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2003-12-20 - 6:44 p.m.

On Thursday night, I went to the Walker Art Center with Tony and Katie. We were to meet Colin there. The Walker Art Center is housed in the same building that the Guthrie theater is, and the Guthrie is a world class theater. There was the annual showing of A Christmas Carol running and there was a show that night. Lots of people were milling about. While Tony, Katie, and I were waiting for Colin, a lady came up and asked if we wanted a free ticket for the evening's show. We took it, mostly because Tony grabbed it and then the lady wouldn't take it back. She wished us a Merry Christmas. We couldn't use just one ticket, so we tried to give it away to someone else. No wonder that woman wouldn't take it back once she had successfully given it to us! Katie said she felt like we were trying to give away the Plague. Everyone eyed us suspiciously and said, "No thanks," when we tried to give them this free ticket. I mentioned we had seen someone sketching by himself in the greenhouse that we walked through to get to the Walker; maybe he'd take it. We walked back to the greenhouse and they mysterious solitary sketcher was chatting with someone who worked there, and he ended up taking the ticket from us. He seemed pleased. I wished him a Merry Christmas.

Colin joined us eventually and we took in the art, which I thought was mostly crap. There was an exhibit about boxing in contemporary art, and among the "art" there were 2 of these huge black punching bag-type things. Katie said she had read an article about them and that they were supposed to invoke the image of testicles. She touched them and said they were kind of nice, but I think we all agreed it was overall crap. I saw some photographs I liked, and I felt somehow vindicated when I noticed they were taken by Andy Warhol.

Yesterday, Friday, I went with my dad and little brother to pick up grandma, dad's mom, on the way to the casino. Mystic Lake, otherwise known as Mistake Lake, is a casino I've been going to since I was 18, that being the legal age for gambling in Minnesota. That being said, the casino is nothing special for me. In fact, I don't like going most of the time. I lose all my money and get bored and want to leave. Aunt Mary, my dad's sister (not Aunt Mary my mom's sister of previous entries) met us there. Together, we 5 took over a table.

And do you know something? We had a great time. Aunt Mary hit blackjack after blackjack. The dealer kept busting. My brother Jeffy declared a war on the casino and challenged the casino to a duel. "This is a war of attrition!" he yelled. "I am willing to sacrifice many men!" I was down for a while but I ended up making a comeback with the following incredible hand:

I had $10 down on the hand, and I get dealt 2 7's. Dealer had a 4 showing. My dad leans over and says, "You're going to split those, right?" "I guess," I told him. A second later, Jeffy leans over and says, "You're gong to split those, right?" "I have to now," I said. So I split them and get dealt a 3 on my first hand. I double down, and get a four, which of course sucks but at least I'm still in the game. The next card I get dealt another 7! So I split those too. I get dealt a 10 on the second seven, and on the third seven I get... another 7! So I split those too. I get dealt a 9, and then a 4. So I double down on that hand too and get a 10 for 21. At this point, I have 4 hands going, two of them with a double down. $60 on the table! And wouldn't you know it, the dealer flips over a 6. I thought I was done for with his 4 showing, but he deals himself a 4 for 14. Then an ace... 15. Then another ace... 16. I'm sweating. Then he deals himself a 7. Bust!!!!

We won so much, they had to have security come over to bring more chips to the table. Jeffy yelled, "We cleaned out the casino! They're out of money!" Some guy gave him a look that said, what a moron. Only someone without a hold on reality or a gambler would take that kind of statement seriously.

We were all big winners that day. My dad hit the 4 aces jackpot on a quarter poker machine to win $100. My grandma hit on some 7s on a red white and blue slot, and got $150 from that too. I walked away with $100, Jeffy with $210, Grandma with $350, and Dad with a little over $700. I can't remember how much Aunt Mary won, she had to leave early.

Man it's fun to win for a change.

My brother Jeffy had broken up with his girlfriend Hannah the day before. They had been going out for over 3 years now, and she's over at our house for holidays and parties and all the days inbetween. Jeffy broke up with her because he's going to study abroad in Australia and didn't think they'd last the 6 months he'd be overseas. They've broken up and gotten back together at least 10 times before, so we didn't take him seriously at first, but then he started crying. "This one's for real, guys," he said. That night, not 7 hours later, he called her back and said that he made a mistake and wants her back, etc. etc. So they're back together!

Jeffy laughed about it with us on the way to the casino 7 hours must be a new record. At least they have a sense of humor about it.

Friday night after the casino, my parents, Jeffy, Hannah, and I went to an uptown restaurant called Figlio's. The food there is wonderful, and lots of laughing and talking and drinking was to be had. The best part about being home is being able to do things like that; just going out to eat with the family is a lot of fun.

Today, I played the harp at the open house at the mansion that's on the same property as the carriage house my Aunt Mary (mom's sister) lives in. I was nervous about it, but was that a great time. The mansion is beautiful. It used to be split up into a bunch of apartments. They knocked down a lot of walls and fixed the place up, and are going to make some really nice luxury apartments out of it. I played in a room that was designed by Louis Tiffany, of Tiffany co. fame, that company that has all that fancy glass stuff. The people there were so fun, and the food and drink they had there was unbelievable. I had shrimp, sushi, cookies, turkey wrapped around asparagus, some tiny sandwiches, a few dessert cups, and all the wine I could drink. And it was all free! In fact, I got paid $120 to be there and play. For my first harp gig back in town, I couldn't have asked for anything better. Aunt Mary also gave me $100 as a thank you for playing and wouldn't take it back, so I think I'm going to take her back to Three Fish after the holiday season with the money.

We left the party early, since my parents and brother had another party to go to. I was also invited, but decided not to go. I feel like laying around in pajamas and reading tonight, and fucking around on the computer.

Ahh, the life of the unemployed.

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