December 28, 2008

Vegas Redux (Now With a Post Title!)

As was noted here in passing, I spent a goodly portion of last week in Las Vegas, a metropolitan locale known for its glitzy glamour and omnipresent options for separating otherwise-frugal tourists from their hard-earned (or borrowed) monetary denominations.

For the second straight year, Vegas treated me like the bitch I am, which is to say I lost money, foolishly in most cases. Alas, I cannot resist the allure of an errant $20 into the maw of an awaiting slot machine, or the unliklihood of hitting on a hard eight.

Granted, we did manage to take in some fun activities, such as dining during lunch atop the Stratosphere, and walking to the old downtown Fremont steet district, both of which I highly recommend.

And, of course, we walked the Strip, which continues to undergo its never-ending transformation, with the Trump Tower standing forlornly, seemingly vacant, just tantalizingly off-Strip, like a mesmerizingly huge golden cigar that no one can be bothered to visit. I couldn't help but look up at that collossal failure and think "Wait. . . you built a Vegas hotel WITHOUT a casino? You're fired!"

The rest of the Strip soldiers on, with its annoying porn-card-flicking immigrants, bundled and trussed as if 50 degrees is somehow cold. As a Minnesotan, I encounter 50 degrees and have to fight the urge to strip down to my boxers and ask "Where's the pool?" But, the porn flickers? They think 50 degrees is a reason to dress up like the Nazi army retreating from the Russian winter.

For the third straight year, I ended up getting lost in the Venetian; I don't know what it is about that place, but every year I find myself getting all ass-backwards and filtered into the adjoining Palazzo. I have to locate an exit and orient myself accordingly. I imagine the Venetian to be what it will be like for migratory birds when the earth's magnetic poles switch: "The North Pole? WTF? This isn't Florida."

As a Vegas first, I took the bus, mostly because I didn't want to walk back from the downtown district at night, lest I risk an un-solicited cornholing or other such unpleasantry. The bus sojourn was pleasant enough, and featured a female driver with fingernails long enough to warrant Guinness Book consideration. As an added bonus, I overheard a woman on her cell phone detailing how she intended to sleep with no less than five man-friends before the night expired. Looking at her, I felt deeply grateful not to be counted among her man-ranks.

As noted previously, I had the extremely surreal experience of passing by an Internet kiosk and seeing my ThunderJournal home page called up, which is kind of like seeing a picture of yourself in college doing a keg stand during the six o'clock news. There were competing dual urges to introduce myself and run away at top speed. I opted to walk by hurriedly and awkwardly, like I had to find a toilet, pronto.

And with that, the 2008 Vegas Holiday experience came to a close. Once again, I'm poorer, but wiser.

Okay, I'm just poorer.

Posted by Ryan at December 28, 2008 12:33 PM | TrackBack

My brother and I got lost at the Venitian too, exiting thru the door that goes to the taxi stand, from which - ironically enough - foot access to the Strip is impossible.

I blame it on the cocktail waitress outfits.

Posted by: LearnedFoot at December 29, 2008 01:11 PM

lest I risk an un-solicited cornholing

I didn't realize that was such a problem in Vegas.

Posted by: Keith at January 2, 2009 11:36 AM

It's true; most Vegas cornholings are of the solicited variety.

Posted by: Ryan at January 2, 2009 11:47 AM
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