19 February 2007

All Star Game, Vegas and Whores

Las Vegas hosted the NBA All Star Game.

It brought in $47 non-gambling dollars to the city, but the people that came trashed the place.

It was reported that well over 350 arrests were made and a shooting at the MGM Grand.

Walking the Strip yesterday, you could not help but notice there were people who don't or wouldn't normally come to Sin City. Even I felt out of place, but anyways.

Beyond the usual homeless and hookers (maybe some out-of-town hookers came also) there were tons of gangs. And while everyone kept a tone of respect, it felt things could trip rather easily.

Add on the horrible traffic with people blasting bad music from the rolled down windows, anyone who does not live in a racially mixed city, could be intimidated by these people.

The thing was, since Vegas is close by to LA (from LaVenre, its 235 miles -about 3 1/2 hours away) that many people just came for the festive atmosphere -cause most people cannot afford the tickets to the game. The gangs that came were probably from the LA basin.

But I'm sure while the police will say different, for many owners of the casino's and other stores, the All Star Game was a boom.

But I'm sure it scared regular folks.

Viva Las Vegas and more family stuff

I remember, years ago, a commercial on TV where an actor is pushing some kind of medicine, and he says “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on television.” My guess is, that the image of a “trust-worthy TV actor doctor” was suppose to convince people to buy the product. I, of course, saw through that -as did many writers, as that ad became the joke of many comics.

On Sunday, I went to Las Vegas to see my Older Sister and her husband, who were taking a belated trip to Sin City after the last attempt in April 2006 was cancelled when my Younger Sister’s husband passed.

I went there knowing I would hear all the tales of what has been happening in YS life and her two kids, my niece and nephew. I had known that nephew had been thrown out of the house after flinging -in her direction - a steak knife near niece. Apparently, younger sister had finally decided that nephew -at age 19 - should learn what cause and effect is about (something I have been trying to tell and teach him for years).

Over the years, especially the last five, I was aware of things my sisters two kids were doing. But, this past weekend, when given the final puzzle pieces to certain things, I discovered I knew very little.

Granted, I did shy away from getting too involved with younger sisters kids, as she had made it clear on several occasions that they were her kids and she would dole out the punishment and what not. Fair, to me.

Case in point, my nieces losing here internet privileges. Now, what I thought I known about it turned even uglier this past weekend, when older sister told me the full truth about why niece had lost those privileges and why younger sister tried her hardest to keep dying husband’s family from being alone with him.

What I been told was the truth, but like Obi Wan in Return of the Jedi, it was from a certain point of view. I was told she had done and said some things on her myspace page that had caused her to be banned -nephew reconfigured the home computer with a log-on code that only he and his mother knew. It seems niece -who would’ve been late 13 or early 14 - had posted a nude picture of herself on the net. I tell you, this floored me on Sunday, standing in the middle of the Paris Casino in Las Vegas.

And, older sister informed me, this was why my late brother-in-laws sisters were not allowed to be alone with him during his final weeks on earth. They knew what niece had done, and they wanted to their brother what his daughter had done and what his wife NOT doing about it. Younger sister apparently felt this was info he did not need (and maybe so, but...) And older sister informed me that our brother-in-law died never knowing this. The truth was kept from him, by my younger sister, if only because brother-in-laws family already hated her and felt she was bad for him. And this was the proof they were right.

My little sister lives in a bizarre world where everyone is wrong and she is right. And even if she admits she’s wrong on that rare occasion, she doesn’t care. Since the passing of her husband last April, she has grown more and more odd in her parenting skills and her perspective on life itself.

So, I’m not a physiologist, but I am a Monday Morning Quarterback, so her goes. My younger sister is crazy. I don’t see how she manages to live inside the tiny stage she’s created in her mind. She see’s herself here as the victim. My mom, my brother, my sister, my stepdad, my step siblings, their spouses and me are all wrong about her.

It is we who refuse to move on with our lives, it is her children who are poising the well against her, it is my mothers and older sisters fault that she is in the position she is currently in -need we remind her again, that all of this started 20 plus years ago when she abandoned the family for the older man who said he loved her.

Now, nephew is living with my older brother. And on Sunday, niece was staying at her aunt and uncles house, close to where my brother and his wife live. Apparently, younger sister called my step-sister looking for her daughter (young sis had been out with her boy toy) to take her out to breakfast). Step-sis asked her if she was actually going to spend time with her daughter, or just have breakfast with her, then drop her off at home and head over to boy toy Mike’s house to get their freak on? Apparently, my little sister made some rude comment and told step-sis that K could stay with them, and hung up.

As of today, I think now that both my niece and nephew are at my brothers. The niece is still at home, but we’ll see how long that lasts.

This tale is far from over.

15 February 2007

Family Poop

Lets start by saying while she is my little sister and I have to love her, she is so far in the dog house with the family, I'm unsure how to recover from this.

Since her husband passed last April, I assumed my siuster was trying to get her life back together, along with her two kids. But, I've learned, especially after four years that her husband was sick, that my little sister is a liar and not be trusted.

While it was obvious to all that she was stuck in a loveless marriage, for perhaps, the last decade she was married, after her husband was given the cancer notice, she tried her vainest to keep him alive. Now, maybe, I see why. He was her meal ticket (when he worked).

Don't get me wrong, she did work and go to school, but I'm unsure of her grades, as she claims they are good. Now, after the past 10 days, I begin to wonder if my little sister is just not to be trusted.

let me backtrack a bit. About a good 20 years.

Dawn was maybe 19 at the time. She was working for Giant Auto in Hoffman Estates -ironically, my brother had worked for them, and at the same store. There she meet a man about 18 years her senior, who (though I'm still not sure) was seperated from his wife. Kurt (or John as we would eventually know him as) has two kids, just a few years younger than Dawn.

Anyway, my sister began to have an affair with him, something she tried to hide. At this point, I guess, one could say that both my sisters were looking for "daddy" figures in their lives. Having lost our father at such a young age (Dawn was not yet 4), they both seemed to find comfort in men way older than them.

Once everyone found out about Dawn and John, well, all hell broke loose. My mom ruled her house with an iron fist, and she took no shit from no one. She tried her hardest to stop Dawn from seeing this guy, which would, in hindsight, push Dawn farther away.

One thing led to another and Dawn and John moved to New Mexico. During that time, Dawn kept in contact with big sister Donna, so we found out that Dawn had married John after his divorce and was now pregnant. During the months before Steven's birth, things between my Mom and Dawn eased. My mom still hated John, but she loved her daugther.

Steven arrived into the world on September 18, twenty-five years and one day after mine. Donna and mom went to New Mexico. Almost a year later, Dawn and John moved back to Chicago, and with the aide of the baby, things seemed to get better. I still don't think my mom ever trusted John, but she tolerated him, if only because Dawn was back with her grandchild.

They settled in (I moved to California), had another child in September of 1991, Kyra, and things went on, as they are bound to do. I moved back 18 months later.

But there was always tension, and me and my little sister tried to get along. It seems that Dawn and me were never destined to nothing more than brother and sister -the same thing I have with my older brother. Only Donna and I seemed to be more than just siblings. We were best buds also.

So, over the next decade, John and Dawn would give Steven an Kyra everything they wanted, as if John was making up for all the things he never gave his kids from his first marriage (and I often wonder if they ever became jealous of their half brother and sister). But somewhere along the line, both fell out of love with each other. And, I think Dawn realized she was stuck.

And then came the lies, the deception of not paying bills, of letting things slide to the point that I began to question things in my mind. But instead of asking, or some might say prying into her life, I ignorned some obvious things.

And then cancer struck, and the long slide into death for John began, and Dawn's family slowly began to unwind like a broken yoyo; no one was there to tug it back up.

To be continued...

09 February 2007

This and That 3

* If Anna Nicole Smith did not die of a drug overdose (and I'm still convinced she did, but...) what killed her?

* Why was I born with this pectus deformity? I realize, God, that there could be worse things in my life, but why? I mean, was I bad in some previous life? The cruel trick also is that You made me gay. That's like adding insult to injury.

* Is Andrew the one for me?

* And if he is, why has he not made the first move (cause you know how much I screw it up when I become the agressor).

08 February 2007

Anna Nicole Smith 1967-2007

The death of Anna Nicole Smith's today at the age of 39 surprised me, yet some how I'm not. I will not be shocked, however, that once the inquest is done, it will be determined that she died of some kind of drug overdose -just like her son Daniel did back on September 7, 2006.

In someways, her life was tragic, but because she won the genetic lottery, she was able to hide from it. Which means, I guess, with drugs and booze. Plus, while I think she was smart, I still feel that she was a few tacos short of a combination platter. Which also, in many ways, helped her escape that sad part of fame.

To be honest, I feel since the death of her son 5 months ago, her time here on this mortal plane was limited. Even the birth of a new daughter was never going to replace the son she lost in September.

A drug overdose probably killed her, but like some have said, she really died of a broken heart.

May she find the peace in death that eluded her in life.

01 February 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows out July, 21

With one announcement, the book industry too a huge sigh of relief, as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be published on July 21, just 8 days after Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix hits movie theaters. And like the last two bboks, this lay down date is a Saturday.

This last book in the series should give a huge boost to the sagging industry, which despite a rich collection of tomes released at the end of September to Christmas 2006, is finding itself facing troubling times.

Of course, the biggest issue remains that the super books stores face tons of competition from other retail outlest like Target, Cosco and even the local grocery store (not to mention Amazon). Plus they over build, in some vain attempt to keep investors investing.

Barnes & Noble is doing better in the stock area, while Borders remains flat and not predicted to gain any strength for at least a year. It's new CEO claims big things are in the works, but from my POV, its working on the wrong things. A new inventory system would be nice, as our DM pointed out to me that when Borders was a hundred stores, it worked. Now at well over 510, it is obsolete and flawed.

Anyway, this last Harry Potter book will help through the end of the year, even though some 7 million copies will be sold the first weekend its out. It will sell well through the fall, drop off and pick up again by Christmas, which will also be the time when Order is out on DVD.