07.09.02 - 12:04 p.m.
A pirate walks into a bar, with a steering wheel sticking out of his pants.
Bartender: hey, you have a steering wheel in your pants.
Pirate: ARR! It's driving me nuts!
hahaha... that joke comes courtesy of my friend Robyn, who shaves my head every time I return to Las Vegas. I went back over the 4th of July weekend, to visit family and see how many girls who I knew in high school are now strippers posing provocatively on local billboards. (1)
Other things I did in Las Vegas:
Went for a ride in a hot air balloon. It was interesting to see how it gets assembled-- the entire thing fits in the back of a van. You unfurl the huge balloon, lay it out on the ground, then inflate it with a fan. Then you turn on the burners to heat up the air, wedge yourself into the tiny wicker basket, and up you go.
From 3500 feet Las Vegas looks like a game of Sim City left on too long. Development sprawls to the edge of the mountains, with no rhyme or reason to the placement of residential & commercial lots. I didn't intend to spit, but as we drifted over the strip malls and kidney shaped pools, some primal boy instinct took over & I hocked a gob of saliva over the edge, earning a look of disapproval from the balloon 'captain'. (He was wearing a uniform with official looking military stripes on it, but come on. captain of what? the air force doesn't have a "balloon unit"! (does it??))
Went to the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah. A family tradition. This year we only saw one play-- "Man of La Mancha". It's basically the story of don quixote in musical form. My capsule review is as follows.
to dream the impossible dream...
to fight the impossible fight...
to wonder if they're really singing this goddamn song for the FOURTH time...
to slit your wrists with the playbill
Acquired scads of books. Oh how i love me some books. On the way back from Utah, we stopped at an outlet mall to buy clothes. I desperately needed some new pants, as my current wardrobe is inappropriate for all occasions other than a hobo cookout. But shopping for clothes bores me senseless, so as usual I gave up after five minutes and drifted into the discount book store (motto: "Where Books Are Units To Be Shifted!"). I went a little nuts and came out with a stack I could barely see over.
Plus, my mom works as a librarian at the LV review journal & consequently gets all kinds of great books that publishers send for review. Since the LVRJ doesn't review books, she can dispense with them as she sees fit (i.e. to my greedy grasping hands). So I got a bunch more from her.
I will review some of these books later, because it is my duty as a member of the cultural elite to tell you (the unwashed, mouthbreathing masses) what to read. Currently up to bat: Geography of Nowhere by James Kunstler and The Chaffeur & other stories by Howard Norman.
Also remind me to tell you about my obsession with Michiko Kakutani, the notoriously reclusive NY Times book critic. Have you tried searching for info about her on the web? It's like she doesn't exist, except in blurb form! Michiko, you will not hide from me forever.
Saw the Powerpuff Girls movie. What a disappointment. Mojo Jojo just wasn't his usual redundant self. I think they jettisoned a lot of the cartoon's sneaky humor in favor of a more straightforward whiz-bang visual approach, to deletrious effect. Plus Robyn and I were the only people in there over 12, which meant we had to tolerate a lot of squealing and mewling. Children are sticky little monsters, and I am strongly in favor of putting them in protective sound-proof bubbles that only come off when they turn 18. (or 21-- i'm willing to negotiate)
Ravenously partook of home cookin'. Oh man, my mom's cooking rocks the spot. Roulang is my favorite. Cream of wheat & ginger & coconut-- I will make it for you sometime if you ask nicely. If you do not ask nicely, the guards will seize you.
It may strike you as odd that I went back to Las Vegas for almost a week and yet there is no mention of gambling, prostitution, gangland warfare or whatever else LV is famous for. This is because those things don't actually come up much if you live there. I always feel bad when I tell people I grew up in LV, because they say "wow, that must be weird!" and then I disappoint them by not having any good stories. I think I'm going to take a page from Angi's book, and come up with a new response.
JoeSchmoe: Where are you from?
Amar: Las Vegas.
JS: Wow, that must be weird!
Amar: Yes, actually it's a funny story-- my parents were both dealers at the Golden Nugget, and believe it or not I was actually born in a casino. My mom went into labor unexpected and they had to deliver me right in the gaming pit! Legend has it that it's really good luck to be gambling when a baby's born. My mom made over $2000 in tips that night.
JS (obviously pleased): Wow, that's so neat!
Amar: Yes, isn't it?
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