Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vegas Moments

Me in Vegas
Hey, it's me, how you been? You look good.

Y'all! My blog is back from her unannounced Blog Spring Break! My blog went to Cancún and shared a hotel room with like six other blogs. My blog's shoulders are now sunburned a rich cordovan color and her hair is done in tiny braids. One night, my blog did, like, ten jello shots, but some other really sweet blogs held her hair back while she vomited in the road outside Señor Frog’s.

But my blog is back now. And to celebrate her return, I'm going to post every day in April. No fooling, every dern day. So come around if you are into that!

When last we spoke, I was off to an academic conference in Las Vegas. If I were awesomer, I would craft a long but piquant narrative for you that captured the whole experience in all of its social and cultural dimensions. There would be knowing references to Jean Baudrillard. We would finish it all feeling smarter. Unfortch, the need to produce such a narrative is the very kind of thing that keeps me from blogging for two weeks. So I'm going to give it to you d-d-d-d digest style. Aw yeah.

Boring Bedscape
Bedscape, bland.
1. We stayed at Harrah's. As a place to sleep and use the toilet, and have the conference sessions, this was totally adequate. However, this is not one of the newer snazzier hotels, and the main floor of the place smells like beery ashtray breath in hell. Seriously, whenever we would descend in the elevator, and the doors would open on the casino floor, we were like, "What is that smell? It makes me think I will never feel joy again."

I don't know if this is a Vegas thing or if the numbers on the doors at Harrah's are particularly hard to read, but at least once a day or night, we had someone at the door thinking our room was their room. The first time this happened, it was 4:20 in the morning, and I awakened to hear pounding on the door. Like, fist pounding, loud. I realized it wasn't going to go away, so I got up and stumbled to the door and looked through the peephole. It was some doofus. I said, "Wrong room, buddy!" and I could see his eyes flick up to the room number in confusion. This happened like four more times over the course of our stay, sometimes during waking hours. And yes, Dad, we always kept our little chain thing latched.

Erika said later that I sounded very butch when I said "wrong room," but I think that's just how I sound at 4:20 in the morning.

I will say that Harrah's is very centrally located on the strip, so there are many directions in which to flee.

2. Harrah's is right across the street from this place, the Forum Shops.

Forum Shops

It's a very pretty mall with lots of fancy shops in it. I did not buy anything, but I did help myself to some green lemonade in Ted Baker.

In one of the bathrooms in this pretty mall, Erika and I saw a lady who had detached her hair extensions and was washing them in the sink. Erika observed her drying them with the hand dryer.

Erika and David and I also ate at the Spago in this place. It's right by a version of the Trevi Fountain that is bigger than the real Trevi Fountain, and which is viewable in the round, not built against a wall like the one in Rome. They make a very competent Manhattan at that place. Walking by an homage to the Seven Rivers fountain (normally found in Rome's Piazza Navona), I said that I thought that if he could see it, Bernini would basically approve of all this baroque excess, and David opined that the capitalism part might confuse him.

3. There is no picture to illustrate this, but one afternoon, Erika and I sat out at the pool for a little while, just to chill in between conference sessions. Up above us, maybe on a sixth or seventh floor balcony, a lovely young girl, maybe eighteen or nineteen, pulled up her shirt and started doing a little dance, showing her boobs to the guys standing down at the pool bar. Much hooting and hollering ensued, which encouraged her to keep up the display until her giggling friends pulled her inside. Then she reappeared for a repeat showing.

Erika and I were pained by this. It was painful. Another woman nearby met our eyes and I could tell she felt the same. I think I actually said out loud, "Where is her mama?"

Y'all. If I knew that Laura had done that? I would dig a grave and lie down in it. Just let the cold earth cover me, because I have failed.

Am I being too dramatic? It made such an impression on me that when I got home, I told Laura about it. It seemed like the most ridiculous thing in the world to her, like I was describing the actions of Martians, but I just wanted to explicitly introduce the concepts at stake: dignity and valuing one's body, valuing oneself, etc. Okay!

4. The Bellagio decorates their garden room for every season, and it was really pretty.


Wooden Shoes
We better scram before that Dutchman finds out we put flowers in his shoes.
5. We ate some pretty good food while we were there. I loosened up from the more abstemious program I'd been following.

Candy Apple
Never been to a conference where they gave out candy apples.
One night, Erika and I went to a burger place. Only it was a burger place bearing the name of an acclaimed chef and the burgers were, like, artisanal burgers, made into patties on the thighs of Argentinean virgins. I don't know, they were good. But while we were sitting there, I spied Kathy Griffin walk in. I don't watch her show but I recognized her. And I was all, "Erika! Kathy Griffin is behind you!" And Erika turned around right as Kathy Griffin looked at her so they did the look-at-you-looking-at-me thing. And then she sat behind us and we snapped this picture, all covert like.

That's her with the red-blonde hair. She's quite pretty.
6. While in Vegas, I limited myself to one alcoholic beverage per day, and Erika and I got at least 7.5 hours of sleep a night. I didn't gamble and I didn't shop. Yet I felt like I was engaging in the most hedonistic indulgence, and it was because I had unfettered, focused friend time.

Erika and David
Ah, Venice!
Our panel went great and was very well received. People liked my paper. "I still got it," I thought. But the biggest enjoyment was just having time to catch up with my buds. Over the course of our three nights and four days together, Erika and I got to talk about every aspect of life: health, work, kids, plans, everything. It felt great. Girl Time: It's part of a healthy lifestyle.

This milkshake had Maker's Mark in it. Also part of a healthy lifestyle.

I hope you have enjoyed this out-like-a-lamb weekend. Missed you! Missed your face! Come back and see me TOMORROW!


Elizabeth said...

I have so enjoyed this tour of Vegas in the eyes of a brilliant academic. It was the perfect thing to read, arriving in Los Angeles after a spring break week in Washington, D.C. I am already groaning that I might have to do an additional recap of the week and post some more lame photos.

I'm so looking forward to your daily posts!

Judy said...

Welcome back, Becky. I miss your excellent blog when she flies off for breaks in Cancun and other resort destinations of the world. And I second your genius dad's warning to keep the chain on your door.

Camp Papa said...

Well, bless that poor little girl's heart. She obviously didn't get enough of daddy's attention during her formative years.

Good on ya about the door chain.

Erika W said...

Yay for daily posts! What a fun way to relive the memories. Unfettered focused friend time is INDEED essential to a healthy lifestyle.

Camp Papa, I do believe that Becky made a rather loud comment about the absence of a father figure. Not sure if it was before or after the girl put her leg over the balcony railing and her friends had to yank her off.

delaine said...

What a wonderful time you had! All of it sounds like great fun. Only one drink a day? Yikes, that's discipline. I'm so glad your paper and panel went well. I never thought you had lost your knack. Wasn't it lovely to be with Erika and David and catch up?

Christian said...

Let the one without children weigh in on your parenting: Good of you to disclose this Laura. IMHO, she should hear about Girls Gone Wild while she's still young from you.

Allison said...

Glad you are back, looking forward to daily posts from the South. It's good to know what all y'all are up to.

Veronica said...

Love reading the digest version of events. Glad the panel went well and made you feel re-charged, academically -- and glad you got re-charged with friend time too!! I am guessing balcony girl was NOT restricting herself to one alcoholic beverage per day.

AlGalMom said...

Glad you're back & looking forward to April :)

Beth said...

Brilliant and hilarious, as usual. Unfettered friend time, it is too rare.

My blog was on Spring Break with your blog! My blog was the designated driver and made friendship bracelets for all the other blogs. Also, my blog accidentally drank the water and spent a whole day in the bathroom.

puncturedbicycle said...

As always, Camp Papa tells it like it is. Your trip sounds great and you look beautiful.