Showing posts with label Change100. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Change100. Show all posts

March 03, 2010

Kankakee

By Change100 © 2010

I told Meredith I'd pick up cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pumpkins because I wanted to drive her car. It wasn't a particularly remarkable vehicle but at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time, her blue-green Subaru might as well have been a Ferrari and Interstate 57 cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Cote d'Azur. I wanted to drive. I didn't care where I had to go to do it, I just wanted to get behind cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 wheel. Only six weeks into fall quarter, I longed for my little red Volkswagen, rusting away in my parents' driveway back in Los Angeles. All summer, I'd driven her just to drive—to Malibu, to Oxnard, to Carpinteria, turning around for home once I'd had enough wind in my hair for that day. I hated cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 stasis of being confined to only a few blocks of college-town streets. Without a set of car keys, I felt stranded.

Meredith handed a set of directions scribbled on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back of an old flyer for a performance by one of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 university's a capella groups. I was supposed to pick up 150 pumpkins that had been donated by a farmer in a small town about eighty miles downstate. I'd fetch cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pumpkins, drive cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m back to campus and we'd sell cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 following morning as a fundraiser for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 musical Meredith was directing.

"Are you sure 150 pumpkins are going to fit in here?" I asked, looking at her four-door hatchback.

"Just cram in as many as you can," Meredith replied as she tossed me cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 keys. "Try to be back by five."

All thoughts of attending my 10:00 class evaporated once cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 keys hit my palm. I pulled out of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 driveway of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365atre building, turned out onto Sheridan Road, and made my way through cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 leafy north shore suburbs on my way to I-94. The locals had names for it that seemed to change every few miles. One minute it was cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Edens Expressway. Then cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Kennedy. Fall was in full, furious bloom, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 burnt orange and red of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 dying leaves cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 last bits of color in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 landscape as winter encroached and threatened to turn cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 entire middle of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 country into graying, lifeless tundra.

I found cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Dan Ryan Expressway and watched as cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 skyscrapers of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Loop gave way to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bombed-out south side once I merged onto I-57 south. Charred warehouses. Empty lots. Graffited billboards. Once cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 street numbers reached cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 triple digits, it didn't take long for civilization to fall away, concrete and mortar replaced with a patchwork quilt of farmland. For as long as I could take cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cold, I rolled down cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 windows, singing along with a Stephen Sondheim musical on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 tape deck. It seemed like no one was out here. Wide open spaces.

Forty miles later, I exited cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 highway, seemingly in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 middle of nowhere. The last town I'd seen was Kanakaee, a few miles back. No gas station. No supermarkets. I took cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Subaru down a two-lane road, passing a farmhouse every few miles.

"You'll see an enormous yellow tractor parked outside. That's cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 place. Park out front and ask for Ellen or Henry," wrote Meredith in her loopy scrawl.

Well, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re were a lot of tractors in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se parts and for a moment cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re, I felt like I was in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 opening scene of a slasher movie, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 naïve girl being lured in by seemingly folksy farmers who cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n proceed to hack her to pieces and sell off her organs to smugglers. But cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re, over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 tiniest ridge, was indeed an enormous yellow tractor, and outside a simple, single-story bungalow sat a woman who reminded me of Sissy Spacek, sitting behind a table making beaded necklaces. I parked cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Subaru at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 edge of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 dirt patch where her lawn should have been, and stepped outside.

"You must be from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 university," she said, hardly looking up from her work.

"Yes. How'd you know?"

"We don't see too many new people around here. I'm Ellen. My husband has your pumpkins. He'll be out in a minute."

"Thank you. We really appreciate cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 donation."

"We really appreciate y'all taking cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m off our hands. Glad someone will be able to enjoy 'em. You should probably pull your car up to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 conveyor."

"The what?"

"The conveyor. Over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re," she said, pointing at some contraption I didn't understand cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 use of.

I nudged cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Subaru up toward cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 device.

"Turn around!"

"What?"

"Turn around! You need to back up towards it!"

"What?"

"You want to load cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pumpkins in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 car, right, turn around!"

Feeling like a completely inept urbanite, I executed cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 worst three-point turn of my life and attempted to follow her instructions. Just as I pulled cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 parking brake, I heard cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 unmistakable screech of metal-on-metal, followed by a thundering shudder.

What cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 fuck had I done? Had I hit something? Scraped cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bottom of Meredith's car? Would insurance cover farming-related damages.

"Hurry up, open cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hatchback. They're coming out," shouted Ellen.

"What?"

"The pumpkins, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y're coming on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 conveyor."

Just cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n I saw a mountain of a man emerge from behind cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 house. Henry wore a flannel shirt and overalls and a muddy green baseball cap. He had a wild gray beard and a sturdy gait that was unfortunately outpaced by cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 dozens of pumpkins that seemed to emerge from nowhere and rumble toward me down cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 conveyor belt.

Do I grab cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pumpkins? Do I wait for Henry? And which choice will make me look like less of an idiot?

I went for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pumpkins. I went for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m fast, and started hurling cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 car as fast as I could. I didn't know how this conveyor worked, if it was like cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 baggage claim at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 airport and I'd have anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r shot at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se suckers, or whecá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r it was like cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 one in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 I Love Lucy episode where Lucy just couldn't keep up with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 chocolates and ended up eating most of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m. Eicá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r way, this wasn't going to turn out well for me. The hatch was already a mess. The pumpkins were getting bruised. And cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re was cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 matter of my black combat boots sinking into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 mud up to my ankles.

Henry tried not to laugh at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 sight before his eyes.

"Whoa cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re. What's your hurry? You don't have a lot of space cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re so we're going to have to arrange cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se just right.”

"So cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y'll come back around?"

"Of course cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y will! You think I could get anything off this thing with my back cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 way it is?"

Henry went to work re-arranging cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pumpkins I'd already hurled into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 car while I pulled off cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 remainder of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 neatest pile I could manage.

"Y'all wanted a hundred and fifty, right?"

"Right, but are we going to be able to get cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m all in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re?"

"Oh, I'll make 'em fit," said Henry with a deep sigh, as he lifted a particularly heavy one. "You're not from around here, are you?"

"How'd you guess?" I replied with a smirk.

"We don't see too many folks wearing leopard-print down this way. Or boots like those. Not too practical."

"No, I'm from Los Angeles.”

"You're from Hollywood? No kiddin'! My niece, she lived cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re a while. Now she's in New York City. Just got a job writing that Saturday Night Live show."

"Wow, that's amazing. I wouldn't mind doing something like that myself."

"Anything you can put your mind to, I always told her. Anything you can put your mind to, you can do. Me, I like to put my mind to this. My land, my potatoes. You know I mainly grow potatoes. The pumpkins were sort of a special thing for us. Just ended up with too damn many of 'em."

By some feat of exceptional special geometry, Henry crammed 150 pumpkins into Meredith's Subaru hatchback by laying down cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back seats and allowing a couple dozen to ride shotgun with me. Somehow I made it eighty miles back up cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 highway, my rear view completely obstructed by a wall of orange.


Change100 is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.

March 02, 2008

The Drug Store

By change100 © 2008

I got a space in front of a health food store on Santa Monica Boulevard. Squinting against cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 winter sun, I foraged for change in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 tray next to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 gearshift and found barely enough to cover cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 meter's one hour limit. Surely I'd have to re-feed it to avoid a ticket, but nine times out of ten I didn't remember to. The clinic didn't open for ten minutes anyhow. There was a chance I could end up one of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 first in line and be out by cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 last minutes ticked away on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 meter.

Noon in West Hollywood brought out cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 lunchtime crowd. Impossibly perfect looking gay men gacá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365red in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 sidewalk cafes and coffee shops. A few jogged along cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Boulevard, stepping in time with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 music blasting through cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir ear buds. I passed a bookstore, a Russian deli, and a nail salon that I recognized from once living in this neighborhood. But still I couldn't picture cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 building I was heading to, though it's number and street placed it on a corner I've driven past hundreds of times. It had to be next to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 motel. Or maybe cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 drugstore. I turned up La Cienega and power-walked it's steep incline as I looked for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 number on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 card.

At first, I walked straight past it. The weeds in front of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 tan and white building were so overgrown I just assumed it was closed. But it matched cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 number, so it at least warranted exploration, even though it looked like some sort of abandoned apartment house straight out of post-war Eastern Europe. I walked down a cement pathway into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 shade of unkempt trees and saw a cloudy glass door that led into a deserted elevator lobby. It was open. Someone was here. The lobby walls were covered in cheap faux-oak paneling and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 floors in decades-old linoleum. Next to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 elevator doors hung a building directory. And cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re it was. Dr. Jerry Greenblatt, M.D. Fourth floor. I gingerly stepped into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 sketchiest elevator in Los Angeles and prayed it wouldn't drop me to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 basement.

The smell of smoke hit me as cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 doors opened on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 fourth floor, stale and lingering in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 airless hallway. A sign that read "No Smoking or Your Referral Will Be Revoked!”" hung in protest on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 door to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 restroom. There were no ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r signs of life or business as I passed by dozens of closed doors. Did anyone else work here? Toward cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 end of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hallway, I found cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 door to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 doctor's office. Just a closed door, no window, nothing else to tell you that it was, indeed, a doctor's office, except for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 crooked sign bearing his name. I gripped cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 metal knob and turned it.

Inside, fluorescent lighting filled cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 small waiting room. I wasn't cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 first here, not even cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 tenth. A skater kid, complete with his board covered in stickers. A dorky-looking guy in a black turtleneck and glasses. An early-thirties professional woman flipping through Vanity Fair. And about five Latino guys wearing jerseys from various Los Angeles sports franchises. At cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reception desk, a young black man with a huge smile beckoned me closer.

"Is this your first time?" he asked.

"Yeah. First time here."

"Well, welcome!" he said cheerily, erasing cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 sketchy vibes that had haunted me since passing through cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 building's doors. "Just fill out cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se forms and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 doctor will see you shortly."

Mr. Happy handed me a clipboard with at least 10 pages for me to fill out. I took a seat next to a portly Mexican in a Nomar Garciaparra jersey and went to work. Name, address, Social, height, weight, medications currently taken. Do you have any of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se health problems? Family history? Hopitalizations? Date of last menstrual period? Date of last pap smear? Countries visited in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 last year? On that one, I actually had to think.

How did you hear about our services? Best friend is a patient.

How often do you use cannabis? As often as I can.

How much cannabis do you use per day? Maybe a gram?

At what age did you start using cannabis? At my junior prom when my date ditched me at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 after-party to hook up with a model. (OK, so I really didn't write that even though it's true)

What ailment do you treat using cannabis? (Oh... and here's a list of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ailments that are legally treatable under CA Proposition 215.)

I'd decided weeks ago that I'd go with insomnia. I was no good at faking pain, cancer was out of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 question, and headaches were just too, I don't know, vague? I knew enough about insomnia after dating an insomniac for over 2 years. So, I could conceivably and intelligently discuss insomnia with a medical professional. Yup, OK, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re it was. I-N-S-O-M-N-I-A. I was officially, in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 eyes of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 State of California, an insomniac. As I finished off cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 forms, I wondered what Garciaparra's aliment was. Migraines? Stomach cancer? Glaucoma? Then I saw it on his form. "Neck pain from car accident in '06." Not bad.

I pulled out a novel and read while I waited. Mr. Happy was calling people back three at a time to wait in a second ante-room for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 doctor, and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y seemed to re-emerge in 15-minute cycles. My thoughts briefly turned to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 parking meter when I heard my name called.

I went into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back with Dorky Turtleneck and Ms. Professional. Mr. Happy gave me more forms to fill out and I noticed cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 smiling, jeweled Buddha graphic on his t-shirt that nearly matched cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 perpetual grin on his face. Anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r huge black dude with neat cornrows and a NY Yankees shirt explained cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 procedure to me, as I was cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 only first-timer of our threesome. The ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365rs were in for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir yearly renewals. First I'd talk to Kyle in his office and get my California ID copied and pay cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 fee up-front. If I didn't get a recommendation, I'd get my money back at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 end. Then I'd get to see cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 doctor.

Kyle told me a lot of what I already knew as he copied my license and handed me more forms to sign. Don't medicate in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 car. Always put your medicine in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 trunk if you're transporting it. You'll always need your ID and a copy of your prescription to go inside a dispensary. It will take 24 hours to validate your prescription. Unless you need something today. Do you need something today?

"Yeah... sure I need something today."

Kyle pulled out a business card. He flipped it over and wrote "1 free pre-roll" on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back.

"Just tell cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m I sent you. They know us here and will set you up right away."

I went back into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ante-room and had just re-assumed my seat between Dorky Turtleneck and Ms. Professional, when Mr. Happy opened cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 door to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 waiting room and ushered in two women in business suits. Each wore a badge that said "Investigator." They went directly into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 doctor's office and closed cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 door. Two minutes later, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 doctor came flying out of his office and rushed up to Mr. Happy. The two spoke in hushed tones before adjourning to a back room loaded with medical files.

Seriously, could I really be that girl? The one who just happens to be legally getting her medical cannabis referral when cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Feds decide to raid cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 place? Fuck. This is what I get for going to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 guy who ended up outed as “L.A.’s Pot Doctor” on a CBS News report.

Cornrows must have seen cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 panic-stricken look on my face, because he began to reassure me.

“Don’t worry, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y’ll be out of here in a few minutes. It’s all good, happens every once in a while but cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y can’t do nothin’.”

“Seriously, can’t cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y like, go fight real crime or something instead of bocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ring people here? It’s legal in our state!” spat Ms. Professional, barely looking up from her magazine.

The Doctor and Mr. Happy re-emerged from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 file room, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Doc clutching a file folder. He sped-walk past cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 three of us and closed his office door. Mr. Happy went back to his perch at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 front desk and turned up cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 radio. Some R&B station was playing “What’s Goin’ On” and Cornrows started singing along as he did a little shuffle.

The investigators were ushered out five minutes later. I never found out what cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y wanted, because as soon as cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y were out cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 door, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Doctor called me back to his office. The room was fairly large, and his desk was positioned at its very center. Two chairs covered in dingy mauve upholstery sat in front of it. On cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back wall behind him were perhaps a half a dozen framed diplomas. I cursed myself for not wearing my glasses as I squinted to make out cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 name of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hospital where he completed his residency. “New York Hospital?” Was cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re such a thing?

The Doctor was older, maybe 60, and had a thick New York accent. His nose was round like a department store Santa Claus and his face gentle and inviting. He asked me briefly about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 insomnia, how long I’d had it, and how long I’d been treating it with cannabis. I gave him some line about discovering its benefits while traveling in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Necá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365rlands and he immediately started writing out my prescription. After a brief lecture on medicating using edibles and vaporizers instead of smoking it, I was back on my way out to Mr. Happy’s enclave, where my prescription was officially stamped, and I was sent on my way. As I walked out cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 door to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 waiting room, Garciaparra was coming in. We gave each ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r “cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 nod.”

I immediately headed across cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 street to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 “Zen Wellness Center” per Kyle’s recommendation. I rang a doorbell and was buzzed in to a tiny waiting room. A man sat behind a panel of one-way glass with a tiny slit at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bottom. I could see his lips move but no ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r part of him.

“First time here?” cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 lips said.

“Uh, yeah” I said, handing over my ID and prescription.

“Take a seat, it’ll be about 5 minutes. We’re busy today.”

Just cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 door to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back opened, and two fifty-something women emerged, carrying small, plain paper bags stapled closed and headed back out into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 afternoon sun, nearly giggling with excitement.

“OK, you can come in now.”

It was like I stepped into an Amsterdam coffee shop. Right here, in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 middle of Los Angeles. I couldn’t believe cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se places really existed. In cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 U.S. of A. Trippy posters lined cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 walls, and a Foreigner song played on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 stereo. Christmas lights lined cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ceiling. A kid in a beanie cap took a long hit off a balloon over in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 vapo-lounge off to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 side. A tattooed man with olive skin greeted me with a smile as wide as Mr. Happy's as I walked in. He stood in front of a glass display case containing dozens of different strains, all neatly packed into plastic medicine bottles.

"First time here? Don't be shy, welcome to Zen Wellness! What are you looking for today?"

Two minutes later, I was walking back to my car with a plain paper bag containing an eighth of Afghooey and a free joint. I could see cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 parking ticket flapping off my windshield from half a block away.

But this time, and only this time... I didn't care.


Change100 is a writer from Los Angeles.

November 08, 2007

Seven Minutes with Olga

By Change100 © 2007

"Need a taxi?" said cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bearded man with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 leacá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ry skin. He wore shorts and rubber sandals and looked like he spent his days out on a fishing boat racá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r than inside a cab.

It had been less than two minutes since I'd walked down cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 stairs from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 puddle-jumper to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 tarmac at Key West International Airport, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 soggy humidity filling my parched lungs after nearly six hours of trans-continental travel at 30,000 feet. Red lettering welcoming me to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 "Conch Republic" was perched above cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 doorway to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 tiny terminal, and after crossing a fifteen-foot wide swath of gray carpeting inside, I was back out cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 door into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 sticky heat, looking for a taxi to take me to Duval Street. I don't know if it was cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 way cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cabbie approached me-- emerging from a shadowy corner where he'd been leaning against cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 wall smoking a cigarette racá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r than pulling up in a yellow-hued sedan and efficiently hauling my luggage into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 trunk-- but it struck a sketchy note. As I followed him to his vehicle (which looked more like a dog-catcher's van) I thought cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re was a significant chance that I was headed for a scene straight out of The Bone Collector.

I gave cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cabbie cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 address of our hotel and flipped open my phone to call Pauly. There was a lot of bar noise in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 background and from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 sharp volume and lackadaisical timbre of his voice, I easily deduced that he was in a rowdy drinking establishment and had been cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re, or a place like it, for some time. He said he'd meet me in ten minutes in front of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hotel.

When I hung up, we were driving along a poorly-lit road next to a military base. Was this where he was taking me? Could I jump out of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cab and make a run for it if necessary?

"Man, I sure was glad that flight of yours was on time. It's almost always late and it's cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 last one of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 day," he said. As he approached a stop sign, he fiddled with a laptop computer that was set up on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 dashboard (telling his superiors that he had "cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 package?")

"This your first time in Key West?"

"Yeah."

"Where'd you fly in from?"

"California" (best to be as vague as possible with potential serial-killer cabbies).

"Y'all have that Nancy Pelosi out cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re, right?" (oh, God he's going political)

"Yeah..."

"Did she ever get her plane?"

"What?"

"Her plane. The big one to fly her home on weekends."

"Oh... I don't know. I don't think so."

"Pretty stupid thing to ask for."

It was about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n that I noticed cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 sleeping child laying across cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 front seat. She couldn't have been more than five. She had a Disney-cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365med coloring book tucked underneath her arm as she slept. Crayons were scattered across cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 floor. I guess I wasn't in danger after all.

As promised, Pauly met me in front of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Soucá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365rn Cross Hotel. I stowed my backpack in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 room and we headed across cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 street to Wendy's so I could get a quick bite to eat. I always order cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 same thing at Wendy's-- cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Spicy Chicken Sandwich.

The man in front of us in line was so fucked up he could hardly stand. He had cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 same leacá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ry skin as cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cabbie did, was barefoot, and had his shirt halfway open.

"I'm soooo wasted!" he said to Pauly as we tried not to stare.

Once he got up to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 register, he slumped onto cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 counter and looked as if he might vomit all over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 young Jamaican cashier as he slurred his order.

Welcome to Thursday night in Key West.

After wolfing down cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Spicy Chicken Sandwich and washing it down with Diet Coke, Pauly and I walked over to Irish Kevin's, one of Al Can't Hang's favorite Duval Street watering holes and joined up with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 gang. Most had been drinking all day. I met Al's Philly crew-- Landow, Lewey, Big Mike, and JDub-- whom I had read so much about over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 years. Gracie and Sweet Sweet Pablo were cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re. So were Derek, BG, Bacon Bikini Mary and StB. JDub bought me a White Russian. So I drank that. Then Derek bought me a double Soco. So I drank that. Then I bought myself a Stella. And I drank that too. Add a quick trip down cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 block with Gracie, Pablo, and Derek to smoke a bowl and I was pretty shitty by cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time we left Irish Kevin's for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 strip club.

I'd been hearing about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se two strip clubs ever since Pauly had landed on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 island five days earlier. There was "The Classy Joint" which was larger, semi-well maintained, and had decent looking dancers. Then cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re was "The Dive" which was described to me as "where strippers go to die in Key West." We were going to The Classy Joint, thank God.

Though cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re were a couple of lap dance virgins on our outing that night, I was not one of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m. I vividly remember my first. It was at The Body Shop on Sunset Blvd. during my first or second year in Hollywood. Showcase and I took our friend Seth out for birthday drinks at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Standard Hotel and later adjourned to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 strip club for a few dances. Showcase and I each bought Seth a dance and he said I wasn't leaving until I got one myself. I tried waving him off with a laugh, but five minutes later, a curvaceous, raven-haired stripper came up to me and pulled me into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back room where cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 private dance booths were set up.

"This is from Seth," she cooed into my ear as she ground her crotch into my thigh. Hey, this isn't so bad.

I was hooked. Lap dances were fun. I'd get several more in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 years that followed-- from one at Cheetah's where a coked-up blonde poured a shot into my mouth and proceeded to stir it with her tongue, to Showcase's 25th birthday party at Crazy Horse Too when I saw him get a 45 minute lap dance from a six-foot tall black woman with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 biggest tits I've ever seen, to that fateful night at Scores when Pauly, Grubby, Benny Hiroshima and I sat in a horseshoe formation, all with breasts both fake and real stuffed into our faces at one point or anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r, all four of us departing with our nipples burning after being twisted into unnatural formations by cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se ladies of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pole.

Compared to Vegas strip joints, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Classy Joint was small and really not that classy, which made me wonder just how sketchy "The Dive" was if this was classy. Pauly instantly got a waitress to take care of everyone and we took over three tables in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back corner. Al and Friends were already instant celebrities in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se parts and we were treated very well. Many double Socos were consumed and at midnight, AlCantHang turned 40 amidst clinking glasses and a dozen of his friends.

Al had brought a $50 brick of singles with him and by cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 end of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 night all of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m ended up in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 garters of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 panty-less dancers that took cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 stage. Yes, panty-less. These chicks went cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Full Monty. Pablo, StB, Pauly and I rotated in and out of two seats next to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 stage. During my turn, I put a couple of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 singles in my cleavage and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 girls skillfully removed cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m by mouth.

After anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r Double Soco, I was approached by a strikingly tall Russian girl. Her name was Olga and she was 6'4” in her Lucite heels. She couldn't have been more than 20 or 21 and had ice-blue eyes, long chestnut hair and a surprisingly innocent face, like she could be cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 girl who sells you a croissant and a coffee in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 morning at some random European cafe.

"Come with me. I give you two dance from him." She pointed at Pauly, who waved at me with a goofy drunken grin before Olga took my hand and led me into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 private dance room.

The private room was long, narrow, and mirrored, with a black leacá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r banquette lining cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 walls on all sides. Six or seven girls were in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re, some bottomless, grinding atop sunburnt tourists in t-shirts and cargo shorts. Olga led me all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 way to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back and sat me down. She took her top off and grabbed my hands, placing cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m on her very soft, very real breasts.

"34B..." I thought as she started grinding away.

Midway through my second dance, AlCantHang entered cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 room with a dark-haired stripper. As Olga gnawed on my nipples through my padded satin Victoria's Secret bra, Al and I gave each ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r "cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 nod." That strip-club nod that's like "hey, here we are, being all debauched with dirty dirty paid-for girls at are going to do naughty naughty things to us and well, we're doing it in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 same room, and that's a little weird, but we're just going to roll with it, OK?"

After my seven or so minutes with Olga, I emerged from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back room with a cat-who-ate-cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365-canary grin. I could have used a cigarette. Or maybe a shower.

"Oh my God, look at your hair!" laughed Pablo.

I racked focus toward cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 mirror behind our table and sure enough, it was all over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 place. Sticking up, to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 side, tangled and frizzy from where Olga had repeatedly run her hands through it.

"So, did you like your dance?" said Pauly, grinning ear to ear as he smoocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365d out my hair.

"I did. She was very dirty."

"And tall!"

"Dude, I barely came up to her tits."

"Do you want anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r one?"

"No, I think that's all I can take for one night."

Maybe an hour later we stumbled back to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hotel and passed out. Seven hours later I woke up tasting stale liquor in my mouth as a rooster screamed from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 tree outside our window.

And I smelled like stripper.


Change100 is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.

August 13, 2007

Meeting Mama McGrupp

By Change100 © 2007

"So, how should I introduce you?" Pauly asked, as I drove down Flamingo toward Caesar's Palace. "As my friend? My girlfriend? My roommate?" His mocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r was in Las Vegas for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Fourth of July weekend and we were meeting her for dinner at Trevi in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Forum Shops.

"At this point, do whatever you want, Pauly. Whatevvvvver is easiest for you" was my reply.

Look, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re are no questions as to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 status of our relationship. We're togecá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r. We have been for well over a year. Pauly has met my family a number of times. He's eaten my facá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r's BBQ, watched cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Yankees with my mom, treated Mandy to beers and Mexican food. But that's mainly because he's spent a helluva lot more time in Los Angeles than I have in New York.

Well, that and my parents are "normal" (his words).

Over a year in and I had yet to meet Mama McGrupp. Pauly assured me it was for a good reason. All I knew about this woman was that she was five feet tall, chain-smoked, had a wicked New York accent, was overly fond of Amaretto, and never had anything nice to say about anyone.

"Whatever you say, don't tell her you're Irish. Even a little bit. Just stick with German. She hates Irish people because of my facá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r. She could also blatantly insult you at any moment, so be prepared," Pauly warned.

By this point I was terrified. I almost hoped he would introduce me as his roommate or colleague. I'd be more likely to avoid a barrage of potentially loaded questions.

"Mama's on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 warpath" Derek said as we walked up. Pauly mumbled a response laced in a sort of shorthand only brocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365rs bound by over three decades of struggles with this force of a woman could understand. My stomach had been on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 floor since we'd parked cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 car at Bellagio and walked over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bridge to Caesar's Palace. I could see her staring at me from ten feet away. I turned on my Hollywood smile.

"Mom, this is my friend Nicky," said Pauly (ohthankGod).

"It's a pleasure to meet you Mrs. McGrupp" I said as I extended my hand. I got a limp, cold handshake in return. Pauly's aunt and two of his cousins were with her and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y seemed far friendlier. We adjourned to a large round table indoors.

I sat between Derek and Pauly, figuring that was cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 safest seat at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 table. I ordered a glass of Shiraz and Mama McG got a whisky sour-- cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 first of several.

As I glanced over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 menu, Pauly's cousin Meg asked me about working at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 World Series. I gave some short, happy answers that didn't give away a lot while Mama stared at us from across cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 table, sipping her drink. After that, I buried myself in conversation with Derek, trying to avoid eye contact with Mama. She looked suspicious and annoyed.

I ordered a nice Chicken Marsala. Pauly and Derek both got cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Veal Parmesan and Mama had cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 lasagna, deciding that she couldn't order cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 veal, too, since both of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 boys had.

"I'll give you a taste of mine when it arrives, OK Mom?" said Derek, attempting to placate her. She mumbled something unintelligible.

"I met your boss today" Mama said to Pauly. "He said you were a good writer."

"He's a great writer!" I piped up.

Mama looked at me like I had stood up, climbed atop cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 table, and urinated into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bread basket. My face flushed scarlet and I took a long sip of my Shiraz as I looked around for a hole to fall into.

"The Rio was nice. I thought it would be really seedy where you worked. But it's nice. Not as nice as cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Wynn, but it's OK."

"You're thinking of Binions, where cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 World Series used to be. That's downtown where it's really sketchy" Pauly explained.

"I couldn't find a matchbook cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re-- I looked all over for a matchbook and tried all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bars but cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y didn't have any. I want to get one from every casino."

"Well I'll make sure to pick one up for you."

"We went in that, that Poker Expo thing ? And cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y were spraying this cologne I liked, but he wanted to get out of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re so I couldn't get any" she said, glaring at Derek.

"Do you want me to get you some of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cologne?" Pauly said, his patience fraying.

"No. Forget it," she spat.

Thank God cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 food arrived. The chicken was tasty and it came with some lovely fresh green beans-- at least $200 worth if we're talking in Pauly veggie prop bet terms.

Derek, as promised, sliced off a nice piece of his veal parm and reached over to place it on Mama's plate.

"No! I don't want it! Don't do that! You hate it when I mess with things on your plate, so don't you do it to me!" she barked, out of nowhere. Derek put cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 veal back on his plate with a sigh.

I must have looked a little shocked at this outburst so Derek leaned over and whispered "Dude... this like, isn't even a 1 on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Richter Scale." Wow.

Mama and I didn't really say anything to each ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r after that. I finished my meal and she downed three more whisky sours. She didn't touch her lasagna, claiming that she had "lost her appetite" after cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 veal incident with Derek.

"Here, you eat it," Mama said, passing her plate to Cousin Meg. Meg accepted cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 lasagna with a smile.

"I'll share some with John, too," she said, with a nod to Pauly's ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r cousin at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 table. She sliced cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 lasagna in half and picked it up with a fork and knife, ready to set it on his plate.

Only it never made it to his plate. Almost in slow motion, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 lasagna slipped from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 fork-and-knife hold and fell... straight into her purse. Meg buried her head in her hands.

It looked like she might cry, until she started to laugh. Hard. The entire table, even Mama, cracked up as she pulled bits of ground beef and marinara-sauce-stained papers out of her bag.

"So, does anyone want dessert?" inquired cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 waiter.

"Nojuscá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365billpleasewhenyougetachance," said Pauly before anyone could interject.

Sixty-five minutes after arriving at Trevi, we made our escape. Mama bid us goodbye with little interest and left with Derek and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cousins to go get show tickets.

Pauly charged out of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Forum Shops in his New Yorker walk that requires me to nearly jog to keep up with him. He blasted past cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Caesar's poker room.

"No poker?" I asked.

"No. I need to get off tilt."

We headed back across cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bridge to Bellagio. We passed cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir poker room, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 gaming pits, and at least two bars before I realized where we were going.

Gelato is cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cure for Mama-tilt. I got Oreo, he got Mint Chip.

"So, now you get it, right? The hell I have gone through with this woman for over thirty years?"

"Pretty much."

"And she wasn't even that bad tonight."

"That's what Derek said."

"So you've met her, you happy now?"

"Yes. And we don't have to do it again, I hope for a very long time. But cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re is one thing though."

"What?"

"You do look a lot like her."

"Oh God..."


Change100 is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.

July 19, 2007

Decades

By Change100 © 2007

I turned 10 in Belmar, New Jersey. My grandfacá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r had fallen ill and my mocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r decided to move my sister and I out cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re with her for most of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 summer of 1987 so she could take care of him. The three of us squeezed into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pullout couch at night in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 living room of my grandparents' doublewide trailer on Route 71, which was certainly not designed to accomodate five. Mandy and I spent most of our afternoons wandering around town, taking bike rides around Lake Como and hitting cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 dime stores with Nana, where she'd buy scores of useless trinkets for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 already crowded shelves in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 trailer.

On my birthday, she came home from her morning jaunt to Shop-Rite with a value-pack of M&Ms and a bag of chicken wings to cook for dinner. Nana's chicken wings were my favorite thing that she cooked... well, really cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 only thing I would eat that she cooked. And since it was my birthday, I got my meal of choice for dinner. We ate a light breakfast to "save" ourselves for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 dinner. The only problem was... Mandy, my mocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r and I were already starving by about 1 PM. As cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 three of us zoned out in front of an episode of "Three's Company" with my grandfacá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r, we began to pick at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 M&Ms, which had been poured into one of Nana's tacky candy dishes that sat on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 coffee table.

"What cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hell are you eating those for?! You're going to spoil your dinner! Why am I slaving in this kitchen if you're not going to eat it!" shrieked Nana as she brushed cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 wings with marinade.

This was always cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Catch-22 with Nana and her dishes of candy. Eat cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 candy, you'll spoil your meal. Don't eat it and why cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hell did she bocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r to go out and buy cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 candy for us?

So my mom and Nana got into it over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 M&Ms, which ended in her storming out of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 trailer with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 two of us in tow. We piled into Nana's white Ford Escort and took off down Route 71.

My mom pulled up to "The Sundae Times" aka cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 best ice cream parlor in town. They served cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir famous ice cream concoctions in plastic mini-baseball caps and you could pick cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 team of your choice. Mandy got strawberry ice cream in an Angels cap while I opted for mint chocolate chip in a Yankee hat. We were in sweet air-conditioned heaven and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 lines across my mocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r's forehead finally began to relax.

"You're gonna have to hide cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hats when we get home" she warned. "DON'T tell Nana I took you here-- this is our secret trip for Nicky's birthday."

Just as we'd rinsed out cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hats and stashed cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m in my mom's purse, we ran into Nana's neighbor walking through cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 front door. My mom completely froze and tried to look for anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r way out of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re, but we'd been made.

"Jo! What are you all doing here?"

"Patsy... do me a favor and don't tell my Ma you saw us here. It's so bloody hot cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 kids were gonna pass out if I didn't get cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m some ice cream."

"No worries, Jo. I get ya" she said with a wink.

Nana still made her chicken wings that night and I savored every one. Though I still got shit for not eating more than I did.

* * * * *

I turned 20 in New York City. College in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 frozen midwest didn't agree with me and I'd defied my parents' wishes and moved to Manhattan for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 summer of 1997 instead of coming home to L.A. They thought it was just to work a cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365atre internship, but I was more interested in converting that temporary gig to a full-time job I could take in lieu of finishing my last two years of school. My birthday was my eleventh day in my sparsely furnished studio apartment in Chelsea. I had a futon I'd borrowed for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 summer, one end table, a twin bed I'd purchased for $10 from a sorority that was getting rid of old furniture, and a 13-inch television. I'd arrived in New York with $55 in cash in my pocket and only about $4-- all of it in change-- remained. I'd been eating most of my meals at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Seventh Avenue Papaya on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 corner of 23rd Street where cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y sold 50 cent hot dogs. I could eat about three a day along with a 32 ounce Diet Coke and get by without any serious hunger.

Two days before I'd auditioned to be a singing waitress on a cruise ship. Showcase and a number of our cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365atre major friends had done it before as a summer job and it paid well. It was one of those touristy boats that took brunch and dinner cruises around cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 lower tip of Manhattan, passing cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Twin Towers along its way to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Statue of Liberty, turning back north to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 South Street Seaport, and ducking under cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges before making a wide U-turn and heading back to Chelsea Piers. All cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 waitstaff took one solo turn a night along with performing a hideous group disco number. I thought I'd had a good audition, but not having heard from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m for 48 hours, panic had set in. I needed a paycheck in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 worst way.

At about 7:00 that evening, my phone rang. It was cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m. I got cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 job! And could I start tomorrow? Visions of cash tips and food ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r than hot dogs danced in my head.

I called up Sarah, my best friend from high school who was also living in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 city for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 summer with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 good news. She zipped over to my apartment and took me out for happy hour at a bar on 16th Street where she knew we wouldn't get carded. Elation and relief spread over me as I drank my glass of Merlot.

Because if I could make it cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re, well, I could make it anywhere.

* * * * *

I turned 30 in Las Vegas, Nevada at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 World Series of Poker. I was covering a PLO8 event inside cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Poker Pavillion Sauna Wind Tunnel Death Trap Freezer and was watching Chau Giang's teeth chatter as he tucked his arms inside his shirt to fend off cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 chill when Pauly instant-messaged me a Happy Birthday. I hadn't even noticed cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time. Or cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 day it had suddenly become. Such was my focus on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 task at hand. 30 had come quietly. Even unnoticed.

I worked on my 30th birthday. It was like any ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r day at this seven-week circus of gamblers. I didn't make a big deal out of celebrating it, nor did I have cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time to. I've always had an odd relationship with this day and I've celebrated cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 occasion on every point of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 spectrum. From my 13th birthday that I spent grounded and locked in my room to my 16th birthday when my closest friends threw me in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 car blindfolded and surprised me with a trip to Disneyland, to my 25th birthday where my party took over a chic Hollywood club and boasted 150 guests, to my 27th birthday that I spent bent over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 porcelain god ravaged with food poisoning.

I'm 30 now but I don't feel it. I don't look it. And I certainly don't live like it. I smoke weed, date a 34-year old homeless man, gamble every day, travel a lot and share an apartment with a borderline homosexual actor-slash-dog walker. When my parents were my age, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y owned our house and I was spitting up applesauce in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 crib. I'm still many years away from anything like that.

So like cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 many women who have gone before me, I think I'll remain 29 forever. I think it suits me well.


Change100 is a writer from Los Angeles, CA.

March 06, 2007

Everything You Ever Needed to Know about Driving in Los Angeles

By Change100 © 2007

I have cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 same strange thought at least once a day while I'm behind cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 wheel of my 1993 blue-green Saturn. It usually springs forth as I'm tailgating some poor asshole at 15 MPH in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 right lane of a busy thoroughfare as he fruitlessly looks for street parking at a peak time of day. Precious minutes of my life are sucked into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ecá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r every single day of my life by cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se morons' insistence that somehow, today, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y will luck into that perfect metered space on Beverly Drive during cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 industry lunch rush even though experience and simple common sense dictate that like yesterday, like cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 day before and like tomorrow -- it ain't gonna happen. That's when I start to fantasize about a world where I could push a button on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 dashboard and my front windshield would turn into a programmable neon sign that can read my thoughts and express cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 idiot drivers around me in a clear, concise manner. I dream of tailing right behind cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se fuckers, my windshield ablaze with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 message, "YOU'RE NEVER GONNA FIND A SPACE ON THIS BLOCK AND YOU KNOW IT! SO FUCKING DRIVE, YOU MOTHERFUCKER!"

I am a Los Angeles driver. And by conservative macá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365matical estimates, I have driven over 150,000 miles inside cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 City of Angels in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 last decade and a half. That translates into almost one solid year of my life spent operating a motor vehicle in heavy traffic populated by yuppies, criminals, high school kids, industry douchebags, Hollywood slicksters, and hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants without licenses or insurance. I have an average of 1.5 near-death experiences in L.A. traffic every day. At this point, I'm immune to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m. A minivan full of preschoolers could shoot out of an alleyway at 40 MPH, it's bimbo-mom driver yapping on her cell phone instead of watching cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 road and my heart will scarcely quicken as my foot hits cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 brakes with automatic, instinctive precision. Smoking a lot of pot may also contribute to this almost eerie sense of calm, and is a highly recommended practice especially when venturing out into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 concrete jungle at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 witching hours of 7-10 AM and 3-7 PM.

If cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re is one fundamental rule about driving in Los Angeles, it is this. Be cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 asshole or be cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 asshole's victim. See an opportunity and take advantage of it, whecá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r it's a lane change, a parking space, or a quickie left-turn. Ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365rwise, be prepared to waste your life waiting.

Driving in Los Angeles is made infinitely easier if one understands that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re will always be traffic. Even at 2 AM, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re can (and will be) freeway traffic as you are now entering prime high speed chase time and cop cars will frequently be used to slow down cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pace of freeway traffic by driving in a serpentine pattern across all lanes when a criminal is being chased perhaps miles ahead. Understanding that traffic will always exist is half cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 battle toward becoming an effective L.A. driver.

Be prepared to execute cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 "right-lane swerve-around" at a moment's notice, especially when trapped behind a slow vehicle. For an average commuter, this will happen on an average of over a dozen times per day. Appropriate situations for this maneuver include:
(1) getting stuck behind cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Mexicans in pickup trucks who drive 20 MPH below cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 speed limit on Olympic Blvd.
(2) getting stuck behind old Jewish ladies on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir way to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Fairfax Glatt Mart on Sunday mornings.
(3) getting around bottle blondes with cell phones in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir ears trying to find street parking on Robertson.
Brake, signal, swerve, and if cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 spirit moves you, give a little "curse & sneer" just to solidify your contempt.

A few droplets of rain falling out of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 sky make Los Angeles drivers infinitely more retarded than cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y are on dry land. Even a very slight drizzle moistens cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 roads just enough so that L.A. is temporarily turned into a giant oil slick where pissed-off people in luxury cars crash into each ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r because cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y can't handle even cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 slightest of weacá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r-related delays. Instead of becoming frustrated at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 rain and ensuing traffic, use this opportunity to thicken your "ohmygod traffic was hell," excuse for being late into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 rock-solid alibi of "ohmygod I'm so sorry I'm late -- nothing was moving in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 rain." Relax and accept cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 rain delay. Turn up your iPod. Smoke a bowl of medicinal marijuana. It doesn't rain much here so why not enjoy it, especially when it comes with a built-in excuse for tardiness.

When driving in L.A.'s tonier neighborhoods (i.e. Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Malibu), understand that those douchebags with small penises that drive Mercedes Benzes tend to feel that by virtue of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir ostentatious purchase, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y have more of a right to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 road than you do. Rude gestures are encouraged toward cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se asshats, including but not limited to: cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 finger, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 double finger, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 moucá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365d, "Fuck you asshole!" and my personal favorite, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 "chase and yell," which involves chasing said douchebag's vehicle to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 next red light, pulling alongside of him and tossing a choice sound bite out cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 window as he pretends not to see you. Don't worry. He does. And he's pretty scared now since you decided to chase him half a mile just to get that off your chest. But that's OK. He deserves to be scared. And has a $70,000 Nazi sled to protect him.

Aggression is cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 key to successful Los Angeles driving. Be aware of who is in your lane, and what cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir driving personality is. Is this driver aggressive? Passive? Patient? In a rush? Are cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y aware of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir environment or paying more attention to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir buzzing wireless communications device? Is this driver someone who, like me, is eager to get from Point A to Point B in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 most efficient way possible or are cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y lost, struggling, or unfamiliar with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir route? It is perfectly acceptable to swerve around and/or cut off cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se people for no reason ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r than cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 fact that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y deserve it. Know where you're going or get cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 fuck off my road.

In order to become a true L.A. driving warrior, you will sometimes have to be cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 asshole. This doesn't mean you're a bad person-- it only contributes to your overall savviness. By understanding that this attitude is just an unfortunately necessary part of your own survival, inner peace will come much easier.

Look at it as acting if you have to. After all, this is Hollywood.

Change100 is a writer and former D-girl from Los Angeles, CA.

April 29, 2006

Outfitting cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Doctor

By Change100 © 2006

"I want to get this over with."

You'd think he was facing dental surgery or something, but we had only been in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Ceasar's Palace Forum Shops for about twenty minutes. I had convinced Pauly that none of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 nearly-identical lightly wrinkled button-down shirts that comprised a good portion of his traveling wardrobe would cut it at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Playboy Mansion, and that he should suck it up and pull out cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 MasterCard in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 name of all that is good and holy and buy a hot outfit for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 party.

"Do it for Hef," I pleaded.

Our first stop was Hugo Boss, where Pauly declared everything gay. Next was Armani Exchange, where he took a liking to a textured blue button-down, but not cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 indigo hipster jeans that were paired along with it.

"$115 for jeans? Are you crazy?"

"These ones I'm wearing right now? $145."

"Working in Hollyweird has warped your brain."

We declared that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 "fail-safe" outfit, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 one you go back to if nothing else in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 mall suits your fancy, and continued onward. We hit Ralph Lauren next. Sending an unemployed studio executive with a fashion-induced credit card addiction into Ralph Lauren is like handing Robert Downey Jr. cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 keys to a suitcase full of blow. The temptation is almost too much for one human being to handle. I buckled down and fixated on men's shirts. A snazzy violet-hued one caught my eye, but Pauly looked nauseous when I pointed it out to him.

"Fine cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n, what would you pick?"

His eyes tracked along cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 rows of shirts, stopping on a white one with blue stripes.

"What about this?"

"It's exactly like cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 JCrew one you already have."

"Or this one?"

"Dude, it's exactly like cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 one you have on RIGHT NOW."

Ralph Lauren was a bust. So was Diesel. Pauly grew anxious and I was resigned to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Armani Exchange shirt when cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Kenneth Cole store peeked out at me. Showcase always seemed to find cool shirts cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re. I led cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Doctor inside.

Our salesman was tall, black, handsome, and very very gay. Pauly gravitated toward one shirt almost instantly-- a soft linen button-down with light green stripes accented with silver and navy-- while I tried to tear my gaze away from a flawless lightly ruffled eggshell trenchcoat that would look so good aginst my $145 jeans. The shirt fit him perfectly and I smiled my approval. The MasterCard came out, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 shirt was purchased, and he'd go on to grumble about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 $198 price tag all afternoon.

Pants were next. I'd been hard-selling cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 virtues of perfectly torn hipster jeans, but Pauly wanted nothing but class. How could I disagree with that? We settled on some slick black pants and a matching belt from Banana Republic.

"Try cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m on with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 shirt," I pleaded.

"Come on, we can do that later. I'm hungry."

"Just do it. You have to see cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 whole picture. You won't regret it."

Two minutes later, a changed man emerged from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 dressing room. The same mischief flashed in his eyes, but cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 scruff of his Old Navy checks and schwag-bag T-shirts had evaporated, replaced by $400 worth of couture. He stepped up to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 three-way mirror and took a look at his new, improved self.

"Now this is a man ready for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 mansion!" I declared.

And I swear I saw him blush.

Change100 is a former D-girl from Hollywood, CA.

March 20, 2006

Paging Dominic Leare

By Change100 © 2006

Charlie was in early. He rarely, if ever beat me into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 office and it was especially unusual given that today was a half-day Friday leading into Memorial Day weekend. These were cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 lazy days we lived for at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 studio– a welcome reprieve from an endless string of 14-hour days. I was already dreaming of driving off cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 lot at 2PM, firing up cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 joint I had in my glove compartment, and turning on a Carlos Santana album for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 drive home, up Cahuenga Pass, over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 101 freeway and through cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 leafy groves of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Hollywood Hills. I was dressed in jeans and a hooded cotton sweater that advertised my blissfully causal attitude about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 day. Charlie, though, was standing up at his desk, trying to close cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 top button of a dress shirt. He looked like he hadn’t slept all night.

“What happened? You look like hell,” I said, handing him his Café Americano with three sugars.

“He’s flipping out.”

“Who is?”

“Tubby,” as he invoked our private name for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 studio chief.

“What now? Universal scooped us on some teen comedy spec du jour?”

“No. He’s flipping out about Dominic Leare.”

Charlie grabbed a yellow tie off cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hook on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back of his door.

“Dominic Leare has been late on every draft he’s ever turned in.”

“Yeah, but not this late. Six months is like, sicko late.”

“He sort of won an Academy Award. Doesn’t that, like, let you get away with shit like that?”

I took cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 yellow tie away and gave him cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 red one out of his desk drawer.

“Usually. But not when cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 absence of a draft is going to lose you your director.”

“Oh shit.”

“Yeah.”

“Fuck.”

“Right.”

“You sat with him at Dan Tana’s a month ago, right?”

“Yeah. For three fucking hours. He pitched out cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 whole thing, beat by fucking beat. He even brought his goddamn laptop.”

“So you know he has it in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re, he’s just being all precious and writerly about it and won’t let it go. I mean, this is an epic. It’s a huge undertaking.”

“A 100 million dollar movie.”

“A lot of pressure.”

“Yeah.”

“You’ll get it out of him.”

“Right. And while I tell Tubby that, you’re going to actually have to do it.”

“What?”

“Get it out of him.”

“Seriously?”

“I have to placate Tubby and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n go to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 weekend read meeting. You’re gonna have to find him, go over to his house if you have to, and not leave until cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re are 120 pages in your hands.”

“Seriously?”

“Seriously.”

“OK.”

“You can do this. I trust you. Time to step up and be a hero. How do I look?”

“You have food on your shirt.”

“I know. I don’t have any ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365rs.”

I had developed a pretty easygoing relationship with Dominic Leare. We’d talked on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 phone plenty over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 last few months as Charlie tried to pry cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 script out of him. After his first deadline passed, Dominic began to elude us for weeks at a time. After Charlie would leave a string of unanswered voicemails, he’d call up Leare’s agent, Stanley Greenberg and let him know that Dominic was AWOL, once again. It would take a couple of days, but Greenberg would somehow get him out from under cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bed, and we’d get a hurried, sketchy phone call from him, where he’d frantically and profusely apologize and assure Charlie that everything was, indeed, progressing just fine. Leare probably liked me because I was by far cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 calmer half in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 professional union between me and Charlie. Most of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time I felt like a hostage negotiator when I had him on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 line and was trying to stall him with conversation long enough for Charlie to get cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re and pick up. I put on a calm, throaty voice. Step away from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ledge, Mr. Leare. Put down cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 gun...

My first call was to Stanley Greenberg’s office. His assistant picked up and I weaseled Leare’s home address out of her. Poor thing had only been cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re a month, she didn’t know any better and she’d certainly be in trouble when all this was through. Then I dialed Leare’s home number. It was only 9:30 in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 morning. Someone had to be cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re. A female voice picked up. It was Maggie, Leare’s girlfriend. It sounded like I had woken her up.

“Maggie, it’s Nicky from Charlie Brewster’s office. I apologize for calling so early.”

“Mmmm, no it’s OK... How are you?”

“I need to speak to Dominic, is he around?”

“Yeah, he’s...” I could already hear Dominic shushing her.

“Right next to you... I can hear him.”

Maggie cupped her hand over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 phone as Dominic started protesting in a steely grumble. “She can fucking hear you, idiot!”

“Just put him on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 phone please, Maggie.”

I heard cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 phone clatter to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ground and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 sound of Maggie’s heavy footsteps stomping away before Leare picked up.

“Hey, hey Nicky. What’s going on?” he spat, with false bravado.

“Listen, I know you told Charlie you needed more time, but we need to see whatever you have.”

“I.. I...”

“We need it today. It doesn’t matter how much you have left to finish, just print out what you’ve got and I’m even going to make it easy and come over to your house and get it so you don’t have to call a messenger.”

“Well it’s gonna take me hours to format everything properly.”

“That’s fine. Start now and I’ll wait if I have to. I’m getting in my car.”

“Really, you don’t have to do this.”

“But I do. I’ll see you in twenty minutes.”

I sped off cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 lot toward cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 134 freeway, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 studio’s legendary water tower in my rear view mirror. As I gazed at its blue and yellow logo cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 corners of my lips curved up in bemused bewilderment as I wondered how cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 fate of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 studio’s next summer blockbuster managed to fall into my tiny, inexperienced hands.

Leare’s place was halfway up a steep one-lane road in Los Feliz. With some care and a decent landscape architect, it would have been a spectacular showpiece Spanish hacienda– cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 epitome of old Los Angeles. But this place was straight out of Sunset Boulevard, overrun with ivy growing wild up its stained limestone walls. A pair of eucalyptus trees shed leaves into onto cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 overgrown lawn and formed an ever-growing layer atop cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 kidney-shaped pool. I picked up five days worth of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 LA Times as I walked up cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 driveway toward cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 enormous wooden door. I set cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m down in a pile before ringing cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bell.

Maggie answered. I hadn’t met her face to face until that moment. She wore a pink terry cloth bathrobe over white cotton pajamas and looked like Stevie Nicks. A cigarette burned between her long slender fingers which waved me inside.

“Sorry about cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 stuff on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 phone. He’s in a mood.”

Her valley-girl voice echoed off cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hardwood floors in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 vast foyer. She shuffled down two steps into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 sunken living room, done up in a Southwest motif. Fancy saddles sat on display and I set my purse down on one of those tables that was made out of a wagon wheel. I took a seat on a brown leacá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r couch while Maggie straddled cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 piano bench and picked out a few chords. Her long blonde hair fell in her eyes and threatened to singe from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cigarette that still hung from her lips.

“I didn’t sleep well last night. I just kept hearing music, you know. Had to keep playing.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I wrote like all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se songs. You wanna hear one?”

“I do, but I need to see Dominic first.”

“He’s upstairs printing out all that shit for you. Just sit. Listen to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 music.”

She started playing something very Lilith Fair. After about ninety seconds I began to deflate with relief that this was an instrumental composition. But cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n she started singing. And not well. It didn’t stop for quite a while. There were at least five verses and two bridges.

I politely applauded when she was done and she excused herself to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 kitchen for some coffee for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 both of us. Once she disappeared around cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 corner, I inched myself out of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 living room toward cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bottom of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 spiral staircase, listening for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 sound of a printer. I couldn’t hear a thing.

Maggie returned with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 coffees and we sat down on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 couch. She seemed a little more awake and with it, so I did what I could in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 way of small talk. She was from Encino, so we babbled about being natives in this city of transplants. Then I asked her where she went to high school. And of all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 small, snotty private girls’ schools in L.A. County, this crazy bitch went to mine. She practically squealed at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 coincidence of it all.

“Oh. My. GOD! No way! Did you have Miss Miller for English? She was soooo awesome! What about crazy Dr. Todd for bio?”

Maggie put out her cigarette and padded over to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bookshelf, where she opened a small wooden box and took out a joint.

“This was so fated to happen, I mean, we’re like sisters on like some cosmic level or something. It was like, you were MEANT to come here this morning.”

She took a drag and offered me a toke. Every professional instinct I had told me to decline, but if getting high with this train wreck of a woman could get me any closer to that script, well, in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 name of cinema I had to accept.

I sat with Maggie for over an hour, querying as to Dominic’s whereabouts at least three times over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 course of our increasingly loony conversation. Each time she assured me he’d be right out and immediately changed cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 subject. It was going on 11:30. Charlie was out of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 meeting by now.

I asked Maggie where cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bathroom was. She pointed around cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 corner as she shoveled Cinnamon Toast Crunch straight from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 box into her mouth. I ducked out, leapt up cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 stairs two at a time, and started searching for Dominic.

His office was a cluttered, tiny cave of a room at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 end of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hallway. Dark purple curtains blocked out any sunlight and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 stench of stale American Spirits hung in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 air. Dominic sat immobile in an easy chair with corduroy upholstery, staring at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ceiling fan that spun overhead. Black leacá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r pants clung to his matchstick legs, his long, matted hair cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 color of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bottom of an ashtray. He hadn’t showered in weeks. A poster of his Oscar-winning film hung behind his desk, itself buried within a hurricane of paper while an outdated laptop sat atop cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 mess, displaying a page of text.

“I’m sorry I have to do it this way, Dominic. But I need you to give me cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pages. You’ll get tons more chances to rewrite it. We just have to see where you are.”

“I’m nowhere.”

“Just show me what you’ve got.”

“I’m telling you, I’m really nowhere.”

“What page are you on?”

He was silent for a moment. I saw a tear come to his eye.

“Nine.”

“Nine?”

“Yeah.”

“You’re on page nine?”

He nodded almost imperceptibly.

“Oh my God, Dominic.”

He leaned forward and sighed. His hands shook as he ran his fingers through his greasy curls.

“I really fucked it up. This might be it for me. I’ll never get anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r job.”

“We’ll figure something out. But right now I need you to give me those nine pages.”

He slowly stood and handed me an envelope. It was covered in coffee stains and had an old Universal Studios mailing label from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 1980's affixed to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 outside. Whatever had been sent to him in that envelope was sent to him when he was a young Oscar winner on top of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 industry, as well as his own game. Now he was too strung out and jacked up to function.

“Please take care of yourself, Dominic.”

It was a feeble closing line, but all I could muster at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 moment. My own high was wearing off and I had a lot of explaining to do to Charlie, not to mention Dominic’s agents. Maybe cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y could get him some help.

It turned out that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 tattered envelope with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Universal label carried cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 last pages Dominic Leare would be paid to write in Hollywood. I told cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 whole sordid tale to Charlie, and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n to Tubby himself. Dominic was fired off cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 film and Stanley Greenberg got both him and Maggie checked into Promises Malibu a few months later. I’m really not sure what happened to eicá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m beyond that.

As for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 film, word of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 stunt Leare had pulled filtered up to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 highest echelons of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 studio, lighting a fire under cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 corporate brass to push even harder to get cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 film made in a timely manner. The director, now truly impatient, but still invigorated with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 idea (especially now that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 studio was firmly behind him) got to hire his own million-dollar writer, a notoriously fast veteran, and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 two of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m had a draft and a star within six weeks.

Cameras rolled twelve months later. The studio wrote off a $100 million loss on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 film after it bombed twelve months after that. And if Dominic Leare hadn't done enough coke to get himself fired, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 damn thing might have never been made.

Change100 is an unemployed studio executive in Los Angeles, CA.

January 30, 2006

Two Inches of Banana

By Change100 © 2005

Steve with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 British accent hailed from Leeds in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 north country, not London, as most of our tablemates guessed. He had squinty blue eyes and small teeth, and sat two to my right at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Excalibur's $1-3 No-Limit poker table behind eight towers of red checks. Mischief and intoxication danced across his round face, his lips curled in a perpetual grin as he signaled for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 attention of Lucy, our young Asian cocktail waitress. Steve looked her up and down, marveling aloud to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bearded redneck between us at how Lucy's raven hair fell in a glossy, perfect waterfall all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 way to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 waistband of her heinous black-and-gold medieval mini-dress. He placed his empty bottle on her tray and ordered anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r Budweiser.

"Cut me off at twelve, Lucy," Steve demanded with a sly grin while Lucy pocketed cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 blue $1 chip he tossed onto her tray. "Twelve Budweisers. You promise?"

He winked at her and took a long graceful sip and I silently questioned why cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hell an obviously seasoned British drinker would choose to get loaded in Vegas on fucking Budweiser of all things.

"And you," Steve was pointing at me now. A gaudy chain-link bracelet dangled from his hairy wrist. "You are going to help me keep count," Steve chuckled and winked again.

I gave him my sweetest little-girl smile; cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 one I reserve for guys like Steve when cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y're across cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 felt from me. It's innocent, perhaps a touch bashful - but still inviting. It says look all you like, but that's as far as you'll get. Flirt all you want and I'll knock cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ball back and forth with you and make sure you have fun. We'll laugh and swap stories and drink a few beers and after an hour I'm going to have charmed you so much with my blue eyes and freckles and witty banter that youre not going to want to see me lose. To keep that smile on my face, you'll soft-play me. Check when you should bet. Do cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 quick look-away when you have a strong hand. Steve from Leeds was, quite simply, my perfect mark.

Steve was in Las Vegas on a three-week vacation. He had a 20-year old girlfriend back in England who he was "in trouble" with, and was taking this time, as he did at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 end of every year, to relax and drink and play cards in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 most debauched city in America. She, of course, couldn't understand why on earth he would want to go off on a holiday without her.

"Not a bright one, your girlfriend?"

"Heavens no! I always fall for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bimbo types, you know? Even though I'm old and bald and fat. I don't care much for clever girls."

"And what would my lovely friend with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reddish-blondish-brownish hair like?" he asked.

His head lolled from side to side as he tried to focus on me.

"Soco rocks."

Lucy arrived with my Soco and I knocked half of it back.

From cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re on out, I pretty much ran over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 table. I laughed and drank with Steve, who drunkenly recounted stories of his world travels. He had taken over 25 trips to Thailand, where he usually procured cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 services of young Thai hookers to keep him company. Lest I think such a thing was deplorable and filthy, he explained to me in great detail how regulated cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 "industry" was over cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re. Set rates, STD tests, even special hooker ID cards cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y had to present upon checking into hotels with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir johns. Hardly any of Steve's vacation "companions" spoke a lick of English, so he'd always have to take cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 beginning of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 trip to teach his young lady how to properly talk dirty to him. Unfortunately, one of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se young things decided to try out cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hot talk while cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y were in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 middle of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hotel piano bar. In garbled, heavily accented English, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hooker blurted out "I want you to stick your cock in my pussy!" during a lull in a Leonard Bernstein medley, stunning cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 entire evening crowd, along with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pianist, into silence.

I suppose it was right after that that Steve wandered onto cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 subject of blowjobs, or really, what constituted a good one. I had just picked up a huge pot from a sunglass boy with a broadway straight and was stacking my chips when Steve posed a question to me.

"So how do you girls learn?"

"Learn?"

"To give blowjobs. Did you practice?"

"Well, once in college my roommate and I practiced on a breadstick."

"A BREADSTICK! What cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hell did you think when you saw cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 real thing? You two would be ready for a big black man and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 rest of us are all screwed!"

Steve cackled and spilled a little bit of beer on his cornflower blue button-down. Both of us had lost count of how many he'd drank and Lucy had gone off her shift anyway.

"All I know is that if I were a homosexual, I'd have to be a feeder. Two inches of banana and I'm gagging!" he said.

The table erupted. Soco practically shot out of my nose.

I turned my head aside in laughter and met cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 dark eyes of McGrupp who had convinced me three days ago to drive out to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 desert to play cards. He'd been discreetly watching cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 show from cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 rail and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time had come to finish my performance.

"If you'll excuse me, Steve, I have to go. I think I see my friend."

"Friend, friend, friend. Who is this 'friend?' You're so mysterious. Look, is cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re shagging involved?"

Steve's eyes still had that hopeful glint cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re. The 10% of his beer-addled brain that still thought he could get me upstairs if he tried hard enough. I had almost $600 in my stack and was well on my way to a healthier bankroll thanks to my eight hours here. Time to bring down my mark and ruin cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 poor guy's fantasy.

"Yes, Steve. There's shagging involved."

I bid Steve goodnight, racked my chips, cashed out, and met McGrupp on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 rail.

"How'd you do?"

"Cashed out $600. Told cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Brit we were shagging and crushed his dreams."

"Nice! Wanna play Mr. Cashman?"

"I thought you'd never ask."

I took his arm and we headed for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 slots while Steve looked wistfully on.

Change100 is a film executive, writer, and degenerate gambler from Los Angeles, CA.

December 24, 2005

Lost Time

By Change100 © 2005

Room 235 was in a remote, forgotten corridor of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Imperial Palace adjacent to what looked like a crack alley. The clueless lady with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bad dye job at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 front desk obviously had no idea where it was eicá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r, because I managed to go up and down every freakin' elevator in this two-star maze of a hotel, while dragging my heavy, overpacked suitcase behind me before wearily asking for a second set of directions from one of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pit bosses. I finally found cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 right elevator after about 20 minutes and squeezed inside along with about a dozen Stetson-clad cowboys.

When I opened cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 door to my room, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 scent of stale unfiltered Camels nearly knocked me all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 way back to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 elevator bay. The walls were yellowish and my king bed was covered in a garish floral comforter. After setting down my suitcases and hanging up cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 garment bag I wouldn't touch again all weekend, I rummaged through my makeup bag for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cheap bottle of Gap Scents: Dream that I knew was in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re. Cheaper than perfume and more pleasantly scented than Lysol, it comes in handy in removing offensive and/or illegal scents in confined spaces. I doused cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 room in Dream and flung open cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 curtain, revealing a small balcony. There is a God. And some much-needed ventilation. After a quick smoke break on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 balcony, I changed clocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365s, sorted through my cash, and decided it was about time to find cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 poker room and meet some bloggers. Somehow I had left Los Angeles without any phone numbers. Aside from Pauly and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Murderer's Row gang, I hadn't met anyone and was relying on posted photos and a little faith to hook me up with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 group. I suppose this was my first real gamble of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 weekend.

*****

The G-Vegas crew made a grand entrance into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 MGM poker room straight out of "Swingers" and I met its three legendary ringleaders. Otis and CJ greeted me with huge hugs. Man, do cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se bloggers loooove cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir women. G-Rob's hair is, indeed perfect. After chatting it up with everyone for a while, I realized I did have chips on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 table and I should probably play at least a little bit. Daddy had quit cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 game and Helixx needed company.

Here's where things start getting a little fuzzy. Here's where rumors begin.

I was playing a hand. I couldn't tell you what cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cards were. I think I got outdrawn and I let an f-bomb escape from my lips as cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 tall, irritable floor-lady passed by our table.

"Please watch your language. I'm going to have to warn you."
"I can't fucking believe this." (Uh oh).
"OK, now that's two. One more and I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

Helixx's head dropped into his hands and he let out a small sigh. Was it really gonna be one of those nights? The floor lady walked away and my tablemates laughed at my mini Matusow blow-up. I played a few more hands before getting up and taking anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r walk-and-chat. Or should I say stumble-and-chat.

Here's where cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time-space continuum parts ways with my memory.

I remember being in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 bar behind cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 poker room with Iggy, Pauly, and Joe Speaker. I remember making plans for a smoke break with two of those three gentlemen. I remember Pauly telling me that Phil Gordon was sitting at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 5-5NL table with Hank and some of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Full Tilt crew. I remember cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 blue shirt Phil wore that perfectly matched his dreamy eyes.

Then I remember being in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Ava Gardner stall in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ladies room where I may or may not have temporarily passed out. The booze just hit me so fast. I didn't think I had drank enough to do this sort of damage.

The next thing I remember is being in a cab sandwiched between two big black hookers. The hookers were talking to each ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r about my state of conciousness and I think one of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m sort of poked me to see if I was at all alive or cogent.

"Man, this 'lil thing is WASTED!"
"How'd she get like this?"
"She don't even have no coat on!"
"Damn!"

The hookers' banter brought me around a little bit, and as my head lolled from sideways to upright, I noticed that one of Hooker #2's two-inch fuschia acrylic nails was touching my gold purse. That brought me around a little bit more, and I told myself that I needed to wake cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 fuck up and pay enough attention to get myself back to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Imperial Palace without being robbed by cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se ladies of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 night.

That's really cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 last thought I remember having before crashing out in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 wee hours on Saturday morning. I have no recollection how I paid cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 driver. Or how I navigated cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 IP maze and found cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 correct elevator. Or how I got up to my room, took off and untangled six necklaces, and ordered myself a 9:20 AM wakeup call.

At dawn, I woke up in a panic, believing that I still had chips on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 table at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 MGM Grand. I must have had over $150 still in my stack. There was nothing I could do about that right now. "I'll just write it off as a loss," I muttered to myself before rolling over and falling back into a fitful sleep as cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 sun rose over Sin City.

Change100 is a D-Girl and degenerate gambler in Los Angeles, CA.