Monday, April 30, 2007

The End


Friday, April 20, 2007

Day One: Sand, sand everywhere, so let's all take a drink

Epilogue: The original plan was to go to bed relatively early after arriving late Wednesday night, but one thing led to another and we stayed up until 3:00 in the morning, went back to our room and

The following takes place between 7:00 AM and 2:30 AM…

Thanks to casinos pumping enough Oxygen into the joint to awaken Keith Richards , we went to bed about 2 or 3 in the morning and woke up and were raring to go at 7 AM.

We got cleaned up, dressed, hit the brunch buffet and, after being briefly sidelined by my ogling/playing of a Star Wars slot machine at Bills Casino (formerly Barbary Coast) we hit The Strip.

Today’s target; walk North South North to pick up our tickets at the Sahara for Trent Carlini’s show.

As we stepped outside, we immediately noticed something… there was no sun, and the wind was blowing harder than Paris Hilton at a new club opening…


Because of which, we saw a LOT of people diving into shops to buy sweatshirts or jackets.

We’re Chicagoans, we did no such diving…

Besides the “chill” in the air, the wind was kicking up enough sand that one thought that Mac the Atlas man was around…

I’ll wait a moment for that reference to click…

We walked… we shopped… we visited each casino and played at least one game and, if the time was right, had one drink before we would walk to the next one.

That wasn’t so bad, I won a nice Calvin Hill gift set from The Riviera… and HoMu won a Leather bag set.

We finally arrived at the Sahara, got our tickets, made reservations for dinner at House of Lords (where The Beatles loved to go when they were in Vegas) and decided to walk back to our hotel via the other side of the street with the first stop to be Circus Circus.

Big. Honking. Mistake.

Apparently, about 98% of the vacationers that come to Las Vegas with kids stay at Circus Circus. We left our kids at home, so being surrounded by screaming children and obviously bored & longing parents ignoring said children was, to be polite; a bit taxing.

Mental note made at that time; never, ever, ever go back to Circus Circus…

We left C-C (we both vowed to never speak of the experience again…) and, seeing as how we both had sand in every single orifice of our body’s thanks to the wind and wanted to clean up before we went to dinner and the show, we decided to cab it back to The Flamingo. We did our thing and took the monorail (monorail… monorail… monorail…) back to the Sahara.

Dinner was excellent; we had time to gamble (I won about $50 on Blackjack) and went to our show.

Trent Carlini is Elvis. If you like Elvis and you go to Vegas, ignore every other Elvis impersonator and go see Carlini… you will NOT be disappointed.

After the show, we decided to take the monorail (monorail… monorail… monorail…) back to our hotel. When we arrive we head across the street to O’Shea’s. The War table is full, as are all the Blackjack tables, so we each find a ‘one-armed bandit’, I light my cigar and we gamble… badly… very, very badly… so when all else fails… drink.

And then go to “bed.”

Coming Next: “Day Two” or “Deliverance: Las Vegas Style”

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Random (Las Vegas) Thoughts for a Wednesday

A few random thoughts about our trip to Las Vegas.

  • There is a lot of construction going on in Vegas right now. A LOT. It will be interesting to go back in, say, five years and see the city.
  • The Flamingo is great. Bugsy would be proud…
  • The Tropicana, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, will be gone within five years. It’s not being maintained very well, the restaurants all looked like (and served) crap, the theaters are run-down and the casino itself was craptacular.
  • Saw a lot of kids in Vegas. Can’t really understand why parents would bring kids to a place where the primary pastime is drinking and gambling…
  • Flying over the mountains is beautiful… but I miss the days when pilots would tell you to look out the windows at see ‘such and such.’
  • People are rude, more so than Disney World.
  • 'The Strip' at night is amazing.
  • If I see one more picture or video of Celine Dion gyrating, I’m gonna plotz.
  • Terrific views of the city atop Paris’ Eiffel Tower.
  • If they stopped handing out the hooker cards and booklets, or at the least recycled them, every forest in the world could be re-populated.
  • The biggest-selling clothing line in Vegas (meaning I saw them in every store and on 90% of the people walking around) had “CSI” plastered on them… as if they couldn’t find those anywhere else.
  • ATM fees around the city were $4.99. That’s not just outrageous, it’s obscene.
  • Cab drivers in Vegas drive like Chicago cabbies, but they do their best to get you somewhere quickly…
  • What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas... and stays OUT of the blog; Sorry Samantha.
  • On the final shuttle to the airport, a woman got on and proceeded to have a very loud conversation on her cell phone the entire way to the airport… in French. She didn’t even stop when one of the other passengers asked her to or when I said a smart-ass comment about frogs legs…I know, I know – that was harsh.
  • Two airline flights, two rough landings.
  • Random Vegas Photo Time! This is a photo of one of the pools at The Flamingo with a very stylish and very retro feel.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Random Las Vegas Picture

Everyone said we had to go here because it's a lot of fun; so we went:

I thought they said S and M World... imagine my disappointment...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Las Vegas: Departure (hopefully) & Arrival (hopefully)

When we woke up Wednesday morning, there was snow on the ground.

Snow… in Mid-April… wtf?

Later in the morning, the snow became this combination of quickly-changing and ever-changing snow/sleet/rain.

Usually it takes about an hour to get to Midway from our house, but because of the weather… and knowing that people can’t drive if they see a flake of snow fall from the sky, we decided to leave for the airport a little earlier.

We dropped The Peanut Butter and The Jelly off at HoMu’s parents house and hit the road.

Lo and behold, the traffic was fine and we arrived at the airport about three and a half hours before our flight was scheduled to depart.

Son of a…

We checked our bags and then checked the monitor to see the status of our flight:

“On Time.”


We then had two and a half hours to kill but that was not a problem as it gave us a chance to eat dinner at Harry Carry’s Seventh Inning Stretch and have a calming alcohol-based drink before boarding.

After that, we went to our gate and checked the status of our flight…


Son of a...

Did I mention it started snowing again… harder? And that the wind picked up… and that the temperature started to drop?

We were supposed to leave at 4:35, but at 4:45, they put a sign on the board that still said delayed… but listed no time.


Being the inquisitive one that she is, HoMu went up and asked them approximately what time our flight would be leaving… the conversation went something like this:

“We don’t know, we can’t find the plan.”

“I’m sorry, what? Are you being funny?”

“No unfortunately I’m not…”

“Oh. Shit.”
That’s right, you heard me (sorry Sarah); they couldn’t find the plane.

Gotta love Southwest…

About 20 minutes later, they announced that they found the plane (it must have been in another pair of pants or something…) and that it was on its way to Midway.

A joyous applause was heard throughout the terminal… which was quickly beat-out by shouts of anger and frustration as the flight in the next gate was pushed back an additional hour.

So, we boarded the plane about 5:50 and they tell us we should be taking off within the next 10 minutes.

Needless to say, that was wrong.

We left the gate in ten minutes, but we sat on the tarmac for an additional 40 minutes before taking off…

We landed about 8:45 Vegas time and were told that our luggage would be on carousel 14.

We waited… and waited… and waited… and waited…

Finally, I saw a Southwest desk in the corner of the baggage area and went over to ask when our luggage would be unloaded and put on carousel 14, that conversation went something like this:
“When will the bags from Chicago be unloaded?”

“They already have been. They’re right here. We have our own luggage carousel.”

“We weren’t told that, the sign said carousel 14. I mean, didn’t you think it was odd that no one was claiming their luggage.”

“Actually I did. I thought about making an announcement, but didn’t.”

“You’re an idiot, do you know that?”
So HoMu and I got our bags and, since Southwest wasn’t doing a damn thing, we walked over to the luggage carousel where everyone on our flight was waiting and told them where to go and whom to yell at.

They obliged.

We quickly found the shuttle to The Flamingo, arrived, checked in and, seeing as how we hadn’t eaten since 2:00 Chicago time and it was now 11:30 Chicago time (9:30 LV), we grabbed a bite to eat before hitting the casino for a quick drink and some quick gambling before hitting the strip and getting to bed early so we could start early the next morning.

We ended up going to bed around 3:00.

Tomorrow; “Day One” or “How We Ended Up Getting Sand in Every Orifice of our Bodies”

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Two nonstop flights to guilt please

Honey Mustard and I leave for Las Vegas tomorrow without the The Peanut Butter & The Jelly.

That’s right, just the two of us… and we’re positively giddy about the idea.

Now don’t get us wrong, we absolutely, unequivocally, unconditionally love our children, but… come on… anyone with kids knows exactly what I’m talking about.

However, there is one problem…

In The PB and The J’s 4 ¾ on this planet (and NOT counting the nights they were in the NICU since we were next door at the Ronald McDonald House) we’ve been apart from them, overnight, for a grand total of two times…

You read that right… two times.

Once, a year and two months after they were born when my Uncle Nishan (who I am named for and who was always like a grandfather to me) passed away.

The second time was two years ago when we decided to have some salvation for an evening and stayed the night at Hotel 71 in Chicago, had dinner at Miller’s Pub, drank too much with friends of ours at the Congress Hotel Bar (which is THE BEST dive bar in Chicago btw), and had Sunday Brunch at The Signature Room atop the John Hancock building…

And that’s it.

So here we are… on the cusp of multiple nights away from our little demoƱios angels… and HoMu and I are more than a little nervous.

The girls?They’re excited… no, scratch that… they’re thrilled... after all, they get to spend two nights with HoMu’s parents, then two nights with my parents.

Four nights of spoiling… four nights of being given money from Abuelo (my Dad)… four nights of being the center of attention from their Gama (HoMu’s Mom, whom they usually have to share with six other grandchildren)…

It’s enough to make them push us out the door two days early.


… but it’s also enough to make HoMu and I a little worried.

But, we’ll muddle through somehow.

Friday, April 06, 2007

It's a pleasure to just be nominated...

Lisa over at My Thoughts, Ideas and Ramblings has nominated The BushWhacked Administration for the Blogger's Choice Awards - Best Political Blog.

So if you agree with her (and really, who wouldn't?), head over and give Scott and I a vote:

It's a moral imperative...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

It was ten years ago today...

We met in college… Eastern Illinois University… and in my first semester there, which was Honey Mustard’s second, we had a class together, World History with Wolfgang Schlauch.

I noticed her daily, because she sat in front of a girl I dated for about 3 months… and that’s how we initially met. Because “Ginger” was almost always tardy (the reason was one of the reasons we broke up – but that’s a story for another day), while we talked often, we didn’t really “meet,”

We got along, but nothing more as we were both in “relationships” (for lack of a better word) with others at the time…

But there was always something in the back of mind about her, even after the semester was over.

A year later, we actually “met”, this time through mutual friends. Along the way discovered that we lived about 1 block from each other and had a lot of mutual interests. That first night, we talked for four hours while our friends partied…

The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

HAPPY 10th ANNIVERSARY HoMU! I Love You; Always & Forever.

Here’s the wedding meme revisited should you want to know more… and really, who doesn’t?

1. Where/How did you meet? See above…

2. How long have you known each other? All told – about 13 years. We’ve been together as a couple for about 12 years…

3. How long after you met did you start dating? About 2 months after the second time we met, or the “official” time we met as opposed to the moment, as HoMu so eloquently puts it, ‘we met while you (meaning I) were dating that tramp’ … in HoMu’s defense, the other woman was a tramp, but that’s another story for another day

4. How long did you date before you were engaged? 6 months

5. How long was your engagement? An additional year and a half as we decided to wait for me to graduate college (HoMu graduated a year before I did) and for her to finish her post-graduate program she started upon her graduation.

6. How long have you been married? 10 years today! Next week, we’re going to Vegas baby… sans kids…

7. What is your anniversary? See above. But still plenty of time to purchase something online for the special day.

8. How many people came to your wedding reception? 390 people, give or take a few…

9. What kind of cake did you serve? Classic wedding cake with tiers…

10. Where was your wedding? In Kankakee at the church my wife grew up attending.

11. What did you serve for your meal? Steak or chicken, twice-baked potatoes, salad, green beans, bread, and wine…

12. How many people were in your bridal party? Seven, plus two ushers and a flower girl and a ring bearer… one big-ass wedding party.

13. Are you still friends with them all? Yes…

14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony? Yes… as did I…

15. Most special moment of your wedding day? Being at the front of the church and seeing her in her wedding gown for the first time when the ushers opened the doors…

16. Any funny moments? At the rehearsal, one of the altar boys asked my female cousin, who was standing-up as one of my “groomsmen,” if they were the night’s entertainment… my cousin almost slugged the kid. Another one happened at the reception, when the priest asked me if the ‘girl with the huge tits’ had found her purse…

17. Any big disasters? A couple. First, I almost did not have a vest as the tuxedo place screwed up my tux about eight times, which almost resulted in my Dad reaching over the counter and strangling, Homer-Bart style, the manager who had said to “Make do” with my messed up tux and the ringbearer’s messed-up tux. They eventually fixed it and I got my vest about 3 minutes before we started. The second? We had a gift opening/leftover eating party the next day as we were leaving for our honeymoon Monday morning. So my brother drove us to the O’Hare Holiday Inn Sunday night, where I had ordered a “Honeymoon Special” of bath beads, champagne, chocolates and a free dinner at their stylish restaurant. Besides the fact it was snowing (in April) when my brother dropped us off, the hotel had no heat… and no hot water. Plus, they did not have the Gift Basket waiting in the room for us. So we spent our second night of married life freezing our asses off waiting for a gift basket that never came. On the plus side, upon our return, we sent a letter to Holiday Inn corp and they sent us back a free 2-night stay at the same location with all the perks.

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon? The Sandals resort at Ocho Rios in Jamaica.

19. How long were you gone? A week and a half.

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change? I would have held firm that my female cousin wear a tux while standing up on my side rather than one of the bridesmaids dresses, it looked odd…

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on? Left

22. What size is your bed? Queen.

23. Greatest strength as a couple? She laughs at my jokes, no matter how bad they are. Also, a shared respect for one another and our sometimes differing opinions.

24. Greatest challenges as a couple? I give two because they tie-in so well with each other. We are both highly opinionated, while at the same time we are both bosses at our jobs, and we sometimes tend to forget to leave that particular trait where it belongs…

25. Who literally pays the bills? She does. While I can manage a multi-million dollar budget at work, I have trouble doing so at home; go figure.

26. What is your song? “Love Will Keep Us Alive” by The Eagles. Though we walked into our reception to “Miserlou” from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack… without the Pumpkin and Honey Bunny dialog btw…

27. What did you dance your first dance to? The aforementioned Eagles song…

28. Describe your wedding dress tux? Black, with white vest and black satin band with diamond stud – no cummerbund or ‘tux’ tie…

29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding? Uh.. there were flowers?? Kidding, they were lilies…

30. Are your wedding bands engraved? Hold on, let me check.. no…

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Because we're gluttons for punishment, that's why.

We put an offer on a larger house Saturday... one that has 2.5 bathrooms, 4 bedrooms and sits on 1/4 of an acre...

Now comes the joy of trying to sell our current house so we can buy and move into the new one...

Why, oh why?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Why I love her...

Honey Mustard: I'm gonna put these books in the bookcase...

Me: Novel idea...

-- BEAT --

HoMu: hahahahahaha...