Trippin' around America Pt.1

December/2005: The Las Vegas Entry - The work of PeeJ opens many doors. I wanted to go to New York City all the time I was growing up and the Montel Williams show flew Del and I in for that show, which tapes in NYC. New York is a great city. Simply awesome, as everyone knows. Growing up, it was all about visiting New York City, Washington DC, and Las Vegas. I don't think you're an American unless you want to visit those three cities at least once.

Doing the Montel Show accomplished the dream of visiting New York City. It was everything I wanted it to be. We were offered drugs on the street multiple times, I got to watch people mouth off at each other and it was very grimy. In short, it was my kind of city. Mean, confrontational and up all night. Still, that was just one of my triad of cities I wanted to visit.

Recently, I got to visit Las Vegas, that's right, ol' Sin City itself.

First, if your memory sucks, this should jog your memory of what Las Vegas looks like...

Yeah, that's Las Vegas

It's bright, it's glimmery, and it was supposed to have cheap food. I like bright things. I like shiny casinos, neon lights and urbanization. I like capitalism. These are things I enjoy. So, stands to reason that I would like Las Vegas. I should have loved it. It should have been a great visit. Not only because it was Las Vegas, but it was also my favorite thing to do in the world... that's right, sit in a Group Media Bust house organizing things while perverts show up.

I had the lucky fortune of being able to do two GMB's here in Portland. The first one was a frustration because it was simply too chaotic for my liking and I wasn't a fan of how certain PeeJ staff in the house were acting. In short, too many f'n PeeJ'ers in the house. The second one was a tad better because it was more organized (I took lead on the second one) but other issues I won't get into caused it to be not as much fun as it could have been. Sure, both were great times, but neither were ideal. They were too loose, too "party atmosphere" for my liking.

The Vegas GMB was scheduled to have two people in the house. Myself and Del. Delby is a social chameleon and we get along greatly when we're around each other. Hence, I knew it wasn't going to be some "Hey, we're in a house with media!" vibe going on. It would be calm, cool, and fairly collected. And it was. The GMB was very "chill" with Del and I doing our jobs and cracking a joke or two while doing so. It was much more enjoyable to organize the arrivals of the individuals without having to feel the responsibility of ensuring that others were on task and not acting out. Del doesn't act out. Del is great :)

So I'm set for a trip to Vegas, a city I want to visit... the capital of outrageous capitalism for a GMB. The station paid the accomodations and the trip was only costing me the expense of feeding myself. In short, a free "working" trip to Las Vegas. That's about the best way to go. The media was very awesome too, putting us up in the Rio. I flew out a day early to find out what house arrangements were made, inspect things, make sure our computers were set-up, get a ton of last minute details that we needed in order to have a successful GMB.

The flight, as all flights are, ruled. Great flight. The best thing about flying is how each flight shows you the personality of the city you're flying into. San Diego has a gorgeous landing where you come right in over and on the water. It's beautiful, just like the weather there. San Francisco is this tight, compacted city from the air. You come in skimming right over the Bay. Just a beautiful view from afar... until you land and it's dirty. New York looks like electric current when you come in at night, you can tell the entire city is buzzing and alive. Kansas City is a desolate wasteland that nobody should visit. Even from the air. And Vegas? It's a bunch of nothing with a lot of everything in one small area. Precisely how the city is when you get into it. The best part of the arial view of Las Vegas is that it looks like all the cities I used to build when I played Sim City back in the day. Perfectly organized blocks of houses.

I get in Vegas, meet up with an awesome reporter named Glen Meek (I don't know what it was about this guy, but I liked him a lot. A real straight shooter. I like hard-nosed reporters) who was going to be the reporter "opening the door" on these guys, so to speak. Find out that the house is still not ready and hit the Rio. The Rio is Sodom. It is. I walk in and there's a barely dressed woman singing some goofy ass song on the Casino floor and little waitress females wearing barely anything, I'm talking... barely anything, serving drinks to what looked like a bunch of fat couples who flew in from Florida. I tell you, every tourist in that place looked like they were on the geriatric world tour and then all the workers are these beautiful model types wearing barely anything. Surreal.

The rooms that were arranged for us were absolutely beautiful. When they say "All-suites hotel", they meant it. Just a great view of the entire strip and their pool area. However, it was at this point that I realized and affirmed two things:

1. That pool and spa area would be the best part of the non-GMB portion of the trip.

2. Portland is truly the greatest city in the United States.

Four words can sum up Las Vegas. Fake gaudy expensive bullshit. Sure, the city looks great from afar. The pictures of the strip are beautiful, and when you're far away from the strip, it looks fucking awesome. It looks like an electric candyland. Up close and the entire place makes you want to take a perpetual shower.

Which is probably why I spent most of my free time there swimming in the Rio's luxurious pools and hot tubs. As a note, I had never been in a hot tub before that trip, something I had pre-judged as overrated. Obviously, it's not overrated. There's nothing quite like the feeling of boiling like a fattened turkey. Nothing makes Vegas weather seem cool like sitting in boiling water. Now, the pools were sublime. I love swimming in pools. It's fun. I enjoy it. It's one of the few things on the planet that I find actually relaxing. If I were able to "book" a relaxing day, it would be basketball, swimming, laying down at the Kennedy and watching a movie with my girlfriend and then playing the video game series Civilization before going to bed. That would be just about as good as it gets when it comes to relaxation. The pool and hot tub ruled and made the non-GMB portion of the trip worthwhile.

The rest of Vegas? It stinks. First off, whoever tells you that the food and buffets are good deals are idiots. Idiots. The food is expensive as hell. The buffets are even moreso. I don't care how good a buffet is, I'm not spending more than ten dollars on it. It's not going to happen. I refuse to spend over ten dollars at the best buffet there could ever possibly be, Chang's Mongolian Grill, and I never go unless I have one of those entertainment book 25% off coupons. Just isn't happening. I never saw one buffet that was ten bucks or less. There is no free food in Vegas, which someone told me. That's a lie. They don't even offer free drinks. That also is a lie. Even if they did offer free drinks, I don't drink.

In fact, I don't do a lot of things. And all the things I don't do that most people enjoy doing are the only things to do in Vegas besides the mentioned swimming thing. I don't gamble money. Gambling money is stupid. Yet, like a schmuck, I thought... "Hey, go play a slot. It's Vegas. You can't go to Vegas without playing a slot." So I went and dropped a dollar into one of those lever-pull slots, because really... those touch screen slots? Fuck those. Lever-pull. That's the movie Vegas, dammit, and that's the only kind of slot that should be allowed. That shit is boring. Where's the thrill? All these idiots tell me that "Oh, gambling is so thrilling, so fun." It's not fun. It's dumb. I dropped a dollar in there, boring. I don't gamble.

Something else I don't do? I don't order whores. Now, this may come as a shock to you given my mention of "I won't pay over ten dollars for a buffet" cheapness, but I don't pay for sex. I don't have anything morally against prostitutes. I don't have anything against people who pay for sex with prostitutes. Have your fun, pay your dime, take a ride and a twirl, beats idiotic males raping people, after all. Still, I'm too cheap to pay for sex. And Vegas is filled with prostitutes. Holy shit, is that city filled with prostitutes. Del was hanging out in my room and decided to look at the phone book. There's a section of that phone book which is nothing but prostitutes. I swear, the thing was over sixty pages. And they have OLD prostitutes. I never imagined that there would be a sexual fetish for 70 year old prostitutes, but the phone book doesn't lie, there are apparently grandmothers who prostitute themselves. There's apparently every kind of female, male, shmale... whatever, that prostitutes themselves. More power to them. I don't pay for sex.

Oh, the shows! The shows they say! Go to the shows! No. The shows all cost an arm and a leg. Penn and Teller charged nearly a hundred bucks for one seat. Sorry Penn, sorry Teller... no fucking way. The rest of the shows are either piss-poor magic acts, piss-poor comedy acts, or piss-poor faux-stripper "dancing shows." Or, perhaps worst of all, a combination of all three. I don't go to shows.

The Rio is filled with bars and clubs. They have a dance club or social bar on the top of the hotel itself, which apparently is very cool. They also had like four others in the hotel itself. While they all seemed quite "neat" from an architectural perspective, again, nothing for me. I don't dance. I don't party. I don't "let loose" and I don't "have a good time, man."

I don't drink, I don't pay over ten bucks for a buffet, I don't gamble, I don't pay for sex, I don't dance, I don't party. I don't socialize, period. Watching me socialize is, I would imagine historically, akin to watching Stalin try to be charming and diplomatic. My personality is, I'm quite proud to say, much like a brillo pad. I agitate when I conversate, and I don't approach people I don't know to speak with them. Why? They're probably really stupid. If they're in a club or a bar, chances are increased by 200% that they're really, very stupid.

Complicating things was the fact that Del had drove in and brought her good friend and one of her friends with her. Her good friend was a great person. Very enjoyable to speak with, takes a joke well and was very generous (One very fun thing we did was go through MGM's shark and aquarium exhibit, which she paid for. That was very cool of her since I am the poor and that was the fun). In short, she was a good person. I liked her a lot, really, she was enjoyable. That was something that added greatly to the trip, as she was one of those people who have an exhuberance that rubs off.

The "friend" Del brought along sucked to the same level of extreme that her good friend ruled. And I wanted to drive a pickaxe into her skull, or at the very least, tell the bitch off. Or, if I had to moderate myself even further, simply be insultingly sarcastic. However, I promised Del I would not do that since I had just recently broken a promise to her not to berate another friend of her's in a different unrelated situation. I figured I should live up to the second promise. That really made me regret breaking the first promise.

This person was so abhorrent that, literally, I'll give a great example. We're all crossing the street to try to get to the MGM and get Del's car. Of course, there are no cars coming. So we jaywalk. Well, let's put it a better way... three of us jaywalked. The vapid diseased cuntish whoreface did not jaywalk. Though no cars were coming, nor were about to come, nor were anywhere to be seen... and though we were obviously moving ass across the street... she stood there, like the petulant idiotic child she so truly was and did not cross. That's right, she refused to jaywalk. She stood there and waited for the very long light. Then, because she's a vapish cunt, she got stuck in the middle and had to wait for the next light to finish crossing the street. Yes. This person was no Christian, no moralist. She could have easily jaywalked.

That's just one example. Just one. I could go on and on, since that was the least of the idiocy that embodied this person. Thankfully, I was able to pretty much ditch hanging out anywhere near her for most of the trip.

Mostly, the city is just sad. Filled with sad, sad people. Most of the time I was in the hotel, I simply people watched for the most part with my Wetzel Pretzel snackage. They had little balconies you could stand on. I felt sad for everybody. I felt sad for the schmuck tourists who enjoyed the plinky-plinky sound of the change going into the slots, I felt bad for the entertainers who have to perform the same "carnival parade" like eight times a day, I felt sad for the poor floor-girls most of all, wearing barely anything and having to force smiles while they pretend that they actually enjoy the sixty-two year old from Miami who thinks he's a high-roller because he just popped a dollar into the penny slots flirting with them.

I felt sad for the entire city, for the whores, the dealers, the dancers, the schmucks and the tourists. Little more than a fling without substance, there wasn't much to Vegas that could be enjoyed on anything resembling an intellectual level. Well, besides the swimming pools. Some people say there's life in Las Vegas, I believe the exact opposite. There's nothing resembling any form of enjoyable life there. It's the relationship version of the cheap drunken one-night stand with someone you know you don't like at all before you even do it.

Las Vegas is a sad, expensive, shallow farce. It's not even enjoyable on a capitalistic level, since everything is just too fucking expensive in general. It's existence is little more than a testimony and tribute to the very worst of mankind, the worst of our pleasures and the worst of our desires. If I were Christian, I would have something great to say at this point, something poignant about hoping for the fires of our lord to wash away such an evil stench and cesspool of sin, blah blah blah. But I'm not Christian, I'm Atheist. The best we can do is say that it sucks. Las Vegas sucks hard.

From Vegas, I went to San Francisco for a little over three weeks to visit my best friend. I got to experience the life of living in San Francisco. Next blog installment? San Francisco, why it's shit, shitty shit, shitty shit shit. If you thought I was harsh on Las Vegas, you really haven't read anything yet. Shitty shitty shit shit.