Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Vegas Recap - Day 2

I awoke around 10:30 with a pillow about to come down on my face. As usual for me, I was awake before the attack could be launched and threated a slow and painful death if any contact was made. Two friends were already on the links and my roomate had gotten to bed around midnight or something lame like that. I had slept like a baby. Not one of those crying ones that's up all night because they shit their diaper... no, one of those babies that sleeps all night and even housekeeping slamming the door into the safety lock isn't enough to wake them (but the soft sound of a pillow being lifted can).

We were out the door 2 hours later (one bathroom, 2 guys... I have no idea how it took that long). Down to the Spice Market Buffet for lunch. Not too shabby. As far as buffet fare goes, it was pretty solid, and definitely worth the $13.

From there we wandered to The Venetian to pick up our tickets to Blue Man Group and make a reservation at Delmonico. A phone call from the golfers and we now had a ride for the rest of the day. Picked up in front of the lobby, we proceeded to the Hilton and Star Trek: The Experience (yell out "neeeeeerds" now. Go ahead, I'll wait. Done? Good. It's fun, your loss.) This was my 3rd visit, but the first for my fellow geeks. There are a few moments in both rides that really shouldn't be spoiled. I think I did a good job of keeping my mouth shut. Especially since one of them jumped and cried out "Sweet Jesus" at one point. Fun was had, geekiness was satisfied, and we made our way back to the car and the Venetian for our show.

Blue Man Group didn't disappoint. We were in the 3rd row, which is in the "poncho zone". I think this is more for trepidation's purpose than actual splattter, as only once were we in any real danger of getting anything sprayed on us, and that was minor. It's a solid show with great audience interaction, humour, and artistry. I think I was in the mood for something a bit more high-octane, but it did pick up as it went.

The show wasn't uneventful though. Before anything started, a cute blonde and her relying-on-his-looks boyfriend find themselves in our row. She sees the ponchos and asks the usher is she (and her white dress) will be getting wet. The usher replies, "Well, 'wet' implies water... so no!" She isn't quite dumb enough to completely miss this misdirection here but doesn't know how to respond. The eye shes gives her boyfriend as he tries to convince her everything will be fine was priceless. I turn to my group and say, "Somebody isn't getting laid tonight."

Then a group of four - two kids and I'll assume their parents - were brought down to the seats in front of us. "Take any four of these five." It seems that it was one of the kids' birthday, and the right people knew, upgrading their seats to 2nd row. Not too shabby. Mom is thrilled as she's lived there for seven years and has been dying to see this show. Twenty minutes in, the mother suddenly stands up screaming at the father, smacks him on the shoulder and makes him switch seats with her. About thirty seconds later she stands up again, dumps her poncho, and leaves.

She returns ten minutes later, only to have something else happen to set her off. More screaming, and another dramatic exit. Husband gets up starts wiping the chairs and floor with the poncho (which is where we learn that impermeable plastic is a terrible mop), and follows her out. He returns solo a bit later. She finally comes back again, and he, being an obvious moron, tries to talk to her. She hisses, "I don't want to talk about it, just watch the stupid show." He, like a brain-dead moron, continues to try and talk about it, and she screams a third time, and once again storms out, never to return, despite him following after a few moments later. This third exit actually got the obvious attention of the performers, as two wandered over and gave a subtle glance to one another that spoke volumes - "What the fuck? Is that our fault? I don't think so. She's probably just nuts." I imagine the audience missed it if they weren't in our immediate area.

I took a peek over the chair - two spilled drinks littered the floor. From what I can surmise, she spilled the first on herself, and he spilled the second on her. Good times. I felt terrible for the kids though, who had to be completely mortified. One of them turned back and gave the "What the hell are my parents doing?" look to us. The only reasonable response was a shrug. Dad eventually returned, but mom was nowhere to be found.

The final bit of interest in the show was that with fifteen minutes left, it broke. A scene where the Blue Men are encased in televisions had technical difficulties. The video froze, the music stopped, and a voice came over the speakers - "We apologize, we are having technical difficulties." The house lights came on, and the crew came onstage to remove the performers from their costumes. It COULD have been a brilliant John Cage-like bit of commentary on how we miss the music that surrounds us, but I doubt it. Anyway, the show started back up about five minutes later and they picked up after the scene that went fubar. One great ending to a show if you take a look at the audience.

From there we had a 10pm reservation at Delmonico (thanks for the suggestion Kaja), so we killed time at the slots and the bar before being seated. A solid dinner (Caesar, Kobe, and Brulee for me), good wine ('01 Damilano Cannubi Barolo - admittedly a little young (2008 maturity), but was a good price/quality point, especially since the other guy drinking it was stuffed up with allergies, thereby diminishing any wine-drinking experience for him), and the best server ever made for a great experience.

The server - at first glance she seemed... awkward. Blonde ponytail, glasses, and a uniform that didn't quite fit. She made up for it with attitude. By the end of the night she was joining us in berating one friend for his order. He skipped dessert but ordered tea. She'd seen us joking and ripping into one another all night and piped up with, "Tea? I'll see if we have any. Is this your first time in Vegas? How weak would you like it?" She comes back with his tea and "Would you like some milk with that? Or would that be too strong for you?" Further insults flew and we were in stitches. She was tipped well.

It was midnight by this point and I had yet to spend any blogger time that day. I went to the MGM while my friends sought out more craps at the IP (where they lost). I signed up for 1-2 and wandered the room. Bloggers weren't hard to find. Alan, Don, Chad and others were at one table, friends of Falstaff at another, then Fuel at 5-10, Schaubs, Bayne and LJ playing in a row, and the mixed games still going strong with the rest. I walked past LJ and gave her shoulder a squeeze before shaking Schaubs' hand. She turns around and, in all honesty says, "Do I know you?" No sarcasm, no irony, just a complete blank. I'd have been insulted if I didn't know she was faceblind and was, in fact, expecting exactly that response. So, me being me, I played it up. I gasp and reel back slightly, "of course you know me." I stare her down and she's still lost. Finally she extends her hand and says, "Hi, I'm Lan... OH MY GOD! ASTIN!" She stands up, gives me a hug and apologizes profusely. I forgive her and laugh. The best part is that she'd "been looking for [me] all day!"

Naturally, two seconds later she gets stacked by Bayne's 5th pocket kings of the night and stands up to leave. I finish my rounds before sitting down at my table.

Perhaps playing after midnight and half a bottle of wine wasn't the best move. I basically slept through my one hour of play before pushing in my last few chips. It turns out loose-weak and tired isn't winning poker. I did have a Red Bull though, which meant I was wide awake right after I lost.

So I wandered back to see who was still around and ran into Veneno, Kat, Iggy (who introduced himself to me for the second time), Tragedy, Waffles and JJok. To the IP! Tragedy drunkenly led us to the front of the casino (for a guy who said, "I don't drink very much." he was pretty gone) for a cab. Here was when Veneno mentioned she had a van in the parking lot. Did I mention that Tragedy and Iggy were good and plastered? So we wander across to the lot (instead of taking the convenient passage downstairs), lose Tragedy, find Tragedy, and the search for the van. The van is found, Iggy is missing. Iggy is found. This is made easy by the fact that the parking lot security guy who is escorting him has a bright yellow vest. Also, Tragedy yelling "we have a problem!" helps with the locating. Did you know that urinating on a car in the MGM garage is frowned upon? Kat extricates our drunken compatriot from the guy a step down from mall security and we're on our way.

We survived the ride to the IP and Iggy, Blinders, and I hit the craps table. CK was already there with her bestest friend (who was gambling purely for CK's enjoyment). I ended up quickly down $200, and then another $200. I blame Alan. Multiple times I told him to shut up, but he just kept jinxing the table. I decided againt buying back in, and watched as CK proceeded to not only go on a run, but hit the freakin' FIRE BET (only 4 points though). A shame nobody was actually playing them. Grrrr. Of course, Recess kept his mouth shut during that run. :)

I guess I COULD blame my fairly loose betting style in that game. But you've got to support your friends when they roll, right?

From there I hung with CK and her friend a bit as we watched CK play a wee bit of Pai Gow. Now, the friend (who lacks a fake name as far as I know, so I'll refrain from using her real one), and CK claim she's sarcastic and dangerous. I saw minimal evidence of this, and am still of the belief that the bark:bite ratio is higher than they think. Then again, "sarcastic bastard" is an understatement when referring to me, and I've dated women that have beat up my guy friends, so perhaps my water mark is higher than most. I finally called it a night and rolled into bed around 5:30am.


Unknown said...

This is what happens when a reputation precedes you. I was raised with manners. I never bark - waste of time. I only bite when provoked.

lj said...

lol. i can 100% guarantee i will recognize you immediately the next time i see you.

Astin said...

So what you're saying is we need to find someone to piss you off so I can observe the phenomenon while not putting myself directly into harm's way. Gotcha.

LJ - If you don't, I won't take it personally. But I will laugh.