May 26, 2003

Holy sweet mother of pearl, was that a holiday weekend or what?!?! Sure, the weather was more suited to February than May, but do you think that a silly thing like that was gonna keep from heading down the shore for some heavy drinking, gambling, Skee-Ballin', and dressing up like a cat to make my stand-up comedy debut? Hell, no!

The hotel that noted Friend of the Donk Keith hooked us up with was pure Victorian luxury, the kind of place that folks in the 19th century would stay at for a few weeks to put on their pantaloons and relax on the verandah while holding their parasols or some crap like that. The recently and expertly renovated Congress Hall in Cape May (Exit 0 on the Garden State Parkway) has beautiful rooms with big fluffy pillows and blankets, and is right across the street from the ocean. And it wasn't even that expensive (at least not for me, since I didn't pay dime one!).

Anyway, the reason we were down there was for Keith's PR work for Meow TV, the...um...first TV show designed just for cats, debuting on the Oxygen Network this Friday at 7:30. The Meow TV Caravan made its debut in Wildwood, with hundreds of folks (mostly kids gamely trying to remember the Meow mix jingle) dressing up in various outfits, taking the stage, and auditioning for the second episode of the show. I hung out with Keith for a while in the Convention Center before he finally managed to convince to give it a shot. And yes, folks, I worked up 60 seconds of cat comedy gold, dressed up in various cat accouterments, and took the stage. I've been meaning to try some stand-up, but this wasn't exactly what I had in mind, and it was mostly a nervous blur (I can only recommend to others that you remember to breathe...). I'll let you know if I make the cut, and if you'd also like to audition for this prestigious event, the Meow Mix Mobile will be in midtown next Saturday.

The rest of Saturday involved some heavy Skee-Ball playing and zeppole eating on the extremely excellent Wildwood boardwalk, which is unfortunately too darn far away for regular visits. Late that night Keith and I hit the town and checked out a swanky lounge bar and a pretty decent club with a pretty damn good band (they rocked out "Laid" and "Hot in Herre"!), both of which were conveniently located in Congress Hall. After a year of crowded PATH rides and cold, drunken walks home, I can't recommend highly enough the value of a short walk home (basically, two flights of stairs). And I even won $20 from Keith after he stupidly insisted that Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me" was released after "Photograph!" Stupid, stupid Keith!

And since I was already on the Parkway, it only made sense for me to spend the next day in Atlantic City (keeping in mind that I once convinced a friend of mine at Rutgers that since we had accidentally gotten on Route 18 (which leads to the Turnpike, which leads to the Parkway, which leads to the AC Expressway), we might as well head down to AC since we were "already on the way." I met up with my parents, watched my dad completely misplay a couple of poker hands, and had my mom comp the family a nice early dinner. The Taj was as crowded as I had ever seen it, or pretty much anywhere, and I worked my way back to even after a drunk guy at the blackjack table cost us all a lot of money with his dumb plays (theoretically a bad play could help the rest of the table as much as hurt it, but it never seems to work out that way). Late that night another idiot actually hit his 17 against the dealer's 9, taking the 7 that I needed (I had a 13), which busted me with the face card the guy next to me needed (he was doubling down his 11), etc., until finally the dealer drew a 5 for his table-killing 21. You should have seen the angry looks after that...

The highlight was a rollicking Omaha High/Low game which featured a couple of angry older women, a young kid with a "this isn't like they said it would be in the books" look, some older guys who were there for laughs, and two drinking guys looking to put the whole table on tilt. Omaha is a game that encourages you to play a lot of hands, and that's what we were doing, all right (except for the scared kid who hardly played any and lost when he tried — go back to Wisconsis, scared kid!). I finished a few bucks up, mostly thanks to a miracle hand where I hit the only card that could possibly help me on the river, a 2 that gave me four deuces against my opponent's top full house, after which I proceeded to tell him how poorly he played the hand, then ordered another drink. Pure delight.

Somehow I managed to get back on the Parkway with the same amount of cash I left it, and from there it was two hours until my hardly swanky or fluffy, but still appreciated, bed. Today will be pretty much taken up by the blood transfusions, and then it's sleepy-sleep until work tomorrow. Sigh.
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