I should never go to Vegas.
My first trip to Vegas was, at that point, the furthest west I had ever travelled, my first time in a desert, and my first work related trip. I was travelling with Michael "The My" Young and Derek "G-rated fun" Lee, my co-workers from the multimedia shop we'd set up at the University of Texas.
It was strange enough seeing the hotels from the plane and then from the tarmac... like tiny little sets built out in the middle of nowhere for some post-apocolyptic envisioning of the world, or maybe Brainiac's playground after he's miniaturized city after city. But then you draw closer, and you realize that was just a trick of the light, a matter of perspective. Each hotel is a city unto itself. Your brain lied to you, simply because it had never seen anything like it, and couldn't process the insanity.
We checked into Circus-Circus (actually... funny story... somehow Circus Circus did not have us listed as guests despite the fact we were holding reservation confirmations in our hands. These were the early days of online hotel reservations, kids...). Jamie's family was in Vegas for some reason at the same time. So while we were sorting our mess out, there's Dick and Judy waving to me from across the very crowded lobby.
One's first view of The Strip is overwhelming, but inconsequential to my point here. My point here is that I should never go to Vegas.
Because after several days in Vegas of wandering the NAB showroom and sitting through hours of presentations and visiting the Coca-Cola museum and all that good stuff, one morning I woke up, took a shower, put on my socks and turned on the TV while Michael "The My" Young brushed his teeth.
"Jesus," I said. "Some kids just opened up with a bag of guns at their high school out in Colorado."
"Oh," said The My. "That's where I grew up."
We watched the TV for a while, not saying much. We went down to a cafe and got some eggs, and didn't really talk. And that was that. My hadn't gone to school at Columbine High School, and he didn't know the kids... but, still.
And if you've been reading here for a while, you may remember that my second trip to Vegas began on September 9th, 2001 and ended a few days later when planes started flying again, and everybody was painfully polite to one another.
So, yeah... I shouldn't ever go back to Vegas.