January 10th, 2009


(no subject)

Las Vegas was good times. :) Our hotel (Bellagio) was utterly gorgeous. The casino was vast. We had a lovely view of the Eiffel Tower (from the Paris casino) across the street.

The "O" Cirque du Soleil show was definitely my favorite. All the acts done in and around that water tank were spectacular, and I loved that the water was actually used as an entry or exit point, so that the performers would sometimes appear out of nowhere, or vanish into it at the end of the act. Apparently they have regulators down there, and all the cast members are SCUBA certified. My favorite character, by far, was Guy on Fire.

LOVE was also amazing, and was actually the first time I've seen a performance at a theatre in the round. We actually had front row seats. I think Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds was my favorite, and I envy the performers some of the things they get to play with for a living. I also liked all the tricycles with little disembodied yellow rain boots in Lady Madonna.

Mamma Mia was only okay. I think it was overacted and the sets were pretty blah, but the orchestra executed the songs perfectly, and the audience was comprised of really devoted fans (because it was closing night), so that jazzed things up a lot.

Blue Man Group was also really fun, reminding me a little bit of STOMP, but with more performance art. I loved the public humiliation of the latecomers, which consisted of a siren, a screen flashing "LATE ARRIVALS," a spotlight on the arrivals and a cameraman broadcasting their walk of shame onto the main screen, and an opera tenor on stage singing "you're LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE!". I actually got to meet all three of them after the show and they signed my program for me (in blue greasepaint).

Dad and I were exhausted by the time we got back, because we didn't gamble at all...we just walked our butts off seeing the sights. We saw the Sirens of Treasure Island show (lame) and the dolphin/tiger/lion exhibit at the Sigfried and Roy compound in the Mirage (sad). We saw the wax museum and rode gondolas on the Grand Canal inside the Venetian while our lady gondolier sang in a gorgeous soprano (awesome) and ate gelato in St. Mark's Square. We saw the living statues show in the Palazzo and the Fall of Atlantis show in Caesar's Palace, both of which were hilariously weird, especially the part with the giant pterodactyl. We saw the volcano at the Mirage (meh) and the fountains at the Bellagio (fantastic). We went up in the Eiffel Tower at Paris (great view) and saw the Bodies exhibit inside the Luxor (facinating/ethically dubious). We saw the lions at MGM Grand and rode the monorail to Mandalay Bay. We walked through and just gawked at Harrah's, Bally's, the Excalibur, the Flamingo (built with mob money), and the Tropicana.

I bought a postcard from every hotel/casino we went to, filled them out while waiting for shows to start, and mailed them all to my Mom. :D

We ate at sumptuous buffets on two nights. We drank alcohol in public places (a Bailey's hot chocolate because I was cold on a walk back, and a Mike's Hard Lemonade in a shopping mall, just because I could). We laughed nervously at the designer shops (Armani, Tiffany, Fendi, Gucci), many of which were in our hotel, where nothing had price tags. We counted all the brides we saw (11). We fended off people handing out glossy prostitute cards, except for the one time we didn't, and now I have a stack of them I need to use for chaotic purposes.

We came back sore and exhausted, but we had a great time. But I think I've had enough Vegas for at least another 26 years.
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(no subject)

You may have heard that last week, 11 gay bars in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle received death threats. Specifically, anonymous letters were sent to each bar, promising that the following week, five patrons in each bar would be murdered with ricin, the same substance used by a cult to kill people on a Tokyo subway a few years back. The Stranger also received a letter, advising them to prepare to announce the deaths of 55 innocent people.

In response to such a ridiculously hateful threat, a pub crawl in support of the 11 bars was organized for last night. I instantly wanted to go, and happily, mountain_child and llellewyn agreed to come along.

llellewyn picked us up and we started our crawl at Purr ("A Cocktail Lounge"), a trendy but comfortable gay bar that reminded us somewhat of the inside of a Starbucks. I got a Long Island Iced Tea, mountain_child got a Kahlua and Cream, and llellewyn got something fruity and sweet that the bartender invented on the spot. We sipped our drinks on comfy couches and benches and enjoyed ourselves. I asked after an old friend of mine that I had heard worked there, but he'd apparently moved on.

The second bar we visited was a lesbian bar called The Wild Rose, which was standing room only. This bar, unlike Purr, had a $5 cover charge. However, patrons coming for the pub crawl weren't asked to pay, which was awfully nice of them, I thought. We dipped in long enough for me to get a Kahlua and Cream, water for mountain_child, and a Shirley Temple for llellewyn, then moved on.

We had to backtrack a bit to get to our third and last bar of the night, and we noticed partway through that we were going by a very nice leather shop that was open late, so we ducked in for a bit. llellewyn and I admired the corsets and fishnets and various toys, and I badgered mountain_child into trying on some leather pants. One pair in particular was utterly delicious on him...soft synthetic leather with buckles all down the side of each leg. It was hot to death. Wait, I cannot emphasize this enough.


I got a leather belt I really liked (I needed a wider one), and mountain_child promised to consider the pants.

The last bar we visited (Cuff) was, appropriately, a leather bar, and they also waived our cover charge. This was definitely the darkest and least glamorous of the three, but that fit the theme well. It had a separate dancing area and courtyard attached, which we visited while sipping water and Shirley Temples (yes, I ordered a Shirley Temple in a leather bar). We also visited a tiny leather shop inside the establishment, which featured solid silver bands that I thought were chokers, but were actually arm cuffs (I have a very thin neck, and these guys had very big biceps). They also had packages of snakebite kits by the door. "They're for your nipples" the guys helpfully advised.

We made our way home after that, and the bouncer at the back door called Tyler "honey." All in all, we had a great time.

And I hope the FBI catches that guy.