with the amount of time i spent in the spa you wouldn’t think it was possible to be this sore

I’m back.

Best. Trip. Ever.

No, really, I had a great time. My mother said to me on our flight into Vegas, “Don’t you think it will be strange meeting a bunch of people that you only know from writing every day?”

And I thought, for a second, that it would be. And then I met everyone.

So much fun. Getting together to talk about each other’s shows, each other’s recaps, and discussing shows that haven’t been made yet but are brilliant in our heads.

Since I had only slept for a couple of hours on the plane, I was pretty tired getting into Vegas. Oh, and in case some of you were wondering about that time zone thing– in Phoenix it would be Mountain time, but since they don’t adhere to Daylight Savings Time, in that city it’s Pacific time. But the airline tickets don’t reflect t that, so when it says you only have twenty minutes, you really have an hour and twenty minutes. Just in case you were wondering.

My mother likes to play poker machines. As one friend aptly noted, “They should just say ‘Insert All Your Money Here.'” I get bored and eventually start playing the machine next to her, just to have something to do. I lost so much money so quickly.

I’ve never won money in Vegas. I try not to gamble too much because it just never works out for me. My mother will win the occasional jackpot, which supplements her feeding the poker machines. I’ve never lost this much money before, though. I never gamble this much. I just started thinking that something should pay off. I lost at craps, black jack, roulette, slots, poker… nothing. Nothing ever gave me a dime. I stopped gambling the first night.

Omar, Rebecca and I watched the best lounge act ever in the Luxor on Thursday night, as I realized that I was getting pretty tired. I had been gambling all day and all night, and was starting to fade. We walked to the Krispy Kreme (I cannot explain to you how obsessed Rebecca is with the Krispy Kreme) but at two in the morning, the last thing I wanted was something called a “Sour Cream.” I hobbled back to my room and was asleep by six Central time.

Friday morning and afternoon were spent in the spa. I love the Luxor spa, as I’ve gushed before, but I had a very strange experience falling asleep naked in the steam sauna and waking up to the sounds of young girls in swimsuits giggling. They were sitting at the bottom of my feet, learning where babies come from. I pretended I was still asleep and rolled over, making myself into a robe and towel burrito until they left.

My massage lady took out her weekly aggressions on my body. This felt very good at the time, but I’ve been sore ever since. I think something got pinched in my neck. There are bruises on my lower back and forearms. Maybe I didn’t drink enough water afterwards. I don’t know. My facial woman seemed upset that she couldn’t find anything to squeeze on my face, and kept searching and squeezing until she caused a sore on the side of my nose. I walked in with a pretty face, and now I have a blotchy, scabby one. She needed the squeeze, she needed to find something to extract.

I’m making it sound like I had a bad time. I didn’t. I was too blissed out to notice that these women were abusing me. It’s only now in hindsight where I’m taking a face/body inventory and thinking, “I should have said something to them.”

Making four dial-up connections to Texas to check my mail (at three to four minutes each) cost $124.23. Don’t ever use long distance services in your hotel room. Ever. I couldn’t believe it.

Okay, that was the bad stuff. Then there was the good stuff. We had a large dinner once everyone had finally arrived, and we took over the steakhouse with laughing and screeching, sharing stories and jokes. Afterwards we went to try and ride the New York New York rollercoaster, but found that it was closed. We walked to the movie theater in the giant arcade and saw a midnight showing of Bring It On. Best. Movie. Ever. Now, sure, it helped that you had eighteen recappers sitting in three rows screaming jokes at a screen in a room full of people that were also either screaming or laughing at our jokes, but still. It was surprisingly good. It inspired our next mission: karaoke.

It only took an hour, two cab rides, and a thunderstorm to find the smallest karaoke bar in Vegas. We quickly took it over and had a blast. I’ve never gotten in trouble for Karaoke before. Our Karaoke DJ loved us, but didn’t want to get in trouble. He kept asking me to not leave the stage.

Because we also did midnight karaoke until it was time for some of us to leave for our flight on Sunday morning, the days/times/dates are starting to get a bit muddled in my head. I do remember the following:

“Every Girl’s My Girlfriend” has caught on without even having to play it once. I have been absolved of all guilt, however, since my mother said that I’m only helping their sales. She says that I couldn’t possibly be going to hell since I’m making other people like them. “And are you Alternative?” she asked. I didn’t know how to answer that one.

Wendola’s incredible rendition of “Let’s Go Crazy.”

Drunken Rival Karaoke Team on Saturday night giving us the stink-eye until djb busted out the “All Night Long,” which instantly won them to our side. I think if he had let them, they would have carried him on their shoulders around the bar.

Our shrieks and screams as we saw Drunken Rival Karaoke Team begin sticking their heads in each other’s crotches when “Livin’ La Vida Loca” became too heated.

Megyn interrupting her hooker story with, “Oh, your mom’s back. Hi.”

Pooh sets ’em up, I knock ’em down. The group of people sitting in front of us during the movie should have paid us, with the amount of times they turned to each other and repeated our jokes.

Realizing at one point that although I was pretty sure of everyone’s name, I wasn’t too sure of everyone’ recap. I turned to Niki and confided. She said she was just thinking the same thing.

Seeing all of us laugh at the same point in a Karaoke Video and realizing that even though we were all pretty different people, we might all write the same recap if we were all shown the same show.

Riding the New York New York Rollercoaster and getting the best picture ever with djb.

Realizing that my biggest money maker in Vegas was sending back dinner on Saturday night.

Singing “Summer Nights” with Wing.

Wing and Sars’s rendition of “I Don’t Wanna Wait.”

Rule Number One: Do not look directly at the Copperfield.

“Where have you been my whole life?” “I’m so in love with you. Seriously.” “You’re my new best friend, you know that?” “I’m a little hurt that it took you until today to say that.”

“So, yeah, they all saw my vagina. Right. Have you guys all met my mom?”

“www.hotdoughnuts.com”

“Where’s my porn? I need my porn!”

Drunken Rival Karaoke Hick hitting on my mom, telling her which songs he could sing. He thought he’d woo us with “You Give Love a Bad Name,” and when that didn’t work, he tried “Sweet Child ‘O Mine,” not knowing that I’d already covered it the night before. Wing, Wendola and Pooh (I think, it was dark, I was drunk) convinced me that going up and giving him a taste of his own medicine would work wonders. But freaks like that kind of thing, so he was more than happy to have me dancing at an uncomfortable distance. In fact, it only encouraged his friends to come up and air guitar way too close.

Omar and I did a tearful rendition of “Separate Lives.”

I lost my voice completely. I still don’t have it.

“Instrumental 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1” is one of the best songs we’ve ever written.

My mother had a song dedicated to her. Everyone remembered to tell her happy birthday. She felt very special, and had a great time.

 

We took a very early cab to the airport (after Rebecca went for more Krispy Kremes. Djb and I gave the same throat-gulp at the thought of eating a donut at four in the morning after the whiskey and cigarettes). The giggles had taken effect, and I think my mother didn’t know what we found so damn funny anymore. I got there before my airline had opened up, just like it was when I left Austin. They never announced gates, so I sat at the airport for an hour, saying goodbye to my mom and djb (who were sharing a flight), and then started looking for my plane.

After falling asleep in my seat, I woke up an hour later to find we hadn’t left the ground yet. They pulled the plane back to the gate and said they decided to do some maintenance that they were planning on doing in Phoenix, but then just decided to do right then and there. They promised to only take an hour, and that we wouldn’t miss any connecting flights.

Three hours later the plane took off. We hit a nasty batch of turbulence where my drink flew into the air. I yanked my headphones off, thinking, “I’m not going to die listening to Britney Spears.” The kid sitting next to me had a great time with the jumping plane. He then just jammed out to the music coming from my headphones. He really liked Destiny’s Child.

I missed my connecting flight to Austin. I walked to the “customer service” where they told me that my next flight available was in seven hours, getting me into Austin twelve hours later. I began to cry, and asked for a different airline. They said there was nothing they could do. They gave me six dollars in vouchers to “get some lunch,” and sent me on my way.

I couldn’t stop crying. I was exhausted and alone and about to spend the entire day in the Phoenix airport. At least they could have left me in Vegas, where I had friends I could have stayed with for a little while. After blubbering to Eric on the phone for half an hour, I walked over to the gate for the 12:30 flight to Austin. It was 11:00.

I rubbed the tears out of my eyes and said, “I really wish I could be on this flight.” I explained what had happened. They asked to see my ticket. “Well, this doesn’t have you on that late flight. I mean, this is a ticket, but you’re not confirmed on that flight. You’re not confirmed on any flight.”

“What? I’m stuck here? Do you know they only gave me six dollars to eat today? And I guess until some time tomorrow?”

They gave me three more food vouchers. “Would you grab us a sandwich from over there?”

“Really? You can’t make her go get us sandwiches.”

“I have nothing but time,” I sobbed.

I went and got them food. “Okay,” he said. “You’re confirmed on this flight, but it’s overbooked. We’re offering vouchers to people for giving up their seats. As soon as enough people do that, we’ll get you on this flight. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll find some way to get you on the next one. But you’ll probably get on this flight, since we’re offering $400 to get into Austin around ten instead.”

I now had the option of flying to Houston and then Austin, getting home around 10:30 with $400 in travel tickets. I thought about whether or not I ever wanted to fly this airline again. I wiped the tears and thanked the airplane people. I sat and waited, and I was the last person to get a ticket on the flight. I got into Austin five hours late, but I finally got home.

I smelled like booze, cigarettes, tears and fear. I looked terrible.

“Are you Pamie?”

I don’t know how, but she recognized me walking into the airport garage. We shook hands, and she told me she was about to move from Austin. I wished her luck, and we walked off.

The rule is– the worse you look, the more you’re recognized. I’m now aware of this.

I still have no voice. I had a great time, though.

It left me with a bit of sadness, though. Now I’ve just met more people that I really had a great time with, that I can’t just go and spend a Thursday night with. We can’t just go hang out and have fun. This keeps happening to me lately.

Eric had this to say, “You know, that makes them very special. These are people that you clicked with so quickly, and they’re already special to you after only a couple of days. And the fact that you’ll have to make plans to see them in person, and they’ll have to make plans to see you in person means that you’re important to each other. That’s much better than a casual friendship that you take for granted.”

Having said that, I’d still like to be able to go out dancing with them.

My friend Tyson called while I was gone. He took my advice. “Oh, man. I just saw WEEZER! They rocked! That was so much fun. The most fun, really. Oh, man. It could have been louder, that’s my only complaint. But I saw them, and they rocked, and I had so much fun.”

And in the “Dammit, Jeff!” category:

Pam,

Last night, I went to the Weezer concert in Irving Plaza. For free. VIP.

I’m numb.

They were fucking amazing.

Again, they were fucking amazing.

Dynamite Hack opened for them and put me and Andi on the list.

5 years ago, Andi and I were singing Weezer on your living room floor. Last night, we stood next to Ric Ocasek and Paulina Porichkova(sp?) and sang with them. It was amazing. Their new stuff sounds good. Every new song started with “s”. Do I smell a theme?

I’m still floating.

JL

Dammit, Jeff and Rose always get to act out my fantasies. I’m damn tired of it. Do you know that Rose and David Sedaris had a five minute conversation about touching their genitals? They did.

Did I link to my last Young Americans recap? It’s funny.

So, after watching many movies and doing some heavy Eric-cuddling last night, I slept like a damn baby. I can’t believe I’m already back at work. But I got some souvenirs. A t-shirt, a Tomato Nation rubber band (the official wristband of the MBTV 2000 retreat), a picture, a camera waiting to be developed, and a bumper sticker. As pictures are posted nationwide, I’ll provide some links.

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