Leonard’s Visit


Leonard was coming back to Calgary from Art School for a week, which meant I was going to be at either the Ship and Anchor or the Distillery.  The Distillery has changed a lot lately, and in some ways, no matter how many new things she tries, Leonard is still a robot of habit in the deepest steel chambers of her mechanical heart.  She can’t handle seeing how some things have changed, and she wanted the familiar, so we were at the Ship.

We went on Friday.  If you don’t know, the Ship and Anchor is a bit of a punk pub, at least originally, but it’s slowly showing a hipster influence.  There’s a row of fake books on a shelf near the ceiling.  Antique-looking paintings and artefacts adorn the walls, interspersed with FIFA soccer pennants.  Each table had its own crowd, with no coherent group dominating the bar.  A couple of old guys spoke emphatically near a group of bookish girls too afraid to yell to be heard over the bar noise.  A pair of overly attractive people tried to decide if they wanted to make out at 8 pm in a pub, mostly through trail and error.

I got there to find Kodie, Leonard, B1 and A2.  I hadn’t eaten, so I ordered food.  For the rest of the night, one person at our table was always eating.  Either someone new would show up and order food, or someone who had been there for a while needed an appy.

I was sitting by A2.  He was ordering a different beer with each round and showing off his iPhone.

Tall showed up a bit later, followed by R1 and A3, friends of Leonard.  It freaks her out to see people she knows from different places together, especially if they get along.  She especially hates it if they start doing things without her.  She calls it “hanging out behind her back.”  I believe it’s because robots are always plotting against humans, so she assumes it goes the other way.  She knows it’s crazy, and she’s mostly gotten over it, but at times it bugs her.

So I probably shouldn’t have been hitting on A3.  Since the last time I’d seen her, she’d gotten a rather significant haircut, and was adorable with her short hair.  I was trying to be subtle, so as not to upset Leonard until there was reason for her to be truly angry at me.  On top of that, it was a loud bar, and everyone kept switching places around the table, so A3 and I didn’t get much of a chance to talk.  I doubt she noticed.  She also didn’t get my full attention, and I wasn’t willing to push to hard, so she was able to escape my considerable charm.

This time…

When Shawn showed up, our waitress changed.  The new girl was gorgeous, and completely inattentive.  You had to yell at her to stop her to order a drink.  We soon decided it was time to move the party, and Kodie and Shawn suggested the Elbow River Casino.  Tall, A3, B1 and R2 were out, but the rest of us decided to go. 

I’ve only ever been to the casino in Lethbridge.  It’s a newish building on the highway out of town.  I used to go with Txt Girl and her friends, because she loved to gamble.  I’d spend $20 on ten games of blackjack, then just hang out, because I value my money.  The Lethbridge Casino was fun every time.

Elbow River Casino was different.  It was smaller, darker, and mostly row upon row of heartless slot machines. 

Pictured: Uncivilized Gambling

 I don’t like playing the slots because they’re too much like video games.  The bright lights and sounds confuse me into thinking I’m having more fun than I am, and I forget every button I press costs me money.  I feel like my Nintendo cheated me as a child, so I know those machines that are literally after my money will for sure.  I just don’t like the disconnect I get from something too much like my Xbox 360.

So I walked by and got a drink.  Then I checked out the Blackjack.

There were no $2 tables.

The lowest on the floor were $5 minimum bet.

When the fuck did that happen?  I want 10 games for my $20.  Now, the most I’m guaranteed is 4 games.  4 fucking games.  Less than half.  I sighed, and sat down by A2.  I managed to last for 8 games without going over my $20 limit.  I was frustrated when the last of my money left so I went to find Kodie.

He was at a slot machine, and I was not sober enough to make good decisions.  In 3 minutes, the evil little robot ate $20 more.  I asked Kodie how he managed to keep the machine going.  He shrugged a timid shrug that suggested he’d spent more than he should have.

Shawn and I found the cheapest slots in the place, and I lost another $10 before I gave up.  It was home time, and I was down $50.

Do all Casino’s suck this much?  Am I remembering things wrong?

Or is the Elbow River Casino where hope goes to die?


Naming Convention

While I plan to post a few things over the next week, there’s one meta-thing I need to get out of the way; how I’m going to refer to people.  There are some people who appear in my life regularly who I will likely need to talk about to tell you about my life.  It’s one thing for me to give up my privacy, but other people may be more protective of theirs.  Some people are willing to be famous as I become super popular.  Kodie is fine with me just calling him Kodie.

Other people would prefer to use standardized nicknames.  Lina and Nique are going this route.

If I write out the entirety of someone’s name, or a full nickname, I have first received their permission to refer to them as such.  I also give them the right to ask to have it removed at anytime.

But things will happen: I’ll deal with people who I want to talk about, but I won’t have their permission to call them by name or handle in the blog.  It may be I didn’t think about it.  It may be I want to talk about them with or without their permission.  In these cases, I will refer to them by an initial and a number, such as S1 or X1.  I don’t plan to explain how I chose the name, but I do plan to keep updating this file.  It will have a quick overview of who each of these initials are.

The Kodies, you’ll get to know them without reminders.

Below is a list of used initials

A2 – Leonard’s Best Friend, lord of the iPhone

A3 – Leonard’s friend, cute girl who I sometimes hit on unsucessfully

B1 – Shawn’s friend, often at the same social events as me

K1 – Friend and fellow English teacher in Japan.  World class drinker, master of the Blue Smirnoff.

K2 – High school friend and champion drinker

R1 -Leonard’s friend

S1 – Neighbor and co-worker.  She sometimes throws late night shot parties.  A hugging friend.

S2 – Coworker and photographer.  Not a hugging friend.

T1 – My boss, who has the unenviable job of trying to wrestle productivty out of my mania

W1 – Co-worker

Published in: on April 5, 2010 at 12:39 pm  Comments (14)  
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