Saturday, December 1, 2012

On the road again: Las Vegas, day 3

Any day that begins with brunch at Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bistro immediately has an edge over most other days.  Eating perfect eggs, some of the best bacon ever, delicious sausage, and amazing pastries was just a wonderful way to start the morning.  Of course, it also left us all insanely full, so we spent the next several hours wandering the high-end stores and watching people.  People-watching is amazing here.

We then taxied over to the Bellagio for more gawking and a small amount of tasty gelato.

Dinner was at the absolutely wonderful Jaleo, Jose Andres new restaurant here.  The food was beyond good; it was full of joy.  We found ourselves smiling uncontrollably.  Kyle likened biting into a croqueta to being hugged and made to smile by someone who loved you, and he wasn't exaggerating; it was that good.  I've tasted more different croquetas than I can remember, and this one completely redefined for me how good this wonderful little item can be.  The flan was similarly amazing, a dish I thought I knew redefined and made more perfect than I thought it could be.

More walking, a few art galleries, and then we hopped into a cab to the Rio to see Penn & Teller.  I've seen them multiple times before, but this might have been my favorite show.  They're both so very good and so very smart.  I highly recommend this show if you haven't seen it.

Tomorrow, I hope to sleep a great deal, because the downside of working and also sightseeing is that I am getting very little rest.  The results are worth the cost, but I do look forward to sleeping without an alarm. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

On the road again: Las Vegas, day 2

Today began entirely too damn early for my taste, because we wanted to make sure we hit the Hoover Dam in time to catch an early tour.  We did, and that choice proved to be wise, because not longer after our tour the lines were long, but I hate getting up early.

The Hoover Dam itself was impressive indeed, a huge structure that stands as a monument to what humans can accomplish when they work in large groups. 

I worked for a big chunk of the afternoon, though I took a break with our group to grab some food.

Evening brought an outing to the new Cirque show, Zarkana, which I hugely enjoyed.  It focuses heavily on acrobatics but makes more use of projection technology than any other Cirque show.  Very cool indeed.

Dinner was our traditional great steak meal.

I'd write more, but I'm exhausted; Vegas is fun, but Vegas while doing a full day's work is an odd mixture of fun and exhausting. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

On the road again: Las Vegas, day 1

Each year around this time, a group of us journeys here to Las Vegas to celebrate Kyle's birthday with him.  Today's trip began after 2.75 hours of sleep, which is just too damn little.  I ended up dozing through most of the first flight, which made it a fine time.

I expected to have to sprint between gates in DFW, but instead we got off the plane, waited half an hour, and got back on it.  Would that every connection were so simple.

The second leg of the trip went as smoothly as the first, with the added bonus that I was able to get and stay current with work thanks to the plane's bandwidth.  After getting luggage and checking into the hotel, I passed most of the daylight hours in work.

The evening, though, brought one of my all-time favorite Cirque du Soleil shows, Love.  Marrying Cirque's trademark magic with the songs of the greatest band of all time, The Beatles, Love is an amazing, uplifting, wonderful ninety minutes.  I spent much of it smiling without even meaning to.

Afterward, we headed to the MGM Grand's Emeril's restaurant.  I had a salad and some delicious macaroni and cheese with ham, but the real treat was the banana cream pie, which remains the best I've ever tasted.

Though work filled the day and the hours after this evening interlude, the evening was wonderful indeed.

I wish I could take every person I know to see Love.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another great writing song

and a pretty spiffy video, too. 

Of course, it probably wouldn't work as well if I knew what the words meant, but fortunately for my writing, I don't.

When I watch that video, I can't resist thinking of this one. 

That's how late-night playlists are born, so I'm going to stop myself now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Push down pussycat

This past weekend, we visited with a friend, her daughter, her son-in-law, and their two children.  Sarah was sitting with Zoe, the older child, a lovely and very smart four-year-old (or is she five?  I think she's four) on the sofa.  I was listening to their conversation.  Zoe mentioned a game they played in school that she liked.  Sarah asked its name.

"Push down pussycat," Zoe said, her focus never wavering from the bowl of cheerios she was eating.

"What is that?" Sarah said.

"You push down someone," Zoe said, a very matter-of-fact expression on her face, "and they have to be a pussycat."

Sarah couldn't help but smile and laugh a little. 

Neither could I. 

What an imaginative, wonderful, simple game.  No rules, because at least at that age everyone can figure out what to do.  No one wonders what it means to be a pussycat.  No one argues about duration.  No one complains about being pushed down.  You get pushed down, you're a pussycat. 

I was talking with a friend at work about it.  We agreed that many offices could be improved by a few--safe and gentle, of course--rounds of Push down pussycat, maybe followed by a little milk, some cookies, and a story while you rest for a little bit on your mat. 

I have zero, absolutely zero memories of any time in my childhood when we played that sort of game, but I wish I had them, and now I do have the memory of Zoe's face as she told us about the game.  I'll treasure that.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Stuck in my head

Playing over and over.  Not new, not hardly, but relatively new to me.

I can write to this, oh, yeah, I can. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ah, Christmas movies in America

For no good reason, I love that the Hollywood powers that be thought these two movies should not only open against one another but also premiere on Christmas Day.


As you might expect, the Hollywood moguls were right in one way: I very much want to see them both.

Of course, I will watch almost any movie.

Any, that is, except the Twilight films.  

Even I have limits.


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