Tomorrow, I am heading to Sin City, a short four-hour drive across the desert. I’m going to meet a friend and her boyfriend, who make the pilgrimmage from New York every year for the first weekend of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m an avowed slot demo player, having already logged 125 hours of live and online play this year, so I’ll be sure to get over to the Bellagio poker room at some point while I’m there (and maybe to the 6-12 game at the Mirage, if I do well at Bellagio). The rest of the time I’ll just be hopping from sports book to sports book, watching the games.

Having made this trip three times in the last nine months, I can honestly say that “The Fertile Valleys” is starting to lose whatever appeal it once had for me, especially since there are at least five perfectly serviceable card rooms in the Los Angeles area. Vegas trips are becoming more and more about meeting up with friends — mainly New Yorkers — I might not otherwise get to see.

Someone’s got to pay for my gas, though, and it’s certainly not going to be me.

Cats and Visitors Smell

Where do the boundaries of friendship, hospitality and common courtesy intersect?

Tonight I’m hosting what was originally supposed to be two friends from New York, which turned into 3 friends from New York a week ago, which I learned in a phone call four hours ago has increased to 4 friends from New York. Now, I live in a 700sf one-bedroom apartment. Said apartment is furnished with a queen-sized bed, a couch, a little loveseat-ish type thing, and a large wicker chair with foot rest. It is all extremely crappy furniture, but none of it is mine, so I don’t really care. The point is, I am not exactly built for hosting four people.

I suppose one person can sleep on the couch, one person can sleep in the bed with me, one person can sleep on the air mattress I borrowed from my girlfriend’s sister, and one person… gets the wicker chair? Or the floor. Whichever. My poor, flatulent cat is going to have to sleep in the bathroom, because she can’t sleep with me like she normally does and she can’t sleep in the living room, as it will be chock full of scary New Yorkers. (She spooks easily.)

All of this is bearable, I guess. “Couldn’t they have chipped in $30 each and rented a hotel room?” my girlfriend asked me tonight. The answer is yes, of course they could have. But originally, when there were only going to be two people staying here, a hotel room would have been twice as much and it would have been no problem for them to sleep here. Plus, they are my friends, and I am trying to be hospitable.

What’s not bearable is that one of them called me about twenty minutes ago to say that they were just leaving the Bay Area and don’t expect to arrive to my apartment until about 3:30 in the morning. This means that I am either going to have to wait up until 3:30 for them to get here (not likely) or have them wake up me and my flatulent cat (man, she really does stink) at 3:30 in the morning to let them in.

Someone’s going to die if they insist on going to Burbank at 7:30 tomorrow morning to get Jay Leno tickets.