(Sunday Paper, Volume II, Issue 15)
For pretty much all of my adulthood I've talked about going to Las Vegas.
Maybe to watch the games during March Madness, maybe just for an NFL Sunday - all I want to do is go to a sports book and watch games and gamble (read: throw away money) on those games.
But I've yet to make a trip to Las Vegas.
And the only reason this is relevant right now is the fact that, for roughly the third time in six years, my wife just returned from Las Vegas.
And that has done nothing but allowed me to continue to build up a Vegas trip in my mind.
I should start by telling you the only gambling problem I have is that I don't get to do it nearly enough. (A little gambling humor for you there. I am aware this is a serious problem for many people and maybe I shouldn't be joking about it...but this is about as edgy as my comedy gets.)
But I do fancy myself a pretty smart sports guy. And I've only ever participated in pools where you have to pick all of the games on a given Sunday. I like to think that given a couple of hours where I could just pick the games I was sure of I might win a few bets.
When my wife has gone to Vegas there hasn't been much going on sports-wise. The first couple of times were in February, this time was April. Those first couple of times - and I've told you this before so I won't bore you with the re-tells - I had her place long-term pre-season bets - once when I thought the Milwaukee Brewers would win the World Series (they went to Game 6 of the NLCS!) and then last year on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl at good odds and a few over-under season win total bets. (I did not win any of these bets, it should be noted.)
(Also parenthetically, this year she sent me the picture above proving that at some point she did walk through a sports book but never texting me to say, 'Hey! What surefire bets do you want me to place for you while I'm here in Vegas, you brilliant sports mind?' Nope. It's almost like she doesn't think it wise for me to place these bets. But I shouldn't air our dirty laundry here. We shall address this issue in private.)
Anyway, I have grand visions of someday getting to Vegas.
Maybe a big 40th birthday trip with some buddies. Maybe it'll be comedy-related. Maybe I'll someday accompany my wife on one of her work trips. (Oh, I should probably mention these are work trips. She also doesn't have a gambling problem either. Or, I should say, her only gambling problem is she doesn't always place my bets when I ask her to.)
The Mets' AAA affiliate is in Las Vegas right now as well, so that's something that I'd probably work into a trip out there.
My only fear is that I've built this up so much I've Forrest Gumped it. That is to say, when 'Forrest Gump' came out everyone and their brother loved it so much and talked it up so much. And I'm not much of a movie guy so I clearly didn't see it in theaters but I think we rented it when it came out in video stores (yeah, that was almost definitely a Blockbuster Video tape in 1994, right?) and I expected to enjoy it because all anyone did was talk about how good it was.
I didn't really like it.
That's what I'm worried will happen with Vegas. I've built it up to think it's going to be an amazing experience and it'll let me down.
But I'll get there.
I'm as sure of that as I was that the Mets would win more than 88 games last year.
And we all know how that worked out.
*My latest piece of writing was for a special edition magazine recognizing 75 years since the United States' involvement in World War II - not unlike the Pearl Harbor stuff I did back in December. This one was about the WACs and the WAVES and it was well-received by my editor, which made me happy. I ended up getting three new articles assigned too, which is always good. Although I lately haven't been able to flex my creative writing muscles, I do better with my routine when I have assignments to complete.
*With Kathy away, the mice couldn't play, so to speak. I did get out a little bit at the beginning and end of the week, but while she was gone I was home with the kids. Monday night at McGreevy's was fine - I'll probably write more about that experience another time. Saturday night I was at GEM Nightclub in Boston. That's a good room. I had fun there.
*Big shows coming up next week. First of all, Thursday night I'm in Boston in the shadow of Fenway Park. This is a place that used to be called Sweet Caroline's and now may be called Jyuba...but that name change might not have happened yet. The Sweet Caroline's show started on Saturdays and then extended to two Saturday shows and then also on Fridays...and this one is on Thursday to make sure it doesn't compete with Red Sox games. So I'm looking forward to that. And then Friday and Saturday is the Steve Sweeney show in Framingham where I'm opening. Find tickets here if you haven't bought them already.
What I've Been Enjoying
*It's been a while since I wrote about a podcast, so I think it's OK to go back to that well. And I'm going to tell you about 'Bullseye', but not the podcast in general, because I did that back with '365 New Things In 2013'. (If you didn't read that one and are dying to see what I wrote I'll find it for you and send you the link...let me know if you want it.) What I want to tell you about is this past week's episode of 'Bullseye'.
It was the "Baseball Special" edition of the show, and of course that's appealing to me, but it's not full-on baseball. I think it will appeal to everyone. To wit: First, there's an interview with A's reliever Sean Doolittle. He's a baseball player, sure, but he's also socially active and a really intriguing character - it's a good interview. Then there's a segment of the show featuring Josh Kantor - the organist at Fenway Park. In the segment people talk about "the song that changed my life", but Kantor goes into his job in general and it's friggin' fantastic. The third guest is Tabitha Soren, who talks about her photography book where she took pictures of members of the 2003 A's draft class, which sounds interesting enough because they sound like candid shots rather than baseball shots. But more interesting is the fact that Tabitha Soren is now a photographer. Do you remember her? She was an MTV newscaster back in the 90s. And...I didn't know this but maybe you did...she's married to Michael Lewis, of Moneyball fame. So I felt like I learned a lot from this podcast. I'd give it a listen if I were you - you can find the episode at this link if you feel like listening to it on your computer.
*I'm going to try to keep any Mets updates to quick little bullets down here in the Notes. Very frustrating week - it appears that much like the past couple of years the pitching will be good and the team will struggle to score runs. That makes watching games every night feel like a lot of work.
*This is more of a baseball note than a Mets note: If you're looking to see a great pitching performance, you can't beat watching Noah Syndergaard pitch tonight on Sunday Night Baseball. Guaranteed you'll enjoy it if you've never seen him pitch before.
*I sure have enjoyed having baseball back this week. It occurred to me on Monday, with how happy I was that baseball season is back, that it's not really fair to the people around me that I'm not always that happy every other day of the year. I apologize that not every day is Opening Day.