The Cynic
A cynical spin on the news.
Friday, May 14, 2004

Quick Day 2/3 Stuff

I'm typing this from a station since the weigh-in for tomorrow's fight is being held up. (BTW boxing never does anything on time).

Gambling: About $100 up on blackjack and $650 up on craps for the week. I haven't spent the money assigned for slots just yet.

Shows: Going to see comedian George Wallace tonight. Saw Penn & Teller last night after winning free tickets (terrific show).

Complaints: My hotel doesn't have ESPN. I lost $50 on the Spurs when Derek Fisher broke my heart.

Not much else. I hung out with Bri and saw the suburbs of Vegas and the final snowcapped mountain of the season. Yeah I could make a life out here.

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Thursday, May 13, 2004

How's this for Day 1

Okay, the news conference started about two hours late (although there was some pretty good free food) and went two hours too long because Don King is full of shit.

Otherwise, I checked it to my hotel about 3 p.m. PDT. Lost about $40 on blackjack, $20 on dollar slots, won $30 on blackjack slots (I'll explain later) and went to take a nap at about 4:20 PDT. 12 hours later I woke up.

Yes, 30 hours without sleep drains someone so at 4 a.m., I'm up and about. I like Vegas at 4 a.m., it's a little quieter. I walked across the street to MGM Grand and won about $500 on craps in 30 minutes. The crowd (yes there was a huge crowd at 4 a.m.) went crazy as I was shooting lights out. I told them they didn't want to fuck with a New Yorker on some dice. It was the World Series of clacky-clack all over again.

Nonetheless, I'm going to try to catch Sportscenter and have some breakfast. I've got a long day ahead of me.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

T-minus 3 hours.

I'm almost headed to the airport (Flight 616, 7:45a EST TPA to LVA on Southwest if you're tracking). I actually need to run to Wal-Mart first and buy some travel things (Shampoo, toothpaste, deodarant, etc.).

Basically the schedule is for my friend Evan to pick me up a 5 and I'll be at the airport at 5:30. Go through the usual securities and I should be home free by six and ready to wait for the boarding process.

I'll arrive 9:45 Pacific time and I'll probably head straight to Mandalay Bay for the pre-fight news conference. So chances are I won't check into my hotel until about 2 p.m. and from there I'm calling my friend Ike in hopes of grabbing some food and taking in some sights. I'd like to go to Fremont Street and hit Binions to watch a little of the World Series of Poker.

Anyway, expect a message tomorrow once I'm landed..

VEGAS BABY!!!


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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Way to Go Benicio!

From imdb.com:

Movie teen Scarlett Johansson has confessed she enjoyed a raunchy encounter with 37-year-old actor Benicio Del Toro in a hotel elevator, labeling the spontaneous experience "unsanitary". The Lost In Translation beauty was spotted canoodling with the Oscar winner at the Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles before the Academy Awards in February, and stunned guests claimed she later invited him up to her room. But the actress has sensationally revealed the location for their sexy antics was actually the elevator. She says, "We were making out or having sex or something, which I think is very unsanitary." Johansson - who admits she only entertains the prospect of dating men in "their thirties" - was reportedly seen cavorting with 33-year-old film hunk Jared Leto in Los Angeles last month.

Hmm and just to think, *I'm* almost 30.

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My World of Reality

First of all re: Blogger's new style. It's a little too...BIG I guess. It's okay but I liked the old way of publishing my posts. I'll talk more on that later.

Anyway, today's rant has to do with reality television. I don't watch much of it, I've never gotten suckered into "Who Wants to Marry My Dad/A Midget/An Alien/Joe Billionaire/Gary Busey" but I do have one reality vice: The Restaurant.

The Restaurant is where it's at these days. A quick background for those not inclined to watch it. Three-star chef Rocco DiSpirito opened a NYC restaurant in five weeks (which is nearly impossible without a ton of help) and NBC is document the places development.

Rocco is an ass. He's a self-promoting jerk which is part of his charm. He's also a shitty owner and hires subpar management to help him. His best asset is his 79-year old "Mama" who doubles as the executive chef.

His restaurant is an enjoyable car wreck and right now the episodes are based around Rocco's disagreement with the guy who's funding the joint (Jeffrey Chodorow). Basically Chod owns a ton of eatieries and Rocco's joint is the only one losing money. So Chod decided to bring in his team of consultants to examine the place, this group included this 20-year old named Drew who decided he wanted to be Host and Bartender, which got him kicked out in a funny episode last week.

This week we see Rocco and Chod try to work out their differences but you can tell that Rocco doesn't take him seriously. Rocco is basically living his Emeril dream at this point. When Chod asks him to join him in a joint meeting with the staff at Rocco's 22, Rocco agrees only to stand him up when to go to a previous engagement at his alma mater (Culinary Institute of America) where he's the keynote speaker for the upcoming graduating class.

Nonetheless Chod takes over the meeting and in the process you see his consulting group starting to antagonize the staff, making sure they are committed to the restaurant rather than Rocco. Rocco meanwhile is hiring a line cook from CIA to work at his other restaurant (Union Pacific, I've been there, it's ab fab) and he talks about how much he loves Union Pacific and how well run it is (no thanks to him probably).

Nonetheless Chod's crew is ready to get hands on. They want better bar stools, a better menu, better silverware and less expenditures ($9,000 bucks on 5,000 business cards??? Who the hell approved that). Meanwhile Rocco is claiming the ownership is 50/50 and is threatening a restraining order. Of course I don't understand how you can restrain someone from an establishment THEY OWN!

Chod tries out a new chef named Ralph (nice name BTW) and he's awesome so Rocco's replacement is lined up if he can't get his shit together.

Nonetheless Rocco leaves Union Pacific to walk back to Rocco's where he sees his Mama and a staffer hugging, smiling and having a great time. Rocco tears up as the episode ends.

No clue where this is going to go (I ignored all the Smoking Gun updates purposefully). Rocco's team needs an overhaul, his managers are terrible. They have no clue how to manage anything other than their appearance in front of the cameras. One waitress is struggling with her organization but her personality is terrific. So of course they fire her. Why not...MANAGE her? That's what MANAGERS do, they expose strengths and hide weaknesses. So if I'm chod, I ax every manager at the joint and force Rocco to clear all new hirings through him.

That's just my opinion, I need to do some work and make my vacation check list.

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I take the news
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