Las Vegas and NIN #55

We picked our random vacation week then Trent announced shows in Las Vegas at the same time, so decision made. We stayed at The Plaza because I wanted to be able to go to a nice pool, since it was going to be sweltering, and they have a new rooftop pool area. Adam decided to go to the show too after I bought my tickets, so he joined us after a few days.

As soon as we got there, off to Drag Brunch at Treasure Island. There were 6 queens, all past RuPaul’s Drag Race alumns, it was awesome. And there were bottomless mimosas, so we drank 3 bottles of champagne with the (not great) breakfast buffet. That didn’t end well for me, but the show was awesome, and though I lost the rest of the day, it was worth it lol.

Monday we made plans to meet up with Adr1 and Tom and the kids. We were going to try to do some trivia but there wasn’t really any going on so we met up to check out the Container Park, then went up near their house to a pizza place for dinner who was having music bingo. Tom didn’t feel well so he left us there, and we ate and played for a bit. It was fun, even though it wasn’t trivia really because you could use your phone to look up the songs if you didn’t know them.

Adam arrived Tuesday morning, we hung at the pool a bit and Adr joined me with the kids. So we had a good time in the water, and chatting, and Adr said the nicest thing ever – that I’m still her favorite person to do nothing with LOL awwww. <3 She needs to move back to Buffalo! Tuesday night we ended up checking out the High Roller giant ferris wheel on the strip, which was pretty neat. Wednesday was the show. Honestly, I wasn't all that excited about it because I really don't care for the EPs, but I told Adam that I would try not to be an asshole about it lol. He had VIP and went down early, plus I had no interest in queueing. I've gotten too old for this shit. Plus the lack of excitement, I didn't feel the need to be up front. BUT, it's still Trent and I still love him. The line was insanely long when we finally did get there, but we didn't end up with a bad spot. Pretty central in all ways, and other than the guy who didn't put his arms down, filming the entire show on his phone, I could see decently. I hate that I have to admit this. Maybe I've aged out of NIN shows? Don't get me wrong, it was still good, but I don't get any of the catharsis, or really any of the energy I used to get from the shows. Is it because I'm not up front? Have I just seen too many that they've lost their effect? I am pretty tired of seeing March of the Pigs after all. It makes me sad though. The setlist was pretty good, Year Zero heavy up front, not too many new songs, and some deep cuts that were very welcome. But as J said, the middle got a little boring with The Lovers and Find My Way back to back (he was probably bored with Even Deeper too, but NO!!! I will always take Even Deeper as a slow song!) And BONUS!!! NO HURT!!! And no Closer, which I do always enjoy, but it's ok. 1. Pinion / The Eater of Dreams 2. Metal 3. Me, I'm Not 4. The Beginning Of The End 5. Survivalism 6. March of the Pigs 7. The Lovers 8. Find My Way 9. Burn 10. God Break Down the Door 11. Letting You 12. Gave Up 13. Even Deeper 14. I Do Not Want This 15. I'm Afraid Of Americans 16. Less Than 17. Came Back Haunted 18. Only 19. Wish 20. Head Like A Hole was good. But I just don't get the emotional benefit that I used to, so...I am very unlikely to travel to see him anymore (unless he puts out something I love, or does some kind of very unusual out of left field tour, like an all acoustic tour or something), and if he continues to do stupid things like "you can only buy tickets in person" crap, this may have been my last show. 55 is a good number to stop on. Now this brings me to his new EP, Bad Witch. I haaaate it. And if I'm honest, I basically hate the other 2 EPs as well, though there are a few tracks I like here and there. But everything I liked about NIN is gone. Trent's brilliance was in his ability to craft a song that could be loud, angry, noisy and heavy but still have a musicality to it, with a catchy hook and a melody. It's all gone. If he wants to experiment fine, go for it, but it is not what you expect and want from NIN. Even though I didn't love Hesitation Marks, it had solid actual songs, and not just movie scores for a non existent movie that he decided to put lyrics to. Because that's what it feels like. And I hate it. And I'm not going to listen to it.

Vegas Jan 16-21

Wedding time!!

Jason and I headed out to Vegas a few days early to have some fun and go to Adrienne’s wedding. We got in very early on Wednesday, did a few errands, before hitting up Gold and Silver Pawn, the pawn shop from the History Channel show Pawn Stars. I’ve seen the show, but I don’t regularly watch it, so I was surprised at how small the store was. It was very busy, but Phil wanted me to get him a silver coin with the Old Man on it, so I picked one up. The guy said the Old Man was there and could sign it, so we went to cash out, but ended up missing the Old Man so no autograph. They made an announcement that the store had to be cleared out because they were about to film a new scene for Pawn Stars, and since we didn’t have anything to look at anyway, we headed out. I guess you can’t be there during filming, and the guys on the show are only there when it’s a filming day…so we checked into the El Cortez Cabana Suites earlier than I thought we’d be able to, and took a nap. Everyone familiar with Vegas was like why would you stay there? Cuz it’s fun, retro, downtown, and cheap. I know the casino is a small old local joint, but it was more than adequate for playing, and the room was really nice. Not sure what the normal hotel rooms are like, but the Cabana Suites were great. Headed out after the nap for dinner at a Mexican place Jason always would drive by on Main, which was tasty, and started the “skuffle” with all the various match play and free slot play coupons Jason had gotten from the Las Vegas Advisor and American Casino guide. It didn’t go too well for me, and I didn’t end up with any free money from the coupons, but he did ok. Headed to the strip to Bill’s for kareoke for a few hours before heading to Ellis island to eat, then back downtown.

Thursday I had gotten us tickets to the Neon Boneyard. It was a place I had wanted to go on all my previous trips but never got to. They’ve got a new building and set up, and offer hour tours of the various old signs that have been donated to them, but not yet restored. It was really cool, but I like that kind of thing. From there we headed out to see Adrienne and Tom’s new house, caught dinner with them, before going for some more “skuffling” at various off strip casinos. It went much better this time. I won about $80, ended up back at Ellis Island with the coupons, so we ate there again, $7.99 steak dinner! Then we played mechanical slot machine horse racing for 2 hours lol.

Eric arrived Friday, so we after we got up we met up with him to do our last “skuffling” in some shady North Vegas casinos. Some of the coupons Jason couldn’t use, as he was not new members at these places, so Eric got to use them and make a few bucks. Friday night was a little bachelorette evening for Adrienne, starting with dinner at 4 Queens, and a few drinks at Don’t Tell Mama piano bar downtown. The boys were on their own for a few hours but I think they had good fun. When Adrienne and her “normal hours” teacher friends left for the night, I walked around a bit with her to-be in-laws but it seemed like they were going to go to a club, so I said my goodbyes and went to find Jason and Eric, who were playing coin op horses again haha. As it turns out, explorer friend Chris was in town with the Air Force, so he met us there for a bit. We ended up back at El Cortez, played some pai gow for a bit before calling it a night.

Saturday was the wedding rehearsal and luncheon at Sunset Station, at noon, then I had to take the rental car back to the airport. Thankfully Eric picked me up there, we went back to El Cortez to get Jason out of bed, then down to the strip for the night. Caught some dinner at the PBR Rock Bar before heading to the Orleans for the Las Vegas Wranglers hockey game. Had to prepare for the NHL season somehow! And it was something Jason has always wanted to do while in Vegas. They lost the game, but it was fun. After that, back to Ellis Island for the 3rd night for some kareoke. Chris met us out again, we hung out there for the rest of the night. Eric got to sing, it took forever though because it was so busy. Chris had talked me into doing Salt n Pepa’s “Shoop”, but (thankfully) we never got called before we turned in for the night. That didn’t stop us from singing in the car on the way back downtown though πŸ™‚

Sunday was wedding day. Adrienne picked me up early in the morning to go to her hotel, got to watch some of the Sabres game before catching lunch, and the hair and make up people arriving. I didn’t end up getting my hair done, since I don’t have much and Adrienne liked it the way I do it anyway. Off to the banquet hall to change, get pics done, and wait for the ceremony. Adrienne looked super pretty, her dress was so nice, and she was super happy! It was nice and short, given that it was a bit chilly outside, but it was perfect for them. It was a great night. After the reception, Jason, Eric and I headed to the Goretorium, a horror movie haunted house and bar on the strip, another place I wanted to go. We had a drink there before going back to….Ellis Island. The intent was more kareoke but I was hungry so we ate first, and by the end, we were all kinda done so we just headed back to the El Cortez. Jason went out to play a bit more, but Eric and I were done for.

Check out was monday at noon, which was a tad too early, but what are you going to do. Jason and I dragged around downtown that afternoon, getting lunch at the Mob Bar, wandering around, betting on the Sabres, playing a bit of Let it Ride (no idea how he talked me into that one, but i ended up hitting a full house, though I didn’t play the 3 card bonus), and finding the Sabres game on tv at the Golden Nugget. We caught dinner at a pub on Freemont, played a bit more at El Cortez before heading to the airport. A mighty long journey home, since we had a 4 hour layover in Newark, but we made it. Exhausted, but in one piece.

It was a great trip. Had a lot of fun, the wedding was great, it was awesome to get to hang out with Eric again for more than a few hours at a show. Now I have no vacation time scheduled until September, which was kind of a bad move on my part I just realized haha. I should have taken Memorial Day like I usually do, but I saved my 4th week for whatever comes up. Not that I have any money for another trip but still…Sept seems so far away!

Vegas Photos


back from vegas.

headed out to visit adr in vegas on tuesday. arrived in the afternoon, and wow. hot. for those who don’t know, flying into vegas in the summer sucks. lots of turbulence from the desert heat, and i was in 2nd last row of the plane. not fun. good thing i hadn’t eaten since work the night before. and as you come into town and look below, it’s nothing…nothing…desert…more desert….nothing…desert…hoover dam…nothing…bam vegas. and looking at all that desert wasteland you have to think, who in their right mind ages ago was traveling the continent and thought, “hey this is a nice place, let’s settle here.” it’s almost uninhabitable hahah. i still think vegas is the most bizarre place on earth.

anyway. first stop, eating at a SONIC! omg! FINALLY. after being tortured with all those sonic commercials and the closest location being 3+ hours away, score! we NEED a sonic, it is SO good, i’d eat there all the time. just the best. tues night we went downtown and played pai gow at binions for 3 hours or so, only losing $50 haha. walked around and got some dinner at the golden gate diner.

wednesday we were supposed to take the nevada test site tour. as you may have read 2 months ago i joyously posted we were taking the tour…2 months ago i said that…got it? 2 months ago we were confirmed for the tour, but the paperwork we were supposed to get the week before never came. so we called on tuesday to find out, and low and behold we’re not on the attendance list for the tour. adr talked to the lady to try to find out what happened, the lady looked and oh yeah, she has my email with our information and confirmation but somehow we’re not on the list, and she just can’t go and bump someone else off the tour for us. she said we could go at departure time anyway, to see if people don’t show up, but 6 people would not have to show up to allow us to go. we had at first said yes, we’d go and see but later that day we decided not to even try. 6 ppl was alot to not show up, and it would suck to get up that early and not go. we decided to go to hoover dam on wednesday instead. checking my email at 9:30 wed morning, the lady emailed me saying we could go on the tour – and not even on standby. well gee thanks. she KNEW i was on vacation, why would she think i’d be checking my email in time. so we missed it. stupid government incompetency. how hard is it to prepare an accurate list of tour attendees…

so hoover dam. it’s only like 30 miles away, and i didn’t realize it was that close. i don’t think i really knew where it was haha. drove over the dam and parked on the arizona side, so now i can say i’ve been in arizona (barely ha). walked across the dam back to the nevada side and the visitors center and tours. we took the “power plant tour” which takes you down into the dam/rock above one of the intake tunnels (i think that’s what it was), and then into the nevada generator room. it’s not a super detailed tour, as after 9-11 they’ve closed down most of the place to public tours. there was another more in depth tour that takes you to 2 other parts of the dam, required hard hats (which were the most flimsy plastic pieces of crap that would protect you from NOTHING), but we didn’t take that. there was a museum portion and over look to see the front of the dam (or is it the back…? haha). i didn’t realize how stylized and art deco the dam was. now a days you’d just get some cement, no decoration or anything. and building it was crazy. it was 110 out that day and the guide pointed out that the workers worked 24hr/day, 7days/week, in 3 shifts for $4 a day…2 days off a year…in that kind of heat. unions would never allow that now…maybe that’s why the dam was finished 2 years ahead of schedule, and everything the government does now is delayed for ages.

back into town that night…i think we just stayed in and watched harry potters. i’m not a big partier to begin with, but the heat just exhausted me so staying in was no problem.

thursday we went out to red rock canyon, outside of town. it has a 13 mile scenic drive with stopping points and trails (if you’re nuts enough to go hiking in 110 degrees ha). the scenery is just so foreign to me, being from the north east. the government totally could have faked a moon landing out there. it was very cool tho. we unfortunately did not see any burros though πŸ™

thurs night was Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian, 2nd row! awesome to be that close, and see the details in the set (especially during masquerade). the show was a bit different from the traditional broadway version…they cut some parts – 2 i can think of, the crew member scaring the ballet girls with stories of Phantom hanging people in the 1st act, and rehearsals of Don Juan Triumphant and more notes in the 2nd act. There was no intermission, so the chandelier did not fall midway, it fell after Point of No Return, and it fell straight down into the audience (and back up) and everyone started screaming hahahah. those were the only differences i noticed, but it was still really good. i don’t know how anyone can not like phantom haha. walked around a bit after then headed home. more harry potter i think lol.

friday we attempted to see the Bodies exhibit at Tropicana, only it had closed the weekend before and didn’t open at Luxor until next week. Ah well, so we walked over to Excalibur and had lunch at Dick’s Last Resort. Trammed it over to Mandalay Bay and through Luxor back, some guy was being put on a stretcher at Luxor. They had all the security and gaming officials standing around, so it looked suspicious haha. stopped at the world’s largest gift shop before going back to the apartment to cool down. more harry potter. hahah.

flight left vegas at 11, and oh…incase you’re looking for something in a vending machine, other than an ipod or psp, you can also buy pro-activ solution kits from a vending machine at the airport. because yes, when i’m walking through an airport i’m in desperate need for acne products. wth! got home at 11am, my phone battery died and my parents were waiting for a call in the cell phone lot…but i don’t know anyones phone numbers without the phone. oops. so called around to neighbors to call my parents for me, and eventually found them. got lunch and then home to sleep the rest of the day. called into work, apparently 1 of 14 hahah oops. starving now and i have no food, gotta go to the store.

Vegas Photos

woo atom bombs

the atomic testing museum is the greatest museum EVER!!! it was so cool. just lots of archival stuff to see, gadgets and stuff that i want, and video footage. in one theatre they simulate what it was like to see one of the tests, complete with wind to simulate the blast. haha how cool. i got myself a ms atom bomb magnet hehe.

after the museum we went to the fashion show mall to meet tony tim and JC. had a snack at this tapas bar, had a pitcher of sangria and then went down to mandalay for some reason….ended up playing there a bit, and we tried to go to the burlesque show but it was dark on tuesdays booo. drove down town to see the berlin wall in the bathroom of main street station then adr and i headed home. had a very fun time. tony was drunk and ridiculous. lots of funny pictures will be coming out of that haha.

hanging here til it’s time to go to the airport. home soon πŸ™

desert rain

so off to rhyolite today. and fyi i’m not sure it could be any LESS commercial considering not a single thing was there! i guess unless you consider a sometimes manned chair with info on the town as commercial hahaha.

anyway. the drive wasn’t too bad, scenery much like the drive to cabazon. desert and mountains and sparse vegetation. we passed an exit for Mercury, which i thought was interesting, since Mercury is also the name of one of the base towns on the Nevada Test Site. driving through these “towns,” if you could call them that, was unbelievable. why does any one live out there?!?! and what on earth do you do?!

we kept seeing signs about yucca mountain…which is the federal government’s target for storing vitirified nuclear waste. of course there’s all kinds of opposition, GOD KNOWS WHY considering there is NOTHING out there. but it was odd cuz i had no idea yucca mountain was in the area…i definitely needed to see a map haha.

yeah. when we got there there was no “guide” or any other people to speak of. it had started raining shortly before we had gotten there. started looking at the bottle house and the other ruins and a few other cars with people showed up. no one else was at all interested in entering any of the structures, wimps haha. i really wanted to go in a mine but i am a bit too scared to die in one. checked out all the structures and the “open air art museum” much like that place down in west valley that i can’t think of the name of right now haha. a few random structures including a lego girl. pics of everything to come. for there not being ALL that much to see, i somehow took 3 rolls of film and some digital.

headed back towards LV and we passed an Historic Nevada Marker, and driving by we notice it said Nevada Test Site. um WHAT? ok now i FOR SURE needed to see a map because i always thought the NTS was north east of vegas and we were going north west. but sure enough, we turned around to see the marker and it was about NTS and there we were. so Mercury really was THE Mercury base camp on NTS. of course now we had to take that exit and see what could be seen. which was not much BUT I WAS ON THE NEVADA TEST SITE!!!!!!!!! i was so excited. took a few pictures of signs, some were about needing a docimeter and all that. drove up to the gate and turned back around. god i’m such a dork hahah. looooved it. back home looking at the map we basically drove the complete west side perimeter of the base. cool! next time i plan to come back to vegas it MUST be when i can take a tour of the complex. no ifs ands or buts.

so back in vegas we got dinner at buca since i can’t anymore, and waited to hear about the show we were supposed to go to tonight. turned out there weren’t enough tickets for all of us so adr and i just drove around. went to wynn…and while i think it’s rather unimpressive on the outside, it is pretty inside. well, the non gaming floor is pretty. the rest is just…a casino. went to circus circus and wow it is so awful. and it’s borderline awful-to-the-point-of-not-even-being-fabulous. reno was much better haha. stopped at sahara and it is totally cheese fabulous. LOVE IT! drove around some more waiting for the others to get out of the show but by that time i really didn’t feel like doing anything. tired from the day in the desert. tony didn’t arrive until after midnight, and they were all checking out other strip places before going back downtown to find him. tomorrow going to atomic testing museum to be a geek after adr gets home from school. i figure i won’t be up til then anyway haha. dunno what’s going on at night but group dinner had been tossed around and i’d like to hang with tony before leaving. not gambling anymore tho, i’ve lost my share already.

Rhyolite Photos

sunday vegas sunday

forgot to mention about last night…we were in aladdin and everyone disappeared so adr and i were standing where i was playing waiting for them to reappear. these 2 guys and a girl walk by and apparently the one guy was staring at me. i’m oblivious to this stuff. he finally said something and i looked. so like 15 min later they come back and he is like “here this is for you” and he gives me a slot ticket. he starts going on about how i’m worth every penny of it, and he wishes he had more to give me but that was all he had and i was worth it. and it was 75 cents LOL. adr2 is like…was that an insult or a compliment. then a few minutes later they come back to clarify that i was worth way more than that. LOL

anyway. sunday was catching up on sleep day. adr2 “left” in the morning and we slept til afternoon before going to dinner with some of adr’s teacher friends for a birthday. came back home and decided to go get tattooed. that’s when adr2 called to say she was still in vegas. we knew she had been delayed but hadn’t heard from her so we figured she was home. nope. flight was cancelled til tomorrow so they put her in a hotel. so we went and got her, went to the tattoo shop but then didn’t get them done. went off to treasure island to see the fabulous pirate show haha. that was fun. then went drove downtown with me standing out the sun roof, and the adr’s singing “reptile” out the windows at top volume. hahahah it was fabulous. met up with bobref and tim at fitzgeralds and hung out there.

tomorrow we’re gonna try rhyolite, and then hook up with the home people to go to an adult hypnotist at stardust (i think). tuesday is gonna leave me the atomic testing museum while adr is at work.

this was my night. got to work at 7, on roulette. no problem. it’s deader than dead in the casino. ok, no problem. i considered signing the list to go home early, but i didn’t. i’d stick it out, and put in my 8 hours, and be fine. after spending 5 hours on a dead game, i asked jason to put me on the list. he says i’m #40 to go home. plus i was a 7pm start, so i get to go home before 8pm starts even tho i’m further down the list. more standing at a dead game. i get some players around midnight. the other tables around me, with 8pm dealers, close…but i’m still not getting sent home early. i see 8pm dealers going home, but i’m still on my game. jason leaves and goes home. by this point i’m really fucking frustrated. brendan had been upstairs, and had already gotten out, but i was still on my game. 2am rolls around, and i’m still on my game, and only 2 roulette tables are still open. all the 7pm dealers are gone, plus half the 8pm roulette dealers. but i’m still on my game. the replacement pit boss asks me who my relief was, and i said it was JC but that i was a 7pm start AND on the list to get out. he freaks, because i’m a 7pm start and still on my game, and the 8pm roulette dealers had already left too. ok by this point i’m on the verge of tears on my game. seriously. i’m trying really hard not to cry at this point, cuz i was just so fucking frustrated. he gets someone to get me off my game. my players wanted me to spin again, and i was just like no. and left.

i think i’m missing something. being stupid on ebay, i search for altoids. and i find multiple auctions for Ginger Altoids, that are going for way too much money. one auction is for a set of 6 tins of ginger altoids, selling for 24$. another is a floor display with 60 tins of ginger altoids, for 139$. what??!?!! do i need to invest in some altoids to sell on ebay? is that the new money making scheme on the site? wtf.


my day keeps getting better and better. i’m not getting the guess coat cuz it’s out of stock, and they can’t accept back orders. great. thanks. i guess that’s 22$ i have back now. my credit card bill was 900$

the one highlight of my day…or well 2. the first one. i had called the number russell gave me to talk to the person who would know all the technical aspects of the website. so i call, and leave a message. someone calls back. turns out i called someone’s house, i dialed wrong. it was some lady. we figured out i called the wrong number, ok, sorry, end of conversation. a minute later she calls back. she asks me if on my message i said that i worked for some terminal restoration board. she wanted to know what terminal was being restored. so i told her i was with the CTRC and they’re working on restoring central terminal on the east side. she asked me if they/we take volunteers to do work on it. i was like oh yeah definitely all the time. she said she couldn’t do it now, cuz she was working full time, but that she’ll be retired next year. she was worried the restoration would be done by then HA! i told them the major problem is money, and that there was going to be the fundraiser, and that she should come by cuz she could talk to people on the board and what not. she said she was going to keep my number to call me if she had any other questions. how rad is that? lol. all russell and the CTRC is me and leighanne to do PR. the more people we talk to about this, the more people are way excited about it. i’m going to try to get the name of the googoo dolls lawyer from doug at work. i figure he’s the only contact i can find to get in touch with the band. they expressed interest in the terminal at one point, and it would be really great if they got on board with stuff now. it can’t hurt. i don’t know of any other way of contacting them, that wouldn’t go to some PO box that collects fan mail. i figure the lawyer is probably a decent bet. at least i can write to him, and maybe he can pass it along.

the 2nd highlight is i got the 2nd round of chucky p street team stuff. stickers, postcards, and pins like the lullabye street team stuff. they need to give out more pins, cuz once i’m done giving them to my friends i have none left. lol. i figure it was good timing with the postcards tho, cuz i can hand them out to people at the concert tomorrow. i never know what to do with the stickers. it’s the same kind of contest, most creative advertising location wins a box of goodies from chucky p. i have no imagination so…i’m kinda screwed as far as that goes. whatever.

but on the “my day is shitty” scale…turns out the people upstairs are not the ones who moved out. the people in apt 4, the other half of the upstairs, are the ones who left. the windows are open so you can see into the emptiness, and our landlord was up there yesterday cleaning or something. so we have another 10 months of living with the stompers upstairs.

i think i need to sink myself into something other than sitting here doing nothing all night. going to the parents made me forget about the shit for a while, but now i’m here by myself with the temptations of alcohol around, and i don’t want to wallow in my own self-pity all night. maybe i’ll work on the sites i’m supposed to be working on haha.

i’ve been ebay-ing all day, mainly looking for things i can sell, but bidding on more than i’ve found to sell (which is nothing)…


well i just lost my entire funny entry i was writing, cuz i pressed the back button on the wrong window. fuck. well. as i was saying, i’m doing research on the whole vegas thing, hotels to stay at, things to see, etc. is hilarious. here are some of the highlights i already typed out once…

Main Street Station – downtown – Berlin Wall: The men’s room has a chunk of the Berlin Wall on display, and you can urinate on it. It’s fun, trust us.

New York New York – strip – Coyote Ugly: Nothing attracts crowds like a bar based on a bad movie, and boy oh boy what a bad movie Coyote Ugly was

Circus Circus – strip – Scary Clown Show: A clown show that will unintentionally scare those of us afraid of clowns is performed every afternoon in the Grand Slam Adventuredome. Just walk in the opposite direction of the line of kids fleeing with tears in their eyes and you’ll find it.

Western – downtown – Crazy People: Sit down at a blackjack table or slot machine and strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Chances are about one in three that you will come away with a few gems from the conversation. After all, these people are crazy.

Fiesta Henderson – off strip – Lava Lounge: Free acts fill the lava lounge on weekend evenings with the sad sounds of once-hopeful musicians who have sunk to the level of Off-strip cover band.

Key Largo – off strip – The Awful Mural in the Lounge: It’s good for a few minutes of wonderment while you drink your happy hour booze. Otherwise, there is no entertainment unless we happen to be out front putting on a puppet show for some change so we can get that nacho platter.

“There are jugglers, dancers and a wide range of other “talented” people that would be unemployed in any town other than Las Vegas.”

and my list of things we must do in vegas
1. drink martinis in a swanky old vegas lounge
2. molest bono in the venetian
3. watch scary talking statue show at caesars
4. have a drink in every casino on the strip
5. one night down town on fremont street
5a. walk around fremont reenacting u2’s “i still haven’t found what i’m looking for” video
6. possibly walk around in macphisto gold lame suits
7. the female impersonators show at the riviera
8. play a slot, or table game in every casino on the strip (possibly getting free drinks that way)
9. leighanne wants a set of dice from every casino we get a drink in.
10. go back to paris to get one of the fabulous frozen coconut vodka drink things i had last time, and remember not to lose the list of ingredients this time.

to be added to…

definitely still want to stay at the sahara. but there are a few other possibilities. definitely not staying in any hotel built past 1980 Β it’s all about the kitch factor here. and the cheap factor.

Las Vegas

well i’m back. I guess it’s time for the big write up. I forgot the order of some events so they might be off but here goes.

I got to Chicago on Sunday afternoon/night and went back to my aunt’s house in lincolnshire. Ran some errands, and then went out to dinner. We went into the city on Monday, didn’t do too much. We rented hedwig that night. Tuesday was off to Vegas. Eric (Carol’s husband) had booked us a limo to the airport so we didn’t have to drive and park LOL. It was like a 3 times stretch limo hahahaha. It was great. He tried to upgrade us to first class but they wouldn’t let him.

So we got to Vegas in the afternoon, checked into our hotel at the airport. The airport is wack, it’s got slot machines all over the place LOL. And it’s carpeted in some areas, which makes my crappy luggage totally un-roll-able. We caught a cab to Paris and found our room, got food etc. Our room looked down on the pool, and at the Eiffel Tower. So that was cool. From there we headed down the strip to check out the shows we were going to see. Next to Paris was Aladdin (which is apparently near bankruptcy). We made our way down to the MGM Grand, which is still the biggest hotel on the strip. We went inside there, because we wanted to see about George Carlin tickets. There is a lion habitat inside MGM Grand (and it’s free…the only free animal exhibit on the strip…Sigfried and Roy’s tigers cost money, so did Mandalay Bay’s sharks, and someone had dolphins). They actually have trainers that go inside the exhibit and throw things around and play with the lions, so they don’t just lay there and do nothing like at the zoo. So we watched them for a while, and walked around. The thing about all the casinos is that they take forever to get anywhere. They want you to walk through the casino and spend money and stuff, so nothing is straightforward. Signs don’t make sense, everything is spread out, and you just got lost. Some are worse than others. We found the box office and got our Carlin tickets for Wednesday night. Cuz of the jet lag stuff, we weren’t going to go to a show Tuesday night, I was super tired.

So from MGM grand we went across the street to the Tropicana where the Follys Bergere was. It’s like a classic Vegas showgirls kinda thing. Apparently it’s the longest running show in the US. So we were going to go to that Thursday, except that it didn’t play Thursdays. So we were going to skip it and do something else instead. Tropicana was fun, because it’s an older place. It smells like incense LOL. They have 1$ margaritas lol. They had this game called Lucky 20, you spend 20$ and get 50 credits in special slot machines. You can either win 50, 100, or 1000$ but if you don’t win cash, you get to pick a gift out of these showcases. And they weren’t totally lame gifts. So I did that, and got this 20 pound parrot glass that they sell at the bars with drinks in them (it’s huge, and soooo heavy) and a Tropicana T-shirt. We left Tropicana and out front was a free pull game to win a Mustang, and you can win other prizes. So I made my aunt do it, and turns out we won buy one get one free tickets to the Folly, so then we HAD to go hahah. Had to find our way back inside to find the promotions center to claim our prize. I don’t remember what we did after that, I think we went back to Paris, or got dinner or something.

So that night we went to the Follys show, which was cool. Singing and dancing and showgirls and stuff. We went to the 7pm one so that I wouldn’t fall asleep, so there was no nudity or anything hahah. The nudity shows were 10pm shows. They have a little intermission where this guy called Speedy Wally (or something, he has a website) came out and did this juggling show. He was hilarious, and really really worthy of the Speedy Wally name. After the show we went back to Paris and went in the Eiffel Tower to look out over the strip at night and take pictures and stuff.

Wednesday we went to Madame Tussauds at the Venetian. That rocked. I went to Rock Circus in London, and this is the same type of thing, but not all rockstars. This one had actors, musicians, and Vegas superstars (like Sinatra etc.). Took pictures with the statues and stuff. I molested Bono…haha. I think after that we stayed down on that end of the strip and went to Treasure Island, Caesar’s Palace, the Mirage and Bellagio. Treasure Island has a volcano that erupts all night, and they do a pirate fight or something. We didn’t see any of that cuz we went during the day. We didn’t really go into Caesar’s much. Wherever we were, there was this fountain with these crazy scary animated sculptures that came to life every half-hour or something. so frightening. hahah. The Mirage is where Sigfried and Roy perform. They had 1 of the white tigers (which wasn’t white…but it was the tiger you breed with to get the white tigers, or something) that you could see for free. But the dolphins (I just remembered, they had the dolphins) and Sigfried and Roy’s Secret Garden (rofl that’s just bad) you had to pay for, so we didn’t go. Bellagio was super nice. Not really a place for ppl my age, but my parents would like it. It was really really elegantly nice. They have this big lake in front of the hotel that has super fountains in it, that come on every hour or something, and do a performance to music. The fountains shoot water up super high, that’s why they’re super fountains LOL.

So um…Wednesday night was George Carlin back at MGM. There was an opening comedian too who was good, and then Carlin. Typical Carlin LOL. He was good. Filthy. My aunt seemed shocked, but um yeah… what the hell did you expect from him? She kept saying he’s normally more political…but he’s still always filthy so whatever. After Carlin I think we went to look up close at New York New York…In front there is a version of the Statue of Liberty, and 2 fire boats that shoot water out, and around the little pond thing is a railing. Well tons of people brought T-shirts from fire departments, and police stuff and other USA memorabilia and signs, and they are covering the entire railing around it, as a tribute to Sept 11th. It was actually really touching. Then we went to Excalibur, which is the whole King Arthur kind of deal. It’s a giant castle, really cool. And inside, is decorated like knights and stuff. They have a train to Luxor and Mandalay Bay (which we found out later after we walked all the way down to Luxor πŸ˜› actually alot of the hotels that are grouped together by owner have trams and stuff…I think Paris had a monorail to someplace haha) Luxor was rad, of course. All Egyptian and stuff. It’s really nice inside. Carol got food at a Mexican restaurant inside, who’s bartender was from Rochester lol (but a Mexican restaurant in an Egyptian styled hotel?!?!). We caught the train thing back to Excalibur, and headed back to Paris for the night.

Thursday we went to New York New York, inside this time. Got these gigundous margaritas in statue of liberty glasses LOL. and I mean HUGE. I couldn’t finish it, it was like never ending. NYNY is really cool inside. It’s all modeled like Greenwich Village streets, and there’s a mini Times Square inside. You get to stay in the skyscrapers (some of them I guess). It’d be cool to stay there. Then we went to the Hard Rock Hotel, which is quite a ways off the strip, so we had to take a cab. It was cool. The casino isn’t that big, so you can walk around it and not get lost, while looking at the memorabilia. I guess the memorabilia are throughout the hotel part too, which we didn’t see, but it’s cool. I had a super bad headache, so we went back to Paris so I could take a nap, and my aunt went to read at the pool.

That night we went downtown to the old section of Vegas, which is what my vision of Vegas always was….tons of lights (not like the strip was lacking in lights tho hahah), the glowing cowboy thing, lots of neon etc. We went to the Golden Nugget for dinner, but didn’t end up eating there. I had an awful piece of pizza to tide me over til we found somewhere to eat, that wasn’t cooked…yeah, the dough was still raw. I think that’s what made me get food poisoning (more later). Ended up eating at Tony Roma’s in a different casino across the street. The main street, Fremont Street, has been sorta domed, and they do a light show every hour, to music and stuff. All the lights of the hotels turn off, so you can see the light show better. It was fun in a super cheesy kind of way LOL. So we went into the casinos down there, walked around. There was this fun place called the Bayou, which was modeled after the original in New Orleans. They gave out mardigras beads, and the inside was really cute. We went in the Golden Gate casino and Carol played single deck blackjack for like an hour, and only lost 30$…it was cool. If you want to make money, go to the old section, not the strip. After walking around more, we got a cab back to Paris. Our cab driver was this funny Korean man who proceeded to tell us why Koreans hate the Japanese, and how to make kimchi LOL.

Friday we didn’t do anything except eat breakfast, before we had to go to the airport. Got back to Chicago at 9pm, so didn’t do anything except get dinner LOL. Saturday went out with Carol and her friend to Lake Geneva, which is in Wisconsin. On the way there they stopped at a nursery to look at something, but ended up both buying this iron table set, table and 4 chairs (so 2 tables and 8 chairs)…which they had to get into her jeep Cherokee….they kept saying they’d fit, and the jeep isn’t THAT big. I sat in the car as they struggled with them. It was funny hahaha. Ended up having to tie one of the tables to the top of the jeep. Well by then I didn’t really feel good. We ate dinner up at the Lake, and I just had soup since I didn’t feel good – I figured it was my aunt’s driving lol. We walked around a bit, and I felt more sick. Left to go back home, felt more sick. Had to stop and puke on the side of the road LOL. I felt better, but by the time we got back to her house, felt sick again. But I had to laugh because…as if this wasn’t predictable if you know my aunt…we get to her house, open the garage door and continue to pull in the garage… until the CRUNCH of the table on the top of the car hitting the garage ROFLMAO. I laughed. It was so classic. Anyway…I was sick all night, puked like 4 times LOL. as if you needed to know that. Sunday brought Carol and her friend painting the chairs and trying to bend the table back into shape LOL. Then we went into Chicago drove around, got ice cream, and went to the airport for me to leave.

One of the days we went to Mandalay Bay…which was disappointing. I dunno, but to me, for a place in Vegas to be fun it needs some sort of gimmick, and they didn’t really have one. I’d rather stay in any of the other hotels than Manadalay Bay. But it’s supposed to be super popular among people my age…

random notes:
– it’s kinda funny how you can tell my tastes have changed since I went to Rock Circus in London… at Rock Circus tons of pics of MJ statue, posing with MJ…in Vegas…posing with Bono, didn’t even want to pose with their horrid MJ but I did LOL.
– you can’t cross the major streets in Vegas. You have to take escalators (outdoor escalators?!?!) to an overpass pedestrian bridge, and then back down escalators. it’s a good idea, but makes everything take forever.
– it was like 103-106 every day, but it wasn’t THAT bad. the heat radiates off of the pavement something fierce though.
– carolyn was right about the stepping over porn stuff. there are people up and down one stretch of sidewalk who hand out porn pamphlets to every male who walks by. and so then they are littered on the sidewalk. the first day i didn’t see any, but after that tons..guess they only clean the streets once a week or something lol. it’s only along one stretch of sidewalk on both sides of the street, because it’s against the law to do it in front of any of the resorts.
– and it’s against the law to sell spraypaint in the city of Chicago….lol
– i need to go pick up my last roll of film. not sure if the scanner works or not, so it might be a while before i have pictures up. if it works, i’ll try to scan them all tonight…all 4 rolls i took and 3 carol took….ok maybe it won’t get done tonight πŸ™‚ – back from getting film. CVS screwed my pics up. not sure how much of what is wrong is due to the speed of film i used, while taking night pics, and how much is them. alot is them, because they completely cut pics off in the wrong places and shit…arg. so taking them back later after my dad looks at them, and try to get my money back. some definitely didn’t come out on the negative correctly, like my statue of liberty one so that’s ok that it looks like crap, but theres no reason most of my pics should look like crap just cuz i was on 400 speed, when my aunt used 400 speed and hers looked fine (and my camera is way better than hers)…arg.
– and i washed the hedwig shirt carolyn made for me, and all the glitter washed off in like…big clumps… it’s weird.