Sunday, June 15, 2008

Vegas Part 2: The Deuce You Say

De Double Deuce
Okay, more Vegas things.

Thursday, with Becky off to meetings, and bored with the casino thing, I decide to go aaaaaall the way down to the South of the Strip (cue Mexican music) to visit Fry's Electronics. Now this will be the first time I've stepped into a Fry's in ten years after doing a short cashier gig for them in their Palo Alto store.

Since I don't have use of our rental, I hop The Deuce. What's that, you (non-Vegas folks) say? None other than Las Vegas Rapid Transit, or to be more specific, the LVRT line that services The Strip. See, they got these double-decker buses (like in the picture) that travel up and down, all day and night. For a couple bones, it'll take you one-way and a fin will get you a day-pass. I opted for the latter.

Now let me say that I haven't been to Merrie Old England or any other places that have these type of buses, but if this is an example of a hard-top DD, I'll pass. Here's the Complete, Middle-Of-The -Strip Experience (as opposed to the Star Trek Experience, which I missed...again): I get on. It's crowded. Check that: packed is more like it. The back of the bus is where most of the seats are, due to the rig for handicapped folks. Still. if the Wheeled Brigade is not riding, it's got lots of folks standing and holding onto the straps, poles, change machine, your buddy, anything to keep from being thrown onto the floor as it's moving.

Okay, maybe there's room upstairs, so I push my way through to the stairs, climb them, and get clocked on the top of the head. By what? The roof. Yes, the upper deck works for kids and midgets, but not for a 6-6 All American Slob like me. So, doubling myself over, I find a seat close by and sit. Sitting, I'm okay.

Now, let's examine the trip. I'm going from the Palazzo (kind of middle north) to the Town Square Mall, alllll the way at the end of the strip. Of course, it wouldn't be a bus ride without a couple dozen stops, so we move down the strip, picking up and dropping off willy-nilly, Well, more like lurch. It just so happens that there's a lot of construction going on on the Strip right now, with two new casino-resorts and (just so Mr. Trump isn't lonely) five new condo-towers going up, so traffic is of the stop-and-start variety.


About fifteen lurches later, I ring the bell, unfold myself (making sure to bump my head a couple more times), climb downstairs and exit. I see a mall before me and to the left (far to the left), Fry's, my destination. The surrounding area can charitably be described as desolate. Brown as far as the eye can see, with the occasional small tree and bush, with brown mountians in the background. By the way, did I mention it was hot? Something like 90 degrees?


While the taking short (?) walk to Fry's, I hallucinate I'm Harry Dean Stanton in Paris, Texas. Finally, I'm at the front door. I hang out for about an hour, looking at stuff, purchasing a DVD set, eating lunch. Time to head back. Taking a short-cut by the mall (thus avoiding Wendersland), I'm at a hot bus shelter. The bus comes soon after, and it's pretty much Same Song, Second Verse back up the Strip.


Minutes later (quite a few, actually - I went through The Venetian as to get away from the heat) I'm lying on the couch in my suite, contemplating what I just went through. I came to the conclusion that There's Gotta Be A Better Way.

Oh yeah, there is. Wait for Becky and use our rental next time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Face Time In Vegas or The Doofus Doubles Down Deux

Where are we again, Hon?
Spring cleaning time here at TMJ. Time to dump the junk, clear out the cobwebs and start with the writing again.

Also, time for a recap: At the GEM awards, Arsenic and Old Lace won nada, Becky got a new laptop (which I'm using at this moment), Older Stepson moved out of girlfriend's apartment (surprise surprise) and moved in with his brother and not with us (a genuine surprise). I also got a temp job to get some vacation money together later (still wanna got to California with Becky and Gage).

Oh yeah, I'm now on Facebook. I resisted and resisted, but a lot of my theater friends are on there and I wanna keep in touch.

BTW, I'm writing this from a beautiful suite in the Palazzo resort/casino in the heart of The Strip on a gorgeous Tuesday, about 12:30ish. Behind me is a big window with a spectacular view of Las Vegas.

How did this happen, you ask? Well, Becky got tapped to go to some sort of Leadership Seminar through Boeing and we decided to take me along for the ride. It was a struggle, But I said "sure, I'll go". :-)

We got here Sunday morning and I'm already exhausted. I knew I'd be walking a lot, so I got some walking shoes and sandals before I left, but it's still a pain. First day here we get corralled into listening to a timeshare presentation. I hate these things, no matter how good it sounds (and this one sounded damn good). However, they waived cheap tickets to Mystere in front of our faces and hooked us.

The presentation was nice, but when it came down to it, Becky was the Bad Cop and said no. I owed her one, so last night when we went to eat, we ended up in an ultra-fancy Italian joint that, even with Becky's per-diem was way too high. So we left, Becky claiming I was a "fussy eater" Truth be told, I am, but I hate it when people say that about me. This is something I never could understand. With the myriad sins in this world, being a "fussy
eater" is a very minor one. Yet, when
someone says I'm a "fussy eater", all of a sudden I'm Pontius Pilate, Robbie Rotten and Hannibal Lechter all rolled into one. Sheesh.


Anyway, Mystere was fantastic, I'm up 40 bucks at the casinos and Becky will be off later so's we can go have more fun. Hope I get to do karaoke tonight. I also hope Becky's luck changes; she hasn't won any large amounts yet and she's waaaaay overdue.