Las Vegas, Days Two Three and Four

Ok I know I’ve been slacking on this Vegas trip as far as blogging goes, but MAN am I exhausted!  Here’s a quick summary of events since Monday night:

Monday night:  Had dinner with Gunny, his girlfriend and Dai.  Nice buncha people!  And Gunny (David) you’re a bastard for paying for everyone.  If anyone else goes to Vegas, you gotta take HIM out for once, to make up for me and Darkmajic too apparently…

Tuesday: Lotsa sessions.  Info overload.  One of the sessions was an inside look into, which was …depressing actually.  A lot of the problems that they had, we’re having, and the things they did to fix those problems, are the opposite of what we’re doing.  It’s just sad.  I did get a much-coveted VIP pass (they only had several to hand out to people who where not already specifically invited based on a resume submission) to go to a behind-the-scenes look at a major news website covering one of the biggest stories a news site covers in a year – Election Night.  Little did I know that not only would I be rubbing elbows with the upper management of MSNBC, but they would be providing most excellent hors d’ourves AND an open bar.  Niiiice. 

Tuesday Evening: Anyway 7:30 rolled around, which is when they where supposed to wrap things up, but the msnbc guys decided they wanted to keep the party going, so they invited some of the attendees to join them at Mix, a swanky bar on Floor 64 of “THE Hotel”, a new high-rise suite-only hotel connected to the Mandalay Bay.  It had an open patio area.  ON the 64th floor.  Wow.  Not to mention the fact that they paid the bill for everyone who showed up.  I swear the bar tab must’ve been around 1000 bucks, with ten people drinking $6+ drinks for 3 hours, plus appetizers.  I ended up stumbling back to my hotel around 1am.  A fun night.

Wednesday: I played hooky for a bit in the morning, which I had pretty much planned on since there weren’t really any sessions going on in the morning that I wanted to attend.  So I hit the pool for a few hours, to soak up some sun while I had a chance.  I knew I wouldn’t be seeing any sun for a loooong time once I got back home.  The rest of the day was uneventful, just attending sessions. 

Wednesday night: Had dinner with mom instead at the mandalay bay buffet.  It had a chocolate fountain!  yuuuummm….with marshmellows.  And Lychees in the fruit section!  Oi was I full.

Thursday: LOTS of good sessions to choose from today.  I had trouble picking ones, and wished I had some others with me so we could split up and compare notes afterwards.  I ended up checking out a session on accessible website for people with disabilities (one of my personal torches at work) and another on the provider framework, which was really great.  But there where another 3-4 I would’ve liked to have gone to as well.  At least I can download all the demos and stuff after the conference!

Thursday night: Dinner with mom again, this time at one of those station casinos.  Got paid today, so I could actually gamble some, and of course mostly lost on the slots.  I did make a little over 10 dollars back on the last one I played, adn walked away feeling somewhat redeemed.  Then I played some roulette, and made 30 bucks!  Still overall at a loss, but that made it a little better…

Now I’m all packed up (mostly) and ready to check out tomorrow.  My plane doesn’t leave until 11pm tho.  I have my last workshop from 8-4, so I have to check out before then, and then leave my stuff with the bag guys.  Frankly I can’t wait to be home.  I miss my puppy.  I managed to not spend hundreds of dollars on cute little doggy tshirts and pink doggie goggles, but I did take a card!  I might have to splurge a bit if I get a decent return on tax day 😀

Can’t wait to be home, like I said.  I don’t really like Vegas this trip.  Probably a combination of lack of money, lack of companionship, and info overload. 

You all have to call me after Friday and make plans to hang out so I can get the bitter taste of loneliness outta my mouth…

Day Two. Viva Las Vegas!

I am SO exhausted (see current mood).  So I’m gonna blog about today, tomorrow.  Or yesterday, later today to be exact.



PS  Apparently computer geeks are a really good catch, cuz 98% of them are married.  And the rest have girlfriends or boyfriends..  THbththbhbhthhttttbbbtbtbtb.

Day One – Vegas

I got to Vegas without much ado, and now I sit here in front of my laptop for which I paid TWELVE DOLLARS!!! to access the internet for 24 hours!  I agree, that’s highway robbery!  Anyway, my mom picked me up at the airport and took me to the Luxor to check in.  There was a HUGE line at the registration desk, so that took quite a while, but it was my very first chance to flash my government visa!  We went to have brunch afterwards at Paris, and then my mom dragged me all over the hotels trying to cash in all her player points for a show or two.  We finally got two tickets to the Improv at Harrah’s.  The show didn’t start till 8:30, so during the 3 or so hours we had to kill we had some drinks at the Carnaval Court, which is an outdoor bar next to Harrah’s with cute bartenders with “Flair”.  Think Cocktail but without the attitude, cuz they drop the bottles sometimes and don’t seem to care.  There’s a live band doing a bunch of covers, mostly U2 and 70’s rock.  I think the lead singer thought he sounded like Bono because he dressed like him and had his hair like him and they did do alot of U2 covers…but I thought he was just ok.  /shrug

Anyway after that got boring (although how boring can cute funny bottle-flipping bartenders get?) we went back inside to the karaoke bar.  That was satisfyingly disturbing, as karaoke always is.  You could tell that the drunk people where starting to come out!  We went to the Improv then, which was fun.  The comedians where pretty funny…not as funny as some others I’ve seen in portland, but then they where doing portland-specific stuff sometimes, and its always funnier when you have personal experience.  The headliner guy was Dat Phan, that vietnamese comedian who won the Last Comic Standing thing.  All in all a good night.  I got to back to my hotel and collapsed.

Today I ordered room service!  OMG it was 24 dollars for breakfast!?!?!?!  Yeah.  Not gonna do that again.  It was good tho.  I hauled myself down to the Mandalay Bay convention area, which is totally like a two mile walk.  Next door my ass!  The first workshop was really good (I won’t bore you with the details, my non-techie friends!) and the lunch was nice.  Catered.  In a HUGE ballroom.  The second one was a little less interesting, so I ducked out an hour early to go back to my hotel.  I tried to take a shortcut which ended up being a non-shortcut  and had to walk all the way back to where I started, so by the time I got back to my hotel I was TIRED.  And my feet hurt cuz I was trying to wear cute shoes with heels (Yes I have some).  Tonight I’m having dinner with some guildies from world of warcraft who live here (translation: they are friends of mine, who I game with, and we are all in a ‘guild’ in the game together and do lots of stuff in the game together, but I’ve never actually met them in person.  Kinda like myspace friends!).  Until then, I’m gonna relax and read my book.  Hopefully I’ll find some time to hit the pool…wednesday looks like it might be a light day for me, not alot of presentations I’m interested in, but all the other days are gonna be tight.

Miss you all, miss my home, and miss my babies.

PS – speaking of babies, there’s a pet store I pass between mandalay bay and the luxor.  It’s the kind of pet store you’d see paris hilton in…certainly caters to accessory dogs.  But I think I might have to buy some stuff for jessie there.  They have a shirt that has a doggie buddha that says rub my belly!  And pink doggie goggles!  Help me, please!!!)

Vegas Busted.

I’m goin to Vegas next week.  No, no, I have to go for work.  Yes, work.  No really, it’s a convention.  Of course I won’t be working 24-7, so there is the potential for some partying to occur, if it weren’t for one, eensy teensy little wrinkle:  I’m broke.  Really broke.  I haven’t been this broke in a long time.  I’ve depleted all my stashes that I feel comfortable depleting, and some of the ones I don’t feel comfortable depleting.  It really, really sucks.  Especially when I’m going to Vegas.  I’m going to Vegas with no money at all to spend on fun.  And I’m gonna be there for a week!  A week of no money to spend on fun things in Vegas!  Damn.

This sucks!