Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Already In Progress

As mentioned in the prior post, I’m back from a quick trip to Michigan.
My mom turns 70 on Wednesday, so a while back my brother Brad suggested that we (myself and my siblings) should throw her a party.
Weekends obviously work better for parties than weekdays, so we ended up deciding to have it on the 26th.
We couldn’t really keep the party a surprise, so instead we decided to keep it a surprise that Brad and I were going to be there for it, and told her that we were contributing money towards the party, but wouldn’t be able to get time off to be there for it.
So on Wednesday Scott stayed over so that he could bring me to the airport in the morning, and Thursday afternoon I arrived at my mother’s apartment. I called her on my cell and said, “Open your door.”
She started to cry a little and said, “Are you here?”
I said, “Just open your door.”
Fortunately my mom doesn’t have heart problems, so the surprise proved pleasant rather than fatal.
Brad could only get Friday and Monday off, as he hasn’t been at his job long enough to be able to take an actual vacation.
That night I slept on the futon in her spare bedroom, and no matter what I did I couldn’t get comfortable. The mattress provided little padding for the bar that was located directly under my tailbone, so in the morning I woke up feeling as though someone had made an enthusiastic, but poorly-aimed, attempt at sodomizing me throughout the night.
I was more than happy to relinquish the futon to Brad when he arrived on Friday.
My mom’s neighbor had an air mattress that she said we could borrow, but we went to the casino that night and hadn’t inflated it before leaving, and the battery-powered pump wasn’t up to the task of filling it quickly when we got home at nearly two in the morning.
In my prior visit I found my mom’s couch impossible to sleep on, and had ended up throwing the cushions on the floor and sleeping on them, which proved more comfortable than the couch, but still less than ideal, so this time I slept in the recliner, which proved reasonably – and surprisingly – comfortable.
Saturday morning we filled the mattress – a two hour ordeal – and set it aside for the evening.
We went to the casino again that night, and when we returned we discovered that the mattress – which had never been used before – had a slow leak, so I was back in the recliner for the remainder of my stay.
Speaking of the casino, I lost a little bit of money on Friday night and a lot of money on Saturday. Can you even call it “gambling” when it’s basically a foregone conclusion that you’re going to lose?
Brad did pretty well on Saturday, winning over $800 on a penny machine.
I only like playing regular, old-fashioned slots. Actually, “like” is too strong a word; I’m only willing to play regular, old-fashioned slots.
There are many reasons for this. For one thing, the fact that I don’t like people obviously keeps me away from the table games. For another, I have, on rare occasions, actually won money playing the regular slots, whereas I’ve never won anything playing those weird-ass penny and nickel slots with the 45+ pay lines and wacky bonus features.
Unfortunately, given the overwhelming popularity of those wacky penny slots, the casino has only a small number of regular slots available.
It’s just another instance of me having to be at odds with everything and always swimming against the popular tide.
Gamblers love the penny slots because they’re “wacky” and “fun,” and because it doesn’t seem like you’re paying all that much to play. After all, they’re only pennies.
Casinos love them because the lower the denomination, the lower the pay-out percentage can be, and people don’t seem to realize that when they’re playing all the lines with multiple credits bet on each line they’re actually putting in a lot more money than someone like me who plays a three credit quarter machine.
I’ve never really been a fan of casinos, since, as mentioned, it’s exceedingly rare for me to win anything. In the old days I could at least go sit in the bar and get trashed if I got bored, but now that’s no longer an option, so I can’t say that I really enjoy my time there.
So why go? Well, what else am I going to do?
In any case, on Sunday we had the party for my mom. A lot of people showed up and she got some nice gifts, so I’d say it was a success. It was also the first birthday party she ever had, which seems kind of crazy.
I brought my camera, but as is always the case I neglected to take many pictures. Here are a couple. The one of the family wasn’t taken by me, obviously.

Some of the gifts.

My mom opening her gifts.

The whole fam damnily.

I ended up having a late night on Sunday and an early morning on Monday, as my flight – and Brad’s – left at 6 AM. They had been forecasting a winter storm starting Sunday and lasting through Monday, so there was some concern that we might not get out on time. However, while it was cold, windy, and rainy, no snow materialized and we got off on time. I was distressed to discover upon returning to Virginia, however, that there wasn’t much of an improvement in terms of weather.
I kept dozing off on the flight out of Minneapolis, which was sort of odd, as I was listening to my iPod, and I would just sort of black out for a few minutes. I’d be listening to one song, nod off, and awake to find another song entirely playing.
I had a four hour layover in Minneapolis, which sucked, but at least I got back here relatively early in the day, giving me plenty of time to get in some serious napping.
And now you’re pretty much up to date. Today I got up and went grocery shopping, and now I have to get started on doing the laundry as I return to my regularly-scheduled life, already in progress.

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