Friday, May 12, 2006

Hoosier Friday

I woke up in Indiana today. I know. What the fuck am I doing in Indiana?

My flight to Cincinnati on Thursday morning was delayed a few minutes. I sat next to a guy who pulled his jacket over his head and went to sleep. A cute woman sat across from me. She looked like one of those NYC intellectual types with wire-rimmed glasses and a leather laptop bag from Coach. She was a professor of sorts, grading a stack of essays with a green pen. She tore a few to shreds.

Delta offered me a glass of gingerale with three ice cubes and biscoti. The biscoti was good but it crumbled as soon as I took a bite and most of it ended up on Page 187 of Chuck Klosterman's book. I finished Killing Yourself to Live somewhere over Western Pennsylvania. I enjoyed Klosterman's work, but I didn't like the part when he tried to equate all the members of Kiss (and their bold, yet unsuccessful attempt at solo records) to his ex-girlfriends. Aside from that, it was entertaining. The font that the publisher chose made my eyes hurt.

Cincinnati airport reminded me of Denver's airport in looks. I discovered an Outback in one of the terminals. Iggy picked me up. He got up before Noon for the first time in over a year to meet me. Cincinnati's airport is located in Northern Kentucky, so technically I flew into the South.

We drove around Kentucky looking for a Cracker Barrel since Iggy was craving bacon. We couldn't find one. I saw a sign for a tractor pull though. We drove the backroads to Belterra Casino. It's located in Indiana across the river. In fact, Belterra is a riverboat casino and gamblers from Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky flock there because Indiana is the only state in the area that allows riverboat gambling.

The hotel is located on land, but the casino is on an actual riverboat connected to the new luxury hotel. Iggy plays poker there and when we walked into the crescent moon shaped room, there were four tables of action going. As we waited to be seated, I found a copy of Poker Player Newspaper. The issue included the first running of my new column on online poker, which even included a picture of me with the byline. I was a little bit giddy. It took me a year to get promoted to regular columnist.

I played poker for a few hours and lost $73 with a bunch of old guys with rural twangs and Southern accents. We quit and headed to the bar for beer and dinner. I ate Buffalo spicy chicken strips with waffle fries. Iggy ordered a pulled pork sandwich. We watched the Reds-Nationals baseball game and Iggy would order two beers at once because our bartender was slow. The Yankees-Redsox game was on too. Poor Matsui. He fractured his wrist and is out for 3 months. But Ken Griffey, Jr. hit a homerun in extra innings to win the game for the Reds. Later tonight I'm going to the Reds-Phillies game.

For now, I'm in Indiana and some girl in the room next to us has a nasty cough. She sounds like a two pack-a-day smoker and woke me up. I can't fall back asleep so I'm writing about waking up in Indiana.

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