Tuesday, February 20, 2007

You Ain't Nothin But a Hoochie Mama

So I have been on serious blog hiatus over the past couple of months. It isn't because I haven't wanted to update...it has just been that circumstances haven't been too conducive to being active writing my blog. First off, work has been hell lately, and my work computer has been giving me all sorts of grief. Then there remains the fact that I am too cheap to pay for internet service at my home and my wireless card is broken, so I can't just steal it from my neighbors. All of this will be solved sometime in the upcoming months when I acquire a new computer for what I hope will be graduate school in the fall.

I actually have had thoughts that I wanted to discuss on my blog, but for the purpose of brevity, I will only relate my most recent blog-worthy experience - Vegas During NBA All-Star Weekend.

As a preface, here is my disclaimer - if you love booty, then NBA All Star Weekend is the place for you. If you have teeth grills, or for the ladies, if you enjoy seeing just how much cleavage and ass you can show and not run up against any of those pesky indecency laws, go to Vegas on NBA All-Star weekend. You will be right at home. If you are an aspiring librarian who comments on whether or not the plants at the hotels on the strip are native species or not, then you might want to pick another weekend to enjoy Las Vegas. That is, of course unless you are a closet basketball fan who gets a kick out of potentially seeing your favorite basketball stars on the strip. Then you should go to Vegas and enjoy the people watching. Make up games. I did. I had a daily contest to see who won for being the Biggest Hoochie of the Day and Biggest Thug of the Day. There were many, many contenders.

The sad part is, I actually have my camera handy right now and I was going to upload some of my Vegas pictures for all to enjoy, but for some reason, my camera just stopped functioning. I will save those pictures for later. I shouldn't act like my pictures are anything that great. Mostly, they are the backs of heads of celebrities and basketball stars. I clearly am not meant to be a member of the papparazi, I am not quick enough with the camera. Nonetheless, some people my enjoy the backs of heads of such stars as Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant. I actually did get to see their front sides as well (and I resisted the urge to yell RAPIST! at Kobe as he passed by...). I also saw Chris Paul and Andre Kirelinko, for my NBA fix. I believe that I also saw a couple of other basketball players that I failed to recognize (but I am pretty sure that they were NBA players that I failed to recognize with specific names but based on their sizes and their entourages and the people snapping pictures around them I can feel fairly confident they were someone important). I saw a movie actor - Michael Clarke Duncan, walking in the forum shops with his girlfriend or wife? He was in town to participate in the Celebrity All Star Game. However, my favorite celebrity spotting - Wolf Blitzer, filming his CNN show in front of the Venetian. I think that was my favorite spotting because Wolf Blitzer is the last person you expect to see in what could have amounted to a T-Mobile Sidekick Convention of gansta' pickup lines. Anyway, I didn't get to see any of my Carolina boys, so Wolf Blitzer had to do.

Other observations about this weekend, but in less detail:

The success of Steve Nash in the NBA has introduced a whole new audience of basketball fans in the same way Tiger Woods success introduced new minority audiences to the sport of golf. Steve Nash has shown nerdy, messy haired boys everywhere that they too can succeed in the NBA (even if they are Canadian). I saw some of these Nash fans mixed in amongst the crowd, looking a little bit lost.

My new favorite restaurant in Las Vegas is an Alain Ducaisse inspired creation on the top of The Hotel at Mandalay Bay, called Mix. Not only does it have the best view of the Strip, but it has this amazing blended lentil soup with the most delicious creation on the planet - foie gras cream, wild mushrooms, and some pieces of chicken. It was amazing. I feel a little less guilty every time I eat foie gras for its cruelty, because it is just so darn tasty.

Who was the biggest dork in Las Vegas this weekend? That would be me. In addition to remarking on the flora of the new Wynn hotel, I also managed to choke up after viewing Sigfried and Roy's "Secret Garden" at the sight of all of those poor caged big cats. It was just so horribly cruel to see them in such tiny places, and one can understand the resentment these carnivores must feel towards to magical duo. Yes, I do realize that this rave of emotion for the condition of these animals may seem a bit oxymoronic considering my previous paragraph consisted of me expounding upon the tastiness of foie gras.

But what else makes me the biggest dork? Well, when I was in Las Vegas of days past, I was all about shopping, buying great clothes that were nowhere to be found in the state of Utah. Now, I went shopping and raved with my great find of the trip - from the Madame Alexander International Collection, the doll "Irish Banshee." This might require a bit of explaining. My grandmother started my Madame Alexander Collection when I was very young. My collection mostly draws from the International Collection, and one of my first dolls was the Ireland doll from several years past. Grammy gave it to me one year as one of my Christmas presents. Also, when my sisters and I were young, one of our favorite movies to watch was "Darby O'Gill and the Little People." The Banshee figured prominantly into that movie and thus, into Street family folklore. In fact, down in the pasture at Ma-Maw's farm, is the home of the banshee, at least according to us. The Banshee comes to escort the souls of those who pass away into the world beyond. Now I have her sitting on my kitchen table. She even came accompanied by a black raven. It was such a great doll. I had to have it. I left the clothes shopping to David this time who had a hayday inside of the Ben Sherman and Ted Baker stores.

On Saturday, we took a sidetrip to Southern Utah. We went hiking in Zions, which was quite lovely. However, we also stopped in St. George to meet David's brother and his wife for lunch at Cafe Rio. This served to put me in a terrible mood, because it reminded me so much of why I am happy not to live in Utah anymore. When we pulled off the freeway, there was a protest/demonstration in effect by a bunch of racist white men, demonstrating against immigrants. It made me so mad. Then, on the other side of the street, there were some extremely earnest high school age boys with counter-protesting signs. It reminded me of the idealism of my college days, when I was so convinced I could make a difference there. I was full of big gestures, standing up for what I believed is right, and nothing ever changed. I flashed the boys a thumbs up, for keeping the dream alive. After lunch amongst the blondes of Southern Utah, I was considering that being a part of the hip hop convention of Las Vegas was less annoying.

Anyway, all in all, it was a pretty fun weekend, even if the fountains at the Bellagio were choreographed to Celine Dion instead of Frank Sinatra (I did get to see one number to Gene Kelly's "Singing in the Rain" which was a lovely diversion from the real rain of Seattle). The weather was balmy and perfect, and we ended the trip on Sunday night with a good dinner of Steak Frites at a restaurant at The Paris. I didn't get to see Vince Carter, but I did have a great time away from the stresses of Seattle.