The Vegas Diet – A Continuation

December 31, 2006 at 1:31 pm (Black Stone Cherry, My Travels)

In the interest of getting the hell on with things, I have to finish my Vegas posts and I’ll just consolidate the BSC show and then say, I didn’t get sick on the way home, all my flights were on time, and all was well. Just remember, this was written at the beginning of the month. On with the show.

The Vegas Diet – Black Stone Cherry (Pre-Show)

There is nothing more disappointing to find that even though you got to the venue early and should be about third in line that you’ve been relegated behind everyone who bought something or ate at the House of Blues. Lucky for us though, we were second in line behind some cool peeps who gave us the 411.

Not only that, Kim and Matt flew to Vegas on the same plane as Ben’s parents. (May I just say that I am extremely grateful that I didn’t know anyone on my plane regardless of the fact I walked away with free clothes.) They pointed out Ben’s dad and then his Mom later. Joe came out and then Ben came out to get his Mom’s camera since they wouldn’t let her take it in and we were able to say hello. Two down, four to go.

Yes, it is just as important to see Dave and Joe as it is the rest of the guys. What would the BSC family be without their roadies/friends?

Finally, after much standing around being hungry, thirsty, and tired we were allowed in. Oh yeah! I made beeline for Jon’s side of the stage since the last two shows I was on Ben’s side. Kim and Matt followed very quickly and oh yes, first row baby! That’s how we got this gorgeous picture taken.

They were going to put “Black Label Society” and the very intoxicated lady to my left pointed out since we were BSC fans that they should put “Black Stone Cherry” on the bottom of it.

We spent a decent amount on the photos but ya know, it was TOTALLY WORTH IT! And what a great birthday gift for Kim. I wasn’t feeling so great standing there but there was no way in hell I was leaving. Priestess, the first band, I had seen in Columbus, and they put on a good show. I like their music. Then the guys came out and got their gear ready so we yelled and acted crazy. Just seeing them, the anticipation, I forgot about everything else that had happened. I forgot I was tired and sick and hungry. I forgave the fact I wore my tennis shoes instead of my boots because I was afraid I would fall right off of them given my state. I was in the zone.

And the lights dimmed….

The Vegas Diet – Black Stone Cherry (Concert)

Are you kidding? Nothing but five stars for my guys! They were SPOT ON, ya’ll! Sorry you missed it. They kicked all kinds of ass all over that stage. When I heard the first notes of “Maybe Someday” I looked around wondering where all the time went. I’ve seen them enough to know that is their finale and I was so disappointed. I couldn’t believe it was already going to be over. Then consoled myself that I would be seeing them (WITH NATE) in Louisville in three weeks.

Seriously, they sounded FANTASTIC! Chris sounded terrific, the guys were on, and John Fred dropped a drumstick, which was funny. Ha!

Is it Yule yet?

’’’’’ – Must See, Must Experience

The Vegas Diet – Black Stone Cherry (Post-Show)

Kim, Matt, and I stepped out of the theater to find something to eat and drink. We talked to the security folks about coming back inside the roped area and they gave us conditions and we accepted and off we went to find grub.

I ordered a big water and crab cakes and then we talked about the show. Kim and Matt are a great couple and I love them to death! They cracked me up though because it was almost like a counseling session. At least someone can use my elder stage of life and all the things I’ve learned about relationships although I’ve not been lucky enough to find The One yet.

Back to HOB we went.

Jon, David, and his girlfriend, Jess, came out first. The explanation that Kid Rock, Billy Gibbons, and Chad Kroeger were backstage which is why everything was on lock down, which, hey, is fine. Our purpose was to be there, see the show, say hello, and just have a great time.

Jess is sooo sweet and outgoing. What a lovely young lady in all ways.

She cracked me up because she and Jon were teasing back and forth and she said, “Don’t touch me. Thousands of girls may want you to touch them but not me!” LOL! Then they took off to play some slots etc. And then Ben’s parents came by and we talked to them for a while. Its no wonder Ben is such a great guy, he has great role models. Then Ben was back out, then Jon, then Chris, and they were all signing our pictures and talking about backstage and how long we were all going to be there. (I had to be checked out and at the shuttle at 4 a.m… hello!)

Honestly, after the show, I was drained. I didn’t eat much of what I had ordered because I just couldn’t. I ate enough. I looked around for John Fred and found he had been shanghaied behind us by some folks and once he came around and signed we started to say goodbye.

One of the most thrilling moments for me was when Chris exclaimed, “I am in the BEST mood EVER!” Or something similar. This is thrilling because Chris is more quiet and laid back than the other guys. Not that he’s not friendly, he’s just more reserved and shy and seeing him excited and smiling, because he has a beautiful smile, was a gift. I raised my eyebrows in silent question and he said, “Billy Gibbons shook my hand.”

I reached out and he took my hand in his while I said, “I have to touch the hand that touched Billy Gibbons’ hand.” Then he demonstrated how Billy shook his hand. He was absolutely thrilled beyond belief and I was thrilled for him. (I silently forgave him for reminding me the last time I saw them in Columbus that gelatin comes from horses and gelatin is in Jell-O, which is one of my favorite things in the world. I can now eat Jell-O in peace again.)

Finally, the pictures were signed, hugs all around, “see you in Louisville,” and we left to find a cab. We hit it right too, because I looked behind us and people were swarming out of doors and all around the merchant table. Good luck guys!

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Just A Few Pretties

December 26, 2006 at 10:01 pm (Beading, Nate)

Until I can get back and post for real.

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Vince’s wife’s necklace and matching bracelet which was sold to someone else.

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This is a Russian ornament which I finally completed today. I will be sending this to my host family in Germany.  This thing was a pain in the ass to photograph!

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My dude! and his first guitar.  Be back with a real post soon.

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The Solar Flare Is Messing With My Electromagnetic Aura

December 14, 2006 at 10:34 pm (Attitude in Overdrive, Family, Nate)

Aren’t your fillings aching? Mine are. Then again, it could be TMJ. Seems much more romantic to be a by-product of a massive explosion of radiation millions of miles away.

I’m happy to report that Jeff and Danlel (Nate’s older sister), have mended their ways and are rebuilding their relationship. They went to counseling today and talked about their issues with a counselor present. I haven’t blogged about it much because its an issue with which I can see both sides and frankly, Jeff has been wearing me out with it. So much so, I haven’t had the energy to blog about it.

Regardless of how poorly I have spoken of him here, I also hope I’ve given the impression that when he’s sober he’s a damn fine father. He has his issues and I’ve not held back from my position, once again, in the middle of this fiasco, as to my opinion of his drinking alcohol while taking prescription medication. In that regard, I firmly took his daughter’s side that he can be a scary freak. In another regard I firmly took his side that, really peeps, if he did it ALL THE TIME, Nate wouldn’t be with him as much as he is. When he gets on a good one, he gets on a good one and I didn’t hold back about letting him know how I felt.

Actually, I yelled quite a bit at him and was brutally honest, in both directions. Good and bad. Honestly though, I have probably never felt more sorry for an individual in my life as I have him in the past three months. If I didn’t know that Danlel’s mother has had her hateful hand in all of this and pushes the negative, I wouldn’t have had as much sympathy. Again, I can see both sides and two innocent kids caught in the middle.

For his part, I think Jeff has had a lot of self-realization going on and I’ve counseled him to point of nausea and hatefulness to just fucking admit where you’re wrong and get on with it. Tonight he told me that he now realizes (let’s all cross our fingers) how detrimental his drinking is to his health and his relationships with the people around him, especially the most important people, his children. This has been extremely difficult on everyone involved but especially Jeff, Danlel, and Nate. The rest of us have orbited this situation, at times being sucked in, but mainly, not able to do much other than listen and counsel as needed or as I feel was needed.

In other words, opening my mouth and letting the truth out.

If anyone would care to have my brutally honest opinion about their problems, please feel free to contact me. I’m in the mood and the Force is strong with this one. I have to shed electricity somewhere. I’m gonna go shit some aurora borealis now. And remember, Thursday are always my most psychic days. Ta-ta.

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The Vegas Diet – Sunday Day

December 10, 2006 at 9:25 pm (Beading, Black Stone Cherry, My Travels)

I awoke from my sound ghost-free sleep hungry as a bear or still ill, couldn’t tell. I hate that. I went to the breakfast buffet at Circus Circus. It lacks. I had fruit, bagels, and croissants and took two more bananas and two apples for later. They would come in handy. I also had my first cup of coffee in three days. The glory. And, another water. Having arrived in Las Vegas dehydrated and with the humidity 10% and a cold arid wind blowing at 20 mph., one could say I was wind burned and even more dehydrated after my vast desert wanderings the previous day.

Back to the KOA grocery. This time I skipped the 20 oz. water and went straight for the 1/2 gallon and another fifth of Gatorade. I went back to the room and took my fifth or sixth hot shower. It seemed as though the hot water and steam made me feel better and even more hydrated as I would stay in the shower through cycle after cycle of hot-hot, hot, sort of hot, lukewarm, less than lukewarm, hot-hot, rinse, repeat, repeat, repeat etc. I sucked in the steam like a drowning person which makes little sense because I needed fluids wasn’t drowning in them. I’m blonde, okay.

I bumfucked around watching Fair and Balanced My Ass Fox News before hailing a cab to the CORRECT bead store over on Stone Mountain Rd. between Polaris and something. It didn’t have the same stock it did before, the people were not as nice, and I bought only $36 worth of stuff. Any good bead store will suck at least $100 out of me. Grumpy over an over $8 cab fare for 20 minutes of time and not all that great a bead buying experience, once again, I wandered.

This time, over to the Rio, which, while not in the neighborhood of my hotel, was closer than the $8 fare. I went back to the hotel and made my friend Kim a bracelet for her birthday, which was that day. I started feeling a bit ill again, very ill, and weak. This was not good since we were leaving at 5:30 for the Black Stone Cherry show. I ate my banana and felt a bit better, so I ate my apple too. Hot damn for fruit! Oh, and I took another shower. And at some point I got a text message from Jon of BSC that they didn’t have any stickies (backstage passes) available but they would be there to hang out. Cool.

By the time I got dressed for the show I was having serious doubts as to whether or not I was going to make it. My stomach was rolling and pitching, my intestines felt like they were twisted in a thousand tiny knots, waves of nausea were rolling over me. Oh hell. I spent a lot of time trying to do something other than belch but belching seemed to be the only outlet I had at the time. I have to say though, I looked a hell of a lot better than I felt. I have photographic evidence. And, as soon as Kim gets home and downloads or scans the picture, I’ll show you. I have one too but my scanner is buried. More on that later.

I met Kim and Matt in the lobby and we hailed a cab. Off we went to House of Blues at Mandalay Bay.

Circus Circus Breakfast Buffet – 1/2 – Skip It (1/2 mark for great bananas)

Vegas Beads – ’’ – Worth a Look

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The Water-Gatorade-Breakfast-Food-Cherry-and-Other-Fruit-Vegas Diet – Haunted Las Vegas

December 6, 2006 at 7:36 pm (Beading, Black Stone Cherry, My Travels)

Crypto quipped that Las Vegas simply wasn’t old enough to be haunted. They have found mammoth remains there dating back 8 to 15,000 years. The first non-Indian to step foot in Las Vegas Valley was in 1829, so, although its a few hundred years younger than the East Coast in history, it is Vegas after all… and not every ghost is an old one.

A little after 8 o’clock, I walked over to the Greek Isles to cash in my voucher for the Haunted Las Vegas tour. I was asked a bit later by one of the tour guides to “help” with the presentation, which got me upgraded to VIP. It was pretty fun, although a bit spooky when the table levitated under my fingertips.

It was also spooky realizing I had walked past the very spot that Tupac Shakur had been shot and not realized it. Additionally, his ghost has been seen on that same sidewalk as well on the balcony of his former residence on Million Row. (I forgot the real street name.) Just because you’re rich, doesn’t mean you don’t have to share.

Elvis may have died in Graceland, but his ghost haunts the Hilton, where he performed and had a private suite, complete with butler, maid, chauffeur, and chef.

The Luxor’s light can be seen from outer space. Boasting the world’s brightest man-made light, the Luxor is also home to a few ghosts. How? A trio of construction workers who were killed during the building of the Luxor and two jumpers. No, they didn’t slide off the pyramid, they jumped or slipped from the inside balconies. Want a wild ride? Request the 10th or 26th floors where even the maids refuse to work alone.

Check in to the Oasis and you may not check out. The Oasis, an off-Strip hotel where the rooms are booked by the hour was the scene of not one, but two suicides, in not two but the same room. Room 20. One was “Suddenly Susan” star David Strickland.

Or check in to Bally’s, which is built on the site of the old MGM Grand, which burned on my birthday in 1980. The ladder trucks at the time were not tall enough to reach the upper floors and 84 individuals perished.

The Flamingo is haunted by none other than Bugsy Siegel. Although Bugsy was killed in Beverly Hills, many have reported seeing his ghost on the grounds of the Flamingo Hotel. They’ve also reported seeing his apparition in the Wedding Chapel. Why? This is where his original private apartment was before its demolition. Upon demolition they found the walls were three feet thick, the glass was bullet proof, and while there was only one way in, there were five ways out, including a trap door in a closet which lead to an underground parking garage. Not only that, Mr. Siegel had the locks changed on his apartment everyday.

The Tropicana boasts an odd purple glow which shows up in photographs, others have reported a purple rash. Some say it is a tiki mask that hangs by the front doors.

Would you like a house in Vegas? A local real estate agent bought the home of Redd Foxx, even after it had changed ownership multiple times because it was haunted. One resident reported footsteps and doors opening and closing by themselves. In honor of Redd Foxx, and pursuant to a paranormal investigation, a little red fox has been painted on the real estate sign and lighting was added. It was the only home that Redd Foxx had owned in his lifetime and he was very proud of it.

There are also haunted sites off of the strip other than Redd Foxx’s old home, Liberace’s Museum and the restaurant where is ghost is said to play the piano, two parks in nearby Henderson, and numerous other sites which were mentioned but not included on our tour as well as other casinos, which I didn’t mention here.

So, regardless of how old as place may be, if people have traveled there, they have a left an imprint of themselves behind, part of their energy, and part of that energy may still remain.

’’’’’ Five Stars – Must See, Must Experience.

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The Water-Gatorade-Breakfast-Food-Cherry-and-Other-Fruit-Vegas Diet – The First 12 Hours

December 5, 2006 at 5:34 pm (Beading, Black Stone Cherry, Crazy Shit, My Travels)

Guaranteed to melt five pounds in four days…

I drove to Pittsburgh Friday afternoon along the mountains and ridges of WV and PA buffeted by 50-60 mph wind gusts. Also talked to Jeff, who was a little loopy on pain medication because he threw his back out or maybe he just felt like it. I should have known…

United is always on time, thank you Lord and Lady. Their food sucks. Really sucks. About 45 minutes outside of Denver, Nanner woke from a peaceful slumber to find herself in a cold sweat yet burning up, dizzy, disoriented, wondering how she could possibly be airsick, having flown thousands of miles in her lifetime and having never experienced airsickness, causing her to remove her coat, and then to reach up to turn the air on, which then caused her to pass out and (since Vince wants all of the embarrassing details), then violently expectorate the contents of her stomach onto herself.

That’s a nice way of saying I passed out and puked my guts up on Flight 447.

I wrote that in third person because then it seems less real that this was the beginning of my trip and I was suddenly sick. Very sick, of yes, I was a very sick Peach. The angels of Flight 447 (one particular stewardess, my two seat mates, the lady across the aisle, and one gentleman who I have no idea who he was), who helped me clean up and who graciously gave me, yes, GAVE ME, clothing to wear for the rest of the flight and who didn’t yell and scream that I just puked beside of them and just gave everyone a royal send-off.

After arriving in Denver, wandering like a lost child, I managed to find the smoking lounge where I received a Sprite.

On the flight to Las Vegas, my seat mate faired better, as there was a seat between us and he wanted nothing to do with the pale, sickly looking blonde, curled up in the fetal position, belching and moaning into a barf bag for the duration of the flight. I’m sure the women who shared the bathroom facilities with me at McCarren International following my flight were as equally disgusted by my retching as I was.

I’m certain that my continued sickness through the night up to the 4 a.m. insanity which marked the end of violent expectorations (from both ends by this time… since Vince wants ALL the embarrassing details) may have been overlooked by those in Building E of the Circus Circus Manor rooms, leaving the Peach with at least one shred of dignity for her remaining hours in Sin City (but none here of course.)

The previous night, an employee of the adjacent campground had tipped me off that directly behind my building was a general store and a laundry. There is a KOA campground at Circus Circus. This, I shall always remember, because it means, “LAUNDRY FACILITY.” After sucking down 20 ounces of water, twice the amount of Gatorade, a banana, and napping for two hours, I trudged back to wash my clothes, twice. After drying my clothes, I went back to my room and slept some more. Still, when I awoke it was only 2:00, so I took a cab to the bead store, or what I thought was the bead store I wanted. It wasn’t. Pissed off that I had spent that amount on a cab, I began walking and walking and walking.

Again, I wandered, for 40 years in a vast desert, or, maybe it was Polaris or Industrial, odd names for a desert, until the shining mecca of Bethlehem, no it was a Mirage, appeared, and I hailed a camel, I mean, taxi, back to the Big Top. I went up to see my friends, Kim and Matt, and then went downstairs to see about the Haunted Las Vegas tour, bought a ticket, went back to the KOA grocery and bought cereal and milk, went back to my room, ate two bowls of Frosted Flakes, then had another shower and another nap, this in addition to the four showers I had already taken and the two naps because showers and naps are good.

I can’t remember what temperature it was in my room when I arrived but each time it was unsatisfactory. I kept the temp at either 60 or 70, and if it was 60, I wanted it 70, if it was 70, I wanted it 60. Sickness does that to you.

Next up…. Haunted Las Vegas

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