Vegas, “slay-offs”, holiday spirit, etc.

Wow, this really is working up to be a Monday, and I don't even have a job.  The brain started grinding at 3:30 this morning, when I got up for the usual airport run.  I listen to the radio regularly, and lately San Francisco Ballet has been running a curious ad.  There are a couple of different  versions, but they're all variations of someone at the Lost and Found searching for their lost holiday spirit, or at a store asking a clerk if they carry it/have it in stock.  The response is something like, "We have some misplaced Thanksgiving cheer", or some other item, but they don't carry "Holiday Spirit".  I've been feeling a bit of that…last year we blew off Christmas altogether, having spent it in mourning, with Xmas day on a plane to Houston, so theoretically I should be stacking holiday spirit around the house like sandbags before a flood.  Right?

Tomorrow is the anniversary of Bruno's death.  For those who have experienced the unfortunate death of a loved one during or just before the holidays, there's always remembrance.  You may be thinking, "But Bruno was just a cat!".  Well yeah, but he was also my constant companion for 14 years, many of which would have been solitary years.  It's just one piece of the puzzle.

Las Vegas has changed my view of holiday lights and decoration, but not in the way you might immediately think.  While there I heard news reports of city employee layoffs, a necessary move to prevent the city from filing for bankruptcy.  WTF?  Las Vegas?  One of the great symbols of money and excess in the western world, and the city government can't sustain itself?  Truly amazing.

I don't gamble, and can't drink, and not much into clubbing anymore, but even if I was, I can't enjoy Las Vegas the way I used to.  It's become nothing but a vortex of consumption to me.  It's as far from any idea of saving the earth as one can possibly get, short of dumping nuclear waste into the ground.  Could they change any of their billions of lights to LED's and compact flourescents, or utilize other energy saving methods?  All I could see was a constant stream of excess, waste, and garbage being generated.  Not a single recycling bin in sight, or anything that urged less consumption.  Apparently the Hilton doesn't participate in that whole water-saving movement (reuse your towels, etc).  Of course, they don't believe in non-smoking either, because EVERY suite and adjoining room, regardless of separate occupancy or floor (smoking or non) IS A SMOKING ROOM.  So besides being inconveniently located far off the strip, the Hilton is visually boring, with nothing going for it except the Monorail station and its proximity to the LV convention center.  I plan to never return.

As for the rest of Las Vegas, I'd go there for a wedding, otherwise I'd fly in only for family events (I do have relatives there) or to recreate out at Red Rocks or in the surrounding countryside.  I've seen enough of the spectacle over my lifetime, and wasn't even impressed by the Bellagio's conservatory display.  It was all about Xmas presents.  The crowds were thin, new properties lacked imagination (Planet Hollywood), the food was nothing that can't be found here, every place made my eyes sting.  So why go?  For "luxury or excitement"?  Really?  I can think of lots of other places I'd rather go.  But maybe it's as close to Dubai as you can get for $119.

I'll say this about having gone: I have a newfound appreciation for homestyle christmas lights and decoration.  I think it's a matter of scale.  It doesn't even have to be expensive to bring a little cheer to the viewer.  It's all about effort.  LV is just gaudy and over the top.  But like I said, I don't gamble, can't drink, and have no interest in picking up guys or $800 shoes…that's the fun, isn't it?

To cap things off, it was the annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo championsips, held every year over the first two weeks in December.  It felt like the RNC, and all that entails (country music, born agains, etc).  But whatever, it's the holidays.  The city's really hoping they'll spend a few million bucks over the next few days.
I should try to decorate even though it's alot of trouble and we're not in the mood.  All we want for xmas is to move to a new place—terrible time in terms of budget, but we're completely turned off by the whole materialistic bent that the season has become.  Folks should conserve if they're not rolling in dough.  We all have enough junk.  Why create more hardship?  Is it the only way to show one's love and appreciation?  Litte kids are the exception.  Spend money on them.  Maybe give a bag of groceries to the food bank, or blankets and coats to a local shelter; give what's needed to people you know (I personally know people who live in poverty, and am reminded daily of my good fortune).  During these trying times, wouldn't something like that be more meaningful than spending a heap of money on expensive things someone may not use or want, just because it's what everyone does?  Most of my favorite things weren't expensive at all, or weren't even bought—but they were immensely thoughtful and showed great insight on the part of the giver.  That's a true skill, something I lack, I might add (it might mean I'm inattentive or thoughtless?).  Am I being pedantic?

Dear Santa,

Please give everyone a stress-free holiday season to enjoy friends and family, and hope for a better tomorrow.  And please, peace on earth, healing, more time with the hubby, and happiness for my loved ones.  Also hair implants, if you can swing it.  The hubby humbly requests a new place, a body double, help selling the boat, and to be able to sleep in more than once a month.



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One thought on “Vegas, “slay-offs”, holiday spirit, etc.

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