Sunday, April 20, 2008

Elvis Was Not Present

When this blog’s low comment and subscriber counts force me to ponder why my ramblings are not the E-Ticket ride of the internet I often come to the conclusion that my posts are simply too long for the average, short attention span, modern day reader (rejecting outright any inkling that every word I write doesn’t glow with brilliance). No one who has spent more than 20 minutes with me in person can honestly be shocked by my verbosity – shutting up has never been my strong suit and I fear this post will only perpetuate the long post problem since I have next to no story arc in mind. At least the few readers who make it past this paragraph can lay claim to a certain level of exclusivity – this blog has to be the online equivalent of that cool band that none of your friends have heard of.

I am writing this post from seat 20F on my return flight from a long weekend in Las Vegas. This spring’s annual pilgrimage to family fun in Sin City thankfully did not include any unscheduled nights in Denver despite my arriving at the airport without government issued ID. It turns out you don’t need ID to fly. After checking in for my flight on Wednesday I failed to locate my driver’s license amongst the ATM receipts and “buy 10 sandwiches get 1 free” cards in my wallet. I panicked, figuring I’d have to get a taxi home and grab my passport before I’d have any hope of getting past the security check point. On the slim chance that my work issued ID or Flex Spending card would somehow sneak me onto a flight I asked the official looking guy directing traffic at the United ticket desk what type of ID was deemed acceptable by the FAA. He responded that I needed a driver’s license, a passport or a military ID and then, after a lengthy pause where I valiantly resisted bursting into stress induced bawling, said “unless you want to get your boarding passes reprinted.” After much confusion about why anyone would choose a trip home over a simple reprinting I found out that if I stood in line and got a new boarding pass and then agreed to submit to the public airing of my underwear and a hearty wanding I could fly without the government vouching for my ID. Shocking! Even more shocking -- I think that due to the sparse population in the “extra security” line flying without ID might actually be FASTER than submitting to normal security procedures.

The excuse for this trip was my cousin Donia’s bachelorette party and (failing an overly rambunctious evening with a stripper) nuptials. The female wedding VIPs and I spent Thursday afternoon at the spa at Red Rock Hotel and Casino where I discovered that the most wonderful invention on in the world is the steam room. The evening was reserved for more traditional bachelorette fair in the form of an evening at a dance club. I hate dance clubs and feel very strongly that I should at least be granted 15 karma brownie points every time I submit to a red velvet rope, thumping music and the unwelcome advances of creepy boys in service of some other girl’s last night of freedom. Lucky for me (and unlucky for my cousin) the hotel screwed up our dance club reservation so instead of a $300 bottle of vodka and all the pop song remixes we could ask for we were sneaked into a Midway Games company party at one of the casino’s other bars.

The red wrist straps that the embarrassed hotel staff slipped onto our hands granted us not only a chance to party with programmers (leave it to me to locate nerds in the wild wherever I roam) but unlimited free drinks and front row seats for the bar’s midnight show. The modern day Vegas lounge act is a whiter than vanilla rapper flanked by a Carrie Underwood look alike and that skater dude’s huge black body guard singing snippets from top 40 songs. Which I’m sure sounds awful but much like Rock of Love or The Girls Next Door it was thankfully just awful enough to be awesome (but I guess that could have been the vodka talking).

Sadly this bar was not without a dance floor and so I had to employ numerous avoidance techniques to ensure that the whole of Midway Games not be subjected to my awkward attempts at shaking my groove thing (or lack thereof). While avoiding the requests that I join my cousin and her entourage on the dance floor in favor of scribbling blog ideas into a notebook (I am not kidding) I came up with the BEST excuse not to dance ever – “I’m sorry, I can’t, I’m pregnant and the vodka is already so hard on the baby.” Look for that at a bachlorette party near you.

The wedding itself was fairly uneventful (you know assuming that you, like me, attend roughly 500 weddings a year and no longer consider 2 people pledging eternal love worthy of the “event” moniker) – the outside ceremony was unfortunately subject to 45 mile per hour winds which had Donia cursing the long veil that her mother talked her into for the sake of tradition. My uncle is from Tunisia and brought a little bit of North Africa to the shindig in the form of 3 large hookahs which most of the very white wedding guests smoked in a fit of giggles once the open bar got flowing. As usual my father was the best sport ever and, among taunts that he “think back to 1968!” flashed us all a peace sign mid toke. (more photos here)

No Brianna trip to Vegas would be complete without my continual avoidance of all gambling related activities. I again managed this goal successfully despite a friend’s repeated requests that I bet $5 on 15 at the roulette table. I have to admit that my failure to act on this plea was mostly due to a certain amount of intimidation around being a roulette novice. While I understand the game’s concept (give casino money, watch little ball bounce around a wheel of numbers, walk away poorer) I felt paralyzed by not knowing the lingo or intimate social mores of standing around the table and so avoided it at all costs for fear of saying something wrong and appearing stupid. This is ironic considering that roulette is a game specifically designed to be played by stupid people with no grasp of simple math.

I’ll be back on the west coast in a month for 2008’s wedding number three this time starring my own baby brother. Where I will most likely die of old age.


Taras said...

And here I thought, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas...

So, you had a "great" time, huh?

Anonymous said...

I hope your uncle put his iPod on shuffle for everybody.

wolf said...

The "flying without ID" trick is a workaround that a lot of frequent travelers actually use quite often. As long as you don't mind the intensive search.

kajal said...

I have nothing clever or cute to say. I just think Delaney is really cute and love the picture of you and her dancing. I hope I hope motherhood (ew, I used the word) isn't turning into a mush ball.

Dean said...

In the spirit of helping improve your blog, I note that the downturn in numbers may coincide with the lack of talk concerning your breasts? Haven't heard the girls get a mention in a while.