It's the first of two days off for me, and I'm bored as hell, so I thought I'd write about some excursions I had yesterday so that anyone out there who's as bored as I am can read it. My place of employment recently moved me to "moonlight shift", which is 4am to 12noon. I actually prefer these hours, but there is NOT much action in the casino at these times, and I've mostly been standing at dead tables from around 5am to 10am each day. I've also dealt $5 and $10 six-deck shoe bj games almost exclusively this week, as the lone open craps table beckons in the distance, seemingly becoming a distant memory at this point. There is a very small assortment of raisin cakes who play during the early morning hours, which provide some distracting entertainment. Yesterday I dealt to a completely wasted lady betting whatever she happened to pull out of her purse each and every bet. Most bets consisted of a couple green and red checks intertwined with various pennies and nickels that I needed to filter out each time. She also took a few catnaps between hands. There was also an old-timer who gave me his unsolicited reviews of a few of his favorite "working gals" out in Pahrump, and another pervert who described what I apparently like to do with various parts of my anatomy each time I drew to a 5-card 21. For the record, NONE of these people lasted very long at the table, although the lady was kind enough to leave about 17 cents in spare change when she stumbled away. Score!!! After punching out at 12noon on the dot, I bolted out of the double-doors into the bright and piercing mid-day Vegas sun and heat, which is EXTREMELY unwelcome when you arrive at work in the darkness of night and don't see the light of day all shift. Of course I gave my mom a call, since this was her day, and talked to her all the way home and then some. I tried to watch the nascar race that I had taped, but just fell asleep on the couch and didn't wake up until my roommate Chris, and his friend Kevin from Detroit, busted in around 9pm. It was Kevin's first trip to Vegas and Chris wanted to introduce him to good ole downtown. After about two minutes of arm-twisting, I was cleaned up and ready to go for a few unplanned shenanigans out and about. So down the 95 we went and into the Main Street Station parking lot (no validation required today). Our first order of business was to see what the Brewmaster's Special was at the brewpub, since we knew our coveted Strawberry Cream Ale was most likely replaced by now. It turned out to be a pretty nice Hefeweizen accompanied by a small lemon slice. I'm usually not a big fan of wheat beers, but the MSS Brewmaster really knows what he's doing as I quickly downed two tall-boys and was feeling mighty good about myself all of a sudden. Our next stop was at the Golden Gate, where Chris and I forced Kevin to try out the best bargain seafood one can find in the middle of a desert! Chris got a call from another friend of his at this time who wanted us to meet up at the Hard Rock. So unfortunately, we only passed by most of the Fremont Street casinos without venturing inside, but we DID make it all the way down to the Elco, since I insisted that Kevin not miss out on this hidden gem. After passing the plethora of fencing and construction barriers, as well as the normal riff-raff and LVPD's finest between Neon-crapolis and the Elco, Kevin seemed a little apprehensive. However, as with most new visitors to the El Cortez, it was a pretty cool experience. For those of you who aren't familiar with my job-hunting forays these past couple months, I very literally came within hours of working my scheduled first shift at the El Cortez a few weeks ago, only to be plucked out of break-in joint purgatory by the casino dealing gods and gently placed into the prime gig that I now enjoy. There are still reports of a few pretty abusive floor-people and boxmen at the Elco, and with the tiny toke days and some other things, it still isn't a very good place to work. However, GONE are the days of smoky haziness throughout the entire casino, GONE are the days shabby stained carpets and people using the bathroom sinks as an impromptu bathtub, and GONE are the days of ordering a Corona and having it show up in a CAN!! Things really seem to be looking up at this property, and I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to recommend this place to anyone looking for a good gambling experience. Just be patient with the break-in dealers please! Chris, Kevin and I pulled ourselves up to a $5 Pai Gow table and I bought in for a grand total of $40, which was my gambling limit for the evening. They were breaking in a brand-new dealer at this time, and the table was full, so she seemed a little overwhelmed. But a good time was had by all, and after about an hour of choppiness and dealer bets, I still had my $40 in front of me somehow. The next stop was the $5 craps table (they are $5 during swing shift, and $3 at all other times). Chris and I introduced Kevin, a dice virgin, to the wonders of shooting from the don't! After a few quick 7-outs, we were making a few bucks. However, all of the beers had caught up to us at this point, and our focus shifted away from making money to seeing what the most idiotic craps "battle cry" we could think up was. The next time you're rolling the bones, try a couple of these out as the dice leave your hands: Black Jack!!! Fish 'n' Chips!!! Go Wings Go!!! Apologize!!! (one of our favorites) Chicks Play, Outside!!! Snap!!! (while snapping your fingers) I lost my wife!!! This roll goes to 11!!! Judas Priest!!! and the favorite of the base dealer on our end....... LEEEEEEROY JEEEEEENKINS!!! If you're like that base dealer and you actually get the Leroy Jenkins reference, you must be an enormous nerd. If not...... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkCNJRfSZBU After about an hour at the table, I looked down at the rail and my $40 was still magically there somehow. This basically occurred by hitting 2 dollar hardways every time I hit a point, which hedged my losses on the don't pass line (which we played exclusively). Every hardway hit was played two-ways though, so at least the dealers were making some cash. I lost a quick $15 thereafter, tossed a final red check to the dealers, and walked out of the Elco 20 bucks lighter, and slightly more buzzed. As we walked back toward the car, I thought it would be an absolutely brilliant idea to stop back into the Gate and order a football full of beer! So in the short walk between the Gate and the MSS parking lot, I managed to down about 3/4 of the football, leaving the rest on the parking pavement. Chris hadn't had anything since his first beer at the Brewpub, so he was good to go for the drive up to the Hard Rock. Of course, as soon as we walked into HR, the place was instantly classed up a notch!! ;-) My blue jeans and polo, and Chris' fancy Detroit Tigers jersey and ball cap fit right in with all of the beautiful people residing within this place. The eye candy was pretty nice and Chris' buddies seemed pretty cool, but all-in-all, I'd rather stay away from this place if I can help it. We ordered three glasses of pseudo-Sticky Juice (raspberry vodka instead of mango), and the bill came to $24! Yikes!! After bidding Chris' friends farewell, we set out to make a little better use of our hard-earned cash and ended up in Ellis Island at 3am! Kevin has now been introduced to the $4.95 steak special, and I gladly picked up the $16 bill for all three of us! At this point, it was 4am and we needed to high-tail it back to the apartment and hit the sack before God's flashlight rose above the mountains to the east. It was a great time and a much needed night out!!! Casinos visited: MSS, Gate, Elco, Hard Rock, Ellis Island Meals: Steak special, cooked to a very nice medium rare Gambling: -$20 Alcohol Tab: Who knows? My wallet was exactly $55 lighter this morning, so I must have gotten some free beer at some point!