Las Vegas/ CES

So I was in Las Vegas last week for the Consumer Electronics Show for the third year in a row. I was getting over a cold/flu so this negated some of my adventures and nefarious activities. I still made the Casino rounds though in the evening and took some photos. My room was at The Flamingo, on the 23rd floor…which due to my fear of heights left me with the familiarly uncomfortable sensation of “ball tingle.”

Also, I noticed the odds were 100/1 against the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl, so I put $20 on them which would have won me $2000. Surprisingly they beat the Saints…but were eliminated yesterday in the divisional playoff against the Bears.

Circus Circus was jam packed on Friday night so perhaps we are witnessing a revival of that famous hotel from “Diamonds Are Forever.”

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Once, Twice, Three Times, I’d put a baby in Lady Gaga

Something amazing happened a couple of weeks ago while I was in Las Vegas for the CES show. As I was lying in my hotel room one night watching tv at the mid-tier “Flamingo” establishment located on the strip, somewhere deep in my mind I began to of all things… develop a bizarre crush. It happened when the hokey local newscasters put a picture up on the screen of Lady Gaga at the CES show. They did it presumably to make light of her (in their view) preposterous hairdo and bold fashion statement…comparing her on the air to a peacock or some suck creature( by far not the worst animal for a girl to be compared to.)

lady gaga ces polaroid

To me though she seemed beautiful, a larger than life figure wrapped up into a little Tootsie Roll Pop package. If we lived in a monarchy she would be fit to be queen. She kind of reminds me of a comic book super hero(or villainess) sort of like a younger version of Monica Vitti(“there is a sting in my tail!”) as she starred in the 1966 classic “Modesty Blaise,” an all time favorite of mine.

Anyhow, since that moment when she showed up on my screen, I have been all sorts of romantic non-pervy daydreams about her. This sort of thing is reminiscent of the time I developed an innocent yet major crush on the video game character “Rydia” from Final Fantasy II for Super Nintendo some years ago…or harkens back to the days of E/N when I developed a superficially romantic interest in the legendary camgirl “Charisma” of the long defunct Charismama.com.

But here I find myself all over again in 2010 with Lady Gaga. And yes I realize that in many a sense she’s the antithesis of a dude like me. A great singer for one, she’s a product of the world of catchy overproduced pop run through computers and set to a backdrop of oozing sexuality and “what will she do next?” sellout show hobaggery. A bisexual icon of the gay community(some even claim she’s a hermaphrodite,) Lady Gaga actually admires Ellen Degeneres and is by all accounts your average hardcore east coast liberal celeb example of the parallel track modern day America is on with the Fall of the Roman Empire. I probably have more in common with Charles Manson than Lady Gaga, for as Charles and I would both say “Man, I don’t live in that world.”

But here’s the thing, I don’t care.

I like Lady Gaga anyway. She’s awesome. And there is always a subtle underlying romance that occurs in a story between the archetype romantic male hero and his arch enemy, the sadistic femme fatale….or between the feminist female heroine and the creepy criminal mastermind(depending on your point of reference.)

I can say right now though, at this moment, with barely a hint of understated sarcasm in my voice …that I am in love with Lady Gaga! Let there be no doubt she is the undisputed epitome of female perfection!

what would bugsy siegel say

Saturday I got back from Las Vegas where I attended the Consumer Electronics Convention(CES.) 3D tvs are apparently going to be the big new thing. Would be cooler if no tv was going to be the new big thing.

Las Vegas was fun but mostly exhausting from all the walking around I did carrying stuff. Nothing really eventful happened either. I didn’t gamble much(didn’t win anything in any event) didn’t try to meet any girls, didn’t drink much, didn’t really have time or money set aside to do all the things I wanted to do, and all in all was happy to be home.

Stayed at the Flamingo, where nearly everything was a ripoff and the management seemed totally incompetent. When I checked into my room it had slices of bread and unidentifiable pills underneath the bed.
My room was on the 12th floor, and I thought it would be fun to take the stairs down, but when I opened the door to the stairwell it was outside!…which was comically terrifying since I’m afraid of heights and so I instantly shut the door .

Circus Circus is still my favorite place on the strip for fun and historical ambiance, but I have grown to appreciate the Venetian(I’m generally not fond of newer places) as it seems that very attractive people tend to congregate there.

Las Vegas is my dream town

So I went to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and let me just say that I want to move to Las Vegas. I love it so much, it has surpassed Los Angeles as my all time favorite city.  Don’t believe anyone who tells you it’s a crummy place. The truth is that it’s magical and dreamlike. 

Once my business was done at the show, I walked up and down the  Las Vegas strip over and over and over.  I went in every single casino, not to gamble but just to gaze around and explore. The first chance I got I walked really far to get to Circus Circus(a circus themed casino). I had always wanted to see it since it was in “Diamonds Are Forever,” one of my all time favorite movies. People had warned me that it’s part of the old strip, and sort of a seedy area now, but I didn’t care.  I stubbornly walked really far to get to it, and I was not disappointed one bit. Circus Circus is an awesome place. People have to learn to love the idea of something, the feeling of it.

 

Circus Circus is like a gigantic 60’s carnival with slot machines. I would say that it’s like Chuck E Cheese with slot machines, but that would not be doing the place justice.  And their slot machines are good too. I played for a really loooong  time with only 5 bucks, and I left with 10.  Oh and the game that the kid plays in “Diamonds Are Forever”(1971) where they shoot water and it blows up the balloons…it’s still there!  I’ve also started getting into the habit of writing the year of the movie next to the title, as there are so many crappy remakes of my favorite movies, I can’t even keep track anymore and I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea and start thinking I’m talking about some modern film godforbid. seriously..barf

Getting back to why Las Vegas is wonderful, it is a sort of fantasy land. Like you can live in alternate realities there and dream worlds. Say you’re in the mood to be in a pirate atmosphere, you just head on over to Treasure Island. Say you feel like going to the Circus, you tumble on down to Circus Circus.  What’s that? In the mood for some Springtime in Paris?  Just  travel a few blocks to Paris casino! Oh, you’d rather visit the old west? Well no need to bust out a delorean time machine ala “Back to the Future 3″(1990), just come on down to Bills Gamblin Saloon!  You get the idea. Las Vegas is the escapist’s paradise.  Get it? It’s really, really neat.

One thing I always remember about Los Angeles was that it’s often difficult to get into places. The vibe is one where everybody always says “no”. Whether you’re at the bank trying to cash a check, looking to go into a bar, or just asking a friend for a ride…the word “no” is something you get used to hearing. In fact, part of coming of age in Los Angeles is learning the wisdom to not ask for anything, as the moment you stop asking is when you finally start getting somewhere. While wandering though Las Vegas, I didn’t experience any of the cold shoulder you typically get in LA. I had no problem getting in anywhere. No one ever treated me as if I wasn’t supposed to be there.
There were no annoyingly pompous doormen, guest lists, etc. I could walk into the biggest hotels and restaurants, without any hassle. It was a completely friendly and totally welcoming atmosphere. Everyone is in a good mood and eager to help.

I had an amazing burger at this place called the Stripburger(strip as in Las Vegas Strip, not strip clothes) It was really juicy, even better than Johnny Rockets or the ostritch burger from Astro Burger. Also, while at the airport waiting for my plane back I won $250 in an Airport slot machine called “White Ice.” I had only put a buck in.

Las Vegas, I dig.