my humble take on a convention devoted to me.

This entry would have been up earlier if I hadn’t gotten locked out of my house on my porch after giving an interview this afternoon. I had been outside for so long I guess Ray thought I had left. Then the phone never stopped ringing. Hi, now it’s late.

Here we go.

We left about two hours later than we had intended. This was due mostly to me screwing around, trying to find a particular song on Napster for the road trip. So, I’m finishing email, trying to pack, calling stee at work to figure out if I had found the right song, trying to finish work up, cleaning, getting the cats situated, and remember everything I wanted to bring.

So, sometime Friday afternoon we left, thinking we were heading out on a road trip.

The Soundtrack

  • Nicole Conte – “Bossa (something something something)” – Eric
  • Talking Bout My Baby – Fatboy Slim – Eric
  • You Make Me Sick – Pink – Pamie
  • Southside – Moby & Gwen Stefani – Pamie and Eric
  • Creep – TLC – Pamie
  • Sexy Boy – Air – Pamie
  • She Bangs – Ricky Martin – Pamie
  • Raspberry Beret – Prince – Eric
  • Never Said – Liz Phair – Eric
  • Interstate Love Song – Stone Temple Pilots – Pamie and Eric
  • Madness of Love – Graham Parker – Eric
  • Who Fuckin Tonight – Fat Man Scoop – Pamie
  • You Can Do It – Ice Cube – Pamie
  • Into Your Arms – Lemonheads – Pamie and Eric
  • I Think I Love You – David Cassidy – Pamie
  • Independent Women (Part One) – Destiny’s Child – Pamie
  • Shot In the Arm – Wilco – Eric
  • Into the Mystic – Van Morrison – Eric

We left with music blaring, fast food being gulped, pumped for Vegas and immediately got stuck in traffic for an hour and a half. After that, we started making up trivia questions for each other (Allison had sent a 52 games to play in the car game for the drive from Austin to LA) and this game eventually just became “Stump the other one with a question about your friends.”

[scripty]
ERIC
What was my role in the Grand Butte of Arizona?

PAMIE
Uh…Let’s see. Matt was the head of the ATF… and I was the Postmaster General… Weren’t you the treasurer?

ERIC
No…

PAMIE
You were the Comptroller!

ERIC
Yes!

PAMIE
Where lesbians are always free!

ERIC
And where was the Grand Butte of Arizona created?

PAMIE
Um, in our living room?

ERIC
Wrong! From The Nowhere.

PAMIE
Yes! The Nowhere!

ERIC
And where does The Nowhere currently reside?

PAMIE
In a lamp at Bennigan’s on the corner of Riverside and Congress!

ERIC
Excellent!
[/scripty]

It was a great road trip. Lots of laughing and stories.

We made it there in about six hours. We decided to go straight to Tongs, which I had no problem finding, as I had just been there for the MBTV summit last August.

I was nervous. I ordered a Blue Hawaii. I babbled to Eric. I watched a blonde sit in her car and talk on her cell phone for a very long time. I wondered if I should run out there and announce, “I’m Pamie! You’re here!” Then a man showed up, opened her car door, waited for her to get out, and the two of them entered the Karaoke bar. She wasn’t a Squishite, but she was about to meet them.

People were running late. Finally Allison called, saying she couldn’t figure out where I was. I had been making jokes since the last time I was there that the place was called “Tong-ta-tong-tong-tong’s,” and then had convinced myself that the place was actually called Fong’s. Allison had looked up Fong’s on some Vegas map and found a Chinese restaurant that had Karaoke. I was wondering where the umbrellas were in the fruity drinks that Fong’s had boasted.

“Dude. You’re at Tong’s Garden. We’re at Fong’s Palace!”

I had told every single Squishite the wrong place. I’m an idiot. What are the damn odds that there’s a Fong’s and a Tong’s in Vegas and they both have Karaoke? I ask you.

Well, everyone found the place eventually. The MATH club (but mostly Anna Beth, as she told me to tell you), had brought me a Pretty, Pretty Princess game, complete with jewelry, stickers and a crown.

I think the singing started pretty much right after that. The DJ was giving me the hairy eyeball from the moment he saw me. I was pretty sure he recognized me from this summer. I walked up to sing and asked him. “I remember you, Pam,” he said. “You bring your friends again?”

I tried explaining that this was a new party I had brought in for a different web page, but his eyes glazed over immediately. So, I’m pretty sure he thought Anna Beth was Sars and that Fred was djb. It was easier that way. But Hannah was wondering why they kept saying they knew her from LA.

Funny that the last place I saw the last time I was in Vegas and the first thing I saw this time is the Karaoke lounge of Tong’s. It’s everything you could want in a Vegas party palace. It’s small and empty and cheesy, and you can just walk in and take over. If you’re lucky you get to hear the locals sing Karaoke in Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese. It totally rules.

I don’t line dance, though. That’s when I take pictures.

Okay, I did it once. But it was at prom. I was just trying to fit in. I know someone out there has a picture of me doing it, but I hope by now it’s been lost.

Eric and Chris had their moment in the sun. I must say the Squishites must have gotten these two in the mood, as Allison and I were in awe. These boys don’t usually sing a note at Karaoke parties.

But I had my moment with my DJ.

I call him my DJ now because I gave him a Pretty Pretty Princess ring before I left for the night. When we all met up there again Saturday night, he was still wearing it. Hannah thinks that technically he’s now her DJ since she then switched out rings with him, but he was mine first. And even if he doesn’t bring me flowers anymore, I’m still number one in his heart.

I’m really bad about taking pictures. And I’m terrible at remembering to get new batteries for my camera. So, this was pretty much all of the picture taking I got to do. Just the first night of singing and meeting everyone.

Saturday was spent being more than just a bit tired, as I had worked like crazy to get most of my stuff done before getting to Vegas, and then being up all night singing and drinking Blue Hawaiis took their toll. We didn’t get to sleep until after five the first morning, but I was happy to report I still hadn’t gambled a nickel.

I don’t know how the deli was the place to meet the next day. I don’t know how they knew I had eaten there before, and I’m sure I didn’t go, “Y’all must eat at this deli! It’s the shiz-nit!” because it’s just a fast food place that’s really close to the best rollercoaster in the world, but luckily it was right at the bottom of our elevator. We got up, showered, went downstairs and had lunch. Then we rode Manhattan Express. Then we hit the arcade for a while. Allison introduced me to the dangers of Sephora.

We hit some touristy things after that, as Chris hadn’t seen much of Vegas. We saw zee vite tigers and checked out The Venetian, which is absolutely beautiful. We saw the Pirate show and would have caught the volcano at the Mirage if it hadn’t been shut down for repairs. We cabbed it to Rio and caught the scary Mardi Gras show while we waited for the buffet.

Here’s the deal: I’m actually pretty shy around people I don’t know. And here was a group of people that knew an awful lot more about me than I knew about them. I kept finding myself sitting there thinking, “Should I just go up to a group of people and talk to them? Should I wait to be approached? Should I make sure everyone gets a secret moment with me?” I was a bit stressed out every time we all got together in a big group. It was much easier when Fred and I were rejoicing over our recent Trollstomp or when Tindo’s best thrill ride of the vacation was finding out her purse wasn’t actually stolen. In a large crowd like that where I’m not just on stage singing? I really don’t know what to do with myself. So I end up sticking to one person or two and hope that people float in and out of the conversation.

I finally did some gambling Saturday night, after riding the Big Shot twice. I lost money. Because it’s Vegas. That’s what I do. I’m never the big winner. Ever. And it was back to Tong’s after that, as the karaoke-seeking group found out that after the night before, the Sahara wasn’t hosting Karaoke anymore. I was tired and my throat was sore, and it was clear that we were turning into some way-partied-out Squishites. We took pictures and said the long goodbyes as we started pairing off and going home.

Last night’s show went quite well, even though I was nervous that my voice wasn’t going to be strong enough. I kicked it into high gear and then totally lost it once the show was over. But it was there when I needed it, much like over the weekend.

We had dinner at a nearby diner after the show last night and got the biggest scare: The Pepsi Girl was in to eat. Y’all, her eyes are black as night.

For more Squishite stories, you can check out Fred’s journal (where Eric comes off looking like a cross between Jeff Foxworthy and Gallagher, I think), or Miss “Ericajackson.com” if you’re nasty’s site.

I’m exhausted. I saw The Gift tonight. That Billy Bob sure does have himself some Daddy issues.

Okay, we did the trial run of Squishycon. I think it went well. Next year we might as well have it someplace cheaper, since all we need is a Karaoke bar and a couple of thrill rides next to a mall and an arcade. Akron, here we come!

Oh, and as we were leaving the casino Sunday morning, the valet pulled up, saw me wearing my crown and said, “Why, you must be the Pretty Pretty Princess!”

Perfect.

Oh, and, the best thing about all of Squishycon?

Crazy Liza, people.

[db]

“YM Girlz Rule!”
“I’m Too Quiet Around Cuties.”

Q: I’m super shy around guys. But when I’m in a chat room, I can talk with anyone. How can I be flirtier in real life?

A: Everyone finds cyberspace flirtation easier than the face-to-face variety. Go easy on yourself; pressure and nervousness can make you clam up. Make it a goal to approach one guy at every party you hit. Then start asking him questions; remember, a little friendliness can go a long way. Flirting will start to come naturally– and soon enough, you’ve got male!

How appropriate. “So, why DO they call you ‘The Berminator?'”

Oh, and– “You’ve got male?” Ugh.

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