Monday, January 4, 2010

January 4, 2010

I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas and New Year. I figure that everyone is back to work or school as of today, so I’d better get back to regular business on the blog.For New Year’s Eve, I spent a couple of days at Niagara Falls with my girlfriend. We had a hotel right above Clifton Hill, and had a good combination of shopping, meals, casinos, and New Year’s Celebrations. We started off on by heading across the border for a specific shopping excursion…a trip to get Rolling Rock. Well, that turned into a few new items of clothing, a new pair of shoes, and two new watches before we even got to the Grocery Store to get the beer. Standing in line at Tops Friendly Supermarkets in Niagara Falls, New York, I was both complimented and grammatically insulted at the same time when the clerk asked, “Can I see one of your guys’es ID’s.” I mean, at 36 years old, who isn’t happy to be asked for ID, but ‘your guys’es’?

For New Year’s Eve, we had a great dinner at The Keg overlooking the Falls, and then we were going to head over to Casino Niagara. We had parked just across the road behind a Brazilian Steakhouse, in a narrow lot that was accessed through a small alley. As we were walking to our car, we saw a silver Lexus trying to turn around since there were no spots left in the lot. There was a woman driving and a man was standing outside as she was trying to turn the car around. As she was backing up, we heard a loud CRUNCH as she backed into a thick metal fence.

“What the F**k!?”, yelled the man.

The woman lowered the driver’s side window and said “What? I didn’t see it!”

“It’s right there!”, he yelled back, pointing at the fence.

“Oh yeah!”, she yelled back at him accusingly, “Like YOU know how to back up!!”

Wow. Happy New Year.

It always amazes me how someone can do something wrong and find a way to spin an insult on the other person. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this man should have been yelling at his wife/girlfriend/date, but for her to spin back that he was a bad driver while he wasn’t EVEN IN THE CAR was pretty entertaining. Luckily we were leaving, so they got our parking spot, and we could leave in good conscience knowing that we prevented further fence/car damage and domestic disharmony.

We headed over to Casino Niagara for a few hours where I played poker for a bit, and had a pretty fun table. There was a guy at my table named Anthony who had been raising some interesting amounts. First he raised to $18 and showed pocket tens at the end of the hand. Next time he raised it was to $16 and ended up being pocket 8’s. He later raised to $10 and I guessed pocket 3’s (it ended up being pocket 6’s). So a while later, when he raised to $17, I asked him out loud “Pocket 9’s?” and he smirked when the flop came 9 high. He bet, everyone folded and he showed pocket 9’s, then pointed at me, smiling, and said “Stop calling out my hands!”

The very next hand, he limped for $2, and as soon as he did, I guessed out loud again “Eight-Nine of clubs?” just as a random guess. His face turned white and he said “Are you kidding me!?” I thought he was just selling the joke, but his jaw was on the floor, so I’m thinking to myself…was I actually right? The flop was Ace-7-Ten with 2 clubs, so 8-9 of clubs would be a pretty great hand. He just looked at me incredulously as he bet, and got 1 caller. The turn was the 6 of hearts, so 8-9 would now make the best possible hand, and he shook his head again as he bet. The other player folded and he showed the table the 8 of clubs before giving his cards to the dealer. He told me later that the other card was the 9 of hearts. I have no idea if he was telling me the truth or not, but I have to think he had no reason to lie.

We were about to leave the casino and head back to get ready to go down to the Falls for midnight, but the U.S.-Canada hockey game in the World Junior Championships was still on, and we had watched Canada come back from a 4-2 deficit in the third period to tie it and send it to overtime, and then to a shootout. Just before we left, we stopped to watch the shootout with dozens of other people crowded around the bar, and it was pretty exciting when Canada won the game.

After the casino, we went back to the hotel and bundled up before heading down to the concert by the Falls. I had told my girlfriend earlier in the year that I didn’t want to go stand out in the cold and watch some crappy old Canadian band like Loverboy, or Honeymoon Suite, or Glass Tiger perform. When we found out the lineup for the concert a few weeks ago, I was happy that the headliner was Styx, who I really like, and have seen in concert before. But the other band….was Glass Tiger. Luckily, we didn’t get down there until after 11:00, and they were already finished, so I didn’t have to see them.
We did the countdown, and then watched a great fireworks display, which I took video of on my camera and have no idea how to post on here (if anyone knows, please email me at Despite a blog with 350+ posts, I’m still relatively technologically retarded.) The fireworks were right over the Falls and coming off of the Skylon Tower, which then looked like it was on fire…and not in a good way…it was like a scene out of a Die Hard movie. Even better was after the fireworks were done, we could see across the river to the American side, and their piddly little fireworks show that looked like someone was lighting off Roman Candles in their backyard.

I had to laugh on the way back to the hotel, walking up Clifton Hill in the snow and seeing all the party girls walking around with no jackets on and these tiny little dresses outside. I get it if you're inside somewhere, but walking around outside? And some of these brainiacs even had bare feet. Happy New Year...enjoy your hypothermia!

All in all it was a great trip, and a fantastic way to ring in the New Year. Looking forward to a great 2010!

* On a side note, it was last year at this time that I closed down the blog temporarily and re-launched it with a new focus. After the response I’ve received from all of you, including over 12,000 hits in 2009 (which still blows my mind), visits from 40 countries, and 37 of the 50 United States…I am very pleased with the decision I made. 2009 was a turning point for me, and things are only getting better. Once again, I offer a very heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you for giving me a reason to write again. It’s been a blast, and I look forward to the future.


Paul S. said...

Wow, she's good looking AND she likes sports. Looks like you hit the jackpot my friend, glad you guys had an interesting and fun New Year's eve. All the best in the coming year and keep giving us your gift of blog.
Paul S.

Anonymous said...

FYI Glass tiger actually performed after midnight... only 3 songs... but it was fun!And who knew Gowan was the lead singer for Styx now??? WTF?

Sean said...

Thanks Paul, yes she certainly is all of those things!

Anonymous, yes, I know that they came back on, but I was already walking away from the stage at that point, so it was ok. And Gowan has been with them for a number of years now, replacing Dennis DeYoung.

Styx - DeYoung + Gowan = Better Styx.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, you would NEVER see DeYoung and Gowan on the same stage together. Nor would I want to see that.
Gowan doesnt even have any talent. He overkills DeYoung songs and over acts as well.

Sean said...

To the guy who just left that last comment after googling "Dennis DeYoung" and "2010"...Gowan fits in perfectly with Styx.

Dennis, is that you? Bitter, much?