The few loyal and lonely

Maybe it’s time I come to terms with the fact I’m just not very good at updating this blog as frequently as I used to. I hope that you, the few loyal and lonely (and intensely bored?) remaining followers of it, aren’t too disappointed. I will still attempt to get something here every few weeks, but please excuse my continued transgressions.

We had a few weeks of utter hell heat-wise, where temperatures pushed up into the nineties and it was stifling. So it was perhaps ill-conceived that myself and three friends chose to follow it up with four days in Las Vegas in the middle of the Nevada desert, where temperatures were well over a hundred. (Plenty more on that in a bit.)

The weather has been bi-polar… the heat-wave came out of nowhere, and during it I could barely sleep and had near-constant headaches. The moment it ended the temperature dropped right back down to the 60’s. I think I’m gonna start looking for a portable air conditioner I can use for the two weeks or so of summer that it’s like this, and keep in storage for the remainder of the year. My barbecue, unfortunately, hasn’t weathered the summer so well. It was in storage during the construction, and I then brought it out for a very successful party, but my next attempt to use it the middle burner simply wouldn’t light, and I could find no problems with the assembly. I’ve been on the hunt for a replacement ever since, but I’ve had no luck finding a good price on a grill that has an infrared rotisserie burner (one of my upgrade criteria) that can also fit on my rather narrow patio. I’m hoping that prices will come down sufficiently as the season winds to a close for me to pick something decent up.

I’ve been doing a lot of improv lately, some quite successful and some not so much. We’ve been doing theme nights this past month, probably the most interesting of which was our Shirts vs. Skins night, where I eagerly volunteered to be on the skins team and do topless improv alongside two other performers almost as pasty-white as myself. It was a very good show for both myself and the team, and the audience was on our side and hysterical the entire time. This weekend I will be representing Canada in our Natives vs. Non-Natives matchup… it’ll be interesting to see how the audience treats us in that one.

Without a doubt the biggest thing to happen to me recently is the trip to Vegas that I went on with Elizabeth and our two friends Colin and Ashley (you may remember them as Brad and Janet from the production of The Rocky Horror Show I was in). We’d planned it nearly two months earlier in particular because people in the group really wanted to see two Cirque shows: and O. So we booked our tickets and rooms at the hotel and went this past weekend.

It was a pretty fantastic trip overall, and I took a bunch of photos with my iPhone. We stayed in the pyramid at the Luxor, one of the older hotels on the strip but also a well-renowned and regarded one. Our rooms were a bit dismal, but one does not go to Vegas to stay in the rooms, so we were okay with it, until Elizabeth found a leaky pipe in our bathroom, at which point I was able to negotiate an upgrade for the four of us to much nicer rooms in the East Tower with more space, better amenities and an impressive view.

We were there from Thursday night to Monday afternoon, and it was pretty much a whirlwind. The Cirque shows were incredible, fantastic, and all sorts of other adjectives I cannot do them justice with. They were both so much more than the touring show I’d seen in Marymoor by my condo. If I had to choose a favourite to recommend it would be Kà, which is far more story-based than most Cirque shows, and I found it both intense and positively gripping. O was pretty spectacular as well, and truly gorgeous, but unfortunately I had an allergic reaction in my eye that made it difficult for me to properly enjoy most of it.

In addition to this, Elizabeth and I went to see Penn and Teller, whose Bullshit! series we are both afficianados of. This show was a ton of fun and a great time. I was pleased with my ability to figure out how some of their tricks are done, although there were definitely some that stumped me. I don’t agree with all of their politics, but it’s hard to deny their charisma and what generous and genuinely well-intentioned guys they are. Probably the most telling indicator of this is that after every single show they wait outside the lobby while their audience (easily over a thousand people) mobs them, and gives each and every one of them the chance to get their picture taken with them and an autograph signed. It’s how I increased my collection of celebrity noogies to include both Penn and Teller.

Other highlights included my gambling at the blackjack table and turning $30 into $100 (although the next day I lost another $50). And the four of us also made the heinous mistake of going to a timeshare pitch in order to score free tickets to the Bodies and Titanic exhibits at the Luxor. We justified it as being a rite of passage, as none of us had attended a timeshare hard-sell before and it felt like we should know if we could make it through intact. It turned out resisting the sale wasn’t nearly as much of a problem as getting out of there in any reasonable amount of time was… it was supposed to be for two hours over lunch at 1 PM, but we didn’t even begin until 2 PM (by which point we were starving) and didn’t get out of there until 4:30, which cut into the time we had to spend with friends of Ashley who lived in Las Vegas. There were some highly entertaining stories we got out of it, but I think we all agreed that the stories still weren’t worth the hassle.

All in all the trip was a huge success, and it was a great idea to go with a similarly-interested couple that we could have fun with. It’s a shame to go back to work, but I don’t think I’ll miss the desert heat. You can check out my photo album of the trip, and here are a few teasers:

Airport Tram La Tour Eiffel Sphinx

I also took a couple of videos…


Kà preshow, featuring balls of fire! (Make sure to watch through to the end.)


Musical fountains at the Bellagio hotel.


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