Sunday, August 31, 2008

Eating for 2 or 3, or maybe even 4

One of the greatest things about Las Vegas is the food. Yes, the food was one thing I was looking forward to. I have been to a few of the buffets and enjoyed them. For instance, the Rio breakfast buffet features all of the customary breakfast food and then some. I vividly remember eating cannoli for breakfast. Although I love cannoli, I love something on the Rio buffet better than that. They had Eggs Benedict! I love, love, love Eggs Benedict. I could eat several for breakfast each day, no matter that my arteries are hardening and am nearing heart attack stages. Yes, they are that good. We have made them at home on occasion, but it just doesn't compare with the fact that I could eat 10 at once and more would just magically appear in the tray. We didn't make it to the Rio's eggs Benedict feast, I have to admit, I was a little bummed. The buffet wasn't too shabby at the Monte Carlo, and it was free! You can't get better than that.

Ah, the Bellagio! The fountains are beautiful, the shops loaded with stuff I can't afford, and don't really want, the buffet, GIANT! Hubby and I got their early, my guess was that we would have to wait. We had our tickets for Mystere and didn't want to be late and wanted enough time to fill our faces. Upon arrival, there was a line. It wasn't bad and became even better when a random guy gave us the nod and said it was every bit worth the wait. We forked over the $80 and were led to our table, just a few steps from what I can only call a culinary heaven. We grabbed our plates and went off in search of sustenance. WOW! I started off with about 100 pieces of different kinds of cheese. Wound my way around the massive place and added Chicken Wellington, tortellini, steak, peeled shrimp, and the best, crab legs! They were actually already split so that lifting the sweet crabmeat was easy and didn't require a million Wet Wipes. We ate with the relish of a death row inmate. While hubby was off reloading, I managed to suck in a piece of the delicate crust of the Chicken Wellington. Now, here is the dilemma. Hubby and I went to Abuelo's one night. They have good chips so, of course, I was loading up. One sliver of chip lodged in my throat. I could talk etc but could feel it poking me in the throat! No amount of coughing could dislodge the piece. At this point, I am thinking I am going to die at Abuelo's. I excuse myself and race to the ladies room, dodging the unsuspecting patrons waiting to get a table. A lot of them didn't bother to move for the woman holding her mouth and dashing around like an idiot. How rude. Anyway, I get into the stall and proceed to throw up the offending piece of chip. Cheese comes out of my nose. I am disgusted. I don't throw up, that's a fact, this time I had to make the exception or risk death, or you know, puking on the table or something. Back to the chicken, I wasn't sure what to do. I drank a bunch and cleared my throat so much that I thought the Asian family next to me was going to move. I started to get a little irritated when the all pulled out their cameras and started snapping pictures of the pregnant, choking American woman. Nothing against anyone Asian, mind you. Eventually, I somehow managed to swallow the offending piece of crust and went back to the buffet for seconds or maybe it was thirds. The family actually asked my darling husband to take their pictures! I guess they figured it was the least they could do since we were practically related. It isn't every day that another tourist hacks up all kind of phlegm in your direction.

We finished with dessert/desserts. They were all such cute little designer treats. All in tiny little, ruffled cups, so small that I could easily line a dinner plate with 10 and still have a little room left over.

You can't beat Vegas for eating. Not everyone gambles, but everyone eats. And eats, and eats and eats.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Alone at last!

I dropped Mia off at her first day of preschool. I was nervous, of course, it is a big step for both of us, even if it is only 2 1/2 hours, twice a week. We packed her up, took some pictures and she was ready to go.

I am shocked that she goes in, kisses me goodbye and begins to play. I am happy but sad still. She is my little girl and I miss her.

I head off to get the dry cleaning and a free iced coffee at McDonald's, all is well. I get home, and... Nothing, I am alone and don't know what to do. I decided to play a bit of Scrabble and lose miserably. Reading doesn't sound interesting and I don't like TV. I try to think of something to do. I could run around naked, maybe put on some music? I could sit on the sofa and just throw out some swear words? Um, I could read my email? I need to clean the kitchen. Well, that doesn't sound very fun, so I don't.

I have brainstormed alot and have come up empty. Hmmm... It is now time to go get Mia. Where has the time gone?

Open House

I am going off my Vegas rant to share a little about middle school open house. I am attending tonight, alone, my husband giving me a night out, so to speak. Plus, now that I am pg, I can use it to sneak away, with the excuse that my water broke or something like that.

To say that open house is exciting is really a lie. It is boring, filled with the same monotone headmaster that has been there for years and still has nothing interesting to say and no interesting way to say it. We get our folder of info and are supposed to head out to the classrooms to meet the teachers. The teachers haven't changed so I am going to skip that part of the evening. At this point of the year, 3 whole days, the kids don't have art or anything to display. I have never understood why open house is so early.

The fun part is the introductions of the new PTO officers. I don't know these woman at all. No idea how they got elected and for the most part, don't want to hear them speak. No offense, there really isn't anything interesting for them to say. It is very cliquey, I understand, but come on, no one really cares about how you are good with keeping your crap organized. KWIM?

I always look forward to the yearly ice cream social. While I'm definetly not social, I do like ice cream. Yeah, I know, for what we pay for this event, we could go buy several gallons of whatever flavor we choose, but it is for the school so we suck it up and eat a ton.

Another big event at school is the winter carnival. The school goes all out with neat decorations, lots of games and bouncy houses. Now, I have a little bit of experience with bouncy houses. I think they are a blast, but can't convince the other parents that maybe they could let off a little steam, let there hair down from their normal snobbishness and have some fun.

Then, there is the dreaded cake walk! Just the words "cake walk" puts the fear in all parents. It is the worst job at the carnival. Kids, and some adults, can't figure out that you walk in a circle on some numbers, when the music stops, the number called wins the cake. Hello??? There are clearly people that need to come out of the cake walk cave and get with the program. I am going to leave the details at that because just the thought of how hubby and I worked the cake walk for 2 hours is enough to make me want to find a small place to hide in.

Then, there are the donations of everything needed to run these yearly events. You name it and it is needed. Don't get me wrong, it is all for a good cause, I don't mind. I can always donate a cake or some cookies. Never a pie though. Pies seem to make the headmaster a little giddy. One year, he brazenly announced, "Men, bid on your wives pies. You don't want another man to eat your wife's pie!" Well, no, certainly not! I have never had to stifle a laugh so hard as I did right then. Of course, none of the parents moved a muscle, yet again proving that I am not meant to be in the prescence of such proper people.

So, tonight, I am off to open house. I will be sitting with all of the other parents, trying not to doze off, fart or do anything else that might repulse my neighbor. I will probably somehow get signed up for the cake walk again. I hope there are no pies!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Timeshare:HA, HA!

Hubby and I had just exited the Monte Carlo, when we were accosted by a pregnant woman, offering free buffets at our own hotel. Well, we like to eat so that looked appealing. After being corralled over to a small building, we were assailed by a spiky haired, young, smooth talking guy. Why we could see a free Vegas show if we would visit his property and give him our opinion. We demanded to see the show list. There was Lance Burton, La Cage, Follies and one that piqued my interest, "Mystere." Mystere has been in Vegas for quite some time and has won rave reviews. Ok, what do we have to do??? Just offer and opinion is all it will take to get the tickets. If you know me, you know that I am not short of an opinion on anything. I was perfect for the job. Now, darling husband, is the pragmatic one of us, doesn't normally get crazy over anything, and would, in general, prefer I keep my big mouth shut. Dang, this will be fun, with free stuff to boot!

The next morning, we wind our way through the casino to the place we are assured we will be picked up. This resort is next to Mandalay Bay. I can see Mandalay Bay but it is about 10 miles by walk. Not really, but a Las Vegas block is easily the equivalent to 6 regular blocks anywhere else. We wait with the other suckers and hope that this shuttle comes before I pass out from lack of water. I am near passing out from the heat and the sheer boredom. The big fun was yet to come!

Hubby and I had discussed how to handle these hard sell, timeshare sales idiots. We thought of saying that we were buying at the condos next door to the Monte Carlo. They were $650,00, yes, American, to start. I thought I could say I was a Koch but figured they wouldn't know who I meant. We had some pretty fabulous stories cooked up, we would have to see what game they played before we played ours.

We are escorted with all of the other suckers into a waiting room filled with oddly dressed women and Hawaiian shirt clad men. They called us to meet and move to the room where they put the screws to you. One of the guys, Hans, had a fake tan, with slicked back bleach blond hair. I have never laughed harder at someone, that probably isn't true, but I had to stifle myself when he got onto the elevator with us. When he mentioned there were "nibblies," I nearly lost it. Our guy was named Steve. Not very interesting, but worthy of the game we thought we might play.

There was a lot of small talk. Blah, blah, blah. Steve said he had been in the Air Force for 20 odd years. Then, he found out he had the "Big C." I really had to search my brain for what the Big C was. Clearly, my brain wasn't functioning in the heat because I it took me forever to figure out what he was referring to. Idiot, doorknob, jackass, goofball, none of those start with c. Oh! He meant cancer! He was actually joking about having cancer. Now, that is something to get a hoot over. NOT!

After a ridiculous spiel about who knows what, we watched a cool video about the destruction of some of Vegas' greatest landmarks. I still don't really know what they were getting at but I was eating a huge chocolate chip cookie and really could have cared less. Some old guy, proclaiming to be a former Vegas weatherman, gave us a canned lecture that required alot of canned applause from the idiot sales staff. Man, the things we will endure for some tickets to a show.

After what seemed like forever, with promises of trips wherever we wanted, or at least to all of the places this place shared with, we were released with Steve to have a look at the grounds. There was a fabulous pool with a sandy beach, cool. We were escorted into the models for a look see. Granite counter tops, stainless appliances, flat screen tv's, a jacuzzi tub in the master bedroom, all very nice. A stack washer and dryer in a closet. Ok, when I take a vacation, I sure as heck don't want to see a kitchen or any type of laundry facilities. I want a fancy lobby, a half dozen restaurants, shops that sell a bunch of stuff I either don't want or can't afford, something that doesn't look like an apartment that I lived in 5years ago. I explained this all to Steve, who proceeded to treat me like an idiot. Just close the door to the laundry closet, just don't cook. I told him that he clearly didn't understand what a vacation was to me. Hubby was wisely letting me voice my opinion so we could get the hell out of Dodge. I explained, that if I had to cook, do laundry and drive 5 miles to Starbucks, then that was a typical day, not a vacation. Well, Mr. Steve's attitude changed. He wasn't very friendly anymore. In fact, he called in one of the big guns. A guy, wearing a turtleneck that had a better manicure than myself. He tried to wheel and deal with some fancy figures and assuring us we would qualify, no credit check necessary. In a nutshell, we told him to take his 17.9% loan and shove it in his stack washer and dryer.

Five minutes later, tickets in hand, we were on the shuttle back to the life of a vacationer. Lots of AC, restaurants, shops with $30,000 purses and a Mint Mocha Frappuccino with my name on it. Just how I like it!

Friday, August 22, 2008


I love, love Sephora! My first jaunt into the store, left me $200 in the hole. I bought some makeup, and had it applied. I asked for a vanilla scented fragrance and was shown a wall of perfume. The saleswoman narrowed it down to 4, one of which I got and have used faithfully since. It is a wonderful, light smell. I could huff and get a little vanilla high, it so yummy. Anyway, I was thrilled at the prospect of shopping once again in a store that has so many makeup brands that your head spins.

My favorite store is the one next door to the Venetian. The Venetian shops have expanded so much since the last time I was in Vegas, that we realized we were going to be late for our dinner reservation. Hmm. Well, there were other Sephora's so I guess I would have to suck it up and try the one across from our hotel, at Planet Hollywood's mall.

I wouldn't recommend deviating from a store that offers so much to a store that offers very little. The Miracle Mile's Sephora offered little, and I was sorely disappointed. First off, the store is small, as in way tiny. There was no block long wall of perfume, no well stocked cases of any makeup brand you can think of. For instance, I wanted some of the NARS Orgasm products, the Multiple, polish and gloss. What I found? Nothing but empty spots of the shelves and a sign that the polish would be available soon. Hmmm... I know it was available on their website. My husband, who would barely sit foot in the door, yelled at me from outside to ask someone. There was a long line at the register and not many someone's to ask. I finally found someone to ask. It was a nearly 6 foot tall blond, wearing the usual black shirt, black pants ensemble. She had a long ponytail, pulled neatly. I approached. She turned around. I was shocked. The 6 foot blond was a MAN?!? Well, maybe not 100% man but still manly enough. I didn't want to get his makeup opinions so I left. It wasn't really because of him that I left. I was angry that I didn't go to the store of my choice, angry they were out of everything that I wanted and angry that my husband was not standing by me, helping me pick out stuff that I really don't need. I was also hot and thirsty and bitchier than usual, so it was time to go. So, we did.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


That is all I'm saying. Vegas is really, really HOT!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back away from the pregnant woman

We are officially in Sin City! Of course, we have the normal airport business to take care of, mainly, I have to pee. We get on the tram, surrounded by a million other crazy people, willing to brave the oppressive heat for a little fun. I am crammed into the tram, laying all my stuff on a man with an expensive watch, holding the largest cup Starbucks offers. I know all of this because it was right in my eye. If the tram would have lurched violently, I would have had my face washed by his iced coffee.

Our luggage appears and we are off to find a way to our hotel. We are staying at the Monte Carlo, home of Lance Burton. He is a magician but looks like a wax dummy, really, he wears more makeup than most women. We get out, get to our room and, darn it, it is so hot! I lower the AC to a much more desirable temp, at this point, a meat locker wouldn't have been cool enough for me. The room, while tastefully decorated and comfy, never felt cool to me. I couldn't sleep because I couldn't feel any air on my skin. Of course, I had 20 pillows in bed with me, besides Bobby, so I'm sure all of that was hampering my temperature issues.

This was also a handicap accessible room. We had a gigantic bathroom. Of note, is that apparently a handicapped person needs to have a bathtub that sits several feet off the floor. I had to use all of the rails because getting in and out was nearly impossible. Getting out of the shower, wet, of course, at a high altitude on a polished, tile floor, makes for an interesting time. If you have some kind of physical issue, I don't recommend going to Vegas anyway. Not to be mean, but it is too crowded. Just being pg, I was jostled by many in elevators and buses. No fun!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The village called, they want their idiots back

We returned from Las Vegas yesterday. I have so many stories and so little time. I will get started with the plane trip. We left Wichita after lunch. People around us were milling about, chatting on the phone, chatting with each other, you know, what you would normally do while you wait. Then, there are the "others." I would consider them to be social misfits, guys from the farm, that perhaps like to indulge in fantasy of the farm animal kind. There were 4 of them, all wearing t-shirts that said the most asinine of things. For instance, one shirt read, "What happens in Clay Center, stays in Clay Center." Nice choice. Maybe it should have read, "Hey, I'm a dumbass that has never been out of Kansas." Or, "Kick me because I am gambling on heads or tails off a quarter before we get on the plane." Maybe that second one is too long, but, unfortunately, true. The guys all sat on the floor, there were chairs, so I'm not sure of the reasoning behind this. One pulled out a quarter and for the next hour or so, they played heads or tails, all while throwing big bills out. Couldn't wait the 3 hours til we got to Vegas. Ok, so we get on the plane. We sit next to 2 of them, the others, sit in front of us. Not one of them removes their odd, wavy shaped Oakley's. One guy drops quite a bit of cash on drinks, which are $6 a piece. Everything costs on an airplane now.

We are nearing Vegas and are starting to see landmarks, mainly Hoover Dam. I mention this to my sweet husband and immediately the guy's head snaps around and he begs me to point it out to him. Then, he demands to know if I know where the speedway is. Um, no, sorry, it isn't really my cup of tea. Instead, I tell him that Chanel is at the Bellagio and that I can't wait to go to Sephora. He gives me a blank stare. No, I really didn't say that, but I wanted to.

Finally, we land. They all announce how lucky they are that they only have carry on luggage, so they were off for more beer and some gambling. Thank God that was the last of them.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Blow my dice, or, whatever

Darling husband and I are on our way to Vegas today. It is supposed to be 108 degrees! Did you hear me, 108 degrees?!? Of course, Kansas is supposed to be rainy and 20 degrees cooler than normal. Hmmm... Maybe I would like to stay home this weekend instead. No, this is the last chance that hubby and I will be able to get away, just the 2 of us. With a baby coming, it is unlikely we will hopping on a plane anytime soon. That is ok, there are trade-offs in life and I am willing to make them.

I am expecting to eat like a queen and walk a bunch more than I probably should. I love to eat and in Vegas, our choices are endless. We are eating at a seafood buffet tonight. They ship in 30,000 lbs. of crab legs for this buffet. How can that not be enjoyed? I fully expect hubby to take 15,000 lbs, leaving the rest for me!

Tomorrow, we are renting a car and touring the Hoover Dam. It is interesting, and even though there is no buffet for miles, I'm sure we will do fine. Of course, I will have to pee endlessly and become massively dehydrated, this, no doubt, making the tour much more entertaining!

We will be doing alot of walking up and down the strip. I always enjoy people watching, and Vegas is pretty much filled with freaks! And, I'm just talking about the normal tourists. One year, I was there, there was a pack of young, Asian teens milling about outside of Caesars Palace. What I found most interesting was that one of the girls was wearing a wool sweater and tights! Hello? It was 90+ degrees. I certainly not knocking anyone Asian, just wow, she must have been hot!

I am not a big gambler. I will put a couple of quarters in a slot machine but other than that, I will probably avoid the tables. My gambling husband has been reading a book about craps. I say, "Good luck and don't loose any money." He actually asked me if I wanted to be his good luck charm, wear something daringly low cut, and blow his dice. Blow his dice, seriously. I opted out saying that I would much rather go shopping while he blew his own dice. Sephora, here I come!

Sephora will be very exciting! I discovered my favorite perfume there. I love, love, love Sephora. I could easily spend all of our gambling winnings there. Oh, wait... There aren't likely to be winnings. Oh, well, I will spend our real money there. Unlikely.

So, the countdown begins. Hubby will be home in 1 hour and we will speed over to my parents so we can leave Miss Mia. I will miss her! Maybe I will get her a little Vegas surprise. Do kids like poker chips???

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Not funny, for now

I enjoy writing my blog. I use it as a release sometimes. I know that it isn't always funny. In fact, lately, it hasn't been. I'm sorry for this. Things happen. Maybe I will be funnier tomorrow.

If you like a funny blog, I highly recommend Jen Lancaster's, "Jennsylvania." She is a real hoot and has a bitch streak that I admire and would most certainly cultivate if I wasn't forced to be nice to so many people.

I do have a couple of habits, bad or good, that are similiar to Jen's. I love my Crocs, ugly or not. My entire family loves them. I figure that when my feet are swollen from being pregnant, I will turn to my Crocs, the Mammoth type specifically, to ease my uncomfortable feet. The Crocs people sent Jen a rather exciting bunch of shoes from their fancy line. I can't afford the new line, and while I would love something free, even a coupon, I doubt I am big on the Croc people's blog list!

I also love Chicago! Jen lives there in, what I would guess, is a stylish, loft type place. I am envious, to a point. Having kids there is something I can't imagine. When we were in Chicago, we walked everywhere or took the El. I can't fathom how I would get a toddler and infant onto bus without losing my mind. Walking isn't always great with little kids.

We enjoyed our trip to Chicago very much. We ate great food. Who doesn't like a steak from the Chicago Chop House??? I guess, vegetarians, but I can't imagine who else. My favorite stop was at the Coach store, where I got my Ali bag. I still keep the thank you note from the shopgirl we purchased it from. We also visited the aquarium and I found it to be top notch. I could sit and watch the beluga's all day. Hubby and I are hoping that we can go back and do some other fun things. But, with a baby on the way, we may be too old to walk around much without walkers.

Someday, my sense of humor will return. Until then, I will be celebrating my birthday this weekend, that should bring about some laughs. I'm 39, oh, what the hell, I'm really 29!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Past-Revisited

I lived a different life, much different than the one I live now, back in the 80's. First, I was young and a hottie! Well, I was young, anyway. When I think back, it seems like it was a secret life, a life few of my friends know about and a life that, while etched in my memory, I don't always like to recall.

I married an Air Force Academy cadet. I have to admit that it wasn't the best plan I could have come up with. I was young, too young. And, dumb. Yet,that didn't stop me from moving from wonderful Colorado, to steaming hot Texas. I remember my apartment, new and crawling with scorpions. One day, I came home and found a gray, furry tarantula on my front door. After I got in the door, there was a scorpion on my couch. Nice. That is nothing compared to what I was considered, an Air Force wife. Not just any Air Force wife, but one whose husband was in Undergraduate Pilot Training(UPT). There were a barrage of parties, mixers, get togethers and what have you, that I had to attend. There was no choice in the matter, none. I went where I was summoned. Granted, I wasn't summoned by the commander, just his wife, and in some cases, it was just as bad. The Air Force looks at the "wife" as the posession of the husband. Those that know me, know that isn't the way I operate, but back then, I did. If we were to go to the O Club, we went. If we were supposed to go to a dinner, we went. We edged our lawn, parked our cars, mingled with friends, had sex, all by the book of the Air Force. Failure to do so... It just didn't happen, at least with myself and former spouse.

UPT is a program that lasts 1 year. It is grueling for the pilots. It is grueling for their wives. There are the 4am flight weeks, the 8pm flight weeks. There was the chamber, egress training and memorizing countless things about flying and the plane. Failed check rides and failed marriages occured frequently, too frequently. While the husband's are dutifully flying around, the wives are left on the ground, to commiserate with their forced friends about how they miss their families, miss their friends, miss their jobs, all to fulfill their husband's dreams. It is admirable but stressful enough for miscarriages and falling apart marriages. In esscence, you gave up everything and UPT is now your life, as well. You remember little acronyms for things, you sew patches on new flightsuits, you are able to recognize and name the entire inventory of Air Force planes. You and your spouse are owned by the Air Force and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it.

But, there is light at the end of the tunnel! Graduation from UPT approaches and the Air Force has decided your husband is worthy of flying one of their multi-milion dollar planes. Maybe you will escape this hellhole called Del Rio, maybe not. We didn't, not for 4 years. I lived through 4 years of hot as hell conditions, very few places to get a decent meal and absolutely no shopping! And, tell me what did I do it for, a divorce. Apparently. My former spouse loved flying and was a great instructor, but his love for me couldn't/didn't have any priority for him. I, was in fact, his mistress, his first love, the Air Force and flying.

I don't regret those times, they have shaped me into the person that I am today, not that that is saying a bunch. I made friends that I think of today. Occasionally, I Google them, hoping to find that someone I knew, is having the life they dreamt of, something that they took away from that time in the 80's in Del Rio, Texas.

My last Google forway was today and what I found, hurt me. A guy that was an instructor pilot with us in Texas, was killed on 30 July at Nellis AFB, NV. He had been flying in an exercise and crashed, he died on site. He had been married to the same girl I met, way back in 1990. They had childen, they have a mom, but no dad. Reading the obituary, I saw that he was an accomplished pilot, with many missions, with many aircraft. Many, that at the time I knew him, he only dreamt about.