History is all in the mind of the teller. Truth is all in the telling
Mike (Radio Flyer)
‘What was your last Casino?’, ‘Did you win anything?’, ‘Where to next?’, ‘How many Casinos are you up to?’, ‘How much did you lose?’, ‘I’m headed to (fill in the blank), I’ll pick you up a chip’, ‘We definitely have to go gambling soon’.
Those are some common questions and comments I get regarding my travels over the years. Obsessive-compulsive behavior is certainly a conversation piece, if nothing else. But are those remarks truly the beginning of an inquisitive dialogue or just polite banter in the same vein as ‘How are you?’ Which, as we all know, most of the time is just ‘Hello’ and not ‘I’d really like to hear all about you now’.
But a new question came up recently. ‘Why don’t you write about it?’ Hmmm. That is certainly a good question. Ok, ok, I have asked myself that a few times over the years, but dismissed it every time.
I have taken notes as well as plenty of selfies (and a one or two without me in it) of the places I have traveled to (not to mention quite a few Chips and Players Cards, too) But, to this point, most of my personal archives have just gotten larger without much outside interactions.
So, yeah, why write about it? Are those inquests fuel enough to think there might be some interest in my eccentric hobby? Not necessarily to share in this same endeavor, but to hear about it. For me it’s not just about the casino’s or the chips, and if there is mild curiosity about the overt act of casino hopping and the journeys that have gone with it, boy, do I have a bunch of stories.
A few reasons do come to mind, the least not being it is an opportunity for me to journey back through my trips and explorations in my mind and reminisce (and after just two and half blogs I am thoroughly re-enjoying it)
Casino hopping to collect chips is an end itself for sure. However, it has become a big means to other ends. Those other ends are seeing the world. And not just the world of the well-trodden Las Vegas Strip, the Boardwalk of Atlantic City, New Orleans French Quarter or Niagara Falls, but roads less traveled between these well-known destinations that few have heard of and less have actually visited. It’s not only finding the hidden casinos or the unlikely gambling hall locations, it’s the remarkable destinations along the way that are merely most folks drive through’s. Now there are quite a few unremarkable places I’ve visited and stayed way too long, conversely, I’ve not given notable locales nearly enough time due to rushing to get to my next stop. It didn’t start out as vessel for world exploration, but as you’ll learn in my stories, transformation in my MO is constant.
Which brings me to another reason to write. Yes, yes, it is just a blog, I’m not writing a book. But, can I tell a story, specifically, my story? I don’t mean merely dictating the blow by blow of bouncing from one place to another. Can I relate my experiences to paper and captivate readers to a level of wanting to read what’s next, visit where I have gone or perhaps relate their own stories to mine? Yes, part of me wants to journal for the sake of journaling, to document so I won’t forget. But why write if no-one is going to read. Can I actually write? That’s for you to decide (anyone get this far?)
So far, I have not given a tremendous amount of thought on how the blogs will flow week to week. For now I’ve decide on a weekly blog, but that can certainly change. The main theme of the first two blogs (and probably the fourth) is simply the stories of how this madness started and took hold. My thoughts are to relay my accounts in a relatively chronological order, highlighting certain milestones, crossed off bucket list entries and trivial (or not so trivial) discoveries with perhaps a commentary blog (such as this one) woven in when it makes sense. As readers will learn, and I will recall, there will be a theme of progression, change, growth and even de-evolution with certain approaches, rules and ideas. Will I go off topic? Probably. Do I have any in mind? Not yet.
And lastly, I’ll probably avoid writing in third person or get overly poetic, like:
As last we saw our wagering protagonist, GK, he was toiling in casino anonymity for near half a decade with seven testaments of depravity collecting dust on some forgotten ledge. But within those four tedious years of obscurity two equal but disparate tokens were added to the growing assemblage. One from the mammoth Foxwoods, a gambling den found in the bowels of Mashantucket Pequot Indian Reservation (or southeast Connecticut) and the other from its red headed stepchild Mohegan Sun some three leagues away. Presently, the tales of both additions are not worthy of elaboration in this eponymous chronicle, but their source will be fodder for other sagas to come. Behold our next chapter takes us to late April 2012 where our hero finds himself again headed west to that scorched dessert known to some as ‘The Meadows’ but known to most as Las Vegas…
Up Next… The Devil Makes Work With Idle Hands