Posts Tagged ‘Revel’

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The BEST AUTUMN EVER begins in Atlantic City with something completely unexpected.  This entry contains a shocking lack of both gambling and alcohol abuse, replaced with a startling amount of healthy activity.  As you may have guessed by reading the headline, Keith and I participated in the 55th annual Atlantic City Marathon!

Well, to clarify, we ran the half-marathon, but together, we ran the full one.  Whenever I had to clarify that, it always reminded me of the “very proud, minus” line from Arrested Development.  Conversations went akin to this: “Oh wow, you are running a marathon, what an accomplishment.”  “Well, actually, I’m running a half-marathon.”  “Oh… what a half-accomplishment.”

Now, Keith is a regular runner.  He is the only man I know who has woken up from a night of drinking and gambling and immediately went on a jog on the boardwalk.  He is even participating in the New York City Marathon in two weeks.  Yours truly, on the other hand, am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination.  I mainly disliked running because I’m both slow and easily distracted.  Doing one thing over and over for two hours would, on paper, drive me crazy.  In fact, as I write this, I am taking breaks every 15 minutes to either check football scores, play games on my tablet, practice the guitar, or stare at the wall.

Furthermore, I also hate “running culture.”  If you look at any running website, you’ll find corny positive-attitude slogans posted everywhere.  “You are lapping everyone on the couch!”  “You have a strong spirit!”  “You’re the best…AROUND!  Nothing’s gonna ever bring you down!”  While these cliches may inspire others, they just make me roll my eyes.  They seem desperate, insecure, and delusional.  Here’s my motivational phrase: running is putting one foot in front of the other at a quick pace, and it will make you healthier.  That should be all the information you need to make the choice of whether to run or not.

I signed up for the half-marathon because a family member signed up for the full one, and stupid old me thought: “How hard can 13.1 miles be?”  I started training this June, and immediately regretted this decision.  I intentionally made no references to it in the previous AC Diaries because I was not sure this post would ever be written.  But, without a running partner or a specific training plan, I eventually built up my distance (but not my speed: my first mile run took me 10 minutes, and my 10 mile run took me 100 minutes).  Training gave me these two breakthroughs about humanity:

1. People walk strangely.  In my training, I was running from my apartment, over the Brooklyn Bridge, and back.  I can’t count the number of times people will just randomly stop walking in front of me, or just drift to the left when I try to pass them.  Seriously, pay attention to your walking some time, and you’ll realize how hard it is to keep yourself going in a straight line.  Also, I ran over the Brooklyn Bridge about eight times during my training, and I’m sure I appear in roughly 2,376 tourist photos.  Sorry, couple from Australia, but I can’t break my flow!

2. Fat people are amazing.  First, imagine your dream life.  Are you sweating, with your knees and feet aching like hell?  Or are you relaxing on a beach, eating ice cream, and surrounded by beautiful women?  Fat people may not be at the beach or surrounded by beautiful women, but they have the “eating ice cream” part down.  They are closer to living the dream than you are!  And imagine the guts it takes to be fat.  Everywhere you look, people are demeaning you, saying you are not only ugly, but you’ll die soon.  And these brave lardos ignore all medical advice and go for the ice cream!  It’s damn impressive.

Anyway, this is the longest amount of time I’ve spent in Atlantic City consecutively (from Friday to Monday), so let’s begin this journey:

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Well, Summer 2012 is just about finished.  This past Labor Day weekend signified one last time to hit the beach, have a cookout, or find one last summer love.  For most Americans, that is.  For me, it was one last opportunity to recklessly spend money and drink.  Ladies and gentlemen, let’s just dive into this engrossing chapter of the Atlantic City Diaries!

Friday

3:45PM – The crew this time: OB (star of Chapters 2 and 4), Rainman Suite’s founder Keith, and yours truly.  The destination: Revel, again.  The goal: drunkenness.  As loyal readers know, I often have a low budget on trips to Atlantic City, and, at this time, I am in the process of moving, so my money is much lower than usual.  Therefore, I must exercise self-control, and by that, I mean I must drink more alcohol rather than gamble.  I’ve modeled myself after Charles Barkley, in the sense that I am not a role model.

As mentioned in previous chapters, taking the bus down always involves stealthy drinking.  However, due to my aforementioned money shortage, I went cheap – instead of buying several smaller bottles, I bought a giant two liter bottle of Pepsi that was on sale at the local CVS.  This, combined with my cheap liter of Rory B. Bellows brand rum, did very little to mask the fact that I was a bus rule-breaker.  Additionally, OB made sure to point out that I was drinking as loudly as possible, banging pots and pans like it was New Year’s Eve, marching up and down the bus aisle singing “RORY IS DRINKING, ON THE BUS!”  This may not be true, but it certainly felt akin to this as it was happening.

Keith Stone: I, meanwhile, had pounded a carton of Bandit wine at Rory’s apartment before the bus. When heading to New Jersey, do as white trash does.

6:30 – We arrive in Atlantic City.  Aside from some slight spills, the bus trip was without much ado.  While OB and Keith would be getting off at Showboat (which is next door to the Revel), I got off at Caesar’s.  I had a small amount of comped slot dollars to play, which expired at the end of August.  While I won absolutely nothing, it helped sate my appetite for gambling. When I arrive in Atlantic City, every second before my first foray into gambling is spent on thinking about when I am going to gamble.  This small detour helped me alleviate this thought – for a bit.

I strolled down the boardwalk, chugging my 2-liter-Pepsi-and-horrible-rum concoction, taking in the sights of the Jersey Shore in the late summer, which was primarily seeing a naked man get arrested.  The boardwalk is also littered by numerous t-shirt shops, pandering to the latest catchphrase of the day (i.e. “YOLO” and “Call Me Maybe” shirts).  However, MTV had just announced the cancellation of Jersey Shore, and you could see the disappointment in all the store owners’ faces.  Stay strong, my poorly-made crap-slinging entrepreneurs, I’m sure the next horrible exploitative phenomenon is just around the corner.

MKS: I’m looking at you, Honey Boo Boo.

7:30 – I meet Stone and OB at the Revel, where the great OB has procured us another comped room (although not a suite this time, but I’m not complaining).  We have dinner reservations are Azure again at 9:30, and we decide to drink more in the room as preparation.  Bad idea.

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In the last chapter of the Atlantic City Diaries, I was feeling a sense of burn-out with the city.  While I was financially successful, I suffered from multiple dramatic episodes, including an avian-related food disaster, a near fight with a complete asshole, and the potential of having to fill out a missing persons report for this website’s editor.  However, this trip was booked in advance and completely comped thanks to my friend OB, star of Chapter 2. Earlier this month (between the events recounted in Chapters 2 and 3), OB went down to stay at the Revel, for the sole purpose of building up his comp points.  And he ended up building a small empire.  While I don’t want to go into specifics, he ended up with enough winnings that he was assigned his own “experience manager.”  So this upcoming weekend was not only comped in one of the Revel’s nicest suites, but all room service and dinner would also be taken care of.  Additionally, we also had tickets to see Summerland – a concert featuring a who’s who of pop-rock 90’s bands.  With a bill featuring Marcy Playground, Sugar Ray, Everclear, Gin Blossoms, and Lit, I’m sure Fastball was feeling extremely left out.  To top things off, OB used his winnings to escort our group (including my girlfriend and Finn from Chapter 2) down from New York in a stretch limo.

Friday

3:30PM – My main experience with limos has been funeral-related, so this jovial, booze-filled ride was completely new and exciting for me.  It will be tough to go back to the Greyhound bus after this.  However, the only downside of drinking in a limo for three hours – you really have to go to the bathroom.  Each limo stop costs extra money, so you’ll be testing your bladder’s fortitude as you try not to break the seal.  I, unfortunately, broke the seal at our one rest stop – which was still about an hour and a half away from Atlantic City.  By the time we reached the Atlantic City Expressway, I was trying to remember anything at all from Phil Jackson’s Sacred Hoops – I needed to use the Zen Master’s advice to dissociate from my need to pee.  By the time we pulled up to the Revel, I pushed over my girlfriend and friends in a mad dash to the bathroom, much like George Costanza knocking over the children and old lady to get out of a fire at a children’s party.

7:00 – We checked into our room, and had some solid room service.  I ordered a burger, which, while nothing spectacular, sated me.  We then headed to the concert.  The concert opened at 7PM, and we arrived at 7:45, thinking that would be closer to the start time.  However, by the time we arrived, the lead singer for Everclear (who was hosting the event) was saying “Give it up for Marcy Playground!”  Well, one band down, four to go.  It made me wonder how long the sets would be – did Marcy Playground just go out, play “Sex & Candy,” and leave?  Next up was Lit.  Now, aside from “My Own Worst Enemy,” I was extremely unfamiliar with their music.  The set was…fine, I assume.  It gave me a feeling for how the rest of the night would go – they played for about 45 minutes, had a couple of the other bands’ members guest with them for a song or two, I would recognize a song that I forgot they played (in this case, “Miserable”), they would end with their biggest hit (the aforementioned “My Own Worst Enemy”), and the crowd mildly rocked around.

8:30 – After Lit’s set, I took time to look around the room.  It was a pretty light crowd, especially when compared to the Orion Music Festival.  The pit area (where we were) was maybe only two-thirds full, and it looked like many people there were past their best rocking days.  The interlude was very quick – in about 10 minutes after Lit finished, the Gin Blossoms started playing.  I have to give kudos to the stage crew – they kept it moving very quickly.  I’m a bigger fan of the Gin Blossoms, and they didn’t disappoint – they played every hit they had (of course ending with “Hey Jealousy”).  Two interesting notes about their set.  First, the lead singer really isn’t that charismatic – his only move was to ask the audience to put their hands up, which he repeated seven or eight times.  And secondly, during this set, two sets of what looked like 21-year-olds were locked in a vicious make-out session – they were, without exaggeration, rolling on the floor and making out for roughly 20 minutes.  It was distracting, but I was so impressed with their stamina in a crowd full of mostly older folks.

9:15 – Sugar Ray followed next, using the Saved By the Bell theme as their intro music.  Their set started with “Someday”, which had just awful harmonies.  Again, this wasn’t a band I was a huge fan of, and, much to my surprise, I found out here that “Someday,” “When It’s Over,” and “Every Morning” are, in fact, three different songs – my memory had blurred them all into one.  I always had a begrudging respect for Mark McGrath, he seems self-aware enough to know that his bread-and-butter is staying committed to the 90’s douche personality he’s developed.  (I remember one joke he had on the Adam Carolla podcast – “Wherever you smell funnel cake, Sugar Ray will be playing there.”)  McGrath spent more time talking to the audience than the last two bands and played a few covers, two signs that it was clearly tough for them to fill a 45 minute set.  The silliest gimmick was a “sing-along” part, where two random audience members were pulled on stage to sing random songs.  One audience member had to sing “Fight For Your Right To Party,” but ended up singing the lyrics after the lyrics had just be said, and got booed mercilessly by the hostile South Jersey crowd.  And, if you don’t know what song they ended with, I don’t know what to tell you.

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