Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lost in the Shuffle

My laptop died on Thursday afternoon less than 24 hours before I was scheduled to fly to NYC for a long weekend. I was pissed off and got sick to my stomach. I had lost a ton of writing shit (lost forever) and all of my precious bookmarks. I managed to recover the majority of my files, but I'm unable to connect via my air card and I'm forced to use Nicky's laptop in the meantime. The laptop is virtually worthless. I was waiting before I got back to NYC in early August to buy a new one, but I wanted to depart ways on my terms.

My laptop had been the biggest constant in my life over the past three years. I won enough money playing online poker in early 2005 to buy it and I never looked back. It's been all over the world with me while I waited out delayed flights in random airports to lonely hotel rooms in godknowswhere to using it while I sat on Derek's couch. It's a goner and I realized I had a stronger emotional that originally anticipated. Like I said, I don't have a place to live and have been on the road for most of the last three years. It's been my life and an extension of me over the last couple of years. I guess this is how most people feel about cars or pets.

I bought a laptop over the weekend but it doesn't arrive until after August 2nd. It wasn't anything I wanted, because everything I liked was way over $2,000 or anything moderately priced would not get shipped until after August 12th. I'm supposed to be in Europe around that time.

So I flew into NYC carrying Nicky's cumbersome laptop. The fucker is huge and I realized how cool mine used to be... slim, sleek, and it weighed next to nothing. Nicky got hers originally to play online poker. The screen is immense and you can play up to four tables on it (more if you reduce table sizes to next to nothing). Anyway, we watched plenty of HBO shows on it over the last two months such as the final run of The Sopranos and the new season of Entourage.

Anyway, Nicky and I left Las Vegas quietly for a three-day weekend in NYC. Widespread Panic was playing Radio City Music Hall on Friday and Saturday. I couldn't get a flight home early enough on Friday so I knew I was going to miss one show. Bruce Cohen went to both shows and said we got the better of the two.

Nicky had not been back to NYC for a few years and I think that was for some movie premiere. We got a hotel on the Upper West Side. I had a coupon on Expedia that was set to expire and I also had another one after I complained about getting fucked over by them when I had to reschedule something during my Monte Carlo trip. Anyway, I ended up getting a swanky hotel room for three nights for basically the price of 1.5 nights.

We got in Friday night and met up with Derek and The Rooster. Nicky got to experience what it was like bar hopping with the three of us.

On Saturday, Nicky and I took a walk through Central Park and ended up at The Met. We bumped into an old friend and painter Charles Andresen. We met up with Bruce and headed to Radio City. We had caught Panic in Las Vegas on July 3rd, but it was not the best of shows and I was super tired because of work. Since I was well rested and at a much more historic venue, I knew the show would be better.

I should write up a review... and will eventually. All in all, despite one of the band members not in the lineup due to a death in the family, the show was great.

On SUnday, Nicky went shopping in Soho while I played online poker in the hotel room and bought a new laptop online. When she got back, we took the subway up to Derek''s to eat at the diner and then watch Entourage. Afterwards, we met up with the Rooster.

I drank a lot in NYC. More than I had been in Las Vegas and a ton more than when I'm in Hollyweird. I guess that since I don't have to drive in NYC, both Nicky and I can get hammered without any worries. I suspect she loved that the most.

At Midnight, we met up with the Rooster and headed downtown to the outskirts of Chinatown to Milk and Honey. I'm a well-known poker writer in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, but I'm still a nobody in NYC. However, I'm friends with The Rooster, who happens to be somebody. And because he knows the owner of Milk and Honey, we got to have a cocktail in one of the toughest places in NYC to get into.

The door is unmarked and you have to be buzzed in my security camera. It reminded me of one of the underground poker rooms I used to play in. The place is dark with only a handful of booths. There are weird rules that The Rooster told us about.

The Rooster asked the bartender to whip up any three drinks. A few minutes later, Dark & Stormy for Nicky, an Aviator for The Rooster, and a Chilean Mojito for myself. We hit up a few more bars before it was almost daybreak.

On Monday, we woke up a downpour. After a quick bite, we headed to MoMa with every other tourist in the city. I snagged about twenty amazing photos but since I can't upload photos (for now) that will have to wait.

Our flight was delayed for an hour, but we managed to get back into Vegas about the same time due to a rare East-West tailwind. Of course within hours of my return to Las Vegas, I was sitting in a casino playing Pai Gow with members of the international press. But that's a story for another time.

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