Dreams Come True (Or Not).

By Hank Peng

Any trip to Vegas can be summarized in one quick line, so I’ll start with that. “As a group, we lost over 10 grand.”. Now with that not-so-positive note aside, I can start describing the rest of the trip and the highlights (lowlights)

Kirk, Mikey, and Bob all left for Vegas on Friday morning. John Joh, Derek, and I left on Saturday morning. With our flight being at 6:30, we had planned to meet at 5:30 at the office to make sure we would be able to get a long term parking space and not have to re-live another $98 parking fee like our trip to Atlanta (for FinKL). Here’s the timeline of the next events. . 5:30 am – No John. 5:45 – No John. 5:50 Derek calls John 4 times. John: ‘hello? (weak voice)’. Derek: ‘ uhh it’s 5:50 man!”. John shows up at 6 am with red eyes and he drives us to the aiport in record time (15 minutes), passing cars at 95+ mph. And of course, we forget that the Vegas gate for Southwest is ALL THE WAY at the end of Terminal 1. (Future note for anyone that didn’t know). The three of us sprinted what seemed like a mile through the terminal, all without breaking a sweat. Okay so that’s stretching the truth a little bit… we half trotted, half walked while John and I were struggling to catch our breath every 30 steps. Alas we did make our flight right as they were virtually closing the doors. Funny story with the plane though, there were electrical problems that kept us grounded for an extra 20 minutes prior to take-off. During the time, the pilot assured us “it’s nothing major” while the plane’s power was continuously turning off and on. Two passengers, one lady and one elderly gentleman were so upset they stormed out of the plane. When we did finally take-off (with all our fingers crossed), the flight attendant tried to convince all of us that it was simply a problem with the floor lighting and that they just had to fix a breaker. Suuuure.

Kirk and two of his friends with good player ratings had secured rooms for everyone at Luxor and Mandalay Bay. The other participants on this trip included Norman, Kirk’s girlfriend Lily, and 13 other friends of Kirk’s from various parts of California. The casinos we frequented this trip around included Aladdin, Venetian, Bellagio, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay. Quick survey on top three hotels with the most scandalously clad drink waitresses are (this is a highlight, btw).: 1.-Venetian, 2.- Aladdin, 3.-Mandalay Bay.

Mikey had a great session of blackjack on Friday (the 13th) night. While at 9 bills, he was trying to win that last bill to trade if for that magical “baby blue” chip. Hindsight would now tell us he should’ve quit, but of course our will power says otherwise, as Mikey ended up spending another 2 bills trying to acquire that last one, but it was to no avail. (sidenote by Bob: “Why does that scenario sound familiar… (reminiscences of our Vegas trip this past April)… ohh. gg.”)

Now let’s break away for an interlude by Bob….

“After losing loads of cash at the Venetian (like every other casino), all of us stood in the taxi line in front of the hotel. Hank and I were at the end of the line, behind everyone else in our clan, when all of a sudden Hank busts out with "aww, I wish I had some ice cream" in a whiny, pouty voice. I was about to smack him when I turned around and realized there was this cute, but rather short Chinese girl standing behind us, holding a cup of ice cream (she looked kinda Vietnamese, but we'll go with the safe bet). Better yet, she was alone, which is unusual for an attractive woman in Vegas who isn't for hire.

Not wanting to be a blocker (I AM a team player after all....), I stood aside, so Hank could get his schwerve on without interference. Of course, this blatant flirting didn't escape the notice of everyone else in the group, but we were all courteous enough to enter our cabs in silence. Once we got in our cab, we immediately asked Hank if he got the digits or not. Unfortunately the flow of information went primarily from Hank to her, and not much back in return. She did say she worked in LA for a company called tradingstocks.com and that she just graduated from U. of Oregon. At least that's something to go on, should Hank choose the stalker route.

But since he didn't manage to get any digits, Hank was subject to the required dogging and joshing from the rest of us. Hell, even the cab driver got into the act. You can't fault Hank for trying though - if nothing else, he was bold and ya gots to respect that. You can't pimp them all, I guess... “

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming:
As mentioned, several more gambling sessions were attempted, but not much success was incurred. One of Kirk’s friends introduced the group to the game of Craps. Before long, there were John, Derek, Kirk, Mikey, and a crowd of others yelling “hard eight! Five on yo!”. Craps became so addicting that we even went shopping for some sneakers because standing for so long was getting hard on our feet and the dress shoes we had been wearing. John bought a pair of the old school Nike Cortez’s, which you can see him in sometimes when he races by you in the hall on his scooter. Another lesson was learned when we ate at the buffet in Luxor. It was nss to say the least. (nss = not so strong for those that have not taken Fob-ucation 101).

Let’s fast forward to Monday night. Easily the highlight of the trip was going to watch the Blue Men show. To sum it up, the show is bizarre. Upbeat rave music, three guys painted in blue (I recently saw them this weekend in a television commercial for the Intel Pentium), tons of blue light, and an assortment of stunts and hilarious antics makes this show a definite must-see for anyone going in the near future.

In the end, the damage ranged as such, with Kirk, Bob, Mikey, and two of Kirk’s friends summing up for almost 10 g’s. Derek and I each positived a couple bills each. Norman raked in 15 George’s. He was good at avoiding the temptation. Another event we did not partake in (sorry to disappoint you Brandon) was visiting the shooting range that rented out MP5’s. (for all us Counterstrike enthusiasts). Hopefully our next trip will produce more action, both in the casinos and on the range as well.

PS: As a footnote, I accidentally walked into the women’s bathroom at the Vegas airport while waiting for our flight back. The two thoughts that ran through my mind were, “wow there sure are a lot of stalls in here” and “why is there a woman cleaning one of the stalls? It must be a weird culture of these sketchy Vegas folks”… It wasn’t until I had locked the door until I heard a voice pipe out, “umm.. you know this is a women’s bathroom, right?” A face turns bright red and the sound of a zipper ensues. And the parking fee was $88. El fin.

TwainOoooh Shania..take me home!