Vegas baby, VegasI love Vegas, and it is not a love unrequited.

Vegas loves me back, and it does so with gusto and passion.

Vegas returns my phone calls.

Vegas sends me text messages so I know she’s thinking about me.

Vegas lets me sleep in the morning, and has dinner ready when I get home.

Vegas loves me for who I am and counts the hours until she sees me again.

I love her, too.

If you live in LA, flying into Vegas is the best investment you can make… especially if you’ve ever driven the 4-6 hours it will usually take, as you crawl out of the greater LA area and draft behind semi-trucks that refuse to pass each other along the two-lane Interstate 15.

When you fly into Vegas, you are a pimp. You are The Man. And you have no reason to ever stop drinking before heading home. Just stagger onto the plane, and hold it together for an hour. Before you know it, you’re back in LA’s loving embrace.

This past extended-weekend was St. Patrick’s Day, the end of Spring Break (apparently), and the beginning of NCAA March Madness. And Vegas, motherly figure that she is, handled them all.

My friend Jules and I started the weekend sitting in the middle of a Southwest 737 and toasting my Seven an’ Seven to her Vodka Tonic… at exactly 10:47AM. Less than two hours later we were finishing up lunch with a friend who met us there, and all headed back to our room at Mandalay Bay to charge up for the night.

That’s the thing about Vegas, by the way. Guaranteed that each hotel room has at least three people in it, usually 5.

Rio Buffet. Crab legs. No explanation required.

I love to gamble, but I don’t have particularly deep pockets to do so with. The most I’ve ever brought to lose is $300 (pronounced “three-hundy” when in Vegas, of course). I seek out the $10 Blackjack tables, and the $1/$3 No-Limit Hold ‘Em, and try to win my millions there. This time, I had no chance to play poker, as I was too busy more than doubling my money at 21. The run got so ridiculous, that the guy next to me simply stopped hitting.

It didn’t even matter what the cards were. If he had a 2 and 4, and the dealer showed a King, he’d just wave it on. “Interesting strategy,” I said. “It won’t even matter,” he replied, “She’ll bust.” And she did. Again and again and again. 6 hours, 10 Jack and Cokes, and several hundred dollars later, we all just laughed and laughed and laughed. Somehow, Jayson was able to make discretion the better part of valor, and for the first time I quit when I was very very ahead.

Vegas baby, VegasThen there was the club.

Readers, I’ve said so before, but recently I’ve come into my own. I think it’s the fact that I just don’t seem to care anymore. Desperation, or even strong desire, seems to be girl-repellent, and somewhere along the line I’ve lost that. I don’t know if it’s confidence garnered from past success, a zen calm that assures me that it will all work out, or if tab A finally fit into slot B, but things are much easier now, and for someone 31 years old, it’s about time.

I don’t know how long the dancing went on for, but the 10 free Jack and Cokes did absolutely nothing to me until the 1 drink I paid for joined them. And then the second and the third.

At some point, it was 5AM, and so obviously this meant it was time to have dinner for the second time.

Vegas baby, VegasBy 6AM, I was riding up the elevator to the 16th floor, laughing at myself, and laughing at the swaying guy accompanying me, drinking from a champagne bottle with a straw. Fucking classy.

I didn’t sleep, though. I just lay there looking at pictures and shaking my head bemused. I got up, took a shower, and headed back downstairs where I balanced the paying of my entire trip plus some, to the idea of playing poker for a few hours. I decided to leave Vegas with money in my pockets this time. After some effort, I convinced my friends to go with me to my favorite place in all of Vegas. The Peppermill, where I fell in love with Sylvia, the hostess from Bulgaria.

More stuff happened, more pictures were taken. I’ll post them eventually. I rolled into bed at 10PM, a solid 39 hours since the last time I’d slept, and lay my head down for the sleep of the angels.

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