May 13 2009

Take a ride on the 49


I can’t decide who I find more fun to watch: the rappers or the woman who looks like she’d rather be getting a root canal. I don’t think she was pleased that I encouraged them. But of course, her reaction was half the reason that I did encourage them.

I just wanted to take their picture… they thought I wanted to videotape them, so… why not? I’d never used my camera’s video camera feature before — I’ve always been fond of the still myself. But now I see some shots mean so much more if you can see their context. Because context can be everything.

May 4 2009








Chapter 1: Childhood & Secrets.

I sent my nephew a text message. I simply wanted to tell him that the only reason I was driving to Las Vegas was to see him…

“Can you keep a secret?”


“Need 2 know i can trust u”

“I wont keep secrets from my parents”

What the…? I was bereft. Few things can render me speechless for 30 minutes. His declaration was one of them. I wanted to tell him that that’s why secrets were inventedĀ  — to keep information from your parents. But of course, I couldn’t. I thought long and hard about how to approach this best; without stepping on parental toes, yet still encouraging him to question authority. C’mon, he’s 12 and long overdue. I came up with this:

“Ask ur dad if its ok 2 share a secret with me”

“Ya as long as its not bad”

What does my brother actually think, that I’m going to tell him where I hide the bodies? Or where to score the purest coke?

“1. Would never ask uĀ  a bad secret, 2. Ur the only reason Im coming to vegas.”

“O ok cool”

But I got there and we shared some secrets. Good secrets. And it was cool.


Just us gals.

Speaking of secrets & kids: On my last night in Vegas, I went to visit my friend (who I know from SF) and his wife. Their daughter is 8, and reminds me so much of myself at her age. My dad, like hers, was a bar man, and she is more comfortable in a bar than in a toy store. Game recognize game, as they say. Anyhow, she and I were sitting with our feet in the pool while the grownups were still at the dinner table. After spelling out for me the pros & cons of being an only child, she — completely unprovoked — told me about a really scary dream she’d recently had. And it gave me so much comfort! Because I’d had a near-identical dream at her age that has haunted me to this day. And when she told me her dream, I just felt all that fear and anxiety melt away as I told her (realizing it for the first time myself): “Sweetie, we all have that exact same dream. It’s only a dream.” And then she gave me a friendship ring with a coral-colored heart, to match my toenails. Because it is the perfect shade for summer.

Chapter 2: The upside of big brothers? Some really awesome toys!

Yes, that is a Confederate Flag. Don't look at me.

My brother. Yes, that is a Confederate Flag. Don't look at me.

This is what desert living is all about! One of my brothers (clearly not the father of my nephew) lives @ 25 miles west of Las Vegas, heading toward Pahrump. It’s a great drive. And most conveniently, he lives — literally — right next to a very popular biker bar. Fortunately for me (and him), they adore him there. So it’s nice to have a place to go, a stark alternative to the Vegas we all know and love and/or loathe.

But it’s all about the drive. The desert. The mountains. THE QUADS! Quadding: Lord is that fun. I got nothing to say, you just have to try it. It’s like motorcycling for dummies.

Chapter 3: Operation Nephew Corruption


My Little Rockstar.

I believe I’m making some progress here. Tiny steps. Even if not, I’m having a ball trying. Think he is too. Got him to put down the ping pong paddle, flip that table, and shoot some pool. Because let’s face it, billiards has the potential to open doors in life. Later that night, I convinced him that real rock stars don’t sing sitting on the sofa — you need to get up and feel the music (look at pic at left: eyes closed!). And he did! Of course we were just playing the American Idol video game, but it’s a start. (note to self: never, under any circumstance, attempt to sing The Spice Girls “Wannabe” ever again).

My little hustler.

My little hustler.

The next day, after tracking me down (I’d locked myself in the upstairs room to get away from the sound of All Sports All The Time on the 65″ screen to get some work done), he asked what I was working on. I told him about the blockbuster franchise movie treatment I’m writing & hope to get produced (a girl can dream, n’est-ce pas?). Trust me, it’s in the very early stages and a mess right now. He asked to read it… and he said he liked it! So he promised to be my date on the red carpet at the Oscars when the time comes, which I cannot wait for now. The kid’s on the fast track to handsome, and it’s gonna be so much fun to see all the little starlets throw themselves at his feet.

Chapter 4: Talking To Ghosts.

where I get my good looks

where I get my good looks

Not “ghost” in the spooky haunting or “I see dead people” senses. Just people, alive and dead, who affected me profoundly and are always with me, or at lease very close. That’s a ghost to me and I have a few, many in Vegas. My mom outranks all of them combined.

This is just a sign to me, but I'm sure he's a ghost to someone somewhere.

This is just a sign to me, but I'm sure he's a ghost to someone, somewhere.

May 1 2009

coming soon: “I Fucked An Allman Brother”*

*God no, of course not really!

I heard you could actually die from that. Yet I can think of no other way to describe how this priceless gem of a memory feels in hindsight…