The week in review [ March 16, 2004, 8:44 p.m. ]

Las Vegas is one CRAZY place.

The weather was beautiful, 80ís all week, not a cloud in the sky.

We did the entire tourist thing complete with slack-jawed gawking and stumbling down the sidewalk with a map in one hand and a Fodorís in the other. We did a lot of walking..a lot of walking. Itís amazing how 2 places side by side on a map can have 40 minutes of walking between them. Iím probably the only person to get blisters on the backs of their legs from a pair of shorts.

I ate some of the best food Iíve ever had in my life. Champagne brunches seem like a great idea at 10 am but not so great at 2 pm during a walk in the desert sun.

I am ashamed to admit I got caught up in the gambling despite my insistence I would not. I did not go over my budget tho. Those slot machines will suck every penny from you if you let them.

Walking through the Bellagio, I got a little tingly when I remembered BRAD PITT himself had strolled through the very same lobby in Oceans Eleven. I had a sudden urge to dry hump the furniture but was certain security would have shown me the door.

R and I enjoyed the white trash couple (probably from the midwest, we have a gaydar type thing that helps us identify each other) demanding their money back because the white tigers at the Siegfried and Roy place were ďjust laying there like a zoo.Ē What did they expect for 12 bucks? A white tiger delivering a drink while humming ďStars and Stripes Forever?Ē Maybe they figured they would get to see a cheap version of the new act.. ..Siegfried and Goldberg?

Things at night were even crazier. The lights..the neon..

.. ..the illegal immigrants handing out hooker advertisements on the sidewalk.

Iíve never been anywhere that you could walk down the street drinking alcohol and not have to hide it in a paper bag. I was horrified you could smoke wherever you wanted. I come from one of those puritanical places that has banned smoking just about everywhere (and itís fabulous!).

We saw one show.. ..An Evening at La Cage. Now, I admit I am a drag snob. The vision of a fat man stuffed into a Wal-Mart dress usually sickens me. These guys/girls were great. They had a sense of humor about the whole thing which helped. There is nothing more tragic than a drag queen who canít take a joke. They also impersonated celebrities, the usual ones..Cher, Bette, Diana, Liza, Judy, Crackney.. ..but they were damn good at it.

I still hate flying. The whole security thing was a constant reminder of current events. Fears of terrorism turned to fears that the pushy italian woman (think Janice Soprano) would be on our flight. This woman yelled to everyone that made eye contact. She provided her life story and her wedding pictures to anyone who would listen. She terrorized the happy family of Delta Gate 41A Taking the red-eye seemed like a great idea but Iíll never do it again. How do people sleep in those seats? I guess Iím a First Class Guy with a cargo budget. We finally made it home after 14 hours of travel hell. Flying into Toledo, we could actually see our house. Home Sweet Home. I was so tired I couldnít sleep.

I had a great time and plan to go back. But on our last day we went to Red Rock Canyon. Seeing what Mother Nature can do reminded me that almost nothing man-made compares.

A snowstorm today. Mother Nature can be a bitch, canít she?

Now Playing: American Idol (and I feel dirty)

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