5am is a LONELY time in Vegas.

Dr. Strange-ish feeling of an endless vegas hallway at 5am

I walked this hallway every morning between 5am-8am depending on the day (which is 7am-10am Central Time…better known as sleeping in)

My college buddy Nick turned 40 and a group of 20 of us went out to celebrate. Nick is one of the luckiest guys as casino winnings go that I’ve ever known. He and I were in Vegas in ’06, walking through The Sahara en route to the airport and he sidetracked, put ten bucks in a slot machine, and won 3,000 or so on his second pull. Every single one of our mutual friends has a story just like that. You love to see it. I’ve NEVER been that guy. I take 500-1000 bucks to Vegas and lose it and I’m fine with that because it’s a fun time and you never know….right? Welp…this trip…you never know turned into I FUCKING KNOW. HOLY SHIT.

blurry New Balance shoes proving that yes, this is me. Not pictured: Cargo shorts.

I sat down at the blackjack table as my other friend was running a marathon (great job btw Luke!). I turned my money into their money into my money to the tune of walking away UP just about ten thousand dollars after taxes. It was an INCREDIBLE “heater” as the kids say. I was doubling down, splitting, slapping the table, standing up, sitting down, praying, cursing, calling the pit bosses and dealers by name…..at 8am. Sober.

I will say; flying with 10,000 dollars on your person is awkward and it just FEELS wrong.

me….going through TSA

Besides winning money, I saw Dr. Strange 2 (loved it, Sam Raimi for the WIN), went to the pinball hall of fame. (I could spend literal days there), and read books (The Go-Giver, thanks for the tip Cory!).

Hard to miss that sign
All non-profit. All incredible. All-time experience! nerd.

As soon as we were seated on the flight home, one cell phone alert after another, cascading like a stack of dominos, tumbled into my ear canal:

Futurama Wallpaper? Shut up and take my money!

The most turbulent take-off of my life ensued, and although I was never sincerely worried, there were a couple of quick thoughts. Mainly, “Of course you win money in Vegas and then the plane crashes”. Luckliy, those thoughts were as fleeting as the rough ride. 10 minutes and 35,000 feet later, I was thinking about what to do with my new found bonus income.

This morning I grabbed 2,000 of my winnings and headed to work, handing out 100 dollar bills to everyone at my company. I am really trying hard to be transparent and honest with everyone in my life. If it’s employees, friends, family, or strangers…I’m finally learning it’s much easier in the long run to just tell people what happened good or bad and let other people deal with their feelings about that however they choose (thanks therapy!). I told everyone that would listen about my good fortune and shared financially with them what I wanted to. I’ll make a few thousand dollar donation to Nate Loucks over at the PAX Center here in town, and then I’m buying a pinball machine!

Cirqus Voltaire is a little pricey but it will be mine…oh yes…it will be mine

Finally, lastly, and before I go: I stepped on the scale this morning at work and saw it read 299.6. I’m under 300 for the first time in 5 years and it feels wonderful. Still not exercising, just eating like you know, not a total human garbage disposal. Vegas was tough because of the portion sizes and plethora of choices bombarding you at every turn. I decided the best course of action there was getting up at 5-7am, getting coffee, having my first food around 1-2pm which was a caesar salad with or without chicken, and then eating again for dinner 7-8pm where I had a more “normal-for-vegas” 1500-1800 calorie meal of chicken wings or a shrimp burrito. I did have m&m’s from my mini-bar Saturday night for 440 calories. My friend Mike and I were texting over the weekend and I got a text back after I told him that I won: “Dude! That’s phenomenal! But no. That doesn’t mean you can lose your contest now! haha!”


The next weigh in is Monday the 16th, I’m hoping for another 3 pounds gone by then. 296.6 has a nice ring to it!

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