Saturday, June 11, 2005

So, The League returns from Vegas.

The League's last visit to Vegas bridged 9-11-2001.
During a visit which occured prior to 9-11, I was watching CNN with a co-worker while Harris and Klebold changed what it meant to go to high school.

So, you know, The League was sort of wondering what national tragedy was going to light up the headlines while we were away. Looks like we got off lucky.

In truth, it was a very un-Vegasish Vegas trip. No walking of the Strip or Freemont street. Virtually no gambling. No shows. Only a handful of hookers and drug deals gone bad.

Due to circumstances beyond The League's control, instead of leaving Tuesday after work as planned, The League didn't get out until Wednesday morning.

On the flight, I was trying to mind my own business and read my book, and ended up sitting next to a guy hitting on a married woman for the entire duration of the flight. Even more creepy, I think she was going for it to some extent. Both were dumb as dirt, and the woman made it very clear she'd spent her adult life living off of a series of wealthy men while the guy lied about being in the Marines (I'd heard him talk about his 2003 discharge on my way down the ramp to the plane).

Conference was nice. Took place at the Hilton and the Convention Center. Ran into folks from my employing university and a few other folks I know.

The League was nominated for an award, but we lost. The pain quickly subsided as The League's evening was paid for by the company sponsoring the awards in the first place. First, we watched the Spurs defeat the mighty Pistons in a hard-fought contest and drank a lot of beer. Then we moved on to a steak house which looked like a cheesy set from Miami Vice and had a really good meal and some wine. Then we went to the Ghost Bar atop The Palms casino.

You know, it doesn't matter how much money you spend or how how much time has passed. I always feel like odd-man out at the 8th-grade dance when I go to a club. It just makes me want to crawl out of my skin. The League has a few social issues he's working on, but large crowds and having to scream to be heard makes us want to run for our life.

I stayed down at the far-end of The Strip, and the truth is, Circus Circus is a really weird place. It's not a high-end expensive-type place like the Bellagio, and it draws a different clientele. Nice folks. Less flashy. Folks who enjoy a good clown-theme when they see one.

Vegas, itself, smells bad. It's a city which makes money off of getting as dirty as possible 24 hours a day. The air in the casinos smells awful and is weird and recycled. I'd say it's what the guys must be breathing on the ISS, but astronauts don't contend with millions of retirees puffing on their Kools. Outside, once it gets a might-bit warm, it always sort os smells like someone might have cut one just and you walked right into it. I can only guess where the smell comes from, and it seems confined to the far-end of The Strip. But it's there.

Today The League conferenced again. Then we went to the midway at Circus Circus for about an hour, then we flew away. Luckily, this time I sat with a 10 year old girl who spoke no english, but was really very nice. We looked at the SkyMall catalog together and she told me about a few products in Spanish. She wound up getting the stuffed dog I won for Jamie on the midway for not being obnoxious like the folks on my flight in.

My folks are in tomorrow.

Gotta go check e-mail.

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