Friday, June 30, 2006

All night in Vegas, Recovery, small town Los Angeles, life as an older sister, and independence.

What a week it's been. I debated in providing several entries for you to peruse, but instead I'm lumping everything into what promises to be a huge entry. I'll try to break everything up for easy reading.

All night in Vegas
I go to Vegas about twice a year. Every time I go, I tend to have more fun than the time prior. This past weekend in Vegas was no different.

We stayed at the Imperial Palace, which is sort of a pit, but it's our favorite casino. Well, it WAS our favorite casino, until they went all Disney Vegas on us and started offering only $15 Black Jack tables on Friday and Saturday nights. Still, the Dealertainer pit is nothing to shake a stick at, and we were grateful for the few times we were to sit and bask in the knowledge of Dolly Parton, and also receive terrible cards from one of the stupid Blues Brothers. However, most of our time was spent DOWNTOWN.

Downtown Vegas is old school Vegas. It's the Vegas you see in movies. It's incredibly tacky and fun and outta control. We hung out at Binion's Horseshoe, where we played $5 Black Jack all night long, and where I won $70 and drank and drank and drank. We hit Fitzgerald's, where I lost $40 of that $70 (BOO!), and then we decided it was time to go home. We left the casino and something seemed really weird. I looked around, totally buzzed, wondering what it was. And then I realized...

The sun was up.

It wasn't sunrise. The sun was full on UP. It was day. It was 6:15 in the morning, and it was day. And we hadn't slept.

The rest of the weekend pretty much followed suit, no pun intended. There was heavy drinking (mainly Miller Lite and Bloody Marys, with a few dirty martinis here and there) and lots of card playing. I ended up losing, but everyone that I rode with on the way there and back won. That was fun for me. However, after my requisite 30 minutes of mourning the loss of my money, I remembered how much fun I had and all was well. (I think it's totally fair to have 30 minutes of a hint of crabbiness after you just lost money and everyone you're with won money. Crabbiness for me = not talking.)

I laughed last weekend more than I've laughed in a long time, and it was awesome. I am so grateful for my beautiful girlfriend and my amazing group of friends.

This section is labeled recovery for two reasons. One, my laptop is back and better than ever, whooo! I cleaned her up when I got her back on Monday, deleting about 1000 pics and freeing up tons of hard drive. So now she runs more quickly and hasn't given me any trouble. Yay!

Two, we needed some recovery from Vegas and haven't had it. Monday we went to play Poker (goodbye another fifteen dollars!!). Tuesday we went to see Sara Bareilles at the Hotel Cafe. Wednesday I went to Happy Hour. Last night, I got a pedicure, Gina went to Target, and I packed for this upcoming weekend (will discuss in a bit), and we watched Six Feet Under and crashed. This morning: more packing, making sure everything is thrown away, everything's turned off, etc. Exhausted. Can't wait to leave.

Small town Los Angeles
After picking up my laptop on Monday afternoon, I went to Target to buy a case for her as I promised myself I would. I was shopping around, as I can never NOT look at every section in Target. It was hot and muggy here on Monday, and Angelinos deal with mugginess as well as they deal with rain. People are crabby and confused. What is this "moisture" in the air? I finally decided to leave Target and who do I run into, but Gina, in line, her arms full of stuff. Immediately, I realize it's stuff I'm not supposed to see.

I say in my sarcastic manner, "Well, well, well..."

Turns out, she was doing some EARLY birthday shopping for me. Since she works in Pasadena and I work in North Hollywood, why on earth would we run into each other at the Target in West Hollywood?? Well, we did, and so a big birthday surprise has been ruined. But, to keep the surprise from being totally out there, I'm not telling you what it is she bought me... you'll have to wait until my birthday. SUCKAS!

Life as an Older Sister
I've talked on here before about my little sisters and how much they mean to me, and how I feel like they're my own kids as opposed to my sisters, because they're so much younger than me and I spent so much time as a kid babysitting them. Because I think of them as my own, I worry about them. All. The. Time. I think about those two girls more than I think about anything else. I miss them, I'm scared for them, and I WORRY. Are they safe? Are they being looked after (even though they're 17 and almost 20 - Happy Birthday on Sunday, Jess!)? Are they making the right decisions?

Jackie, the 17 year old, called me this morning and I could tell something was wrong. She was sniffly and deep-voiced, as though she just woke up or she was sick or she was crying. Unfortunately, she was crying, and after three times of telling her to slow down and explain what was wrong, she told me she was on her way to calling hours for a friend that OD'd. Eighteen years old, and this girl OD'd on heroin, coke, and Xanax. EIGHTEEN. I'm speechless. I'm freaked out. And I hate that my baby sister has to go to a funeral of a friend, not to mention the fact that Jackie is even friends with someone who would OD...

On to something happier...

Happy Independence day everybody! I'm going to Catalina this weekend until Tuesday. Have a safe, happy 4th of July, and among the beer and fireworks, take a minute to remember that despite its shortcomings, this IS a great country, and we are lucky to be here.

Much love to everyone.

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