30 January 2006

Welcome to the Year of the Dog

Happy Chinese New Year. This is the year of the Dog. I don't know anything about Chinese Zodiac but I know enough to know I was born in the year of the Dog. I know, I know, my profile says I was born in the year of the Rooster but I assure you, I roll with the Dogs. Therefore I feel this is reason to celebrate. There are two weeks to celebrate the new year and from what I hear, a lot of the Chinese are right here in Las Vegas spending a lot of money.

In other Danie news, my ipod got a makeover. In case you're tuning in for the first time, Jesse bought me an ipod shuffle for Christmas.

As you can see, it came in the standard ipod white. I've been looking all over for (reasonably priced) covers. I found a few, but the shipping negated the costs. But Jesse came to the rescue. While reading Bust Magazine (he's not the actual subscriber) he found DecalGirl. I went there and voila! A fun and just adorable decal for my fun and adorable ipod.

26 January 2006

Leave Google Alone

I know you didn't ask me, but I'm going to give you my opinion anyway. Google is not to be harangued because of it's agreement to censor information on Google China - that's what I will be calling it. Obviously Google made the deal because it was a sound business decision, not because it believes in censorship. The ongoing fight with the U.S. government should tell you that.

It appears Google is using the "some is better than none" mentality. That could be (and is being) viewed as selling out, but consider the fact that it's not a search engine's job to stand up to governments.

There are so many much bigger issues when it comes to China, the role of U.S. businesses in China, and the practices of the Chinese government that I think a new website is almost a non-issue. I understand that the agreement goes against the Google philosophy but I agree that giving some information is better than giving none. Obviously only time will tell.

But until that time passes, get off of Google's case. It knows when there's a fight worth fighting. All of this new and unnecessary bad publicity is bad for shareholders trying to double an already large investment.


A Shareholder

*Note: Google also supports (read: owns) blogger.

22 January 2006

If you're bored...

This is something Jesse sent to me. Yes, we do email / message each other from the same IP address. Obviously I thought this was entertaining enough to pass along. Enjoy.

~ The Xerox

P.S.: What do you think of the new look? The pink was starting to hurt my brain.
P.P.S.: I added the hoops & yoyo banner because I think they're adorable, in an overly caffeinated way.

21 January 2006

Can You Say "Aneurysmectomy?"

You remember my dad don't you? He seems to be a recurring topic here. It's not that my mom isn't interesting, it's just that lately the strange happenings are following my dad.

My dear old dad has an anuerysmectomy. Apparently this artery is supposed to be about 3 centimeters. My dad's is 5.8. Anything over 5 and they operate. It's been described to me (via the Internet) like a balloon. It's too full, and could therefore pop - sending blood rushing into my dad's chest or heart. Scary stuff indeed.

The surgery will be performed at St. Luke Regional Heart Center in Bethlehem, PA. As you can see, it comes highly recommended. I will be flying east for the surgery and some of the recovery. I'm the least freaked out out of everyone in my family (except for maybe my 5 year old brother who probably doesn't even know) and I'm not worried. This is considered an elective surgery, which means there will be prep time and everyone will know the risk involved. Plus, I watch Discovery Health. So I know what insides look like.

I'll keep you posted, keep us in your prayers, chants, wishes, etc.

17 January 2006

Happy Birthday To Me: VI

Five of us left the Stratosphere to get booze, soda, and jackets (it gets cold when the sun goes down). We went back to the apartment to mix drinks and load backpacks. We then went back to the strip for more walking, because the estimated four miles from Friday night just weren't enough. We had a very rough itinerary that included the Sirens of TI show at Treasure Island, the fountain show at the Bellagio, a trip to Fremont Street, and the $15 for all the beer you can drink special at Gilley's.

It sounds like a fun night but there were stipulations. The last show at TI was at 10:30. The Bellagio fountains and the show at Fremont Street stop at midnight, and we thought we could avoid the cover at Gilley's by getting there right at nine. We were in a pickle. This is not a picture of use in a pickle. This is Ryan & Cassie from Saturday. I have a lot of pictures I want to use.

But some things worked themselves out. We caught the 8:30 TI show. It was the worst pirate show I could have imagined. Unless you replace "pirate" with "slut." Then it was great. If you have children, you should certainly not bring them. I hear it used to be an actual pirate show before it was "updated." Now it's a bunch of dancing whores. I always thought sirens lured sailors with their voices. These sirens did have good voices, but they were also scantily clad. The show had some brief pyrotechnics that were good. But it was mostly full of profound statements like: "My name is Cinnamon but every seaman that's entered my cove calls me Cin." If you think it's innocent just say it out loud. It's just a little inappropriate.

And the cover at Gilley's started at 9. So the 5 of us with mixed drinks decided against going there. The other three (Jesse, Ryan, & Chris) had to decide if they wanted to pay $25 for all the beer they could drink. Indeed, there was turmoil involved. Eventually they went in. The rest of us took our bags and headed to the Bellagio. The show never gets old (probably because it changes every hour) and it doesn't photograph well. So you'll just have to come here and see it.

We saw the fountain show twice and decided we had plenty of time to get downtown. It took another 15 or so minutes before I gave in and agreed to go to a taxi stand. Silly me, I thought you could hail a cab from the sidewalk. Movies lie. Near the cab stand was this car. Cassie loved it (and knew what it was) so she took a picture.

Our cab driver was great though. We got to downtown in 10 minutes. Tab and I encountered a dude outside the Golden Nugget who wanted to hug me. And then couldn't believe it when I told him no. I explained to him that he was a stranger and that I do not hug strangers. Then he tried to get to know me. We chatted. Tab and I also refused to exchange numbers with him. This went on for minutes. He even winked at me. I told him not to wink at me, as there was no secret between us. He again asked for a hug and I again denied him. Dudes are stupid. We later realized Tab's shirt wasn't buttoned up as well as it should have been - something about trying to hail a cab.

We watched the show. It too has been worsened through improvements. There's some new corporate sponsorship. We took another cab back to the strip and decided to start lounging. Plus I wanted to take the car away from Jesse in case he had any stupid ideas. We went back to the hotel so everyone could get their pajamas. Then back to the apartment to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I really like that movie. Three of the five fell asleep. Then I got a call that Jesse refused to leave Gilley's. He was hiding from Chris and Ryan and had to be escorted out of the kitchen. I told Ryan to deal with it the best he could. Then I called Jesse. He sounded pleased as punch. I heard him try to get the group to go to Circus Circus.

Eventually he was ushered into a cab and the three of them stayed at the hotel. We got up Sunday morning to check out. Then most of us went back to sleep. Let's see, 6 of the 8 went to Denny's, Then 2 of the 8 went back to California. Four of the 6 watched TV, 2 of the 6 wanted to play video games, 2 of the 6 fought about that - then went to rent Wedding Crashers. Six of 6 watched it, 3 of 6 went to the airport so 1 could return to Texas. Three of five played video games until 5 of 5 played poker and ate pizza. Five of 5 then went to bed, with 2 of 5 getting up just two hours later to go back to the airport so 1 of 2 could return to Pennsylvania.

On Monday, 1 of the 4 had to go to work. Four of 4 dropped him off. Three of 3 went to the airport so 1 could return to Minnesota. And then there were 2 who lounged all day doing nothing. Two of 3 went to pick 1 up from work. The 3 then went downtown for $5 steaks and chicken teryaki. On Tuesday, 2 of 3 had to go to work. Three of 3 went back to the airport so 1 could go back to North Dakota. Two of 2 went to work and were exhausted.

And that is my version of how I celebrated my 24th birthday. Of course there are different stories and pictures out there. Jesse and Ryan would love for you to stop by their blogs. The party was very very fun. I just need two weeks (or so) to recover.


16 January 2006

Happy Birthday To Me: V

The machine gun shooting was a big draw for most of the dudes in the group. I'm not really sure why, I suspect it's something about having a penis. But look: this is what a rocket propelled grenade launcher looks like. I know you were wondering.

The boys who shot did a wonderful job. I signed in as the official photographer. I learned gunfire is really loud when you're in a tiny place. The rounds also stink. Once you choose your weapon and target, a gun-toting employee takes you to get goggles and earmuffs. Then they teach you how each weapon shoots and (I think) you get two clips.

I don't know who shot what, other than Chris shot an uzi. I took a little video but it doesn't show much other than loud pops and the guys' backs. So I thought I'd show you some smiling faces instead. Here's Mlb, he chopped Duane to pieces.

Chris blasted this woman. I know it appears as though she were being held up but the dude at the gun store assured us it was his ex-wife and her lawyer. So Chris was doing him a service. Ryan liked it so much, he went twice. I'm all for hunting and people learning how to properly use firearms. Still, the amount of weaponry and the enthusiasts were a little disconcerting. Plus Tab (bless her little heart) was quite vocal about being anti-gun. What can I say? She's loud.

Once the testoserone was cleared, we headed to the Stratopshere, where romantic pictures are made. This is Tab & Mike. Jesse, Ryan, Chris & Mlb decided to ride the rides. From what I hear, the Big Shot was fun and the X-Scream and Insanity were terrifying. Just to be sure, Ryan, Jesse, and Chris rode the X-Scream twice. Unfortunatly, the ride doesn't photograph well, but I assure you there are terrified faces on board. I think one woman cried. The rest of us were bored. That meant it was time to get liquored up.

15 January 2006

Happy Birthday To Me: IV

We took a lot of pictures on the way back, beginning with the Siegfried, Roy, and tiger outside The MGM Mirage. This is Jesse, Ryan, and Chris - supposedly in their b-boy stances. But I think I took the picture before Chris knew what he was supposed to be doing. And here's a little known fact; Chris is very photogenic. He just loves the camera. There he is with Cassie, me, and Mlb.

Friday night / Saturday morning was the first time I walked in front of the MGM Mirage Fountain. It's quite nice. Not as nice as the canals at the Venetian, but nice. We also ran into Chris' dance partner. Ryan re-challenged him on Chris' behalf, but the dude walked away really, really quickly. Maybe he was intimidated.

I thought the walk was quicker on the way back, probably because we didn't make as many stops. We were headed to back Fatburger for me and Cassie (we skipped the first time) and then to New York New York because the boys wanted lasagne by the slice. Like I said, the walk was brisk. Chris needed some extra "pick me ups" and antacids in order to go on. This is a picture worth studying. Fatburger took forever and by the time we got to New York New York, the lasagne place was closed. It was also apparent that Chris was pretty drunk and needed food.

After Cassie and I (and eventually Chris) ate, we took more statue picture, this time at the MGM Grand. Then it was back to the Motel 6, where got really angry at Chris (after much instigation) and tried to take a cab home. Jesse wouldn't have it AND he took Chris' side (no surprise there) so I was doubly miffed. The ride home provided a little bit of a distraction but I was still heated when I got home. So I went to the gym. It was 4:45 in the a.m. When I got home, I felt better, but sleepy.

And wouldn't you know it, Tab & Mike arrived around 11:30. The group was complete. We got a car wash, ate breakfast, and headed (you guessed it) to shoot automatic weapons. I'm not kidding.

12 January 2006

Happy Birthday To Me: III

That brings us to Friday. I left Ryan and Chris sleeping while I took Jesse to work. Then I swung on over to McCarran Airport to pick up MLB (Matt) fresh from Amarillo. Together we checked into the hotel and went back to the apartment.

Chris and Ryan eventually got up, showered, and resumed their earlier positions. Chris got back on the internet in his efforts to solve Tupac's murder. Ryan got back on XBox Live to do some pretend murdering of his own. MLB took a nap. It wasn't too long before Chris realized he was no sleuth, and joined Ryan on the floor. They were like 2 cute little peas in a pod. Peas that shoot people.

But the day was not a total waste. Ryan baked Banana Bread all by himself. And I baked chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips. But mostly, I wasted time and Ryan and Chris played Halo. After 5ish hours, I woke MLB and we all went back to McCarran to pick up Cassie plucked from Philadelphia.

We were out of room in the car, so we went back to the hotel. Ryan, Cassie, and I were entrusted with the booze buying. We opted for Cranberry Vodka and Cranberry juice. We all care about getting enough antioxidants, you know. We also picked up Jesse, bringing our number to 6. Back at the hotel, we mixed some drinks, watched some TV, put on our best walking shoes, and hit the strip.

We walked and walked and walked. The hotel was on Tropicana, so we headed north. Our first stop was across the street at the MGM Grand. We were hoping to see lions. No such luck.

A block or so after that, we munched at Fatburger. Then we stopped at the Bellagio to see the cranberry bog. Did you know the winter display is over.? I certainly didn't. They're changing it for what looks like Chinese New Year. This is a slightly doctored picture of what we saw. The fountain show had already ended for the night, so we pressed on.

Next stop, The Imperial Palace. There, we skipped right through the Karaoke to the blackjack tables. The Imperial Palace has dealer-tainers. Those are dealers dressed to look like celebrities. I was too busy laughing to take any pictures. It's a shame really, because when the fake Whitney Houston did a rendition of "So Emotional," there was one really excited guy who obviously thought he was an interpretive dancer. Again, I was laughing too hard to compose myself. But bless his rhythmless little heart.

After that we stopped at the MGM Mirage, hoping to see some tigers. It was just an excuse to rest out feet on a moving walkway and take some pictures. This is MLB & Cassie.

As it turns out, Tigers go to bed. Who knew? From the MGM Mirage, went to Treasure Island to get Pina Coladas and Margaritas. But the stands were closed. Some nonsense about it being really late (or too early in the morning). Chris and I danced to the beat of our own drummer, I guess she wasn't just ours, but we were the on;y ones dancing. He spun me around so much I thought I was going to throw up. But I didn't.

Then we encountered a random dude who challenged Chris to some dancing. Chris did very well, but this guy did better with the use of his jacket as a prop. The the guy ran away, giving Chris no chance to redeem himself. He was not pleased.

And then we realized we had a lot more walking to do, and we started heading back.

10 January 2006

Happy Birthday To Me: II

On Wednesday (January 4) I was off and Jesse had to work. It was the perfect time for Chris and I to bond. Instead, I dropped him off at GameWorks, where he spent the next nine hours playing video games. Jesse met up with him after work and they did a little dance on the town.

On Thursday, we again left Chris up to his own devices. He met up with me after my show while Jesse went to get Ryan, aka guest #2. Ryan didn't know Chris was here. It was supposed to be a big surprise, and it sort of was. It would have been better if Jesse hadn't driven by a bar and said "That's where Chris and I went last night." His correction ("That's where me and Chris would go if he were here") wasn't much better. Either way, the Chris was mostly out of the bag.

The four of us went to the Crown & Anchor for some fine English cuisine. I didn't notice anything overly ethnic about the menu, but there were certainly some strange things. Jesse got some beans and bacon he said were authentic and reminiscent of his days on the other side of the pond. Most notably, he ordered a salad. It was the first time I can remember (in our 3+ years) that he ordered a salad. I mean it's one thing to eat one that comes with a meal and quite another to order one all on it's own. Ryan and I were curious. Jesse said he was getting a cold and needed his greens.

We decided to go back home so I could switch my purse. We were also supposed to decide something to do. But these dudes and their attention spans would have nothing to do with it. Chris sat at the computer, Ryan shot at strangers from all over the world, and Jesse just sat and took it all in. It was quite boring.

They snapped out of it after a bit and Jesse decided to stay in because he still felt sick. Ryan, Chris, and I went the Orleans for some drinks. They were not very delicious. We then walked across the street to McMullen's, where we found good drinks and good company until 5 in the a.m.

On the walk back, we stopped at a gas station for snacks and at walgreen's because we wanted to get jesse some medicine. We're just those kinds of friends. We then found a shopping cart that actually pointed us toward a shortcut on the way home. I'm not 100% on how that came to be, but it did. We went home and gave Jesse some cold medicine and acetaminophen, just in case he had a fever. But now that I think about it, I really wasn't in the shape to be prescribing over the counter medication. But he survived and was grateful, so we'll call it a win.

09 January 2006

Happy Birthday To Me: I

Hi. This is the new me, a little cold and intoxicated. The old me was 23. This version is 24. My birthday was January 3. Feel free to mark your calendars for next year. Sometime last summer, I thought it would be a good idea to have a birthday party. So I invited a bunch of people to come out here for an extended weekend to celebrate with me. I ended up with a rowdy group of six. The party started on January 6 and dispersed on the 9. This week, you'll get to read all about it.

My actual birthday wasn't phenomenal by any means. In fact it might have been bad if not for all the birthday cheer sent my way. Here is an updated picture of our Christmas/ Birthday Card Fridge. Arranging it so that all pictures and cards were visible was no small feat, so go ahead and be impressed. Jesse got me a robe and a little fridge that sits right on my desk at work. It's adorable. Everyone who noticed it said so. Unfortunately, I can't find any pictures of it on the internet. Maybe I'll take one of my desk and show you another day.

At the last minute, Chris from Moorhead decided to come. He's definitely more Jesse's friend than mine. In fact, when I was in Fargo, we were in direct competition for Jesse's attention. Anyway, Chris was on vacation from work for a tour his band never made. He arrived on Monday, making him our first guest. He and Jesse's first order of business: cheeseburgers from In-N-Out Burger. I hear they were delicious.

Thus began my actual birthday. I got lots of calls and text messages from quite a few people. My spirits were high, because everybody knows that only good things happen to you on your birthday. But there was a "discovery" at work. I did something (a month ago) that I should not have done. It was done because of poor judgment and I didn't know it was wrong at the time. Although if I had stopped to think about it, I surely would have noticed a glowing red flag. Of course I'd love to tell you all about it, but it involves pique a boo. As a result, I am now being watched by some whose intentions are deeper than to read, ponder, and enjoy.

It's an odd feeling to know you are being monitored. It's as if that information were enough to impose self censorship. I hope to forget and continue to write as I have always done. But I guess only time will tell. To add to the vagueness, there were two separate issues for me Tuesday. One in which I recognized my mistake and took my punishment. The other fueled an anger in me that was almost paralyzing in its intensity. It was certainly a cloud, but it was still my birthday. I only get one a year and I certainly did not want to waste it.

Chris and I ate some cheesecake about it at Caesar's Palace while Jesse watched (he's anti cheesecake you know) and the three of us set out to find adventure. Unfortunately, we didn't have much luck. This town can be pretty dead on a Tuesday night in January. So we were home around 2.

24 looks like it will be challenging. But I do plan to come out on top.

02 January 2006

Welcome to 2006

Alas, I know you have been stopping by every day to see the latest pique a boo has to offer, but almost nothing interesting happened between Christmas and New Year's Eve. On Tuesday I got a text message from Emily saying she was on this side of the country and was to be in Las Vegas by the end of the week. I got another text message Thursday saying she was on her way, then here. She and former boyfriend Tim drove in from L.A. In the back of my mind, I knew they were coming. But I was still kind of surprised when they got here.

I'm afraid Jesse and I weren't great hosts. We had nothing planned, preferred not to go to a club, and didn't really offer any direction. We ended up at a bar at Mandalay Bay that featured slow service and a cover band. As you can see, Emily and Tim were thrilled. Emily didn't call at all on Friday and didn't return my call. If ever there was a sign of bad hosting, that was it.

On Saturday I did what I always do on the last day on the year. I cleaned. No sense bringing in a new year with old dirt. I spent several hours giving our place a deep cleansing. Jesse (who doesn't clean without a fight or a severe pout) vacuumed.

Once the place was cleaned, the booze bought, and the mini drink mixing station made, we headed for the bus stop, where we sat for about 30 minutes before we realized we'd have to drive if we wanted to make it to the strip by midnight. We then spent about an hour looking for parking. I created a spot at the Klondike Hotel & Casino, which doesn't even have it's own website. Then we walked to the Monte Carlo for the fireworks show.

I thought the show was great as far as fireworks go. There had been a solid threat that no shows would go on because of high winds. I don't know if some things were cut out but the same show went off from 10 rooftops. The visuals were great. As soon as I figure out how, I'll load up the video we took. But don't hold your breath.

After the show we (and an estimated 300,000 other people) began heading back to the car. It was pretty slow and bumpy. We ended up climbing a little wall and going in to the Excalibur. We walked through to Mandalay Bay where we saw Carrot Top AGAIN. We saw him Thursday night in the same area and I saw him at the Wynn in May when I interviewed. Between you and me, he's a weird looking fellow. His arms are huge, but the rest of him is waif-like. I'm not really a fan. So I wish he would stop following me.

We decided to wait out traffic and eat at the Klondike. On Sunday I went to the gym and jesse mostly slept. The New Year promises to be fun. We started off with this little show. But the real party is just beginning. my birthdat is Tuesday. And my birthday party begins Friday. People are flying in from as far away as Pennsylvania to celebrate with me. I'm super excited.