We didn’t go to Atlantic City. We canceled at the last minute, for various reasons. High on the list: our kids apparently can’t be in the same room for more than 30 minutes without arguing. In fact, a few nights ago it escalated to a near fistfight. Yes, the jackassery is strong with those two at the moment. Leaving them alone for a couple of days probably wouldn’t have been among our wiser decisions.
Also, we started thinking about the money we’d spend on that little adventure, and decided to buy a new TV for the living room instead. The Gordon Ramsay dinner alone probably would have cost more than what we ended up paying for something we’ll likely use for many years. I would’ve already ejected that expensive dinner into the plumbing system by now. Heck, if I’d ordered bangers ‘n’ mash, like I planned, it probably would have even looked roughly the same coming out as it did going in.
So, on Saturday we waded into the sea of humanity in search of a good deal on a 40-inch TV. We started at Target. In last Sunday’s newspaper ad they had a really good deal listed. However… nearly a week had gone by, and I knew they were likely sold out. And they were. We even drove down to the Wilkes-Barre location, to see if they had it there. No dice. Their website, by the way, said something like “low stock” at both stores. It didn’t say “sold out,” it was something more ambiguous, and designed to make a person want to give it a shot. But, “sold out” would’ve been more accurate.
There was a lot of trashiness going on in Wilkes-Barre: ripped windbreakers with the Pizza Hut logo on the back, gray sweat pants with dress shoes, etc. So, we returned to the Scranton area, where things are at least 10% more civilized. We had lunch at Chipotle, hoping not to ingest any of the Mexican shit water they apparently use on their produce, and plotted our strategy. The roads and stores were so crowded, we were right on the cusp of saying fukkit. But if that were to happen… there’s a very good chance the new TV would not happen at all. Oh, I know how these things go. So, I pushed for continuing the quest.
And we hit the jackpot at our next stop: Best Buy. We got a 40-inch Samsung, for a very good price. I think it’s this one, and we paid slightly less. Nice.
It was exciting! We still had an old tube TV in the living room, that couldn’t connect to the WiFi or anything. We would be entering a whole new world upstairs. Of course the Big Ass TV in the family room is loaded up with all the bells and whistles, but Toney and I spend most of our lounging time upstairs. Now we could make use of Netflix and Amazon Prime on “our” TV too.
We stopped and bought 12 bottles of this fantastic beverage, and all that was left to do was go home and set up our new gateway to happiness. However… this is where things often take a dark turn. Setting up electronics is not my strong point, and I have a low tolerance for “issues.” Know what I mean? Oh, everything could easily go south during the set-up process.
But it was flawless. We had that baby running wide-open, fully-configured, within minutes. We successfully incorporated the cable box and Blu-ray player with no issues, whatsoever. It was a Christmas miracle!
One small bump in the road: there was no Amazon Prime icon. But I was reading online about how to add it, grinding my molars a bit, when a software update began to download. And when it was finished, there was Amazon! It was crazy. As if the gods of electronics were watching over us…
And now we’re thinking about taking it up a notch and subscribing to Hulu. Are we overplaying our hand? Are we allowing the new-TV frenzy to turn us greedy? Hey, they have all six seasons of Green Acres on there, which is about all I need to be sold on it. And I think they might have other things, as well. Not sure. I only checked Green Acres.
My goal: To become one of those assholes who bitch about being overly busy all the time, then proceed to tell you about the 12 TV shows they watch religiously, and all the movies they saw over the weekend. I don’t want to get cocky, but I think I can do it. Always reach for the stars, my friends!
How’s your holiday prep coming along? We (Toney) are pretty much finished. I have to buy a couple of small things, but it feels like we’re way ahead of the game this year. I’m not sure how we (Toney) pulled it off, but I’ll take it.
See you guys again soon.
Have a great day!
It seems improbable and somewhat bizarre, but Toney and I are apparently going to Atlantic City in a few days. It’s something we booked during the summer. And we don’t “book” things. I mean, seriously. What are we, the Vanderbilts?
I can’t even remember how this plan came together. Toney likes the ocean during cold weather months, and so do I. So, we were probably talking about that over a few craft beers one Saturday night, and before we knew it… we were booking shit, all willy-nilly.
But it’ll be fun. I’m looking forward to it. We’re staying at a nice place, for not all that much money, and have dinner reservations at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill. Here’s the menu. What would you go with? I haven’t decided yet. However… the lobster mac ‘n’ cheese is a definite as an appetizer. That sounds goddamn delicious.
And the next day I want to have lunch at the original White House Subs. I saw it featured on The Sandwich Channel (or whatever) years ago, and it’s stuck in my brain. If you have any thoughts on that place, I’m all ears.
So yeah, the whole thing is based on food and drink, as usual. But the hotel should be decorated for Christmas, and I think it’ll be a good time. I have no interest in gambling, but do have a vested interest in food and drink. It’s how I’ve been able to maintain my powerful upper-body.
I don’t believe I’ve ever been to Atlantic City. I have a vague notion that it’s a little on the seedy side. Am I wrong? Will we be standing on our patio, arm in arm, as the medical waste and adult diapers wash ashore at sunset? Will we be accosted by bombastic assholes wearing wife-beaters and mirrored sunglasses? Or am I being unfair? I’ll have a full report upon our return, needless to say.
Speaking of gambling… What’s your relationship with that particular activity? I don’t care for it. It stresses me out, and I get no pleasure from it, whatsoever. It’s a vice that doesn’t register with me. My wiring doesn’t leave me susceptible to it, and I don’t really understand how other people get so carried away with it.
When I worked in California we had a lot of meetings in Vegas, and always stayed at Treasure Island. And some of my co-workers would stay up all night, literally wouldn’t sleep at all, playing cards and losing thousands of dollars. How?! Credit cards? I knew approximately how much those assholes were making, and could never understand how they weathered such a thing. If I lost $2500 via one evening of asshattery, I’d torment myself into a stay at a psychiatric hospital. And there’s a very good chance I’d lose my car.
Another time we were in Chicago, and they sent us sailing out into the Mississippi on a gambling boat. Always with the gambling! I didn’t want to go, but had no choice. Before we climbed aboard that flotilla of sadness, however, I allotted myself $40 for gambling. I wouldn’t spend a dollar more, I promised myself. And even that was heartbreaking.
Yeah, my forty bucks was gone before they’d even taken the ropes off the boat. We were still tethered to the dock, and I was done. So, I got to sit there the rest of the night watching people from my office blow enormous amounts of cash on really stupid shit. It was too cold to go outside, so I just sat on a stool watching folks who couldn’t afford it gamble their money away. What a magical evening!
Do you like to gamble and wager and “play the ponies,” etc.? Do you have any related tales to tell? I know a guy who went to jail because of gambling-related shenanigans. He was an old co-worker who was always trying to talk me into accompanying him on one of his maniac Vegas trips. “Everything’s comped!” he assured me. “Don’t be such a pussy. It’ll be a blast!”
Needless to say I never went with him, and he eventually got himself into some kind of situation that resulted in a brief jail stay, the loss of his job, and the end of his marriage. I probably still have his mug shot saved on my computer somewhere. He didn’t look like he was having a blast in that photo, that’s for sure.
Please share your gambling stories in the comments. Also, if you have any thoughts on our quickie Atlantic City trip… lay ’em on me!
Thanks for reading this. Please don’t forget about our Amazon links, while doing your holiday shopping this year. I’ll put a big ‘un right underneath this update, so there’s no confusion on how to find one.
I’ll see you guys again soon. Maybe before A.C., but probably after.
Have a great week!
My new phone is starting to freak me out a little. Last week it began showing me notifications around the time I leave for work that said things like, “Your drive to work today will take 39 minutes. Normal traffic.”
It’s useful information, and I’m glad to have it. However… I didn’t set it up. The phone is just doing it on its own. Weird, huh? How does it know where I work? How does it know when I leave the house? It’s mildly disturbing.
Yesterday I was off, and was expecting it to know that, as well. I was braced for an “enjoy your day off” message. But it dispensed the traffic info around 1:30, as normal. Give it a few more weeks, though. Oh, it’ll learn. It’s amassing information about me, even as I type. Right now it’s listening, and analyzing, and forming opinions…
Like I say, it’s starting to freak me out a little.
I broke ground on a new novel yesterday. It’s about a couple of dumbass guys, roughly my height, age, and weight, on an ill-conceived road trip. The last project I attempted was a bit too ambitious, and I abandoned it. Temporarily, anyway. This one is a lot simpler, and is designed for pure entertainment. I’m already having a good time writing it. I have a lot of notes, and a kinda-sorta outline. Plus, I know the ending, which is a step up from the Crossroads Road experience.
I’m using a program called Scrivener for the first time. It’s popular among writers, and I probably bought it two years ago. But there’s a steep learning curve, and who has time for such things? I kept putting it off, and just using Microsoft Word.
But I watched a half-dozen YouTube tutorials, and learned enough to get me started. So far, I’m loving it. I won’t bore you with the details, but, among other things, it allows you to turn a gigantic undertaking into a bunch of bite-sized projects. I plan to complete one of those small projects per week, and have the first draft done in 20 weeks. Stay tuned. And I’ll try not to talk about it too much here.
One more thing, though… In the first paragraph, which I wrote yesterday, there’s a line that popped into my head that was so perfect I think I actually pumped my fist in the air. I think it might be one of my best lines ever. And, appropriately enough, it’s about ass cracks. Oh, this is going to be high literature!
Speaking of highbrow, my friend Tim sent me this email a couple of days ago about some of our high school ridiculousness:
Somebody was talking about school lockers today. It reminded me about how you could open any locker in the high school, and we’d roam the halls at lunch time, and you’d just open a random locker for the heck of it and leave it open.
Remember that one locker near the library that always had a Playgirl centerfold hanging in it? You’d open that thing wide open, and we’d go hide in the library and listen as some innocent girl would be sashaying down the hall, and let out a blood curdling scream as she came eye to eye with some guy wearing a hard hat and his giant schlong hanging out.
Heh. Good times. I think I could still walk into that school today and open any locker, within one minute. Unless they’ve upgraded them during the past 35 years… And who are we fooling? Of course they haven’t. They’re still the same lockers my parents used when THEY went there, back when Eisenhower was president. I’d like to think the poster of Johnny Ampleseed is still there, though. But that would also be a long-shot, pardon the pun.
For a Question, I’d like to know if you have any school locker stories. It’s a weak question, I recognize that… But it’s all I got and need to hit the highway. My phone tells me it’ll be smooth sailing, but I still need to go. So, use the comments link to tell us your tales of school locker shenanigans.
And don’t forget about our Amazon links! Just pass through ‘em, and buy a car or whatever. Does Amazon sell cars? Well, anyway. You get the idea.
Have a great weekend, my friends.
I’ll see you again soon.
Last night Toney and I were watching TV, and I was struggling to maintain consciousness. I was dipping in and out of dormancy, and probably looked like Gomer Pyle in a gas leak. Finally, around 10:30 I said fukkit, went upstairs and climbed into bed.
And I was wide awake. Again. Why does this happen so often?? I was making myself miserable, fighting sleep for an hour or two, and now that I’d surrendered to it… nope. No sleep for you!
I grabbed my Kindle, and returned to the living room. Just 100% wide awake, like it was freaking noon on a Wednesday. Around 2:30 am I returned to bed, and this time it took. However… Toney starts working at 9 am, taking calls from her crazy NORAD-caliber bedroom control center, and I was awake again.
It’s bullshit. I walk around in a haze most of the time, because I don’t get enough sleep. Yet, I can’t sleep when I try to. What the hell?? Is this some kind of old man crap? It started with the weird ear lobe hair, and the long wiry balloon-poppers that erupt from my eyebrows and have to be tamed by a professional in a salon setting.
Now it’s this sleeping stuff. It’s something I never had a problem with, until the last few years. I could always sleep in the back of a dump truck traveling down Interstate 81, if necessary. And now I’m wallowing and thrashing and sighing… I feel like my calibration is way off. Maybe I need some of those questionable “supplements” they advertise during George Noory?
Toney has always had a problem sleeping. I joke that a neighbor, two or three doors down the block, could fart in their kitchen and she would sit bolt upright in bed and say, “What was that?!” She is, without a doubt, the lightest sleeper I’ve ever encountered. Andy (Ol’ Smeller) can smack his lips out in the hallway and wake her from the deepest REM sleep. It’s ludicrous.
But now she’s getting to say, “See? See what I’ve been dealing with for all these years?” I don’t care for it.
The only good thing? I’m reading a really good book, and got to spend several hours with it last night. This one, to be exact. It’s about a group of friends who are electrocuted during a thunderstorm in 2009, and wake up in late 1985.
It’s wacked-out and a complete blast to read. It’s not literature, but it’s well-written and built for fun. Highly recommended, especially if you like time travel stories. And it’s free for Kindle. Craziness. I’m enjoying it as much as I did Stephen King’s time travel book, which is another great one.
I’ve asked this question before, but I’ll ask it again. If you could travel through time, where would you like to go? Where and when? For whatever reason, I’d like to go to my hometown of Dunbar, WV during the late 1940s. The war is over… there’s optimism in the air… there’s no television yet… I’d love to just walk the streets, have lunch in a diner, and maybe drink a beer or six with my freakishly young grandfather at Ross’s Poolroom, or whatever. When I daydream about time travel, I always daydream about that particular scenario. Not the Gettysburg Address, but blending in for a few weeks in 1947 Dunbar… Weird, huh?
What about you? Where and when would you go? Please tell us about it in the comments. Also, how are you doing in the sleep department? Do you think my problems are because I’m getting really goddamn old? Let me know your thoughts, if you have any.
And I need to call it a day here. Please remember to use our Amazon links while doing your Christmas shopping, or personal shopping, or whatever. I made the mistake of checking this year’s numbers versus last year’s from the same period… We’re way off, my friends. Please try to remember to use the Surf Report links. It’ll cost you nothing extra, and help me a great deal. I sincerely appreciate it.
Now I’m going to work, where I’ll stumble around in a haze for about nine hours, and try to avoid building a chin-to-desk drool bridge. Yes, it’s quite a life I’ve carved out for myself.
I’ll see you guys again soon.
Have a great day!