Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin Next stop: South Sea Pearl Museum Upon arrival, we were whisked through a five-minute presentation on the color of pearls.
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In the summer of 1988 I was out of work and living in Las Vegas. I was certified in Clark County but I couldn't get a massage job.
I'm hanging out with a kid named Les Fabri, a featherweight from Seattle. I had met him at the Golden Gloves Gym and we started working out together and sparring. He was a good little southpaw. He had 160 amateur fights and won about 140; a two time US national champion. He had lost out in the Olympic box-offs to Steve McCrory, Milton's younger brother, but it was close.
By rights I didn't belong in the same ring with him, save for he couldn't break an egg and I was a puncher. So it worked out okay. He was managed by Alex Fried, a Hungarian Jew who made jewelry and owned stores in the Imperial Palace and the big Hilton.
Fried had also managed a friend of mine from Vancouver. Alex had a lot of money. He also had a knack for ruining fighters. He could get you the wrong fight at the right time, the right fight at the wrong time, or maybe the whole thing was wrong, wrong, wrong, for short money. So Fried is sponsoring these guys and he stashes them at an apartment complex near Koval and Tropicana.
I'm hanging out there and in a downstairs apartment the door is open and there are a handful of people sharing a joint. I partake. The one girl, a pretty black lady, we start talking. I'm telling her my recent history. In other words, I'm out of work. She is a blackjack dealer and also out of work. She says, "Why don't you go to dealers school, they will give you money and everything."
I start hanging around this girl. Plus, she can help me get pot. I'm helping her and her friends out, with rides mostly, because I had wheels.
I take her advice and look in the yellow page -- COS, Career Opportunities School. The first one I spotted. I go there and take some bogus test, 6 + 7 + 8 = 21, right?
They tell me, "You're a man, you will deal craps" because a monkey can deal blackjack. So you better have a pretty face and a nice rack, if you want the strip. Or would you rather rot downtown?
There was a $1682.00 grant involved and a $2600.00 dollar loan, for three games. My only question was, "How soon can I get the money?" "Ten days." "Where do I sign?"
This school had recruiters and they were scraping guys right out of the gutter. The loans were federally insured. The school got their money regardless of default, courtesy of the US taxpayer. Every Thursday, guys would show up for disbursement and that was the last of them for another week. They should have called it Crack Opportunities School.
The school eventually lost their federal funding; they had too many defaults. Naturally I'm going to school, but believe me; you don't learn how to deal in school. You don't learn shit.
I got friendly with a guy there, a Vietnam vet. He had a milky left eye from a piece of shrapnel. He told me he loved Nam, "All the drugs you wanted..." but they wouldn't let him re-up because of his eye.
The school secretary was a morbidly obese chain smoker and her daughter was also pretty hefty.
This guy, the vet, goes over to the New Thunderbird Motel after school one day and has a drink with the secretary. Now he's telling me that he's fucking her. I'm laughing, "Do you do 69 with her?" Now he's laughing. He tells me to, "Shut up!" He says, "She bathes me and she'll do anything. She licks my asshole." Not that I needed to know that. He tells me he wants to nail the daughter also.
The school money wasn't enough, so I got a job bussing tables at the Paddle Wheel, a little off-strip joint across from the Landmark, Howard Hughes' white elephant. I ended up dealing dice at the Landmark two years later. While at the Paddle Wheel, I got a job at the Tropicana, doing massage again. So I had two part time jobs and school.
The school provided apartments for some of the dealers and it became part of their loan package.
I give the vet a ride home one day out toward Nellis. When I get there, there's like maybe eight guys sitting around a table smoking crack. It was my first time. They had a glass pipe, a good one. My turn comes. They are coaching me. I blow out and take it in very, very slowly, long and deep.
Then they tell me to hold it. My heart is about to pop. They tell me to let it out slowly. A millisecond and the rush hits me, crawling up my spine and exploding in my head like an orgasm times ten. I'm sitting down kneading my thighs and grinding my teeth and they're laughing because I am righteously lit, and I understand instantly why people turn into hardcore addicts off the first rush. Because it is never again like the first time, and you chase and you chase and you chase.
That's it! That's what I am. I will try anything. But this one time I really stepped through the portals of hell. I struggled with that shit off and on for the next eight years.
The Tropicana turns into a fulltime gig, but it's a garbage job -- no money and bad working conditions. The spa wasn't owned by the Tropicana; it was owned and run by Ken Mizuno a degenerate gambler who had baccarat markers for millions up and down the strip. The only notable thing that happened while I was there was that one evening Rodney Dangerfield came in. No one was around. I was just attending for the other kid. I gave him a towel and some juice and he stiffed me.
There was an assistant manager at the Tropicana. We got along okay at first. One evening there was an incident, can't recall what about. I mean, I was fed up with that job and was about to break in on dice somewhere, anyway. We had a verbal altercation and he fired me on the spot. He was behind the desk. Another masseur was there, a venomous little Cambodian dude who died of cancer a couple of years later.
I badly wanted to punch the manager in the head. I mean, I had an internal conflict going. I'm thinking, "I am going to jail..." but the urge to lay hands on this fucking guy wins out and I reach over the desk and give him a shot in the head.
He comes out from behind the desk and we're trading. He's big, about six two, but he can't really punch. I'm feeling inhibited on account of, "I'm going to jail...."
Finally he sits on me, tackles me, and I'm on the floor and he starts slamming my head against the mirrored wall. I'm concerned about broken glass and also, it is starting to hurt, so I yell at him, "That's enough!"
Security arrives. They escort me to the basement. I got a slice over my right eye -- he was wearing a diamond wedding ring -- but it wasn't deep and they put a butterfly bandage on it.
They took my picture against a yardstick, "He's not pressing charges, but you're eighty-sixed. If you come on the property you will be charged with trespassing."
I apologized and they showed me empathy. They said he must have done something to provoke me. Shortly thereafter I auditioned at a break-in joint called Little Caesars. This was my first dice job.
|Earth Epicenter: Warbook
I feel sort of blessed, on being able to write this story. I(t) created a side-universe with a complex trail that embraces immense distances, immense populations, and severe implications, including three known species, and the humanoids plight to remain existing. There is a cadre of main characters among humans and another among the Ohnis, the main alien opposition to humans. Both cadres are endowed with values and cultures that clash and have to coexist.
A thousand year peace between the Solards and Ohnis has been broken by an outbreak of inter-solar war. The Solards are a new Ice-Age Earth meritocracy with equality for all its citizens who follow a self-imposed strict code of conduct. The Ohnis are humanoid and an ancient autocracy with deep differences and separation between inheritance-nobles and slaves. In this far distant future, Humans adore beautiful fit bodies and need mandatory interactions to live longer. The alien Ohnis have a tail for pleasuring and with it can multiply satisfaction many folds. Drawn by mutual needs, the two cultures interact often.
A long waited Redeemer has appeared among the Ohnis, a gladiator, who against his own aspirations will fall prisoner to fate, faith and politics. Simultaneously, a special Solard has developed insurmountable amounts of knowledge at such a pace that it will change the future prospects of both Humanity and the Ohnis.
|Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World
From the author of We’re French and You’re Not and The Fur West, De Lancey entertains supreme as he distills cooking to the simplest of terms—from boiling water (and identifying the stove) to preparing timeless classics from every corner of the globe including scrumptious Beef Stroganoff and Greek Wraps with tzatziki sauce. Every recipe is followed by hilarious tidbits, such as, ‘King Louis XV ate boiled eggs every Sunday. This practice ceased with his death.’
A wise person once told me: There’s a reason for everything.
I quickly flagged down one of the casino workers—I swear to you that it seemed to be a requirement for employment at this hotel that the women all had to look like they’d just stepped off the photoshoot for the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue—and the platinum blond pixie cut, would make any man quickly forget the throaty beauty in the café, whose name I didn’t bother to read smiled and pointed in the direction of the blackjack tables.
By midnight, the rain showers had turned into a huge storm; thunder rumbled and lightning lit up the night sky as buckets of water poured down on Essex Valley. Stevie had gone to bed hours ago and Evan had fallen asleep on the couch, watching a late movie. A thunderclap directly overhead woke him with a start.
The fascinating inspirations behind common inventions and creations - from Barbie to Sweet and Low to Mt. Rushmore.
The slinky was born aboard a World War II ship.
Eureka! explores the fascinating stories behind these famous creations and many others-from blue jeans to the Taj Mahal to Mickey Mouse-detailing the relationships between inspirations and their inventors. Readers will delight in the intriguing-and sometimes surprising-origins behind the ideas that have shaped the world.
Benito then crushed his cigarette out on the pavement. I noticed it was half lit and still smoking. "When someone steals my property, I get very agitated. I can't sleep, break out in a rash and then I am uncomfortable. When I become uncomfortable I become unreasonable and you don't want me to be unreasonable." "No, I don't." I said. "Good just let me know what State he is in and I will find him. You will be off the hook. I know he is your friend but he is a rat and a low life. Now what State is he in!" He was now digging his hand into my left shoulder. I felt his grip, he was very strong. I loved Cliff like a brother but this was not my battle. "He is in New Jersey" I screeched. "Okay let's go Dobbs, have a nice day kid." I watched them walk across the street and get into a gray Corvette. As they drove away I felt my hands sweating. I got off easy. It wasn't me they wanted but I was the weak link. I also tried to convince myself that I didn't give up Cliff because I didn't pinpoint his location. I really did not know where he was and I think they knew that. They knew Cliff was smart. I told them he was in New Jersey but New Jersey is a big state. I must admit I was still frightened but I was more frightened for Cliff. I did not want anything to happen to him. I really believed these guys would hurt him.
|Eye of Saturn
Felipe stood naked high on a hill overlooking the Andalusian countryside. Unseasonably wild, blustery, icy cold winds caused tree limbs to thrash about violently. The chilled night air had stiffened the blades of grass, coating it with a heavy frost. Even though the air was bitter cold, Felipe could not feel it as it blew hard against his chest. Nor could he feel the frost covered blades of grass, crackling beneath his feet.