Wednesday, February 13, 2008

las vegas > long beach

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

My last 24 hours in Las Vegas involved a lot of writing, a bit of deep thinking, and a last binge of gambling. But most of the time, I was pecking away at the keyboard in my hotel room, eating the rest of my Cliff bars, while listened to a ton of music that I downloaded last week.

In November, I clocked in 30K words for the first part of the writing project. I managed to get 47K more over the last five or six days. I wrote well over 50K and will end up trimming about 30% of what I wrote. Trim it and make it stronger. That's my goal for the remainder of the month.

Michalski sent me an email saying how he could not understand how I wrote 5K a day. He liked the Hemingway approach... 500 words a day and mostly about the weather. But Michalski is getting sloshed at odd hours and going to clubs in Las Vegas with Mike Tyson. He better watch it or Tyson will chop his ear off.

I'd love to do that... 500 to 1K a day... but my schedule hardly permits such an task. Alas, I got two weeks in November, one week in February, maybe a week in March, and four weeks in April. I have no idea if I can finish this before I take off to the WSOP at the end of May.

I spent most of my last night in Las Vegas writing and re-writing and erasing and deleting and trying to worry less about quality and more about quantity. I just wanted to get all the words out. Eventually, I'll sit down and read it all and figure out what I missed. I also have several thousand words of orphaned sentences, lines, snippets, and scenes that I couldn't work into what I already wrote.

I played poker and bet on basketball. I ended the trip on the positive side. I could have paid for the trip with my winnings, but I did not have to... since it was already paid for.

I stayed up to 6am. I walked up the Strip from MGM to Harrahs, crossed the street to the Mirage, and walked back down the Strip. When I got back to the room, I crashed hard since the walk had tired me out. I slept for a couple of hours before I woke up, packed, and watched about thirty minutes of the Clemens testimony on ESPN. Everyone is guilty. I finally checked out of my room using express service. I charged a lot of meals to my room and order room service a couple of times.

There was no one waiting in the taxi line and arrived at the airport quick. I gave my cabbie a good tip and checked in. Before I left the hotel, I checked online and my flight was delayed 20 minutes. When I got to the airport, the status was updated... and delayed almost an hour. I was way early because of the light traffic and the delay meant I had over 2.5 hours to kill in the airport. I should have stayed in the casino and played poker for a bit.

Alas, I wandered over to my gate. I thumbed through a few books at Hudson News. I read a few pages of a book by Cormac McCarthy. I wandered into Brookstone and killed ten minutes sitting in the massage chair. I bought Nicky something practical... an iPod charger for the car that hooks up to the lighter.

I sat near my gate and played online poker while I sat out the delay. Eventually our plane arrived. Boarding went quick, but we were on the tarmac forever.

I watched a show on BBC America called Ramsay's Kitchen Disasters... about this cocky British chef who rescues restaurants in trouble. He berates the owners and talks shit to the head chefs and kitchen workers. I had caught bits of it before and thought the concept was intriguing.

The episode I watched involved an American woman living in England. She had a tiny American soul food joint and was struggling. Ramsay got her shit together and everyone lived happily ever after. It made me very hungry for fried chicken.

My plane didn't land in Long Beach until 4:40pm. It took us more than a half hour to get home. I left for the airport shortly before noon. If I drove from to Hollyweird instead of flying... I would have gotten home at least an earlier.

Wasting away in an airport again.

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