lord

Some days when I’m out and about in the world working, or whatever, I don’t speak to anyone except for myself.  I have a strong internal dialogue that’s always on. Sometimes I have to turn off the car radio so I can pay attention to it.  I don’t always speak out loud whatever it is that my brain is playing out but when I do I feel safe in assuming that if other drivers catch a glimpse of me they will think I’m either practicing lines for a dramatic commercial audition I have later in the day or I’m having an intense debate with my lover over what place settings will match the highlights in my hair at our wedding reception.

Mix together my lack of human interaction with my love of thinking I know how to speak Spanish and this last month has been magical.

First, as I was getting up from a machine an abuela who had been sweating me came closer to take a look. I motioned for her to take my seat and this little lady started throwing Spanish at me! I cannot adequately describe to you, dear reader, how much I love when people are forced to let me practice my Spanish because they need something and I’m the only viable option around. 

So she goes, “¿Hablas Español?” (This is how it always starts.) And I say “poquito’ but acting real chill like I don’t even care if we don’t talk I can go home and play with Rosetta Stone.  Then as she motioned towards the machine she said, get this, “No entiendo.”

She didn’t know how to play the machine!  Could this spot have been any better for me? 

We are in a casino in Vegas, of course someone will eventually walk by who speaks better Spanish than me but nobody will walk by who speaks better Spanish and knows how this slot machine works! Game on!

I got to explain the bet sizes, what buttons to push and what symbols were the luckiest all while practicing my better than high school level but not as good as if I studied abroad level Spanish. She wanted to know how to get in the bonus round and I kept telling her we don’t know when it will happen!  It’s a surprise!  It’s so fun!

“No sabemos cuando! Es una sorpresa! Es muy divertido!”

And

“Vanna tiene dientes bonitos.”

After this I’m walking around for a few weeks feeling pretty good about myself, kind of like a big shot.  Then the Spanish gods threw me a test.

I’m in a casino on graveyard, not doing anything but looking like my usual maybe I could be Mexican but also maybe I could be Persian self, and a rattled, young slot tech calls me over and asks if I can speak Spanish. Of course I can speak Spanish! Where’s the fire!?

“¿Donde esta el fuego?”

I follow her a couple aisles down and I’m presented with a very confused and visibly bothered Latin American cowboy, hat and all, who appears to have a serious problem. There are beads of sweat on his face. I don’t think he wants to know about bonus rounds.

So I say, “Hola. ¿Que pasó?” and then he hit me with a chaotic, “teléfono, blue tooth, mi dinero,
máquina, chinga.”

There were a lot of other words but I immediately cracked under the pressure and couldn’t make sense of any of them.  I fumbled through asking him some questions. He didn’t lose his money playing a slot machine.  Nobody took his money. He did not need a charger. That’s all I could gather.  I didn’t know how to help this vaquero.

The slot tech continued to try and flag down someone who actually spoke Spanish, not the pretend taco bell level one stuff I was throwing out.

She found a woman with terrible, terrible lip injections which shouldn’t really matter but it’s all I could think about at the time.

I speak Spanish better than her doctor does injections. 

Anyway, she said she could speak a little Spanish.  I already knew this was going to be a bust but ok go for it.  The man throws the “teléfono, blue tooth, mi dinero, máquina, chinga” at her and without missing a beat she says “Oh yeah he just needs a phone charger.”

I was dying.

Dead.

Next the tech flags down a young girl who could actually speak Spanish; a legit native speaker.  Her face was normal so it was a little less interesting to watch but at this point I was eager enough to find out what the cowboy’s problem was it didn’t matter.

The ranchero is super frustrated now by the way, he cannot believe our idiocy.

He throws the same speech to this girl, “teléfono, blue tooth, mi dinero, máquina, chinga.” and she looks a little confused.  She starts asking him questions and by now I’ve gotten my Spanish vocabulary memory back and can understand the conversation.  She’s asking him which machine he’s talking about.  Where is his money? How much money? Does he need a bank? 

Alright.

You guys.

The big reveal is this: The cowboy plugged his phone into a machine to charge.  His blue tooth was on.  The machine took all of his money off of his phone.

Are we all clear?

This vato claimed he plugged his phone into a slot machine and his money was wiped.  What money? Nobody knows. What does his blue tooth being on have to do with it? Dunno. Was the money in a bank? A crypto wallet? CashApp? Guys, we don’t know!

It wasn’t my poor Spanish that was the problem it was that this guy was loco.  I suggested to the tech she find a jefe and I took off, my work there was done.


 

 

 

 

 

 

insight timing

I took more than the recommended dose of recreational Valium so let’s go for a longer ride than usual…

The last few months I’ve found myself sitting in the casino, waiting for something exciting to happen, and thinking mostly about my mortality.  If I’m on a game, if I’m on my way to a game, if I’m going over a game plan, I’m solid. But if I have to pass time in a casino without a spot to obsess about, I sit there preoccupied with how I’ll be dead soon and gambling is dumb. Then my mind goes straight to the reality that a lot of the world is in crisis and unimaginable horrors are happening and then I’m over the “gambling is dumb” part but am still besieged with my mortality.  

My mind used to, in simpler terms, wander excessively when I was younger so to distract myself I’d routinely travel and work 4000 hours a year.

Now with my current life status I’m back to my old ways, except I’m only allotted half the time to work an unhealthy amount.  My genius child whose presence I am honored to soak in takes up the other half.  

I obsess about how I’m missing 50% of his childhood, of his first taste of a food or when he learns a new word and I’m not there.  It sucks.  Being separated sucks.  Being severed from a unit you did not want to have to sever from sucks.  I’m not even in the mood to use a thesaurus, that’s how bad it sucks. And knowing that life is insanely short and valuable and this is the situation I’m in is the saddest thing I’ve ever experienced.  It should not be so hard to maintain a relationship, unless someone checks out I suppose. And then the blame game starts, and it never ends, and then we die.

The bright side to all of it is that I’m much less angry.  On the flip side, I’m depressed.  So tonight is one of those 50%’s that I’m without child, without unit, but what’s different is I quit the grind early. Eh, I inputted some data if I’m going to be honest, but now that I’m done I’m officially off for the rest of the night. Artificially relaxed and with a never-ending cup of tea beside me (it’s Lipton).

So what should we talk about!? How so many successful men who we meet in the casino have no common sense? 

Wait, I just re-read the next to next to last paragraph and it sounds brutal.  Nobody over here thinking of taking a leap off the top floor of the Silverton garage, we are fine. (A couple did that and I wondered why they didn’t choose a taller garage).

Back to the story…

I used to wonder about this all the time (successful men not having common sense) but now I’m used to it, I almost expect it. They own businesses or do work in the real world that I could never find the mental capability to do yet they’re clueless about simple things.  I don’t mean gambling-wise, even though they’re clueless about that too.  It’s not that they don’t know basic strategy or try to martingale their way to riches, or even the superstitions they are not immune to. I mean oftentimes the high-level business exec with the Patek Phillippe can’t understand what amount to bet on a carnival game even though he’s been at the table for 4 hours or him and his entourage not being able to find the Uber pick up. Guys, it isn’t hard. I know I have better examples, but I’m woozy, not my best work.

Oh wait, I wanted to throw this nugget in somewhere, an example of money not signaling smarts.  I guess here is as good as any. I played poker with A-Rod for a few hours and the guy could not grasp the simplest things. He didn’t get the betting in 20/40 limit, completely did not get it and it went on for hours. It wasn’t pot limit, it was a fixed limit game, you deal with 20 and 40 dollar bets. I mean I don’t know, maybe he was on something?  Didn’t seem like it. I had to switch games because the rest of the table kept trying to chat him up and the game was too slow (must get hands in!!!) but he was polite and to be fair I’m sure I’ve given off a dumb as a bag of bricks vibe in some life scenario that I wasn’t even aware of but bro, when the person to your right has acted, its your turn, it never changes!

By the way did you guys see the Jose Canseco tweets this week about A-Rod cheating with his ex-wife? They were amusing enough for me to give him a follow and also what brought this super fascinating memory to life.

Alright let’s wrap this up.

I heard the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was pretty good, I think I’m going to binge that. I’m in a funk, and it’s probably going to get much worse before it gets better. I’m not even on a losing streak, work has been above average.  This is not a cry for help; nobody hit me up with essential oil recommendations or links to meditation apps.  If anything, send me suggestions for good stand up. I’ve got a new thing for Jaboukie, but he doesn’t have a lot of content online.  For your viewing pleasure I’ve included him below.