7:54 PM, Monday, November 14th, 2011:
It never ceases to amaze me how much "mistakes" add to the creation of art. That and deadlines. Both things that most artists hate... actually beget better art. Problem solving on the spot opens your mind in ways you never get to touch when everything works out the way you wanted it. Kinda like how filmmaking before the CG world of "we'll fix it later in post" was far more inventive and creative. The director and the actors would think up scenes and stunts (I'm picturing Indiana Jones at the moment) on the spot because of the mood of the crew and what struck people at the time. In the CG world? We've lost so much of that. And now to the case in point:
30 minutes into the drive to Vegas I realize I forgot my video camera. Knowing I was putting together an entry for this trip, meant I was kinda screwed. However, within seconds I decide that I'll download the hipstamatic app for my iPhone and take a bunch of random pictures to document the trip and then make THAT the video. Forever imprinting this trip into my brain in a unique way that stands alone. After 1200 entries, that can be hard to do... but thanks to the remarkable power of our smartphones it was very easy. Throw in an improv song about how much I actually hate Vegas and you get this:
Unlike anything I've done on the site and sure to bring a smile to our faces years from now. All because I forgot my video camera. I dig it. Now, to the story:
It's amazing how often I go to Vegas considering how much it bores the shit out of me. I really do detest the place, but friends usually come through Vegas often (or want to go there when they visit) and it's a less than 4 hour drive from LA... so, I end up going nearly every year at some point. This time Burg & Aaron were gonna be there and Talya and I decided to spend the day with them and see The Beatles Love show (my all-time favorite, it had been 5 years since I saw it). What trip. So now let's tell the story with pictures.

The best part really is the road trip. It's funny how both Talya and I had forgotten how nice road trips were since the last people we were with made them unBEARABLE. When you're with normal easy-going people? They're really fun. And when you're in someone that you really like to spend time with? They become the best part of the trip. Life's a Journey not a destination yadda, yadda, yadda.


Anyone who has made the LA to Vegas trip knows that a visit to the Mad Greek in Baker is mandatory. Here I'm showing what a MAD Greek I am, but it does come off a little consitpated. Man, how cool is the hipstamatic app for iPhone? Wow. At the same stop is also...


...Alien Beef Jerky. Which the last time I was here was a SHACK. It's now a Walmart. How the hell did that happen? Way to go on making a fun product that people are willing to spend way too much money on. Though I have a feeling that this place jumped the shark going from cool unkown shack to corporate tourist attraction. Time will tell.


Meeting up with Burg & Aaron was great. Burg was there for a conference for her work and Aaron took some time off to tag along. It bums me out that we don't live closer as it's rare to find easy-going couples to spend time with. Only in my life would two exes (Burg & Jess) be the most peaceful and fun-loving people I know. It's a testament to how honest we were with each other and how much love was there all along. I also think Aaron (and Jeff with Jess) are just good guys. As I said when I met Aaron a couple years ago, how could they view me as a threat? Clearly they won that battle... so that jealousy just goes away and we talk about other stuff. It's really nice.


And of course, everyone loves Talya. And I do mean everyone, not just "exes". She's very difficult not to like. Exes however, seem to being even warmer to her since they care about me. They're happy that I'm with someone that is so obviously good to me and good for me. All my friends and family see that and there's such a sigh of relief from them. "Ex" is only a bad word if you lied or betrayed them. When you treat everyone with love and respect, you build lifelong bonds even when the labels change. Lesson is: be honest. It'll change your life. ;)


So we hung out with Burg & Aaron while they checked into their hotel. (Notice them in the background)


It was quite swanky. Even the bathroom had a TV. The Signature at the MGM Grand. Gated, Valet only... wow. Way to go Burg's work. :)


Of course you can't walk through the MGM without running into the lion cage which, after Africa? Is depressing as hell. All zoos kind of are to be honest. A nice HDTV and a copy of Planet Earth is pretty much all you really need in my opinion. It's a better experience than caging them and it forces you to travel and see them in their natural habitat if you're really itching for more. <shrugs> I don't mean to come off elitist, as I know zoos are the only places some people will ever get to, but it just seems cruel and unnecessary. Hmmmm...


So does sticking lady liberty next to a palm tree. Heh.


But actually, New York, New York is the coolest looking thing in Vegas to me. It's so out of place and such a mish-mash of cultures sitting at a stop light. You really do have to go to Vegas once just to take in the absurdity of it all.


ANNNND to see The Beatles Love. Still the most unique and original re-imagining of The Beatles music that I've ever seen.


We really do take for granted how much culture those 4 kids handed to the world. Love brings it all together in one 90 minute show that everyone needs to experience at least once.


I grabbed a moving blurry pic of the stage as I walked out. They're kinda camera-nazis (which is good, the light would be super annoying), so I didn't even attempt anything during the show - but afterwards I wanted to show the stage. We had great seats. If you go, get seats in the 200s (not on the side!!) slightly off-center and you can see everything. I mean, there really isn't a bad seat in the place, but those are ideal. The 100's aren't really necessary. You can actually be too close to the stage when it comes to Cirque Du Soleil.


Yeah, we're kinda disgusting.


Oh and come to Vegas for the rampant miniskirts that are so high you can see a brazillian wax (thus the line in the video "laugh at all the miniskirts sharing their "do") The one in this picture is AMISH in comparison to what we saw. It actually became a game for Talya and I. "Spot the Prostitute". Really fun. We saw two hanging out next to the men's rest room in the Venetian trying to strike up a conversation with them as they walked out. <shakes head>


And of course it's sharing things like that with Talya that make me love her more each day. We seem to be the same person when it comes to life. I can walk past someone with cleavage to her belly button and Talya is the first person I want to point it out to because she'll gawk right along with me. When you're secure with yourself and the person your with? There is no jealousy or issue. I mean, there will always be bigger genitalia in the world than yours, but if you're happy with yourself? It registers as interesting, not intimidating.


I'm shuddering to think of what would've happened had I pointed out the size of another woman's boobs to some previous girlfriends. Fuck. You don't even realize just how caged you are when you're with the wrong person. Hardly free to say a word, have a thought, do anything without tiptoeing around insecurity at every step. EXHAUSTING. We clearly don't have that issue.


The following morning (today) I took this snap. We ended up getting a room with 2 beds and were too damn tired to go change it. Our California King at home FEELS like 2 beds, so pulling a Ricky & Lucy for one night didn't seem too off. And I got to wake up to this vision. Mmmm...


This was the view from our hotel room (The Riviera). Notice the employees enjoying a smoke in the sun. Goddamn I love this iPhone app. These pictures look so cool.


And since Burg was already at her conference, we had breakfast with Aaron before we left. Being the food eating champion of the world, I actually ate my food before I was able to get a picture of it. (sigh). Alas, it was a good meal. Aaron is a good guy and hopefully we get to see them both very soon.

So there you have it, Vegas 2011. I'm sure I'll be there again at some point soon, even though I don't like to gamble or pay $15 for a drink. Oh yeah, one more picture:

We walked 2 miles for this goddamned drink. We were at the Mirage for The Beatles, then drove to the Riviera to drop off our car, then proceeded to walk through every casino going BACK to The Mirage looking for a place that sold these slushy alcoholic drinks, and ended up RIGHT BACK at the Mirage to buy it. All at 1:30 AM, tired out of our minds, but laughing all the way. There's no one I'd rather be annoyed with than Talya. :-) Alright - the tooth story is up next!!! Finally get this bitch fixed tomorrow.