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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.
JUN
07

Gambling is Easy

I'd never really done it, see, other than a company party one year where they brought in a bunch of dealers and gave us all fake money. I won a lot of fake money that night, all on the roulette wheel, and it seemed like there were a few key bets that really had pretty good odds. Still, it's easy to take risk when it's not real money.

I go to Vegas once a year now for work, and the thought finally occurred to me this time that maybe I should try my hand at a real table. Put some chips down. And so I bet $20 on red, won, and walked away with $40. In truth, I was so afraid of losing it (and letting yourself actually lose money that you once had seems so stupid), that I quite literally ran to the cashier's booth. I wondered if they'd ever cashed someone out for $40 worth of chips. But seriously, 50% odds at doubling your money? It all seemed so easy.

I got curious again on my last night in town, wondering if I could replicate my luck. Placing $15 on black and $15 between 16 and 17, the first number that came up was black 17. My payout: $300. I couldn't believe it. I'd just yielded 10x my bet. On one spin. People at the table were congratulating me. I couldn't stop laughing from the glee of it all. At the cashier's booth again, still laughing, I watched her count out my $300 still in disbelief that it had so simply become mine.

So clearly this whole gambling thing is totally easy. And I know the trick is quitting while you're ahead, but as long as you have the self control to do the trick, can someone explain to me how gambling isn't a completely legitimate way to make a little money on the side?

Probably a good thing I only go once a year.

JUL
17

Del Mar Opening Day

Opening Day at the local horse racing track wouldn't have been an event I would have predicted enjoying all that much, but sometimes in life it's nice to be disproved.

It wasn't so much the big hat (ok, so it was mostly the big hat), but rather the horses themselves that had me completely captivated. They're so skinny and fit...not at all like the horses I'd see at summer camp as a teenager. Which is apparently where all the fat horses go. And most of the time when a horse has high odds of winning, he wins. It made it easy for me, a total rookie, to call the first race, as well as another two beyond that. These were $2 bets, so it's not like I walked away rich (or with even as much as I'd spent in bets), but still, there's something incredibly satisfying about watching a horse cross the finish line first when you've got some money on him. And it was all I could do not to go all "Come on, Dover! Move your bloomin' ass!" on everyone.

Granted, there were things I could have done without. Like the copious amounts of alcohol being consumed, the long lines to place bets, and the fact that the theme for opening day women's attire in Del Mar seemed to be "Slutty." I swear it must have said that on the website somewhere. Dress as slutty as you can. Like, seriously. (I went vintage, naturally.) But all in all, I loved the experience, and I sort of can't wait to go back. Now who would have seen that coming??

JUN
16

Viva Las Vegas

I'm not exactly sure how it is that I've managed to get to this point in my life without ever having been to Las Vegas. Except that I do know. In that I've simply never chosen to go there. My impression of the city has never been favorable, I'm not a gambler (except that company Christmas party that one year that I totally rocked even though the money was fake and no one believed it was any indication of how I would fare in an actual casino....pppssshhh). After so many years of assuming Vegas was a bit slutty, now having been there--for a work trip earlier this month--I can report that Vegas is, in fact, a bit slutty. At the risk of incriminating our society at large (not that it's any secret), this obviously resonates with people. This idea of boozy, scantily-clad evenings spent frittering away money in smoke-saturated hotel bottoms. Sign me up. Except don't. Because that sounds terrible.

I was in town for the JCK show (THE jewelry trade show), and it goes without saying that the place (the convention center...not Vegas, hells no) was a lot like how I imagine heaven. In that there were diamonds, gems, and jewelry pretty much everywhere. Diamonds. Freaking. Everywhere. I even got to try some on (it pays to know people), and when the makers of this Garrard tiara (they design the tiaras for the British Royal Family...in case you didn't hear me, I said the BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY) asked if I wanted to try on this Princess Di replica, I very nearly wet myself. Between that and the limousine that transported me to my next event immediately after, I haven't felt so fancy in all my life. So I suppose if you spend several days in a diamond-filled convention center, your nights in an upscale luxury resort, and get to expense all your meals and cap everything off with a day sitting poolside, maybe Vegas isn't so bad. I may even look forward to next year. But only because of the tiara.