It’s VEGAS Baby!

A month to the day from my last post, hope it’s not habit-making! Where to start?

We went to Vegas a few weeks ago, hubby and I, and along the way I came to realise a lot of things. What happens in Vegas doesn’t really stay in Vegas as we are stuck with some mental Vegas reruns that we really wish we could have left there. I am not saying that I am about to break the road rules, I know what that’s supposed to mean, more so I am simply recounting a few memories…if you can call them that?

One of the things I don’t think I could ever get used to in Vegas is the number of drunks walking around at all hours of the day. By no means was I naive thinking that noone gets drunk in Vegas, butI was not prepared for 9am walking around in Freemont Street and having people who were unfathomably innebriated waltz down the street and strike up conversation, or what they thought was conversation. These weren’t vagrants, or twenty somethings looking for the next party either. One, just a random woman in her forties (or thirties or…I couldn’t tell) stumbling haphazardly down the sidewalk noting how little clothing I had on. A skirt. Excuse me, I came from -40C to +13C, I am entitled to one sunny morning on my albino legs! Anyway, it seems as though some of these people simply live life constantly under the neck of a bottle. I know, I know, wake up it happens everywhere. Living in small town Northern Alberta, I see – rather, smell – my share (and then some) of citizens who are happily unaware that passerbys could get drunk just smelling their breath. But I don’t know, it just seemed like every second person was hammered. Very glad my hubby was walking with me, it’s unnerving. Earlier that same day, we had breakfast at the Peppermill (absolultely fabulous, especially if you have a horse-like appetite in the morning, 10 egg omelettes!) and as we were leaving, a man with a few friends and a girlfriend ( i assume) walked in. He was noticably under the influence, of alcohol and I am sure other things, and he was trying to talk to the hostess about getting a table. As there was a waiting list, he was loudly proclaiming (yes, proclaiming) that they would be in the lounge side getting drunk while they waited for a table, and that if it took 2 minutes or all day, that’s where they’d be waiting, getting drunk. His girlfriend was so out of it that he had to verbally and physically (but truly, caringly) help her through the doorway and into the bar onto a stool. She was having trouble walking, and I don’t think she had a disability. I couldn’t help feeling like she needed rescuing, but who am I to judge. She wasn’t complaining or looking like she wanted anything but what she was doing, it just struck me how awful it seemed. Compassionate me gets worked up over Home Hardware commercials – homeowners helping homeowners… I admit though, on the day when we were visiting with friends and my girl friend and I were trying to finish our drink so we could go into a restaurant to eat, I was entertained by the whole idea of drinking while shopping! Not an eyelash batted as we wandered into each store, highball in hand (in GLASS, not plastic!) and examined and tried on clothing and whatnot. I guess to someone else, I may have been the random thirty-something wandering around aimlessly while somewhat intoxicated commenting on someone else’s dresses.

And the noise, my gosh the noise!!! Every hotel booking should come with a gift certificate for use at your choice of ear-nose-and-throat specialist offices for post-Vegas ear trauma relief! It was so relieving to turn a corner in our hotel on the way to the indoor Shark Reef and be greeted by the sound of a large, very quiet, empty hallway with a breeze blowing through. The constant drone of the casino floor really didn’t help me unwind from the chaos of two kids at home. And they intentionally have very little hallway/lobby seating so you are sort of forced to either eat, drink or gamble if you want to sit. I am not complaining too much though. Having been bombarded daily with the sounds of money flushing down the proverbial toilet, coming home to two rugrats who are full of energy was a walk in the breezy hallway. 🙂

Cha-ching! When I picture people and slot machines, it’s usually women with their purses protectively cradled in their laps stabbing methodologically away at the flashing screens and buttons of machines promising ever-progressing jackpots, or men trying their hands, and wallets, at blackjack or poker tables in an effort to look like a RainMan rerun minus the Tom Cruise brother, trying hard not to show their tells to the dealers in white shirts and ties, regardless of gender. I was (admittedly) amused to see a few sections of some of the casinos being staffed by young women dressed only in Victoria’s Secret and Frederick’s of Hollywood window stoppers! I am guessing that the men at these tables were not as dashed at losing their greens to these tables, and I am also sure that the greens lost there were more frequent than at some of the other tables that had fewer black and red LACE distractions! But, most of all, I was surprised and once again chagrinned to pass a woman on my way out of the bathroom, who was not only wearing pajama pants, but a hoodie, slippers and housecoat to boot! I understand that the hotels are designed to not only confuse you and keep you inside them, but that if you had no intentions on leaving in the first place, there would be everything you could need under one roof. But seriously? I could never imagine myself being so comfortable as to wear my bedclothes to the lobby to gamble! No dresscode, of course, but really? I suppose the slot machines don’t care.

Today’s special! On our morning walk, we decided to check out the Stratosphere. I mean, where else in Vegas can you get such a view? So we ventured up the many stairs and escalators to the staging floor of the elevator that would take you to the bar and restaurant at the top. But, whoa! $16.00 per person to ride an elevator to get a view that would leave me with vertigo and probably be not much different than the one from my 26th floor hotel room? Thanks but no thanks. Then it occured to me how eager (and capable) they were to extract every penny from the tourists that give Vegas it’s outrageous population! I was humourously waiting for a bill for breathing the precious desert air. Along our travels, we decided to visit the Mirage and the tiger and dolphin exhibits. While I found it very refreshing to be in a humid environment, I was greatly disappointed. I think I am destined to never set foot in a zoo where animals do anything more than sleep. Not their fault of course, but it just really pushed home how sad it was for these animals to be in such small surroundings. One lion was pacing the fence and spraying because he could see (just barely) they lion in the next enclosure. We had to be on gaurd to not be caught making kissy faces at the most inopportune moments. An older couple informed us that it was terribly difficult to get the smell off. 🙂 Glad I was not the one speaking from experience! One of the trainers at the dolphin exhibit said that there were no shows or specially scheduled events, but if you waited you could watch them feed the dolphins, basically when they got around to it. It was, afterall, simply a research and training facility. Um, if there are no shows, what are the dolphins being trained for? And just what exactly can you research about a bunch of dolphins being cooped up in constant summer heat and blue painted swimming pools? Ah, I know. It’s research on the visitors, to see just how much money they are willing to spend to see these animals and then buy stuffed versions from the gift shop and have pictures with themselves superimposed on the tank like they actually got to kiss the dolphins. Hmmm, marketing research, yes those photos got me to pay $30/person to go into the whole thing. They looked real…

And finally, if you are a pedestrian in Vegas, which I am sure 90% of the visitors are, you have two things to keep in mind. One, riding in a cab can be as hazardous to your health as trying to cross the interstate at rush hour. It is like being in a live version of Grand Theft Auto, minus the bonus points for running over people (I think.) And two, for no reason should you assume that the no-traffic moment while waiting for the walk-signal to come on is your window of opportunity to cross the street without waiting. Someone else is in a cab just over the hill or around the corner with their eyes shut, screaming at the top of their lungs how much they love their dad and how if God gets them to their destination alive they will never lie to their boss again, barrelling down that road whose lanes are divided by reflective discs in the pavement as more of a suggestion than a rule, at well over the posted speedlimit and whose driver has taken the unwritten oath that traffic signs are in the same nuisance category as speedbumps and that every ride should be a thrill ride out of Fast and the Furious! We even had one cabby who laughed an evil cackling laugh all the way to the hotel we were going to and the more excited we seemed to be about the speed and the hairpin turns, the faster he drove! He really loved his job I guess!

But, overall and despite the rants, I actually enjoyed myself in Vegas. I wouldn’t go more than once a year, and next time I will see more shows, but it felt like a good few days away from the daily grind. I only hope that next time, I leave the winter weather at home, and come home with a tan.

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He says, She says…

We all get frustrated from time to time with our doctors, which is why doing reasearch on your own is a good thing, provided you take it with a grain of sanity and not assume you’re dying from every disease in the book.  There are some things, however, that are kind of hard to research unless you attend a medical school or have a buddy who does.

Case in point:  I have been getting allergy shots for almost three years.  I started with my family doctor who had a routine, the first few injections I had to stay in the clinic after to make sure I didn’t have a bad reaction, after that she let me use my judgement and gauge if anything was amiss on my own, with strict orders to come right back if it happened.  She used an alcohol swab to clean my arm, used the smallest needle and administered it in a spot on my upper arm that was close enough to the front so I could easily watch the spot for reactions.  She would use a bandaid if need be, both of us knowing I get a specific kind of reaction from the adhesive and ruling that out upon observation.  I would get my shots weekly, as monthly maintenance doesn’t seem to be possible yet (my system is weird!). Occasionally I would have to see another doctor for the shot if she wasn’t around but it was routine, in and out, do as the paper said, same practice as she did.

And then we had the fires in May.

After almost three months without my meds, I have had to start over.  Not only with a new vial of serum, but with new doctors every other week.  We are now short handed in the medical field here and I have seen more doctors in the last 6 months than I have seen all my life!  Herein lies my frustration:  Every doctor is giving me different advice and reasons and rules for administering what I thought were routine shots.  I have had a doctor use water for the first few injections to wash my arm so as not to get a reaction from an alcohol swab that had been routine for two years straight.  I have been told that these needles must avoid the more muscled area of the upper arm because it doesn’t show the reaction as well and yet I have had injections given so close to my shoulder I could barely move it for a week, some so close to my elbow it was really painful, some so far in the back of my arm that I couldn’t judge the reaction size without help, been asked if I wanted it in my backside or tummy.  I have been told I had to remain in the clinic for a half hour or fifteen minutes or not at all.  I have been told to keep the meds cold, yet some doctors hold the bare vial in their hands for five minutes before the shot, others barely touch it.  Some use gloves, some don’t, most clean the top of the vial with an alcohol swab and some refuse to give me a bandaid if I bleed.

I am no expert, no doctor and no medical researcher (though it kinda feels that way sometimes), but it seems to me that a doctor can make their own rules once out of med school, no?  Much as I hate being a pin cushion, I look forward to these shots as it means life might be possible to live without scratching the inside of my nose with a knife or keeping Kleenex in business.  Maybe I will be unlucky and all this sado-masochism will be for naught (did I mention how much I hate needles?) and won’t end up any better once I finish my term of shots.  Whatever happens, I am thinking I will sign up for surgery theatre, afterall, it can’t be that complicated if everyone gets to do it their way, right?  I learn fast…

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Play on Words, easy on the mind.

I just finished reading an entertaining book called, “How To Slay A Dragon” by Bill Allen.  A fantastic play on words from beginning to end, this humorous account of one boy’s attempt at triumph over the impossible is a fun, lighthearted read.

A 12 year-old boy named Greg Hart is transported into another world called Myrth, where a prophecy predicts he will slay a dragon and save a princess.  Greg’s only experience in slaying anything is in the stories he makes up in his journals, turning his close encounters with school bullies around into great tales of his mighty victories over giants and ogres.  So, when he finds out what is expected of him, naturally he is adamant that the prophecy must be wrong.  But, in a world where almost every detail of life hinges on constant prophecies predicting the future with accuracy, the citizens are anything but ready to assume there could possibly be a mistake, even though all the evidence and the reknowned dragonslayer named Greatheart is standing before him.

He heard the prophet saying that there had been no mistake.  “Of course, the prohecy was meant for Greghart from Earth.  Why, Greatheart from Myrth just wouldn’t make any sense.”

His encounters in this strange world are simply confusing, even to a boy with a very active imagination.

The creature stood on hind legs like a bear, stretching impossibly far upward, its muscular human-like arms held wide.  Gleaming white fangs curled below its pointed chin, and a row of foot-long daggers jutted out of each paw.  Its bellowing roar shook the entire forest, although the sound was nearly lost beneath the ear-piercing scream Greg offered.

Nathan visibly relaxed and lowered his walking stick to the ground.  “Whoa, I must say that had me scared for an instant.”

My 4 and 6 year old were lost while I tried to read it to them, definitely a slow start for their short attention spans, but it is still a wonderful read if you have a few hours.

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Started up a Brand New Day…

Turn the clock to zero, boss
The river’s wide, we’ll swim across
Started up a brand new day.

~ Sting

So, it’s a New Year.  Feel any different?  I don’t, except that once again everyone (myself included) is making all kinds of promises of which we all know only a small percentage will withstand.  But, hey, we can all hope, right?  🙂

I was thinking about all this yesterday, and wondering why we all wait until January 1st of the new year to make resolutions?  Afterall, every day is a new day, we can start over the minute we decide to make changes, instead of allowing ourselves a Stag/Stagette period of inconsequential actions.  Well, figuratively speaking.  That 15lbs of holiday eating isn’t any easier to burn off in the new year than the weight we had already planned to lose, we must be mentally hard-wired to cause make-work projects.  My only logical explanation is that if it’s on the 1st day of the new year, it is very easy for us to keep track of how long we made it before we fell off the proverbial wagon.  We all live such busy lives that for me, I have a hard time keeping track of what we had for breakfast and what day it is today.  I suppose it makes things less complicated in that respect.  I dunno.  As I said, my thoughts need an outlet.  🙂

So, if you’ve made resolutions, as have I, congratulations and best wishes that you make it past the three month mark, if not to the end of the year.  My facebook status is: “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”

In the spirit of being accountable:

Resolution #1 – Say “Please” instead of barking commands at my kids.  “Woof.”

Resolution #2 – Get rid of (aka EAT) all the junk food in the house and don’t bring in any more.  (snicker, giggle…)

Resolution #3 – Don’t be so hard on myself.  First action: Don’t worry too much about #1 and #2.

Have a great year!

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Ring a bell and I salivate…

I hate being a slave to technology, but for some reason Facebook has me set to log on at any cue!  Today I was cleaning up the house for company to visit, opened the dishwasher, thought I should put on some music and went to put a disc in the computer drive and next thing I knew I was surfing facebook!  The other day I was in a hurry to leave the house because we woke up an hour late and everyone was going to be late for school and I was half dressed when I realised I was standing at the computer surfing facebook!  I have found myself logged on without even having fed the kids and by the time I log off, my oldest daughter has fed her sister and it’s now almost noon and I still hadn’t eaten or dressed!!  I think I also hold a record for the number of logins in one day, I admit I lost count but, somewhere around 90?  In one day…   And here I sit again, 10:15 at night, sick (still) and should be in bed resting and I have not showered, still haven’t taken any meds or had any much needed water and realise that I not only have facebook logged in on the computer, but I am also logged in on the iPad!!  Sigh, I think I need intervention or something.  :S

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Some stuff, just stuff.

Sometimes, just when you think you know someone…

I have recently discovered some things I had totally forgotten or had been suppressing for some reason about…myself!  Like, how much I love things like: dubstep music and the dance, RPG gaming, 70’s guitar rock like CREAM and LED ZEPPELIN, extreme mountain biking, home decorating, watching boxing and UFC, wearing jewellery, Farside comics, rolling down a hill in the autumn leaves and dressing up.  What a conglomeration!!  It’s no wonder I feel so messed up all the time, my mind is definitely full of a multitude of personalities.  Sigmund Freud would be so happy to visit me for a week, I am sure of that.  It is so freeing when you allow yourself to be yourself, like a confidence boost because you finally accept yourself for who you are.  Love it.
Don’t get scared though, this blog will not be a full-on tirade on the ultimate benefits of introspection…there will be cool things too.

And for now a quote (my apologies, I can’t recall the source):

“To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying amen to what the world tells you that you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.”

Tada!

I know, in fact we all know, that Murphy’s law is sometimes annoying, often humorous to the bystander, but never welcome to the un-willing participant. :/ I have been under the weather as of late, and should be doing my best to get plenty of rest and drink water like a fish. HOWEVER, for some afore mentioned reason, I find myself sitting in front of this plastic box of silicone chips and plastic coated wires attempting to start writing another blog. Yes, another blog. Like I didn’t learn the first time. But, as my husband, friends and children will attest, I am prone to taking on too much, even in the midst of paring down. So, amid the accomplishments as of late that include: purging SEVEN truckloads of crap and garbage to either the dump or Salvation Army (accordingly of course!), finally tackling the bathroom that was literally falling apart around us, letting go of a great job for simply lack of my available time to commit to it, getting through the Christmas season in the black instead of the red, losing 10lbs and finally getting my computer out of my kitchen – I am going to try again, fresh and new and fun, to keep a blog. It may end up the way of the 42 diaries I have tried to start over the years, ok maybe not 42, but at least this time I have some sort of plan in mind.

A little bit of…

Long ago there was a blog,

a wonderful enchanting blog,

a blog that very few had known, little known it was…

And now this is a brand new blog,

not saying it’s a better blog,

but one I hope that more will know, or at least I’ll know it’s there.

For you see my previous blog,

I often had forgot to blog,

and those who followed, wallowed in the void…

Ok, enough showtunes.  I call this An Earful of Dynamite because, well, I like sarcasm, and random bits of useless info, and some people don’t.  So, if you don’t, don’t read, if you do, enjoy.  Because heaven knows I need an outlet!

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