Ilani, my first ever casino experience #portlandia

I tried it once! Sort of.

It’s not really going to a casino if you don’t gamble and don’t spend any money whatsoever. I came out of there with a bunch of goodies though, thanks to H and her points. Breakfast. A new water / coffee bottle. Cake, coffee, some safety gadget for your car… I forget what it does. I think it’s for busting out of a window if you have to! A steeply discounted happy hour. #apodunkianadventure

All I did yesterday was sit on my butt and eat, though I at least after a large, very caloric breakfast I didn’t have much for dinner. Went with my new buddy to Ilani casino. I’d never been to a casino in my life! What a strange place. It worked out well, taking the bus there, because we didn’t have as much time to kill. My friend’s goal was to use up all her bonus points without spending any money, and she succeeded. We arrived around 9am, I think, and immediately went to a restaurant to have a huge breakfast, before browsing all the junk in the two shops. Then we split up for awhile so she could do her thing and I could try to sketch (still haven’t looked at my two scribbles yet).

This shows what the scurfy-er areas around Podunk / Portland look like during rainy season.

It’s not all inspiring waterfalls, people.

The entrance


I had a $10 freebie. I stuck it in one machine, was unsure what to do & pulled it out to try another one. I hadn’t hit play but the first had absorbed my points. I was unbothered. I did a few scribbles… as I’d brought my water & sketching media knapsack. I was waiting for some splashy scribbles to dry when a sad, bitter Russian descended to talk and complain. I should’ve gotten him to pose for me! Most people weren’t close enough for that. But H returned and shoo-d him off.

Available merchandise

Some Participants

I guess I’m not rock bottom yet

I’m admittedly bitter AF over what Podunk has done to my previously impervious autonomy, but this guy had me beat by a mile. He complained he only had the one pair of winter boots. They looked to be plastic, something you’d get for $20 at Payless. He said his feet sweat and they’re still cold, but he keeps losing all his money at casinos. He has to take the bus because he doesn’t drive. One time he was $700 ahead and then lost it all! It’s horrible. Horrible! He’d complimented me on having brought something to do. This never occurred to him?

He had rotten teeth and was angry but non threatening, and I’d gotten bored so didn’t mind his presence. I said I’m not a gambler. He insisted if I won any money at all I’d get “the bug”.

What a dumb dumb. Gambling machines aren’t a way to make “living expenses” money, and the card games are only if you’re quite clever. I dated a young Korean, casually, just before I left NYC, and he’d been making his living from poker for years. Generally speaking though, the only smart way to gamble is if you have money you can afford to lose. You don’t go hoping to score cash for that new pair of shoes you desperately need. He got really annoyed when I merrily photographed my (uncashed) 26¢ voucher above. I guess he doesn’t understand sarcasm!

The trip home was also very Portlandia experience

The bus stop was right near a suburban sports bar type of place called Claim Jumper, where H had a voucher. I only ordered one appetizer, still full from breakfast, but had a couple IPAs. I peed twice while there and then I swear I almost exploded along the trip home. The plan was to take bus 19, from near H’s to downtown, and then meet Ch for a ride up and over the hill. But it was raining steadily, I’d just missed a bus – which meant anywhere from 26 to 36min wait on the street corner – and then almost immediately out of the gate I had to pee again. She offered to drive me to a coffee shop on Powell, near 10th. I could pee and then Uber from there.

She dropped me off & went to park. I looked at the menu, antsy and in dismay. I didn’t want to order anything I really didn’t want! I decided to take my chances. My heart sank when I saw a sign to ask for the key at the register, but then I looked closer and, miracle(!), a door to one of the restrooms was ajar. I went in & locked it, but some dude showed up with a key and opened it up while I was in mid hover. I let out an amused squawk with hand raise gesture and he disappeared, immediately and apologetically. #nbd. I went outside and looked around for H. Almost immediately got into a conversation with a young, cute, earnest hipster. He wanted to talk about his day, as he’d driven a homeless man to the hospital earlier. I ended up telling him about the tortured guy incident! I didn’t get very far. H had parked by a Max station around the corner and there was a 5min limit for unattended vehicles. She came race walking over in an understandable fluster. Byeeeee!!!!!

I’d already texted Ch the changed plan. Ordered my Uber from inside H’s car, with a note on what I was doing for the driver, and then got out as my ride approached.

Had a friendly chat on the way home. He’s a nice kid from Ohio. Has been here a few years now, can’t remember if more or less than myself, and is “meh” on it too. Am I now too squishy soft for places where people operate efficiently though? I think I might be.




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