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Showing posts from November, 2017

What Happens in Vegas...

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I realized on our last day that, though it was in general a good trip, there were several things we should have done differently. Thus, despite the "what happens in Vegas" line, these are things I would have done differently:

1.  Eaten at a buffet first thing, like on Thanksgiving Day (though pizza in the sunshine was nice). We put of off until the last day, and I wish we had not. Luckily the buffet we picked had a bottomless mimosa bar.

2. Explored a wide range of casinos at first. We walked around a lot of mid-range places, putting the over the top exuberance of the Bellagio off until the last night and the sort of dismal sense that is Circus Circus until the last day. I wish I had had a better sense of the range.

3.  Seen the volcano at the Mirage explode.

4.  Had the drink. I spent days looking at people drink frozen daiquiris while walking around before I finally got one. Life was a lot nicer after the daiquiri.

5.  Seen the conservatory at the Bellagio. We saw it on S…

Circus Circus

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(and I don't mean the casino of the same name, which was kind of a depressing place to visit though we played a mean game of air hockey there....)

Back in Vegas, we spent the day in various circus endeavors.

First, we went to the Love technical tour (which was actually sitting in seats int he theater and being shown the tech, but with no performers). It was focused on the true technical aspects — sound, lights, video, and mechanics — rather than the actual rigging (though Patrick did learn that they use only 12 riggers, and all from the sides instead of above).


From there, the ultimately cheesy "Fall of Atlantis" at Caesar's Palace, plus I finally got my rum drink to walk around with! (note to self, get that earlier in the trip next time!)


That night, we had TWO Cirque shows .

First was Mystere, a very traditional Cirque show, but with the added bonus of taiko drums. Beatrix especially loved the clowns, and I found the whole thing eminently enjoyable.

Finally, we saw…

Grand Road Trip

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When is a day in Vegas not a day in Vegas? When you use Day 2 of your vacation to drive to the Grand Canyon!

We love road trips, so the 4.5/5 hour drive each way did not phase us (and truly, it would have been shorter, but it took us about 45 minutes to get in to the park). But I digress....

Currently, at least, there's an "Every Kid in a Park" program, where every 4th grader can get a national parks pass for a year, allowing their whole family access. So we got up not as early as we should have and headed out.


First up, Lake Mead. We did not stop at the Hoover Dam. I know it was a lost opportunity, but we were running late.


Soon, we crossed the Arizona border, adding another state to Beatrix's roster. The scenery got more and more magnificent.


Stopped for lunch at Seligman, the birthplace of route 66. Delgado's Sno-Top Tacos was closed for the season, so we ate at a horrible place that shall remain nameless.


Slightly eerie pit stop.


Finally, our destination. Lon…

All You Need Is Love!

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Vegas Day 1 was Thanksgiving Day. We flew out early (thanks for the airport ride, Jason!), arriving in Vegas at abut 10am. As soon as we drove down the Strip towards our hotel (luckily located a few blocks off the Strip), we realized this was not going to be the kind of Thanksgiving where only a few things were open. In typical Vegas fashion, everything — except the In-and-Out Burger — was open and full of people.

So once we checked in, we walked down to check out the action. Lunch was a very un-Thanskgiving couple of slices of pizza at an outdoor table while people-watching, and then we checked out some shops and the gardens at the Flamingo. Beatrix especially like the bath and body store where all the bath bombs were shaped like cupcakes.


We walked down to the Venetian and got our first sense of how HUGE everything in Vegas is. Outside was this large complex and canals with gondolas, but we were stunned when we walked inside and ALSO saw canals and gondolas, and full streetscapes of…

Craft-transformation!

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There are two kinds of things that put me in a  zen-like, contemplative mode that I just love — working on house projects (like painting the dining room woodwork, which I just finished), and craft projects.

Unfortunately, my craft space was an incredible disaster of piled-up mess. I could not find anything, and there was no actual room to create. Think I'm exaggerating? Here's visual proof:






The mess of it has weighed on me more than I can express. There have been a lot of times I wanted to just chuck it all, to decide I didn't need it in my life, I was not good at it, the whole thing was stupid, all because I could not handle the mess. When I DID try to do things, I could not find the right items: the pinking shears, right color thread, etc. I was about this far from giving up.

That's when, a few weeks back, my friend Emily offered to help. Emily is an incredible creative person who I first met when she ran a wonderful pop-up called Highway North for several months (sh…

David Bowie - A Life

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This has been a hard read. Not because it was not engaging, but because I kept on thinking somehow that, if I did not finish it, maybe Bowie would still be alive. Then I found out he had written a song for the SpongeBob Squarepants musical head to Broadway and figured it was all over anyway.

All humor aside, it was a wonderful book, and one that both did not deserve my slowness, but also one I wanted to linger over. It's written in an unusual style, basically full of snippets from interviews of hundreds of people who knew and worked with Bowie, so it was like being at a surreal cocktail party with only one focus. I think it's the kind of thing David Bowie would have been amused by, were he still alive.

I don't know how accurate it is, but I'm not sure that's the point. It felt like looking at a kaleidoscope of someone's life, the kind that you keep spinning and the image keeps changing.

I wish there were photos, though. I kept paging through hoping there were s…

Dear Al Franken

Today you're going to break my daughter's heart.

You see, Beatrix was born (insured) with a heart condition. When we needed to get private insurance because we no longer had it through work, she was denied coverage.. When you found out about this, just recently, your office has been great about asking about her story and about making her feel like people like her matter to you. You've fought for what is right. You're a hero to her.

And now I'm going to have to explain that picture to her. And she's not going to understand why anyone would do that, or think it was funny. In Beatrix's world, things are pretty clear-cut. People get to marry the people they love. You treat everyone the same, no matter how they look, because it's what's inside that matters. Girls are just as good as boys are (ok, well, she probably thinks girls are  little better.)

Look, I've been in the performing arts my whole life, and I've been politically active, and I'v…

#viviennesjoy

It's been an amazing weekend of community. Yesterday morning I had a meal swap, and this afternoon I went to a clothing swap. We attended a magical wedding, and a sweet Sweet 16 brunch. Beatrix had her book club.

But the thing that really hit me was today — #viviennesjoy

Last year, our friends lost their 3-year daughter to Sudden Unexplained Death Syndrome. One day she was there ... and then she wasn't. I can't even wrap my mind around it.

So what do you do when that happens, and you have another little girl to live for, and you can't crawl under a rock and give up, much as you might want to? They continued on, and have formed Vivienne's Joy Foundation to bring attention to the issue, to build a playground in her memory, and most of all, to continue the joy that Vivi brought in her short life.

This is Vivi's Week. She would have turned four last Friday, and tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of her death. And so her family wanted to mark the week to share …

Remembering Charlie

Tonight was a memorial, of sorts, for the inimitable Charlie Bethel at Open Eye. I guess I'm saying now what I should have said there.

I had met Charlie and seen his work many times by the time I actually worked with him at the Jungle. So I knew him artistically long before I knew him as a colleague, and I might have been a little stagestruck when we first interacted in the office together. Charlie was an incredible storyteller — one of the best I have ever known.

He was a pretty good person to work with, too. That was a weird, transitional year at the Jungle (and a particularly shitty year in my own life). With a lot of staff changes and part-time people and the like, Charlie was the welcoming committee, they guy that held it together. I know he did not particularly like that role — but he did it, because someone had to.

He was anxious to leave it, too. When Bain cast him in Recent Tragic Events, Charlie knew it was time to take a different step in his career, and embrace creatin…

Winter Prep

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After a long but successful Gala for circus last night, it was nice to have a quiet day today. We took Beatrix to theatre class at CTC and spent our usual productivity time at Glam Doll (we need to keep her in those classes because we get so much done!). Then a stop at the Hamline Methodist Church sale (I got a Smart Woman mug!), and at Target (I'll save you the trouble — the Chip and Joanna Gaines collection starts tomorrow). But I did drop a whopping $1 on new pantry labels.

We took Beatrix's friend Annie to lunch at Annie's Parlour (get it?), then headed home and got on an organizational bender. We got the yard trimmed and raked, brought a few plants in, closed down the fountain and put in the furniture, and filled the planters with birch logs. We cleaned up a little, did laundry, listed some plants and other things on the buy-sell-trade board, and made "poet's pie" (sweet potatoes and veggies in a pot pie).

Now we're watching LaLaLand (finally), and I…