Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Part One.

I’m asking her to come visit me for a few days. I was just there; in the City (San Francisco for the not as familiar with California’s unique dialect,) just to hang out and have some fun. I wound up doing much more; I was so confused most of that journey, just arriving from the Coachella festival and exhausted from the desert heat. She agrees to come down. Some of our college friends living in the City (much stronger and luckier people than Your Friend and Humble Narrator) want to come with her, which means she’ll most likely drive rather than fly. Of course I’d rather have Alice’s attention all to myself, but I haven’t seen our other friends for several years. Our hopes get too high and we don’t have all the company we’d expected. At least Alice is bringing Nikki with her. Nikki had just moved away from the City towards California’s Central Valley (somewhere near Sacramento) for family reasons, but she still remains the closest of friends. The ladies leave Sacramento at roughly 6:30 Monday evening; I’m still at work. I have the next five days off, so we have plenty of time. They arrive at roughly four in the morning.

The two came to visit me three years ago, just after Spuds and I broke up. We had a nice apartment; two bedrooms, washer and dryer, and a massive roman tub. She left most of the furniture but much of the d├ęcor left with her. At its peak, the apartment looked like a 12-year-old girl ransacked a few thrift stores and blew a few hundred bucks on after-Halloween sales. I carried much of what was left with me when I moved, but it wasn’t on display when Alice came to visit me by herself later. All my posters and ephemera were packed away and after my breakup and move I didn’t have the energy to make my modest apartment into a home. I had no one to impress and Alice was visiting to help me recover during a bad time. When I moved a second time (in with a friend) the posters and chatchkes came to life out of their boxes. Something about living with someone else gave me the energy and desire to lay out all my votive candles, Pez heads, and Halloween pumpkin lights. I still have more lights in boxes in my bedroom, but they’ll come out whenever I need to use my bedroom for anything other that someplace to pass out in.

The girls have a few plans for Vegas; hitting a casino, getting a lap dance, etc., so we have a loose itinerary. I would have liked to hit Lake Mead or Hoover Dam, but whatever. Our first goal was getting unpacked and ready for bed. Nikki brought an air mattress (she’d acquired many things she’d never buy herself when her mother passed away recently) but forgot the pump so she was relegated to the couch. Alice and I had my rather poor mattress in my unadorned (read: slobby) bedroom. Sleeping can be difficult in this loud environment. My poor, uneducated neighbors blast music from their cars as they drive into the parking lot and the garbage collectors have insanely loud equipment. Being on the ground floor doesn’t help any. We won’t sleep much anyway.

For some reason my visitors like to eat breakfast. My roommate ate all the hummus and pita so we opt to go to Einstein’s a few blocks away. They want bagels and espresso. Fortunately I live just near UNLV so we can walk to just about anything. In this harsh environment, it’s easier to drive anywhere, even just a block away, but the girls are used to the car-unfriendly environment of the City so we walk it anyway. It becomes daily ritual. I don't think I've eaten breakfast that many times in years. I shied away from the coffee and just had a bagel and either juice or a soda.

We don’t do much during their visit, only a few activities outside of hanging out in my apartment. Of course I’d rather just sit, drink, and watch WWII documentaries but my guests were somewhat restless.

We hit Cheers. It's only a few blocks away and I like dive bars. I think the girls had some fun, but I know how bad the place probably smells to a non-smoker. Plus all the men fawning over Nikki probably annoyed the girls at some point.

At some point, we make our way to Freemont Street with my roommate. The driving here is bad, the worst in Las Vegas. You actually have to pay for parking in some parts. It’s just as crowded as the Strip is, which is something I was trying to avoid. We make our way past Binion’s and the 4 Queens to Fitzgerald’s. The rainbow signage [with its queer overtones] amuses my guests. They play some jingoist segment on the overhead screen; something about the USAF saving the world from alien invaders. So bad it’s not even campy. Alice places $5 bets on number 23. I don’t think I’ve really explained the significance of the number, but she’s seen me hit on it so she forgoes her normal 11, 7, and 13. Of course she doesn’t hit. She becomes cranky as she grows hungry. I don’t understand, I can go two days without eating before the dizziness reminds me to force something down. We look for something near, but all the buffets and fast food places are closed. She can’t decide what she wants to eat so things are getting difficult. We wind up at a greasy spoon a few blocks from my apartment.

More later.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

I think I've been to Cheers every night this week. At least there's a new jukebox to keep us company.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Just got my tickets for the Ministry/TKK show. Two for one on the House of Blues website! Now I just need to find a date...

Sunday, August 22, 2004

My little vacation is over and my friends have returned to California. I'll tell you a little bit about it later.
Jesus, someone stole "the Scream" by Edvard Munch again. Well, it's a different copy (he made several) but still, twice in ten years?!?

Monday, August 16, 2004

I love the rain. I wish I didn't have to work today so I could go out and play.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Another pic
I went shopping a few days ago. I got a pair of Dickies, a computer chair, some socks, and some undies. I’ve been using a fold-up auditorium-style chair forever. I can’t remember the last time I bought a new pair of pants. New as in new, not from a thrift store or surplus store. I don’t know what the life expectancy of underwear is, but I think 4 years might be it. Next, I’ll work on getting a new bed or futon. I’ll actually have a full apartment then. Maybe I’ll be close to human.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Ministry and My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, September 7 at the House of Blues. Be there or be square.
I just found out a long-time coworker died.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Poop. The Pixies cancelled their Vegas show and REM isn't coming around this tour.
Fay Wray just passed away. Have you seen her in anything other than King Kong?

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Stuck on the corner of Pecos and Flamingo, I ask a man sharing the bench with me for the time. He obliges and then asks, "Do you have any spiritual thoughts?" I quickly and firmly said "No". You think he'd get the hint that not only do I know more about his religion than he does but I want nothing else to do with it. Fucking Evangelicals haven’t even read the books that are supposed to drive their faith. “Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins?” Wow, this guy really doesn’t get it. “I don’t believe that there is sufficient non-biblical references to show that this Jesus ever lived.” “You have to prove that!” Ha! I have to prove a negative, whatever. Burdon of proof, dipshit, lays on you. Oh, and omniscience, omnipresence, and omnibenevolence are mutually exclusive. “You have to let Jesus into your heart!” Whatever the hell that means. I’d rather let a tapeworm into my gut.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Walking home from work sucks. I got stuck late and missed the 11:33 Pecos bus. The next one isn't until 12:33. I chose to walk home. It's about 6 miles, but it would take just as long to walk as to wait for the next bus. Pecos is different from the streets you might know. It's too wide for the traffic. In some parts, the sidewalks seem to have been put for decoration rather than for the convenience of pedestrians. One half-mile stretch nearest my work doesn’t have a sidewalk at all. Being on street level dramatically changes one’s perspective of a city. I’m inundated; lost dog and missing children posters taped to utility poles cry out at me. One wonders if they were driven mad by the recent blasts of celebratory fireworks or just from the non-stop desert kiln-like heat. Abandoned yard sale signs litter the road’s shoulder; their companions broken beer bottles and cigarette butts. How much garbage is out here, I wonder. There must be just tons of cigarette butts alone. Do they eventually make their way to Lake Mead or just fade into the desert? I think their half-life is something like 10,000 years. They’ll keep those scary things in the test range company. Somewhere near Tropicana Blvd it starts looking like a real street. The traffic picks up; there are stores, and even an independent theater (an orphan in Las Vegas.) I see a car going my direction in the far lane. It’s lights flicker off then the car dies. A man approaches and tries to help. I’m still a half-mile away. The lights keep turning off and on; I think that they will be hit. They are still in the road when I make it closer so I help push the car across the street. I leave before checking if the driver is all right. There is a pay phone right there and two other men to help. I continue down the street. I’ve only traveled two miles. It’s at least another half hour until the next bus. It’s not worth the wait. I need a battery for my watch. Well, one of my three watches. I could have made the Harmon bus if I’d waited at Pecos. It passed me just before Eastern. Just after Eastern, one of the men who was pushing the car with me passed by in his car. I’d assumed he was a pedestrian that was waiting for the Tropicana bus. He offered to give me a ride, saving me the last mile or so. I got in just before one A.M. exhausted. There was some scotch on the counter and beer in the refrigerator so I managed to forget my problems for one more night.

Insert bad joke here.