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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Vegas Baby!

If I never hear those two words in the same sentence again, I'll be happy. During my four hour and change flight here early Tuesday, the elderly woman in the seat in front of me repeated that line over, and over, and over...and over. The first time she blurted it out, she drew laughs from the people in surrounding rows. They (we) thought it was cute and funny. But then she kept going.

Interesting week so far. I'm here for a journalism convention. I've had a chance to catch up with old friends, make some new acquaintances, and develop, break, and redevelop tension with an old friend.

My closest buddies and I are like brothers, meaning we argue as often as we get along. But one of my buddies and me are at polar opposites on just how carefree friends can be with one another. I say close friends can be casual and blunt with one another. If there are off-limit subjects, they can't be too close of friends. On the other hand, one buddy takes the no-topic's-off-limits thing too far sometimes, I think. He sometimes has a bad habit of speaking before he thinks on serious matters, and thus creating unnecessary gloomy palls over otherwise festive and/or lighthearted moments - something he did the evening we arrived by announcing during a meal for another buddy's birthday celebration something to the effect of our friendship was smoke and mirrors and not serious, because the birthday boy and me are apparently all talk and no action. Deep thoughts for a birthday dinner at which we were all laughing just moments before. I think this could possibly be the guy who would speak ill of the dead at a funeral and then look puzzled at the rest of the mourners when they started tsk-tsking. But to be fair to him, he later acknowledged his very bad timing and explained he didn't say what he meant. Nevertheless, the damage was done. Still, he seems to think I may be too stodgy to truly be his friend, because I scolded him to think before he speaks - not just about the accuracy and legitimacy of what he plans to say, but of the timing, of how it will affect whatever else is happening at the moment. I'll stop now. I think we're starting to sound like elementary school kids.

Moving right along, we heard a pretty good Barry White cover band in Bally's last night. And I've decided to stay away from the tables...ALL of them. They're trouble.

And Karma must have followed me here. After my rant two weeks ago about the prostitute problem affecting some of my neighbors on the northern end of my neighborhood, I leave my hotel Tuesday afternoon to stroll to a nearby drug store, and at least twice on every block I'm stopped by hawkers waving cards in my face. I brush several of them aside, and finally, absentmindedly accept a card. I turn it face up. It's an advertisement for a prostitution service that will have "Janie" in your hotel room within 20 minutes of your calling the service. And there was a discount being offered: $99. I fly to the other side of the country and still can't escape the ho stroll. No, I did not keep the card.

Hillary Clinton will be speaking to the convention I'm at today. Barack Obama will be here tomorrow. I'm disappointed that none of the Republican presidential candidates accepted invitations to speak. But it's their prerogative.

OK, I'm gonna bounce, as they say, I have a few workshops to attend - gotta get some learnin' while I'm here - and some old friends to compare notes with. We took some pretty funny pictures in front of the Bellagio's fountains and with Elvis and Marilyn Monroe. May post later, if I decide they don't make me look too stupid.

Till tonight (hopefully) then.



  • To get the full Vegas experience you need to put on a Hawaiian shirt, rent a big drop-top Cadillac and hit the booze and drugs.

    By Blogger Jay, at 1:27 PM  

  • If the pictures don't make you look stupid then they aren't worth posting :)

    By Blogger Wavemancali, at 1:50 PM  

  • I haven't been by in a while, but good to see you are still here. Vegas? Dude, I am SOOOOOO freaking jealous. I remember the card people quite well, and being caught off guard by it. Kind of funny in a NOT skin crawly sort of way.


    By Blogger briliantdonkey, at 12:02 AM  

  • I haven't been to Vegas yet, but dude, you've got to visit the Elvis chapels!! I need pictures!! :)

    By Blogger Claudia, at 12:27 AM  

  • I enjoyed the opulence of those huge new casinos. But I stayed away from all the tables except the Buffet Ones.

    By Blogger Pamela, at 2:41 AM  

  • Vegas is on my list of places I still want to go, but haven't yet.

    Could you at least put a quarter in a slot machine for me? I'll split the winnings with you, 50/50. :-)

    (Do they still have quarter slot machines?)

    By Blogger SWF42, at 12:15 PM  

  • i haven't been to Vegas since i was six years old. i stayed at the old Circus Circus with my family. if i go back, i want it to feel as run down as unhip as that.

    By Blogger minijonb, at 12:40 PM  

  • You expected Republican presidential candidates in the land of greed and sin? Isn't that a tad redundant?

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 7:38 PM  

  • There are two restaurants over the floor of the Luxor. The five star is called the Isis and is only open something like 4 nights a week. Opposite it is a seafood restaurant run by the same chef. He made sauces that would make gravel taste good. If you can spare the time, treat yourself to some great food there.

    By Blogger The CEO, at 10:56 PM  

  • Hm...I'm probably the only person in America who doesn't like Vegas. I hope we get to read what you thought about Hillary and Obama. Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip.

    By Blogger fiwa, at 10:24 AM  

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