Sunday, October 17, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Random, Tired Things 

I just got back from a shift at the Casino. I like the shifts that I'm getting although some people consider them the bum shifts. I like them because they're only 6-6.5 hours long. They are considered the bum shifts for exactly that reason. I was at the $10 minimum blackjack table tonight, although looking at the majority of the bets, you wouldn't be able to tell. I'm starting to get used to people buying in for $400-500 without blinking, but I'm still not so used to it that I don't think about it after. Alot. For a long time. I mean there was this guy tonight, and believe me, this is not unusual, who bought in for $500 5 times. He'd lose all his chips, leave the table and then return after a smoke and a visit to the bank machine. After the fourth time he asked my pit boss whether the casino had a cash advance.

Just to clarify, here's the difference between an ATM machine and a cash advance. At an ATM machine (we call them Interac machines here) you use your bank card to withdraw funds from your account. Usually, if the particular ATM you are using isn't owned/operated by your bank, you would be subject to some service charges. Either way, the point is that you are taking money that you have in your bank account from your bank account. Now a cash advance is an entirely different thing. A cash advance is called an advance because you don't actually have the money. It's cash that you get from a machine (some ATM machines are cash advance AND Interac machines) but that's borrowed from Visa, Mastercard or whoever else you might be carrying in your wallet. For the record, If you have credit cards other than the two named above...really, what's the point?

I digress. Most, if not all, credit card providers have a special rate when it comes to cash advances. Either it's a higher APR or they start charging interest immediately (unlike a purchase, which normally only starts accruing interest 30 days after the transaction. Read your cardholder's contract for specific details). The point here is that you should only use cash advances when you're in a real bind. Well, that's their intended use anyway.

So back to the guy that was at my table. After $2000 he asks my pit boss if he can get a cash advance in the casino. So there's NO MORE MONEY IN HIS BANK ACCOUNT. Now he wants to BORROW money to gamble. It looked like he was the type of guy who could afford it. Also, his reactions to losing his money didn't seem indicative of someone who had a gambling problem. I know more or less what to watch out for in terms of problem gambling and I think my supervisors actually have to go through a course of it. So I don't think this guy was in any danger or anything. Here's the kicker though. He didn't spend the whole night at my table. It's extremely possible (and highly likely) that he played at other tables tonight. If he dropped $2500 at my table, how much did he drop tonight? It's really his own business and not mine, but something twangs in me when I think that there are dozens (maybe more) people that can drop a year's worth of my tuition on a night that I'm working at the casino. (In fact, just last week I had this guy playing $500-$1000 PER HAND OF BLACKJACK. He was playing 2-3 spots at a time) You know, I'd gladly deal to them in the comfort of their homes for that amount of money. I guess I don't have the money to pay them out in the unlikely event that they win though. That's why there's casinos. Ohhhh.

Knitting needles don't just up and walk away. I bought myself a new skein of wool today in a colour that would match my hat to make a scarf. I want a scarf that would match my hat because I would be wearing it alot more often for two reaons. (1)Winter is coming and I'm going to need to wear a hat anyway. (2)I'm going to be wearing that particular hat very often (not least because it's my ONLY hat) but also because Lisa's sending me this to stick in it. According to Lisa it's more of a fuschia colour that's not really reflected in the webcam shot of it.

Oh great. I left out some turkey and now Gato's dragged some out of the bowl that I left it in and is eating the piece over my open Psych 100 textbook. Great. She dropped it. Just like I figured she would because that's just how she eats stuff. Just great. Oh wait look! She's decided to move and eat over my Visa bill. Oh, oh wait, oh...she's walking away! And she's left turkey on some papers that I hope are not important. Great. Love you Gato. (In case any of you still don't know, Gato's the black one)

Knitting needles. Right. So I keep all my craft stuff in one place. Well, two places, to be honest. Storage has got all the stuff that I use for knitting and there's this box in my coat closet with a random bunch of stuff and my latch-hooking supplies. Either way, there's only two possible places for my knitting needles because I haven't used them since I moved here and so they should be in either of the two places. I have two pairs of knitting needles, one metal and one plastic. The plastic ones are obscenly thick and I was using them to make something out of that extra fluffy wool that results in a really soft weave. The fluffiness of the wool makes it a real bitch to handle so it's been a work in progress for a while. There's one plastic needle still attached to it (if you've seen anyone knitting you will know what I mean). The other three knitting needles are gone.

Uh huh. Three out of four knitting needles have gone AWOL. Did someone break into my storage locker, remove all the loose knitting needles, leave everything else there, replace the lock and leave? I mean seriously now. I would understand if my metal pair is missing. Perhaps for some reason I took them out intending to use them and then left them somewhere (my apartment really isn't that big so if that's the real explaination then I would've found them by now...). It's plausible. But what about the other plastic one? I know that I kept it with the unfinished piece precisely because it was unfinished. It's not like I would remove it to use it for something else seeing as how knitting needles are only useful in pairs. The only thing I can think of is that the plastic one planned the break out.

In case anyone was wondering. Yes, I have better things to steal than knitting needles (especially a single knitting needle) out of my storage locker. The folding bike in particular would have been very easy to carry off.

You know what's interesting. I bought a Gerbera Daisy for myself on Friday. It's very pretty. It's got raspberry-cream petals with a fuschia centre. It was looking really sad because it was in the bargain bin with other more refugee-looking flowers. I had to rescue it. If any of your out there are familiar with Gerbera Daisies (which just happen to be my favourite flower) then you would know that the stem tends to bend just below the flower. I'm not sure why, but it's probably got to do with the weight of the flower in relation to the strength of the stem. I left it overnight in the car by accident because there were a great many things to take from the car as I was leaving it last night. I brought it in early this afternoon and the stem didn't look any worse for wear than when I had bought and I had bought it with that characteristic bend.

All I had to put it in was a 250ml bottle that used to hold real Balsamic vinegar. (Did you know that most of the stuff that's marketed as balsamic vinegar is really balsamic flavoured red wine vinegar? To know if you're getting the real stuff, read the label carefully. Generally if it says "Di Modena" it's real. I don't know what that means though) So I had to trim the 1.5ft stem to 6-7 inches. I added the correct amount of flower food and stuck it in. Here's the result:

Look! No bend!

Isn't that interesting? I didn't know that the stem would straighten out again. By the way, it is a very pretty flower. I'm sorry I didn't get a better shot of it but the bottom line is that my digital camera was running out of battery and any angle that would have shown how gorgeous it really is would not have shown the straightness of the stem. I like Gerbera Daisies.

Earlier today, after I got home from my MUSC 103 final exam (glad that's over...what a tedious piece of shit course. Don't get me started) I got on to MSN. I was engaged in a three-way (now before you start...the three of use are in three separate continents here...) with Lisa and David. Oh my God it was so much fun. I didn't think online conversations could be that much fun I think I almost died laughing at one point. I love the both of you and I can't wait for you guys to come over. Man! I don't know about you but there are times when you get the feeling that the people you are interacting with really get you. You don't have to censor yourself and the last thing you are worried about is how you are appearing because they enjoy you for who you are and you them. Ahhh, I'm getting gushy.

Goodness. I just noticed the size of the little bar thing that goes up and down the scroll bar. This is a ridiculously long entry. I guess I am a little wired. I always am coming off a shift at the casino. Being a croupier means that you have to be "on" the whole time you're on shift. The 15 minute break that I get every hour isn't for winding down (as everyone else thinks it is. I'm usually told how lucky I am that I get to break every hour) it's for re-focusing. There's a tremendous amount of brain and energy that has to go into card dealing and I guess I can't just switch off after an evening.

Wow. I thought I would end the entry last paragraph. Wow. I can't believe that I have more to blog. Wow. I can't believe that you're still reading this. Wow. I think I should wind down now seeing as how it's ten to two and I need to be up early tomorrow so that I can study for my mid-term on Monday. (I have another shift at the casino tomorrow night. Another 6 hour shift. Man, I'm loving it) Wow. Ok, ok. Apologies for a long and disjointed entry. Be very glad it isn't longer and more disjointed. Goodnight everybody!

Oooh, oooh, I just did a word count. Not including this last line addition, there are 1901 words in this entry. Man I'm wired.

posted by Joie! at 1:26 a.m.


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