Monday, August 04, 2003

This ain’t no disco… this ain’t no country club, either… this is L. A.!

Sheryl Crow, "All I Wanna Do"

Well, OK, it’s ain’t really LA either, it’s Murietta, but I can't think of any good song lyrics about Murietta (a city about halfway between LA and San Diego along I-15). One of these years I'd like to do is have some fun until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Blvd. I've had fun until the sun goes down over Santa Monica Blvd., though.

Vegas was fun as usual, though in addition to the typical summer heat we also had to deal with monsoons and flash floods on Thursday as some of the group members were getting into town (or not, due to delays). Highlights:

  • Checking into the Luxor via the VIP lounge, due to one of the group being a friend of a friend of a guy who works for Blue Man Group, and getting free tickets to the show
  • Seeing a guy throw $10,000 in cash onto the craps table at Bally’s, then walk away as the pit boss counted it all. While I was playing at the table, the minimum got raised from $5 to $100 (but I got grandfathered). Eventually I was the only one at the table, which is likely to be the only time I’ll ever play at a $100 craps table. The money guy was apparently so impressed with my betting and throwing that once his $10K chips were counted, he took them to another table, after which the table limit was dropped back to $5.
  • Mocking the Star Trek fans at the convention at the Las Vegas Hilton (but not to their faces). When Trek fans dress up in costume at a Trek convention it’s scary, but when they do it at the San Diego Comic Convention, it’s OK. Nobody in our group won the challenge to be seen gambling with a Trek actor, though I just missed out on a techinicality when I saw Peter “Chewbacca” Mayhew because he’s a Star Wars actor and not a Star Trek actor. Last year I gambled with Garret “Ens. Harry Kim” Wang of Star Trek Voyager at the Palms, but apparently that doesn’t count since we didn’t realize who he was until the craps dealer pointed out who he was (after standing next to him for a couple hours).
  • Dinner at the Picasso restaurant at the Bellagio, our annual fancy-shmancy binge. It’s one of two 5-star places in Las Vegas, and it’s full of Picasso originals. The bill was 5-star, too - $990 for 6 people, including tax and tip. Our late dining hour meant that we were one of the last to leave the restaurant, and we had a great view of the famous Dancing Waters (which seemed to be nearly continuous) from our table.
  • Getting stuck in traffic IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING MOJAVE DESERT on the drive from Las Vegas to Murietta.

Overall for the weekend I “only” lost $135 playing craps and blackjack. My best session was winning $160 at the Las Vegas Hilton playing craps, my worst was losing $200 at craps at Bally’s.

So now I’m chilling at Chris’s house (a woman I’ve known since high school) for the day, a day of R&R after the weekend of late-night partying. Tomorrow morning is brunch with Amy (a woman I’ve known since First Grade in 1973) and then Thursday night I’ll hear her group The Bobs sing in Culver City. I’ll try to hit Venice Beach and Catalina on Tuesday afternoon and hopefully see a TV show taping on Tuesday night, and Chris’ daughter Katy wants me to take her to either Disney or Universal Studios on Wednesday if I have no other plans. I was thinking of going anyway – and how much trouble could a nearly-13 year old girl and her friends be?

Then Thursday night after Amy’s concert I head for LAX to catch a flight back to Vegas, so I can catch a 1:30 a.m. flight to Houston where I connect to a flight to Detroit. LA to Vegas to Houston to Detroit – lots of frequent flier miles but not the preferred itinerary for flying.

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