Saturday, December 7, 2013

What I Did on My (Second) Vegas Vacation

Names have been changed for the author's amusement, and because she is terrible with names.

Prologue: November 28-29

Thursday, AM: Drive the five hours between Los Angeles and Las Vegas with husband and friend. Rent supercool Dodge Challenger. Have rip-roaring time.

Friday, AM: Drive home.

Chapter the First: One Week Later

Thursday, December 5

Morning: "Race" husband to Vegas. His company Christmas party is there, tonight. We leave the house at the same time. I drive, he flies. He beats me by about 90 minutes.

We're doing it this way because his flight is free; because I prefer driving to flying, while he is the other way around; and because I have to go to a class on Friday that starts at 11 AM. If I don't attend this class, I lose the equivalent of 5% of my final grade. I have explained the situation to my professor, and she has said she'll understand if I'm late. But I'll have to leave insanely early in the morning - after an epic Vegas party - to get back to L.A. in time, and I don't want to subject husband to such evil. So.

1:00 PM: Check in at the Wynn Encore. It appears to have been decorated by a person whose taste is over-the-top luxurious, but who is unfortunately color-blind. This person also inordinately likes butterflies. Kind of love the effect.

1:10 PM: Our room has an astonishing view.

Obviously this isn't the view at 1:10 PM, but night views are best in this city, I find.

1:30 PM: Have full-blown hypoglycemic attack immediately before lunch appetizer arrives. Drink cranberry juice at warp speed. Crisis averted; however, feel ill for another hour.

3:00 PM: Walk around the shopping areas at the Encore and the Wynn. Ogle the windows at Dior, Alexander McQueen, Manolo Blahnik. There is absolutely nothing here that I will ever be able to afford, ever, ever, ever.

3:15 PM: Except a bottle of perfume at Chanel. Avert my eyes from the beautiful shoes; concentrate on the perfume. It's a once-every-few-years kind of purchase. Try not to preen when walking along with Chanel bag in hand.

4:00 PM: Meet a bunch of husband's co-workers in the casino, including Broderick Crawford, Lenny Bruce, and Mako. Also Peggy Lee, whom I've been looking forward to meeting, and Paulette Goddard, whose connection to the company is unclear.

4:15 PM: Lenny Bruce is in fine, gambly, glad-hand fettle among the dudes and I am very much out of place. Catch up with Peggy and Paulette to go back upstairs. They are playing cowboy hat bingo and talking about how many guys at the party will be wearing those t-shirts with tuxedoes printed on them.

5:00 PM: Put finishing touches on makeup/outfit. Listen to "Careless Whisper" on repeat, lip-synching and acting out the lyrics, while husband dresses. Thank lucky stars for husband.

6:00-6:20 PM: Go back to room three separate times due to forgetting things.

Chapter the Second: Social Lubricant

6:30 PM: Arrive at party. Begin with wine. Meet a few people.

7:00 PM: Wait for buffet line to shorten. Switch to whiskey and soda.

7:30 PM: Second whiskey and soda.

7:45 PM: Dinner. Ravioli were good...?

8:00 PM: Dessert. Talk at great length to Montgomery Clift about transplanting to Los Angeles.

8:15 PM: Tom Sizemore talks husband and me into Jameson double shots. I protest that it's a crime to shoot a sipping whiskey as fine as Jameson, but shoot it anyway.

8:30 PM: Talk to Paulette about the bikini dancers. They are on poles, sort of, but all they're doing is holding the poles and shaking the fringe on their cabooses. I expect pole dancing to be more interesting, largely because of this (safe for work). Paulette has a dance background and thinks they are dreadful for different reasons. Neither of us tries to talk about whether it's appropriate that there are bikini dancers at this party at all.

9:00 PM: High muck-a-muck in company is standing on the stage, next to the lead singer of the cheesy 80s band that has just replaced the DJ (said lead singer is wearing a poofy wig and a bandanna and, I seem to remember, sunglasses), shouting "WOOOOO! YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!" Later, he revs an imaginary motorcycle while the guitarist supplies sound effects.

9:30 PM: Band plays about what you'd imagine: "Tainted Love," "You Spin Me Round," etc. Me and Lenny Bruce are BFFs. Other drinks...?

I know this was in the ladies' room somewhere during this period of
the night, but that is all I know about this picture. 

10:00 PM: They kick us out of the club. The entire party stands around outside the club talking for another quarter-hour.

10:15 PM: Husband and I stand behind bizarre Willy Wonka-themed slot machine while Alan Moore's wife wins $10. All four of us are mystified by the machine's operations. I swear it's not due to alcohol.

11:00 PM: We go to Tryst, a nightclub in the Wynn, and are bustled through TWO sets of bouncer lines and hand-stamps, down into a freaky cavern with mirrors, red leather, and beautiful people. The bass is awesome, but this is not husband's scene, so we say bye to Broderick Crawford and leave.

Midnight or thereabouts: Sleep.

Chapter the Third: Rosy-Fingered Dawn

Friday, December 6

4:30 AM: Alarm goes off. Wake up. Evidently still drunk. Can't leave at five as planned; can't drive drunk. Doze off again.

5:30 AM: Wake up again. Head still spinny.

6:15 AM: Sobering at last, but today will plainly be a challenge. E-mail professor to tell her I'll be later than I thought.

6:30 AM: Go downstairs. A sign helpfully directs me to a "cafe" with pastries and such. Breakfast sandwich will take 10 minutes to make, which I do not have. I pay $6.50 for black tea. It is weird in form but just ordinary black tea in taste.


6:45 AM: Holy Jehoshaphat it's cold.

7:00 AM: After mistaking north for south, finally get out of Vegas. Realize I am well and truly hung over for the first time since 2002. Smoke emergency cigarette; double-tap of caffeine and nicotine makes me appreciate my circulatory system the way LSD users appreciate color.

7:00-8:30 AM: Pray for sweet, sweet death.

8:35 AM: Third pit stop, after first for gas and second for attempted breakfast (an employee waved me away from a 24-hour McDonald's with incomprehensible gestures. Thinking on it with a less muddled brain, I still have no idea what was up with that). Buy and eat disgusting breakfast sandwich from Carl's Jr. Finally feel a little better.

Till noon: Drive, drive, drive, drive, drive.

Noon: Arrive at class. Meet pal in the hallway on the way in; he says I'm fine, not to worry about my lateness. Apparently the prof has mentioned that I'll be late? Not just to the other two members of my workshop group but to the rest of the class? Because random other students want to know where I was.

Noon-1 PM: Offer commentary to workshop group on their papers while they offer commentary on mine. I drove ten hours in two days in the dress I'm wearing. My motor skills are remarkably limited; the pen in my hand refuses to form vowels properly. Still, we have a good time and I think I helped. They certainly helped me. Tell party stories to professor.

1:30 PM: Home at last. Put in half an hour of unavoidable, unputoffable work, then sit down to tell the tale.

So that is how I went to Las Vegas twice in two weeks. Kids, don't drink.

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