Viva Las Vegas Not!

Which Hotel?

I got into Sin City yesterday afternoon and immediately left my brain on the aircraft that brought me here from Austin. I am so use to arriving and departing from small one terminal airports like Austin, Portland and Pomona that I had forgotten what it was like to be in a really crowded large airport (if you call Las Vegas large). This shows how Podunk I have become, but I am happy with it.

Anyway as I board a monorail to get to my baggage terminal I am in the midst of folks who are truly excited to be in Las Vegas to party and gamble. I am here to take a training class on software developed by Microsoft called SharePoint. I have been to Las Vegas before a few times in a car and have done lay overs in the airport on my way between Austin and LA or Portland so this is the first time that I have flown into the town and gotten out of the airport.

While I walked to the baggage claim my sensuous were assaulted by the ultimate marketing gauntlet. I can barley make it through the Fry’s gauntlet that you have to parade through every time you make your way to the cashier, but the Las Vegas airport gauntlet was intense. Now I know why the multi-screen was invented, so that you could show video spam really big. For a moment I wanted to attend shows and events that I truly had no interest in a moment before but after seeing the video trailers loop over and over I was primed and ready to go. Forget my bags I can always buy new clothes with all the money that I’m going to win it the casinos!

I got my bags and walked out into the desert heat. At the curb I saw more limousines than I had ever seen in Hollywood. I wondered in anyone ever took a cab or shuttle bus in this town until I spied a few off to my right. I got in line for the shuttle bus to the strip and soon I was on my way to my hotel, the Excalibur.

When I got to the hotel there was a line of about 50 people waiting to check in. I waited in this line for about 20 minutes and then a man started asking folks that if they did not have reservations that the hotel was booked full. The Excalibur was another intense assault on my senses in that I could never believe that Camelot was full of flashy lights and tourist families running around shouting on cell phones. After another 20 minutes of waiting in line it was my turn to demonstrate my stupidity. When I was at the check in window my worst fears materialized when the computer system could not find my reservation. It was like I never existed in their system. The woman told me to get my confirmation code. I looked in my bag to get the copy that I had printed when I realized that in my haste to clean out my bag (the last time that I traveled I accidentally had a knife and wire cutters in my bag) I had removed all of my itinerary information. I told the woman that I had the code on my laptop so I stepped away from the window and went to a bench and fired up the laptop to see what my confirmation code was. After finding the email with my hotel information I was shocked to find that my reservation was at the MGM Grand and not the Excalibur. Boy did I feel stupid, but relieved that I was at the wrong hotel and that my reservation was not lost. Fortunately the MGM Grand was just across the street so I set out to get to my room.

I finally made it to my room two hours after arriving at the airport. I had a chance to walk across two pedestrian bridges and pass the New York New York Casino and view the miniature Statue of Liberty. If casinos were full of computer parts or art supplies I would be truly tempted to go into serious debt so the walk through all of the crap tables and slot machines was as painfully boring for me as the drive down Interstate 10 from San Antonio to El Paso.

Shut Up and Draw!

I snapped out of it when I finally spotted on of my two checked bags and then when I saw my portfolio case I remembered how I was going to spend my spare time, I was going to draw. Yep, that is what I have planned to do, Shut Up and Draw. I have in my portfolio bag a wonderful set of Prisma Colure pencils and sticks that I will use to draw a picture. I started on the picture last night, using a sketch that I drew while attending lectures for Landmark Education’s Self Expression Leadership Program. The subject is one that I use to draw a lot and it is one of my characters that I like. The characters name is Laura Laundromat.

I will post pictures of the drawing when I can but I’ll describe who the character Laura Laundromat is. I’m not sure why or when I came up with this name but I think it was when I lived in Mission Beach in San Diego California. Mission Beach is an isthmus of land that separates San Diego Bay from the Pacific Ocean. I lived there when I was going to school at San Diego State College (now University). I lived with some surfer dudes and learned how to surf. I was taking art classes and like was really fun living near the beach. I use to wash my clothes at a Laundromat and I would draw while I waited. I remember watching the clothes in the up right washers and thought that they appeared as eyes. I started looking at the stains in the street and noticed how the splashes looked like eyes. When you see the pictures that I draw of Laura Laundromat you will see large splashes for eyes. By the way I was drawing Laura Laundromat long before I knew who Tammy Fay Baker was.