I've been to Las Vegas more in the past 12 months than in the preceding 12 years.
I'm not really a gambler, so I always kind of feel like an imposter, and yet circumstances as of late seem to keep sending me back.
Someone I know through the blog hooked me up with a pass to NAB, so I'm leaving tomorrow and coming back on Tuesday (I'd stay longer but I've really got to try to drum up some work for next week).
I normally go to Vegas with The Blonde, who makes for great theater but is a bit stressful to travel with. This time I'm going by myself, which should be fun just because it means I'll be able to spend part of the trip actually relaxing by the pool without worrying what trouble I'm going to have to deal with next.
"You'll have a great time," my friend said when I told her why I'd be missing the Blasters concert a group of us had planned to attend Saturday night. "You'll tear the town up - just like Hunter S. Thompson."
"Um, yeah" I said.
A nice sentiment, as we're both huge fans, but Vegas isn't the same town as it was when Thompson terrorized it.
It's not the 70's anymore and the strongest thing I'm going to ingest is a watered-down vodka tonic.
The Dunes is gone, and while the Flamingo's still there it's a moldering hulk with a half-assed remodel awaiting a date with the wrecking ball so that we can have yet another themed resort hotel/casino.
One cannot - anywhere in Vegas, or Nevada for that matter - get a steak for $1.99 and I'm pretty sure that Hunter S. didn't have to bring along Flat Stanley.
When another friend heard that I was going to Vegas, she insisted I take along Flat Stanley for her kid's school project.
"You know, just take Flat Stanley's picture in a variety of interesting places, but you have to be in the photo or it doesn't count."
"I'm traveling by myself. How am I supposed to get in the photo?" I asked.
"You're a college graduate, I'm sure you'll figure it out".
So now my plans to do not a lot (besides gawking at all the cool NAB stuff and lounging by the pool) have changed and I have to spend at least part of the weekend cajoling complete strangers into taking our picture at various locations around the Strip.
One thing I'm sure of, though. Flat Stanley will be a hell of a conversation starter.