Casino Report and Smash II

I finally put a page together for Smash II. I’m not going to tell you what that means, so click the link and all will be explained.

Last weekend I went to a casino (that shall remain nameless) in Mississippi to see “Weird Al” Yankovic. Having never been to a casino of any kind, I was very curious to see up close this particular aspect of our culture.

The floor of the casino isn’t what James Bond movies had led me to believe. The slot machines outnumbered the tables by a wide margin. The atmosphere was disorienting, and not just because of the thousands of bright flashing lights and constant beeping sounds. I was struck by a malaise that I think stemmed from the fact that there was a completely inverted proportion of shiny machinery to individual enthusiasm on the part of the casino patrons. Most people sat on their stools, smoking their cigarettes and punching their buttons with near-clockwork regularity. An overwhelming sadness permeated the facility.

I saw a lot of people whom I perceived to be intensely lonely and lost. Some people were like myself and my friends; we had come to the casino for a day’s amusement. I had the strong suspicion however, that many more people in the house were lifers. These people seemed as though they had nothing else with which to fill up their lives but the desire to win unearned money.

My mind may have just been painted a grey shade that day, as my perceptions began to lighten a fair bit as the evening progressed. I started to notice that I was witnessing a startling diversity of human specimens. Every shape, size and shade of human being was represented. This diversity expanded exponentially as fans of “Weird Al” Yankovic arrived. This collision of demographics gave me what I believe to be the most accurate sampling of the American population I have ever witnessed.

I saw humanity in its most common, and thus least popular form.


Natalie broke up with me last night. She said she wanted to be single again. I’d almost prefer she drop me for another guy rather than choose to be alone instead of with me.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be wandering the freeway in my pajamas muttering the words to the Righteous Brothers’ 1965 classic “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.”

Many Minute Things

Fundrace is an interesting site that gives names, occupations and mailing addresses for anyone who contributes to a presidential race. It’s also ZIP-code searchable, meaning you can find out fun things like celebrity addresses and distribution of political affiliations – did you know for example that the 90210 ZIP code contains only donations to
Democrats? Neato.

On the spam front, I’ve started getting spam messages that are populated by random excerpts from 19th Century literature. I got this recently:

Her baby-conscience was rather tough and elastic, and I suppose she would have felt no more scruples about nibbling nice things, than an unprincipled little mouse. Not Prudy, for the poor little thing had grown so lame by this time, that she was unable to bear her weight on her feet, much less to walk into the nursery.

A quick search on Yahoo (but not Google because it sucks now) reveals that this text comes from Little Prudy’s Sister Susy by Sophie May. I also found a copy of the exact email I received.

On TV there is some movie called Brave New Girl. I’ve been trying not to pay attention to it, because it’s a product of Britney Spears’ burgeoning media empire. I just want to say right now that abusing the good name of Brave New World for cheeseball TV programming that bears no relation whatsoever to anything even remotely intelligent or thoughtful is a sin against the universe. May God smite ye all.

One last thing. I just realized that the word “howdy” is the resulting silt of years of linguistic erosion from the far longer, “how do you do?” I can only assume that phrase was whittled down to “howdy do” and then the latter term was lopped off. I’m probably the only person that cares about this sort of thing…

New Plog

I can only get so much done in my hour-long lunch break. Here’s a new plog. If I write in this journal less frequently, then it only serves to indicate that I have a life and I’m living it rather than writing about it. At least that’s what I’ll keep telling myself.

Finally Back

The European vacation travelogue is here. It took most of last Saturday to complete, so that alone is reason enough to peruse its 7 pages of trippy goodness.

Sunday I made up for lost time by having a fine lunch outdoors at Pizza Cafe courtesy of Heather. Then she, Carter, and Liz and I went to the park to play a low-impact round of frisbee before giving up and just sitting somewhere. We then went to Shakey’s for frosty custard things, and Barnes & Noble. Shortly thereafter Heather and I joined up with Brian and John Mumford (did I mention the Mumfords are now on their vacation in the States?) to go over to Matt’s house to smash things. Have I mentioned the Smashing of Things? This was the second time we gathered at Matt’s to destroy old computer hardware – a monitor, a server – a la Office Space. It’s great fun. Hopefully we can do it regularly. After that, Heather and I went to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which I highly recommend.

I further recommend, nay, implore that you attend, a screening of Kevin Smith’s new film, Jersey Girl. Kev has done some of his best work and I think people may assume that Ben Affleck’s presence equals bomb, but they are mistaken. This movie needs to make money, people, so hop to it. Natalie and I went to see it Monday night and it’s great – no stoner gags or comic book fanboy lingo, either, just a straight-up funny flick about being a parent.

Last night I went for a nice walk up the street and stopped off at the video store where I picked up a Flying Circus tape that contained the original versions of Argument Clinic and Spanish Inquisition. Delightful.