Monday, November 23, 2009

The following customer.

Does anyone know when this started? It used to be that you would stand in line waiting until you were at the front and you heard; "Next customer, please step down", or "Next!"

Sure, it was getting a little monotonous, but it was fine. We were all used to it and it was pretty much correct. Recently though a new breed of teller, cashier (and though I've never been in one), fast food server, is using the phrase "The following customer."

I'm sorry, but this just grates on me. The 'following anything' should be followed by a specific list of people, or items, to whom or which the speaker is referring. "Would the following students please report to detention; Joe Schmoe, Jane Plain,..."

OK, some may make the argument that this is just as correct as the old way. It really isn't. Sure, 'following' can be used as an adjective to mean the net in a sequence: "We went to the zoo the following day." But that only works for me when it is an accepted sequence. Clearly the 'following' in this instance refers specifically to a preceding day which is referenced in an earlier remark.

To refer to someone as 'the following customer' raises the question: following who or what? If you are standing at the front of the line you aren't actually following anyone.

Of course I have never actually corrected anyone for doing this. Well, I tried once. It became evident very quickly the person in question had no idea what I was talking about. They may have been a native English speaker but I may as well have been speaking Swahili.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

For the Birds...

Thanksgiving. Next to Halloween is about my favorite holiday. There's no pressure for gifts, it hasn't been ridiculously over commercialized and [with my family scattered all over the place] I always spend it with some truly loved friends so there is no crazy travel. The only problem is that I'm a vegetarian.

Actually, that's not the problem. The problem is the stupid bird.

I wasn't always a vegetarian, so I have sampled the seasonal foul on many occasions. Actually, strike that. I became a vegetarian when I was 19 so I sample the bird (I imagine I didn't get a drumstick my first year) 17 times. And that should illustrate part of the problem.

Turkey simply isn't great. It's the other, other, other white meat. It's a dry, stringy, tasteless excuse for a meat that the entire nation looses sleep over annually as they suffer to create what at best will become a mildly savory meal if doused with enough gravy and filled with secret family stuffing (stove-top) recipes.

Sure, many of you right now are prepared to argue the quality of the bird your mother, or grandmother or husband or that weird guy down the block who mutters to himself and dresses in bunny slippers, cooks. I come from a long line of turkey aficionados. I've had bacon wrapped turkey, deep fried turkey, brined turkey, BBQ turkey. Turkey in a bag, basted turkey, roast turkey... you name it, someone in my family has done it to a bird. And the result, each year is about the same.

Before you even begin to argue, can you please remind me of the great restaurant that has created a signature turkey dinner entree that they offer year round? Or that chef in France or Italy or where ever that is working on their own interpretation of the classic America turkey dinner. Ever have turkey for Easter? And how come so much of the bird is left over for sandwiches the next day, and the day after that and the day after that...

Because turkey isn't that good. I'm sorry, it just isn't. What it is is drugged. Tryptophan! Yeah, it makes you sleepy. Even know ing that, parents haven't started feeding it to their children on a regular basis. Hmmm. And yet, every year we all must endure the pressure, the worry, the panic and fretting over the turkey.

It's the side dishes that make the meal. Stuffing, good stuffing. Mushroom gravy, roasted vegetables, yams and sweet potatoes (they aren't the same thing), mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, caramelized onions and bottle after bottle of wine.

Then there are the deserts. Pies; apple, pumpkin, pecan, berry... and cakes and cookies and ice cream and chocolate and more wine.

So, when will we all stop stressing about that stupid bird and just sit down and enjoy a good meal. Do a nice ham maybe, or a big salmon or even tofu?

OK, maybe I'll never sell anyone on tofu. Well... one person but she loves it already.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

This is not a posting, it just looks like one.

It stared as a pleasant Sunday evening; bottle of wine, sampling of cheese, new color nail polish and a movie planned for later on pay-per-view. (That's right, I live on the edge.) It's been a recurring theme lately so I shouldn't be so stunned, but I am.

What was this event that so bluntly marred my otherwise idyllic evening? I saw an ad on TV that suggested "the Simpsons" is twenty years old. I'll say it again: Simpsons, 20.

I don't know why this one hit me, it just did. My (2nd) niece started college this year and I am old enough to be her mother. That didn't phase me. People born the year I turned twenty-one can ow buy cigarettes. I barely noticed that one. I was of draft age for the first Gulf War. Does anyone even remember that one? No, I mean the first Gulf war that the USA was involved in and we had all those flashy titles for it in the news. I'm not talking about all the times other nations tried to conquer, invade, establish peace or take the oil of the middle east. I mean when we went in in '89. But that would make this an actual blog if I talk about that.

So, why has the fact that "the Simpsons" are turning twenty finally driven me to bother all of you that are reading this? I have no idea.

Maybe it's because I actually know that those lovely characters are actually 22. That's right, twenty-two. You may not remember, and if you don't then you are too young and you should just stop reading now, but Homer and Bart first appeared in 1987 as a short on "the Tracy Ullman Show".

In college we used to gather weekly to watch "the Simpsons" in Christine Casey's apartment. It was an event. I don't think everyone actually watched, there was usually beer and wine coolers, and a lot of people were interested in Christine. She was a hot blonde, who can blame them? Again, I digress. It was a moment in time, a chapter, an era. It's over now.

So that's it. Tracey is gone. So is Christine. I'm now Marge's age and the world is a different place. What would have happened if Bart and Lisa grew up? In truth, I don't care. I was just wondering.

That's it. I just had a moment. Again, Simpsons 22, not 20, and that doesn't count the years it's creator spent alone in his room drawing comics instead of getting out and dating girls.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I am what I eat. Now Shut Up!

I'm not normally one to preach or lecture people about my beliefs or politics. I may offer an opinion on some matters, especially after a cocktail or two but I don't usually tell people what to do. Especially when it comes to being a vegetarian. But right now I am going to take the opportunity to rant a little.

I'm going to stop right here and say that if you are a passionate meat eater you may not want to read this because you will most likely find some of it offensive or upsetting.

It always happens when a vegetarian or two find themselves out to dinner with a new group of people who don't happen to be vegetarian; comments are made, excuses are given, justifications are proclaimed and general mockery and bafoonery ensues. The vegetarians typically don't stand up at the table and announce their dietary choice nor do they offer criticism or judgement on the meat eaters, but for some reason the meat eaters feel it necessary to take up their side of the debate.

Here's the thing: there is no meat eater's side of the debate. (I'm sorry, I did suggest that the meat eaters skip this post.) The production, processing and consumption of meat is not good for the environment or the people who consume it. It just isn't. I've heard all the stories; the blood type explanation, the lack of protein from non-meat sources... I was even told by a veterinarian once that human being simply can not live for more than a few months without meat. At the time I had been vegan for over a year and vegetarian for over ten years. It didn't matter to him, he was convinced of his argument and suggested that I had been eating meat regularly without knowing it.

Then there was the seemingly nice man whom I helped with his damaged bicycle. he was new inn Brooklyn so I invited him to join us for dinner with some other friends. As soon as he heard I was a vegetarian he turned to me and said (with a glare in his eyes) "I suppose you think you're better than me!" With that he stormed off and was never heard from again.

True story.

Or there was the idiot who loudly exclaimed, not that any of us were talking to him, "I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to live on nuts and berries!" Most of the vegetarians at the table had ordered either the roast eggplant ravioli or a large plate of grilled vegetables with all sorts of sides, all ample servings far more filling than his puny steak. The irony was lost on him. And exactly what fighting did he do to get to the top? I have no idea.

I really have heard it all, and so have most vegetarians and most of us didn't ask. For some reason it is felt by meat eaters that the lifestyle and diet of a vegetarian is open target for judgement and commentary.

So now I'll do a little commentary.

"The Meat's Carbon Hoofprint Report", compiled by Adelaide experts compared the green house gas emissions of cattle and vehicles and found that beef was almost four times as damaging to the atmosphere. The comparison was based on a family of four eating about 8 1/2 pounds of meat a week and driving a typical two ton truck (or SUV) 125 miles a week.

Now you may think that 8 1/2 pounds of meat a week sounds like a lot, but it averages out to just over 2 pounds per person per week. Accoring to a UNC study, the typical serving of meat (ranging from a couple strips of bacon at breakfast to a steak of pork chop for dinner) is about a quarter of a pound. That works out to roughly five servings of meat a week.

Taking that argument one step further is the article that circled FaceBook ever so briefly entitle "Vegan in SUV vs. Carnivore Cyclist". You can read it if you want, I'll just say that the article suggest no one needs to go out and buy a bicycle.

According to Environmental Defense, if everyone in America skipped one meal of meat per week and had a vegetarian meal instead the carbon dioxide reduction would be the equivalent of taking more than a half-million cars off the roads. Even if that's an exaggeration it still says something.

The University of Chicago released a report that says going vegetarian is 50% more effective than switching to a hybrid car at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Of course now a bunch of meat eaters are all thinking about the burning of the rain forests in South America to clear land to grow soy. I hate to tell you this, but the vast majority of that soy is headed to become cattle feed along with over half of the fish caught in our oceans every year. Then I'll put forward the thought that we wouldn't need to find new farmland for crops if the cows weren't living on so much of it to begin with.

What about the run off of all the chemical fertilizers and pesticides? Well, most vegetarians prefer organic anyway. I even encourage shopping at your local farmer's market as many meat eaters also do. And again, a significant portion of the run off comes from growing feed for the cattle and chickens.

I could go on, but I'm done with that. I assume that most of the meat eaters already know all of this anyway and I really don't expect to change any minds here about eating meat. What I do want is to be left alone about my choice. I honestly don't understand the compulsion that meat eaters have to defend their choice while mocking mine whenever they encounter me.

Are they feeling guilty?

Are the threatened? ... offended? ... disgusted? What is it?

What ever it is, give it a rest!

Sure, I think you should eat less meat. A lot less meat. But I'm not bringing it up. If you ask, I'll talk about it but if you just want to defend yourself keep it to yourself. I'm not interested in hearing about it.

This is not about having dinner with friends who joke about offering me a taste of their steak and then quipping "Oh right! You can't eat this!" Not that it's very funny, but it's far from offensive. This is for all the loud mouthed, self aggrandized idiots who feel it in some way enhances their personality and standing in the world to belittle the vegetarians who are trying in some small way to make a difference. I'll keep smiling and nodding and laughing at your stupid jabs because inside I know which one of us is headed for an appointment with six feet of pipe and a proctologist.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Terrorists stopped by asking their names!

OK, so clearly that was a lie. But you did read on so I guess my twisted sense of humor worked.

I'm sure many of you have heard, the TSA has announced a plan that should all but guarantee our safety against any and all terrorist threats. They are going to ask for your middle name and gender if you try to fly.

It's Brilliant!

Apparently we have a very accurate and detailed list of all the terrorists, so if one of them tries to fly we can send them back home or put them on a later flight. We can all breathe easy now.

You see, in the past terrorists would misspell their names when they flew or claim to be of an alternate gender thus defeating airport security. You can see how by simply using the name "Jonny Terrorist" when your real name is "Jonathan Q. Terrorist" would clearly fool even the savviest of TSA employees or airport personnel. Well, no more! You will now be required to make absolutely certain that the name and gender on your ticket and boarding pass exactly matches your government issued ID. I can just hear the terrorists shaking in their exploding boots.

But "Wait!" you say? The terrorists on September 11th had real ID and used their real names. Yes, they did. Most of them had accurate NJ drivers licenses. I'm sure they lied about their genders to fool security. It may not have been reported in the news, but I'm sure that's what they all did. To suggest otherwise is to suggest that there is some flaw in the proposed solution by TSA and I know that's not what you are saying. The list they have is complete, fool proof and lists the full proper names and genders of all terrorists in the world.

But "Wait!" you say again... I know, you just looked at your Passport or Driver's License and noticed that it lists your sex and not your gender. Clearly you aren't as clever as the TSA. They have a sophisticated system of observations and tests to determine your government approved gender identity. While this is a rather complicated process to explain to someone who would even deign to ask such a question, basically it involves discretely chatting you up about sports, house cleaning and fashion accessories. If that fails they just plainly ignore the well known differences between sex and gender and pretend they are the same.

OK, some of you are bound to ask about all those women out there who decided to hyphenate their last names instead of taking their husband's last name like a good wife should. Well, there are some states that will list both last names. Of course some of them won't use a hyphen or will put one of the last names as a second middle name. While these may seem like problems, and the lack of a national standard might cause some issues you are clearly over-reacting. The wife will simply have to take a later flight while her family goes on without her. They could choose to wait with her but then they are forfeiting their tickets and will have to re-book at additional cost since they are choosing to get off the flight they picked. I think it is quite clear that anyone who would try to use two last names is probably trying to hide something and we'd be better off delaying them.

By now you are clearly well convinced of the effectiveness of the new TSA plan and you are ready to jump on the next plane without a care in the world. Either that or you are wondering why the TSA doesn't just give their highly detailed and accurate list of known terrorists to the FBI or Homeland Security and have them go pick them all up. Well, besides the obvious flaw in your thinking that ignores the well established complete lack of sharing of information between government agencies, there are well over one million names on that list and we really don't have either the man power nor the storage capacity for that many terrorists. And besides, we really aren't sure that any of the people on the list are actually terrorists, we're just sure of their middle initials and gender.

Yes, I did say that most people would simply be delayed and put on later flights. Clearly that would stop a terrorist. There is no way they would blow up some random flight other than the one they were planning on putting them on. Delaying a terrorist is the same as stopping one.

OK, some of you still aren't clear on this. I can hear you with your smarty pants answers and subversive thoughts. You're thinking that some terrorists might just try and find a way to do terroristy things without flying. Well, I can assure you that is very unlikely. I mean of all the really big terrorist acts that have happened in the US in recent memory, less than 70% have not involved flying.

So, you can plainly see that with a few more slight intrusions into our life, restrictions on our liberty and a minor roadblock on our pursuit of happiness we may have found a way to inconvenience the one terrorist out of the million on the list who was planning to sneak on a plane using a misspelled last name and erroneous gender.

Now, before your next flight remember; take off your shoes, spell your name correctly, figure out how to prove and document your gender and bend over. Thank you for flying the friendly skies.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Sanctity of Marriage.

It's one of the biggest industries in the country. Entering into it is the most important day of a young girl's life. Parents and young couples will throw away their life savings on that day.

We have jokes about it. It ends a man's freedom and enters him into a lifetime of debt and servitude. Ask the average American about their spouse or being married and you'll rarely hear about love or commitment. Instead you'll hear about "the old ball and chain" or stories of nagging, leaving the seat up, lack of sex, too much sex or how fat they've gotten.

Dig a little deeper and ask them why they got married and responses vary from "What else were we going to do?" to "She/He wanted to have children." or "You can't stay alone for ever."

Ah Romance!

Now before you get all offended, I started this rant with the disclaimer of "average American". Go ahead, look back and read it again. I then said "rarely". So if this doesn't apply to your situation and you were about to email me about your personal wedded bliss. Don't bother. I wasn't talking about you.

The rest of this country has a pretty messed up idea about marriage. From the ignorant star-struck young bride who stops considering her husband to be minutes after he proposes as she begins plotting the garish atrocity that will be her wedding day to the neighbor of ours who, when asked about his new wife commented "I don't know what the hell is the matter with her, I married her and got her pregnant... what more does she want?!", we have really screwed up this fine institution.

And that's exactly what it is, an institution. It is generally accepted that the earliest marriages were in ancient Egypt. Of course then it was a contract between a man and his father-in-law to be. The Bride was merely what was being traded. It wasn't until much later that the contract was between the husband and wife. They did include provisions for divorce, alimony and rules on concubines. If the husband took a concubine, the wife would adopt the resulting children.

As we all know, it was later hijacked by Christianity like most everything else and gradually became a sacrament. By gradually, I mean it took around 1500 years. St.Paul first commented on it, comparing marriage between a man and a woman to the relationship between Christ and his Church. Not really an official sort of thing, more of an off-hand comment. "Hey! This marriage thing is like a boat with no oars, or peanut butter and jelly sandwich! No wait, it's like that Christ guy and this Church we're starting!" This went on without much notice until the Council of Trent, upon noticing that people were going off and just deciding that they were just married, thus depriving the Catholic church of potential revenue decreed that all marriages must be presided over b a priest and two witnesses. Love still had nothing to do with it, this was about saving men from sinfulness and guaranteeing that church sanctioned procreation would continue to provide future soldiers of Christ.

(pause... I always cry at weddings...)

While I'm not a major expert, Jewish marriage history follows a similar path in case you were wondering.

Jump forward 400 years (or so) and look at the advances we've made. (that would be about the 1950's for those that haven't been paying attention.) DeBeers has already added a new expense to the cost of marriage. It was in the early 1900's that they decreed "an engagement ring should cost about two months salary." I could go off, but that's another story. More importantly, women are just about equals. They can vote and everything! Marriage is widely accepted as a romantic thing between a man and a woman, entered into willingly for the purpose of building a family and creating housewives.

I would have made a great 1950's housewife! If only I liked men. Oh well, details...

More importantly, we've worked out all the details of divorce. Now that both parties have a say in the arangement, what do we do if one of them changes their mind? Thank God for divorce! It was all the rage in the '80's. For what God has joined together, let only two lawyers tear assunder! (I'm tearing up again.)

But there are still places where marriges are arranged and wives are even bought. Strange places with odd values and weird customs. Like... America! While polygamy and arranged marriages are common; check out the Amish or the Morons or even the Hasidics if you need examples, it's the wives for sale that I love. Go ahead and click the link in the title. Or better yet, check out this ad or this one. "But those are Russians." you'll say. Yeah, but who do you think they are marketing towards? There are other examples, but they were my favorite. I can see the next series - "Got Bride?"

Clearly this is a wholesome, and spiritual institution that must be preserved in the spirit of the tradition in which it was created. Marriage is a gift from God that gives a man ownership of a woman so that he can make children that will grow into soldiers of Christ, thus giving said man a "full quiver".

You do see where this is going don't you?

Marriage is intended to be between two young healthy people for the purpose of curbing sinfulness and making babies. It is not for the old, the infirm, the sterlie, the impotent and most certainly not for gays. Isn't that right? It's not about love or a stable economy of the good of society. It's about making babies and if you can't make babies for Jesus then we don't want you getting married. Unless we think it's cute, then a really old guy in a nursing home can marry the lady down the hall even though there is no way they can consumate, and thus make it legally binding in the eys of the church and this great nation of ours, then we'll make an exception because that's just a beautiful Hallmark moment. Yes, that's right, even today failure to do the deed is grounds for divorce and even an annulment.

Oh, and honestly, even if we don't think it's cute it's OK as long as it's... well... OK, I can;t explain this one, but they got married and it was legal. Yeah, it was in Argentina but it's just an example and we have lots of famous ones like it in this country. No one ever tried to suggest that this marriage should have been illegal, and do I even have to give you a link for Anna Nicole? I didn't think so.

OK, so we've strayed from "traditional marriage". We'll let the old and even the just f*@cked up get married but certainly we have to draw the line somewhere. The church is losing it's grip and our nation is in moral decline. I think the answer is obvious. We can't let gays and lesbians marry. Surely that will protect marriage! OK, maybe it's too late to protect marriage but we can pretend we're saving it and it'll make us feel better if we have something to hold over them gays. I mean if we let gays marry then how can Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public feel superior to them? Think about it. If your marriage is on the rocks and your husband won't even put on a clean t-shirt and is about as apealing a three day old tuna sandwhich or your wife won't make a decent dinner or shut up long enough for you to tell her that you need to be "serviced", then how are you supossed to feel better than them gays if you allow them to marry and enter this blissful state you share with your spouse? Are they to believe that gay love is equal to the feelings they have for thier spouse? I don't think so.

And don't even look at the divorce rates in the states that are most strongly oppossed to gay marriage. That has nothing to do with it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Favorite stupid question...

I was filling out another one of those stupid security question things for some web-site account.  You know the ones; it's no longer enough to have your own user ID and password, the password has to be case-sensitive and contain a mix of numbers and letters, not rhyme with your user ID or your real name,  not be obscene or offensive to religious minorities residing in any of the out lying US territories...  

So of course I now put "1" on the end of all my passwords.  Yeah, that'll stop those hackers dead in their tracks.

Anyway, I now also have to have not one, but two security questions.  "City where you were born", "Favorite author", "Favorite restaurant", "First pet's name", "Favorite sexual position"...

I hate those.  It's none of their business.  Those are all personal things.  I don't talk to just anyone about those things.  But that's not what bothers me.

I usually lie about this, but to be honest... I don't have many favorites.  OK, I don't really have any I can think of.  I've always felt I'm missing something.  Everyone I know has a favorite everything.  A favorite color, song, band, book, movie... I don't even have a favorite pair of shoes!  I'm convinced there's something wrong with me and I've always been insecure about it. (as if don't have enough to be insecure about)

Of course the solution here seems simple enough.  I'll just pick something.  Easy right?  Except I keep forgetting what I picked.

This is pathetic, and not just a little ridiculous.  I'm being intimidated by HTML, or Flash or whatever.  A stupid website is coming damn close to bringing on an anxiety attack.  I don't need this shit.  I have real problems!  Real issues!  I have crap I want to buy online!

So, from now on I'm going with simple answers:  
Favorite (whatever) : Nothing.

No matter what the question my answer will be "Nothing" or "None".  So all you hackers out there that want to extend my subscription to Consumer Reports or change my preferences on Zappos... there you go.  I won't let an extra security measure get in the way of my self esteem! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Next Stop... the wrong one.

Today was one of those long days.  It started too early and ran much to late.  It was supposed to be an easy day but that almost never happens.  That's not the problem though, the problem is how it ended.

I hate the NYC MTA.  That's a big surprise... Who doesn't?

We all know the usual complaints, and if you don't you can just check out the StrapHangers.  I'm talking about a personal complaint.  I'm actually convinced it's personal.  It happens to me so often, that I am quite certain the MTA is out to get me.

First, I need to say that I generally do like riding the subway.  I really do.  It's the "green" thing to do.  It's generally more convenient than driving.  And I love the semi-intimate people watching.  The subway is filled with people from every walk of life... So many characters, so many stories...

But enough of that!  I live off the "R" train line in Brooklyn.  Most of the time it's pretty reliable.  It's actually scheduled to arrive less often than the average line, but it is on time more often.  You figure it out.  

Today, however, it pulled it's regular trick.  I took the "N" express from Manhattan planning to catch the "R" local in Brooklyn to finish my trip home.

The platform was empty when we got to Brooklyn, a sure sign we had just missed an "R", but it's supposed to come every six minutes.  Six minutes go by... (another "N" comes) Four more minutes... (another "N")... a few more minutes... finally an "R".  The crowd is now about 10 deep on the platform and all 4,000 of us mange to cordially squeeze in just in time to hear the announcement that this "R" will be going express.

4,000 people groan and squeeze back off the train.  The doors close and a virtually empty train pulls away form the platform.

Apparently the logic is that if the "R" train is running late they send it express for a few stops to make up time.  The problem is, the further out you go the less people that need the damn "R" to run on time.  They drop 4,000 people back on the platform to await an express so they can hurry up and get the local train out to the 37 people waiting in Bay Ridge.  

How does that make sense?

I'm betting the real reason is that the conductor is nearing the end of their shift and they don't want him/her to be late so it's to hell with all of us.

And the good news is: The fare is about to go up again!

I'll be driven out of this city eventually, and it won't be by crime or the cost of living or over crowding.  It will be all the little things.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Loving Las Vegas

I just returned from a conference in Las Vegas.  I had been many times in the past but always for work, never as a tourist.  This time I set aside a day to be a tourist.

Well, half a day.

It started with lunch at a simple tourist spot and went on to the wee hours drinking cocktails at a little night-club.  All in all it was a great time.  We went to dinner at one of the restaurants at the Bellagio overlooking the lake and watched the fountains as we ate our wonderful meal.  It was truly one of the best meals I've had in a long time.

After dinner we went to see one of the few remaining classic Vegas shows on the strip; Jubilee at Bally's.  It was everything Las Vegas is supposed to be; lots of feathers, sequins, incredible sets and topless women.  We saw it just for the sake of seeing such a show and we weren't disappointed.

But none of that is why I think I love Las Vegas.

First you have to understand my relationship with Sin City.  It was strictly professional.  I went to work on one of the resorts.  I was up early every day dragging my tired ass through the casino of the seedy hotel I lived in for weeks at a time and saw the same (or at least the appeared all the same) corpulent, somnambulant beings glued to the stools in front of an assortment of blinking, bleeping gambling machines.  Late at night I would return only to find the same scene.

Obviously I was not a fan of the city back then.  But that was years ago.  And yet the scene in the Hotel lobby remains much the same except this time I was in a much nicer hotel.  I don't enjoy gambling, don't even like cards much.

So why do I love Las Vegas?

It's got to be the spectacle.  The over the top, unapologetic, completely contrived, utterly unrealistic display of fantasy.  The is a corny little version of New York City that is completely devoid of both garbage and the fabulous melange of aromas we have here.  There is a black glass pyramid, Venice, Paris and Caesars palace.  There is a pirate ship battle and giant robots dancing atop a waterfall that doubles as a video screen (my contribution to the spectacle).

If you look past the street hawkers and all you can eat buffets you'll find great restaurants and fun night clubs where for a little bit too much money you can get caught up in all the spectacle.

And, I'll admit that I'm shallow enough to feel really good about myself when I found myself to be the slimmest, best dressed and most physically fit person in the room on more than one occasion.

I'm not saying I could live there, or even that I would go back but I am glad that after all my time in Las Vegas I finally experienced all the fuss.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The first post

I thought the first post should be something simple, something about me or why I'm now among the ranks of the Blogging elite. See, I've already elevated myself to the level of Elite! That should tell you something about me.

I don't think I'll be keeping to any strict format here. I'll post about what strikes me. It could be politics; but plenty of people already cover that topic, or people I know, people I don't know. Who knows. We'll see how often I log on and rant into the void.

"It is not a bad idea to get in the habit of writing down one's thoughts. It saves one having to bother anyone else with them."
Isabel Colegate