th? Think about it, wouldn’t YOU like to have some fun May 14th? Nothing ever happens on May 14th, why not make that a special day?
Pick any day other than Valentine’s Day and have some fun. They sell greeting cards & gifts year-round, so go for it!
Single? Great! Make November 29th “Single People RULE Day” and give the bars and night clubs a reason to jump start the holiday season. Invite all your single friends and give each other cool gifts and cards. Put photos of your married friends and their kids in the cards and point out how tired and depressed the married folks look. Tell them the pictures were taken on Valentine’s Day to make the moment sweeter.
The possibilities are endless once you free yourself from the bonds of a useless and meaningless holiday like Valentine’s Day!
Of course, I know I am the exception to the rule. My wife is special. When we got engaged she didn’t want a diamond ring. She HATES diamonds. When we got married she chose to wear her GARNET engagement ring I bought her. In fact, she didn’t insist I wear a wedding ring at all! SHE knows I’m married to her.
I’ve been told if I ever wanted a wedding ring, she’d buy one for me. I may just go ahead and push the envelope and ask for one with a diamond inside. I think I’ll ask for one this Sweetest Day and see what happens.
Please Help Golfwidow
My good friend, talented writer, and podcast partner, Goflwidow has been downsized by the job she used to think was filled with awesome.
She's seriously living in the "FUCKED ZONE" right now. See, not only is she out of work, but her husband has been looking for a new job for some time as well.
She is terrified.
She is also too proud to beg in her time of need (unlike myself). Rather, she is offering to write guest posts on your blog for a donation of TWO DOLLARS. Don't believe me? Read the whole story here.
I've got a better solution. Buy a copy of her most excellent and very funny book, "Getting My Think On". She'll end up getting more cash and you'll get a much better understanding as to why she and I are friends and why I like her so much. If anything, you'll have a wonderful read and I assume that's why you stroll through blogs in the first place.
I'll be sending her some moolah on my own. She helped me out when my house blew up and even though she'll protest, I fully expect to return the kindness.