Sunday, September 14, 2008

Casino Night in the 'Hood

I am lucky enough to live in a beautiful, deed restricted golf course community here in Saint Augustine, surrounded by some really great people, most of which I haven't bothered to get to know. While our house in the Tampa area sits endlessly on the market, we've been renting here in this community, and I suppose I feel like I don't want to get attached to people in case when we buy we don't stay here in the neighborhood. Stupid reasoning. I have a phone. I have a car. It's not like we'd move far from here in any case. Here's the entrance to my neighborhood. I blocked out the name for my own safety.

The other part of not making close friends is that I'm somewhat of a recluse. I suffer quite badly from panic disorder and the simplest thing, such as going out to lunch with a friend, is nearly impossible for me. Shopping with a friend? Uh uh, ain't gonna happen. I hate this part of me, but I've dealt with it for so long that it's just become part of who I am. The recluse. The anti social one. If there is a party, let's say next door at our friend's house, I'd probably go, but I'd wind up coming home on and off to decompress. It makes absolutely no sense because I'm surrounded by great, funny people. They're not in the least bit scary. But illnesses such as mine are not logical, nor are they based on reality. The fear is always there, whether I'm taking a ride to the supermarket, or strolling the aisles of Wal-Mart. If you've ever had a severe panic attack you can probably empathize with me at least a little bit. But hell, I've gone off on a tangent, and in the second paragraph no less! This is not what my post is about!!!!!!!

No, this post is about a great get-together our community had last night called Casino Night. I think we pay $500 a year in association fees to live here, and from that, only $33 a year is taken from each family to plan all the different social events in our community throughout the year. Last night's shindig cost us absolutely nothing. We were just asked to bring either a dessert or an appetizer. The clubhouse was set up like a casino with oodles of blackjack tables, a craps table, and a roulette table. Outside in the breezeway was poker. There was plenty of alcohol to go around for mixed drinks, a keg of beer, and lots of water and soda for those of us who don't partake of the good stuff. Imagine that. We paid nothing, and there was an open bar! Plus, you are given $20,000 of play money to gamble with. This is not usually my type of thing. A huge crowd, loud music and gambling. But ooh, I really did have fun! I got semi dolled-up, walked in there and was instantly welcomed by people I know, and then throughout the night met so many more people I didn't know, who turned out to be so nice! Of course, more than half of them were juiced, but they were still nice!

Pic of me and Jimmy just before we left home.


Here's a picture of Tracy gambling. Now, I barely know her as of yet, but she kind of adopted me last night and seems to think I should join the community planning commitee. If only she knew what a stretch that would be for me! But we'll see. I told her it might be worth it just for the bullshit factor. Tracy is in the black spaghetti strap shirt. She's married to Jimmy's good friend, John.


I actually had a great time gambling too, and made a profit! Here's me and Jennifer. I have no clue who the hell she is. She came to play next to me and I made Jimmy take a picture of us. You can see by the look on her face that she's wondering why this insane woman has her arm around her, taking a picture. Little did she know I was probably among the 5% of people completely sober!


Larry was there, and wearing the coolest shirt ever! I wish I could say the same for his footwear. He was wearing the gaudiest pair of white cowboy boots I've ever seen. I think they even had rhinestones on them. Damn, I really wish I would have snapped a picture of them. Would have given y'all a good giggle. On his left is Grisel, and on his right is Michelle. She's one of two Michelles I know, so I call her black Michelle. LOL


Here's a pic of the back of Larry's cool shirt.


Jimmy and John played at the same blackjack table all night, and OMG, a woman that was playing with them the whole time thought they were a couple! Gee, I wonder, can you imagine why?


My friend from next door, Grisel, on left, and Michelle, (white Michelle...heeheehee) on right.


No clue who these chicks are, but they seemed happy, so I snapped! Oh wait! Lady in the pink shirt is the one that thought John and Jimmy were "together". That's probably why Jimmy popped her some bunny ears.


I even took a very quick video so you could hear how loud it was in this place!

Ooh, what's this? Shelia will be so proud! I took a "potty" break and snapped away! Diva pictures!



Now this next picture is completely rude and I should be so ashamed of myself for taking it. I'm not though. It was just too good to pass up. This pretty chick walked in and the first thing I noticed was how short her dress was. Long, beautiful legs, but OMG, who the hell wears dresses this short? Only Heidi Klum should be allowed. This was almost indecent! Okay, so she looked smokin' hot and I'm just jealous. Whatever. Anyway, I was sitting at a table directly behind her, and to take this picture without her or her friends knowing, I put the camera on the table, sneakily turned it on and faced it in the right direction, and then when no one was looking, pressed the shutter button. Ooh, I am so bad. Probably one of those situations where I should have asked myself, What Would Jesus Do? But come on, Jesus didn't have a camera and probably wouldn't understand my blogging obsession for details.


You'd think that once the party was over, that would be it. I'd go home to bed and this blog post would end. But noooooooo. Tiney left the festivities a little earlier than most (10:10), came home, read some emails, then got in my jammies and crawled into bed to talk to Jill on the phone. Jimmy was getting a ride home with John and Tracy. At 11:45, call waiting interrupts my conversation with Jill. It's Jimmy, calling from John's house telling me that everyone wanted me over there. Oh yes, because I'm just so popular, the party can't go on without me, right? But then Tracy takes over the phone and starts yelling at me to get my ass over there, jammies or not. She then passed the phone to a very tipsy Larry who said he'd go home and put on jammies too if only I'd walk over. At this point Madison was sound asleep and Mikayla was heading to bed herself, but hey, my people were awaiting my presence. What could I do? I put on my crappiest clothes, smoothed down my bed hair, put my bra on again dammit, and once again locked the kids up tight, then walked across the cul-de-sac to John and Tracy's house.

John was behind the bar, the men were playing pool, Tracy was bringing out chips and dips, and I was trying not to yawn. At some point after midnight Manuel whipped up a bowl of homemade salsa and boy was it good! Here's Larry taking a shot at the pool table. Isn't this a cool room? It's an addition they did a couple years ago, and I love all the windows!


I wanted a picture of me and black Michelle, and at the last second Larry popped his head in the picture. Doesn't he look completely odd here? He's got a look of a deer caught in the headlights. A very drunk deer.


Here's a picture of me and Jimmy around 1 a.m., right before I left to finally go home and nite-nite.


And this last is my favorite picture of the whole night! There's nothing like 40-somethings acting like teenagers to put a smile on my face! Yep, I give to you John and Tracy.


And that's about it! I gathered up my stuff, bade everyone goodbye, and snuggled up to read the end of Tribute, by Nora Roberts. Great book, and a wonderful way to end a fun night!

38 "Sister" Lovin' Friends Said:

  • justjill76

    Wish I was there but I will be for the block party and with all the stress I am under I just might break loose! Larry's shirt why so great??? You look pretty! Like the hair! Mine better!! :)

  • squawmama

    OMG... and you called me a ding dong... Your crazy and just my kind of women.. and to think we use to live just across the bay from each other... I love St. Augustine... and go there often. we'll have to hook up some time. Sounds like you had a great time at Casino night... FUN - FUN - FUN. Now for the spelling of BUCS... all I can say is DUH!


  • Elizabeth

    I'm so glad you had fun and met some potential new friends!

  • Kathy


    I am sorry to hear about your being a recluse, looks like you might have found a cure, hope so.

    Your party looked a lot of fun.

    Your Diva photo's are excellent.

    but wait a minute IS every male in your town called Larry?????.

  • Bridget

    I loved this post (even if you did already give me the highlights.) You looked so pretty and you and Jimmy look cute together. I think Jimmy and John like kind of like one of those honeymoon couples you see in Hawaii with the matching muumuu and Aloha shirts that they wear to the luaus. LOL So, if they are a couple, which one gets to lead when they dance? I guess that would be Jimmy since he is taller.
    It looks like you had a lot of fun at the Casino night AND the afterparty...just like prom night!
    I have to say that lady's dress doesn't look THAT short. Sure I wouldn't wear something like that but depending on her age...if she is over 40 it is seriously wrong.

  • artis1111

    I don't do partys. I hate going out at nicht.There are too many drunks out. I have seen relatives that drink and drive. Some of my bosses drove drunk. I don't want any where near them. My cousin 21 died when sh was hit by a drunk.My best friend had a granddaughter die and the other is paralized by a drunk driver. I am scared to go out at night. See other people have fears too.So I can understand. Kathy

  • Tismee2

    Looks like you all had a great night. It happens like that sometimes doesn't it? Not that we get invited anywhere these days.

    Two points

    1. John and Jimmy should NOT stand so close in those shirts. Looks like a bloodbath!

    2. Do you ever feel tempted to call Grisel 'Gristle'?

    PS I know where you live (ish), you should have had these folk round for a party while we were there. Might have got some place to stay next year! Some friend you are LOL

  • Chris

    Looks like you had a fun night. Loved your pics. 100 years ago, we spent our honeymoon in St. Augustine. One of my favorite towns.

  • Naz

    Although there's no place like home, it's good to get out once in awhile, phobia's and all. You did real good hon!
    Thanks for taking us on your casino night I had a fantastic time because of not only your insite to bring along the camera, but the well thought out words that went with it.
    Great blog Justine. :-D

  • Justine

    Thanks so much Naz!!!!!!!!! I'm going to say it again. Start a blog! You're online commenting so much, don't tell me you don't have the time for it!!!!!!! LOL!

    Justine :o )

  • Philly

    John and Jimmy DO look good together !!


  • santamaker

    Justine ! I had a great time at your casino party, thanks for sharing. You must have been the life of the party...I should have invited you to mine! I would have never guessed in a million years that you suffer from agoraphobia, or GAD... you seem to hide it well. Girl, the best way to deal with it is exposure and good for you, you did it! Your community sounds like a nice one ! Go for it.

  • Penny

    You are such a great story teller. Loved all of it!


  • Alex

    You crack me up, crazy girl! :) It looks like it was a great night. And I just loved your bathroom pic! Happy Monday!

  • French

    Looks like you guys had a blast!! Wish I was there instead of work!! Oh for the names~~~hmmm what about~~ MONOTINEY~~~as in monotony~~~??? Hugs French;)

  • onlymehere

    My husband is somewhat of a recluse too but not bz of panic disorder. He just works so hard and so long of shifts that when he gets home he just wants to stay home. I've fallen into that pattern for the most part two except for classes I take occasionally. Baby steps went out of your comfort zone and had a good time, good for you!! I have a friend who suffers from panic attacks though so I understand where you're coming from on that. Have a fabuloso day today!!

  • Karen

    Jimmy and John look like a cute couple!! What a great time ya'll had. Karen

  • Raxx - A day in the life

    Justine it looks like you had a slammin time girl!! So now that youre a social butterfly would you forget your fellow reclusive blogging friends? I hope not!!

    Niice post!!

  • Naz

    I have the time for it Justine, just not the know how in creating one. One day I'll surprise you lol.

  • Justine

    Naz, it's really sooooooooooooo easy. Just go to, pick a template, then start typing! I know you can do it!

    Justine :o )

  • nikkicrumpet

    Looks like everyone had a GREAT TIME....I'm still laughing that you took the picture of that girl's butt!!! It would have been so funny if somebody caught you doing it! I love St. are so freaking lucky to live there!!! And I love that you headed to the second party without getting re-dolled up. Shows how comfortable you feel with your friends and with yourself.

  • Rhea

    What a fun party!

    Your new neighborhood looks beautiful though, and I'm sorry about the panic disorder. :o(

    What does deed-restricted mean?

  • Anonymous

    JUSTINE!!!! I am SOOO happy to have found your blog! AND to see a picture of you. I ahve been on RMS for a long time and have known you to be the sweetest person, so now I feel like I really know you!!!! I am so glad you went to the casino night and had a good time! I will be back again to visit with you here in blogland! Hugs, Pinky

  • Justine

    Pinky? Do I know you? What name do you use on RMS? I haven't been there in AGES! I'm so sorry if I've forgotten who you are, but I don't remember anyone by the name of Pinky!!!!! Help me out here!

    Justine :o )

  • Nikki via The Scarlett Rose Garden

    Justine I woulda never thought you had recluse/social issues!
    I'm a bit of a recluse as well and I don't like meeting new people, esp. new people I will probably never meet again. It exhausts me. I hate small talk and I hate repeating myself.

    Your sub looks fab, how beautiful. Glad you went to the parties and *let your hair down*!
    Larry's shirt rocked!

    You and Jimmy looked great... well, Jimmy didn't look so hot by the end of the night-er, morning, lol!

  • Life on Bonnie Lane

    Looks like you had a great time! The pictures of John and Jimmy, the happy couple was hilarious! I bet they were suprised to hear that someone thought they were "together." You're so naughty to take that pic of the women with the ultra short dress, and the guy grabbing his wife's boobies! Made me laugh so hard!


  • J Leigh

    Your blog was just the medication I needed since my darn dr. cut me off! I am sooo glad I found it! Will be back tomm. for my fix...better than happy pills!
    thank you for agreeing with me about million dollar listing....jeez I wish I could quit watching(actually yelling at tv) these boys!
    what has cable come to?

  • judicreations

    That sounded like a fun night and you picked up on all the great stuff and made it even funnier..*lol*. It was funny to see John and Jimmy in the same wonder some people were thinking...well at least the lady in the pink was..*l*.

    Have a great day.

  • Picket

    Justine! Girl you ain't right! lol But you looked fabulous! Thanks for not going bananas about the recipe! lol If you would just ever try the "other' one I told'd love it!!!! Then again You might not could fix it as good as me...yea I said heard contest winner you!!!! lol lol Have a great week ya! lol (oh...and another thing...girl don't you let that panic thing make you a prisoner in your own home...I know how crippling that can are stronger than have alot more to offer this world than you realize girl.)

  • Dina

    lol Just. Only you...ONLY YOU!
    Glad you had fun. :)

  • Naz

    Justine, my youngest daughter said she would help me with a blog when she has a break from school and work. I'm not sure what I would write about except life in general, so I'll have to think about it. Then again, Seinfeld did a show about nothing so I suppose I could blog about nothing too.
    Keep up your fabulous blog!

  • SchmeckyGirl

    Okay, I didn't read all this yet but I wanted to comment on your new post name.

    Now don't get offended but you wrote in your sidebar something about the fat lady singing.

    How about The Fat Lady Sings?


  • SchmeckyGirl

    Wow you looked great. Very pretty and the shirt was awesome! I'm glad you had a nice time. It looked like so much fun!

    I didn't think the dress was that short either. And it had a tighter bottom so no wind was gonna lift that!

    You actually looked like you were having fun with Jimmy! Did hell just freeze over or something?

  • French

    Funny Justine I pictured you for a socialite not a (recluse)much like myself~~~believe it or not! Looks like you had fun~~things getting better here at least moving in the right direction! Hugs French;)

  • J Leigh

    Justine! Help me...I wanted to go back and read the post about the guys on million dollar listing...I thought I read it on yours but I am often in a confused you happen to know...?

  • SchmeckyGirl

    Hhhhmmmm. No comment on my comments?

  • Mary De Bastos

    You look great!!
    Great Diva pics!!

    I get anxiety too!! we should chat about that sometime.....

    anywho, it looks like you had a FAB time!!

  • Smilingsal

    I cannot believe I missed this post, but I'll leave a LATE comment.

    That dress is NOT so short! Drive south and you'll see much shorter than in my stompin' grounds.