May 14th, 2007

Halloween Cat

Shoehorn With Teeth

The Gold Nugget, Las Vegas, has the coolest pool in the world. See, here:

That's me, swimming with the sharks. I went down the water slide (that goes right through the tank!), too. Neat!!! I had a very relaxing weekend, as trips with Mom go. We did a little walking out, spent a goodly part of Saturday at the spa, and lazed Sunday by the pool. Late Friday night we went out on Freemount Street for a walk and to watch the Experience, when I started to notice a lot of rainbow things - necklaces, pennants, feather boas... and drag queens. And gay couples holding hands. Walking. Waving rainbow flags. I wormed my way through the crowd to find the Pride Parade Vegas 2007 had just ended! I was very sorry to have missed the fun - and that I wasn't there with my wife instead of my mother, who was not exactly understanding of the hoopla - she's fine with me, but she was dismayed at the very public shows of affection... especially in front of the weird, lone freaky protester who stood on the street corner a block or so away from the parade with a horrible sign about how Jesus hates gays (I can't remember the exact wording, but I DID want to go explain to her that Jesus never said anything about gays, but he said plenty about hypocrites who preach on street corners). Of course it would inspire a number of couples to kiss and grope in front of her. The skies did not open up.

I am reading a wonderful, poignant, pithy, hilarious book with intense lead characters, interesting supporting characters, filled with biting commentary on today's society (internationally, not just America), television, politics, people - it's so well written that sometimes it blasts me out of the story as I marvel at the simple ease with with the words are placed. It's Between the Bridge and the River by Craig Ferguson - yeah, the comedian/talk show host - and I have to agree with the reviewer blurb on the back that says, "After reading, you will know Craig Ferguson is not a talk-show host moonlighting as an author - it might be the other way around."

Some fun bits:

It was hard to be the minister of a snake-handling cult, after all. Other religions promised community and togetherness and the solace of communal worship, just like the snake handlers but without the rather unpleasant devotional duty of handling icky creatures that might well inject you with a highly toxic venom.

He had to get his snakes under the counter, you can't just buy a deadly snake in America, someone could get hurt. Anyway, if you really need something dangerous, get a gun. It's easy, it's cheap, and it's the American Way.

Then the music started again and the Reverend got down from on high and got a sleepy-looking snake out of a cardboard shoe box that had holes cut in it. He danced around, holding the snake in the air, trying to make it look more evil. (This was the snake's favorite part of the whole deal; if it had had vocal cords it would have gone "Wheeeeeeee," but like all good actors, it internalized the wheeeeee. Less is more.)

Brainyism was the latest funky religion that was catching on with the privileged and bored in the entertainment business in Los Angeles. A bit like the way Christianity caught on with upper-class Romans. Brainastics, or Boondtists, as they called themselves, were members of a cult that had built up in Hollywood around the teaching of a bankrupt ex-carnival roustabout who had died in the 1970's.

Like many people, mostly politicians, Vermont confused the legality of a substance with its addictive properties, forgetting always the biggest killer of all, alcohol, was legal, white, and sanitized for your convenience.

There's tons more great ones, but it would take hours to re-read the whole book and find them all (and I'm still a few chapters from the end; but I devoured this book).

So I got in at close to midnight and still had to get up and go to work today. It was a very fast day, though, thankfully, and I'll hit the hay as soon as Heroes ends.