Catch And Release
Hey kids. It’s me. I bet you thought that I was dead.
Sorry, was I just quoting that song from the end of Billy Madison subconsciously? Pardon my penchant for reciting lines from movies ad infinitum. I assure you it won’t happen again, at least until the next post I publish.
It’s been a while since my last update, so I guess before I get to the goods (a mix tape) I should catch you up a bit on what you’ve missed during the month of May. For starters, there was that trip home I wrote about recently. It included a weekend working at the WFMU Record Fair, where I had the opportunity to show off (and sell) my company’s wares on the East Coast. I also had the opportunity to buy some fresh vinyl for my collection. I also had the opportunity to miss a perfect opportunity to talk with Richard Christy from the Howard Stern show. That would have been a memorable conversation. Alas my shyness and inability to hold a regular human-on-human conversation (have I mentioned I’m autistic?) left me unable to speak. Oh well. Maybe next year.
Another recent adventure of mine took me to Las Vegas. I was there with Narrator Jack, Ken and KT. On my first night in town I consumed a whole lot of alcohol. Ken and KT and I stayed out until morning gambling and drinking up and down the strip. We grabbed a late (early?) bite to eat at our favorite late night (early morning?) diner. When I told them I was going to walk back up the strip to the Mirage, they tried to convince me to take a cab. I refused, and in my inebriated state fought them and swore I could walk myself home. So the two of them overpowered me and forced me into a taxi. The next time I saw them, they couldn’t stop laughing about how pathetic and sad I looked upon being strapped into the back seat. I think Ken’s exact words were, “You looked like we’d just strapped you into a rocket ship and sent you out into space on a one-way trip.” Then he showed me this:
The following night Jack and Ken and KT and I were out gambling again. We played some slots at Monte Carlo. Our favorite server (Lucy is her name) was plying us with drinks. We met up with some other friends who were in town and played some different slots. As I didn’t have a lot of money to gamble, I figured I’d put my last $60 into a Willy Wonka slot machine and play it down slowly so that I could get more free drinks and have a good time even though I was playing relatively low-stakes games. Surprisingly, I turned that $60 into $500 when…I don’t know how these newfangled slot machines work, but I guess I was on a free spin game and a bunch of “wild” cards came up and…well…before I knew it the screen looked like this:
I was giddy. I’ve won decent amounts of money playing blackjack before but never on a stupid slot machine. As far as I know, no one has ever won a lot of money gambling on a slot machine. I immediately cashed out and offered to buy Ken and KT our nightly (morningly?) diner meal. When I was informed it was too early to eat dinner (breakfast?) I sat and watched them play some more games. Then we moved from Monte Carlo over to New York New York so we could be geographically closer to our food goal. Ken decided he wanted to play Baccarat. I’ve never played Baccarat, so I picked an old school slot machine behind the table and put my $60 in so I could perform some menial activity while watching him lose money. Even if I lost that sixty bucks, I’d still be up five hundred on the night. I could handle losing sixty bucks if it meant whiling off the hours until I could stuff my face with gravy fries and mac and cheese. About ten minutes into my slot play, I hit the “Max Bet” button and then this happened:
On this machine, the symbols “777” represent the pinnacle of winning payouts. But those “10”s represent wild cards that exponentially increase your jackpot paying. So, in essence, I won ten times ten times whatever “777” would have paid. So I won 100x the “777” jackpot. In this instance it added up to 10,000 credits, which paid out in quarters equals $2,500.
KT had left us to use the bathroom, but Ken and I immediately started freaking out. There was a siren wailing above the machine, and a slot technician came by to check the machine and ensure that I hadn’t…you know…rigged it somehow. He had to enter his code in a keypad, then find another technician to witness and verify the payout amount. All the while that siren was wailing and onlookers came to see what had happened. It was slightly embarrassing and a little bit unnerving. Who likes being the center of attention when you’ve just hit a jackpot? I might as well paint a bright target on my chest and back telling all the drunken, violent losers in the casino that in a few minutes I was going to have a lot of money in my pockets.
Needless to say, getting paid out made me feel like a real baller. And though we didn’t end up going out to eat at the diner that night (I don’t remember why? Someone wasn’t hungry? It was too late or too early?) I promised everyone I would take them out for lunch the next day. When I got back to my hotel room I looked up what the most expensive burger on the strip was, and the following day Ken, KT, Jack and I met for lunch at Hubert Keller’s Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay. We ordered beers of their surprisingly extensive bottle list. I of course ordered the Rossini, which is made with kobe style wagyu beef from Australia and topped with sauteed foie gras and shaved black truffles served on an onion bun. It came with a side of french fries and a rich brown sauce made with black perigord truffles. I doused the fries in the sauce and fresh sea salt and washed it all down with a bottle of Firestone Walker Double Jack. It was pretty divine.
Since then, I’ve spent pretty much zero dollars from my jackpot winnings, other than a small portion I used to buy some rare beers (a few bottles of Cantillon and a bottle of Duck Duck Gooze) upon my return to Los Angeles. The rest has been put into my savings account for use in an emergency. In years past I would have been tempted to buy something completely unnecessary and ostentatious with the winnings, like a leather jacket or a pair of Japanese denim, or a meal at Ursawa, or maybe some rare record I can’t even fit on my packed record shelves. If things go right maybe I can use it to finance SLP002, but more likely than not I’m going to save it for a rainy day. I know that seems like the mature, boring thing to do. With my [bad] luck, an emergency will befall me in the near or near-distant future that will require a couple thousand dollars. At least now I’m prepared for that.
What else is new? I don’t really know. I’ve been spending a lot of time around my apartment. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with my new cast iron skillet. If anyone has any good cast iron recipes they want to pass along I’d be happy to hear them. Game Of Thrones has been awful this season and I’m hoping the finale ends with an announcement about the impending publication of The Winds Of Winter because…honestly…the show is terrible and I’m tired of waiting for the next book. My car is in the shop so I’m driving a Mustang around town for the week. It’s way too much power for me. I like my Corrolla. Also I feel like now when I stop at intersections people look at me in my Mustang and assume I’m overcompensating for something. I’ll post my top ten records of 2015 (so far) list in the coming weeks. I’ll post my top ten beers of 2015 (so far) and top ten meals of 2015 (so far) in the weeks to follow. I saw Ex Machina and The Human Centipede 3 this past weekend. The former was quite good, the latter probably the worst movie I’ve seen since The Room.
Here’s a mix tape, you know, for old time’s sake. Enjoy.
RULES for uninitiated noobs: I give birth to a weekly Mix Tape to be deposited on your iPods or Zunes or Kingklangs or whatever the industry is currently pushing on you. Sometimes there will be themes that link all the songs together, other times I’ll just throw songs at a wall (not literally) and see what sticks. Lots of new releases this week, if you call that a “theme”. The goal of this endeavor, as always, is to pique your interest in these artists so you’ll support the artists and buy their albums.
Sunday Mix Tape – Number 377
Catch And Release
01. Bardo Pond – In Every Dream Home A Heartache [Roxy Music]
02. Envy – Blue Moonlight
03. Mikal Cronin – Turn Around
04. Vattnet Viskar – Yearn
05. The Body – Pillar Of Lightning
06. Atriarch – Bereavement
07. Kevin Drumm – Slanted Floors
08. Implodes – Don’t Leave The House
09. Mark McGuire – In Raining Creation
10. Unwound – Torch Song
11. Ah Cama-Sotz – Surrender To Infinity
12. Bedhead – Golden Brown [Stranglers]
13. Yen Pox – The Awakening
14. White Hills – Wanderlust
15. Boris – Dreamy Eyed Panjandrum
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