Tag Archives: las vegas

Lonely Lights

Recently, I spent four days with my family in Las Vegas. We drove home through the desert, as the afternoon simmered on the horizon and the twilight rose like a cobalt steam. And eventually the stars would appear, like coy diamonds. They linked into constellations, creating parures that glittered in the sky.

We gradually approached the outskirts of towns – Chino, Ontario, Barstow – touching by buildings that were the colorless victims of the dry, stirring air. They were all square; cubes with points that jutted into the night – products of a geometry that was dull and unimaginative. Their names were written in paint but such identities were swallowed by the dark. So they remained large and ominous: untitled and unknown.

They were also unlit, except for the white, lonely lights that shone in the corpse-like doorways and illuminated the empty parking lots. Their poor efforts seemed to emphasize the isolation. The lights were weak, and beyond the white cones of radiance they created the black air – uncorrupted by neon, by cities – cut like a knife.

The darkness was so profound, that it inspired a fear that was almost childlike – a fear of monsters, of loathsome things that lurked in unknown caves, beyond unrecognized corners, beneath the unplumbed sea.

Suddenly, though I was safe in our car, I wanted safety; to be – like a cat – curled within four confident walls. And since we were hours outside of the light and loud of Las Vegas and only 2 hours from Los Angeles, I found myself longing for home.

But Scary At Night

A Cocktail

I love my parents.

I love Las Vegas.

I love Mad Men

I think that the three of these things would make a sharp, shuddering, utterly adult cocktail.

These are my parents, at the Sahara Hotel, 7/27/64.  I visualize Don Draper approaching them with tickets to the midnight Sinatra show.

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Ooo! Shiny City!

I've just completed five frivolous days in Las Vegas.  I love Las Vegas.  Or more (im)properly, the Las Vegas Strip.  It is unabashed, a spendthrift:  a parade of wattage.

Las Vegas is also tolerant.  It accepts all kinds, all levels, all classes and clasps them to its opulent, false bosom.

Yet, everytime I go, at the end – like at the end of every holiday – I'm left wondering how it could have been better.  This particular trip had aspects that were both good and bad.  I've assembled some points to illustrate.

CASH OUT:

Boyfriend went along!

Our cab driver that drove us to Paris:  she was a bisexual, and a justice of the peace (licensed via the internet).  She offered to marry Boyfriend and I, en route.

Mandalay Bay Hotel's 'Beach'.  Simulated sand and waves:  it was hard to drag Boyfriend away from the falsified beach experience and back to the authentic monetary loss opportunities in the casino.

MBH has a wonderful aquarium:  I favored the golden crocodile; with its rough-hewn checkerboard pattern of yellow and black.  I didn't think it needed at all to improve its shining tail.

Coming back to our room on Monday night to find that 'Dirty Harry' was on.  At every instance of Harry Callahan-justified act of violence, Boyfriend and I chuckled appreciatively.

Discovering the 5 cent machines (Boyfriend's limit).  My favorite:  'Da Vinci Diamonds'.  I always did well; perhaps it sensed that I was an art major.  Boyfriend's favorite, however, was 'Hot Flashes', which featured purple-haired harridans, credit cards, make-up and caricatures of young men in red speedos.  I don't know what it sensed about him.

Winning $100 on a game that involved chickens.  I got 77 free spins.  I apparently had got 'Eggcited!'.

Waking up at 6AM to the sound of pounding on the door across the hall.  A girl was bellowing 'Let me in!  Let me in!'  It wasn't difficult to figure out her situation:  having completed her Walk of Shame, she was trying to get back into her room, but her roommates were passed out and unable to open the door.

The cheese plate with chutney at the Bellagio Buffet.

Forgetting the procession of days.

CASH LOST:

THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND

Getting a glimpse of one of the girls from across the hall running down said hall wearing only a thong.

The terrible attraction a simulated beach has for Young Adults.  MBH positively reeked of them.

The Girl From Ipanema in the olive bikini stepping off the elevator to go to the pool.  Most people just went down to the beach level.  I believe she was going to make her rounds through the casino, however, first.

Girls, when your dress is so short that I start to pray you have invested some finances in panties stock, your dress is not only 'so' short, it is too short.  You look classless and silly.

Not a single restaurant bore the following sign:  'Patrons wearing any article of clothing that would indicate to the management that they have just got out of the pool will Absolutely be refused service.  Show some respect, people.'

Not having the time to do some serious shopping.  Ceasar's Palace, we hardly knew ye.

Waiting 2 hrs (and looking at the same people for 2 hrs) for the Bellagio buffet.  After turning the 'final' corner and still seeing an endless line extending before you, I then announced, "And this is where you shoot yourself."

Babies and strollers on the casino floor.  It's just not right.  I'm not talking morally:  I'm talking visually, aesthetically.

The cabbie who tried to involve us in an intense political discussion.  He was rather truculent. (Even though he drove a cab – HA!)

So there you have it; my Vegas experience in 20 easy steps.  Go when you can, won't you, and perhaps I'll see you there – because I'll most certainly go again.

 

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VIP’d Off

In the course of performing my job responsibilities, I will sometimes be called upon to 'work an event'.  And this doesn't refer to anything requiring a cat o' nine tails and a lack of pants (although I am available for birthday parties).

What I do is help with checking people into the event.  This is what I was doing in Las Vegas last week:  consulting guest lists, handing out things like wrist bands, badges and resentment.  Don't need no stinkin' badges?  Then try getting into a different party, my friend.  Because this is Aubrey, telling you that if you don't have a badge, she's here to kick your sorry ill-dressed butt all the way to Hooters.

Well…if only I could.  Working the media table requires the three P's:  patience, politeness and pleasantries.  To which I'd like to add a fourth:  Phooey.

Because in Vegas that night I had to help stem the tide of – chiefly unworthy – guests trying to get into our party.  And a more ill-tempered, diva-heavy, slovenly crew I'd never come across.

People.  You are getting into a posh club FOR FREE.  Via some bizarre legerdemain you have procured for yourself an invitation to this party.  Would it have hurt you to have ironed you pants?  Brushed you hair?  To have thought twice about that dress?   To have left that woolen atrocity in your room?

Would it have hurt you to be as patient with me as I was with you?  (You don't think I was?  You walked away with your front teeth intact, didn't you?)

What should I have done differently?  Should I have been honest? 

"Why aren't they letting me in?"
"Oh, the party is only open to press now – it will be officially open in a half hour."
"Oh, the party is only open to people who don't look like they've just come in from a day of fly-fishing."

"We have to wait a half hour?" 
"I'm afraid so."
"I'm afraid you'll have to find a way to amuse yourself.  In Las Vegas.  In a casino.  With bars.  And lounges.  And shops.  Idiot."

"Security won't let these people in.  They're Talent."
"
I'm terribly sorry – go right in."
"I'm terribly sorry – as I didn't know just who the hell they were, I was just about to congratulate them on a job well done in keeping out the rabble."

"Why aren't I on the VIP list?"
"I'm afraid I can't answer that, but this wrist band will give you access everywhere except the VIP balcony."
"I'm afraid I can't fanthom why you're bitching about access to a balcony, when the club is already 53 STORIES HIGH."

"My name's on the list, but why wasn't I put on the VIP list?"
"Let me see if I can call my boss."
"Let me see if a can make myself clear:  because you're a bad person, because nobody likes you, and because you're wearing dirty tennis shoes to a nightclub.  Die now." 

"We're from __________  ____________ ______.  There's 17 of us."
"OK – would you mind stepping aside so my co-worker can continue checking other people in?"
"OK – this is a joke, righit?  And would you mind not crowding over me?  This isn't Hamlet.  I'm not a caludron, and none of you are witches.  Although that girl in the polyester jumpsuit has me wondering." 

Anyway, hopefully this will give you an idea of what went on.  Around 12:30AM the party was over, and security moved in to dismantle the check-in desk, and take back the chairs.  In fact, I think that if I was a little slower getting up, they would have carried me away still seated, like a Jewish bride.

Still, it all worked out in the end.  I visited the club myself, and got tremendously drunk.  

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Porn Again

 

 

As Caligula returned from a self-induced 'hiatus' to proclaim himself a god reborn, so I have returned from Las Vegas – returned from witnessing the bacchinallia of the Adult Video News Awards Show:  porn again.

Our PR company has an interesting little side account with AVN: and that's how I'm able to work in the media room at Erotica L.A. each year, and how I was able to stand by the media check-in table at the AVN Awards Show last Saturday.  "The Academy Awards of Porn" – why not?  Being recognized for excellence in a particular skill, oh, say one that rhymes with 'flirting', keeps a performer on his/her toes, so to speak.

I should have brought my camera.  Our little table had the perfect vantage point – we literally had the first look at the stars, before they entered the crush on the red carpet.  Writing this would be easier if I knew them by sight.  I would have LOVED, for instance, to have known the name of the girl who appeared escorted by a midget. 

The ladies, as would be expected, ran to a certain type – blonde and tiny, save for the obvious exceptions (some more obvious than others).  But besides their petite figures they also seemed to have very large heads, which told me one thing:  someone hasn't been eating enough sandwiches.

The gowns worn were of the sheerest and finest – Frederick's finest, that is.  But several of the girls' chambermaids apparently forgot to lay out their underwear.  One came out, wearing a lilac-colored gown, with a long, tight skirt and a strapless bustier.  In back, the corset laces went all the way down her back.  Further, in fact.  Norma (the co-worker working with me) and I thought the dress very fine until we took a closer look and realized, again – no panties.

Some time later, the check-in quieted down.  Most of the tiresome media (about as motley a group as I've seen in quite a while) had been assigned their spots along the red carpet.  Those that had not received media passes but had showed up anyway were given the shove and all was serene.  That is, until I was dragged onto the red carpet myself.

Oh, the horror.  The problem was, the media crews were so demanding, jostling each other for just one more shot, just one more second of interview time, that a serious bottleneck was occuring, with 50-60 more groups still to walk the carpet, and the whole damned thing due to close in 1/2 hour.  There were five of us, trying to break into these Kodak moments and get the girls and boys to move on.  I don't know how many photographs I got caught in (thank goodness I wasn't smiling – believe me, I never felt less like it in my life).  I felt like a rabbit paralyzed by onrushing headlights.  Even my badge gave me no clout. (only a fraction is shown, as the entire badge does have a generous shot of female 'tocks)

Some girls were understanding and paid attention to my entreaties.  Penny Flame was pretty cool, "I know – keep on keepin' on."  And I will say that being on the carpet got me pretty close to Joanna Angel and Jenna Jameson.  Also, 
unfortunately, to Gene Simmons (he was a both presenter and recipient - of the "Golden Tongue Award" – along with CARROT TOP…too sick-making) and his new facelift.  I saw an actress in a surprisingly accurate 18th century gown – accurate save for one glaring ommission – the bottom 3/4's of her skirt.  Towards the end there was a group of 4-5 girls in sort of Medusa/Star Wars barroom scene/Battlestar Gallactica costumes (tiny little warning for this link) – all the photos I've since seen of them have been taken from the front, for a very good reason. They were being led by a very tiresome 'handler' who repeatedly told me that he was in charge of a very large group and could not be hurried.  When does one stop caring?

At one point a co-worker came rushing down the carpet, shouting into his walkie-talkie:  "Security, security – we have nipples on the red carpet!"  (yes, a couple of girls were out there in nothing but rhinestone g-strings) Someone had to come out ASAP with emergency pasties.

The show itself was pretty tacky – you might ask, "And you were expecting…?"  But that afternoon we had watched a dance number being rehearsed and it was pretty spectacular.  I thought the program would be sex + vogueing.  But not even – there was plenty of ass, but no class.  The acceptance speeches were…interesting; Jenna Haze's was pithy and to the point – something about tucking socks, I think.  The only one I was rooting for was  Smokin' Mary Jane – she has sort of a Bettie Page/Dita Von Teese look, and I was sorry that she didn't win (for 'Best Tease Performance').

The show ended at about 11P.  From 11P-1A a few of the winners appeared in the media room, where they posed for more shots.  I stood next to co-host Jessica Drake – whom I towered over, by the way.  She was drinking some water and asked vaguely for a napkin.  I handed it to her.

At 1A we were cut loose.  I was convinced to go out for a drink with some co-workers.  Bottomline, I didn't get to bed until 4A (after two splits of champagne) - not before I called the front desk to request a wake-up call for 5:30A.

I specifically asked for an early flight home.  For the first time in my life, I wanted to get OUT of Vegas.

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