Sunday, August 30, 2009

:: Burgers and bad golf ::

As I wrap up, sadly, my last day of vacation after two weeks off, I thought I'd wrap things up with a couple notes.

On Thursday, T.O. and I golfed at Peace Portal - a particularly nice course that I'd never played before. And, as I have been all summer, I was determined to break 100 even if the course was a) new to me, and b) particularly difficult.

You might have guessed by now that it did not happen. That would be correct. But while I only shot 106 - and I was at 80 after 13, but choked hard down the stretch - TO also did not have his 'A' game. (He finished at 91).

It was so bad, in fact, that the ever-classy T.O. described our game thusly after just a few holes:

"Fuck, this is just an abortion out here."

On an unrelated note, you may recall from the previous Vegas-themed post, that Christene's life was not complete until the moment she entered our bathroom at the Flamingo and there was a TV in it.

I had a similar experience last night, at Christene's family's annual neighbourhood block party, although it was not bathroom-related.

You see, Christene's neighbour across the street is an executive chef-type person at White Spot - she works with that big bald dude from the commercials. So, for the BBQ, she brought a whole ton of White Spot burgers to cook up - complete with the buns, pickles and of course, the delicious Triple-O sauce. So, when it was time to eat, I walked over to the table and there was literally an unlimited supply of triple-O burgers.

I almost had a heart attack just looking at it because, as some of you may know, I freaking love White Spot burgers.

It was glorious.

In fact, after eating my fair share of them last night, I even managed to snag myself a leftover one today, and am, as we speak, eating it for breakfast.

Yes, I know exactly what time it is. Don't judge me, assholes - I'm still on vacation.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

:: Vegas 4.0 ::

So last Wednesday, as many of you are aware, Christene and I departed for four days in my favourite city on the planet, Las Vegas. It was my fourth trip there in less than two years, and Christene's first ever.

And, as always, the city of Lost Wages did not disappoint.

To start things off, when we arrived at the Bellingham airport, the sandwich board at the entrance announced that the United States of Paranoia was on "Orange Alert" for terrorism. This apparently is bad, because orange is, according to the chart, a scarier colour than both blue and yellow.

No big deal, of course - there were no dicey situations with shoe-bombers or sketchy characters - but if there's one thing you do not want to hear while waiting at the gate, in a post-security holding pattern:

"Kuldeep Rahma, please return to security to unlock your bag. Unlocked bags are not allowed."

Now, I'm not one for racial profiling of any sort - Orange Alert or not - but I think it's safe to assume that if that announcement was made for somebody named Tim Jacobs or Billy Jones, I wouldn't have remembered it.

Just not what you really want to hear, is all.

But anyways, on to the trip itself....

Upon touching down in Las Vegas, the trip began wonderfully. We were heading to baggage claim, trailing behind a foursome of swanky-looking 20-somethings who had gotten off the same plane. Then one of the girls began a minor freak out. Why, you may ask? Well, she was wearing white capri pants, and unbeknownst to her, she sat in chocolate on the plane. A lot of it, in fact, so it looked like she had shit herself.


We were also staying at the Flamingo - older, but centrally located - which I'd never stayed at before. And while it was probably on the lower-scale of hotels, it was still nice simply because we upgraded our standard room for a "luxury GO-Room" that also had a strip view, for only $40 extra a night. And it was worth every damn penny.

Our room was awesome. It had a king-sized bed, mini-fridge, surround sound (with a free jazzy CD that they gave us at the front desk... also a good soundtrack for doin' it in front of the window...not that we did, but I'm just sayin'), and a 42-inch flat-screen TV. It also had an amazing view of Caesar's Palace and also the Bellagio fountains.

Also, at night there were lights in our room that, when you turned them on, glowed pink (Flamingo colours) and also the blinds and curtains opened automatically, with a switch on the wall.

Oh yeah, and the best part - there was a TV in the bathroom, embedded in the mirror. To quote Christene later that day:

"You haven't lived until you've dropped a deuce while you're watching TV. Every moment of my life was meaningless up until that point."

She's right. It was freaking amazing.

Also, among the other highlights - neither of us lost much money, and we each had a few decent-sized slot machine payouts... a few $50s, a couple $75s and one $96. Enough cash that it paid for a lot of our eating and drinking, which was nice.

Also, on Friday morning, we decided to take The Deuce to Fremont Street. We wandered around for a few hours, drank some drinks (and Christene did a lot of winning...she had the Golden Touch that day), and then we took the Deuce back to our hotel. It was on this return trip that we were lucky enough to sit behind a sketchy, smelly (Christene: "He smells of ketchups") old guy, who turned out to be a pimp.

As we travelled, we heard him talking on his phone to a person I can only assume was a fellow pimp. For a 10-minute stretch, he discussed loudly how he had a suite at the Stratosphere for only $25 a night, and had "one bitch" who had "a bangin' body" but was getting out of line.

Here's a rambling version of his rant. It's not word-for-word, but it's damn close. Much punctuation is also left out (Grammar Police immobilize!) intentionally, because this is how he talked.

"She's fucking out of control man I mean I fucking put that bitch up in the suite and suites aren't fucking cheap and I don't know who the hell she thinks she is. I mean I paid for her room for her food - I've been feeding her for a week - and that motherfucker thinks she's in charge and running the show that's not how it works fuck. I had two guys up there last night who wanted to party and she just left as soon as we got there. Whatever man, I don't care today is Friday so either way Imma gonna get motherfucking paid tonight."

He then, just as eloquently, proceeded to talk about "a big, fat black bitch" that he had up in the suite the night before.

Then he packed up his backpack (Which was full of those "Girls Direct to You!" trading cards...if you've been to Vegas, you know what I'm talking about) and left. We saw him on Saturday night, too, in front of our hotel, no doubt trying to drum up business for his bitches.

I mean, it was a Saturday, he's gotta get paid. Pimpin' ain't easy, after all.

Other things we did: went up to the top of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel (We got some free coupons from our hotel, and saved us the $15/each admission), watched The Price is Right show (which was awesome), and ate at a $40/person buffet at the Wynn, and though that might seem like a lot of money, I cannot express in words how amazing it was.

It was possibly the best meal of my life. Here's what I ate, to the best of my recollection: Two slabs of prime rib, 6-8 Alaskan King Crab legs (which were too big for a plate), heaping mound of mashed potatoes, pork tenderloin, piece of pizza, about 20 sweet 'n sour shrimp, 2 Diet Cokes, 10-15 deep-fried shrimp wontons, pasta salad, bowl of ice cream, cookie, piece of chocolate cake, pecan bar.

I think I may have actually blacked out for awhile, so I may have eaten even more. And then we went back to our hotel and I pretty much died. (OK, I didn't die, but I did get to spend some quality time watching my bathroom TV, let's put it that way).

And before we get to the quotes, one more note on the Price is Right: It's cheap entertainment, and I reccomend it. We bought out tickets off a few months ago for only $37 each, which is considerably cheaper than most Vegas shows, and it was pretty kick-ass, even if we didn't get chosen to take part. You even get your own Price is Right-style nametag, and while we were registering before the show, some guys walked by, through the casino, and yelled "The price is wrong, bitch!"

Unfortunately though, only Christene and I laughed. I don't know if anyone else got the reference, which makes me a little sad.

And now some quotes....

At the aforementioned bufffet, near the end of the gluttony....
Christene: You know, that's a no-sugar added dessert you've got. I saw a sign back there.
Me: Good, I'm trying to be healthy.
Christene: Yeah, you're just like Hal Johnson.

"You know what? You kind of have a New York accent." - Christene, shitfaced.

After a drunken walk to The Mirage....
Christene: How the hell did we even get here?
Me: Uhh...we walked here, remember? You bought a giant $17 margarita and talked to all the Mexicans handing out the escort cards.
Christene: I don't remember that at all.

After I lost another $40 and Christene won $50...
Christene: You have to start thinking of it as our money. We're a team!
Me: True, but it's still your money in your wallet.
Christene: No, it's our money in my wallet.

Me: I had a dream that I won $6-million on a progressive slot machine. But in reality, all that will really happen is I'll find a 2-for-1 coupon for erotic massage on the ground outside the hotel.
Christene: Ooooh, 2-for-1. That means I can go, too.
Me: Oh, I was just gonna go twice.

"I wanna get sloppy drunk in someplace fancy!" - Christene, already sloppy drunk, on her way to someplace fancy.

Christene: In case you couldn't tell, I'm trying to put the moves on you.
Me: Really? All you did was rollover halfway and kick me.

And that pretty much sums it all up. We might go back in the spring, so if anyone wants in on the debauchery, keep it in mind. (We're gonna stay at Planet Hollywood next time).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

:: Together at last ::

A lengthy post about our Vegas vacation will be coming soon, but in the meantime, here is this to tide you over - a fantastic website that I read about in Maxim.

When you get to the site, just keep hitting refresh.

Guys, you're welcome.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

:: Surviving the round ::

"You prick! I hope you lose 53 balls (ha!), hit every water hazard and bunker on the course, and get kicked off the course for holding everybody up and generally being the worst golfer in history." - Kelsey's message to me yesterday, after my Facebook status bragged that I would be golfing while everyone else was working.

When I was in high school, I had a friend, let's call him Mike (because that was his name) who loved to tell stories. And by stories, I mean blatant fucking lies. Now, I've never begrudged a person for embellishing a good story ever-so-slightly - God knows I've been known to tell a good drawn-out story now and then - but Mike's fibs were so ridiculous they were beyond believable. In fact, looking back on it now, I wonder why none of us called him on his bullshit, but that's besides the point I guess.

One of my favourite Mike stories included the time he was a pitcher in a Little League game and accidently hit the batter in face, and his pitch was so incredibly fast that the ball stuck in the kid's forehead and when they took it out, you could basically see his brain.

I'm not even making this up - this was the story told by a 15 or 16 year old.

Then there was the time that he took his 2-wheel drive truck off-roading, smashed the shit out of all his fog lights and punctured a tire, then tried to tell ICBC that somebody had vandalized his truck in the school parking lot. The insurance adjustor took one look at his truck, saw the undercarriage caked with mud (which he stupidly didn't think to clean off), and told Mike to get the fuck out, and never try pulling that shit again or he'd be charged with attempted insurance fraud. To this day, he'll never admit the truth.

However, for the purposes of this post - which eventually will be about golf, I promise - my all-time favourite Mikeism was his tale about a round of golf he once played. He told us once that, when he was 13 or 14, he was golfing on a PGA course, and on a Par-3 he got a hole-in-one.

Now, consider so far the holes in this story:

- Mike was just as bad at golf as we were, if not worse. The odds of him hitting a hole-in-one on any course, ever, in the history of time, were about 53,000:1.

- He had never travelled anywhere, and with no local course being of the PGA variety, the mere idea that he set foot on a pro golf course was impossible.

However, despite these pretty significant problems with his story, Mike proceeded to dig himself into an ever bigger lie when he described how it happened. To hear him tell it, his tee shot made it just to the side of the green, then it clanged off the clubhouse (or some other on-course building), then hit an old man who was doing some maintenance (seriously), and then bounced off the man and into the cup.

So...yeah. That is my favourite golf story ever. Me and some friends from high school still laugh about it to this day, about 12 years after its first telling.

And now, the point of this story (I told you earlier I tend to ramble, what the hell did you expect?): Yesterday afternoon, Bobby and I golfed a round at Newlands that, at times, was nearly on par (pun intended) with Mike's story.

Well, in truth it's not really very close at all, but it was still the craziest round I've golfed in a couple years, and I wanted to tell you about it. (But I also wanted to write about my old friend Mike's stupid stories, so I had to find a way to combine them).

We teed off at 11:52 a.m., and the first tee box is oddly situated - it's elevated, and tucked right between the restaurant and the pro shop. I teed off first, and expected to hit a mighty slice (it's just what I do). However, no slice I've ever shot topped this one - after making contact with the ball, it did not travel the usual 85-100 yards before fading right. Instead, it went right immediately after contact, and smashed into the pro shop window.

(editor's note: Hi, I'm the next Tiger Woods. Nice to meet you)

Slightly embarrassed, I took a mulligan and tried again. Clang. Once more, off the pro shop, and into the garden. Lost ball #2. Now I was pissed off. So I teed off one more time, and this time successfuly got the ball 15 yards out - thus missing the pro shop hat trick - before it curved hard right and nearly killed some people on the putting green.

Now really mad, I just decided to hit from somewhere up the fairway so I could get on with things. So, we continued on our way up the fairway, and after Bobby rattled a few shots off some trees, we were both equally rattled and angry.

"Let's just get this fucking hole over with," we said.

So we hopped into the cart, planning to finish the hole asap. I stepped on the gas.


Put it in reverse. Nothing.

The fucking cart was dead.

So, we left our stuff there, on the edge of the first fairway, and marched back to the pro shop to explain what happened and get another cart. Soon, we had a working cart, went back to our old cart and transferred all our gear over. However, as we got set to continue, we realized that there were about 4 different groups on the par-5 hole, including a pair of old guys right where we were.

So we waited. And the people behind us waited. And the people on the tee waited too. We (or, to be specific, the course's broken cart) single-handedly delayed a whole ton of people before even finishing the first of 18 holes.

We rushed through the second hole, a short par-3, and the third was a rush job too. I was so rushed and rattled, in fact, that I lost another couple balls with my terrible slice. It was at this point thatI realized my summer goal of breaking 100 was not to be reached today. If I could break 115 that would be a small miracle.

By the fourth hole, we started calming down, and ended up joining up with the two old dudes in front of us - both of whom were awful golfers too, and one of the guys looked like John Madden's identical twin, which was actually pretty kick-ass.

Anyways, the next 15 holes went OK, although I eventually lost my eighth and final ball and had to borrow a couple from Bobby (plus I found a couple, which helped). In fact, I even had a couple of birdie putts (which I obviously missed) and I re-learned how to hit my three-wood from the fairway, which was another bonus.

But my main source of enjoyment was watching John Madden golf. I already mentioned his age - probably late 60s or early 70s - and because of this, he was certainly not the strongest guy, and his tee shots were pretty short, although usually straight. His mid-range game wasn't too bad either, but what was awesome was his putting.

It was absolutely terrible. He assumed every putt - no matter the green, no matter the distance - had a break on it, and he'd play it as such. He pushed every single putt at least a foot wide, sometimes much more.

And then he'd swear and piss and moan and complain about the course.

"This fucking course is a joke. Where's the break!? We're on a hill for crissakes!"

"I'm never making the mistake of coming here ever again. This is ridiculous."

I'd guess from these outbursts that he was either a) losing his marbles in his old age, and therefore thought he was much better than he actually was, b) having stroke and therefore not seeing straight, or the most likely, c) He was a pretty good golfer in his younger days, and could not come to grips that his game was getting worse as he aged.

Whatever the case, he was fun to watch. He didn't even putt out on probably 8-10 of the holes. He'd just make his putt from 6-8 feet, miss it by 30 yards or so, swear, pick up his ball and stomp over to his cart, where he'd sit and stew until the rest of us were finished.

And after we finished on the 18th green (well, he finished first because he just picked up his ball and went to the cart), we went over for the customary "Thanks for the round" handshake, and all he grumbled was, "You too. Now let's get the fuck out of here and go to the bar."

And then, the best part - when we added up our scores afterward, I had shot a 102.

Somehow, despite losing seven balls (and taking the penalty strokes that come with them) I had, inexplicably shot the best round of my summer.

102. If I took away the shitty first hole, in which I nearly killed a man on the putting green, I would have fucking done it. When I get back from Vegas, I still have a week's holidays, and I plan on golfing that fucking course until I get to 99 or better.

And if I have to kill a man on the putting green to make it happen, or bounce a hole-in-one off the head of John Madden's grumpy identical twin, I'll do it, so help me God.

Friday, August 14, 2009

"I'm lucky I got married. I count my lucky stars every day that I get to see a boob." - Jeremy, after somebody made some dating joke/comment.

:: Find someone on Craigslist and shutup already ::

Even on the best of days, under the finest of circumstances, I do not want to hear two stauncy-independent single women – one in her 40s, the other in her mid-50s – discuss dating and the single life.

Especially when one of them says something like this:

"The problem with men is that they have to be taken care of. That's why I don't date – I've been taking care of men since I was 17 years old, and frankly, I've just had enough of it. I don't have time for that anymore."

Yeah, that's why you don't date.

Sure it is, sweetheart. Sure it is.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

:: Random Memory #217 ::

When we first kicked around the idea of creating the Cannons slo-pitch team, Sean was one of the most enthusiastic supporters. He was also one of the first people to join the team, despite never having played baseball before.

We liked having Sean on the team – still do – but with limited experience playing the sport, he had a few struggles in the early years (and he wasn't the only one, either). But aside from the odd dropped ball, or ugly swing, or failure to stay at first base on a fly ball, the worst thing Sean ever did with the Cannons was something that did not even occur on the field.

One game during his rookie season, Sean did not have any extra money to purchase beer from the team's beer fund. So instead of just going one game without drinking beer, Sean decided he would instead steal some booze from his dad (editor's note: His new autobiography, Sean Stewart: Class Act should hit store shelves any day now).

And that was the day Sean brought a half-full bottle of wine to the Cannons game.

The very next day, the team instituted a very clear, sternly worded "No wine allowed" rule for all Cannons' games in the future. We'd have instituted this rule right from Day 1, but didn't think it would ever be necessary.

Sean did not play the following season, citing financial difficulties, which were no doubt just a charade to cover up his anger over the no-wine policy.

To further punish him for his grievous foul, while Sean sat out the Cannons' second season, we gave his #2 jersey to somebody else, and he was forced to switch to 19, which he continues to wear.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

:: Fuck You Channing Tatum ::

Last night, Christene had a dream that she was dating Channing Tatum - who, in the dream, was seen jogging in a pink shirt while eating a piece of cake (don't ask) - but then it turned out that he was boring and a complete loser, so she dumped him and decided to go out with me instead.

Me 1. G.I. Joe 0.

Take that douchebag.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

:: The lunchroom is not sound proof ::

A few minutes ago, I was sitting at the spare computer in my office, which is right outside the lunchroom door – definitely within earshot of the clinking of glasses and rustling of newspaper pages as people eat their mid-day meals, but outside of the line of sight for those sitting at the table.

At the time of my arrival at the spare desk, there was only one person in the lunchroom – a lady in her mid-50s. After a few minutes of microwaving, finding proper utensils and gathering up a newspaper to read, I heard her sit down to eat.

Then 15 seconds later, I heard one big fart.

Now, to be fair, she did not know that I was sitting right outside the door, but still – you'd think you'd be more aware of your surroundings before you decide to let one rip (in an office, or otherwise).

The best part was when she walked out of the room a few minutes later, apparently to get the Diet Coke she had left on her desk, and shot me one of those "Oh my God how long have you been sitting there for?" looks.

And also, the fact that it was a woman and not, say, me or one of the other goofballs guys here, makes it even better.

What a day.