Posts Tagged ‘UNLV’

On this My Life Monday, I feel it is only appropriate if I touch on the topic of my birthday. It’s not like it was the most eventful or ragerific birthday ever but I can honestly say it was the best birthday ever. And for that I feel like my birthday is obviously a part of “my life” and therefore allowable to speak upon. I don’t mean for it to come of as conceited at all,l I wll just simply report on the activities that took place and thank all parties involved.

My actually birthday is today but Monday birthdays suck especially in post “Monday Night Football season” so I decided to celebrate the preceding weekend. I kicked off the weekend not with happy hour but with an exhilarating hour of doing what I’m best at… grading Danielle’s 2nd grade spelling tests. The little tikes did great this week and had a class average of 95%, in case anyone was wondering.

Then it was time to kick off the weekend. In years past I have set up extravagant “3 birthday weekends” but this year I felt it was unnecessary and wanted to tone back “hey look at me” factor and celebrate with a fellow birthday mate of mine, Katie Jozsa. Her fiance’/baller, Luke, threw her a surprise party of which activities included Ketchup/Grape Jelly infused meatballs (which were bomb.tv), “Minute To Win It” games, and beer pong. I fell short of being able to complete “Johnny Apple-stack” by stacking 5 apples but did succeed in winning 5 consecutive games of beer pong, which really led me to feel young at heart again because I still got it.

The following morning started right where I left off with a Coors Light before noon at the Red Room before the UNM vs UNLV basketball game. That was a lot of prepositions and I’m not exactly sure about the grammar. For Rick’s Birthday this coming weekend, I let him take me to the breakfast open bar. I had a bunch of bacon to stop the hangover before it had a chance to take over and had 6-8 beers by the time the Rebels could close out the New Mexicans.

Danielle then treated me to my third favorite food, Kobe “All You Can Eat” Sushi. After about 9 Ashley Rolls and 3 Sake Bombs, I was just barely to keep the sushi down long enough to take a power nap and shower for later.

Sorry, if you were one of those people who throw up when they see someone else throw up. However, I apologize more for that horrendous music. Then the festivities continued (late of course because Danielle is never on time, never) at Bilbo’s for a night of $2 Kokanees (or as I like to call them “Canadian Coors Lights), shuffle board, and darts. Thank you to everyone who showed up, especially everyone who made the commute from Hendertucky. I couldn’t win in shuffleboard but was able to nail the bullseye on the last shot as we headed out to Chicago Brewery.

I hate this word but Chicago Brewery was “legendary” because for the first time in my life I was “Buffalo Clubbed” by one Bocephus Dwayne Murphy. It was tough to suck down an ice-cold, thick, 22oz. Amber something or other, and that is where things started to get blurry. One of the last things I remember vividly was trying to run a post route on an ex-UCLA cornerback we met and a discussion of what the politically correct term is for a baby’s private parts. We heard everything from donut, to hoohaa, to niney, to some other special phrases that are too vulgar for my PG-13 blog.

I then needed my Jack In the Box grease with probably some dog-food tacos and a Breakfast Jack. Little did I know however, that I was being documented via video-phone. Unfortunately Danielle’s phone doesn’t exist anymore so I cannot upload the videos but in one scene I was asked to describe my birthday in one sentence, upon which I replied abruptly with “I. Am. The. Real. World.” I guess I felt like I was on “The Real World.” Then what I was most afraid of, happened. I slept walk again. Thankfully I made it to the toilet and didn’t urinate on anyone or anything and everything remained in tact.

After such a sinful night, I needed to repent in church, which along with a coffee and asprin, was a great wa to start off my day. After church we met Danielle’s cousin, Deanna, for my second favorite food, Grimaldi’s pizza, which Deanna treated us too and we are very thankful for. I then cleansed off my palette with a Madagascar Vanilla Bean Gelato from Samabalatte, while Danielle decided to take her phone for a dip in her coffee.

I then let the food coma begin to set in while blobbing on the couch watching the biggest pansy in football, Jay Cutler, throw away the game to affirm my prediction that the Bears are garbage. The Steel Curtain was also just strong enough to hold off the out-spoken Jets as my Super Bowl predictions were correct. Too bad I didn’t bet it. Told ya so.

https://jonmackin.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/nfl-playoff-predictions/

I then decided to close-out my birthday with my family and with my most favorite food of all time, Lucille’s pulled pork. I’m a sucker for suckling and emptied half a bottle of their Memphis BBQ sauce on top that kept me bloated throughout the night. All though I have to say one night of gas and pain was totally worth the 30 minutes of pleasure. I want to thank everyone who contributed to my birthday and for all the nice words on the Facebook streaming in as I type. I am thankful for all of you and am very blessed. Holla.

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Well, it has been a long run but the Palace Station is no longer my favorite Las Vegas casino. They’re $.99 22oz bone-in ribeye steaks have been outplayed by the new and swanktastic Cosmopolitan. The Cosmopolitan sits nuzzled in between the monstrosity that is City Center and the Bellagio and directly on top of The Jockey Club, which I bet you didn’t even know was lodged in there.

The newest addition to the infamous Las Vegas Strip has got a lot of attention leading up to its soft opening this week and it is all fairly credited. I did some on-site reporting last night to give you an insider’s take on the new resort and casino. Unfortunately, my press pass for jonmackin.wordpress.com was denied and I was not given my comped suite, meals and New Years Eve concert tickets, (looks like I’m going to have to fire another personal assistant) so Youtube videos and pirated pictures from Google Images will have to suffice.

I will begin by highlighting the overall theme and of this little gem. It is not their aim to attract the whales from Dubai and Macao, instead they would like to focus in on the 25-45, college graduate, with $75K + income. If they wanted more senior citizens playing Bingo and Keno they would have built another MGM Resorts property. OOOOOhhhhhh burn! And President John Unwin definitely knew the type of guest he wanted to attract when this was still in the planning stages.

The overall theme of the property is representative in the decor from the chandeliers throughout the casino to the warm and inviting suites. Planning a wedding, I have come to learn the terms “vintage” and “contemporary,” which would both be applicable on this new classic. It puts a modern twist on traditionally swanky hotels. If you took the casino out you would think you were in some original Hollywood boutique hotel. If you took the hotel out you would think you were in a purple version of the Monte Carlo in Monaco.

That is how they tailor their gaming, suites, and also food and beverage. You can find all of you standard beverages at any of the bars throughout the Cosmopolitan. However, they try to embrace their uniqueness by having customized beverage lists ranging in craft beers, rare wines, and spirits that cannot be found at your local CVS. They have mixologists pouring and shaking up drinks that have never been made before bringing their individuality points up. They even took the typical casino center bar and stretched it across three floors and draped in a giant chandelier.

The dining options are nearly endless. Every high-end casino has about 10 options with cuisine stretching across the whole gamete. They have interesting takes on their steakhouse/lounge STK, buffet, French fusion, and many others. They even have a walk-up Mexican/Chinese take-out spot for all of you late night cravings. It is the little touches like this that really set them apart from other pretentious hotels on the strip.

http://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/taste/restaurant-collection.aspx

The nightlife is run through Marquee Nightcub and Dayclub in the warmer months. “The venue is more than 62,000 square feet, with 50-foot-tall ceilings and an unparalleled multi-million-dollar sound stage designed to cater to any performer’s whim. Coliseum-style seating surrounds a focal dance floor, where one can marvel at the four-story LED screens and projection walls that will display customized light and image shows distinctly tailored for each performance. In addition to the Nightclub space, Marquee will debut its Dayclub in the warmer spring months. Featuring Grand Cabanas with individual infinity pools, the Dayclub also boasts a multitude of three-story Bungalow Lofts, complete with a cabana, living quarters and a party deck on top.

Resident DJ, DJ Vice, will be spinning his Serato with the lastest in hip-hop and fist pumps. The grand poohbah of all parties will be this New Years Eve when the Jiggman hits the stage with Coldplay. Jay-Z and Coldplay cover a demographically sound fan base that makes seeing Kim Kardashian seem like Roseanne Barr. This concert will also be showing on their giant marquee along Las Vegas Blvd. Normally you could not pay me enough to go to the strip for NYE but I might consider this if H.O.V.A. sent me a fruit basket.

I always surprised to find out that they had a little shopping promenade and pretty good shopping at that. I spent all of my time in “CRSVR” trying on UNLV snap-back hats and staring at Air Max 95s but there was a bikini store for the ladies and “AllSaints” which looked like the clothing out of “The 5th Element” and the only good musical ever made “Newsies,” but whatever floats your boat I guess.

Now is the time to seize the day and go pretend to be a tourist and check it out. We even got lucky and were given a guided tour just because we looked like lost Europeans (I think it was either my peacoat or Danielle’s top hat). “The Cosmo” as it will come to be known is bringing Vegas back to some of its old roots by being classy without being gaudy, being fun without having to sacrifice quality, and being “just the right amount of wrong.”

I don’t really know where I want to go with this blog but being a “Chooseday Tuesday” I figured I would let my mind flow into my index fingers (because I still look at keyboard and type with two fingers) and whatever comes out, well comes out. It is that time of year where college students around the world (on a semester schedule) fill the lounges of Starbucks and invest in 5 Hour Energy Shots.

It wasn’t until my super senior year  of college that I realized what good studying actually was. It involved going to class, paying attention in class, taking decent notes, reviewing them frequently, and going over them again in-depth prior to the final while upon receipt of the study guide. Another good trick is to only study in 45 minute increments because your brain can only focus at full strength for that amount of time.

So, in this educational week it is my fiduciary duty to pass on this knowledge to all students. Study for 45 minutes and then take a 15 minute break. Then repeat. However, I cannot take credit for this wise information and the credit is due to my good friend and world renown studier, Nick Wesling. Now the only remaining question is how will you utilize your 15 minute breaks to maximize the retention of the information applicable to your finals?

That’s where I come in. I have compiled a short play list of non H1N1 viral videos to keep you on your toes and your heart light in what can be a very stressful week. These videos are intended to give you a quick little smile break from studying. However, they do come with a Surgeon General’s warning that they are contagious, so do not watch in excess. Side effects may include: songs stuck in head, random laughter outbursts, and sneezing.

The “Harlem Shake,” the “Stanky Leg,” and the “Douggie” have nothing on this new dance craze. The “Bernie” is the hottest new form of interpretive dance that is sweeping the across the Bible Belt. It is recommended that this dance is done prior to a final to loosen up all of your muscles in preparation for what could be a tense hour or so. The quality is not up to par quite yet but I’m sure it is only a matter of time before Wiz Khalifa and B.o.B. hop in da boof for a remix.

This next video is almost as ridiculous as the “Bernie.” I recently came across three young gentleman from the prestigious University of Oregon, who go by the name of Supwhitchugirl. These three young men make me wish I would have gone to the U of O, met them playing intramural basketball, and thus transformed the trio into a quad because they remind me a lot of myself anf friends. This video has gone viral and become the official “fight video” for the Ducks’ championship run.

This next video is also off from the rap supergroup, Supwitchugirl. Behind the quick lyrics and jerker outfits there is an unheard amount of talent. From the writing of the songs, to the production of the videos, to the search for early 90s Nike windbreakers, these three kids are the reason I want my sons to grow up in the Pacific Northwest, despite never setting foot outside of an airport there.

This other hit from Supwitchugirl brings me right back to my childhood. Well my teenage years, where we would hop the fence of Selma Bartlett Elementary to play basketball on the eight foot hoops. I still believe in  my heart, that when on eight foot hoops, I am the best dunker in the world, pulling creative dunks out of my ass that would have Luke Ridnour and Luke Jackson wishing they showed me around campus on recruiting trips. I also have a special place in my heart for this video because I too still save all of my Champion (brand) NBA jerseys in a kids size 40 from middle school.

This next video comes to you from the best History AP teacher in America, Mr. Jeff Johnson. Mr. Johnson and I hit it off ever since Junior year of high school, when I showed up on the first day of school wearing my Larry Johnson UNLV throwback. From that day forth we had a bond held together by a respect for local basketball excellence. We both held similar positions in UNLV’s student government and he still is UNLV’s #1 fan from the net-cutting days of the early 90s, to the grey days of the Early 2000’s with Mark Dickel, to our current ascending return to greatness.

This last video I will leave you with is something to get you in the holiday mood. It twas the night before Christmas of 2006 and our hearts were open wide and these two comedic and musical geniuses gave us something that was on their mind. They were wise enough to when a gift needs giving and they knew just the one. It’s their dick in a box!

Well, I did it. 3 months of half-assed training, my first half-marathon is finally over. I completed my first halfsy in 2 hours 20 minutes and 11 seconds. My original goal was to complete it without stopping or walking which was a lot easier than I thought. Then as training increased I set the goal of 2:30. I wasn’t playing to win the game like Herm Edwards but if I would have taken my training more seriously I definitely could have improved my time.

This was obviously my first so, I don’t know how many other marathons are but I would find it hard to believe that there are many that are more fun the Rock n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon. Plus, a lot of the fellow and veteran runners said Las Vegas has the best. There was over 32,000 people running in it, it had a Health and Fitness Expo, there must have been 10 bands along the route, and it was extremely well-organized considering the room for error.

Going into the halfsy, I wanted it to be the stepping stone to the LA Marathon in March. But after having completed the halfsy, I have no motivation to complete a full whatsoever. I don’t if it is because I feel like Forrest Gump as a child with braces on his legs right now but running a full marathon is off of my to-do-list for now. The actual training aspect of it is fun while you are running, but it just is annoying and gets boring when you just have to run for hours at a time. And training for the full would require running for about 5 hours if I do it correctly.

I am not completely ruling it out but it is no longer on the Current Assets side of my ledger. That being said I am not going to give up being active and eat Snickers all day as good as that sounds. For the remaining month of December I want to return to my roots of basketball. Nothing is better than playing on the hallowed ground in December and I would like to extend a formal invitation to all my ballers and shot-callers to join me.

I have devised a tentative schedule for the remainder of the month to meet all demographics of Las Vegas. Here are some of the dates: 12/8, 12/11, 12/13, 12/15 , 12/18, 12/21, 12/23, 12/28, 12/30. I’m down to play in the evenings or on the weekends. At UNLV or outside in Summerlin. At the Multi-Gen or at Sunset. These are tentative dates and if no one wants to play you can find me playing by myself without a ball like Shep from “Above the Rim.”

After the first of the year, I will return to my training for another half-marathon. I really enjoyed this last one and if anyone else would like to join me as I run across the Southwest (of Las Vegas) I’m down to get down. There is the Red Rock Canyon Halfsy on 3/5  and there is the Hoover Dam Halfsy on 3/12 March too. Both are cheap and I heard they’re fun because of the scenery even though they both are pretty hilly, I’m down for either.

http://www.halfmarathons.net/usa_half_marathons_nevada_red_rock_canyon_marathon.html

http://www.halfmarathons.net/usa_half_marathons_nevada_six_tunnels_half_marathon.html

Towards the end of the halfsy, I will begin to hear the faint sound of wedding bells in the distance, which could only mean one thing… P90x time! Starting in the middle of March will give me just enough time to look like Gerard Butler in “300” for the big day. Pete already bought it, so when I sadly move out after a glorious 5 years, I will be sneaking out his DVD and dumbells in the moving boxes as my parting gift. He won’t know because he doesn’t read this anyway.

God knows that I’ll definitely be putting on some wine weight after the wedding and honeymoon, which may be just the motivation I need to train for the full marathon. Maybe by then I’ll have some newfound motivation to continue on through Las Vegas Blvd for the full 26.2 miles, instead of stopping at Mandalay Bay. And if not whatever I’ll half-ass another half.

If anyone would like to embark on these sporting adventures with me I would be happy to have some teammates. Whether we are working on our pick-n-rolls, running while rapping, or doing the upper body part of P90X, it is always nice to have a buddy to keep you motivated with a good man-smack on the butt. “Is that something you might be interested in”? If so, shoot me a comment, email, Facebook message, text, telegram, homing pigeon, message in a bottle, smoke signal, or just yell from below my patio.