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Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Vegas, Day (You Guessed It) 3

Ok, I've hit that point you hit at every conference eventually -- enough of the dawn-to-dusk routine, enough schmoozing, enough Powerpoint, enough of this hotel. Last night I tried to plan an escape, to the Double Down Saloon, as previously mentioned...which is apparently in a desolate part of town, with drink specialties like "ass juice" and posters advertising "puke insurance." None of which fazed me, because the place had a certain charm - a friendly bartender, colorfully painted walls, a relaxed air. The fact that I was unfazed seemed to faze some of my companions, who probably see me as a clean-scrubbed type who prefers Cosmopolitans at boutique hotels.

Ultimately the fact that Double Down served no food (save a snack machine stocked with Cheetos and Reeses Peanutbutter Cups) drove the group to insist we move on, and we ended up at the Bellagio, in a bar that looked like it was part of a boutique hotel (sleek leather booths, dim lights), where people drank...Cosmopolitans. We could have been anywhere in the world.

This morning I noticed that my view of faux New York includes a faux Statue of Liberty that had somehow escaped my notice up to now. At lunch they served pork chops and I just couldn't do it - the thought of eating mass-produced meat just turned my stomach - so I asked for the vegetarian option, which ended up being the mashed potatoes and side veggies served with the pork chop, just sans chop. So I ate them, and snacked on peanuts I carry with me in my bag as an emergency measure (Amanda without protein is not a pretty sight), and I longed for fresh food and fresh air, the cherry blossoms back home, my dog, my husband, all the sensations that make you feel alive, a place where things are real, not imitations of elsewhere. It will be good to go home. Just 1 more day...

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